Summary: I've only watched season 1 of The Big Valley before I got this idea. Now, I've watched episodes of the other seasons, this idea would never work. Any way, I happened to be cleaning house and the television was blaring Western Marathons on this particular Sunday. I started to turn off the tv and go about my business when behold, I caught the Bionic Man in his early years!( WOWZA! That man is gorgeous and reminds me of a blonde Elvis Presley.) I was a child when I watched Bionic Man with my dad. So I was intrigued and sat down. To make a long story short, I fell hopelessly in love with Heath Barkley and the other Barkleys. I binge watched season one of The Big Valley in a week's time. Being an avid fanfic writer, I thought before I get into any more seasons, I didn't want to ruin any of my thoughts before I wrote this one out.

Warning: I think Linda Evans and Lee Majors were probably two of the most gorgeous people to live in that era. (; So here is the deal, this will be a story of the two and their unusual relationship in their family dynamics. Before every one gets all squeamish, it will not be incest at all. (YUCK! I'm not sick in the head) But it will be my own little imagination of these two gorgeous beings without ruining any Barkley. Because I am admittedly superficial and gorgeous people play out gorgeously in stories. So come along for the ride and hold on to the reigns. I wouldn't want you to fall off before you let this one play out. Because it involves Heath and Audra, I must make this after season one and no other seasons must be considered. Because the idea of their dynamic in this just won't work after season one. But one season isn't too far fetched for my story. It will be immediately after the last episode of season one The Last Train to the Fair

Disclaimer: I don't own the characters nor would I want to. Just having a little fun with my imagination and hope to let others enjoy my take on a story some may enjoy.

Rated T to be safe.

Title: The Satchel Full of Truths

Chapter One: Coddled Little Girl

Audra leaned back against the large comfortable couch, which her mother insisted she not remove herself from. If it were up to the family, Audra would still be in bed not daring to come down stairs. It had been a long two and half weeks since she had her surgery for her appendix removal. Audra had to agree that her surgery was done in less than stellar conditions. However, the doctor from the hospital had released her to come back to the Barkley Ranch just a few days after. Yet, her mother and her brothers seemed to be treating her like an invalid by making her remain stationary. Well, two of her brothers were. One was away to college and one didn't seem to have time to baby Audra like Nick and Jarod were. No, Heath Barkley came in sweaty after working hard all day and rarely gave Audra two words. He didn't even take time to play cards with her. That fact Audra resented very immensely. After all, she was stuck on a sofa bored out of her mind. The least her brother could do was play a game of cards with her.

The others were still enough on their own treating her like a porcelain doll. She would much prefer being ignored as Heath was doing than being treated as such by her mother and her brothers, Nick and Jarod. Audra had finally begged them to allow her to come downstairs instead of being held up in her bedroom. The fact still remained that she was bored out of her mind. She only wished they'd leave to Stockton long enough to allow her the pleasure of sneaking out for a horse ride around North ridge.

Her thoughts of how to escape soon were erased with the loud bustle coming into the house. Audra smiled as she heard Heath taunting Nick over something. Jared winked at his little sister. Both knew it was Heath who had started the little argument. He always made tiny off hand remarks to watch Nick steam under the collar. After almost a year of having Heath as their brother, Nick had still not realized Heath was having a little innocent fun at Nick's expense. However, as far as Audra, her mother, and Jarod were concerned, it was all good fun. Besides, Nick always gave back as much as he got from his younger brother. Her mother, Victoria, had said to Audra and Jarod that Heath seemed to be most like Nick. Although, Heath was more level headed and had more of a sadness that sometimes surrounded his demeanor that the other Barkley's could never have.

Audra pulled back her long blonde locks as each family member greeted her with a kiss to the forehead as they declared they were at her beck and call now that their ranching, lawyering, or other things were over for the day. Except for Heath, who walked passed her to pour himself a drink. Audra didn't want to be coddled. However, it would be nice if Heath at least nodded his head her way. She had no idea why he was ignoring her as he was. She had done nothing to that stubborn brother of hers. It was times like these that Audra had to remind herself that Heath was indeed her brother and not some drifter. Audra, as well as the rest of the family, had accepted Heath with open arms despite his mother's past with her father. Accepting him with open arms and feeling like he was her brother were two different things though. He called her "sis" and he was very protective over her. Still sometimes in Audra's thoughts, she couldn't help but feel Heath was still a stranger, who she barely knew. Those thoughts were bombarding her mind a lot since being ignored by him the past two and half weeks. She didn't understand why he chose to act like she no longer existed.

"This is ridiculous!" Audra spoke up in irritation.

Haughtily, she straightened her shoulders back to make sure her family knew she meant business. Of course, she meant Heath acting like she didn't exist. She realized her outburst had made all the Barkley's turn to stare at her. At least, she got Heath to notice she was still alive. Audra's eyes found Heath's. She watched as he swallowed then turned from her quickly. She felt her lip begin to quiver at his rejection. Therefore, to save her pride, she spoke up about the other matter that was bothering her.

"I'm tired of sitting around all day. I want to go shopping, riding...anything but sit on this couch or head to bed!" Audra smacked the sides of the sofa angrily.

It was this very moment that Heath spoke up causing the other Barkley's to stare at him as if he had a third eye. "Then get up and go riding or shopping."

Heath half chuckled at Victoria, Nick, and Jarod staring at him with the same look and posture. Each had their arms folded defiantly over their chests with squinted eyes staring at Heath.

Victoria spoke up first. "Heath, how could you say that? She almost died!"

"But she's here alive and well now, Mother. Which like you all, I'm grateful. But I'd go stir crazy if I were stuck in the house all day like ya'll have her doing." Heath poured another drink and swigged it down quickly. "Just sayin'"

"That doesn't count." Nick's voice was too loud for the occasion as usual. "You also took a beating in a prison camp or Mexican jail...whatever, else you've had to deal with..any way, you were out the next day helping on the ranch. She's NOT YOU!"

"No, I'm not." Audra smiled quirkily thinking of how many times Heath had endured life threatening things but would never be confined to couch. "But I'm not asking to run the ranch, break a bronco, or have a shoot out. I just want to go for a ride on North ridge."

"Boy howdy, Sis." Heath sat his drinking glass on the small table. "I wondered when you'd finally get tired of all the fuss and being a coddled little girl."

"Thank you, Heath." Audra turned to Victoria. "Mother, please. I need to get out of the house and not just to sit on the porch. I feel like I'm smothering."

Victoria sat down beside her daughter. "I'm sorry, Darling. I guess we have been a little over protective."

"A little?" Heath said sarcastically but quickly shut up seeing as the glares were once again piercing him.

"I understand, Mother. " Trying to save Heath from her mother's and brothers' wrathful stares, Audra smiled sweetly as she glanced at each of her brothers and mother. "I know it is because you care. But I'm better now. I promise."

"Fine." Jarod leaned down to kiss his sister's cheek. "You should go riding tomorrow. But take Heath with you, since he agrees with you, just to be safe."

"Heath, will you?" Audra's eyes begged him as they sparkled with slight excitement to be getting away from the Barkley house and being fussed over.

"Sure. I'll go. I'll saddle the horses first thing in the morning." Heath teased with a wink. "It's not like I work all day herding cattle or mending fences."

End Chapter One

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