Author's Note: This is a western alternate universe for Hamish Macbeth where I have him as the sheriff of the small town called Sunnyside in south-eastern Wyoming. I am mainly only borrowing Hamish for this verse and am not profiting from him in any way. I'm just exploring the fact that Hamish loves westerns and so I have put him in a western setting. All other characters, especially Elijah Marshall, are of my own creation. Any reference to people deceased or living is purely coincidental.
Summary: Hamish Macbeth sets out to apprehend two bank robbers in the town of Kennewick but has to tread carefully otherwise he, along with his deputy and innocents in the bank, could wind up the robbers' next victims.
Hamish felt the gentle brushing of his hair growing stronger with each passing second until each stroke registered complete comfort in his mind. Slowly he opened his eyes and saw a woman in an evening dress with a top cut so low that when she leaned over him, Hamish could see more than what he knew he ought to be looking at. The woman touched the side of his head with a cool, damp cloth and Hamish winced and shut his eyes again. For a moment he thought that he had died in that shootout with the robbers in Kennewick and was waking up to Heaven, but the moment the pain began, Hamish knew that he was alive and rejoiced in his good fortune.
'Elijah,' he called out through a gasp. His side had begun hurting something fierce and he desperately wanted to know that his friend was okay, seeing how the last memory he had was getting shot in the side. He struggled to sit up and gazed wildly about him. 'Elijah? Elijah?'
'Oh you just rest yourself Sheriff!' said the woman with a gentle laugh as she eased Hamish back onto the bed with a gentle coax of her hand. 'Mr Marshall is downstairs making something for you to take for the pain, though if he had wanted whisky he could have just asked Darling to fetch it for him.'
'Ah, Darling,' said Hamish, looking about him and catching the posh decorations of the room and combined with the presence of this woman, he knew that he was in the Jenkin's Hotel and that he was being cared for by one of his whores, or as Hamish liked to think of them as, companions. He smiled and asked, 'What's your name?'
'Marylee,' she replied with a smile. 'Are you feeling a little better?'
'Aye. How long was I out?'
'About the whole of two hours. Or maybe it was three, hard to tell.'
At that moment, Elijah entered the room carrying a small bowl. As soon as he saw Hamish awake, his stoic face broke into a wide smile and he took a seat on the bed. 'Hamish, I'm glad you're awake!'
'So am I! And I'm even more glad tae see you!'
'Me?' Elijah scrunched his brow in confusion. 'Why on earth for?'
'I don't recall anything that happened after I was shot the first time.'
'Ah, well, there was a third robber at the door, just the lookout, and he got you in the side, but fortunately it didn't do much damage. It'll hurt and you lost a fair bit of blood from it, but you'll live.'
'An' my head?'
'The second robber decided that he could kill you and missed. Grazed your head though and I think that's what put you on the floor.'
'Och, that explains why my head feels like it's on fire.'
Elijah chuckled and stirred the contents in the bowl. 'Hopefully this will help then.' Picking up the spoon, he put it to Hamish's mouth and said, 'It'll help with the pain and fight off infection.'
Hamish looked at him, then pushed himself up with the aid of Marylee. Though he wanted to hold the spoon himself, Elijah wouldn't let him, and so Hamish suffered the indignity of having to be fed by his deputy. The taste wasn't as revolting as Hamish imagined it to be and allowed a few more spoonfulls before he was too worn out for another. Elijah helped him settle back on the bed and gently brushed back his fringe once Hamish was resting.
'So what happened after I got shot again?' asked Hamish.
There was a brief pause in which Elijah smiled dryly. 'I shot him.'
Hamish winced and shut his eyes. 'Aye, that's justice for ye out here. Thanks Elijah, ye saved my life again.'
Elijah gripped his hand and squeezed it gently, saying nothing. In his eyes there was a sorrow that he would not express and he simply held onto Hamish's hand until he was certain that his friend was asleep where he placed Hamish's hand carefully on his stomach and pulled another blanket over him and then left the room so Hamish could sleep in peace.