DISCLAIMERS: No infringement upon the copyrights held by CBS, MGM, Trilogy Entertainment Group, The Mirisch Corp. or any others involved with that production is intended. This is purely fiction and based on the television series The Magnificent Seven.


AU: Blood Brothers - For a rundown on the guys check out tthis page

MAJOR CHARACTERS:  Chris, Ezra, Josiah, Vin, Nathan & JD 
SUMMARY: Chris and Ezra arrive in Four Corners.
SPOILERS: Pilot & The New Law.  3rd in the Series and follows directly on from my stories, Extort thy Childhood and
Color me Black.
ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS: Thanks to Mitzi for beta reading this fic.
COMMENTS: Yes, please! 
DATE: 17 Feb 03


Young Warriors

– Blood Brothers, AU

By Yolande



Josiah Sanchez sat cross-legged on the rocky outcrop; the morning sun warmed his back.  A long Mexican patterned poncho hung from his shoulders and bunched in his lap.  His horse was tethered down in the grassy depression; it munched contentedly while Josiah prayed. It was going to be a hot day, and he lifted his hat and wiped the sweat from his forehead.  

The aging grey-headed man was cynical and not afraid to admit he had lost his way, and faith.  “Come on, Lord.  I know you’re out there,” he implored, staring impatiently at the heavens.  “Give me a sign, now.  Talk to me.” Sanchez sat motionless, waiting for anything he could attribute as a message from God.  He needed a new direction; his life needed new meaning.  He sighed, wondering how long he should wait.  He was so intent upon scrutinizing the cloudless sky; he failed to hear the approach of the slow moving horse. 

“Excuse me, sir.” 

The soft southern accent broke his trance. Sanchez straightened, sitting taller.  He studied the two boys on the single horse as though they were a hallucination.  Sometimes it was hard to discern the genuine from his dreams.   The smaller boy at the back leaned forward and returned his intense stare; it was a hard look coming from a child so young.  The preacher almost smiled. 

“Some reason yer staring, mister?” Chris Larabee growled; he hated people looking at him like he was some kind of freak.  And that had happened a lot lately since he’d been dressing in the fully black attire.  Ezra thought he was mad, but Chris believed this expressed how he felt inside. 

Josiah’s mouth turned up at the corners and slowly formed a grin.  These children were not part of an alcohol-induced delusion - they were real.  He glanced at the heavens and shook his head, muttering under his breath.  “Bet you think this is funny, huh?  This your idea of a sign?” he queried the sky sarcastically.  He glanced at the boys, brothers perhaps? he wondered. “What are you young fellas doing out here?”


“We are on a mission of utmost importance,” Ezra drawled, wondering if they were wise initiating conversation with this unstable man. 

“Where ya headed?” Josiah pried. 

“Into town,” the young gambler hedged.  “What are you doing out here alone in this wasteland?” 

Sanchez snorted.  It was hardly the back of beyond.  “I was praying.  You two brothers?” 

“You a preacher?” Standish countered. 

“Of sorts…” 

“How come yer not preaching in a church?” the seven-year-old Larabee asked. 

“Reckon I needed to put my life in order, before I can go helpin’ other folks.” 

Ezra shifted uncomfortably in the saddle.  He glanced at the stone building that was under repair and wondered if this preacher man was working on restoring it to its former glory.  “How long have you been here?” 

“A space of an age; time has no relevance when one is set on a path.” 

Chris leaned into Ezra’s back and whispered.  “He talks worse than you.” 

Standish sniffed at the insult.  “How about I leave you behind with him then,” Ezra threatened. 

“I ain’t stayin’ here,” the young Larabee growled. 

Standish smiled to himself.  “Mister…?” 

“Josiah Sanchez.”  He stood, scratched at the whiskers on his cheeks and quietly approached the horse.  

“Mr. Sanchez,” Ezra continued.  “Would you happen to know, the distance to the next municipality?” 

“Ain’t far…just over the next rise and you’ll see it.” 

“Thank you, kindly, Mr. Sanchez.”  Standish kicked his heels and set Chaucer off in the direction shown.  

“You kids shouldn’t be out on yer own,” Sanchez shouted, pulling them abruptly to a halt.  “There anyone looking out for you?” 

“I take offence at that disparaging remark…I am certainly old enough to take care of myself.”  Standish took a deep calming breath.  He didn’t want to offend the elderly preacher, and it was a strain to contain his indignation.  “Thank you for your concern, but we are fine.”  Ezra led Chaucer down the trail to Four Corners, thinking they would never see Josiah ever again.  


Ezra threw his leg over the saddle and stood to one side to allow Chris to dismount himself.  The young gambler had made the mistake of offering assistance to the boy earlier on, but his help was thrown back in his face – Larabee could do it himself.  “A thriving community,” he drawled, ignoring the explosion of guns being fired into the air and the rough looking men milling around the streets making mayhem and enough racket to send a person deaf.  

A stage rolled quickly through the western town with no intention of stopping and a young passenger poked his head out the window of the moving vehicle; a broad grin widened on his youthful face at the noise and excitement in the street.  Guns fired and loud hoots of laughter, angry shouts and drunken revelry filled the stage; and anticipation surged through him.  He swung from the moving stage and jumped enthusiastically into the street.  The driver yelled down at him.  “This ain’t your stop!” 

“Oh, it is now,” the young man replied, gripping his saddle under his arms.  “This is why I came west!” 

“Hey, ain’t that the kid from the stage?” Chris tugged on Ezra’s sleeve and pointing at the young man who’d jumped from the stage. 

Standish rolled his eyes.  Chris calling anyone a kid was hilarious, especially as this ‘kid’ was older than the both of them.  Ezra followed the pointed arm and nodded.  “That does indeed appear to be young, Mr. Dunne.”  He wondered how they had managed to beat the young Easterner to this town.  

Larabee folded his arms, intent on watching the excitement.  “Town always this lively?” he asked the first person to stand still long enough to answer. 

“Trail herd in from Texas.  They all got liquored up and got themselves in a mood for a lynching.”  The man looked down at the child and did a double take.  The man hadn’t expected such a question from a self-confident pint-sized cowboy.  He grimaced, fearing comeuppance from a disgruntled parent, he hastily looked about for the child’s father or mother, realizing belatedly, that he probably shouldn’t have informed the boy of such evil acts, but it was too late to take it back now.  Where did this kid come from? 

“Where’s the law?” 

The man pointed at two riders disappearing out of town.  “The Marshall and his deputy.  That ain’t even his horse,” the man shook his head in disgust and quickly walked away.  

Chris’ gut turned when several of the drunken cowboys started pushing the young black man though the town and up the hill towards the cemetery.  He’d have to be in his early twenties, the blond-headed boy surmised, and had no chance of fighting off the dozen or so cowboys who had him surrounded.  They threw him on the back of a wagon that carried the coffin of a dead man. 

“Let me go!  What are you doing?” the young black man cried, wriggling to free himself of the manhandling. 

“We’re late for a funeral, boys.  Get this wagon moving!”  A drunken cowboy shouted. 

Shouts and jeers of ‘black boy' and 'useless quack' erupted on the busy street. Something was said about the dark-skinned man killing a patient he was doctoring, and Nathan Jackson shouted back saying he wasn’t a doctor and that their boss, Mr. Fallon, had died of gangrene.  

“They’re gonna hang him,” Chris growled, pulling at Standish’s coat to stop him from entering the saloon. 

“Stay out of it, Chris.  It’s none of our concern.”  Besides, what could he do against that mob of drunken hoodlums?  Best leave it alone. That settled, the young Southerner rubbed his hands together and eagerly entered the building.  Ezra had a good notion on how to inflate their cash holdings and wanted to get started.   

Chris Larabee scowled at the gambler’s retreating back.  How could he just walk away?  Didn’t Ezra care?  They were going to kill an innocent man.  Wasn’t anybody going to do something to stop them? 

Chris glanced around, searching for someone willing to side against the rabble.  His eyes met, and held, those of a fella wearing buckskins on the opposite side of the road.  He couldn’t be anymore than fifteen or sixteen, probably about the same age as Ezra, he guessed.  The longhaired youth leaned on a broom, but his eyes followed the drama as it unfolded.  Chris could see the determination in the clear blue eyes and was momentarily disappointed when the youth disappeared back inside the store.  But somehow, he wasn’t surprised when the boy was only gone long enough to replace the broom with a rifle. 

Larabee smiled and jumped off the boardwalk set on following the action. 

“You walk off with that rifle, and you’re fired!” the storeowner bellowed after Vin Tanner. 

Vin turned slightly, but didn’t falter his stride.  “Hell, I’ll probably get myself killed.  Now I got to worry about a new job, too.” 

Chris rolled his eyes at Vin’s glib remark; he liked this teenager more by the minute.  He walked up the hill to the cemetery, alongside the youth wearing doeskin colored clothing.  

“This ain’t no place for a kid,” Tanner said. 

“Reckon you need all the help you can get,” Chris replied and lengthened his stride to keep pace with the other. 

“Stay out of the way.” 

Larabee smirked - like hell!  Chris thumbed the slingshot and bent to pocket a handful of rocks; they might not be as deadly as bullets, but the sting would give a grown man a jolt.  He wasn’t staying out of this fight!  No matter what Ezra had said, or this young man. 

The former slave sat on the edge of a wagon; his hands tied with rope behind his back while the cowboys worked a noose about his neck.  “Everyone’ll be thankful we’re gettin’ rid of you, quack.  Ain’t no darkie doctors and there never will be,” a cowboy snarled in Jackson’s face. 

“Cut him loose!” Chris demanded, very much out of place among the drunken cowboys.  Vin cut Chris a bemused look as the skinny kid took the lead and confronted the drunken cowboys.


A round of laughter answered Chris’ demand.  They dismissed Larabee as not being any threat and continued taunting the dark-skinned man.  “Figured you’d like to watch your killer swing, Mr. Fallon.” One of the trial herders pulled off the coffin lid and with a little help from the others he set the casket on the end and faced it towards the tree they were readying to hang Nathan from. The dead man inside the box flopped to one side, his skin pale and lifeless, his eyes closed. 

“Reckon you’d all be happier if you just rode away,” the longhaired youth calmly stated, his rifle pointing directly at the middle of the group. 

“Not a chance, boys,” a cowboy slurred, causing more laughter to erupt from his compatriots.  

“You shot a lot of holes in the clouds back there.  Anyone stop to reload?”  Chris shouted, intent on being heard. 

Several of the cowboys looked at their weapons.  None had reloaded, but not all were completely out of ammunition.  More shots peppered the sky; the horse attached to the wagon reared and the wagon slowly rolled; the black man squirmed, standing on his tiptoes and stretching for all he was worth; attempting to keep the slack in the rope that was strung around a branch and looped around his neck.   His feet slipped off the edge, and with his arms tied at his back, the former slave began to choke as the rope knotted. 

Tanner shot through the middle of the group, returning the gunfire.  He noticed too, that the child in black clothing was firing his rocks into the crowd.  He couldn’t help but grin. 

Another weapon joined the fracas; the heavy smell of gunpowder tainted the air.  Chris turned on his belly and shook his head in astonishment.  Josiah Sanchez, the preacher had joined their side.  “Someone’s got ta cut him down,” Chris yelled, pointing at the noose that was slowly strangling the black man.  He made a move toward the man, but was pulled back by a large hand. 

“The young man’s got it under control,” Sanchez explained, watching Vin calmly take aim. 

Chris stopped and watched as Vin fired at the branch holding the rope.  He held his breath as the rifle boomed.  He missed, and Chris winced.  Jackson was fighting for his every breath.  The second shot parted the rope, taking a chunk of wood from the tree and quickly releasing the former slave to the ground.  Chris grinned broadly, shaking his head in awe of the young man’s talent.  “Wow,” he hissed, a new respect forming for his companion. 

Several of the cowboys were holding wounds, there were two dead on the ground and there was a painful silence that gripped the cemetery.  One of the cowboys started to flee, turning to run for his horse. 

“I got him.  I got him,” JD Dunne shouted running up the slope and aiming at the cowboy as he raced away from the scene. 

Chris picked up a rock and planted it in the nest of his slingshot.  It spun away with a wiz, slamming into Dunne’s backside.  “You don’t shoot nobody in the back,” young Larabee growled.  Doesn’t he know anything?  Stupid greenhorn! 

JD lowered his colts, ashamed that he hadn’t thought of that for himself.  He rubbed his backside and wondered what he’d been hit with.  

“Name’s Chris,” young Larabee introduced himself.  He ignored the greenhorn; Dunne didn’t impress him. 

“Vin Tanner,” Vin responded, smiling down at the boy half his size.  “New in town?” 

“Yep, just this morning.  You?” 

“Last week.” 

“You a buffalo hunter?” 

“Among other things.  Not many left to hunt.”  

“One of y’all want to cut me loose here?” Jackson moaned, still seated on the ground and the rope dangling at the back of his neck.  “Josiah Sanchez…that you?” 

“Morning, Nathan.  Yer keeping out of trouble, I see,” Sanchez chuckled and slid a knife through the ropes at Nathan’s hands. 

Jackson pulled the noose from around his neck and gingerly rubbed his throat. 

The five slowly meandered down the hill.  Vin stopped at the store and handed over the rifle to the storeowner, Virgil.  “Sight’s a little off.” 

“You can keep it,” he answered with a smile of admiration, handing the weapon back to the young sharpshooter.  He’d need to find new help for his store. 

JD ran to keep up with the others.  “Where y’ll going?” he panted. 

Both Vin and Chris answered together; “Saloon.” 

Vin thought for a minute that the boy was too young to be going inside the drinkery, but after doing his fare share in the fight, he shrugged his shoulders.  “Saloon,” he muttered. 



the end

Next story:- Beneath the Surface -Coming soon

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