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mod_journal in ship_manifesto

Chris Larabee/Vin Tanner (Magnificent Seven)

*posting for true_enough

Title: At First Sight
Author: TrueEnough
Spoilers: Yes - for several of the 22 episodes
e-mail: trueenough @ msn dot com
LiveJournal: true_enough



Chris                                Vin
   </div>     


On a windswept street, Nathan Jackson, a former slave and Four Corners only healer is hauled through the street to a lynching tree by hell-bent cowboys when their boss dies under his care. Chris stares through his own smoke to find Vin looking back at him. With barely a nod they agree to save Nathan and in the process form an unexpected and unbreakable bond.

Magnificent Seven
The show itself is a flawed gem. The actors often work in each others shadows, too many story lines are shoehorned into a single episode and the historical accuracy is sometimes a little iffy. The characters, on the other hand, are a sweet revelation. There is Nathan who learned his healing skills as a stretcher bearer for the Union Army. He is the first one to join Chris and Vin when a Seminole village asks for their help. Josiah is a defrocked priest who nonetheless spends the entire series rebuilding a church that no one seems inclined to go to. Ezra is a gambler and a confidence man from the South. He tends to view himself outside of the Seven but when push comes to shove he is always a part of them. JD is a spitfire from the East who has come out West shortly after his mother has died in order to live out the adventures he has read about in dime novels. Buck is Chris’s oldest friend and his polar opposite. Affable and physically affectionate he treats JD like a kid brother and tends to worry over Chris. He was with Chris in Mexico selling horses when Chris’s wife and son were killed which might explain why their friendship sometimes teeters between devotion and recrimination.

And then there is Chris and Vin. They are also flawed gems.
Chris Larabee


Don’t let the dark clothing fool you. Those are widowers clothes that he’s wearing and despite their neat, somewhat dusty appearance they are steeped in sweat from grief and probably no small amount of misplaced guilt. When we first see Chris he seems to be at loose ends. With cowboys shooting up the town he walks out of the saloon as if the bullets flying around him are no more dangerous than a bumblebee at a picnic. It’s hardly an act of bravery or even confidence and seems to imply that he merely does not care. Reckless and fatalistic he carries himself like a man ready to meet his end. He meets Vin instead.
Soft-spoken, he often uses his voice - or his silence - as a threat long before he draws his gun. While it’s usually very effective, the rest of the Seven seem to be immune to it. In the Pilot even young JD shouts him down. He is a man full of high emotion, surprisingly easily hurt and also surprisingly, easily touched. Still, when Mary Travis, who publishes the towns paper, tells him that she is trying to scare away the bad element he tells her, "Lady, I am the bad element."

It’s not an unfounded boast. A former horse rancher he became a gunslinger with a formidable and dangerous reputation after his wife, Sarah and his young son, Adam were killed in a fire. As revealed in Inmate 78 he might have turned his gun on men when it wasn’t entirely necessary. There is a lot about Chris that seems to be navigated by his lesser angels. He can be sullen and unforgiving and just as mean to an old friend as to anyone else who crosses him. In One Day Out West he holds a knife to Buck’s throat when he finds out that Buck has revealed too much of his personal history to Mary Travis. It’s a shocking scene to watch and never fails to remind me that Chris tends to guard his grief jealously.

He seems to be aware of his shortcomings. In Nemesis he parodies his own hard drinking behavior in a effort to draw out the man who was hired to kill his family. There is much staggering around and shouting and breaking glass leaving him in an empty saloon to meet at least one of his demons.
I doubt that anyone has loved him because it’s easy. He is the kind of man that you hope for. You can see - and not just by his clothing - that he is governed by grief and rage and despite the incident with Buck most of it is turned in on himself. Under the influence of Vin and the rest of the Seven, a grown man is reborn - one who must relearn how to live, how to fight fairly, how to love and how to smile.

Vin Tanner

Although Vin is younger he has probably been through more hardship than even Chris. Orphaned at five when his mother died of "putrid fever" (diphtheria) we are left to imagine that he was raised by uninterested parties until, at some point, he was taken in by the Kiowa and the Comanche. He has retained many of their ways from clothing to language to a certain kind of stillness that does not beg for attention. A deadly sharpshooter and a tracker, he was a buffalo hunter for a time before he became a bounty hunter. When he meets Chris he is sweeping the boardwalk in front of Watson’s Hardware having turned into something of a drifter after he was framed for murder by Eli Joe.

Despite all this he is remarkably free of the bitterness that has such a hold on Chris. His soft spoken Texan drawl makes him sound like a small lion that has been taught the alphabet while his wry sense of humor speaks of his native intelligence and also of how much he pays attention even when he appears not to. Functionally illiterate, he speaks comfortably in Indian dialects, some Spanish despite teasing Chris with, "What’s ‘no bueno’ mean?" and is also a poet.

Aside from wanting to clear his name he doesn’t seem to want or need anything else. Self contained and private, the details that he does reveal about himself are always stated in a matter-of-fact way as if to stave off pity or too much attention. Like Chris, he can become flinty when unexpectedly exposed as when Mary Travis discovers that he can’t read or when Chris eavesdrops on him and a married woman named Charlotte in Wagon Train.

He possesses a very wide protective streak. It’s most obvious with women like Charlotte and an older woman named Nettie Wells who reminds him of his mother. Nettie, who is raising her niece, Casey, is someone to be reckoned with all on her own. Still, Vin responds to her immediately with his best manners and his determination to set things right. His protectiveness also extends to the rough men that he rides with. In Penance he travels to Vista City to help clear Josiah of murder charges and later in the series travels to Red Fork to gather information on a woman who has murderous intentions towards Chris. Watching him you get the feeling that he has made precious few connections with people the way that he has with the rest of the Seven and especially with Chris. He is a loner in a group of loners and yet he remains a part of them even when it endangers his life.

Chris and Vin

This is Vin.
 
This is Vin the first time he sees Chris.

The way they meet and accept each other has the feel of myth to it and yet what follows is all about men who have become disenfranchised for their sanity or their safety and are making their way back to the one person who finally makes sense to them. Despite Chris’s reluctance to step too far inside of a church in Love and Honor it’s apparent he is seeking some kind of redemption. And while Vin is innocent of the murder he’s accused of that does not make him completely innocent. At times they both look like men who have discovered that it’s the small sins that can weigh a body down. Although they might not understand the how and why of it, when they walk side by side they look like their burden has been halved. The simple feat of proximity makes the other a better man.

From the beginning they are in each other's space and then seem unable to step out of it. They look as if they have been magnetically drawn to each other over the space of their age difference, through small dusty towns, through grief and hardship to stand elbow to elbow in a saloon. Chris, who jokes away Buck’s exuberant hug in the Pilot ("Easy, big fella. Folks will talk.") and seems to approach others as if he might break them unintentionally, suddenly is unable to pass Vin without touching or leaning towards him. In the final scene in The New Law they are all walking to the saloon and I swear, if it had gone on any longer we would have seen Chris, with his crooked gait, walking all over Vin’s toes. Likewise, in The Trial he can be seen in the background whispering in Vin’s ear throughout the whole proceeding.

Chris openly adores Vin and the feeling is obviously mutual. Vin, who seems at once, hungry for and unused to being touched, holds perfectly still when Chris sets his hand on his shoulder in Working Girls as if Chris’s affection for him might fly away if he pays it any attention. Later, in Safecracker, Vin seems to initiate a forearm grip that looks, at times, as if they are trying to save each other from going over some unseen edge.

In the Pilot, Chris and Vin are sitting on a bluff, waiting for the men who outnumber them to arrive. Vin is taking turns looking through a spy glass out over the desert floor below them and stealing glances at Chris. With feigned casualness Vin tells Chris that if he doesn’t survive Chris should take his body back to Tascosa where it’s worth a $500 bounty. It’s a daring revelation to make by a man who reveals as little as possible and to a gunslinger he has known for only a few days. Trusting Chris even further he tells him, "I figure if a friend collects, I get the last laugh." Vin’s logic elicits shy, hesitant smiles from Chris that seem to indicate that he thinks Vin is worth a small fortune, too, but not one he ever intends to collect.

Later, when they are safely back in town Vin joins Chris at the saloon where he is topping off a shot glass. When Vin tells him that he’s looking to get an early start for Tascosa Chris pushes his glass slowly over to Vin and utters a line that jumps the rails of subtext: "I was thinking about whiskey, a room, a bed and more whiskey." It’s an invitation that lacks only the gold lettering.

Much is made of their silent communication and it’s no exaggeration. If you want an example of how well they understand each other you only have to watch them try to explain themselves to anyone else. In Lady Killers, Casey is hiding out in the livery, distraught over the thought of JD being attracted to one of the female bounty hunters. Trying to comfort her Vin inadvertently states her worst fear by assuring her that JD is probably only sowing some wild oats. He actually nods to himself, satisfied with his answer before Casey makes a hilarious teary-eyed, runny nose, flying pass at him proclaiming, "I’ve got oats!" He literally squeals trying to defuse her. Chris fares slightly better only because his quiet ways have such an edge to them that he keeps all but the bravest souls at a distance.

The Women Folk
Four Corners possesses a large population of strong, forthright women who are important on their own and tend to put in sharp relief Chris and Vin’s wants and needs.
Wagon Train is a busy two-part episode that gives both Chris and Vin ample opportunity to pursue other loves. When a land deed is hotly contested by Dicky O’Shea, Judge Orin Travis has the Seven escort a group of homesteaders safely out of the territory. Mary Travis joins the wagon train for a possible story and also to spend time with an old friend and widower, Gerard Whitman. When she leaves the court house on his arm she passes by Vin and Chris without so much as a glance.

"Who’s that with Mary?" Vin asks.
Chris, unusually loose limbed and apparently more amused than concerned tells Vin, "I wouldn’t know."
Mary Travis, by default, should fill all the hollow space that occupies Chris. A beautiful woman, she is recently widowed herself with a young son, Billy, who clearly idolizes Chris. In theory they make perfect sense but in practice they are more like siblings who are ready to give each other hell but will protest if anyone else tries. Both are single-minded and tenacious which only makes their half-hearted run at some kind of connection in Wagon Train all the more...half-hearted. If her time with Gerard is meant to spur Chris her way it fails resoundingly. While he notices the couple growing closer he is more inclined to tease the both of them than interfere. Asking after Chris’s friendship with Mary, Gerard points out that a man "would have to be blind not to notice her charms." Chris agrees with, "Well, I ain’t blind" but is having such a good time messing with Gerard that he can barely stay in his saddle.

He does however, take Vin’s involvement with Charlotte Richmond, a married woman, much more soberly. While Mary makes her courtship with Gerard very public Chris takes to eavesdropping on Vin and Charlotte much to Vin’s consternation. Charlotte, sweet and ill used by a cold and indifferent husband, triggers all of Vin’s protective impulses making their budding romance more of a rescue. Their relationship eventually leads them to run off together only to return when they find out the homesteaders are in more danger. When Vin rides back into camp Chris gives himself away when he asks Vin before his horse has even come to a stop, "Are you back for good?" It’s such a plaintive question I can only imagine that it triggers Vin’s sympathy for Chris, as well.

Later Chris tries to get some of his own back only to give himself away again with this exchange:
Vin: Chris, I’d like to set things straight.
Chris: It’s your life. None of my business.
Vin: Reckon you think I’m in the wrong here.
Chris: What I think is you’re already gone.
Vin: I’m right here.
Chris: For how long? I need to know I can depend on you, Vin. Let me know when I can.


It’s a sweeping accusation to make that wears heavily on Vin and speaks of Chris’s efforts to protect himself from anyone else leaving him unexpectedly. While Mary is congratulated for initially accepting Gerard’s proposal of marriage Vin is left to renew his trust with Chris implying that they have more at risk than any of their other relationships. The episode ends with Mary going back to Four Corners without Gerard or Chris, Charlotte returning to her husband and Chris and Vin riding off with the rest of the Seven, side by side.

When Chris does seek out female company it’s usually the honest transaction of money for time and attention with a working girl. Lydia is first seen in a tent city just outside of Four Corners called Wickestown. Her gestures towards Chris seem more comforting than carnal consisting of a kiss on the cheek, smoothing his hair back and her quiet proximity. Not that she doesn’t try. When she and several other working girls seek refuge in Four Corners she invites Chris to join her in a bath while he remains behind a curtain as if it’s his modesty that’s at stake. Vin is even less enthusiastic when she laments over a drink in the saloon that "Mr. Larabee ain’t as friendly as he usually is."

Maria, another beautiful working girl in the border town of Purgatorio gets a little further with Chris, initially searching out information for him in The New Law and then manages to get his shirt off and few kisses in Obsession. She’s one of my favorite supporting characters along with Casey because she is completely unflappable and is not afraid to ask the hard questions. She’s the one who asks Chris, "Do you drink to remember or to forget?" and he answers honestly with, "I don’t know." While Sarah is undoubtedly the most important woman in Chris’s life she is also the one we know least about. Shown only briefly, she bestows Chris with a small smile and a kiss as he leaves with Buck for Mexico and appears to possess the same serious nature as her husband. It’s easy to imagine Chris finding her stern ways almost exotic after spending years with more effusive personalities like Buck or even Ella. Her sudden and violent loss haunts not only Chris but also her father and Buck who carries a lot guilt for keeping Chris in Mexico for an extra day. I doubt that Chris will ever get to the point where he can remember her happily which might be part of the reason why he shies away from getting close to another woman.

Ella Gaines walks like a woman but talks and lives like a man. She reenters Chris’s life with the precision of a sharp knife. Leaving nothing to chance she calls for Chris’s help on the anniversary of Sarah and Adam’s death when Chris is visiting Maria in Purgatorio. Aptly named, Purgatorio is where he goes to drink with his grief, finding neither respite from, or an end to, his pain. From that low ebb Ella offers him a purpose, her well heeled company and the possibility of having everything he was building with Sarah and Adam. He is caught in her shiny web even as the others, especially Vin, grow disenchanted and then suspicious. By the time Chris announces that he’ll be staying on with her none of them can express any real joy although Vin manages to choke out, "Good luck to you."

He also rides over to Red Fork to find out more about her and brings the bad news back to Chris. When Vin points out that Ella owns the company that was supposedly trying to drive her off her land and that she has lied to him "up and down the line" Chris warns Vin with, "I’m gonna forget you said that." As if Chris’s good opinion of him is the only thing keeping him around Vin assures him that "come sunrise, then...I’ll be goin’." He actually doesn’t go far showing up for a gunfight and protecting Chris after Chris finds out that it was Ella who hired the men to burn down his ranch and kill Sarah and Adam.
From the look on Chris’s face at the end of Obsession it’s clear that Ella insidiously achieved her goal of making Chris just as obsessed with her as she is with him.

ChrisSlashVin
Magnificent Seven is somewhat unique in that it thrives in two very distinct universes. The first one follows the series and is set in the Old West sometime in the 1870’s. The other is a modern day AU created by MOG and set in Denver where the Seven work as ATF agents. I don’t know of another fandom where a single AU has captivated so many of it’s best writers - and it’s readers. I’ll set the watermark high and mention a few of my favorites from both times.

Old West
Blackbird’s Wind Change deals with Chris and Vin finding each other in a time when there were few to no references for men being in love. Smart and thoughtfully written it features a slow and steady courtship that’s all the more touching for the lack of angst that it involves. It can be found at Blackraptor.
Gwyneth Rhys writes amazing Old West stories that illuminate Chris and Vin. The Lucifer Match follows them to hell and back without being overwrought while Cold Enough to Snow is an Autumn tale about second chances that never fails to move me.
A recent favorite has been Home by The Tenth Muse1. She has a great ear for the way Chris and Vin talk with that slight 19th century formality and their own brand of flirting. It’s also at Blackraptor.
Painted Eyes has written two epic length Gen stories that are Chris and Vin centric and are too good to pass up just because they’re not slash. For Faith and Moved by Silent Hands are breathtaking with not a single word out of place.
Likewise, The River Styx by Estevana Rey should get the attention and praise it deserves.

ATF
Call Me by Maygra is a perfect example of how good the ATF AU can be. Set in modern day Denver it is nonetheless true to the characters and insightful. I’ve read it so many times I can quote it. The Penalty Series is also quotable.
Gen writer, Linda B offers short, potent stories that leave me thinking about the characters long after I finished reading. After Clouds, Sun showed me that Chris and Vin love each other just as much platonically as they do otherwise.

Other AU’s
All Seven characters have proven to be very versatile. If you want the characters outside of the Old West or don’t care for them being government employees there are several other noteworthy AU’s.
SkipTrace ~ Charlotte C Hill along with Maygra and Megan Kent portray the boys as bounty hunters based out of Atlanta.
Escorts ~ An AU by Fiercy where they work at the oldest profession.
Two Blood ~ Created by Joe Lawson where the Seven can shape shift into wolves.
Family Matters by Stan Lee, Tykes and Lost and Found by Robin Serrano and ZorroRojo, Little Britches by JK Poffenberger, S. Berry and Barbretta Hayden ~ The Seven as children or teenagers.  All can be found at M7SlashArchive.

M7 Sites
Archives
Blackraptor ~ Large Slash archive. Requires an age statement.
M7 Slash Archive ~ Smaller archive that is host to some harder to find authors such as Robin Serrano, Megan Kent and ZorroRojo.
Lady Angels M7 Library ~ Gen archive that hosts work by Painted Eyes and Estevana Rey.
Death Dogs ~ Huge rec archive.

Fan Resource Sites
Zen’s Magnificent Seven Page ~ Great site. Includes transcripts for all 22 episodes and photos.
Magnificent Seven Trivia ~ Anything but trivial it includes Just the Facts that separates canon from fanon, Horse Sense, Old West Slang and a nice little map of Four Corners.
Slash Horizons ~ A slashy take on the characters - especially Chris and Vin that also hosts the work of Ravin and Prism.
MOG’s ATF AU ~ The ATF Bible.
Shooting from the Hip ~ A resource for writers, readers and editors.

Book Recommendations
At the risk of making this sound like a homework assignment I’d like to recommend a few books that might inspire you the way they have me. They can all be found at Amazon.
The American West by Dee Brown ~ A straightforward history of the west from the Civil War to the turn of the century.
Everyday Life in the 1800’s - A Guide for Writers, Students and Historians by Marc McCutcheon ~ As advertised if offers quick references for clothing, slang, health and medicine and courtship rituals.
Dear Friends: American Photographs of Men Together, 1840-1918 by David Deitcher ~ Literally an eye opener for me that shows men of all backgrounds remarkably relaxed and displaying noteworthy affection. The tintype and daguerreotype photos are shown in their original frames and are beautiful. Thanks to Rain for pointing this art out to me.

A little more history.
The show ran the first 9 episodes on CBS starting in January ‘98. It was cancelled and then brought back due to fan support in January ‘99 for 9 more episodes and then was cancelled - again. In May 2000 TNN showed the last 4 episodes never aired on CBS. The Hallmark channel showed the series until about a year ago leaving fans like myself to live in hope that MGM will someday soon put it on DVD.

In closing…
As with most slash pairings there are all the looks and touches that speak of deeper meanings.  With Chris and Vin there are also the harder things to come by like understanding, acceptance and quiet good company.  I’m perfectly aware that slash implies sex and yet when I finally got around to writing for M7 and got to the sex scene it felt almost incidental.  They are devoted to each other as few characters are and I believe that when their friendship becomes sexual – skipping over gender and societal rules – it’s because of a multitude of reasons that begin with trust, take root in solace and endure with something as simple as pure affection.



 


Your thoughts are welcomed.

Comments

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Oh, this is really lovely, honey. Really captures everything I feel for this fandom and this particular pairing. And you had photographic proof! I wish I'd had photgraphic proof for mine!

I think you're right about the sex being incidental -- I always feel the need to include it because of the nature of the stories, but in a way, it's the intimate nature of what they bring to each other, the way they just are with each other, that is at the core of the relationship, not sex. No one who watches the sunset scene in Ghosts of the Confederacy would be able to argue.

thanks for doing such a great job for our boys.
Thank you, Gwyn! I'm so glad this spoke to you. For me, they're at their most intimate when they're walking side by side - or sitting on bluff. That scene just kills me. The trust involved with Vin claiming Chris for a friend. He's sitting on a cliff telling a gunslinger that he's worth a small fortune dead or alive and what does Chris do? He flirts! Actually, he's falling in love. He's looking Vin in the eye (when he can stop grinning) and yawning awake and falling in love. Beautiful.

And you had photographic proof!

I've read so much slash that I was getting a little fuzzy about what was canon and what was fanon. It was great to go back and watch the episodes again and see that they really gave us a lot to work with. There's Vin thunderstruck when he first sees Chris and yeah, Chris really did give Vin his whiskey and talk about going to bed and on and on. It was like falling for them all over again.
What a beautifully written, thoughtful essay you have here, that I think perfectly captures this pairing and why I find them so right. Thanks for this; it should be helpful to everyone with even the slightest interest in Mag 7 and Chris/Vin, and will no dount be responsible for creating a whole new group of fans.
Thank you so much! The show is great in that it has 7 amazing characters to hold your attention but Chris and Vin...well, they just break my heart in the sweetest possible way. Fraser and RayK are the only other ones that have reached me the way these guys do.

...and will no dount be responsible for creating a whole new group of fans.

Oh, I hope so. It's a great little fandom and the characters really are rare and sweet. So much to enjoy! Thanks again for your kind words.

this is beautiful....

Bwah...made me very happy. (And thank you very kindly for the nod. *Much* appreciated). Love the points, the illustrations...just a really excellent job...here's hoping it lure 'em in...

Here little writers...come on, come on...it's good...Lots of fodder for your imaginations...

Re: this is beautiful....

Hey, the rec is much deserved. I love a somewhat skittish Vin and a Chris who won't let Vin get out bed in the morning without a sleepy kiss.

Here little writers...come on, come on...it's good...

:) I started out reading your work for Highlander and when I saw the links for M7 I'd think, "How do you slash cowboys?" (Sorry Chris) I just thought it would be too strenuous a leap to make. But it's not. They are so it for each other. It really is good.
Wow, wonderful essay! Beautifully written and organized, and so touching. You hit on all the important points. Really great work!
Thank you, sweetie. The characters themselves are beautiful and touching so I had a lot of good stuff to work with. I'm so glad you enjoyed it.
I followed gwyn_r's trail to get here...and she's right, this is perfect for Chris and Vin. Your final paragraph is particularly touching, as well as dead-on. Excellent job.
Thank you! Chris and Vin have really gotten to me the way few characters have. I'm very happy to hear that my own high emotions for them came across to their benefit. Love 'em. Just love 'em.

And thank you, Gwyn for the notice.
I've never seen the show, but it's been on my mental list of "fandoms to check out someday."

I think your essay just might be the catalyst for me to finally go search out the episodes on tape and read some fic...
Yaaay! A possible convert!

Even if you just watch the pilot you should get a great feel for these guys. Chris especially infuses the show with a lot of emotion so it's not just a bunch of macho men riding around shooting things - although they do a lot of that, too. And then there's all the flirting. Once you visit, I hope you decide to stay.
That was a beautiful, wonderfully written essay! Even though I've never seen a single episode of M7 --and I'm afraid the show won't ever find its way here-- I've been sold on this pairing last year or so and even if it's not my main fandom, I definitely read some Chris/Vin when I'm in the mood and enjoy those stories tremendously.

Thanks to you I also found some fics and/or archives I didn't know before, so I know what I'll do tonight *g*

Thanks for a great essay.
Thank you! I'm so glad you enjoyed it. I'm especially glad to point you towards some great writing. M7 just blindsided me. Once I found the good fic I was hooked. Enjoy! And thanks again for your kind words.

(Anonymous)

Great stuff!

Wow, True, talk about hitting the nail on the head! You summed up perfectly so many of my own feelings about Vin and Chris. As many times as I've watched them, the "glance across the dusty street," the cliff scene and the saloon scene in ODOW still give me the willies. Every little moment between these two is just charged with chemistry and subtext.

Another great scene I recommend to anyone who wants to know more about the relationship between these two is the jail scene in Sins of the Past, when Chris is sitting with Vin. Talk about loaded! I've damn near worn it through in my own tapes. ;-)

And I agree whole-heartedly about the sex being almost incidental in slash stories (or the good ones). Their relationship isn't about sex; that's just the most intimate way of expressing it. I've written a couple of slash stories that have no sex in them, and, from the responses I get, they work just as well without it. For me, writing the relationship takes precedence, and the sex has to flow naturally from that.

Thanks so much for taking the time to put this into words. It's a must-read for any C/Ver!

SueN.

Re: Great stuff!

Thank you, Sue! Oh, I love the Sins of the Past scene, too. Michael Biehn does this amazing thing throughout the series where he he's usually buttoned up from head to toe, all nice and neat unless something is troubling him. Then he does this one thing: he takes his hat off and all of a sudden you can see that he's completely undone. His sweaty hair falls in his face, his shoulders slump, everything about him is bowed. So there's Vin pacing around in the jail cell with Chris sitting in front of it, devastated. When he tells Vin that he's not going to let him hang you just know that he really would follow Vin to a hanging tree to save him. So much going on in that scene.

...writing the relationship takes precedence, and the sex has to flow naturally from that.

Exactly! And conversely there are some highly charged stories out there that tell you a lot about the characters by how they are sexually. Maygra's Unspoken (an outtake from SkipTrace that I'm still not convinced should have been taken out ;) ) is basically a sex scene but I lost track of things it revealed about both Chris and Vin emotionally. Either way, they're golden.

Thanks again. I'm so glad you enjoyed this!

What I've been waiting for

Wow! This is an amazing essay that really gets to the heart of the pairing. I've only recently gotten into this fandom not just Chris and Vin. I must say that I've only stumbled into it because of the presence of Eric Close who I adore in Without A Trace but now that I'm here.............??well let's just say those seven big tough boys have stolen my heart forever. I think that you've gotten the personalities of Vin and Chris perfectly and their relationship is one of both best friends who will be there for each other through thick and thin but also of potential lovers, they understand the others need for silence and space at certain times but also know when to get into the others face and to face up to what's bothering them. I don't know the names of the episodes but the one where Chris is forced to kill Eli Joe to save Vin has to be one of the sadest scenes that the two of them are in. The look of devestation on both Chris's face that Vin will never be able to clear his name and that he's the reason and on Vin's face that he'll die a wanted man(pardon the pun!!!) I think it really shows the compassion of the relationship and no matter what - they'll have each others back.

ok from that ramble I'm sure you guessed that I like your essay I've been waiting for anything Mag 7 related so you've made me a very happy girl.

Well done.

Re: What I've been waiting for

Ramble on. I love it! I was absolutely giddy writing the manifesto. It was so great to have this outlet for all my affection and enthusiasm for them.

Sins of the Past is where Chris has to kill Eli Joe and I completely agree with you about how devastating it is for both of them. Chris has always been ready to go wherever Vin needed to go to clear his name and then to be the one who makes it near impossible...well, it shows on his face and Vin's, too. That scene especially makes me think of them as war buddies; the kind of friends who have to make impossible decisions in a single moment and then live with the consequences. Very powerful.

...so you've made me a very happy girl.

Thank you very much for sharing your enthusiasm. You've made me a happy girl, as well.
Very nicely done. Truly amazing.

(I got here through crack_van.)
I'm so glad that you liked the essay and I want to thank you for letting me know that the show is being featured at crack_van. They're such great characters so I love seeing them get the attention they deserve. Thanks again for your kind words.
Great essay, and so much care and effort taken with the screencaps. You've made it effortlesly coherent and your love for show and characters just drips from the words.

I love both these actors from some of their various other roles (Now and Again - what a loss! *wail*). I've only seen a couple of eps of M7, but from what you describe of their relationship, I know it's one I could very easily get into. I will follow the rec links XD.
...and your love for show and characters just drips from the words.

That is a huge compliment. Thank you very much. I'm assuming that you're watching it for the first time on Showtime? I almost envy you. It must be so nice to experience all of the subtext uninterrupted by commercials. : ) It really is a great show. Chris and Vin have moved me the way few other characters have. Enjoy! And thanks again!


Really enjoyed your essay. A friend has just shown me a few episodes and I fell for Vin right away. I can tell I'm really going to enjoy looking around in this fandom. Thanks for providing such a wonderful place to start.

I loved your photo links, though they're not all working at the moment (sitting on a bluff, stealing glances, if a friend collects).

I've also just read your story "The Hour of Separation" at Blackraptor and enjoyed that, too!
Vin is M7 catnip. Even if he's not part of your favorite pairing he still draws fans to him. He seems to exude this wonderfully weird combination of vulnerability and fearlessness. Mix that with Chris's angst and it's pretty potent stuff. I'm so glad that you enjoyed the essay and the story. Thank you for letting me know.

I'm including the links below. I'm so sorry about that. When it came time to post the essay my browser wasn't working properly - or maybe that was me - so at the last minute mod_journal was kind enough to post it for me. There was a lot of rushing around and I probably gave her the wrong links. Hope these work better.

Sitting on a bluff: http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v436/TrueEnough/m7ifafriendcollects1.jpg
Stealing glances: http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v436/TrueEnough/m7vinsneakingglances.jpg
If a friend collects: http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v436/TrueEnough/m7lookingbackatchris.jpg

Thanks again!
Very cool - nice way way to describe them. Personally I have a hard time with Chris/Vin slash, but I like what you did.
I appreciate you hearing me out. I think whether through slash or gen fiction we all recognize and enjoy the way their friendship and affection for each other has made them both better men. They are wonderfully complex characters that have obviously reached people in many different ways which only makes me admire them more. I'm glad you enjoyed the essay. Thank you very much for sharing your thoughts.

Fabulous

Thank you so much! You've reminded me of all the things I love about M7.

Re: Fabulous

Thank you! Chris and Vin are just amazing. There really is a lot to love. ;)

mmmm pretty

I was looking for this page again today to send it to a friend who asked for M7 recs. Since you've got almost everything in one place, plus the pretty pictures, well, it seemed only natural... and I realised I hadn't thanked you for this. I enjoyed your essay very much, and loved the "illustrations." A friend tells me I am easily amused because I can crack myself up just by remembering how Chris says "TasCOSa" or "You've been a bad boy. You broke the law." You can therefore imagine that I read much of your essay giggling to myself or with a stupid grin on my face. It never fails to cheer me up. So - thanks. *g*

Re: mmmm pretty

Writing this essay was an absolute joy so it makes me very happy that some of that spilled over onto you. Thank you so much for letting me know.

Another Chris moment that might work for you from the The New Law:

Maria: So, cowboy, what can I do for you?
Chris: You can start by not calling me cowboy.
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