Disclaimer: See initial chapter.
A/N: Beta'd by spacebabe from livejournal.
Tig can't sleep. Something doesn't feel right, but he can't quite put his finger on what it is.
"It's too quiet," he finally says, propping himself up on his elbows.
The kid's gone; apparently he left while Tig was in the shower. Tig had come out to find Chibs sitting on the floor outside the bathroom, cigarette dangling from his fingers, thoughtful look on his face. "Juicey split," he'd said, and, without any further explanation, he'd stood and brushed past Tig, handing him his cigarette as he walked into the bathroom and showered.
The bed creaks as Chibs turns over, and they aren't even touching. "Can't sleep?"
The Scot's lying all the way on the other side of the bed. Tig's in the middle, and he's never felt so alone, not since he'd hooked up with Chibs and Juice.
"What, you're an augur now?" Chibs rolls onto his back and looks at him.
Tig's feeling more than just a little angry and vulnerable just now, with Juice missing and Chibs a hand's breadth away from him. "What the hell did you call me?"
"Never mind," Chibs says, sighing, his brown eyes penetrating as a laser beam. "Look, Juice'll be back in the morning. Kid's just gone to blow off some steam or get some air. He'll be back."
Tig can't help but feel a stab of jealousy at how easily Chibs can read Juice, like maybe they were together before, just the two of them, and he's a third wheel, some pity fuck. Which would be all kinds of ironic.
"Kid does this kinda thing all the time."
And Tig thinks that if maybe he'd paid more attention to Juice, he would've known that about the kid, too. But he ain't Chibs. The man seems to have a read on everyone, Tig included.
"C'mon, Tiggy," Chibs cajoles, reaching over the invisible divide that seems to be between them now that Juice's not in the bed to keep them all together. Like the kid's some kind of human super glue.
Tig reluctantly lies on his back, though he still can't shake the feeling that something's wrong.
"You worried 'bout that dream you had the other night?"
And maybe he is, but it's not just that, there's something else which seems off - wrong. He shakes his head and grasps the hand Chibs is rubbing his thigh with. He brushes his lips against the man's worn knuckles. So unlike a woman's - there's no softness, no tenderness, and it scares him to think that maybe he's the weakest member of this group.
He's not so concerned with being labeled a queer or fag, or whatever the hell it is people call it nowadays, as he is with being labeled weak or a pansy. It scares him that he doesn't get the urge to kick Juice or Chibs (not that he could make Chibs do anything he didn't want to do) out of bed once they've fucked. That, even though he and Chibs haven't so much as wacked off tonight, they're lying in bed, together, and he's okay with it, doesn't feel like going off to get some space between them.
Chibs rubs his thumb along the edge of Tig's bottom lip, and Tig takes some comfort from it. But it doesn't lessen the knot in his stomach, or stop the kid's words from coming back to him – about Juice's days being numbered because every Latina Tig bones dies. And, he fears for a moment that maybe his dream and Juice's words are coming true. Except it's not so much a dream as it is a nightmare.
"He's fine," Chibs assures him for what must be the hundredth time tonight, but Tig still can't shake the feeling that Juice isn't fine.
Maybe it was the almost not there limp he'd noticed, but had said nothing about when the boy had walked past him earlier that day. Or maybe it was the way Juice had looked when he'd left the bathroom earlier that night, tired and edgy.
Tig understands the need for space better than a lot of people. This, what he's experiencing now, worry for someone who isn't one of his daughters and who isn't Clay, is new.
He's always been a 'fuck you now, chuck you later' kind of guy. He's never mixed sentimental crap with sex. Sex is sex is sex. Any way you look at it, it boils down to the same thing - two, three or more people bumping uglies in the middle of the night, the day, in bed, in the park...location, number, time of day, and apparently not even gender matters. It isn't making love. It isn't anything other than fucking - pure animal instinct, nothing grand or earth-shattering.
Sex is a purely physical act, and it's one of the few things that makes Tig feel like he's in control - whether it's Chibs rutting into him like some fucking jack rabbit, or him going at it with a pair of twins with double D's, it doesn't matter. Tig feels in complete and utter control when he's engaged in a sexual act, particularly when it's Chibs who's holding the reins. It doesn't make any sense whatsoever.
"Want to fuck?" Chibs asks, snaking his other hand up Tig's thigh and brushing his thumb over the head of his dick.
Chibs rolls over so that, now, not only are they touching, but he's straddling Tig.
"Might take your mind off of Juice. Maybe he'll come back while we're in the middle of it, and we'll make him watch. Can you picture it?"
And there's something hypnotic and arousing about Chibs when the man says things like that, especially when he's holding Tig's dick, which makes it damn near impossible for Tig to resist.
"Make him watch like the dirty, little boy that he is." Chibs' voice is low, and all Tig can do is throw his head back and nod.
He can picture the kid now, walking in on them, expressive brown eyes filled with hurt at first, but then they'll darken with lust and envy, and the kid'll watch as Chibs fucks Tig. Juice will bite down on his fist and palm himself through his jeans as Tig grunts and moans. His breath will come out in heavy, uneven gasps as he bites down hard on his fist to keep from crying out when he comes seconds before Chibs and then Tig.
When they finish, Juice's eyes will be half-lidded, fist teeth-marked, and lips parted in an unuttered sigh. He'll sag against the wall, the tension from earlier no longer present, and then, sated, he'll join them in bed, cocooning himself behind Tig.
When Tig's cell rings, Chibs has got Tig's dick in hand and is rubbing the tip of it with his thumb, and Tig can hardly breathe let alone think. He thinks of ignoring his cell. Does at first, but then it rings again, and, though Chibs continues his ministrations in an effort to get Tig's mind off of Juice, he pushes Chibs away and reaches for his phone.
Tig growls. "What?"
At first he thinks it's a crank call, because it's just after midnight, and why would some head nurse from some hospital he's never heard of before, be asking for him?
"Yes, this's Tig. How'd you get this number?" he asks. His voice low and threatening.
Chibs, sensing that something's up, leans in toward the phone and presses himself close to Tig. They're chest to chest with Chibs straddling his thighs, and Tig can feel the Scot breathing, the man's erection pushing into his stomach. It's an intimate pose, but Tig concentrates on the phone in his hand.
"Juan Ortiz had this number on his person," the head nurse says primly, and Tig's heart does the funniest thing - it stops beating. "Are you there, sir?"
His palms are sweaty and his mouth dry. "Yeah, I'm here. What the hell do you mean by, '…on his person…'?"
He can feel Chibs' heart beating against his rib cage, and it's as if Chibs' heart is beating for the both of them. Hard and strong and steady.
"There's been an accident, Mr. Ortiz was brought to the hospital two hours ago. He had a piece of paper in his pocket with your name and number on it, and that of a ... Chibs?"
"What kind of accident?" Tig asks, but he already knows what's happened. He's seen Juice's accident play out in vivid detail in his dreams night after night for the past three weeks.
Chibs' hand is gripping Tig's shoulder, fingers digging into the muscle as he strains to hear what the nurse is saying. And Tig can't hear a single word because he can't keep the images from his dreams out of his mind. Juice's body - broken and bloody - lying on the highway, eyes open and vacant, staring up at nothing.
He shakes his head. "No."
He has no idea what it is that he's protesting. He just knows that this isn't right, that this woman is talking about someone else, not Juice, who is lying right there next to him in bed, mumbling nonsense in his sleep.
Chibs takes the phone from him, prying it from fingers which have gone numb and stiff.
"This is Chibs."
Tig's only half-listening to the conversation. He thinks that maybe this is all just part of his recurring nightmare.
"What do you mean?" Chibs asks, and it's almost funny, the way he's parroting what Tig had asked earlier. Chibs puts the phone on speaker, and Tig has no choice but to listen, to admit that this is really happening.
"I mean, which of you two gentlemen is his domestic partner?"
Both Tig and Chibs frown in confusion, looking at each other as if the other has the answer to what the fuck she's talking about.
"Uh, we both are?"
"That nitwit," the head nurse mumbles. "Making assumptions just because of a few pictures in a cell phone and phone numbers...Sorry I disturbed you gentlemen," she says.
Pictures? Tig thinks, and then he remembers the candid photos that the boy had taken of the two of them with his own personal cell phone. He'd promised to delete them, but obviously he hadn't gotten around to it yet.
"Wait a minute," Chibs says, before the nurse has a chance to hang up on them. "How badly was he hurt?"
And Tig feels like an ass. That should've been the first thing out of his mouth when she'd called. Instead, he'd stammered like a fucking idiot and Chibs had to take the phone from him.
"I'm sorry, but I'm not authorized to give out information to anyone who isn't close family."
"And if I or Tig are his domestic partner, you can give us information?"
Tig can see that Chibs is already plotting something, he just isn't sure that he'll like whatever it is.
"If you provide the proper paperwork, yes."
Tig can hear the skepticism in her voice, but she can't be blamed for that as Chibs practically let on that neither of them were Juice's domestic partner.
"And you'll also be able to make important medical decisions for him."
"Such as?" Chibs asks.
"Such as whether or not he should undergo surgery to find out why he's still bleeding." There's an edge to her voice. "Look, I don't know whether you or the other man is his domestic partner, and quite frankly, I don't care. What he needs right now is for someone to step up to the plate and make these decisions for him. If he's got family that I can call, please give me their names and numbers and I'll let you get back to whatever it was you two were doing before I called."
"Just hold on a second," Tig shouts, grabbing the phone from Chibs before he can respond. "I'm his domestic partner," he blurts out.
He knows that Juice isn't close to his family. Or at least he assumes the kid ain't close to his family, because he hasn't heard anything about them in all the time the kid's been with the Sons, and, if anything, Juice has a tendency to let his mouth run. If he had family he could go to, family he trusted, Tig knows that the kid would have blabbed about it at some point in time.
He can't stomach the thought of just letting the boy bleed to death because the doctors can't figure out what's wrong with him, and because they can't get a hold of his family to make those decisions for him. If Tig can do something to make sure the kid stays alive, he's willing to do it.
"Then why didn't you say so in the first place?" It's clear that she doesn't believe him.
"Because I…," and Tig doesn't know what to say, what he'll need to show as proof when he shows up at the hospital, if he'll need proof. "I thought this was some kind of sick joke," he finishes lamely.
"It would be a cruel-hearted joke," she says. "And I can assure you that I do not joke about such matters."
"Yeah." He doubts that she jokes about anything, cruel or not.
A cruel, twisted, fucked up joke, he thinks, and then, later at the hospital, when the nurse is explaining that Juice is on the third floor, awaiting the go ahead on surgery, he wonders what the hell he's gotten himself into. He wonders how he's going to explain it to the club, and Juice, when he wakes up. Because, if he's going to be the kid's domestic partner, the little bastard better fucking wake up, or he'll kill him.
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