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 giggles I get from doing it.
A/N: Alright, so this is my first Juice fic, with some supernatural stuff thrown in 'cause I can't keep things normal and of course hurt and pain 'cause I apparently like to make characters suffer. Thanks to Evil Cosmic Triplets for letting me use the supernatural prompt Blood.
It's slick, wet, sticky and has a tang. It's warm, smooth, shiny, and has a stench that sticks in your nostrils; a sickeningly sweet scent that's bitter and subdued, but overwhelming at the same time. All topped with a salty, copper taste.
And, Juice hates it.
Blood, it's a person's life in liquid form; loss of that means loss of life; it means death. It runs through your whole body and keeps you moving; in more ways than one, it's the most precious thing on the planet, but it can also be the most vulgar.
That's why Juice hates it, he hates how losing too much of a simple liquid could rip someone from his life. Or how too little can make you sickly and broken. Or even how too much can make you a hot, red mess with a major headache.
But even more than that, there's something about the color- a deep ruby red, that shines crimson, and moves as scarlet- that he dislikes the most. The red never represents anything good, it's always the sign of tragedy, or sacrifice...or death. It's transfixing as well, something that drags Juice in, like claws, captures his attention like a cage and leaves him hanging; breathless, distant, and cold, trapped in some trance.
That's why, sitting here, he can't take his eyes off of Tig as the man gasps and pants, blood spluttering from his mouth and running down his chin. The tainted liquid is smeared along the side of Tig's face and pumping out of his chest between Juice's fingers, despite how much force Juice desperately throws at the wound, trying in vain to hold it closed.
He almost can't focus enough to do even that because the blood is everywhere. Some of it is his, some of it is that of their assaulter's, but most of it is Tig's; it just keeps coming, the guy could run his own blood bank from what's been spilling out, yet he's still alive. Juice just isn't sure for how much longer.
This wasn't how the deal was supposed to go. They were just supposed to get the guns and leave. But those damn assholes cheated them, jumped them, and in the middle of a fucking parking lot at that. Juice has no doubt, that had they been attacked somewhere else, with no innocents, Tig and he would've been able to flatten these guys in seconds. But they had threatened a family, a kid, and Tig about lost it then. Surprisingly enough, it was the heart that Juice never knew Tig had, that saved the family, even though it meant he and Tig had to give themselves up.
And now, here they were, in a storage container, with a fucking hole in Tig's chest and nothing to help him. Juice already has his shirt balled up and pressed to the wound, but it does nothing to stem the bleeding, nor does the added pressure from Juice pushing against it with all of his strength.
"Oh shit Tig, don't die okay?" Juice rambles in Tig's ear, his words aren't even making sense to him.
It's not like Tig can do anything to stop his own loss of life- if he dies, that's on Juice and no one else. It's not the blame, though, that bothers Juice, he thinks he could deal with that; it's the fact of Tig actually dying that bothers him, scares the shit out of him- especially with the added fact that Tig might bleed out, right here in his arms.
Juice doesn't act like he wants to be around Tig, and in many cases he doesn't, but he still loves Tig, in some weird brotherly way that's only possible in the Sons.
Juice wonders where the Aryans went, they beat the shit out of them both and then just left, leaving them here. Juice tried to call the guys but he didn't have his prepay, and it's not like he could leave to find help.
Suddenly, Tig coughs up more blood, and the stuff is soaking Juice's shirt. A new fear grips Juice's heart and he wonders how he could have let this happen. Why didn't he fight back as well? Take a shot like Tig? Maybe then they would have been able to overcome the Aryans. But he was useless, he just sat there and watched as Tig struggled in the grasp of some Aryan goliath and was shot point blank with a 9 mil.
"Tig hey, stay with me okay? There's help on the way, just don't die. Please." Juice really hopes there's help on the way. The guys had to be out looking for them, and he could hear sirens- he just didn't know where they were going.
"No Tig, don't talk, okay? Just stay with me." Juice's eyes found the blood on Tig's lips and he swallowed hard, trying to keep focus, not lose himself. The blood just kept bubbling through though, a slow leak out of Tig's mouth- a direct contrast to the blood spouting from Tig's chest.
It's like the push and pull of some unknown force, like gravity, with Juice's eyes going back and forth between Tig's lips and the wounded man's chest. He has a small, sick fascination with it all, and that scares him. Juice goes back to hating himself, for not doing anything and for paying more attention to the blood than Tig. He just couldn't stop looking at it - blood, there was always so much of it.
There was always so much blood.
Juan sat on the stoop, the knotted wood creaked beneath his weight. He watched, with a far off look, as blood ran down his arm from the cut on his palm. The crimson liquid dripped slowly, like each drop had a path it needed to follow and it was pertinent that it did. It's destination attracted it like iron to a magnet. Maybe that's what it was, some tiny magnet, in the crease of his elbow that drew all the blood into a pool.
Juan doesn't remember how he got the cut, he knows it happened at school, that Paul did something. Maybe Juan had said something about his name again, it was really Pablo and Juan couldn't figure out why he wanted to be called Paul. But Paul was a bit of a bully, he didn't have any friends- a loner- and Juan felt a little bad for him. He tried to make friends, but why the first thing out of his mouth was the name thing, he didn't know; it didn't help any though. Paul now hated his guts and Juan was down yet another possible friend. He always talked before he thought, he didn't know when to stop-like his mother said- always said the worst things at the worst times.
Juan heard a gasp above him and then his mother was dragging him into the kitchen, cleaning and bandaging his hand none too gently. She had a look in her eyes, a sad one of disappointment and lost hope- like she felt Juan was a lost cause, a perpetual troublemaker, who, again, talked before he thought, doing more damage than good.
Juice had seen that look many times later in life, on Chibs usually. Chibs had the same eyes as his mother, soft and caring, but hard and holding way too much weight from having seen too much. And they always analyzed down to the very core, picking up everything, mini cameras that recorded and stored all the visual footage.
Juice hated those eyes sometimes, he felt naked to them, bare, with nowhere to hide. He couldn't imagine what kind of look Chibs would give him when he found out about this, about Tig, and about Juice's fascination as he watched the life drain out of Tig and not doing a damn thing to stop it.
"Sir, you need to let go."
Juice shakes his head. Hands pull at his arms, but Juice can't move and his brain is slow. He doesn't know what's going on.
"He's in shock, get the gurney, we'll have to pry him off."
"Wait..." Juice murmurs.
Paramedics are surrounding him, placing their hands on him, and on Tig who's still lying in between his legs. They're trying to take him away from Juice.
"No, get off of him!"
"Son, we're trying to help, you gotta let go."
Juice finds the eyes of an older man, ocean grey, kinda like Clay's, looking at him, and Juice wonders where the former president is.
"No, he's dying, I- I can't, you can't take him."
"He needs to get to the hospital, we're just trying to do our jobs."
The paramedics work around Juice, some of them still trying to pull him off. But Juice can't let go, he doesn't know these people, doesn't trust them. And now there's more blood than ever and it only started to look like this when they showed up, so Juice's having a hard time believing they are actually helping.
It's the blood though that shuts him down again, and the warm weight that was Tig is gone and there's a poking and prodding at his face and the drone of a voice. But Juice isn't hearing any of it, he just nods his head, thinking that if Tig's not there with him anymore, the man might be dead; Juice doesn't know, how could he, unless he's with Tig? And, as a brother, it's his job, to make sure Tig's okay, right?
"I gotta go." Juice pushes at the hands dabbing at his face, but they're on his shoulders, pinning him against the wall.
"You have to go the hospital too."
It's the older man from before, same quiet calm voice and it helps to ground Juice, take his eyes away from the blood so he can actually think a little more straight.
"No, I- uh I'm fine. My friend he-"
"You friend's getting the help he needs. But you're hurt too, come on. We'll take you to the hospital with your friend, he'll never be far away." The paramedic gives him a serious look, and despite his instincts, Juice believes him. Juice is pretty sure he wasn't hurt, but he needs to follow Tig.
So he nods to the paramedic, and he's soon walked over to an ambulance. All around him, there are people covered in blood, and he can hear shouts and commands- even the soft coughing, Juice knows to be Tig, gagging on his own blood.
Juice wonders if the other paramedics can hear it, hear Tig's airway closing, like a deflating balloon. It's so subtle, but it's a throbbing pain at the front of Juice's mind, thumping to the rhythm of Tig's struggles to breathe.
For the first time, though, since all of this has happened, Juice notices something. The blood, as much as there was of it, only soaked through his shirt and his pants. There's none, not one drop of it, despite the fact Juice felt it bursting through his fingers only minutes ago, on his hands.
Reviews are lovely to have, oblige me if you would.