In which McCree takes Burke out for a day because he deserves it.
He’d seen better days, the junior deputy notes, as she stares at the weathered man across from her. Burke had been in the bliss for God knows how long. He doesn’t do much of anything these days, other than lie in his cot and stare at the ceiling in a daze.
After saving him from Faith, McCree decided to stick around for a few days to help around Hope County Jail, running a few errands for the Sheriff here and there. Whenever she returned, she’d greet the Marshall with a big grin and give him random knick-knacks she’d found that might cheer him up──he didn’t seem to care for them all that much despite accepting her gifts.
He said that he didn’t need drugs, that he could come out of the bliss clean without it. Virgil thought otherwise and Tracey was all but adamant they’ve made a grave mistake bringing him there. The Sheriff and deputy had their doubts, but believed in his resolve. He was trying.
“Hey Sheriff, what if I──”
“Rook,” the older man cuts her off, giving her the dad side-eye. She’d been insistent that she take the Marshall out with her on her runs. It would help him clear his mind.
McCree purses her lips innocently, batting her large doe eyes at him. “Just a couple of hours! It’ll do him some good!”
Earl merely sighs and shakes his head. It was far too risky.
“What if I take’em to the Spread Eagle?”
“You want him to drink his pain away kid?” The man asks, surprised that she would even suggest it. She shakes her head in response.
“’Course not! I mean unless he wants to──but I think hangin’ around the folks at Fall’s End will do him some good! And the air is cleaner there too! Joey can keep him company!”
The Sheriff stares at the junior deputy for a moment in contemplation. It did sound like a half-decent plan, but what if Burke lost himself on the drive there? The last thing he’d want is to get radioed that McCree was found dead on the side of the road with the Marshall missing again. He glances over at the weary man, then back at the deputy, who stares at him with hopeful eyes. He sighs.
“Alright──but you call me ASAP if he starts acting up ya’ understand?”
And so the two made their way to Holland Valley, Boomer accompanying them in the backseat. Their windows were up for the most part, fields of bliss lining many of the main roads. McCree tried making conversation, asking how her companion was feeling, if there was anything he was looking forward to doing when they arrived at their destination. Burke, for the most part, just stared out the window or slept as he tried to block out the whispers in his ear. It helped that Boomer would occasionally stick his head in between their seats for the man to pet comfortingly.
As soon as they crossed the bridge to Holland Valley, the deputy rolled down all the windows. The Marshall reacts immediately to the sudden change, inhaling the clean air deeply and sighing in relief as if it was cleansing him from within. Boomer barks in glee, sticking his head out the window, ears flopping wildly in the wind. McCree glances over at her companion and smiles at the evident change in his demeanor.
Burke was suddenly awfully talkative the rest of the drive.
“Shit Rook, that was insane! Did you see those fuckin’ angels? What was up with that? And Faith──she was literally just in my head! I ain’t never seen shit like that in my life!”
The Deputy just listens to his rant as he tries to piece together everything that’s happened. He barely believes that he’s even awake and that all of this was just some horrible nightmare──he almost hopes that he’s actually in a coma from that helicopter crash.
And when he sees Hudson at the bar, he pulls her into a hug neither of them expected. She looks at McCree, who just ends up joining in as she throws her arms around both of her companions with a cheerful, “Group hug!!”
The three sit down at a booth and Burke immediately asks Hudson how she’s been since they last saw each other, and as the two share their stories, the junior deputy can’t help but grin at the both of them. Minutes quickly turn to hours of just the three of them chatting away; Mary May and the Pastor even joining in before they leave to do their own errands.
The evening came all to quickly and Burke had already decided he would never cross that bridge again.
“What do you mean you’re going back?” He asks McCree, clearly disgruntled at the mere suggestion.
The deputy simply shrugs as she gets up from her seat, “Still got stuff to do ya know? And don’t worry, I’ll tell the Sheriff you’re in good hands.”
“Damn straight he is,” Hudson responds in kind, lightly punching the former’s shoulder as a farewell.
Burke looks between the two deputies in awe for a moment, before giving the junior deputy a firm hand shake.
“You’re fuckin’ crazy Rook, we don’t deserve you.”