by Flaw

Notes: A companion piece to Mothers.

Later that night, Chris found Vin standing outside the saloon, staring out towards Nettie’s cabin. Vin nodded at him, and he nodded back. Chris lit up a cheroot after a while, and the two men let the night lull them into a comfortable sense of companionship.

Just when Vin reached up to grasp the brim of his hat to nod and make his way off to his wagon and a decent night’s sleep, he heard Chris’ quiet voice.

“You never did answer Nathan’s question.”

“What question, Pard?”

“The one about what you were apologizing for.”

“I thought you knew.”

“Never said, that, Vin.”

Vin shrugged and stared back out into the darkness.

“She hugged you though, huh? Must have been some apology.”

“Suppose it was.”

“Guess you owe her another apology.”

Vin finally turned and stared at the glowing end of the gunslinger’s cigar.

“Why’s that?”

“Well, you pushed her.”

Chris could tell that Vin was blushing even in the poor light.

“Suppose I do.”

“She’s probably planning dinner for your arrival.”


“Probably already made the pie today.”


“What kind of pie, do you reckon?”


“You sure about that?”

“Yup, she told me so.”

“Oh, when’s that?”

“Right after I pushed her.”

Chris tried to stifle his laughter, but a few stray chuckles still made it around the cheroot. He stopped abruptly when Vin stepped off the boardwalk and into the dirt of the road.

“Wait up, Cowboy, you didn’t tell me what you were apologizing for in the first place!”

Vin stopped in the street but didn’t turn around so Chris had to strain to make out the words.

“I told her I liked her peach pie better than her apple.”

Chris laughed himself to sleep that night, wondering if maybe an apology was merely an excuse for good dinner and good company, and more importantly, good pie.

No matter what fruit it might be.