Stolen Moment

by MMW

Little Britches ATF – 40 years on or so…

Disclaimer: The following is a work of fanfiction based on the television series, The Magnificent Seven. It is in no way intended to infringe on the copyrights of CBS, MGM, The Trilogy Entertainment Group, The Mirisch Corp., or anyone else who may have legal rights to the characters, settings or song references. I don't own the characters. This story is strictly for entertainment. No monetary gain will be made from anything contained in this story.

Author's Notes: Thanks to J.K. Poffenberger and S. Berry for creating the LB universe and opening it to others write in it. Thank you to Barbretta Hayden for bringing the little Vin and JD to the ATF universe. I have referred to and quoted from her story Dreaming Of Angels. Thanks to Mog, for the ATF universe.

The idea for this story came to me after wondering what would happen to little Vin and JD when they grew up. I couldn’t think of their whole life, so I focused on one moment.

Vin sat back in the chair, his hand holding his father’s. Chris had always seemed so invincible, larger than life. From the moment they met, when he leaned over and told a scared, lonely little boy to “trust me”, Vin had been his.

Now he sat in an ICU room with his father hanging onto life by a delicate thread.

He tried to get past the grief and fear that threatened to overwhelm him at the thought of losing his father. Logically, he knew that Chris was human just like everyone else. But something about fathers always seemed larger than life, untouchable, unreachable, he knew from the responses of his own children. He knew, logically, that he would outlive Chris, that Chris couldn’t live forever, but this stroke had shaken him to his core. Chris had been his anchor, his world. He had taught a young boy how to trust, how to love, how to live as an honorable man. He had delighted in the grandchildren with which Vin had presented him and allowed a tear or two to fall when Vin named his son Christopher Adam.

Now he looked pale, shrunken. The man who had always been larger than life looked more fragile than the little china doll they’d gotten Sarah and Annabelle all those Christmases ago. “C’mon, Dad,” he choked out before the tears threatened to overwhelm him.

He thought back on the men who had shaped his life, who had helped shape both JD and him. Josiah had passed several years before, his loss still seemed to haunt the rest of them. Vin had taken it hard. He’d lost so much so early that the attachments he developed had been stronger than most and Josiah’s passing had led him into therapy, though he knew in his heart just another word or two from his large uncle would set him to rights. Bearing the pain of loss just didn’t get easier.

But it was better right now to try and think of things to say. He needed to talk to Chris. He smiled at that thought. The father and son had never needed words to communicate; the thought that he had to talk now was somehow amusing.

Taking a deep breath, he tried to find a place to start. “Well, the kids are doing fine. They’re doin’ ‘bout’s well as JD used ta, though ‘m not sure where they get it from. Must be their mother. Sarah and Annabelle both made dean’s list so Sarah should graduate Cum Laude. Little Chris is lookin’ at bein’ valedictorian of his high school class. He also made it to the state finals in track. He’s lookin’ ta tell ya all ‘bout it.” He paused at a loss for words. Clearing his throat, he continued, “Saw JD th’ other day. He’s doin’ well. John Jr. is fixin’ ta join him in his company an’ so’s Little Buck.” He laughed briefly. “’Course, the boy does take exception at bein’ called Little Buck. Figgers since he makes Buck look small now he don’ need t’ be called Little no more. Shoulda seen Buck’s face when he heard it…” he trailed off.

Chris laid there, unresponsive, the monitors beeping steadily, filling the void. Fear and panic began to rise in Vin. He felt the tears sting his eyes. God, don’t take him, I’m not ready! He cried silently. What’m I supposed to do without him?

Unable to hold back the tears, he allowed several to fall down his face. He swiped at them to remove them. He couldn’t lie to his Dad, not now. Clearing his throat again, he leaned closer so he could whisper to his dad.

“Dad,” he said, his voice thick with tears, “I still need you. I ain’t ready for you to be dreamin’ of angels. I know that day’s gonna come, but please don’t let it be soon. I gotta get used to the idea, you know I don’t like a lot of change.” He paused, sniffing. “I need you.” He wiped his tears away again, glancing out the window. It brought back almost his first memory of Chris and a familiar lopsided grin appeared on his face. “Dad. I’m gonna tell you the same as you told me, you can tell those angels where they can stick their fucking secrets. Now open your eyes, stubborn old man.”

He hadn’t expected it to work, but the words made him feel better. He was trying to think of something else to say when Chris’s hand twitched in his and tightened. Shocked, excited and relieved Vin leaned forward. “I’m here, Dad.”

Slowly Chris moved his head and blinked open his eyes. He looked around slightly and eventually focused on Vin. His son had a huge grin on his face and tears in his blue eyes. Chris couldn’t recall exactly what happened, but he knew his son and that his son was worried.

“You gonna stick ‘round for a while?” Vin asked.

Chris struggled to form the words and get his mouth to obey, but eventually whispered, “trus… me” before tightening his grip on Vin’s hand as much as he could. He watched as tears started streaming down his son’s face. Knowing somehow they’d come full circle. No, he wasn’t going to listen to any angels today, but his relationship with his son would be changing, now instead of being the caregiver, Chris would be the one accepting care. But that was all right. They were going to have some days yet. He smiled, though he couldn’t feel the muscles in his face respond to the desire, he was definitely smiling on the inside as he drifted back to sleep, his hand firmly held by the man he called son.

~ The End ~

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