Summary: Vin takes Ezra on a little fishing trip.
#1 in A Day in the Life collection
Thanks to to my friend & muse, Retirw for her encouragement, and to KT the Opinionated, the keeper of the commas.
Response to the Vin Fanfic and Discussion Group April Celebration Challenge - A Fishing Trip
The sun was high in the sky as two horsemen moved across the open range. Anyone noticing from afar would have paid little mind to the pair. Upon closer inspection it was obvious these were two men you wouldn't want to cross, though quite an unlikely duo. One dressed in buckskin, the other obviously the dandy. What the two did have in common were the lethal looking weapons hugging their hips, and the aura of awareness which they wore like a glove. The only incongruous piece of this picture would be the matching cane poles strapped to the horses and bouncing jauntily behind the two men.
"Mr. Tanner, I can not fathom how I allowed myself to be persuaded to accompany you on this antediluvian endeavor. Why anyone would wish to venture into the wilds to catch one's meal is beyond my understanding, especially when, for a pittance, an evening's repast may be obtained from Senorita Recillos. Yet, here we are, sweltering under the midday sun; heading to Heaven only knows what God-forsaken backwoods watering hole!"
"Ya think it's hot here, Ez? I could'a left ya in town ta deal with Chris' temper. Talk 'bout hot! After that little trick ya showed Billy an' young Caleb . . .well, fig'erd it were best that ya skedaddled outta town fer a few hours. Least ways 'til Chris has time ta clean himself up an' cool off a mite."
"How was I to foresee that the young Masters Travis and Potter would choose to test their new found . . . knowledge on the unsuspecting Mr. Larabee? I feel he is unwarranted in holding me responsible, given the remote probability that it would be he rather than . . . ."
"Ez, enough!" The Texan put a stop to the tirade. "We've been over this before . . . ya done promised ta quit yer yammerin' 'til we got ta ma' fishing spot."
"And just, how much farther might this secluded fishing locale of yours be, Mr. Tanner?"
"Over that there rise, see that tree up yonder?" Vin nodded toward a treetop that could be seen on the horizon.
Looking far into the distance, the gambler considered asking 'what tree'? However, remembering just who his companion was and the look sent his way, from 'said' companion, he thought better of it.
They rode on in silence as the horses continued to plod ahead, their pace soon quickening as the promise of fresh drinking water wafted on the air.
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The two men dismounted and unsaddled their mounts. The horses moved to the bank of the stream for a cool drink, before wandering off to nibble at the tender, green grass growing nearby.
Vin, with an economy of motion, snagged a grasshopper from the weeds, unwrapped the line from his pole, baited his hook, and tossed the offering into the water. When Ezra turned around from untangling the line of the borrowed fishing pole, the tracker was securing the end of his pole in the soft mud on the edge of the bank.
Vin turned and noted the rather lost look on his friend's face. "Ez, ya gotta problem?"
"I am chagrined to confess, I am at a loss as to what to do next, Mr. Tanner," the gambler admitted, without actually looking Vin in the eyes.
"Ya never been fishin'?" Noting the irked look cast his direction, Vin continued, "Ok, ya never been fishin'. Well, first ya grab that can'a worms an' git ya a nice fat one, then ya put it on yer hook." Vin nodded to the can sitting on the ground not far away.
"And where, might one ask, did you find a 'can' of worms?" the gambler asked, gingerly holding the can and looking into the dirt as if something might jump out at any moment.
"I borra'ed Billy's can'a worms, fig'red it were the least he could do, after gettin' ya in such hot water with Chris." Vin grabbed a blade of grass, stuck the piece into his mouth, and chewed in an attempt to not laugh at Ezra's antics.
"Next?" Ezra asked, squeamishly, holding a worm between his finger and thumb, watching as it appeared to stretch longer and longer.
"Ya gotta put it on the hook an' then toss it in the water," the tracker responded as he moved to a shady spot and laid back in the grass, nonchalantly watching as Ezra did 'battle' with the ever growing worm.
"You want me to impale it on this hook?" the southerner asked, aghast.
At Vin's nod, Ezra gave several attempts to skewer the slippery worm before finally giving up and simply wrapping the uncooperative 'critter' around the hook.
Vin pulled his hat over his face to hide his grin at Ezra's muttered, "Worms are nothing but minuscule snakes!"
Vin peeked from under his hat long enough to see Ezra toss the hook toward the water, and heard two distinct plops as hook and worm landed in the water at different times.
"Ez, I think yer worm come off," he volunteered helpfully, sitting up to watch his friend.
Shoving the pole into the ground a short distance from the other, Ezra replied, "It is in the vicinity of the hook, and should serve to attract any unwary fish, thus allowing them to become entangled in my line."
"Might work at that," Vin commented, with laugher in his voice. He reached into his pack and pulled out a piece of jerky, offering it to Ezra, who declined. He then lay back in the grass, pulling his hat back over his eyes and with a relaxed sigh, began to chew on the jerky.
Ezra sat, his back against the tree trunk, and looked from the poles to his reclining friend. "Excuse me, Mr. Tanner? . . . Vin? . . . If I might ask, from your current position, how do you plan to ascertain if you have caught a fish?"
Ezra saw his friend's mouth twitch into a smile, before catching the Texan's words, "Said I was goin' fishin'. Never said nothin' 'bout catchin' any."
Finally, it all became clear. Ezra slipped a flask out of his jacket's breast pocket and took a long drag. Leaning against the tree and closing his eyes, the ever present, poker face slipped away and was replaced by a true smile. "Mr. Tanner, I think I could learn to appreciate fishing."
2. Wrong Place, Wrong Time