Warnings: If you can watch the show, you can read this.
Word Count: 1,794
Disclaimer: I don't own anything, seriously, nothing
Summary: She's not his best friend. She's not his girlfriend, and she hates the term "friends with benefits".
Twisting the Parallels
She's not his best friend. Juice can't tell her all his secrets and Heather's pretty sure she doesn't want to hear them. She's not his girlfriend. He wouldn't be able to stay faithful to her and she won't ask him to. They're definitely more than friendly, but she hates the term "friends with benefits." It sounds a little dirty and a lot cheap.
Growing up, he was just another kid in a rundown house that she played hide-and-seek and tag with. He was just "Carlos" then and would glare at anyone that wasn't his mom that called him "Jean." He was two years ahead of her in school and while she guesses that she always considered him a friend, she was more interested in hanging with her girls and he mixed with a crowd she wouldn't be a part of.
Now at 24, she works the dayshift at the convenience store and she's a waitress at the bar most weekends. She scrapes by enough to pay for her car and small one-bedroom apartment above the drug store and sometimes she even has a little left over. Heather defaulted long ago on her student loans. Credit doesn't really mean much living in a town like Charming. What she can't pay for with cash she figures she doesn't need.
She gave college a try for two years before she decided it just wasn't meant to be. She said goodbye to southern California and begrudgingly moved back in with her parents. Heather's absolved herself of most of the guilt for dropping out. She chooses instead to blame the less than stellar Charming educational system that failed miserably in preparing her for classes at USC.
Around midnight one night, two weeks after she started working at the store, he walked in wearing a leather cut she recognized all to well and tattoos on his arms she had never seen before. They said their pleasantries as she rang up his cigarettes and now four years later it's grown into this thing that can't be neatly defined.
Juice has keys to her apartment and run-down Chevy Cavalier. The first time she let him borrow the car she gave him a stern lecture on activities that were acceptable and not while he was behind the wheel. He just rolled his eyes and Heather knows there is nothing intimidating about her 5'3'' frame.
A few weeks later she had a spare set made and her tires are actually rotated on time now and the oil is always changed every 10,000 miles. She's grateful when she hops in and the gas tank is full and it's an extra thirty dollars she gets to keep in her wallet.
He installed a wireless router in her apartment even though she doesn't have a computer and informed him that there was no way in hell she would be paying the bill. He just smirked at her and went back to fiddling with wires and tapping at the keys on his laptop. She's glad now, because when he leaves his laptop at her place she browses through fancy stores online that she'll never be able to shop in.
Juice convinced her to quit working nights three months after the first time she cooked him dinner. The moment was a little surreal the way he calmly took bites of his Chinese takeout as he told her story after story, shocking and tragic, of what can happen late at night to pretty girls all alone even in small towns named Charming. All she could do was nod and grimace and her sesame chicken went uneaten.
The next day she called up her manager who agreed in exchange for her waking up at ungodly hours five mornings a week to take the early shift. She considers it a small price to pay.
Even Heather calls him Juice now. After hearing his friends say it over and over it just stuck. She still calls him Carlos sometimes when it's just the two of them and he never seems to mind.
She knows how smart Juice is. What he completely lacks in common sense, he more than makes up for when his fingers fly across the keyboard. She doesn't think about what he wastes his talents on. When the cut is draped over a kitchen chair and he's lounging across her couch eating all her potato chips, SAMCRO is far, far from her mind.
Mostly it's the weeknights when he'll use his key and walk in with a six-pack of beer and his latest pirated movie. She'll lay her head or her feet in his lap and his hand will rub up and down her leg or twist and twirl her thick blonde hair.
Sometimes he spends the night and he never sleeps on the couch. He says it's too lumpy and whined and whined about stiff necks and aching backs until finally she all but pushed him down onto her bed where he smiled like the cat that ate the canary and curled up around her favorite pillow.
They have sex on a frequent, but not at all routine basis. It's fun and meaningless and she's a woman in her twenties in a town not so full of available, attractive men.
Heather can admit to herself that when Juice's friend Jax swaggers into the store she definitely looks, and no, she doesn't stock his favorite brand of beer purposefully on the lowest shelf. When Chibs calls her "darling" with that accent, it makes her smile a little wider. Half-Sack's bashfulness is completely endearing to her and while she wouldn't mind adding a former soldier to her roster, one tattooed criminal is more than enough for her bed.
Plus, Heather's figured out over the years that none of the men wearing that same leather cut would ever touch her. They'll smile and flirt, but the policy is definitely "hands-off."
The first few mornings she woke up to a skull and scythe and Sons of Anarchy in big, Gothic lettering across broad shoulders sent a shiver up her spine. Her father worked long hours at the mill, and in her house the words first "Teller" and then "Morrow" were said like a curse. Heather doesn't invite Juice with her on the Sundays she goes to her parent's home for dinner.
His fingers have mapped out her body and he knows exactly the right amount of pressure and when to crook his fingers to make her toes curl. She's licked her way down his sculpted, muscled chest until he held her head in his hands and helped her find his rhythm.
Juice doesn't whisper anything in her ear and Heather doesn't open her eyes to look into his when she comes.
On the weekends he sometimes comes in early on in her shift at the bar for a beer. He sits on a stool, eats all the peanuts, and keeps her occupied for an hour or so during the time when there's usually just a few regulars scattered around.
Heather knows what nights at the Club are like. She went with him once on a Saturday. Too many hardened men and easy women made her skin feel like it was crawling. While she doesn't consider herself needy and clingy, as soon as he left her alone she knew it was time to go. She didn't say good-bye and he never brought it up. Juice hasn't asked her to go back.
She's bailed him out of jail twice. The first time was for a bar fight and he loudly protested his innocence in the matter the entire walk out of the police station. The second time was for charges Heather didn't understand and he was quiet the whole ride home.
The afternoon Half-Sack came into the store and immediately walked up to the register to tell her that Juice was in the hospital… going to be fine… and would be out in a couple days, didn't automatically register as significant to her when he turned and left without purchasing anything.
The next day she casually walked into his hospital room and everything was just fine until he looked at her and said, "Being a mechanic is a dangerous line of work," with a smile and a laugh that ended in a wince.
The jokes were silenced when the tears fell down her face and he held her as best his wounded side would allow. Carlos whispered nonsense in her ear and rubbed her back in soothing circles as she fell apart against his white hospital gown.
Heather had only meant to bring him a cheeseburger.
It's no coincidence that now sometimes she'll go a week without seeing him before she'll come home from work and he'll be lying on her couch flipping through channels. Somewhere on his body will be pink skin, healing back together or fading bruises.
For now it's easy and fun and Heather can admit only to herself how lonely she would be without him. If she ever finds a man willing to put a ring on her finger, she has no idea how the gangster biker will fit in.
She can't go on like this forever. She wants to walk down an aisle one day. Heather wants to wear white satin and pearls and have her Daddy escort her to a man he'll give his blessing to. She wants to take little girls to dance classes her parents couldn't afford and fill a nursery painted green with images of planes, trains, and automobiles… motorcycles don't fit in with her theme.
Juice can't be that man. She'll bail him out of jail, but she won't visit him in prison. Heather doesn't care about the others now, but she won't lie in bed alone with his baby in a nursery down the hall while he's at that Club full of women that don't care about gold bands on ring fingers.
There's a nursing program at a college half an hour away that Heather's been considering. If she manages to save up enough in the next year or two she thinks she'll give it a shot. The second time she goes to college is going to be for the same reason as the first. Heather wants out of Charming. Now she can't see herself in scrubs standing next to a man in a leather cut, with ink down his arms, all over his back, and across his scalp.
Until then she's happy and content to lie on her couch and sleep in her bed with him. She's always going to care, but it would end up hurting too much to love him… and if Heather's a little afraid that maybe she already does… well… all the more reason to start saving her money now.
AN: So, yeah, I created an OC. Believe me, no one was more surprised than me! Thank you so much for reading and please review! If she's obnoxious or it sounds completely absurd, don't be afraid to let me know.