Rating:  G

Disclaimer:  The Magnificent Seven is owned by Trilogy, Mirish, MGM, and some others I'm not sure of. I'm not making any money.

Author's Notes:  Just for fun.

Feedback is always greatly appreciated. Please let me know what you think. Thank you, Ruby :)

 

The Joker

By: Ruby

 

"So," JD took a sip of milk before setting the mug down on the wooden table with a thud, "this cowboy walks into a saloon-"

"JD," Buck groaned, "I ain't in the mood for another one a yer bad jokes."

JD looked indignant as he glared at his best friend. "It ain't a bad joke, Buck." He spit the name out with a sneer. "I'll have you know this is a very funny joke!" He huffed at his best friend and then turned away to face his audience again. "Um," JD furrowed his brow, "where was I?"

"You was just talkin' about Chris walkin' into a saloon," Vin Tanner drawled. The sharpshooter had his legs stretched out in front of him, half lying in his chair with his hands clasped over his middle, his hat pulled low over his face. His mouth turned up in a wicked grin as he shot a blue-eyed glance at his best friend sitting next to him. "You was just walkin' into that saloon, right Larabee? What happened next?"

Chris Larabee tossed back his shot of whiskey and then slowly, carefully set his empty glass on the table in front of him. With casual ease, he pulled his black duster back to show his Peacemaker. Then, he grinned wickedly at Tanner. "What happened next is, I shot a hole through some damn ex-bounty hunter, who thinks he's a real funny guy."

Tanner smiled, raising an eyebrow. "I'd like to see you try."

"Guys! Guys!" JD brought their attention back to where he thought it should be. "Can you kill each other later? I've got a joke to tell."

Chris and Vin shared a grin before rolling their eyes at the kid's excitement over what they were positive was going to be another horrible joke.

"Sure, kid," Vin grinned. "Let's hear this joke a yers."

Relieved, JD sat forward in his chair. "Okay, this cowboy walks into a saloon-"

"Where, if you don't mind me asking, Mr. Dunne, was this gaming establishment located?" Standish drawled.

"Ahhh..." caught off guard, JD looked sharply at the gambler. "I don't know, Ez. I mean..." he looked around the table at the serious faces and then looked back at Standish, "I'm not sure. Why do you need to know?" Then, like a light dawning, he noticed the smirk on the conman's face. "Ezra!" he cursed. "Can't you just let me tell my joke?"

Standish looked abashed. "I in no way meant to hinder the telling of your joke, Mr. Dunne." He looked down, sad. "I apologize profusely."

JD noticed the kicked-puppy look and suddenly felt ashamed. "I'm sorry, Ez... I-" Then he heard the chuckling and looked around to find his friends all shaking with mirth. Looking back at the gambler, he found Standish looking at him with an even bigger smirk.

"Agghh!" JD hit his forehead with his palm. "Can't a man tell a joke around here without his friends laughing their heads off?" He sat for a second, deep in thought, his brow furrowed. Then, he shook his head before leaning down and bouncing his forehead off the felt covered table repeatedly. "Nevermind," he sighed, his voice muffled.

"John," Josiah reached over and put his hand in between the table and JD's head. "We're listening. Go ahead and tell us your joke." He smiled warmly.

JD looked over at him, gauging his intentions. Finally, he brought his head back up. "Okay," he smiled brightly, "where was I?"

"Chris had just walked into a saloon," Buck, Vin and Ezra answered simultaneously. 

Larabee raised an eyebrow as he drummed his fingers on his Peacemaker.

"Oh yeah." JD situated himself back into his seat, getting comfortable. "Chris..." he shook his head, "I mean... A cowboy walks into a saloon. He walks up to the bartender and the bartender notices that the man only has on his hat and his gun belt," JD's face reddened, "and that's it. Nothin' else." He looked around to see if he had everyone's undivided attention and noticed that Josiah and Nathan were having a discussion about something. "Guys!" he reprimanded the two men loudly.

"Sorry, JD." Nate looked over at him. "Sorry. Go ahead now." He smiled. "We're listening."

JD narrowed his eyes. "You don't even know what I just said," he squeaked.

"Sure we do, son," Josiah smiled. "A cowboy walked into a saloon, wearing much the same thing that Ezra wore after that one-legged hustler beat the pants off him." He smiled over at the Southerner and winked. "Literally."

Ezra puffed up. "At least I had the good sense to employ the use of a tablecloth, thank you very much. And he was cheating!" He tossed his hand up in the air, his voice high. "Cheating, I say!" He looked around to find six men staring at him. "Ahem," he brought his hand back down and picked his cards up again, shuffling. "Well, he was," he spoke under his breath.

JD looked from Ezra over to Chris who was still sitting with his hand poised over his pistol. Tanner looked asleep. Josiah and Nate were already deep into another discussion. And Wilmington, well, he had a 'lady' on his lap and they were doing some 'discussing' of their own. JD sighed, wondering why he even tried. "Nevermind," he sighed again as he stood.

All six men looked up at him, surprised. "Where ya goin' kid?" Vin asked, now apparently wide-awake.

"I don't know." JD shrugged. "I guess somewhere where they want to hear good jokes."

Chris smiled slightly. "Sit down, kid. We want to hear your joke."

"We do?" Buck and Ezra asked him.

Chris sent a pointed look around the table before looking back up at the still-standing kid. "Yeah, we do."

The men sighed and Buck shooed the lady off his lap before turning his full attention back to his best friend. "Okay, kid, let'er rip."

JD glanced around the table before finally deciding to sit back down. He sighed, his enthusiasm now gone. "So, this cowboy's standing in front of the bar with just his hat and his gun belt on. And the bartender asks him what happened to get him into that state." He looked around and found all six men listening intently. With renewed spirit, he continued, "And the cowboy says, 'Well let me tell you. I was out checking fences when this pretty little lady came up in a buggy and asked if I'd mind driving it home for her.' "

JD lowered his voice and tried to drawl when he spoke for the 'cowboy,' much to the amusement of his friends.

Finding that his friends were still listening, he continued with vigor. " The cowboy says, 'So I drove the little lady home and she asked me to come inside. When I got in there, she asked me to come into the bedroom. And when we got in there, she started kissing me.' " JD's face reddened again and his voice went up an octave as he fought hard to keep it low. " 'She started taking her clothes off, so I did too,' the cowboy said. 'Then, when we were both naked, she laid down on the bed and looked up at me real seductive like and said, All right, cowboy, go to town. So...' the cowboy says to the bartender, 'here I am.' "

JD glanced around the table, watching each man to see what their reaction would be.

Buck was fighting to keep control, his mouth twitching. 

Vin pulled the hat lower over his face, but it didn't hide his grin. 

Ezra stared down at the cards flying through his hands, his face betraying no emotion. A card flew out of his hand to flutter to the floor and Ezra bent over to retrieve it, keeping his body hid behind the table for a moment longer than necessary.

Chris sat, staring at the kid. 

Buck, eyebrows high on his forehead, also stared at his young friend.

Josiah and Nathan shared glances before looking back in JD's direction. 

JD looked hopefully around the table. The silence was deafening.

Suddenly, six chuckles could be heard. The chuckles turned into laughter and before long all six peacekeepers were laughing uproariously.

JD looked around the table, dumbstruck. They were laughing. They were laughing! They thought his joke was funny!

The biggest grin anyone had ever seen spread across JD's face. "You really thought it was funny?" He asked.

"Funny?" Buck answered, "Kid, it's hilarious!"

JD beamed. "You really thought my joke was funny?"

"Yer joke?" Vin asked, his eyebrows drawn together. He glanced over at Chris and then Ezra, all three looked back at JD.

Chris shook his head, taking pity on him. "Kid," he answered, "yer joke was horrible." He raised his eyebrow. "What's so funny is you have a Joker stuck to your forehead."

JD crossed his eyes as he tried to look up at his forehead. Reaching up, he pulled the card off. His 'friends' just laughed louder.

"Ah, Chris, why'd you have to go and tell him. He could'a had it stuck there all night long," Buck chortled.

Standish seemed to be laughing the hardest.  "Oh, the..." he put his hand over his aching stomach as he finally managed to get the words out. "The irony!"

"Grrrr!" JD growled through clenched teeth as he narrowed his eyes at his so-called friends before standing up and stalking off into the night.

The rest of the Magnificent Seven finally got their laughter under control. After a while, Vin glanced around the table, making eye contact with each man before he asked, "We ever gonna tell 'im we thought the joke was funny?"

There was a long pause with each man casting their eyes toward their leader.

Finally, Chris turned his head to look at the tracker sideways. "Not on your life, Tanner." The threat was clear. "There ain't never gonna be another funny joke come out a that kid's mouth. And if he thinks he told one, we'll never get 'im to shut up."

The end

June '02

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