In The Details
Disclaimer: I don't own them, or the show they rode in on. I wrote this for fun, and no profit is made from it.
Archive: Starwinder's, You Want Fries With That?, and The All-Ezra FanFic Archive --- all others, please ask.
Summary: Ezra provokes, Buck intervenes.
Warnings: An attempt at humor :-)
Author's Note: One step up from a PWP.
Completed: 29 March 2003
Feedback: firstname.lastname@example.org welcomes comments
"You did what?"
"I assure you, Mr. Larabee, it will all reach fruition in good time and you will be well pleased with the result."
"Ezra. I don't give chicken shit about any of your hare-brained schemes to lighten some more wallets. I want to know that you went out on patrol last night. You DID go out on patrol?"
"Nothing happened last night, sir. All was calm and tranquil. Now about these rocks---"
"Standish. Patrol. You went?"
"Sir, have you ever known me to---"
"Did. You. Go?"
"Well, now, sir, there is a story behind the answer to that question. As I was saying, the rocks at the back of the ravine in Henshaw's Valley are---"
"Ezra. Go away."
"Excuse me, Mr. Larabee?"
"Scat? What kind of lingua franca is that, pray tell? Are you attempting to tell me that my company is no longer required?"
"Hey, Ez, old pard! How about you and me go see what's happening over at the livery? I hear tell that there's a new stallion, just imported from out of state, that Yosemite is trying to hire out for breeding."
"Oh? Well, I was just completing a conversation with Mr. Larabee here and then I would be pleased to accompany you, Mr. Wilmington. Now, Mr. Larabee, as I was saying about those bits of rock, shards of sandstone, or shale perhaps---"
"Pard, time's a wastin' --- you can tell Chris all about them rocks later. Let's head on out before Vin gets wind of the stud and tries to take it out for a run."
"Oh, very well. Mr. Larabee, I shall return later to finish my report on my evening patrol."
"You went? On the patrol?"
"That's what I was trying to elucidate upon, sir."
"You went on the patrol. You couldn't just say that? No, I suppose not."
"I was saying that, Mr. Larabee. It's just that the details were---"
"Come on, Pard, let's go."
"Inez! Send over another bottle."
"Pard, we gotta go."
"Oh, very well."
"Si, senor Larabee."
"Whiskey. A bottle."
"It's all the way from Ireland, or so Mr. Higgins said when he sold 'im to me." Yosemite looked rather proud of his new purchase. The stallion was tall and sleek and very, very thin, with long spindly looking legs. He was several hands higher than Buck's Gray at the withers, and Gray and Solon were two of the biggest mounts in the stable. The doe eyes and noble Roman nose gave the big stud a very regal air. His neck arched almost like a swan's to Vin's discerning eye.
"Seems a bit light weight for its size."
"Now that, Mr. Tanner, is just a question of perception."
"Mr. Tanner. As I was saying, that is perception. This, my friend, is a thoroughbred. He has been bred, no doubt of a fine bloodline from the looks of him, for racing. Not, however, for endurance. He will throw his whole body and heart into a run for you, at incredible speeds no doubt, but your Indian pony will outlast him in the desert or on a long trek. He will have grace and a very smooth gait, but your Peso will dodge and cut out a calf while he is still trying to place his feet. So, Mr. Tanner, it is all a matter of perception."
"That mean he ain't much good for out here?"
"Now wait a second there. I paid good money for this horseflesh and the fellow said he'd be an ass- ah an asseck um an---"
"An asset, sir, and indeed he will be."
"But you said he couldn't hold a candle to Peso."
"Nor should he try. Mr. Tanner, new bloodlines introduced into our local stock could infuse powerful genes for a stronger mix. With selective breeding, of course, within a decade or so, breeders could have a bigger animal, suited for the western plains with superior strength, speed, and intelligence."
"Yes, sir, not that I am implying anything against the noble Peso."
"Hell, Pard, Peso is wicked. Takes a smart horse to be as bad as he is and get away with it."
"Now, Mr. Wilmington, no need to slight our friend's steed. This new member of our small community, however, is likely cross-bred from the finest Arabian stock and developed in to the giant you see here. He could greatly increase the quality of our local herds."
"That mean money?"
"Of course it does."
"Mr. Tanner? I could explain further ---"
"Let him go, Ez, think he needs to see about a drink right about now."
"Not a bad idea, Mr. Wilmington. Shall we?"
"Honestly, Mr. Wilmington, you'd think our fellow riders would be more interested in the details. Why, those rocks out in Henshaw's Valley are what are known as fossils. They have captured and petrified sea life from long ago. The potential for sale to some museum or university is great, and perhaps to some traveling performance company, even greater. There is an enormous capacity for curiosity among the general public. I cannot see why Mr. Larabee doesn't want to know more about this find. We could easily excavate more pieces like the ones that I spotted and brought back and probably locate more in the same vicinity. The sales alone would save us all from future penury and rescue us from our present dire employment."
"And then there is Mr. Tanner. Just think how noble a creature that new stallion is and what he represents for the future of horse breeding! Mr. Tanner seemed unable to see that vision and yet I have ever been respectful of his knowledge and skills with regards to horseflesh. I am amazed and disheartened, Mr. Wilmington."
"Yes, Mr. Wilmington?"
Buck slung an arm over Ezra's shoulders and guided him away from the front of the saloon. "Let's go on up to your room."
"Why my room? And why the back way? Surely we can simply enter and-"
"Ez. Chris and Vin are both in there now and they won't be ready for any more of your details yet."
"You think not?"
"I think not." Buck leaned in against the cardsharp and nudged him off the boardwalk and on down the alley. "This way, we get where we want to go and they get what they want."
"What would that be, Mr. Wilmington?" Ezra's green eyes tipped up slyly as he allowed himself to be steered down the alleyway. Then, before Buck could answer, he added, "And when did we establish that 'we' wanted to go anywhere together?"
Buck grinned down at the man at his side and squeezed the shoulders beneath his hand a bit, snugging the man tighter. "Ez, Chris and Vin aren't big talkers, you know that, Pard. They just want simple words, simple answers." He pushed his charge forward a bit more and then added, not looking at Ezra now. "And as for us, well, Ez, think we go together real well."
"That was not what I asked, Mr. Wilmington." Ezra ducked out from under the encircling arm of his companion. Then Ezra sidestepped so that he could lean against the outer, shingled wall of the saloon. He tilted his head to the side as he studied the other. "What merit do you see in our companionship?"
Buck's grin, Cheshire cat white against his suntanned skin, widened. He turned and came close up against Ezra, leaning over him. Buck's long arms stretched out on either side of the man's head as the Buck braced himself with flat hands on the wall behind Ezra's head. He met the green eyes looking back at him with amusement and interest. "Figure we're a matched set, Ez. We both like the little stuff in life."
"The little stuff?" Eyebrows rose and Ezra crossed his arms over his chest, his pose against the building relaxed. Smiling now, he asked, "Are you, perchance, referring to 'the details?'"
"Um." Buck's nose was now burying itself in Ezra's thick, reddish brown hair. He sighed and tilted his hips forward to press against Ezra's. Buck dropped his arms to the sides of his quarry and then behind his teasing lover.
Captured, Ezra purred up at Buck, "Really, Mr. Wilmington, this is hardly the place to explore any 'little stuff.'"
Buck let his face slide down to Ezra's and nipped lightly at that sharp nose. "Then, maybe we should go on upstairs, like I'd said before."
"Um. Perhaps we should." Ezra's murmur was half-swallowed as Buck's generous lips moved down and covered his mouth.
For a moment, the two men stood pressed closely together in the dark alley's shadows, as still as the piles of old crates that loomed around them. Then Buck pulled back and caught Ezra's shoulders in his hands. "Ezra, I don't want to be rolling in the dirt and that's what we'll be doing soon if we stay here."
"Heaven forbid, Mr. Wilmington!" Standish stood up straighter inside the circle of Buck's arms. He smiled up at his favorite rogue and lightly jerked his head toward the far end of the alley. "Shall we continue?"
"Think it might be wise." Buck couldn't resist one more burning kiss on those kiss-me lips, and then he pulled Ezra around to face the back of the alley and with a push, had them moving again.
"We no longer seem to be strolling, Mr. Wilmington."
"Nope. Figure faster is better 'bout now." Buck's hand, that had been hard against Ezra's far shoulder, slipped down now to the small of Ezra's back. He enjoyed the feel of the arch there and the smooth curve of buttocks just below his splayed fingertips. With a wicked gleam, Buck let his hand continue downwards and then pushed and squeezed quickly.
"MISTER Wilmington!" Ezra's outraged hiss spluttered in their small space.
"Move it, Ez." Buck chuckled and swatted the conman's rump again as the two began to climb the stairs at the back of the saloon now. Ezra was moving rapidly now, just out of reach. Buck's smile grew since he knew that would be changing very soon.
Quietly, the two men reached the landing at the top of the stairs and Ezra quickly unlocked the door there, letting them inside the upper hall. Buck slipped past him and then waited as Ezra relocked the entry and swung back to face his friend. "Now what?" Ezra's light tenor had become husky and low.
"Now, darlin'," Buck said, "now we go explore some of that small stuff."
Ezra neatly placed both hands on Buck's shirtfront and stood taller on tiptoes. He pecked the full lips that waited there, feeling Buck's mustache bristle against his mouth. "May I lead the way?"
"Yep." Buck captured the hands pressing against his chest and held them for just a moment. He did love the smooth, delicate feel of Ezra's hands. He gently toyed with them, feeling the elegant shapes, the slender stretch of muscle encasing the bones of each finger, letting the tips trail on the palms of his hands, a frisson on the nerves alerting him to baser needs. He sucked in a sharp breath, then whispered, "Let's get going." He tucked one fine hand into his larger one and they turned together and walked down the hall to Ezra's room.
"Yes, Buck?" Ezra rolled over so that he was firmly planted against Buck's long length, one arm straying up to play lightly with the chest hairs that always attracted him.
"Um, feels good." A light shiver shook Wilmington's frame as he responded to the fingering touch. "Ah, meant to say - oh, don't ever stop doin' that darlin' - um, meant to say-"
"Buck, you seem to be having some difficulty in completing your thoughts." Ezra dipped his head to the closer nubbin beneath his chin and began to lick it with just the tip of his tongue.
"Ah, Ez!" Buck arched up in response and rolled over, wrapping Ezra's body in his arms and dragging the man even closer, nearly smothering his lover against his chest.
For a moment, they simply lay there, deeply entwined, hearts beating madly in syncopated rhythms.
Buck pulled back enough to allow Ezra to raise a rather flushed face, green eyes blinking. "You ok?"
"Assuredly. Now that you have let me breathe again." Ezra turned his head slightly and rested his face against the broad chest presented there for his delectation.
Buck smiled and closed his eyes, head back on the heaped pillows behind them, then opened them again in frustration. "Damn, I started to say something."
"You did?" Ezra's voice was becoming drowsy.
"I did." Dark blue eyes slid down to study the bundle clutched against his body. He chuckled, his rib cage vibrating with his amusement.
"Um, you're rocking mah boat." Fingers poked into Buck's sides, rather firmly before easing back off.
"Ouch!" Buck grinned again when remorseful green eyes rolled up towards his. "Be careful there, Pard." When the green eyes squinted in suspicion, Buck's grin widened even more. "Now Ezra. What I was meaning to say was that there's a time and place for putting in every single little bit of information."
"And it ain't with Vin ner Chris, not when's they aren't looking for it."
Ezra pushed himself up on his elbows, ignoring the 'oof!' grunted out by Buck as one elbow landed with authority in the middle of the bigger man's stomach. "So you are suggesting that I keep my communications with those so verbally-limited gentlemen to a level of succinctness nearing silence?"
"If you mean, keep it down to a few choice words. Yeah, that's what I mean, darlin'."
Ezra had boosted himself up so that his chin rested on his palms as he stared down into dark, merry eyes. Buck grabbed both muscular forearms that stood up now like twin sentries near Buck's chin. Tugging, he pulled the beautiful, supporting hands free of chin and Ezra's head dropped back down onto Buck's chest. Where he belongs. Buck laughed out loud as his lover made a surprised 'ommph'.
"Buck, I expect to be treated with more dignity than this!" The muttered growl made Buck think of the barn cat's kittens when they challenged each other. As green eyes glinted up at him again from where a now thoroughly tousled head rested, Buck's heart melted a bit more. My kitten.
The kitten spoke. "I know what you're thinking."
"You do?" Dark blue eyes danced.
"Yes. You do not believe I can restrain my normal verbosity with our colleagues." Ezra's face was set in a teasing pucker, lips a charming moue.
Buck let his face relax into a serious expression. "Ezra, I believe you can do anything you set your mind to, including being real stingy with your words when the time comes." He waited to see what his kitten would say next, strangely tingling with happy pleasure at their little duel of words.
Ezra stared for a moment into Buck's face, sensing that much had not been said but not really feeling the need to challenge his lover on it. He twisted and dropped inelegantly back down on top of Buck, now with his rump settled in Buck's groin and his shoulder blades digging into twin dark areoles. Two long arms wrapped tighter around him and he was nuzzled along his shoulder up to his neck. The tickling mustache hairs had him trying to wriggle free, fruitlessly. "Buck!"
Movement stopped. "Yes?"
Ezra relaxed and turned his head, finding lips there to meet his own. They kissed. When they parted, Ezra nodded slightly. "I really got them today, didn't I?" He smiled beatifically.
"Buried 'em in details." Buck kissed tiny kisses up the slender neck presented.
"Yes, just like loving, it's all in the details." Ezra shivered at the moist, soft touches of lips to his jaw and turned back for more.
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