Originally published in Magnificent Laughs #3 by Neon RainBow Press.

Standard fanfic disclaimer that wouldn't last ten seconds in a court of law: these aren't my characters, I'm just borrowing them for, um, typing practice. That's it, typing practice. I'll return them to their actual owners (relatively) undamaged. This is an amateur work of fiction; no profit beyond pleasure was derived from the writing.

They're At It Again!

by Susan M. M.

Buck and JD were on top of the church, mending the roof (again).

The ladies' man sang as he pounded the nails into the wood, going from "Pretty Peggy" to "Lorena" to "Me and Bobbie McGee."

Freedom's just another word for nothing left to lose,

Freedom ain't worth nothin', but it's free.

Feelin' good was easy, Lord, when Bobbie sang the blues,

Feelin' good was good enough for me,

Good enough for me and Bobbie McGee…

"Buck?" The Boston-born sheriff looked up at his friend, a puzzled expression in his hazel eyes. "That's a right nice song, but I didn't understand some of the words."

"Every boy needs a man of the world, someone older and wiser, to educate him. That's why I'm here, son."

JD shook his head at Buck's attitude. The man was more full of BS than a constipated Hereford. "What's 'thumbed a diesel down' mean?"

Buck raised a bushy dark eyebrow, giving his friend a don't-you-know-anything? Then he took a good look and noticed the difference in their clothing. JD still wore his usual garb – a patched shirt, too dirty from mending the roof to tell if it was tan or had originally been white, brown checked pants, and his bowler hat. But Buck's Stetson had been replaced with a Chicago Cubs baseball cap. He no longer felt his scratchy long underwear beneath the blue shirt Nettie Wells had made for him. Instead, he wore a Hard Rock Café: Denver t-shirt, softened by multiple washings. He would've appreciated the difference in textures more were it not for the frightened look in JD's eyes.

"Wh-what's happening?" The young easterner struggled to control the quiver in his voice.

"It's all right, pard. You're just a smidge out of sync," Buck said gently. Then, he yelled down. "Chris! They're at it again!"

Billy Travis was rolling a hoop down the street, so Larabee couldn't say the words he wanted to use. "Dog-gone fanfic authors, can't they give us a few minutes' peace?" the gunslinger muttered. His hazel-green eyes scanned the town, checking to see how bad the attack was this time.

One moment Ezra stood alone in front of the saloon, dapperly clad in his favorite red broadcloth coat. The next moment, Vin materialized on the wooden sidewalk beside him as though he'd just beamed down from DS9.

The sharpshooter wore a Starfleet uniform, the tips of his Vulcan ears peeking out from his long hair. And Ezra was now in a kilt and a black Montrose jacket, with a lace jabot at his throat and lace cuffs at his sleeves. The kilt was in the hunting Ross tartan, and Chris strongly suspected whichever author was in a Sir Walter Scott mood today had chosen that particular tartan to complement Ezra's green eyes rather than to honor her own heritage. A sgian dhu with a jeweled hilt was tucked into his hose, and a matching dirk hung from the belt that supported his sporran.

Chris glanced down the road. Mary Travis was walking toward him, a stack of newspapers in her hands. Her blue gingham dress rustled as she walked. Billy looked up from his Gameboy and waved at his mother. His Cub Scout uniform proudly bore several badges.

On the front steps, Josiah was caught in a transdimensional loop, morphing from a beautiful, golden lion-man to a red-skinned demon to himself, over and over again.

Chris turned to see his reflection in a store window. He was almost afraid to look. An Air Force major, in fatigues, with an SG-7 patch on his shoulder. He swung his head back to Mary and inhaled sharply. Yeoman Travis carried a tricorder. Her short skirt – Classic Trek, not Next Gen – showed every millimeter of her beautiful legs.

Nathan stood on the porch outside his clinic, a longbow in his hand. He wore a leather jerkin over a shirt and leggings of homespun cloth that was dyed a rich Lincoln green.

Chris, who'd been leader of the Sherwood Seven more times than he could count, gave the healer a second look, trying to determine which version he was from: Richard Greene, Errol Flynn, Michael Praed, Dick Gautier, Kevin Costner, Martin Potter, Cary Elwes, or one of the many others. He shuddered, remembering the time a Limey fan had crossed Little Britches with Unbroken Arrow.

Mary continued on down the street, her arms full of scrolls. She looked like a blonde Cleopatra or Nefertiti. Her white linen gown was embroidered at the hem with ankhs and lotus blossoms in gold thread. She wore gold armlets, a gold collar, and a golden scarab-trimmed tiara.

"Mr. Larabee!" an anguished Ezra cried out. "I must protest."

Chris stared at the gambler in shock. Ezra now wore a pink ballet tutu. He raised his eyes to the sky. "Now that's going too far!"

Barely audible in the distance, he heard feminine giggling, and the clacking of computer keyboard keys…

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