Never Forget

By: Palaytia Dream

Rating: G

Disclaimer: The Magnificent Seven is owned by Trilogy, Mirish, MGM. No money is being made. This fanfic is purely for entertainment purposes.

Comments: Recommended listening- Edwin's Tale-1862 from which the song was inspired can be found  http://www.peterbreinholt.com/index2.shtml You must have or download Real Player to enjoy. As always I thank the gals from Four Corners, if it wasn't for you...I might be getting my housework done... ; ) I hope you enjoy this story.

 

Never Forget

By: Palaytia Dream

Edwin's Tale~1862

And I can see the lights go down on Betheltown

and I can see the banners fly tonight.

Somewhere out there cannons lighting up the sky

and everything is fading into white.

And I saw on high, an angel fly

and looking down upon me there

the stars tonight light up the sky

and everything is quiet

but don't take me wrong

and as I stand here wondering

I can't breathe at all

I can't breath at all

I can't breath at all

Thomas I don't what will become of me

and I have never seen this sort of thing.

And I have never felt so many miles away

and everything I know I keep it in.

And I heard a sound and looked around

but everyone was quiet.

then from on high an angel choir

a million voices singing.

Don't take me wrong

and as I'm down here watching

I can't breathe at all

I can't breath at all

I can't breath at all

Someone's singing songs out there tonight.

And still I'll get on when there's nothing but songs

and there's nothing but songs in my head.

In my head now.

In my head.   http://www.peterbreinholt.com/index2.shtml

The wiry young slave stood at the end of the plantation road, carpet bag in hand, as his father looked on. "You don't have to do this son," a heavy- laden hand pressed upon the young man's shoulder from behind.

"Yes sir, yes I do." he answered with a shaky bit of confidence as he watched the stars hover in the sky, shining over a far off land he would soon be heading for.

~*~

"Name," the Sergeant barked out with routine order, his eyes intent on the book in front of him.  

"Jackson, sir. Nathan Jackson," the nervous lad stood, wringing his hat in front of him. A pair of eyes looked up sharply at the dark man in front of him.

"I work for a living boy," the non-commissioned officer growled, nodding over to a group of like coloured men before he returned to his log. "Name."

~*~

The dark man looked curiously about at the others around him. Each man had a look of uncertainty in their eyes. Yet, if one looked hard  enough, pride and hope dwelt within their souls. The towering dark figure approaching looked as if he had something else on his mind.

"Name's Thomas," the man, dark as pitch introduced himself to the new recruit.

"Nathan Jackson sir," Nathan took the hand offered to him, his being swallowed by the enormous palm of the other's.

A deep chuckle from the depths of Thomas erupted, "Around here, Thomas will do just fine...just fine."

Nathan nodded, not quite sure what the outburst was about, instead, he took a spot in the line that began to move toward a waiting train.

~*~

"NATHAN!" Thomas' urgent cry summoned from the battlefield as it had so many other times before. "Over here we got a live one!"

Quickly Nathan picked up the litter, his chest tightening as he ran to the waiting man's side. As so many times before he held his breath while he and Thomas silently loaded the battle torn body of a boy not much older than himself. Nathan silently prayed as they carried off the lad who grieved for legs that lay on the ground where he once stood. *Won't be much longer now.*

~*~

Nathan was thankful when night took over. The dark man cupped his hands around his mug, drawing from it a lingering warmth as he walked onto a field where so many lives had been lost. In the distance, white shocks of light burst forth from the black velvet sky a battle threatened to continue until morning. The thundering of cannon volley no longer bothered him. Now it was like a aberrant lullaby he expected at night. It was the silence that was deafening, maddening.

Somewhere, miles away, was home.

Looking heavenward, he made a wish on a falling star.

"Naaaathhhhhhaann!!"

~*~

"Musta been one hell of a wish." the familiar baritone voice smiled as a hand reached for Nathan's shoulder. A sharp pain shot though his head as he struggled to rise.

"Thomas..what...what's happened to me? I mean..I never saw..." 

"Easy there." Thomas reassured the younger man. "Doc says you'll be up in no time. Good thing too, we shore do need you." a touch of sadness edged his voice.

Nathan nodded, the bandage rough against his face. "Thomas....you...you ever wonder why you're doing this?"

"Never," the man replied with a surety that would remain with the young man for a lifetime.

~*~

Dawn, and with her a new sense of hope that each man clung to as the weeks and months passed. Each man that came back alive, or in the least, sane, was warmly welcomed. Those not so fortunate were mourned, hailed as heroes. Looking down he saw his bloodied hands that moments ago extracted a piece of shrapnel threatening a young solider's life. He sighed. Wasn't much more to do but wait for the next one. Thomas' strength came down on Nathan's shoulder, a gesture of reassurance. "You do a good job."

"Only doing what I was showed," Jackson replied nonplus as he motioned for the litter carrying a war torn body to be taken away.

~*~

Dusk. Nathan walked out onto the bloodied field. The names of the battles might be different, their location never the same, but one constantremained, didn't matter what their colour, what side the men were on, the blood still flowed red and Nathan'd seen enough to last him a hundred lifetimes.

~*~

Though numbered months seemed to crawl by, the steady diet of cannon volley and gunshots quickly hastened the youth's maturity. The silence now had no effect on him. As Nathan made his way back to his piece of canvas for the night he stopped, an unfamiliar sound catching his ear. Not so unfamiliar that he couldn't identify it as.....singing. He looked around the field. Nothing. The voices started low at first, but soon grew till he too was singing along. "Glory, glory hallelujah...glory, glory hallelujah," his voice cracked as he headed toward the glowing campfires."Glory, glory hallelujah, his truth is marching on."

~*~

"Nathan," fear replaced the calmness in the man's baritone voice. "I'm here Thomas, I'm here..." Nathan's grip firmly held the weakening one of his compatriot. "Never forget Nathan.."the voice pleaded with what was left of the dying man's strength. "Never forget whatcha been doing this for."

~*~

"You just gonna sit there like a bump on a log?" Buck's voice shattered through the healer's thoughts as he approached with a short piece of rope. "Three legged race, can't run it by myself." he dangled the woven twine in front of Nathan, grinning like a child.

"Come on Nathan," JD chided coming up along side Buck, "It's the Fourth of July, can't have a celebration without a three legged race."

"You boys liable to break something doing that." he admonished with the tone of a concerned friend. 

"Probably right," Buck grinned back, "but think of the fun we'll be having." with a tip of his hat, he headed off after JD, rope in hand.

The healer watched from the steps of the church as Chris lined up the children of Four Corners for the race, Buck and JD making an odd match, while Ezra looked on taking bets. Vin offered rides on Peso for the little ones left behind, leaving Josiah willing to sample the ladies baked goods for the annual bake-off contest.

Slowly the lone man rose from his seat, dusting off his pants, "I won't forget Thomas," he quietly promised. "I won't forget."

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