Author: Kat Lee
Fandom: The Magnificent Seven
Character/Pairing: JD, Inez, Buck, Ezra, Vin, Ensemble
Challenge/Prompt: fffc September Special: Delicacies:
Word Count: 1,253
Date Written: 11 September 2018
Disclaimer: All characters within belong to their rightful owners, not the author, and are used without permission.
Inez and JD both looked up, barely daring to breathe, as they heard the sounds of six pairs of boots stomping dirt and mud off of their soles just outside the saloon. They exchanged a glance. JD couldn’t speak, but Inez reached out and squeezed his shoulder. “Tonight’s the night,” she whispered to him excitedly, her brown eyes dancing with barely contained delight, “they admit they were wrong!”
“What if they don’t?” he squeaked out in a nervous whisper, but she winked at him as she released his shoulder.
“Oh, they will!”
Vin was the first one to come stomping through the swinging double doors. He already had his hat off of his head and was mopping his brow with a red handkerchief. “Inez -- “ he started to call and then stopped and let out a low and appreciative whistle. “Hey, pards! She’s already ready for us!”
“Why of course she is, Mistah Tanner. There is a reason why Ah keep the senorita around, after all, in addition to her beauty.” He came to a stop beside Vin, however, and eyed the drinks.
Never one to wait or otherwise be known for his patience, Buck blasted pass them. He took one look at the line of seven drinks, noted how inviting the dark and cream colors looked as they swirled together, and strode boldly forward to the bar. He picked up one and had downed half of it in a single gulp before he heard JD giggle. He lowered the glass and raised an eyebrow at the Kid. “You’re laughing like a girl now?” he asked him.
JD’s face darkened in the shadows of the saloon. It was late, so late that all the other patrons had already left or been escorted out, and the saloon was only open to its keeper, its manager, and their dearest friends. JD grimaced as though his shoulder, which was still sporting a bullet wound from a close call the previous week, was hurting. “‘Course not,” he muttered, but then he grinned wide. He couldn’t help it. He was so happy to see Buck clearly enjoying his cool, refreshing drink! “Pretty good, aren’t they?” he asked, reaching out with his good hand for his and taking a sip.
“Hell yeah!” Buck’s mustache twitched. “But then I wouldn’t expect anything less than perfection from Senorita Recillos.” Buck took another long swallow and enjoyed the feeling of the cool drink rushing down his parched throat. “They’re good,” he admitted afterwards, waggling his brows at Inez, “but I bet they don’t taste even half as sweet as her lips!”
“You’ll never know, Senor Wilmington,” Inez returned, beginning to clean a patch on the bar JD had watched her wash half a dozen times already, “so you’d better enjoy your sarsaparilla.”
Buck spat out the gulp he’d just taken. Vin chuckled and licked the cream where it dotted the tanned skin just above his upper lip. “What’s a matter, Bucklin?” he drawled. “Never had a kid’s drink before?”
“I told you they were good.” JD beamed in triumph.
“There is something different about these sasparillas, however,” Ezra commented in between sips of his own. “What have you done?” he questioned Inez pointedly.
“I invested my own money in that new refrigeration system I told you about, but this is the only time we’ll use it for the saloon unless you pay me back for it.”
“That’s what these things are then?” Josiah asked, poking at a cube of ice that was floating in the top of his drink.
“Si.” Inez nodded. “It keeps the cream lasting longer and tasting fresher too.”
Chris was the last of the seven to step up to the bar. Everybody watched as he eyed his drink.
“It’s actually pretty good, pard,” Vin whispered to him.
“Hmph.” Chris, a demand for his usual liquor perched on top of his dry tongue, hesitated only a moment longer before reaching out and lifting his glass from the bar. He took a cautious sip before taking a hearty swallow. Lowering the glass, he licked his lips. “That is good,” he admitted.
“I told you she was right and there would be some serious benefits to a refrigerator,” Nathan commented, eyeing Ezra above the rim of his glass. “I still want one myself. It’d be nice to have some antidotes already on hand whenever a virus crops out.”
Ezra finished his drink before he said anything further. Sitting his emptied glass down on top of the bar, he announced, “Very well. You do both have valid points. Ah suppose Ah could see investing in such a system -- “ He paused before continuing, “ -- provided that Ah have another of these delicious concoctions.”
Inez grinned, swiped his glass off of the counter, and had him another fixed in under two minutes. As she returned his freshly refilled glass to him, however, she had five more glasses held out to her. She laughed, her eyes dancing, a sight that all the men found enchanting though most would never comment on it.
“I knew you guys’d like it if you gave it a chance!” Grinning from ear to ear, JD grabbed Buck’s and Vin’s glasses and hurried behind the counter to help Inez fix more sasparillas.
Buck blew out a breath, unaware that cream hung in his mustache hairs. “Fine,” he allowed, muttering. “I’ll never call it’s a kid’s drink again.” He raised his voice as he added, “Just keep ‘em comin’, Kid.”
JD laughed and did the best he could, with his injured arm, to help Inez refill their glasses as swiftly as possible.
“How large is this refrigeration unit?” Ezra asked Inez.
“It’s quite sizeable really. It’s got plenty of room for everything we may ever need,” she told him, unaware of the actual dimensions, “and he also sells an ice making machine or can make a bigger size. He makes them to order.”
“Really?” Ezra rubbed his chin. “Tell me, Mistah Jackson, what would you consider a reasonable offer for renting space in our new refrigerator?”
Nathan looked at him, but just then, Inez and JD started placing refilled glasses onto the counter. Inez grabbed Ezra’s glass and filled it again. Nathan raised his own glass and nodded to his friend. “Let’s just drink tonight, pard, and we’ll figure out the details tomorrow.”
Ezra grinned at him, his gold tooth flashing brightly in the shadowed saloon. “So is that a ‘yes’, Mistah Jackson?”
Nathan chuckled. “It’s a ‘let me sleep on it’, Mister Standish. I’m not about to say ‘yes’ to anything tonight, Ez, except for another sarsaparilla.”
JD grabbed his emptied glass as he noted Buck chugging his down. “Coming right up!” he exclaimed eagerly. His friends would never turn down their noses at his preferred drink again, and who knew? Maybe they’d look at him even less often as a kid now. These sasparillas and the new refrigeration system might even mean less hard alcohol for Chris. He was positively beaming when he refilled Buck’s glass. His friends were home, and they were loving their sasparillas. Nothing could go wrong now for the rest of the night!
He started to whistle as he worked, but when he carried the sasparilla back to Buck, his friend surprised him by lifting the glass in a signal to salute. JD grabbed his own glass, and they clinked glasses together. “Not bad, kid,” Buck said, swallowing down more of his delicious, creamy root beer drink. His grin made JD’s grow even larger. “Not bad at all!”