DISCLAIMER: I do not own Sons of Anarchy. All rights, characters and whatever else belong to Kurt Sutter and FX Studios. Only the story idea is mine, and I make no profit- monetary or otherwise- from this production. Unless you want to count the shits and giigles i get from doing it.
A/N: Now properly uploaded. I ran into a bit of a problem and deided I definitely need to put warnings. Not sure I want people like my aunt stumbling across these and going "...what the hell?"
Warnings: Slash as in m/m action. No sex in this, just extreme drug and alcohol abuse.
It's a feeling he can't explain. One that takes him over and shuts him down. At first you could call it emptiness, or simply feeling nothing. Dive into the thralls of it however and you realize it's just too much, too much feeling. He feels pain and some sadistic pleasure, he's freezing, goosebumps breaking out over his skin, teeth chattering, but there's a fever coursing under his skin, extreme heat that makes him feel like he's melting. Then there's the hollowness, where everything echos through you. Every sound, every movement, every breath, reverbrates like a jackhammer, knocking you around on the inside like nothing you've ever felt.
It's a feeling coupled with cloudiness, clarity takes a vacation and everything is haze. You can't think straight and if it wasn't a mostly involuntary action you'd probably forget to breathe. That's the only thing he know's he's doing right now. But the pricks of pain across his hands, the stiffness that aches his muscles, and every one of his limbs falling asleep are all things he isn't aware of.
Right now the real world doesn't exist, it's all in his head, it's a constant soap opera that has everything and you're just watching it, but every gut punch hits you hard, whether you're on the recieving end or not. Every death- a lost wife, a dead child- you feel the grief, like they were somehow connected to you. A part of you. All the little things and feelings from the movie he's now watching in his head, he feels it all but can distinct one thing from another and it all runs together in a blur of colors, turning his head into a brain slushie.
It's this returning feeling that leaves him helpless, hopeless, and heartless. It's the thing booze won't fix, even temporarily. The thing the drugs can't hide. It's probably the one thing that guarantees his sobriety from his usual habits.
This feeling leaves him lost, it always does. Being lost is the only thing that hits home for him but in response to this overpowering emotion, all he can do is isolate himself, sit on the floor, bring his knees to his chest, wrap his arms around them and lay his head in between.
There are no words that could possibly convey what it is he's experiencing, enduring, enjoying. That last one is wrong, he shouldn't be enjoying this- but there's just some days when you gotta hurt, and when you do it's like the world is lifted off your back, or piled on.
Today is on of those days...or weeks rather.
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Chibs is worried, no he's passed that.
Day 1- He noticed it but didn't think much.
Day 2- He was still gone, but maybe it was just a run.
Day 3- There's no word at all, and no runs either. A worry worm begins to burrow its way in.
Day 4- That worm has made itself at home, weighing Chibs heart down. He was definitely worried.
Day 5- Chibs couldn't stop thinking about him, where he was, who he was with, if anyone. And God did he hope the guy was with someone.
Day 6- The others weren't sharing in his concerns, they'd been through this before. That should have assured Chibs a little, but it pulled his nerves even tighter. It didn't make sense, he was family but no one else seemd to be sparing him a thought. Chibs felt his anger bubble.
Day 7- Everyone is a little on edge now, its night and somehow over the course of the day "Maybe something is wrong?" is a question that has whittled its way into all their minds. The tension is too thick to cut, as is the silence. Chibs goes out looking.
Day 8- He's still on the road, a quick call back home leaves him with nothing. Chibs' has checked every place he can think of and there has not been a single person who's seen him. There's a knot of dread in his stomach now, mixed with the nerves.
Day 9- Chibs has headed back home, he's spending most his time alone. The eyes of the other boys on his back constantly but he ignores them, that anger from earlier bubbling up again.
Day 10- Chibs is resigned. Not a word from anyone, and the others are finally getting a little anxious. He's seen Clay ride out a few times and come back looking shot and disappointed.
Day 11- He's shitfaced, but not drunk or high. Just gone on the worry.
Day 12- He's spoken to Gemma, and he's not sure if the new revelations relieve or just worry him more. Chibs is glad to know however, he isn't the only one worried from the start, Gemma's right there with him. And he's promised to call her once he finds him.
Day 13- The address is playing over and over in his head and he's been riding since last night. Only stopping occasionally to puke, the wicked vile bile coming from the twisting of his innards as they clenched together even more. His worry becomes distress. But he'll be there tomorrow.
Day 14- He slept a little, early this morning. There's been little sleep over the past two weeks but he's not tired, not exhausted. His nerves are so tight they hurt, his body tense and coursing with adrenaline. It's gotten him a little crazy but he's holding it together, just barely- he's truly busting at the seams. The small shack is there though, right where Gemma said it would be. His hearts in his throat as he walks toward the door.
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Day 1- He straddled the Dyna, head hanging low and eyes casted down. Gemma's hand is lightly on his face but he's not really there. Something like "If you're not back in a week I'll send someone out to get you." Then theres a peck on his lips and a tight hug he can't return. Another run through his hair and there's the soft click of her heels as she walks away. As he hits the road, he wishes he could go back to Gemma, just another human being who actually gives a damn about him, it's hard to believe that its the one thing he wants the most. But he knows he'll always come second to the club, he's second to all those closest to him, and not for the first time he wishes he could be first.
Day 2- The small shack is only a few miles away but he's had to stop. His hands had gone numb and he was speeding into oncoming traffic before he figured out how to turn and brake. By then it was too late and he was forced to lay down the bike. There were people around but he just got back up and rode on, a stupid decision he knew that- somewhere. Another incident like that and death would be the only thing putting him first.
Day 3- The store a mile down the road has allowed him to be stocked up completely. The fridge is full, so much so its overflowed into the only other room. At least now he doesn't have to go to far, he sits in the middle of the floor, back against the bed. He rolls a joint, which he is also stocked on, lights it, and takes a long drag. Holds the smoke in till it burns then lets it out in a thin stream. Follows up with a couple of Demerol washed down with whiskey.
Day 4- The night was dead quiet, he doesn't remember much, just colors that swam all around. Weird faces popping out of them with tongues as they tried to eat him but never got close enough. It's more whiskey when the colors drop and he's engulfed in the night, a shaft of moonlight the only thing visible. He'd take more Demerol but he can't find the bottle.
Day 5- It's daylight, he had to drag himself up to close the blinds, the sunlight giving him a splitting headache. The pain was starting to set in, and he was sweating immensely. More Demerol and whiskey and it's back to the floor. His eyelids slip close and he's not prepared for whatever lies in wake on the other side.
Day 6-For some reason the scrapes, burns, and gashes from laying down his bike have acted up. They don't hurt but they're irkitating. He shouldn't feel them through the narcotic haze but he does. He just takes more in response. Staring at the dried blood on his hands, it changed shape. Like Rorschach inkblots they globbed over his hand, moved in a boneless way. The sight of the blood itself draws him into his mind. Memories of alcohol and a Louisville Slugger hanging in the hands of a man coming towards him. He downs more whiskey in hopes of staving it off.
Day 7- It's gotta be the tenth bottle that day, he hasn't moved more than an arms length, there's half the reefer left then when he came. It almost makes him sad.
Day 8-They're all clawing at him, deformed, decaying hands with jagged nails going for his throat and there's way too many to shoot. Not to mention his handgun isn't at his side nor is his knife and he's got no choice but to throw blind punches as they get closer tearing at his clothes.
Day 9- He swallows sharply, it's pitch black and all he sees is a chubby hand sticking out of the ground, he knows what it is but pretends it's not there anyway and moves further into the graveyard. A woman whispers in his ear and his heart drops at the sound, he knows that voice all to well. It's followed by another voice, a scream rather and then daddy bursts his ear drums and he falls to his knees. The hand from earlier is suddenly in front of him fingers digging into the ground trying to drag itself up, his instinct is to run, and though he does he knows he's not going anywhere.
Day 10- The bottle rolls across the floor as he lays on his side coughing and spluttering. There's a pile of puke next to him but he doesn't care, he's too gone at this point. There's more retching for what feels like hours and the stench probably fills the whole shack but he can't smell it anyway. He rolls into a sitting position. Hand reaching aimlessly for the empty bottle of Demerol.
Day 11- The wall. It's all he's been looking out for the past 24 hours, eyes bloodshot and red. All the whiskey is gone and he doesn't remember ever getting up to drink the ones in the fridge after finishing all the ones here. Yet he did. All the pot is gone, as is the Demerol and he's left alone just sitting here with nothing. Nothing but the pictures he sees in the grain of the panel wall.
Day 12- It's reached that point, that feeling has filled every pore and crevice of his body and its overpowering. He thinks he's stopped vomiting at the very least, but when it happens in another 10 minutes or so he won't remember and it will be back to thinking about this feeling he can't name again. It's a broken record, a never ending cycle. His body shakes and he can't stop it, the sweating has drenched his clothes but he doesn't have the strength to blink much less peel the fabric off.
Day 13- It feels like something's crushing him on all sides, yet he's being stretched too. He pulls in his legs, bringing up his knees hoping that will stop it. It's a failure though and he wraps his arms around his bent legs. Hanging his head down the tears would be falling now but he's completely dried eyed, it would be worse later though, when there was moisture, then there was no stopping the waterfalls.
Day 14- One minute he's staring at the wall, head on fire, a sweat drop plopping to the floor, his body shaking with shivers as he hugged his knees tighter. The next minute it was dark and he couldn't even hear himself groan in pain.
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Chibs stops at the door, he's already seen the bike, and the condition of the metal has him worried. His hands hovering above the door knob and he seriously wonders if this is where he wants to be. He's got a lot on his plate already, and cleaning up someones self-made messes is the last he needs. And what does it earn him? Most likely a bunch of griping and rude comments thrown his direction, maybe a couple punches. He settles his hand on the knob and pushes the thoughts out his head. He has to do this, whether he wants to or not.
The stench is the first thing that hits him and it about knocks the Scot out. It's a mix of booze, pot, blood, piss and vomit. There's bile rising in his throat and Chibs has to take a coule deep, disgusting breaths and swallow hard to keep himself from retching. It's so bad his eyes are watering.
After he's gained control, he has a chance to look around and it's almost pitch black in the place as he closes the door behind him. It's a small shack, two rooms and a bathroom at the most. Chibs passes the kitchen first and the sight of empty whiskey bottles makes him sigh heavily- thats the third bad sign.
Farther into the shack, Chibs' feels heart plummets, his breath hitch in his throat and his mind goes blank. He forgets just about everything else. His eyes settle on Tig the mans a mess, covered in his own filth and blood and its sickening to look at, but more pitiful than anything. The scariest thing though is his eyes, they're wide open, bloodshot, but crystal clear; and they're staring right at him. It's then Chibs realizes the man is completely sober.
"Ah shite Tig...what have ya done to yerself?" He moves over to Tig who's sitting on the floor, still staring at him, gripping his kness tight, and Chibs wonders what's going through his mind. He stares into those ice blue eyes but finds them dead and distant. He runs his hand throgh gue raven curls and Tigs whole body collapses, somehow the lack of interaction was all that kept him awake and curled up, one touch for Chibs and his eyes fell closed and his body pitched to the left. Chibs caught before his head hit and yanked it him to his feet, Tig's unconcious body leaning heavily against his own, the man reeked, more than the shack itself and it took alot not to shove the guy away.
Instinct kicks in and he drags Tig to the bathroom, the guy hasn't eaten in two weeks and it must be the reason he's so light. Chibs strips him down and tries his best to put the man in the tub lightly. He flips the water on, the water comign down in a hot spray steaming of Tog's ice cold skin. It scares Chibs when the guy doesn't react. He moves to check his pulse and Tig moves underneath him. Just an inch.
It's good enough for Chibs, he pulls out his prepay and dials Gemma's number, something he knows by heart, and updates her. She's gonna send the prospects and meet Chbs at his apartment in two days, that's how long it should take for him to get back. Chibs doesn't think he'll be able to last that long.
His prepay hits the floor and pieces fly as Chibs' whips around at the sound of choking, Tig's there hands trying to block the spray of water crashing on his face. Chibs rushes to twist the knobs off and Tig is left spluttering and shivering, covered in water drops. He looks more alive now, rudely awaken by water, than he did the last time Chibs saw him.
Chibs keeps silent, Tig's gasps echoing off the walls, a comforting hand on his shoulder as the man deathgrips the side of the tub. Tig looks confused, angry, hurt and terrified. Fear is definitely not suitable for Tig, it makes him resemble a child.
"Ya a'ight?" Chibs ask moments later when Tig calms down. He looks at Chibs with a lost look, the fear from earlier is receading in light of recognition, but Chibs' voice makes the man wince. "I'm gomna get ya some clothes, 'kay?" He says softly, trying not to spook Tig. He waits for a moment or two until Tig nods slightly and then goes off in search of clothes.
Chibs returns and Tig is visibly more relaxed, and hurt. He's shaking more now than ever and all the water that had dried has been replaced by a thin sheet of sweat. Chibs leaves the clothes on the corner of the sink and hangs back, watching closely to make sure Tig can stand up long enough to get his clothes on. Its a simple tank top and sweats, Chibs' own clothes that were packed away in his saddlebag, the shack itself is completely devoid of anything; and Chibs is quite thankful for the fact his mother always raised him to be prepared.
Few minutes later and they're sitting on the floor near the fireplace, Tig's wrapped in a blanket, in the same positiong Chibs found him in. Chibs throws a couple matches in the fire, watching it flame into life. That sizzle it makes draws Tigs attention, his pale eyes widening and shrinking in time with the flickering flames.
"Ya gonna tell me what the hell happened ta ya?" Tig doesn't even glance at him, just moves his lips silently and Chibs finds this annoying. Tig isn't extremely hurt, not physically anyway, but he's worried. "Tig?"
Tig ran a shaky hand through his hair, yanking it back into the warmth of the blanket as soon as possible. "It's cold." Tig mumbled, clutching the blanket close. Chibs frowns at the statement and pulls off his hoodie, it hovers in the air between him and Tig for a moment before the other man takes it and slips it on, then holing himself up in the blanket again. He reminds Chibs of a turtle.
"Yer not gonna talk to me are ya?" Chibs shakes his head when Tigs eyes slip closed and he shakes his head a little, seemingly sinking into himself.
Tig's been alseep for awhile now, two nights at least, ever since he fell alseep sitting in front of the fire with Chibs. Since then Chibs and the prospects have carried his sleeping ass inside the van and driven him back to Charming.
He's now laying in Chibs bed, still shaky, sweaty, and occasionally vomiting. Chibs sits near the bed in a chair, eyes ringed red from lack of sleep. Gemma's at his shoulder. "He'll be fine." She says soothiny, rubbing circles on Chibs back, and the man suddenly feels like a small boy.
"I know. I just...jesus, what the hell is wrong with him eh? Disappearing like that, laying down his bike, drinking and drugging himself within an inch of his life! I don't get it, what's that supposed to fix?"
"Oh baby, its not supposed to fix anything. It's just what he does."
"And you all let him do it!" Chibs whirled on Gemma, standing up his eyes blazing.
"Yeah. We do." Gemma snapped back, her face hard and voice cold, steady. Chisb just glared, Gemma just stated him back down. "Sit down." Chibs shifted his weight onto his other foot, Gemma's eyes narrowing dangerously. "Sit. Down." Chibs huffed, but did as he was told that feeling of being a little boy coming back.
"We let him do it cause when he comes back, he is back. In the weeks before he hevomes cold, quiet, closer to Happy then lovable Tig, it's fucking scary. But then he'll disappear, drink himself into oblivion and does who knows what else, and he comes back alive, real, amd more Tig then I've seen in a while." She takes a breath and and moves a strand of Chibs hair behind his ear, she can see how much the Scot cares how much the sight of a broken Tig is breaking him. "I want there to be a better way, but I rather him do this, be Tig, and risk it going wrong, then have him not do it and become cold-hearted, distant, and everything he's not." She runs a hand through the silky hair before leaving, Chibs listens to her heels click against the old wood, creaks following her every step.
"God damn Tiggy..." Chibs doesn't know what else to do, he feels useless, hurt, sad. He can't blame Tig for what he's done, it makes sense, everyone needs an escape. It's just hard to find one in this line of work.
Chibs lifts himself from the chair and approaches the bed, laying down beside Tig he runs a hand through the raven curls. Chibs plants a shallow kiss on Tig's temple and sinks back into the pillow, an arm thrown across Tig to keep him there. He lets the smell of Tig lull him into sleep, a strange combination or oranges and smoke- a scent that forever clings to the owner of those baby blues.