Summary: A series of 'missing scenes' for the original OW series from the author's and JD's POV
Disclaimer: Just playing. I know I can't keep `em...damnit!
A JD POV for a missing scene for each episode was brought to the table by Robijean and I couldn't resist! So here is the ninth of, I hope, one for each episode.
Thanks to Phyllis for betaing this. Comments welcome.
My thanks also to Nancy and Blackraptor for the transcript archive, and for giving my stories a home.
Wiping a shaking hand across his perspiring face, JD Dunne hugged the wooden pail to him as he watched Josiah Sanchez walk away, across the reservation. He had genuinely believed the teepee was on fire, so why had Josiah been so unkind with his words to explain JD's mistake? Did he really embarrass them all? He looked about him as he placed the bucket on the ground. He really was standing in the middle of an Indian reservation and still alive. Everything he had ever read about Indians suddenly seemed so wrong. They weren't hostile, or savage, they just went about their business quietly and efficiently, for the most part, ignoring that he and Josiah were even there. He startled as someone took his hand, smiling as he recognized the face of the skunk lady. His stomach roiled at the thought of eating that again.
So she could speak English. Allowing her to lead him, JD was taken to an area where a circle of women sat, grinding something in a clay dish. She urged him to sit and handed him a pot and pestle, imitating the movement to encourage him to begin. JD looked into the dish.
"Are these acorns?"
One woman smiled at him, exaggerating her movements to show him what was expected. With a smile and a nod, JD followed suit, wondering if the ensuing laughter rippling around the group was to mock him, but quickly realizing they seemed pleased he was there. After a while, JD examined his efforts. He seemed to have achieved his goal. With a nod of approval, the skunk lady encouraged him to his feet and handed him on to a young girl.
The pair made their way to an odd-looking tree, JD frowning as he watched the young girl push her hand into a hollow. On opening her hand once she had retracted it, the girl revealed wriggling caterpillars, which she promptly deposited into a pail, only to delve into the tree for more. She encouraged JD to help.
"In here right?" Swallowing hard, the youth pushed his hand into the hollow, biting his lip so as not to cry out as he felt the tiny warm bodies all over his hand and wrist. Withdrawing hastily, he tossed his handful into the bucket.
The girl giggled, but seemed pleased with his effort, returning both JD and the bucket back to the skunk lady, who too seemed satisfied with him. JD watched her throw the caterpillars into a pot hanging from sticks over a fire and made a mental note not to eat stew that evening. Lord, at this rate, he would starve.
JD looked up to see Josiah pacing up on a hill in the distance, to then sit, seemingly in contemplation. Josiah's words again bit into him and he swallowed, hard. He knew the preacher had a lot on his mind and that the man understood the ways of these people almost, if not as much, as Vin did, but that didn't give him cause to question JD's upbringing. That was surely a slur on his mamma. But the thing that rankled the most was the thought he was an embarrassment to the group. He thought about going up the hill and confronting Josiah, deciding instead to leave and go join the hunt for Chanu.
Josiah sighed deeply, opening his eyes to look to Heaven. "You do love to set me a challenge, don't you?" He looked down over and saw JD preparing his horse to leave. Frowning, the big man rose to his feet and made his way to his young friend.
JD saw Josiah coming, but continued to saddle his horse.
"JD JD, where are you going?"
Dunne looked up. "Somewhere I won't be an 'embarrassment' ." He tightened the cinch a little more.
Josiah exhaled softly, placing his hands on his hips as he looked down at the ground for a moment. He raised his head.
"JD son you're not an embarrassment. " He winced at the look he received. Moving forward, he placed a hand on JD's shoulder. "These are a proud people, sometimes it's just easier to admit we're ignorant of their ways than to just say sorry ignorance they can tolerate, no man knows everything fools they have no respect for."
JD continued preparing to leave.
"Didn't you enjoy learning a few things just now? It was a sort of acceptance they chose to take you and teach you some of their ways. That's a great honor."
Looking up, JD narrowed his eyes. "Really an honor?"
Josiah nodded. "Yes, and I'm guessing, if you take a walk around, you'll learn far more by the end of the day. I apologize for my words, earlier, son. My intention was never to offend you. I won't stop you from leaving, all I ask, is you embrace this opportunity very few white men are offered it."
The two men stared at each other for a few moments, then JD nodded. Josiah smiled and turned to walk away.
Sanchez turned back. "Yes, son?"
"Before I left this thing with Chanu it's got Buck and Ezra upset with Vin. Vin's not wrong is he?"
Josiah smiled. "Vin's a man of wide experience and profound honor. Right now, his world is off-balance and he can only see the path to making things right even if it proves him to be wrong. Buck and Ezra will understand soon enough." His own words suddenly sinking in, Josiah excused himself and headed for Kojay's tent.
Watching Josiah leave, JD looked around. He was right about one thing, being here was an amazing opportunity. Unsaddling his horse and removing his jacket, JD wandered quietly around the reservation, observing and absorbing everything around him. Coming upon a group of children playing a game, he watched in fascination, surprised as one of them approached him and offered him an item while urging him to join in. He returned the smile.
"Me? You want me to play? Okay " he crouched down, " like this? I throw the stick like this?" JD tossed the stick and watched as the children seemed to approve. "Did I do it right? I did? I go again? Okay." JD quickly learned that to win, the stick had to land on the plain side, exposing the painted side. Time passed as he played game after game with the children, only looking up when anxious shouts echoed around him. Ushering the children along, JD went to retrieve his jacket, checking his guns as he did so. The dust cloud in the distance seemed ominous he would soon be proved right.