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 third 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.
Things had certainly quietened down since the ladies from Wicke's Town had left. Most of the peacekeepers had gathered in the saloon for the evening and were sipping on their drinks. Josiah looked at Nathan.
"So, you and Ezra on speaking terms now?"
The healer nodded, "The only problem I got with Ezra was his plans to lead those girls into what could only be described as shady dealin's. Who's to say they won't find themselves nice rich husbands anyway?"
The men shuffled awkwardly in their seats, Josiah squeezed Nathan's shoulder.
"I understand how you feel my friend, but I don't recall seeing the women complainin' or upset by Ezra's proposition. "
The others nodded, Nathan shrugged.
"Maybe so, but it still didn't seem right." He then grinned. "Still, he's payin' for it now, those men he got to come here to meet with them sure ain't happy with him. He's been tryin' to shake 'em off all day."
With that Ezra approached the table, looking considerably harassed. He sat down.
"Lord, I need a drink."
Everyone laughed and looked at him. Standish frowned.
"Am I missing something here?"
Nathan pushed a glass toward the southerner and filled it from the whiskey bottle they were all sharing.
"Here ya go, Ezra, I reckon a little whiskey might be just what you need."
The gambler was taken aback at the gesture, fully expecting another lecture or gloating from the healer. He smiled.
"Well, thank you kindly, Mister Jackson," he raised his glass, "Don't mind if I do."
Chris nodded approvingly.
JD shifted in his seat, his attention drifting to the tracker. "You sure cut it close with that wagon, Vin that was some pretty good drivin'."
Vin looked at the younger man and winked.
Buck couldn't contain himself any longer and nudged the youth's elbow.
"So you finally got to kiss her was it good? Was that your first ever kiss? I mean it sure didn't sound like you had a whole lot of time to do any kissin' while you were up in the hayloft."
Josiah choked on his beer as the others winced on seeing JD's expression.
"What? Aw, come on kid, we're all friends here. Hell, everyone knows you didn't go to Wickes Town just for the whiskey."
JD blushed red to his ears. Thoroughly uncomfortable with the discussion, he stood, slamming his chair into the table.
"Damnit Buck, I swear you do these things just to get me goin'. Why did you have to ask me that? You coulda asked Ezra how it felt to wear a dress but no you pick on me."
He quickly glanced at his friends, resting on Ezra who was staring at him mid-sip. JD dropped his head.
Turning, the young sheriff left the saloon.
Buck stared after him. "KID!" He looked at the others. "What the hell's he upset about? He did good, I thought he'd be all happy an' showin' off about it."
Ezra shook his head. "Mister Wilmington, you have all the sensitivity of a blacksmith's hammer."
Chris leaned forward. "What Ezra's sayin' is that not everyone likes to talk about relations with a lady in quite the same way as you do."
Buck shook his head. "You sayin' that boy's shy? Ain't no way he loves to show off about pretty much everythin', hell he told me he'd had a whole gaggle o' "
The brunet suddenly remembered how amused he had been about JD's boast, convinced the opposite was likely the truth.
He stood, scooped up his hat and left the saloon.
"I fear Mister Wilmington has a lot to learn in how to raise a teenager." Ezra grinned.
All eyes turned to him, Vin's twinkled mischievously.
"Well, Ezra what *was* it like to wear a dress?" the tracker asked.
Standish never missed a beat. "Gentlemen, I am afraid my answer will only serve to disappoint you." He looked around at the interested faces and sighed.
Buck had searched everywhere but had been unsuccessful in locating his young friend. He had walked around the livery and was just about to leave when a small noise from the loft alerted him. He allowed himself a small smile and ambled over to the ladder that led to it.
"Dang but these mice get bigger every year where's my shotgun?"
"Very funny, Buck."
The ladies' man grinned and climbed partway up the ladder until his head cleared the loft floor.
"May I join you?"
JD shrugged, his eyes firmly planted on the hay covering the wood floor. Buck hauled himself up and perched on the edge, his long legs dangling over the side.
"I guess I came to say sorry."
JD sighed, "I don't doubt that you are, but what you said can't be taken back and now they're all laughing at me."
Buck's expression was soft as he looked at his young friend affectionately.
"Aw kid no one's laughing at you. Hell you're a legend; Emily's howls could be heard clean to Eagle Bend."
The youth chuckled softly and it warmed the big man's heart.
"It wasn't real."
"Me an' Emily up here we were just playin' a trick on you and Josiah is all."
The urge to sweep the boy up in a big ol' bear hug was hard to fight, but fight it Buck did. He and Josiah had eventually realized that had been the case but hadn't let on.
"You don't say," Buck lied, "Well you had me an' ol' Josiah fooled. I guess that's just our little secret then, huh?"
JD looked at him. "Can we just not talk about it instead?" He dropped his head again.
"Buck I I'm not sure I'm ready for for relations aw hell."
Noting the boy's discomfort, Buck raised his hand and squeezed JD's shoulder.
"Son JD "
The young sheriff looked into Buck's eyes, as if searching for a truth. Wilmington's heart lurched. Good Lord when had he become so committed to looking out for this kid? He took a deep breath.
"JD There comes a time in a man's life when when he knows he's ready to take on a man's responsibilities, no matter what they might be or how old he is. It could be owning his own home, taking care of brothers and sisters, looking after his sick mamma "
JD swallowed and looked down. Buck continued.
"...Standing alongside six friends to protect a town, or it could just be when he's ready to bed a lady for the first time and as for the last one, there are no rules to say when the time is right." He reached out and put his hand to JD's chest.
"You'll know it in here. Oh sure, your body may tell you otherwise but you're a good boy, and you'll follow your heart. Your mamma brought you up good, but there was just the two of you and all you know is what she told you and what you saw as you grew up. Now me "
Buck smiled fondly as his thoughts slipped back in time.
" I was surrounded by fine ladies who knew many things. We grew up real close and my first time was a whole lot younger than you are right now. But it felt right and the lady I was with thought so, too. One day, kid, you're gonna find that special lady who will make your heart and body know you're ready, so don't be frettin' on it, okay? No one but you is judging you here."
Dunne smiled and nodded his understanding. "Thanks, Buck."
The brunet grinned. "No need to thank me. So are we good now?"
JD grinned. "Hell Buck, we always are I'm sorry I got upset like that, stupid huh?"
"Yeah but hey what's new?" Buck agreed.
JD was just about to react when he saw the big man grin and wink. "You're bad Buck d'ya know that?"
"I know many fine ladies who would disagree with you there."
JD laughed, as did Buck.
"So, you gonna come back to the saloon now, kid?"
"Aww, I dunno, Buck."
"Ah come on let's go see if we can get Ezra to sing again."
"Bet it won't sound as good without the dress," the youth commented as they climbed down the ladder.
Buck bobbed his head in agreement. "Probably not, but I sure as hell don't want to see that sight in a hurry again."
The two friends laughed and plotted as they headed for the saloon, JD felt like a weight had been lifted from his shoulders.
He might drive him crazy occasionally, but JD knew he could rely on Buck, he was becoming so much more to him than just a good friend.