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A Hazzard County Christmas-BoJamesDuke and DaisyMaeDuke


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As was typical, Bo yelped and protested as the Doc prodded and pocked him, continued on with the insistances that he was fine, that he didn't need the Doc t'keep pocking him when he could tell him where it hurt. Eventually, the Doc sighed and turned exasperated to Luke.

"Luke...would you mind just waitin' out in the barn while I have some choice words with your cousin? Somehow I don't think you bein here is helpin him tell me things any...nothin' against you of course...he just doesn't wanna worry you..."

Bo gave a snort and shook his head, saying loudly.

"I heard that! That ain't true!"

The Doc gave a shrug but gave Luke a look that let him know he wanted to talk to Bo in private, adding gently something about Patient-Doctor confidentiality.

"I promise..." the Doc whispered "As soon as I know what's happening i'll let you know..."

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Luke stiffened a little as he was dismissed to the barn. He knew Bo well enough, however, that he carried on more when there was an audience to listen to him. He had been like that ever since he was little.

"Alright," he said softly, turning and walking out, pausing at the door to look back once, biting his lip, before walking out and shutting the door behind him.

The doc looked at Bo seriously. "So what's the plan now?"

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Bo held up his hand quickly as the Doc started talking, biting his lip as he watched out the window, waiting until Luke was properly in the barn before he started speaking.

"Sorry...Luke's got almost superman hearing...plus the walls are incredibly thin so he could hear anyway...the plan me an' Daisy had in mind was that I've busted my ankle bad enough that I have t'stay off it for a few weeks but not bad enough to break it...plus the concussion and maybe a couple of cracked ribs just for added realism...if anythin's outta place Luke'll spot it in a second..."

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Doc nodded with a sigh. "Remove your shirt then so I can bandage your ribs," he said adding softly, "He looks plenty worried. I hope this idea of yours doesn't backfire. Though it does worry me...how he's been lately..."

He didn't go into detail about what he knew exactly, but it wasn't hard for Bo to put two and two together and realize that Luke had most likely gone to the doc for some reason, and given him enough cause to be concerned.

"There now," he said as he finished wrapping Bo's ribs. You certainly don't look bruised enough to have fallen, but everything else seems t' work."

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Bo chuckled a little as he sat back on the couch again, it being much harder now his ribs were wrapped up, lifting his ankle carefully for Doc to get wrapping on that too.

"Well...I wasn't really up to actually falling off the roof and bruising myself just for Luke's benefit...i'll do a lot for him but that's pushin it just a lil..."

He watched quietly as Doc wrapped his ankle, biting his lip softly as he thought about what Doc had said first. He and Daisy had had the same worries, praying that the next stage of the plan would work out. If it didn't, and Luke would be watching him 24/7, that was when it would get really hard to keep this going and they ran the great risk of Luke finding out that he'd been lied to....

Lied. It was almost a foreign word to the Duke family, something Jesse never tolerated and certainly something that was never done to other family members. It left a bad feeling in his stomach when he thought about what he was doing...even if it was for his older cousin's benefit. The only thing was, he didn't see any other way. He couldn't get Luke to talk anymore, this was the most amount of time Luke had paid any attention to him since Jesse had passed away. Luke was slipping away and something had to be done.

He broke from his thoughts as Doc put his ankle back on the pillow, smiling to him thankfully.

"Thanks for going along with this Doc...I know its risky but...we're clutching at straws now. I'll get Daisy t'make up some bruises on there...she's real good at halloween make up. Oh and I got those vitamins you suggested, if you wanna transfer them t'a painkillers bottle..."

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Doc nodded. "I'll do that....and I'll speak to Luke on my way out...." he said as he put the bandages back into his bag. He gave Bo an empty medicine bottle. "You keep in touch," he added, walking out the door to find Luke.

Luke, it turned out, was easy to find, standing at Maudine's stall, stroking her muzzle.

"Luke?"

He turned quickly. "How is he?"

"He'll be fine...ankle's sprained but not broke. He'll need to sty off it a few weeks....broke a couple ribs...slight concussion...but he'll be fine..."

Luke nodded a little.

Doc put a hand on his back looking at him. "You been sleeping any better?"

"Yes sir," answered Luke. "Some."

"Good.. you take care now...."

"What do we owe ya?"

Doc waved his hand. "It's Christmas...no charge." He then walked out to his waiting car.

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While the Doc was off distracting Luke, Bo had gotten to his feet and was hobbling around looking for the vitamins Daisy had brought. He had thought she'd left them under the sink, but when he looked they weren't there. Swallowing he tried to think where she'd said she'd leave them before Luke got back and took charge of the painkiller distribution. Soon enough he snapped his fingers, hurrying as quick as he could to Daisy's room and grabbing them from her bedside table, making the transition into the painkiller bottle before racing back to the couch - hearing Luke's footsteps on the porch just as he settled himself.

Looking over with a smile, he opened his arms carefully.

"See...nothin' broke.."

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Luke nodded a little in response as he came in shutting the door. "No...you were lucky. Doc says though that ya gotta stay off yer feet for a couple weeks at least...and you're gonna too," he stated firmly.

Bo had never been one to stay still. Even when he was a baby no bigger than a grasshopper he had been perpetual motion, always sucking his hand or kicking his tiny legs.

"You hungry? I think there's some stew left from yesterday..."

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"Woah...woah what?!" Bo exclaimed quickly, struggling to sit up while holding his ribs, grimacing in pain but continuing. "He's crazy! I can't stay off my feet for a couple o'weeks! I got a job t'do! I have t'do it!"

Shaking his head, he pretended to try and struggle to his feet.

"I'll be fine, Doc don't know what he's talkin aAAAHH!" he cried out as he put weight on his bandaged foot, falling back down to the couch and giving another yelp of pain as his ribs jarred.

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"Stay still!" snapped Luke in a tone Bo knew better than to cross from experience. "Youre gonna do what Doc says...you're more important that any damn job," he added.

He sighed alsmost able to hear his uncle's admonishment for letting out the curse word. In truth, he had found himself swearing a lot more lately, a habit he had tried to break himself of since the Marines. He supposed though, with as angry as he constantly felt, that it was to be expected.

"Now you stay put. I'll fix ya somethin' t' eat..."

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"Luke please..please..." Bo said softly, almost in a whimper, knowing that the tone in his voice would get his attention...or at least it had done before. "You don't...understand I...I have to be there...they're countin' on me...and I got asked t'do it, I got chosen and the kids are expectin me now, I can't just bail on em..." he babbled desperatly, getting faster and more wound up the more he spoke.

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"You can't. Period. I ain't budgin' on this, Bo...they're gonna hafta find someone else 'cuz I'll be damned if I lose you too!" exclaimed Luke, unintentionally voicing the fear that was rocking his whole world. He didn't seem to notice what he had said, however, as he added adamently. "You aint gonna do it and that's final."

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"I have to, there ain't no one else can do it, there ain't no one else that should do it!" Bo exclaimed right back, sitting up again. "I don't care if I do it on crutches or somethin but I have t'be there! I ain't gonna let the kids down and I ain't gonna let Uncle Jesse down neither! He started this tradition and i've been asked t'carry it on...me! That's important to me, its special! That job should stay in the family, no one outside this family should wear that suit and do that job!"

Yes, Bo was being deliberatly vague although in his worried and upset state Luke wouldn't notice it was deliberate, Bo often babbled when he got upset. He was hoping however that as he spoke Luke's quick mind was piecing the clues together.

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Bo shook his head a little, cringing as he remembered he was also supposed to have a concussion, wriggling underneath the blanket a little.

"You can't...you won't do it for starters 'cause your not into this kinda thing anymore...an' 'sides...t'do it you actually wanna have t'talk t'people...children...and make them happy and be happy yerself! S'why I gotta do it!"

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Bo bit his lip, resting his head back on the pillow with a sigh.

"Boss asked me t'be town Santa Claus this year...." he mumbled softly, watching him carefully for his reaction.

For a moment, it was af it time had frozen completly. Luke didn't move, just sat staring at a spot on the couch and Bo started to doubt after a while that he was even breathing. Swallowing softly, he raised his hand to touch Luke's arm gently, shaking his elbow softly and calling his name....worried when not even that got a response.

"Luke...Luke c'mon don't get like this on me...you don't have to do it, its alright I can do it, i'll find a way..."

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If Bo had asked Luke to remove his teeth, one-by-one, with a rusty pair of pliers it would have been an easier task for the dark haired cousin to agree to. Town Santa? He didn't even want to celebrate Christmas this year, much less dress up and pretend to be the principle player of it...

He swallowed looking down at Bo. It was clear Bo couldn't do it....more clear that this obviously meant a lot to him.

"Alright," he relented at last.

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"A...alright? You do realise what...what you have do in this role ya know? What the kids expect?"

He had to ask...he hadn't expected Luke to accept so quickly. In fact he could have bet money on the fact that it would have taken Bo a few days of attempting to struggle around on his feet and keep being caught to get Luke to even consider taking the role on. Still, he wasn't about to look a gift horse in the mouth and refuse the offer now it was made...he was now just worried about what the kids in Hazzard would think.

He had been reluctant initally when he had made the plan to relinquish the role to Luke because of that. He understood better than either of the three cousins what the experience was like being a little kid sitting upon Santa's lap, sharing with him your most special christmas secrets because if anyone could bring you what you most wanted then, it would have been Santa. Most of the time you didn't even ask for things for yourself...at least Bo never did. He mainly used to ask that his family had a nice christmas, that Luke got that special toy he had always wanted...that Daisy got something really nice and girly she had her eye on...that his Uncle and Aunt got more than enough for all the work they did for him. Even at a young age, the concept of his family and how much they meant and did for him was not lost and he used Christmas time especially as a way of saying thank you. Yep, some kids were like that at christmas, and it was for those kids especially that he had agreed to the job and worried so much about letting them down. Although his injuries weren't real, the worry definitly was. Still, if being Santa worked - instead of asking Santa for the miricle - to bring Luke back, he would risk that.

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"Don't remind me," he muttered. he had no idea how he would pull off a ho-ho-ho when he had forgotten how to laugh; how his eyes could twinkle merrily when he cried unseen tears every night. And he had no patience lately...at least not for himself...how could he endure snot-nosed kids, sitting on his lap, hour after long hour?

Despite all of this though was the bigger question: How could I go on if i lost Bo too just because I didn't help him?

"I'll manage."

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"You can't just manage Luke...its more important than that...don't you remember what sittin' on Santa's lap was like as a kid....how if it wasn't the Santa you were told about you knew he wasn't real...for some kids, yours'll be the only Santa's lap they get t'sit on at Christmas..." he said softly, trying to drag up some happy christmas memory for him and he knew Luke had some because he had shared many with him.

In fact, Uncle Jesse and AUntie had told him once that since Bo had come into Luke's life after the accident that killed his parents there hadn't been a christmas that Luke hadn't participated in. Bo's enthusiasm for the time of year and everything that came with it was too much for Luke to ignore, one of the first being when little Bo had decided that the tinsel was only for him....

*Flashback*

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Luke was hanging bulbs carefully on the tree. Decorating was the one thing about Christmas that he truly looked forward. He loved to see the transformation of their home, from simple country farmhouse to Christmas Wonderland. And nothing was better than decorating with a mug of hot cocoa sitting nearby and his aunt's gingerbread men tantalizing his nose as she pullled them from the oven.

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And of course, there was Bo. The only times there wasn't Bo was when Luke was at school and many years on even that wouldn't stop them. Even though Bo was only little, didn't really understand what Christmas was about, the sparkling brightly coloured decorations caught his eye from the first time he saw them and from then on, he took it upon himself to 'help' in his own way. Two years old now, Bo was toddling around on his little legs and getting into more christmas mischief than ever. Bulbs that Luke hung on the branches Bo could reach were soon taken back off and put on in a different place....or rolled across the floor among giggles of glee when Bo's short attention span wandered. Luke didn't mind though, he put them in Bo's reach deliberatly just to hear him giggle and babble happily.

Every so often though, there was a calm silence that fell in the room. Luke was concentrating so hard on where he put the carefully placed bulbs that he didn't even realise when it happened. His Aunt however was more observant and poked her head in everytime it happened....only to find Bo sitting exactly where she had left him doing things like looking through a box, or looking at a bulb or trying to hang something on the tree with careful concentration. It wasn't until she came in properly much later that she noticed something strange and couldn't help but give a small laugh.

"Uhh Luke...isn't the tree supposed to have tinsel as well as bulbs and other hanging decorations?"

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Luke looked up. "I can't find it Auntie...." he said with a shrug, putting a small star-shaped ornament on the tree and giving it a spin, watching as the prisms caught the light from the fire-lit livingroom. "I guess we's gotta get some more...."

Jesse shook his head as he came behind Lavinia. "Seems t' me you ain't looked hard enough."

"I did so!" countered Luke. "I looked everywhere..."

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Lavinia shook her head and directed her attention towards the youngest Duke sitting at Luke's feet. If he could have had a halo round his head at that time it would sure be there, he looked as innocent as ever as he handed Luke the next decoration happily.

"Bo baby....do YOU know what happened to the tinsel?" she asked him with a raised eyebrow and a smile.

Of course, Bo didn't know what tinsel was, but he still looked up at his Aunt with an innocent smile but a mischievous look in his eyes. His aunt knew he had had the tinsel...simply because there were small trails of it left heading down the hallway.

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