DISCLAIMER: I do not own any of the characters. "The Magnificent Seven" belong to MGM and Trilogy Entertainment. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, I’d be a happy woman if Vin belonged to me.....but no such luck. I have not made any profit out of writing this, so please don’t sue me. It would not be worth your while.
Who Could Ask For Anything More?
Response to the Vin Fanfic and Discussion Group Challenge July 2008
Vin locked the door of
his self-contained flat and set off for... he didn’t care where. He needed to think and walking helped. His small unit at the back of the Saloon gave
him privacy and a place to sleep, but on occasion it was confining. If he was truthful, there were times he found
the small dwelling claustrophobic. He
was heading out to
For some reason his memories were fighting to be freed today, but he didn’t know how to release them. It was a disconcerting feeling. The only thing he could liken it to was forgetting the name of a song and having it on the tip of his tongue. He knew it was there but he couldn’t release it. It was an infuriating feeling. He had memories wanting to be remembered, but he couldn’t bring them to the surface, which left him wondering how much had he forgotten? How many things? People? Occasions? He often joked about it – ‘it’d be a damn surprise if I found out I was married’ – but it wasn’t really a joke.
What if he was married and didn’t remember?
Vin sighed and adjusted the sling holding his injured shoulder. He’d dislocated it during the mission yesterday. The tablets Nathan had given him had well and truly taken the pain away. Nathan had told him to stay put because the painkillers were incredibly strong, but he had to get out. His mind was closing him in. He needed some space... space to remember. He decided on a short walk. He usually felt better after a walk. As soon as he got back, he’d crawl into bed to sleep off the damn drugs.
Vin allowed his mind
to fill with nothing. His legs knew the
route. He wandered down to the end of
Married? He was certain he wasn’t married, but there had to be other things he’d forgotten that could be just as important. He stopped at the corner and waited with half a dozen people for the lights to change. Vin looked left and right. Did he know any of these people? Had he forgotten them? Did they consider him rude for not acknowledging them?
The light changed colour and he walked with everyone else. A man coming toward him made eye contact and nodded. Vin frowned. Did this man know him? The stranger frowned back and kept walking.
Vin’s thoughts continued to drift as he approached another intersection. What had he spent his time doing between the war and now? The war was a big blank. Some parts of his early life were too. He only seemed to remember some of the darker parts of his existence. Foster homes he didn’t like. The death of Kojay. The sense of rejection and not belonging. Disappointment at missed birthdays and empty Christmases. Surely he had simply forgotten the good times. Had there been someone special? Friends who he’d promised to look out for... who’d promised to look out of him? Had he made plans for his life? Had he...
A horn blared. Vin blinked. He was in the middle of the road and a car was bearing down on him! Before he could react, he was smashed from the left and knocked out of the path of the vehicle.
Disoriented, Vin recognized the voice. “Buck?”
Buck started breathing again as he and Vin rolled to a stop. He’d felt the vibrations of the car as it had missed them by an inch. Vehicles around them slammed on their brakes. Buck reacted quickly. He picked Vin up out of the street, careful to support his recently dislocated shoulder, and half carried, half dragged him to the sidewalk where a crowd was beginning to form. “Nothing to see here. Go on your way,” Buck ordered gruffly.
Carefully Buck settled Vin against the wall of a shop and examined his pupils. He appeared to be in one piece, but his pupils were dilated -- the painkillers he guessed.
“I’m okay,” Vin snapped, pushing Buck away.
Anger replaced Buck’s concern. “What the hell are you doing out of bed?” The car had run the red light and with Vin’s reflexes dulled by the drug, it had been a close call.
Vin stared back at Buck just as annoyed. His eyes were glazed and he appeared a little confused by what had happened. Buck’s anger died as his concern rose again. “Sorry. I got a hell of a fright. You okay?”
Vin sighed and shrugged. “The part of my life I remember is okay, I guess. The part I can’t... who knows.”
The comment took Buck by surprise but he nodded thoughtfully. At the office earlier, Vin had been plagued by returning memories and his shoulder had been giving him hell. So Nathan had driven him home, given him some extra strong painkillers and put him to bed with strict instructions to stay there. Thankfully Chris had asked Buck to follow a few minutes later just in case Vin took it into his head not to follow doctor’s orders -- lucky thing too.
Buck offered his hand and Vin pulled himself off the wall. “Come on, Kid. Looks like we need a drink.”
Vin shook his head. “No. I’m high as a kite on painkillers. Nathan warned me to stay in bed but... I had to get out there. I’m fine. I just...” His voice faded.
He looked lost. More lost than Buck had ever seen him. “Okay. You can buy me a drink. I know I need one. Hell that was a close call.”
Buck waited at the bar as Inez prepared the drinks, his cell phone to his ear. “He seems fine, Chris, but it was close. The car ran a red light and Vin was on another planet”
“I’ll kill him.”
Buck smirked. Translation, ‘thank God he’s okay.’ Buck spoke ‘Larabee’ fluently. Phrases like ‘I’ll kill him’ and ‘when I get my hands on him’ were Chris’ way of coping with the fact he cared so deeply.
“The tablets Nathan gave him should have knocked him out. He told the fool to stay in bed because they're so strong.”
“Yeah, Vin knows he should have stayed there, boss, but he was feeling hemmed in. Had to get out. Just went for a walk. He would have been fine if the car hadn’t run the red light... and no, I don’t think it was an attempt on his life. Just some idiot behind the wheel.”
“Speaking of idiots, is his shoulder okay?”
“Yeah, I think so. I rolled with him. I took the impact on the ground. The car missed us.”
Buck grinned, studying the road rash on his arm. “I’ll live. A couple of scrapes and bruises.”
“When I get my hands on him, I swear I’ll... I’m on my way.”
“See you in twenty minutes.” Buck glanced back over his shoulder. Vin was sitting at the table staring at the wall lost in thought. The drugs had now fully taken effect and Vin was struggling to remain lucid. Buck knew he should have taken him directly to his flat behind the saloon and put him to bed, but on a hunch, he’d brought Vin here. Something told him Vin needed to talk.
Collecting a beer and a glass of water, Buck headed for the table. Vin blinked and focused on him.
“Chris is on his way. We’ve got about twenty minutes to get you into bed before he gets here.”
“This wasn’t Nathan’s fault. He told me to stay in bed, but I ignored him.”
“Oh, don’t worry. Chris is blaming only one person, kid. I suggest we make the 100 yard mad dash for your flat when we hear him arrive and you jump in bed and pretend to be asleep.”
Vin exhaled slowly.
Buck sighed, Vin’s earlier words ringing in his ears. ‘The part of my life I remember is okay, I guess. The part I can’t... who knows.’ “Memories are strange things. Have I ever told you about my ma?”
Vin frowned, blinking in a mix of confusion and an attempt to stay awake. “Huh?”
“She was the most beautiful woman I’ve ever seen... physically and spiritually. She was also a really smart lady. She had this way of rationalizing all things. At the end of her life, she knew she was dying and she didn’t want me focusing on ‘yesterday’. The last advice she gave me before she passed away was not to dwell on the past, for while it shapes us, it is only a memory and memories only tell us why we are who we are. It is the sum total of our experiences that makes us who we are. While memories fade, no one can take those experiences away from us. She allowed me to experience unconditional love. I don’t remember all of it, but it is the experience that makes me who I am, not necessarily the memory of those experiences. She also said not to worry about the future for what we don’t create ourselves is in the hands of God. And she told me it was important to live for the here and now because life is too damn short to live for the past or future.” Buck toasted Vin. “I am who I am because of my experiences not my memories. And as for the here and now, it’s pretty good. I’ve got a job I’m good at. I work with men I trust and what we do is really important. When I’m not working I spend time with a family I love – family who harass me with the best of intentions.” Buck winked at Vin and pushed the glass of water across to him. “Who could ask for anything more?”