I own nothing you recognize. All original characters and storylines are my own.

!Warning! Mentions of events in Season 5. Character Death. !Warning!

Building a New Life

"Esperanza Telford!" The yell of her name caused Espy to look up from the face of the young boy she was pummeling. She curled her lip as the aide walked up and gave her a stern look. "Get up!"

Esperanza capitulated but kicked the boy's side as she stood. She gave the aide another withering look before she followed her in with the boy being led ahead of her. She continued to glare as she was seated in the principal's waiting room while Mark was led to the nurses office. She could hear him crying and caterwauling and smirked. The little bitch couldn't even take a punch. Uncle Phil would've wiped the floor with the little turd. She waited for a long time, they were probably trying to make her nervous so she'd spill everything, she snorted, a Telford didn't rat. She got bored and started playing with her watch when there was an amused chuckle from the doorway. She looked up and grinned when she saw her Daddy in the doorway.

"What've ya done now darlin'?" Chibs asked his erstwhile daughter who raised an eyebrow but answered her Father.

"I just put a kid in his place." She said as she crossed her arms and Chibs walked over and sat next to her.

"What he do ta piss ya off Espy?" He asked and saw her jaw tighten and she didn't want to rat but telling her Dad was different.

"He called Robby a nigger." She said softly and Chibs blew out a breath but her story wasn't done. "He said Mom probably didn't know who his Daddy was."

As Espy wiped a tear from her cheek Chibs put an arm around her shoulders and pulled her close. He placed a kiss on the top of her head before he rested his against hers.

"We know who his Daddy was...who my Daddy was." She said quietly and Chibs looked away for a second. She was right, they all knew who their Daddy was but only Chibs, Phil and Hap knew where his ashes had been dumped. Shaking his head he squeezed her tight. Just then the principal's secretary came into the room and ushered them into his office. Chibs kept a grip on his girl's shoulder as they followed behind.

"Yer lucky yer Ma's at work." Chibs said as they left the office and Espy just stared darkly ahead. She'd been given two days in-school suspension for the fight and was pissed. She was just defending her brother and mother. She should get a reward, not a punishment. Chibs reached down and grabbed her hand and she gripped him tightly. "Get yer stuff, we'll go to lunch then head home. I think Milla bought some cookie dough, ya can make it when we get there."

Espy didn't say anything, only nodded and Chibs sighed. She was so much like her Father and she didn't even know it. Suffering in silence was Juice's thing and she'd inherited that trait. She stayed mostly silent during the meal and only answered what needed to be answered. He gave up once he finished his meal and had hers boxed up before he brought her home and Espy walked past him and he heard her footsteps go upstairs as he went in the kitchen to put a pot of water on the boil for tea, if she wasn't going to talk it was going to be a long afternoon. As he took out the tea canister and infuser the house phone rang and he checked the caller id before he picked it up.

"Hullo Lovely." He smiled, he knew it had to be his wife on the phone.

"Hey, I got a call from the school saying Espy was in a fight and that you took her home. Is she ok?" He chuckled at the concern in Milla's voice as he answered.

"Aye, she's good, jus' a wee bit moody. She's fine physically but she took a hell of a wollop emotionally. The little shite called Robby a nigger and you a whore. Espy wasn't goin ta stand fer that." He explained and he heard Milla take a deep breath.

"Shit, what's the punishment?" She asked and he took a cigarette out of his pack and lit up before he answered.

"Two days in school suspension. They're not puttin it on 'er record. It's goin ta be alright lovely." He placated his wife and heard her sigh into the phone.

"Thank you so much for getting her. This list of repos was as long as my leg, I swear to god." Chibs chuckled as she grumbled. She hated working in the office but with the studio on hiatus and with Chantal about to pop any day they needed her to take charge of the office.

"Ya gonna come home when it's done?" He asked, happy he was home and not at the garage.

"Actually we're going to cut the repos short today. The winch is shot on the wrecker so that needs to be repaired. I should be home in an hour or two, after I pick up Mauve from Mrs. Lindstrom's." She detailed her plan and his smile widened at the mention of their baby girl.

"I could go pick up Mauve if ya want. Espy wouldn't mind gettin outta tha house." He told her as the teapot whistled and he removed it from the burner.

"Don't worry about it Babe, I have to pay Mrs. Lindstrom for the week anyway. Give Espy a hug from me and let her know she's not in trouble. I'll call after I leave Mrs. Lindstrom's. Love you." He could hear the smile in her voice and answered with his own.

"Love you too." He said as he hung up then went to brew the tea he was making. "Esperanza! Come downstairs, now!"

Chibs sat at the kitchen table and drank his tea as Esperanza baked cookies. He looked around at the bright kitchen and found himself smiling in appreciation. The kitchen had been a labor of love when they'd moved into the house. It, along with the rest of the house, had the distinct "Gemma" feel to it and neither he nor Milla could live in the house and be constantly reminded of the shit that went down. Looking down at the scar on his hand he said a silent prayer for the souls of Jax and Gemma and condemned Clay to the Hell he was burning in in the same breath. If it weren't for the old bastard so many of his brothers would be alive right now instead of dead and rotting in the ground. Shaking his head he looked and saw Espy looking at him.

"Are you ok Da?" She asked him and he smiled at the small accent that carried through her voice, a bit of Scot in that Puerto Rican face.

"I'm fine wee one. Just thinkin about all the good times in this kitchen." She smiled back and resumed her cookie making. He felt his smile widened. Get Espy in a kitchen and she was happy, she was a lot like her Mom in that way.

"Remember when Mom made Kenny the costume and the whole counter was dyed red, because she used the wrong blood?" She chuckled and smiled big while Chibs guffawed. Aye he remembered. The counter still had a pink tinge to this day.

I remember it all Darlin'." He smiled at his daughter and got lost in thought. Yes he did remember it all.

Ten years ago he never would have thought that he'd be married with four children, let alone married to Milla. If he were honest he didn't think he'd be alive at this time ten years ago. Alive he was though and President of SAMCRO, he earned his patch putting out fires and bringing the Club back together after the final swathe of destruction Clay set into motion. His blood boiled, even ten years later, as he thought of the ambush Clay had set up for Jax, Gemma, Tara and anyone loyal to Jax. Luckily he and Tara had managed to escape, along with Hap and Phil but everyone else met their maker at the hands of Clay and his puppets. No one imagined an old, fragile man like him still had the power and command he did but he proved them wrong and Jax, Gemma and Bobby paid the price while Tara got the fuck out of Dodge that night with the kids and never turned back. Chibs was glad she did, he didn't want the Club and the town to swallow her up and drown her in bitterness. She was free and for ten years had stayed that way, not setting foot in Charming again.

After the ambush Clay was in the wind, along with Juice and several Sons from other Charters who remained loyal to the one time Pres. Tig had already been killed by Pope's crew in an act of sacrifice but Chibs knew he would have been on their side in the conflict. While Clay and his crew escaped Chibs regrouped and took leadership of the Club. He managed to put out fires and keep everyone sane until the time came for vengeance and that vengeance came swiftly after they'd discovered where Clay was hiding out. One night Chibs, along with the remaining members of SAMCRO and several brothers from Tacoma and SAMTAZ had their own ambush and burned down the house they were shacking up in, shooting any brother that came out the door until the only ones left were Clay and Juice who rushed out. They were relieved until they saw the bodies lying around them and the semi-circle of armed Sons pointing their weapons. Juice started apologizing, saying it was a mistake while Clay tried to use loyalty. They were having none of it and loaded the survivors into the back of the van. Juice continued to cry and blubber, saying they couldn't kill him. He had a wife and two children, they couldn't take him from Milla. Chibs heart hurt as he thought about the poor young woman who had lost so much and was about to lose everything. Still, Juice was a traitor, a liar and, as they soon learned through torture, a rat. His fate was sealed and he came to grips with that and remained coherent long enough to get Chibs to take responsibility for his family. He wanted Chibs to take care of Milla, make her his woman. Chibs agreed and sent Juice off to his final rest with a bullet to the head and a clear conscience.

Though his conscience was clean he still felt pain and heartache when he pulled into Milla's driveway that night. She had known about Juice's betrayal and knew what they were going to do but she was not ready to hear it and collapsed into Chibs' arms when he told her. While she wept he held her and when her tears turned to violence and she hit him as hard and fast as she could, he held her until she went still. After that he went to his brothers and they burned Clay and Juice together in the same pit, burying the ashes under a load of concrete that became the foundation for a storage unit. In the end they wound up contributing to the Club in their own way.

After the deaths and near destruction of the Club Chibs found himself responsible for holding the Club together and taking care of Juice's family. At two Esperanza was a hellion who ran Milla ragged and Milla was overwhelmed as she found herself raising four children alone. She had Espy, Robby, Kenny and Ellie to raise and didn't have the money or room to do it. Chibs did what he could to help her get her life back on track. She had a difficult time reconciling everything Juice was to her with the traitorous rat that had been exterminated but she didn't let the grief consume her and Chibs was still proud of her for her strength all these years later.

Chibs and Milla learned to work together and formed a household that worked. He became her rock and held her up when things looked bleak and she did the same for him. Once her inheritance came through she moved her family into the house that once belonged to her parents and invited Chibs to move with them. He agreed and they created a strong family but there was still a distance between them. She could forgive him for doing his duty and appreciated everything he did for her and her babies but at the back of her mind he was still the man who killed her husband. Chibs accepted this but did whatever he could to prove he was there for her and the kids. During their time together Chibs found himself falling in love with her and, unbeknownst to him, she was falling in love as well but her heart was too damaged to make the leap and tell him how she felt. It took two years of living in silence before the inevitable happened. Chibs smiled as he thought about the first time he and Milla made love. They were doing the dishes after all of the kids had gone to bed and Milla slipped on her way to the sink. Chibs grabbed her before she fell and as he stood with her in his arms he couldn't stop himself as he brought his lips to hers. That was it, two years of pent up frustration and sexual tension erupted and he made love to her on the counter. He would never forget the look of need and desire on her face for as long as he lived. Hell, he still brought out the memory when he needed to beat off, it as too good to ignore. It would've been nice to say that this brought them together but that would be a lie. It took some time for him to break down her walls but it happened and they were able to bring their relationship to a new level of intimacy and both were truly happy for the first time in years. They had a strong family, a strong relationship and the Club was starting to get back on it's feet after years of scrambling and reorganization. Life seemed to be back to normal, or as normal as it ever got.

After years of living in relative bliss a wrench was thrown into their lives when Milla wound up pregnant. They were happy but Chibs wanted more, he wanted to make an honest woman of her. She managed to dodge him whenever he brought it up but eventually he found his way to Ireland and after many tears and a nearly endless talk Fiona agreed to divorce him. Elated, he went home only to find Milla in the hospital. She'd miscarried the child. He thought it would be the end of their relationship, her guilt and pain were overwhelming her but she surprised him by clinging to him and the situation ended up making them stronger. Milla still refused to marry him, she didn't want to lose him like she'd lost Juice. The intimacy of marriage would make it worse and she knew she wouldn't survive losing him. He was her dream come true.

Her resistance came crashing down when she found herself pregnant again. This time the baby was planned and she was in love with it from the moment she knew. She agreed to marry Chibs and they were married before a Justice of the Peace with Phil and Chantal as their only witnesses. Milla was truly happy and when Mauve Gloria Telford was born she felt like her life was complete.

Occasionally she'd find herself breaking down as she remembered her parents or Juice or even Jax but Chibs was there to pull her up again and the Club became a source of strength like it had always been in the past and now that they weren't running guns or muling drugs they were well under the radar. Chibs had managed to pull them from the quagmire and with several sound business decisions had brought the Sons back in the black. He also took his position as President of the Mother Charter seriously and showed to be a great leader, as strong and powerful as Clay and smart as Jax but with a hardness bred from years in the True IRA and a sense of fairness that was appreciated by his men. He was the King and Milla was his Queen.

As he thought of his lady he heard the door open and stood while Espy went into the living room. He followed behind and grinned as his youngest daughter let go of her Mother's hand and flew into his arms. She placed a loud wet kiss on his cheek and he returned the favor, causing her to giggle. While he bonded with his girl Milla sent Robby to put his bag away and folded Espy in her arms. She was proud of her child for defending the family like she did and wanted her to know it.

"Hey babygirl. Heard school didn't go well today." She said softly and Esperanza shook her head.

"I'm sorry I got in the fight Mom, I know "brains before bullets'." She said and Milla chuckled before she leaned down to kiss her eldest daughter's hair.

"Don't be sorry, you did well." She kissed Espy's head again before she moved away and made sure Espy's eyes met her. "Now, I heard you wanted to get that new coat at the boutique. I think we should go for a trip tomorrow to get it for you. I might even get something for myself."

Milla smiled at her daughter but quickly looked up to give Chibs a wink. There was a babydoll nighty that she knew he'd appreciate. She'd just have to get it while Espy tried on clothes.

"Thanks Mom!" Espy said, excited, before she moved and ran back into the kitchen to check on her cookies.

"I was thinkin we could order pizza tonight. Ellie's stoppin by with her boyfriend and I don't want him thinking he's special." Milla said darkly and Chibs just nodded. Ellie thought he and the Sons would be a problem when she started dating but, no, it was her overprotective mambear that chased them away and he couldn't be happier about that. It saved him the trouble of handling them himself.

"Sounds good, Kenny's still at football practice. He'll be headin home after." He said before he set Mauve down and chuckled as she made a beeline for her toys and took out the replica Dyna he'd gotten her, her favorite toy.

"Good, I love it when the family's together." She grinned before she crossed the floor and Chibs wrapped his arms around her.

"Aye and I love you." He kissed her but let go when Robby walked back into the room.

"Ew, gross." They pulled apart and laughed before Chibs ducked in for another kiss. If you couldn't mess with your kid, who could you mess with?"

"God today was a long day." Milla said as she climbed into bed and moaned as the mattress molded around her. Chibs ran a hand through her hair as he continued to watch Storage Wars. If those fools ever went to Reaper Storage he'd kick their asses out. He smirked at the thought before he looked down at his wife and moved his hand to her swollen stomach. At seven months his boy was a big one, he stretched his mother to the limits and Chibs loved seeing Milla grow and glow as the pregnancy progressed.

"Ya feelin' ok darlin'?" He asked and Milla nodded before she looked at him with a naughty glint in her eye.

"I'd feel better if those hands moved lower." He smirked before he got out of the bed and locked their bedroom door. His wife wanted some loving and he'd be damned if he refused her.

"I love you." Milla whispered as Chibs kissed her head lightly and ran his hand along her stomach. After the lovemaking they'd decided to spoon and Milla was glad, she needed the closeness.

"I love ya too, now sleep. Another busy day tomorrow." Milla complied and Chibs held her tighter. They'd had a long and winding road to get to where they were but he wouldn't change it. Every pitfall they face made them stronger and brought them closer. He chuckled as he remembered the awkward thirteen year old girl who told him she loved him in her Dad's workshop. He never imagined that he'd be holding that young woman in his arms, her dreams coming true but here he was and he couldn't be happier about it.


...


Author's Note: I had this story on my computer for a long time and lately I've been speculating about what Milla will do when they find out Juice is a rat and deal with it accordingly. This story sprung from this speculation and has been adapted based upon situations in Season 5. It comes from the fact that I believe Chibs is the "Horatio" in the Hamletesque world Sutter has created [originally I had Opie pegged as the Horatio...we all know how that turned out :( ] As such Chibs is the survivor who brings everyone back from the grand tragedy in one piece and stronger than ever. I have a few other speculative pieces worked up with this pairing, a further exploration of this story and am willing to share one or two if there's an interest. Please let me know what you think.