The Lancer Fanfiction Archive

subglobal1 link | subglobal1 link | subglobal1 link | subglobal1 link | subglobal1 link | subglobal1 link | subglobal1 link
subglobal2 link | subglobal2 link | subglobal2 link | subglobal2 link | subglobal2 link | subglobal2 link | subglobal2 link
subglobal3 link | subglobal3 link | subglobal3 link | subglobal3 link | subglobal3 link | subglobal3 link | subglobal3 link
subglobal4 link | subglobal4 link | subglobal4 link | subglobal4 link | subglobal4 link | subglobal4 link | subglobal4 link
subglobal5 link | subglobal5 link | subglobal5 link | subglobal5 link | subglobal5 link | subglobal5 link | subglobal5 link
subglobal6 link | subglobal6 link | subglobal6 link | subglobal6 link | subglobal6 link | subglobal6 link | subglobal6 link
subglobal7 link | subglobal7 link | subglobal7 link | subglobal7 link | subglobal7 link | subglobal7 link | subglobal7 link
subglobal8 link | subglobal8 link | subglobal8 link | subglobal8 link | subglobal8 link | subglobal8 link | subglobal8 link

EJ

 

 

Dare

 

 

June 1 is National Dare Day


Murdoch sat at his desk, tapping a pencil against the ledger. Why did it always have to be so hard with his younger son, it was so easy with Scott. The clearing of a throat drew his attention; he waited till Scott dropped into the chair opposite him.

“I saw Johnny ride off in a huff, you two had words-again.” Scott expression dared his father to deny there was a problem.

“He just won’t listen.” Murdoch dropped the pencil into the holder. “It’s always an argument with him.”

“I know he’s having a hard time adjusting to a lifestyle so foreign to him, but I also notice you are not helping him.” Scott crossed his arms over his chest, leaned back in the chair, and waited for the explosion.

“He doesn’t want to change… he won’t listen,,,” Murdoch huffed and turned toward the big window. He was tired of the constant battles with Johnny and he really didn’t want to discuss it with his older son.

“Sir, if you really want Johnny to stay then tell him, show him you mean it.” Murdoch remained facing the window. “Johnny and I have talked, do you know he believes you don’t trust him and definitely don’t like him.”

Murdoch swung back to face Scott, “How dare he, he knows I care about him. 

“Care…? You care about a friend or a pet, I’m asking do you love your son?

“Didn’t I give him one-third of Lancer?” Murdoch was turning red in the face and the vein on his temple was beginning to throb.

You can love someone but not like them.” Scott shook his head. “The way you have been treating him doesn’t show love. When he tells you the progress he is making on a job you question every decisions he makes. When he talks to you about training horses you tell him it isn’t possible and cut him off.”

Murdoch turned back to the window. “All he knows is gunfighting.”

Scott moved to the edge of his seat, “Being Madrid kept him alive, he can read people like a book, he can evaluate a situation and quickly make the correct decision. Have you noticed once people get to know him that most of them see him as Johnny Lancer?” Scott wished Murdoch would face him.

Feeling he was getting nowhere, Scott decided to make a move to force the issue. “Sir, I know you treat me with respect and listen to my ideas, and I appreciate it. However, I am appalled at the way you treat Johnny, you are critical, hard nosed, and treat him like a ranch hand instead of your son.”

Murdoch swung around again. “I do not.”

“Yes, you do. I am going to tell you something and I hope you take it as it is intended. If you drive Johnny way you will also be driving me away.” He held up his hand to stop Murdoch from commenting. “So take this as a dare.”

“What?” Murdoch was almost speechless as his anger grew.

“It’s a dare, and if you lose-it will cost you dearly.”

“What do you mean by that?” Murdoch struggle to hold back the anger.

“I dare you to confront your attitude toward Johnny. Why do you seem committed to driving him away? Is it because you hate Madrid? Can’t you see that he is both Madrid and Lancer? They aren’t two separate entities, they are a
whole that is Johnny.”

“It’s because he always turns into Madrid.” Murdoch didn’t like where this was going.

“Well, what are you going to do?” Scott waited.

He leaned on the desk and stared at his older son, “I don’t appreciate this.”

“I really don’t care.  What I do care about is my brother and I’ll be damned if you are going to drive him away.”

“Or you’ll leave too.” Murdoch didn’t like be threatened.

Scott knew he had his father right where he wanted him. “This isn’t a threat Murdoch, it’s a promise. I love my brother and believe it or not I love you too but I don’t want a life at Lancer without both of you.”

Murdoch turned back to the window, Scott shrugged his shoulders and left the room. 

When he heard the door close he turned toward the barn and waited. A few minutes later he saw Scott mounted on Ulysses ride out after Johnny.

*****

He continued staring out the window until Scott was out of sight. His anger threatening to explode, how dare Scott talk to him like that, he doesn’t treat Johnny… Johnny was the one causing the bickering… if he would only obey my orders we would never fight… 

Murdoch, leaned back in his chair and watched the clouds moving across the mountain. He enjoyed the beauty of the view, when he was upset he would sit watching all he had built and it usually calmed him. Today he used it to get his anger under control.

After a few minutes, he bowed his head. Are the fights my way of trying to drive Johnny away? It still hurts so much… my baby boy ripped from my life… and all those lost years. Then the letter, they finally found him. Murdoch closed his eyes. But not as Johnny Lancer his lost son but as Johnny Madrid, infamous gunfighter, standing in front of a firing squad. Murdoch flinched at the thought of how he almost lost his son before… He shook the thought away.

He thought back to the shock he experienced when Johnny entered the Great Room. The boy was arrogant, and didn’t show the proper respect due his father; he dared call me old man.

Murdoch rubbed his chest, when I look at him I see Maria and all the hurt comes flooding back. Why did he only inherit Lancer blue eyes, that’s all I can see of me in him, he belonged to her and not me.

Am I blaming Johnny for my anger at Maria? Am I blaming him for turning to a gun for survival? If only she hadn’t taken him away, he could have grown into a decent man.

A drained Murdoch rose made his way to the drinks cart and poured a large, much needed, scotch. He took a sip and returned to his chair. All these thoughts racing through his mind was giving him a headache.

Why can’t I be happy to have both my sons home? I am glad to have Scott home, we are so much alike in temperament. The fact that he looks so much like Catherine doesn’t cause hurt, it brings back happy memories.

It amazes me that they bonded so completely, you couldn’t find more opposites  if you tried. Well-educated and refined vs uneducated and rogue.

Am I jealous of their relationship? 

It hit like a bolt of lightning. I am jealous. I want that bond with both my sons. It’s my fault we argue all the time, I have been baiting him. That way when he leaves it won’t be because I threw him out. I won’t have to accept the blame. 

The revelation made his heart ache. All these years he had Maria to blame for his missing son. He had Maria to blame for Johnny becoming Madrid. He had Maria to blame that he didn’t get to be a father.

He had been playing the ‘blame game’, well, it ends here. He squeezed the glass in his hand and downed the drink.

I do love Johnny, I always have, now I have to accept he is a man. A good man and I can’t take any credit for making him that way. The credit every father hopes for in his son.

Well, it’s going to change. I will change and I will keep both my sons home where they belong.

Murdoch took a deep breath and bowed his head, “Dear Lord, please give me the words I need.”

Sure of his mission, he sat the empty glass on the table, and with new found determination he headed for the barn. 

He was going to find his sons and he was going to set things straight with both of them. He had met Scott’s dare and, well…

He loves his younger son and he’s going to make sure Johnny knows it.

 

~ end ~
Jjune 2017

Want to comment? Email EJ