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If I Die Tomorrow

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Nikki had done it. Mick honestly had no idea how he had, but he had managed to get both Vince and Tommy back in the studio, together . Mick was sure that Motley Crue was finished when Tommy threw down his drumsticks and released a solo album in 2002. He had stormed away, leaving nothing behind but a string of curse words and a brokenhearted bass player. At least when Vince left, they could still get a decent following with John Corabi, despite their fans missing the blonde haired singer. Their replacement drummers weren’t bad by any means, but Tommy leaving took a bit of the spirit and energy out of the band- especially out of their bassist. The joy and energy that Nikki brought to every performance had fizzled out and left behind nothing but a yearning for the way things used to be.

 

But they were back and god damn, they sounded amazing, none of them were too modest to admit that. It was like they had never quit playing together. Everyone was in sync, no one was threatening to quit. Aside from Tommy’s cough that came and went, everything was perfect, but it was dusty as hell in there and the pollen count was pretty high. It wasn’t enough to mess up anything, and nothing could bring down the upbeat mood in the studio.

 

There were no drugs, no fighting, just four guys and their music.

 

“Damn, that feels good!” Vince called out, playing with the cord to the headphones around his neck. “We fucking kick ass!”

 

“Hell yeah we do!” Tommy smiled over at Nikki, his heart stuttering in his chest as he looked at the bassist. The thing Tommy had missed the most was being in the studio with him. His departure from Crue had fractured their relationship into a broken shell of what it had once been, and he was so happy to have Nikki by his side again. 

 

Tommy cleared his throat and swallowed, trying in vain to relieve some of the dryness that seemed to always present in his throat these days. It hurt from coughing. He really needed to get out of smoggy Los Angeles and find some clean air sometime. But as he thought about that, he lit up another cigarette and took a drag. The cigs probably weren't helping, but they surely were a lot healthier than the felony amounts of cocaine he used to do on a daily basis, so he took what he could get in that regard.  It was always a curious thing to Tommy, how he could quit illegal narcotics fairly easily, but the legal nicotine was something he could never quite kick.

 

“Well, I don’t know about you kids, but I’m ready for lunch,” Mick put his guitar down. “Glad we made it through a run through without trying to kill each other.” Nikki glanced over at Tommy, who had that big grin on his face before he took a puff off his cigarette.

 

“I know a great place, and I'm fucking starving” Vince told Mick. The two turned and started to head out, Vince stopping to look at Tommy and Nikki. “You guys coming?”

 

“In a minute. We’ll catch up,” Nikki told the singer. Vince nodded and left, a knowing smirk on his face, leaving Tommy looking confused with a nervous feeling pulling at his gut, and Nikki waiting until he was sure they were gone, bouncing on his heels in his anxiety.

 

“Nik?” Tommy asked. “What’s up?”

 

“I, uh, I wanted to talk to you. Alone.” Nikki told him. Tommy gulped, and looked down at his shoes. He was more than a little nervous about what Nikki wanted to talk about, it had to be about them- about their relationship. A relationship that hadn’t exactly been on steady ground the past few years. They had called for a break, Nikki suggesting they see other people for a while, not long before Tommy stormed out and sent the letter via his lawyer to dissolve his partnership with Motley Crue. The separation only made things worse, not better, and Tommy knew Nikki felt betrayed by his decision to leave, something the drummer couldn't really blame him for.

 

“Oh,” Tommy nodded, taking another nervous puff off his smoke. “What about?”

 

“I wanted to talk about us,” Nikki told him. Tommy closed his eyes. Yup, he saw that shit coming. This was going to be the big talk . The “what we had was nice, but I’ve fallen in love with someone else” talk. The "I love you, but I'm not in love with you anymore" talk. The talk he was hoping he could avoid, if he was being honest. Maybe if he avoided the topic long enough, he could continue to exist in blissful ignorance with the hope of getting back together with the only man he had ever truly loved.

 

“Nikki, do we have to do this now?” Tommy asked quietly, opening his eyes to look up at those shining green ones. He could see the love in his eyes, but he knew it wasn’t for him. There was no way, after everything, that Nikki Fucking Sixx was still in love with him. Not when he's standing there about to break the drummer's heart. Not when he had left Nikki and the band without a drummer for a year, and couldn't get over his pride enough to just pick up the phone and fucking apologize. 

 

“I...I wanted to tell you I’m sorry,” Nikki told him. Tommy nodded, eyes downcast and waiting for the “but”. He knew Nikki was sorry. Nikki had been an asshole, they both had, but their emotions got the best of them. That happened a lot throughout their lives, but they weren't bad people. “And, I want to try again.”

 

That took Tommy back slightly. “Wait...what?” Tommy asked. He couldn't have heard that right. There was no fucking way he had heard that right. “I thought this was going to be the “what we had was fun and all, but I met someone else” talk.”

 

“No,” Nikki frowned. “Why? Have you met someone else?”

 

Tommy chuckled slightly at that. He hadn't been able to think of anyone else in years, not since the raven haired man entered his life and stole every piece of his heart. He had left him with a thirst that only he had been able to quench no matter how often he had tried to deny it, even try to cover it with other people. It had never worked. It had always been Nikki. “There’s never been anyone else. Not since Heather, anyway, if you even count that". 

 

Nikki nodded softly, staring at Tommy with a certain softness that the drummer had not seen in far too long. Nikki seemed to hesitate for a moment, taking a few steps forward, invading the drummer's space. He took the cigarette from Tommy's mouth and smirked, pressing his lips to the drummer's just slightly. Tommy gasped a little but closed his eyes and leaned into the kiss, pressing harder, moaning softly. Tommy let his hand reach up and cup Nikkis jaw. The familiar jawline felt perfect under Tommy's fingertips. 

 

Fuck

 

When Nikki pulled back, he smiled at Tommy, tilting his head and searching his brown eyes for the love he knew was there.

 

“You still have some stuff at my place,” Nikki told him. “I know it's kind of sudden, but we were together for so long already, and you already kinda were living there and…”

 

“Nikki,” Tommy said, stopping him from talking.

 

“Yeah?”

 

“You’re rambling,” Tommy chuckled.

 

“Right. Sorry,” Nikki’s cheeks were red, and the thought made Tommy's heart lurch. Nikki fucking Sixx was still blushing at him, after all these years, he had to be the luckiest bastard on the planet. Tommy took the cigarette back from Nikki and threw his arms around Nikki's shoulders, kissing him again.

 

“It’s cute,” Tommy beamed at him. Tommy always seemed to smile around Nikki, and when he thought about it, he smiled even harder because Nikki had always told Tommy that his smile was his favorite part about the drummer. 

 

“I just...I didn’t think you’d…” His sentence trailed off as a cough erupted from deep in his chest. Nikki rubbed his back, giving it a few soft pats, frowning at how deep the cough sounded.

 

“How long have you had that?” Nikki asked, concern bubbling up in his gut. 

 

“Since the smog levels started rising,” Tommy managed to croak out. “I’m fine.”

 

“It sounds like it hurts though...” Nikki pointed out, his sentence trailing off as he debated how far he should push this. Should he be as worried as he was?

 

As much as it touched Tommy to have Nikki be so worried about him, they had much more important things to focus on in this relationship than a little cough. LA just wasn't friendly to his lungs, and Tommy hated seeing the worry lines that crinkled Nikki's forehead. 

 

“Nah. Just annoying. Promise” He reached over to a bottle of water he had sitting by his kit and took a big drink. His throat was happy for the moisture. “Nik, you can stop looking at me like that. I’m fine.”

 

“It just sounds bad,” Nikki told him. “But if you say you’re okay…”

 

“I’m fantastic now,” Tommy told him. He had missed Nikki so much while he was away, but he was too hard-headed to admit it. Honestly though, he was surprised that Nikki missed him. He had been a real asshole. 

 

“So, when do I get to move my drum kit back in?” Tommy laughed. Before everything, him and Nikki had been slowly moving in together. Tommy liked Nikki’s house better than the one he was living in. It was more spacious, and Nikki had dogs. And anyone that knew Tommy knew how much he loved animals, and the dogs loved him right back. Nikki would always watch Tommy play with them and joke that they loved Tommy more than they loved him.

 

And if Tommy was being honest, any house could be home as long as he was sharing it with Nikki.

 

“Tonight if you want to,” Nikki smiled at him, shrugging his shoulders.

 

“Wait, really?” Tommy asked. “That’s a little fast, isn’t it?”

 

“You’ve known me for almost thirty years. When have I ever done anything slow?” Nikki asked with a laugh. Tommy smiled, a real, genuine smile. This day had turned out much better than he could have anticipated. 

 

****

 

They ate lunch without so much as an argument. They hadn’t actually all four enjoyed the company of one another since well before Dr. Feelgood. Hell, Tommy was sure that they last decent meal they had together was even before Theater of Pain. Before drinking, and drugs, and Razzle.

 

“Hey, are you okay?” Vince asked when Tommy coughed.

 

“Fucking smog,” Tommy told him. “Air quality is shit today.”

 

“I didn’t think it was that bad today,” Vince shrugged. “But being in that studio all day probably didn’t help much either. Ventilation was shit.”

 

“Ma'am? Can I get another water?” Tommy asked the waitress as she walked by. She smiled and went to get it for him, winking as she left.

 

“No beer?” Mick asked. “Who are you and what have you done with our drummer?”

 

“It just kinda burns my throat and shit,” Tommy admitted with a sigh. “The cough has torn the hell out of everything.”

 

“Well, good thing you’re not the singer then,” Nikki smiled at Tommy, watching him carefully. He had his arm resting on the back of Tommy’s chair, and he could feel it shake with each bone-rattling cough. “Maybe you should get like an inhaler or something for these air quality days or something… you shouldn't have to just suffer like this, T-bone”

 

“If it gets worse, I’ll look into it,” Tommy smiled over at Nikki and leaning into the arm around his shoulders.

 

“Oh, get a room you two,” Vince rolled his eyes, but couldn't totally hide the smirk on his face. As much as he pretended to get annoyed with the terror twin's constant overly affectionate and playful behavior, he had been rooting for the two as a couple from the very start. He was fairly certain he knew they loved each other before they did.

 

“Leave them alone Vince,” Mick shook his head. “I’m taking it that you two worked things out.”

 

“Of course,” Nikki took a drink of his lemonade and smiled. “I figured that if we could work together as a band, fix our shit and all the drama that went with it, I owed it to him.” Tommy laughed a little, because Nikki wasn’t the only one who had been an asshole in that relationship. He knew it would take much longer for him to forgive himself than it ever would to forgive Nikki. But the laugh quickly warped into yet another cough.

 

“Son of a bitch, Tommy,” Vince watched him. “Maybe you need to go home and just relax for the rest of the day.

 

“I'm fine…” Tommy groaned as the sore throat that came with coughing so much. It was getting a bit annoying.

 

“It’s okay. We rehearsed quite a bit today. We have nothing lined up yet because it hasn’t gotten out to press that the Crue is back,” Nikki told him. "You sound horrible, you need to go home." 

 

“Yeah, okay,” Tommy agreed. He paid for his share of the meal and headed towards his car. Nikki wasn’t too far behind him, Vince and Mick following behind.

 

“Well, I guess I’ll see you guys tomorrow,” Vince said as he and Mick waved goodbye. Nikki waved back and watched them leave side by side with Tommy.

 

“Are you sure you’re okay?” He asked. “You look miserable.”

 

“It’s just hard to breathe. The air feels thick,” Tommy admitted. He closed his eyes and leaned against his car for a second. “I’m just gonna go home for a bit.”

 

“Or, you could come to my place,” Nikki told him. “I mean, I already told you that you could move back in.” He gave Tommy one of his half grins that somehow always made Tommy melt, after all these years. Nobody had a smile like Nikki's. “And the AC is brand new and works amazing.”

 

“You know what, I think I’ll take you up on that offer, baby” Tommy told him. Nikki leaned in and kissed him, smiling against his lips.

 

“God, I missed that,” He laughed. His fingers were bunched into Tommy's shirt, as if he were clinging to the most important, precious possession he had ever owned, and in a way he was. Nikki didn't ever want to relinquish the fabric, if he did, Tommy might slip away again, slipping somewhere where Nikki couldn't reach, and this time it would truly kill the bassist.

 

“Me too,” Tommy smiled at him. “I’m gonna run home and grab some things before I come over, okay?”

 

“Of course,” Nikki cupped his face. “I’ll meet you there.” He let go of Tommy with a quick peck to his lips and headed to his car, letting Tommy get in his own car. Tommy drove home to get a bag of things to take over to Nikki’s. He couldn’t believe that the band was back together, and he was back with Nikki. He had his band back, the love of his life back, and he felt like he was on top of the world.

 

He actually felt a rush from the feelings that had been bubbling inside him, he felt high. Is this what people meant when they said they got high on life? He never understood that phrase until now.

 

He was rushing around, trying to get everything he needed. It was taking too long,  when he knew Nikki's tattooed arms were waiting for him just a couple miles away. He was forced to pause, however, when yet another cough ripped through his chest.


If he could get rid of this fucking cough , then everything would be perfect.

Chapter Text

Nine Months Later

 

It was about a month and a half before Tommy had officially moved back into Nikki’s place. It wasn’t that he didn’t want to, he just wanted to make sure Nikki was serious about it and they didn't move too quickly, just to fall. Tommy didn't think he could survive the fall this time. 

 

They were picking up where they had left off from, and Tommy was still convinced that it was a dream. He was going to wake up back in Mexico or something, one too many bottles of Tequila around him and not enough food in his system to soak up the alcohol.

 

If this was a dream, it was the most vivid, beautiful dream that Tommy ever had and he hoped he'd never wake up.

 

But everything seemed just like it did before Nikki started spending more time with his mistress, heroin. For the first time in a long time, Tommy was actually, truly happy. And Nikki was too.

 

They were both happy and no one could take that from them. Things were going so smooth for them outside of their relationship, and being together just made things so much better. Tommy never thought that one person could change his entire outlook on life like Nikki could, but he did. He was on top of the world, and he knew Nikki was too, because the bassist told him every day.

 

“So, any big plans for today?” Nikki asked Tommy as he wrapped his arms around the younger man from behind, hooking his chin on Tommy's shoulder, pressing smiling lips to the drummer's neck. Tommy hadn’t heard him open the shower door, but he loved the warmth of his arms around his waist and his lips on his neck.

 

“I’m actually hanging out with Vince today,” Tommy told him. Nikki raised an eyebrow. Tommy turned in his embrace to look at him.

 

“You’re hanging out with Vince Neil?” Nikki asked. Nikki shook his head, smiling softly “A few years ago you never would have believed that if someone had told you.  I still remember you trying to fucking deck him in the studio.”

 

“Well, he was being a fucking diva", Tommy smiled slightly. There was no malice behind his words this time, it felt like a lifetime ago now. "We were talking and if we can mend the band, and  me and you can sort our shit out, then we could try to fix our friendship,” Tommy told him, placing a kiss on his lips and wrapping his arms around his neck, the warm water falling around them.

 

“True,” Nikki smiled. “If you’re going to beat him up though, give me a call first so I can get Corabi back in line.”

 

“Probably have to get Samantha Moloney again because I’ll probably be in jail,” Tommy kissed him again. “I never thought I’d get to do this again.” Nikki smiled and pressed his forehead against Tommy’s, just enjoying the feeling that Tommy was here, he was with him, and he wasn’t going to lose him this time. They were both done being fucking stupid.

 

“When do you need to get going?” Nikki asked, grazing his lips along Tommy’s jaw, nipping slightly at the creamy skin, causing the younger man to jump slightly.

 

“I told Vince it’d be early afternoon,” Tommy told him. “I mean, it’s already almost eleven. I woke up late because someone wore me out last night.” 

 

A chuckle made it's way past Nikki's lips and a devilish grin overtook him. “Hey, we have a lot of things to catch up on,” Nikki ran his hand down Tommy’s side, tracing fingers over tattoos. He had so many of them, but Nikki’s favorite would still have to be that Mighty Mouse he got all those years ago. Tommy had been a baby then, but Nikki had still loved him, just as much as he did now.

 

“Don’t start something you can’t finish Mr. Sixx,” Tommy moaned softly. The touches weren't overly, but just the intimacy of having Nikki grazing his fingers on him was enough to make him crazy. And, in Tommy's opinion, Nikki had the power to make just about anything sexual.

 

“What makes you think I can’t finish?", Nikki smirked but pulled away from Tommy, making the drummer groan. “Well, I’ll let you get finished with your shower so you can go hang out with fucking Vince, I guess.”

 

“I hate you,” Tommy groaned, half tempted to switch the water to cold.

 

“You love me and you know it,” Nikki gave him a cheeky smile before climbing out of the shower. “And I’m sure you’ll pay me back later.”

 

“You bet your ass that I’m paying you back,” Tommy finished up his shower and got out, drying off. “And I do love you.” Nikki smiled and made his way into their room, pulling on some clothes. Tommy followed behind, coughing a little and rubbing at his chest. He frowned. His throat felt so fucking raw these days. 

 

“Cough still hasn’t gone away?” Nikki asked, frowning as soon as the words left his lips. Tommy shook his head. “I’m telling you, you need an inhaler and to quit smoking.”

 

“I’ve been smoking since I was seventeen dude,” Tommy told him. “Never had a cough before. Global warming and all that is making the air suck. That’s what's making me cough.”

 

“Well, you should go to a doctor and make sure. I remember you’d get so worked up on stage you needed oxygen afterwards. You could have asthma or something.” Tommy could hear the worry in Nikki’s voice, just like he used to hear after concerts when Tommy was hyperventilating backstage. It was true, maybe he did have undiagnosed asthma, but he was sure the constant movement onstage plus the hyperactive energy the cocaine gave him back then didn't help anything. Nikki would always sit by him, and bury his hands in his hair until he was able to take the oxygen mask off. Nikki would then kiss him, leaving Tommy breathless for an entirely different reason. Tommy walked over to his boyfriend, and brushed a kiss on the older man's cheek.

 

“I’ll see about scheduling a doctor’s appointment,” Tommy told him. Nikki nodded. He had been trying to convince Tommy for the past couple months that he needed to go to the doctor for his cough, but Tommy was stubborn, he and Nikki had that in common.

 

“Okay,” Nikki nodded. “Well, I’ve got a few things I need to do around the house today. So more than likely be home. Maybe we could go out to dinner or something when you get back?”

 

“Hell yeah, baby,” Tommy smiled at him. “I’ll call you when I’m on my way home.”

 

“Have a good time,” Nikki continued, kissing him one last time. “And call if you need anything.”

 

“I will,” Tommy got his cell phone, his keys, his wallet, and his smokes. All the essentials. “Love you Nik. I’ll see you later.”

 

“Love you too T-Bone,” Nikki smiled. “And try not to smoke as much!”

 

“Yeah, yeah,” He smiled and got into his car, pulling out of the driveway to head over to Vince’s. Once he was away from the house, he lit up a cigarette, exhaling the smoke out the window with a content sigh.

 

****

 

“You’re telling me we both had solo careers and neither of us can think of a song to write?” Vince asked as he handed Tommy a beer and flopped down on his couch. “Jesus Christ man, someone fucking take our albums away, we fucking suck.”

 

“It’s the Motley Crue curse,” Tommy told him. “Nik steals our creativity or some shit like that.” He laughed a little. Nikki was a really good song writer, by far the best of the four. Tommy loved to write with Nikki, something about the bassist just brought out the creativity in others, and that was one thing Tommy loved about him.

 

“He needs to share the love,” Vince laughed, smiling over at Tommy. “Speaking of love, how are you two doing?”

 

“We’re doing great,” Tommy smiled. “Everything is fantastic for the first time in a long time, We’re actually fucking happy dude and I…” Tommy coughed then. Normally, the coughing stopped pretty quickly. Tommy leaned forward on the couch, continuing to cough into his hand.

 

“Damn dude, let me get you some water,” Vince headed into the kitchen. Tommy tasted something in his mouth as he coughed, a tangy metallic taste that made him want to gag, and made his blood run cold at the same time. The bone rattling cough finally subsided when Vince made his way back into the living room where Tommy was hunched over, trying to get his breath back. 

 

“Here you…” He froze when he saw Tommy’s hand, the hand that Tommy had just covered his mouth with and the one that Tommy was staring at with an unreadable expression. 

 

“Vince…” Tommy looked up at the singer through his bangs. “This has never happened before.”

 

“Is that fucking blood?” He asked, trying and failing to hide the urgency in his tone. Coughing up blood couldn't be fucking good right? What the fuck did that even mean? Was there blood in his lungs? Was his throat just irritated from the cough? Tommy looked up at him, his eyes full of fear and he looked so unsure of what to do as he just nodded slightly at Vince, looking more like 17 year old Tommy than Vince had seen in a long time. “Get your shit. We’re going to the hospital.”

 

And for the first time in Tommy’s life, he didn’t argue when Vince Neil told him to do something.

Chapter Text

Vince and Tommy were taken back into an examination room, Tommy hooked up to the machines for his vitals and answering the same question over and over again about his name, date of birth, etc. The finger probe that he had on his finger connected to a machine that the nurse explained measured his oxygen. Was 92% good? It didn't particularly sound bad, but Tommy remembered it being higher than that the last time he was in the hospital after one of his stunts landed him with a cracked rib. Tommy smiled to himself at the memory. Nikki was in the room next to him, needing stitches (why was that train going so fucking fast, anyway?) and they had annoyed the hell out of the staff shouting back and forth at each other.

If it had been possible, he was sure the hospital would have kicked them out on their asses.

That hospital trip was much more fun than this one.

"Thomas Lee Bass, date of birth October 3rd, 1962,” Tommy said for the millionth time. Like he was really going to forget it, but he knew it was used to help catch fraud or something. And while a few of the younger staff knew who he was, and he could tell they were trying to keep everything professional, the older doctor who came in to see him didn’t seem to know him from anyone else, and Tommy was thankful for that.

“Okay Mr. Bass,” The doctor said, looking at his chart. “I want to run a series of blood draws, and perform a chest x-ray so we can get you on your way to feeling better.” The doctor smiled at him. “It will help us narrow this down, because a lot of illnesses and diagnoses can cause situations like this. And we don’t want to start treating the wrong one," the doctor gave him a thin lipped smile.

“Right. Of course,” Tommy nodded. Vince watched as the doctor left and was replaced by a cute technician who kept staring at the two rock stars when she wasn’t finding the right vein or switching vials.

“I can’t believe half of Motley Crue is in my ER,” She muttered to herself, trying not smile. “This is so unreal.”

“You poke him a few more times and I’ll give you an autograph,” Vince teased, making Tommy glare at him. “What? I gotta have some fun while you're over there coughing up a lung, drummer,” Vince shot Tommy a toothy grin, trying to convey to the younger man that he was just joking. Tommy just rolled his eyes, and tried his hardest not to smile.

“All done Mr. Lee, I mean Mr. Bass, I mean…” the tech was blushing and stumbling over her words, looking down at her white sneakers, clearly nervous as hell. Sometimes Tommy forgot that to some people, he was more than just another guy strolling into the E.R., coughing his lungs out.

“You can just call me Tommy,” Tommy told the girl, flashing her a smile. He hoped that made the poor girl more at ease. She couldn't be older than early 20's. She nodded and took the vials to run the necessary tests. Not long after, Tommy was being taken for his chest x-ray, leaving the nurses at Vince’s mercy.

"If he acts like an asshole, you have my full permission to kick him out. I'll kick his ass later." Tommy joked with the staff as he was wheeled out of his room. He could hear Vince bitching behind him and it made him snicker. He loved fucking with the singer, and he had missed it during his hiatus from the Crue.

“This won’t hurt you a bit,” The x-ray tech told Tommy as he got him ready. “It’s just like taking a picture. But from your file, I’ve heard you’ve had your fair share of x-rays?”

“Yeah, a little bit,” Tommy laughed. He had honestly lost track of how many x-rays he's had over the years. Most of those times, another member of the Crue (usually Nikki), was in the room right next to him. Tommy smiled some before his throat started to tickle and he coughed into his hand, almost scared to look. Thankfully, no blood this time.

"Okay, Tommy, I need you to take a big deep breath, and hold it in for me".

The tech snapped the x-rays they needed and sent Tommy back to the room. Vince was chatting up a young aid when Tommy was brought back.

“Hey,” Vince made his way back to him. “How are you feeling?”

“Honestly? I feel really tired,” Tommy told him. “I haven’t done much but I just feel drained.” It was the truth. Tommy has always been one to have endless energy but lately he noticed he was getting worn out earlier and earlier each day. Whatever this infection was, it was kicking his ass. He was ready to get rid of it and get back to his bouncy self, immediately.

“Well, I think coughing up blood will do that to you,” Vince shook his head, pulling his bottom lip between his teeth in his worry. “How’s your chest feel?”

“I dunno. Like normal I guess,” Tommy shrugged. But what really was normal anymore? Coughing up blood certainly wasn't normal, no matter how much Tommy tried to push that to the back of his mind. Must be one hell of an infection.

“Yeah, because coughing up blood is so normal Tommy,” Vince shook his head. “And you’re sure this is the first time there’s been blood when you coughed? Because I know you’ve had that cough since we all got back together. And who knows how long before that.”

“Yes, I’m sure,” Tommy told him. “I would’ve mentioned that fact if it hadn’t been.” He sat there in silence. Vince was watching people walk by the room and Tommy was alone with his thoughts. He was trying to think what kind of infection he could’ve picked up and where he could’ve gotten it from. It had been awhile since his last trip to Mexico, so if he picked something up there, he figured that it would’ve made itself known before then. Athena’s kids had been sick the last time he had seen them for his mom’s birthday party. Maybe he picked something up from them.

He didn’t realize how long he had been silent and staring at the wall until Vince spoke up.

“Hey T-Bone,” Vince pulled Tommy’s attention back to the current situation. “Did you call Nikki?”

“Shit!” Tommy exclaimed, sitting up straight in the bed before losing himself into another coughing fit. Vince frowned and rubbed his back, trying to help him calm down. “I forgot to call him.” Vince patted down his pockets.

“I didn’t bring my phone, we rushed out of the house so quick” Vince sighed.

“You can use mine,” Tommy told him. Vince went to the table where Tommy’s things were sitting. He was about to make a call when a passing nurse popped her head in.

“I’m sorry sir, but the hospital has a policy about using phones in common areas, not rooms,” She told him. “Sorry, hospital policy. It's to keep the noise down for the patients and we've had one too many family screaming matches over the phone.”

“Oh, no problem,” Vince nodded. “I’ll be right back, okay Tom?”

“Yeah, I’m okay,” Tommy told him, taking a couple pieces of ice from the cup on the table by his bed. He closed his eyes, letting the ice melt in his mouth with a sigh. He heard a soft knocking then.

“Mr. Bass?” The doctor said, standing in the doorway. Tommy looked up at him and for the first time since he had come into the hospital, he felt a sense of dread wash over him. Something about the somber look on the Doctors face had his stomach in knots.

****

“Come on, pick up,” Vince grumbled as he paced in the area where all the vending machines were. He smiled and winked at a couple of employees that he wouldn’t mind getting out of their scrubs. He should bring his friends here more often.

“Hello?” Nikki’s voice filled Vince’s ear, bringing his attention away from the girls getting coffee.

“Nikki? Hey it’s Vince,” Vince sighed a little.

“Oh god, did you guys already beat the hell out of each other? It’s only been a few hours,” Nikki laughed a little bit. Vince cleared his throat.

“Um, actually, I did bring Tommy to the ER,” Vince told him. Nikki was quiet on the other end. The silence worried Vince, Nikki was scary as hell when he got quiet. Vince paused, waiting to see if Nikki would say anything but he didn't, and goddammit, Nikki was gonna kick his ass later for sure. “He had a coughing fit, and when he got done, there was a little bit of blood in his hand, and...”

“What?!” Nikki all but yelled, forcing Vince to hold the phone away from his ear. Now the fucker decides to talk. “Is he okay? What’s going on? Which hospital?” Nikki was asking questions a lot faster than Vince could process them, and it was making Vinces head spin.

“Nikki, calm down,” Vince told him, hoping to get the bassist to shut up for like a minute. He pinched the bridge of his nose hoping Nikki would at least give him time explain for setting off into a panic again.

“Tommy’s awake and he's fine- just normal ol' T-Bone. I haven’t seen him cough up anymore blood since we’ve been here." Thank god for that honestly. Vince was never good at handling medical shit, he never had been since Skyler. "The doctor had him get a chest x-ray done and we’re just waiting. We’re at Cedar-Sinai. I just wanted to update you. You don’t have to rush over.”

“I don't have to rush over?!” Nikki growled out, venom dripping from every word, but Vince could hear the underlying panic under all that anger. "Do you fucking know me?!”

“Well, I don’t think we’re going to be here too much longer,” Vince told him.

“I don’t care. I’ll meet you guys in the parking lot if I have to,” Nikki told him, huffing a breath out into the receiver. “How long have you guys been there?”

"I don't know, a couple hours or so,” Vince told him, realizing too late that was a big fucking mistake.

“You’ve been there this long and you’re just now telling me?!” Nikki spat. “Fucking hell Vince!”

“I left my phone and Tommy was busy getting poked and prodded at, and I didn’t think of it, okay?” Vince sighed, rolling his eyes. Nikki was so fucking dramatic. “Look, he’s fine. He's not fucking dying. I bet it’s just like an infection or something. The kid keeps licking shit he has no business licking! He’s like a fucking toddler!”

“You realize he’s over 40, right?” Nikki laughed a little, and it eased Vince's mind a little. Maybe he could avoid Nikki's wrath after all.

“Yeah well, he’s still younger than me so he’s still a kid,” Vince ran his fingers through his blonde hair. “He’s just fine Nikki, I promise.”

****

“Mr. Bass, based off of your chest x-ray,” The doctor said, holding the film up so Tommy could see the image. “We would like to schedule you for a PET scan as soon as possible.”

“A PET scan?” Tommy asked. “What’s that?” Tommy thought they should really start by explaining this shit, how was he supposed to know what the fuck a PET scan was?

“Well, Mr. Bass, your x-ray looks worrisome to me. See this area right here?” He drew a circle in the air around a blotch of white on the film. “That is not supposed to be there. A PET scan can help us narrow it down to what that is. More specifically, it will help us see if it is a tumor, and if it is, whether it is cancerous or not.”

Whoh, hold the fuck up. That's fucking crazy, almost laughable. “You think I have fucking cancer?” Tommy really wasn't trying to sound rude, but this Doctor was just looking at him with this flat look, the kind of look you probably get taught in medical school to tell people their kid was dead, or that their wife wasn't going to make it through the night. And now he's looking at Tommy the same way, and it had to be a fucking mistake.

“Now, I did not say that for sure, but with your risk factors that are listed on your file, it is a very strong possibility. We have to rule everything out. If your PET scan comes back clean, then we’ll look at a CT scan, or maybe trying some general antibiotics to see if we can fight whatever it is that is growing in your lungs.”

“So...there’s a chance it's not cancer,” Tommy blinked at the Doctor, trying to find a lifeline to grab onto here.

“We have to consider every possibility, Mr. Bass,” The doctor told him, that fucking flat look still on his face. It was really starting to piss Tommy off. “Now, I would like to admit you for overnight observation, and we will get you in for your PET scan…”

“No,” Tommy shook his head. That wasnt fucking happening. Nikki was already going to freak when he found out that Tommy was in the ER, and if he gets admitted for anything, he knew the bassist would have some sort of irrational worry. He wasn't going to concern Nikki with this, and he wanted to sleep in his own bed. “I’m not staying here tonight.”

“Mr. Bass…”

“My name is Tommy. No,” Tommy shook his head, meeting the Doctor's eyes, hoping to get his message across. “Just let me know what I need to do to get ready for the scan, or whatever and I’ll schedule a day to come back in.” The doctor sighed and that flat look finally went away, he looked a little disgruntled now, but went over the pre-scan instructions with Tommy, and told him that he would have a nurse schedule a scan date with him when they brought in the discharge paperwork.

Tommy flopped back down on his back and ran a hand over his face. What a fucking nightmare. He was just glad that despite everything, he was going the fuck home. His eyes moved to the door as he heard Vince came back into the room.

“Got a hold of Nikki. He only yelled a little, probably will get my ass kicked later.” Vince explained. Tommy just nodded, causing Vince to eye him in concern. “Hey, you okay?”

“Huh?” Tommy asked, almost seeming as if he were snapping out of a trance. “Oh yeah, I’m fine. They’re discharging me. I just gotta come back in like a day or two for another scan to check the infection…”

“Ah, cool, so it’s an infection?” Vince asked, relief present in this voice at the news. Tommy and Vince had spent a good chunk of time hating each other's guts, but that didn't change the fact that they had history, and had known each other for decades. Vince didn't want anything to happen to the kid.

“Yeah, that's what we think,” Tommy smiled at Vince. "But they won't know for sure til after this test. I don't know man. No one knows anything." Tommy tried to let out a chuckle, hoping that it would release some of the tension he was feeling inside.

The nurse came in with Tommy’s discharge papers, and talked to him about scheduling his scan. He had a certain diet he had to follow for twenty-four hours before the scan, so he picked the day after the next, in the morning. Although the nurse took over and made that decision for him, because Tommy could only process half of what the lady was saying at the moment. She was nice enough and trying to explain things, but he was exhausted, overwhelmed, and his brain felt like mush. She wrote out an appointment card for him, and left him to get dressed.

“You look like shit,” Vince told him, as Tommy stepped out into the hallway. Vince had been waiting for him to get dressed so they could finally leave.

“I’m exhausted,” Tommy admitted, rubbing his tired eyes. No use in denying it, he knew it was written all over his features.

“Why don’t I just drop you off at your place, and then tomorrow Nikki can bring you by to get your car?” Vince offered.

“I’m okay. I can get it. So if I feel worse tomorrow, I don’t have to get out,” Tommy told him. The two made their way out towards the parking lot in silence when a car sped up to them and a man jumped out of the driver’s side, black hair flying everywhere and a panicked look in his eyes.

“Tommy!” Nikki yelled, jogging over to the drummer. He pulled his boyfriend in a quick hug, frowning when he felt Tommy tense up for a split second. “What the hell is going on? Are you okay?”

“I’m fine,” Tommy assured him, moving back a little to look him in the eye. “Doctor’s pretty sure I just have a chest infection or something. I have to come back and get a scan on Thursday just to confirm everything.” Tommy rubbed at the back of his neck. He hated lying to Nikki, but Nikki got so worried about shit like this, there was no way in hell Tommy was gonna drop the word cancer and freak Nikki out for no fucking reason.

“But Vince said you were coughing up blood. Why the hell aren’t you still in the hospital?” Nikki asked, frowning when Tommy wouldn't meet his eyes.

“The doctor doesn’t seem too worried about it, I’m fine Nik, I promise. I’m just tired.”

“I told him I’d just drop him off at your house and you could bring him by tomorrow to pick up the car,” Vince told Nikki.

“That’s a good idea. And if you don’t feel up to leaving the house tomorrow, I can just take a cab over to Vince’s and pick it up myself.” Nikki told him. Tommy sighed, but honestly, he was too fucking tired to argue. He really just wanted to go to bed and curl up under the blankets, not that he was going to admit that to anyone.

“Okay, fine,” Tommy sighed. “That sounds like a plan.” Nikki wrapped an arm around his shoulders and led him to the passenger side. He talked to Vince for a second, leaving Tommy in the car, staring out the window, zoning out as the doctor's words came back to him, wrapping around his throat and threatening to choke him before he shoved them back down.

It had to be an infection. That’s all it fucking was.

Chapter Text

Tommy was absolutely exhausted, his body totally depleted of energy, but there was no way he could sleep right now. The words the doctor had said were floating around his head, echoing in his mind and sending his eyes flying open as soon as he started to drift off.

There was no way that he could possibly have cancer. It just wasn’t an option. He had too many things to do, and even though he had done and seen more than most people on this Earth, it still wasn't enough. The band was making appearances together again. They were working on music again. Things were looking up for all of them for the first time in years.

He looked over at Nikki, who was fast asleep on his side of the bed, blankets pulled up to his chin. He looked so peaceful when he slept, not a drug induced slumber, actual sleep. And it looked good on him, Tommy was so proud of him.

What if it was cancer? How the fuck was he supposed to explain that to the man sleeping next to him? Tommy wasn’t sure how he would react, because despite the bassist's major strides towards emotional stability since getting sober, Nikki still tended to shy away from fear. He never let himself feel the basic human emotions of fear, sadness, rejection. He had felt them much too often in his early life, and Nikki's brain either completely shut down when confronted with these negative emotions, or exploded into a mess of overstimulation and chaos. Rehab had taught Nikki how to deal with this to a certain extent, but it hasn't fully erased the toxic roots that Nikki had grown from since day 1.

He didn’t want to leave Nikki, and he knew that there were treatment options if his cancer wasn't too far along, but depending on the extent, there might not be any saving him. Despite everything, the word cancer was always terrifying. As scary as dying was, it was even scarier to think he would be leaving Nikki all alone. He hoped Nikki would be able to continue to do so well without him… but he didn't know. He didn’t realize tears had filled his eyes until Nikki’s face started to blur. Tommy wiped at his eyes, forcing himself to keep quiet, not wanting to wake Nikki up.

“I love you Nik,” Tommy whispered, brushing a piece of Nikki's hair back from his face and kissing one of Nikki’s exposed hands before he turned over onto his other side and finally felt his exhaustion win and pull him down into a restless sleep.

Nikki blinked open his eyes sleepily, feeling Tommy turn over in the bed. He watched Tommy for a moment, watching his body move with each breath, frowning at the sight of Tommy's vertebrae pressing against his shirt as he breathed in.

Nikki had noticed over the past few months that Tommy wasn’t catching his breath the way he used to, that he couldn't breathe as deep as he used to. He noticed how he always looked tired after simple things, Tommy's normal hyperactive self and slowly been deteriorating.

He was losing weight faster than he chose to admit to anyone. When him and Nikki had sex, Nikki could feel how light he was compared to the past. Tommy had always been lean, Nikki always teased him about how jealous he was that never had to worry about gaining weight as they got older, but it had never been to this extent.

It was like Tommy was wasting away, and Nikki didn’t know what to do. Especially now that he was coughing up blood.

“I’m not gonna let anything bad happen to you babe,” Nikki's internal thoughts had involuntarily slipped out past his lips as he wrapped his arms around the younger man and pulled him so his back was flush against Nikki’s chest.

If he ever lost Tommy, he didn’t know what he would do, so all he could do was take care of him.

*****

Thursday Morning

“Babe, are you sure you don’t want me to drive you?” Nikki asked, biting his lip. “I don’t mind and you might feel sick afterwards.”

“It’s okay Nikki,” Tommy told him. “You’ve got that interview with that magazine today. And they won’t leave you alone if you don’t show up for it.”

“But you’re more important to me than some stupid interview, you know I hate them anyway,” Nikki told him, smiling at the drummer and wrapping his arms around him from behind, hooking his chin over Tommy's shoulder. “I spent too much time in my life putting you second. Let me put you first.”

“Nik, it’s okay,” Tommy smiled at him. “I gotta wait for the results anyway. I was reading that it can take 24-48 hours to hear back from anyone about it. So it’s not like we’ll find anything out.”

“I just hate the idea of you going by yourself,” Nikki told him, pulling him a little closer. “You call me as soon as you get done okay? And if you feel too sick to drive home, I will rush over there, okay?”

“Okay Nik,” Tommy rested back against him, letting his eyes slip shut. He just could not wake up, and he couldn’t have coffee or anything to eat until after the PET scan. He really didn’t want to leave Nikki’s arms, but he had to go to this. The doctor’s words were still swirling in his head and he didn't think he'd ever know peace again if he didn't get answers.

He didn’t want to admit it to anyone, especially himself, but he was scared.

“Well, I gotta go baby,” Tommy told Nikki reluctantly trying to pull away from Nikki only to be pulled back, making him crack a slight smile. “I’ll call you when I’m done baby, but I've got to go.” He turned himself around in Nikki's warm arms and gently kissed his boyfriend, smiling softly. “I love you.”

“I love you too babe,” he could see the reluctance in Nikki as he let go of him. Tommy smiled at him one last time before grabbing his things and forcing himself towards the door.

For the first time in a long time, he left the cigarettes at home.

****

“Mr. Bass?” Tommy looked up at the young, smiling technician that had got Tommy’s attention. He put down the magazine down that he had been pretending to be interested in and followed her back towards a back room where his fate would be determined. They verified everything for probably the tenth time, and got him into his gown for the test. He was so glad that he was not scared of tight places, but this was really fucking pushing it. He closed his eyes and focused on other things. He tried to think about his kick ass new drum kit, the new album they were busting their asses to put out, and Nikki. God, thinking about Nikki always made things better. Could at least make him zone out for a little bit.

The test felt like it stretched on forever. They had warned him in advance that it could take two hours or longer, especially once they added the contrast in. The contrast warmed his veins and felt foreign in his own body. He kept his eyes closed and just kept thinking to himself that it’s just an infection. That’s all it is. When this is all over he will be laughing at all this extra shit he had gone through for nothing.

The scan ended and Tommy was beyond grateful. He stood up from the scanner, popping his back to try to relieve some of the discomfort.

“Dr. Bradely put a rush on your results,” The tech told him with a professional, forced smile. "So you’ll hear from his office by this afternoon, hopefully.”

“Oh, yeah, that’s cool,” Tommy nodded. He vaguely wondered how they could do this job. How did he get so lucky to perform in front of thousands of people and have fucking fun for a living.

These people got to tell people they were going to die.

With a sigh, he made his way outside. His anxiety was going through the roof, and he knew he probably shouldn’t, but as soon as he got in the car, he lit up a cigarette. He had left his cigarettes at home while he ran out of the house, but thinking about the test had made him so nervous he had to stop at the gas station. It wasn’t even the need to actual smoke, but the comfort of doing something he had done his whole life.

He pulled out of the parking lot, taking another puff off his cigarette before a cough tore through him. He saw some blood splatter onto the steering wheel, so he snuffed the cigarette out in the ashtray in the car, when he felt tears prick his eyes.

The tears made an irrational surge of anger force its way through him. He was so sick of feeling so fucking helpless.

He forced the anger down, and got his phone and called Nikki’s number as he headed home, desperately needing to hear his voice.

“Tommy?” Nikki answered. “Is everything okay? How are you feeling?”

“I’m fine Nik,” Tommy told him, a small smile on his face at the concern in Nikki's voice. He had always looked out for him, even back when they were only best friends. “Just calling to tell you I just finished up the scan and heading home.”

“Are you sure you’re okay?” Nikki voice echoed over the receiver. “I haven’t gotten to the interview and photoshoot spot yet. I can just turn around and come home and tell them to fuck themselves.”

“Nikki, I’m fine,” Tommy told him. “I’m just gonna go home and play with the dogs for a bit. I might lay out by the pool too.”

“Okay,” He could hear the worry still in Nikki’s voice. “I’ll be home as soon as I can.”

“Take your time. Everything’s okay.” Tommy couldn’t help but smile, trying to sound as reassuring as he possibly could in that moment. How did he get so lucky to have someone like Nikki? Someone who he had made it through actual hell with, and still loved him. “Love you Nik.”

“Love you, T-Bone.”

They both hung up and Tommy made his way home. He didn’t feel hungry, even though he hadn’t eaten anything since the prior afternoon. He just flopped down on the couch. The dogs instantly jumped on him, licking at him and wanting his attention.

“Easy, babies,” Tommy told them. He moved so they could both jump up on the couch. That’s one thing they loved about Tommy compared to Nikki. All they had to do was give him a look and he was letting them get on the couch with him, or get table scraps. They had him right where they wanted him.

Tommy drifted off with a blanket of dog on him. They definitely kept him warm, and he didn’t mind cuddling with the babies. He actually would rather cuddle with their other dad, but he was busy and honestly, Tommy needed the moment to clear his brain without Nikki there, he didn't want to tell Nikki about any of this until he knew something for certain.

When his phone rang, he groaned, it had pulled him out of the most restful sleep he had in awhile. He looked at the clock, his eyes widening when he realized his little doze had turned into over an almost two hour nap. He scrambled for his phone, answering it.

“Hello?” Tommy answered, rubbing his eyes.

“Hello, is this Mr. Bass? I’m Karen from Dr. Bradley’s office,” She told him.

“Uh, yeah,” Tommy felt his heart pounding in his chest. “I’m Mr. Bass.” God, he never thought he would be calling himself that, but here he was. It sounded foriegn on his lips. No one fucking called him that. “That was quick.”

“We were told to rush it as fast as we could,” She explained to Tommy. “Mr. Bass, we need to schedule a biopsy for as soon as possible.”

“What?” Tommy asked. “Why?”

“Unfortunately, Mr. Bass, your PET scan came back positive. The contrast found what appears to be cancer in your lungs.”

Tommy’s world slowed down then. Cancer? Motherfucking cancer? In his lungs. His hands were shaking, his eyes were watering. How could this happen to him? All the dumb things he had done in his life and this was what was going to do him in? Not the massive amounts of cocaine? Injecting straight Jack Daniel's into his veins? Pushing his motorcycle 120 mph+ on the highway?

Fucking cancer.

“Mr. Bass?” Karen was still on the other end. “Will you be able to come in for a biopsy tomorrow? We’re putting another rush on the results, but it might still take up to a day.”

“Oh, yeah, yeah. Tomorrow morning?” Tommy asked. He heard her typing.

“Tomorrow morning sounds good,” She told him, her monotone voice echoing across the phone. She went over some guidelines with him and some basic information he needed to know before they hung up. Tommy sat on the couch, staring at his phone.

How was he going to tell Nikki?

There was always the chance that whatever they found in his lungs was benign, right? That it was just an annoying growth that just needed to be removed. So why build up Nikki’s worry for something that was probably nothing?

Tommy decided to not tell Nikki until after he heard about the biopsy. He couldn't, not yet anyway. This was going to kill Nikki, and Tommy just couldn't do it.

He got up from the couch and let the dogs out into the back yard. He headed over to the pool and sat down on one of the lounge chairs. He watched the water glitter in the sunlight, almost in a trance. Tommy glanced over and saw a pack of his cigarettes laying on the table by the pool chair. He just stared at the gold and white Marlboro package. All these years of smoking had come to this, there was no other fucking explanation. He was too young for this. All the illegal illicit substances he had done over the years, and it was this, legal pack of cigarettes that was going to be his downfall. He reached out to pick up the pack, like he was drawn to it, when he heard Nikki calling his name.

“Tommy? You home?” Nikki called out from inside the house. The dogs heard his voice and ran to the patio door, barking. Nikki was there at the door, sunglasses still on. Tommy smiled, watching him. He could see Nikki's pearly white smile through the glass of the patio door. He loved him so much. He looked so happy to see Tommy, looking at him like he had been waiting for this all day.

It made Tommy sick to think that he might have to break his heart soon.

“Hey babe,” Nikki made his way towards Tommy. “How are you feeling?”

“You know,” Tommy pushed the thoughts away and forced a smile on his face, “I’m good, really good. Waiting on the results so maybe… I need a distraction.” Tommy got up and walked towards him.

“Like dinner distraction or…” Nikki was cut off by Tommy pressing his lips against his own. Tommy was kissing Nikki with a sense of desperation. He wanted to have as many of these moments with Nikki to remember when things got bad. He didn’t want to think about the times they were apart, and he didn’t want to think about Nikki watching as this cancer or whatever turned Tommy into something else, someone Nikki couldn't bear to look at. He just wanted this, right now, with Nikki.

“If you’re hungry, we can do dinner,” Tommy told him. Nikki took his hand and led him inside.

“Dinner can wait,” He told the drummer with a smirk as he led him to their shared bedroom.

“Oh?” Tommy chuckled as Nikki pushed him on to the bed, “is there something we need to do, Nik?,” Tommy teased with a grin before pulling Nikki in for a kiss.Tommy tried to hide his real feelings behind the soft movement of his lips. His fears, his sadness, his anger, he sent them all to the back of his mind. All he wanted to do was to feel Nikki in this moment.

“Been thinking about you all day baby,” Nikki purred against his neck. “I missed you.” Tommy closed his eyes as he felt Nikki peel off his shirt and place soft kisses on the tattoos littering his chest.

“I missed you too,” Tommy whispered back, hoping that he was successful in hiding all the pain and fear in his voice. Nikki's eyes met his, and Tommy could see all the love shining through them as Nikki worked his zipper down and his pants off. “But I'm here now, Nik.”

Tommy gasped as Nikki reached for his hardening cock. Closing his eyes, he threw his head back in anticipation of what Nikki would do next. He wasn't able to prevent his back from arching off the bed as Nikki teased the head of his cock with his thumb, smearing the precum over his tip and driving Tommy to the brink of insanity.

Nikki's hands were grasping his hips when he took him into his mouth and Tommy felt everything melt away for a moment. His mouth fell open in a silent moan and electricity sparked through his veins as one hand reached up to fist a pillow and the other reached down to gently tangle in Nikki's hair.

His gasps became less silent when he felt Nikki’s fingers press against his entrance, working him open.

“Oh god,” Tommy grunted out, squirming under Nikki’s skilled mouth and fingers.This time felt so different compared to the other times. Maybe it was part of Tommy’s brain telling him this might be one of the last times he would get to do this? Maybe it was because he just needed to feel Nikki close after feeling so many negative emotions in the last few hours? He wasn’t sure.

Tommy raked his fingers along Nikki’s hair as his breathing became ragged. His cock was twitching in Nikki’s mouth, and he felt Nikki’s tongue press up against the sensitive vein on the underside of him, that Nikki always knew exactly how to find. Nikki’s fingers scissored inside of him, hitting just the right spot that Nikki had been seeking out, making him want so badly to just cum down the older man's throat.

But then Nikki pulled back, leaving Tommy laying there, shaking with want and need. He watched as his boyfriend climbed off the bed to pull his clothes off, eyes never leaving Tommy's as he slicked up his own needy cock, his breath hitching as he pumped himself and looked at his boyfriend, spread on the bed and waiting for him.

Nikki had never seen anything so beautiful.

“Nik,” Tommy whispered, his voice uneven and breathy.

“Don’t worry baby, I got ya,” Nikki grinned at him before climbing back on the bed, getting between Tommy’s legs, and pressing a sweet peck to his lips. He pushed Tommy's legs apart a little more before he lined up to Tommy’s entrance and pushed in slowly.

“Fuck,” Tommy moaned, closing his eyes and reaching for Nikki's face, cupping it with his hands and looking at his pleasure warped face.

“Fuck, Tommy, you always feel so good. So fucking good, baby,” Nikki moaned out before pulling Tommy up and giving him another form kiss, opening his mouth under Tommy's, their tongues clashing as Nikki began thrusting his hips. Tommy wrapped his arms around Nikki’s neck and his legs around Nikki's back. He buried his head in his shoulder as Nikki made love to him, and with every thrust Tommy felt his emotions swell and swell, threatening to overwhelm him.

Tommy was glad he had his face buried in Nikki's shoulder, in that moment, so that Nikki couldn't see the pain in his eyes, he squeezed them shut, trying to block out the pain. Not the pain of the act, but the pain of the idea that he might lose this forever depending on what the biopsy says. The thought of limited time hurt him. He wanted to blurt it out to Nikki, but why worry the love of his fucking life over something that might not be true?

“I love you so much,” Tommy whispered against Nikki’s skin as he felt his cock brush over his prostate over and over again, the repetitive motion and pleasure giving Tommy something focus on minus the thoughts swarming in his head.

“Love you more,” Nikki choked out with a chuckle as he pulled Tommy closer to him, farther into his arms as he started snapping his hips faster and faster against the younger man. “Shit-,” he cursed at the feel of Tommy clenching around him, the tight heat making his head swim, “you feel amazing Tommy, can’t fucking get enough of this.”

“I’m close Nik,” Tommy moaned out. His chest felt tight as he felt himself getting closer to the edge. He wanted this release more than anything, he wanted this intimate act with Nikki, and then he wanted to sleep in his arms, and hopefully never leave. He could feel the familiar burn coiling in the pit of his stomach and he knew, he was so close.

Tommy came with groan of Nikki's name, spilling ropes of cum on his stomach and tightening around Nikki as the white pleasure took over the drummer's body.

“Fuck,” Nikki growled out as he found his ownrelease. He filled Tommy to the brim with his nose buried in Tommy's hair, before collapsing next to him. His chest heaved with every breath he took, totally and wonderfully spent.

He hadn't had a drink In forever, yet in that moment he was totally and completely drunk on Tommy. Pulling the drummer close to him, Nikki peppered him with soft kisses, and whispered two words against the younger man's cheek.

“Love you.”

Tommy lay staring at the ceiling as he could hear Nikki’s steady breathing, smiling slightly at those two words. Looking down, he saw that Nikki had fallen deep asleep already. Tommy laid there, just staring up at the ceiling, thinking about what he had just learned, about what his future could hold. About what Nikki's future could hold.

But maybe if he believed with everything in himself that this wasn’t happening, it would fix itself. Right?

Chapter Text

The Next Day

“So, what are your plans for the day?” Nikki asked Tommy as he pulled a T-shirt over his head. Nikki smile at the way it tousled Tommy’s hair, making strands stick up everywhere. Tommy’s hair always seemed so wild, much like Tommy himself, and Nikki couldn’t get enough of it. It always made Nikki want to run his hair through the soft strands, and tug on the ends. Tommy would always close his eyes and practically purr under the bassist’s hands.

But there was no time for that, Nikki had a long laundry list of things to do, when all he really wanted to do was spend the day lazing around with Tommy. But he had a meeting with DJ and James to talk about doing another album, which Nikki was on the fence about to be honest. He was so busy right now. Interviews. Booking time on TV for Crue. Plus everything to do with Motley Records and Eleven Seven. Mick and Vince had busy days too, but Tommy did not. At least, as far as they knew he didn’t.

“I think I’m just going to go terrorize LA,” Tommy told him with a shrug. “Maybe terrorize Athena just a bit,” he chuckled before pulling in Nikki for a soft kiss, and gentle brush of lip on lip that had Nikki wanting more. “I’ll meet up with you for lunch?”

“That sounds good. Just take it easy okay babe?,” Nikki gave him a quick peck on his forehead, smiling softly at him. “We need to go someplace with lots of carbs. You’re getting way too fucking skinny.”

“You know I’m always up for bread,” Tommy smiled. “Now you better get going or you’re going to be late.”

“I’m going, I’m going,” Nikki kissed him one last time before heading out the door, but not without casting one last worried glance toward his boyfriend. Tommy waited until he heard Nikki leave before he called for a cab. He knew that he probably wouldn’t be able to drive himself home after the biopsy, but the bus wasn’t really an option. Cabs would work just fine.

****

Tommy arrived at the hospital and filled out all the paperwork again, and he waited, again. The waiting was the worst part. And he knew this time that there wouldn’t be such a quick turnaround on the results. It was Friday, so he knew he wouldn’t get the results until Monday.

Fucking hell. He really fucking hated waiting.

He finally was taken back to the area where the biopsy would take place. A million thoughts were running through his head. He couldn’t really stop them if he wanted to, but there they were. What if it was malignant? What if they couldn’t stop it? What if Nikki decided he didn’t want to be with someone sick? What if Nikki couldn’t be with someone so sick and this fucking killed him too?

He closed his eyes and tried to take as deep a breath as he could.

When did his life turn into this living fucking nightmare?

“Mr. Bass? Are you okay?” One of the interns asked. Tommy looked over at him and nodded reluctantly. He was definitely not okay, but there was no avoiding this issue anymore.

“Yeah. Let’s just get this over with,” He sighed and followed the intern towards the procedure room, his steps feeling as heavy as his heart. He felt weighted down, as if the entire world was crushing down on his shoulders. And maybe it was.

It felt like forever, and the needle hurt like a bitch, but they were done with the procedure and he just had to wait to make sure that everything was okay, to make sure his lung wasn’t going to collapse, because that would just be great. The icing on top of the shit cake. Tommy almost expected it to happen, with the way his life was going right now, but it didn’t. Hailing a cab, Tommy pulled out his phone call Nikki and tried to sound as calm as possible.

Just smile, and maybe your voice won’t sound so goddamn depressed.

“Hey babe,” Nikki sounded happy to hear from him, and that melted Tommy’s heart just a little.

“Hey Nik,” Tommy’s fake smile turned just a little more real at the sound of his boyfriend’s voice. “How’s your day going?”

“Boring, but DJ and the guys say ‘Hi’. You okay?” Nikki sat a bit straighter where he was, fighting in his seat at the sound of his boyfriend’s voice. He knew Tommy like the back of his hand and something in Tommy’s voice seemed different.

“I was playing with Athena’s kids and pulled a muscle,” Tommy’s smile dropped as soon as the words left his mouth. He fucking hated lying to Nikki, the guilt was going to eat him alive soon. But he was determined, he would protect Nikki from this for as long as he fucking could.

“I gotta take it easy for a few days.” He rubbed at his chest and hoped the lying was fucking worth it. “Tell the guys I said ‘hi” back.”

“So where do you want to meet up for lunch?” Nikki took in a deep breath as he rubbed his eyes. He needed to get out of this building, the stress was getting to him. The only thing that seemed to make him feel better was being around Tommy, but it’s always been that way.

“I’m not sure,” Tommy moved to crack his back, the movement jarring his chest a little and he hissed slightly and then cursed himself in his head, hoping that Nikki didn’t hear. “I’m almost home. Do you want me to meet you somewhere?”

“We could meet at our favorite place,” Tommy could hear the flirty confidence in the bassist’s voice, he loved it. He knew Nikki knew the effect he had on him. “Then maybe we could… I don’t know have our own terror twin fun? Been missing you.”

“Okay I’m gonna go home and catch my breath for a second then head that way,” Tommy told him. “I missed you too babe.”

Nikki’s chuckled vibrated through the phone into Tommy’s ear, “I can meet you there in say an hour?”

“Sounds good,” The cab pulled up at the house. “I’ll see you in an hour.”

“All right,” Nikki smiled, “love you.”

“Love you too,” Tommy hung up, paid the driver, and headed inside. God, he was sore, and his cough was in full fucking force. He knew that he couldn’t back out of this lunch date, because it would just bring up lots of questions from Nikki that he didn’t want to answer yet. That he couldn’t answer yet. Tommy winced as he changed his clothes, the area where the doctor had inserted the needle to get the sample was still tender. But in reality, he was thankful, there was hardly anything to notice except a small pin prick, Nikki definitely would have noticed anything more.

He looked at himself in the mirror in the bathroom as he cleaned himself up, hoping to God he didn’t have a hospital smell on him. He looked tired, he was tired, and he knew that it was something that Nikki would notice, all he could do was hope Nikki let it go.

He groaned slightly as he pulled on some fresh clothes. He really just wanted to go to bed, but he had to keep up appearances for this nightmare he was currently trying to protect everyone from.

Nikki sat in their favorite booth waiting for Tommy to arrive. He could tell that something was a bit off with Tommy and whatever it was, he needed the doctors to help him. He had this feeling, he wasn’t sure what it was, but it was almost like a bit of absolute fucking dread. Nikki knew he was being paranoid, but he had never cared for anyone the way he cared for Tommy. No one had ever bothered to stick by Nikki before, and he had years of memories with the drummer. He couldn’t help but feel a little overprotective, and he was fucking worried, but when he saw Tommy make his way into the restaurant, everything melted away for a moment.

“Hey,” Tommy smiled at him, leaning over to kiss him. “I hope you weren’t waiting long.”

“Nah babe,” Nikki beamed as he kissed him quickly, “So the boys where rough on you huh?”

“God yeah. They wanted to wrestle and you know Uncle Tommy can’t say no to fucking anything they ask,” He flashed a smile at Nikki as he took his seat across from him, his chest was throbbing but he tried not to think about it. “Tell me how your day has been so far.”

“The usual, meeting after meeting,” Nikki rubbed at his temples, “trying to work out schedules so everyone can get together and record and then there’s Crue stuff which we need to get back into the studio next week.” Nikki shook his head, “But, maybe you and I can take a mini vacation somewhere?”

“Where’d you have in mind, Mr. Sixx?” Tommy asked, taking a sip of the water provided to him. This was the longest Nikki had seen Tommy without a beer. He hadn’t given those up with the drugs, but he hadn’t really seen him with them since his cough started to get strong.

“Don’t know,” Nikki shrugged, “how about we go to Greece?”

“I’d love to go back to Greece,” Tommy smiled. “I’d love to take my mom back there someday. She’s been so sad since dad…” He trailed off, looking down at the menu in front of him. “Greece would be amazing.” Nikki reached over and put a hand over Tommy’s.

“Then let’s do it,” Nikki smiled, “we’ll take your family with us and we can try and schedule some us time and sight see,” Nikki let his thumb caress the back of Tommy’s hand absentmindedly.

“That sounds,” Tommy coughed into his napkin and prayed to whoever was listening that there was no blood. He saw a few drops of red and turned the napkin so Nikki couldn’t see. Jesus fucking Christ. Why did he have to cough like that at the worst fucking times? “That sounds great Nikki. Fantastic.”

“I really hope you get your results soon,” Nikki squeezed his hand, frowning deeply “I do not like the sound of that cough… at all, T-bone… When did they say you would get the results again?”

“My guess is Monday,” Tommy told him. “Probably will get it done this afternoon, but the doctor probably has already taken off for the weekend.” He offered Nikki a small smile.

“Alright well, lets order something, I’m starving and you need the fucking carbs.” Nikki smiled. Tommy just laughed and ordered a burger, hoping that he could make Nikki happy by eating it.

He’d do anything to keep that smile on Nikki’s face for as long as he could, because in his heart, Tommy knew once the results were in, there was going to be no hiding this from Nikki anymore. He wanted to remember that smile, he wanted to hold onto it because his gut was telling him that soon, he would be breaking Nikki’s heart.

Chapter Text

Monday

Tommy hadn’t slept very well all weekend. I mean, how the fuck was he supposed to sleep? He knew that he wouldn’t hear from the doctor over the weekend, and the not knowing was fucking killing him, but he knew everything was going to be okay. In Tommy’s denial bubble, everything was okay. Because there was no way that the growth in his lungs was malignant. It just couldn’t be. He just needed to hear it from the professionals.

It was early in the morning when Tommy’s phone rang. Nikki was in the shower, making sure that any remaining hair dye from his recent touch up was gone. Tommy answered his phone quickly when he caught a glimpse of the familiar number on his screen.

“Hello?”

“Mr. Bass?” A man’s voice greeted him. “It’s Dr. Bradley.”

“Oh, hi,” Tommy’s hand was shaking a bit. Fucking finally.

“Mr. Bass, can you come into the office today?” He asked. “We have some things we need to discuss.”

“Oh, uh, yeah,” Tommy nodded, looking towards the master bedroom. He heard the shower shut off and it wouldn’t be long before Nikki was coming out, and he needed to get the fuck off of the phone. “Can I come down this morning?”

“I’m free all morning. We’ll be waiting for you,” Dr. Bradley told Tommy. They both hung up a bit later and Tommy stood at the island in the middle of the kitchen. This was the moment he had been dreading since the blood showed up at Vince’s. That feeling mixed with the feeling of fucking guilt from hiding this all from Nikki was so overwhelming.

“T-Bone?” Nikki’s voice brought him out of his thoughts. He looked at his boyfriend, with wet hair and just a pair of sweats on, a confused look marring his beautiful features. He was so beautiful in these moments. Fresh out of the shower, no makeup to hide behind, wet hair combed back out of his face. The Nikki that only he got the pleasure of ever seeing. He was so lucky, the idea of cancer seemed even more impossible.

“You okay babe?”

“Yeah,” Tommy nodded. “I gotta go run a couple errands. I’ll meet you at the studio, okay?”

“Oh, okay,” Nikki nodded, his voice unsure. He sounded almost reluctant and that made Tommy’s heart ache, he never sounded reluctant to say what he wanted, not with Tommy. He never had to. “Are you okay? Do you want me to go with you?”

“Yeah, I’m fine babe, don’t worry,” Tommy kissed him gently. “I’m amazing, you stay here and finish getting ready.”

“Call me if you need me ok?” Nikki pulled him in for a deeper kiss his hand reaching for Tommy’s ass giving it a squeeze. Tommy smiled and moaned a bit against Nikki’s lips, not really wanting to break the kiss or to have Nikki’s hands off of him. Because right now, it was stopping any bad thoughts from plaguing his brain. It was impossible to focus on anything other than Nikki’s hands and lips. But he knew he had to go.

“I love you so much Nikki,” Tommy told him. “I’ll...I’ll see you at the studio.” He nodded to himself before he went to get ready. He could feel eyes on him as he stripped out of what he was wearing, trying and failing to suppress several coughs that tore their way through his chest. He turned to look at Nikki, he could feel the eyes boring into his back as he pulled a shirt over his head. “Are you okay Nik?”

“Yeah, yeah,” Nikki shook his head, “Just… I really hope the doctor calls you soon. I’m worried about this cough.”

“It’s all gonna be okay, I promise,” Tommy wrapped his arms around Nikki’s head and smiled as the bassist nudged into him. “You won’t get rid of me that easy.”

Nikki nodded as he kissed Tommy again, “love you T-bone,” Nikki placed his forehead against Tommy’s, and pecked his nose playfully, grinning as he watched the drummer roll his eyes and try to suppress a smile.

“Love you Nik,” Tommy smiled, loving the feeling of being near Nikki like this. Something that a year ago, he didn’t think he’d have again. He finished getting ready, kissed Nikki one more time, because he was having a hard time bringing himself to actually fucking leave, and was reluctantly out the door.

****

Tommy sat in the waiting room at Dr. Bradley’s office, feeling like he was going to sit in this damn plastic chair until he died. He felt like he had been here for hours, but a look at the clock told him it had been 20 minutes. Part of him wondered if they did this to all their patients to add panic, but he knew how fucking ridiculous that sounded.

He reached over to the table by him and grabbed a magazine to distract himself. He tried to work on his breathing, which was hard when the air felt thick and his lungs just would not expand.

“Mr. Bass?” He heard a voice. He looked up to see Dr. Bradley standing there. Tommy had not actually met the doctor before today, just heard his name thrown around when tests were ordered and such. But here he was, the man behind the name. The man that was going to tell him if he was dying or not.

How fucked up was that? A total stranger was the only person in the entire world who knew in that moment if Tommy would still be on this Earth a year from now.

“Oh, that’s me,” Tommy stood up. “You can call me Tommy.” He shook Dr. Bradley’s hand.

“Why don’t you follow me back to my office?” He suggested. Tommy nodded and followed the doctor from the waiting room. Down the hallway, past exam rooms, past a woman sobbing into a man’s chest. He couldn’t help but wonder if it was the man or the woman who had the cancer. He was finally starting to regret not telling Nikki, he really wished he was here to hold his hand right now. He finally reached the office and sat in one of the chairs opposite Dr. Bradley’s.

“Okay Mr. Bass, I’m going to be completely honest with you, the results were not what we were hoping for,” He told him, making Tommy freeze up. For once he didn’t have difficult breathing, because he wasn’t fucking breathing. He had forgotten how, it seemed. “The growth inside your lungs is cancer, and it is malignant. It’s called adenocarcinoma that starts…” He trailed off as Tommy stared at him, not really listening.

“I...I have cancer…” Tommy whispered. Dr. Bradley looked at him sympathetically.

“I’m very sorry Mr. Bass,” He told him. “Based off the results from your biopsy, you are at stage 2B. Which is good and bad. Because at this stage, you still have a shot at fighting this with the proper treatment, but it means that the cancer has started to spread and it could very easily jump to stage 3, which will drop survival rates and make certain treatments useless.” Tommy’s hands were shaking. The Doctor was so calm, like he was giving him the fucking weather, not a life altering diagnosis. “Now, I would like to go over treatment options with you and…” Tommy stood up, he wasn’t about to talk about options.

Fuck that, and fuck this Doctor.

“I have to get out of here,” He stated firmly, turning on his heels to head towards the door.

“Mr. Bass, just-” Dr. Bradley started, but Tommy was already out the door and made his way down the unfamiliar hallway, through that fucking evil waiting room, and out towards his car.

He didn’t even know how he made it to the studio, or why he went there. He knew they had practice today, because they were working on setting up a new tour after a string of TV appearances. He didn’t really remember getting out of his car or making his way to the room they used. He stopped outside the door at the sound of familiar voice.

“Dude, things are so fucking great right now.” He could hear Nikki’s voice through the door. “Tommy and I are together, the music is flowing, there’s no drugs. God, I can’t remember the last time I’ve been this happy.”

“I’m glad man,” He heard Vince. “Everything is so fucking awesome for the first time in our lives.”

Tommy lost it then. He slid down the wall, large tears falling down his face. How was he supposed to tell Nikki that he was dying when he just heard him say that he was happy for the first time in a long time? He was going to fucking take that happiness away from him.

How was he supposed to look Vince in the eye and tell him that he was dying the same way he lost his little girl? How was he supposed to tell Mick that they might be hospital roommates? There was no fucking way he could do this. No fucking way. He should just up and disappear, better they think he was a fucking asshole than some fucking invalid.

As Tommy sat there, sobbing into his hands and trying to just fucking breathe, he missed the footsteps of someone walking up to him until he saw the boots out of the corner of his eye. Tommy raised his head to look up at Mick, the misery rolling off of him in waves.

“What the fuck? What’s wrong kid?” Mick asked, concern shining in his eyes, doing his best to crouch next to the drummer despite his aching bones.

“Everything,” Tommy told him. “The entire fucking world is wrong.” He closed his eyes for a second, his spiraling brain finally making a decision. He couldn’t hide from this. “I have something I need to tell you guys.”

“What the hell is it?” Mick was frowning deeply, making the already stoic man look even more worried, and Tommy knew that this was the moment that was going to test this band to it’s fucking limits.

They’ve made it through some ugly shit, but cancer?

“I’m going to tell you while we’re all together,” Tommy wiped at his face and pushed himself up, Mick’s worried eyes tracking his every move. “Come on, let’s go in.”

Chapter Text

“Look who finally decided to join us,” Vince said with a laugh when Tommy and Mick came in, but his smile fell when he saw Tommy’s face. “Tommy?” Nikki looked up and immediately made his way over to the drummer.

“Babe? What’s wrong?” He asked, cupping his face. Tommy sniffled a little.

“You...you guys, can you sit down please?” He asked. Nikki looked towards Mick and Vince, who settled in seats like the drummer had requested. Nikki looked at Tommy, worry in his eyes. “It’s okay Nik, you can sit down too.” He gave him a small smile. Nikki slowly went to sit down, his eyes not leaving Tommy for a moment.

“I...I’m just going to start out by saying I’m so sorry,” Tommy told them. Vince groaned.

“You’re leaving the band again, aren’t you?” He asked. “Fucking shit Tommy. We just got back together and are working things out and you…” Tommy raised a hand to stop him.

“I’m not leaving the band, at least, not yet,” He told them. “I...I’m so sorry. I should’ve gone to the doctor sooner. I should’ve dealt with this cough before now.” Tears were falling down his face. “I should’ve listened to you guys.”

“You got your results, didn’t you?” Nikki asked. Tommy just nodded. “Tommy?”

“I have cancer,” He told them, not able to look any of them in the eye but he could feel the change in the room. “Stage 2b lung cancer. It’s called adenocarcinoma and I…” He started coughing harshly, and this time, they could all see the blood that came with it.

“Holy fucking shit,” Vince stared at him.

“This is a sick joke, right?” Mick asked, but there was no denying the blood he just watched the drummer cough up. “Tommy?”

“I wish it was,” Tommy told him. “I wish that it was a bad dream and I could just fucking wake up but it’s not.” He ran his fingers through his hair and finally forced himself to look up at Nikki. “Nik?”

“I…” Nikki stood up and walked out of the studio doors.

“Nikki?” Tommy called after him. Vince got up and chased after the bassist, leaving Tommy and Mick alone.

“Hey man, what are you doing?” Vince asked, catching up with him. Nikki had longer legs, but Vince had learned how to keep up with him. “You need to get back in there. Tommy needs you right now.”

“I can’t. Not right now,” Nikki told him. “I just…” He shook his head before he got in his car and took off. Vince groaned and headed back into the studio, where Mick was trying to comfort Tommy the best he could, but everything was coming out flat. Tommy and Mick heard the doors close and they looked up, but Tommy’s heart hurt when he didn’t see Nikki with him.

“Where’s Sixx?” Mick asked. Vince sighed.

“He left,” He told them. “I’m sorry Tom, I tried to get him to come back in…” Tommy just shook his head.

“I don’t blame him,” Tommy sighed. “I figure he’ll be home tonight and we’ll talk. I...can I go home?”

“Of course,” Mick squeezed his shoulder. Tommy slowly got up and headed out to his car, heading home.

****

Vince headed back to his place. He was living the solo life right now, so there was no one home when he got there. He thought about Tommy, and the pain he was going to go through. Things had changed a lot since 1994, but cancer was still cancer.

And before Vince knew it, he was throwing things, watching them shatter in his rage. Cancer had already taken his baby girl away from him, but now it wanted more. It wanted to take someone who had been his friend for many years away. It just kept taking and taking until there was nothing left.

“Fuck!” Vince screamed. He collapsed into a chair and cried.

Why couldn’t cancer just leave people alone?

****

Mick stared at the TV as the music video played on the screen. Tommy looked so happy and bubbly. He was barely twenty, and still had his whole life ahead of him. They all did. He closed his eyes. How long had it been growing in Tommy? How long had that thing been there, destroying him.

Tommy would always just be a kid to him. No matter how old he got, Tommy was just one of the kids that Mick saw as his own. Vince and Nikki were too, but Tommy held a special place in his heart, no matter how annoyed he got with the drummer.

Mick closed his eyes, and prayed that this was just a bad dream. After a couple minutes, he got up and headed to his car.

****

Tommy waited and waited for Nikki to come home, but he never came home. He had expected him to come back pretty quickly, but he didn’t. Tommy tried to call him, but his phone went straight to voicemail. He couldn’t stand being in the house suddenly. The dogs whimpered as Tommy packed a bag.

“I’m sorry babies,” Tommy whispered to them, kissing their noses. “I wish I could take you with me, but you’re not mine to take.” He let the door open to the outside just enough so they could run out, and he made sure they had plenty of food and water, because he wasn’t sure when Nikki would be coming back.

As he headed out towards his car, one pulled up to him. Tommy turned, hoping that it was Nikki, but Mick got out of the car.

“Tommy?” He asked, making his way towards the drummer. “Where are you going?”

“I’m going home Mick,” Tommy told him. “Home sweet home, right?”

“Tommy, Nikki’s just a little frazzled. He’ll be back.” Mick tried to reason with him, but Tommy shook his head.

“I had three voicemails from the doctor, Nikki’s gone, and I just want to fucking breathe,” Tommy rubbed his eyes. “So, I’m going home. I’ll live out my final months with mom.”

“With modern medicine and all that you…” Tommy shook his head.

“I’m not doing it,” Tommy told him. Mick’s heart was breaking.

“Tommy…”

“No,” He shook his head. “Why do I want to prolong my life when Nikki doesn’t even care? Why would I want to put myself through all the pain of treatments and surgery if there’s no guarantee that it’s going to work?” He lit up a cigarette, watching the horror pass across Mick’s face. “I’ll see you later Mick.” He got into his car and drove off, leaving the guitarist standing in the middle of the driveway.

****

Tommy pulled up at the large house, his hands shaking as he stared at the front door. He hoped that she was home, because he really didn’t have anywhere else he wanted to go. It was a large, Greek style home that Tommy had got them for their anniversary years ago. They had been so happy, and she had loved the heritage that came with it. With a sigh, he got out of the car with his bag and made his way to the front door. After he rang the doorbell, the door opened and a shorter woman stood there.

“Mama,” Tommy sniffled. Voula looked at her son curiously. “Can...can I stay here for a little while?”

“Come in,” She told him, letting him into the house.

A little while later, her cries could be heard as her son told her the news.

Chapter Text

Nikki just couldn’t wrap his head around it. Tommy, his Tommy, had cancer. Funny how you tend to view the ones you can't live without as invincible.

Maybe that's how Tommy lived with him being a heroin addict for so long. Overdoses don't exist in blind ignorance of unconditional love and the comforting blanket of denial. Neither does cancer.

Things were finally looking good for once, so it wasn’t possible that this was fucking real. The world wasn’t that cruel. It wouldn’t do so much good to them only for this soul crushing diagnosis to destroy every good thing that Nikki could think if in his life.

Old Nikki was cynical at the world and everything around him, but since getting sober he had realized that every choice he made and every wrong that had been committed towards him had led him to the mop of curly hair and the big brown eyes that he had grown to depend on like oxygen.

So how fucked could the universe really be?

Nikki couldn’t remember the last time he had cried so much. It had to have been when he came off his drug binge to find out Nona had died without him being there. He should’ve been there for her, and he should be there for Tommy.

How do tear ducts hold this many fucking tears? He had to have cried gallons at this point.

That’s when he realized it had been over a day since he left the drummer back at the studio and he just drove.

“Shit!” Nikki hit the steering wheel. He had just left Tommy after he had dropped that bombshell on him. He wouldn’t be surprised if Tommy hated him for awhile. He deserved it. And he had left his phone at home that morning, not really expecting that he would need it.

He didn’t realize how far he had driven from LA, but it felt like forever trying to get back. He just wanted to get back home. He shouldn’t have even left in the first place. He should’ve stayed there with Tommy so they could figure out what to do next.

A strong wave of fear washed over him as he pulled up at the house. Tommy’s car wasn’t there, but Vince and Mick’s were. And boy, did they look pissed.

“Where the fuck have you been?” Vince snapped.

“I went for a drive,” Nikki told them.

“A drive for over a day while your boyfriend is scared to death?” Vince growled. Mick put a hand on Vince’s shoulder.

“Tommy’s not here Nikki,” Mick told the bassist. “He was leaving when I was here earlier, but he was gone when we got here.”

“He’s gone? Shit,” Nikki ran his fingers through his jet black hair. “Did he say where he was going?”

“He said something about home sweet home,” Mick explained. “My guess is he went to see his mom.” Nikki nodded and turned back towards his car.

“Where are you going?” Vince asked as Nikki started the car up.

“I gotta see Tommy,” He told him before peeling out of the driveway. He tried to remember the way to Tommy’s mom’s house, but the last time he had been there, Tommy drove and he didn’t really remember the way. Some things look familiar, and he knew it was a Greek style home. He just hoped he wasn’t wasting time trying to find the right place.

Just as he thought that, one place stuck out to him. The house looked extremely familiar and a car in the driveway confirmed to Nikki that this was the place he was looking for. He turned off the engine and ran to the door, ringing the doorbell and waiting. The door opened and there stood Athena Lee.

“Nikki?” Athena asked, staring at the bassist.

“Oh, hey Athena,” He said, rubbing his arm. Athena stepped out onto the porch and shut the door.

“What the hell are you doing here?” She asked, crossing her arms over her chest. “Haven’t you already done enough?”

“Is he here?” Nikki asked.

“Is who here? My only brother and my mom’s only son, who is dying and doesn’t even care?” Athena asked. “Or the man who you destroyed by leaving in his most desperate time? Take your pick Sixx.”

“Athena, please,” Nikki looked her in the eye. God, she looked so much like Tommy. “I reacted the way I always do. I got scared and I ran. Fuck, I wish I hadn’t done that, but it was my gut reaction when I’m facing something that scares me. So please, just tell me that he’s here. Please Athena.”

He watched the blonde woman run her eyes on him, reading him, trying to figure out if he was being sincere or not. She sighed and let her arms fall to her sides.

“Upstairs, second door on the right,” She told him. “Mom left rooms for me and Tommy if we ever needed it. I picked a room where you could see the city. Tommy picked the one that overlooked the pool.”

“Thanks Athena,” Nikki kissed her cheek.

“Just...be gentle with him,” Athena told him. “Please.”

“I’m not going to hurt him anymore than I already have,” Nikki assured her before going inside. He didn’t see Voula anywhere. Athena followed him in.

“Mom’s been upset since Tommy told her the news,” Athena told him. Nikki nodded. He could only imagine, watching your only son go through something like this. “She called me last night. Tommy hasn’t been out of his room.”

“I’m going to fix things the best I can,” Nikki told her. She nodded and stood at the bottom of the stairs, watching Nikki make his way up. He made it to the second door on the right and debated about knocking. He just opened the door and made his way in. Music was playing in the room. An old record player from Tommy’s high school days of living at home was on a table. There was a box of his things sitting on the bed. Nikki could see band flyers, one for London right there with everything else.

I have your poster on my wall.

Nikki had to smile a little. He looked up at the balcony that overlooked the pool. Tommy was standing out there, leaning against the railing, cigarette in hand. Nikki watched as he blew smoke out before he made his way out towards the drummer.

“What the hell are you doing?” Nikki asked, making Tommy jump. The younger man turned to look at him.

“Mom doesn’t like me smoking in the house,” Tommy shrugged.

“That’s not what I meant,” Nikki growled. “Why the hell are you smoking?”

“The damage is already done Nik,” Tommy laughed. “Like what, am I going to get cancer or something?”

“That’s not funny Thomas,” Nikki crossed his arms over his chest.

“Hey, I might as well spend my last moments on earth laughing. No point in crying over it, right?” Tommy shrugged and went to raise his cigarette to his lips, but Nikki ripped it out of his hand and snuffed it out before grabbing the pack of Marlboros and throwing them over the balcony. “Hey! I just bought those!”

“And you just finished them,” Nikki told him. Tommy headed back into his bedroom, Nikki following him.

“Why are you even here Nikki?” Tommy asked. “Don’t you have better things to do?”

“I’m sorry okay!?” Nikki bellowed, “I got scared and I ran and I’m sorry! Tommy you go in and you tell us you’re dying! You know me man… I ran… I needed to think and it was the wrong time… but I-I can’t lose you. Not like this.” Nikki felt his breath get caught in his throat.

“Well, you’re going to lose me,” Tommy sighed. “Because I’m not going through the treatments.”

It felt like Nikki’s whole world fell apart then as he stared at Tommy. He watched the drummer sit on the bed and dig through the box of stuff like he hadn’t just told Nikki the worst news imaginable.

“W-what?” Nikki asked.

“You heard me,” Tommy told him. “I’m not going through the treatment. What’s the point? There’s only a chance it will save me. What if my body doesn’t take it, or the cancer is worse than they think? We’re only buying time at that point and making me miserable.”

“You can’t do this,” Nikki told him. Tommy could see the anger boiling then.

“It’s my life Nikki,”

“Heroin was my life too! I was able to kick that, but shit Tommy…” Nikki shook his head and sniffled. “I thought it was going to be our life. Well guess I was wrong… guess I shouldn't have quit my habit when I did… you’re giving up guess I should too.” Nikki scoffed as he made his way to the door.

“You died twice!” Tommy called at him. “I had to sit there and watch you inject yourself with that shit every day. Why do you think I started smoking more? Because if I didn’t, I probably would’ve been right there with you doing it, so you weren’t alone.” Tommy looked down at his hands.

“Why do you think I quit?” Nikki looked at him. “Did you think that I all of a sudden decided to just up and quit and make myself better for me?”

“Well, yeah,” Tommy admitted. “You wanted to get better for yourself and for the band. Because the band meant the world to you.” He suddenly felt his face being lifted to look into the green eyes of the bassist.

“I did it…” Nikki swallowed the large lump in his throat, “because the last time I had to be brought back to life you were in my thoughts. I had this dream that… that we could be happy together and well… lets just say when life flashes before your eyes, for me… it was you”

“We were so good, and then heroin came into the picture. I just thought we could be good again,” Tommy whispered. “I just want to go back to ‘83 and pretend none of this is going to happen.”

“I fought my addiction for you Tommy,” Nikki told him softly, looking into his eyes. “Do you think you could try to fight the cancer for me?”

“Nikki…” Tommy whispered, and Nikki could hear it then. The fear, the pain, everything. Tommy had only been this vulnerable with Nikki a handful of times. “What if it doesn’t work?”

“Then we’ll get through it together, but you have to at least try babe,” Nikki cupped his face. “For me, please?” Tommy just nodded, a tear slipping down his cheek.

Nikki used the pads of his thumbs to wipe away the tears, “why don't we spend the night here and we can cook some Gyros for you family. How does that sound?” Nikki kissed his forehead.

“That sounds good, yeah,” Tommy nodded, resting against Nikki. Nikki could feel him shake a little in his arms. “Are you okay Nik?” Tommy always asked him that, even if Tommy was the one who had fallen 70 feet onto his head.

“I want to say yes,” Nikki sighed, “But I am fucking scared. I'm terrified, Tommy.” he looked at the drummer with watery eyes. “I am so sorry for bolting like that… I have no excuse for it except that my world came crashing down when you said those words and my chest felt tight… I just needed a minute to process and it was the wrong time.” he swallowed the lump in his throat trying not to cry. “Just, promise me that I can go to ALL of your doctor appointments? You can't leave me in the dark here Tommy, I won't survive that.”

“I mean, if you really want to,” Tommy told him. “I’m scared Nik.”

“Yes, I want to and I know... me too,” Nikki held him close. “So… I’m pretty sure I told you to take down that London poster,” Nikki teased trying to change the subject.

“I really have a big fat crush on the bassist. And technically, I did take it down,” Tommy smiled. “I just couldn’t throw it away though.”

Nikki pulled him in for a kiss, his tongue asking for entrance as he licked Tommy’s bottom lip. Tommy melted into his arms, enjoying the moment, until there was a knock on the door. Tommy sighed and pulled away, going to answer the door.

“Athena?” Tommy asked.

“Mom sent me to see if you were hungry,” She told him. “If you are, she wants to know what you want.”

“Actually, I kinda wanted to cook tonight,” Tommy told her. Athena stared at him.

“Wow, you are sick,” She smiled softly. “What are you making? I can run to the store. And I think Nikki will help me, won’t you Nikki?”

Nikki smiled, “yeah, I’ll be happy to help.”

“I’m gonna make gyros,” Tommy told her. Athena smiled and nodded.

“Okay Sixx, let’s go,” She told him. “I think mom’s gonna love this.”

Nikki gave Tommy a quick kiss, “I’ll be back.”

“I’ll be here,” Tommy told him, watching them leave.

****

“How did you do that?” Athena asked as her and Nikki walked around the market. Athena knew the ingredients by heart.

“Do what?” Nikki held on to the cart as Athena filled it with what they need.

“Get him to listen,” She reached up and grabbed an ingredient on a high shelf. She might be much shorter than Tommy, but she didn’t let that stop her.

“I just told him the truth. That's all. I’m not anything special Athena,” Nikki shrugged.

“You and I both know that’s not true,” She told him. “The minute that Tommy begged mom and dad to let you come to Christmas literally, what, four months after he met you, I knew you were something special Sixx.”

“Thena… If I was really special… I would have kicked my habit earlier,” Nikki shook his head, “If I did maybe he wouldn’t be like this.”

“Nikki, he’s been smoking since he was seventeen,” She told the bassist. “Maybe before that, but he got caught at seventeen. God, dad was so mad. Tommy said it made him look like Danny Zuko. But damn, did all my friends think he was so cool because he had a van and he smoked.” She wiped her eyes. “I wanted to be just like him. That’s why I started drumming too.”

“Thena, he loves you. You know that right?” Nikki gave her a quick hug. “Now come on let’s get what we need and get back before he starts to worry.”

“Y-yeah,” She sniffled and wiped her eyes again before they finished getting everything. Athena took the things to the register while Nikki checked his phone, seeing a text from Vince.

Vince: Have you found him yet?

Nikki: Yeah, I’m spending time with him at his mom’s, we’re ok.

Vince: Okay. Mick was worried.

Nikki chuckled and put his phone away, helping Athena pay for the things and carry them to the car. They headed back to Voula’s house. The older woman was sitting in the living room, looking just as worried as she had been from when Tommy told her the news.

“Mama?” Athena asked. “Are you okay?”

“Oh, yeah,” She nodded. “Tommy’s in the kitchen getting things ready. My sweet Athena, he said he will consider the treatment after all!” Athena turned to look at Nikki, but he was already making his way to the kitchen.

“Need any help?” he hugged Tommy from behind and placed a kiss on his neck.

“I might let you use a knife and chop some veggies for me,” Tommy smiled. “If you want to, that is.” He was cutting up the meat before he fried it up.

“I can handle that,” Nikki smiled grabbing the knife and veggies and using the cutting board at his disposal. Tommy looked over and watched him, trying to burn the happy thoughts to his memory.

Because he had a feeling, things were just going to get rough from here on out.

Chapter Text

The gyros had been a big hit. Nikki absolutely loved them, and Tommy seemed so relaxed while making them. Nikki watched him busy himself in the kitchen and felt his heart just melt. It was like there was nothing wrong, and Nikki was just spending time with Tommy’s family.

 

“Tommy, look what mom found,” Athena teased him, holding out a stuffed Mighty Mouse that made Nikki chuckle.

 

“What? He’s cool!” Tommy said, snatching the plush from his sister. “He’s not…” A cough erupted from his lips and it slowly brought everyone back to reality. That Tommy was sick and there was no denying it.

 

“Are you okay?” Nikki asked, rubbing his back. Tommy nodded, trying to catch his breath. Voula quickly got her son some water, which helped some.

 

“You should rest,” She told him, rubbing his back. “I’ll clean up the kitchen.”

 

“But…” He started coughing again and Voula looked like her world was ending. Nikki waited until Tommy stopped coughing before he got him up and took him back to his room.

 

“Come on babe, you need to rest,” Nikki told him as he got him back to his room. Tommy was leaning against him, exhausted. He sat Tommy down on the bed before he packed up the pictures and items from the bed and put the box on the floor. He sat down by Tommy, wrapping an arm around him. “How are you feeling babe?”

 

“I’m okay,” Tommy told him. “Coughing just takes it out of me.”

 

“Come on, let’s get you to bed,” Nikki told him. 

 

Crawling into bed with Tommy had the most nostalgic feel to it, and that almost bothered Nikki a little. 

 

He hated how everything felt so different than it did just 48 hours ago. How does someone's entire life get ruined in a matter of 2 days?

 

Nikki rolled onto his side, pushing as close to Tommy as he could, burying his nose into his hair and inhaling. Tommy's scent was always so uniquely Tommy and it never failed to soothe any anxiety that Nikki was feeling at any given moment.

 

But not this time. Because he was facing losing that scent forever, and he still didn't know how he was supposed to handle that.

 

“Nik? Are you okay?” Tommy’s voice was soft. It was funny. Every time Tommy got hurt, he always asked Nikki if he was okay. And here he was, doing it again when a monster was growing inside his lungs.

 

Nikki smiled a watery smile despite the tears threatening to fall. He loved how this man loved him. Despite their breakups, their fights, the women that came and went in their past, the dangerous drug and alcohol abuse, Tommy had always loved Nikki, consistently. The only truly consistent thing in his life.

 

"No, Tommy. I'm not okay. Not at all. I'm fucking scared".

 

Tommy rolled over in Nikki's arms, pressing their foreheads together. Their eyes reflected each other's emotions perfectly,  they held the same fear of the unknown path that lay before them.

 

“The doctor, before I stormed out, told me that 2b is better than it could be,” Tommy told him. “I still have a good chance, as long as it doesn’t go to 3.”

 

“What if it goes to 3?” Nikki asked. Tommy closed his eyes.

 

“My chance of survival drops a lot. And a lot of treatments won’t work,” Tommy sniffled a little. “If it goes to three...I probably won’t be surviving…”

 

Nikki's eyes closed as the tears slipped out from under them. He couldn't look into Tommy's eyes while he said things like this. He was still hoping this was some sort of very vivid, horrific dream.

 

"Then we can't let it get to three, Tommy. Please. We can't." Nikki's voice cracked on almost every word he spoke at this point and Tommy knew he had to at least try. Nikki was worth that much. He was worth fighting for. 

 

"To be honest with you Nik, I'm kinda in the dark here. I have no idea about treatments, or anything really about this cancer. I shouldn't have stormed off like that. I don't even know how long I have until it spreads even further."

 

“Wait, what do you mean spreads even further?” Nikki asked. “Tommy, is it in more than just your lungs?"

 

"I googled it. Google is fucking confusing, to be honest, it says that 2B means it's in some lymph nodes close to that lung. Or something. Fuck, Nikki, I don't know. I don't even know what lung it's in, I fucking heard cancer and bolted like an idiot."

 

“Guess we both did that, didn’t we?” Nikki brushed some tears off Tommy’s face. “Tomorrow morning, you, no we, need to go back to that doctor and talk to him. Or find you a new doctor or something. But you gotta start the treatments.” 

 

“I’m so scared Nik,” Tommy whispered. “I’m so fucking scared.”

 

“We’re going to get through this,” Nikki wasn’t sure if he was saying that for Tommy, or for himself. “First thing tomorrow, we’ll call the doctor and see if he can squeeze you in. If he can’t, we’ll just find another doctor who can.”

 

“Okay,” Tommy nodded, resting his forehead against Nikki’s.

 

********* 

The Next Day…

 

Nikki’s leg bounced as they waited for the doctor to call Tommy in. Tommy looked over at him and placed a hand on his knee, trying to calm him.

 

“You look like your hitting the pedal for a bass drum,” Tommy chuckled. “It’s okay Nikki. Just relax.”

 

“I don’t know how you’re so calm,” Nikki told him. “I’m not the one with cancer and I’m a nervous wreck.”

 

“Nik, it’s going to be okay,” Tommy assured him. “We’re going to find out what our next move is and it’ll be okay.” Tommy’s hand was shaking a little, and Nikki realized then he was putting on a calm front.

 

Taking a deep breath Nikki nodded before taking Tommy’s hand in his and kissing it, “we’re in this together… no matter what, yeah?” 

 

“Of course,” Tommy nodded.

 

“Mr. Bass?” The nurse said. Nikki gave Tommy a weird look.

 

“I, uh, used my real last name so the paps don’t hound me,” Tommy admitted, making Nikki smile.

 

Following the nurse, they made their way to the doctor’s office. Nikki’s knee bouncing again as they waited. Dr. Bradley came in and sat at his desk.

 

“Mr. Bass, it’s good to see you back,” Dr. Bradley said. “You’re not going to run this time, are you?”

 

“No,” Tommy shook his head. “I…”

 

“Because I won’t tolerate that. It’s a waste of time if you’re not going to take this seriously.” he sneered.  Nikki stared at the doctor.

 

“I’m sorry, it was just a lot to take in,” Tommy told him. “And I got scared and…” The doctor was staring down at Tommy’s file.

 

“Tommy,” Nikki breathed, “Maybe we should find someone who is more sympathetic to patients finding bad news traumatic?” he whispered. 

 

“I…” Tommy looked down. He really didn’t know what to do. Dr. Bradley was talking then and Nikki could tell that Tommy was getting close to a meltdown. Nikki held onto Tommy’s hand giving it a reassuring squeeze before turning his attention to the doctor. 

 

“Well, Mr. Bass, with the stage of your cancer and the severity of the situation, I thought you’d be more willing to stay and listen to the treatments,” Dr. Bradley grumbled. “Anyway…” Nikki raised his hand, stopping him.

 

“Thank you for your input doctor we’ll be in touch,” Nikki gave him a half-hearted smile as he pulled Tommy up and marched out of the office. “We are going to look for someone who doesn't treat their patients like assholes,” Nikki growled as he ran his fingers through his hair once they made it outside. 

 

“What are we going to do?” Tommy asked softly. Nikki saw Tommy curling in on himself, obviously scared.

 

“Tommy,” Nikki held Tommy’s face in his hands, “I am going to help you get the best doctor that I can find,” he closed his eyes before pulling Tommy into his arms. “I am not going to let anything bad happen to you. We are in this together!” 

 

“You don’t have to stay,” Tommy told him as Nikki wrapped an arm around him.

 

“I am not leaving you,” Nikki led him to the car, “Let’s go home, take a nice bath, and we can order some take out. How does that sound?” 

 

“Sounds like a date,” Tommy laughed a little. “Thanks, Nik.”

 

Driving home, Nikki made a beeline to their bathroom once they stepped through the door. He helped Tommy out of his clothes before shedding his own. With the water at the right temperature, Nikki made sure to add the scents Tommy liked and helped the drummer in. Sitting behind him, Nikki began massaging Tommy’s muscles. 

 

“How does that feel baby,” Nikki muttered as he placed kisses on Tommy’s neck. 

 

“Pretty relaxing,” Tommy sighed. “Whoever says baths aren’t manly can fuck themselves.” He coughed slightly, trying to hold it in.

 

Nikki smirked against Tommy’s skin as his hands roamed the drummer body, one hand sliding up his stomach to pinch a nipple the other sliding down to grasp his cock. Nikki gently began stroking it, his thumb gently teasing the tip. 

 

“Nikki,” Tommy moaned softly, leaning back against him.

 

“Yeah, baby?” Nikki chuckled as he continued to pump Tommy’s cock in his hand, “what do you want?” Tommy just leaned his head back against Nikki’s shoulder and moaned, holding onto the sides of the tub.

 

“Fuuuuck,” Tommy breathed.

 

Nikki pumped him nice and slow, teasing the young drummer. His own erection pressing against Tommy’s back, he fought the urge to rub off on a Tommy this was not about him. He wanted to make sure Tommy was relaxed and happy; to please Tommy as much as he could after everything that happened to them. 

 

“I think we need to finish up our bath and get to bed,” Tommy told him, rubbing up against him.

 

“I kind of like being like this though,” Nikki nipped and sucked on Tommy’s neck as he began pumping his fist just a bit faster. 

 

“Nikki, fuck,” Tommy closed his eyes and bucked his hips. “Shit!”

 

“Tell me what you want sweet boy,” Nikki shifted so that he could capture Tommy’s mouth with his in a heated kiss. Water splashing slightly as he continued to pump Tommy’s cock. 

 

“You,” Tommy moaned into the kiss, pressing against Nikki. He wanted to enjoy this as much as he could.

 

“You have me, baby,” Nikki smirked against his lips, “I’m right here.” Nikki pumped his hand faster, making Tommy buck just a bit harder. 

 

“Shit, I’m close,”  Tommy moaned. “F-fuck!”

 

“Cum for me Tommy,” Nikki urged, “Cum now” Tommy didn’t waste any time, cumming into Nikki’s hand with a low moan.

 

“Oh fuck,” Tommy tried to take some deep breaths as he rested back against Nikki. “Makes me think of the old days. Handjobs in the bathroom before a set.” He smirked a little.

 

“Now those are great memories,” Nikki kissed his shoulder before helping him up. “Let’s get you dressed and we can order your favorite take out.” 

 

“But what about you,” Tommy pointed out. “Can’t I help you?”

 

Nikki smiled sheepishly, "you already have, feeling you cum in my arms, I came too." Nikki lied as he gave him a searing kiss, “I want you to be relaxed and happy. You don’t have to worry about me.” 

 

“Hey, you know me. I fall on my head and still get up and ask if you’re okay,” Tommy laughed. He started to cough, groaning in slight pain. Nikki got him to their bedroom and helped him get a pair of sweats and a faded, old Crue shirt on.

 

“I’m going to get you a glass of water,” Nikki rubbed his back gently. “I’ll be right back.” 

 

“Nik,” Tommy reached for him. “‘M okay.” He sat up from the bed where Nikki had made him lie down.

 

“Please?” Nikki pleaded with him, his voice broke slightly, “I promise I’ll be right back, I’m going to get you some water and then you and I can order some food, and watch a flick in bed.” 

 

“Okay,” Tommy cough before curling up in their bed. He watched Nikki leave before his eyes drifted closed.

 

Nikki was in the kitchen grabbing a glass to fill with water. He could feel his chest tightening as the day's events filtered through his head. He could feel it, the pain, the phrase ‘I have cancer’ echoing in his head. 

 

It wasn’t fair. After all the shit he had done, he deserved something like this. Yeah, Tommy wasn’t much more innocent, but he hadn’t done near as much as Nikki had. Tommy didn’t deserve this. He deserved to be happy, to play his drums, to sing, to do whatever the fuck he wanted. But not this. Never this. He didn’t realize he was crying until a teardrop hit his hand that was grabbing on to the counter. He couldn’t stop it, the flood gates open as he let out a sob and placed a hand over his mouth to try and stifle the sound.  

 

He stood there for a moment or two until he could get himself calmed down enough. Taking a deep breath, he carried the water into the bedroom and saw Tommy asleep, long body curled up into a ball with the blankets around him. Nikki watched him, watching his chest move with each small breath. He looked at the clock. He knew Tommy needed to eat, but he hated to wake him. So instead, Nikki went to his computer.

 

He had research to do.

Chapter Text

At some point during the night, Nikki had fallen asleep. He wasn’t sure when, but he did know the last time he remembered looking at the clock, it was 1:37 am. Nikki woke up at his desk in the office where they kept the desktop. That’s where Nikki had spent most of his night while Tommy was sleeping. He was trying to find the best cancer doctor in Los Angeles, and while that doctor that had spoken with at the hospital was on the list, there were several who ranked above him. Nikki sent out emails, left voicemails, and all kinds of other things to get his point out there.

 

But now, he wanted to spend some time with Tommy. He left the office and headed towards their bedroom, cracking his sore bones as he went. He quietly pushed open the bedroom door, fully expecting Tommy to still be asleep in there.

 

But the bed was empty.

 

“Tommy?” Nikki looked towards the bathroom, but it was dark in there as well. Nikki was wondering if he was still sleeping as he looked around. There was no way Tommy would leave him, would there? Nikki knew he had made mistakes but that last thing he wanted was to not be with Tommy when he needed support. His chest tightened as he began searching throughout the second floor of the house. Calling the drummers name as his own fears began to set in. 

 

That’s when he heard something coming from the studio/music area. Piano playing a familiar melody, followed by a singing voice that always made his heart flutter. Making his way towards the room, he watched as Tommy’s fingers gracefully moved across the piano. Nikki swallowed the sob threatening to escape and breathed a sigh of relief seeing the drummer safe. Walking up to Tommy, he placed a kiss on Tommy’s head before sitting next to him on the piano bench. 

 

“Hey babe,” Tommy told him as he stopped playing. “Where were you last night?”

 

“In the office,” Nikki held him tight, “was doing research.” 

 

“Researching? Researching for what?” Tommy turned to look at him.

 

“Finding a new doctor,” Nikki kissed his forehead, “douche doctor can kiss our asses. He can’t treat you the way he did. Not going to let anyone do that to you.” 

 

“I mean, I did just kinda leave while he was trying to explain things to me…” Nikki shook his head. “What?”

 

“He should know that news like that can send a patient into shock. He should have been more receptive to the fact that this would have freaked you out. Plus, the fact that you were alone. That should have given him a hint that you would have been freaking out worse.” 

 

“Yeah,” Tommy nodded. “I guess he just thought that with me being me, I could handle it or something. I dunno.” He shrugged and coughed some. He leaned against Nikki. “Wonder how Vince and Mick are…”

 

“Let’s just worry about you,” Nikki told him.

 

“But, Mick came to see me and he looked worried before I ran over to mom’s and…” He started coughing again, a lot harsher than before.

 

Nikki rubbed his back as he coughed, “maybe I should contact one of the doctors I was researching,” he looked at Tommy. “And we can call Vince and Mick over to talk. How’s that sound?” 

 

“Good,” Tommy nodded. “I haven’t even done anything today, and I’m ready for a nap. Like all I’ve done is the bathroom, then in here.”

 

“You need all the rest you can get babe,” Nikki smiled, “you don’t have to worry, I’ll take care of everything.” 

 

“No, I’m okay. If I start acting like this now, what will happen when I start treatments?” Tommy shook his head. “No, I’m gonna go make us some breakfast. Are you hungry?”

 

“I am, “ Nikki admitted and kissed him, “But you should rest. I can-” Tommy cut Nikki off. 

 

“I’m fine Nik. I promise.” He leaned over and kissed him gently before he headed towards the kitchen. Nikki followed him, almost like he was afraid to let Tommy out of his sight for even a minute.

 

Tommy busied himself in the kitchen, making pancakes, bacon, and some eggs. He had the CD player going, the one that he had bought that installed under the cabinet. It was like nothing was wrong. Like they were just two people, living their lives and living in bliss. Nikki smiled as he watched Tommy in the kitchen, he felt lucky just having Tommy in his life again. He was going to do everything in his power to keep Tommy alive. 

 

“Here,” Tommy sat a plate in front of him. “Eat up.” Tommy sat his own plate down and started to eat, trying to keep things normal.

 

“How are you feeling babe?” Nikki held his hand out to Tommy caressing the back of his hand with his thumb. 

 

“I...I don’t feel anything,” Tommy said. “I don’t feel any different than I did before. Except I really want to smoke.”

 

“I know it’s going to be tough,” Nikki nodded his head, “But I am here for you every step of the way.” 

 

“This is the longest I’ve gone without smoking since I was like, eighteen or nineteen,” He gave Nikki a little smirk. “One more wouldn’t hurt, right?” Nikki gave him a glare.

 

“Over my dead body, Tommy,” Nikki growled.

 

"Ok, ok no more smoking" Tommy placated. 

 

"You look tired, nap?" Nikki suggested. 

 

"Sounds good, I am tired" Tommy yawned. 

 

Nikki curled up next to him. He made sure that Tommy was asleep before slipping away. He had to find the right doctor, he wasn't going to lose his lover and best friend. 

 

He sent out texts to Mick and Vince before he started to research more. There were some emails from potential doctors and their clinics. His heart jumped when he saw one of the names. Dr. Joseph Hill. Nikki had read that he was one of the best cancer doctors in California, if not the entire western half of the United States. Nikki immediately opened the email, hope high in his heart.

 

Dear Mr. Sixx,

 

As much as I would love to take on your boyfriend’s case, unfortunately, I have moved from the California area for the time being. I am doing some research and treatment in Nairobi and will not be returning until later this year. However, I have passed all your information along to my college, Dr. Allison Craig. She has studied under me for years and has taken many of my techniques and made them better. She will hopefully be in touch with you within the week. I know that this is a very scary time for both of you, and with the stage of Mr. Bass’s progression, we have a very fine deadline. But I assure you, Dr. Craig will do the best she can for you, and I will be offering help when I can.

 

Best Regards,

 

Dr. Joseph Hill

 

“Dr. Allison Craig?” Nikki said to himself after he closed the email and started to search through all his unopened ones in the hope of finding something from her. But he didn’t see anything. With a groan, Nikki laid his head down on his desk. He turned his head to the side and looked at a framed picture that sat there. The four of them on stage, back when they were just playing the strip. They were all so young, and carefree. It seemed like nothing could stop them. 

 

The future was ahead of them, and they knew nothing about the overdoses, burnout, alcoholism, and fucking cancer that was waiting in their future.

 

The knot in his chest tightened, the reality was trying to set in. Wiping away the tears he couldn’t think about it. It wasn’t true. Tommy was not going to die. Not now not ever. He looked over the email from Dr. Hill and looked over the contact information. He only hoped that this Dr. Craig would contact him soon. Nikki hadn't noticed that time had ticked by. He had fallen asleep on the desk. Researching was tiring him out. The doorbell rang jerking Nikki from his small nap. Getting out from the desk he made his way to the foyer.

 

Making his way towards the front door, he saw Tommy had already beaten him to it. He let Vince and Mick in, both of them watching him carefully.

 

“What are you guys up to today?” Tommy asked with a smile. The two other members looked at each other. 

 

“We came to see what the doctor said,” Mick told him. Tommy rubbed the back of his neck. “You did go to the doctor, didn’t you?”

 

“Yeah, see, about that…” Tommy trailed off. Nikki’s phone rang and he answered it while Tommy talked to Mick and Vince.

 

“Hello?” Nikki answered.

 

“Hello. Is this Mr. Sixx?” A woman’s voice said on the other end.

 

“Uh...yeah…” Nikki was a little confused.

 

“Hi! My name is Dr. Allison Craig. I was told that you needed my help.”

Chapter Text

Nikki’s leg bounced as he sat with Tommy waiting for his name to be called. It was taxing. The last time they were in a doctor’s office, Nikki had wanted to punch the guy in the face. He couldn’t help but feel nervous about what they would be told. He glanced over at Tommy and closed his eyes, leaning his head back against the wall. He tried to think of anything else, hoping that this all was a dream, but his stupid leg wouldn’t stop shaking. 

 

“Babe, breathe,” Tommy told him again. “She can’t be any worse than Dr. Bradley was.”

 

“I just don't want to take you on a wild goose chase here,” he ran his hand across his face, “I can’t lose you.” 

 

“Nik, look at me,” Tommy told him. Nikki watched him. “It’s going to be okay. I promise.”

 

Nikki could do nothing but nod, his throat felt dry. His palms were sweaty as they watched as patient after patient went in. One patient came out shaking his head, tears in his eyes. 

 

“Tommy, I…” Nikki started to say.

 

“Mr. Bass?” A pink and black-haired woman asked. Tommy and Nikki looked at her before Tommy stood up.

 

“Uh, that’s me,” He headed towards her, Nikki following him. She smiled brightly.

 

“I’m Dr. Craig,” She let them through the door she was holding open. “It’s a pleasure to finally meet you.”

 

“You’re the doctor?” Nikki asked. Under her white coat, Nikki saw she was wearing a Ramones t-shirt and she had Converse on. She looked more like a zany doctor from TV than a real one. Allison smiled at them.

 

“Yes I am,” She laughed. “Benefits of being the best at what I do, not one can tell me how to dress.” She motioned them into her office and took a seat behind her desk. Nikki eyed the Elvira bobblehead she had sitting on her desk. It made Tommy’s face light up.

 

“Dude, that’s awesome,” He said, poking the bobblehead. Allison smiled.

 

“Elvira is queen,” She laughed. “Okay boys, let’s get down to business, shall we? I read over the files that I got from Dr. Bradley’s office and I can confirm that you do have stage 2b adenocarcinoma. That is both good and bad.” She explained to them, watching their reactions. “Since it is 2b, that does mean it has spread some, but it’s not in the life-threatening stage yet. So if we can hit it now, and stop it from progressing to stage 3, you have a very good chance at survival.”

 

"What are the steps that need to be taken?" Nikki held on to Tommy's hand for dear life. 

 

“Well, more than likely we will start with either chemo or radiation, we might even try a combo of both. Then, if we can shrink the tumor down enough and make sure that it is not going to spread more, we can do surgery to remove it, putting Mr. Bass here into remission,” Allison explained. “It won’t be an easy process, but I’m not about to let my favorite drummer die on me.”

 

“Favorite drummer?” Tommy asked, looking over at Nikki. Allison laughed and leaned forward on her desk.

 

“How old do you two think I am?” She asked.

 

"20?" Nikki shrugged. 

 

“You’re off by about twenty-five years Mr. Sixx,” Allison laughed. “I was at the Starwood for your very first concert. I thought a band with such an outrageous name had to be good. And I’ve been hooked ever since.”

 

“Did you know that he wanted to name the band X-Mass?” Tommy asked with a laugh.

 

“He’s not much better! He wanted to call us The Foreskins! Can you imagine seeing that on the marquee above the Forum or the Whiskey? No, I don’t think so,” Nikki shot back. Allison just laughed.

 

“Yeah, I read all about that in the Dirt,” She told them with a smile. Tommy started to cough then, causing Nikki to quickly turn his attention to him.

 

"T-bone?" Nikki rubbed Tommy's back.

 

“I’m okay,” Tommy croaked out. Allison started typing on her computer.

 

“Mr. Bass, are you okay?” She asked him. “How is your breathing today?”

 

“Airs thick,” He told her. She nodded and typed some more.

 

“Then I think we need to start you on chemo or radiation right away,” She told him. “And by right away, I mean that I’m going to try to schedule you for tomorrow or the next day.” Tommy looked over at Nikki and Nikki could see the fear in his eyes. 

 

“I’m here it’s going to be ok?” he held Tommy tightly. “Um, what kind of side effects are we looking at with treatment?” 

 

“With chemo, there can be fatigue, vomiting, hair loss, as well as a long list of other things,” She told them. “As for radiation, it’s about the same thing. I have information for it and everything.” she handed them pamphlets. “I’m sorry to be so rushed with you guys, but in order to stop this from going to three, we need to start ASAP.”

 

“Ok,” Nikki nodded his head and looked at Allison, “I guess we-” Nikki froze when Tommy squeezed his hand.  

 

“I...can we think it over and let you know tomorrow?” Tommy asked. Nikki looked over at him. “I just...I want to read through everything.”

 

“Tommy-” Nikki began. 

 

“I...this is a lot and…” A tear rolled down Tommy’s cheek. Allison stood up and walked towards them, kneeling by Tommy.

 

“I know this is scary. Trust me. But I’m going to help you through this,” She told him. “I don’t want to see anyone else die because of this. I lost my mom to breast cancer. And I’m going to do my damnedest to make sure this never happens to anyone else ever again.”

 

Nikk took Tommy into his arms and held him. “We need to try Tommy… please?” 

 

“I…” Tommy nodded. “Okay.” 

 

Allison looked at Nikki and nodded. She went to set the schedule. “Would tomorrow afternoon work for you?” Tommy looked at Nikki and nodded. “Okay, I’ll get you scheduled. We’re going to try the chemo first. And if nothing is working with it, we’re going to introduce radiation.” 

 

Nikki placed a kiss on Tommy’s head and sighed trying to hold back his tears to stay strong for Tommy. Looking at Allison, Nikki gave her a small smile. 

 

“Thank you, Dr. Craig,” he croaked. “You are definitely better at patient care than Dr. Bradley.” 

 

“Dr. Bradley is a piece of work, let me tell you,” She laughed. “Here’s my card. Call if you have any questions or anything.” She gave them a warm smile and patted Tommy’s shoulder. “It’s all going to be okay.”

 

“Thanks,” Tommy smiled the best he could before him and Nikki left. Nikki could feel Tommy trembling. Nikki led him out to the car. 

 

“You ok, T-Bone?” Nikki looked at him, “Want me to call your mom? Or Thena?” 

 

“I don’t know,” Tommy whispered. “I just...I don’t know what to do Nikki. I’m so fucking scared.” Tommy broke down then, right in the passenger seat of Nikki’s Porsche. 

 

“Hey,” Nikki pulled him closer, “Shhh, it’s ok babe.” 

 

“Now’s your chance to run and never look back,” Tommy told him.

 

Nikki pulled back and grabbed Tommy’s face with both hands, “you are not going to get rid of me that easily, Lee.” Nikki pulled him in and kissed him deeply. Once they broke apart, Tommy curled up into Nikki’s side. Nikki wrapped an arm around Tommy.

 

“I love you Nik,” Tommy whispered to him. Nikki kissed the top of Tommy’s head before he started to drive.

 

“Love you too,” Nikki placed a kiss on top of Tommy’s head as they drove back home.