The Magnificent Seven - Cub and Kit AU

The Best Birthday Gift

Disclaimer: Without Prejudice. The names of all the characters contained here-in are the property of MGM, Trilogy, etc., no infringements of these copyrights are intended, and are used here without permission.
Note: My sister informed me that I was "mean to Buck, an on his birthday!" in part 8 of "What they donít know..." As penance, she insisted I write a "nice Buck" fic. I figured Iíd to so in the same universe where I was supposedly mean to him. oh! And I might have achieved "smarm" in this one!
Universe: The Cub and The Kit
Rating: FRC
Characters: Buck, Vin, Ezra
Warnings: tissue warning - my sister says you might need a tissue for this one.
Feedback: To MMW

The Best Birthday Gift

Buck sat on the swinging chair on the back porch of the Larabee home breathing the salty air and staring up at the stars.

Chris had left a few days before to attend a training seminar and had asked Buck to watch the boys for him. Buck had been reluctant to agree at first, but when he found out none of the others were available, he had stepped in to watch over his boys.

He had tried to keep things upbeat for the two boys, tried to keep them focused on the present, on school and whatnot, but he had really struggled. This week was always hard for him. It was his and his motherís birthday as well as the anniversary of the day she died, leaving Buck alone in the world.

A gentle breeze crept through the night and embraced the hurting soul. Buck closed his eyes, still able to feel his motherís arms wrap around him, the smell of her perfume and the sound of her voice as she quietly and adamantly informed him, "You, my little Bucky, are the best birthday gift a mother could ever ask for, and donít you forget it."

Another tendril of breeze ruffled his dark hair as he responded, "I wonít ma, I wonít ever forget."

He felt a tear escape as the memory faded and nearly jumped when he felt a small hand wipe it away. Opening his eyes, he found himself looking into a pair of understanding, loving blue eyes.

Vin looked at Buck closely and could feel the loss that lived within the man. He knew it well for it lived within him even as it lived within Chris. Reaching out, he wrapped his arms around Buck and hugged as tightly as he could.

Buck accepted the gift Vin was offering and wrapped his own arms around the boy, drawing him close.

"I love you, Uncle Buck," Vin whispered. "Iím glad youíre my family."

Buck managed to bite back the sob, but couldnít stop a few more tears from falling. He felt foolish because men didnít cry, but his heart had been so open and raw from the pain of loss just a few minutes before and then to hear Vinís words, to hear the truth and the love of them, was and emotional balm he couldnít resist.

"Heís correct," a soft Southern drawl added.

Looking up, Buck saw Ezra standing by the door watching the scene. Buck moved slightly and felt Vin shift so Ezra could be included in the embrace.

"You are most definitely our family and I couldnít wish for anyone better to include in it," Ezra told him honestly, staring deeply into Buck's blue eyes and basking in the light of love that poured out from them.

Buck grabbed both boys into a tight hug and took several deep breaths trying to calm his emotions and regain his composure. When he thought he finally had control again, he said, "And a man couldnít ask for any finer family than the two of you."

Both boys grinned and settled on either side of their Uncle, content to just be near him.

After several minutes of silence, Vin softly said, "My mama told me when people die they go to heaven, but God lets them open a window and watch over their loved ones at night. She said every star in the sky is an open window in heaven with someone looking down upon their loved ones." Turning his face to look up into Buckís he asked, "Do you think thatís true?"

Buck felt the tears that had betrayed him earlier return. He looked up into the sky and replied, "If your mama said it, Vin, you believe it."

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