Disclaimer: This is for fun, no money is made. The boys are not mine but they live in my heart.
Thanks to my betas Ronnie, who encouraged me a lot and helped me with my English (without you I wouldn't have written an English story at all) and Evelin (Juanita) for her helpful remarks.
Remaining mistakes are mine.
Scott stood with his father and Teresa on the upper balcony of the hacienda and watched the approaching riders as they neared the fences of the ranch in a cloud of dust. He narrowed his eyes against the sun and saw one rider galloping in front of the others. If this was the leader it was necessary to shoot him first. Perhaps the others would then give up.
Scott hesitated. The rider looked somewhat familiar to him; but he couldn't figure it out. However, there was no time left to think about it.
The rider had already jumped the fences into the yard of the hacienda.
"Here comes the first one," Scott said and lifted his rifle. "Wait!" Murdoch shouted, "It's Johnny!"
Scott lowered his rifle in shock as he recognized Johnny and realized he had nearly shot his own brother. He swallowed dryly.
In disbelief he watched the approaching rider. What was Johnny doing with Pardee's men? Could it be possible that he lead them to ambush the Lancer hacienda? Something felt very wrong.
Suddenly a single shot rang out, Johnny fell off his mount and tumbled over and over in the dust of the yard, as Barranca galloped forward without his rider.
Scott felt his heart skip a beat at the sight of his falling brother. He turned and started down the staircase to help his sibling when his father stopped him. "Scott. It's no use", Murdoch said in a broken voice. "I don't know what this boy was trying to do??"
Scott stared at his father, horrified - it's no use? Why?
"He was coming back to us," Teresa sobbed.
She was right, Scott immediately was sure of that. His brother had tried to lead Pardee and his men into the trap he knew Scott had prepared.
His chest tightened and a lump formed in his stomach as he looked at the motionless form of his brother.
He suddenly felt a nameless rage, a fury he had never known before. It radiated through his body, and twisted - combined with feelings of revenge that overwhelmed him with their force.
These feelings he was not used to.
He was Scott Garret Lancer; well educated, refined, well mannered and even tempered. He was always able to hide his emotions behind a mask of politeness and calmness, but he was far from calm now.
Not only did Day Pardee threaten his home but he had shot his new found brother.
Pardee would pay even if it cost him his own life!
Scott gritted his teeth in determination and rushed down the staircase into the front yard, quickly followed by Murdoch and Teresa.
They ran for shelter behind the adobe wall and knelt down.
"Look at your brother!" Murdoch suddenly shouted, his eyes never leaving the lifeless form on the ground.
Scott's heart jumped in his chest as he watched Johnny propping himself up on an elbow, rubbing his eyes and then fumble with his gun, as bullets hit the ground around him.
Scott held his rifle firmly in his hand and became very composed.
"Cover me. I'm going out after him!"
He didn't wait for an answer. He had a brother.
His brother was alive and alive he would stay.
Johnny heard gunshots and yells all around him. He found himself lying on the ground and tried to remember what had happened to him.
His back was hurting like hell; he barely was able to raise his head. He managed to open his eyes and tried to find out where he was.
His vision was clouded but he recognized the area, he was lying in the yard of his father's hacienda; men were running around him shooting and yelling.
Then realization struck him. He must have been shot while he had tried to lead Pardee's men into the trap he knew his brother had prepared at the hacienda.
Johnny rubbed his eyes and managed to reach his gun; he then tried to drag himself into the cover of a nearby tree.
But he wasn't able to move as the pain from the wound in his back radiated through his whole body.
Suddenly a tall familiar figure materialized in front of him, shooting with the rifle in his hands several times to cover both of them.
Before Johnny could react the man was behind him and he was gripped under the shoulders and drawn into cover.
He lifted his head and saw that the man at his side covering him with his body was nobody else but his brother Scott who was now quickly reloading his weapon.
Johnny was stunned. Scott was an eastern city dude, a tin soldier who............ A movement from the opposite side of the yard caught Jonny's eyes. "Look out!" he warned his brother as he discovered Pardee behind some bushes, aiming at Scott. Scott immediately lifted his rifle and shot Pardee, then jumped into the yard and shot the other attackers. They started fleeing when they realized they were outnumbered; they had been lead into a trap and their leader shot.
After a few minutes Pardee’s men disappeared in the distance not looking back.
A sudden odd silence fell over the place, the dust slowly settling down while a limp breeze made it dance in small whirls.
Johnny looked up at his brother. He felt self-conscious and embarrassed; these feelings he was not used to. He was Johnny Madrid, a gunslinger who was always strong, always knew what to do. He could read people. His life depended on these skills. But in reading his brother he seemed to have failed.
He felt so weak now, and helpless. His whole body was hurting, and blood trickled down his back.
And there stood his brother, looking down at him with a large affectionate smile all over his face. His Bostonian, high society raised, dandy brother who had saved his life by risking his own life.
Johnny swallowed. Something about this man in front of him felt very good. For the first time in his life since his mother had died there was a person he could rely on; a man he could trust with his life - at least if he dared to. He had a brother.
"That was good shootin', " he said.
~ Fine ~
Becky W., March 2009