Disclaimer: The Magnificent Seven are owned by Trilogy and MGM. I am just borrowing them and do not make any profit.
Comments: MOG betaed for me. I know I have been keeping her busy of late. I should explain. I have been taking a writing course and unfortunately (unless you like what I have written!) it is making me creative (only one more class). So anyway please enjoy, and think good thoughts, cause we have to get this show back on the air!
Dedicated to: Shawna. She wanted Vin's jacket off and I thought of a way to get it off if only for a little while. . .
Archivist's Note: This fic was previously hosted on another website and was moved to blackraptor in September 2006.
Chris had sent JD to find Vin. JD first checked the livery for the sharpshooter. Sire was in his stable calmly eating hay. The young gunslinger went to the tracker's next possible location-his wagon. JD hurried down the wooden sidewalk, replying to the townsfolk's hellos as he passed. From the sidewalk he saw it. Smoke was emanating from Vin's home. JD ran, his feet going from the walkway to the dirt in the street. He stopped short once he reached the wagon. There stood Tanner and his jacket. But the buckskin jacket was not on Vin. It was hanging off of the wagon. JD was trying hard to think of a time when the tracker did not have the jacket on. He had it when he went over that cliff. JD had seen him swim with it too. Vin even slept with the jacket on. JD still stood, his mouth agape. He had to close it though due to the smoke.
Vin stood in front of the jacket, wearing a blue, home-spun, shirt and his tan, buckskin pants. He was waving a torch in front of his jacket, but the piece of wood didn't have a flame. Smoke was wafting from it's end.
"JD, are you gonna say something?" Vin asked still waving the wand of smoke around his jacket.
"Umm, yes, no. . .I mean, what are you doing?" Then it dawned on JD. "Is this some kind of Indian ritual?" The jacket had stood up to so much, maybe there was some Indian curse on it that had to be renewed.
Tanner laughed. "No, I am trying to get the critters out of the darn thing."
"Critters?" JD gulped and took a step back in case the critters decided to jump onto him.
"JD, every once in awhile you need to delouse things, like bedrolls." Vin explained further, "so you don't get lice and have to cut your hair."
"Ohhhhhh!" The young gunslinger smoothed down his ebony hair.
"JD, is there a reason you came here?" Vin put the torch down and covered it with dirt to stop the smoking.
JD had to search his mind for a second. The shock of Vin without the jacket had made him momentarily forget his mission. "Yeah, Chris wants to see ya. Seems like trouble is coming."
Tanner started to walk away from the wagon. JD began to follow and then yelled to Vin,
"Are you going out without your jacket?"
The sharpshooter turned and shrugged his shoulders. "It smells like smoke JD. It needs time to air."
JD looked back and forth from the jacket to Vin and then ran up to join Tanner, heading to the saloon.
Ezra did not recognize the man JD had brought into the saloon. There was a resemblance to someone, but Standish could not figure out who until Buck spit out his beer and the spray hit Ezra's face.
Ezra took out his pristine, white, silk handkerchief and wiped his face. The man standing in front of him was Vin Tanner wearing a blue shirt. Again Buck stated what was on the gambler's mind.
"I didn't know you actually wore something underneath that buckskin jacket," Wilmington got up to inspect Vin further.
"Buck sit down," Chris said from the table, "you men too. We got trouble coming."
Vin took a seat near Larabee. Ezra noticed that Chris began to study the tracker too. He remained silent as always.
"Mister Tanner, I must ask, where is your ever-present accessory?" Vin shrugged his answer.
"The jacket, man! Where is your jacket!" Ezra gestured to his jacket with his hands.
"He's delousing it, " JD answered for Tanner.
"That's mighty considerate of you, Vin," Buck smiled.
"Are you telling me that Mister Tanner's jacket houses inhospitable creatures?" Ezra began to get a case of the imaginary itchies just thinking about it.
"Ezra, the man said he took care of them," Nathan scowled at the scarlet coated man.
"Brother Larabee, you said we had some trouble coming?" Josiah prodded Chris.
Chris seemed lost in thought staring at Vin. He shook his head. "Yeah, the Judge telegrammed me. Bankrobbers are coming our way."
"How many?" Vin drawled.
Chris stared again at the tracker before answering, "five."
Tanner gave his friend a questioning look.
"It's nothing," Chris answered. Then Larabee yelled out to the saloon's waitress, "Inez, do you mind bringing some biscuits over here for Vin!"
Tanner nodded no. "Inez, I already ate breakfast this morning." Vin turned to Chris. "I'm all set pard."
"Vin, no offense, but without that jacket you look kind of thin." Larabee said staring at his friend's lean form.
"Next time I see Nettie, I'll have to tell her to fatten you up," Buck said jokingly.
"You know maybe the Seminole Indians can help?" Nathan offered.
"Help with what?" Vin said exasperated by the turn in the conversation.
"Put some weight on you," Josiah answered for Nathan. "The Cherokee used roots. . . ."
Vin got up from the table.
"Where are you going Mister Tanner?"
"Back for my jacket! I rather smell like smoke then take all this ribbin' " He threw the men a shrewd look. "You all need something else to do. It's a jacket!"
The six men coughed to cover their laughter.
"Poor Mister Tanner, I feel as though we have given him some sort of complex." Ezra said, stilling his cards to look at the retreating tracker. "But, the blue shirt did complement his features."
The End-Hoped you liked it!
(No, Shawna, I couldn't think of a way to get the shirt off too*G*)