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A Few Good Bad Guys


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*....and putting his eye within range of the terrible shotgun. Tempting as the target was, however, no shot was fired at Jack. Not quite yet. Though the double-barrled shotgun was leveled at the tree, at the height of Jack's head, with uneering accuracy.*

*Brian might have wanted more of a sure bet in the way of a target, or he might have been trying to unnerve his prey. Or perhaps he was trying to tempt Jack into something rash, something foolish.*

*In the background, the tranquil sounds of the country filled the air. Birds sang and warbled amongst the tall pines. Insects hummed. A distant whinny came from a horse pasture. A soft, southern breeze, warm and easy, stirred the tall field grass. The peace was an illusion, for the two men who stood to trade life and death.*

*Throughout that lifelong minute, one dark eye never veered from the target. Brian waited in a hunter's stance, the shotgun at ready, and watched Jack, waiting for him to expose more than that sliver of a target he was offering from behind the tree.*

*There was another option though, to flush out the prey. The beautiful thing about a double-barreled shotgun, is that there are two triggers, allowing for both barrels to be fired at once - as Brian had done last time - or, each trigger could be pulled separately, discharging one barrel at a time. It might be wise to hold a round in reserve. If Jack was careless and not paying attention, he might make a false, and fatal assumption about his enemy's need to immediately reload.*

*Without warning, without any indication that he was about to fire, Brian's forefinger tapped the left trigger of the shotgun. A single, powerful blast from one barrel hit the center of the tree, tearing out a chunk of the bark and wood.*

KA-BLAM!

*Jack flinched as the tree took the bullet. He stood up straight, back flat against the tree and suddenly decided against revealing himself to fire a shot back. As he had waited for the shot to come, he realized that one barrell could be fired at a time. Jack ran the risk of being cut down by the second barrell the moment he revealed himself from behind the tree*

*So he was stuck. His options ranged from dumb to worse. Suddenly feeling overwhelmed with defeat, Jack slid the safety back on his 9mm and slipped it back into his shoulder holster. He leaned his head back against the tree.*

"BRIAN! YOU WIN! I GIVE UP!"

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*Jack cursed his luck - and apparent lack of smarts - as he watched from behind a tree in the woods as Brian rummaged through the Caprice. Now, Brian had not just one gun...he had two. And he was prob

*Jack flinched as the tree took the bullet. He stood up straight, back flat against the tree and suddenly decided against revealing himself to fire a shot back. As he had waited for the shot to come, he realized that one barrell could be fired at a time. Jack ran the risk of being cut down by the second barrell the moment he revealed himself from behind the tree*

*So he was stuck. His options ranged from dumb to worse. Suddenly feeling overwhelmed with defeat, Jack slid the safety back on his 9mm and slipped it back into his shoulder holster. He leaned his head back against the tree.*

"BRIAN! YOU WIN! I GIVE UP!"

*No sarcastic answer came back. No smug retort. No taunting banter. There was only a long, heavy silence as Brian considered the fate of his enemy. There were no witnesses around....nothing to prevent him from ending this old problem here and now. It would be payback indeed, to cause this intrusive lawman to know fear and dread. To have Jack imagine that his final seconds were ticking away...*

*The Atlantan drawl abruptly broke the silence* "Throw your gun down, Lieutenant. Then come out with yours hands up."

*If there was no hint of mercy in the drawl, there was also an absence of rage. The sparse words, the low, controlled tone, gave away nothing of the Coltrane intention.*

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*No sarcastic answer came back. No smug retort. No taunting banter. There was only a long, heavy silence as Brian considered the fate of his enemy. There were no witnesses around....nothing to prevent him from ending this old problem here and now. It would be payback indeed, to cause this intrusive lawman to know fear and dread. To have Jack imagine that his final seconds were ticking away...*

*The Atlantan drawl abruptly broke the silence* "Throw your gun down, Lieutenant. Then come out with yours hands up."

*If there was no hint of mercy in the drawl, there was also an absence of rage. The sparse words, the low, controlled tone, gave away nothing of the Coltrane intention.*

*The lieutenant was already filled with dread. This had all gone so wrong, so fast. Jack hadn't come to Hazzard to have things end like this. He hadn't even come with any intention of harming Brian, or even arresting him. With a heavy sigh, he reached back in to his shoulder holster and removed his gun. He held it by the barrell in his left hand and held the weapon up and out to his side, in clear view of Brian back at the road. The gun was then tossed away.*

*Then, carefully, Jack turned away from the tree and finally revealed himself to Brian. The hands were raised up slowly, the suit jacket hung open. Jack was a clear target and he knew it. He saw Brian and the shot gun aimed steady at him. His heart drummed in his ears and he drew in a gulp of air, taking that first fearful step forward.*

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*The lieutenant was already filled with dread. This had all gone so wrong, so fast. Jack hadn't come to Hazzard to have things end like this. He hadn't even come with any intention of harming Brian, or even arresting him. With a heavy sigh, he reached back in to his shoulder holster and removed his gun. He held it by the barrell in his left hand and held the weapon up and out to his side, in clear view of Brian back at the road. The gun was then tossed away.*

*Then, carefully, Jack turned away from the tree and finally revealed himself to Brian. The hands were raised up slowly, the suit jacket hung open. Jack was a clear target and he knew it. He saw Brian and the shot gun aimed steady at him. His heart drummed in his ears and he drew in a gulp of air, taking that first fearful step forward.*

*There was a grim sense of satisfaction in seeing this advesary rendered helpless. The sight of Jack Morrison, as seen over the firing line of the shotgun, was a rare, unique moment. One slight touch to the trigger, and Jack would be dead before hearing the report of the gun.*

*Though such a quick end wouldn't be nearly as gratifying, as making Jack suffer through the fear. Brian knew that when someone faced the immediate probability of thier own death, time seemed to freeze and yet suddenly run out at once. He knew this because Jack had put him through it.*

*And Brian had sworn, after surviving that day in Atlanta, that Jack Morrison would never, ever have such an opportunity again. There would never again be another ambush from this cop. Never again, would there be nightmares of seeing the wrong end of a gun up close, and waking up in a cold sweat with a racing heart to the deafening, imagined gunshot.

*Jack's unexpected appearance in Hazzard County had effectively destroyed the hard-won sense of peace Brian had eventually regained. One look at Jack in the town square had brought it all back. As far as he knew at that moment, nothing he'd done, and nothing he'd ever do, would spare him from the unresolved reckoning of a past sin.*

*Brian literally felt the hairs on the back of his neck standing up as he thought about it. His last, and only sanctuary was Hazzard County, and if he wasn't safe from Jack here, where his kin and his friends protected him fiercely, he would never be safe anywhere. So what choice did that leave?*

*The thought process in Brian's eyes seemed to give their brown hue a dark, depthless gaze. His hands tightened on the shotgun.*

*Yet if he pulled the trigger, he'd lose everything. Not even his cousins could overlook such a crime, and despite the lack of immediate witnesses, too much had already happened in the public eye. If Brian didn't pull the trigger, Jack would simply return with reinforcements someday...and that would be that. After something like this, Brian doubted he'd live to have his day in court.*

*To top it all off, Brian wasn't a killer at heart, and it took extreme duress to put him to this razor's edge. He was already closer to snapping than he would have ever thought possible. Because despite the fact he was now the one in control....there still weren't any good choices. He was effectively trapped by the same guilt that had brought Jack against him to begin with.*

*Seconds had stretched into brittle, silent minutes, and Brian could see that Jack was expecting the worst. It was in the man's expression. But there was something else there, too, that couldn't be named as anger or despair or simple resignation. Brian instinctively knew that Jack wouldn't be the type to plead for his life, either. Finally, curiosity won out. Brian spoke, his voice dry and rough with tension.*

"....I remember that time in Atlanta. You didn't want me to say a damn thang... 'cause you just wanted to shoot while you knew you were right. Or thought you were. Well, now we both know how it feels on the other side of the coin. 'Cause it'd be much easier for me to shoot you, Lieutenant, than listen to you."

*the shotgun remained leveled, but Brian lowered it from his eye, holding it ready at chest height.* "Tho' I ain't so cold, as to deny a man his speechifyin' at a moment like this. So if you got some words stuck in yer throat, Jack...now's the time to spit 'em out."

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  • 1 month later...
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  • 2 years later...

*the shotgun remained leveled, but Brian lowered it from his eye, holding it ready at chest height.* "Tho' I ain't so cold, as to deny a man his speechifyin' at a moment like this. So if you got some words stuck in yer throat, Jack...now's the time to spit 'em out."

Yeah, where's the speechifyin'? LOL. I love a good speechify. Khee! ;)

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"....I remember that time in Atlanta. You didn't want me to say a damn thang... 'cause you just wanted to shoot while you knew you were right. Or thought you were. Well, now we both know how it feels on the other side of the coin. 'Cause it'd be much easier for me to shoot you, Lieutenant, than listen to you."

*the shotgun remained leveled, but Brian lowered it from his eye, holding it ready at chest height.* "Tho' I ain't so cold, as to deny a man his speechifyin' at a moment like this. So if you got some words stuck in yer throat, Jack...now's the time to spit 'em out."

*Jack’s arms felt heavy but he kept them up, his gaze never wavering from Brian. No, he wouldn’t plead for his life. But if the opportunity to speak would buy him a few extra precious minutes of life, he would take it*

“I was wrong,†*he said finally* “I was trying to make something right at the time, something that had been ripped away from me. You were the only one in easy reach to …†*Blame? Jack let his words hang and shook his head* “But I was wrong.†*Jack paused to draw a deep breath* “And…coming here was wrong too. I didn’t come here for this. There’s a legitimate reason I’m here, yes, but…I don’t know that it’s worth getting shot over. “

*pauses only a moment before continuing* “You have some very protective and loyal friends and kin, Brian. I guess I wanted to see it for myself. I was curious. You don’t want to hear an apology, I’m sure, and I’m not the kind to plead for my life. So…†*Jack eyed the shotgun and then met Brian’s gaze again.*

*It was up to Brian…*

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*Jack’s arms felt heavy but he kept them up, his gaze never wavering from Brian. No, he wouldn’t plead for his life. But if the opportunity to speak would buy him a few extra precious minutes of life, he would take it*

“I was wrong,†*he said finally* “I was trying to make something right at the time, something that had been ripped away from me. You were the only one in easy reach to …†*Blame? Jack let his words hang and shook his head* “But I was wrong.†*Jack paused to draw a deep breath* “And…coming here was wrong too. I didn’t come here for this. There’s a legitimate reason I’m here, yes, but…I don’t know that it’s worth getting shot over. “

*pauses only a moment before continuing* “You have some very protective and loyal friends and kin, Brian. I guess I wanted to see it for myself. I was curious. You don’t want to hear an apology, I’m sure, and I’m not the kind to plead for my life. So…†*Jack eyed the shotgun and then met Brian’s gaze again.*

*It was up to Brian…*

*the shotgun is gripped tighter, the trigger finger itching on the unspent round.* "Hell, I'd love to heah an apology. And I'd be flat-out amused if you'd plead for your life. But you know that neither one would make a damn bit of difference if my mind was made up."

*the shotgun stays leveled for another few seconds, and the dark eyes behind it seem to narrow. Suddenly, the shotgun is swung to the side, the barrels pointed away from Jack just before the trigger is pulled. The resounding, deafening blast of the gun echoes sharply in the quiet country air...but nothing has been harmed except for a tree. The chunks of bark and splinters of wood take a few more seconds to land, as the barrel of the shotgun smokes thinly.*

"Yeah, my mind was made up. I ain't a killer, Jack. I just wanted to show you that I could fight like hell. Ya see, for all I knew, you had second thoughts about what went down in Atlanta, and you came heah to get a different endin'."

*with this, tosses the spent shotgun away*

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*the shotgun is gripped tighter, the trigger finger itching on the unspent round.* "Hell, I'd love to heah an apology. And I'd be flat-out amused if you'd plead for your life. But you know that neither one would make a damn bit of difference if my mind was made up."

*the shotgun stays leveled for another few seconds, and the dark eyes behind it seem to narrow. Suddenly, the shotgun is swung to the side, the barrels pointed away from Jack just before the trigger is pulled. The resounding, deafening blast of the gun echoes sharply in the quiet country air...but nothing has been harmed except for a tree. The chunks of bark and splinters of wood take a few more seconds to land, as the barrel of the shotgun smokes thinly.*

"Yeah, my mind was made up. I ain't a killer, Jack. I just wanted to show you that I could fight like hell. Ya see, for all I knew, you had second thoughts about what went down in Atlanta, and you came heah to get a different endin'."

*with this, tosses the spent shotgun away*

*The report of the shotgun caused Jack to flinch and he literally buckled, nearly falling to his knees before he realized the gun had been turned away from him. He caught himself, and his heart, and looked at Brian as the young man spoke, holding his breath until the shotgun was finally tossed away – despite knowing on some level that the damn thing was empty*

*the silence of the forest hung in the air. It took a moment for Jack to find his voice* “No, I didn’t have second thoughts. I didn’t come for a different ending...†*he paused* “I came… looking for something else.†*Jack took a shaky step forward* “Something I had no right to look for to begin with but I came anyway. “ *he paused, now a few feet from Brian. There was more to say but no words to articulate any of it. Jack’s “reason†for coming to Hazzard – an overlooked, or perhaps trumped up, parking ticket with Brian’s name on it from Atlanta was forgotten in the lieutenant’s pocket. None of it mattered. Jack hadn't issued it and was going to tear it up anyway. It seemed the best thing to do now, was to leave Hazzard as soon and as quietly as possible.*

*the whole thing had been so ill timed and such a disaster, he couldn't believe he had even come to Hazzard to begin with. Figuring he had finally lost his mind, he simply shook his head*

“I’m sorry, Brian… For coming here. For all of it.â€

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*The report of the shotgun caused Jack to flinch and he literally buckled, nearly falling to his knees before he realized the gun had been turned away from him. He caught himself, and his heart, and looked at Brian as the young man spoke, holding his breath until the shotgun was finally tossed away – despite knowing on some level that the damn thing was empty*

*the silence of the forest hung in the air. It took a moment for Jack to find his voice* “No, I didn’t have second thoughts. I didn’t come for a different ending...†*he paused* “I came… looking for something else.†*Jack took a shaky step forward* “Something I had no right to look for to begin with but I came anyway. “ *he paused, now a few feet from Brian. There was more to say but no words to articulate any of it. Jack’s “reason†for coming to Hazzard – an overlooked, or perhaps trumped up, parking ticket with Brian’s name on it from Atlanta was forgotten in the lieutenant’s pocket. None of it mattered. Jack hadn't issued it and was going to tear it up anyway. It seemed the best thing to do now, was to leave Hazzard as soon and as quietly as possible.*

*the whole thing had been so ill timed and such a disaster, he couldn't believe he had even come to Hazzard to begin with. Figuring he had finally lost his mind, he simply shook his head*

“I’m sorry, Brian… For coming here. For all of it.â€

*looking at the shaken officer, trying to make sense of the incomplete explanation* "Wait...if you didn't come heah for revenge, and you weren't lookin' for a personal kind of justice...what, exactly, were you lookin' for?"

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*looking at the shaken officer, trying to make sense of the incomplete explanation* "Wait...if you didn't come heah for revenge, and you weren't lookin' for a personal kind of justice...what, exactly, were you lookin' for?"

*Jack had started to turn away and then turned back to Brian.* "I was looking for... a place. To be." *the lieutenant shifted his weight, feeling awkward, and heard the faint crumple of paper from the inside pocket of his suit jacket* "Oh, and this..." *he reached in and retreived the parking ticket. He held it up* "I didn't issue this, but it's a parking ticket with your name on it dated 4 years ago. This was my official reason for being here...Justice demanding her payment... "

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  • 1 month later...
*Jack had started to turn away and then turned back to Brian.* "I was looking for... a place. To be." *the lieutenant shifted his weight, feeling awkward, and heard the faint crumple of paper from the inside pocket of his suit jacket* "Oh, and this..." *he reached in and retreived the parking ticket. He held it up* "I didn't issue this, but it's a parking ticket with your name on it dated 4 years ago. This was my official reason for being here...Justice demanding her payment... "

"Gimmie that..." *grabs the ticket and takes a look* "A parkin' ticket?" *glancing up from the ticket, to the serious, drawn face of the weary Atlanta officer* "You mean, we stole yer car, I sideswiped you on the road, and I took potshots in yer vicinity, over a parking ticket?!"

*as the magnitude of the colossal misunderstanding sinks in, one black-clad Coltrane begins to consider a one-way trip out of the country* "I thought...I mean, you came into this town like hell on wheels. I figured the worst. I thought I was safe so long as I stayed outta Atlanta, so when you showed up, I thought..."

*pausing* "I think ah'm in big trouble now, if I wasn't before. Tell me the truth, man, was this all some kinda...test?"

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"Gimmie that..." *grabs the ticket and takes a look* "A parkin' ticket?" *glancing up from the ticket, to the serious, drawn face of the weary Atlanta officer* "You mean, we stole yer car, I sideswiped you on the road, and I took potshots in yer vicinity, over a parking ticket?!"

*as the magnitude of the colossal misunderstanding sinks in, one black-clad Coltrane begins to consider a one-way trip out of the country* "I thought...I mean, you came into this town like hell on wheels. I figured the worst. I thought I was safe so long as I stayed outta Atlanta, so when you showed up, I thought..."

*pausing* "I think ah'm in big trouble now, if I wasn't before. Tell me the truth, man, was this all some kinda...test?"

"Yeah, I guess it was. Of course, when I got here the place was already up for grabs, I kinda got caught up in all the hubbub." *points to the ticket the Coltrane is still holding* "In a way, that ticket is a peace offering, if you can believe it. I expected you to react badly but I was confident it wouldn't be the worst. Although a little bit ago, as I stood there staring down that shotgun barrell, I had some doubts. But in the end, you held true to what I already knew. You're not a killer, Brian."

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  • 2 months later...
  • 2 months later...

(this round robin story began in 2007 and I recently promised to finish it. Sorry for the delay of months at a time between posts.)

"Yeah, I guess it was. Of course, when I got here the place was already up for grabs, I kinda got caught up in all the hubbub." *points to the ticket the Coltrane is still holding* "In a way, that ticket is a peace offering, if you can believe it. I expected you to react badly but I was confident it wouldn't be the worst. Although a little bit ago, as I stood there staring down that shotgun barrell, I had some doubts. But in the end, you held true to what I already knew. You're not a killer, Brian."

"No...and neither are you." *looks the officer in the eye* "All this is kinda ironic, when ya think about it. 'Cause now you know how I felt that day in Atlanta when you were about to gun me down. I wasn't evah lookin' to turn the tables, Jack, but I think that's what happened heah. I suppose, in a way, we're even."

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(this round robin story began in 2007 and I recently promised to finish it. Sorry for the delay of months at a time between posts.)

"No...and neither are you." *looks the officer in the eye* "All this is kinda ironic, when ya think about it. 'Cause now you know how I felt that day in Atlanta when you were about to gun me down. I wasn't evah lookin' to turn the tables, Jack, but I think that's what happened heah. I suppose, in a way, we're even."

*meets the dark eyes and nods* "We're even... though, may you never, ever feel the way I felt that day in Atlanta. May nothing ever happen to your kin, Brian, that it sends you to the edge and when you find yourself looking over it and you think you're about to go, don't think to take anybody with you - like I nearly did." *turns and steps away to pick up the empty shot gun, the lieutenant's movements slow and haggard. With the shot gun lazily held in hand, goes looking for 9mm pistol that had been chucked earlier, using the shot gun barrell to poke through shrubs and tall grass.*

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*meets the dark eyes and nods* "We're even... though, may you never, ever feel the way I felt that day in Atlanta. May nothing ever happen to your kin, Brian, that it sends you to the edge and when you find yourself looking over it and you think you're about to go, don't think to take anybody with you - like I nearly did." *turns and steps away to pick up the empty shot gun, the lieutenant's movements slow and haggard. With the shot gun lazily held in hand, goes looking for 9mm pistol that had been chucked earlier, using the shot gun barrell to poke through shrubs and tall grass.*

*after a few moments of thoughtful silence, agrees quietly* "I hope to nevah face such a day."

*with this said, roams over to the area where Jack had thrown his pistol earlier, and with a nudge of a boot, finds it. Picks it up and hands it over, handle-first. There's no longer a lack of trust, and realizing this, makes a decision*

"Jack...if you're thinkin' of makin' a fresh start...Hazzard County is a good place to heal."

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*after a few moments of thoughtful silence, agrees quietly* "I hope to nevah face such a day."

*with this said, roams over to the area where Jack had thrown his pistol earlier, and with a nudge of a boot, finds it. Picks it up and hands it over, handle-first. There's no longer a lack of trust, and realizing this, makes a decision*

"Jack...if you're thinkin' of makin' a fresh start...Hazzard County is a good place to heal."

*Jack looks up from the gun being held out to him to meet Brian’s gaze. A stunned moment passes and then the lieutenant gives a sad smile* “After the introduction and impression I left back in town?†*shakes head* “I dunno…†*accepts the gun and tucks it back into holster under suit jacket* “After all this, I might be better off just going back…home to Atlanta…†*there was something in the way the word home was spoken that made it seem uninviting. Jack walked over to his Caprice and placed the shotgun back in the trunk, closing the trunk lid.*

*Then he pauses, looking off to the distance at the trees, listening to the far off calls of crows and blue jays. He had no right, he felt, to come crashing into someone else’s world after his own was torn apart. He should just go back to Atlanta, pick up the pieces and carry on. But Atlanta was so hard to bear now. He needed time. Time to heal…*

*He looks over at Brian* “Unfortunately, I’m stuck in Hazzard for a bit anyway, since you blew out my radiator…â€

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  • 3 weeks later...
*Jack looks up from the gun being held out to him to meet Brian’s gaze. A stunned moment passes and then the lieutenant gives a sad smile* “After the introduction and impression I left back in town?†*shakes head* “I dunno…†*accepts the gun and tucks it back into holster under suit jacket* “After all this, I might be better off just going back…home to Atlanta…†*there was something in the way the word home was spoken that made it seem uninviting. Jack walked over to his Caprice and placed the shotgun back in the trunk, closing the trunk lid.*

*Then he pauses, looking off to the distance at the trees, listening to the far off calls of crows and blue jays. He had no right, he felt, to come crashing into someone else’s world after his own was torn apart. He should just go back to Atlanta, pick up the pieces and carry on. But Atlanta was so hard to bear now. He needed time. Time to heal…*

*He looks over at Brian* “Unfortunately, I’m stuck in Hazzard for a bit anyway, since you blew out my radiator…â€

"Not only did I shoot out the radiator, I ripped your CB apart, used up two of your road flares and wasted about three rounds of your shotgun shells. Plus, I busted off your side mirror earlier when I sideswiped your car, and you can add body work to the damage report."

*walking around the battered, leaking Caprice* "Looks like you'll be stuck in Hazzard for a couple weeks. Ya know, Jack...I think we can work somethin' out over the car repairs and that old ticket. Wouldja care to negotiate the fine points over a beer at the Boar's Nest?"

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  • 2 weeks later...
"Not only did I shoot out the radiator, I ripped your CB apart, used up two of your road flares and wasted about three rounds of your shotgun shells. Plus, I busted off your side mirror earlier when I sideswiped your car, and you can add body work to the damage report."

*walking around the battered, leaking Caprice* "Looks like you'll be stuck in Hazzard for a couple weeks. Ya know, Jack...I think we can work somethin' out over the car repairs and that old ticket. Wouldja care to negotiate the fine points over a beer at the Boar's Nest?"

*the lieutenant pauses for a moment, realizing there was truly no longer any animosity or hostility between him and Brian. They indeed, were even. Jack still had wounds to heal but at that moment he felt more of a sense of peace than he had felt for a long time. Perhaps coming to Hazzard hadn't been a mistake afterall...*

*he nods now to Brian* "Sure. I think we could both use a good drink after what we just been through."

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*the lieutenant pauses for a moment, realizing there was truly no longer any animosity or hostility between him and Brian. They indeed, were even. Jack still had wounds to heal but at that moment he felt more of a sense of peace than he had felt for a long time. Perhaps coming to Hazzard hadn't been a mistake afterall...*

*he nods now to Brian* "Sure. I think we could both use a good drink after what we just been through."

"Couldn't agree more, but we'll halfta settle for what the Boar's Nest serves. Kheeheheh. C'mon, we'll take Diablo, and I'll radio in for a towtruck for your car. Then I'll call MaryAnne and tell her...ah, I'll just tell her to meet us at the Boar's Nest a little later. She might need a drink herself after all this."

*gets into Diablo, and once Jack sits down in the passenger seat, starts the car. As the black Chevy pulls away from the scene, the sun sinks low into the western sky, the remains of the day giving in towards twilight. The windows are down in the Chevy, and the clean country air brings the scent of pines and fresh-cut hay, along with a little road dust. The sound of crickets mingle with birdsong, nature's chorus making itself heard over Diablo's low rumble.*

*Hazzard County truly was a good place to call home...and a good place for two former enemies to wipe the slate clean. This county was, after all, big enough for the both of them.....*

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  • 1 month later...
*hears the question from Daney then looks up just as the office door opens and MaryAnne comes out...sighs a little then nods* I hear you Deputy, I know I need a drink about now.

*Grips the bars and clears throat* Do you think Brian is all right? *asks quietly, dark eyes gazing at the uniformed Deputy, trying to keep a positive frame of mine but can't help but be worried, knowing that MaryAnne must be too...*

"I hope so, Alex..."

*Time ticked away slower than MaryAnne thought possible. All in all it was about an hour, maybe a little more that had passed. It might as well have been enternity.*

*When Brian's voice came over the CB airwaves - first to call Cooter for a tow truck than a call to her - MaryAnne leaped across the booking room and ran up the short steps to the booking area. She grabbed at the CB and answered her cousin.*

"Brian! Are you okay?"

*Yeah, he was okay. Jack too, apparently. And they were on their way to the Boar's Nest.*

"The Boar's Nest?" MaryAnne blurted. Seriously? After all that...?

*Brian didn't say anything more, just for her to meet them there. She said she would and tried to think what the strongest bottle of booze there was behind the bar. She figured it was gonna be needed.*

*She hung up the CB mike and turned to leave, but then stopped and looked back at Alex. She then walked back to the jail cell and unlocked the door.*

"Somehow I have the feelin' that holdin' you for stealin' Jack's car is a moot point now. So you're free to go." *She paused.* "I can't believe those two didn't kill each other..." *MaryAnne hung up the key and turned, hurrying out of the booking room.*

*When she got the Boar's Nest, MaryAnne spotted Diablo parked out front, banged up pretty good. She could only imagine what Jack's car looked like considering Brian's call to Cooter to pick it up. MaryAnne pulled up next to the black Chevy and got out of her patrol car.*

*She pushed through the front door of the Boar's Nest and paused, looking around. There, sitting at a table, with a beer for each, were Brian and Jack. Both were unscathed and appeared to be talking civilly to one another. Of all the choices they could have made, peace seems to have won out. She was surprised, yet relieved to see it that way. As she watched them for a moment, neither one having noticed her arrival, she smiled with some pride. There was no doubt in her mind who Hazzard's best "bad guy" was...even if he's really one of the good guys these days. He may never admit it, but he didn't have to. Actions clearly spoke louder than words.*

*Still smiling, MaryAnne walked over to the table to join them...*

(Friends and neighbors, I think we can call this one a wrap. Ya think? :))

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