JD's Drawing

by Kayim

Feedback: Yes please, I'm addicted!

Disclaimer: Not mine, as usual. Although if you want to clone Ez, I'll have one.

Summary: Ezra discovers a hidden talent of JD's.

Authors Note: I have no idea if JD can draw or not, but the image of him sitting in the saloon drawing came to me as I was waking up one morning. It wouldn't go away.

JD sat alone in one of the quieter corners of the saloon. He held in his hands a wire-bound notebook and a long thin piece of charcoal that he had purchased earlier that day from Mrs Potter. The oil lamp on the wall lit up the area enough for him to be able to see what he was doing, but not enough to draw any unwanted attention.

He watched Ezra in one of his usual poker games, unable to take his eyes from the older man. The gambler was doing nothing unusual, but JD watched every movement intently, committing details to his memory. Slowly, without taking his eyes from the other man, JD allowed his charcoal to start sweeping across the page. Seemingly random strokes soon took on the clear outline of a face.

Always immaculately dressed, Ezra still wore his hat, even inside on a warm evening, but JD noted the chestnut curls peering out from beneath the brim. The smoothness of Ezra's skin would pose a challenge, but the flickering light from a nearby oil lamp soon provided a solution in the form of a series of shadows. With a melodic laugh, Ezra won another hand and JD was delighted to see a full Ezra-smile appear. The smiles that they usually saw were small, refined ones - this one lit his entire face, making his green eyes sparkle like diamonds and his gold tooth catch the light.

As JD deftly moved the charcoal across the page, the face on the paper was becoming clearer. Almost complete with that part, he watched Ezra's hands. Long, nimble fingers shuffled the deck of cards, sliding between the thin layers. He wasn't close enough to see, but JD knew that Ezra's fingernails were as perfect as the rest of his appearance. With the charcoal, he completed the drawing with one final embellishment - the pale hands holding a single card. The Ace of Spades. The card that Ezra considered his 'signature' card.

Always in awe of Ezra's choice of clothing, JD studied the lace on the collar of Ezra's shirt, concentrating on his piece of paper to ensure that he got the details perfect. The gambler had removed his jacket, which was now casually laid over the back of the chair, and had rolled his sleeves - probably to prove to his opponents that he literally had nothing up them. Every detail that JD saw, he put on the paper. He had always insisted on making his pictures a perfect imitation of the subject.

Almost satisfied, JD finished the drawing with a few final strokes.

Sitting back in his seat, JD studied his drawing with a critical eye. Not one of his best portraits, but this was the first time he had drawn anything since he left Boston. His momma was always talking about how proud of him she was, but after she died he lost the will to draw. He didn't want to create anything beautiful when his beautiful momma was not there to see it. He wasn't sure why he suddenly developed the urge to draw Ezra, but something about the other man made him want to capture his likeness.

So deep in thought, JD didn't notice Ezra's card game end.

"JD?" Ezra had noticed the younger man watching him all evening and was intrigued as to why.

JD looked up suddenly. "Oh, Ezra. Hi."

Ezra looked at the notebook sitting on the table. It was a picture of him, one of the most talented pieces of artwork he had ever seen.

"Did you create this masterpiece?" he asked.

JD nodded shyly. "I hope you don't mind me drawin' you."

"Mind? Why on earth would I mind? This is the most exquisite portrait that has ever been."

"Do you really mean that, Ezra?" JD was astounded. Ezra actually seemed to like his picture.

"Do I ever lie? No, don't answer that. With my hand on my heart," he lifted his hand to do just that, "it is a wonderful piece of work. I am deeply honoured."

A blush spread across JD's face. He carefully tore the sheet of paper from the notebook and held it out to Ezra.

With a surprise, Ezra took the piece of paper and studied it further.

"You can keep it if you'd like."

Ezra smiled at JD. He took another look at the portrait and touched two fingers to the brim of his hat in a salute. Without another word, he walked up the stairs to his small room.

JD leaned his head back and closed his eyes. Maybe there were still some beautiful people in the world.