By Rosalind 

(Well--something must have stimulated that uncanny and unlikely bond between two such very different men). 

Please take the standard 'disclaimers' as read. 


So-they both suffered from nightmares.. 

It wasn't much of a bond of course-but it was something they held in common, apart from a name.

Scott had not had his particular 'bad dream' for some considerable time. The gun-battle of the day before must have shaken him up rather more than he would have thought.  Perhaps 'battle' was not the right word for it either.  It had been over in seconds. The dark boy with the soft voice was real fast with that hefty gun of his.  Scott had scarcely believed that he had seen what he HAD seen.  He had read about 'gun-fighters'--there were indeed some very famous ones, but he had taken what he had heard and read with something more than a pinch of salt...  Until yesterday when his brother had 'thrown down' (was that the correct terminology) on the two men who had challenged him.  Fast was an understatement.  Johnny had not merely just pulled the gun-it had seemed to leap up and into his hand of its own volition and spat its deadly discharge with uncanny accuracy.  Not once--but twice.  Scott himself had taken out the third man, lurking in ambush to finish of what his colleagues had started, if necessary--but there had been nothing clever about the shot or the shooting.  But something had awakened his 'demons'--and, he thought, with a touch of wry humour, later his 'demons' had awakened the whole household.

Murdoch Lancer, quite plainly, had no time for a man who suffered from bad dreams-but Johnny, blue-eyed, mercurial Johnny has bothered to share with him one of his own 'demons'.  His 'dark place' from which there was no escape and where his phenomenal gun skills could not save him.

It was a start-a tenuous 'feeler' of companionship with this total and utterly alien stranger--Scott had never met anyone quite like Johnny Madrid in his life--who was his brother.  A little smile played on his lips as the word came into his mind.  A brother!!

All his life he had wanted a brother--not perhaps one quite like this-he had thought more along the lines of a smaller, meeker version of himself that he could boss about a bit (He didn't think he'd get very far, if he tried to boss THIS one about a bit) but his grandfather had always told him that a brother was the one thing he could not give him.  As a small child Scott had been bitterly disappointed at this dictum and later on he had of course realised that in order to have a brother, he also needed to have a mother and a father-but his mother was dead and his father had not even wanted HIM--so he certainly would not be supplying him with his hearts desire.  He had resigned himself therefore, to a 'brother less' existence.

But NOW--everything had changed.  His father DID want him--albeit for his own selfish ends--and he did indeed have this longed for brother.  That is, if he could keep him alive over the next few days.  The boy was reckless to the extreme and seemed to have absolutely no regard for his own safety.

Scott made a little mental vow to himself, there and then, to watch the boys back.  Have waited all this time for him, he was not going to lose his 'little brother' now.  Not if HE could help it.

He pulled the blankets up a little closer under his chin, settled his cheek more comfortably on his pillow, and fell into a deep and dreamless sleep.




Well-who woulda thought that the cool, dead-pan dandy-dude would have bad dreams--the sort of dreams that left him crying out in the night?  He had not seemed at all the type to suffer from childish night terrors.  Johnny was very much ashamed of the state that his own 'bad dreams' could reduce him too.  Too awaken, drenched in the sweat and stench of fear, with his belly churning and tears coursing down his cheeks was no good thing.  Johnny did not like to think of his mind and his body being so utterly out of his control--even in his sleep.

But the Bostonian--who always managed to look as if he had just left his tailors shop and as if nothing short of the blast of a cannon would shake him, suffered from nightmares too.  Quite why this pleased him, Johnny couldn't have said--except it did mean that they did have something more in common than a father who had wanted neither of them and a name that he was still not sure he wanted any part of.

But things had changed some hadn't they--because-along with that name that he had grown up to hate--had come this brother that he had never even known about.  He had occasionally wondered, in his wild, frightening childhood, what it might be like to have a brother-preferably a bigger one, who might help him and protect him--and now he had this fancy-pants and intriguing easterner turn up on his 'doorstep' to take on the role of brother.  Johnny snickered to himself.  Not much chance of him doing much 'protecting' though was there (although,   Johnny conceded, he had taken out Deke Wilson in a very neat and timely fashion in the street of Mora Coya hadn't he).  A big brother. He savoured the words and the idea of it.  He couldn't see himself running to and fro at the bidding of that big, bad tempered old man that was his father (he nearly spat at the very idea) but-strangely-he thought that he actually rather liked Scott.

His brother.  A little smile curved his mouth.  His BIG brother.  The smile expanded mischievously.  A big brother who, like him, sometimes had nightmares.

Johnny kicked off the blankets, rolled onto his belly, folded his arms under his face and fell into a deep, dreamless sleep.



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