I own nothing you recognize. All original characters and storylines are my own. "Ready, Set, Don't Go" belongs to Billy Ray Cyrus.
Ready, Set, Don't Go
She's gotta do what she's gotta do
And I've gotta like it or not
She's got dreams too big for this town
And she needs to give 'em a shot
Whatever they are
"She's almost got the car packed. You gonna come help force the rest of her clothes into the trunk?" Gemma asked as she stood in the doorway of his workshop. Today was the day and Gemma was running around like a chicken with her head cut off, it was better than having to deal with the fact that her last baby bird was leaving the nest.
"What about the van?" He asked as he held the piece of wood in his hands and used the fine grade paper to buff out the rough spots.
"She didn't have that much so Ope and Jax helped her force as much of her stuff into her car as she could. I'll take the rest in the Caddy." Gemma's voice hitched and Clay ignored it. She didn't need him pointing out her hurt.
"Who do you want me to spare for the trip?" He asked as he finished sanding one corner and began work on another.
"You're goin, aren't ya?" She asked as she saw his shoulders slumped, he was taking this harder than she was. The party last night had been the beginning of a downward spiral, but no matter how much he didn't want their little girl to go he'd be there for her in the end.
"Of course I'm goin. I have to oversee the prospects we borrowed from Thief River. I just wanna know who I have to force to stay behind." Gemma smiled, she knew she could count on her man to do right by his daughter.
"Jax is goin no matter what, he has to make sure the campus is safe enough. I know she wants Opie there and maybe Tig should go to scare any would-be romeos away. Bobby and Chibs already said they're going to drop in for a surprise visit during the week and Koz already left, he's scoping out the place before we get there.. That work for ya?" She walked up to her husband and draped her arms over his shoulders.
"Yeah it works. Go have the prospects finish the loading. I've got shit to do." Gemma just nodded and left Clay to his work. Once she was gone he set down what he was working on and took a puff of his stogy. He needed to get his shit together.
With a shake of his head he picked up the wood again and finished sanding. He had a deadline on this and it was coming to a close.
I'm at the startin' line of the rest of my life
As ready as I've ever been
Got the hunger and the stars in my eyes
The prize is mine to win
"You sure about this?" Jax asked as Milla moved some stuff around so that she could see out the back window.
"Yes, Jaxass, I'm sure. This opportunity is once in a lifetime for someone from our background. I need to jump on it now." She got out of the back and slammed the door. "I'm still gonna miss you though."
She smiled at her big brother while he took her hand and pulled her into a hug. She hugged him back and fought the tears that were trying to burn through her eyes. She was about to leave her family, her home and she wasn't sure if she could do it. Even after her peptalk from Ope the night before she still wasn't sure. With a final squeeze Jax let go and smiled at his sister.
"I'm gonna miss you too, a cure for that would be you stayin'. Piney's sister works in the Admissions office at Delta. You could take a break then go there. You wouldn't even have to leave home." He smiled that smile that he used on their mother and Milla just frowned. She was scared a moment ago, now she was determined. She'd do it, she'd take this chance.
"Oh Jax..." She hugged him again and he understood, she was going to go. A part of him knew she had to do this, had to see life outside of Charming but he didn't like it. He wanted her close, for her safety and just because he'd miss her and he didn't want to miss her.
"Hey, enough of this sappy shit." She pulled away and he smiled again before he reached into his pocket and took out his wallet. Before Milla could question him he peeled a couple of hundreds off the stack in his wallet and pressed them into her palm.
"Jackson..." She made a move to hand them back and he shook his head.
"Naw, you might need it. Besides I don't know what kind of shit they'll be feedin ya and if it's anything like the slop we got in school I wanna be sure you're eatin' right." She nodded and went into the car to stuff the money in her purse.
"Thank you." She said softly as she felt tears escape and Jax just nodded before he turned and walked toward the house, he wanted to give her a chance to cry in private.
With a deep breath Milla double checked the contents of her car and discovered that she had everything, now she could go. The only thing she was missing was a talk with her Dad and she was saving that for last.
Looks things are fallen into place
Feels like they're fallen apart
I've painted this big old smile on my face to hide my broken heart
If only she knew
This is where you don't say what you want so bad to say
This is where I want to but I won't get in the way of her and her dreams
And spreading her wings
Clay finished his project and placed it reverently into his saddle bag before he cleaned his workspace. He looked one last time and saw that there was no way to postpone it. He'd have to get ready to turn his little girl over to that big, bad world. It felt too soon, eighteen years had went by in the blink of an eye. He angrily hit his bench. He shouldn't be feeling like this. He was the President of a fucking MC, he wasn't some pussy from a sitcom. His kid was just going to college, she wasn't shaving her head and joining a cult. After he rubbed his hand and finished berating himself he slung his saddlebag over his shoulder and walked out of the workshop. He couldn't put it off forever.
"No Ope, you and Donna need that." He was almost caught off guard when he rounded the corner and saw Opie trying to press some bills into his daughter's hand while she protested before she hugged the bigger man. The image made him smile.
"Hey! We almost ready here?" He called out and Milla moved away from Opie and Clay's heartbroke when he saw the look of fear on his kid's face, but he put a smile on his face. Things had just gotten real for her and he didn't want her more scared than she was.
"Yeah Clay, she's packed and Tig called. He'll join the formation once we hit T-M." Clay turned his smile to Ope, the boy always knew what to do to help Milla along,. She didn't look like she could talk.
"Good, go get Gemma. We'll be heading out in five." Opie nodded before he leaned down to kiss Milla's forehead and stuff the offending bills into her pocket. Before she could hand them back his long strides had already taken him to the porch and she turned to her father and gave him a helpless look.
"Daddy.." She started but he said nothing, he just walked up and kissed her forehead in a manner similar to Opie.
"We can talk when we get to the school. Get in the car and wait." She nodded and he saw her hands shaking. Without any further thought on his part he took her in his arms and held her until she stopped shaking then he released her and turned her back toward the car and this time she took confident strides before she got in and did all the checks.
"Ready?" Gemma asked as she walked up to Clay but her eyes were on her daughter and she had to resist every impulse to go and slash those tires.
"Get in the Caddy, we'll pull out once I get this strapped." He patted the saddlebag and Gemma just nodded. She'd find out what was in it once they got to the school.
She's waiting on my blessings before she hits that open road
Well, baby, get ready, (woah) get set, please don't go
"You would not believe the chicks here man. We've got young hotties, MILFs and everything in between...shit...we should bankroll a college, get some fresh pussy." Koz's eyes turned from Jax as yet another Maxim-worthy girl strutted into his line of vision.
"I know man, shit I'm gonna have to come visit on the weekends." Jax smiled his panty-dropper as the girl passed and she gave him a look that clearly said he wouldn't have to work that hard to get in her pants.
"I just have one request for you two. If you come here scouting pussy, just make sure you don't bang a girl in my dorm. They'd end up making my life miserable...Missy Chambers..." Jax flinched as she brought up the girl he fucked who'd been in every one of Milla's classes her senior year and did indeed make Milla's life hell.
"You got it kiddo." Koz smiled and wrapped his arms around Milla before he yelled at a prospect who was practically dragging Milla box of books on the ground. "Hey! Watch it! Any harm comes to those books and you can kiss that patch goodbye."
The prospect looked fearful before he hoisted the books and practically ran into the dorm. Milla held Koz tight and breathed in the scent of leather and dust. Her eyes teared up and Koz felt her shoulders shake so he held her and let her cry. He understood how she felt and he didn't want her bottling up this shit. The sooner she got it out of her system, the sooner she could enjoy her freedom.
"Hey Milla! Gemma wants to know if you want the purple or the red bedding!" One of the prospects called from her window which was on the second floor and afforded a nice view of the parking lot where they were standing.
"Red!" She shouted as she wiped her tears. She was done crying, now she had to be strong and start this new chapter of her life.
"Well, that's it." Milla said as she ran her hand over her bed and looked at her set up. Her roommate was going to be a late arrival so she'd have the room to herself for a week and she liked that thought. It would give her time to adjust.
"Alright baby. Sit here for a few minutes and take it in, then come downstairs. We're goin out to eat before we head home." Milla nodded as her mom kissed her cheek then sat down on her bed and let out the breath she'd been holding. She sat there for a few minutes and was about to go down when the door opened and Clay walked in.
"Hey Angel." He said quietly and Milla walked up to him and hugged him.
"If you forbid me I'll go home. I won't even fight." She said quietly and Clay chuckled before he kissed the top of her head.
"I'd like nothing more than to bring you home but you'd be hating me in a week. Besides I want you to show all these rich little bitches what brains and a bit of moxie can do. I have faith in you babygirl." Milla smiled and Clay squeezed her one last time before he released her and held her at arm's length. "I have somethin for ya."
He let go of Milla and took his saddle bag from his shoulder and hung it on the back of her desk chair. Once it was secure he unbuckled the flap and opened it up drawing out a larger, thin piece of wood. When he presented it to her Milla felt her breath exhale in a gentle woosh. It was a small, wooden replica of the sign that hung in the chapel. She ran her fingertips over the "SAMCRO" that had been lovingly carved and varnished until it shone. She didn't even realize she was crying until a teardrop landed on the "M".
"I didn't want you to forget where you come from." Milla didn't say anything she simply set the sign on her bed before she went to her compact toolcase that she had stuffed under her bed and took out a hammer and a couple of nails. Once she had those she climbed onto her bed and hammered in the first nail, then she knelt and picked up the sign and lined up where the second nail would go. Once she had the nails in, she hung the sign, then hopped off the bed and walked to her dad. He put an arm around her shoulders and leaned down to kiss her head.
They stood there staring at the sign for a few minutes before Clay's cell beeped, informing them that it was time to go. With a squeeze to Milla's shoulders he got her attention and guided her out of the room. Soon her family would be going back and she'd be staying behind but now she knew she could do it. She was a Morrow, they were made of stronger stuff.
Author's Note: I had my iPod on Random today and when I heard this song I thought about Clay and his little girl and the story wouldn't leave my head so I wrote it down. I also am kind of hating Clay right now so I wanted to go back to when he wasn't a complete bastard. I also wanted something light and fun to combat all the depressing stuff I've been writing lately. I hope you guys like it and, as always, thanks for reading and reviewing.