Author's note: This moment falls in the middle of Season 1, Episode 1, The Kid.
The Home Front: Ike
The Home Front: Ike
Home is Where the Heart Is
Her warm arms surrounded him, holding him close in a tight embrace. The soft lemony scent of her clothes and hair wafted up into his nose with every shift of her body as she began to sway back and forth, crooning softly to him. It was a tune he didn’t recognize, but a song he knew all the same, a song of love and acceptance, of tenderness and caring, worry and concern.
The skin of his head stung, throbbing sharply where the horse’s hoof had cut the skin. A pounding began to make his brain ache behind his eyes from the impact of the vicious kick. He hadn’t seen it coming. He’d trusted the animal, foolishly it seemed.
When would he learn to stop trusting without proof? How many times did life have to kick him before he learned to just stay down where he belonged?
“Shhhhh,” she whispered, gently running a hand across his cheek as she rested hers against the back of his head. “It’ll be alright.”
Then she was humming to him again, holding him like a little child. The bandage she’d wrapped around his head soothed his hurt, holding the frayed edges of the wound in place, calming the sting of betrayal. He soaked up her warmth like a parched seedling, struggling to survive the moisture stealing prairie winds.
Something stirred in him, a belonging he hadn’t felt in years, not since the day that gang burst in on his parents and murdered his entire family while he hid in the shed, too afraid to say a word. He hadn’t spoken since, didn’t even think he could anymore.
He’d found a family, a brother at least, in Buck back at the Mission. He’d thought that was more than he could ask for, more than he deserved. Now he wasn’t so sure. There was something about this place, these people, that made him think he might find more. And she represented it all for him, the way she smothered and hovered, chided and encouraged.
He had a name for this feeling, a word for it. It was a word he hadn’t let himself think in all his wanderings since that day when he’d lost it all, not about any place, certainly not about any person. But that’s what he felt in this moment, wrapped in her arms, her, dare he even think it?, motherly love. He was home and he would do anything to never leave again.