When Julie woke up, she was alone in bed. She journeyed from the master bedroom, around a mountain of half unpacked boxes.

There was a note on the kitchen table. She grabbed it while turning to check the time on the microwave. 6:30... she had to get the boys moving if she expected to make the daycare test run on time.

"Went for a ride, be back. Jax" was the extent of the note in Jax's scrubby handwriting. Jax seemed okay, for the most part but she still could tell he didn't feel like he fit anywhere, Julie could think of one place but it would be super awkward to ask for help. It didn't mean she wouldn't do it. She would but she just won't like it.

She set up her Keurig and then went to get the boys moving for the day.

-/-/-

Billy heard a knock and looked up, the sunlight refracting through his beer bottle and splashing rainbows on Julie Taylor's long pretty bare legs. He knew Tim would have found the beauty in her. All Billy felt was irritation.

"Is Tim here?" She asked, leaning awkwardly into the office door.

"Out back feeding Kit Kat."

"Thank you."

"All the thanks I need is you no longer hurting him."

"I never meant to do that, Billy."

He nodded. "Still doesn't change the fact that you're doing it a lot lately. Let him walk away with a little pride, Jules."

She had nothing to say that could make Billy understand something she had never completely understood herself. So, she turned and left without a word.

She crossed the shop floor and turned to head to her car and ran headlong into Tim pushing the wheel barrow he used to feed the cow.

He set the thing down, only seeming half-surprised to see her.

"Coming here was a mistake. I'm just going to leave because-"

"You're already here." He shoved his hair out of his face and took a deep breath. "Just spit it out, Julie."

"I didn't bring him to town to hurt you, I brought him to town because staying there was going to swallow him whole, Gemma... everything was eventually going to bleed into the boys the same way its done Jax. I couldn't let that happen...And now he doesn't fit anywhere and I just I thought maybe..."

Tim laughed dryly. "You're really somethin' Baby." He cocks his head at her. "Wild guess? And you thought him working here'd help him? So Dillon is for the boys? What was sleeping with him meant to fix?"

"That was an inevitability once you broke up with me."

"Alright then."

"You were friends I was hoping..."

"No, you're my friend always. He's just some shit head I regret meetin'."

"Why are you my friend? Clearly I'm kinda shitty."

"Because you're not shitty, Jules, you burned down your entire life. And you did it too help someone." He stepped around the wheelbarrow to stand in front of her. He shoved his hands into his pockets as he wanted to avoid the habit he had of touching her.

"If he wants the job, it's here. After this? I'm done bein' a whipping boy just cause I love you." He walked past her.

"Bye Timmy." She called to his back.

He didn't reply.

-/-/-

"You did what?" he yelled and Julie flincheds. Tim never yelled, and her first inclination was to cower. "I got you a job because we have to pay my parents rent."

"No, one asked you to do that."

"What else are you going to do all day? There's nowhere else in town that will look the other way and hire a felon. You're not in Charming any more baby, the king has fallen, you may as well fall with grace and say thank you."

"Thanks!" he spit sarcastically.

"Fuck you Jax."

"You already have, that's why Tim won't have you anymore.''

"I was trying to help, take the job or don't you it is up to you." She walked away sniffing back tears.

The moment he said the words, he regretted them. Her simply walking away felt like a whispered exclamation point when Tara would have screamed, thrown something at his head. Quietness was Julie's way unless she was real riled up or he'd hurt her.

He knew he had but didn't know how to fix it. He couldn't stop missing Tara long enough to breathe let alone lay down new roots but hedset it up so that was his only choice.

=/=/=

And as he braked at stop sign, listening to Van Morrison's "Reminds Me Of You," he realized with startling clarity he wasn't so much running from the violence buried in his DNA, as he was running from Tara and her memory.

On his winding trip through town to clear his head, he couldn't help but get caught up in the scenery. Charming had always been desert land with a few scrubby sage bushes.

Dillion wasn't like that, it's busy in places, and green and hilly as he heads out of Tim's shop. It's pretty. With its squeaky pump jacks, lulling cows, and Fran's flittering neon signs, and he's sure those Friday night lights would draw Pixie in like a moth to flame.

He got it. Charming was grimy and dark, Dillon was a breathing John Mellancamp song.

He can run until he dies but Tara will always live in the light behind Thomas' eyes. The realization stole his breath and tears pushed at his eyes.

Someone honked behind him and he gathered himself up and turned, knowing where he was going even as surely as he didn't want to go there.

As he pulled up in front of Riggins' Riggs, Tim walked out in his usual laconic lope. He cut off the bike.

"You and me, we ain't friends no more. Jules, is my friend til I die though, and that means I'll help her. Cause she's doin' that thing where the Taylor in her sees something worth saving. Count yourself lucky."

"Tim-"

"I ain't done, you do something to break Julie, to unmake her… her. I'll kill you or Eric will. Not an empty threat either and I live closer than her Daddy. Show up at 7 AM and start with that Toyota tomorrow and stay away from my brother."

"Why?"

"He likes you even less than me." And with that Tim loped off.

-/-

On the ride back home, he spotted a patch of bluebonnets. He picksed a few and came home to slip them into a beer bottle he filled with water.

He set them on the table because he didn't know to apologize for loving people who are fixers and he always needs fixing.

Julie's taken Tara's place but she isn't Tara.

And not because she's still breathing, but because there's more purity in her helper's heart than there ever was in Tara's, and he can only hope he doesn't ruin her or everything he's trying for.

He hoped she likes the pretty blue wildflowers.

-/-

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