Something never comes
DISCLAIMERS: This is fan fiction. No profit involved. It is based on the television series "The Magnificent Seven". No infringement upon the copyrights held by CBS, MGM, Trilogy Entertainment Group, The Mirisch Corp. or any others involved with that production is intended. Mog created this Universe. Title is from "All of my life" by the Foo Fighters. This is a sequel to Paper Cut and 'Searching for something' third in 'On the Road in Baja" trilogy set prior to the 'Tijuana Jail series. Thanks Angela B. for the continual encouragement.10/13.03
All my Life I've been searching for something
Something never comes
Never leads to nothing
Nothing satisfies but I'm getting close
Closer to the prize at the end of the rope
"Oh no...we couldn't have gone to Las Vegas like I suggested..." Ezra Standish allowed his voice to do what his battered limbs could not, express his displeasure with everything from his current environ to his mode of transport or rather the lack of it while his traveling companion was doing his best to stay upright under his own steam.
"Ez, ya never mentioned anything 'bout going to Vegas."
But Standish wasn't listening and continued on unabated with his rabid diatribe. Tanner staggered slowly behind him, the distance between the two men was growing as Vin, no longer able to bear his own weigh on his injured leg, stopped still.
"Partaking the subtle arts involved in the games of chance, enjoying fine meals... Honestly if you still had the insane desire to be at one with nature ... There is many a trail in Red Rock Canyon to hike along, the are plenty of cliffs the free climb... Although it is beyond me why one would want to scale rock formations that resemble enormous piles of canine dung... " No longer able to hear his companion huffing Ezra stopped his incessant rambling, wiped at the perspiration that beaded on his face with his good hand and glanced over his shoulder.
The sudden movement was a poor choice, the throbbing ache at the base of his skull increased in intensity. Something fluttered by his ear which he immediately tried to swat away the unknown vermin by, another mistake the abrupt change in stance sent agonizing bolts of pain shooting up from finger tips to elbow of his other arm. The irritating vermin was the loose ends of what remained of his silk tie, thanks to Mr. Tanner, the expensive accessory now acting as an impromptu pressure bandage. His only satisfaction at that moment, warped as it may have been, was that Tanners attire wasn't fairing much better, but that wicked thought quickly vanished as he saw that Vin was awkwardly lowering himself to the ground.
Letting an exasperated sigh he headed back the section of roadside to where his friend sank down. He could see the tight, pained look etched deep into the man's sun burnt features.
Tanner hadn't heard Standish approach. Instead he was concentrating slowly breathing through the nauseating pain. After spending the past three hours painfully lurching along side the deserted winding road, listening to the undercover agent's caustic tongue, he had enough. Vin's injured knee had ballooned out to three times its normal size and although he would never admit it, he was thankful that Ezra had cut off his jeans but didn't understand the necessity of removing them completely, when shortening the one pant leg would have sufficed. Seemed to Vin, as he stiffly sat down, the supposedly beneficial act performed by Ezra was more than a little spiteful. Tanner tried to rationalize that the thick denim had been indeed been cut up into strips to bind up his knee and to strap up Standish's broken wrist..
"Mr. Tanner... Vin?"
Vin frowned when he looked up after Ezra had called out to him. His anger quickly dissipated as he watched Standish's hunched form shuffle towards him. The man was his friend. Silently cursing for having even momentarily forgotten the reason that had originally brought them to this point. Ezras behavior had scared the hell out of him.
A concerned face hovering in front of his own snapped him out of his reverie. Noting that Standish was squatted down in front of him, a grin pulled at his lips.
Are you feeling unwell?" Ezra quietly asked. Concern was obvious in the green eyes that were intently watching him.
""No better no worse than I have been all day, a bit tired is all." Vin half grunted his own response, the throbbing pain coursing through his misshapen limb as he spoke.
"Then I suppose it would be wise that we rest for a bit." Standish added as he slowly sat down on a patched asphalt shoulder a few feet from Tanner.
A lengthy silence between the two men passed by, the only sounds that could be heard were the gentle rush of the wind, the occasional cry of a predatory bird and their own breathing. It was Tanner who finally disrupted the peace by clearing his throat and speaking. "Hey Ez?"
"Yes Mr. Tanner?" Ezra quietly responded not once taking his eyes away from the vast scenery as he did so.
"Ya know Chris is gonna be pissed..." Vin prompted as he broke into a toothy smile as he stared at the man sitting next to him, who for the first time in days seemed to perceptively relax a little.
"Ah that... that goes without saying. More so it would seem since you made the misfortunate decision to fling your cellular phone off that precipice..."
"Hell Ez you know that damn thing was busted..." Tanner laughed as he answered his friend.
"Indeed though I doubt that Mr. Larabee will see it that way."
"Mr. Tanner do you honestly think that our comrades would believe that its loss was no less intentional than our inability to inform them of our eventual destination when neglected to inform them of our departure?" Standish sighed out his reply, readily accepting that the final outcome would hold him in a poor light. The past weeks events loomed in his thoughts like a dark shadow.
"Yeah, I do." Vin's honest response was accompanied with a wry grin that spread across his sun reddened face.
Not a single car had that passed by the pair had even slowed down, let alone stopped to help them, not even during their not so brief sojourn on the roadside. They had continued their painful stilted jaunt and had been walking for about twenty minutes when the sound of an out of tune engine could be heard sputtering off in the distance.
"You hear that?" Tanner gasped as he wobbled along behind Standish.
"Do you mean the horrendous noise that would make the creators of the combustion engine cringe?" Smirking as he answered Ezra slowly and carefully turned around in an attempt to locate the source of the sound.
"Ya always answer a question with a question?"
"Only when deemed appropriate."
The clattering, tittering, puttering noise grew louder, an ancient R.V. slowly chugged up the asphalt snaking the winding road while towing a small battered dull silver trailer behind.
The two men watched as the mobile home's sputtering engine belched out a billowing white plume of thick smoke through its exhaust.
"Hey maybe our luck is changing..." Vins demeanor perked up as he squinted at the slow moving mode of transport chugged along headed in their direction.
"I hardly think, Mr. Tanner, that anyone in their right mind would stop for us considering our current state." Ezra stated as he stared longingly at the approaching vehicle using his hand to block the rays of bright sun light.
Ten minutes later the vehicle shuttered and shook to a stop, coming to rest some yards ahead of where Standish and Tanner were painfully shuffling along the faded white line on the narrow shoulder. The passenger door swung open sending out a somewhat ominous invitation to the wary and weary travelers.
Not willing to outright turn down such an offer after spending the day under the hot sun, Ezra Standish peered inside and was pleasantly surprised as an elderly woman smiled at him. He politely smiled back and was about to extend an appropriate greeting only to be waved aboard the vintage recreation vehicle by its owner. The gap toothed wrinkled deeply tanned old woman. "Honey, are you and your friend okay? You boys look like you could use a lift."
Thank you my dear woman that is indeed the kindest offer Ive had on this long wretched day.
My boy from the looks of you I believe that Viola Dofeny "
Ezra Standish and it is indeed an unexpected pleasure my compatriot Vin Tanner.. The Texan had just joined him after finished painfully traversing the dusty pavement finally reaching the side of battered recreational vehicle.
Howdy maam Despite his weariness Vin managed a tired grin as he spoke.
Well you two just dont stand there, climb on in Ill take you into town.
The pair managed to board giving each the necessary assistance to traverse up the metal steps.
The weather worn vehicle shifted into gear and slowly began its descent down the mountain road leaving a wispy cloud of exhaust slowly drifting across the highway in its wake.
The two men had settled down in the dining area of the compact mobile home Ezra had helped Vin prop up his swollen knee with a worn couch cushion.
As tired as he was, Vin couldnt stop watching Ezra. Standish was gazing out the dusty window watching the scenery swiftly slide by. Fine lines of pain were tightly etched in the southerners otherwise deceptively placid face. He had tired so hard to get his friend to talk, not necessarily about what happened less than a week before but about anything at all. At least he had been complaining earlier, shades of the old Ez, but now the man was positively unnervingly quiet. It didnt take much for Vin to realize that he wasnt the only thinking about what went down.
The steady rumble from the R.V. motor was disrupted by Viola as she called out from the front. I happen to keep a bottle of Tequila under the sink purely for medicinal purposes I do believe that presently its services are required
Thank you maam Raising his voice Vin shouted back his answer before turning his attention back to his friend. Ez you mind?
Not at all Mr. Tanner not at all. Ezra smiled gracious as he rose up and teetered across the short distance and quickly located the prize along with two more or less clean plastic tumblers. Then sat back down and poured them each a reasonably healthy ration of fiery liquor before raising the drink in a mock toast. To a better days than this!
Right back at ya Ez!
Maybe there was hope after all.
Tijuana Jail is next