Disclaimer: I do not own The Covenant and its characters. Don't sue me.

Summary: Tyler reacts to Caleb and Reid's constant fighting. Pogue is there to help. One-shot.

Note: I don't know why, but it seems to me that I like to torture Tyler and leave him breathless. I have recently become enamored with the idea of him being the one that gets all the grief and remains the center of the Covenant's pain, being the youngest. Perhaps I'll be nicer to him next time.

It has also come to my attention that Pogue is the one to come to Tyler's rescue all the time, at least in my world. Caleb and Reid are always busy fighting over something or another, the leader trying to keep the delinquent of the group from doing anything stupid enough to get them exposed, so it stands to reason that the care of the youngest, Tyler, should fall to the second in command, Pogue, who sometimes seems to have his head screwed on better than the eldest.




Reaction to a Fault




Tyler pressed his forehead into Pogue's shoulder, trying to get air into his lungs. His throat felt as though it was being licked by white hot flames, and he couldn't seem to breathe any deeper than a shallow pant. Any longer like this and he was sure he'd pass out.

He could feel his older brother's palm running over his heaving back, trying to ease him into taking deep, slow breaths. If worst came to worst, Tyler knew that Pogue would use on him, to try to regulate his breathing, but lately that hadn't been working as well as it used to. It was better that they didn't do that—not after what happened last time.

The youngest covenant member heard the biker's startled curse when his knees gave out, and in relief, Tyler felt himself being lowered to the apartment floor, gently, as he had been before. The brunette knew his leather clad friend might object and even deny it, but he cared about Tyler to a fault. Always had. It seemed nothing was going to change that any time soon.

"Jesus, Tyler," he heard Pogue murmur in his ear. "How the hell is this time so bad? You've seen them fight before—s'nothing new."

The hand was on his back again, rubbing soothing circles despite the gruffness of the voice behind it. If Tyler didn't know any better, he would say Pogue was a little scared.

"Not like…this…" he wheezed, closing his eyes, and pressing harder against the shoulder of Caleb's second in command. His fingers, the ones that weren't fisted over the fabric of his own chest, found their way to the leather sleeve of his friend's jacket, and he clutched the material desperately, feeling his lungs constrict the slightest bit further.

God, if he couldn't calm himself down…

"None of your attacks have been this bad before," his friend persisted, and by the quality of his voice, the forced softness he heard in it, Tyler knew he was trying to calm him through being calm himself.

The gasping teen couldn't bring himself to reply to Pogue's statement, and he felt his breath hitch again.

"Tyler, listen to me, okay? Try to take deep breaths," his friend coached into his ear.

He tried, he really tried, but his breathing wouldn't calm, and he was starting to see swirling spots in his vision.

"This has gone on long enough—don't you think it's time we told Caleb? I'm surprised Reid doesn't already know. We need to tell them."

"No!" That exclamation seemed to steal all his recovered breath, and his world tilted a little, despite him never moving.

"Tyler, you can't keep having these fits after every argument they have. If they knew, maybe they would stop fighting for your sake."

Tyler was unable to speak, and could only shake his head weakly against Pogue's shoulder.

He heard the other teen sigh sadly, and perhaps a bit sympathetically, but he knew never to pity Tyler.

"Christ, Baby Boy, your heart's racing!" Pogue's voice was hushed, but it was anxious, and worried.

He felt his friend trying to strip him of his jacket, and belatedly, Tyler thought that was a smart idea—could make his breathing easier. After a moment though, the teen reasoned that Pogue would have to do it himself. He couldn't seem to move.

The other swimmer seemed to do well enough, and had his jacket off in no time at all. If Tyler hadn't been so frantic on breathing right now, he might have thought that skill to be one of many accumulated from his make-out sessions with Kate.

He unwillingly allowed Pogue to unlatch his fingers from the man's leather sleeve, only to slide the rest of Tyler's jacket off of him. The brunette immediately fisted his hand in the fabric once his arm was free.

"C'mon, Tyler, you need to calm down. You're not doing yourself any good here."

The blue-eyed Magick user tried to nod, but found himself releasing too big of a breath at that action, and regretting it instantly.

Tyler felt Pogue's hand slip under his T-shirt to rest on his shuddering back, right between his shoulder blades, and lie still for a moment. The hand moved haltingly to a few different spots, before the cotton cloth was replaced, and the comforting circled recommenced.

He belatedly realized the older boy was feeling his heartbeat, and figured it must be pretty fast, if the continuous pounding against his ribcage was any indication.

"What the hell made this one so bad, Tyler? It's never been this hard for you to breath before," Pogue said into his hair, both his hands now working to calm his brother down.

"…Caleb…and Reid…never…fought like…that…before…"

Tyler shuddered a few times, each breath he took scarier than the last because each gasp of air was harder to attain. He belatedly noticed that Pogue's hands had left his back and were now on the sides of his head, his thumbs wiping tears away from his eyes.

Desperate tears.

"Deep breaths, Tyler, you can do it."

The brunette's head started to drop to his chest, but Pogue gently raised his head back up, making Tyler keep eye contact with him. Looking into his friend's eyes, the younger of the two could see a sheen of unshed tears in them, and he knew then that this was just as scary for him as it was for Pogue.

"You're okay, Baby Boy, just a nice, long deep breath, alright?"

Tyler nodded in Pogue's hands, his gaze only leaving his friend's once or twice when his eyes slipped closed in exhaustion and desperate concentration.

His shoulders trembled as he struggled for breath, and this time both his hands reached out to fist themselves in the front of the leather jacket of the teen in front of him. He could feel his vision blurring by now, and at this point, Tyler thought Pogue wouldn't mind a few lasting indentations in the fabric of his favorite coat.

By some act of God, Tyler's breath began to slow, and deepen, and the smaller swimmer was nearly down for the count from the joy of taking his first real breath in what seemed like hours.

"Tyler? Tyler!"

The younger teen's eyes flew open at the urgency in Pogue's voice, but his breathing continued to steady

"Don't pass out on me, kay?"

Tyler nodded sloppily, closing his eyes, and leaning forward to once again rest his forehead against his brother's shoulder. Oh, God, it felt so good to breathe.

He felt Pogue's hand in his hair, and the relieved sigh his friend made, and knew he was just as thankful as Tyler that he could breathe easy again.

"You okay?" Pogue's voice came after a moment of nothing but indulgent breathing.

He nodded, his hands still not leaving his self-proclaimed anchor that was Pogue's jacket.

"Tyler, I really think we should tell Reid and Caleb about this. They need to know what their fighting does to you."

"No, if they knew…the only thing that would happen…is more fighting," Tyler paused to take another deep breath to ensure he wouldn't start hyperventilating again. "The way things are going…right now, they would just…blame the situation on each other," he shook his head against the leather clad shoulder. "That's not what I want."

Pogue sighed, and Tyler knew he agreed with that last statement.

The youngest covenant member suddenly sagged against his friend, and Pogue's arms came around his back him to keep him upright.

"Whoa! Tyler, man, you alright?"

Tyler nodded against the biker's chest, mumbling something into the leather.


He opened his heavy eyes, moving his face sluggishly away from its human pillow, and told his friend in no uncertain yet groggy terms, "M'tired…"

"Yeah, I bet," Pogue's chest rumbled and Tyler could tell from the deep humming in his ear that his friend was chuckling. At him no less.

Wanting to wipe that God-forsaken smirk off his friend's face, but lacking the energy and the will to move, Tyler settled for a nice, muttered, "Shu'up."

"Yeah, yeah, I hear ya."

He felt his brother shift, and he tried to move, too, but his muscles felt so lethargic, that he felt he couldn't lift a finger if he tried.

"C'mon, man, you can sleep it off in my room," Pogue's voice came to his ear, and for a moment Tyler wanted to argue that he wasn't some drunk with a hangover.

"Easy, man," his friend said, helping the brunette from the floor. He felt his arm being draped around Pogue's shoulder, and a hand clasped his freely dangling wrist. An arm snaked its way around his torso, too, and he was being forced to walk.

His eyes didn't want to stay open, and he nearly stumbled a few times, but Pogue's reassuring voice in his ear helped him move forward.

"Come on, Tyler, it's only a few more steps. They you can collapse on my bed, okay?"

Tyler nodded, feeling his chin nearly touching his chest.

He nearly yelped out loud when his feet were swept out from under him, and he was laid on what he could only identify as Pogue's comfy mattress.

The teen opened his bleary eyes and looked at his strong friend, who seemed to have no inkling that his show of superhuman strength was something to be surprised at as he pulled his little brother's boots off.

Tyler felt a blanket being draped over him, and he only realized his eyes had closed when they opened again to the touch of Pogue's hand on his forehead.

"You get some sleep, okay?" Pogue said, pulling the blanket up to his shoulders with his free hand. Tyler found himself nodding as his eyes slipped to half-mast again.

"While you're resting, I'm gonna go call Caleb—"

Tyler's eyes widened and he opened his mouth to pretest.

Pogue held his hand up. "Before you say anything," he said, only continuing after the brunette closed his mouth. "I'm not telling him about what just happened…yet."

The younger of the two sighed, and watched as his friend tried to wipe off the smug expression suddenly decorating his face.

"I am, however, going to lecture him on the finer points of humility, and the brotherhood of the covenant," Pogue declared, and Tyler couldn't help but smile drowsily at the mock resolve on his friend's face.

"Please," he said, wearily, though with no small amount of humor, rolling his eyes. "You wouldn't know the meaning of humility if it bit you in the ass."

The biker laughed, "True, very true," he sobered a bit as the next words came out of his mouth. "But Caleb needs to be reminded that using on each other is a sacred offense," he said, sighing. "And he'll listen better than Reid will, for sure."

Tyler dipped his head in acquiescence against Pogue's hand and nearly fell asleep right then and there.

A kiss to his forehead had him opening his drooping eyelids again, and he looked up sleepily at his smiling friend.

"Go to sleep, Baby Boy," his brother said, passing his hand over Tyler's heated forehead again. "I'll wake you for class tomorrow."

The brunette boy sighed, closing his eyes and turning over, registering the slight parting rub to his shoulder, and the light that was turned off.

A few minutes later, through the door that had been left cracked open, he could hear Pogue on the phone with Caleb, trying to be somewhat quiet as he argued with his leader about the events that had taken place at Nicky's that night.

Smiling to himself, he sleepily decided to let Pogue have his protective streak. He had almost passed out on the man's apartment floor, after all.






I hope you liked it. Please review! I like reviews in my mailbox!