Author: Kat Lee
Fandom: The Magnificent Seven
Character/Pairing: Chris/Vin, Ensemble
Challenge/Prompt: comment_fic: Any, Any male/Any male, "I lost you once. I can't afford to lose you again." requested by squidgiepdx
Word Count: 939
Date Written: 24 March 2018
Disclaimer: All characters within belong to their rightful owners, not the author, and are used without permission.
HIs mean, green eyes seemed to face the world, unseeing. He stared and looked out, but nothing of the lives that passed before him took any recognition from him. It was clear to everyone who saw him what the stranger in black had on his mind: death. They just didn’t know if that death was meant to be his or someone else’s, but they scurried before him like mice fleeing a sinking ship, each not wanting to be the one who finally broke his stare.
Chris pulled along slug from his bottle as bodies moved around him. Five chairs were pulled out; five men sat down around him. One kicked the chair out from across him and sat it in backwards, his arms draping over the top of it. Not one of them spoke a word until the man in black finally commented.
“Vin,” he nodded to the Texan and took another slug of whiskey. Buck reached out for the whiskey, but Chris kept a firm hold on his bottle and blatantly ignored his old friend. “What’re you doin’?” he slurred, still looking at Vin though the other five men knew the question, in a way, was also meant for them.
“I lost you once,” Vin commented in his casual, easy way. “Can’t afford to lose you again.” It was the truth for in losing Chris, he always came so close to losing himself. They all did.
They had become a family over the years they’d been fighting together to protect Four Corners, If one of them hurt, so, too, did the others, and although some of them often took off on their own, as Chris had yet again, the others always eventually followed. Larabee should’ve known they were coming. He would have if he’d been thinking straight, but if his mind had been clear, he wouldn’t have tried leaving them behind in the first place, not again, not after everything they’d been through together and all the times they had all proven themselves to him.
They weren’t going anywhere, no matter what he did or threatened. They would be with him to the end, especially Vin. He hadn’t found a home in years after his Indian family had been destroyed, but he had found a home finally with this man. He’d found more than a home. He’d found his destiny, and he wasn’t about to abandon him, no matter the risks.
His long arms draped casually over the chair’s back, Vin leaned closer. He smiled at Chris. Chris looked like he might spit in his face, and he’d given nicer looks to guys right before he’d shot them. Vin shrugged. “So I’m not gonna. Wherever you’re going, pard, whatever you’ve got in mind to do, I’m comin’.”
“And he ain’t alone,” Buck added.
Chris didn’t look at any of the others. His slanting, green eyes, which looked almost feral with his anger and the dim light of the saloon, bored into Vin. “Gonna be Hell,” he remarked simply.
Josiah’s bark of laughter finally startled Chris enough that he looked up at the others. “Damn,” he muttered. “You wan’t all s’posed to come.”
“You should’ve known we would,” Vin whispered.
Josiah shrugged his muscular shoulders beneath his serape. “We’ve been through Hell many times before, brother, and always come out to tell the tale in the end.”
“Now are you gonna fill us in or are we just gonna keep following you?” Nathan asked.
Chris lifted his bottle again and threw the rest of his whiskey back down his throat. Buck signaled the waitress to bring some more. It was going to be a long night, and they were going to need all the “fire drink” they could get. “Shit,” Chris grunted. “Not like you’re giving me much choice.”
Vin’s sky blue eyes seemed to twinkle in the decreasing light. “Nope,” he drawled in agreement.
“Fine. But don’t say I didn’t warn you.”
“Don’t say we didn’t warn you,” Vin countered, reaching out and placing a hand over his on top of the table. “We’re all in this together. Y’all wouldn’t let me face my demons alone. I’m not ‘bout to let you face yours alone, luv.”
“None of us are,” Buck added as enough whiskey bottles to pass around the whole table arrived. “Now fill us in before the storm hits.”
“It’s not trying to rain -- “
“Hush up, JD,” Josiah muttered out of the side of his mouth. “He’s talkin’ metaphorically.”
“He means for Chris to explain to us exactly what we are gettin’ ourselves into before the proverbial bad guys arrive,” Ezra clarified. “Not, might Ah add, Mistah Larabee, that it much matters. Vin’s right: You haven’t let any of us face our monsters by ourselves, or even our mothahs. Whatevah this problem is, we’ll see it through together.”
Chris finally smiled. Even the one man who had tried to run off on them way back in the beginning still had his side. Vin was right: He would never be alone again, and he should have known that before he ever left town. He just hadn’t wanted to get the others killed.
“We’ve beaten impossible odds before, Mistah Larabee. Whatevah the case, we’ll do it again.”
Chris’ smile grew. Yeah, he should’ve seen this coming, but whatever happened, they wouldn’t be alone -- and, together, they would survive. They were a far greater and more powerful threat together than alone after all. Alone, they were only seven men, each on the run from something, but together . . . He grinned. That dime store novelist had had it right. Together, they were The Magnificent Seven, and together they would win.