Hold On

by Tonny

Part 2 of the Stupid collection

Damn it! Faster, I’ve got to run faster!

Vin was jumping from rooftop to rooftop, going as fast as he could, rifle in one hand.

There! Another!

He paused long enough to aim his rifle at the would-be bank robber and take him out with a single shot. Then he was at the edge of the hotel roof. He grabbed the edge, hung down on one hand and jumped. He was almost running again before he hit the ground.

His heart was in his throat. He felt like he couldn’t breathe!

Hold on, Chris! Hold on, jist hold on!

Now he was running, running over the dusty street towards where he’d seen his friend go down.

Oh God, oh God, oh God, why had Chris done it? Why had he left cover?

He knew why. He had felt his stomach lurch the moment he’d seen two members of the gang that had galloped into Four Corners come out of Miss Potter’s store, one holding her daughter. Miss Potter’s screams had been heartbreaking as she’d flown after the men, only to get knocked down by the second one.

At that moment, when time itself seemed to have stopped and everyone had held his fire for a moment, a single gunshot rang out and the outlaw who had hit the woman suddenly had no brain left anymore. A second shot followed so fast, it almost seemed simultaneous with the first. The other gang member hardly had the time to look with stunned disbelief at his partner before he was dead as well.

Chris was walking down the street, his gun aimed unwaveringly at the two men. When he saw that they both didn’t move and that Buck swiftly had come over to take care of mother and daughter, he’d turned towards what was still left of the gang members and had gone after them.

Right there, out in the open, as if he was taking a midday stroll on a peaceful afternoon. Only this time with his gun blazing.

The gang was firing back, Buck had screamed something and then everything had been quiet again.

The gang members had been laying in the dirt.

Chris had been laying in the dirt.

Vin had started running with his heart in his throat.

At least now Chris wasn’t laying in the dirt anymore, blood pooling around him. Buck and Josiah were holding him up, each with an arm of the gunslinger around their shoulder, hastening towards the clinic. Nathan was running on ahead.

Vin swallowed when he saw it. Good, that had to be good, didn’t it? It had to mean Chris was somehow, miraculously, still alive.

Hold on, Chris, hold on!

He desperately tried not to see the big stain of blood on the ground where Chris had been and ran after the small group. He vaguely thought he heard JD call his name, but he had no time for nonsense. He had to be with Chris. He had to tell that stupid idiot to hold on, and to duck the bullets next time or so help him God or the devil himself, he was going to shoot the stubborn, brainless dimwit himself!

Catching up, he saw that Chris was hanging unconsciously between the two bigger peace keepers. Vin wanted, needed to shoulder Buck aside and take over that precious burden. Not giving in to that need was one of the hardest things he’d ever done.

He gazed at the slack face of his best friend, a face that suddenly looked very, very vulnerable.

Chris had never, ever looked vulnerable before....

He saw the blood dripping down. So much blood...

His heart was in his throat again. He thought he was going to be sick.

Then the eyes opened. They were filled with pain, looking glazed, but they were open.

And Vin felt he could finally deliver his message, the most important message he’d ever given a person in his entire life!

“Hold on, Chris,” he whispered. “Please hold on! You jist hold on!”

3. Glorious