Aw Hell

by Twyla Jane

Tipper’s April CZ challenge.
Some, one or all of the boys are on the edge -- not figuratively, literally. It can be the edge of a cliff, the roof of a building, the scaffolding on a skyscraper, a ledge on the side of a rock face -- you name it, so long as it is a long way down. They can be standing, dangling, falling, climbing, whatever works. How you get them there, and get them out of it, is entirely up to you. I only have one other little caveat. You must use one, some or all of the following words in the story: birthday, chocolate, shower and fool. It is April after all. Any universe, any style. The disclaimer is and always will be I don’t own ‘em and never made a plug nickel off ‘em. Wish I did. This ain’t betaed. All the mistakes are mine and mine alone. This a direct sequel to my story Ain't Gonna.

"Vin... Vin wait up..." Chris Larabee urged his mount to move faster after Tanner. The long hair Texan was ignoring him as they barrelled down the steep trail until they came to a flat that over looked a small canyon. The gunslinger reined his horse when he saw Vin abruptly dismount. Watching as the tracker ground tied the ornery beast Chris slid off his own and did the same following Vin as his sauntered to the cliff's edge.

Tanner sat down on a rock outcropping with his legs dangling over the abyss and stared out at the large expanse of land below. Chris ambled over and joined his friend giving him a sidelong glance that seemed to say. "What the hell wrong with you?"

The scruffy man just smiled and shook his head with a knowing smirk that implied. "Women."

After a moment Chris finally spoke. "Those fic writers... can't live with 'em cain't herd them all into Canada..." He received a knowing nod from Vin

"Dunno Cowboy... they've done every thing short of shaving my head... jist fer them hurt comfort stories... Well I guess I jist should be happy... cause the women 'round here they have a penchant for maiming ole Ez a little more than the rest of us..." Tanner almost sounded a bit wistful.
"Speaking of which... where is that southern bastard?" Chris said as he patted his friend on the back.

Right then a red jacketed arm reached up and grabbed Tanner's booted ankle just as a weary voice spoke.
"Gentlemen I could do with a bit of assistance..." Two men dragged the third up onto solid ground. Ezra muttered a quiet thank you as he lay on his back with an arm flung over his face.
"Hey Ez?" Vin was crouched down bye his exhausted friend.
"Yes Mr. Tanner?"
"Mind if I ask how'd ya end up down there?"
The arm was slowly removed as Standish blinked up at his companions.
"Aw Hell... just ask the fine ladies... the ones that happily parade around as fan fiction writers..."
The southerner exasperated answer caused Larabee to snort and Tanner smiled as his pulled Ezra to his feet.
"Might as well head on home 'fore they cook up something else."

Standish rode double with Tanner as the Trio headed back to Four Corners occasionally looking over his shoulder to see if anything else waited in the pages for him.