DISCLAIMER: I make no profit from nor any claim to own the characters from this story.
WARNINGS: Maybe a bit of bad language.
NOTES: This is my penance for daring to blaspheme against the Fanfic Commandments on the m7fic list. The high priestess of fanfic demanded an offering of Vin/Chris h/c. But just coz its h/c dont mean its gotta be totally serious...
MAIN CHARACTERS: Chris, Vin, Seven
UNIVERSE: Old West
Vin was not dead. He was not going to die.
But Chris wasnt so sure about Buck, JD, Ezra, Nathan and Josiah. They were all walking on very thin ice, as far as he was concerned.
The five of them were huddled together at the other end of the room. Even Nathan relinquishing his customary role as watcher over the sick and injured. They knew their place. This all the proximity they were allowed.
Chris put a hand to Vins pale face to again remind and reassure himself that the fever was dwindling.
The unexpected reward for that gesture of concern was that Vin stirred and after a faint moan opened his eyes.
The tracker looked up into his friends face. A face that even now, many would think was hard and unyielding. But Vin knew better. Chris was eating his insides up with worry.
Vin offered a weak version of a cocky grin. "Ylook...awful."
"Ylook worse." Typical Chris Larabee. No flowery language. Simple statement of fact.
Vin tried to shift his position so that he could see more of the room. The stunning increase in the pain in his chest made him gasp.
Another simple statement of fact but this one was completely ludicrous. Vin heard movement behind Chris and managed to glance past him, into JDs stricken eyes.
The tracker shook his head slightly. Hed wake up properly soon.
"Yeah, with an arrow."
"Im sorry, Vin!" The kids voice was so plaintive that Vin felt he had to second his apology to Chris.
"Im sure...hes real...sorry."
Chris looked at him with now openly weary eyes.
"Yeah, JDs sorry he shot the arrow. Buck sorry that he egged the kid on in the damn arrow-shootin contest. Josiahs sorry he lent the kid the book on Robin Hood and suggest the contest to begin with. Nathans sorry that he didnt see ya comin from the other direction and stop you from walkin into the damn thing. He was supposed to make sure no one came in unawares. And Ezras sorry he bet on the whole damn thing. Said youll get all his winnins. Theres quite a lot, yknow."
Chris couldnt hide his surprise.
"What are you sorry about?"
"Sorry I...didnt...get tsee...all this."
Chris immediately renounced all his previous vows of loyalty and protection.
He was going to throttle Vin Tanner with his bare hands.
He leaned close to Vins grinning visage and whispered threateningly, "Laugh it up, cowboy. Im gonna let Nathan keep ya here until he sees fit tlet ya up. An I warn ya, ygave us both a hell of scare lyin there with an arrow stickin outta ychest."
Vin blinked. Now that he thought about it, he could remember looking down to see the arrow embedded in his chest. Couldnt have missed his heart by much. How did it miss his lung? No wonder he felt kinda breathless.
"Ymusta thought...I was...dead," he whispered, slightly unnerved by the thought.
"Yeah, I did an ya came close. Nathan thinks yer lung collapsed a bit an took three days fer the fever tbreak."
Vin smiled slightly. "But...you an Nathan...ywouldnt let it win."
Chris shrugged. "Hell, yknow Nathan. He loves a challenge."
"Yeah...some one...chop my head off...him an you...yerd still try...an save me."
"Reckon so." A truly wicked Larabee grin appeared. "See, shall we? NATHAN! Some ones cut Vins head off! Get yer sewin kit! We aint got long before he bleeds tdeath!"
There was a chorus of six voices in unison.