Brothers In Arms

By: El Chacal

Summary: Though they never liked each other as Sons, both were American patriots.

A/n: This is set in an Alternate Universe where Cricket wound up as Coyote's Old Lady.

A/n: I have to give a shot out to fellow fanfic writer TellatrixForever who helped me write this tribute piece for 9/11.

Paul 'Spider' Rango had patched into the Sons of Anarchy Motorcycle Club's Redwood Original Charter in 1986, Clay Morrow had risen up the ranks and was appointed the National VP.

Clay had always had a chip over the fact that Spider would be made President of a charter before he did. Becoming the National President of the Sons of Anarchy helped to get rid of that chip.

Having retired as a Major in the United States Marine Corps, Paul Rango may have been self assured but fought the arrogance that could easily come with such a seat of authority.

JT Teller taught him what it was like to go back to the bottom of the ladder and work back up to the top. Paul would be forever grateful to JT for it since that lesson saved him from complacency and taught him a humility that he only had when he was a grunt.

Clay and Spider were rivals more often than friends. Clay was a Sky Soldier who patched into SAMCRO in 1970 and Spider was a Marine that patched into the same charter in 1986 but that was not where the animosity came from.

Spider respected JT's ambitions and dreams for the club as a commune and brotherhood. While Clay shared those visions at first, he had more aggressive and ambitious set of motives.

When Spider was voted as President of his own charter in 1990, JT allowed him to choose any place in the States that he wanted.

President Spider chose New York.

Clay did not relish the idea that Spider would govern perhaps one of the largest charters in any major city but he could not deny or discount Spider's leadership abilities.

For years, they did not keep in contact with each other except to establish contacts with the Real IRA. After JT's untimely death and Clay was voted in as National President, they didn't get anywhere close to being amiable towards each other.

Then September 11th happened. The collapse of the World Trade Center, the crash at the Pentagon and the flight 93 in Pennsylvania.

Clay and Gemma went to New York in a conclave with Sons from all across the country to help with the clean up in Ground Zero and to help the NYPD, FDNY and the Armed Forces find any survivors. Working in the debris and ruin of what once was the World Trade Center, though risky, brought Clay and Spider into the same place together for the first time in over a decade.

After everyone got back home due to fatigue and hunger, Clay and Spider met in the SAMYORK chapel.

Spider sat at the head of the table while Clay sat at the foot. For a while, neither man spoke. They each lit a thick cigar and filled tumbler glasses of Spider's finest whiskey.

Tossing back a swig from his glass, Clay spoke, "I never envied you, Paul. I still don't." Clay spoke.

"Right back at ya, Clay." Spider retorted, releasing a puff of smoke from his mouth, his cigar in hand.

"How's Happy?"

"Anything but his namesake. If the cops hadn't taken him into custody, he would have risked harm to himself or worse." In spite of what hostility existed between him and Clay, Spider added, "Thanks for making the long trip out here."

"You rode from coast to coast to attend JT's funeral. Least I could do." Clay said.

"How's his son?" Spider asked.

"Jax is healthy." Clay answered.

"You and Gemma, when did that happen?" Spider asked, curious as to how Clay was able to marry JT's widow.

"Happened some time after JT died. She was broken. Lonely. Needed someone to be with. I was around at the time. Went from there to what it is now."

"So it never bothered you that you took up with and married your best friend's Old Lady?"

"I'm taking care of Gemma and helping her raise her kid. I would think someone like you would appreciate that."

"You're right. I can appreciate that. Just be careful how you navigate around this, Clay."

"This is the longest we have ever talked together without beating the tar out of each other." Clay said. It was a surprise that neither of them tried to lash out at each other.

Spider rose from his chair, walked over to Clay and offered a hand to him. "Thanks for coming up here with the guys to help us out."

Clay accepted the hand in his, rose from his chair and, after ten plus years, the two Presidents finally embraced each other as brothers.

"I don't care how long it takes, whoever did this will be found. Justice will be served."

"My sentiments exactly, Clay."

In the years to come, every Son would ride out to New York for an annual 9/11 tribute run to remember those who died on that ill-fated day in American history.

Then on the 1st day of May in the year 2011, justice was finally served.

Happy rode at the helm of a massive SOA conclave into New York alongside Hank 'Swamp Man' McCoy and Nomad President Quinn.

U.S. Navy SEAL Team 6 tracked down, located and killed Osama Bin Laden.

Quinn, Happy, Hank and all the Sons that reached the Big Apple were met by SAMYORK who embraced them warmly.

Gathered in the SAMYORK clubhouse, every patriotic Son raised a glass in memory of Happy's sister, Akim's wife and the other 2,998 lives.

Happy had not faltered once in leaving his tribute for his sister at Ground Zero.

Akim said a prayer for all the families torn apart from the horrific tragedies of 9/11.

Quinn never missed the tribute run since 2001. Though he didn't lose anyone in the attacks, he knew without a doubt in his mind that if he had still been in the Teams and if he had come across Bin Laden in Pakistan, he would have shoot him dead in cold blood.

Along with everyone else, Quinn knew Bin Laden's death wouldn't end Al Qaeda nor would it bring back Happy's sister, Akim's wife, or anyone who lost their lives that day.

All the same, Quinn knew without a sliver of doubt in his mind that he would still have shoot the sonofabitch.

Coyote and his Old Lady, Cricket, lead a toast alongside former Navy SEALs Quinn, Happy & Hank as they cheered for Navy SEAL Team 6's actions that brought upon the demise of the mastermind behind the attacks of 9/11.

Though there was reason to celebrate, it was not like their favorite team won the World Series.

It was a somber victory for Happy, Akim and Coyote.

Though Happy did not get his sister back, he regained his faith that America's darkest days were always followed by the finest hours.

Though Akim could not see his wife again outside of photographs and memories forever burned into his mind, he took peace in the fact that the leader of Al Qaeda was now at the bottom of the ocean.

Though Coyote did not lose any loved ones in the World Trade Center, he was angered that Bin Laden would attack the city he loved so much. His death did not bring any sense of joy to him but he did not shed a tear.

He hugged Cricket close, had a shot of tequila and rested comfortably for the first time in 10 years.

After so many years, the effects of 9/11 are still felt by all those who remember it and those who lost a loved one 11 years ago. I don't have any memorable quotes to say or anything to say that has not been said before. What I can say is that America was forever changed on September 11th. It's a day that will be talked about for many, many generations.