Disclaimer: I don't own them and I am not making money off them.
Summary: Billy Travis is an old man and he remembers. This is my first Magnificent Seven FanFic. I recently got the DVD's for the seven and I remembered what an amazingly great show it was. The writing and the actors were so good. Please leave comments or suggestions. I not really a writer, but I do try to improve.
Warnings: I was trying for angst, memories of death of main characters.
He remembered them. Oh, he caught folk's smiles of disbelief when he mentioned that he had known them, but it didn't bother him. Let them think he was old and senile. The grandkids looked forward to his stories, his memories and he was content to sit by the fireside and tell the children of how things used to be. The little ones loved to listen to Grandpa Bill's stories and he obliged. The important thing was that they would be remembered.
He could close his eyes and still see everything, just as sharp and clear, as though he could go back in time. The sounds, sights and smells of the town, his ma, the townsfolk and of course, them.
He remembered going fishing with Chris and Vin, listening to them talk and feeling so special as he sat there between them down at the old pond. He could feel Nathan's gentle hands tending his skinned knees after he fell out of that tree , could hear Buck as he teased J.D. about that old hat and J.D.s laughter.
He smelled again the wood shavings as he helped Josiah work in the church, while listening in amazement to stories of angels and different lands. He could still remember watching in dumbfounded awe as Ezra shuffled cards one handed, and the flash of a gold-toothed smile as the gambler laughed at a child's delight.
There were days when he wanted to be a sheriff, a missionary, a doctor, a tracker, a gunfighter or a gambler (he didn't tell his ma about those last two, course), all in one day. Yes sir, he thought, they were great memories, great times, great men.
He could still recall, in his minds eye, the last time he saw them. He was leaving to go visit Grandma Travis for a week or two and his grown up friends had come to see him off. He remembered Josiah taking the heavy luggage from him with a smile and handing it up to the driver, remembered the way Chris's arm went around his ma as she tried not to cry.
He could still hear their voices down through the years, the teasing and the laughter. Vin calling him pard, Nathan's laugh and Ezra's southern drawl as he joked with Buck and J.D. The sound of goodbyes filled his ears, and their faces filled his vision and then the coach was on its way out of town.
He was an old man now, he'd had a good life and a full one and he cherished those long ago days when he was called Billy. The memories were good for the most part; the ones that he shared with his grandchildren were full of adventure and fun. There was one though, not so good. The last memory.
He remembered getting off the stage and knowing instantly something was wrong. His ma was there and grandpa but not anyone else. He remembered to this day, the grief in his mother's eyes, as they took him home and explained in terms a young boy could understand, that the town of Four Corners had changed.
There had been an explosion at the bank during a robbery and then a shoot out. In the space of thirty minutes, those men who he had thought of as his friends, as proof of something safe and secure, they were gone, all of them.
He hadn't understood at first. Why all of them? It didn't seem right and now looking back down the years it still didn't, but he understood better now. Life teaches harsh lessons. Sometimes the hardest thing in the world is to be the one left behind. He was grateful in a way, to think of them together, just like always.
He had never gone to the cemetery, couldn't bear to see those graves. It would have made it real.
Ma and him had left the town not long after, moved back with grandpa and grandma Travis. It hadn't mattered to him at the time, it wasn't the same anyway, everything was different in town, the same but different.
He had walked along the dusty streets unconsciously looking for something that was missing and eventually he had come to realize that he would never find it. He never walked past the jail if he could help it, would cross to the other side of the street and try to ignore the fact that no one was sitting in the chairs out front or leaning against the wooden columns.
The saloon was avoided for the same reason, not that his ma ever let him go in all that often, but there was no familiar figures at the bar or sitting down. One day he had peeked in over the door and it just didn't seem right that someone else was playing on that raised poker table in the corner.
Billy roused himself from his memories; he heard the laughter of his grandkids, the sound of feet running down the hall to his room. They would burst through the door in a minute, all talking at once about their day. He would listen to each and every one and when they were quite and settled, he would tell them a story.
It was a story about courage, about being human and doing your best, about making a difference because you could; he had seen seven men do it. He remembered and the children would remember, those men who in a word, were magnificent.