I own nothing you recognize. All original storylines and characters are my own.
Warning: Contains massive spoilers for season 4. You have been warned.
Juice sat on his bike as he watched his wife through their kitchen window from his perch across the street. Fuck, she was beautiful. She was also smart, kind, understanding, but above all she was strong. Stronger than anyone he'd ever known and that's why he knew she'd survive without him. Hell, she'd probably thrive without him to bring her down.
He felt a tear slip from his eye as he thought about the strength she showed when Chibs had told her about Miles. She hadn't cried, hadn't fussed she'd just been there at his side. While Tara patched him up she'd whispered in his ear, run her hand over his 'hawk, held his hand. She'd even offered up her mouth for when he felt up to it. He allowed himself a small smile in his misery. She was the perfect old lady. She was supportive, sexy and loyal to her man and his club. She was also an amazing wife, willing to pick up and leave in order to keep his secret, keep him whole. He wasn't ever going to leave, he realized that almost immediately, but now he'd leave the door open for her. He hoped she'd take their daughter and go far away, far from the cartel shit that was poisoning everything. Far from Roosevelt who'd set all this shit in motion. He hoped she'd go start her life again, find another man to make as happy as she'd made him. She wouldn't be alone. She didn't deserve to be alone.
With a sigh he looked away. He couldn't keep thinking about her. She didn't deserve to be tied to him. He was a killer, a rat, he didn't deserve to breathe the same air as her, as his brothers. With those thoughts swirling in his head he put on his glasses and adjusted the strap on his helmet, but just as he was about to kick off he heard crying coming from the house and looked over. He didn't see Milla until a few seconds later when she carried a fussy Esperanza around the kitchen. Espy...she was the best parts of both of them combined into one beautiful and perfect little person. She was as beautiful as her Mama and smart as could be. Sometimes he couldn't believe that he'd had a hand in her creation, she was half him. He watched her for a few moments, feeling that old familiar pain. He'd missed the first year of her life. He'd missed her first words, her first steps. The first time she sat on a Harley, he'd missed it and now he'd end up missing it all, but with the pain there was a comfort. She was so young and she barely knew him that meant she'd be able to forget him, she'd have a new Daddy someday and he wouldn't even be a memory. He'd disappear from her life and it wouldn't even rattle her.
"I love you both." He said quietly before he kicked his bike to life and rode off. He had to get the tow truck and go to the warehouse, he had a plan he needed to see to.
At the sound of the bike taking off Milla looked up from her sleeping girl and walked to the window. She knew the sound of that bike almost as well as she knew the man riding it. By the time she got to the window all she saw was his taillight going around the corner and felt tears stinging the back of her eyes. She'd been crying a lot lately and Juice was the reason for those tears. Something was up with him, something big and he wouldn't talk to her, wouldn't share himself with her. Hell, he even refused to be alone with her lately and it made her feel so helpless. Hadn't she proven that he could count on her for everything? Hadn't she proven that he was worth more to her than anything else?
With a sigh she carried her baby girl to her room and laid her in her crib. Once she was settled Milla watched her sleep. She was such a beautiful little girl with her Daddy's skin tone, her Mama's eyes, that pronounced nose and the beginnings of that smile that had won her Daddy her Mama's heart. In Milla's eyes Espy was perfect and she knew that, despite the current shitstorm that had been unleashed, she would never feel anything but love and pride for her baby. Just like she knew she'd never stop loving Juice with everything she had.
As she moved to the living room she sat in her chair and stared at the picture that had taken up a prominent position on the wall. It was the newest picture and in it she was in Juice's arms while they held Espy. It was taken at Ope and Lyla's wedding and it was the most important picture on their walls. It was the first picture ever taken of them as a family and it was the last time they were truly happy. That night her life had started to unravel and she didn't even realize it. That night her husband had started to pull away from her and that chasm continued to widen.
She took a deep breath and slowly let it out as she rose from her seat. She had an early morning and needed to get some sleep. Maybe the gods would smile on her tonight and her husband would be in bed with her when she got up in the morning. She needed him in ways he could never understand and she knew he needed her too.
Juice carefully sewed his "Men of Mayhem" patch onto his cut. He made sure to do a good job on it. This was what he had worked for, what he had built his life for. He'd coveted this patch from the very beginning and now he was going to treat it with the respect it deserved. He felt tears in his eyes as he continued to sew, the patch was mocking him with its perfection. He hadn't earned it; the man who did was six feet under in an unmarked grave. Miles...his brother... He wiped his eyes and continued sewing, ignoring his phone as it rang. He wouldn't talk to anyone, he was done with that. He was done with everything.
Once the patch was sewn on he placed the needle and thread on the ground and shut off his flashlight before he put on his cut for the last time and walked to the truck. With a quick breath he opened the side compartment and took out the heavy chain. Once he'd hoisted it to his shoulder he closed the compartment and walked to the tree. After he'd secured the end to a root he climbed until he reached a suitable branch and sat staring at the moonlight as he thought about what he was going to do.
He really had no choice. He was a rat and a murderer, he'd done things that made him deserve a death so much worse than this, but he wasn't doing this to save himself the torment. No, if he was dead Roosevelt couldn't go after the club anymore. He wouldn't be the weak link that would take the club down. Everyone he loved would be safe. A sudden thought forced the breath from his lungs. Milla...she'd be a widow, she'd be devastated but then Juice remembered how strong his wife was. She'd make it through this. Even if they posthumously stripped him of his patch she'd survive. With that thought he looked to the sky and with a silent apology for all the wrong he'd done he hooked the chain around his neck and jumped.
For a fleeting second he felt like he was flying, like his sins were being absolved. then the chain snapped taut and he felt a searing pain in his neck as it tightened. In the space of a heartbeat he knew he'd done wrong. He knew he was a coward, this death wasn't noble. He needed one more chance, a chance to absolve himself. As he was starting to lose consciousness and the panic was overtaking him he thought he heard the sound of a branch breaking...
Author's note: This has been plaguing me for a while and I wanted to write it out but wasn't confident enough until now. It will be explored in the greater context of the season in my fic "Dissension" but for now I decided to share it with you all. I hope you all like it. Thank you in advance for reading and reviewing.