**Freedom's just another word for nothin' left to lose

Nothin' don't mean nothin' hon' if it ain't free, no no

And feelin' good was easy, Lord, when he sang the blues

You know, feelin' good was good enough for me

Good enough for me and my Bobby McGee**


"You got a damn fine voice, son." Hank's eyes crinkled in a soft smile, happy he'd talked the young man into a song. It got pretty lonely on these long hauls and nothing beat good music and good conversation for whiling away the miles: with these two boys, he'd gotten both.

"He's a professional." Wesley gave the unusually shy Lindsey a look of pride.

"Bar room professional," Lindsey answered with a shrug, making himself and his guitar more comfortable in the big rig's back seat.

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * *


He and Wes had left New Orleans and barely three days out his beloved truck had given a gasp and a rattle, coasting to a halt on the shoulder of the road. All of Lindsey's coaxing and cursing, tinkering and kicking couldn't get her started again. She needed a new distributor cap and that was that and to top it all off it had started to rain.

Strangely enough, no one seemed to want to stop and pick up two young men and a guitar in the middle of Texas and so they'd started walking; Wes trying to cheer up an increasingly morose Lindsey with stories of his 'much damper than this' homeland. The nature of their relationship was such that it actually worked, for awhile. But just when Lindsey was about to snap at his relentlessly cheerful better half when a big black eighteen wheeler appeared out of the mist to their rescue. 


* * * * * * * * * * * * * * *


"Hell son, if you make it sound that good in the back of a truck, you must be somethin' else up on a stage."

"The truly gifted never realize their talent," Wes intoned solemnly.

Lindsey resisted the urge to slap his lover up side the back of his head, barely.

Hank must have caught a flash of aborted movement from the corner of his eye because he just managed to swallow a snort. These boys were a cute couple trying real hard not to be a cute couple. He wondered whether he should tell them not to bother; he didn't care. Oh well, none of his business.

"We'll be getting into Sonora in the next half hour boys. I'll drop you off at Miguel's and he'll get you fixed up no problem."

Hank said proudly, that Miguel had parts to every car and truck made since the turn of the century and he'd have a part for Lindsey's baby, no doubt about it.

Wesley was already busy figuring the cost of the part and paying someone to drive them back out to the truck, supposing of course that it was still there come tomorrow. Being a big city dweller, he worried that Lindsey's baby would be nothing more than a gutted shell of it's former self by the time they returned but he kept his doubts to himself. Lindsey doted on that truck.

"You boys hungry?"

"Oh no, we're fine." Wes's polite denial was completely ruined by the growling of his stomach. He winced in embarrassment. Hank laughed.

"Lindsey, there's sandwiches and stuff in that cooler back there, dig out enough for three why don't you?"

The young lawyer didn't need to be asked twice, he was starving. They'd meant to pull over at the next diner and get a late dinner before his baby had her unfortunate breakdown.

He pulled out three roast beef sandwiches,  pickles and some cokes; passing the food out quickly before unwrapping the obviously homemade delicacies and digging in with abandon.

Wesley, of course, was much more sedate although no less ravenous and Hank smiled in appreciation and made a mental note to tell his wife that her cooking once again 'saved a man's life' as their son used to say.

"So, you boys have people out in California?"

Wes swallowed and took a sip of his coke wondering how to answer the innocent inquiry.

"Friends," Lindsey answered for him, mentally giving Wes a hug. "We're going back to visit good friends."

"Yes, almost family," Wes agreed quietly, desperately hoping that it was true. Not that it mattered, not really. He had unfinished business in L.A. it was time to get it finished and move on, or so Lindsey had insisted late one night last week after an hour of mind blowing sex that still struck him as unbelievable, followed by post coital cuddling that was almost better in some ways, certainly less energetic.

"My son and I used to fight like cats and dogs. Used to drive the wife nuts; said if both of us would just shut up and listen to each other every once and awhile, we'd realize that we were more alike than different." Hank gave a wry smile.

"Must have been true because that didn't sit real well with either of us. I said some things I shouldn't have and he left, joined the army. He'd send word to his momma about where he was, but not a word to me, then one day we got a telegram. He was missing in action." Hank cleared his throat. "Worse day of my life."

"I'm so sorry," Wesley said quietly.

"Don't be; ended up finding him and he was damn lucky; so was I because I realized that I'd got a second chance." Hank smiled.

"You made up, eh?" Lindsey asked dryly, the not too long buried but still kicking cynic in him sneering at the "It's a Wonderful Life' moral to the story.

"For about ten seconds after he got home and then we started in again until his mother threatened to toss us both out into the night." Hank laughed. "He left again but this time he did send postcards and a letter or two and kept in touch. We got along right well with some distance between us." Hank winked at Wesley. "Just because you love someone don't mean you can talk to 'em."

Wes lifted his coke in salute. "Truer words were never spoken, sir."  He laughed softly to himself, thinking of Angel's temper, Gunn's anger and Fred's confusion. He wondered if Cordelia and Groo had returned safely. He wondered a great many things including how he had let the dark haired man in the back seat talk him into this return trip so soon.

Lindsey, for his part, finished his sandwich and started a soothing strumming on the guitar, thinking his grandmother would have liked Hank and his wife and wondering where Hank's son was now. Of course, his grandmother would have liked Wesley too but then, Lindsey smiled, what's not to like no matter what his insecure lover thought.

Wes sighed, leaning back in his seat, letting the gentle tune and darkened roadway lull his senses and calm his mind. It was going to be alright. He wasn't alone any more, for once he had someone at his back. Someone to watch over him while he slept and someone he could watch over. He took a deep breath, letting it out slowly. It was nice to be needed.

Hank hummed quietly in counterpoint to Lindsey's playing.

**Freedom's just another word for nothin' left to lose

Nothin', that's all that Bobby left me, yeah

But if feelin' good was easy, Lord, when he sang the blues

Hey, feelin' good was good enough for me

Good enough for me and my Bobby McGee**


Wes opened his eyes as he felt the rig slow.

"Sorry boys, I'm gonna have to drop you off here. Truck's too big. Miguel's place it right up that road there. He'll get you fixed up don't you worry, none, give a ride back too, if I know 'em."

"Thanks Hank, we really appreciate it." Lindsey stuck a hand out and gave the burly trucker a firm handshake.

"Yes, we can't thank you enough," Wesley agreed, feeling his hand engulfed as well. "Are you sure we can't pay you?"

Hank waved away the offer. "Hell no, Lindsey's singing and the conversation were all the payment I need." Hank growled good naturedly. He watched the as they scrambled to the ground.

"You two take of each other now, ya hear and good luck to ya." He winked at the surprised looks of the two young men.

Wesley and Lindsey waved as Hank gave a quick blast on the horn and turned back onto the road.

"Either we're not very subtle or Hank's very observant." Wesley noted as the two turned to trudge down the street toward the neon sign proclaiming "Miguel's World of Auto Parts, Open 9 to Midnight."

"I don't think much gets past Hank," Lindsey snorted.

They entered the office and were greeted by an old hound dog that lifted one eye and a single tail thump in greeting and a white haired old man with still sharp eyes.

"What can I do for you gentlemen?" Lindsey noted that one hand stayed below the lip of the desk and he'd bet good money that a homemade sawed of shotgun was pointed in their direction, just in case.

"Miguel?" Lindsey asked.

The old man gave a sharp nod.

"Need a distributor cap for a '57 Chevy. I was told if you don't have it, it don't exist."

The old man relaxed into a friendly smile and stood, coming to the counter. "And that's the God honest truth." The old man laughed and he and Lindsey set about coming to terms and talking cars.

Wesley listened with half an ear to the easy banter. He gave the dog a pat and made a friend for life by scratching the mutt's ears before his attention was taken by the assortment of framed photos on the wall.

There were numerous photos of the old man over the years with classic cars and roadsters going back in time as he moved further along the wall. Wesley frowned at a much younger version of the old man standing surrounded by other young men, dressed in flight gear, in front of an old B-52 flying fortress. Wesley glanced over his shoulder. Miguel was in very good shape but he certainly could have been in World War II but that wasn't what had caught Wes' eye.

"Excuse me."

Miguel and Lindsey looked in his direction.

"Is this you in front of the plane?"

Miguel nodded and smiled. "Yeah, that's me and the boys. Took that picture right before we got shot down. We had to bail out. Uncle Sam had me listed as missing in action for two weeks before we managed to get home."

Lindsey stared at the picture in consternation, he and Wes sharing a look.

"You know a guy named Hank?" Lindsey asked slowly.

"Naw, I don't think so," Miguel shook his head.

Lindsey sighed in relief.

"My old man's name was Hank but he died in a pile up outside of Junction nigh on forty years ago. Forty years ago this month, come to think of it."

"Oh," Wesley said very quietly. "I'm sorry."

"It's okay, been awhile and we used to fight like cats and dogs anyway." Miguel grinned. "Just because you love someone don't mean you can talk to them."

"And your mom?" Lindsey had to clear his throat before he asked.

"Mom passed on just last year, damn near made 100." Miguel laughed. "She made the best damn sandwiches."

"She certainly did," Wesley murmured. "She certainly did."


The End