Little Britches ATF Universe

by LaraMee

Disclaimer: Don't own the rights to the Magnificent Seven in any way, shape or form.

Notes: This is a sort of companion piece to Saturday Night Life, just a little PWP with Buck contemplating life with JD.

Buck Wilmington smiled as he felt the body in his arms relax. Looking down, he ran his fingers lightly through the thick, dark hair and received a contented sigh in response. He stroked a thumb over one fair cheek, and watched a corner of the little mouth twitch slightly, but the big hazel eyes remained closed.

The big man looked up at the sound of a giggle and the deeper laugh that answered it. Chris and Vin were riding up ahead, their black horses at a brisk walk. Just behind them, Ringo and Elvis bounded through the tall grass, barking and yapping happily. He was content to lag behind though, letting Beau pick the pace and their route. Buck was in no hurry to get anywhere.

They were coming back from having spent the day riding in the open spaces beyond Larabee's ranch… their home. They had picnicked, fished, hiked and simply enjoyed the beautiful day; the first they'd seen in quite some time. Now they were heading home as the sun nudged the evening horizon. He had known that JD was running out of steam when the questions had slowed and finally stopped. The only time the five-year-old wasn't asking questions was when he was asleep, although they all suspected that he used that time to dream up the next batch.

"Why is the sky blue?"

"How did the clouds get in the sky?"

"Do they ever fall down?"

"How many trees in a forest?"

"Where do rain drops go when they splash into the pond?"

"Why can't we see the stars in daytime?"

And "Because" was never an option; it only sprouted more questions.

The little boy in his arms sighed, and Buck's smile grew wider. He had never imagined that something so simple as holding a sleeping child could give him such a feeling of contentment.

But then there were a lot of things he had never imagined that had come to be during the past few months.

He had never dreamed he would be a father.

Oh, he had joked about it, spoken of it in vague terms, but he never dreamed it would happen. Here he was, though, with a five-year-old who called him "Da". Whispered, giggled, shouted or screamed, that single syllable had come to define who he was.

And he loved it.

That one simple fact had given birth to so many other changes, too.

Once upon a time he lived by his 'little black book', using it to fill in the time between the hours spent at work. One woman after another moved in and out of his life like travelers through a revolving door. He bragged to co-workers and acquaintances alike about his conquests on a daily basis and thought life couldn't get better.

Now the hours and days were filled with homework and teacher meetings, trips to McDonalds and the park, laundry and picking up toys. His bragging rights hinged upon grades, T-ball and the latest antics of his little boy.

A year ago Saturday night meant drinks and dinner followed by a movie if his companion was really special. Sunday morning meant waking up in a strange bed, or with a stranger in his. Sunday afternoon meant lying on the couch staring blearily at whatever game was on television. It meant popping aspirins and antacids and swearing 'never again' to whatever powers could stop the pounding in his brain.

Now Saturday night meant delivery pizza and the same animated movie five weekends in a row. Sunday morning meant waking up with a pudgy foot in his face or a pair of big eyes staring at him from half an inch away. Sunday afternoon meant housework, doing laundry and hoping to catch the final score of the game. It meant praying for guidance and patience as he refereed the tenth argument of the day.

Not to mention the fact that his ability to kiss boo-boos and apply cartoon covered band-aids was nearing perfection, he knew how to remove bubble gum from almost anything, and his grammar was improving.

Shaking his head, Buck spoke softly to the sleeping little boy he held close. "I'll never understand why you came into my life, Little Bit, but I'll be grateful forever. You've brought more joy into my life than I could have ever imagined, and probably more than I deserve. You've put magic back in my life that I never expected to know again.

"I see it in your face every time you look at me and feel it every time you take my hand. Sometimes it overwhelms me. Sometimes you overwhelm me.

"I get scared sometimes… scared that you'll disappear out of my life as quick as you came into it. But most of the time I can feel it… I know to the very center of my soul that you won't. I know that I'll be able to be there to see you grow up.

"And I want that more than anything in this world.

"I want to be there when you lose your baby teeth… and when the new ones come in. I want to be there when you fall in love… and when you get your heart broken. I want to watch you graduate from grade school… from middle school… from high school and from college. I want to be there to cheer you on in sports… or in chess tournaments. I want to cheer you on in whatever's important to you.

"I want to be there to take the training wheels off your bike and pick you up when you fall off. I want to be there when you get your driver's permit… I just hope I can survive 'til you get your license.

"I want to be there if… when you find that special person that will mean more to you than anyone else. More than Chris or your uncles or even Vin. Even me.

"I want to be a part of your life when there are little JDs runnin' around, callin' me 'Grampa Buck'.

"Oh lord," The brunet groaned. He took a deep breath and let it out. "Me… a Grandpa?" Then he chuckled, a grin appearing beneath his mustache. "Hey, nobody 'll believe it… this devastatingly handsome devil a Grandpa?"

Then his expression grew wistful. "Wouldn't that be somethin'?

"You know, I don't care if there's a dozen little JDs callin' me 'Grampa'. All I ask is for you to be happy and have a good life. Lord knows I'll be cheering you on. As long as you're the good, decent man I see in the child I'm holdin', nothing else matters.

"Listen to me… you're rubbing off on me Little Bit. Here I am just yammerin' away and no one to listen."

The mustached man's attention was drawn to the two people ahead of them as another giggle rang out. He smiled, chuckling in response. In his arms JD shifted once more, snuggling against the curve of his arm. One pudgy hand wrapped itself in the material of his shirt. Once more the big man stroked the little boy's head.

"Everyone's quick to see the change Vin's made in Chris' life, and every bit of it's true. But sometimes I wonder if they have any idea of just how much you've changed mine."

The big man grew quiet then, reveling in the feel of the little body cuddled against him. His thoughts continued as he imagined the man that the child he held would grow into.

Buck could see him in his mind's eye, this man named JD Dunne.

He saw a strong man; strong in both body and soul. He saw a kind man, generous and giving, thoughtful and caring. He saw a man with a quick smile and a quicker helping hand.

He saw a good man.

And, if he could ask for just a little more, he hoped that he saw a little of himself in that man.

No, he had never dreamed of being a father and wasn't certain what he had done to deserve that honor. He worried that he wasn't good enough or strong enough to be the father JD deserved. But he had seen those same concerns reflected in Chris' eyes often enough to know that he wasn't alone there.

But whatever he had done to deserve JD, he was very glad he had done it.

The object of his thoughts stirred once more and hazel eyes blinked up at him. "Da? We 'most home?"

"Yeah, Little Bit, we're almost home."


As JD once more settled into his embrace, the big man drew a long, contented breath and released a more contented sigh. Looking up into the blue evening sky he whispered, "Thank you."

The End

Comments: LaraMee