Baby, It's You
Author's Note: Firstly, you have my deepest, deepest apologies for how long it took me to get this up. And also for this to be the last chapter. Firstly, there was a lot going on in my life lately, literary wise, school wise and family wise, so my muse kind of abandoned me for a long time, and when it finally came back, I basically made a whole bunch of changes. The cut-and-dry version is that I decided not to write a sequel. I had a few ideas, and it was called "Baby, I'm Yours" but it just wasn't going to work out. A one-shot is likely, but I can't make any promises. So yeah, I realize it's not super conclusive, but I liked the ending, and I really wanted to end it on 13, like the first three season of the show. And as for what happens to Chibs and Claire later, just use your imaginations. :) Once again, I'm sorry for those who were probably getting frustrated with the time it's taken me, and I hope you'll forgive me and read it anyway. So, until I come up with something new, ciao my friends. :) Oh, and as usual, thanks to Lizzy for the pre-read!
Chapter 13: Reconvene
Less than sixty miles down the road, Chibs decided a stop at a gas station and a Seven-Eleven would be a prudent idea. Partially because he hadn't been thinking all that far ahead when he had left Charming and his fuel needle was getting dangerously near empty, partially because both his and Claire's stomachs had been growling since they had passed through Salem, and partially because he knew Claire's rear was probably protesting such an abnormally long trip. Being on a motorcycle for long periods of time took some getting used to, and soreness was common; though she didn't show it if she was as she slid off the bike at his side.
In the entire hour they had been glued together for the ride they hadn't spoken, and the awkwardness was still present, Claire sitting on the curb with a cup of coffee in one hand, and a sandwich in the other, watching her toes or the occasional customer entering the convenience store. Basically, she was looking at anything that wasn't him.
"Ya okay?" Chibs finally ventured, realizing a moment later it was more or less a pointless question. How could anyone be okay in this situation?
Claire shrugged, taking a sip of her coffee. "Fine, I guess. My life just got turned totally upside down. Again. No big deal."
"I'm sorry about this sweetheart. I really am."
"I'm not blaming you," Claire said, softly shaking her head. "I'm just amazed at the fact that the dust never settles, you know? It seems like anytime I find some kind of peace with my existence, something has to come along and kick the legs out from under me." She stuck the last of the sandwich in her mouth, chewing and swallowing while shrugging again. "I believe in karma and everything, but now I just really want to know what I did to piss the universe off so bad." Her voice faltered, but she refused to let it go further than that, trying to hide the tiny tremor in another sip of coffee.
It made the old, overly-protective urge rise in Chibs' chest. The one that made him want to kill anything and anyone that caused Claire any pain. Of course, at this point, that would mean he would have to shoot himself, and probably more than once.
"Sweetheart, ya know, I didn't tell ya about Fiona, or the truth about SAMCRO cuz I knew that if ya knew about her and what I really did, yu'd leave. I always figured I would tell ya the truth when I thought ya were ready to hear it. But then I couldn't, cuz I knew what ya would think." Chibs sat next to her on the curb, balancing his own coffee and wishing for all the world he had more tact. But, the fact of the matter was, he wasn't a poet. He wasn't even close. Claire watched him with one eyebrow raised, as though she had never expected him to tell her any of this. "Basically, I lied to ya because I didn't want to lose ya," He finally concluded, glancing over at her and meeting her amber eyes with an awkward, apologetic smile. "I didn't wanna hurt ya. Course, that pretty well fucking backfired, didn't it?"
Claire looked away again, and he wondered if she was just going to ignore him. At this point, he really wouldn't put it past her. Sure, he could understand her being bitter, but he knew Claire better than to think she hated him. At least, she didn't hate him enough to pretend like he wasn't trying to make things right.
"I think," She began, after a few seconds of silence, contemplating her coffee rather than him, "-that the saying goes: 'the road to hell is paved with good intentions' or something like that." She met his gaze a second time. "People lie all the time Chibs. You wouldn't be the first, and I seriously doubt you'll be the last. At least you had the good intentions I guess." She finished off the coffee, but still fiddled with the empty cup, her nervous hands making themselves busy. "So, what happens now?"
Chibs wanted very badly to reach over and still her hands, but knew other than hanging onto him on the road, touching was pretty well off-limits. That said, he also chose not to notice her obvious and sudden subject change. "For now, I get ya back to Charming. We'll work out the rest when we get that far." She snorted.
"You say that like you think we're not going to make it or something." She looked over at him with a thin attempt at a sardonic smile, which did little to hide the look of apprehension in her eyes. "What did the Sons do that made this Jimmy guy so upset and apparently dangerous?"
"Jimmy's always been dangerous. He's a fuckin' snake in the worst sense of the word."
"But what did the Club do that's making him take a risk like this? I mean, unless he parades around threatening innocent civilians regularly."
Chibs shrugged. "He probably doesn't know whether yer just a bystander or not sweetheart. I think the only way he even knew ya were involved at all was cuz he made Fiona tell him."
"Well great. That's just...fantastic." Claire stood suddenly, chucking the cardboard cup towards the trash, though it missed by a good three feet, she started off as though she were going to walk away, but stopped and turned on her heel to face him again. "What the hell am I supposed to do?" She asked, her voice breaking, though Chibs wasn't sure whether the question was directed at him, or the universe in general. Claire raked her fingers through her hair, ending with it standing up in odd places. "What the hell am I supposed to do about any of this? I mean...just...why me?"
"Because he knew I'd drop everything to see ya were safe Claire."
She opened her mouth again as though to speak, but instead chose to turn around, her shoulders shivering slightly, as though she were cold, or perhaps trying to repress tears. Chibs stood, thinking perhaps to comfort her somehow, if she would let him, but before he could take more than a step towards her, Claire turned to face him again, her face once again perfectly composed.
"Let's keep going, before it gets too dark. I hate riding at night."
Crossing the state line, and the remainder of the distance to Charming was equally as painful and silent as the first part of the trip. Claire just held onto Chibs silently, unsure of what she wanted to say. She had long ago lost the ability to communicate properly with him. That, and she was afraid that if she tried to have a conversation about anything, she would fall apart somehow. She wasn't going to break down, not now of all times; there was enough going on as it was without adding hysteria to the mix. Though Chibs didn't seem happy about it, he at least opted to respect it, and didn't try to force conversation on her. Or anything else. She had never imagined how painful this would be; seeing him again. She had wanted so desperately to just go flying into his arms like nothing had ever happened, but then the first thing out of his mouth was that her life was in danger, and she remembered that it was never, ever going to be as simple as it had been in the beginning, when she had been blissfully ignorant of what the Club was really like under it's public face.
Still, Teller-Marrow was a comforting sight, the lights and the row of motorcycles in the drive reminding her how much of a home Charming really had become; though she did have to wonder why he had brought her here, rather than her house.
"I don't even get to stay in my own home?" She questioned, while Chibs sidled the bike into the row with the others. She slid off the back, trying her damnedest not to let her jelly-legs be too obvious. The soreness in her legs and hips had been absolute murder the last thirty miles or so though, she was surprised she hadn't just fallen off somewhere.
"I think it's safer if ya stay here fer a coupla days at least. We can watch ya better."
"Yeah, because I so totally plan to go wandering off by myself when an angry Irishman is out to get me," Claire said, a little more sarcastically then she had meant it to sound. At the very least, she had been hoping to sleep in her own bed, in her nice quiet house, but now it seemed she was delegated to staying in a Clubhouse for bikers. Brilliant. She didn't perceive herself getting a lot of sleep the next few days. He ignored her barb, which was probably for the best, and headed toward the doors. Claire followed, almost surprised when she didn't see as many people lingering around as usual. There was a blonde by the bar counter she didn't recognize, and as she passed, she caught that his patch noted him as 'Tacoma'. "You guys have got a Club in Washington too?"
"Yeah. And Oregon."
Surprised, Claire stopped for a moment, before jogging a step to catch back up to Chibs. "Then why didn't you just have the Oregon guys watch me?"
"I was the one that got ya into this, I'll be the one to get ya out." Chibs answered simply, pulling keys out of his pocket and unlocking a familiar door, opening it to his room and gesturing Claire inside. "'Sides, I wanted an excuse to see ya again."
It shouldn't have warmed her heart to know that, but it did. She stepped into the dorm room, feeling suddenly nervous, and sat awkwardly on the foot of the bed. "Where are you going to sleep?" She asked, the thought abruptly occurring to her.
His lips quirked up in a small smile. "Don't worry 'bout that sweetheart. I'm not gonna make this weird. I'm sure there's a couch somewhere I can sleep on."
"Sorry. You don't have to go through all this trouble you know; I could sleep on the couch instead."
Chibs waved his hand dismissively, leaning on the door frame. "It's fine. Ya sleep here." His voice had a note of finality to it that made Claire decide it was better not to argue, because she knew she wouldn't win.
She slipped the bag off her shoulder, and sat silently for a moment or two, her hands twisting in her lap. "So...now what?"
"Now ya just worry about keeping yer tail outta the fire. We'll take care o' Jimmy, and then ya can go back to yer life."
"But I...I don't know where my life is anymore..." Claire whispered, more to herself than him. She could sense he wanted to say something, but instead straightened off the door frame, and held the keys to the room out to her.
"Ya know where all my shit is. Make yerself at home." And with that, he turned into the hallway, and walked away, shutting the door behind him.
Claire flopped back onto the mattress staring at the ceiling, trying to ignore she was thinking of all the times she had made love in this very bed, and all the times she had looked at the very spot on the ceiling she was now, screaming something incoherent. She cheeks heated slightly, and she forced the thoughts away, rolling to her side and staring toward the bathroom door instead. Things weren't like that anymore. Still, there was no denying her feelings hadn't changed; not even in the slightest.
Instead, she tried to think of what she would do when this was over. Going back to Portland wasn't really her idea of a viable option, but Charming was...what? Charming was home, it was as simple as that. Was she really going to leave just because things had gone sour between her and Chibs? That would be childish, even she knew that. Even if she had the money now to pack up and leave, and probably live just about anywhere she wanted, she didn't really want to. She didn't want to have to find a new home, make new friends, and try to carve out a new place somewhere else. And she knew putting miles and miles between her and what had happened wouldn't make it any less significant. She was going to have to give it more thought, and for the time being, she found her mind distracted by the fact she might not even live long enough to make that decision. She was no doubt safer here, surrounded by gun-toting bikers, but still, even that wasn't a guarantee.
It wasn't bad enough Chibs had a wife he'd neglected to tell her about, now he had an old enemy who wanted to use her like a poker chip. Love and tragedy seemed to go hand in hand, even in modern times. Shakespeare would have a field day with her.
It had been about three hours since he had brought Claire back, and about one since most everyone else had either wandered home or to bed. And still, he sat at the bar and wondered whether he was ever going to get passed the barrier Claire had built between them. He wasn't going to ask for another shot in the romance department, not right away anyway, but he wasn't exactly fond of being constantly pushed away by the woman who practically owned his soul either. That shit got painful real fucking fast.
He heard the quiet little barefoot shuffling behind him, and knew who it was even before she sat on the stool next to him.
"Want to share that?" She questioned, nodding toward the scotch at his elbow.
"Help yerself lovely." He nudged the bottle her way, and Claire reached over the bar to dig up a glass, pouring herself a small, lady-like amount. But rather than drinking it, she merely held the glass between her hands and stared at it.
"What happened in Belfast? Is that where this started?"
"It started a long time ago. When me and Fiona first got married. I donno why, but it pissed Jimmy off, guess he musta thought I was taking something he thought was his. Shit started to go bad between us. 'Fore long, he had Fiona convinced he'd kill her, and Kerrianne, if she didn't do what he wanted. I got ex-communicated fer my trouble. Didn't exactly have time to write up papers for a divorce."
"Kerriane is your daughter?"
"Yeah. She's real sweet, gettin' to that age though." Chibs smiled fondly, forgetting for a moment that the two parts of his life were starting to clash again. Claire didn't seem to mind, swirling the scotch in her glass around.
"Did Jimmy keep them like that all this time?"
"Yeah. He did. But the shit he's pulled the last few years...the IRA knew they hadda get him gone, or risk losing the whole movement. He's here, in the states, somewhere. We made a deal we'd kill him, so the IRA would give us back Abel, and let us keep our guns."
"Abel?" Claire's voice was a gasp. "Like...like baby Abel? Why in the hell did the IRA kidnap Jax's baby?"
"It's a long story sweetheart." Chibs shook his head. Claire met this with a slightly annoyed expression.
"Does it look like I'm going anywhere Chibs?" She gestured around the Clubhouse. "We've got time, explain it to me. I want to know what's going on, all of it. So start talking to me."
Even if he had wanted to lie to her still, or at least, keep it to the bare minimum, Chibs knew it was a bad idea. In the next few days, it might not mean anything anyway. By the end of the week, either he or Jimmy would be lying dead in the streets somewhere, and if it was going to be him, he would want to at least leave Claire able to understand the choices he had made, and the choices he was going to make. After Jax's plan ran its course, he would have no reason to keep her here, and, near as Chibs could tell, she planned to get the hell back out of Charming just as soon as her life was no longer in any immediate danger. If this did end up backfiring and he wound up in prison, or, God forbid, dead, he wondered if she would even let it bother her. She had once said she would visit him in prison, but he would sincerely doubt that was the case still.
All the same, or so he reasoned, after all the shit he had dragged her through, she deserved the truth at this point.
So he told her. And Claire listened patiently and stoically.
She honestly hadn't thought how much worse knowing the truth could make things. Two months ago, if Chibs had dropped her off at Gemma and Clay's house out of the blue, and told her to stay there until either she or Gemma heard otherwise, she wouldn't have known what to think. Now, she knew it was because he thought she would be safer here, under Gemma's watchful eye as the Club went about murdering Jimmy. She wished the idea disturbed her more than it did. But, considering all the things Chibs had finally told her about Jimmy, and the fact that he would probably kill her, Gemma, Tara, Abel, the baby Teller Tara was currently working on, and probably Chibs' family, she found it difficult to have any form of remorse for him.
This life had never been what she wanted; it had never been something she had pictured for herself. But somehow, she kept falling into it, kept getting wrapped up in it. Was it fate? Karma? The will of God or the Universe or some other omnipotent higher power? Why didn't she get a say in it?
The shrill whistle of the tea kettle pulled Claire from her reverie, and she picked it up off the burner, pouring the water into two mugs for herself and Gemma, the other woman in the living room giving Abel his bottle. She carried the tea over, setting one near Gemma and taking the other with her to the couch, sitting gingerly for fear of spilling the steaming liquid all over Gemma's spotless carpet or couch. For a long while, there was silence other than Gemma's gentle patting on Abel's back to burp him.
"I'm sorry it had to be this way."
Claire glanced up. "What do you mean?"
"You coming back. I'm sorry it had to be like this. I would have preferred you did it of your own will."
"Maybe I never wanted to come back."
Gemma gave her a look that said she sounded as transparent as she felt. "What did I tell you baby? I'm the den mother, I know these things. You missed it here. You missed him."
Claire bit her lip. Denying it would be pointless, they both knew it would be a lie.
"You can't stay mad at Chibs forever."
"I know..." She said quietly, staring at the darkening tea in her mug. "But I can be hurt for a really, really long time."
"You're stronger than that Claire."
"No I'm not!" Her voice was louder than she intended, and quickly recoiled for fear of waking Abel up, but he seemed to be dozing soundly in his Grandma's arms. Still, she kept her voice low as she continued. "I'm just not. I can't make this work Gemma. I can't live this way. I'm not like you and Tara, I'm scared to death of what could happen. Not just to me, but to people...people I love."
"Not that long ago you wanted to be Chibs' Old Lady," Gemma reminded, standing and carrying Abel to the little playpen/bed set up in the corner of the room, laying him down and covering him up. "And just what makes you think I'm not scared shitless about what those boys are getting into right now? Jax could be..." Gemma trailed off, but she needn't fill Claire in. She's gotten the jist of what was happening in the Club yesterday. The exact same tensions from before were boiling just under the surface, old versus new, law versus anarchy. Only this time, it sounded like Jax was caught in more than just a bad set of daddy issues. It seemed, between the IRA, the Russians, and ATF, too many people had their fingers in the SAMCRO pie. Nobody knew how it was going to play out in the end, but Claire had a feeling no one was going to be happy about it.
"But I can't handle it the way you do. It doesn't matter anyway. When this is over, I'm going back home."
"And you look so thrilled about it too."
"I don't belong here Gemma."
"Here more than with people who don't even know you. When was the last time you even spoke face to face to your own mother?"
Silence fell again, more because Claire had no more arguments than anything. She knew she was kidding herself. The idea of going back to Portland made her nauseous; she would much rather stay here, go back to Redwood Estates at the end of the day, curl up in her own bed and...and what? Wake up wishing Chibs was there? As if geography made any difference on that front.
"You want to know what the hardest part was about being gone all this time?"
"What?" Gemma looked at her curiously.
"Even when I was so angry, when I thought I hated Chibs with all my heart, I never stopped loving him. Not even a little bit. I didn't know what to do. I still don't. I just want things to go back to the way they were, but they can't. They can't ever be the same." Her vision blurred, and it took her a moment to realize it was because she was crying. She had tried to lock all this inside, tried to deal with it, even though she hadn't the faintest idea how, but now she was falling apart at the seams like an old rag-doll.
"Oh, baby..." Gemma said quietly, her hands appeared in Claire's vision, taking the mug of nearly-forgotten tea, before wrapping Claire in a tender, motherly hug. "Honey, he tried so hard to make things work with you, he loved you, and we both know he still does. All you would have to do is ask him, and he'll try to make it work again, you know that don't you?"
"There's no way it will be that easy."
"Says who? You haven't even tried yet."
"It's never that simple," Claire said stubbornly, wiping a hand under her eyes. She hadn't put any make-up on since she had left Portland, but her hand still came back smeared just the tiniest bit with mascara. "Because now I know...everything. I could never be comfortable pretending like don't feel guilty about what happened, or that I don't know Fiona is his wife."
"That's in the past sweetie. He loves her, sure, but not the way he loves you. They were apart for a long time, things are different between them. I'm not saying that makes the fact that he didn't tell you the truth any better, but you shouldn't quit over something that's in the past. I mean, don't you have any old boyfriends you still feel something for?"
Claire could only shrug. There were very few people she had ever considered herself really close to, and most of those people she no longer spoke to. The sad fact was Chibs was probably the only person who had ever really gotten that close to her, the real her, and he was the only 'old boyfriend' that she felt much of anything for. An overwhelming amount of anything, but still.
"I don't know Gemma. I'm just so goddamned confused about everything. I can't even figure out what I want, let alone what I should I do."
Gemma gave Claire's head a pat, though it felt more like a bonk than something soothing. "If you don't know that, you're not listening to yourself sweetheart. People change, we fall in and out of love all the time, but sometimes it's just more than that. You're home though, that's all you need to worry about for now."
Home. The familiar, somehow comforting sounds of motorcycles in the driveway later reminded Claire just how much more 'home' this place was than Portland. Somewhere along the line, she had really grown to like the sound, perhaps because, at one point, it had been her clue that Chibs was coming back. Perhaps she had just learned to associate the sound with what had been her happiness not that long ago. Did she really belong here? She sure as hell couldn't seem to stay away.
The new prospects, who had apparently been recruited after poor Half-sack had been killed, entered the foyer, bearing what seemed to be letters for Gemma. They gave her a passing nod of respect, something she wasn't quite sure how to respond to, and the lighter-built of the two informed her that Chibs asked him to take her home. Even though Claire wanted to stay and talk with Gemma a little longer, the expression on her face as she began to read the letter told her it wasn't a good idea, so she agreed to the ride, wishing -not for the first time- that she had just brought her car down anyway. Not that she didn't like riding around on Harleys, but sometimes she missed being able to drive herself. Funny. She wondered when she had started actually enjoying motorcycle rides instead of being scared about them. Again, she suspected Chibs has something to do with it.
"Can I ask what happened?" Claire questioned, following her designated chauffeur out into the driveway. If it was alright for her to finally go home, and no longer be under Gemma's observation, she assumed that meant it had all gone according to plan. Whatever the plan had been. But she wanted details. She wanted to know that the men that had essentially become an oversized pack of brothers-better-than-her-own were okay.
"Jimmy's dead, so you should be safe now."
"Mostly...mostly in jail," He confessed.
"He should be getting back into town later tonight."
"I see. Uhm...can...will you ask him to come out and see me?" He gave Claire a look which she was unsure how to interpret, before nodding.
"Yeah, I can do that."
The prospect dropped her off back at Redwood Estates, and she was honestly a little surprised at how relieved she was to see it. For the comparably short time she had lived there, it had become home. She dug the keys from the bottom of her bag and stepped inside, instantly picking up on the general untidiness of her front hall. Chibs' work shirt was hanging on one of the hooks by the door, a couple pairs of his shoes tossed carelessly on the floor. Things that she didn't remember being there the night she had left. Claire stepped to the kitchen, pulling the fridge door open, and rather than the rotted food she had half-expected to find, everything seemed relatively fresh. Mostly take-out and beer. Chibs had been living here while she was gone.
She didn't know why, but it made her want to laugh and cry at the same time.
On a whim, Claire continued down the hall to her bedroom, finding it almost exactly as she had left it, minus, once again, the evidence of Chibs scattered around the room. She flopped face-first into the pillow that Chibs had always used when he slept over, finding the fact that the bed still carried the scent of both of them oddly comforting. Oddly meaningful. Maybe she was never going to get away from Charming, maybe she was never going to get away from Chibs, and maybe, just maybe, it was time to accept that this had become her life. She had claimed it was, she had fought her family tooth and nail to prove that it was. When she thought of it that way it really just seemed childish of her to try and run away when things started to get tough.
She had never stopped loving him, and she realized how much he had done to protect her along with his family. For the first time in as long as she could remember, she realized how much she wanted to fight for something, how hard she was willing to try to stay here, and stay with Chibs.
It seemed oddly like deja vu to see Claire's shadow projected on the house wall by the porch light. It seemed like nothing had changed, even though everything had. Chibs realized he was dragging his feet as he approached the steps. What could she want to say now? Was she only going to tell him goodbye again? Tell him to get his shit out of her house? What he would give to know so he could prepare himself...
But no matter what he had been preparing for he doubted he would have been ready for her to get off the swing, stroll up to him, and wrap her arms around his neck, clinging for what could have been dear life. It took him a second to realize it was more because she had been scared for him than because she had suddenly decided she liked him again.
"Are you okay?"
"More or less." He shrugged, and Claire dropped away as quickly as she had grabbed him.
"Sorry. I guess I was kind of...worried about you." Her hands were fiddling together nervously. "I'm sorry to drag you out here like this. But I wanted to...you know, talk a little."
"Well, that's a surprise. Ya always coulda answered the phone," Chibs said, walking a few steps toward the porch swing and settling down. He was bloody tired. The last few days, the last few weeks had really worn him out. To his utter surprise, she joined him, close enough that he was sorely tempted to touch her; he could smell a small waft of her old perfume drifting over him. Dear lord he had missed her. It seemed even more prevalent now that she was here again.
"I know," She answered quietly, her hands twisting together again, pressing them into her lap. "I'm sorry about...about a lot. But I didn't know how else to react. I didn't know how else to handle it."
"Suppose I can understand that." Chibs nodded, turning to glance at her. She was staring very intently down at her hands. "Look sweetheart, it's like I always tell ya: I can't read yer mind. Ya gotta tell me what you want me to do here."
"I don't...I don't know honestly. What I want...I guess I want things to go back to the way they were. But I know better than to it will be that easy." Claire's voice had a quiver to it, as though she might start crying at any moment.
"Yer probably right about that. A lot has changed. But, if ya wanna go, I won't stop you. Jimmy's dead, so yu'll be safe."
"Until something like this happens again."
Not having an answer for her, Chibs remained silent. She was probably right. Suddenly and unexpectedly, Claire leaned her head over, lying it softly, perhaps even hesitantly, on his shoulder. Though he didn't know what to read into it, Chibs slid his arm around her back, hooking it lightly at her waist. When you knew each other as well as they did, at least physically speaking, little shows of intimacy and trust were easy to slip back in to. Even now.
"Chibs, can I ask you something?"
"Did killing Jimmy change anything? I mean, with you and your family. Now that he's gone, you guys could be together again, right? So...will I be in the way if I stay?"
"Ya know...Fiona and I decided it might be best to finally go our separate ways. Fer real this time."
"Uhm...why?" She was hiding something behind the neutral tone of her voice, though he couldn't decide whether it might be hope or anger.
"We've already been apart a long-ass time sweetheart. Being together now would be weird, wouldn't feel right anymore. I'm still gonna see 'em, I still love Fiona and Kerrianne, but too much has changed. We're a family, sure, but it's just not like it used to be."
"So, what...? You're getting a divorce or something?"
"Sooner or later, probably. Once we get all that shit figured out."
"Oh." She pulled away from him as suddenly as she had leaned against him, walking to the edge of the porch. Chibs sighed. Okay, so he had known that probably wouldn't make her happy, but he had been hoping for something a little more positive, maybe even hopeful. He didn't want her to leave again. "And we're supposed to go back to playing house or something, now that you don't have to worry about me finding out your dirty little secrets anymore? That's kind of a moot point, considering you've already told me them all already."
"What do you want Chibs?" She asked suddenly. "You've spent all this time asking me what I want, but I have no clue what you want."
"Probably cuz I don't know." Chibs answered honestly with a shrug. "I love ya, and that's all I really know fer sure. Maybe I fucked it up and ya don't feel the same about me anymore, but I was hoping...I dunno. I'm willing to start at the beginning again, if yu'll let me. I'm willing to start all over if ya want. I can earn yer trust again."
"I want to stay in Charming." Was the only response Claire gave him for a moment. "I don't know...I don't know if I'm ready to start over yet. But I want to. I really, really want to."
"I can wait for ya. Like I said, I'll do everything over if ya want me to. I just want a shot at winnin' ya back."
"Call me crazy, I think you just did a little bit." Her smile was small, but there was something promising, something sincere in it. It almost made him want to dance through the streets of Charming.
The Club was in jail, the Russians were pissed, and who knew how long it would be before the ATF was back on their collective asses, but, at least for the time being, Chibs had his Old Lady back, and that was something worth being happy for.