Adventure In The Desert by Robyn B.

Word count 3,294

I don’t own Lancer or the characters of the tv show.  I do take them out for a run on the hills from time to time.

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We were in a carriage, going at a nice leisurely speed. My hand was lightly on Johnny’s leg and my head leaned on his shoulder.

“How much longer Johnny? This is such a long way away from Lancer.”

He smiled and said, softly, “Not too much further. I promise Querida.”

My eyes slowly drifted close and I could feel how relaxed Johnny was.  I thought to myself that Johnny worked way too much, and it always made him happy when I insisted he take a few days away from Lancer.

All of a sudden, the horse reared. Johnny could barely control him. The carriage tipped over and we both fell out. I hit the ground hard and had the wind knocked out of my chest.  I kind of blacked out and as I regained consciousness, it was a few hours later and it was beginning to darken with a sudden storm coming.

I sat up and rubbed my head, checking to see if I was at all injured. Some scraps and I’m sure bruises later on. I looked around for the horse and didn’t see him. I figured he would have bolted.

I called out to johnny and began to get a panicked feeling.  No answer. I stood up slowly and once I got my footing, I walked around the broken carriage.

I found Johnny on the ground… out cold. I staggered to him and fell to my knees next to him. I gently shook his shoulder, trying to wake him up.

I did get a soft moan to slip from his lips. I sighed and calmed my panic. ‘Okay, check and see what his injuries are.’ I moved the hair from his eyes and I touched Johnny’s cheek. He was a little warm, but not in fever mode yet.

I ran my hands slowly down his arms and legs and slowly across his torso, checking for broken bones. I touched his midsection and a hiss of pain escaped his lips and his hand reached out and caught mine.

“Don’t Lisa, I think they’re broken.”

I bit my bottom lip and watched as Johnny slowly opened his blue eyes. Johnny’s hand reached to rub his head and he softly said, “what the hell happened?,”

“Something spooked the horse, he dumped us and bolted.”

Johnny slowly sat up, his arm wrapping around his middle and reached his other hand up to my cheek.

“Lisa, we’re gonna be okay. I don’t think we are too far from a town.   We have water, all we have to do is walk to the town and find help.”

I helped Johnny up and he leaned back against the broken carriage, panting thru the pain. I leaned against Johnny’s shoulder, as he breathed thru the pain. He wrapped his arm around my shoulders.

“We’ll rest here until dark and then start out. We have water, a blanket and the food Maria packed us. We should be okay if we take it slow.

I smiled softly and sighed against his shoulder, moving  close enough not to aggravate his ribs.   I saw Johnny look up at the sky and I saw him frown.

” Johnny?”

He chuckled and said, “We are gonna get drenched honey!”

I laughed and Johnny leaned over and kissed me.  He looked over at the over turned carriage and said, ” We could get a little shelter under the carriage. Let’s move and get comfortable Lisa.”

I helped Johnny and he moved slowly under the carriage.  I grabbed the blanket, canteens and basket of food.  We were under the carriage and as the rains began, I saw with relief that we were out of the brunt of the rain.

Johnny had his arm wrapped around me and I layed my head on his shoulder.  My hazel eyes watching  the lightning as it raced across the sky.

I turned my head and looked at Johnny and I could tell that he was beginning to get that fever going, I could feel his hot flesh thru his shirt.  

I reached my hand out slowly and touched his forehead, and my heart lodge in my throat. ‘Damn! He’s going into shock and has a fever beginning.’ I knew of Johnny’s conditions  of getting higher than normal fevers.

I remembered what had happened the last time he got one of those kind of fevers. He began to hallucinate, and tried to shoot Scott.  He had gotten up out of bed and had run outside and tried to leave the ranch.

I frantically thought of how I was going to treat Johnny if he was heading to going into shock and if his fever got too high.  Plus how was I gonna help his ribs with nothing to work with.

I gently ran my fingers on his face, pushing his hair from his eyes.  I watched his eyes open and I saw that they were already too bright.

I leaned over and softly said, “Johnny. You are starting a fever.  Your body is way to hot.  I don’t know how to help here. I’m thinking of putting you out into the rain to bring your fever down.”  Sighing, I said to myself,’ God, I hope this works.’.

I slowly moved out from under the carriage and slowly pulled Johnny out with me.  I opened his shirt, so the rain could cool his fevered skin.  My hand caressed his cheek during the night.

The rain was doing  what I knew it would , his body began to feel cooler.  As I placed my hand on his forehead, I felt the cooler skin under my hand.  I lowered my head and thanked God for helping Johnny by lowering his fever.

After the rain finally stopped, Johnny slowly opened his eyes.  He slowly turned tome and said, very softly, “Why are we in the rain Lisa?”  I told him I had to figure out a way to lower his fever.  Johnny smiled and said,” Your nursing skills come in handy at times, don’t they?” I smiled and said, “Now we have to figure out how to get out of here. You can’t walk any great distance with those ribs johnny.”

He’s sat up very very slowly and said, in between gulping great breaths of air against the pull of his ribs, ” Okay, the only way I can see is making some sort of a litter.  But you aren’t strong enough to do that.”

Johnny rubbed his head and said, “Let me think here a minute.”  

Johnny could see the panic once more rising in my eyes and he said, ” Okay, rip your petticoat into strips.  Tie them tight around my body to keep my ribs sheltered. Then we’ll have to walk.  If we go slow, we should be okay.”

My eyes began to get wide and Johnny’s hand touched my cheek and he gently caressed it, looking into my eyes deeply.  “Lisa, that’s what we have to do. You have to hold it together honey, until we go find help. If you fall apart, we are in trouble.”

I lifted my eyes to look at Johnny and I said, “Johnny, how far do you think we are from help?”

I watched him lower his head and he said, “Don’t know honey. But we should be okay.”

As Johnny rested in the shade of the carriage, I set about ripping my petticoat into long strips.  I noticed Johnny’s eyes gaze at my leg as it came into view as I ripped the material.  I caught his deep blue eyes lifting to lock on mine, and then a slow lazy smile f!uttered across his lips.

“Sure hope I can get to touch you again when we get back to Lancer.”

I smiled softly and said, ” Of course you will Johnny.”. I leaned forward and my lips found his.  Our kiss was laced with a hunger that had followed us thru our courtship and marriage. Johnny was all  I had eved wanted and even Murdoch noticed a calm come over his youngest son.  Remembering Murdoch’s deep words to me just before we were married. ‘Lisa, you have been a God send to John. He loves you with a depth I’ve never seen in him. You calm his rage and I’ve seen the change in him.  He’s happy, yes and content and he’s in love with you. I’m happy he found you Lisa.’

I smiled to myself and started when I felt johnnys hand gently on my cheek, caressing softly. “You were so far away.”.

I turned my eyes to his and I softly said, ” Was remembering what your father said to me before our marriage. “. Johnny’s eyes took on a lazy glint and he softly drawled,” What did he say?”

I loved that soft drawl, it went deep into my heart. “That he was happy you had found me, that I calmed your spirit.”

He smiled slowly and leaned up to caress my lips with his again. “Best day I ever had was finding you.  I fell in love with you instantly and I will love you until the day I die Querida”

I caressed his cheek and smiled at him and then softly laughed.  “Okay, lets get your shirt off Johnny.”. His eyes got wide and his lips pulled into a grin. ” I have to wrap those ribs you.  But keep that thought in your mind.”

Johnny slowly moved his shirt and I wrapped the strips around his torso, tightening them with Johnny’s guidance.  I saw him bite back a flinch or two, and I knew I hurt him a few times.  I helped him with his shirt and he breathe deeply, trying to get a handle on the pain.

We ate a little and as Johnny drank some water I noticed he wasnt quite as pale as he was a little while ago. We stayed in the shade from the overturned carriage until night settled around us.

I grabbed up the supplies we had, then went to Johnny’s left side, knowing to keep his gun side free.  

As I steadied Johnny, he quietly said, ” We’ll take it slow, walking at night when its cooler. When morning comes, we have to find shade of some kind.”

 He caressed my cheek and my arms slid around his waist as I steadied him.  We started out, slowly. I saw Johnny’s face was filled with his pain as we walked, but he never let me fully see it. He had to remain strong, so I didn’t begin to panic.

We rested when I knew Johnny couldn’t move another step.  Giving him the canteen, he took one long pull and then capped it, and we would start again.

As dawn was approaching, I scanned the distance for any kind of shelter.  I saw a stand of trees and we headed towards them.  As we neared, I could hear running  water.

Johnny smiled and said softly, “Running water and trees, that’s a good shelter. We can rest there until dusk.”  I steered Johnny towards the trees, and as we got there, I saw the trees had fruit on them.

Johnny was shocked to say the least. He never saw fruit on trees in the desert before.  We sat on a huge rock and I dropped the supplies.

Johnny looked at the water and said, ” That’s gonna be wonderful, its moving water.  I need to lower this fever again, I can feel it getting higher again.”  

I helped Johnny towards the running water, opening  his red shirt and dipping the end of the blanket into the cool water.

I looked at his golden bronzed body, as I unwound the bandages around his chest.  I saw bruises already forming and I chewed on my bottom lip. I also saw the scars on his body from his life as Johnny Madrid.  I carefully wiped the cool water on his face and his chest.

Johnny eyes slowly closed and I saw they weren’t as fever bright as before.  If I could keep his fever from getting really high maybe we would make it out of this mess.

As I wiped across his chest with the water cooled material, I saw those dangerous sapphire eyes lock on me.  His soft voice, with that soft drawl was back as he said,” You should let the water ease some of your soreness too honey, you been carrying those supplies and making sure I stay up and moving.”

I moved closer to the edge and lowered my arms, feeling the weariness leave them. After awhile, I helped Johnny to the ground and he leaned his back against the rock.

Johnny watched me as I pulled the combs from my long hair and shook the long waves out.  He smiled as I rewound my hair  and clipped it back up, off my neck.

Johnny dipped the blanket into the cool water and caressed it across my neck. “Oh Johnny, that feels wonderful.” I turned to face him, and I lifted my hand to gently caress his shaggy bangs from his eyes.

Johnny eyes closed and he had a soft peaceful smile caress his lips. I leaned over and kissed those lips and lowered my forehead to his. We stayed like this for a few minutes, and then I sat back.

Johnny gently caressed my cheek with the back of his fingers and very softly he said, ” You have woven your spell over me honey. “

I spread out the blanket and helped Johnny lie down.  I snuggled against his side, careful of any pain I might cause.

I decided to leave the ribs unwound for a bit, and I heard the soft even sound of johnny as he drifted into a pain filled sleep.

When we woke a few hours later, I managed to get Johnny sitting up and I rewound his ribs again.  His breathing  was a little easier once again and I stood up to get some fruit and to fill the canteens with the cold water.

As we ate, I noticed Johnny’s eyes scanning all around us. He looked up at the dark clouds and I heard some faraway thunder.  “Its far off yet Lisa.  Should miss us altogether.”

I relaxed against Johnny and we slept thru the heat of the day.  When we woke, dusk was settling around us.  As we once again started our trek, I noticed that Johnny was fast running  out of strength.  When he stumbled for the fourth time, I heard the sharp hiss of pain come from his lips.

“Wanna stop Johnny?”

“I’m fine lets keep going.”

As I got a better grip around Johnny’s waist, I again heard that soft hiss of pain and watched his eyes close.  But Johnny pushed on.

After a few hours of walking in the dark, Johnny suddenly stopped and peered into the darkness. “That’s a campfire. Lets head that way.”  And he pulled his colt from his holster

When we got within talking  distance, Johnny called out. “Don’t shoot, we need help.”

I saw two men stand as we came into the fire light.  One of them moved towards us saying, ” What happened to you two?”

He reached for johnny and I told him to be careful of his ribs.  After he got Johnny settled by the fire, the other asked, “What in tarnation you out here with no horses?”

Between bouts of pain  as Johnny tried to get settled he told them about the accident  and how we had been walking for two days.

We gratefully reached for the cups of coffee and the plates of food they pressed into our hands.

“Well, its about 2 more hours to town, I don’t think you two will make it if you walk. So I’ll tell you what. Rest up a bit more and we’ll take you into town.  You can have the Doc check your ribs and maybe rent a carriage to get you home.”

Johnny thanked them and sank into the soft desert sand.  I wrapped the blanket around  him. I lowered myself down next to Johnny.  He slid his arm around me and pulled me gently against his body.  We stayed in each other’s arms till morning.

“We only got a third horse, don’t have a saddle, but if we go slow, you won’t fall off.”

The bigger of the two gently picked Johnny up and then picked me up and put me behind johnny. I wrapped my arms gently around Johnny’s body. I layed my head against his back and I felt Johnny’s left hand come around to caress my cheek.

“We’ll be okay now Lisa.”

The two men rode on either side of us, keeping an eye on Johnny to make sure he was okay. By mid morning  we reached town and headed to the livery. They helped johnny down and pointed us towards the Dr.  “When you go to the livery, ask for little Martin, he’ll loan ya a buggy and a horse to get you home.”

After a brief discussion with the Dr of our ordeal, he rewound Johnny’s ribs and gave us a small bottle.  Johnny shook his head and said he didn’t need it and we thanked him and left.

We decided to leave in the morning, and we got a hotel room.  Johnny all but col!apsed on it, and I gently took his boots and gun belt off, making sure to hang it on the bedpost.

Johnny reached for me and said, with a voice bordering on exhaustion “You need to sleep too, get in this bed Mrs Lancer.”. I snuggled into Johnny’s arms, careful of his ribs, and we both fell into exhausted sleep. As I was falling  asleep, I felt Johnny’s arm slide around my waist.

When we woke, I felt refreshed and Johnny was happy and as far  as I could tell, pain free. We got cleaned up and went to get something  to eat. While there, we saw the two men who helped us. They waved and rode back out of town.

We walked to the livery and like those men said, little Martin was very helpful.  Johnny rented a surrey and the best looking horse he could and we headed for Lancer and home.

When we finally made it back to Lancer, Murdoch and Scott looked more relieved than we were.  Johnny told them what had happened, and Scott softly exhaled.

” Wow,  what an adventure you two had.  Are you okay little brother? Should we have Sam check you out?”

“No, was checked by the doctor in that town.  He gave me a clean bill of health.”

Murdoch came up to us and gently squeezed Johnny’s shoulders.  “Glad you both are home and in one piece.”

After dinner, I excused myself.  Johnny followed me and asked if I was okay.  “Just wanna have a hot bath and fall asleep for a week.”

Johnny laughed softly and said, “Want me to wash your back Querida?”

I lifted my arms to wrap around Johnny’s neck and said just as softly, ” Oh yes Johnny…. Always.”

End

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