Rating: PG (one bad word)
Category: Gen, Pre-series
Characters: Juan Carlos “Juice” Ortiz, Marisol Ortiz, David Ortiz
Warnings: Spoiler for Season 4.
Disclaimer: If I owned this show, things probably would’ve turned out differently.
Notes: I wrote this sometime during season four on some hotel stationery. Lost it. Found it. Typed it up. Then apparently forgot about it until I started going through fics on my computer. Oh, title from Father of Mine by Everclear. I love that song!
He’s three when he asks for his dad, David, for the first time according to his mom. She says, “He’s away. He won’t be back for a long time.”
At five he sees a picture of his dad. He’s smiling big like nothing can touch him. His arm is around Marisol’s shoulders. She smiles up at him like love is enough. Juice doesn’t think he’s ever seen his mom smile quite like that ever.
Juice is ten when they meet again. His mom says, “I wanted you to see him before we leave. We’re not coming back.” JC, as his friends called him, had listened to all the reasons his mom gave for them leaving. The neighborhood has gotten dirtier, meaner. She tells his dad across the metal table in the too bright room, “He’s got a father in jail living a neighborhood like that mean he has no future if we stay.”
He was too angry at his mom and his dad to pay attention. To notice what his dad looked like, twelve years past the date on the back of the photo. That he had the same smile but different eyes. All he remembers his father saying before they left is, “I wish your abuela could see you.”
He’s eleven by the time they get to Stockton. It’s just up the road from Charming. He’s glad his mother didn’t pick that place. Sounded like Mayberry to him. His neighbor Jimmy, who likes him because he’s from New York, tells him he doesn’t want to live there. “Too many white people. Not enough of us.”
At fourteen, he discovers computers. He gets into trouble, typical young teen mischief. His mom’s just glad he’s not into drugs and/or in jail. It’ll be better if he was at least selling drugs. Bringing in more money than the bullshit job he’s got to help pay the bills. Even though he’s got to do that, moving to Stockton was better, his mother always tells him. He doesn’t believe her. They can’t get comfortable. “Un dia mijo.”
At seventeen, Charming calls and he goes. A guy named Ed has a job for them that turns into more so he winds up staying awhile. Marisol nearly knocked him out after he got arrested. It’s a good thing he’s still a minor so no record, his attorney tells her. His mother doesn’t care. He can see in her eyes all she sees is him winding up like his dad. “I’ll never be like him,” he promises. She doesn’t listen.
When it’s all said and done, she throws him out. They eventually make up but he doesn’t go back home. He gets a job at Teller-Morrow garage, works on becoming a member of SAMCRO. He doesn’t tell her anything about that. He figures if she can lie about his father all those years, he can keep his secrets, too.
Juice is thirty-two years old when he sees a picture of his father he’s never seen before now. He’s not naïve enough to think the guys won’t be mad. They’ll think he lied and probably nothing he can say will change that.
He doesn’t know that man in the photo. They don’t share anything but some DNA. By the time he tells Roosevelt what he’s going to do, he’s resolved that his father’s been out of his life this long, ain’t no way he hell he’s coming back in it to fuck it all up.