I own nothing you recognize. All original characters and storylines are my own.
!Warning! Spoilers for seasons 4 and 5. !Warnin!
Pros and Cons
"Juice! Your old lady's here!" Doug, one of the mechanics called out and Juice got off the picnic table where he was having a drink with Chibs and walked to his Old Lady who was holding Espy while Ellie and Kenny stayed in the van.
"Hey babe, everything ok?" He asked and Milla sighed.
"Not quite, I was just informed that Kenny and Ellie have to switch schools. We're no longer in the appropriate district. Also Espy has somehow lodged a quarter up her nose so we're heading to the ER. I just wanted to stop by and see if you could find someone to watch the two older kids while I take her in." She requested and Juice nodded.
"Of course, Phil's got nothin to do and the kids love kicking his ass at Go Fish." Juice smiled and Milla smiled back.
"Thank you, I just don't want them to be bored while we wait.." She leaned up and kissed his cheek before she gave him a serious look. "When you get home tonight we have to have a serious talk."
"That doesn't sound good." Juice said nervously and Milla looked at him sadly.
"It might not be. I'll be back to pick up the kids once Espy's taken care of." She told him as she leaned up to kiss his lips. "Love you."
"Love you too." He told her slowly as he watched her go to the van and let the kids out then put Espy in the car seat. Once she was secure Milla gave him a little wave before she drove out of the lot and he ran a hand over his head. Whatever was going on couldn't be good, her face said it all.
Juice walked into the house tense and uneasy. When Milla had come to pick up the kids he'd tried to get her to spill what she wanted to talk about but she'd been vague, only saying that it was "serious" and that she needed him to come home. Unfortunately, Clay needed to run some late errands so here he was sneaking into his own house after midnight. He expected Milla to be asleep since she had to be up with the kids in the morning so he was surprised to see her sitting at the kitchen table with a cup of coffee. She'd obviously been crying so it made his tension increase a hundredfold.
"Hey Hubby, glad to see you decided to come home." Milla said quietly as she stirred her coffee. "I honestly thought you'd be sleeping at the clubhouse."
"Clay needed to run a few errands, that's why I'm late." He explained and Milla nodded.
"Probably working on some Machiavellian scheme." She said bitterly but before Juice could respond she held up a hand. "He may still sit at your table but he's not President anymore. I can air my grievances if I want to."
"He needs your love and support, not this attitude." He scolded her before he joined her at the table. "What do you want to talk about? I'm tired and wanna go to bed."
"I think you know what I wanna talk about, I think you've known for awhile now. Ope's death was just the breaking point." Milla explained as she took a deep breath to gather courage. "I need out of Charming. I don't care where we go but I can't take living in SAMCRO's shadow right now."
"You wanna leave me? Take our kids and run?" He asked, his voice raising a level in his sudden anger but Milla reached over and grabbed his hand.
"No, that's just it. If I wanted to leave you I could've left at any time. I could have told you I was going on a vacation with the kids then never returned. I'm that desperate to leave Juice. Not for me, for the kids. Haven't Ellie and Kenny lost enough? Do you want Espy and Little Bean to be surrounded by death and betrayal? No one to count on...not even us?" She pleaded with him and all he could do was hang his head. Everything she said was right, it made complete sense. He wanted to leave at one point, was desperate to...but now...he didn't think he could. Clay needed him and Jax needed bodies at the table.
"This is our home Milla, our family. Can you honestly tell me you wanna leave Clay, Gemma, Jax, the boys?" He asked and Milla looked him steadily in the eyes.
"Yes, Jax and I are good again and I know he'd understand. Mom...Mom's on a self-destructive path and I don't want to be drawn into her bullshit. Dad...I don't trust him anymore, not since I found out about Piney." She took a deep breath before she confessed what was in her heart. "I don't believe it was self defense. I don't believe anything he says anymore."
"Milla...I know what you mean." Juice confessed and her eyes widened. "He's lying about something, something big, but I'm stuck. I also can't leave him without anyone. He's already broken, he doesn't deserve to be alone."
"That's just it, he's preying on your insecurities and it's killing me to see you reduced to this. He's an organ grinder and you're his monkey, baby." Milla held his hand as he glared at her. "Be pissed at me if you want but think about it. Lately, you've been doing nothing but driving him around and running his errands. You're worth more than that. I need you to see that, Juice. You're everything to me and the kids, we love you and need you more than he ever will."
"What about the Sons? You want me to black out my ink and walk away? You know what I've done to protect the Club and protect myself. I can't walk away, I'm in too damn deep." Juice practically shouted and Milla put her hands up in a gesture of peace.
"I'm not asking you to walk away from the Club, I'm just asking you to transfer, move away from this place so we can raise our family away from this shit. You know any Charter would love to have you." She explained and Juice ran his hand over his face. "You know Looney would love to have you in Portland and the Intel Officer position is waiting for you if you want it."
"Transferring's a big deal Milla, it's not like going on a run. If I leave SAMCRO it'll take a lot of shit before I could come back." He tried to explain and Milla merely gave him a look.
"Do you think I'm stupid Juice? I was raised in this life, I know all the shit that you have to go through for a transfer. I wouldn't ask you to go through that bullshit if this wasn't important. I wouldn't ask this of you if I wasn't sure that a transfer was the best thing for our family. If you transfer you don't have to choose between us and the Club." Milla explained and Juice sighed.
"Let me guess, if I stay in SAMCRO you'll leave me? Is that the ultimatum?" He asked and Milla bit her lip before she spoke.
"I really don't want it to be. I love you more than just about anything in the world but I can't do this anymore. I can't sit at home wondering what stupid shit my Dad has suckered you into. I can't watch Jax keep dragging you all deeper and deeper into the drug shit. Above all I can't watch you die when your secrets come out because these secrets always come out. If we leave Charming it gives us a head start, a chance for you to move beyond this." She pleaded with him and Juice closed his eyes.
"Do you honestly believe switching Charters will stop the inevitable?" He asked and Milla shook her head.
"No, just...stall it. Don't you want to raise our children? Meet Little Bean? I don't want to lose you Juice and this is the only way we can delay that." She pleaded with him, tears starting to roll down her cheeks.
"What about you? How would you be able to handle the move?" He asked as he reached a hand over and ran his thumb along her cheek.
"I'd manage, as long as I had you and the kids I'd be fine. As for work I'll wait tables if it means keeping our family afloat. You and the kids are my world and I'll do whatever it takes to keep you safe and make sure you feel loved. Haven't I proven over the years that you and the kids are everything to me?" She asked and Juice answered by gripping the back of her neck and pulling her into a kiss then he pressed their foreheads together.
"This request is a lot to think about baby. I need some time to think, weigh things out. You know the Club comes first but you and the kids are part of me, heart and soul. I love you and want you happy." He kissed her gently again before moving away. "If your happiness means we live in different states then that's we'll do. If it means transferring Charters then that's what I'll do. No matter what I can't leave the Sons, the Reaper's a part of me."
"The Reaper's part of me too, the Sons are in my blood. That's why I can't ask you to leave the Club. I wouldn't do that to you. Just think about all I've said. You're worth more than you think and the way you're being used is shameful. You deserve to go somewhere you're appreciated, somewhere you're respected. You don't have to be his monkey Juice, you have a chance to move forward and our family has a chance to get out of ground zero." She kissed him again before she rubbed their noses together. "Let's go to bed, we both have to be up early and we both have a lot to think about. Just don't ever forget that I love you and always will."
"I'll remember as long as you do." She smiled as she kissed him before she got up and went to the staircase. After a few minutes of thinking Juice followed her and stripped out of his clothes before he crawled into bed and ran a hand down her body. He slid his hand into her panties and as she quietly moaned he focused on her. His mind was going a million miles a minute and he needed his wife and what she had to offer. Being inside of her was better than ritalin and weed combined.
Milla fell asleep almost immediately after the lovemaking, her emotions and the physical exertion exhausted her. Juice wasn't as lucky, while the sex too the edge off he still couldn't shut off his brain long enough to fall asleep. Everything she'd told him at the table ran through his mind and he realized why he got so mad at her comparing him to an organ grinder's monkey...he was one. Clay was playing the music and he worked the crowd. He backed Clay at the table and drove him around like a bitch. He'd also turned a blind eye to the shit Clay had been pulling. Milla's words had lifted the veil and he saw it all and became disgusted with himself. No wonder Clay could pull his strings so well he was weak, a tool and it wasn't fair to him or his family to keep this going. He loved Clay like the father he'd never had but he was a father himself. He had Espy and the Little Bean to think of they deserved to know their Daddy. Ellie and Kenny deserved a stable family to love and support them. The best thing for everyone seemed like it would be to leave, but then he thought about the Club. There was so much shit on their plates that him leaving would just heap more on.
Groaning Juice got out of bed and left the bedroom. When he got to his office he turned on his computer and started generating a spreadsheet. He had to map and chart each decision. Only when he had the possibilities broken down into clear, simple numbers could he move forward. Only when he saw the pros and cons for himself could be begin to make the decision that would either be the best he'd ever make or the worst.
Author's Note: This is yet another speculative work. I'm starting to get really scared for Juice so I needed to create an outcome for him that wasn't complete doom and gloom. I plan on this story being three chapters so this is the start. My big issue is that Juice NEEDS to get away from Clay and stop being his bitch. Only when he's out of his sphere of influence will he see the error of his ways. Sorry for the rant, I'm just really nervous about his fate right now. I'm also taking this time to let you guys know that I'm not going to be as active in the SoA fandom for a while. I'm finding myself less inspired by the stories presented and HATING people I formerly loved *cough*Gemma*cough* *cough*Clay*cough*, and that's made me sad and I feel a bit helpless from a fic standpoint. If any of you are "Lost Girl" fans you can keep tabs on me during my fic walkabout by reading my fics in that fandom "Awake" and "The Ties that Bind", something about that show has really worked my muse's mojo. Ok, sorry about the long ass A/N but I needed to rant. As always thank you for reading, it means so much to me.