Word Count 4,310
* I don’t own them. Wish I did.
* There were a couple of articles written in 1968 about James Stacy’s wear and tear on his
wardrobe. When I read them, I decided to have some fun with the boys. (Articles are at the end of the story)
*** Thanks to Alice Marie and Susan for help with the Beta.
2nd in the Stitches Series
Scott took his bandana from around his neck and wiped his face. He wasn’t a happy man. The tall blond was hot, tired and at that moment he was more than a little annoyed at his little brother.
He’d been rounding up strays for most of the morning and Johnny was supposed to be helping him. However, he hadn’t seen his brother for some time. Scott frowned. Now that he thought about it; it had been a very long time.
Scott shook his head, wondering what trouble the boy had gotten himself into this time. Standing up in the stirrups, he looked around. Seeing no sign of Johnny, he turned his horse and rode back the way he’d come earlier in the day.
Scott topped a rise and came to a stop. Looking off in the distance, he could see the dark-haired man standing next to his horse. Scott breathed a sigh of relief, thinking that at least the boy didn’t look like he was hurt.
Watching for a few minutes, Scott tried to figure out what Johnny was doing. Relief in finding his brother soon turned to curiosity. He cocked his head and watched Johnny looking over first one shoulder and then the other. The blond began to laugh as he continued to watch Johnny turn around and around in a circle trying to see something behind him.
Finally, curiosity got the better of him. Scott couldn’t help himself. He had to know what was going on. Slowly, he rode down the gentle slope.
Johnny was so intent on trying to see something on the back of his pants that he didn’t even hear Scott’s approach.
Scott came to a stop, put an arm on the saddle horn, and then pushed his hat back off his forehead. Realizing Johnny still had no idea he was there, he cleared his throat.
The young gunhawk jumped and reached for his gun. He stopped himself once he realized who he was about to draw on.
“You should know by now not to sneak up on me,” Johnny growled, turning to face his brother.
“I didn’t sneak up on you. I’ve been sitting here for some time, trying to figure out what you’re doing. Do you need some help, little brother?” Scott asked with a grin on his face.
Johnny looked embarrassed, and his ears turned a deep shade of red. Scott thought he heard a soft sigh.
“Pfft. Don’t need any help, Boston,” the younger man stated. “Why don’t you go on back to whatever you were doing.”
“What I was doing was rounding up the strays our father told us to round up. You remember, don’t you? The strays you’re supposed to be helping me with.”
“Yeah, I remember,” Johnny nodded and glanced over his right shoulder once again.
“So….?” Scott asked, tilting his head, trying to see what had been so interesting on Johnny’s backside. “Are you going to tell me what’s wrong?”
Johnny huffed. He looked around to make sure they were alone and then turned slowly around so that his back was to his big brother.
At first, Scott didn’t see it. When he realized what the problem was, he tried not to laugh, but it was no use. He started laughing so hard he thought he was going to fall off his horse.
“Stop laughing,” Johnny growled as he spun around to face his brother.
Johnny’s protests only caused Scott to laugh louder.
“I swear, I’ll shoot you if you don’t stop laughing,” Johnny’s voice had gone into that soft drawl he used when Madrid surfaced. To show he meant business, Johnny placed his right hand on the butt of his gun.
Scott couldn’t help himself. One look at his brother’s face and stance sent him into another bout of laughter. With tears running down his face, he stepped down from the saddle, figuring he had better get off his horse before falling off. He sank to the ground on his knees and tried to regain some semblance of control.
He looked at Johnny’s face. Johnny was now in full Madrid mode. Scott couldn’t control himself, and once again he was driven into a fit of laughter.
“Scott! Stop…. laughing,” Johnny groundout.
Scott was panting now. Trying very hard not to laugh. He wiped his face with his bandana and took a few deep breaths. He knew he had to get control of himself.
Finally, Johnny threw up his hands and turned his back to his lunatic brother. The moment he turned his back he knew he’d made a mistake. He heard Scott burst into hysterical laughter again.
Johnny spun around to find his brother clutching his ribs and rolling on the ground.
“Scott….,” Johnny pleaded. “Please … stop laughing and help me.”
Scott heard his brother’s plea for help. Wiping the tears from his face, he looked at Johnny. Scott stood up and, with determination, took another deep breath. His little brother needed him, and he was up to the challenge.
“Oh, little brother, you are so … so going to be in trouble with Teresa,” Scott choked out, trying not to start laughing again. “Alright, turn back around and let me have a look,” Scott instructed him. “We’ll figure something out.”
“Promise not to laugh,” Johnny’s eyes narrowed, and he gave Scott a stern look.
“Promise. Now turn around.”
Scott waited while Johnny slowly turned around. He wanted to snicker but held it together as he inspected the damage.
What Scott was seeing was his brother’s bare butt, showing through at least an 8-inch tear in the seat of his leather pants. The seam had split. Every time Johnny tried to look at the tear, it gapped open causing the seam to split even further.
“Scott, you gotta’ help me. I can’t ride back to the house like this. Not with my butt hanging out,” Johnny pleaded as he turned back to face his brother.
“So, John,” Scott cleared his throated and sounding like Murdoch, “how many pairs of pants does this make that you’ve split? Thirteen, fourteen?”
“NO!” Johnny stated and then hesitated before speaking a mumbled number.
“Sorry, I missed that. How many?”
Johnny mumbled the number again.
“NINETEEN!” Johnny shouted out. “Nineteen. Did you hear that? I only know that because …Miss Teresa told me the number this morning as she handed me this pair. She just finished stitching them back up.”
“Nineteen pairs of pants? You’ve torn the seats out of nineteen pairs of pants? Johnny, how many pairs of leather pants do you own?”
“Three,” Johnny answered, knowing where this was going, “and they’re called calzoneras.”
“So, you’ve torn the seat out of those three pairs of pants, nineteen times? Johnny, you do know we’ve only been here seven months. Have you thought about switching to some other type of material?”
“I like leather,” Johnny answered, giving his brother one of his best Madrid stares.
“I know, but….,” Scott started to say something more and decided it was best not to finish the sentence. “Well, maybe you can get Teresa to let your pants out. You know you do wear them pretty tight.”
“I like the way they fit. Besides,” Johnny grinned, “the girls like the way they fit, too.”
“Well, maybe you could lose some weight. You do look like you’ve put on a few pounds since you’ve been eating Maria’s cooking. Maybe, you can cut back on a few helpings.”
Johnny looked at Scott like he was crazy.
“I have a lot of energy. I need those extra helpings,” Johnny grinned. “Besides, I’ve put on muscle, not fat.”
Scott chuckled, “Muscle? Just how much muscle have you added to your derriere?”
“My dairy… what?” Johnny squinted his eyes and frowned. “That some kinda’ insult. Am I gonna’ have to shoot you, Boston?”
“Your buttocks… bottom… rear end… seat…” Scott smiled and laughed. “Your ass, little brother. Your ass.”
Johnny looked relieved that he wasn’t going to have to shoot his brother after all.
“You’re eating all the time. You’re always nibbling on something.”
“Do not,” Johnny stared at his brother and pouted.
Scott wasn’t about to argue the point. He looked closely at his brother’s face.
Scott stifled another laugh, wondering what others would think if they knew that the legendary Johnny Madrid was pouting and walking around with his bare butt showing.
No, this was his brother. No one would find out about this, at least not from him. He turned his attention back to the problem at hand.
“Well, maybe you can cut back on the desserts,” Scott suggested, trying to be helpful.
Johnny’s eyes went wide and then narrowed. He did love his sweets. “No way I’m giving up desserts.”
“I didn’t say give them up, brother. I said cut back,” Scott walked over to stand beside Johnny. Putting an arm around his brother’s shoulders, he pulled him in close.
Johnny dropped his head and leaned into his big brother. He really did like having a brother, especially one that cared about him as much as Scott did. He’d never had anyone to rely on before. It was a new feeling he was still getting used to.
“I think I have cut back and it wasn’t my idea,” Johnny said as he pushed himself off of Scott. “Did you see that tiny piece of chocolate cake Teresa gave me last night? It was barely two bites. I mean, it was gone before I knew what it tasted like.”
Scott laughed. He had noticed that Teresa and Maria both had started giving Johnny smaller servings of desserts.
“I never had this problem before coming to Lancer. I only had two sets of clothes back then. I wore one, and the other was in my saddlebags.”
“Johnny, the most strenuous thing you did before coming to Lancer, was sit in a saloon and lift a glass of beer.”
“I didn’t drink much beer back then. Beer in the border towns tasted like horse piss. I drank mostly tequila.”
“Alright, tequila then. The most strenuous thing you did was lift a glass of tequila. Happy now?”
“Yeah, at least you can get the facts right when talking about those days.”
“Fine,” Scott took a deep breath.
“Lord, give me strength,” Scott thought. “And to think I always wanted a brother.”
Scott took a deep breath and continued. “What I’m trying to say is that you didn’t do any hard labor. Not like now. Now you’re working from dawn to dusk. You must get on and off Barranca at least a dozen times a day. Every time you get on that horse, you’re putting stress on the seams of your pants.”
“Before coming to Lancer.”
“Alright, you stood in the street and faced men down. You drew your gun. How much stress did you put on those pants? Not a whole lot I would wager. I can’t imagine you crouching down to fire and the seat of your pants splitting.”
Johnny’s eyes narrowed as he gave his brother a hard look.
Scott wondered with a gleam in his eye if that had ever happened. Scott thought for a brief second that he saw his brother blush. He quickly shook the thought and image away.
“Scott, I didn’t sit on my ass all day in a saloon or have a gunfight every day. You know I did do other things.”
“Then little brother, I would say your problem is that you’re gaining weight. You need to ask Teresa to let your pants out.”
“I told you I ain’t gaining weight and I like my pants tight.”
“Well, little brother, I would imagine then that we will see a great deal more of your ass…sets.”
“That’s not funny, Brother. Not funny at all.”
Scott took a deep breath and exhaled.
“Johnny, I’m just trying to help. We can figure a way to get you home, but that isn’t going to solve your problem in the long run.”
“Alright. I’ll worry about that later,” Johnny finally resigned himself to listen to his older, wiser brother. “How do I get home without anyone seeing my ass…sets, as you call it?”
Scott looked at Johnny and thought for a second. “Pull out your shirt tail. Let’s see how much it will cover.”
“I did that the third or fourth time I split the seams,” Johnny answered trying to think of which time he had used his shirttail to cover his ass…sets.
“When was that?” Scott asked cocking his head.
“When I caught that wild stallion. You remember I was with Wes at the time. Well, split them twice that week.”
“Oh, yes. I didn’t know you’d split your pants. Didn’t you also split a pair the day I carried you over my shoulder into the house after Pardee shot you?”
“Yeah, I did, but it wasn’t a big split. My pants weren’t real tight on me back then. I’d lost a lot of weight in that Mexican prison.”
“Ah… ha…!” Scott exclaimed loud enough that Johnny jumped and reached for his gun. “See, I told you that you were gaining weight. You agree with me, don’t you?”
“I swear, Boston, I’m gonna’ shoot you if you do that again,” Johnny glared. “Just help me get home.”
“Alright, go ahead and pull out your shirttail.”
Johnny pulled out his shirttail and let it fall over his backside.
“So, how does it look?” Johnny asked expectantly.
“Covers almost all of the split,” Scott answered. “You know you really should be wearing underwear.” Scott looked at the expression on the face of the man standing in front of him and decided not to push that particular issue. “Go ahead and get on Barranca. Let’s see if the back of the saddle will hide the rest,”
Johnny mounted Barranca. He grimaced and pushed himself out of the saddle before settling down again.
“What’s wrong?” Scott asked seeing Johnny’s reaction.
“Saddles cold against my ass…sets,” Johnny frowned and pulled his shirttail down in the back.
“Not bad,” Scott responded. He thought for a moment. He took his jacket off and handed it to his brother, “Here, take my jacket and tie it around your waist and then tuck it in behind you.”
Once the jacket was behind Johnny, he looked at Scott for approval.
Scott nodded, “That will do it. Let’s go home.”
Johnny produced a grin that made his face light up.
The two brothers rode under the arch and made their way to the front of the house. They came to a stop at the hitching rail.
Johnny looked around to make sure none of the hands were watching them. He stepped down from the saddle and groaned when he heard the seam give way even further.
Quickly looking around again, Johnny wasted no time getting into the house. Once through the front door, he took a deep breath and let it out.
“Made it,” he thought with a grin on his face.
As he turned to go upstairs, he saw Teresa coming from the kitchen.
“Mierda,” he cursed under his breath.
“Oh, Johnny, you’re home,” Teresa greeted him with a smile. She took a couple of steps toward him and started to frown. She could tell he was hiding something, recognizing Scott’s jacket wrapped around his waist. Suspiciously she asked, “Johnny, why are you home so early?”
“Aw… Teresa…. well…” Johnny stuttered.
“Well?” Teresa had her hands on her hips now.
Scott came in the front door and quickly stopped. He didn’t want to watch the showdown between Johnny and Teresa, but he couldn’t tear his eyes away from them. They were staring at each other, eyes locked.
Teresa broke her eye contact with Johnny and turned it on Scott. “You’re home early, too,” she snapped; eyes now locked on Scott.
Scott didn’t say anything. He started backing out of the room.
“Hold it, mister,” Teresa drawled in her best imitation of Madrid. She looked from Scott to Johnny and back again. “Alright, you two tell me why you’re home so early.”
Johnny figured in for a penny, in for a pound. He decided to stand up to her.
“Can’t a man come home early if he wants to?” Johnny finally answered.
Teresa’s eyes narrowed.
Maria, hearing Teresa’s question came out of the kitchen and went to stand next to the young woman. She looked at Teresa, “Que?”
“They’re both home early, and Johnny has a guilty look on his face,” Teresa responded, not taking her eyes off of the younger man.
“Do not!” Johnny shouted.
The two women looked at each other and then examined Johnny from head to toe. Teresa’s frown increased. “Johnny, turn around.”
“Why?” Johnny blushed.
“Do what she says, Nino,” Maria joined in.
Johnny now had two women standing in front of him. Both with their arms crossed in front of them and both giving him a look that would rival any gunfighter the young gunhawk had ever faced. He didn’t move.
“You ripped the seat out of your pants again, didn’t you?” Teresa asked, seeing his shirttail out. “Johnny Lancer, turn around. Let’s see how bad it is … this time.”
“No, I ain’t turning around. I’m just gonna’ go upstairs and change,” Johnny turned and started up the stairs.
He knew Maria and Teresa were watching him. He got to the second step when he realized Scott’s jacket had slipped off.
He heard Teresa start to giggle.
Johnny spun around and watched as both women had their hands over their mouths trying to stifle their laughs.
Johnny put his hand behind him. The tear now ran from his waistband down to the mid-seam of his pants. He realized he now had ample amounts of ass…sets showing.
Johnny used both hands to cover his bottom and carefully backed up the stairs.
Nothing more was said that afternoon between Johnny and Teresa. Johnny thought the matter was closed and forgotten.
Sure, he had ripped another pair of pants but, he worked hard. It wasn’t the first time he had torn his leather pants, and it probably wouldn’t be the last. He had also ripped the elbows out of his shirts several times and couldn’t count the number of buttons he had lost. He had even torn the sleeves of his jacket a couple of times.
Johnny heard the clock in the great room chime 6:00 and he bounded down the stairs. He was starving.
Murdoch sat down and looked at the table. He knew right away something was wrong. Teresa and Maria were setting all the serving dishes near him. He looked at Teresa, who only smiled back at him.
Maria walked into the room carrying the main course, roast beef and sat it in front of Murdoch just as Johnny took his place at the table.
Johnny looked at the serving dishes and frowned. He waited patiently for Teresa to start passing them to him.
Maria walked up behind Johnny and put her hand on his shoulder, giving it a gentle squeeze. Smiling at her nino, she reached around him for his plate.
Johnny watched Maria take his plate to the head of the table and hand it to Teresa. Teresa then started putting food on the plate. When she finished, she gave the plate back to Maria, who walked back to Johnny and placed it back in front of him.
Johnny looked at the dish in front of him. His eyes narrowed and a frown formed on his face. He looked at Scott’s plate, which was full and then at Murdoch’s full plate.
Johnny looked again at his plate. There was a sliver of roast beef, a spoon full of potatoes, a spoon of green beans and about a tablespoon of gravy over the potatoes.
“Teresa, what’s this?” Johnny asked, hoping he didn’t already know the answer.
“Why your dinner, of course,” Teresa answered with a smile.
“This ain’t enough to keep a bird alive,” he responded. “I worked hard today. I’m hungry.”
He looked up to see Scott trying not to laugh. He looked at his father for help and saw that he, too, was hiding a smile.
“Johnny Lancer, when you lose some weight you can have more. Maria and I are tired of sewing up your pants. In fact, we’ve decided to let all your pants out and double stitch every seam in them. Furthermore, Maria and I have decided that if you continue to rip your leather pants, then we are planning on taking all of them away from you. We’ll make you new pants out of that fabric we found at Baldomeros’. It’s called corduroy,” Teresa stated firmly.
Johnny sat wide-eyed, looking at the girl. He looked from Murdoch to Scott and found no help from either one of them. Maria stood behind Murdoch with her arms crossed and a determined look on her face. He hated it when they ganged up on him.
“Teresa, I have an image to uphold. I have to wear my calzoneras,” Johnny protested.
“Johnny, you’re not a gunfighter any longer. You’re not Johnny Madrid now; you’re Johnny Lancer. You don’t have an image to uphold. So, it’s either lose weight or switch pants. Your choice,” Teresa rebutted.
“Aw… Murdoch, tell them. Tell them I need more than…. this,” he pointed his finger at his plate.
“Well, Teresa…,” Murdoch started to say more and took a look at the expression on the young girl’s face. He instantly knew better than to disagree with either Teresa or Maria.
Murdoch looked at his youngest son. He honestly felt for the boy. However, he wasn’t foolish enough to get into the middle of this.
“So much for ‘calling the tune,’” Johnny said under his breath.
“What was that you said, young man?” Murdoch questioned. He had caught part of the comment and knew his son had a point.
“Nothin’. Didn’t say nothin’,” Johnny answered.
He stared at the skimpy plate of food in front of him. His eyes narrowed as he looked at his family. He was mad now. He didn’t know what to do. Finally, he shouted, “FINE! JUST FINE!”
He picked up his fork and stabbed the small piece of meat on his plate. As he glared at Teresa, he stuffed the beef into his mouth. There wasn’t enough of it to even taste. In no more than a second, it was gone. He instantly regretted eating it all in one bite.
Less than a minute later, Johnny’s plate was clean. He looked around the table and watched everyone else still eating.
“Do I at least get dessert?” Johnny asked hopefully.
“Of course, Johnny. We aren’t heartless,” Teresa gave him one of her prettiest smiles. “Maria,” she called out, “can you bring Johnny’s dessert out?”
Johnny sat with his fork in his hand, tapping it impatiently on the table. Finally, Maria appeared with a dessert plate. She set it down in front of him.
“There, Nino, enjoy,” Maria said again gave his shoulder another gentle squeeze.
Johnny looked down at his dessert. He looked up at Teresa and wanted to say something but bit back the words.
“So, this is how it was going to be,” he thought. “Well, Teresa’s gonna’ be sorry when I fall over from hunger.”
He lifted his fork slowly, learning from his experience with the beef, took a very, very small bite of the smallest piece of pie he had ever seen. The sliver of pie couldn’t have been any bigger than the width of his little finger.
He smiled at them all as he moved the bite around in his mouth, trying to savor what little flavor there was.
“Johnny, you know it’s because we love you, don’t you?” Teresa smiled at him as she took another large bite of the roast beef.
Johnny dipped his head and nodded.
Yes, they loved him. Yes, they cared. Yes, they would pay for this. Here he was wasting away while they stuffed their faces. As he took another small bite of his pie, he started plotting his revenge.
“Oh, one more thing, Johnny,” Teresa said as she lifted her fork to her mouth. “Maria and I would appreciate it if you wore underwear from now on.”
Johnny glanced up to see the blush on both Maria and Teresa’s faces.
Scott had just started to take a sip of his wine when he heard Teresa’s comment. He choked and red wine sprayed across the table in all directions.
Murdoch looked down at his white shirt, now spotted with red wine. He looked at Scott and then at Johnny. He looked straight ahead and frowned. What had Teresa said?
Murdoch cleared his throat and looked at both women in the room. “What did you say?” he asked of Teresa.
Murdoch looked at Scott, “What did she say?”
Maria grabbed up her apron and covered her mouth with it as she fled to the kitchen. Scott stuffed his napkin in his mouth to keep from laughing. Teresa lowered her head and covered her face with her napkin.
From the kitchen, they could hear Maria burst out in laughter.
Murdoch looked at everyone at the table, one at a time.
Johnny could see the wheels turning in the old man’s head. Slowly, he saw the expression on his father’s face change. He smirked as Murdoch finally figured it out.
“There you go, old man,” he thought. “Took you long enough.”
Murdoch blushed and stared at his youngest son. “You’re …,” he cleared his throat, “you’re not wearing underwear? John, just exactly how do Teresa and Maria know you’re not wearing underwear?”
Johnny lowered his head, took another bite of his pie and smiled.
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3 thoughts on “Double Stitched by SandySha”
Oh, poor, poor Johnny. LOL!!