Pairing: Jax/Tara

Spoilers: Takes place a few weeks after Season 1 finale

Warnings: We'll go with a PG-13 rating.

Word Count: 2354

Disclaimer: I don't own anything, anything at all.

Summary: It was impossible for David Hale to miss the biker's entrance into the quiet police station although he fervently hoped that maybe he could stay out of the middle of this latest mess. Jax/Tara.


Caged

It was impossible for David Hale to miss the biker's entrance into the quiet police station although he fervently hoped that maybe he could stay out of the middle of this latest mess.

"I wanna see her now," Jax's demand breaks Hale out of his musings.

"She's sleeping it off for the night," Hale tells him and draws one hand down his face in an attempt to rub the exhaustion away. "You can see her after her arraignment tomorrow morning."

"Fuck that. She's not stayin' here 'til morning," Jax tells him and Hale doesn't miss the hand that clenches at the biker's side.

"We have witnesses from the bar and the man whose head she broke the bottle over is pressing charges. Like I said, she will be arraigned tomorrow morning on a battery charge. If you want to post her bail, be my guest, until then get the hell out of my station," and Hale doesn't care if he's losing his tenuous grip on calm. Teller always manages to bring out the worst in him and damn if he doesn't blame him for where Tara is now.

"Pressing charges? Tell me who's the guy!?" Jax reaches down and hauls Hale out of his chair. It takes him a moment to steady his balance and step away. Normally, Hale would like nothing more than to charge Jax with whatever he can find no matter how small the infraction, but it's late and this doesn't have anything to do with SAMCRO. None of this is doing the brunette in lock-up any good.

"I would be more than happy to put you in a cell next to hers Teller, but not tonight. I know she didn't call you and she hasn't asked for you. Don't you think you've done enough?"

A moment passes between the two men and Hale drops himself back in his desk chair and he can see the exhaustion creep up on Jax's face as the other man leans himself up against the desk.

"Hale… just let me…" and as Jax trails off Hale feels himself giving in. Just the fact that Jax is in front of him asking him for anything speaks volumes.

"That stays here," Hale says pointing to the blade at Jax's hip. He's relieved when Jax doesn't argue and simply takes it off and places it in the drawer Hale has opened for him.

"Anything else?" Hale has to ask. He doesn't think Jax is stupid enough to come into a police station with anything more, but he can't be too careful.

A glare is his only answer.

"Come on… you know the way," he can't suppress a grin and Hale takes a small amount of joy in the frown that passes over the biker's face….

Huddled up in a corner on the cot alone in her cell, Tara hears the scuff of their shoes on the tile before she sees them. That isn't to say she's not surprised to see the blonde appear in front of the bars.

"Tara…"

"I didn't call you… David…" and a few tears escape because tonight she had made a small attempt to get away from Jax and now he's here and she has nowhere to go.

The cell door opens and Tara can hear one set of footsteps make their way in and the door shuts and locks behind him. As the other set fades off down the hallway Tara can't push down the trapped feeling. What she did might have been wrong, but the guy looked mostly fine and this has to fall under cruel and unusual punishment.

"Tara what the fuck happened?" The anger in Jax's voice comes as a surprise and she lifts her head from her knees to glare at him, but stops. Tara can tell just by looking at him that he isn't angry with her. Jax can't fix this and she knows he's frustrated. This man has been at the center of her purposefully small world since she was 15 and Tara knows Jax.

She opens her mouth to speak, but it promptly closes. He wants to know what happened? Well so does she. The beers and shots from earlier are still running through her blood and it feels like her emotions have spun entirely out of her control.

"I didn't call you," Tara replies petulantly and turns her focus to tracing her finger along the seam of her jeans.

"I know. Bobby did. After he saw you taken away in handcuffs for cracking a bottle over some guy's head. What the hell were you thinking!?" He's pacing now in front of the bars and she wonders if maybe Jax is starting to feel a little too caged in. After all, he's been in this situation before. This is brand new for her.

It only took a little over a week of Wendy being home from her sober living house and the small life Tara and Jax had begun to create fell apart. Tara had gotten used to crawling in bed with him after a long shift at the hospital or staying with Abel while he was out.

It feels like she has a lifetime of memories of lying on the couch with Abel resting against her chest waiting for Jax to come home and stretch out behind them. Getting up at 4 am to give the baby boy a bottle and rock him back to sleep. Jax sleeping soundly behind her with an arm wrapped around her middle. It feels like a lifetime, but it was really only weeks.

It was easy to forget about the blonde wife and mother while she was away, but it was impossible when Wendy was back at Jax's house sleeping in that bed or throwing herself into the role of mom. The nights of Tara at Jax's or watching Abel came to an abrupt end and when Jax suddenly didn't show up in Tara's bed for the third night in a row she reached the end of her rope.

When she realized with horror that she actually wished that Wendy would fall back off the wagon, Tara drove herself to the bar and attempted to drown all her memories in alcohol.

Her mind, clouded with whiskey and misery, wouldn't let her stop herself from finally putting an end to the continuous advances of the man next to her. After yet another attempt of him to put an arm around her waist she plucked her beer bottle off the counter and smashed it over his head.

Tara didn't even bother to protest as she was hauled off to the drunk tank. David was nice enough to put her in a cell away from the others and it was mostly quiet except for the occasional snore coming from the two men at the other end of the hall.

"Jax, I… just please… just go," she pleads and a few more tears fall because she knows this is a futile request and she desperately does not want to fall apart in front of him.

"Tara, god… I'm sorry," he runs his fingers through his hair and Tara recognizes the signs of him being uncomfortable. He moves to settle himself next to her on the cot and tentatively reaches over and pulls her up against him.

It seems as though her body molds itself to his side against the better judgment of her mind. Tara chooses to fiddle with the zipper of his sweatshirt when his hand starts to stroke up and down her arm because she needs something to focus on. Up and down, up and down, the repetitive movement tunnels all her thoughts until just one is left.

"Where'd ya sleep last night Jax?" The question that earlier made her switch to tequila and forego the lime, because god help her she doesn't want confirmed what she already knows.

"Jesus Christ," he lets out a whoosh of air as if she knocked the wind out of him.

"Are you ever gonna make a choice? Wendy is… she's always going to be there Jax. I don't know where to fit." Tara buries her face in his shoulder because he's still her comfort even if he is her pain.

"You know the divorce finalizes in two weeks. I don't know what's gonna happen, I don't know how this works Tara," he tells her softly and she traces her fingers along the collar of his grey t-shirt because she loves the way he whispers out her name.

It isn't an answer to her question, but it's all he's prepared to tell her.

Quietly against her ear she hears, "Don't you know by now what I'd do for you?"

Tara hopes he can detect the nod she gives because she doesn't trust her voice. This is the reason she can't just walk away from him. Why she has to attempt to drown her sorrows and memories, because in her right mind she could never stay away.

It's the strong arms wrapped around her. Tara knows how skilled the fingers are that are combing through her hair. The bright blue eyes that are now as glassy as hers. Sometimes he makes her feel 17 again. Back when the danger and turmoil surrounding him was alluring and she wanted just a taste.

Now she knows how rough the hard edges can be. It's Jax's unwavering loyalty that might break her heart all over again. It's been months of this war in her mind to be with him or leave him and all her nerves are frazzled and her body is exhausted. Tara feels foolish and humiliated at how she put herself in Wendy's place and how easily Wendy pushed her back out.

She doesn't protest when his hands grip her waist and pulls her fully onto his lap. Tara surprises herself when she leans in first.

Right now there's nothing Jax can say to her that's right or going to make any of this better. Jax knows Tara wouldn't be doing this if she wasn't just a little drunk, but he doesn't feel guilty. He's afraid she isn't going to let him touch her again and if this his last moment then he's going to take advantage of it… even if it means taking advantage of her.

He tugs her bottom lip between his and is surprised when she sneaks her tongue in and she tastes like beer, whiskey, and a hint of cigarettes. Tara's supposed to taste like peppermint and he almost pulls away because he knows he did this.

His hands skate up her sides under her shirt and thumbs trace just under her bra. He's rewarded with her hips rocking into him and he lets out a groan, because he wants her badly, but this isn't Tara. Tara wouldn't do this under the yellow fluorescent lights of a jail cell.

Pulling her down on the cot, his resolve to stop is lost when she flicks open the button on his jeans and her fingertips trace after the zipper. Jax easily rolls her under him as he glides one hand across her breast, down her flat stomach to slip into her jeans. When his fingers slide just under elastic he hears a quiet, "no, no, no."

That stills his movements and he has to take a few deep breaths to bury the desire that makes him want to kiss the "no" off her lips and convince her to just let him have her one more time. When the brunette dissolves into tears beneath him, all Jax can do is press his lips to her forehead, both cheeks, the top of her head and he moves his weight off of her to gather her up in his arms.

Everything's all wrong and Jax just wants one thing that feels right. The past few months have been exhausting dealing with SAMCRO, Wendy, and Abel. It's selfish, but Tara was the one thing that didn't feel demanding and he buried himself in her. As he holds the crying brunette in his arms, he knows Tara's right. He has to make a choice.

Jax is pulled from his thoughts after what feels like moments, but must be hours, by Hale coming to spring them. Tara is fast asleep, curled up against him with his sweatshirt as a blanket.

"The charges are dropped. The man came in bright and early this morning with a brand new story," Hale says with a hint of annoyance in his voice, but a look of relief on his face as he unlocks the cell door to let the two occupants out. Both looking worse for the wear.

Thank you Bobby, is all Jax thinks.

Tara is released with minimal fuss and only a little paperwork. She's been reduced to one word answers and barely looks at either man as she makes her way to the front doors of the station.

Standing on the front steps she suddenly realizes that she doesn't have her car or any way to get home.

"I'm headed out if you need a ride Tara," Hale offers.

"It's all right. I'll take 'er," Jax steps up to her side and she knows the heat she feels isn't caused by the California sun.

"David if you really don't mind, I'd appreciate it," and Tara doesn't look in Jax's direction because she knows exactly what look will pass over his features. Tara really does know Jax.

The odd group makes their way down the steps and Tara can see the tense set of Jax's shoulders as he climbs on his bike while she waits for David to bring the car up front. As he puts the helmet on, he turns to her and Tara has to stop whatever words are going to come out.

"They're probably waiting for you at home… Go home Jax," she tells him and her tone is firm because she knows this is right… even if Jax doesn't.

Tara flinches when the engine revs a little higher than necessary, and she pulls the sweatshirt, still wrapped around her, tighter as the bike tears out of the parking lot.


AN: Jax and Tara are my favorite couple which is ironically, or maybe not, why I don't write much for them. I'm a little afraid to mess with them and write for them as a couple in an actual story (still short I know), but I gave it a shot. Thank you for reading!