Authors Note: This story is just a silly little piece, which is somewhat out of character for the guys, but that explores what they might do if they were terribly bored and broke. It is not intended to offend anyones sensibilities. Although it contains content that might be considered questionable to some readers, it is not a slash piece. All activities are purely for the purposes of the bets. It is meant to be all in good fun. Thanks to Wen at the Sharpshooter, Marg at Blackraptor who allowed me to use their pictures for the Bet fics.
Main Characters: Ezra, Chris, and JD
Disclaimer: I do not own them. They are the property of MGM, Mirisch, and Trilogy Entertainment; however, if they ever come up for sale, I will be in the front row at the auction.
Feedback: Feedback is welcome and greatly appreciated, but no flames please.
The men all made their way back into the saloon, none of them still quite able to believe what they had just seen Chris do. Ezra edged closer to Josiah and said in a conspiratorial whisper, "You know Mr. Sanchez, just when you think you know someone, they shatter all you preconceived illusions of them."
Josiah chuckled under his breath. "You got that right brother. I never would have thought I would see the day that would witness Chris Larabee standing on his head drinking beer."
The seven resumed their seats at the game table, and Ezra couldn't help but notice that the crowd had seemed to be steadily growing. He sighed at the thought that he might have been able to cash in on providing entertainment to the masses if he had been quicker to consider how much attention they would get.
"Who makes the challenge this time?" Nathan asked
JD grinned and puffed up a bit. "Me! I won that one." All eyes turned to the youngest member of the group. His eyes twinkled as he got ready to name his challenge. He had been waiting and hoping to get a chance to get back at them for the egg challenge. Dunne intended to be sure his involved the use of eggs too, and he hoped fervently that he didn't lose his own challenge. "The ones with the two lowest hands have to make their way outside, down the steps, and then back inside to the starting point " He paused, and looked at his friends who were waiting expectantly, " .tied together and carrying an egg."
"Tied together in what manner, Mr. Dunne?" Ezra voiced what they had all begun to wonder.
"Tied front to front, with your hands down at your sides."
"Then I assume the lucky participants cannot use their hands to carry the egg," Ezra added. At JD's nod he continued. "Then were, prey-tell, is the egg to be carried?
"Under your chin," the young man explained. "And, if one of you can't hang on to it, you need to pass it to your partner without dropping it or breaking it. You get three tries to do it."
"Do we get an incentive for this one?" Buck asked.
JD thought a minute and then came up with something he thought would work. "If you do it, I'll give both of the winners a shave. If you don't, I get the shave."
The men looked at each other and grinned. It would be almost worth losing to get rid of that fuzz on the younger man's face, but deep down they all knew they were too competitive to lose on purpose. Josiah grinned and spoke for them all. "Alright, JD, let's get this started."
Behind them the crowd had been listening expectantly and had already been placing bets on the outcome. Some had gone so far as to make comments on who they would like to see tied together. A few were jostling for a better position to see the game played out.
JD shuffled the deck and dealt to each of them. Each man concentrated on his cards and replaced what he felt was necessary to give him a winning hand. "Well, let's see what ya all got."
As one, the men laid out their cards, spread out to make them all visible. Pandemonium broke out when it became clear who would be doing this challenge. Two men visibly paled and closed their eyes as they realized their fates. JD went wide-eyed and he sincerely hoped he wasn't going to be hurt over the outcome of this one.
"Ummm well Mr. Larabee, it appears that we are the .."
Chris glared. "Ezra, I got eyes, and I can see out of them."
Vin was practically rolling on the floor when he realized his best friend, the same one who had slapped him on the ass less than a half-hour before, had to get tied to Ezra. "Well, Pard. Let's see how you handle that one." The tracker swiped at moist eyes as he continued to laugh uncontrollably.
One of the spectators had dashed out to his horse and returned with a length of rope. He handed it to JD and grinned. "Here ya go son, you can use my rope. Just don't go cutting it up none."
"Thanks. I'll see it stays in one piece." The young sheriff approached where the two men sat, side by side. "Uhhhh .. Chris?"
Larabee stood up and eyed the kid. "You are enjoying this a little too much, if you ask me." He tried to sound stern, but inside he knew that they had all agreed to this unorthodox game, and he had to admit that despite some embarrassing situations it had been a lot of fun, but he wasn't about to admit that to the others.
Ezra stood to join the man in black and cleared his throat nervously, but tried to speak confidently. "Mr. Dunne, I like my shaves preceded by a hot towel to soften the beard."
JD grinned widely at the gambler. "Well, first you gotta win it Ezra." He signaled to the two men to step up together. Once they were standing front to front, the young man made quite a show of tying them securely from the knees to about halfway between the waist and the shoulders. They could just barely move their hands where they stuck out between the rounds of the rope, and could move their legs only from the knees down. JD produced three eggs in a small bowl and asked. "Who wants the egg?"
"I'll take it, Mr. Dunne," Ezra offered.
Once the egg was tucked under Ezra's chin, JD reminded them of what they had to do. "Now remember, outside, down the steps, back up and back to here."
Chris tried to twist them around so that Ezra would be moving backward. "Mr. Larabee .I uh " Ezra felt the egg slip a bit and decided it would be prudent to avoid moving his mouth to talk. Through clinched teeth he said, "I would prefer to be able to see where I am going."
"Ezra, you are going to have to trust me this time. I can see over you, you can't see over me," Chris explained. "Now we gotta do this together. Step back with your right foot, and I'll step forward with my left."
Ezra did as he was told and was rewarded with a sharp pain as Chris stepped on his toes. "sssssssss.." he hissed as the weight was quickly removed from the injured appendage. They tried again with the opposite feet with somewhat better success, but the steps were very small, coving only a few inches each. Painstakingly, they made their way across the room toward the door.
"Take the egg!" Ezra said in a strained voice.
"Take the egg!!"
Chris had no idea what was wrong. Things had been going all right up to that point, but the tone of the gambler's voice said he had better do what he was asked. He tried to lean his head down enough to get the egg under his own chin but the difference in their heights was making it difficult. "Tip your head." Ezra complied and tipped his head slightly to the right. "Ouch!" Larabee grimaced as the pain shot through his nose where Ezra had just bumped it with his forehead. Chris tried again and barely managed to get the egg, when Ezra leaned his head back sharply and let out a string of curses that they were not used to hearing come from the southern gentleman.
"Ezra, something wrong?" Nathan watched as the gambler tipped his head back as far as he could and tilted it from side to side as he worked his lower jaw.
"Cramp," was all Ezra could manage to croak out.
Nathan went to the bound men and surveyed the situation. "Where? In yer neck?"
Nathan reached out and began to gently rub the gambler's throat and the sides of his neck. Each time he hit one of the tight muscles Standish would hiss under his breath at the pain it brought on. After what seemed like an eternity, the muscle spasm let go. Ezra gingerly worked his jaw and sighed in relief. "Mr. Jackson, you are a most talented man."
Through clenched teeth, Chris broke in. "Can we get on with this?"
The two men began the slow trek toward the door again, but Larabee's view wasn't as good now that he held the egg precariously under his own chin. A sudden sensation of falling caught both men by surprise when they tripped over a chair. The two landed with a thud and a huff as the air was knocked out of both of them when they landed on one of the empty tables. Ezra was trapped under the larger man and neither of them could do anything about it. "Awwwwww .. " the gambler groaned as he felt the thick, slick contents of the egg slide down the side of his face. The force of the fall broke it under the gunman's chin and with Standish being on the bottom it all ran out onto him.
"Sorry, Ezra." Chris leaned his head against the side of the gambler's for a moment as he got his breath back from their tumble.
"Hey you two. If yer planning on such things as that, don't ya think ya aughta get a room?" Buck taunted.
"Shut up, Buck" the two bound men growled in unison, and then both had to chuckle at the absurdity of the situation.
"Okay, can you get your feet on the floor?" Chris asked the gambler.
"You must be jesting, Mr. Larabee." The two were bound to the point that no way would either of them be able to get their feet on the floor without some work. "Perhaps if you rock back, while I rock forward we can shift ourselves into an upright position?"
The ladies man suddenly planted his big hand over JD's eyes. "Whoa I think maybe you might to too young to be watchin' this, Kid."
"Buck, stop it. You know I ain't as young as I look." He pushed Wilmington's hand away and turned his attention back to the two men on the table.
"It's worth a try. On the count of three. One .. two . three ." Both men rocked and teetered upward on the table, but not quite enough. "Harder, Ezra," Chris growled, oblivious to the hoots, and comments going on around them. They tried again, and this time managed to get their feet onto the floor. Their balance was off for a moment, but they finally managed to right themselves.
"Guess that means you gotta start over," the youngest member teased.
"Mr. Dunne, your rules said nothing of starting over if the first egg met an untimely end."
"But well.. you "
"He's right JD," Vin chimed in. As much as he would like to see Chris have to start over, just to get even for that slap, fair was fair. "Ya never said they had to start over."
"Fine." JD got the second egg and went to put it under Chris's chin.
Together they made it the rest of the way out the door. The process became easier with practice. At last they came to the steps. There were only three, but there might as well have been a whole flight of them. "I guess we hop," Chris said, and they inched sideways to the edge of the wooden boardwalk. "Ready, one, two, three." They hopped and landed safely on the first step.
The two men grinned at their success. "I do believe we have this well in hand." Ezra observed, and on the next count of three they hopped again, and then again to reach the ground.
Their elation was short lived though, because they suddenly realize that they needed to get back up those same three steps. "Ezra, don't suppose you can step back up there backwards can you?" The gambler tried but couldn't. At the shake of the smaller man's head, Chris decided they should try to hop back up. "On three again. One .two ." Slam "Son-of-a-bitch!!" Ezra had hopped too soon and slammed his head into Larabee's. "Ezra, I said on three! I hadn't said three!" the man in black raved. "Owww . damn that hurt."
Once again Nathan ran to their aid. He quickly checked Chris's nose and pronounced that it wasn't broken, or even bleeding for that matter. "Well, you couldn't prove it by me," Chris complained.
"Just in case anyone might be wondering, the encounter did not do wonders for me either." Ezra stood with brows furrowed in pain and one eye squeezed shut. There was a small trickle of blood running toward that eye. Nathan checked him quickly and saw a small cut in the eyebrow. He had probably hit one of Chris's teeth. By the time he finished checking the gambler over the tiny cut had stopped bleeding, and they were both pronounced fit enough to finish the challenge. However, the same could not be said for egg number two. The third egg was set in place under the gunman's chin, and they went back to the obstacle in front of them.
"Mr. Larabee, I have another suggestion on how we might ascend the steps."
"And just what might that be?"
"I'll show you." With that Ezra leaned backward as far as he could, lifting Chris off the ground by several inches. A quick shuffle of his feet moved him just far enough that Chris's feet ended up on the step. Chris smiled.
Careful not to put too much pressure on the egg, Chris repeated the movement with Ezra, lifting him onto the step with him. One by one they made it up the steps and began to work their way back toward the door.
Vin held one of the batwing doors open for them as they got near. "After you," he offered gallantly, much to Ezra's surprise.
"Stop!!" Chris hissed, when they had barely gotten inside the door.
"Mr. Larabee, we are nearly .."
"Take the egg .." the man in black said urgently.
"But, we are so close " Ezra tried again.
"Take the egg it's slipping!"
Standish quickly tipped his chin up and leaned into the man in black so he could scoop the egg from under the bigger man's chin. It took a little maneuvering but they finally managed to get it moved from one to the other. Ezra knew he didn't have a very good grip on it either, so he leaned forward just a bit and rested his forehead against Larabee's shoulder to help him keep hold of it.
"Just walk," the gambler mumbled against the shoulder in front of him.
"Looks to me like those two's gettin' mighty cozy," Buck poked Josiah in the ribs as he wiggled his eyebrows suggestively.
"It does seem like this is takin' a mite long, doesn't it?" Vin observed from where he still held the door. "Think they're stretchin' it out on purpose?"
Larabee's chest rumbled as he growled. "Vin . Shut up!"
Tanner smiled a small knowing smile, and let go of the batwing door. The door swung forcefully inward and hit Chris squarely in the ass. Larabee stumbled forward slightly and forced Ezra's head harder into his shoulder. A sickening crack got his attention.
"Tanner!!" Chris exclaimed.
Ezra sighed as he pulled back from the black clad shoulder. "I am unable to decide which is worse. Losing or being covered in egg," he grumbled.
Once released from the bonds both men rubbed the circulation back into their extremities. Ezra looked at the mess on his shirt and picked bits of eggshell away. Inez brought him a wet towel when she produced the supplies for them to fulfill their obligation. The gambler scrubbed at the sticky mess and once he was cleaned off as much as possible he folded out a clean side of the towel and handed it to Chris.
JD was already seated at the table, grinning widely. "Hey Ezra, I like a hot towel before my shave."
Chris Larabee and Ezra Standish locked gazes, exchanged smiles, and then turned back to their youngest member. This would be one shave he would never forget.
Comments to: Luna6438@aol.com