Concrete Angel by LaraMee

Main Characters: Chris, Vin

ATF Universe

Disclaimer: Don’t own the rights to the original concept of The Magnificent Seven or its characters, nor do I make any money from fiction based on those concepts. I do not claim any rights to the song, Concrete Angel. This song appears on Martina McBride’s Greatest Hits album. I’m only borrowing both to create a bit of angst-y fiction.

Notes: This is a songfic. Many thanks to JK Poffenberger and S Berry who created the LB Universe.

Written for Deb M., who decided that Concrete Angel needed to become part of the M7 fandom… even if she had to give me yet another plot bunny to wrangle! Thanks Deb…

Webmaster Note: This story was moved to blackraptor in May 2012

Chris Larabee yawned and scrubbed a hand over his tired eyes. He had just gotten home twenty minutes earlier, having to stay late for a supervisors meeting. It seemed as if there was always a meeting, or an assignment, or something that kept him away from home far too many evenings. It was beginning to tell, not only through the bone weariness of his lean body, but through the growing anxiety he felt in his adopted son. Vin had become more and more clingy those evenings he was home, demanding his attention.

The guilt he felt was accentuated by the fact that Buck Wilmington was home every evening when the boys came home. The bond the big man had formed with JD had only strengthened during the last three weeks. Buck had broken his leg falling from the hay loft of their barn, and was on medical leave for another week.

And tonight he hadn’t even gotten home in time to tuck his little boy into bed or wish him sweet dreams.

Taking a swallow of the beer he hoped would ease the tension coursing through his tired body, he settled back and watched the television. The local news was on, and he let the inane prattle of the co-anchors wash over him. Then one of the stories caught his attention, causing his heart to leap in his chest as he sat up a bit straighter.

She walks to school with the lunch she packed
Nobody knows what she’s holdin’ back.
Wearin’ the same dress she wore yesterday,
She hides the bruises with linen and lace.

“The body of a young girl was found behind a dumpster in an alley on Jefferson Avenue this morning by a group of teenagers on their way to school. Preliminary reports indicate that she died from severe malnutrition and internal injuries. Her identity has not been released, but child abuse is suspected.

“In sports today – “

Larabee heard a small sound behind him, and turned to find Vin standing in the doorway. His eyes flickered from the little boy to the television and back, wondering how much the seven year old had heard.

“Hey, Cowboy,” he reached out, beckoning the tiny boy toward him.

Vin hurried across the room, climbing into his foster father’s lap. He snuggled against the warm, broad chest, curling up into a little ball as he sought the comfort of the strong arms.

Chris could tell from the tense posture that the boy had heard the report. He stroked a hand tenderly through the tousled chestnut curls and wrapped his arm around the child. After a minute he asked quietly, “want to talk about it?”

Struggling to find the words he needed, Vin finally asked, “is she in heaven?”


“The… the little girl the ‘porter was talkin’ ‘bout. Do y’ reckon she went t’ heaven?”

Kissing the top of the little head, the big man said, “Yeah, I reckon she went to heaven.”

Nodding, Vin said, “Reckon Macy did, too.”

Frowning at the unfamiliar name, the blond said, “Who’s Macy?”

“Jist a girl I knowed… from b’fore.”

Larabee knew that ‘before’ meant the days prior to their finding Vin and JD in the abandoned building. “Did she live on the streets with you?”

“No. She had a home… but she didn’t like t’ go there. Her folks… they didn’t treat her real nice. Usu’lly she’d stay with me and JD long as she could after school. She’d read t’ me ‘n JD from her books… ‘til her mama hollered fer her. Then she’d skedaddle home quick as she could. She still got hit, though. ”

The teacher wonders but she doesn’t see,
It’s hard to see the pain behind the mask.
Bearing the burden of a secret storm,
Sometimes she wishes she were never born

Vin was quiet for several minutes, but Chris could tell the little boy wasn’t any where near sleep. He had the feeling neither of them would be sleeping anytime soon. He continued to hold the little boy, patiently waiting for the story to continue. When the little chest drew in a deep breath, he steeled himself for more of the sad narrative.

“Sometimes she’d run away… come and stay with us. Most a the time when she did, she’d have bruises or be bleedin’. I’d do the best I could t’ fix ‘er up, but I wasn’t real sure a what t’ do.”

The picture of his tiny ward struggling to care for the battered child welled up in Larabee’s minds eye and caused his heart to lurch.

Unconsciously he tightened his hold on the little body in his lap, loosening it when he felt Vin flinch. “Sorry, pard.”

Vin leaned out and looked up into his father’s face. “Reckon I should ‘a done somethin’ else… but I wasn’t… wasn’t certain a what. Are y’ mad at me, Dad?”

Puzzling at the tiny frown aimed his way, Chris realized that the little boy mistook his response as being directed toward him. Shaking his head vigorously, he said, “Not in the least, Vin. In fact I’m very proud of you for helping her.”

Shaking his head, the little boy whispered, “wasn’t enough.”

Through the wind and the rain,
She stands hard as a stone,
In a world that she can’t rise above.
But her dreams give her wings
And she flies to a place where she’s loved.
Concrete angel.

“You… you don’t have to talk about it if you don’t want to,” Chris reassured the child.

“I know, but… I… I want to. If y’ don’t want me too – “

Ruffling the rich curls, the man said, “You tell me all you want about her, Vin. I’d like to know about her.”

Settling in against the warmth of the man who had saved him from the streets, the child took up his narrative. “Sometimes she’d feel too poorly to go to school… or she’d be too bruised up. Them times, she’d come and stay with me and JD. Macy’s folks, they’d be home most a the mornin’, and she weren’t ‘llowed t’ stay home. So, she’d bring her books and come stay with us.

“I’d go find stuff t’ fix ‘er up… I… sometimes I took stuff. I’m… sorry.”

“What did you take?” Chris really didn’t care, but he sensed the little boy needed to tell him.

“Usually I’d find towels ‘n stuff out on clothes lines or somethin’… I’d take a towel, a washrag, and sometimes somethin’ t’ wrap up Macy’s hurts. Her pa… he like t’ use a big belt on her, and sometimes she’d be bleedin’.”

Larabee groaned at the thought of what Vin had gone through, as well as his friend, all because some sick bastard enjoyed torturing a child.

“I’m sorry,” Vin whispered in a pain-filled voice. He wondered what Chris would do now that he knew the truth. He was a thief.

“No, I’m sorry, Cowboy. I’m sorry that you had to go through all that. Sorry that JD did… and sorry that Macy had to go through all she did. If I seem angry, Vin, it’s because I am… but not toward you. I’m angry at the grown ups who hurt her, and the ones that let her be hurt.

“I’m proud of you, son. Prouder than I can say, for the way you helped your friend.”

“Jist wish… wish I could a done more,” the little boy lamented softly.

Father and son were quiet for long moments until Vin finally took up the story again.

Somebody cries in the middle of the night,
The neighbors hear, but they turn out the lights.
A fragile soul caught in the hands of fate
When morning comes it’ll be too late.

“Whenever Macy come to stay with us, she’d tell us stories. Not jist th’ ones in her books, neither. She’d tell us stories a what we’d do one day. We was gonna run away… go somewhere where nobody could hurt any of us. Sometimes she’d say we was gonna run off an’ find Never-Neverland. Y’ know, where Peter Pan lives.”

Chris smiled at that, at Vin’s conviction that Peter Pan was alive and well on that far off island.

“Sometimes, though, she didn’t feel good ‘nuff to tell us stories. She’d git to us, and lay real quiet all day. Sometimes she’d be cryin’ a little, an’ she’d look awful scared. Me and JD… we’d try tellin’ Macy stories them times… but we wasn’t near ‘s good at it. Sometimes I’d jist hold her hand and try t’ make her smile.

“I think I got most scared when she didn’t come ‘round a’tall.”

Larabee flinched at the old, tired voice that came from the young child. Once again he was reminded of the violent life the son of his heart had lived before they had found one another.

Through the wind and the rain,
She stands hard as a stone,
In a world that she can’t rise above.
But her dreams give her wings
And she flies to a place where she’s loved.
Concrete angel.

“Then one day…” Vin stumbled over the words, and the blond felt the hot sting of tears soak through his dress shirt. “We seen the police an’ the ambulance outside a where Macy lived. Me ‘n JD was worried. She hadn’t come round fer near a week.

“I figured maybe she’d finally run off… and… and… I‘m sorry. I was mad at ‘er. She… she always promised we’d take off t’… together. It was mean a me t’ feel like that.” Vin clutched his stuffed cat to him, curling up even more than he had, pressing his face into the synthetic fur.

All that the senior agent could do was hold the trembling child and offer him the comfort of his presence. He pulled the afghan from the back of the couch and wrapped the sobbing child in it. Gently he rocked the tiny body, leaning his cheek against the curl-covered head. After nearly half an hour, the child resumed his tale.

“At first… I just figured somebody’d got hurt in a fight or somethin’. Figured it was just a grown up thing. That kind ‘a stuff happened a lot where we was then.

“I ‘member it was rainin’ that mornin’. Not real hard, but we got awful wet standin’ there. JD was scared with all them folks crowdin’ around, but I was… was… “

“Curious?” Larabee guessed at the word the child was struggling to find.

Nodding, Vin repeated, “curious. I just stood there, watchin’. Then… then I seen ‘m.”

Chris heard the anger in the small voice and guessed at who ‘them’ were. Still, he asked, “them?”

“Macy’s ma ‘n pa. The cops was pullin’ on ‘em… bringin’ ‘em outta the ‘partment buildin’. I’d seen ‘m a few times, ‘n Macy’d told me who they was. Her ma was screamin’ and cryin’… but her pa, he was real quiet. Just walked along with th’ cops, like there wasn’t nothin’ wrong.

“I knowed… even ‘fore they brought ‘er out… what happened. Weren’t the first time I’d seen them ambulance folks carryin’ a… a body.”

“Oh… damn,” Chris uttered the words in a choked whisper. The thought that his son recognized death at such an early age was almost too much for him to bear.

Vin continued, his voice washed out and emotionless. “I knowed it was her… Macy. Th’… the body was real small in th’ bag.”

More long moments passed, as father tried to comfort son, both of them feeling the loss of the little girl. It was nearly an hour before the little boy relaxed, his body collapsing against the broad chest. Carefully Chris lifted his son and left the den, turning off the television as he did. He started to take the precious bundle to his bed, but changed his mind and walked to his own bedroom. They both needed the comfort of the other’s presence tonight.

A statue stands in a shaded place
An angel girl with an upturned face
A name is written on a polished rock
A broken heart that the world forgot.

It took him nearly a week to track her down from the information Vin was able to provide him with. It was another two weeks before he and Buck brought the two boys to see her final resting place. The sterile name plate, nearly hidden in the overgrown weeds of the unkempt public cemetery, had been replaced.

Chris saw the blue eyes dance with a combination of tears and joy at the sight he beheld. A little angel bloomed from the pink marble base of the headstone, her face and arms lifted toward the morning sky. The delicate folds of her gown seemed to flutter in the breeze, and the wings appeared to be ready to lift her into the air.

Beneath the tiny stone feet was the inscription Larabee had dictated to the craftsman charged with presenting the child’s legacy to the world:

Macy Elizabeth Sanderson

1992 – 2000

‘Straight on toward morning… she dances among the clouds now’

The two little boys delivered the gifts Chris had brought along… delicate pink roses in a ceramic lamb, a teddy bear, and a copy of Peter Pan. Each gift was lovingly placed along the base of the headstone.

JD was soon distracted, his five year old mind keeping him from connecting the statue to the child they had once known. Buck took the little boy off to the car to wait for the others.

Vin squatted before the pink stone, tracing each letter of the inscription. Finally he stood, turning his tiny face up to look into the ruddy face above him. Smiling, he wrapped his arms around his father’s waist.

Larabee lifted the little child into his arms, the boy hugging his neck. He gently rubbed the little back, standing quietly before the little grave. After a moment the tousled head lifted, and a pair of old eyes looked into his from the tiny, elfin face.

“Thank you, Dad,” Vin whispered.

Through the wind and the rain
She stands hard as a stone,
In a world that she can’t rise above.
But her dreams give her wings
And she flies to a place where she’s loved.
Concrete angel.

The End

Feedback to:

====================== < DID YOU KNOW> =====================

Each day in the United States, more than 3 children die as a result of child abuse in the home.

For more information, visit this and other websites: