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20 September 2009 @ 01:56 am
'Neither Wind Nor Bird' (01/01)  
I wrote a comment fic last week in response to a meme, which was essentially the first section of this story. I fleshed it out a bit and added a second part, and now, have a complete story to present to you.

This takes place about ten days after ‘The Heart of a Friend’ and several weeks before strangevisitor7's story, ‘Hell Hath No Fury’.

Rating: PG13
Characters: Vin Tanner, Cecily Black Desjardins, Penny Black
Notes: Thanks to strangevisitor7 for the beta, a story in the Echoes the Sea/Aces Immortal series.
Summary: Cecily gives Vin a little something to think about.


Neither Wind Nor Bird

Neither wind nor bird
That was my heart you heard
Last night by the River
Making thunder through the land,
Shaking earth where you did stand
That was my heart you heard

Rancho Caballo Rojo, New Mexico Territory, Autumn 1867

“Are you sweet on Cecily?” a young voice asked from behind him.

Startled, Vin just about hit his thumb with the hammer he was using to fix the latch on the vegetable garden gate. While Chris and Charlotte were on their honeymoon in San Francisco, Vin was pitching in with Ezra to help Cecily and Timothy with their younger siblings and running the ranch.

Looking over his shoulder, he saw Penny, Charlotte’s eleven-year-old, looking up at him with clear green eyes. Grinning, he replied, “Reckon I might be, chili pepper.”

She walked over to the fence and leaned against it. Twirling the end of one long red braid absently in her fingers, she pondered. “Are you going to court her?”

“Well now, that’ed be between me and yer sister.” He tweaked her nose, making her giggle.

“Papa says you’d be a damned fool not to,” she informed him firmly, as if that solved the matter.

Vin choked back laughter, attempting to look stern. “Now there, Penny, pretty sure neither your mama nor Chris would approve of that sort of language. And ain’t good manners to be eavesdropping on folks.”

“Weren’t eavesdropping,” she protested her innocence. “I was sitting with him and mama while you were dancing with Cecily at the wedding.”

He didn’t know what to say to that. Damn Larabee for his big mouth! All he could manage was, “Still, no cause to be cursin’ like a ranch hand.”

She seemed to pay no heed to his reproof, her mind set on other things. “I think you should court her too. If you married Cecily, then you’d be my brother, and I’d like that. So would Patrick,” she said of her twin.

He dipped his head, touched by her words. “That’s one of the nicest things anyone’s ever said to me, chili pepper,” Vin told her sincerely, a lump in his throat.

Penny threw her arms around his waist. “I love you, Uncle Vin.”

“Love you too, Penny gal, and that’s a fact.”


Neither wind nor bird
That was my blood you heard
Last night by the river
Pouring into your heart's lake
Running redder for your sake
That was my blood you heard

Vin hummed to himself as he put the tools he’d been using away in their box, his conversation with Penny still in the forefront of his thoughts. It had been nearly a week since Chris and Charlotte had left on their honeymoon, and Ezra’d already started teasing him about just how much Vin seemed to find that needed doing at the ranch since they’d been gone. He grinned, not minding his friend’s good-natured ribbing; man was right, after all. Vin had taken every opportunity to visit the ranch, hell, maybe had even created a few, if he were honest.

Some days, after the work were done, he’d just sit and watch Cecily paint, her long, slender fingers moving the brush across the canvas, creating a beauty that was near to magic.

Shaking his head, he sighed as he straightened, picking up his hat from the workbench. Maybe he’d ask Cecily to take a walk down by the river after supper. Despite the support of his friends, Vin still had a hard time believing that a cultured woman like her would really have feelings for a man like him that were more than just those of friendship.

Turning, he made to leave the shed, stopping short as he realized Cecily was in the doorway, leaning against the frame, a hand on her hip. He wondered how long she’d been standing there watching him, that thought quickly followed by him wishing he knew just what it was she saw.

She moved a little ways into the room, a small smile on her lips, as if she had a secret. Then she said, “Supper’s ready.”

He nodded. “Will admit I’m feeling a mite starved ‘bout now.”

“I made a cassoulet with the duck you brought, so I’m pleased you’re hungry. It’s a dish I learned to make at home in France,” she explained.

He couldn’t quite stop the look of surprise that appeared on his face. She raised an eyebrow. “I do know how to cook, Mr. Tanner,“ she informed him, correctly divining his expression. “So does Ezra, though I doubt he’d ever admit it. Mama taught us both how to do for ourselves along with music, Latin and science.”

“Sure yer a real fine cook, ma’am,” Vin assured her.

“Hmmph,” she muttered, but her lips twitched with humour as she moved farther into the small shed, coming to stand in front of him, a speculative look in her jade green eyes. It was a look that made him slightly nervous and he fought the urge to back up, holding his ground.

“I was wondering if you had decided yet?” Her fingers brushed at the kerchief around his neck, before falling away.

“Ma’am?” Vin was at a loss. Decided what?

Now she was standing so close, their bodies were practically touching, and his heart sped up as he momentarily seemed to forget how to breathe.

“Why if you’re going to court me, of course.” The tip of her tongue flicked at her lips before they curved into a provocative smile, a smile that really did cause him to forget the art of breathing this time.

She’d heard his conversation with Penny. Damn it all! His mind raced in a panic, trying to decide how to answer her. “Cecily, I don’t…I mean, I think….”

“Vin Tanner, you think entirely too much,” she scolded gently, her hands coming to rest on either side of his face. Her touch was like fire on his skin and he fought for equilibrium. She pulled his head down, taking him completely by surprise, capturing his lips with hers, kissing him long and thoroughly.

He froze for just a moment, until the feeling of her lips on his overcame his hesitation. His arms came around to pull her close, returning the kiss with a matching passion. Nothing had ever felt like this, and while a part of him knew he shouldn’t be here doing this with his best friend’s sister, most of him just didn’t give a damn. He wanted to hold her in his arms forever and never let her go.

Then she was stroking his long hair, breaking the kiss, her cheek pressing against his. He could feel her heart pounding against his chest as she caught her breath. Gently pulling away from him, she once again flashed that smile. “You think on that, Mr. Tanner.” Then she whirled on one high heel and was gone.

Vin pressed his fingers against his lips for a moment, then smiled. “I reckon I will at that,” he whispered.

In the moonlight through the pines
In the deepest part of night
My heart called your name
Last night by the river


Last Night by the River
Neither wind nor bird
That was my voice you heard
Last night by the river
In the wind that stirred the grass
And whispered when you passed
That was my voice you heard

Neither wind nor bird
That was my heart you heard
Last night by the River
Making thunder through the land,
Shaking earth where you did stand
That was my heart you heard

Neither wind nor bird
That was my blood you heard
Last night by the river
Pouring into your heart's lake
Running redder for your sake
That was my blood you heard

In the moonlight through the pines
In the deepest part of night
My heart called your name
Last night by the river

Music by Connie Dover
Lyrics by Connie Dover, inspired by the traditional Shoshone love poem, "Neither Spirit nor Bird."
From the CD, The Border of Heaven, by Connie Dover © Taylor Park Music/Connie Dover

Carrie: Magnificent7: JD Daydreaming Smilesparrowsverse on September 20th, 2009 08:09 am (UTC)
Hee! I think all of the Vin fangirls wished they were there in place of Cecily. :D

Excellent fic! Can't wait to see what else comes out in this series. :D
Ith: Mag 7 - Vin Sunlightithildyn on September 20th, 2009 08:16 am (UTC)
You're up late!

Thanks :) Must have at least one happy moment before heartache and angst [weg]
Black Rook: Chris&Vingrachonok on September 20th, 2009 09:27 am (UTC)
Love Cecily:). She is just the kind of woman for Vin, not wanting to outwait his shyness:).
(Well, at least they have a chance of 'happily ever after'...)
Ithithildyn on September 20th, 2009 06:57 pm (UTC)
I kinda liked her just kissing him. Cecily is a take charge sort of woman [g]

They do have a chance.... [whistles innocently]
Black Rook: Chris&Vingrachonok on September 20th, 2009 07:03 pm (UTC)
You sort of promised they will be there when Ez courts Penny! :)
Ithithildyn on September 20th, 2009 07:09 pm (UTC)
Hee! Yes, but I can't resist teasing you!
sarahwinks7985 on September 20th, 2009 02:44 pm (UTC)
oh! i just loved this!!

vin and cecily are awesome together... :D

and wait a minute... what is that i read about one happy moment before heartache and angst??

ruh roh.

(i can't wait for more)

Ithithildyn on September 20th, 2009 06:58 pm (UTC)
Glad you're enjoying it!

Well, you have been reading 'Hell Hath No Fury' right? So blame Casey for teh angst! LOL
tygermama: Mag 7 Vintygermama on September 20th, 2009 04:17 pm (UTC)
Hee! That's so sweet!

And the poem is beautiful.

(and you're evil. "heartache and angst" huh? :D )
Ithithildyn on September 20th, 2009 07:02 pm (UTC)
I love Connie Dover, and a lot of my story titles are inspired by her music (I Am Going To The West, At The Edge of Heaven, When We're From Sorrow Free, We'll Sing On) This one just seemed very Vin. The followup I'm wrting to Casey's 'Hell Hath No Fury' is also a line from one of her songs.

Glad you're enjoyed it!

As for heartache, *I'm* not the one doing bad things to them currently [coughs] [g]
catyuycatyuy on September 20th, 2009 09:11 pm (UTC)
Ith: Mag 7 - Ezra Vin Photoithildyn on September 20th, 2009 09:18 pm (UTC)
Hee! Thanks :)
bugeyedmonsterbugeyedmonster on September 20th, 2009 09:11 pm (UTC)
Awwww.... Vin/Cecily make me have a happy.

And does Chris realize the kids are picking up his cussin'?

Ith: Mag 7 - Chris Desperadoithildyn on September 20th, 2009 09:20 pm (UTC)
I'm sure he's been scolded by Charlotte on the matter [g]
caitymomcaitymom on September 21st, 2009 01:57 am (UTC)
I really loved this.
I want Vin to grow old with Cecily.
Ith: Mag 7 - Vin Sunlightithildyn on September 21st, 2009 07:41 am (UTC)
I'm glad and that would be lovely :)
tpena19tpena19 on September 22nd, 2009 07:55 am (UTC)
Now that was nice. I like when she lays one on him, lol.
Ith: Mag 7 - Vin Beerithildyn on September 23rd, 2009 08:45 pm (UTC)
Thanks :)
I will call her George: Mag 7 - Vin (2)strangevisitor7 on September 23rd, 2009 07:19 pm (UTC)
I love C&V and i think this is just the perfect moment between the two that captures the difference in their personalities and yet why they are so right for each other. I also love your Vin POV.
Ith: Mag 7 - Vin Beerithildyn on September 23rd, 2009 08:45 pm (UTC)
Thanks - Vin POV has been getting a workout lately!