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burning_ice ([personal profile] burning_ice) wrote2013-02-20 11:12 pm

Kids Incorporated - Defenseless

TITLE - Defenseless (February 20, 2013)
PAIRING - Gloria/Ryan
UNIVERSE - Alternate (western universe from Rockin’ Saddles)
GENRE - Romance, Humor
SUMMARY - In that moment it was almost as if nothing could hurt him, but at the same time he felt so vulnerable.

Gloria had been in town for about six months before she and Ryan had a proper encounter. Sheriff was always incredibly talkative, but not in a serious sort of fashion. And of course there was their small talk at the Christmas party, but that mostly consisted of laughing and making sure they weren’t steeping on each other’s feet. Whenever she passed him in the streets he would tip his hat and ask if she was well and (usually) the conversation wouldn’t go very much further than that.

And when it did, she always felt so…awkward. Besides, she knew it made him feel awkward, too. Some days, when she ran into him late in his daily rounds, he would ask what she thought about the weather or how the plans were progressing on the spelling bee. Gloria would usually just nod and smile and play with the binding on the edge of the book she was carrying. If she dared to ask him about how close they were to the capture of a well-publicized bank robber from a few towns over, he would stick his hands in his pockets and ramble off a few reassuring phrases before they parted ways.

The investigation of a disturbance near the schoolhouse led to that first conversation. A woman who lived a few minutes away claimed she had seen a coon walking by her house in the daytime hours, leading her to the assumption that it may be rabid. The woman visited Gloria, talking up a storm about irresponsibility. Gloria insisted it was nothing, though a small part of her wondered if there really was something behind it all.

Gloria worried at her lip and rearranged the pencils at her desk by height. Breathing in and directing her attention back towards the other woman, Gloria put her hands together and sighed. “I’ll look into it.” She finally said, offering a smile.

Well,” the other woman hissed, her scraggily curls jumping, “if you are that unconcerned for the safety of our young people, I will simply have to do something about it myself.” She glared before turning and storming through the front door. Gloria put her hand over her eyes and groaned.


Ryan sighed as the woman exited the building. Although he was sure the case was nothing more than a sighting of a rather odd-looking cat (the woman who offered him this “tip” had a habit of blowing things out of proportion, along with rather terrible eyesight), it was, as she had informed him, his sworn duty to make sure that the town was free of potentially harmful animals.

He leaned back in his chair and covered his eyes with his hands.


Not an hour later, Ryan was at the schoolhouse, dodging children on their way home and waving to Ms. Gloria as the other woman gave a disapproving glare. Once all the children were well on their way home and the sun beat down on his shoulders in a far less brutal fashion, Ryan began to tiptoe around the schoolhouse, smiling as he found the culprit…an odd-looking cat, just as he had speculated.

Ryan picked up the feline, smiling and carrying it back to Gloria. She smirked and ran her thumb over its ear, laughing as it purred. She lifted her head and her eyes met his. Her smile was bright and her eyes sparkled in a way that made him blush.

In that moment it was almost as if nothing could hurt him, but at the same time he felt so vulnerable. “Ms.,” he started, breathing in quickly, “would you do me the honor of allowing me to escort you to the carnival next week?”

Gloria beamed, turning her full attention to Ryan as the cat scurried off. “I’d be mighty glad to.”

“I’ll see you then.” Ryan called, smiling as he went on his way.

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