A/N: This is for Sage013 for winning the second week of "After the Dust Settles" Forum
"Jax we know you don't want Tara involved in this shit, we do. The thing is, uh, well Kozy got himself in a bit of a jam." Bobby tried to ease into the now common favor.
"Well you'll just have to tell Kozik that he needs to get himself out of the jam. Tara ain't doin' crap for this club." He said irritably, before taking a long hit off his cigarette before throwing it on the ground and snuffing the life out of it with his shoe. She won't be involved again, the last time she got involved she ran away for ten years the thought flitted through his memory as he looked down at the smooshed, lifeless embers on the pavement.
"Trust me brother I get it, we all do. Thing is, Tara is the only one who can help with Chibs on that run to Laughlin. I know she's your Old Lady and you get final decision but just remember you're going to be sitting at that table soon enough and then Tara really will need to take an active role in this life, your life." Bobby said sagely, before clapping a hand on his shoulder before turning into the clubhouse again and ordering Juice to grab some alcohol and some towels.
"Damn it." he slipped out his phone took one last glance back at the club door and listened to the sounds edging out into the empty lot before taking one final breathe before calling Tara.
It rang once, twice, three times until it went to voicemail.
Hi this Doctor Tara Knowles, I can't come to the phone right now but if you leave me your name and number I'll be sure to get back to you. Her voicemail recording always managed to bring a smile to his face. Just the sound of her calling herself doctor was enough for the entire ache from the last ten years to ebb away.
Coming back to himself as he heard a muffled cry from Kozik he left her a message with a quip or two about adding on "Old lady to Jax Teller" on her list of accomplishments for her incoming callers before snapping his phone shut. Stuffing his hands in his pockets he took one last look around the deserted lot of Teller-Morrow and the line of bikes before turning to head back into the fray that was his club.
"Did you get a hold of the doc yet?" Kozik and Juice asked at the same time, although the later looked a bit more paler then the actual injured guy. Although that wasn't much of a surprise, after all he got his 'name' from a juice box. Such a kid the words ran through his mind as he shook his head no for the fifth time in an hour. Kozik smiled half-heartedly before a spasm of pain ripped through his body and he motioned for the liquor bottle. He excused Juice out of the room to round up some food before sitting down on the bar stool that was brought in for Tara, or whoever could do a well enough job to patch him up.
"Ya know, I always thought you got in all those fights in high school because you liked it when Tara played Doctor but dude, if this was the time you had to wait to get inspected, I doubt the 'check-up' was worth it." Kozik breathed out, taking a few pulls from the bottle before twisting his face up as another spasm wracked his body.
"Trust me Koz, the check-ups were totally worth all the bruises and busted lips. Of course you won't be getting that type of a check-up but I'm sure I can find you a nice young croweater to play doctor with you when you're in tip top shape." He chuckled, smile on full display before remembering back on a few of those "check-ups."
The bar area became a flurry of activity as he smirked down at his brother who was jugging the bottle like a man left in the Sahara desert. As the bottle was drained the church doors parted like the Red Sea and there she was, his Doctor, hair pulled up in a sloppy mess, jacket thrown over a baggy t-shirt, and on closer inspection of her he realizes that it's his t-shirt; more specifically his very first SAMCRO member t-shirt. Just the sight of her in that shirt has him itching to pin her to the closet available surface and have his way with her.
He snaps out of his imaginings to take her all in and realizes that she is frazzled, and speaking. Shaking his head a bit, he glances at kozik once before focusing in on her words.
"Why didn't you have someone come get me?" She asks sternly marching into the room with her Grade-A medical first aid bag hung loosely off her shoulder with purse strap entwined.
"Uh, I left a message. I figured we could just patch him up and pump him full of booze and Happy's Oxy until the morning. You were taking care of Abel and I know you came off a thirteen hour shift and needed the sleep." He tried to placate her as she dumped the bags on the table near kozys' head and unzipping it to get to work.
"Jax, as part of being your Old Lady if you need me, I'm here." She said it so simply that he was sure he was hallucinating. "And that includes being there for your club, because whether you are sitting in that chair" She points distractedly to the chair at the head of the table "Or if you are sitting in the one next to it, this is your club." She tells him before snapping on her gloves and smiling softly at Kozik before undressing his wound.
The smile that overtakes his face is as big as it's ever been, bigger than when Tara gave himself to him, hell bigger than when his he got his patch. For the first time in the last twelve years she accepted him; all of him.
For the next forty minutes, or eternity, he couldn't really be sure because time moved slow and fast when she was near. Like it sped up to match the pace of his beating heart and slowed to allow him to be with her for as long as possible he sat in silence watching her nurse one of his brothers back to health.
Noticing that the patient was out cold he breathed a ragged sigh as the dregs of sleep perched on his eyelids. Fluttering them open, refusing to let her out of his sight until the last possible moment he grappled for something to keep him awake, grasping onto the first thought that skittered past his brain.
"Where's Abel?" he asked, cracking his neck.
"I had to call Gemma to come watch him; I didn't want to take the risk of waking him while I put him in the car. For a two year old he doesn't go back to sleep very easily, must get that from you." She teased as she concentrated on the in and out repetition of the stitch.
"Or it could just be that he doesn't want you out of his sights, a mama's boy for sure." He says smiling softly as he thinks of the great lengths he and Tara have to go to so she can make it out of the house and to work.
"So he takes after his old man then." She teases as she snips the last cord for the ninth stitch before starting in on the tenth.
Before he can form a response the doors crack open and Bobby shuffles in with plates of food balanced on his arm.
"Thought I would bring you and the doc some food. It's getting pretty late, or early." Bobby says making his way to the table and setting the plates down on in between him and Tara. The smell of the cooked roast beef and melt cheese with bacon relish has his mouth watering for a completely different reason than an hour before.
He nods a thanks to Booby who sets down a pile of napkins and two beers, before he can comment on the food however Tara drops the surgeon scissors and hightails it out of the room, nearly bulldozing into Happy.
"What's got the Doc running for the hills?" Happy asks as he looks between a passed out Koz, Bobby who is sniffing a sandwich him as he stares at the spot he last saw her with he can guess a confused look on his face.
"Well it ain't the sandwich, the meats good and I doubt that it's the cheese, Gem just picked it up yesterday on her shopping trip for the barbeque this weekend." Bobby answers before he takes a bite of the slightly cool sandwich.
Still confused but giving in to the hunger he picks up his food and munches on it eyes never wavering from the spot he last saw her, running out the doors and toward the back rooms.
By the time he sees her again, the sandwich along with half his beer is gone and the guys have all retreated back out into the bar area for a good time.
He notices she looks paler then before and as she draws nearer to the table he can make out a slight sheen of sweat, or is that water, He can't be sure but he does take her in carefully again. It's like running a diagnostic on his bike, he notices that her hair is puled back neater, suggestion she fixed it, her jacket is zipped up instead of it hanging off her shoulders in a hurry to get to the club and as he gets off the chair to stand right beside her he can smell the slight aroma of peppermint, suggesting that she brushed her teeth. Adding all that up he blurts out the first words that pop into his sleep-addled brain, "Did you vomit or something?"
He can see the unmistakable eye-roll before she takes off her gloves and exchanges them for new ones.
"Class act Teller, class act." She mumbles before going back to stitching.
He runs his hand through his hair in frustration at her evasiveness.
"I knew I shouldn't have called you, you're over worked and stressed out with a rambunctious two-year old and now my club just keeps piling on the crap. That's it, I'm taking you home to sleep. Just give him a shot of penicillin or something to curb the infection and Chibs or Gemma can finish the sewing sometime tomorrow." He says adamantly as he grabs onto her wrist that is pushing through the thirteenth stitch.
"Let go Jackson, I'm almost finished. Don't get your panties in a bunch if I could get through medical school and residency pulling an all-nighter and chasing after a two-year old isn't going to kill me." She says irritably, as she yanks her wrist out of his hold before continuing to close the enormous gash in the inner thigh of a passed out biker.
"Then what the hell is wrong with you?" He snaps at her, but knowing better then to interrupt her work again. "You've been exhausted for days, when I get up in the morning the coffee pot hasn't even been turned on, and don't give me that bullshit excuse about how you get coffee at work because hospital coffee sucks and you nearly just ran out of the room at the sight of a roast beef sandwich, which I know you love. So damn it Tara, you said no secrets." He bellows as he makes his way around the table so he can grab her attention.
She mumbles something under her breath as her fingers fly through the ins and outs of the closing a bleeding and nasty wound and she looks so in her element that for a moment his anger at being kept in the dark ebbs away. With one final snip she sets the scissors down, flicks her beautiful eyes to his and dresses the wound before she gives him another thought.
"This isn't how I wanted, or planned to do this Jackson." She says, and some of the tiredness that he knew she was holding in leaches out in her words as she plops herself down in the vacated bar stool.
He watches as her gloved hand runs across her forehead before realizing she still has them on and pulls them off slowly.
The silence stretches and every single bad scenario flashes through his mind.
No don't think like that, she was just telling you that she would be here for you, that she's your old lady the tries to tell himself as images of her walking out that bar door all those years ago is at the forefront of his memory.
"I'm pregnant." The words spoken so soft are like an electric shock and he is catapulted out of his thoughts as he takes in those two little words.
He doesn't speak, because let's be honest he might be older and already have a kid but the idea of a kid with Tara, well he would be shouting from the mountain tops that he's finally got everything he's ever wanted. So instead of the shouting from the rooftops or the laughter that threatens to burst forth he stalks around the table barely giving her a moment to catch her breath before his lips attack hers and he is spinning her around, finally colliding with the church doors.
Her hands are framing his face and drawing him in deeper, as if she could pull him into her, make them one and sadly that won't happen believe it he has tried plenty of times over the years.
His hands somehow come to rest on her belly and it's still flat and as petite as can be but there is a baby in there, his baby.
"Yeah?" He asks for reassurances and she gently nods her head against his before their lips collide again.
Hope everyone likes it and please review.