Homegrown Hero by Sue M

Alternate Universe "Brothers Larabee"

Disclaimer: Just playing. I know I can't keep 'em…damnit!

Summary: A split-second decision shows the true metal of the youngest of the Seven

Thanks to Phyllis for Brothers Larabee/AU2, and for betaing when I wrote it a few years ago.

Thanks to Lisa C for the plot bunny.

It had been nice while it lasted. Hospitals were not generally known as places of tranquility, but for the half hour he had laid there, in a nice four-bed ward all to himself, it had been a haven of peace and solitude. He'd dozed, gone over the morning's events with the police…dozed some more. It helped that he was on darned good painkillers, he couldn't feel a thing right now, though, he felt sure that would change sometime soon, probably as soon as that door opened. He heard a voice…yep, anytime now…



In the yard of their home, Buck drummed his fingers on the top of a vehicle as he waited for JD to arrive. "Get your ass in gear, squirt! I want to get into town before I get old!"

Exiting the house, jogging over, and jumping into Josiah's Suburban, JD snorted at Buck. "What do you mean, get old? You are old." From the front passenger seat, Chris rolled his eyes, while Vin chuckled as JD settled next to him in the seats behind the driver. Buck jumped in and budged up real tight.

"Ow…you lump, give me more room." JD squawked.

Buck grinned, leaning in harder. "Hush…children should be seen and not heard."

Trying to gain some leverage, the younger man grunted out his reply. "Me? Very funny, old man…despite your advancing years, you're the biggest kid I ever met."

"Will you two settle down?"

At the sound of Chris's voice, Buck and JD separated.

"Thank you."

"So, what's the plan, Stud?" Buck asked as he buckled up.

"There's a plan?" Vin raised an eyebrow, "That's gotta be a first."

As Josiah pulled away from the ranch house, Chris answered Buck's original question. "I'm getting some paperwork drawn up, Buck's going to Rosie's, JD wants to pick up some magazines, Josiah's going to the bank and we're all meeting Ezra and Nathan in Rosie's in about an hour."

"And you?" JD looked at Vin. The Texan shrugged.

"I'm just bumming a ride."

They all chuckled. Buck nudged JD. "So, these magazines…"

The easterner narrowed his eyes. "Computer magazines, Buck… c-o-m-p-u-t- e-r ."

As the brothers laughed, Josiah's voice boomed over it. "Bucklin, get your mind out of the gutter."

The brunet teasingly squeezed JD's knee hard, laughing quietly as the younger man slapped at his hand. Buck looked to Sanchez. "It's not the mouth it comes out of, Josiah, it's the mind it goes into."

Finally, the five brothers settled into relaxed conversation as they made their way into town.


In Rosie's bar, Inez smiled sweetly as she brought the five men their beers, while Buck served the last of the afternoon stragglers. "Is JD joining you?"

Ezra nodded. "He is indeed, dear lady. I daresay he's become engrossed in one of the many pieces of literature he so loves to purchase in overly large quantities." As he spoke, Chris's cell rang and the blond grinned when he checked the ID.

"JD?" He grinned again. "Okay…see you soon."

"Everything okay?" Vin asked.

Chris nodded, looking at Ezra. "Yep, he got carried away in the store."


Snapping his cell closed, JD went to the checkout and handed over his card. Collecting his purchases, he made his way out of the store and onto the sidewalk. He was just about to head off to Rosie's when he heard a call, turning to see where it came from. A woman was standing on the pavement, screaming.

"My purse…MY PURSE!"

Seeing the running thief heading straight for him, JD tossed down his magazines and stood firm, tackling the man and grabbing for the handbag as they connected. Twisting when they went down, the taller, heavier bodied thief landed on top of the youth. Air whooshed from JD's lungs as the two bodies hit the ground hard. He felt his shoulder pop even as his head bounced off the pavement. Desperate to escape, the man elbowed JD in the face, resulting in the easterner losing his grip on him.

Vaguely aware of the blurry features of a woman looking down at him, JD noted her pointing animatedly. He realized, just before he passed out, that he had her purse in his hand.


In Four Corners small cottage hospital, a woman peered over at a young, dark haired man in an ER bed. "Hello…hello, sweetie…can you hear me?" The nurse turned to the doctor. "No, he's not quite there yet. Do we have a name?"

The police officer who had accompanied JD in, flipped open the wallet they had found on the unconscious youth and put into a bag of personal effects.

"It says John Daniel Dunne."

Nodding, the nurse tried again. "Hello…John…John, can you hear me? You're in hospital." She noted him stirring.


Smiling, Nurse Phelps stroked his face, careful to avoid the bruising. "There ya go…come on, honey, almost with us."


JD felt as if he was peering through dense fog. His head hurt and, for a moment, he thought he heard his mother call…except…he frowned, he somehow knew that wasn't right. Images of six men drifted through his mind…of him, standing on a sidewalk, a man barreling into him. As JD slowly pieced things together, he became more animated, restless movements alerting the medical staff he was nearing consciousness. Suddenly, he remembered and called out the last thing he saw before he blacked out

"Purse!" JD tried to sit up.

His black lashes fluttered in an attempt to fully open. Nurse Phelps leaned in, and placed a comforting hand on the youth's chest to steady him. Finally, a pair of hazel eyes peered back at her. She smiled. "Welcome back, John."

"Can I speak to him, now?" The officer inquired.

"Give him a few minutes." Before she could say any more, JD was retching. While she helped the young man, she smiled, awkwardly back at the cop. "Guess not."

As another nurse came in to assist, she stared at the heaving youth. "Oh my! Isn't this Nathan's brother?"

Nurse Phelps looked up briefly. "Do you mean Nathan as in, Doctor Jackson?"

Nurse Wilde nodded. "Yes, remember? He had four new brothers turn up recently, some sort of reunion, or something. I'm sure this is the youngest, he's been in here before." She squeezed JD's arm and fussed with his pillows.

Settling JD back in the bed, Nurse Phelps stroked back his hair. "Quite the VIP aren't you?" she smiled.

JD coughed. "Sorry."

Nurse Phelps helped him sip some water. "No need to apologize. How about we put you somewhere a little more private?" She pointed. "The officer there would like to talk to you."


Each man had checked his watch, mindful it had been forty minutes since JD called. Buck was on his cell, frowning as all he could get was a busy signal. Chris's cell rang and the relief on his face was evident .

"JD…where the hell are…" Chris frowned. "Who is this?"

Five pairs of eyes instantly looked Chris's way.

"I see, no…I'm grateful you did, thank you, we'll be right there."

Buck rubbed a hand over his face, already standing. "What's he done now?"

Chris pushed Josiah's keys toward him across the table. "He's at the hospital." As one, six men left the bar and headed for Josiah's vehicle and Ezra's Jag.

On the way, Chris explained a police officer had called from JD's cell's contact list. Starting alphabetically, he found Buck's number busy and moved on. On arrival at the hospital, the men were guided to JD's room. When they were in the hallway outside the room JD had been placed in, the officer greeted them, and explained how JD came to be injured. Despite their obvious concern, it was evident all six men were bristling with pride.

"Can we see him, now?" Buck asked.



A noise at the door alerted JD and he slowly turned his head toward his brothers. He wasn't sure if he was smiling, his face hurt too much and, for some reason, he couldn't move his shoulder.

"Jesus, boy…look at you."

"S…sorry, Buck."

The brunet smiled and held JD's good wrist. "Are you kidding me? You're a hero, Kid."

JD half-grinned, then winced. "Don't feel like no hero."

Chris came into his line of sight. "Heroes rarely do, son. That's what makes them special."

JD groaned when he tried to move. "Did I break my shoulder?"

Reading JD's chart, Nathan shook his head. "Naw…just put it out. They popped it back in while you were out."

Vin looked alarmed as he saw JD go green on hearing that. He attempted to take his mind off it. "I guess our trail ride's off for a few days." He knew that estimate was optimistic, so chose to ignore Nathan's frown.

JD pouted. "Aww shoot!" He paused for a moment, then sighed up at Buck. "I lost my magazines."

Ezra stepped forward. "I will procure you some replacements tomorrow, how many did you purchase?"

"'Bout ten."

They all chuckled.

"I will require a list," Ezra insisted.

JD yawned. "Can I go now? I'm s'posed to meet you at Rosie's…I'm running late."

"It's the drugs," Nathan reassured.

Grinning at the incoherency, and in relief, Chris patted JD's good arm. "I'll go sort out the paperwork."

Josiah laid a hand on his youngest brother's bandaged head and then followed Chris out.

Buck and Vin helpied JD to sit up. "Come on, squirt, let's get you upright and out of here."

"'K." He leaned heavily against Buck as Vin draped JD's jacket around his shoulders. Losing the battle with his pain meds, JD mumbled sleepily. "Can we get ice cream?"

Vin and Buck grinned, Vin answered. "Sure kid…what flavor d'ya want?" He wasn't the least bit surprised when JD failed to answer with anything more than a soft snore.

Ezra moved to the door. "I'll go and get a wheelchair."


Deciding it might be more comfortable for JD in Ezra's Jag, Buck held on to the sleeping youth in the back seat of the vehicle. Chris rode shotgun, while Vin, Josiah, and Nathan traveled back in the Suburban. Buck looked at his slumbering brother and sighed.

"Crazy kid…guy coulda had a knife…or worse."

Larabee turned in his seat. "Yeah, we all know that…but he did good. Don't take it away from him." Chris smiled. "Dad would've been proud."

Buck grinned, squeezing the younger man a little tighter. "Oh I won't…and yeah…dad would've been real proud."

Ezra chuckled. "He looks up to us all, says he considers us heroes, yet here he is…our very own, 'homegrown hero'."

JD stirred in his sleep, once again mumbling as he licked his lips. "…Ice cream tastes like puke…"

The three men laughed, grateful to see the ranch house in the distance as they turned into the approach road. A simple daytrip to town had ended in one of their own getting injured while performing heroics. So...just another normal day for the men of the Double L ranch.

There was never a dull moment with this family of seven.

The End