Dandelion Days

by Cimmer

Disclaimer: None of these characters belong to me, I’m just borrowing them.

Author's Note: Companion snippet to Dandelion Memories

"Well Captain, where to now?" Buck cocked his head, eyebrows waggling engagingly at the quiet little boy.

Vin consulted the note paper on his lap, carefully crossing out 'feed for horses' from the list.

"We should get the lawn chairs next and then the groceries." Vin bit his lip, turning around in his seat to eyeball the back of the SUV. He hoped they'd have enough room for all the bags; maybe they should have gotten the lawn chairs first and then the feed?

Buck watched the grave little boy sigh heavily and gnaw on his lip; a sure sign Vin was worrying about something. The big man smiled sadly. Vin took everything so seriously: forced to grow up too fast and born responsible, Buck knew the wary child had a hard time letting go and having fun. Unfortunately, Vin and JD had learned one of nature's lessons early on; the world could be a hard place for the young and inattentiveness was often punished with injury - or death.

"Aye, aye sir," Buck saluted smartly before throwing the truck in gear and heading to the nearest Wal-Mart.

He was rewarded with a shy smile and a quickly ducked head and the big agent felt his heart swell with pride. 'Well all right. I'll get him laughing yet,' the tall man thought happily.

Thirty minutes later, lawn chairs stowed and another item was carefully crossed off the list.

"Buck? Where are we going? The grocery store's the other way."

"Well, Captain, ol' Buck needs to take a breather and it being such a fine day I thought maybe we could stop at the park, fill our lungs with some good fresh air and our tummies with a cold drink. Of course, you're the boss." Buck parked the truck and turned, giving the boy his best hopeful puppy look.

'C'mon son, you can do it.' Buck waited patiently, more nervous than he could believe and suddenly he was overwhelmed with a feeling of deja vu; instead of Vin deciding whether they could afford the time to play, it was Chris deciding whether he really needed that drink and wasn't that strange?

"Wellll, I guess we could take a little break before we finish the errands." Vin fixed the hopeful man with a stern look. "But not too long Buck, we got chores to finish."

Buck's face felt like it might split from the grin it boasted, "Sure thing, Captain, sure thing."

Vin hopped down, squinting up to catch Buck's face so far above him.

Sometimes he felt that being with Buck was kinda worrisome. After all, he wasn't as quiet and organized as Chris. Chris knew what to do 'no matter what' and never looked worried, well hardly ever. But Buck, well Buck was like JD; quick and noisy and funny but Vin wasn't quite sure yet if Buck knew what to do 'no matter what'. But JD sure did love him and he was Chris' bestest friend and he made Vin smile and sometimes even giggle and Vin was beginning to like that - a lot.

"Look Vin, dandelions!" Buck shouted excitedly.

Vin stared at the patch in confusion before switching his perplexed gaze to the grinning brunette.

"My momma used to say that every dandelion seed was a wish and it was our duty to set them wishes free." Buck held out his hand. "Pard?"

Vin gazed at the dandelions, fluffy heads catching the sun, then up at the smiling giant at his side. He grasped the proffered hand, a wide grin splitting his face causing Buck's breath to catch in wonder.

"Yeah!" Vin whooped, holding on tight as he and Buck raced forward, into the afternoon sun.

The End