Pairing: Chibs/OC

Spoilers: None

Word Count: 1358

Warnings: I suppose I would say sensitive subject matter, but no worse than the show

Disclaimer: I wish I did, but I don't own SOA. I want more episodes.

Summary: He's the first person in almost 20 years to call her by her real name. Chibs/OC.

All That Glitters Is Not Gold

She was Patience in LA, Glory in San Diego, and even she got a kick out of Chastity in Bakersfield. Now at 34, she's Mercy in Charming even though she doesn't think that life has shown her any.

The expired driver's license in her wallet says Michelle Adams, but he's the first person in almost 20 years to call her that. It was worth it to let him in on her secret, because she can't deny the shiver that runs up her spine when he says, "chelley girl".

She didn't meet him at the club. No, not his… hers. Michelle wouldn't have looked twice at him if he was one of the men shoving dollar bills in her g-string. It was a right time, right place sort of meeting, late at night during her lonely walk home from work. Chibs isn't a knight on a white horse, but then again she isn't much of a princess.

Princesses don't get mugged walking home at 3 am from their job as a dancer.

Chibs took her the rest of her short way home and helped her climb the stairs on her shaking legs. Michelle thought all that was behind her when she left the big cities. The cities that don't want strippers over 30… or at least ones that look like they are.

Michelle moved to Charming a year ago when her shifts at Rubies in Bakersfield started being scheduled earlier and earlier. At least in this small town, that she thinks is ironically called Charming, she gets to dance the nights even if they are mostly on the weekdays.

She's not sure how much longer she'll last. Her hair is fried at the ends from iron after iron to straighten and curl. It's dry as a cornstalk from being dyed over and over with cheap blonde out of a box. Her dark brown roots almost always show now because she just doesn't care like she did when she was 24. Michelle thinks she might've lasted a few more years in the city, but the lines on her face show even through the layers of makeup she cakes on and the darkness under her eyes never seems to fade.

It's mostly okay though, because shiny and bright wouldn't look quite so right on the back of his bike. Chibs waits for her some nights outside the back door. She'll climb on the back, he'll pass her the helmet, and she'll wrap her arms around his waist and and rest her cheek against leather cooled from the night air and wind. He always takes the long way, all around Charming, to take her home. Her apartment is less than a ten minute walk.

Two weeks after she moved to town, she moved into a two-bedroom apartment with two of the other girls, Destiny and Angel. God, Angel is so young. She actually gave Michelle a thumbs up one morning after spotting Chibs stumbling out of her bedroom.

It was Destiny that informed her that a leather cut with SAMCRO is definitely the train to hitch your ride to in this town.

Michelle mostly figured that out herself that night, four months after she moved to Charming when he saved her on the sidewalk. Chibs didn't try to take her to the police station or the hospital. He just set her on her sofa and dug around in the mostly bare fridge until he came back with a beer. He watched her intently while she downed it and then he got her another and told her to lock the door behind him.

He came back an hour later with scraped and bloody knuckles.

It was a week's worth of nights of him following her home before she invited back in to her apartment and unknowingly into her life. That whole week, her days were filled with thoughts of the way he called her "doll" and the strength of his arm wrapped around her waist as helped her up the stairs.

That night, Michelle learned a dozen other things to occupy her thoughts. The way the hair on his chin feels scratching against the insides of her thighs. The coolness of the metal of the cross around his neck resting against her chest. The softness of the grey at his temples when she reaches down to cradle his head in her hands and pull him back up her body. The feel of his practiced tongue sliding down the soft skin of her belly… and almost eight months later there's always something new to learn.

Michelle doesn't often go to nights at his Club. There are too many customers there that frequent hers. He's watched her dance more than a few times, but he sits in the back and drinks his dark beers and she hates the guilty feeling that she gets when she walks off. They don't have a relationship… he still has other women… but the more time that goes by, the less she wants him to see her like that.

Barely covered in scraps of cheap satin and lace. Thick, dark liner, and glittery pastels from her eyelashes to her eyebrows. Glossy pink or scarlet red painted across her lips. The vanilla lotion she wears shimmers gold in the lights.

She's been doing this since she got her fake ID at 17 when she ran away from home from her single mother and pregnant teenage sister. He's the first that has made her feel like maybe she doesn't want to twist and twirl on four-inch clear heels.

Michelle stopped needing liquid courage and the high to walk out on that stage more than a decade ago. She's a tired lamb that willingly goes to slaughter now. The white lines and pills dressed up with designs… she did all that. Michelle smoked and snorted her way through most of the 90's. The only thing that kept the needles out of her arms is an irrational fear of them, that thankfully, never went away.

The nights she does have off, she tries to relax on the cramped couch with one of his baggy, black sweatshirts wrapped around her. It hasn't escaped her attention that her hand will shake until she cracks open that first beer, or grabs the first glass of cheap wine from a box… she always goes for a second.

Some girls make extra money working for a local porn business, but that's a low that Michelle isn't ready to hit. There's no one left to be disappointed in her, but if she ever gets to walk away from this life, she doesn't want it to be captured for all of eternity on film.

It didn't bother her in her twenties, but now she has to go to the grocery store late at night when the moms with the kids aren't there. The sight of a baby in a cart or a small hand holding onto one with a ring, makes her already battered heart ache even more.

Michelle only sometimes lets herself wonder what "I love you" would sound like slipping past his lips. If it would be thick with his accent the way it gets when he's angry or excited. She wonders if his eyes would light up behind his black shades if she told him that in less than nine months two would become three.

The problem is… they aren't even two. The life that he leads doesn't leave room for that and she doesn't want to develop expectations that he'll never be able to live up to… but she can't help but think of all the maybes.

It has to be enough that his voice makes her think of long stretches of green and fog and so much rain. That rides on the back of his bike chase away the hot, hot California heat. The way his eyes crinkle up and the lines on his rugged face turn up in a handsome smile when she steals his sunglasses or the cigarette from behind his ear.

How he washes away the glitter and shimmer in the shower until all that's left is skin on skin.

Yeah… it's enough.

AN: Thank you so much for reading and giving another OC of mine a try. It was difficult trying to come up with something that seemed realistic for Chibs and I hope you enjoyed what I came up with. Well, maybe enjoy isn't the right word for this story. Please, let me know what you think.