The Great Hijacking (by slaine89 & BnzaGal)

Summary:  What happens when a fanfiction author leaves a story hanging? Three fans decide to take matters into their own hands and rescue (aka kidnap) the main character, unmindful of the insanity that will ensue.

Rated: K+ (6,560 words)

 

The Great Hijacking

This story is the result of BnzaGal, SouthernSuga, and slaine89 goofing off while waiting for frasgirl to update her WIP Believe in Me. It has been edited and expanded into story form. All characters in this story are fictional. Any resemblance to real life persons is unintentional. BonanzaBrand Ventures does not condone the hijacking of threads or kidnapping of characters and is not responsible for any criminal actions as a result of this story. The views and opinions expressed in this story are the sole property of the authors.

 

There was a reverent hush that morning, as if the small courtroom was a church, and the proceedings a funeral rather than a trial. The judge was perched like a crow on his stand, the black sleeves of his robes swishing slightly as he shuffled through the papers. The papers that contained the information about the trial that could very well mean the end of three women. They sat side by side in the defendants’ chairs, grim and stoic, all of them knowing that this hour could spell their doom and determined to face their fate with as much dignity as they could muster.

“Hey, do either of you have anything to eat?” the one on the left whispered.

“No. But I would kill for some French fries right now. Do you think they’d let us order a pizza?”

“Here, I’ve got some Cheetos.”

“You’re my hero, BnzaGal.”

“Thanks, Slaine.” BnzaGal pulled out a bag of chips and struggled to open it while keeping it concealed under the table. The judge glanced up and all three girls froze.

“What was that crinkling noise?” he demanded, glaring down at them.

“Nothing.” They said in unison, smiling sweetly. The judge sniffed and looked back at his papers.

“You’re supposed to open it in the bathroom.” Slaine spoke in a barely audible whisper. “Haven’t you ever sneaked food into movie theaters before?”

“There wasn’t time!”

“Just hurry up; I’m starving!”

“Take it easy, Suga!” BnzaGal handed her the open bag.

“What about me?” Slaine demanded.

“You’re the one that got us into this mess, so you get to eat last.”

“Me? Me!” She glanced up at the judge and lowered her voice. “You’re the one that hijacked the WIP thread first!”

“Well you’re the one that was getting impatient while waiting for Fras to update.”

“So were you!”

“Shh!” Suga looked up at the judge, who was glaring at them again.

“We’ll proceed now, if you three aren’t too occupied.” His voice dripped sarcasm like gravy off leftover turkey.

“We’re ready.”

“Very well. You three have been accused of thread hijacking, attempted murder, kidnapping, unauthorized porthole construction, resisting arrest, and assault of a federal officer. How do you plead?”

Slaine stood, wondering once again why she had been elected as spokesman. Then she wondered if it should be called spokeswoman and if that was even a word. She made a mental note to look that up later. If there was a later.

“We plead not guilty.”

The judge’s eyebrows jumped up so fast they could have been fuzzy, gray crickets. “We have documented evidence from the Bonanza Brand website.”

“You have evidence written by someone using our accounts. But how do you know it was really us?”

“It was them!” a voice spoke from the back of the courtroom. The three swallowed the last of the Cheetos and something else as they turned slowly to see a woman walking toward the front of the room.

“What’s she doing here?” Slaine hissed. “I thought you got rid of her, Suga.”

“I thought the fake letter I sent to her in Joe’s name would do it.” Suga answered.

“This is bad.” BnzaGal gulped.

“Should we run?”

“You’re the spokesperson; say something!”

“Right.” Slaine stood, scrambling mentally. “Um… Your Honor, this person is not on the witness list, and even if she was, she’s too emotionally involved in this case to testify.”

“Of course I’m emotionally involved; it was my story!” Fras retorted.

The Judge raised a hand. “I believe that the woman accusing you of thread hijacking and kidnapping should be allowed to speak.”

Slaine rolled her eyes. “For the last time, we didn’t kidnap him. Fras is the one that left him and the story hanging there. If anything we rescued him!”

“What about the arrow?”

“What arrow?”

“Yeah, you know I can’t hit the broad side of a Hoss!” BnzaGal chimed in.

“And, I didn’t write a thing!” Suga added.

“Oh no you don’t!” BnzaGal said. “If we go down, you’re going with us!”

“You’re all going down.” Fras said.

“But we didn’t even…”

“ENOUGH!!!” The Judge slammed the gavel down several times.

“I’ve always wanted to do that.” Slaine whispered to Suga.

“Now will someone please explain to me what happened?” The Judge demanded.

Slaine cleared her throat. “Well, you see, Sir Judge, it was like this…”

~*~

Joe sat on the ledge of his window his back against one side and one foot against the other. His free foot dangled down and bumped against the wide logs of the outer walls of the ranch house as he swung it back and forth. His thoughts were as melancholy as the lonely sound of the single cricket that chirped then paused as if waiting for a response and never getting one.

The stars were out in their multitudes against the clearest black sky Joe had seen in a long time. Their soft twinkles failed to cheer him as they had in times past. One of his school friends, Phil, had once told him that stars were the eyes of all the mothers who had gone to Heaven so they could still watch over their children as they slept.

Joe smiled ever so briefly at the thought. Both he and Phil had lost their mothers in the same year. Joe could remember once when Phil had slept over at the Ponderosa that they had snuck out in the night to “pick their stars” as Phil had called it.

Joe’s eyes easily slid to the two stars he had chosen on that long ago night to be his mother’s eyes. He couldn’t count the number of times he had sat there on that window ledge and looked up at those two stars. The window wasn’t as spacious as it had been back then, but Joe didn’t mind.

“You still watchin’ over me, Ma?” Joe was surprised at his own words, they sounded so loud in the midnight quiet. But just like the lone cricket, nothing answered his question.

Joe sighed quietly and pulled his dangling foot up to the ledge. One last glance at the stars and he turned toward his dark room.

Swift and quietly, making noise only when it struck flesh, an arrow imbedded itself deeply into Joe’s back. Joe fell with a thud against the floor of his room.

The noise wasn’t loud enough to wake his sleeping family and warn them of the coming danger. But it was loud enough to frighten that one cricket away.

As quiet as a breeze in a field, three Indian braves made their way to the door of the Ponderosa ranch house. The door opening didn’t make any more noise than the soft leather shoes of the two Indians that crept up the stairs. They passed the first and second door and went straight for the third – the room that they knew the youngest son slept in. And there he was, lying on the floor, the feathered shaft marking the spot like a flag. The Indian paused before lifting him up. He hoped the arrow hadn’t done too much damage. They didn’t want Joe Cartwright dead – not yet anyway.

Once outside with his quarry, the Indian slung him over the back of the spare horse and then mounted his own. With a slight squeeze of his legs, the group was away, stealing through the night like shadows. No words had been spoken, almost no sound had been made in the handful of minutes that had passed since one of the other braves had let loose the arrow. They might not have been there at all except for the empty bed and the pool of blood beside it.

~*~

There was no word to describe the horror that gripped Fras’ heart in the three seconds it took her to sweep her eyes over the room that was supposed to hold Little Joe. The pool of dark red on the ground held the frightened author’s gaze.

Who had stolen into the peaceful ranch house while she wasn’t looking and had snatched away her main character? Why? How could she write “Happily Ever After” if Joe was missing… or worse?

“Joseph, come down for breakfast.” Fras’ eyes widened. How was she going to tell Ben that his precious youngest son was gone without a trace… unless, of course, you counted the pool of blood.

~*~

Fire. He was on fire. Joe struggled to open his eyes, but every movement, even the slight flickering of his eyelids seemed to send a thousand knives through him. Finally he managed to blink his eyes open. He raised his head and then immediately let it fall back again as the room began to spin dizzily and a wave of nausea swept over him.

“I think he’s waking up.” a voice said. Through his hazy disorientation, Joe couldn’t figure out why the voice sounded strange.

“Are you sure those ropes are tight enough?” Another voice asked.

“They ought to be; I asked Suga what the best way to tie someone up was.”

“She would know that.”

Joe tried to move his hands, and found that they were, in fact tied behind him. He couldn’t feel the knot with his rapidly numbing fingers, but it seemed tight. He managed to lift his head enough to see two Indians in front of him.

“Who…?” his voice rasped in his throat. He needed water.

Then one of the Indians removed their mask to reveal long hair and a round face. Joe blinked.

“You’re a girl.”

“I guess Adam’s not the only smart one.” The other Indian removed her own mask.

“Why?” Talking was getting easier, but he still felt like he was going to throw up, and laying face down on a dirty floor wasn’t exactly comfortable. Joe tried to roll over and then the room disappeared as a red flash bust through him.

“I wouldn’t squirm around too much. BnzaGal got you with an arrow in the back. Nice shot, by the way.”

“Thanks, Slaine.”

“BnzaGal? Slaine? Who are you?”

“Don’t worry about it.” Slaine, said. “Once Fras comes she’ll delete this all and you can go back to moping about how no one believes you.” Slaine turned to BnzaGal. “Just how mad do you think Fras will be?”

BnzaGal grinned slightly, a devious grin that made Joe’s stomach flip. “Oh, I’m sure she’ll be ready to explode.”

A shadow slid over his face, and Joe groaned in pain as he tried to twist to see who it belonged to.

“I love it when he groans.” A new voice chuckled, her tone laced with the honey-like smoothness of a southern accent.

“Suga, you stay away from him with that knife,” Slaine warned stepping between the blonde southern belle and Joe.

“You’ve already had your slit-throat-story, Suga. You might as well put the knife away. You’re making poor Joe nervous.” The one they called BnzaGal knelt next to Joe and addressed her next words to him. “SouthernSuga is one of your biggest SJS fans… she tends to go a little overboard sometimes.” She patted Joe so gently on the shoulder that it was hard to believe that she had shot the arrow that still stuck in Joe’s back.

“We really should take that arrow out.” Slaine mused.

“Allow me!” Suga grinned.

“No!” both of the girls raised their hands in a stopping motion.

Joe nervously glanced between Slaine and BnzaGal then shifted to try and catch a glimpse of the dangerous sounding Suga.

“After all I did for you!” Suga pouted. “I taught BnzaGal how to shoot an arrow when she couldn’t hit the broad side of Hoss! I taught y’all how sneak quieter then a spider. I distracted Fras and slipped sleeping powder in Hop Sing’s tea so you could get in and out without a trace. And now, after all that, you’re not going to let me pull the arrow out!?”

Slaine and BnzaGal exchanged guilty glances.

“Don’t you think I’ve earned it?” Suga pleaded.

“Slaine?” BnzaGal with her usual hatred of making decisions left the choice to her friend.

“Oh, all right, Suga. BG can’t stand the sight of that much blood anyways and I’ve got to stand lookout for Fras.”

Suga clapped her hands together around the knife that she still clung to.

Joe lifted his head up from his position on his stomach and whimpered as the knife and its owner stepped into the ring of light cast by the shack’s fireplace.

~*~

“You did what!?!” Ben Cartwright’s incredulous shout could have easily been heard all the way in Boston.

“Look, it’s not my fault there are crazed fans out there who like seeing your son suffer.” Fras snapped. Maybe she shouldn’t have told Ben that she was the one who had created the villains that had injured Joe. But when she’d descended the stairs and had been greeted by the remaining three Cartwrights wondering who this strangely dressed woman was and why she was in their house, she’d had to say something.

“Look, I’m going to rewrite these chapters; trust me.” she said. “As soon as I find the rest of the PCC members.”

“PCC?” Adam asked.

“You don’t want to know.”

The sound of breaking glass cut short any reply he might have made, and they all rushed to the kitchen. The first thing Fras noticed was Hop Sing snoring gently against the table with a teacup in front of him.

Oh those girls are in for it. She thought. Drugged tea indeed. Then she saw the broken window.

“There’s a note tied to a rock.” Hoss said. “You said your name was Frasgirl?”

Fras nodded with growing dread. “Let me see it.”

Dear Fras:

We’re very sorry for hijacking your WIP. Well, no not really. Actually this is kind of fun. But we still want to know how the story ends, so we’re offering you Joe Cartwright in exchange for the end of the story, which must include not only a JPM, but a Joe/whole family moment as well, plus at least a little more SJS. We will try to return Joe to you in good condition, but you already know that Southernsuga is not the most patient person in the world, not to mention the fact that BG and Slaine tend to let their imaginations get carried away with them when it comes to writing. If I were you, I’d update, and soon.

Sincerely

The PCC

Fras let the note fall to the table as she considered her options. Hoss picked it back up, and Adam and Ben both read over his shoulder.

“Does any of this make sense to you?” Ben finally asked.

“Oh yes.” Fras said. “Unfortunately.”

~*~

“You did what!?!”

The question echoed off the surrounding mountains and made its way into the cabin where BnzaGal stood cringing in the corner trying not to look, Slaine watched near the door, and Suga leaned over a struggling Joe with the blade she always kept strapped to her hip.

“I bet they heard that clear in Boston.” Slaine let the curtain fall back over the little window next to the door.

“Was that..?”

BnzaGal’s question was answered by Joe’s pitifully uttered, “Pa.”

“Fras must have told him everything.” Slaine shook her head causing her long hair to swish back and forth.

“Confession is good for the soul.” Suga shrugged and wrapped her free hand around the protruding arrow.

“But that means we’ll have more than just an angry Fras on our hands!” BnzaGal gulped. “We’ve just brought the wrath of the whole Ponderosa down on our heads.” She covered her forehead with her hand as if feeling the weight of it all.

“With Hoss tracking they should be here soon.” Slaine went back to her window.

“Wasn’t it in The Lawmaker that someone said: ‘I wouldn’t go huntin’ no trouble with a Cartwright, they’re a pretty close family. You take on one of them gotta take on ‘em all.’?”

“The Lawmaker?” Joe gasped.

“Yep, that’s the one.” Slaine nodded without looking away from her post. “Good episode.”

“Episode?” Joe cried out as Suga leaned closer, grinning.

“Whoever said it, the deputy I think, was right.” Slaine squinted into the distance then turned to look at BnzaGal. “We should have chosen a shack a little farther away. I think they’re coming.” She let the curtain fall across the window. “Well there’s another saying.” She pulled a pen out of her ponytail and waved it dramatically. “The pen is mightier than the sword.”

“Now what are you going to do to me?” Joe moaned.

“Shh.” Southernsuga said. “I’m almost done. Then you can try to escape. We should let him get almost all the way home before we recapture him.”

“No time.” Slaine said at the same time BnzaGal shook her head.

“It’s too risky.”

“We’re not going to be here for long anyway.” Slaine pulled out a piece of paper and scribbled something down. Then she stood, went to the door, and took three long steps. When she stopped she stomped twice.

“Uh, Slaine…”

“It’s right here!” Slaine stomped again, and a section of the floor disappeared into a sudden gaping back hole. An eerie wind whistled through the cabin.

“What is that?” BnzaGal asked, not sure if she wanted to know the answer.

“The porthole I just created.” Slaine waved the piece of paper in the air that said, “Fortunately for the PCC, the cabin they had chosen to hide in had a porthole three steps in from the door…”

A glowing light throbbed from the hole in the cabin floor. “Come on Suga we’ve gotta get out of here before Fras and the C’s get here.”

“What? Now?” Suga yanked the arrow free of Joe’s back.

“Now look what you did!” BnzaGal shrieked. “He’s unconscious.” She cringed away from the blood that soaked Joe’s shirt. “Where does the pothole lead, Slaine?”

“Porthole.” Slaine rolled her eyes, “Not pothole”

“Sorry,” BnzaGal blushed, “You know I’m not good at spelling.”

“Where does it lead, Slaine?” Suga finally tore her gaze away from Joe’s bloody back.

Slaine shrugged, “How should I know? I only wrote that there was one- not where it led.”

“Can we take Joe with us?” BnzaGal moved to peer down the glowing hole.

“Yes, let’s take him with us.” Suga clapped her hands and did a little jig. “I can keep him for one week, Slaine could have him the next, and BG could…”

“What if the porthole takes us somewhere terrible, like onto the set of Trapper John MD or something.” BnzaGal paled. “All that… blood and hurt people.”

“BG,” Suga raised her eyebrows. “Aren’t you a SJS fan?”

“That’s different… somehow.” BnzaGal sniffed.

Slaine pulled her pencil back out. “I’ll write in someplace wonderful at the other end of the hole.”

“Hawaii?” BnzaGal asked hopefully.

Slaine grinned, “Oh, you’d be surprised.” Without another word she jumped into the porthole. The light flashed brighter then died back down to its throb.

“Well…” BnzaGal stepped toward the opening stopping with her toes at the edge.

“Can’t we take Joe?” Suga begged.

“I think we should leave him for Fras. After all this is her story.”

Suga nodded sadly, gave Joe one last affectionate pat, then moved to join BnzaGal at the edge. “Ready?”

“BnzaGal? Slaine? Suga?” A voice called from outside the cabin. “Are you in there?”

Suga and BnzaGal gasped at the voice they recognized as Fras’ and threw themselves into the hole.

Somewhere in the swirls of color and light they found themselves flying through BnzaGal managed to pull out her pen and used the only thing she could for paper: her hand.

“…And the portal closed up behind them as if it had never been.”

They plummeted through the air and landed with four muffled thumps.

“Oof!”

“Uh!”

“Ow!”

“Umph!”

“Wait a minute!” Slaine stood up and brushed off of her jeans. “Where did that extra umph come from?”

“Him.” BnzaGal pointed at a guilty looking Southernsuga holding the head of a still unconscious Joe in her lap.

“Suga, I thought we were going to leave him!”

“Y’all seriously thought I was going to leave him behind?”

Slaine looked at BnzaGal. “Yeah, I guess that was kind of dumb on our part. How did you even get him down here?”

“Your pen.” BnzaGal pointed again. Suga had written on her own arm as well.

“The wind from the porthole sucked Joe in after them right before the hole shut.”

“Now Fras will really have our heads.” BnzaGal said.

“Oh come on, like you didn’t want him to come along. I mean look at him.” she lifted Joe’s head, and her voice suddenly became sweeter than Georgia tea. “How could you leave this face behind?”

BnzaGal shifted. “Well we should finish taking care of his wound. After all, I was the one who shot him.” He really was too cute, lying there like that, she decided.

Slaine rolled her eyes. “I don’t suppose Fras will find us in a hurry down here anyway.” And it would be fun to play doctor on the youngest Cartwright in person rather than just in stories. “It would lend more credibility to our writing.” she said to BnzaGal. “But I want my pen back.” She didn’t want any more unexpected changes.

“Sorry, I dropped it.”

“You what?”

Suga looked up, surprised at her friend’s reaction. “It was just a pen…”

“It was also our only way out of here. I wrote us in, remember? How am I supposed to write us out when you’re done playing doctor?”

“I have a pen.” BnzaGal interrupted quickly. She stood up and looked around. “And just where is here anyway?”

Slaine grinned and swept her hand around the small room they had fallen into. “We are the last place Fras would look!”

BnzaGal and Suga began to look around the room. It was an odd room. The walls were plastered with photos of Joe’s handsome face. The laptop that had been left open had a familiar picture of a shirtless Joe as a desktop background. A limited edition PCC mug sat half full of coffee next to the laptop.

“We’re not…” BnzaGal gulped.

“Yep,” Slaine continued her mischievous grin, “We’re in Fras’ writing room.”

Suga, wide-eyed, stood letting Joe’s head slip to the floor. She crossed to the computer and fingered the three worn keys: J, O, and E. “This is where the magic happens,” she said in an awed whisper.

A groan from the floor brought all eyes down to where Joe was blinking his eyes.

“Morning, Honey.” Suga blew a kiss toward Joe.

Joe’s eyes slowly took in the room he was in. His face began to take on a terrified look. “Where am I?”

“This is Fras’ place.” Slaine stated.

“Is she a stalker?” Joe looked at his many pictures.

“Sorta,” BnzaGal giggled.

“We need to get that wound properly taken care of.” Slaine frowned.

“Adam always rips a piece of his shirt off.” Suga stated helpfully.

BnzaGal look between her friends. “Which one of you is going to donate a piece of your shirt?”

“Mom?”

“Did you hear that?” BnzaGal ran and put her ear to the door.

“Mom?”

“Oh, no, it must be one of Fras’ sons!” Suga and Slaine joined BnzaGal at the door.

The handle rattled, and the three women pressed themselves against the door.

“Mom, are you in there?”

“Go away! Nobody’s here!” Suga called in a weird voice.

“What?” The voice outside the door grew annoyed. “Mom, you’ve been writing that crazy stuff too long. It’s messing with your head.”

“That’s no way to speak to your mother!” BnzaGal yelled.

“Let me in!” The door banged as Fras’ son threw his weight against it.

“Don’t…!” Slaine pleaded just before they were all thrown to the ground when the outsider broke through.

Fras’ son stopped short when he saw the somewhat bloody Joe lying next to three collapsed, disheveled women. “Oh, you have got to be kidding me.”

Slaine stepped forward. “This isn’t what it looks like. Whatever that it.”

“Wait just one minute here!” The handsome, light brown-haired teenage with dazzling blue eyes, demanded of the three women. “I know who he is,” he pointed to a figure lying on the floor, “but who are you three?”

“Um… you must be Luc,” Suga acknowledged. “We’ve heard so much about you.”

“All good.” BnzaGal quickly added.

“Yeah, I am. Now where is my mother and what are you doing in her sanctuary? Ohhh, she’s not going to like this. She’s not going to like this at all.” Luc looked down at Joe and moaned. “What have you done to him? Mom left him healing and out in the barn with Cochise. She’s going to be really mad.” Luc looked around the room. Pouncer the cat was curled on the bed sleeping, but there wasn’t any sign of his mother. He rushed from the room and out to the stairs. “Ty, have you seen mom?”

“No, I think she’s running errands for Grandma or writing. Why?”

“No reason.” All I need is for him to come up here. He thought, turning back around. “You all better leave; mom isn’t going to like this.”

“Yeah, about that…” BnzaGal looked at Slaine, who shrugged.

“Say, Luc, would you like to be a part of Bonanza Brand history?”

~*~

“Where is he?” Hoss roared. He looked at Fras with hard cold eyes. “And where did the blood come from?”

“I-It wasn’t me,” Fras stuttered. “Must have been Suga’s idea; after all she’s the bloodthirsty one.”

“If my little brother has been hurt in any way, then there isn’t a place on earth that any of you can hide. My pa will search to the ends of the earth and he will find all of you and you will pay,” threatened Adam.

“Now, Adam, don’t go letting that temper get away with you. After all that’s something Joe would do. You’re the calm, logical one,” soothed Fras.

All three men stood staring at her.

“Look, I had Joe healing and moving around. The last I saw him he was in the barn with Cochise. If any harm comes to him it’s Slaine, BnzaGal and especially Suga’s fault. Look, Hoss is the best tracker in the world, we can find where those hijackers took my, er, Joe. If they hurt him at all you can unleash the Cartwright fury on them.”

Ben grabbed his hat and gun belt. “Let’s ride boys.”

“Um, Mr Carwright, I might be of some use with those three. I’d like to go along.”

Ben studied the woman standing in front of him and could tell that she was just as concerned about Joe as they were. The tear shimmering in her eyes testified to that. “Hoss, saddle Cochise. Miss Fras…”

“Just Fras, Sir.”

Alright, Fras, grab Joseph’s gun, you might need it.”

“Yes, Sir.” Fras turned to grab Joe’s gun belt and smiled. Just think this went around his hips. She touched the worn leather carefully. And I’m going to be riding Cochise. I might just end up thanking those girls.

As Fras swung up on Cochise, she had seen Joe do that so many times that she just knew she could do it too. Ben once more called out, “Let’s ride!”

Hoss led the way and followed the tracks right to an old cabin. “Pa, it looks like they stopped here.”

Fras shook her head. “They made it too easy, there has to be more to it,” she muttered.

The Cartwrights, and Fras, entered the shack with guns drawn. They looked around but there wasn’t anyone there.

Fras walked over to a spot on the floor and lowered herself to her knees. She touched a dark spot on the floor and rubbed her fingers together. “Blood,” she whispered. Something to the side caught her attention. Reaching over she picked up the wooden shaft with feathers attached to it and blood on the end. “Oh, Lordy, you girls have done it now.”

The Cartwrights came over to Fras and leaned over her shoulder. “Is that…” Hoss asked in a choked whisper.

Fras took a deep breath and looked up at the three men. “I’m afraid so.”

“Let’s go. Hoss see if you can pick up their tracks.”

Fras slowly stood from the floor keeping her eyes on the blood, Joe’s blood. “Just you three wait.” She started across the floor and suddenly stopped by the door. “That’s weird.” She backed up and went across it again. A smile spread across her face. “Oh you think you’re so smart, Slaine.” Fras pulled out a wand from her back pocket and with the correct incantations and the proper flick and swish a black portal opened in the floor. Lying next to it was a pen, and Fras’ smile grew even wider. “Thanks JK.” She turned and called out, “Mr Cartwright! Over here, I know where they’ve gone.”

Ben and his boys made their way back to the strange lady. There was a black hole in the floor before them. “What the…”

“I know where they took Joe, but you have to trust me.”

The Cartwrights looked at each other. “Do we have a choice?” Adam asked.

“Not if we want Little Joe back.” Hoss looked to his father. “Pa?”

Ben took a deep breath and turned back to Fras. “Alright, what do we have to do?”

“All you have to do is trust me and jump into this hole. It might not take us to exactly where they are, but we will find them.”

With a deep breath and a leap of faith the three Cartwrights jumped into the hole and Fras followed.

When they landed they were in the middle of a busy, bustling office.

“Where the devil…”

“Oh this is perfect!” Fras said getting a bit giddy. If we can’t find Joe, then they can.”

“Who are they?” Adam asked.

“Why they’re the FBI’s BAU!”

“FBI?” inquired Adam

“BAU?” questioned Ben

“Huh?” asked a confused Hoss.

“Federal Bureau of Investigations, and Behavorial Analysis Unit. And they’re good, very good. They’ll find Joe in no time.”

~*~

“My mom is going to kill me.” Luc muttered to himself for the hundredth time.

“Here.” Slaine scribbled on a piece of paper and instantly it was transformed into another fifty dollar bill. She felt bad lying to the kid, but once Fras rewrote the story he would forget it all. She hoped. “Are you done yet, Suga?”

“Almost!” Suga called from inside the bathroom. They’d laid Joe in the bathtub so the blood would be easy to clean up after Southernsuga got done wrapping the wound.

“Suga, for the last time, you can’t take all day!”

“This is a once in a lifetime opportunity!” Suga’s voice sounded all too happy to be quite at the pleading stage. Slaine sighed.

“She is having way too much fun with this.” BnzaGal said. “I worry about her.”

“I worry about all of you.” Luc muttered.

“Just give us a few more minutes, and we’ll be out of your hair.” BnzaGal cocked her head to the side. “What’s that noise?”

“Sounds like sirens.” Slaine said absentmindedly. Then both girls’ eyes met in panic. “Sirens?”

“Suga, let’s go!” They raced for the door.

“You can’t leave him here!” Luc hollered.

“He’s right.” Suga appeared in the doorway. “The Cartwrights would never leave a man behind.”

“The Cartwrights had screenwriters to keep them from getting fatally shot.” Slaine snapped.

“So? You two are writers, aren’t you?”

Slaine looked at BnzaGal, who shrugged. “What do you think?”

“You know, I’ve always wanted to clothesline someone.” Slaine said. “Luc, I need a notebook.”

“No way.”

“Fine, we’ll write on the wall in sharpie and your mother can see how you helped us.” BnzaGal narrowed her eyes.

“Two notebooks, coming right up.”

“What first?” BnzaGal asked.

“First…” Slaine scribbled something down, and instantly their clothes were replaced by black elastic material topped with cloaks and sturdy black leather boots. “Now we’re ninjas.”

“Awesome.” Suga suddenly did a flip in the air and landed in a fighting stance.

“Weapon of choice?”

Suga took a pair of knives, BnzaGal a set of ninja stars, and Slaine a katana. Suddenly a mirror appeared before them.

“Sorry.” BnzaGal said, putting down her pen. “I just wanted to see how awesome we looked.”

“That’s perfectly understandable.” Suga adjusted her cloak. “Does anyone care to make an epically emotional speech?”

“I can quote three different pre-battle speeches from Lord of the Rings.” Slaine offered.

“Whatever happens, I’m glad to have known you guys.” BnzaGal said.

“Just hope that if we die, Fras brings us back to life.” Slaine said.

“If she brings us back, it’ll only be to kill us again.” Suga said.

They nodded, knowing she was right. Then the three of them took their stances, side by side, as the droning of sirens got closer.

~*~

The judge blinked twice when Slaine stopped with her storytelling. “Well?” He leaned forward, “what happened?”

“We’re here aren’t we?” Suga pouted. “Slaine forgot to write that we won the battle.” One side of her mouth twitched upward, “But we sure looked good.”

“Darn straight!” Slaine sat back down in her chair. “Those FBI guys are tough!”

The judge turned to where Fras waited nervously twisting the handkerchief she seemed to be constantly dabbing her eyes with. “I suppose, Miss Fras, that the Joe… er the kidnapped party was recovered?”

Fras shot a fiery glare to where the three accused sat. “He was not found when we raided the house… my house, which was practically destroyed by the way.”

BnzaGal looked down at her wrist where the Sharpie from the final battle still hadn’t washed off. It had been the last thing she had written before the marker had been knocked out of her hand and handcuffs slapped onto her wrists. Covering the words on her wrist with her right hand, BnzaGal looked up at the judge and mustered her courage. She stood, “Your Honor, if it pleases you, we would like to call on a witness from the prosecution.”

Suga grabbed BnzaGal’s shoulder and pulled her back down. “Your Honor, if it pleases you, we would like you to ignore BG… she doesn’t know what she’s saying.”

The judge banged his gavel down hard several times.

“What was that for?” Suga frowned.

The judge shrugged, “I like the sound.”

“I knew that was the reason,” Slaine muttered under her breath.

“Now, Miss BnzaGal?” The judge checked his notes to make sure he had the name right. “Which witness would you like to call forward?”

“Joe Cartwright, Sir.”

The courtroom was filled with hushed whispers.

“Silence!” The gavel banged.

Joe Cartwright walked down toward the witness stand with a perplexed look on his face that only grew more baffled when he spotted the three girls watching him.

After giving his oath to tell the truth, Joe waited for the first question.

They all waited.

“Well, Miss BnzaGal? Your question.” The judge leaned back in his chair and rubbed a bushy eyebrow.

BnzaGal looked at Slaine with big eyes. “You’re the spokesman-woman,” she whispered.

“I didn’t just bring up the guy we kidnapped…”

“Rescued!” Suga whispered a little louder then she should have.

Slaine rolled her eyes.

BnzaGal grinned slyly and uncovered her wrist, showing the words to Slaine before clapping her hand back over it.

Slaine stood and smiled. It was the kind of smile a gal has when she realizes that she holds all the aces and she can’t be beaten. “Joseph Cartwright,” she stepped around the table and took two confidant strides toward the witness stand, “Have you ever seen any of us before?” She swept her hand toward her two friends.

Joe hesitated. “Well… yes.”

“Would you tell the court where it was that you saw us?”

Joe shifted in his seat, “In a dream.”

More whispers danced around the courtroom. “And, Mr. Cartwright, have you recently been shot?”

“No.”

“He’s lying!” Fras leapt to her feet.

“Come on, Fras, don’t tell me you don’t believe in Little Joe!” Suga pushed back her chair and kicked her feet up on the table. “Not believin’ in Joe’s what got us into all this in the first place.”

Slaine nodded then continued. “Would you mind removing your shirt to show the court that you are indeed telling the truth?”

Suga’s feet dropped off the table with a thud and she leaned forward expectantly.

Joe did as Slaine asked and showed his bare back to the courtroom.

“No wounds.” Slaine winked at BnzaGal then continued. “You see the story you were just told happens to be a dream. A dream that Joe dreamt while he slept in the window of his bedroom.”

“Leave it unbuttoned!” Suga cried as Joe did up the buttons of his shirt.

BnzaGal nudged Suga hard with her elbow before nodding to Slaine to continue.

“Wait,” Joe frowned. “How did you know about my dream?”

Slaine opened and closed her mouth then glance back to where BnzaGal had Suga’s arm and was scribbling something down on it.

“Hoss told her,” BnzaGal said clicking the top of her pen to close it.

Suga looked at the untidy words that now covered her arm: Joe had told his family about the dream over breakfast the next morning.

“That’s right. Hoss told me!” Slaine smiled at the fuming Fras.

Joe nodded, convinced.

“It sounds like these girls are innocent.” The judge rubbed his temples with his hands.

“What!?” Fras screamed. “What about the thread hijacking, the resisting arrest, the assault of a federal officer? Not to mention the unauthorized porthole construction?”

“What pothole?” BnzaGal blinked innocently.

“Porthole.” Suga corrected.

“Haven’t you heard?” the judge stood, gavel in hand, “It was all a dream!” He banged the gavel down three times. “Not guilty. Court dismissed.”

“But… but…” Fras sputtered.

“Better luck next time, Fras.” BnzaGal grinned, finally uncovering the Sharpie written words: Joe awoke with a start finding himself still sitting in his window. It was a miracle he hadn’t fallen out. It had all been a dream… a really weird dream.

Fras shook her fist “Oh, Just you wait I’ll… I’ll…” She grabbed up a pen of her own and tore open her sleeve.

“It’s too late!” Suga did a triumphant jig. She tossed her blonde hair and showed her friends and Fras the palms of her hands.

On each palm was written one word. Together they said: THE END!

 

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Author: slaine89

I consider myself a storyteller, more than a writer. I don't make up the stories; I just tell them - and everyone has a story. I like my stories to be driven by emotions because that's what drives human beings. Also I like to introduce different dynamics to the characters that we're so familiar with. One thing that I strive to do in my writing is make my characters, both original and unoriginal, strong and real with clear voices. As I said, I'm merely the storyteller, and I prefer that the reader hears the characters' voices rather than my own.

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