Sorry for the wait. This story hasn't been as easy to write as the pictures I had in my head were very disjointed. Thank you for the reviews. I know in the programmes Bo and Luke were ok with Coy and Vance, but I pulled in some of the actors points of view as well as how everyone handled their own grief at Uncle Jesse. And that can do strange things to people. As well as Luke feeling he had to step into the patriarchal shoes! For the record I too was one of the few that liked the Coy and Vance episodes. Would loved to see more of them and Jeb in other episodes with Bo and Luke.
The General pulled up into the yard and Coy and Vance climbed out, unloading the things they'd bought in town, just as Luke ran into the yard.
They looked at Luke wondering what was going to happen. "Luke" Vance greeted him cautiously.
Luke was just about to reply when he caught sight of the damage to the General. "What in the heck happened? Can't y'all just drive to town without running into somethin' or upsettin' the
neighbours?" He said raising his voice.
"Hang on there, Cuz." Coy started to complain
"Well, ain't that a bit rich comin' from you you of all people" Vance retaliated
The sound of them arguing brought Bo and Daisy out of the house
"What's goin' on?" Bo asked.
"Why don't ya ask them ...and take a look at the General while you're at it" Luke snarled, still glaring at Coy and Vance.
Bo took a look at the scrape and smiled as he ran his hand across it. "The old fella's seen worse. Cooter'll have that straightened out in no time." Bo turned to Luke, "Come on Luke, ain't
like we've never done him some damage."
Luke turned his glare to Bo as Daisy stepped in to try and diffuse the situation. "Luke, Honey, Bo's right...Hey Sugar, Anita called for ya. Why don't ya go and give her a call back" She
said quietly rubbing his arm.
He looked from one to the other of his cousins and said calmly, "So what was so all fired important that ya had to go racin' into town anyhow?"
"We just went to pick a some paint and a few other things to fix the old place up a bit" Coy replied.
"Ain't no point. I'm closin' the place up tomorrow right after I take the animals over to Mr Collins." Luke replied
"Wait a minute there Luke" they all started to complain in shock
"You're just gonna do that without even talkin' to any of us about it" Vance interjected. "Don't ya think we all have a right to decide about what happens?"
"Why?" Luke came back at him "Are you gonna stay on here and take care of the place. You gonna leave your cosy little life out west to move back here and be a farmer?... I thought
not. Ain't any of us actually lived here in years, so why even pretend that y'all's bothered. We just close the place up and go back to our own lives and start movin' on." Luke turned tail
and walked away towards the house.
"You're wrong Luke." Vance called after him "We all care"
Luke hesitated briefly and then carried on walking leaving the others in a stunned silence. Vance stepped forwards and hugged Daisy as Bo and Coy put an arm round each others
Luke was just comin' off the phone when Daisy went back into the house. "Everythin' OK, Sugar." She asked patting his arm.
"I guess" Luke replied as he poured them both a coffee and went to join Daisy at the kitchen table. "She wanted to know how I was doin'."
"She sounds real nice Luke and y'all's been together a while now"
Luke gave a quick smile knowing what Daisy was like when it came to her cousins' love lives. "You'll have to come meet her"
Daisy smiled back and raised her eyebrows "Sounds serious. Don't tell me you're finally gonna make an honest woman of her"
"I hadn't got any plans on goin' that far, at least not yet..." He winked at her ."...but ya never know. She did say she had somethin' to talk to me about when I get back."
"Well, whatever it is, I hope everythin' works out for ya just the way ya want it to"
"Thanks Dais." He watched as she looked down and studied her cup. "and what are you gonna do?"
"Go back to college I guess. I'll be finished in a few months and then I need to get a job."
"You gonna be OK?" He asked quietly.
She shrugged. "I'm gonna miss him so much Luke"
Luke wrapped his arms round her "I know Honey. We all are. But if ya need anythin', ever, ya call me. Promise?"
Daisy looked up at him. "There is somethin' I need right now Luke."
"Anythin" He replied.
"Will ya talk to Coy and Vance and sort things out. I ain't ever seen y'all go up against each other like this. For the most part Bo and Coy have always been happy to let you and Vance
make all the decisions but maybe ya need to try and let em all help ya Luke. It ain't ever been easy on Coy and Vance, what with the reputations you and Bo have had and all."
Luke stiffened, before replying "I'll talk to them"
"Thank you" Daisy replied as she hugged Luke again.
Coy was wandering aimlessly around the yard when Luke went back outside. "On your own?" Luke asked, testing the water to see what kinda reaction he was going to get.
"Vance and Bo have gone to see Cooter about the General. I didn't feel like goin'." Coy replied, also dubious as to how Luke was going to react. Especially as Bo had taken Vance and not
Luke nodded and neither of them said anything for a moment. "Look Coy, I'm sorry if ya think I was actin' outta turn earlier. Bo was right, we have probably caused a whole lot more
trouble in our days. I know things are hard on everyone right now. But someone has to make the tough choices and I just guess I didn't wanna worry any of ya's to have to do it."
"But we only wanna help Luke. We're part of this family too."
Luke looked at him surprised at his comment. "I know and I didn't mean to shut y'all out. I just didn't wanna make things harder for ya" He held out his hand to Coy.
Coy shook it and said gently "Dukes don't fight Dukes". Tears appeared in his eyes, as he thought of Uncle Jesse telling them that over the years. Luke quietly pulled him into a hug
understanding just how Coy was feeling.
"Ya really wanna help?" Luke asked as he stepped back from Coy.
Coy nodded, not trusting himself to speak.
"Then, give me a hand to load this feed into the pick up for Mr Collins" Luke smiled slapping Coy gently on the arm.
Coy smiled back as he sighed and went off after Luke.
By the time Bo and Vance returned in Cooter's Pick up, Coy had gone to help Daisy and Luke was staring out over the paddock as he lent on the fence, lost in his own thoughts. He
looked up as he heard the others drive in. He took a deep breath as he pushed himself up straight and walked across as they got out. Daisy and Coy appeared on the porch, arms round
each other as if waiting for something to happen.
Vance and Luke looked like they were trying to stare each other down.
"Cooter said he'll have the General fixed up in no time" Bo said trying to break the tension.
"What's the point. Won't make no difference what he looks like when he's stored up" Luke replied forcefully, keeping his gaze on Vance.
"So ya really gonna do it, huh?" Vance glared back
Luke's eyes flicked to the others before resuming the stare "It's gotta be done" He dropped his eyes as he folded his arms defensively across his chest. "Ain't no point draggin' it out"
Vance eventually dropped his gaze too. "I guess ya made up ya mind and ain't none of us gonna change it" He replied quietly looking back up at Luke.
"But ya know I'm right" Luke defended.
"Ain't ya always" Vance replied and turned and headed passed Daisy and Coy and into the house. Bo flopped an arm round Luke's shoulders as they stood and watched him go.
Breakfast the next morning was a sombre affair. Followed by Luke and Bo taking the animals to the neighbouring farm. No-one knew quite what to do with themselves. Daisy cleaned out
the kitchen as much for something to do, as she had spent the last few days cleaning. When the time came for everyone to leave, they all left the house in silence taking a last look
Luke locked the door and handed the key to Cooter as Daisy dabbed at her eyes with a hanky, Bo's arm around her. Luke clenched his jaw tight as he turned and faced the others.
Daisy hugged Coy and Vance together, murmuring promises to visit and call amongst the goodbyes, before hugging Cooter and squeezing Bo tight. Unable to contain the sobs any longer,
she ran for Luke's car, got in and closed the door.
Coy and Vance hugged Cooter and Bo before turning to Luke.
"Take care" Luke mumbled.
"You too, cuz" Coy replied hugging Luke "I'll come by and see ya when I'm in town"
Luke nodded and turned to Vance. They both hesitated before Luke held out his hand "No hard feelin's?" He questioned.
Vance shook his head and shook Luke's hand "We're still family. 'S'all that matters"
Luke nodded his acknowledgement.
With another hug all round, Coy and Vance got into the car Vance had arrived in and sounded the horn as they raced out of the yard.
Bo and Luke turned to Cooter and both shook his hand hard as if they were about to arm wrestle.
"Take care ol' buddy" Bo added with a hug.
"Less of the old" Cooter replied. "And ya try and keep the rubber on the blacktop"
Bo gave a half hearted grin "Don' I always?" he teased. There hadn't been much to smile about lately even for Bo.
"Thanks for everythin'." Luke said to Cooter.
"Ain't gonna be the same around here with y'all gone" Cooter said quietly looking at the house.
Bo bit back tears as he followed Cooter's line of sight.
"The ol' place ain't ever gonna be the same" Luke said looking up at the house too. He took a deep breath and shook the emotion from his head. "I'd better go to Daisy." An attempt at a
twinkle reached his eye "Bo, Race ya to the freeway?"
Bo looked at him and grinned "In that ol' jalopy, y'all ain't gonna see anythin' of me but my dust"
With another round of hugs and pats on the back, Bo and Luke jumped in their cars and Bo wheel span out of the yard.
Luke patted Daisy's hand sympathetically as she still dabbed at her eyes. "Ya better hang on there"
And for the first time since she had been back, Daisy laughed as Luke chased of out of the yard behind Bo.
Cooter chuckled to himself, shaking his head, as he walked over to his pick up, climbed in and drove away.
The Duke farm would always echo to the sound of revving engines, wheels spinning and the loudest "Yee ha" in the south.