Title: Hand Of God
Characters: Chibs, Jarry
Word count: 2,733
Author notes: Part of the ...Made You King-series. Thanks to tanaqui for betaing.
Summary: After a brawl at Diosa lands the Sons in lock-up, Chibs and Jarry find themselves at odds about their respective roles in safeguarding Charming's well-being.
Hand Of God
The squeak of metal hinges brought Chibs out of the restless slumber he'd fallen into. He pushed up from the prison cot, suppressing a groan. His knuckles were sore and bruised, and his left shoulder had stiffened up. He'd injured the shoulder after someone had slammed into his back and tripped him and he'd broken his fall on Diosa's sturdy bar. At least he'd gotten his revenge in, catching his balance in time to clock his assailant with an underhand jab.
The rest of the holding cell meant for one was packed tight: Tig, Hap, Montez and T.O. were crammed into the small space with him. They also stirred awake at the sound of boots on concrete, gathering to their feet from where they slouched against the cot or sprawled on the floor. Jarry stopped outside the bars, Eglee and Carreira hovering behind her. She looked furious, her mouth set in a thin, hard line and her hands resting on her hips. Her eyes briefly flicked toward the other holding cell, which was also full of bruised and bloodied men, before they snapped back to the Sons. "Him." She aimed a stiff finger at Chibs. "Interview room."
Turning on her heel, she marched out without another word, leaving it for Eglee and Carreira to bring Chibs. Yeah, she was pissed alright. She could've told the two deputies simply to fetch whoever she wanted to talk to; her personal visit to the lock-up wasn't necessary.
Eglee gestured for Chibs to come to the bars while she shook out a pair of cuffs. Chibs arched an eyebrow. "Really?"
Eglee shrugged. "Boss's orders."
Behind Chibs, Tig sniggered. "Oh brother, you're in for it now."
Like he didn't know. Chibs grunted, rolling his eyes, and held out his hands for Eglee to slap the cuffs on. "You doin' okay, darlin'?" he asked as he walked out of the cell. He was genuinely glad to see her back on the job; she'd always done right by the club, and he had hated she'd been caught in the Nazi crossfire.
She mumbled something affirmative, and pointed him toward the interview rooms. The interior was familiar: a table bolted to the floor, a pair of chairs, one on either side. A camera up in the corner near the ceiling would be recording whatever was going on. Chibs had been in plenty such rooms in the past.
Not lately, though.
Jarry was waiting for him, standing behind the chair furthest from the door, fingers curved over its back. Her knuckles were white, as if it was taking an effort to hold on. At a nod from Jarry, Carreira ushered Chibs to the other chair, before he and Eglee left, closing the door behind them.
Chibs rested his cuffed hands on the table and let the silence stretch. Best he see where Jarry landed before deciding which tack to take. The cuffs were a bad sign: creating distance, putting him back in with the thugs and scumbags. He sighed inwardly; he'd thought he and the club had earned her trust after they'd helped her with those carjackers.
Jarry took a deep breath. "What the fuck happened?"
He shrugged. "I'm sure ye seen the report."
"Goddammit, Telford." She slammed her palms down on the edge of the seat back.
Her anger didn't faze him, but he started at the use of his last name, cursing himself for reacting at the same time. She called him many things—Scotty, when she was being playful; Chibs, in serious conversations. Occasionally, she'd call him Filip, in private or when she was appealing to what was left of his better nature. Using his last name? That was new.
"Four guys needing medical treatment," she went on, her voice cold. "One of them mine, by the way."
Chibs winced; he didn't know who was responsible, but it wouldn't surprise him if, in the heat of the moment, Tig or Hap had taken a swing at the cops as well as the bastards from Oakland who'd started the whole ruckus. He wanted to ask how her man was, but she hadn't finished her list of damning facts.
"Got three people demanding to file assault charges. Among them a Lodi councilman."
Chibs brows went up. Someone from a city council would surely want to keep visits to Diosa off the public record, wouldn't they? Diosa might be legit; didn't mean it was respectable to be seen there.
"Oh, and let's not forget the cell full of douchebags, or the bunch of hookers locked in the other interrogation room giving everyone the stink eye, including each other. Wanna explain that?"
Chibs bowed his head under the onslaught, conceding she might have a reason for her anger. "Bunch o' arseholes came up from Oakland. Threatened our girls. Bugged our clients." He shifted on the hard chair to relieve the ache in his sore shoulder. Being cuffed wasn't helping the injury any. At least Eglee hadn't made him put his hands behind his back; that would've been worse. "Montez tried to handle it. The fuckers didn't wanna listen, so he called Hap for back-up."
"And the rest of you happily went to break heads," Jarry concluded.
Chibs shrugged, wincing at the stab of pain that went through his shoulder. It must've come close to being dislocated for it to hurt this much. But Jarry was wrong. They hadn't been looking for a fight. He'd hoped showing up in force would defuse the situation and he hadn't bothered calling in Rat or Quinn, reckoning the four guys still hanging at Scoops plus Montez would be enough. He'd not bargained for the sonsabitches from Oakland tripping on whatever shit they'd smoked, however. Within seconds of their arrival, the argument had dissolved into an full-on brawl of cursing men and shrieking women, with breaking furniture and shattered booze bottles, until the cops had rolled in with sirens howling to break up the fight. They'd hauled everyone down to the Charming station house—which was why it was currently bursting at the seams. "Gotta shut down that shite," he muttered.
"For heaven' sake, asshole," Jarry burst out, "that's what the goddamn sheriffs are for."
"C'mon, Jarry." Chibs threw his hands wide, the cuffs forgotten until he was brought up short. "You know that ain't how it works with us." He was tired and in pain, and his patience with this pissing contest on top of the one he'd already had was wearing out.
Jarry straightened, crossing her arms and peering down at him along her nose for a long minute. "Better get your act together and fucking change how it works. Cause I ain't having this kinda shit in my quadrant." She uncrossed her arms, placed the heels of her hands on the table's edge and pitched her voice low as she leaned in closer. "And just 'cause we fuck don't mean I'm not willing to throw all your asses in jail if you cross me."
Chibs laughed, his tone bitter, and shook his hands so the cuffs jingled. "I think I got that."
She looked at the cuffs, sighed heavily, and pulled out the other chair. "I thought we had an understanding, Chibs," she said as she sat down. "Sons go legit, cops won't bother you."
"Aye." Chibs fell silent, thinking. From outside came the thump of boots, the slamming of a door and then quiet again. "Althea, I'm sorry this happened. Not the way I wanna do things. I got Montez or Quinn at Diosa all the time, to keep this sorta thing from happening in the first place."
Jarry huffed. "Didn't work out so great, did it?"
"That ain't fair."
Over the past weeks, the boys had done a good job. Quinn's sheer size kept handsy clients in line, and Montez, while less physically imposing, had a way with words that smoothed over most heated arguments. Neither Son would hesitate to use their fists if the situation called for it, either, but they'd all agreed it was better to keep the amount of violence related to Samcro to a minimum. The town had remained twitchy after the bloodshed of the last months, and the club didn't want to end up on Jarry's bad side if they could help it. Not over stupid shit at Diosa. It had worked, too, for a while. Until today, and Jarry seemed determined to lay the blame for tonight's free-for-all at Samcro's feet.
"We had no choice—. No, let me finish. Please." Jarry had opened her mouth to protest and Chibs raised his cuffed hands, begging her to silence. He knew what she was gonna say, anyway, and had no need to hear it. And she was wrong. Even if he had wanted to deal with this particular incident by the book—which he hadn't; Samcro aiming to make a legit buck didn't mean they'd softened into pussies, and those arseholes had needed to understand that—it had gone down far too fast for anything else. Fast enough he was still trying to put the sequence of events together in his own mind.
Jarry closed her mouth and inclined her head, inviting him wordlessly to go on. He took it as a good sign she was willing to let him say his piece.
"One of those Oaktown muppets you got in there?" He jerked his head in the direction of the lock-up. "Pimp used to run one of our girls. Friend of Winsome's. Came to us a couple weeks ago."
Three weeks earlier, while he and Tig were enjoying a shot from the bar during a routine visit to Diosa, Winsome had drawn near. "Can I, uh, ask you something?"
Her hesitancy had caught Chibs' attention; she never brought issues to the club unless it was something important she couldn't fix herself. Like their booze supplier threatening to withhold delivery unless she paid him in cash and trade. Happy and Tig had quickly disabused the fool of such notions. "Sure, lass. What's on your mind?"
She didn't answer immediately, busied herself instead with capping the J&B and putting the bottle away. "Um, when I was working Oakland, I had this friend, Veronica. She, uh, she didn't work for Adam—."
Chibs twitched his brows, not immediately able to place the name.
"You know, Greensleeves." His confusion must've been clear to Winsome.
"Aye. Certainly remember that bastard." Jax's attempt to 'suicide' the guy by tossing him through an upper story window had ended on a jagged shard of glass. Which had done the job of killing the prick quite well, actually. Chibs chuckled; considering all the bad shit they'd done, that one had been pretty funny.
Once she had his full attention again, Winsome went on. "The other day, she called me. Said she'd heard about me moving here. That this place's safe." She was quiet for a long moment. "I, uh, I was wonderin' if she could come work for you, too?"
Chibs sensed more than he saw that his VP had swiveled round from checking out the girls waiting for clients so he could focus on Winsome fidgeting behind the bar. "She clean?" Tig voiced the question that had been on Chibs' mind as well.
"Of course." Winsome pressed her lips together. "Wouldn't have asked you guys, otherwise."
Chibs exchanged a look with Tig. Nero had always made running Diosa seem as easy as a walk in the park. After the club had taken over, though, Chibs had quickly learned it was hard to find—and keep—good girls. Especially with the Chinese massacre still fresh in everyone's mind.
Tig shrugged. Why the fuck not, that shoulder roll said.
Winsome hadn't missed the exchange. "So, can I give her a call?" She was looking at Chibs for the answer.
"You do that, sweetheart." He hadn't been sure if adding a second hooker from the street to their escort stable was a good or a bad move. Either way, the other girls would have to learn to live with it.
"Veronica's pimp didn't appreciate 'er leavin'," he now explained to Jarry. "That's why he got into it with us."
She looked unconvinced. "Still not seeing why that had to result in a riot requiring a half dozen sheriffs to break it up."
Chibs heaved another sigh and scratched his eyebrow with a thumb. The cuffs rattled as he laid his hands back on the table. "What's ours gets threatened? We gotta react. Gotta nip that kinda crap in the bud."
Jarry scoffed, a disbelieving snort.
"We hafta." He looked at her fiercely. How could he make her understand? "Sons kept Charming safe for three decades. Since afore I left Ireland. Clay and Unser, for all that went down at the end, they made it work for a very long time." He paused, collecting his thoughts, and then told her the same thing he'd told the club a few weeks ago. "People in this town, when they got trouble, they don't go to the cops. They come to us. That means something."
Jarry's expression remained skeptical, but he plowed on, "Do you have any clue what'll happen to Charming if word goes around that Samcro's weak? Every scumbag and thug in a hundred mile radius'll try to grab a piece of the pie. Small-time dealers. Street-hooker pimps. Scammers. And then the big gangs will move in: Italians, Russians. Gangwars and drive-bys happening on Main Street. That thing with the Chinese? Child's play. That what you want, Althea?"
She eyed him for a long minute, her features carefully composed to give nothing away, and he couldn't guess at what she was thinking. "So Samcro is Charming's savior, is that it? And I should let you guys play God? Do whatever you damn well please?"
Chibs slammed his hands on the table's surface, leaping out of his seat, not noticing how the move had jarred his bad shoulder. "Jaysus, no, that's not what I'm sayin'." He drew a breath, trying to reign in his frustration and recover his equilibrium. Yelling at her wasn't gonna do him any favors. "What you're trying to do—keep Charming whole—you don't have to do it alone."
Her next words were spoken quietly, a hint of a smile playing around her lips. "Neither do you." Her tone, more than her words, flummoxed Chibs and he goggled at her. She steadily looked back at him. "But it's my job, not yours."
"Christ." He dropped back down, staring at a scratch on the table. "Look, I'm sorry this shit happened. Wasn't what I wanted. And I canna promise it won't happen again. Can promise you one thing: if it does, it won't be for nothing. It'll be for good reason."
"Shit." Jarry directed her eyes ceilingward. "Guess you can't take the outlaw outta the Son, huh?" She didn't seem to expect a reply, so he didn't give her one. He'd said all he could say. Either she'd accept what he was telling her, or she wouldn't.
Silence hung once more over the room, growing thicker by the minute. He picked at the splinters at the edge of the scratch in the table, giving Jarry time to make up her mind on her own.
"Oh dammit." Her chair scraped over the bare concrete floor as she pushed herself to her feet. "Can't believe I'm doing this." She was talking more to herself than to him as she gestured for his hands.
He held them out and she produced a key from somewhere and unlocked the cuffs. He rubbed his wrists.
"Get the hell outta here," she ordered. "I'm gonna let both parties go. And I'll see if I can get those charges dropped." She huffed a laugh. "Shouldn't be too hard, once the good councilman remembers the kind of press it'll get." Chibs started to smile, and it was Jarry's turn to hold up a hand. She locked her gaze with his. "Don't make me regret this, Filip."
"I won't. Promise." He hoped he could keep that promise.
He was at the door, reaching for the knob with his right hand when she called after him. "Chibs?" He turned to look at her. "Should get someone to look at that shoulder."
"Aye." He was unable to keep from smiling as he walked out of the interview room a free man.
Disclaimer: this story is a transformative work based on the Fox 21/FX Productions/Linson Entertainment/Sutter Ink television series Sons of Anarchy. It was written for entertainment only; the author does not profit from it. Please do not redistribute elsewhere without author attribution.