around a bamboo table on bar stools, and relaxing back in beach
lounge chairs, the Magnificent Seven characters waited inside Ruby's
Muse for their next 'calling out' to be in one of her fanfics. The
'paradise' that they lived in, when *not* being tortured and laughed
at in one of Ruby's stories, was a beautiful place to behold. A mix
of Aruba and the Bahamas. White sand. Umbrella drinks, beer, whiskey
and milk. A perpetual setting sun over a beautiful ocean view. And a
soft, fresh-smelling sea breeze to stir the warm sun-heated tropical
air around them.
his drink, Ezra sighed. "You know, she used to have me in all
her fics. She liked me. Loved me. But," he turned narrowed,
venomous eyes on the young dark-haired man, "now it's 'JD this'
and 'JD that.' JD's in all the fics, and I'm..." he sneered as
he shook his head, "falling for stupid pranks or giving sage
advice." He rolled his eyes in disgust.
can't help it if she likes me the best now. She still likes you Ez.
And Vin. And Chris. And Buck. Heck, she likes all of us, she just
writes about me more now." JD explained. "She just can't
'talk' for you, Ez. That's all. She has no vocabulary, really. Very
sad. Uses the same words over and over. That's all."
uh. It's cause she *likes* you best." Ezra pouted.
of arguing the point, JD shrugged in acquiescence, trying hard to
hide his smug smile. "Hey," he asked out of the blue,
"do any of you *know* how to pronounce 'acquiescence'? 'Cause I
have absolutely no idea."
still in some of the fics." Vin glanced at Wilmington, Dunne,
Standish, and Larabee, who sat around the table, and down at Sanchez
and Jackson, who were stretched out in beach chairs. "Not many,
mind you. And when I'm in them, my grammar's just down right
despicable. I mean, come on, I've got a vocabulary! I write poetry
for god's sake. But does she care? Nooo. She's got me saying ain't
and 'done' forty times!" He shook his head in misery.
if I have to play the father-figure for short stuff over there one
more time, I'm going to scream!" Chris smirked as he sent a
mock-glare JD's way.
least it gets me off the hook for a little while," Buck
bemoaned, grinning wryly in JD's direction.
The invisible Muse Master called out loudly. "You're up!"
right! I get to be in another fic!" The kid yelled
excitedly. "See you guys in a little while." He
smiled happily as he jumped up and started running for the light that
was a 'Fanfic In The Writing.'
Buck yelled after him, disgruntled, "She probably just wants to
kill you again!"
many times *has* she killed him?" Vin asked, his mouth turning
up in a wry grin.
man!" Nathan shook his head. "Lots! That time to the song.
The new one. The time with Death, when she killed 'im and then Ezra
took his place." Jackson glared at the Southerner, who sat
smiling self-righteously. Cocking his head, the healer shrugged.
"There's got to be more, but I just can't think of them now. I
know there's plenty of times she almost-killed 'im."
Oh!" Vin called out. "She hanged me and the kid! Did it to
*me* twice!" His voice squeaked. "She's a sick, twisted
fanfic writer! At least we didn't die. But man, oh man! She just
doesn't understand what that's like!" He groaned.
killed Ezra and Buck, too!" Nathan included.
about the time she got me stuck in the plastic playland tubes at
McDonald's?" Buck stated.
the time she squished us all in the Ram!" Vin added. "My
back *still* spasms 'cause of that ride!" he huffed.
wouldn't know," Nathan added darkly.
to look innocent, Josiah gazed up at the blue sky, whistling softly.
the time she blew that Cowboy up with a glare!" Chris laughed.
"Er...I mean, heh heh, *I* did." Grinning broadly, he
ducked his head to hide his proud smile.
and you never know if she's going to write us Old West, or ATF. Or
one of those silly AU's she made up. I mean, come on, what kind of
aliens would look like giant-dog-like-things?" Nathan scoffed.
"And chess pieces? Really!"
what about the gremlin-on-the-wing-of-the-airplane fic. What was up
And could her Jango Feet, I mean, Fett story have *been* any
weirder. And is she *ever* gonna finish Cutter?" Vin whined.
"I mean, look at me, lying out there - probably bleeding to
death, knowing her!"
could she possibly learn how to write? I mean, has she *not* been in
an English class for over thirteen, I mean, fourteen years? Jeesh!"
kidding! It took her twenty minutes to figure out where to put the
apostrophe in the title for this story."
bet you guys didn't know this, but sometimes, when she's writing
E-mails, and she types them real fast, she sends them out signed by Rugby!"
Vin, that sounded just like Bugs Bunny."
huh, sure did."
Chris. That's right nice of you to say. You know I been workin' on
my Bugs Bunny impersonation durin' our down time."
I know. Sounds good, too."
you two cut it out! If I have to hear the Bugs Bunny conversation
one more time, I'll-"
Larabee. You're up!" The 'voice' called out.
took one last drink from his mug and sat it down. "Here we go
again. You know if it's me and Buck and the kid, then someone's gonna
be hurtin' 'fore long." He shook his head in disgust.
hope it's the kid." Buck sighed as he slowly stood. "Well,
boys, we'll see you on the flipside." Buck nodded at each of his
friends who remained.
shook his head. "Don't look at us." He cocked his head
towards Nathan. "You know we're never in any of her fics."
did write that one that had me and Josiah in it." Nathan
shuddered. "But it was morbid! Man, why does she do that?"
sighed. "I do not know, gentlemen."
Tanner!" The voice yelled.
two men stood, sharing uncomfortable looks before glancing down
sadly at the two men remaining.
guys. We'll be back as soon as we can." Vin gave them a
disheartened shrug. "You know her stories are never very long.
Four, five pages, usually, at the most." He gave them a
okay." Josiah sighed. "We'll just watch the sunset."
He smiled morosely at them. "Better get on now. Don't make her
wait. She loses her Muse so fast, it's hilarious."
tipped his hat, and Vin gave them each a nod.
and Nathan sat alone, watching the sunset and thinking about their
other writers use us." Josiah finally said, breaking the
silence. "I heard some talk the other day that there are writers
out there who use you and me in every story! Love us, in fact! But,
do we get to live in *their* Muses? No!" he whined. "We get 'I-Love-JD-Ruby'!"
Nate shook his head. "I know." He sniffed loudly, his tone
disgusted, "And she knows nothing about anything medical!"
He shook his head, rolling his eyes. "I mean, could she use the
phrase 'BP's dropping!' one more time?"
telling me. I know exactly what you mean. Could she have me say the
word 'Brother' any more?" Josiah grinned slightly.
men shook their heads in commiseration.
guess we should be happy just to be *in* one of her fics."
Nathan sighed sadly.
true." Josiah agreed. "But, why can't I have the lead?
Huh? Why can't I be the one who's hurt while the rest of the men
gather around, wondering frantically if I'll live or die. Why can't I
have a romance? An adventure? Anything besides standing around, being
strong, saying 'Brother, blah blah blah'?"
I know! And I don't even think she knows Rain exists. Just once I'd
like to go on a date, or something. But, no, I'm just there to patch
up stupid, silly, can't-really-even-happen medical problems." He
huffed, and then said, almost under his breath, "She couldn't
medically-write her way out of a Band-Aid box!"
laughter was cut off when the Muse Master called out, "Sanchez.
You're up! I think she wants to 'mention' you or something. It won't
take long, you'll be right back."
the preacher handed his drink over to Jackson. Watch this for me,
'Brother,' I'll be *right* back." He sighed melodramatically.
twisted around in his chair to yell at his best friend's retreating
back, "Tell her if she wants me to put pressure on a wound, she
needs to make an appointment!" Stirring his drink with his
umbrella, he huffed loudly and turned back to glare at the setting sun.
waved his hand in acknowledgment as he walked towards the light.
sighed as he spoke softly to himself, his tone harsh, hurt sounding,
"She once wrote a whole fic from a spider's perspective, but can
she have me in a fic for more than a mention, or for
No. And I'm tired of it. Tired." He wiped his hand down his
face. "Why? Why doesn't she like me and Josiah as much as the
rest? Other writers like us. Love us! We're great characters. The
best!" He sniffed. "And-"
yelling of the Muse Master cut off his running diatribe.
"Jackson! You're up!"
glanced up, a hopeful look on his face. "Me? Really? You sure?"
Nathan could hear the smile in the voice. "And it's more than a
mention. I think it's a whole fic this time!"
the voice answered.
right!" Nathan jumped up. "It's about time!" he cried
out happily as he ran for the light.