No infringement upon the copyrights held by CBS, MGM, Trilogy Entertainment
Group, The Mirisch Corp. or any others involved with that production is
intended. This is purely fiction and based on the television series The
- For a rundown on the guys check out tthis page
CHARACTERS: Chris, Ezra, Josiah, Vin, Nathan & JD
SUMMARY: Chris and Ezra arrive in Four Corners.
SPOILERS: Pilot & The New Law. 3rd in the Series and follows directly on from my stories, Extort thy Childhood and Color me Black.
ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS: Thanks to Mitzi for beta reading this fic.
COMMENTS: Yes, please!
DATE: 17 Feb 03
Blood Brothers, AU
sat cross-legged on the rocky outcrop; the morning sun warmed his back.
A long Mexican patterned poncho hung from his shoulders and bunched in
his lap. His horse was tethered down in the grassy depression; it
munched contentedly while Josiah prayed. It was going to be a hot day,
and he lifted his hat and wiped the sweat from his forehead.
The aging grey-headed
man was cynical and not afraid to admit he had lost his way, and faith.
“Come on, Lord. I know you’re out there,” he implored,
staring impatiently at the heavens. “Give me a sign, now.
Talk to me.” Sanchez sat motionless, waiting for anything he could
attribute as a message from God. He needed a new direction; his
life needed new meaning. He sighed, wondering how long he should
wait. He was so intent upon scrutinizing the cloudless sky; he
failed to hear the approach of the slow moving horse.
southern accent broke his trance. Sanchez straightened, sitting taller.
He studied the two boys on the single horse as though they were a
hallucination. Sometimes it was hard to discern the genuine from
his dreams. The smaller boy at the back leaned forward and
returned his intense stare; it was a hard look coming from a child so
young. The preacher almost smiled.
yer staring, mister?” Chris Larabee growled; he hated people looking
at him like he was some kind of freak. And that had happened a lot
lately since he’d been dressing in the fully black attire. Ezra
thought he was mad, but Chris believed this expressed how he felt
Josiah’s mouth turned up at the corners and slowly formed a grin. These children were not part of an alcohol-induced delusion - they were real. He glanced at the heavens and shook his head, muttering under his breath. “Bet you think this is funny, huh? This your idea of a sign?” he queried the sky sarcastically. He glanced at the boys, brothers perhaps? he wondered. “What are you young fellas doing out here?”
“We are on a
mission of utmost importance,” Ezra drawled, wondering if they were
wise initiating conversation with this unstable man.
headed?” Josiah pried.
town,” the young gambler hedged. “What are you doing out here
alone in this wasteland?”
snorted. It was hardly the back of beyond. “I was praying.
You two brothers?”
preacher?” Standish countered.
yer not preaching in a church?” the seven-year-old Larabee asked.
needed to put my life in order, before I can go helpin’ other
uncomfortably in the saddle. He glanced at the stone building that
was under repair and wondered if this preacher man was working on
restoring it to its former glory. “How long have you been
“A space of
an age; time has no relevance when one is set on a path.”
into Ezra’s back and whispered. “He talks worse than you.”
sniffed at the insult. “How about I leave you behind with him
then,” Ezra threatened.
stayin’ here,” the young Larabee growled.
smiled to himself. “Mister…?”
Sanchez.” He stood, scratched at the whiskers on his cheeks and
quietly approached the horse.
Sanchez,” Ezra continued. “Would you happen to know, the
distance to the next municipality?”
far…just over the next rise and you’ll see it.”
kindly, Mr. Sanchez.” Standish kicked his heels and set Chaucer
off in the direction shown.
shouldn’t be out on yer own,” Sanchez shouted, pulling them abruptly
to a halt. “There anyone looking out for you?”
offence at that disparaging remark…I am certainly old enough to take
care of myself.” Standish took a deep calming breath. He
didn’t want to offend the elderly preacher, and it was a strain to
contain his indignation. “Thank you for your concern, but we are
fine.” Ezra led Chaucer down the trail to Four Corners, thinking
they would never see Josiah ever again.
Ezra threw his
leg over the saddle and stood to one side to allow Chris to dismount
himself. The young gambler had made the mistake of offering
assistance to the boy earlier on, but his help was thrown back in his
face – Larabee could do it himself. “A thriving community,”
he drawled, ignoring the explosion of guns being fired into the air and
the rough looking men milling around the streets making mayhem and
enough racket to send a person deaf.
A stage rolled
quickly through the western town with no intention of stopping and a
young passenger poked his head out the window of the moving vehicle; a
broad grin widened on his youthful face at the noise and excitement in
the street. Guns fired and loud hoots of laughter, angry shouts
and drunken revelry filled the stage; and anticipation surged through
him. He swung from the moving stage and jumped enthusiastically
into the street. The driver yelled down at him. “This
ain’t your stop!”
“Oh, it is
now,” the young man replied, gripping his saddle under his arms.
“This is why I came west!”
ain’t that the kid from the stage?” Chris tugged on Ezra’s sleeve
and pointing at the young man who’d jumped from the stage.
rolled his eyes. Chris calling anyone a kid was hilarious,
especially as this ‘kid’ was older than the both of them. Ezra
followed the pointed arm and nodded. “That does indeed appear to
be young, Mr. Dunne.” He wondered how they had managed to beat
the young Easterner to this town.
his arms, intent on watching the excitement. “Town always this
lively?” he asked the first person to stand still long enough to
in from Texas. They all got liquored up and got themselves in a
mood for a lynching.” The man looked down at the child and did a
double take. The man hadn’t expected such a question from a
self-confident pint-sized cowboy. He grimaced, fearing comeuppance
from a disgruntled parent, he hastily looked about for the child’s
father or mother, realizing belatedly, that he probably shouldn’t have
informed the boy of such evil acts, but it was too late to take it back
now. Where did this kid come from?
pointed at two riders disappearing out of town. “The Marshall
and his deputy. That ain’t even his horse,” the man shook his
head in disgust and quickly walked away.
turned when several of the drunken cowboys started pushing the young
black man though the town and up the hill towards the cemetery.
He’d have to be in his early twenties, the blond-headed boy surmised,
and had no chance of fighting off the dozen or so cowboys who had him
surrounded. They threw him on the back of a wagon that carried the
coffin of a dead man.
“Let me go!
What are you doing?” the young black man cried, wriggling to free
himself of the manhandling.
late for a funeral, boys. Get this wagon moving!” A
drunken cowboy shouted.
jeers of ‘black boy' and 'useless quack' erupted on the busy street.
Something was said about the dark-skinned man killing a patient he was
doctoring, and Nathan Jackson shouted back saying he wasn’t a doctor
and that their boss, Mr. Fallon, had died of gangrene.
gonna hang him,” Chris growled, pulling at Standish’s coat to stop
him from entering the saloon.
“Stay out of
it, Chris. It’s none of our concern.” Besides, what
could he do against that mob of drunken hoodlums? Best leave it
alone. That settled, the young Southerner rubbed his hands together and
eagerly entered the building. Ezra had a good notion on how to
inflate their cash holdings and wanted to get started.
scowled at the gambler’s retreating back. How could he just walk
away? Didn’t Ezra care? They were going to kill an
innocent man. Wasn’t anybody going to do something to stop them?
around, searching for someone willing to side against the rabble.
His eyes met, and held, those of a fella wearing buckskins on the
opposite side of the road. He couldn’t be anymore than fifteen
or sixteen, probably about the same age as Ezra, he guessed. The
longhaired youth leaned on a broom, but his eyes followed the drama as
it unfolded. Chris could see the determination in the clear blue
eyes and was momentarily disappointed when the youth disappeared back
inside the store. But somehow, he wasn’t surprised when the boy
was only gone long enough to replace the broom with a rifle.
and jumped off the boardwalk set on following the action.
off with that rifle, and you’re fired!” the storeowner bellowed
after Vin Tanner.
slightly, but didn’t falter his stride. “Hell, I’ll probably
get myself killed. Now I got to worry about a new job, too.”
his eyes at Vin’s glib remark; he liked this teenager more by the
minute. He walked up the hill to the cemetery, alongside the youth
wearing doeskin colored clothing.
ain’t no place for a kid,” Tanner said.
need all the help you can get,” Chris replied and lengthened his
stride to keep pace with the other.
“Stay out of
smirked - like hell! Chris thumbed the slingshot and bent to
pocket a handful of rocks; they might not be as deadly as bullets, but
the sting would give a grown man a jolt. He wasn’t staying out
of this fight! No matter what Ezra had said, or this young man.
slave sat on the edge of a wagon; his hands tied with rope behind his
back while the cowboys worked a noose about his neck.
“Everyone’ll be thankful we’re gettin’ rid of you, quack.
Ain’t no darkie doctors and there never will be,” a cowboy snarled
in Jackson’s face.
“Cut him loose!” Chris demanded, very much out of place among the drunken cowboys. Vin cut Chris a bemused look as the skinny kid took the lead and confronted the drunken cowboys.
A round of
laughter answered Chris’ demand. They dismissed Larabee as not
being any threat and continued taunting the dark-skinned man.
“Figured you’d like to watch your killer swing, Mr. Fallon.” One
of the trial herders pulled off the coffin lid and with a little help
from the others he set the casket on the end and faced it towards the
tree they were readying to hang Nathan from. The dead man inside the box
flopped to one side, his skin pale and lifeless, his eyes closed.
you’d all be happier if you just rode away,” the longhaired youth
calmly stated, his rifle pointing directly at the middle of the group.
chance, boys,” a cowboy slurred, causing more laughter to erupt from
“You shot a
lot of holes in the clouds back there. Anyone stop to reload?”
Chris shouted, intent on being heard.
Several of the
cowboys looked at their weapons. None had reloaded, but not all
were completely out of ammunition. More shots peppered the sky;
the horse attached to the wagon reared and the wagon slowly rolled; the
black man squirmed, standing on his tiptoes and stretching for all he
was worth; attempting to keep the slack in the rope that was strung
around a branch and looped around his neck. His feet slipped
off the edge, and with his arms tied at his back, the former slave began
to choke as the rope knotted.
through the middle of the group, returning the gunfire. He noticed
too, that the child in black clothing was firing his rocks into the
crowd. He couldn’t help but grin.
joined the fracas; the heavy smell of gunpowder tainted the air.
Chris turned on his belly and shook his head in astonishment.
Josiah Sanchez, the preacher had joined their side. “Someone’s
got ta cut him down,” Chris yelled, pointing at the noose that was
slowly strangling the black man. He made a move toward the man,
but was pulled back by a large hand.
man’s got it under control,” Sanchez explained, watching Vin calmly
and watched as Vin fired at the branch holding the rope. He held
his breath as the rifle boomed. He missed, and Chris winced.
Jackson was fighting for his every breath. The second shot parted
the rope, taking a chunk of wood from the tree and quickly releasing the
former slave to the ground. Chris grinned broadly, shaking his
head in awe of the young man’s talent. “Wow,” he hissed, a
new respect forming for his companion.
Several of the
cowboys were holding wounds, there were two dead on the ground and there
was a painful silence that gripped the cemetery. One of the
cowboys started to flee, turning to run for his horse.
“I got him.
I got him,” JD Dunne shouted running up the slope and aiming at the
cowboy as he raced away from the scene.
up a rock and planted it in the nest of his slingshot. It spun
away with a wiz, slamming into Dunne’s backside. “You don’t
shoot nobody in the back,” young Larabee growled. Doesn’t he
know anything? Stupid greenhorn!
JD lowered his
colts, ashamed that he hadn’t thought of that for himself. He
rubbed his backside and wondered what he’d been hit with.
Chris,” young Larabee introduced himself. He ignored the
greenhorn; Dunne didn’t impress him.
Tanner,” Vin responded, smiling down at the boy half his size.
“New in town?”
this morning. You?”
things. Not many left to hunt.”
y’all want to cut me loose here?” Jackson moaned, still seated on
the ground and the rope dangling at the back of his neck.
“Josiah Sanchez…that you?”
Nathan. Yer keeping out of trouble, I see,” Sanchez chuckled and
slid a knife through the ropes at Nathan’s hands.
the noose from around his neck and gingerly rubbed his throat.
slowly meandered down the hill. Vin stopped at the store and
handed over the rifle to the storeowner, Virgil. “Sight’s a
keep it,” he answered with a smile of admiration, handing the weapon
back to the young sharpshooter. He’d need to find new help for
JD ran to keep
up with the others. “Where y’ll going?” he panted.
Both Vin and
Chris answered together; “Saloon.”
Vin thought for a minute that the boy was too young to be going inside the drinkery, but after doing his fare share in the fight, he shrugged his shoulders. “Saloon,” he muttered.
Next story:- Beneath the Surface -Coming soon
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