Let It Stand
DISCLAIMER: The following
is a work of fiction based on the characters of the television series "Lancer".
No infringement is intended to anyone who owns a portion of this series.
No money was made on this.
WARNINGS: A little foul
SPOILERS: High Riders
missing scene takes place during the first episode. After Scott had
been beaten up in town by Pardee's men, Johnny had caught up with Teresa
and Scott beside a creek. The two brothers had argued and Teresa
had stepped between them. She had told Johnny that he was mistaken
in his belief that Murdoch had kicked he and his mother off the ranch when
Johnny was a babe. Johnny was unconvinced, but you could see in his
eyes the doubt was beginning to grow. After the fight with Pardee
had been concluded and things had begun to settle down, I think Johnny
would have had time to reflect on what Teresa had told him. That
and Scott's actions during the gunfight had a lot to do with Johnny's decision
to remain on the ranch.
shadows were beginning to lengthen and intensify as Teresa sat down to
continue with the mending she had put off for weeks now. She sighed
as she reflected on the past few weeks and the trying time each of them
had been experiencing.
let her thoughts drift, while her hands worked with a comfortable certainty
she hadn't felt since before Murdoch's sons had arrived. She shook
her head silently in amazement. She never would have believed that two
brothers, fathered by the same man could be so different, yet so much alike.
Things were definitely going to be interesting around here for a while.
And at the same time, it was also going to take a lot of adjustment on
was accustomed to being the center of Murdoch's world. She had been
that center even before her father had been killed. She had always
known of Murdoch's sons and of the guilt he tried to keep hidden regarding
Scott's absence from his life. She also knew of the continual search
Murdoch paid the Pinkerton men to carry on for his youngest son.
years she had listened to her father and Murdoch's discussions on both
young men. Her father had tried to convince Murdoch for as long as
she could remember that he wouldn't be wrong to write and try to establish
communications with Scott in Boston. But for some reason that Teresa
had been unable to discover, Murdoch had refused.
felt a catch in her throat as she was reminded of what had brought about
the change in his mind to finally contact Scott. She still missed
her father, but Murdoch had eased her heartache and helped fill her loneliness
by naming her his legal ward shortly after her father's murder. She
knew she would always have a special place in the rancher's heart and he
in hers, but she had been a little apprehensive as to how his sons would
feel about her presence in their world, when or even if they agreed to
meet with Murdoch.
thought back to Scott and Johnny's arrival and shook her head. Their
initial introduction had been shaky at best. It had been pure coincidence
the two of them had arrived on the same stage, at the same time. Only a
week before Scotts expected arrival date, Murdoch had received word that
the Pinkerton men had finally located Johnny. She had been more than
a little surprised to find Johnny at the depot as well.
had already made up her mind to welcome the young men as long lost brothers,
but Teresa was no fool. She expected a degree of hostility, but she
had made up her mind that Scott and Johnny would have to deal with their
feelings about her on their own.
it had turned out, they had been skeptical of her, but not any more so
then they had been of each other. She frowned as dark memories reminded
her of the near tragedy Johnny's temper had incited on their first foray
into town. If there hadn't been so much more to Scott Lancer's character
than his fancy clothes had indicated, he would be dead now. She alternately
cursed and cried for the lost loneliness she detected in Johnny's aloof
stubbornness. There was no doubt that the dark young man had lived
a solitary life. Everything the Pinkertons had been able to track
down about Johnny told the same story. Johnny Madrid was a gunfighter
and a loner. Breaking through the shell Johnny had built around himself
was going to take a lot of patience from every member of the family, but
no more than it was taking from Johnny himself.
the final confrontation with Pardee, Johnny had proven his loyalties and
had nearly paid the ultimate price for his actions. The wound he
had received had been deep, but after cleaning and bandaging the wound,
Johnny had assured them he had been wounded worse in the past. Teresa
didn't doubt that fact.
they were due to sign the legal papers splitting ownership of the ranch.
She desperately hoped Johnny would see the wisdom of staying at Lancer
and not returning to his former life. His partnership agreement with
Murdoch and Scott had not been bound by his remaining at the ranch. Johnny
could very well sign those papers and ride out to parts unknown. She felt
a tug at her heart. If he left, she knew it was only a matter of
time until he wound up dead at a very early age.
soft scrape of a boot on tile was her only alert to Johnny's approach and
at the same time she knew within reason that he had made the sound intentionally.
Johnny was as quiet as a cat and moving undetected was as natural
to him as breathing. She knew he had wanted to let her know he was
he spoke softly with a hesitation in his voice and did not seem able to
look her in the eye.
looked up, barely able to make out his outline in the shadows. "You
should be in bed, Johnny," she told him, eyeing the still pale pallor of
is face and noting the hat he fumbled with in his hands.
okay," he said, then paused again. "I...I was...wondering if I could
ask you a question."
took a great deal of will power on her part not to respond to the quiet
plea she heard in his voice, but Johnny was not one for being mothered.
"Sure, Johnny. What is it?"
story you told me, down by the creek the other day," his voice hesitated,
as if searching for the right words. "About my mother...running off with
another man?" She saw him almost visibly force himself to look her
in the eye momentarily. "Was it true?"
felt her heart leap to her throat. This explained the silence she
had mistaken for sullenness since the battle with Pardee had ended.
Johnny was beginning to question the truth of the things he had been told
his entire life. "It wasn't a story, Johnny. It's true."
She saw his eyes begin to narrow in continued disbelief and quickly continued.
"Not only did my father know the truth, everyone in town knew also."
She saw a sadness come to Johnny's eyes and she wished she could ease the
hurt she saw cross his face.
a word, he turned from her to walk away.
She spoke up softly. He stopped, but did not turn around. "Murdoch
tried to find you when she ran off, but every lead was a dead end.
He never gave up, and," she paused as her voice threatened to fail her.
"He didn't know she had died until the Pinkerton men found you."
stood for a moment more, then continued out of the door without saying
put away the sewing basket she had held in her lap and walked to the door
to watch as he mounted the palomino and rode away. She sent up a
silent prayer that what she had just old him would help him overcome some
of the anger he felt toward Murdoch. It had to help because if it
didn't, Johnny would never be able to find a place for himself here at
following day, the finalization of the partnership was to take place.
Teresa had felt honored to be included in the unofficial ceremony between
father and sons and had held her breath when Murdoch had instructed the
lawyer to change Johnny's name from Lancer to Madrid. She knew it
was Murdoch's way of letting his son know he accepted Johnny's past without
question. She would be forever grateful to John Madrid Lancer for
his response to that acceptance.hen
the lawyer had gone to make the correction, Johnny had stopped him with
a quick, shy look toward his father. "No." he had said. "Let
O'Brien smiled at the pride that reflected from Murdoch's face. Johnny
had found his place and Murdoch had found his two sons.