As soon as Danny stepped into the tattoo shop, he froze. The art on the wall was eye catching, and so were the photographs of people’s piercings and the sparkling jewelry they’d chosen to adorn their bodies with. Just the sight of which made him want to cringe. A woman in a red and black tank top paused the buzzing of her tattoo gun and looked up, her face breaking into a grin as soon as she caught sight of him.
“You must be Danny.”
“Um…yeah, are you Steph?”
“Yup. Jax is in the back. He insists on going home instead of the hospital. Try talking him into it, will ya. If you can’t then stay with him, please. I’ve never seen him have a migraine this bad.”
“Has he taken anything for it?”
“Just some generic stuff, it didn’t do anything but make him sick to his stomach,” she explained.
Danny nodded. “I have some experience with migraines, my mom used to get them all the time. She used to put lavender oil on a cold compress and lay it on her forehead. I’ve got some lavender oil at my place.”
“At this point, I’m sure he’ll be willing to try anything. Go on through to the back,” she said, waving him towards the beaded divider.
Danny pushed the beads aside carefully, not wanting to get tangled up in the things or make too much noise, but he couldn’t help but gasp when he saw Jax seated on the floor, his head on the seat of a chair, hugging the legs and groaning in pain.
“Jax?” Danny whispered cautiously as he came to kneel beside him.
“Fuuuuck, Danny, get me outta here,” Jax groaned.
“That’s what I’m here to do,” Danny whispered. “But I need your help. You see you’re kinda big, and I’m not very strong, so, you gotta get to your feet big guy.”
Jax heaved a sigh and slowly uncoiled from around the base of the chair. “Mmmkay.”
When he raised his head, Danny could see the way that his eyes were clenched painfully shut and his heart went out to Jax. He looked positively miserable. Danny pulled one of Jax’s arms over his shoulder and wedged himself beneath it before trying to climb to his feet only to find that Jax was practically dead weight.
“Okay, Jax, this is the part I need your help with.”
“Floors cold, just lay me there and let me die.”
“Nope, sorry I can’t do that,” Jax said as Jax tried to lurch forward to sprawl on the ground. “The way I see it, you have two choices. Help me get you home, where I have a cold compress and some lavender oil that might help you, or, let your sister take you to the hospital.”
“Uggggg okay, okay,” Jax grumbled, got his feet underneath him and stood, swaying until Danny slid an arm around his waist to steady him.
Like a shambling pair of drunks they maneuvered across the room, Jax nearly getting them both tangled in the beads until Danny brushed his hands away from the strands and untangled them.
Steph was still hard at work, but she paused to watch them for a moment as Danny steered Jax out the door, the bells jangling loudly behind them.
Outside, Jax swore and visibly cringed at the sound of the bells and Danny was grateful that he’d found a spot right near the entrance to the shop because Jax was heavy even when he was helping.
Once he had Jax buckled in the seat, he took a moment to rub his shoulder and shake the pain out. How he was going to get Jax up a flight of steps once they were back at the apartments was beyond him. As it was, Jax had his head pressed against the glass and looked to be doing his best to fall asleep, which he’d be happy to let him do, once they were back at his apartment.
With a sigh, Danny went around and got in, careful to turn off the radio before he started the car. The ride back to the apartment was silent, save for Jax groaning every time they hit a bump. Danny hoped he didn’t suffer from these often, he really didn’t seem to handle them well.
He parked and took a moment to assess the situation, finally deciding that the best plan of action would be to go see if Max could help. Steph had said he was home but without a vehicle, which was why she’d ended up calling Danny.
“Hey,” Danny said softly. “I’m gonna go ask Max to come out and give me a hand getting you up the steps, you just sit tight, okay?”
“No, I got it,” Jax muttered, fumbling with the door. “I just wanna get inside and lay down.”
“Okay,” Danny said, hurrying around the other side of the car to help him. It ended up being easier than he’d thought. Jax seemed energized by the thought that a bed was so close and only needed a little guidance to keep him from crashing into anything. Soon they were crowded around Jax’s door, Jax fumbling to get the keys out of his pocket.
“Here, let me,” Danny said, reaching into the interior coat pocket, which left him pressed against Jax for several seconds while he fished the keys out. Fortunately, Jax’s key looked just like his, only with a different colored tab, so it easy to find among the others on the ring. Soon Danny had Jax’s door open and Jax was staggering a path to his bed.
“I’ll be right back,” Danny called after him softly. “I’m going to grab the lavender oil.”
Danny wasn’t sure if it was a grunt or a groan that he received in response, but he took it as a sign of acknowledgement and hurried to his apartment and quickly retrieved the oil. Jax was trying to tug off his boots when Danny arrived, the light from the hall spilling into the bedroom, which looked way neater than Danny would have imagined, at least that he could see.
“Where do you keep your washcloths?”
“Bathroom cabinet,” Jax muttered. “Left side.”
They were easy to find, neatly folded in shades of gray and green. Soft too, certainly not the bargain bin stuff from the big shopping chains. Danny wasn’t sure why it mattered to him, but it did, maybe because it meant that Jax actually took the time to care about the stuff around him. Sean hadn’t, but then, Sean hadn’t seemed to care about much of anything.
Danny got the water good and cold before soaking the cloth, then rung it out well and poured some of the oil on it before folding it up. Jax was sprawled on his back on the bed, one boot off, the other still on. It brought a small smile to Danny’s lips.
Quietly, he crossed the room to sit on the edge of the bed, lifting Jax’s arm from over his eyes and replacing it with the cloth.
“Ohhhh, fuckkkk that’s nice,” Jax groaned.
“Just relax, I’m going to get your boot off and then I’ll turn off the light in the hall so it can’t bother you anymore.”
“Thanks, Danny,” Jax muttered.
“It’s okay, you don’t have to thank me,” Danny said.
He made short work of the boot, then turned off the light before stepping back into Jax’s bedroom and closing the door behind him. He resumed his seat near the pillows, placing his fingertips lightly on the other man’s head and beginning to gently rub. From the sighs he soon heard coming from Jax, he could tell it was helping. Soon, Jax’s breathing evened out and Danny was left sitting in the dark, thinking about what it might be like to be here on a night when Jax was feeling better.