Summary: When is a man at his strongest? When the most comforted?
Rated: K+ (865 words)
To Shed a Tear
Hoss Cartwright was a man who never cried.
But once he had befriended a little boy and when he killed the boy’s Papa, he cried. When the little fists pounded on his chest he felt the pain of the boy and the disappointment in his trust and the anger, the unleashed anger of the boy, and there was nothing to do, and it hurt his heart so much he could do nothing but cry. Ben had tried to put his hand over him, but he told him no.
When Hoss Cartwright cried, it was too much. Too much.
A tidal wave would not crash so much upon the erosion-stricken land as Hoss Cartwright’s tears when they dwelled behind his eyelids and shone in the daylight.
Ben Cartwright had stepped back.
It was not the first time Hoss cried. He had saved a little fairy for a girl, Emily Pendelton, from crooks. Fallen in love, too, when Emily’s eyes had become wide and he’d seen behind the lense of Hoss Cartwright’s cornflower blue eyes. He had been so proud when she had seen into him and honoured it. Adored it. She had been so tender and so fragile, and in all her smallness she had been colossal.
Hoss Cartwright had fallen in love, so much he couldn’t understand and so much he nearly choked in it, and when he learnt she was so sick she’d never return with the spring breezes as she promised, or as he’d understood she’d promised, he cried.
When Margie Owens had stolen his heart, in her youthful, innocent and immature way of learning to be a wife, when Hoss had given her his heart and been willing to take her down the aisle and being patient to wait for her to grow up, grow up in a nice way or a motherly way or just in an impish way or a girly way, he had thought he’d find happiness. Even just a bit of happiness. And when he had forgiven Margie a lot and understood her, vowed her he’d take her home and raise her up from the depths of raising a baby girl alone, her death to child birth with the lack to live had pierced Hoss’ heard and he’d cried.
When Elin had had her second miscarriage, Hoss Cartwright stood strong and soothing and bathed his wife, and only his heart bled, very hidden inside him, when he stood strong for his wife.
He took care of their kids and he laid her to rest in the house, he protected her from gossip and talk and took errands to town in the early dawn so nobody could ask unnecessary questions from him. She healed from her body and became absent in her mind, and Hoss Cartwright never shed a tear in front of her. Hoss said to his oldest son he’d done a good job keeping an eye on the girls and taking care of the farm with him, and he could not cry.
When Elin took his fingers with a shimmer of hope in her gray eyes, coming back to this world from her misty realms of an upset mind, she had pressed her fingers over his wedding ring and whispered words of love and trust.
“Together,” she had said, and looked at him with sparkles of hope in her crystal eyes, and her face had lit up in the colours of amber when she had adored his face and lifted her brow up with hope.
Then, Hoss Cartwright had mourned their two lost babies and their bad luck with children of their own, he had wept hot tears that had dwelled into her silky brown hair, and when his cheeck had fallen into the soft cushion of her baby-soft hair, it had become all moist when he couldn’t stop his weeping and the throttled sounds of his throat when he pressed his head over the shoulder of his wife and cried.
“It’s all right, Hoss, it’s all right.” Her hands had turned around his shoulders like tendrils of dreams and dusk, and he couldn’t stop his weeping. “It’s all right.”
And when her hands caressed his dishevelled hair and stroked gently over his shoulders, pressing his head deeper in the waves of the cinnamon brown locks that hid his pain and his embarrasment, he didn’t feel so alone in the darkness, and it didn’t feel so suffocating to cry.
“It’s all right.” Her voice was a murmur of chiming wings of the fairies from another world, and her scent was so familiar he couldn’t help but weep. And she took care of him and the comfort of her hands around him made him whole again.
It was all right, he thought, and the tears fell off from his eyes and his heart and cleaned the air, and he didn’t feel hurt to cry, anymore.