scribblerfic: Jax, Tara (soa tara jax)
[personal profile] scribblerfic
Title: Probable Cause
Author: [personal profile] scribblesinink
Rating: Teen
Characters: Ally Lowen
Word count: 1.254
Author notes: Spoilers for Season 6. Thanks to [personal profile] tanaqui for betaing.

Summary: For Ally Lowen, outlaw lawyer, the unthinkable isn't so far-fetched.

Probable Cause

Tossing her car keys into the bowl on the small dresser in the hallway, Ally Lowen heeled the door shut behind her and kicked off her pumps with a sigh of relief. She wriggled her toes on the carpet as she crossed into her study to drop off her briefcase, before moving on to the living room, flicking on more lights along the way and chucking her suit jacket, draping it over a chair arm. The TV was on, tuned to a music channel by the sitter, who'd put Marvin to bed before Ally had gotten home and had just left.

Reaching for the remote, Ally sighed away a pang of guilt. It was the third night this week she was so late that her little boy had gone to bed already, and it wasn't fair to him. What good was it having a mom when you never saw her?

Pushing a few buttons, Ally changed the channel to the local news. The shriek of what passed for music these days was replaced by the clipped tones of a news anchor. Lobbing the remote back on to the sofa, Ally made for the hallway, aiming to go look in quietly on her son.

She froze mid-step in the doorway. "—Dr Knowles was a former pediatric surgeon at St. Thomas hospital in Charming. The second victim, Lieutenant Roosevelt…" The voice from the TV was cool and neutral, naturally unaware of the way Ally's mouth had gone dry at the words.

Heart pounding against her ribs, she dashed back, scrabbling for the remote again without looking, her gaze already glued to the screen. Grabbing the device at last, she turned up the sound, listening to the voice-over and watching with rising horror the footage and letters scrolling in bright yellow across the bottom of the screen.

Dear God, Tara was dead? Brutally murdered in her own home?

Tara's house, though spookily lit by flashing red-and-blue lights from the squad cars and a pair of ambulances, was easily recognizable; Ally had visited it often enough. She swallowed down the fear that rose in her throat. Had Jax killed Tara? Had the club?

Was she safe? After all, she'd helped Tara to make plans for a divorce and custody waiver, something that Jax—and his mother—would've considered a betrayal, though Ally had had no idea how deep Tara's desperation and determination had run until she'd found out about the fake pregnancy.

I don't want to have to hurt you, Lowen.

Ally hugged herself at the memory, a cold shiver running down her spine. Jax's anger when he'd locked them in that trailer had been a palpable thing. It had pressed on her chest until she could only whimper and nod the truth. She knew she'd been damned fortunate to make it out of there alive, and as she'd walked back to her car, her legs had been shaking so badly she'd been afraid they'd give out under her.

She hesitated for a moment, torn between watching the drama play out further on the screen and her deeper instincts, which told her to pack a bag, grab Marvin, and get the hell out of Lodi before she was the next victim. She'd worked for the Sons long enough to know that a wronged MC made a terrible foe.

On the TV, the house's front door swung open to reveal a gurney being wheeled out by a pair of paramedics. A formless shape, covered in a black plastic bag, rested on top of it.

Poor Tara. All she'd ever wanted was to save her boys. As a mother herself, Ally could fully sympathize with the sentiment.

A couple deputies followed the stretcher, escorting a man between them: Jax. There was blood on his T-shirt, red streaks on white, and he was holding his hands behind him. Hand-cuffed, Ally reckoned. The camera zoomed in on his face as his gaze followed the stretcher while he let the deputies guide his steps in a different direction.

Again, Ally's breath was stolen from her. She slowly sank down on the sofa, unable to tear her eyes away from the TV as she clutched at her throat. The look on Jax's face….

No, Jax wasn't the one who'd killed Tara. Most of the MC was pretty good at looking you straight in the eye while speaking bald-faced lies without a hitch, but she didn't believe the pain and grief she saw on Jax were a mask. They were too raw, too real. Nobody was that good an actor.

But if it hadn't been Jax, then who was the murderer?

Ally kept watching the news until the anchor moved on to the weather forecast. Mind still reeling with what she'd seen, she switched off the TV and pushed back to her feet, discovering the adrenaline rush at unexpectedly hearing Tara's name on the news had subsided and left her wobbly and faint.

She walked down the hallway on unsteady feet to finally look in on her son. Marvin was on his side, thumb in his mouth—a habit she'd yet to break him of, despite him being too old for such childish comforts. Carefully leaning over him, she gently brushed the hair from his forehead and dropped a light kiss on his brow. "Love you, baby." She tucked the blanket in a bit more tightly as he mumbled something in his sleep.

She paused in the doorway, looking back at him, a strip of moonlight playing over his face. One of these days, she'd do right by him, be an actual mother instead of the woman he only saw on Sundays. God, if something happened to him, she'd go mad. If something happened to her—.

She broke off the thought, not wanting to follow it. Marvin was only a couple years older than Abel Teller. She huffed quietly. Poor kid. Fat chance of him ever getting clear of the MC now. Gemma would never allow—.

Again, the thought went unfinished and she swallowed convulsively at the implications. If there was anyone who had reason to hate Tara for what she'd done, it was Gemma. And Gemma had always scared the bejesus out of Ally.

Here's a message for you, Lady Law. Remember who you work for. I'd hate for Tara to be the last client you ever had.

Ally wasn't a cop, hadn't had a detective's training, but she'd been a criminal lawyer for more than a decade and handled the worst scum of the Californian earth until she doubted she'd ever feel clean again. It had taught her one thing clearly: how criminals thought and how they operated, and how to put together half-completed puzzles.

The club had made plenty of enemies over the years, some she knew about, a lot she reckoned she didn't, and the constantly shifting balances of power kept turning competitors into allies, and allies back into adversaries. However— blown-up clubhouses and the occasional protective lock-down aside—going after family was rare. Very rare. And most gangs would rather not kill police officers if they could help it, aware that any dead cop would bring the full force of the system down on them.

From what the news had said—and not said—Tara's murder had been brutal, sloppy—and personal.

Hell hath no fury…. Ally silently shut the door to her son's bedroom behind her and let out a long, tired breath. If she was correct, if Gemma had killed Tara, she wouldn't want to be in that woman's shoes if Jax ever found out.

Disclaimer: this story is a transformative work based on the Fox 21/FX Productions/Linson Entertainment/Sutter Ink television series Sons of Anarchy. It was written for entertainment only; the author does not profit from it. Please do not redistribute elsewhere without author attribution.
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Stories are rated using a three-tiered system. All ratings are determined using general Dutch cultural values for what is or is not appropriate for a certain age. These values may differ from your own.

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