"Little Britches" (ATF) Universe

Notes: Don't know where these ideas come from sometimes. :)  The pie is based on a real incident involving my "Little Britches" cousins. No tissues needed for this fic. Enjoy!


It seemed like a good idea at the time.

No, it was a good idea. It was just working out all wrong.

Seven-year-old Vin Tanner sat huddled on the floor of the broom closet in the kitchen. He was waiting for JD to come into the kitchen to get a drink of water. The problem was, JD was taking a long time, and he had forgotten until he was actually in the closet… in the dark… how much he hated small dark places. It had only been a few weeks since they had come to live with Chris Larabee and Buck Wilmington, and memories of hard times living on the streets were hard to erase. Vin sighed and edged the closet door open slightly, just enough to let in a crack of light… and to be able to see when JD came into the room.

He had been planning this all week, ever since JD had made him get whip cream up his nose. Getting whip cream up your nose was not funny. Nope. It wasn't funny at all. Vin thought back about the event that now had him lying in wait for his victim. It all started when Mrs. Potter made pumpkin pie for dessert.


"Yum!" said JD, waving his fork excitedly as Buck cut a piece of pie and put it on a plate for him.

"Now, you'll wait until everyone has some, JD," Buck warned.

JD plopped down dejectedly into his booster chair at the kitchen table. He snuck a glance at Vin, who was squirming in his own chair with hungry eyes. A sly grin appeared on the younger boy's face as he scrunched up his nose and blinked both eyes at Buck - a JD Dunne version of a wink.

Buck grinned and winked back at JD as Chris told Vin to sit still. Buck set a piece of pie in front of Chris, set a piece at his own place and then set one across the table in front of Vin.

"Who wants whip cream?"

"I do! I do!" Vin and JD both clamored.

Buck grinned and waggled his eyebrows at Chris as he plopped a heaping spoonful of topping on JD's pie. He served Chris next, topped his own piece, and then reached across the table, slapping a heaping spoonful of whip cream on Vin's pie, covering the pie and most of the plate.

Vin's eyes danced with delight. He loved pumpkin pie and whip cream. It was his favorite. No, chocolate was his favorite. No… Vin grinned. He could never decide. He liked all sweet things.

"Hey, Vin!" said JD as he leaned his face close to his pie. "My whip cream smells funny."

Vin frowned. He hoped there was nothing wrong with the whip cream. It would mess up his dessert.

"It smells like oranges!" said JD.

Chris rolled his eyes as he watched the silent communication between Buck and JD. They had something up their sleeves.

Vin leaned forward to smell his whip cream.

It was JD's cue. He reached over to his best friend and pushed Vin's head forward, pressing his face into the whip cream. As Vin's face popped up, covered with the white cream, JD squealed in laughter.

"Ah, ha-ha-ha-ha-ha!"

Buck laughed, and as hard as Chris tried not to laugh, he couldn't help it. JD's heartfelt laugh was contagious.

Vin blinked in utter shock. He smeared the whip cream away from his eyes and coughed slightly as he inhaled whip cream up his nose. It was in his eyes, his nose, and he even had some in an ear. Everyone was laughing, but Vin was just in shock. He didn't know how to react. JD had played a joke on him but his pie was smashed. Still deeply ingrained in his little mind was the fact that you didn't waste food, and JD had wrecked his pie that he was looking forward to eating.

Vin looked at Chris. Chris had tears in his eyes from laughing so hard. If he though it was funny, Vin figured he was supposed to think so too. He smiled half-heartedly, but no one could really tell it wasn't a real smile through all the whip cream.

"Good one, JD," said Vin. "Can I go wash?"

At Chris' nod, Vin scooted off his chair and hurried down the hall to the bathroom.

It seemed to take forever to get the whip cream off his face, out of his nose, his hair and his ear. Vin rinsed out the washcloth and wiped his face one more time. As he hung the cloth on the towel rack, he saw Chris leaning against the doorframe, reflected in the mirror. He turned towards Chris.

"You all right?" asked Chris softly.

"I got it up my nose."

Chris could see that Vin was unsettled by the event. Hidden somewhere deep inside the seven year old was a fun loving kid, but until they found him, they had to deal with a little boy, who, because of harsh experience, took things far too seriously. He had followed Vin to make sure that he wasn't too upset about the joke.

"It was a joke," said Chris in a low, reassuring voice.

"I know," said Vin. He chewed on his lip. "It wrecked my pie."

Chris smiled and beckoned Vin to him. He wrapped him into a hug. "We got you another piece. Come on." Chris nodded towards the kitchen.

Vin nodded with a smile. JD got him. He got him good.

He followed Chris back to the kitchen and took his place at the table. A fresh piece of pie sat on his plate. A very large piece of pie.

"Are you mad, Vin?" asked JD.

"Nah." Vin smiled at his friend. "It was a good joke, JD."

"Want some whip cream?" asked Buck.

"No!" said Vin.

Buck laughed. "Nobody will mess with it. I promise." He held out a spoonful and raised his eyebrows in question.

Vin nodded and grinned as Buck heaped the topping on his extra large piece of pie.


All week he had been waiting for the opportunity to get even, and today, Jimmy had told him the perfect joke. All he needed was a rubber band and JD to get a drink of water.

He had been running and playing with JD all afternoon, and had run into the kitchen to get a drink, knowing that JD would get thirsty too and he would come into the kitchen in a few minutes.

Vin had pulled the stool up to the sink and climbed up on it. He carefully took the rubber band out of his pocket and reached for the dish sprayer that was hooked up to the water in the sink. You could pull the hose out of the sink frame, push the thumb button on the sprayer and use it to spray your dishes when the water was turned on. Vin depressed the thumb button on the sprayer and wrapped the rubber band around it several times, securing it in position. He slid the sprayer back into place and turned it to face the front of the sink, careful to align it perfectly with the stool. Satisfied with his work, he ran across the kitchen and hid in the broom closet.

He was still waiting.



Vin grinned at the sound of the screen door slamming shut, knowing his victim was approaching the sink. He heard the water and the gasp of surprise. He began to laugh, stumbling out of the closet, as his joke became a reality. He had done it. He got his revenge on JD.

"Got ya!"

The words died on his lips as a very wet Chris Larabee turned to face him.

If he hadn't been so petrified, he might have laughed. Struggling with the sprayer for a few moments before it had dawned on him to turn off the water, Chris was soaked from his abdomen to his thighs.

Hearing the commotion, Buck and JD came to the kitchen, standing in the living room doorway, not wanting to get too close to what appeared to be a very angry Chris Larabee.

"You did this?" asked Chris, staring at Vin.

Vin gulped and nodded. It was too late to lie now.

"C'mere," demanded Chris.

Vin dropped his face towards the floor and took a step forward following Chris' command. Life was over. He knew it was too good to be true. As he shuffled toward Chris he mentally said his goodbyes. No more Peso. No more Buck and JD. No more Uncle Ezra, Josiah or Nathan. No more ranch…

"Look at me," said Chris.

Vin looked up, watching in wonder as an evil grin spread across Chris' face. That was when he noticed that Chris held the sprayer in his hand. His other hand flipped the faucet on and Chris sprayed Vin, dowsing him with water.

Buck and JD laughed as Vin ran to avoid the stream and Chris chased him with the limited range of the hose, spraying the kitchen with water.

Vin ran towards the safety of Buck.

"Oh no you don't," said Buck, spinning Vin back to face Chris. "Leave me out of this one Junior!" he laughed.

"Hey!" squealed JD as the spray hit them.

"Call 'uncle', Vin," advised Buck as Vin tried to maneuver away from the relentless sprayer.

"I give!" yelled Vin with a laugh. "I give up!"

Chris laughed and turned off the water. He beckoned Vin with the crook of his finger and a broad smile, pleased to see the doomed expression gone from Vin's face. He was thrilled that Vin had cut loose enough to play a practical joke, but he had seen the utter fear on Vin's face when he realized who his victim was and what the repercussions of that could be. He knew that Vin was still fearful of doing the wrong thing and losing his knew home. And that fear had left him no choice. Revenge. Turning the joke into a joke would ease the fears and let Vin know it was all right.

Chris chuckled as he wrapped his arms around a still slightly reluctant Vin. "You got me good, Vin."

"I'se supposed to get JD," said Vin.

Chris shook his head with a grin. "That's why the stool was by the sink?"

Vin nodded. "So JD could get a drink."

"I getted a drink from the hose outside!" said JD.

Well that explained it. No wonder JD didn't come into the kitchen for a long time.

"I'm sorry, Chris."

Chris smiled. "I'm not. I had a blast."

"Really?" asked Vin, looking up to his foster father.

Chris nodded.

"Ya ain't mad?"

"Nope," said Chris, "But guess who gets to clean up the kitchen?"

Vin sighed. Payback wasn't as much fun as he thought.

"Now, hold on there," said Buck. "Seems to me the little boy only made a little mess. Seems to me the big boy made the biggest mess." He paused to meet Chris's less than menacing glare. "Seems only fair that the big boy help the little boy clean up."

Vin looked back and forth between the two men, trying to read them.

Chris winked at Vin. "How 'bout you get the paper towels, and I'll get the mop."

Vin smiled and nodded as Chris gave him another hug and a squeeze. He hugged him back as hard as he could. He'd get even with JD someday, but right now he'd settle for being hugged and teased by the man he hoped he could one day call 'Dad.'

The End

Comments: Joy K