Disclaimer: We don't own Sons of Anarchy or anything related to it. Any characters you don't recognize are our own creations, and any resemblance to people living or dead is purely coincidental. The title of the story was borrowed from the novel "High Heels and Dirty Deals - Globetrotting Tales of Debauchery from a Binge-drinking Nymphomaniac" by Brett Tate. We do not own any music used in this story. All music is credited as it is used. We make no profit from this.
Authors' Note: Hey guys! So took our story down because apparently the summary was inappropriate. We are still very angry about that, but it has given us some motivation to continue with the revamp we've been slacking on. Therefore we're going to be re-posting the story as we revamp it. Longtime readers will recognize most of it, but there will be a few changes, so it's still worth the re-read.
For new readers, hi. This story is Happy/OC with Juice/OC friendship. There is a lot of time passing throughout the story (over 2 years), so please keep an eye on the dates. If you have any questions, leave them in a review and we'll get back to you. Thanks for reading and enjoy the story!
Rated M for language, violence, and sexual situations.
High Heels and Dirty Deals
Chapter 1: Collide
"I'm quiet you know.
You make a first impression.
I've found I'm scared to know,
I'm always on your mind."
- "Collide" by Howie Day
It all started one fine day in Queens, New York, when seven year old Ana Maria Navaro came home from school to find boxes outside of the apartment down the hall from her own. She soon learned that she had new neighbors, including eight year old Juan Carlos Ortiz. They met at the bus stop the next morning before school, and from that day forward, they would be inseparable.
The two made their way quietly through public school, avoiding local gang scrimmages as much as possible. They both had the same thing in mind: survive high school, go to college, and get a job that paid enough to move to a better part of the city. Juice, as he was dubbed in sixth grade, quickly realized that he had a knack for technology. While he didn't seem like the smartest tool in the shed, Juice knew anything and everything about computers. From a young age, he was hacking into government databases and medical files, earning disapproving lectures from his best friend. She never encouraged his illegal habits, but was glad that he had found something he was good at doing.
"I want to get out of here," she said to Juice one evening, as they sat on the roof of their apartment building eating from a carton of Chinese take-out. It had been a particularly gruesome day for the pair. A gun fight had broken out at school between two of the feuding gangs, and Juice had nearly been shot as they tried to get away from the bullets flying in every direction. It had been the third altercation of the year, and they still had four months until graduation. "I'm tired of all the shit in this city. I want to go somewhere nice and quiet and live happily ever after. No more gang wars and drug dealers."
Juice passed her the container of food and leaned back on his elbows, looking up at the clear sky. "So let's go." She looked at him skeptically, raising an eyebrow. "I'm serious. As soon as we're done with high school, we should pack our shit and haul ass out of this place. We'll just drive until we find somewhere we like."
She watched him, trying to see if he was going to start laughing and tell her that he was only joking, that they were stuck here for the rest of their pathetic lives. When he didn't say anything after a few seconds, she frowned at him. "You're for real?" He nodded confidently, but she shook her head incredulously, the logical side of her brain pushing itself to the forefront. "That's crazy, Juice. Where would we go?"
"Anywhere. Everywhere. It doesn't matter. We'll throw a dart at a map."
"We can't afford a map. That requires money, which we have very little of."
"So we'll pick up some extra work between now and then, save up. I've got a bit stashed away. We can do it."
"What about our families?"
"What about them?" Juice scoffed and threw his hands in the air. "Fuck them. It's their fault we're in this place to begin with. Like they'd even care that we left." Maria shook her head and laughed lightly, before standing up and grabbing their trash from the ground. "Where are you going? Maria, we can do it. We need to do it."
She ignored his pleas and walked to the door that led back into the building. "I'll see you in the morning, Juice."
For the next two months, Juice hassled her about leaving. He had managed to save over three grand, trying to show her that, if they left, they could make it work. She continued to shoot his idea down, her rational mind stating that it was entirely impossible for them to just up and leave with no destination in mind and no means of living once they got somewhere.
But it was a Tuesday in April that changed Maria's opinion on the subject. She walked into the apartment building after a long day at school, grabbing the mail from her family's box as she headed up the stairs to the second floor. She absentmindedly searched through the stack as she climbed, pausing outside her door when her fingers reached the envelope that she had been waiting to receive for months. She quickly dropped her stuff into the small kitchen, yelling to her mother that she was going out, and then ran up to the roof as fast as she could. She sat down and held the envelope in front of her face, examining the return address on the top left corner that stated the letter was from CorpTrust, a private company that offered scholarships to kids in need. In August, Juice had convinced her to apply to the American Academy of Art in New York. She told him it was useless for her to apply. The school only accepted a hundred students a year and there was no way she was going to get in. Even if she did, she couldn't afford the twenty thousand dollar tuition that the school required each year. Juice did some research and found a full tuition scholarship for art students, a find that made Maria ecstatic. She applied for both the Academy and the scholarship and could only hope that she would get both. She received a letter of acceptance from the school in March, congratulating her on her work so far and promising to help her achieve great successes in the future.
And now this letter in her quivering hands would determine whether or not she attended the Academy. She took a deep breath and carefully opened the envelope, pulling the contents out slowly. Unfolding the single sheet of paper, she braced herself for the news she was about to receive. Her eyes skipped over the formal headings and greeting, landing straight on the sentence that would change her life.
"We regret to inform you that you will not be receiving the full tuition scholarship..."
The letter continued on with their sincerest apologies, alternate sources of educational funding, and a reminder to try again the following year, but she read none of it. Letting the paper fall from her hands, she took in shaky breaths and tried to decide what to do next. She would have to reject her placement at the school, as she could see no way to afford it without the financial aid.
So lost in her thoughts, she didn't hear the roof door open and close. "There you are." She turned her head sharply, her watery eyes landing on the form of her best friend. "What's wrong?" Juice closed the distance between them and knelt down beside her. She could do nothing but hand him the fallen letter, the tears now leaving her eyes and trailing down her face. "Oh shit. I'm so sorry." He wrapped his arms around her, not knowing what to say to make her feel better.
After a few minutes, she picked her head up from his shoulder. "So, where are we going?" she asked, sniffling softly while she tried to calm herself.
He looked at her oddly for a second, then realization dawned on him. He smiled widely and asked, "Really?" She laughed at his excitement, then nodded. "I thought you said we couldn't do it." He cut her off before she could reply. "Nevermind. We can go wherever you want to go."
So they packed up their stuff, and the day after graduation, they put their boxes and Juice's motorcycle in the bed of Maria's old pickup truck and they left. They drove west to Pittsburgh, but found it was very much like the city they had just vacated. They moved on to Indianapolis, then Saint Paul, and then some small town in Nebraska. A month later found them in Salt Lake City, then Boise, then Portland. It was when they arrived in Tacoma, Washington five months into their travels that they finally found a place they liked. It was big, but not as big as the other cities they had visited. It was old, a bit rustic, and had wonderful scenery, all of which were very appealing to the pair.
Most importantly, it was quiet.
November 24, 2000
"Can I get you guys anything else?"
The elderly couple at the table smiled up at the young Hispanic girl who had just delivered their plates. "No thank you, dear," the woman said politely.
Maria nodded and turned back towards the counter, nearly colliding with another waitress carrying a tray full of food. "Oh, sorry!" The other waitress merely glared at her and continued down the line of tables. "Bitch," Maria mumbled to herself as she walked behind the counter, only to lean against it in exhaustion.
It had been a busy Friday night in the diner, filled with teenagers on dates and families that came in weekly. The crowd had finally died down a bit, allowing Maria to take a minute to catch her breath. She laughed to herself as she thought of the situation she was in currently. Two thousand miles from home, on the opposite side of the country, hoping the new location would bring better opportunities, and here she was, working odd shifts at a diner to pay her way through community college.
"Maria, order up!" The dark-haired girl sighed and stood from her slouched position against the counter. She picked up the final plate of the evening and placed it in front of one of her favorite regulars, Ted. He was a short man with graying hair and kind eyes, the type who, thirty years ago, she would have loved to take home to her parents.
"Thanks, Maria," he said with a large smile, as she placed his usual bottle of ketchup next to his plate. He was one of the only single men to come through the door that didn't try to openly flirt with her, and for that she was grateful. He wasn't a high-maintenance customer and left her large tips most of the time, so she never minded spending a few minutes talking with him.
Her shift was almost over, and she was more than ready to take off the apron, go home, and sink into a relaxing bubble bath. Since the day she and Juice had left Queens, this was the first steady, long-term job she managed to hold. True, it was not a spectacular job – the hours were terrible, and by the end of the day, she was dead on her feet and tired beyond belief - but it was necessary. She was happy in Tacoma and was very glad that they were hanging around, at least for the time being. She'd stick with this job as long as she could.
After the last of her customers trickled out of the diner, she wasted no time cleaning up and collecting all her things. It was nearing eleven thirty, and she was ready to get out of the diner and into the comfort of her own apartment. She was especially tired tonight. It looked like her bath would be postponed in favor of getting as much sleep as she could before she had to wake up for school in the early hours of the morning.
Buttoning up her coat and taking her bag from the counter, Maria made her way to the door. She stopped to look at the empty diner one last time, making sure she hadn't forgotten anything, then shut the lights off and stepped out into the cold night.
Locking the door, she was startled by the sounds of a scuffle coming from across the street. The noise stood out on the usually dark and quiet street. Standing on the corner across from the diner was a group of rough looking men. She instantly recognized the leather vests they wore, connecting them to an outlaw biker club known as the Sons of Anarchy. Maria had seen some of this group in the time her and Juice had been here, but she was now getting her first glimpse of the danger everyone talked about.
As one of the men moved slightly to the side, she noticed a huddled figure in the middle of the group. She had seen him a few times around this side of town, but had never met him. She wasn't sure she wanted to meet a man that associated with criminals. He was probably a criminal himself. She just hoped that neither he nor the scary bikers would see her.
Happy was angry, moreso than usual. The enforcer of the Sons of Anarchy's Tacoma charter was a man that many feared. But along with that fear, they respected him and were constantly striving to be on his good side – something that didn't happen easily. If the Sons wanted something, you gave it to them. If they needed something, you did everything you could to help them. If you lied to them, you suffered severe consequences. Said consequences almost always came with an angry biker holding a gun to your head or a knife at your throat. Tonight was no different.
As Happy considered the man cowering at his feet, he could easily see a resemblance between him and a cat. A scared cat that had no claws. He mentally rolled his eyes at the man's pathetic behavior. He should just shoot him and be done with it. But no, the Boss wanted to give the little rat another chance.
John Donovan was an older man with a balding head of gray hair and a beer belly. He was a man that you expected to be sitting at home, watching a football game with a beer in his hand or getting off on sleazy porn while his wife slept in the next room. He was not a successful man, nor did he have any great accomplishments to boast about. He led a pathetic life - he wasn't one to delude himself by thinking otherwise. But one thing was for sure, a stupid man he was not. He knew nothing good came from giving the Sons false information. But with the promise of large amounts of money, he had given a key piece of intel to a rival gang and bogus nonsense to the Sons. Of course, when the Sons had gone to the wrong warehouse and not found a shipment of guns, the signs pointed straight at him.
And, of course, they sent his least favorite person to handle the job. So he was here now, kissing ass and praying to God the bikers would either give him a second shot at living or kill him quickly.
He felt Happy's knife press deeper into his throat – deep enough to scare him, but not to draw blood. "You want to live, don't you, John?" The chilling whisper that reached his ear scared him more than the blade at his neck. A contemplative sigh came from Happy. "Of course you do..." The steady hand holding the knife released the pressure a bit and the cold steel made its way across his throat. "You wouldn't be lying to me again ... would you?"
"I-I swear, Happy. I'm not lying this time! I j-just panicked, messed up the facts! P-Please, it's the truth, I promise!" The plea fell on deaf ears as Happy pressed the knife once again to John's throat and looked closely at the stuttering man.
"If you're lying to me, I won't be as forgiving when we find you again. And we will find you." The menacing growl came as a warning. All the men knew Happy wasn't kidding – he never was. The next wrong choice John made would be his last. Pressing on the knife again, this time drawing blood, Happy made sure his message was clear. Everyone there knew that his threats weren't empty. John Donovan would sleep with both eyes open for a long time to come.
With one last look of disgust at the scared man, Happy pulled his knife back and made his way to his bike. He threw one leg over the bike and turned around.
"Don't go and skip town on us, John. We'll come to visit if what you said doesn't check out."
With that, Happy started his bike, ready to take off. The other members of the charter revved up their rides. They were all more than ready to go to the clubhouse, have a cold beer, and find a few sweetbutts to warm their beds. The Tacoma Killer was glad for the end of the night – he too wanted to follow his fellow club members' example. That is, until he lifted his head up and his eyes connected with two large brown orbs across the street. He cursed under his breath without even realizing it.
That was the only thing that came out of Maria's mouth. Her mind was whirling with the things that she had seen from her position over the past few minutes. She didn't hear much, but what she managed to pick up, coupled with the images of the knife, the pleading man, and the bikers, scared her out of her mind.
Ana Maria Navaro was many things, but brave wasn't one of them. She was smart, realistic, and rational. However, at this moment in time, all thought had flown out the window. An intelligent person would have run away five minutes ago. She just couldn't take her eyes off of the scene as it unfolded in front of her. Now that it was over, she tried to convince her legs to move. She reasoned with herself that she hadn't seen any actual crime, so they wouldn't want to kill her. But the part in the movies where the girl gets kidnapped when she's all alone on the streets popped into her mind.
The movie never ended well for that girl. Maria did not want to be that girl.
She was startled by the group of bikes coming to life, and then by the pair of cold, dark eyes that met hers across the street. Looking away from him, she pretended not to have noticed anyone else and started walking down the parking lot to her car. If she was lucky, she could get there peacefully, run home to Carlos, pack their things, and be out of Tacoma before this group of thugs could find her again. She heard a few bikes speed past her and expelled a breath, counting the steps that took her closer to the safe haven of her car. She was almost there, could almost touch the car.
There was a loud screech in front of her, the rumbling sound of a Harley filling her ears. The man perched on top of the machine was the same one who had looked at her moments ago. Except now, the only thing that separated them was a small patch of grass. He was much bigger than she thought, with tan skin and a shaved head. He looked much more intimidating up close.
That was it, she was done for.
Maria took a small step back. Maybe she could outrun him if she could catch him off guard. The biker stared her down, eyes narrowed and a scowl on his face. From his expression, she could tell that if she tried to run, he would catch her and painfully end her life.
"You didn't see or hear anything. Did you, sweetheart?"
His voice was deep and raspy, only adding to her fear. If she wasn't so scared right now, she would probably be thinking about how that voice sounded after, or during, sex. She vehemently shook her head no, without actually processing his question at first. When she realized what he was asking, she shook her head more firmly and looked at him again.
"Good. Let's keep it that way."
And then he sped away with another screech, leaving her, heart beating wildly in her ribcage, to thank her lucky stars that she hadn't been viciously murdered.
Authors' Note 2: We would just like to point out that this story was originally written and posted in November of 2009, meaning that the show was only half-way through the second season. So some of the specifics and details about Hap might be a little bit different. We will try to change some of them during the re-vamp, but if it has some significance in our story, obviously it will just have to be considered an AU fact