Summary: A REALLY Lost Episode
Word Count: 2700
With Rona’s permission, I am posting “Death Star” as inspired by her Adam Death fic.
Slumping down beside Joe, Adam knew that he had done everything he possibly could. There was a potential of too much blood, too much breakage and Joe was counting the length of his life in heartbeats. That was the nature of the risks the Cartwrights took each and every week and in each and every fanfic written. “Joe,” he whispered, wretchedly. “I’m sorry. I really thought… you could bounce. You sure did all the other times.”
“Its not… your fault, Adam. I just wasn’t wearing my green corduroy jacket this time.” Joe wheezed as he sat up a bit. Some sage brush he had grasped during the fall off the cliff had caught in his throat like a hair ball in Roy Coffee’s tabby cat, Fido. “Just…just… bad… luck. My green jacket was at the Virginia City Dry Cleaner. You know how wild those food fights get at those private dinners with Julia Bullette.” He winked bravely. Adam knew that “private dinner” was a euphemism for other … ahem…other activities. “Good thing I landed on top of Tirza!” Joe coughed a few times and hacked up a chunk of gravel and spit it out. PING! The gravel hit the side of the Cartwright Bachelor Cabin and Line Shack.
“Heh heh.” Adam winked back despite a tear wending its way down his cheek. His allergies were really acting up. Nothing like riding the range to jazz up a guy‘s hay fever, unless it was haying time and that was far worse. Doc Martin told Adam that the only way around that chronic hay fever was either taking that nasty elixir that made him drowsy and he couldn’t use heavy equipment, or to get out of town at the height of pollen season. As a result, this year at haying time Adam remembered to book a business trip to Stockton to negotiate some contracts with Jarrod Barkley. He also spent a bit of time in San Francisco with his fashionista, Paladin, shopping for chic black cowboy outfits and eating Rice-A-Roni, the San Francisco Treat.
“Gosh Adam, something soft and smooshy is under me! Could it be a sexy gypsy girl?” Joe said, dramatically clutching at Tirza’s neon orange silk skirt.
“You betcha, Cowboy!” Tirza giggled. “I am the sun and I love your moon!”
Joe rolled his eyes and wiggled his ears at that remark. Some times Joe was such a clown and all of the Cartwrights laughed until they peed their pants. Hop Sing complained bitterly and had tried to make them all wear chaps to save on laundry but that didn’t quite work out the way he planned.
Tirza pinched him and Joe gritted his teeth against the pain, but a groan escaped his control. He reached out weakly to grip his older brother’s hand, suddenly afraid that his pants had suddenly grown tighter than they had in any previous episode. It was only Tirza nibbling at his left (and most favorite and adorable) earlobe.
“Adam… Pa… Hoss… MAMA!” He couldn’t finish his sentence. Breathing was suddenly too difficult. His pants were riding up his tight butt cheeks at the thought of Julia Bullette. “That Julia is quite a gal, Adam.” Joe exclaimed, rubbing his nibbled ear.
“You betcha!” Tirza smiled, proudly showing off her new gold tooth that she got at “Doc Holliday’s Ride Thru Dental”. “Want me to pierce your ear? You can look like a gypsy prince with a shiny gold hoop earring!”
“No thanks, Tirza,” Joe said. “I am already the Prince of the Ponderosa and besides, Pa would kill me if I came home with any body piercing.”
“That’s right; Pa said as long as we live under his roof, he owns our bodies!” Adam added. “We can’t even get tattoos. By the way, as the oldest, I am the crown prince.”
“Oh well!” Tirza batted her eyelashes and passionately kissed Joe with a strong suction much like a Sears Kenmore canister vacuum cleaner. ”And I am the Gypsy Queen!”
“WOW!” Joe gasped when she was done. “What a gal! What lung power! Never knew royalty could kiss so well.”
“And I can hold my breath underwater for 17 minutes! I learned from Mike Nelson, the skin diver!” Tirza bragged. “Can any of your other former fiancées do THAT?”
“I don’t know…” Joe tried to remember.
“What about Laura White?” Adam said.
“Dead…besides, she was poked full of holes by that pitchfork.”
“Morvath, the Southern Belle?” Tirza asked.
“Now she was quite a gal,” Joe sighed. “Morvath is living somewhere near Orlando. Her father is in charge of the Florida Board of Elections.”
Adam rolled his eyes and shook his head. “And Morvath has job in Disney World as Cinderella. She was a real spoiled princess. ”
“Who Morvath or Cinderella?” Tirza said, lifting Joe’s wallet.
“Speaking of royalty, Lady Bea was quite a kisser too,” Adam reminisced as he toted up the score card for Tirza. “I give her a nine point seven on form and a seven on difficulty.”
“What about me? What am I? Chopped LIVER?” Tirza called from beneath Joe. “Think I am just a chicken choker? We were once engaged for half an episode! I think that kiss deserves a ten!” She quickly pulled the cash from Joe’s wallet and slid it back in his pocket.
“I don’t know. On a scale of zero to ten, Julia is a ten. Lotta Crabtree was only a nine point three,” Joe decided. Miss Jones, the schoolteacher had thought Joe wasn’t paying attention when she taught the class in statistical analysis but Joe, in his own way, had used the information to devise a scoring sheet for all their female acquaintances. Even Adam was impressed by how systematic and efficient Joe was when Joe put his mind and lips into it. Too bad he wouldn’t go to college to be a CPA or at least an insurance actuary.
“A ten? I thought Bo Derrick was a ten. And Audra Barkley…” Adam reminisced as Joe sweated and Tirza wiggled suggestively.
“Audra Barkley? YUK! She is vapid and frigid,” Joe said kissing Tirza. “Not like my hottie former fiancée, Gypsy Queen Tirza!”
“Much like Laura Dayton?” Adam sighed remembering the woman who drove him to doing a swan dive off a roof and pretend he was paralyzed to end their ill-planned engagement. “Audra did like when I used a phony Irish accent and pretended to explode things. Hoss’ leprechaun pals taught me that one. Audra really liked that.”
”She isn’t even a zero,” Joe said wisely. “Audra was a negative thirty two. And her weird leather-wearing mama kissed old Heath right on the lips.”
“EEEEEEEEEEEEEEewww!” Adam shuddered. “And she said ‘No more wire hangers!’ too.”
“Eeeeeeew!” Tirza agreed kissing Joe in a very un-motherly manner. “That wasn’t Mrs. Barkley, Adam. That was Joan Crawford who had shoulders wider than Hoss. Kiss me, Little Joe!”
“Hold on a minute, Tirza. Me and Adam are talking manly man talk. And Laura Dayton was the ice princess at a cold cold zero!” Joe grinned and winked at Adam.
The two brothers giggled and they said in a jolly unison, “POOR WILL! A zero for Zorro!”
“Don’t let Pa hear us say that,” Adam warned wiping off Joe’s forehead and spraying his own armpits with Fabreeze. “Pa says family is family and I shouldn’t have dumped Laura on Will. I should have drowned her or sold her to the gypsies.”
“Laura Dayton? Hell, we wouldn’t want her” Tirza spat out. “What about your silverware or that nice coffee pot? That grandfather clock? Or that big brother of yours? Hoss? That we want!”
Adam and Joe ignored her as Adam sprayed Joe thoroughly. You can always tell a guy who went to college by their efficient use of Fabreeze. Some college guys avoided doing laundry for at least 5 semesters by using Fabreeze. It sure came in handy on cattle drives too. Some smart college guys even washed their clothes and dishes while they took baths. Joe did that in the “Crucible” when he took a bath in his gray gym shorts while washing Cochise’s coffee cup.
As Tirza took a smoke break, Adam reached into his saddlebag for some Gatorade and El Macho Cowboy Mousse for Joe’s hair. Like Burgess Meredith in “Rocky”, Adam was a great coach to bare-chested Little Joe. As the round ended, Adam rubbed Joe’s bare sweaty shoulders and gave him some Evian and a spittoon to spit into. “Pace yourself, Little Brother. Aim for Tirza’s vulnerable midsection and don’t lead with your lips.”
Joe nodded. Adam sure knew his stuff. Poor Adam often thought with his lips and not his brains and had lost rounds early in his career due to that flaw in strategy. Why, Regan Miller and Lady Beatrice both won points with Adam Cartwright when he thought with his lips rather than his clever brain. By the time the Lady From Baltimore came along, Adam knew to leave town after his lip lock with Melinda almost lost him the bout. In a later match up, Adam clobbered Bag-head Bill Ender‘s weird wife when she tried to seduce Adam with her saliva-filled kisses.
Being a swell older brother, Adam wanted Little Joe to learn from his mishaps. “Pace yourself, Joe. Don’t let her wear you down.” Adam patted Joe’s head. “And rinse your mouth out between rounds.”
“Watch those curls, Adam,” Joe gasped as his brother fluffed and re-combed Joe’s coif. No one fixed Joe’s hair as well as Adam. Had it not been for Adam’s fashion sense and knowledge of state of the art hair products and technology, Joe would have a frizzy mullet or still be wearing that pseudo James Dean/Elvis pompadour hair style shellacked into place with Brylcreme. (A little dab will do you and somehow a lot more then a dab was done).
Joe felt something underneath him pinch his terrific tushie and the next wrestling round began.
“Paaaaaa….” Joe groaned as Tirza’s pincer grip grasped his glorious gluteus maximus.
“I know,” Adam replied, gripping Joe’s hand as though his hold alone could
anchor his brother to this world. “I’ll tell him and Hoss that you love them.”
The ghost of a smile flickered over Joe’s lip and he said, “You’ll tell them? Damn! Finish my hair and I’ll tell them myself.” Joe did a back flip, a hand spring and standing on one hand, kissed Tirza. He fell on top of her pinning the gypsy for the count.
“Tee hee!” Tirza. “You won!” She laughed as she pinched Adam’s tush too. Tirza might be irritating but she was a great sport.
Joe groaned wearily. His eyes drifted shut and he sighed deeply, thinking of how lucky he was to have landed on top of Tirza who broke his fall and got quite a thrill in the ensuing activity as well. Nothing like having Joe Cartwright fall on top of you when you are not expecting it.
Tirza pinched Little Joe’s tushie again. “Oh Joe! Oh Baybeee! You are squashing me!” Tirza moaned. “Hold your weight on your elbows, Lover Boy!”
In Adam’s hand, his grip slackened and Adam knew that his brother was winning Tirza over. It was so relaxing lying on a nice girl and having your brother poof up your hair. Adam sure had a knack.
Adam always was able to make Hoss looked well-coiffed. There only was one mishap. Adam had once used a hot metal teasing comb and blow dryer and a new hair spray called “Springfield Spray Hold” on Hoss. Unfortunately, the experiment went terribly wrong. Hoss’s hair poofed up to a mammoth size and it turned bright blue. Unfortunately, for over two weeks, Hoss looked like Marge Simpson until it all finally washed out in some sheep dip and boiled Lake Tahoe water.
And that was the real reason Hoss started wearing the over-sized ten gallon hat.
Hoss complained about his beauty being mutilated and his being humiliated. Adam apologized profusely and Ben said to “Buck up! Be a man, Hoss! Adam didn‘t do it on purpose, boy.” Joe reminded him he could have wound up bald like Duke Miller, the bad guy in “The Last Haircut” who later went on to play the Yul Brynner role in the road company of “The King and I” and to understudied Kojak.
Too bad Hoss wasn’t there as well to share the moment of Joe‘s cliff dive and wrestling triumph. Having won the match, Joe was so relaxed, he fell asleep right on top of voluptuous Tirza the Gypsy Girl.
“JOE!” Adam screamed. “Don’t leave me! What shirt do you want to wear? Your tan one or your tan one?” Adam always laid out Joe’s clothes for him. The habit had started years earlier when Little Joe was too disorganized to make the school bus each day. Sick of hitching up the buck board to drive his youngest boy to school, Ben assigned Adam the task of dressing the boy and Hoss the task of packing Joe’s Ninja Turtle lunch box.
But it was too late for Joe to select a shirt. Joe had gone to sleep on top of Tirza‘s cleavage. Both of them had big happy glad smiles as Adam pulled the 440 thread flannel cowboy sheets up over them and blew out the scented candle from Pier One. “Sleep tight! Sweet dreams!”
“Boy! Joe is one lucky cowboy!” Adam quipped to White Buffalo Woman who was sitting in the hot tub waiting for him. “And so am I!”
“Let’s play ‘frisk the lucky cowboy’!” White Buffalo woman suggested with a wink and a grin.
“How about let’s play ‘Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden’?” Adam said, winking back.
“What about ‘Hide the Speedos’?” White Buffalo woman said hopefully. “Or that old favorite, ‘Submarine Races’.”
“Sounds good to me! Pa was a sailor before he was a Cattle Baron,” Adam said. Family traditions were important to all the Cartwrights.
“Aye Aye sir!” White Buffalo woman saluted.
Hours later, Ben and Hoss found Adam, & Joe snoozing happily at the infamous Cartwright Bachelor pad in the bottom of the ravine. White Buffalo Woman had left for the performance of a Japanese Elvis Impersonator in Vegas and Tirza had gone to work in her new job as chief chef and tea leaf reader in the Placerville KFC that Zsa Zsa Gabor had opened. (We do chicken right!)
Adam was badly worn out, yet they could see how he had pushed himself to the limit. White Buffalo Woman certainly was pleased by his efforts and left an affectionate note to the effect tucked under Adam‘s black satin pillow. But one look at shirtless, sweaty Joe told them that Tirza was worn to a smooshed gypsy nub. She had danced off in a whirl of orange skirts and wolf howls and had left some chicken feathers behind as evidence of her appreciation for Joe.
“Those boys sure do fine work, Pa!” Hoss said admiringly. He ran his fingers through his newly shorn brown tufty hair. Blue no more. Hoss was ready to roll and Bessie Sue was the rollee.
“Indeed, son! It is a Cartwright tradition! My boys just take after me!” Ben bragged proudly popping the buttons off his earth toned shirt.
It had been a merciful release and they sadly bore the weary brother’s hunka hunk of burning love tired and nekked bodies home, wishing that they had the video of the previous evening’s gymnastics to warm the cold winter’s nights on the Ponderosa.
(No maniacal gypsies were killed or maimed in the writing of this tale)