Neither a Borrower Nor a Lender Be

by Carole

Disclaimer: The Magnificent Seven and its characters are the property of MGM, Trilogy Entertainment, and the Mirisch Corporation.

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"Hi, Chris! Hi, Da!" JD called brightly, entering Chris's office with Mrs. Potter and Vin in tow.

"Hey, Lil' Bit," Buck greeted, getting up from his chair and hoisting JD onto his hip. "Hey, Junior."

"Vin's sad," JD confided, his face solemn, when the other boy didn't answer.

"Hey, Cowboy, what's wrong?" Chris asked, immediately setting his work aside. Swinging his desk chair around, he held out his arms in invitation. It took a few moments, but Vin finally came near enough for Chris to wrap his arms around his son and pull him close. "Vin?"

Vin sniffled a few times, his bottom lip quivering, before lifting his tear-stained face to meet his father's gaze, but he remained quiet.

Chris looked up at Gloria, silently asking for an explanation.

The woman brushed her hand through Vin's hair in a sympathetic manner before speaking. "Vin accidentally split his pants at school today, right before dismissal. He didn't have any extra clothes in his backpack so they called me. I brought him another pair of pants, but until I got there, he had to-"

"He had to wear girl pants," JD interrupted, wrinkling his nose in disgust.

Mrs. Potter nodded. "The school doesn't have much in the way of extra clothes, so he had to wear what was available."

"And that's why you're so upset?" Chris asked gently, rubbing a soothing hand along the boy's small back.

Vin nodded. "They was girl pants."

"I know," Chris commiserated. "I would have been upset, too. I'm sorry you didn't have any extra clothes of your own. We'll make sure we put some clothes in your backpack before you go to school tomorrow, okay?"

"Okay," Vin answered softly, using the back of his hand to wipe away the last of his tears.

"You know, something like that happened to Chris, here." Buck threw an amused look at his friend and boss.

"You weared girl pants?" JD asked in astonishment.

Chris laughed softly. "Well, not exactly, but I did have to borrow a pair of Ezra's pants once."

Releasing Vin for a moment, Chris hiked his pants up until they sat a good five inches above his shoe tops. "This is what they looked like on me."

JD laughed, and a small smile teased at the corner of Vin's mouth.

"And there was the time I had to borrow some pants," Buck offered.

"You did? Why?" JD questioned.

"Got too close to a sharp nail in an old warehouse." Buck motioned to his rear end. "My pants ripped right down the back. So, I had to borrow a pair of Josiah's pants."

"Wasn't Unca' J'siah's pants too big?" Vin asked.

"Yep, but..." Buck winked. "...I didn't want everyone to see my drawers."

JD turned a quizzical look on his father. "Your what?"

"His underwear," Vin giggled.

"There he was, running down the road after the bad guys, trying to hold up his pants with one hand-"

"And holding my gun with the other, yelling, 'Freeze! ATF!'"

"Did they stop?"

"They sure did, JD."

"I think they were laughing so hard, they had to," Chris said with a smirk.

"Did Unca' Nathan, or Unca' J'siah, or Unca' Ezra ever have to borrow clothes?"

Chris nodded. "I think we all have at one time or another."

"Even Unca' Ezra?" JD asked doubtfully. "I don't think he'd like wearing somebody else's clothes."

"Hmmm..." Buck thought for a moment, then a wide grin lit up his face. "Yep, there was one time. Remember, Chris? He had to use a towel to cover his-"

"Buck," Chris warned.

"His butt," JD whispered, as Vin snickered.

"I heard that," Chris said, trying but failing to keep a straight face.

"Yep," Buck confirmed. "And a bare one at that."

The two boys burst into laughter. The two men exchanged a satisfied look.

"Are you feeling better now?" Chris asked Vin.

The little boy nodded. "Yeah."

"At least you didn't have to wear a dress," Buck teased. "You could have been wearing a pretty pink dress with matching pink socks when Mrs. Potter got there. Wouldn't that have been a sight to see."

Two little mouths dropped open, and Vin paled slightly.

"Ewww...!" the boys chorused in unison.


March 2005