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 sixth 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.
As Buck rode away, JD stood in the street, staring after him, his mind full of questions, not to mention mild confusion. He wouldn't even let JD ride out with him. While the boy wasn't in the least bit surprised Chris hadn't asked him to go, he hadn't asked Buck either, and clearly Buck had his own feelings on that.
So why Josiah and Nathan?
And not Vin?
Vin he needed to talk to Vin. He turned full circle as he pondered then headed for the jail.
Tanner looked asleep, his body slouched down in the seat, feet on the desk, hat down over his eyes, but as soon as the jail door opened, his gun was in his hand and pointing toward it.
"Just me, Vin," JD announced as he entered, the Texan's only reply being the return of the drawn gun to its holster. For a few moments, the young sheriff stared at the relaxed form as he tried to formulate the words he needed.
"Spit it out, kid."
Taking off his hat and nervously ruffling his hair, JD approached the desk.
"Why would a man take off on somethin' real important and not take his closest friends with him?"
"You talkin' bout yourself, JD?"
"What?" The easterner frowned, "No, not me you and Buck."
"Buck *did * go as I recall."
"Yeah, only `cause he invited himself."
Vin tilted his hat to look at the younger man. "Guess that's `tween Chris an' Buck then."
"But Vin we could've helped."
"Not our fight, kid."
JD frowned. "Are you sayin' you'd only help a friend if asked not just step in because you can see he *needs* help?"
Vin sat upright, returning his feet to the floor, now giving the boy his full attention. "No, I believe I'm sayin' it's not our fight, an' Chris chose to keep it that way."
"So, you don't think we should offer to help go after `em?"
Vin paused, yes, he did want to go after them, he wanted to ease his best friend's pain and help catch the bastards that tore his heart from him.
"No they know where we are if they need us."
JD stared at the ground, that was *not* the answer he was hoping for. With a sigh, he turned to leave.
JD looked back, his eyes not reaching the Texan's.
"..your a good man for wantin' to help."
With a tight smile and a single nod, the youth left.
It didn't take a genius to realize something was bothering the young sheriff, apart from his demeanor; the chair he was now slumped in had barely survived the pounding it took as the youth slammed it into position. Ezra figured it would likely be folly to inquire, but inquire he must. Picking up his whiskey, the southerner stood up from the card table and approached the younger man.
"May I?" he gestured to the seat next to JD.
The boy shrugged, his eyes firmly focused on the table top.
"I'll take that as a yes." Standish pulled out the chair and sat down, taking a few minutes to study the boy, convinced at least once or twice JD was about to speak, but didn't.
"Well, that has to be a record."
"Huh?" JD finally looked up at his companion.
"I do believe that is the longest I have ever seen you sit quietly. What ails you, my young friend?"
Dunne sighed, fixing on whether he wanted to go through it all again. He decided he did. "If your friend was in trouble, wouldn't you want to help him?"
"Ahhh well, it would depend."
"On whether I was crossing the line."
"There's a line?" JD was confused. "What line?"
"The line between helping and meddling."
"How can you know where that line is?" JD asked.
"That is something that comes with experience, son, and even then, mistakes can be made."
"Great," the easterner rolled his eyes, "experience the one thing I don't have."
Ezra smiled, "Oh there are many things you have yet to acquire my young friend, but three things you clearly possess is passion, courage and loyalty."
JD stared at Ezra, did he just pay him a compliment?
"Not much good to Buck and Chris from back here though, are they?"
"No, but they are traveling with the knowledge that three friends are here if needed."
The boy smiled and nodded. "Yeah."
JD sat up in his bed to see a pair of piercing blue eyes staring at him, the light outside suggesting it was early morning.
"C'mon kid time to be a friend."
"Huh?" His sleep fogged mind tried to decipher Vin's words.
"Chris is askin' for us."
Those words sank in much faster and JD was up and dressed in minutes. By the time he reached the livery, Yosemite had saddled his, Vin's and Ezra's horses, Vin was already mounted.
Ezra strolled into the livery. "I abhor early morning, Mister Larabee needs to hone his timing skills."
Vin shook his head, JD chuckled, both knowing Ezra's display was just that, he had been as worried as they were. The three men trotted out from the shelter of the livery and into the morning sunshine. By the time they hit the town's limit, they were in a full gallop.
A few hours on, they had slowed to give their horses a break.
"Did Chris say why he needed us?" JD asked, taking a swig of water from his canteen.
"Nope." Vin's reply was straight to the point.
JD sighed inwardly, needing more. "What do we do when we get there?"
"Got to get there first."
Ezra smiled at the boy's exasperation at Vin's answers.
JD tried a different tack. "Wonder what happened to that reporter, fella."
"Chris likely shot him by now." Vin smirked as he moved only his eyes sideways for a reaction, laughing softly as JD's chuckle emerged.
Dunne's expression dropped a little. "I hope Chris found what he was looking for."
Ezra shifted slightly in his saddle. "Indeed."
The three men lay on their stomachs on an outcrop overlooking the town. Vin put down his spyglass.
"They're settin' up an ambush." He pointed to several positions as JD and Ezra acknowledged him.
"What can *we* do?" JD asked.
"I need you to get down there and find us a horse an' a covered wagon. Can you do that for me?"
JD nodded enthusiastically, "Sure, I can do that." He stood to leave, Vin grabbed his arm.
"Be careful." He pointed, "Meet us there, just near that buildin'."
Dunne nodded, "Okay."
As JD disappeared, Ezra shuffled closer, "Was that wise?" he asked the tracker.
"JD's small `n got good horse sense, yeah, I reckon he'll do just fine."
A half hour later saw the men on the edge of town behind some buildings. Vin was casting an eye over the wagon and team.
"I know you said a horse, but these were already hitched up at the back of the livery." JD half expected Vin to criticize, instead he nodded his approval.
"Mules'll do just fine." He patted the easterner on the back.
Climbing aboard, the three men got settled under the cover.
"What now?" Standish wondered, looking to Vin for an answer.
"Now we wait."
They had gone over every detail, at the first sign of trouble they would move the wagon into the street. This would give some cover, cause a distraction and allow them to get into the thick of it without the ambushers realizing what was happening. On hearing gunshots, they looked out to see their friends instantly pinned down and JD urged the team forward. His heart was pounding, not with fear for himself but fear of not getting there on time. Vin touched his shoulder and whispered.
"When the mules stop, I'll count to three then Ezra, you pull down the cloth. Be alert, kid, we only got seconds to react."
"Okay," JD breathed, "I'm ready."
"Just say the word, Mister Tanner," Ezra confirmed.
The mules brayed and the street went silent.
"One two THREE! "