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Fic - Between the Days




A/N: Set during False Colors, after Jed takes the boys to the saloon

He had barely slept for three hours since their return from the Silver Spurs saloon. Kid was slumped against the door of the bunkhouse, blinking into the bright sun and swearing to himself that he would never drink again. The other boys had no difficulty sleeping, as evidenced by the loud snoring that emanated from the bunkhouse.

Lou, knowing she had the scheduled run that morning, had sensibly refrained from partaking in the whiskey, though she was pleasantly warmed by the beer Jed bought her instead. She emerged from the barn leading Lightning, and pulled herself into the saddle just as the relay rider appeared in the distance.

Kid stumbled over the dusty yard towards her.

"You look like hell," she said with an unsympathetic smirk.

"I feel like it too," he admitted.

Lou looked over her shoulder at the approaching rider. She glanced back at Kid who had a loose hand on Lightning's bit. He squinted up at her and offered a rueful grin.

"I'm sorry for what I said to that girl at the saloon," he said.

"About me fancyin' men? I gotta say, Kid, it don't exactly help, seein' as how I'm s'posed to be one."

"I know."

Her face softened. "'Sides, I don't fancy all men. Just one."

"Oh yeah?"

Lou blushed and pulled her hat down firmly on her head. Kid looked away too but he could not hide his grin. They heard the hoof beats of the Express rider and Kid dropped his hand and started backing away.

"Ride safe, Lou," he said, offering her a half wave.

Lou kicked Lightning and took off across the yard, reaching back to accept the mochila from the relay rider. Kid turned his back on the dust and wandered back to the bunkhouse, only to find his brother leaning against the porch post with a cup of coffee in hand. Jed raised it in greeting.

"Coffee?"

"Where'd you get that?"

"I think it's yesterday's," Jed replied. He thought better of a second sip and emptied the mug into the yard.

"Couldn't sleep?" asked Kid.

"I had plenty. I'm used to it."

"I guess so."

Jed stepped down from the porch and took a seat on the wooden step. Kid followed suit. They sat side by side in a companionable silence for a few minutes.

"I like your friends, Kid," said Jed. "You got yourself a good job here."

"Yeah, I do."

"It's a sight different to Virginia, that's for sure." Jed let out a sigh. "There's no place like it, not that I've come across since I left."

Kid didn't say anything. He did not often think about their home. It was easier - less painful - to keep those memories buried, even the good ones.

"It's where I'll settle down," Jed continued, then clarified, "once I'm done with the Army, of course. But I figure I'll get a piece of land, a pretty wife… raise a few young 'uns. A proper family."

"Yeah?" Kid asked in surprise, having never heard his brother speak this way. He grinned teasingly which earned him a shove in the shoulder.

"What, you don't?" Jed asked. "Yeah, I s'pose there's no need for you to rush these things. Plenty of pretty girls around here to keep you entertained in the meantime, if last night's anythin' to go by."

Kid only shrugged in response.

Jed glanced at his brother, suspecting there was more to his silence than he was letting on. "Unless you got your eye on someone special already?"

Kid blushed and Jed nudged him again with his shoulder.

"There is, ain't there? Well, who is she, little brother?"

"No one," replied Kid without missing a beat, then he sighed. "It's complicated."

"It usually is when it comes to the special ones." Jed grinned when he saw Emma open the front door of her house to sweep it out. She had not noticed the two men on the bunkhouse steps. "I tell you one thing, I wouldn't mind gettin' to know Emma a little better."

"Sam Cain might have somethin' to say about that."

"The marshal? Shoot. I told you, it's always complicated with the special ones."

Kid thought about this for a moment as Jed appreciated Emma. She disappeared inside again and he leaned back on his hands.

Kid looked back at him. "Would you maybe stay if Emma weren't spoken for?"

Jed could see the hope in his brother's eyes and he felt a stab of regret. "Hell, Kid, I'd stay if I could. But I got commitments. The Army, you know." He forced himself to look at Kid. "You understand, right?"

"I guess." Kid's face was crestfallen but he covered it the best he could.

"Don't mean I can't come back though," continued Jed. "Next time I'm on furlough. Or maybe we'll meet up again back in Virginia. Don't forget, Kid, that's where we belong. It's who we are."

Kid stared at his feet. He couldn't tell Jed that he wasn't so sure about that anymore. The Virginia he left behind was not the one from their childhood, before they were separated by their father's violence and the family's hardships. Jed had not stayed and watched their mother die penniless as Kid had. Jed had not had to borrow money to pay off family debts. Kid didn't know if he wanted to go back to Virginia any time soon. He would be quite content staying in Sweetwater, and if Jed visited when he could that would suit him just fine.

"I'm glad you're here, Jed," Kid said, meeting his eyes.

"Me too, little brother. Me too." Jed squeezed his neck affectionately and they shared a smile.

The door of Emma's house opened again and she emerged with a covered plate, making her way over to the bunkhouse with the boys' breakfast.

"Now, if you'll excuse me, I might go and make myself useful and help Emma with the chores," Jed said, getting quickly to his feet. He threw Kid a mischievous smirk. "I don't see no marshal, do you?"

Kid smiled after him.

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Comments

( 15 comments — Leave a comment )
tyrblogathon
Jul. 27th, 2008 08:43 am (UTC)
if only... i would have loved for Jed to stay around if it wasn't for the fact that he'd be hung... lol

i loved his relationship with emma and really, broedy this brought out all the best of Jed... and Kid too :)

nice one..
broedym
Jul. 27th, 2008 08:57 am (UTC)
I *loved* Jed. I wish they'd had him in there for a few episodes, even if things turned out the same way. His interaction with Emma had so much promise, and he had the potential to be a big brother to all the boys.

But of course, I wanted him there a bit longer for Kid. So we could find out more about him and maybe, you know, get a frickin' last name. Grrrrrrrrr!
tyrblogathon
Jul. 27th, 2008 09:03 am (UTC)
maybe emma could tickle-torture the name from Jed... or maybe pillow talk.. ?

hmmm?
broedym
Jul. 27th, 2008 09:07 am (UTC)
Well, *exactly*. Would that have been so hard?!
tyrblogathon
Jul. 27th, 2008 09:13 am (UTC)
i think it could have been fun for all involved.. i'm so glad you volunteered to write it
broedym
Jul. 27th, 2008 09:18 am (UTC)
I think a few more Jed stories are warranted. Hmmm.... *Idea!*
tyrblogathon
Jul. 27th, 2008 09:20 am (UTC)
SPILL!!
broedym
Jul. 27th, 2008 09:28 am (UTC)
So what if he had stuck around for a while... there are a few stories I'd like to tell. P'raps I will at that.
dtyrfan23
Jul. 27th, 2008 09:01 am (UTC)
Great story! I wish there'd been more normal conversations between Jed and Kid like this. I agree that it brings out the good sides, the tender feelings of family. Very good! d;-)
broedym
Jul. 27th, 2008 09:02 am (UTC)
Thank you!
dcfriend
Jul. 27th, 2008 02:06 pm (UTC)
I also like the idea of dealving deeper into Kid and Jed's relationship, not to mention getting to know Jed better.

I also like the line about it always being complicated with the special ones.

Well Done!
dcfriend
Jul. 27th, 2008 02:07 pm (UTC)
Oh, and I'm back-ish.
wendymypooh
Jul. 27th, 2008 02:30 pm (UTC)
Good job Broedy
Ah..the sweet revenge of a hangover....lol

Kid's going to think twice about drinking again.

Lou was smart. Loved the interaction between her and Kid, and between Kid and Jed. It would have been neat to really see the brotherly relationship play out....but the PTB had others thoughts on it...
leblackpearl
Jul. 27th, 2008 03:46 pm (UTC)
I think Jed could have given Sam a run for his money with chasing Emma. I'd love to see more stories with those two....and no don't say hint back to me :) My muses are still on the outs with me it seems and won't do more then whisper every once and a while :(
michellelr
Jul. 27th, 2008 05:14 pm (UTC)
that was a great story broedy. thanks for sharing it.
( 15 comments — Leave a comment )