Follows My Job is Done
Disclaimer: The following is a work of fanfiction based on the CBS television series, The Magnificent Seven. It is in no way intended to infringe on the copyrights of CBS, MGM, The Trilogy Entertainment Group, The Mirisch Corp., or anyone else who may have legal rights to the characters and settings. I don't own the characters. This story is strictly for entertainment. No monetary gain will be made from it.
Comments and creative criticism greatly appreciated.
I barrel my way through the hospital doors and tear-ass down the hall to the ER.
"JD DUNNE...NOW!!!" I realize that I must look like a man possessed as the woman at the nurse's station rolls her chair back away from the desk, putting some distance between us.
I don't mean to intimidate her, but dammit, JD's here - somewhere - and he needs me.
"This way, Mr. Wilmington." Ezra's hand on my back gives me a start. I turn to see the worry in his green eyes - and I know it's bad.
Ezra points to room 107.
A nurse is opening the door, but I save her the trouble and charge through like a bull in a china shop.
I catch sight of my oldest friend, Chris Larabee, and I stop dead in my tracks.
God, Chris...you look like hell.
Chris looks scared - no, even more than that - Chris looks terrified.
I've known Chris nearly all my life and the man doesn't scare easy.
But then I see why.
Then I see the kid.
And the sight nearly brings me to my knees.
"...is...he...???" I finally choke out. "...he's...???"
"...Buck...???" JD's young voice is weak and pain-filled, but still music to my ears.
My eyes spill over with relief as I make my way across the room. "I'm here now, little brother."
Chris relinquishes his hold on our precious little brother and I take his place - doing what I do best.
Taking care of the kid.
My job has just begun.
And it's not going to be an easy one this time - not by a long shot.
Just in these few seconds, I've already figured out that JD is hurt badly and he's scared out of his wits.
I cradle the boy so tight I fear I'm hurting him more, but he doesn't complain.
JD is a real 'hands on' kid. He'd never complain of a 'Buck hug' being too tight.
That's because I know the kid.
And I know what the kid needs.
And when the kid needs a hug - he needs a really good one.
And I have it on good authority - from one JD Dunne, himself - that I'm a great hugger.
When JD's hurt, or scared, he needs to feel me, more than see me.
Sometimes just my voice will calm the boy - much to the amazement of my team members. They seem to think that I have some sort of Svengali hold on the boy.
Pure and simple.
What is it that song says?
Love can move mountains.
Or one little molehill called JD Dunne.
I finally stop my wool gathering. I'm sure Chris thinks I've totally lost it.
But the man never says a word. He just gives me the few, precious seconds I need to get my faculties together.
First order of business.
"How 'bout I get you up off this floor...OK, son?"
I let JD feel as if he's calling the shots.
He's got to feel in control. I can't risk him feeling that he's so weak that I'm having to make all the decisions.
He's got to feel strong.
He's got a long way to go and he's going to need every bit of fight he can muster.
It's one little step at a time.
I get my leverage and lift him effortlessly. Good sight smaller 'n Josiah. I would have teased if his injuries weren't so severe.
Like I teased 'im when he sprained his ankle playin' basketball. And I had to tote him from the court to the truck. JD got quite a chuckle outta that one - yes he did. After I huffed and puffed my way, carryin' his little ass, kid up and says - "Gee, Buck...wouldn't it have been easier on 'ya to have gone and got the truck?"
Like I can think straight when he's hurt.
It's not until I have him settled in the bed that I notice the heat radiating off him.
"He's so hot." I brush his ever-present bangs from his eyes. His hair's soaking wet. His face is like a furnace. His usually paler-than-pale skin is flushed and his cheeks are rosy, like he's just come in from one of those snowball fights he loves so much.
My mind wanders again.
Every time it snows it's a tradition. One all-out-no-holds-barred snowball fight amongst Team Seven and one snowman on the front lawn. I'd tease him that snowmen every where loved him because he made them look like they had a suntan. He'd laugh - but then I'd pay for my barb with a snowball right in the kisser.
"He's had the fever for a while now." Chris says, leaning over the bed, helping me adjust the covers.
I know that Chris is at the end of his rope. And judging from the state he's in, he's been at that point for quite some time now. But Chris, being Chris, and loving the boy like a son, tied a knot and hung on a little longer.
I'm finally able to look Chris in the eyes. "Thanks, pard...for bein' here."
"Wouldn't be anywhere else." Chris says as he slumps heavily into the chair at the side of the bed.
The chair that I know will be my home for the next few days.
Or as long as it takes.
"I know he's a handful..." I smile nervously.
"Handful ain't the word, Bucklin."
Chris is right.
JD's a handful on a good day.
When he's sick or hurt, he's a Goddamn mercy mission.
"What's gonna happen?" I know that JD needs surgery. The police told me that when they pulled me over on the interstate.
"What'd they tell you?" Chris asks.
"They told me my little brother was hurt - real bad - and that I was needed."
"Quite the understatement, I would say." Ezra offers me a cup of coffee. Just the way I like it when JD's hurt. Strong enough to walk on it's own.
Lord knows - I need all the strength I can get.
"I'll leave you two...to discuss...matters." And Ezra is gone, as quickly as he came.
"Matters?" I panic. "What ...matters?"
"JD's gonna be goin' down to surgery pretty quick...now that you're here."
"They were waitin' on me?"
"You're surprised?" Chris asks. I guess he can tell by the look on my face that I am indeed surprised. "Boy wouldn't make it...without you, Buck."
I collapse into the chair next to Chris.
I suddenly come to realize the all-encompassing hold I have on this boy.
Or is it that I'm the one in the vice-grip?
Lord knows it feels like it every time I look into his bruised and battered face.
Every time I notice the unnatural angle of his left arm.
Every time I trace all the tubes and hoses connected to him.
And especially every time those huge hazel eyes look up to me and cry "...Buck...???"
I can't afford to give in to my emotions yet.
I've still got a lot of work to do.
The nurse walks in. "You're the brother?"
"Doctor says fifteen minutes."
How am I supposed to get the boy calmed down and convinced that he's gonna come out of this with flying colors in fifteen minutes?
"Thank you." I hear Larabee tell the nurse. "That's more than enough time."
What???!!! I say to myself. Or did I utter the word. Either way, Larabee hears it.
"Work your magic, Buck." And Chris leaves me alone with the boy.
How do I convince this boy that he is my life? I'd have nothing without him.
How do I make him see that working side-by-side with him every day is not just a job - it's an adventure? And what an adventure it's been.
How can I prove to him I'm not the strong one here? He's the one that holds this team together.
Why doesn't he see that I'm not the one with all the answers? He's the Goddamn genius - not me.
How can I make him see that there's this whole world he's never even seen in his twenty short years?
I've got Jimmy Buffet T-shirts older than the kid.
I suddenly feel every one of my forty years weighing me down.
I grab the boy's hand.
"JD...you gotta listen to me son. I know you hate to do that...but this is real important. C'mon, son...open your eyes for me."
The dark head turns in my direction and I see those eyes.
Those eyes that couldn't hide an emotion if his life depended on it.
Those eyes that have stood in front of the bathroom mirror every day for six months trying to master the 'Larabee glare'.
Those eyes that light up with adoration whenever he sees one of his brothers .
And the eyes that right now I'd give anything to bring just a small amount of peace to.
I can tell he's got one of those headaches where it's killing him to even have his eyes open - yet - he does.
Because I told him to.
The trust the boy has in me rattles me sometimes.
I feel that I neither deserve it, nor do I have any right to expect it.
But, nonetheless, it's there.
Twenty-four hours a day - seven days a week.
I feel him squeeze my hand ever so lightly, but I know it's the best he can do right now. "There's my boy." I smile.
"JD...I need...I gotta make this fast, kid."
His breath hitches as he rides out a stabbing pain and I start to lunge for the call-button.
"...no..." he whispers.
"You need the nurse, kid?"
I can't hold it back anymore.
Job to do or not - I crumble.
How do I tell this precious gift I've been given exactly how much he means to me?
How can I begin to explain that I couldn't possibly go on without him?
How can I tell him everything I need to tell him?
In...what??? I'm down to five minutes now.
Then I realize the full extent of the connection between us.
I don't have to say anything.
He knows more than I know myself.
"It's...OK...Buck...I'll be fine...don't...worry..." The kid's voice is still weak - but full of conviction.
"Don't worry???" I choke out. "Who says I'm worried?"
He slowly lifts his hand to my cheek. "...you're worried...or 'ya sprung a leak..."
But he's my little smart-ass.
My wise-cracking, pain-in-the-backside little brother.
The door opens and they come to take him away.
I walk beside him down the hallway, clutching his hand in mine until I'm told I can go no farther. They stop and give me a few seconds.
It's down to that now - a few seconds.
I bend down and whisper in his ear. "JD...I love 'ya, boy."
The sedatives are taking him from me faster then the orderlies. He's slowly drifting away but he manages to squeeze my hand one last time before he's pulled away from me.
He's in God's hands now C so I know the boy will be fine.
I watch the doors to the operating room swallow my little brother and I know that I've done all I can.
JD Dunne is my job - and my job is done.
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