A/N: For Lori, the Plot Bunny Queen…thanks for the carrot! d;-)
Everyone thought he was crazy.
If he stopped to think about it, he’d have to agree. But right now that wasn’t high on his list of concerns. The first and foremost was getting what he wanted.
He’d gone by Rachel’s but she’d laughed at him. Well, there wasn’t much humor in the laugh, so it was more of a scoff. She couldn’t believe he had the nerve to ask her – again. This was probably the sixth time in two weeks. Or it may have been the seventh. Either way, he’d asked her a lot.
Then he’d gone to Lou. She’d been more sympathetic but still wouldn’t do it for him. She’d given him a lame excuse of being too tired and not having the time but once he kept at her for the real reason, she’d said that Kid had found out and flown off the handle. Naturally. It was Jimmy after all. Jimmy had been irritated at first. He knew Kid wouldn’t react as bad if Teaspoon or Buck had asked so many times. But once he thought about it, he understood. If it were his wife it wouldn’t matter who was asking, after a couple of times, he’d be upset too
Jimmy sighed, looking down towards Tompkins. It had been just over two weeks since he’d been in there. He’d gotten sick of Tompkins’ condescending looks. But, right now he was desperate and would go anywhere for one. Off he went in the direction of the store.
Jimmy looked through the window. It was busy. He couldn’t decide if that was a good thing or a bad thing. He walked up to the door and then quickly turned, ducking around the corner. Teaspoon was coming out. Jimmy was not in the mood to get a lecture especially from the older man he thought of as a father.
Jimmy peeked around the corner and saw Teaspoon walk toward the marshal’s office. Sighing, he knew he’d get the lecture anyway – he was supposed to be in that office, working. Oh well. Maybe if he hurried with his “errand” he’d get back before Teaspoon really missed him.
He once more got to the door before high-tailing it back around the corner. This time, Buck walked out. Damn, was everyone in Tompkins store, Jimmy thought with a grumble. He was worried the Kiowa had seen him. Buck didn’t miss much and Jimmy had experienced his friend’s keen eyesight working with him at the Express and as deputies. Jimmy watched as Buck walked to the edge of the boardwalk. Just as Jimmy thought he was in the clear, Buck stopped.
“Ya’ know, I’m having a craving for something but I just can’t think of what,” Buck chuckled, seemingly to himself, as he resumed his stroll.
Jimmy growled but didn’t acknowledge Buck’s taunt. He had other, more pressing business. He resumed his quest.
He opened the door making sure the bell overhead didn’t jingle too loudly. He didn’t want or need the attention right now. Casually strolling toward the back, he made sure to stop every so often so as not to draw too much attention to himself.
Finally he reached the area Tompkins kept them. He looked around, making sure no one was watching him. Once he was sure, he peered into the dark liquid in the barrel.
It was empty but for the sloshing juice. Jimmy moaned before he could stop himself.
“Sorry Hickok,” Tompkins smirked. “Widow Jenkinson here just bought the last three.”
The storeowner pointed to the petite elderly lady in front of him. She looked at Jimmy and then turned up her nose at him. She finished paying and, collecting Jimmy’s three treasures, turned to leave. At the door, she looked back at Jimmy.
“You should be ashamed of yourself. Gluttony is a sin!” And with a sniff, Widow Jenkinson left.
“I can order some more if you’re really hurtin’.” Again, Tompkins smirked. “You ain’t the only one to eat those things, ya’ know.”
Since his mark wasn’t taking the bait, Tompkins turned to help a customer.
Jimmy, ignoring the snide remarks, stared after the older woman. He was pretty sure he could take her in a fight but the woman was known for her pluck, raising eight boys almost alone. Dismissing the thought, he knew Teaspoon, not to mention the town, would probably frown upon that. Sighing he looked back into the barrel. Lost in his thoughts he didn’t hear the front bell jingle.
He looked up to see the one person who could dissipate any black mood he was in. Jimmy watched as his wife walked in and blessed him with a smile that would make the sun set forever in shame.
“Hey darlin’.” Arms out, he walked over to her. Enveloping her in a hug, he asked, “How’d ev’rythin’ go?”
“Oh Jimmy! We’re having twins!”
Jimmy paled. He turned to a grinning Tompkins.
“Order two barrels and put ‘em on my bill.”
Amusement gone, Tompkins looked up sharply. “Two? Look, I know I said you ain’t the only one to eat ‘em but, Hickok, what am I gonna’ do with two barrels of those things if you decide you don’t want ‘em?”
Jimmy looked down at his wife, the craving stronger than ever. With a crooked boyish grin, he assured, “Don’t worry. They won’t be around long.”