It’s How You Play the Game

By JudyL


January 2, 2011



Universe:  OW

Summary -  1 hour fic challenge -  theme ‘Game’

Length:  790 words



“Ah, hell,” Ezra sighed as he tossed down his losing hand.

Vin grinned broadly. “Well, guess that settles it.”

“Are you certain you wouldn’t prefer to do something else?” Ezra asked hopefully.

Vin shook his head, but looked around at the others uncertainly. “’less ya’ll don’t want to.”

“I’m game!” JD said excitedly. He’d wanted to try it for some time, but it wasn’t something you had a chance to do everyday. Vin’s winning stakes had opened up an opportunity he wasn’t going to pass up.

“A deal’s a deal,” Josiah rumbled, amused by the sour look on Ezra’s face.

The gambler rolled his eyes, gathered up his cards and stood. “Very well. If you insist, I shall have to go put on more appropriate attire.” He turned to leave only to be stopped by Chris’ voice.

“Just be sure you show up,” Larabee said, his tone a mixture between soft threat and amusement.

“A gentleman never welshes on a bet, sir,” Ezra said, pulling himself up tall and stalking away.

Vin’s grin widened, he knew Ezra and Chris were just blowing off steam. Neither man all that eager to try what he had in mind. Wasn’t something you got a chance to do often, depended too much on just the right set of circumstances. “Guess we’d all best get changed too,” he drawled happily.

Chris sighed and pushed himself up. “Just how old are you anyway, Tanner?”

Vin shrugged, his grin still in place as they all dispersed to prepare for their adventure.


Nathan stood at the top of the hill shaking his head in amusement. He looked over at his friends, all dressed… or rather undressed in their oldest pair of long johns. He had to be crazy to agree to this. He looked back down and grinned. It did look like fun though. “So, Vin, how long did it take to set this up?”

Vin smiled as he watched one of the kids sit down and then push off with a yell. “Couple days. The main route has been in place for quite a few years. Just had to clear out the new growth and any rocks or sticks. Should be nice and smooth all the way down.”

JD leaned out to try and see to the bottom of the hill, but trees and bushes obscured the way. “You sure it’s safe?”

Vin nodded. “Tried it out myself the other day.”

Chris sighed. “All right then, let’s get this over with.”

“I’ll go first!” JD offered, taking a seat on the edge before anyone could say a thing. He pushed himself back and forth with his hands to test the slick surface. Vin moved forward and gave him a shove. JD’s shocked ‘Hey!’ soon turned into a whoop as he disappeared around the first bend.

Vin sat down in the mud, turning to look at the others. “Ya’ll promised to try, best see you at the bottom.”

Nods of various levels of agreement met his stare. Satisfied, Vin pushed off and started down the mud slide.

Josiah jostled Ezra’s arm as Buck took the next turn. “You lost that game on purpose, didn’t you?”

Ezra’s shocked look didn’t fool the preacher for a moment. “I take umbrage at your remark, sir. Just for that,” he said moving quickly forward to take a seat in the mud, “you can just wait for the next turn,” he finished, throwing a wicked grin over his shoulder.

Josiah laughed as a wild Rebel yell filled the air. He looked at Nathan who looked just as eager to give it a try, then looked at Chris who seemed wistfully reluctant. “Chris?”

Chris glanced at Josiah. “Don’t know, Josiah, doesn’t seem like the sort of thing a man with my reputation should be doing. Sliding down a mud path in his long johns.”

Nathan and Josiah burst out laughing.

“Well,” Nathan said between gasps, “when you put it that way…” He glanced at Josiah and the two men moved in concert to lift the slighter blond off his feet.

“Hey!” Chris yelled as they carried him to the edge, plunked him down and gave him a push. “I’ll get you for that!” Chris cried as he slid out of view.

The two remaining men weren’t too concerned as their leader’s yell turned into a whoop of excitement.

“Who’s next?” Josiah asked.

“Me,” Nathan said, taking the spot, “I believe Ezra said you had to wait,” he teased before pushing off and sliding away.

Josiah pouted to himself, though he quickly took a seat. He could hear people coming up the path for another go and didn’t want to lose his chance. Wasn’t it interesting how much fun losing a game could be?

The end


Feedback is cherished. JudyL