Title: Where Have You Been?
Disclaimer: The Magnificent Seven belong to Mirsch, Trilogy, etc. The AU’s belong to others.
Challenge: M7M Challenge for 4-12-04. Use the phrase: “Where have you been? What’s the idea of worrying me like that?”
Where Have You Been?
“Where have you been?” Paul Tanner asked, engulfing his older son in a tight hug. Releasing the hug, he ran his hands down Chris’ arms and asked, “What’s the idea of worrying me like that?”
Chris looked down at his shoes. He didn’t want to answer, but knew he had to. “Been thinking.”
Paul frowned, aware of the worry and concern in Chris’ voice. “Maybe if you tell me about it, we can figure it out together.”
Chris looked up with tear-filled eyes and felt his heart warm. Kelly had been wrong. Paul did love him. He didn’t just adopt him so Chis’ mom would marry him. “’K, dad,” he whispered.
“Where have you been?” demanded an irate, seven-year-old Vin Tanner, using his best “baby glare”.
“What’s the idea of worrying me like that?” JD chimed in, equally angry.
Nathan stared at the two furious forms. He hadn’t been the one who disappeared on the trail. They’d been in the holo-deck hiking when the boys ran ahead and Nathan had tried to keep up, but had slipped and fallen into the water. “I got lost,” he explained, knowing he would lose an argument.
Immediately Vin and JD’s faces softened and the boys came up to hug him offering, “That’s OK Uncle Nathan.”
Stepping back, Vin asked, “Why are you all wet?”
“Where have you been?” Josiah demanded of the sheepish looking forms before him. “What’s the idea of worrying me like that? Do you have any idea what you two have put me through? Put us through?”
The two guilty parties lowered their heads, knowing they didn’t have a good reason.
Josiah’s raised voice caused two more forms to appear in the room. Taking in the scene one form leaned over and observed, “Looks like someone’s in trouble.”
“Think Da and Chris are getting extra chores?” JD asked in a loud whisper.
Josiah smiled at the men before him. He liked the idea of extra chores for these two. He liked it very much.
“Where have you been,” Vin hissed. “What’s the idea of worrying me like that?”
Ezra looked at his partner and raised a disdainful eyebrow. “That is none of your concern,” Ezra replied, keeping in-character, though his heart warmed at the genuine concern he’d detected in Vin’s voice.
Vin glared into the green eyes. He knew his reaction had been personal, not professional, but when Ezra disappeared from the party along with their target and three of his henchmen, his senses had switched to high alert.
“Mr. Taylor,” Ezra continued, his voice carrying a note of revulsion. “I recommend you remember yourself and act accordingly. After all, you are easily replaced.”
JD ran along the boardwalk and scooped his son into his arms, holding him tight. The two had taken a “holiday” and headed off to Eagle Bend. They had been having fun in the larger town – at least until a few hours ago when JD turned around and Buck was gone.
Looking at the boy’s blue eyes, he demanded, “Where have you been? What’s the idea of worrying me like that?”
Buck offered his father a puzzled look. “I was with the ladies,” he explained.
JD released a sigh. He should have known. “OK,” he said, gathering his calm. “But next time you want to go, you tell me first.”
“Where have you been?” Buck demanded, unaware of the volume of his voice. “What’s the idea of worrying me like that?” When Vin and Ezra both cringed away from him, his posture and voice finally registered.
He’d been going mad the past hour looking for the two boys. There was a gang of boot-leggers in the area who had no problem killing anyone that found them. The relief he felt at the seeing Ezra and Vin safe had released all his anxiety at once.
Kneeling down before the boys, he said more quietly. “Don’t you know how much I love you? How scared I was when I didn’t know where you were?”
“Where have you been?” Chris demanded of his younger brother, furious when Vin ignored him. “What’s the idea of worrying me like that?” he continued, reaching out and spinning Vin to face him.
Vin felt his anger rise at Chris’ treatment. He’d had just about enough of his older brother and his condescending attitude. His voice coming out in a low, angry hiss, he spat, “You asked me for help.” Poking Chris in the chest to emphasize his point, he continued, “You said you needed my help to track down an escaped convict. I told you I had to do it my way and you agreed. And I just locked him up.”