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In The Night, A Meeting
By: J.J. (jjblue10@hotmail.com)


Night.
Not too clear.
Cold.
Terrible.
And a heavy tiredness on.
With the hate for that work.
The cold wind blew on him.
Without pity.
His whistle had as answer the soft murmurs of the sea.
Dark.

Threatening.

A sigh escaped from his lips.
That night seemed to not have an end...

And than a voice echoed amused.
"We must stop seeing each other in this way Saber."
The dark shadow came near to the light making clearly see his arrogant and amused expression.
"Very, very funny Jesse, really. I have to admit punctuality isn't exactly your best. Another minute and you would have found yourself speaking with an ice statue."
"Nah, I don't think so. Anyway I can always go away and return later if you insist."
"DON'T EVEN DARE TO THINK THAT!"
There wasn't track of amusement in the voice.
The young Outriders' commander sighed bored.
"If you insist." He ended the discussion setting himself against the wall.
"You aren't thinking to stay here, do you?" The Star Sheriff asked with a tone half indignant half horrified.
"Do you plan to take me somewhere else? As New Frontier Secret Service member I thought you can have better ideas than show yourself with the Outriders' Commander."
Damned bastard.
He was able to congeal here in exchange of the chance to make him go under this too.
"Get moving." He said finally leaving that damned wall. "I know a place where no one will notice us."

The place where no one would notice them was a 'bar'.
At least Saber Rider thought so.
Between all that nauseating smoke of cigars and cigarettes and the presence of such weak lights that allowed seeing only vaguely the contours it was impossible look well.
Probably this was the reason for no one being able to notice them.
In that place nothing could be saw.
He hated that type of mission.

He found, or better he hit a free chair and chose to try to sit on it.
Jesse grabbed a chair, made it free with a shake of the drunk who occupied it causing him to fall on the floor and sat at the table the Sheriff chose.
Well, at least on of them was in his ambient.
He was about to start speaking when Jesse caught the attention of a maid and ordered something to drink.
Something definitely strong to drink.
"You should not drink that thing." He said without thinking to who he was talking.
"Take me what I asked. And milk for my older brother. You know, he is the good boy type." He said, with an apologizing tone, to the maid.
They didn't add anything else to the conversation till the arrive of the drinks.
"So 'big brother', are you here to make me a lecture in place of mum?" The Commander started without warning, sipping that liquid that should contain more alcohol than what was possible to think one should find in a drink.
He will be completely drunken in few minutes.
"'Mum' wants I talk you about 'uncle Frankie' brother. He is causing a lot of troubles and 'she' thinks that maybe you could have seen him."
"The dear old 'uncle Frankie' is a pain in the neck for everyone. Many people project to give him what he deserves. And I'm not talking of a Christmas incentive."
"Jesse that man is a fool. If he will destroy all New Frontier it will be not useful for you too to conquer it, will it not?"
And aren't you sorry your world will be destroyed?
"Yes, without doubt it will be a big loss. Especially cause 'uncle Frankie' thinks to blow up our house too. You know it's true the universe is populated by a lot of inferior being but our dear 'uncle' uses ways a little too drastic to free it of them."
"When one is sure God sent him..."
"In my opinion God has better thing to do than to send a fool to destroy the space."
"I agree on that."
"So what 'mum' suggests to do with dear 'uncle Frankie'?"
"What about an exchange of information?"
"And who finds him for first takes care of his pension."
"Forgive me if I say that but we don't think it's very secure that the 'uncle' stays at your house. You know he could give you strange ideas."
"If you want we can give you back the dear mortal remains. The 'uncle' is old. I don't think he will still live a lot of time. The meeting with his worshipped family could be… deadly."
"Are you joking, aren't you? Jesse that guy should be attend not..."
"It will be a treatment a bit drastic. But it will work." There was no track of hesitation in the boy's voice. And not even regret.
His blue ice eyes didn't lie.
This was what a young ex-Star Sheriff became. The young promise of the Command...
A strange sensation of sadness hit him.
If he only managed to stop him that day...
If he only managed...
Not useful to blame himself for something he couldn't change.
Jesse was staring at him.
What was in his mind?
That cold eyes seemed to value him carefully, analysing him like he was an object.
"Is this little talk ended?" He inquired in a vaguely bored tone.
"Yes, it's ended."
He felt tired.
He was a living legend.
And he wasn't been able to stop a boy.
He wasn't been able to stop him from ruining his life making an allegiance with the Outriders.
He wasn't a legend.
Only a man.
Men aren't perfect.
Sometimes they do wrong.
And not always they have the chance to correct their errors.
"Hey, Earth calls Saber Rider. Are you here or do you just become deaf all of sudden?"
"Eh? What?" Coming out all of sudden from his thoughts Saber Rider returned to be interested in what the boy was saying.
"I made you a question. The most polite thing you can do is giving me an answer. Aren't you the example of perfection from the Cavalry Command?"
Saber Rider stared at him confused.
Than he shook his head starting to feel very tired.
"I'm not an example of perfection."
Jesse looked at him, a gaze half sceptic half bored.
He wasn't particularly interested in knowing how Saber Rider was feeling but to know it could be always useful.
After a moment he decided that, after all, his work time was ended and he could allow himself to take care of his own interests.
"How is April?" He repeated.
April. It seems like he hasn't give up on her yet.
"So? Don't you know how your beloved is?"
And evidently he didn't stop thinking he is the only one who is able to take care of her.
"She is fine."
Should he add something? But what?
"Does she know you are here?"
"Obviously no. This is a secret mission you should know that." He answered with that natural tone that came from speaking of his duty.
"The duty before yourself. Or your girlfriend. Pathetic."
"It isn't pathetic. It's right."
And then he thought he should make clear that old misunderstanding.
"April isn't my girlfriend, Jesse. She never was. It's senseless you are jealous of me for something I haven't."
"Something you haven't. And did you informed April about this or you chose to let her live in the illusion and in the wait?"
The tone was clearly disapproving.
"April ISN'T in love for me. If you really want to know I think she actually loves Fireball. I think you chose the wrong rival Jesse." He ended in a bitter tone.
Why this bitterness? I didn't love April, do I? My duty toward New Frontier comes first. April and I thought the same about that. We thought the same. But now she...
Noticing to be again under Jesse's cold gaze he looked up to meet the Outriders' Commander's cold eyes.
"And so you let that inexperienced hot-shot take your girlfriend from under your nose. Clearly your reputation isn't deserved. I obviously overestimated you. You are an idiot."
"I WASN'T IN LOVE FOR APRIL!" He exploded not caring of the people around him that luckily was too drunk to notice him.
Than he took back his self control sitting roughly.
But why I'm so affected by his words?"
"Idiot and horrible liar." Jesse stated with the tone used to say a well known truth.
In that moment Saber Rider was enough inclined to agree.
Obviously not in front of the young Commander.
It wasn't so important after all.
Jesse seemed to understand it in any case.
Damned the fact he was very intuitive.
Actually the Commander ended the fifth of his drinks.
He didn't seem drunk.
Not even a little.
It could be even possible to be jealous about how he took well alcohol.
Luckily for him, Saber Rider didn't need that particular ability.
Jesse stood up letting on the table money enough to pay not only their drinks but to give a large tip to the maid.
Considering the horrible service and the horrible place Saber Rider was inclined to judge that extra totally unmerited.
The maid, a cute but a bit vulgar type who hid her smartness with false innocence and stupidity, gave at the Commander (just after counting furtively and quickly the money) her warm smile full of second meanings.
Jesse smiled in return, more a mechanic reaction that something else and exited from the place.
Saber Rider followed him quickly.

Outside the air was finally breathable.
But still dramatically cold.
Saber Rider nearly mourned the unbreathable air of the saloon.
Jesse didn't say anything.
But he kept his hands in the pockets of his jacket.
And the jacket was well closed.
Dressed like a human Jesse looked a lot like a human begin.
In fact he was, Saber Rider remembered to himself.
The melody of the accordion played by a vagabond was in the air.
Melancholy.
It made feel at the men the heaviness of their loneliness.
Jesse turned toward him.
None of the two know how to say goodbye to the other.
They both seemed to think they should do this.
"How is keeping secret a thing like this meeting and the others that were and will be, secret to the people you call 'team-mates'?" The boy asked in casual conversation tone.
"It's my work. It's my duty to keep this secret. I do not betray their trust doing it." The Sheriff answered with a casual tone as well.
"Are you so sure?"
Saber Rider answered shrugging realizing he preferred to not question himself about this.
It's so strange I don't want to answer at this. After all I KNOW this is the right thing.
"What about you? How's working for the Outriders? No second thoughts?" He asked changing the topic.
It wasn't a casual question.
He truly wanted to know.
This time it was Jesse's turn to shrug.
"As working for everyone else. With the exception the Outriders pay better, give me a higher grade and more freedom of actions. And some other things you don't need to know. About the second thoughts... why should I have them?"
A lot of reasons came in Saber Rider's mind.
All he could say was: "I could never do it."
"You know, I have no brothers younger or older. But I'm sure if I have one he would be like you. Always busy worrying about doing the right things. It's obvious you would never do this Sheriff. You have something to loose, I haven't."
"What are you meaning?"
"A family, some friends, a career, a past. You have them. Why should you let them go?"
The realization let him surprised.
He did the question before thinking about it: "Haven't you?"
"Sure, how not? Didn't you notice the mass of people worried when I went away from the Cavalry Command?"
No, effectively he didn't notice that. What he saw, even if he didn't pay much attention to it, was that his classmates and officials too seemed to prefer he went away.
But it was true Jesse was the best one in the academy...
"General WhiteHawk was worried." He chose to mention.
"WhiteHawk. More or less I exchanged with him 7 monosyllables. Maybe 8. How one can be worried for a person he didn't know? Don't be stupid. If it wasn't for the academy good name his worries born only from his strong 'sense of duty'. And frankly I could care less of his sense of duty. No, I prefer to be with the Outriders. Even if they are idiots at least they aren't hypocrites."
"THE HUMANS AREN'T IPOCRITES!"
"And things aren't just only black or white and people aren't only good or bad. We'll see again hero. Say hello for me to April. Ah, I forgot, your duty can't permit you to tell her the truth about where you spent the night. It's easy, isn't it? A perfect justification for a lie."
Words came suffocated because the sentence was said while Jesse was walking away.
Evidently he wasn't interested in an answer.
But Saber Rider was interested in giving him one.
Arrogant bastard always too sure of himself!
And he yelled at him that answer in that cold night.
"And what should it be your justification, if you were at my place, can I know it? I, differently from you, take some responsibilities, I don't care only about myself."
Jesse didn't stop.
With his voice that was fading like the sound of his footsteps, his dark shadow mixed with the night darkness, he answered with a tone who seemed vaguely ironic: "And I, differently from you, don't picture myself like a noble and good hero. After all I admit it, I'm only a man."
Saber Rider thought to various options.
To run after him, to yell after him, to try to make him reflect...
He rejected them all.
And only then he noticed now Jesse was too far for him to do something.
And a bizarre thought came to his mind.
He didn't said goodbye to the Outriders' Commander.
The thought made him feel vaguely in fault.
Politeness is a thing hard to get rid of, even when you could do some exceptions.

The Cavalry Command kept its word and gave secretly information to the Outriders about Franklin Cougar, fool fanatic who planned to kill all the habitants of the universe with a lethal gas that he invented.
The Outriders kept their word and gave information to the humans too.
Jesse carried on his decision to meet 'uncle Frankie'.
As he said the meeting was deadly for the 'poor old man' of 35 years old.
The adored mortal remains were retired by Saber Rider himself.
The 'uncle' was declared dead for a heat attack caused by the too big emotion to meet a laser ray.
April, Fireball and Colt never known about Franklin Cougar or the 'diplomatic secret negotiations' that the Cavalry Command had with the Outriders.
That Jesse and Saber Rider did for their respective commanders.


Author's notes:
Ok... I'm not too proud of this story... there's not much plot, it's after all a dialogue in which I put face to face my two favourite characters, Jesse Blue and Saber Rider. By the way, there are no proof there were 'unofficial' relations between cavalry Command and the Outriders but since it's a thing that it's done/it's said is done during a war I thought to use it in this fic. Why do Jesse and Saber take care of it? Well, Jesse's an easy choice. He's a human and he's smart enough. As for Saber... he was a "special agent of the Secret Star Sheriffs" (see 'ep. 1 Star Sheriff round up') and he could very well still be one even if 'part time'.
By the way, you already knew I don't own the copyright for 'Saber Rider and The Star Sheriffs', don't you? Good! Well, remember also that on the contrary:
Franklin Cougar © J.J.. I made him. It's MINE. Use him freely if you want him but please give me the credits ok? ^_-


The End

© 1999-2003 J.J.. And don't forget to write her what you think about this!