Evening the Score
Summary: There's a dance coming to Four Corners.
Notes: This is the fourth in a series of dialogue-only scenes. The first three are 'Diversionary Tactics', 'Retaliatory Measures' and 'Escalating Hostilities'. You should probably read those first!
Thanks to Angela for the beta job.
Disclaimer: This is a work of fan fiction. I don't own the rights to the Magnificent Seven and I don't make any money from this work.
"Another round, Inez darlin', before we die of thirst over here."
"There is no need to shout, Señor Buck. I am not deaf."
"Sorry, darlin'. Thank you kindly. So, when are you gonna agree to allowing me the pleasure of escorting you to that dance?"
"I have already given you my answer ten times. It is, 'No!'"
"I think the lady made herself quite clear there, Buck."
"Shut up, JD. I'll bring her round, there's plenty of time - dance isn't until next week."
"Maybe you should ask one of your other 'friends'. How about Nancy Willard?"
"Are you kidding? No offense to the lady, but she's a little overpowering, even for me. Reminds me of one of them octopus creatures Ezra showed us in that book last week. Too many limbs to keep track of all at once, and the places she... Anyway, I reckon Nancy has her eye on Vin."
"Vin? You ok? You're not choking, are you?"
"I'm... fine... JD."
"You sure? You've gone really red in the face-"
"I'm fine! So, ya taking Casey to the dance?"
"Planning to, if she's still speaking to me next week. You know what women are like. How about you, Chris?"
"Didn't ya know, JD? Chris has the pleasure of escortin' the lovely Mary Travis."
"Shut up, Vin."
"Sorry, pard, didn't realize it was a secret."
"Sure you didn't, and you can wipe that grin off your face right now. Who are you taking, anyway?"
"Me? Well, the thing of it is, Chris, with most of our peacekeepin' force attendin' the dance, someone's gotta keep an eye out around town."
"And you think that should be you?"
"Hey, I'm volunteerin' here, Chris."
"Makes sense, Chris, with the rest of us planning to go to the dance."
"Don't help him out, Buck, he just wants to get out of going."
"Reckon I already have, pard. But don't worry about li'l old me, I'll be just fine."
"So, it's the dance tonight, Chris. I hope ya have yer suit all laundered, ready ta git dressed up. Wouldn't want ta let Mary down, now would ya?"
"Yer real calm about this whole thing."
"Shouldn't I be? We don't all quake at the thought of a little dancing with a beautiful woman. Just a pity you won't be coming, too... well, good morning, Miss Nancy. Beautiful day isn't it?"
"Why, good morning to you too, Mr. Larabee. Mr. Tanner, I'm so looking forward to seeing you later. I could just burst with excitement! It's going to be just perfect. Sorry I don't have time to stay and chat - I have a few final preparations to make, if you get my meaning. Goodbye for now!"
"Chris? Why was Miss Nancy winkin' at me like that? What does she mean about seein' me later?"
"I'm sure I have no idea, Vin. Ah, Mrs. Potter, good morning to you."
"Good morning Mr. Larabee, Mr. Tanner. Mr. Tanner, I just popped over to tell you that the suit you ordered arrived on the stage yesterday afternoon - just in time. You can come and pick it up later. And if I may say so, it's just perfect for you, you'll look so very handsome. You'll certainly be turning a few heads this evening! Well, I must be off - lots to do before the dance."
"Suit? I didn't order a suit!"
"No, I... Chris? Why are ya smirkin'?"
"I'm not smirking, Vin. I... oh, hello Mary."
"Chris. Beautiful day, isn't it. It's so long since we've had a dance in Four Corners. I'm so looking forward to it."
"So am I, ma'am."
"And Vin, I was so delighted when Chris told me you'd changed your mind about coming. Nancy is a lovely girl, if a little... strong minded. I'm sure you'll have a wonderful time. Until this evening, then."
"What've ya done? I... I ain't takin' Nancy Willard to the dance! Ya heard Buck; she's like one'a them octopurry things-"
"I think the word you're searching for is, 'octopus', Vin."
"I don't care what it's called! I ain't goin'!"
"Now, Vin, be reasonable. How would it look if you cancelled now? Nancy would be so disappointed-"
"Cancelled! I never even signed up! Chris? Chris, where're ya going? Ya come back here and sort this out RIGHT NOW!"
"Sorry, Vin, I have to go and check on my suit."
"Buck, why's Vin chasing Chris down the street?"
"I think you'll find that Chris has just evened the score, JD."
"What score? Oh, you don't mean Chris has played another joke on Vin? Isn't this whole thing getting a bit out of hand?"
"It's just a friendly little game, JD."
"Really? Throwing Chris in the water trough doesn't look too friendly to me, Buck."