The Collector
Missing Scene

by Sue M

Summary: A series of 'missing scenes' for the original OW series from the author's and JD's POV

Disclaimer: Just playing. I know I can't keep `em...damnit!

A JD POV for a missing scene for each episode was brought to the table by Robijean and I couldn't resist! So here is the seventh of, I hope, one for each episode.

Thanks to Phyllis for betaing this. Comments welcome.

My thanks also to Nancy and Blackraptor for the transcript archive, and for giving my stories a home.


The last time JD Dunne had leaned against a wagon and watched like this, was when the working girls were in town. This time he was watching Mary Travis. The woman was seeing the final pieces of furniture that had been retrieved from Royal's home off to their original owners. She had found every owner and JD couldn't help admiring the woman's determination. Ezra had said she would succeed and he had been right.

As JD straightened, half-turning to move on, he caught Josiah's eye and instantly dropped his gaze. He felt bad about Josiah. Firstly because the man had been so smitten with the singing lady, Emma, but she had not even remembered him, and secondly for the night in the saloon he and Buck had been teasing him. They had both had a little too much to drink, consequently doing something JD was not at all proud of, he had hurt a friend.

It had been a little funny. Josiah was such a strong man and to see him all sappy and wistful had been a new experience for the easterner, and, he was guessing, Buck, too. But they had underestimated the depth of the man's feelings and had angered him… likely even hurt him…and JD felt he should apologize…but where should he start?

The boy startled as a strong hand squeezed his shoulder.

"Good morning, John Dunne."

JD didn't look up. "'Mornin', Josiah." They remained silent for a few moments.

"Is everything alright, JD? Have I upset you in some way?"

Dunne looked up at him in alarm. Why would he think that?

"No." Again he dropped his gaze, but now he was trying to find the words he needed to make an apology. Josiah settled next to him, leaning against the wagon JD had just stood back from, hoping it would set his friend at ease. It did not.

"JD…clearly something is on your mind. I'd be happy to share the burden with you, son."

Finally the young sheriff looked at him. "Actually, Josiah, y'already do."

Sanchez leaned to the side a little, now facing the younger man and realizing for the first time, how much discomfort JD was in. "I do?"

"Yes, you do. I…" he looked at his clasped hands. "…I wanted to say…" Now he looked up at the preacher.

"…I wanted to say…I'm real sorry about what happened with your lady friend, and…"

Josiah relaxed a little. "Why…thank you, son…and…?"

"And…I wanted to say sorry…sorry for what Buck and I said in the saloon the other night. We shouldna teased you like that, it was mean… I should know…been teased myself, too now."

Josiah released a small smile. "I appreciate and accept your apology, John, but now, you have aroused my interest. Who has been teasing you… and why?"

The boy stared at him open-mouthed. He didn't know…whoa…he must be the only one in town that didn't.

"Well…it wasn't as bad as what we said to you, but I got…mooed." JD blushed.

"Mooed?" Josiah stifled a grin. "I see…and I suppose Buck *mooed* you, huh?"

JD nodded. "Yeah…well…him and Chris."

Sanchez's arm slipped awkwardly off the wagon. He composed himself.

"Chris…as in Chris Larabee…hardened gunslinger?"

"Yup…I think I convinced them they were wrong, though."

Sanchez blinked. "Chris Larabee mooed…and I missed it. So now I need to know…what young lady has caught your eye so fiercely that Chris Larabee deemed it necessary to *moo* you?"

JD shook his head. "Oh no…let's get one thing straight…yeah, Buck made her look real pretty, even when she was in her draws, but that don't mean I like her…no sir!"

Josiah couldn't help it…he let out a chuckle at the boy's exasperation… and the image he had just provided.

"Let me get this straight, a young lady…from this town…has seemingly caught your interest, yet you feel obliged to deny it, and yet…you've seen her undergarments? And Buck was involved…how? "

JD leaned forward over the wagon. "Okay…she kept buggin' me, sayin' she could ride better 'n me an' stuff…hell, I ain't surprised she thinks like that, she's all spit'n vinegar an' dresses like a boy, but she can't…an' one day I'll prove it…"

He was all puffed up with indignation and Josiah watched in fond amusement as this young easterner who had worked his way into the once closed hearts of six hardened gunslingers, attempted to convince Josiah…and apparently himself…that this young lady was more a nuisance than a possible love interest.

"Then Buck goes an' gets her to put on a dress and brush her long brown hair until it was shining and walks her over to me…but then she stepped up and her skirt got caught and then I saw her draws," he winced, "and so did everyone else."

Sanchez couldn't help smiling. "Hmmm…I see…and who exactly would this young lady be, JD?"

Dunne sighed heavily, resting his head on his clasped hands. "Casey Wells."

Josiah's huge toothy grin lit up his face. He had seen the girl watching the youth from afar on numerous occasions. So she had finally plucked up the courage to speak to him. Damn…he would have liked to have seen all this unfold…damn Emma Dubonnet and 'Getting Gertie's Garter'…damn her to hell. He squeezed the boy's neck.

"Well…as long as you're sure of how you feel, that's all that matters."

"Damn right," JD nodded back, happy Josiah could see he was sincere. He watched the preacher leave, the man chuckling as he went on his way. JD smiled to himself, happy that he and Josiah had talked and that the young sheriff had made the man a little happier…well, he guessed he was…seeing as he was smilin' and all.


Larabee looked up from the wanted posters as JD entered the jail, nodding to the youth before resuming his reading. JD had decided this was a day for clearing the air. After several moments, Chris spoke.

"Did you want something, JD?"

JD's mouth went dry and he suddenly didn't feel so sure of himself. He turned to leave.

"Err…sorry, doesn't matter."

"JD, It mattered enough to bring you in here…what is it?"

Dunne turned back to face the man he looked up to more than anyone in the world, and tried to find the words he needed to say, suddenly blurting out a name.

"Tophat Bob…"

Gaining the blond's full attention, Chris looked at him. "What about him?"

JD took a seat, his need to ask his question now taking over from his attack of nerves.

"I…I asked you how you knew you could take Tophat Bob Spikes."

Chris nodded. "I remember, what of it?"

"Well…you didn't…you didn't answer me…you just…smiled. Did that mean you knew for sure you could? But how can any man…?"

Sensing something bigger, Chris leaned his arms onto the desk.

"I smiled because…I never know. What I do know is…I've yet to meet anyone faster than me, and it don't scare me to be challenged, so if it came to a showdown, I reckon I stand as much a chance as the man I'm facin' down. I have a reputation, JD…there'll always be someone out there wantin' to call me out. If I think about being slower than him, even for a moment…then I will be. Does that help?"

JD looked into the man's eyes and saw the sincerity there. Chris' eyes were softer now. When he had first met him they were cold and hard, now…now Chris seemed happier, and it showed…in his eyes. He nodded.

"Yeah…I think so. So…you'd never back down…ever?"

Chris sat back. "Man can't live forever, kid, I don't intend looking for trouble, but I sure as hell won't walk away if it finds me. Do *you* think you can take Bob Spikes?"

JD swallowed. He was fast…he knew it. But faster than Tophat Bob?

"I don't know. How could I? I've never faced a man down…ever."

Larabee nodded. "Good…keep that in the front of your mind, it'll stop you from doing something stupid. It's not always about being the fastest, son, remember that." He stood.

JD frowned, looking up at the man in black. "Where do I learn about such things? Where does that kind of understandin' come from, Chris?"

Larabee leaned forward. "You watch, you listen and you learn from us and then you remember the one thing we can't teach you." Leaning further over, he briefly touched his hand to JD's chest.

"It mostly comes from in here."

With a touch to his hat, Larabee left the jail. Mouth open in astonishment, JD placed his hand to where Chris had just touched. His heart? He was supposed to think with his heart? He looked up as Buck came in.

"There you are…you comin' for a beer?"

"Err, yeah, sure." He stood.

"What you just say to Chris?"


"Well…he just come over to me an' squeezed my shoulder an' talked all gentle like…just like he did before…well…just… Well, anyway, he said you had a question."

The two walked onto the boardwalk together.

"Aaah, I reckon this is one I need to think through a while. But you can answer me this. Do *you* think you could beat Tophat Bob if he called you out?"

Buck laughed. "What…that overstuffed, ugly lookin', sissy blowhard? Hell, yeah."

The End