- Text Size +
Author's Chapter Notes:
A/N: This is an AU Western crack!fic for you guys. I had so much fun writing it, especially since I've never written a Western before. Having all the characters in Old West mode was just pure gold XD Lassie hasn't changed at all, though. He's really the same both ways . . . Oh well. I hope you enjoy! ^^

Disclaimer: All publicly recognizable characters, settings, etc. are the property of their respective owners. The original characters and plot are the property of the author. The author is in no way associated with the owners, creators, or producers of any media franchise. No copyright infringement is intended.

Note: Please read in southern accent! :D
Everything changed the day that stranger rode into town. He took our calm, peaceful settlement and flipped it over on its head faster than a rattlesnake poppin' it's teeth out for breakfast. We don't take well to strangers here, not since them squirrels. So when he walked into the bar all tall and dark and jumped into the seat next to mine like he owned the place, naturally I gave him a my best cold glare.

"Hello, little lady. What's your name?" He grinned, completely unfazed by the ferocious look I was giving him. I did my best to remain as icy as possible, although I may have melted . . . just a tiny bit.

"I ain't tellin' no stranger my name less he tells me his first," I fought back, but he just clicked his tongue.

"Trust issues. You've got a bad history with your dad or something?" My face must've looked awfully funny, because he suddenly started chuckling hysterically. "I'm Shawn. Don't look so scared, my brilliant mind reading powers won't hurt you," he joked lightly. I felt my face start to burn, completely unnerved by his attitude and the fact that he'd somehow known about my father.

"I think you owe me a name," he reminded pointedly. I scowled.

"Juliet," I shot back, trying to show that he wasn't going to get under my skin.

"Glad to meet your acquaintance, Juliet." He smiled, and I can't explain why, but I started feelin' all strange inside, almost sick but . . . in a good way. I frowned and turned my head, grumbling. Maybe he had more black magic than just knowin' things he shouldn't.

"What brings you in here, anyway?" the bartender, Henry, interjected. I was secretly grateful for the interruption. However, the stranger - Shawn, now - shuddered as his smile disappeared.

"Raccoons," he whispered.

"What was that, now?" Henry frowned. I looked up at Shawn, embarrassment forgotten.

"Raccoons," he said, a little stronger this time. "They're the most deadly, vicious, evil little gang you'll ever meet. Their eyes shine bright yellow like the sun and they can see in the dark. Little demons, wearing those masks all the time . . . They almost ripped my face off," he said, nodding solemnly. Henry huffed, obviously not buying it. I didn't quite believe it either, to be honest.

"I'm sure they did," he said, but his voice was heavy with sarcasm. Apparently missing the tone in his voice, Shawn only nodded.

"Now, I don't let people lollygaggle in my place without somethin' to do, so are you gonna buy a drink or not?"

"I'd do anything for a pineapple smoothie right about now." Shawn grinned.

"Now see here," the bartender growled, leaning over the counter. "I've had enough of your stories and made up words. Now do ya want somethin' real or are you just gonna keep askin' for fantasy drinks?"

Shawn blinked, clearly confused. "You don't serve pineapple smoothies?"

"Last time I checked, I only served real drinks."

"You've never heard of a pineapple," his voice went flat. "Never. Heard. Of. Pineapple."

'Listen, are you going to order something or not?! 'Cause I swear if you ask for that drink again I'm gonna throw you out faster than your parents rejecting you into the wild."

"Alright, alright!" He threw up his hands in surrender. "I'll take mango if I absolutely have to."

"That does it!" Henry slammed his fist down on the counter and Shawn jumped back a little, confused surprise so pure on his face it was almost comical. Both of 'em started fightin' and shoutin' as Henry shoved Shawn out the door, tellin' him to get out. Shawn tried to stand up for himself, clearly still confused, and he fell back into the outdoors he gave me this puppy-dog look of confusion that said 'what'd I do wrong?'.

I sighed and followed them out, curious to see the outcome. Things were just startin' to get heated when I spotted my big brother stomping across the dust.

"What in the sam hill is goin' on out here?" he roared. Henry and Shawn immediately split, sufficiently scolded.

"This stranger callin' himself Shawn was fillin' my place with straight lies," Henry spat. I saw Shawn open his mouth to protest but my brother interrupted him.

"That true, Juliet?"

I shrugged. "He started talkin' about a gang called the Raccoons. Sounded pretty dangerous, but he might've been spinnin' tales. Henry got really mad when he asked for some kind o' drink we'd never heard of . . . what was it again?"

"A pineapple smoothie," Shawn chimed. "By the way, Jules, you'll have to remind me to introduce pineapples to the town when this is all over-"

"What'd you call my sister?" Lassiter growled. Shawn looked surprised.

"Oh, Jules? It's just a nickname. Wait . . . you two are siblings?" He stared at us, openly shocked. "You look nothing alike!"

I said, "he's adopted," and the exact same time Lassiter said "she's adopted". We stared at each other for a minute. Out of the corner of my eyes I could see Shawn's face contorting into more confusion, if that was even possible.

"I'm Carlton, the sheriff of this town," my brother started. I rolled my eyes, knowing what was coming.

"And what a good town it is," he continued. "If it was for these good people I would willingly die in a hailstorm of bullets, leaving this perfectly-flawed planet, my body littered with lead, my heart bleeding blue upon the dust of the town I love so much-"

"Okay, okay, we get it, you're sheriff and your blood is blue," Shawn interrupted. "That's good, man. That's great. Can we move on now? I'm still really thirsty and-"

"Shawn, I think maybe you should shut up," I said as politely as possible. I'd been watching Lassiter's face contort into red, seething anger as Shawn spoke, although apparently, he'd somehow missed it.

"No, no, Juliet," Lassiter said, his voice strained. "Let it go. After all, if he doesn't believe my that my blue heart yearns for justice, that's his problem." He paused, growling. "So then, stranger. Let me prove it to you."

I groaned inwardly, realizing what was going to come next. Lassiter strode up to Shawn and slapped a gun in his hand, giving him a good slap upside the head at the same time. Shawn stumbled, surprised by both the the slap and the gun.

"Quick draw duel. You and me, high noon," Lassiter hissed in his ear. Shawn blinked.

"Dude, that's two minutes from now."

"Then I'll see you in two minutes, smart-mouth!"

Two minutes later . . .

The deep, long donging of the bell tower signaled that twelve o'clock had arrived. Silence swept over the town, blowing the noise of curiosity and nervous excitement away with the wind. The entire town had come to watch the stand-off - or, I corrected herself, more truthfully, they'd come to watch the Sheriff kick this stranger's butt.

In truth, I was actually sort of worried - not that I thought anyone would actually get hurt, but that Shawn might lose and be forced to leave. I couldn't explain my sudden attachment to the handsome stranger - perhaps I was simply struck by how different he was. He was so childish, almost like a newly housebroken puppy . . . and yet as I looked at him now, he seemed so calculating and clever, maybe even a little bit - dare I say it? - mature.

"If I win, I reserve the right to fill your boots with peanut butter and unleash a herd of live cows in your office," Shawn called out across the empty town square. I rolled her eyes to the heavens. Scratch that last thought.

"Let's just get on with it!" Lassiter yelled, and once again, all fell silent.

"Wait, does that mean you agree?" Shawn asked hesitantly, and I felt the sudden urge to slap myself.

"If you interrupt on more time I'm going to shoot you whether you're ready or not!" Lassiter roared.

Shawn opened his mouth to reply, then seemed to think better of it and shut up.

The tension rose higher, hitching a ride with the burning sun. Beads of sweat appeared on Shawn's forehead, only slightly cooled by the shadow of the large brim of his hat. Lassiter remained cool and aloof, although how he wasn't melting like a snowman I didn't know.

All was silent.

The crowd held their breath, stomachs twisted into knots, waiting, watching for someone to make the first move -

Someone chose that exact moment to dart across the field, screaming, "The squirrels are coming! The squirrels are coming!"

"MCNABB!" Lassiter roared.

"Raccoons!" Shawn wailed.

"SQUIRRELS!" McNabb repeated, and the town erupted.

Panic exploded from townspeople who were screaming and running for cover. Squirrels overflowed buildings, screeching and leaking from the windows. Lassiter ran around screaming "I will not die by squirrels! I will not die by squirrels!" while Shawn started to cry. Creatures I had never seen before were running rabid through the streets and suddenly I couldn't see -

"Juliet! Juliet!"

Everything was dark, but I had the vague sensation someone was shaking me -

"Jules! Wake up!"

"Shawn!" I gasped and bolted upright, suddenly very, very dizzy. "Wait - what . . .?"

"You fell asleep and missed the best part!" Shawn whined. I blinked.

We were sitting on the couch at my house. High Noon was playing on the television, and the bowl of popcorn in Shawn's lap was completely empty. Memories started coming back to me . . . oh, right. Movie night.

"Are you okay?" Shawn asked, sounding more amused than concerned. "You kept shouting in your sleep . . ."

"I'm fine," I said. "It was just a really weird dream . . ."

"Nightmares about squirrels, Jules? You might be spending a little too much time with Lassie."

I blinked and rubbed my eyes, suddenly exhausted. "Maybe a little," I mumbled, snuggling closer to him. Shawn put his arm around my shoulders and kissed my forehead.

It wasn't long before I felt myself start to drift off again, back to a land where Shawn was saving my life from the the squirrels and raccoons using the blue paintball gun he'd had during the draw, making some sort of heroic speech about riding in on lightning and lassoing tornadoes . . .
Chapter End Notes:
I hope you enjoyed! It was a ton of fun to write! :D Please review if you liked or you have any thoughts you'd like to share! I always love to hear from my readers! ^^

Enter the security code shown below: