Incidental Contact

by Carole

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

Originally written for the M7M Drabble Challenge for 4/11/05 (one of the guys hits another accidentally), but it took on a life of its own.

Nathan watched in disbelief as the other six members of the "Magnificent Seven" slowly filed into the clinic, one by one.

A clearly dazed JD was being supported by Buck and Josiah, Ezra held a handkerchief to his nose, Chris was limping, one hand on his back, and Vin held his left arm tight against his chest. All wore expressions of pain.

"What happened?" Nathan asked, surveying each man, not even knowing where to start.

"Bar fight," Chris ground out between clenched teeth.

"With each other?!"

"Sorta turned out that way," Vin answered with a sheepish grin. "It all started..."

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(well, that's it, 100 words, a neat and tidy drabble...
but, if you'd like the rest of the story, read on)

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One minute, the saloon was relatively quiet, for a saloon, that is. The next, chaos reigned.

A decidedly inebriated man had taken umbrage at something said by another, and before you could blink your eyes twice, the first man had hurled himself at the second. Within moments, friends, enemies, strangers, and unlucky bystanders had been drawn into the fray.

Standing at the bar, Buck Wilmington exchanged an exasperated glance with Chris Larabee before wading into the melee. Ducking several wild swings, and one not so wild, the ladies' man quickly found himself outnumbered and overwhelmed.

Josiah Sanchez, JD Dunne, and Vin Tanner, all sitting at a table enjoying their beers (and milk), rose from their chairs at the sight, each intending to come to Buck's assistance by taking on an opponent or two.

JD rushed two men, knocking them both away from Wilmington. One immediately became swallowed up by the mob scene, disappearing from view. The other turned to face off with JD. The two exchanged several blows before the taller, heavier, uglier, and meaner man landed a punch to Dunne's stomach, knocking the air from JD's lungs with a whoosh, and sending him to his knees, his arms wrapped around his middle.

Josiah had decided to take on the largest of the brawlers. Grappling with the other man, he launched a massive blow, just as JD managed to get back to his feet. The young man stepped directly into the path of the preacher's fist, and immediately folded into a heap on the floor.

Wilmington, having seen his best friend go down, took a few steps toward JD, but noticed a man who had set his sights on Josiah while the big man was otherwise occupied with checking on the supine Dunne. Reaching out, he caught the man's upraised hand in his own, squeezing a bit harder than necessary, then blocked a blow with his other hand. When the idiot tried again, aiming at Buck's head, Wilmington dodged to one side to avoid the blow. As he did, he crashed full force into Chris Larabee, who had just made his way through the disturbance and across the floor. Larabee went soaring, somehow landing on his back in the middle of the poker table.

Ezra Standish, having ignored the fight up to that point, watched in horror as the poker table slowly tipped over, depositing man and money on the floor. Lunging to grab the money, Ezra's nose impacted soundly with Chris's knee. The gambler clutched at his nose with one hand, and grasped a handful of dollars with the other, then collapsed next to the fallen gunslinger with a groan.

Vin looked in dismay at the scene before him. Most of his fellow peacekeepers were down for the count, and now one miscreant, as Ezra would say, had pulled his gun. Without a second thought, the sharpshooter headed for the armed man. As he tackled the gunman, wrestling for possession of the weapon, Vin's elbow caught Buck in the eye, the mustachioed cowboy having drawn close with the same intent. All three men hit the floor, but Wilmington managed to gain control of the gun, despite his blurry vision.

Josiah, moving toward the fallen Buck and Vin to see if he could lend assistance, tried to avoid the massive pile-up of bodies, both friend and foe, but failed. Tripping over Ezra's outstretched leg, he was unable to catch his balance, and tumbled on top of Vin, who let out a cry of pain and clutched at his shoulder. Buck, he missed by inches.

Nathan shook his head in disbelief as the tale came to an end. He gave each man a quick incredulous look before turning his attention back to JD.

"Concussion," he said shortly, easily recognizing the symptoms. "Let's get him to bed, and then I'll take a look at the rest of you."

Motioning for Buck and Josiah to help, he started to lift the young man to his feet, just as JD suddenly jerked his foot, catching Nathan square between his legs.


The healer, still swearing colorfully, let JD drop back into the chair, and stumbled back a few steps, both hands instinctively moving to cradle the injured body part.

"Ow," murmured five men in sympathy. Even JD mumbled something.

"Why'd ya go an' do that?" Nathan asked the semi-conscious man reproachfully.

"S'pect he didn't want ya t' feel left out," Vin drawled slowly, a hint of humor in his voice.

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(and now, another drabble to end the story)

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Nathan looked around his almost empty clinic. JD had been settled into one of the clinic beds, his head aching miserably but on his way to recovery. Ezra had headed back to the gaming tables, his nose only a little worse for wear. Buck had gone home, blurred vision and all, although his idea of home was probably the arms of a beautiful woman. Chris's back was one massive bruise, and both Vin and Josiah would be feeling their injuries for a few days, but all would recover in time.

Finished for the evening, the healer shuffled to his bed.


April 2005

feedback welcome