Events of this story take place two years after the one-shot; 'Milk and Cookies.' It's not really necessary to read it first, but it would probably make a little more sense.
Happy was twenty-two, and still wore the Nomad patch when Quinn called him. There was an edge to the man's voice, no pleasantries, just an abrupt; "How fast can you get to Sanctuary?"
Happy had been staying in Charming as he assisted the mother charter with a few gun runs, he had told Quinn as much. Both knew it was about a four hour drive.
"I need you here, brother. Now." That was all that needed to be said.
Three hours later, having broken every speed limit between Charming and Red Willow, Happy was in front of Sanctuary. He ignored the rude closed sign, brushed his hand over the reaper knocker before he simply let himself in.
Quinn was pacing the bar with long, angry strides. Tink was sitting on one of the high bar stools, there was pain in her eyes as they came to settle on Happy, she gave the slightest nod of her head in greeting.
"Couldn't you have driven faster?" Quinn snapped at him and Happy was surprised. Quinn was a kind of calm, cool force of nature, sure, he could break skulls when the club was threatened but... never had Happy witnessed rage like this from the man.
"He's here an hour earlier than we could have expected!" Tink shouted at Quinn. "Would you like your brother dead on the road because of your impatience!"
"Stop!" Happy's deep raspy voice broke the argument immediately. Quinn yelling at Tink was new too, and worrisome. If Quinn was taking his anger out on the woman, things were bad. Tink worked the bar on occasion and babysat his youngest kid, Indiana, she was also an occasional bed-buddy of the president- she wasn't his old lady, but she wasn't a croweater either- she defied classification. "What the fuck happened?"
"Tink," Quinn nodded his head toward the hallway.
The woman sat there a moment longer before she stood, walked over to Quinn, put her hand on his arm and stared at him a moment. He bowed her head to touch hers and she slipped her hand away and left the room quietly. There was an intimacy between them, an understanding.
Quinn waited until he heard a door open and close. "Church." Quinn said as he walked away, Happy quickly following him, shutting the door behind himself. The table was painted black, the patch painted in white over it. Dax was sitting at the on the far side, he was the intelligence officer for the Nomads, you needed something, chances were good that he could find it.
Happy took his usual seat on the right hand side of the table a few seats from the back. Happy looked at Dax who appeared perplexed- Happy guessed Quinn hadn't informed him about why he was looking into something. Dax was the same age as Happy and the brothers had prospected in at the same time though Dax had done his with SAMTAZ and Happy patched SAMTAC. He watched the brother carefully a moment, dark eyes assessing him right back.
Dax hadn't changed much since the last time Happy had seen him. Eyes were dark with a spark of intelligence. Hair was long, dark and kept back in a pony tail. Nose was slightly crooked, it hadn't been placed properly after one of the Mayans broke it in a fight a year previous. Dax was on the short side of things, the Mayans had figured they'd take him out easy- they were wrong. Sure Dax came out of the fight with a broken nose, but three of the Mayans hadn't come out at all. Man compensated for being short by being strong, a smart but dirty fighter and being just a little bit fucking crazy.
He gave Happy the slightest nod of his head in greeting and Happy returned the gesture.
Happy turned his attention over to Quinn. There was a fury that practically radiated off the president, big hands clenched in fists on the table. "I need you to do something, Happy."
Quinn nodded his head to Dax who then slid a folder across the table. "You can go Dax, and thank you, brother."
"You sure? I could-" The stern look from the president had Dax shaking his head and walking out closing the door behind him.
"Who is this?" Happy asked opening the folder to an image of a middle aged man. He pushed the image aside and looked deeper into the file. Man was of average height and weight, sandy blond hair, blue eyes. Lived in a good, suburban neighbourhood. Married. No children.
"I need you to take him out."
Happy swallowed hard. He'd killed people before. Never for the club. Never for a brother. Never on purpose. Still, two people were dead by his hands. His step-father and some guy who's name he hadn't even known. They were accidents. His step-father raised a hand to his mom for the first and last time when Happy had been sixteen, he had just intended on giving the step-father a beat down, but maybe slamming his head against the corner of the wood table had been a miscalculation- no charges had been pressed though, he'd been defending his mother and her wounds collaborated that. Second guy had just been stupid enough to start shit in a bar-fight, Happy had beaten him to death- he did a short stint for manslaughter on that one.
Still, he'd never outright murdered anyone. This would take planning. This would be premeditated. This could be twenty-five to life.
"Okay," he found himself saying. "I'll do it... but who is he, what did he do?"
Quinn's teeth grinded together. "Not now Hap. I can't do it. I'm too close to this. You can't go in there with anger. I need you to do this, and keep it off the club. I trust you to get it done."
Happy had initially been drawn to the club for it's sense of brotherhood, the sense of family. He wanted to be a part of that. Plus, he wanted to earn, help out his mother so she wouldn't depend on some man that wouldn't treat her right. The trust between brothers was sacred, and Happy cherished it, honoured it. Quinn needed him, trusted him to get this job done and done right.
The answer had been easy and immediate, it fell right off his tongue. "Alright."
And so he waited for the right moment.
Luckily, he hadn't had to wait long. The wife went out with her girl friends, a weekend in the city, shopping and the like. The timing couldn't be better.
He picked the lock and pushed the door open, quietly closing it behind him. He walked through the house silently as he could in his combat boots, his leather gloved hand tightened around the grip of the gun. There were a few lights left on through out the house and he stuck as close as he could to the shadows as he made his way through the kitchen. His heart hammered in his chest, though due to nerves or excitement or some sick combination he couldn't ascertain.
He paused a moment. The sound of creeping footsteps didn't stop. He quickly turned as a baseball bat was swung and dodged back, the weapon just missing his head. He caught the man's look of fear, of panic and relished it. He felt strong, powerful. With a combination of speed and strength he tackled the man to the floor and with out a single second of hesitation he put the gun under the man's chin and pulled the trigger.
He felt like a fucking god.
He stayed very still for a moment, his heart beating out a quick rhythm. He sat back on his heels a moment watching as the blood pooled. Time was of the essence. Letting out a breath, he placed the clean gun in the man's hand to make it appear like suicide. He removed the baseball bat since it didn't go with the 'suicide'. He set it with some sporting equipment in the coat closet by the door.
Adrenaline coursed through his system, he needed to go, chances were good a neighbour heard the shot, would be calling it in. He needed to go. He took another look at the corpse, at the glistening pool of blood. Quinn had needed it done, and now it was. Pleased with himself, Happy took another quick look around to ensure nothing was amiss, then shut the door and used the tools to lock it again behind him.
Happy returned to Sanctuary a few hours later after having ditched the stolen car Quinn had acquired him for the hit.
Sanctuary was closed but there were still bikes on the lot, Nomad brothers- he figured- and a few of the guys from the Tacoma charter who'd been down on a gun run. He walked past a group of his brothers with out stopping and into the bar his eyes scanning the area for Quinn, thankful that it seemed that those who were lingering around were outside.
Martha was behind the bar fixing the till for the next day and readying the deposit. The woman was getting up there in age but still dressed like a twenty something. He wasn't sure what her natural hair colour was, it had been blonde when he'd met her, but she'd had hair as black as Tink's for a while, then it was blonde again and now it was a botched dye job, he guessed it was suppose to be red, but it turned out more of an burnt orange.
Happy didn't particularly take to the woman but he could appreciate the cleanliness and order she brought to the bar. "Quinn?" he asked her.
Martha turned to him, her brown eyes widening, her mouth went slack and the cigarette she was smoking dangled dangerously from her lips as she got a good look at him. She blinked a few times, raised her hand and pinched her cigarette blowing out a stream of smoke, she pointed with it. "He's in Church," she told him. "Been on edge the entire night, isn't like him."
Happy knew that Martha cared on some level about Quinn, she wasn't anyone's old lady, had never been a croweater. She'd just come in one day looking for a job, Indiana had been young, Quinn needed the help both in his personal life- mainly someone to help watch over his daughter- and with his business- according to Quinn, a good bartender is hard to find. Martha had been brought into the fold to fill both voids.
She took another drag off the cigarette. "He's waiting for you," she told him, puffs of smoke escaping her weathered lips.
Happy nodded towards her and walked across the little bar. He paused a moment in front of the doors. Quinn was expecting him, but out of respect he knocked anyways.
"Yeah, come in."
Happy stepped in, shut the door behind himself and took his usual seat at the table.
Quinn looked him over, looking for injuries first, and then for any signs on the man's face that things might have gone south, or that he put too much on the younger man's shoulders. The blood didn't appear to be Happy's, the man wore a face that was hardened by years but there was no worry, no fear. Quinn nodded his head slightly and leaned back in his seat. "I take that blood spatter all over you means that the job is done."
Happy though the had wiped it all off, but then again, his grey t-shirt was stained with it. Happy gave a sharp nod.
"Good," Quinn responded.
"What did he do?" Happy wanted to know, he'd never seen Quinn so riled up. It didn't particularly matter what it was, Quinn had asked him to take care of it and he would do anything for his brothers, the Sons were his family.
"He was a teacher," Quinn all but growled. "Indie's teacher."
Happy couldn't figure it out, he just raised an eyebrow in silent questioning.
"He... touched her."
That had Happy sitting up straighter, his hands balling into fists. Happy knew he was considered a rather cold man. He patched in with the Sons of Anarchy- and everyone knew they were more than just 'motorcycle enthusiasts', he didn't care much for rules, regulations, but the Sons had a code, and Happy had a code, all the brothers did. You don't touch kids. Feeling sickened, his nose flared, his teeth grinded together.
"That bastard molested my baby," Quinn's voice was gravel and had a slight emotional tremor to it.
"I should have beaten him to death," the thought fell from his lips coldly. He really wished he could resurrect the teacher only to kill him again. The gun had been too merciful for the crime committed.
Quinn shook his head. "This is why I needed you to do it, you see," the man leaned forward, a picture of rage. "If I'd gone, people would have heard his screams from four blocks away." And as much as Rane Quinn would have loved to beat the man to death himself, he couldn't afford a stint in prison, he couldn't have his little girl taken into the system. "It's why I couldn't tell you what he'd done..." Quinn knew Happy well enough to know the man wasn't ruled by emotions, but still, there were things the man still genuinely cared for, respected, would protect. He cared for his mother, and Quinn knew Happy had killed his step-father for daring to harm her. He had little doubt that Happy really would have beaten that teacher to death if he'd told the man what that teacher had done to Indiana.
There was a timid knock at the door. "Yeah?" Quinn called.
Quinn was on his feet in a second and around the corner of the table. He paused though, beside Happy and placed a hand on the man's shoulder. "Thank you, brother." Happy nodded right before Quinn opened the door to his daughter.
Happy hadn't seen Indiana in a while, mostly she was looked after by either Martha or Tink during hours Happy was at Sanctuary. Indiana had grown a little taller, she was wearing pink pajamas pants and a long sleeved grey shirt with some pink sparkly design and he figured she must have been sleeping in one of the dorm rooms, it made sense that Quinn would want to keep her close. Her hair fell around her shoulders, the same dark blond that she shared with her father, her blue eyes still slightly too big for her face. She shuffled a little nervously, and it was the first time Happy had witnessed a moment of shyness from the girl. He wasn't sure what to do, what to say-if anything.
"You okay?" Quinn asked crouching down to her level. She hugged her zombie doll closer to her chest as she stared up nervously at Happy. "Hey," Quinn touched her shoulder lightly and it drew the girls big blue eyes. "It's late, you're suppose to be sleeping."
The girl shuffled her feet a little. "I had a bad dream." She hugged the doll closer, her lip quivered and her eyes welled with tears. "Can... can I colour for a bit."
"Yeah sure," Quinn said, he was completely unsure of what to do with his daughter in this situation and if she wanted to colour, than she was going to get to colour. He had her set up at the bar, a box of crayons, a few colouring books and some blank paper.
Tink's face was free of make-up, for the first time Happy had ever seen. "How's she doing?" she asked as she joined Happy, Quinn and Martha a few steps behind the bar.
"Girl needs some therapy," Martha said and that earned her a stern look from the other three. "She needs to work through this Quinn, she's a little girl."
"She's still scared," Tink whispered. "Woke up crying, made me check under the bed, the closet, the bathroom in the dorm room... this guy is like the boogyman to her."
Quinn pulled on his hat in a moment of agitation. He shook it off, his daughter needed him. He walked around the bar so he could face her. He studied the colouring book. She was doing better at keeping inside of the lines, currently colouring a picture of an elephant in pink. "Hey Indie?"
Indiana looked up at her father and blinked a few times, a little sleepily, but she was fighting it and it broke his heart.
He reached out and tucked some of her hair behind her ear. "He can't hurt you ever again." It had just about killed him when he'd found out. For once his little girl- who had always been excited about school- hadn't wanted to go. It had taken some prying, some needling and a few Twinkies but he and Tink had finally got her to talk. She'd been all quiet, nervous- both uncharacteristic of his daughter, finally she said 'he touches me, I don't like it.' It had taken another hour to discover who was the 'he' and where it was that he touched her. Quinn really wanted to beat his frustrations out on something, but he had to contain that rage, he was all the kid had left. "He's gone forever."
The little girl returned to colouring for a moment as she processed this information. She trusted the adults in her life... but her teacher had been an adult... but this was her daddy, and that was much different. Indiana nodded in acknowledgement. "He went away?"
"Yeah," Quinn responded and then puzzled over the moment of nervousness his daughter had before. He didn't like the idea of Indiana being scared of his brothers, much less the man who'd taken care of the 'boogyman.' "Happy scared him."
This made Indiana smile a little. She'd always liked Happy, if he scared away her teacher than he had to still be her friend. She turned in her seat to look over at him. She then patted the stool beside her. "Colour with me, Happy."
Considering the circumstances, Happy didn't feel he had much choice. The girl set him up with a colouring book and set the crayon box in the middle. Indiana was starting at him so he picked up the closest crayon, a green one and went to colour in the lines of a unicorn.
Martha went home for the night, and Tink quietly spoke to Quinn over in the corner of the room.
The little girl went to colour herself, content that Happy was now doing it with her. After a little while she let out a sleepy yawn. She rubbed her eyes before she picked up a blank sheet of paper and started to draw on it.
A few minutes later her little hand touched Happy's arm and he turned to look at her. She passed him a piece of paper, on it she had drawn in black crayon a circle, two dots for eyes and a curved line for a smile. "Thank you, Happy." She then looked down, the stool to high for her to want to jump from. She turned her eyes back to the killer. "Help down, please?"
He was uncertain but he grabbed her under the arms and set her on her feet. "Eddy," she pointed to the counter. His eyes found the zombie doll on the counter and he passed it to her. She tucked Eddie under her arm and rubbed her eye with her fist. "Daddy. I'm ready for bed now."
Quinn left his conversation with Tink and walked over, picking his daughter up in a fluid movement and she rested her head against his shoulder. She waved. "Good night, Tink. Good night, Happy."
"Sweet dreams," Tink responded.
Happy just nodded, the sheet of paper still in his hands.
It was less of a conscious thought process, more of an instinct. It felt right. Something to forever remind him of what he was willing to do for those he cared for. Of what he was willing to do for the club, for a brother, for Indiana.
When he walked out he had a single smiley face tattooed on his ribs.
Thanks for reading :)