Disclaimer: The Magnificent Seven belong to MGM, Trilogy, etc.
Challenge: M7M Challenge for 12/20/04: write a Christmas drabble
AU: Little Britches ATF
Character: Seven, Raine, Sarah
Feedback: to MMW
A Christmas Gift
He and Vin were playing detectives up in the hayloft, searching the area for clues. So far they hadn’t found much, but that was OK. It was still fun.
JD saw something that didn’t look right near the wall and called Vin over. “Hey, Vin!” he called.
“What?” the other boy asked.
“Can you see what’s there?”
Vin shrugged and pulled up the board. JD reached in and grabbed the paper that had caught his attention. He sighed when he couldn’t read it. He didn’t notice Vin’s soft gasp or the metal object the other boy slipped into his pocket.
Ezra walked into the barn, where he had been informed the boys were playing and called to them. “Vin! JD!”
As two small boys started scrambling down the ladder, he folded his arms. “Are you gentlemen supposed to be up in the hayloft?”
“No sir,” the boys chorused, looking distinctly unrepentant.
Ezra smiled and chuckled as he shook his head. “Well, it’s time to come in and wash up. Your dad and da are in a meeting. Josiah and I will be watching you.”
This announcement was greeted with hugs from two small bodies before they headed toward the house.
Josiah placed the last dish in the drying rack and turned to see Ezra staring at the boys who were doing their homework. “Something wrong?”
Ezra started and shook his head. “Vin seems distracted.”
Josiah nodded. “He does. He asked me if I missed my mother and if it would make me sad to have something of hers.”
“What did you tell him?”
“That I did miss my mother and I did have something of hers. That it comforted me when I missed her.”
Ezra nodded, his heart aching for the boy who had no memento of his own mother.
Buck entered the house, tired from his long day and wishing only to see his boys. JD greeted him enthusiastically; but Vin seemed distracted.
Walking over to the other boy, Buck squatted down next to him. “Hey, Pard,” he greeted. His reward was a bright smile and a quick hug. “Chris had to stop by the store, but he should be home before too long,” he encouraged, thinking Vin might be missing his dad.
“Can I call Aunt Raine?” Vin asked softly.
Puzzled by the request, Buck shot a look at Ezra and Josiah before giving his permission.
“Jackson residence,” he greeted as he lifted the receiver.
“Unca Nathan?” a timid voice asked.
Nathan smiled fondly. “Hi Vin,” he greeted. “What can I do for you?” It must be important if Vin was calling. He worried slightly that something had happened out at the ranch.
“Nothing right now,” Vin said softly. “Can I speak to Aunt Raine?” he asked shyly.
Nathan’s brows drew down in puzzlement, but he quickly agreed. Calling his wife to the phone, he handed it off and headed out of the room, wondering what Vin needed to discuss with Raine. .
Raine listened carefully as Vin told her what he was thinking and planning. She fought tears at the thoughtfulness of the boy on the other end of the line. He had obviously thought long and hard about this and she was honored that he would ask her to help. She quickly agreed and made a suggestion of her own.
When she hung up, she was met with her husband’s concerned eyes. Having promised Vin that she wouldn’t tell anyone, even Nathan, she just smiled and assured him that everything was fine. Vin just needed a little help on a project.
Chris watched as Buck picked up a small box from the back of the tree and worried as his friend’s brows drew down in a puzzled expression. “Who’s it for?” Chris asked.
“You,” came the simple reply as Buck handed him the small gift.
Reading the note, Chris felt a certain nervous tension. In what was obviously a woman’s hand, he read the note: To Chris with love. He opened the present. When he lifted the lid off the jewelry box, his breath caught and tears filled his eyes.
It was the locket he’d given Sarah their first Christmas together.
Vin watched as his father opened the box. He knew the locket he found in the barn belonged to Mrs. Chris; he had seen pictures of her wearing it.
When he saw the tears form in Chris’ eyes, he paled visibly. It had been a mistake. He shouldn’t have given it and now he had hurt his father.
Chris glanced up and noticed the distress on Vin’s face. “C’mere,” he said softly, motioning for Vin to come. “I don’t know where it came from, but I want to tell you about this.”
Slowly Vin moved to sit in Chris’ lap.
Sarah looked down at Chris and Vin and smiled as she saw them smiling and laughing as Chris related the story of his giving that necklace to Sarah. She had lost it about a month before she and Adam had died. It was only afterward that she knew where it was.
It was something she intended for Chris to find, but it hadn’t been the right time. Not until this Christmas. This Christmas, with Vin now in his life, Chris’ heart was open enough to remember their love and share it with his destined son.
“Merry Christmas, Love,” she whispered.
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