Magnificent Seven Old West Universe
His Christmas Promise

by Amelia

Magnificent Seven Holiday Fic

Josiah sat across from Chris helping him go over the last few reports on the 4 month operation they had just finished with a successful bust. They were trying to get all the paper work tied up to be filed so the team could leave early for Christmas Eve. They had plans to go out to Chris's ranch and celebrate together, with everyone staying over the night and spending Christmas day as well together. Well, all but one was keeping to the plan.

The door of Chris's office swung open, followed with Buck storming in growling. "I can't believe he isn't going to join us again. Last year, fine, I could kind of understand, since he had just joined the team only a month earlier. But it's different now and there ain't no excuse for him not to join us."

"Buck, what are you talking about?" Chris asked, not even looking up, having gotten used to Buck' s yelling years ago.

"Vin. Vin is what I'm talking about. He ain't joining us tonight. Says he' s got something else to do. Now I know that boy ain't got no little lady. And Nettie is out in the office right now with Casey so she could give JD his present ' cause they' re leaving for Nettie's brother' s from here and won' t be back till after Christmas. So Vin isn't going there. Which means he just don't want to spend it with us," Buck reported hotly

Chris opened his mouth to reply, then snapped it shut as a stern voice flew through the air. "Buck Wilmington!"

There in the doorway stood a very angry looking Nettie Wells.

Chris' s eyes shifted from Nettie to his window, and out into the office area. Worried, he looked back at Nettie.

Nettie read the expression. "He left right after telling Mr. Wilmington he was sorry, but he had something he had to do tonight. He didn't hear any of that caterwauling," she assured.

"Ms. Wells, we don't mean to hurt Mr. Tanner in any form. But it is ourselves that are a bit put off with him wishing not to spend this glorious evening with his friends, with us, his brothers," Ezra explained as he, Nathan and JD joined her at the doorway.

Taking a breath and seeing the truth of their feelings on their faces, she made her decision. "You know, Vin lost his mom when he was six and he lived here outside of Denver with his grandfather till he was nine and his grandfather died. After a year in and out of foster homes...well you know the rest. But what you don't know is Vin's mother was born on Christmas Eve. And from the day she was born and even after she died, Vin's grandfather did a very special present for her. On his death bed he had Vin promise that he would take over for him and see to it each year. Vin promised, and Vin never breaks his word. Even when he lived on the streets he would see to it. Hitchhiked, walked miles, weather didn't matter. How he had to earn the money didn't matter, only seeing to it did. That might have been the only reason that boy survived some of the things he had to live through, so on Christmas Eve to keep the promise"

"What exactly is it he promised to do?" Josiah questioned.

Nettie looked at him, then switched her sight back to Chris's gaze. "If you all will give me a minute of time with Christopher here, I'd appreciate it," was all Nettie stated.

The others understandood she wasn't going to give anymore of Vin's privacy away to them. But that she might give at least a little more to Chris. They all left his office closing the door for them to talk.

Fifteen minutes later, Nettie and Chris came out of his office. Looking at the two, the others could see understanding and heart felt emotion on Chris's face.

Nettie picked up her coat and slipped it on, then her gloves, too. She turned and looked around the room at all the men' s faces, and let her eyes settle on Chris once more. "You know Christopher, after I met Vin when he came into my history class, I even got him on weekends and summer vacation to come out to my little place to help out, for my piece of mind getting him off the streets for those short stints. Though he cared, he could never truly trust in how life was going and he stayed apart. Though he was almost 17 at the time, all those years on the streets had taught him not to trust or have faith in what came into his life. But that changed this past year. In all that time I've known him I never saw what I see now in his eyes. He knows he' s finally not alone anymore. I don't think that should change tonight." Tilting her head as she saw the answer she was looking for. She told Casey that they needed to be heading out. And the two left, leaving five men staring at the sixth.

"Close it down, we have somewhere to be tonight," Chris told the others. And with that all computers were turned off, paperwork slipped in desks and desks locked. And six men left with a single minded thought - to go and do what they knew was right.

Making one stop along the way, the convoy of two vehicles drove to the outskirts of Denver and followed the old highway up into the mountains.

Two hours later, pulling up to and gravel path, six men climbed out, pulling their coats tighter against the cold and falling snow. Going up the walk way, Chris stopped them just before they reached the top of the hill. Turning and meeting his friend' s eyes, he said, "Not sure if you'll be able to hear him as soon as we reach the top. But in case you, you don't say anything or make a sound. Vin's grandfather would sing a new song every year to give to Vin's mom. New songs..." Chris let that sink in for a moment. "Vin is keeping the promise, but the new songs is one he wrotes. Both their graves are over this hill. Vin's granddad had it brought here when she died. I don't know what we' re about to find, only Vin doesn't have to do it alone anymore."

The looks on thir faces assured him that all agreed and the six men crested the hill, hearing the soft strum of a guitar. Spotting their friend sitting on the ground facing two graves with wreaths hanging on both, they stopped as the gentle southern drawl of the Texanss heartfelt words were heard in a song.

So long it seems I've lived in the dark, when life's hard knocks began. Been so long since family I've known. And then suddenly as the snow floated down, on the eve of this Christmas. It's star breaking the dark with its light.

Christmas Star
Christmas lights
Christmas Hope shining so Bright
Despair had taken hold I was lost and alone
Till Christmas love's miracle found me, leading me home.

Staring up at the gleaming star. Memories began to flow and return. Filling me with warmth and laughter with smiles of knowing there was cares long ago. Showing me that hope was still there, Shining bright in and through the night.

Christmas Star
Christmas Lights
Christmas Hope shining so bright
Despair had taken hold I was lost and alone
Till Christmas love's miracle found me leading me home.

All the days and years I've been wandering, lost and alone. Unsure where I belong. Just existing before I came here and to my soul family unknown. But now I have found mine with Christmas love's miracle leading me home.

Christmas Star
Christmas Lights
Christmas Hope shining so bright
Despair had taken hold I was lost and alone
Till Christmas love's miracle found me leading me home...
Till Christmas love's Miracle found me leading me home...

Six men stepped up on each side of the seventh. One by one they stepped forward and set a single yellow rose on Emily Rose Tanner's grave. Chris helped Vin to his feet, he turned toward the graves and said, "Don't worry, your boy's found his home."

The End

[song is one I wrote] the tune is a soft melody