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 second 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.
JD rubbed at his eyes and looked around him. The jail was dimly lit with a single lantern, casting eerie shadows across the walls, its glow just falling short of the now empty cells. The young sheriff shuddered as he pictured the form of Lucas James deceased sitting there looking out at him as he had the day JD was sworn in as sheriff.
He couldn't believe how the last few days had gone. A new job started alone, now to be shared with six new and true friends. Friends he thought, until just a few days ago, were ready to go their separate ways.
But with success came an offer from the judge and one by one, each of the seven had agreed to uphold the law in the town for the next thirty days. JD smiled, he thought it was good of the Judge to ask if he was willing to take a cut in pay but stay on the man could easily have simply dismissed him without so much as a 'thank you.' The youth rubbed at his eyes again. He was tired and after a little while was almost asleep in the quiet jailhouse, when the door opened.
Regardless of his near-sleep state, JD went for his guns, in spite of the awkwardness due to his feet being propped up on the desk. He relaxed as he saw Vin stepping in.
"Hell Vin ya scared me half to death." he frowned as he looked at the tracker. "Something wrong?"
Tanner shook his head as he pushed JD's feet off the desk to perch on its corner.
"Nope everythin' s good, kid. Whatcha doin' here all alone?"
JD shrugged, "Aw nothin' really, just thinking."
"Anythin' I can help with?" Tanner smiled as he watched the dark hair shake, only to slow as the boy slowly looked up at him.
"Actually Vin I wanted to say thank you."
"What for, JD?"
"For standing by me outside the jailhouse the other day."
Vin was frowning now. "As I recall ya did thank me."
Dunne nodded, "I know but it meant a lot to me and I wanted to make sure you knew that."
Vin nodded his acceptance with a little lop-sided smile. "Least a man can do is stand by a friend when he's got trouble, 'sides Conklin was bein' an idiot, he deserved to be brought down a little, gettin' the townsfolk all riled up like that and upsettin' Missus Potter."
The boy grinned. "Yeah, he did," then sobered, "And I also wanted to say sorry."
Vin's frown was back, but he couldn't help himself.
"Now you got me curious sorry? "
JD looked up at Vin, his soulful eyes reflecting genuine regret. Tanner searched his mind for anything JD might have done but was at a loss. Then something occurred to him.
"D'you mean what happened when we left Royal's ranch with the horses an' saddles?"
Groaning, the youth leaned forward and rested his head on the desk.
"Oh God that too, then, I guess."
The Texan could hardly bear the suspense. "JD what the hell are you goin' on about? I know Chris yelled at you, but we all realized there wasn't enough time to get to all the horses."
"There wasn't, honestly," the boy implored, lifting his head to show his sincerity.
"Kid I know let it go now ya hear?"
A silent nod.
JD looked back up at Vin.
"And? You said there was somethin' else, JD?"
JD sighed. "The saloon when the Judge got shot."
Tanner folded his arms across his chest. "Uh huh go on."
"Well I'd already done this dumb thing ," he absently rubbed his forehead as he recalled running into the support pillar in the saloon. "Then Chris takes out Royal's man and he calls me over, tells me to go get Nathan to help the judge." The easterner allowed himself a small smile as he warmly remembered Chris' touch to his arm as he warned him to be careful. He looked directly into Vin's eyes.
"I walked outta there and directly into your bead on Royal Vin if you'd fired " he dropped his gaze back to the desk.
Tanner sighed, so that was it hell, how long had he been frettin' on that? He put a comforting hand on the younger man's shoulder.
"Kid hey look at me."
Shy eyes peeked up through dark bangs.
"I'm sorry I yelled at ya. Yeah you did walk right out into my line of fire and yeah a split second later I woulda likely blown your head clean off your shoulders."
Both men looked at each other, each one realizing the enormity and consequence of that statement. JD shuddered, Vin squeezed his shoulder harder.
"But, I didn't and I guess I yelled for a coupla reasons, I almost shot you and it scared the hell outta me," the sincerity of his words shone through his glistening blue eyes, "and I was all fired up, Chris'n me had just been shot at by those fellas, hell, they done shot my hat clean off my head, I guess it wasn't the best time right then."
JD nodded slowly. "I'm still sorry it was a dumb "
Vin rose to his feet. "Knock it off, JD you ain't dumb, so don't say that. You made a mistake you didn't know I was there. Kid let it go weren't your fault okay?"
The young sheriff smiled, nodding once more. Both men looked to the door as Buck burst in.
"Hell there ya're! Where'd you go, Tanner? You said you where gonna go look for JD now I had to come look for you keep this up we'll all end up in here lookin' for each other 'stead of in the saloon drinkin'." He paused at the realization something might be wrong.
"Everythin' okay, here?"
Dunne smiled and nodded, rising to his feet. "Yeah it is now." He looked at the Texan. "Thanks Vin."
Vin clapped him on the back. "Glad I could help, JD. Now seein' as this here jail's empty ya gonna come ta the saloon now?"
JD grabbed his hat. "Sure thing."
Buck smiled then turned a mock-serious expression to the youngest man.
"Not the hat didn't I tell you to get rid o' that stupid hat?"
Vin chuckled as the three left the jailhouse and stepped onto the boardwalk.
"Damnit Buck, enough with the hat I ain't changing it Bat Masterson "
"Yeah, yeah " Wilmington muttered, grabbing the youth by the back of his neck and propelling him through the batwing doors of the saloon.
"Tell it to someone who gives a damn."
As the three joined the other four newly appointed peacekeepers, they were greeted by smiles and nods. JD looked around him at the faces that were slowly becoming so important to him. Josiah with his huge grin, Ezra shuffling cards, Nathan puffing on a fat cigar, Vin poking a finger through the hole in his hat, Chris just sitting there, silently watching the group and the rest of the saloon, and Buck.
JD looked fondly at Buck and saw a man he could truly enjoy getting closer to and smiled at the vision in his mind from a few days earlier of a tall mustached man riding in like a hero on a white steed, and a man in black leading a group of men that were united in a just cause ---integrity honesty justice.