Author's Note: This moment falls in the middle of Season 1, Episode 9, A Good Day to Die.
The Home Front: Kid
The Home Front: Kid
Kid’s spine straightened despite his weariness after the last few days on the trail. The sight of the windmill, corral and buildings that marked the Express Station gave him an unexpected boost of energy. He mulled that over for a moment, wondering why. He’d felt good, but still exhausted, mentally and physically, when he’d ridden into Sweetwater. What was it about seeing this place that made it different?
The sound of a door banging shut rang through the clear prairie air. But it was the sudden, joyous shout of his name that really grabbed his attention. Looking toward the bunkhouse, he saw Lou running out into the yard. Unconsciously he spurred Katy to a slightly faster pace, eager to speak with her, never noticing the slightly rueful shaking of Cody’s head.
“Lord, am I happy to see you,” Lou beamed up at him, grabbing Katy’s bridle near the bit to hold her in place while Kid dismounted.
“Me, too,” he nearly whispered.
The sparkle in her eyes made him feel ten feet tall. He wanted nothing more than to reach out and wrap her in his arms, pull her close. There’d been moments these last few days he’d thought he might never see her again. Any of them, really, he thought as Cody said something and then rode off. But it had been the thought of never seeing Lou again that had really struck a nerve.
“You alright?” she asked, patting his chest, making days worth of gathered trail dust fly into the air.
He laughed, fighting the urge to pull her into his arms. They’d been growing closer and closer over the last few months, through their adventures with the others, but also through the quiet times they’d spent together, talking about their dreams for the future or just sharing a simple moment. But suddenly he realized just how close he’d gotten, at least.
“I’m fine, really.”
Losing himself deep in her eyes, he felt drawn to her like a bee to honey. The pull was nearly irresistible. She was a balm to his soul. For just a few, scant moments, at least, he could forget the troubles he’d been through and just enjoy this reunion.
“I was kinda worried,” she said, ducking her head as if to hide that worry from him. “Thought I’d never see ya again.”
The fact she spoke of it at all told him just how distraught she’d really been. Few realized how deep her emotions ran, or how hard she worked to hide them, and he was sorry to have caused her such pain. He wanted to soothe that hurt.
That’s why, when she started to pull away, he reached out and grabbed her shoulders. “Lou.”
One simple word. It was enough to keep her from leaving him. It was all he needed to keep him coming back, he realized, almost startled. Again and again. Staring down at her, he found himself adjusting to a strange internal shift that put her in a new place. It was a place he’d once equated with his Ma and Pa, Jed. It was a place he’d thought he’d buried forever when he left Virginia. Jed’s death had just piled more debris on top of that grave. But she’d uncovered it and made herself at home. Yes. Home. That’s what she’d become. He wondered if she realized just what she’d given him.