A/N: I wasn't able to post Chaos today due to illness. I've had this waiting in the wings and now seems like a good time to post it. Hope you enjoy it. Thanks to SWWoman for the beta on this story.
"Joss, I don't know if I'll make it back from where I have to go. There's something I need you to know before I say goodbye."
There was a pause as Joss held her breath. She didn't like what she was hearing. It was as if John was giving up. He had gone with Harold, Shaw, and Fusco to deal with Samaritan but what he was saying now filled her with dread.
"Joss, sweetheart, I love you. I've loved you from the moment we met, and you asked a dirty bum if he needed some help. If I don't make it back, please remember that." Before Joss could respond he hung up and all she heard was a dial tone.
She looked at her phone to see what number he called from. It wasn't his usual "unknown" number. Quickly dialing the number back she let it ring several times until finally someone answered.
"John," Joss breathed in relief and then she frowned in confusion when the voice on the other end wasn't John.
"I'm sorry lady this ain't John. But I'll be anybody you…" Joss hung up the phone angrily. It was a damn payphone. But she could trace a payphone. She was a cop, but she would have to have a warrant, and they would want to know what the warrant was for, bla bla bla…..
Tears of frustration pricked at the backs of her eyes but she stubbornly blinked them away. There was no way in hell she was going to let these bastards around here see her cry. They were already calling her "Super Woman" because of all the HR business; she wasn't going to give them any fuel for their fire. She didn't understand why she had to stay behind anyway. They all ganged up on her and told her she was still recovering from her time spent in Maple,* and although she had returned to work, she was on desk duty till her final physical, which was next week. She was already going to her weekly psych evaluations with Dr. Xeno. She didn't want to use Iris Campbell because of the way, in Joss's mind, Iris had used John when he was in a very vulnerable place. She was getting off task. She had to find a way to track John. Finch, she would call Finch.
Scrolling down her contacts, she had listed Finch as "Unknown 2"; she found him and punched the button then waited for him to pick up. But if she was hoping to get any help from Finch, her hopes were soon dashed.
Before she could say a word, Finch said as if he knew she was going to call, "I can't help you Jocelyn," he said in frustration, obviously not in agreement with John's decision.
"What the hell happened, Finch? I just got a call from John talking as if he was…" her breath hitched but she gained control of herself, "…as if he was never coming back from the mission. Why would he do that?" She finally asked.
She heard Finch sigh heavily on the other end and she knew that didn't bode well. "Joss, John is planning to sacrifice himself to destroy Samaritan so that…so that we can live and continue with the Purpose." Finch finished, overcome. Joss's hand flew to her mouth and this time there was no holding back the tears. She quickly rose from her desk and made her way to the ladies room, while she tried to pull herself together. She still had Finch on the phone.
"Finch, he called me from a payphone. If I give you the number can you trace it for me?" Then she frowned. "You said you can't help me. What does that mean exactly?" She asked urgently.
"John and The Machine made a pact together without my knowledge. If I had known, I would have stopped it somehow." Finch said desperately.
"What are you talking about? What pact?" Joss spat out furiously.
"If it came down to our lives or his, he would sacrifice his to save ours and The Machine." Finch said on a sob. "Joss, The Machine has locked me out. I don't have access. It only responds to John's commands now and John commanded it to lock us in the vault of the US Department of the Treasury and we have no way to get out." Finch continued on, panicking.
Joss stood in stunned silence. John had made a pact with the Machine? Why would he do that? Because he's John and he will do whatever is necessary to protect the ones he cares about; even if that means giving his own life. Well that's not going to happen.
"Finch, where is he?" Joss demanded.
When Finch hesitated Joss asked him again, "Finch, where the hell is he?" Her voice was deadly now.
"He's at the Stellar building in Manhattan. There's an antenna there that will support the upload of the virus to Samaritan but as soon as it's uploaded a cruise missile will be launched. He won't have time to fight Samaritan operatives and get off the roof in time. It's a suicide mission, Joss." Finch finished, defeated.
"It was a suicide mission. He didn't count on me." She said fiercely and hung up the phone putting it in her pocket. She heard it ring but ignored it.
Before leaving the precinct she grabbed two bullet proof vests and stole two extra hand guns and ammo from the weapons stash. She wanted to be prepared for anything so she stopped by John's place and grabbed his duffle bag full of goodies, and then added her offering. After reaching the parking garage and her car, Joss peeled out headed for the Stellar building.
She knew the building from living in New York. It wasn't a flashy building, just a plain cement and metal, fifty story square office building. It stood out because of the array of antennae on the roof. It seemed to have every kind of antenna that you could possibly need. As Joss pulled up to the building she looked up at the roof and thought she already saw John in the far corner facing away from her. She pushed on the gas pedal and squealed into the parking garage stopping just long enough for the attendant to give her a ticket, which she threw onto the seat beside her.
She parked her car, stepping out, and then stopped for a minute, thinking she heard gunfire. Oh, god, she was too late. Rushing to the elevator she hit the button for the top floor and waited impatiently as the blasted thing took forever to reach her destination. Finally on the top floor, she took one of the vests out of the bag and hurriedly put it on. Looking down the end of the hall she saw the door to the roof already partially ajar and she definitely heard gunfire now. She ran to the end of the hall and burst through the door.
John was in the corner fending off two shooters, one coming from each side. Without thinking twice, Joss raised her gun and shot the man on her right, John shot the one on her left then looked up to see who had shot the other man.
"Joss?! What the hell are you doing here? Get out! Get away from here!" He yelled at her as she ran toward him. He had a bullet wound to the arm but it didn't look serious.
"I'm not going anywhere without you, you stubborn fool!" Joss yelled back.
"Look out!" John yelled and she spun around just in time to see two more operatives come through the door. John and Joss both shot at the same time with clean shots to the chest, both operatives falling to the ground dead.
"Have you uploaded the virus?" Joss asked looking into his astonished face. He just nodded his head still in disbelief that she was there.
"Good. Let's go then." She said pulling on his good arm. But he didn't move.
"Joss, we'll never make it in time. The missile already launched, it will be here in minutes." He said regretfully.
"Then I suggest we stop wasting time and start moving," she said and, surprisingly, smiled at him. Reaching up to grab him behind the neck, she pulled his head down and quickly kissed him. "By the way, I love you, too," she said after she released him.
He looked at her a second then smiled back. "Let's go then." He took her hand and they headed for the door.
*Reference to "I'll Find You" by iheartShules