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: Vin and Ezra plan a little surprise for their lovers.
Warnings: Implied m/m loving
Author's Note: Attempt at humor :-)
Completed: August 2001
Feedback: firstname.lastname@example.org welcomes comments
Vin ducked Ezra's slapping hand and peered out the crack he had made in the heavy stage curtains on stage left. Nudging aside imperious fingers, Vin squinted one eye down and wished for his monocular. He hunkered down on his bare heels as Standish hissed, "See them yet?"
"Ngh, ngh." Elbowing back his fellow conspirator, he ignored the pained gasp as his elbow connected with a bare midriff. "Now quit that," he grunted, "They're gonna show up, you know that, jest a question of time." Then he had to blink as two naked thighs crossed and leaned against his ear. "Ezzzzzzrra…"
"What?!" Springing back with an excess of nervous energy, his partner in crime began to pace within the small space they had secured behind the main curtain. Not getting an answer, and not really expecting one, Ezra gnawed at his lower lip, his dexterous fine hands currently wringing each other, badly missing his omnipresent deck of cards. "Mr. Tanner, Ah'm definitely havin' second thoughts about this little escapade…"
Vin rose, sprite-like to stand, then twisted to face Ezra. Twinkling blue eyes met shifting green ones. "We pull this off and -"
"-and we may live, but probably in great pain!" Ezra strained on toes to try to see over one of Vin's wide scarred shoulders.
"Calm down, will ya? Ez... Ezra! Quit that, they'll spot ya for sure!" Tanner grabbed the shorter man's bare shoulders and straightened his own arms, effectively shoving Standish back a good two feet further from the small opening they'd created in the curtain folds. "It won't be a real surprise if they git suspicious."
"Ah honestly can't see how they won't." Ezra had stilled under the sharpshooter's strong grip. He flushed and looked at the floor. "Vin, Ah don't know if he'll appreciate this…"
"Ez, we been over this and over this, ya'agreed. It'll be great. They'll both love it."
Doubtful green eyes blinked back up at the long-haired Texan. "Now that it's nearly show time, so to speak, Ah'm not certain this is the most congenial course of action for us," he confessed.
At that moment the music that had been running in the background came to a tinny conclusion and there was a pause. Sound dampened by the thick curtains concealing them, the two men couldn't quite make out the muffled words of someone on a microphone, but then there was a loud drum roll that they did recognize.
"Oh, god, oh, god…" Ezra closed his eyes tightly and his hands balled into fists. He stood frozen.
Vin released him and twisted back to steal another look out of their spy hole. "They're here! Musta come in while we wuz talking." A mischievous little smile danced on his lips, turning his mouth into a tiny bow. Crinkles fanned at his eyes as he smiled back at Ezra, looking at him from the corner of his eyes, face still toward the front. "Oh, yeah, both of 'em. Lookin' mighty fine, too, Ez."
Two bright emerald eyes popped open and Ezra was crowding Vin again, "Let me see!"
"NO!" Tanner nearly tackled the smaller wiry man, pushing him back. "No time, we gotta get in line!"
Grabbing one sturdy upper arm, Vin dragged his partner back with him toward the action backstage. "Come ON, Ez!"
"Where are they?"
"Them young rascals are up ta' something, Chris, I kin feel it in ma bones."
"Buck, just find our seats."
"Oh, yeah, they's up ta something, look only two seats. Where are they supposed ta sit, huh? I tell you, the old Buckeroo smells something."
"Buck, sit down."
A drum roll interrupted anything else that Buck Wilmington might have said to his old friend, Chris Larabee.
The house lights, which had come up at the end of the last number to allow new customers to find their seats, now dimmed again, until only the curtained stage was lit. The deep red curtains, fringed in antique gold, billowed with whatever activity was going on behind stage. The announcer boomed out something that neither ATF agent could understand. A second drum roll followed, and then the small pit orchestra began a lively rendition of the French burlesque "Can, Can."
With a graceful swish, the curtains slid back, pulled smoothly away from the long stage. Lights caught the glisten of sweat-sheened flesh and then the long line of bent bodies spun and turned to face their audience.
On the downbeat, the line of dancers began to kick. Their synchronization was absolutely clockwork perfect. The lithe young men had all been meticulously handpicked to run the same height and build, so the one shorter form DID stand out a bit. That drew two sets of astonished eyes to that end of the chorus line.
"Oh, mah darling boy!"
"I'll kill him!"
With a crash that brought the orchestra to a stumbling halt, several musicians were knocked aside like so many bowling pins as the two tall men charged toward the stage. The stunned and furious blond was in the lead, ruthlessly shoving aside the final barrier, a percussionist with a startled mien. As the drummer hit the floor, the second man, even taller than the first and sporting a twitching mustache, leapt over this last hurdle to try to catch his friend. Arm extended, he just missed the black clad form in front of him, moving at lightning speed.
"Uh, Mr. Tanner, now would seem to be a good time to vacate this immediate locale."
Both men, covered only in g-strings, pivoted and lifted feet in perfect unison, ready to run, the shorter one scowling as he sniped hurriedly, "Ah believe that is what Ah said!"
The rest of the chorus line was scattering away from the two charging men who had erupted from the audience. Big and bad looking, none of the dancers wanted to mess with these attackers. Besides, they seemed focused on the two newest members of the troupe, which left the others free to seek cover.
The audience was on its feet now, shouting, yelling encouragements and cheering raucously. Some of the louder comments rose clearly above the hubbub: "Go get'em blondie!" "Hey! Tall, dark, and handsome, I'm back here!"
Ignoring the crowd at their backs, the musicians at their feet, and the dancers to their flanks, the two men, like determined NFL linebackers, shouldered up on to the stage and arrow straight for the fleeing pair of nearly naked men in front of them.
Bare feet didn't have as much traction as one might have thought and two pairs skidded to a halt, trying to turn away from the back wall of the stage, frantic to continue their flight toward the beckoning wings and exits beyond. Two pairs of thudding boots closed the distance, longer legs sweeping the followers into their fleeing targets.
"Ez!" The tall dark mustachioed man clutched the smaller of the fleeing pair to his chest, lifting, effectively removing ALL traction from beneath one set of cycling bare feet. "Stop that now! Ezra!" Buck grinned down at his armful of Standish, tightened his hold and strode off to stage right, already bending his head down next to the curly chestnut hair of his trophy. "Darlin' you sure 'nuff surprised me but, sweetheart, I don't share…" The rest of his words were lost as he continued on out of the sight of the remaining dancers, now all gawking and smirking, some hanging on others as they laughed.
Black leather swing coat half enveloped not only the wearer, an enraged blond, but also the slender long-haired man in his arms. Not content to merely drag his victim off, he swung an arm behind two bony knees and clasped the younger man up in to his arms, nearly smothering him against his chest. "Tanner, you're gonna pay for this."
"glerrkch! Clisssss! Chr-chr-chris! Loosen up, I cain't breathe!"
By now, Larabee was moving his long legs in an irritated sloping stride as he got them out of the maelstrom and exited stage left. He let up slightly on the tension of his hold and spared a backward glance at the confusion left in his and Buck's wakes. Slowing, he came to a stop in the hallway off stage. "Vin." His moss green eyes glowed, the anger fading to gruff bemusement. "What the hell were you and Ezra doing?"
Blue eyes cautiously raised to meet the penetrating, light green ones. "Um, thought you'd get a kick out of it. Get it? Kick? Can can?" Vin's sly smile tried to turn provocative.
With a full body sigh, Chris Larabee shook his head. "That ranks right up there with one of JD's…"
"Aw, Chris, you wound me!"
"No, but that IS a good idea."
"Um, cowboy, why'n't you jest put me down now?"
"Uh, cowboy? Chris…?" The soft, nervous tone of his prisoner was not lost on the blond. He smiled, devilment suddenly flashing in his eyes.
"Mine too. Told you they wuz up ta no good."
"Wuz mighty cute up there, though. Thought our boys outshone the rest of them strutting pretties, too."
"Fer christ's sake, Buck, they were naked, dancing in a gay bar!"
"Well, now, not quite like god made'm…"
"I wuz plum fond of what I could do with that... and you know how Ez cain't get himself outta knots, no how." Buck grinned reminiscently.
A short bark of laughter answered him.
The two men leaned back in their porch chairs, both dragging deeply on long cigars, then blowing out matching smoke rings that rose and intersected in the night air. The soft night sounds out at Chris' ranch made a calming background noise for the tired men. Their mates were both soundly sleeping inside.
Buck smiled fondly at the way Ezra had looked curled into a kittenish ball under the comforter. The southerner was never warm enough unless plastered up against Buck's long rangy form. He'd looked like a sweet little cherub, a sated and happy one, sleeping deeply, when Buck decided to slip out for a late night smoke and found his old friend already out on the porch. He thought of the light murmur of sound he'd provoked as he tucked his green-eyed witch into the bedding.
"Buck?" Ezra's voice was groggy with sleep, passion spent.
"Hush, baby, you go back ta sleep. Ol' Buck's just gonna go out and have a smoke for a bit. He'll be back afore you know it."
"Cold without you…"
"You're warm nuff for now, Ez, we wuz both real hot just now. I'll be back afore you can cool off enough ta notice."
"'kay. Love you."
Buck had leaned over the lovely face of his better half, kissed a dimple and spoke softly again, "And I love you, Ezra, with all my heart, you little tweak."
"Who's calling me a freak?" the grumpy murmur almost faded away.
"Hush, sweetie, you're no freak, just a bit of a tease sometimes, but I love you for it, darlin' so don't never change."
"Nevah…" the southern sounds were breathed out on a sleepy sigh and then breath evened out into sleep.
Buck shook his head and smiled as he thought of his contentment with his always surprising, sexy con man.
Chris suddenly grinned broadly and turned his face toward Buck's. "Think we'll survive'em?"
Buck guffawed softly. "Don't rightly know, pard, but, oh, man, what a way ta go!"
Chris leaned back and nodded, still grinning around his cigar, then turned his eyes toward the night sky, his mind turned inward to the lovin' man sleeping inside. Vin Tanner slept in sprawled abandon, arms and legs loose and stretched out, like he was in an open meadow instead of on their 'California' king-sized bed. The extra long mattress made their bedding into a playground and tonight they'd played to the sounds of their own laughter, Chris teasing his precious 'dancer' with threats of photos of the chorus line, to be tacked up on the ATF bulletin board. Vin's reply, that he and Ezra hadn't been with the line long enough to be in any of the publicity photos, had been met with a snort.
"Always cameras around."
"No way. You two came charging up there the moment we wuz in sight."
"Sounded like it might be a set up…."
"Chris, you didn't! You wouldn't!"
"JD said he could use the practice…"
Chris kissed blue eyes closed. "Go to sleep, my love," stifling the waning protests.
Chris grinned at the stars and blew another perfect smoke ring. It gently rose and met another from Buck's arsenal. He looked over at his old friend who grinned back.
"Yep," Buck smiled thoughtfully, "They's purty as thet picture is gonna be."
Their joined laughter, low and full-bellied filled the night air.
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