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Merry Christmas To You by Deb Eliz & Debbie/Gidget

This story is an orphan – that is, the writer has not been active in the fandom for a long time, and the story has been rescued from the old, defunct Yahoo groups. So that we don’t lose the story entirely, we’re storing it here.

However the original author still owns this story. Should they reconnect with the fandom at some point, we will naturally respect whatever they want to do with their story.


DISCLAIMER: The following is a work of fiction based on the characters of the television series “Lancer”. No infringement is intended to anyone who owns a portion of this series. No money was made on this. RATING: PG-13 WARNINGS: Maybe a couple of bad words SPOILERS: None

NOTES/COMMENTS: Deb started this and was nice enough to ask me to join her. :)) Thanks,
my sister.


“Silent Night!” Teresa exclaimed with an excited grin.

“Right,” Scott grinned back at her. “Now how about this one?” He began to hum the tune to another Christmas song.

Murdoch Lancer smiled fondly at his oldest son and ward as they continued the game they had been playing for the past few minutes. It was good to hear Teresa laugh again. The girl had not done much of that since her father had been killed a year and a half ago, but it did seem to be happening more often since Scott and Johnny had come home.

Murdoch eased back into the chair he used at his desk. For the past half hour, he had been making a list of the things that still needed to be accomplished before Christmas Day. A gentle warmth enveloped him as he mentally reviewed his plans. This would be their first Christmas together as a family and he wanted it to be a very special time for each of them. He himself had not had much Christmas spirit since his second wife had run off, stealing his youngest son, but found the seasonal mood infecting him now that his sons were home. Last year had been a solemn occasion, especially for Teresa. It had been her first Christmas without her father and Murdoch knew no matter how hard he had tried to make it up to her, nothing had erased the hurt of grief and loneliness. He watched her now with Scott as the two of them indulged in a bit of holiday fun. The picture would be complete if Johnny had not left a short while before.

Murdoch found himself frowning as he recalled his youngest son’s abrupt disappearance after supper. Murdoch had brought up the subject of Christmas and what he wanted to do to celebrate this year. Scott and Teresa had been excited, but Johnny had quietly withdrawn from the conversation, offering only the minutest of observations regarding the holiday. It had bothered Murdoch at the time, but with Teresa’s enthusiasm for the plans, he had been unable to focus on Johnny and the young man’s apparent lack of interest.

Teresa’s laughter filled the room again, a joyous sound. “That’s very good, Scott. Did you sing back in Boston?”

Murdoch saw his oldest son smile wistfully. “Yes, but only with a group when we went caroling.”

He lowered his head slightly with a self-conscious grin. “Me singing alone is not something you want to hear, trust me.”

“Oh. I don’t believe that. You have a very nice voice.” She stood and went to her guardian’s side, looking for his support. “Doesn’t he, Murdoch?”

“Of course he does,” Murdoch agreed with a grin. “He takes after his old man.”

The smile with which Teresa favored them lit the room. Murdoch was so very proud of the girl he thought of as a daughter.

Teresa gave him a quick squeeze around the shoulders along with a peck on the cheek. “Yes, he does.” She gave her guardian a final hug before releasing him. “I can’t wait for Christmas… but there’s so much to do! I’m going to bed so I can get an early start tomorrow. I have baking to do and I have to remember…..” Her voice trailed along as she left the room.

A fond smile lingered on Murdoch’s lips as Teresa’s words faded. He knew she would be baking every conceivable cookie, cake and pie to distribute to the hands and to the families that worked on the ranch during the holiday season. He turned back to Scott when he heard his oldest son laugh softly.

“She’s certainly happy about Christmas,” Scott stated, making his way to his father’s desk then leaning against it as he voiced his thoughts. “It’s too bad Johnny doesn’t feel that way.”

Murdoch looked up at his eldest son. So Scott had noticed Johnny’s actions as well. “We just need to give him some time. He’ll come around.”

“I don’t know, Murdoch. It may not be that simple.”

“Why is that?”

Scott turned to look out the huge window behind his father. The lamps inside the room made it difficult to see into the darkness outside, but Scott could make out the faint glow of light from the bunkhouse windows. “Something in Johnny’s voice,” he replied after a moment. “It didn’t sound so much like he wasn’t excited as maybe he didn’t know what to say.”

Murdoch pushed himself back in his chair and pondered his son’s words. They made sense. Johnny had not seemed angry when he had left, in fact, the more Murdoch thought about it, the more he became convinced that Johnny had seemed almost lost. Was it possible his normally confident son was avoiding dealing with the Christmas holiday because he didn’t know what was required of him? Could the boy hold bad memories of the holiday?

“You’re thinking the same thing I am, aren’t you?” Scott inquired.

Murdoch looked up at Scott without speaking.

“Is it possible?”

Murdoch frowned as he continued to consider the possibility. He knew Johnny had not had many of the comforts that his brother had known while growing up, but surely Maria had made certain that her son had experienced Christmas. Maria had been Catholic so Johnny should have experienced the religious significance of the holiday. She had been Mexican and Murdoch knew that they had lively forms of celebrating, beyond the religious. Perhaps, their situation had turned out not to be conducive to celebration. Finally, he spoke to his older son. “There are a lot of things we still don’t know about Johnny. I guess anything is possible.”

“So what do you suggest?” Scott asked his father.

Murdoch steepled his fingers in thought without rising from his chair. “I’ll talk to him. Maybe a little reassurance is all he needs.”

Scott watched his father for a few moments and found himself smiling. He knew Johnny still had doubts about his place at the ranch, but for the first time, Scott was witness to Murdoch’s own self-doubts. He had once told his father that the two of them were cut from the same cloth. That fact was seldom more evident than at the present time. “How about letting me talk to him?” Scott asked softly. “He might feel more comfortable…”

Scott didn’t need to explain further. Murdoch knew that his sons, despite their differences, were very close while his youngest and he often did not see eye-to-eye. With a nod, Murdoch pushed to his feet and grasped Scott’s shoulder affectionately. “Thank you, son. You make a good buffer between your hotheaded father and your hotter-headed brother.”

“It’s a dirty job…” Scott grinned, happy to provide the service. “By the way, you both boil at the same temperature.”


Tired, Scott decided to turn in and talk with Johnny in the morning when they were to ride into town. Two hours had passed since their father had gone to bed and Johnny had not yet returned from places unknown. In the interval, Scott had sat in the leather chair near the bookcase–his favorite spot for a date with a good book–waiting, alternately reading and contemplating how to broach the topic uppermost in all of their minds with his brother.

First, he had hit on sympathy. Knowing Johnny, that method would be rejected so he quickly discarded it.

Then, he considered empathy and tried to imagine what circumstances would prevent a Christmas celebration. No faith…? No money…? No family…? He knew that Johnny had a strong moral code but didn’t seem very religious. Money had been scarce for Johnny all his life. Whether Johnny had extended family on his mother’s side–grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins–or not was a mystery.

On the other hand, Scott had grown up with wealthy grandparents, surrounded by other relatives, except parents. He’d never wanted for anything. Therefore, true empathy was impossible and Johnny would see through an act.

The final idea seemed to be the best. Acceptance. If he did manage to get Johnny to talk about his troubles, he would do his best to unconditionally accept what his younger brother told him. Maybe, the way to assist would occur to him as he lent an ear.


Awakened by a dream of Johnny leaving them on Christmas day, Scott decided to see if his brother had come home. After donning his trousers, he stepped into the hallway. The door to his brother’s room was open. Peeking in, he discovered that the bed had not been slept in. Continuing on downstairs, he came to the great room.

Framed in the doorway, Scott watched his younger brother stare at the flames dancing in the fireplace from his position on the couch. The boy was hurting, all right. Johnny’s body language told a sad tale and Scott was determined to assist. Making no effort to be quiet, he entered and headed for the table behind the sofa. Pouring himself a glass of ‘sippin’ whiskey’ as Johnny called it, he asked,” Mind if I join you?”

“Suit yourself,” Johnny replied, his voice quiet and distant.

Scott rounded the end of the couch opposite his brother and sat down. He, too, began to observe the blaze, hoping to see what Johnny saw… but not forcing the issue.

A willing ear presented, Johnny could not contain the sadness and confusion that had welled up inside himself. A lifetime of sorrow had come to a head as the others had talked about Christmases past and future over dinner. “I’ve never had Christmas… or a family before, brother. There’s so much about both I don’t get.”

Despite his earlier speculations, to hear Johnny admit to the missing experiences still came as a surprise to Scott. “You never had either even when your mother was alive?” he wondered.

Still staring straight ahead, Johnny admitted, “No, my stepfather had no time for anything but drinking and beating my mother when she didn’t earn enough money.” Johnny felt his voice catch and silently cursed himself for the emotional display. “I tried to defend her as I got older but he was so much bigger than me. He’d get a hold of me then he’d beat me–to teach me some manners, he’d say.” He paused, the lump swelling in his throat. “I was twelve the night he beat her to death. When he started for me, I-I didn’t know she was dead, just that she hadn’t gotten up. I got to his gun, turned and fired. Drilled the bastard in the heart… and Johnny Madrid was born.”

The pain so obvious in his younger brother’s voice ripped Scott’s heart open as if it had been sliced by the sharpest blade. It bled sorrow for the trials his sibling had endured in such a short life and guilt for having grown up never wanting for anything, except a father. With his earlier confidence gone leaving him uncertain how to respond, he remained silent, endeavoring not to destroy Johnny’s reflective mood… or lose the opportunity to learn about his brother, the latter a rare occurrence.

In the shadows cloaking the foyer, Murdoch Lancer stood, listening to the exchange. A single tear streaked down one weathered cheek for the death of his beloved Maria and for the birth of Johnny Madrid. Neither should have happened. His love couldn’t save Maria but maybe it could save their son, whom he loved no matter that son’s past.

“You’re quiet, brother…” Johnny prodded Scott for a response to his revelation, fearing the reaction he might receive from his older brother but figuring it better to know how Scott felt for sure. “Does it shock you to know that your brother killed a man at such a tender age?”

The question hung in the air between them for a few seconds. Just as the youngest Lancer was about convinced he had revealed too much, Scott replied with, “I’m saddened that it happened, brother, but don’t mistake that for pity.”

Johnny watched him quietly for a moment, weighing his brother’s words. After several seconds and a growing sense of security with Scott, he voiced an insecurity that had been plaguing him since he had first returned to Lancer. “I don’t understand why she left here,” Johnny continued, voice louder with agitation. “And, I don’t understand why she and my stepfather told me that Murdoch hated his ‘half-breed’ son…” He sniffed again as he forced himself to his feet and covered the distance between the couch and the hearth in one long stride. Leaning his forearms against the mantle, he stared into the fire, as if closer proximity would help him find the answers hidden in the tongues that licked the wood.

Scott tossed back the remaining whiskey in his glass, deciding what he could do to help. He rose and joined his brother at the hearth, leaning his right arm against the mantle and draping his left across Johnny’s shoulders.

His gesture of love and support kept Johnny talking…

“You know, Scott, sometimes it surprises me…”


“That I’m here and Murdoch Lancer still walks among the living. When I first came here I hated him so much–enough to put a bullet in him, too–but, things have changed over the past few months. I’ve come to think of him as a father even if we bump heads once in awhile.”

Drawn in by his son’s admission, the Lancer patriarch abandoned his hiding place to join his sons at the fireplace.

A hand touched Johnny’s back. It didn’t belong to Scott, whose arm continued to lay across his shoulders. Instantly angry and embarrassed, Johnny snapped his head up and oriented on the source to determine who had eavesdropped on his confession. His eyes locked onto faded blue orbs that mirrored his own agony. As quickly as it had spiked, his anger at the perceived transgression faded away.

“Father…” The honorific slipped through his lips before he couldstop it.

Murdoch Lancer’s heart leapt with joy as he gathered his dark-haired son to his side. His overture met no resistance, being something both his son and he had wanted for twenty years.

Scott smiled and started to withdraw. Murdoch caught his blond-haired son by the shoulder and brought his oldest to his other side.

It would be the merriest of Christmases. His sons were finally home…




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3 responses to “Merry Christmas To You by Deb Eliz & Debbie/Gidget”

  1. Thank you for this special moment between Scott and Johnny and Murdoch.


  2. Thank you for sharing this beautiful and very special story with us.


  3. Thank you for sharing this beautiful and very special story with us.


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