Okay... here is my first attempt at fanfic outside the SW Universe, if you don't count my many, many strange 'crossovers' with SW characters. Anyway, I've been hooked on the new Dallas TNT for the last two seasons, and I've been bitten by the plot bunny again. So, without further ADO.... my FIRST non-SW fanfic! -------- Accidental Bonding (AU - to Season Three) Part One Downtown Dallas, inside the newly renamed ‘Ewing Global.’ Christopher Ewing stalked into his cousin’s office, throwing a document down on the desk in and grunting his disgust. “Does it always have to come back to this?” Turning his leather chair slowly around, John Ross briefly picked up the papers, glancing at them before placing them back down. “Where’d you get this?” “Why should that matter?” “Listen, Emma Ryland got the goods on her father, and that’s all that matters. I don’t know why you think I’m trying to take over the company based on this document.” “I guess I’m getting really good at reading between the lines. If this was supposed to be a benefit to Ewing Global, then you wouldn’t have been keeping it from me and my father.” “I wasn’t keeping it a secret,” John Ross replied. “I was just waiting for the right time to tell you.” Christopher ran his fingers through his dark hair in frustration. “Didn’t JR’s last letter get through to you at all?” “What does JR’s letter have to do with anything?” John Ross replied, annoyed at having his deceased father brought up in almost every conversation lately. “You’re conspiring with a Ryland to take over Ewing Global,” Christopher shot back angrily. “JR’s last letter was filled with remorse over his endless fighting with my father over Southfork and this company. Why can’t you take a lesson from that? Why do you have to always, and I mean always, try to stab me in the back? Why can’t we just work as a team and make this company a success together?” John Ross stood up, his face flushing with his own anger. “Because your part of the company is sucking the lifeblood out of Ewing Oil,” he responded. “Methane development is costing us billions, and it’s not putting a dime back into the coffers, while my oil part of the company is not only pulling its own weight, but your part of the company’s weight, as well.” “It’s not mine versus yours,” Christopher tried arguing back. “It’s ours. Oil may be here and now, but alternative energies are the future. What’s costing us money today will be paying the bills tomorrow. Try to see beyond your own nose for a change, John Ross. It’s called diversification. It’s what successful companies do all the time.” “I’m glad you can see so clearly into the future, Cousin,” John Ross shot back sarcastically. “Maybe you should try your hand at predicting horse races.” “I’ll tell you what I can see clearly, and that’s the end of your marriage when Pamela finds out about what you and Emma are doing behind her back. Do you want to push her back on Cliff’s side? Because that’s what you’re going to end up doing.” “Emma and I have a business arrangement, nothing more.” Christopher barked out a short laugh. “And the sun rises in the west.” “And this conversation is over.” “It may be over with me, but I guarantee it won’t be over when my father hears about it. He’s going to be disappointed in you, John Ross. He said he was trying to find it in his heart to trust you again, and then you go and do this.” “Well, you know how I yearn to have Uncle Bobby’s approval,” John Ross said with a smirk as he sat back down. He pushed the papers toward Christopher. “But you just feel free to run off and tattle on me, Christopher. It brings back such fond memories of our childhood.” Christopher snatched the files back. “I do intend to tell my father. Need I remind you that he’s got a stake in this, too?” The other man spun his chair back to face the window, removing himself from his cousin’s sight. “Go ahead.” **** Southfork Ranch Filled with righteous indignation, Christopher rapped his knuckles on door to his father’s home office, then opened the door and entered without giving his father a chance to answer his knock. He was about to launch into a tirade, but stopped short when he saw his father was on the telephone, frowning and listening intently without speaking. After a few long moments, Bobby Ewing thanked the speaker and hung up the receiver. “That was Carlos,” Bobby told his son. “Cliff’s not in a Mexican prison anymore.” Christopher blinked, his thoughts immediately derailed from John Ross to this latest surprise. “What?” “Someone busted him out. According to the Mexican’s authorities, a helicopter landed in the middle of the prison, and a lot of automatic weapons were used to keep the guards pinned down while someone hustled Cliff into the helicopter.” “Cliff must have paid someone to get him out.” “Probably,” Bobby concurred with his son. “I need you and John Ross to go down there and find out the details. I’ll keep everything under control on this end. Why did you need to see me, anyway?” Jarred out of his shock over Cliff, the younger man’s eyes flicked down at the paper in his hand. “It’s nothing. We’ll talk about it later. This is more important.” Bobby nodded his agreement. “Now get going as quickly as possible.” ***** Over the dry desert, in the northeast section of Mexico “I had a real hard time convincing Pamela not to come along,” John Ross groused, looking out of the small window of the private Ewing jet. “I finally told her it wasn’t safe for females down there, and I wanted to be able to concentrate on looking for answers, and I wouldn’t be able to do that if I had to keep watching out for her all the time.” Christopher let out a snort. “I’ll bet that sexist comment went over real well.” “Yeah, tell me about it. I might be sleeping on the sofa when we get home.” He rubbed his chin thoughtfully. “Cliff is turning out to be slipperier than an oily snake sliding down a muddy drain pipe.” For a moment it appeared that Christopher was about to make some type of snarky remark, but then thought better of it. “I didn’t tell my father about your conspiracy with Emma – yet.” “How magnanimous of you.” “Don’t get too comfortable,” Christopher returned evenly. “I still intend to tell him everything, after this trip.” “I’d be surprised if you didn’t, Cousin.” It was then that a loud bang sounded, and the plane bucked wildly enough that it caused the drink John Ross was holding to slop onto the floor, and both young men to nearly fall from their seats. The interior lights flickered and went out. “What the…?” “Jordon? Peter?” Christopher called out toward the pilot and the co-pilot. “What happened?” An older man with graying hair stuck his head out of the cockpit doorway. “We just had a catastrophic instrument failure, Mr. Ewing. Everything was just fine, and then it was…was like a bomb went off. We have no controls.” The two Ewing men exchanged worried looks. “Can you contact the nearest flight tower?” asked John Ross. “Let them know we’re in trouble?” Jordon shook his head negatively, and repeated grimly, “Nothing is working, Mr. Ewing. We’ll keep trying to get it to restart.” The pilot hurried back inside the cockpit, and Christopher and John Ross could do nothing but watch as the landscape quickly grew closer and more distinct with every passing second.