Disclaimer: Not mine, never were, never will be.
Note: Short response to a song challenge. Thanks to Helen for the Beta work.
"Why the hell to we do this?" JD suddenly asked.
The others all looked, at him, somewhat puzzled. "Please elucidate Mr Dunne," Ezra requested.
"Risk our lives like this? Buck and Chris got hurt - could have been killed - for what? To get a few guns off the street. We all know how many guns are out there, what we did today was a drop in the ocean, we're just pissing in the wind, and you guys all know it."
Despite his evident fury, JD kept his voice down, so as not to wake the two injured men sleeping in the room. Chris was lying on his side on the couch, protecting his left side, while Buck was stretched out on the recliner, snoring softly. They had tracked down a gang selling automatic weapons from the back of an armoured truck to high school kids. It was too dangerous to apprehend them near a school so the take-down was set up for the alley where the gang were parking their vehicle that week. What no one knew was that one of the gang was being met by his girlfriend. When she saw what was happening, she panicked and drove her car directly at Buck and Chris just as they were about to put the handcuffs on her boyfriend. Vin only just managed to shout a warning. As it was, Chris had a bad case of 'road rash' where his jacket sleeve was momentarily snagged on the side mirror and he was dragged. Buck had been clipped by the car as it sped past and he had a cracked pelvis, a badly bruised hip, a broken wrist and some cuts and bruises. After a few hours in the ER, both men were released and were now back at Chris' ranch with the others.
"Those boys - men - were selling guns to children, do you not think stopping that worthwhile?" Nathan asked.
"To be honest I don't know. Those kids, the ones who want a gun, they'll find some way to get them, no matter what we do," JD responded.
"Why'd you become a cop JD?" Vin asked. "After all, with your smarts, you could have had all kinds of nice, easy, safe jobs that pay a hell of a lot better - right?" JD shrugged his acceptance of this fact. "So why?"
"I just wanted to do something that didn't mean sitting behind a computer all day."
"So why not become a fire-fighter?"
"I'm too short," JD pointed out.
"Ok, bad example, but if you didn't want a nine to five job there are all kinds of things you could have done. Like get a job as a zoo keeper."
"Park ranger," Josiah suggested.
"Landscape gardener," Nathan added.
"Insurance assessor." The others all turned to glare at Ezra. "What are you all staring at me for? It's not a nine to five job."
"Whatever, the question is, why did you choose the police?" Vin asked again.
JD shifted self-consciously. "I don't know. I always wanted to be cop, watched too much TV I guess."
"I never wanted to be a cop, or a federal agent," Vin told them. "All I wanted was to be a cowboy, but you can't get an education as a cowboy, so I joined the army, found out I was good at shooting and tracking. So when I got out I started tracking people for money, so I could save up to buy a ranch of my own. But the thing is, the more I saw out there," he waved his arm in the general direction of Denver, "the more I realised that the cops, people I spent a lot of years when I was a kid hating, weren't all bad. In fact some of them were right decent folk, trying to help people, protect them and me. They weren't trying to save the world, but they did make a difference to the people they helped. Thats why I said yes when Chris offered me a job. And besides, I'm good at what I do, and I like doing something I'm good at, makes me feel good."
"A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step," Josiah quoted. "We can't get all the guns off the street, no one can, but that doesnt mean we give up. What we did today may only have saved one life, but if it did it was worth it, and if they were awake, Buck and Chris would tell you the same things. And we do make a difference, we being the cops and the feds. There used to be part of this city that were practically no-go areas, even for the cops, Purgatorio for one. Right Vin?"
"Sure, but it's not like that now, the place ain't perfect, but it's a lot better than it used to be," Vin confirmed.
"Today we stopped a few guns, but we've stopped a lot more than that in our time. Don't forget we have destroyed some big operations, cut off the supply of guns at their source."
"I know that, but no matter how many times we do it, someone else comes along and starts all over again," JD protested morosely.
"But it takes time," Josiah persisted. "And in that time, that leeway, the descent people in places like Purgatorio get the chance to change it, to get their community back.
Nathan reckoned if the others were going to have their say, so was he. "They say guns don't kill people, people kill people, and you know what? It's true. But I'll tell you something else, killing someone without a gun, is generally a lot more difficult than it looks, unless you use poison, it's up close and personal, its messy, it takes time. A couple of guys having an argument can turn into murder one in the blink of an eye, if one or both have a gun. But if all they have are their fists or even a knife well, things are less likely to escalate that far."
"Guys I do know all this!" JD protested.
"Mr Dunne, you asked a question, do not interrupt now it is being answered," Ezra scolded. "Now I cannot speak for the others, but I originally chose this career just to spite Mother. Joining the FBI was the very antithesis of what she wanted for me. As it turned out I made a bad choice, and my Mother felt vindicated, so I accepted Chris' job offer, to once more spite her. But since then, I freely admit, my attitude has changed. Like you I know what we do can make only a marginal difference, but we don't work alone. There are other AFT teams in other offices, there are the local police, the DEA and even, much as it pains me to admit it, the FBI. What would this country be like if we all gave up? What kind of anarchy? And even though it goes against my natural instincts, I find I like being a small cog in a larger machine. What is more, I am proud that this machine that we are all part of, continues to fight the good fight so we can all live our lives as we wish."
"Freedom is a gift not a right, and it has to be protected," Nathan stated softly.
"Amen to that," Josiah added.
"And let us not forget," Ezra continued. "We are all adrenaline junkies, and this job of ours is a considerably more productive way to feed our addiction that jumping off a bridge attached to a glorified rubber band."
Vin shot a glare at Ezra.
"Mr Tanner, I will not go bungee-jumping with you next weekend, I told you that last week, despite what you keep telling me, I would not - as you put it - have a blast."
"Glad to hear it."
All heads turned to face Chris.
"Sorry Chris, we didn't mean to wake you up," JD apologised.
"You didn't. I hope you're listening to what the others are saying here, kid."
"I am, it's just when I saw that car hit you guys, I thought you were dead and it just didn't seem worth it."
"You gotta look at the big picture here, it's the only way. Otherwise we'd all give up."
"I know - guess I always did, in my heart." JD sat back and regarded his hero. "So, Chris, why did you get into law enforcement?"
Chris shrugged, then grimaced as the movement pulled on some of his fresh wounds. "It was a natural progression from the military, that and wanting to make my community safer for my family." As ever when Chris spoke of his family, there was a note of sadness and regret in his voice. "As it turned out I couldn't do that for them, but if I had given up." He stopped and glanced over at Buck, who, under the influence of strong painkillers, was still sleeping in the recliner. "If I had been allowed to give up, then the murders would have won. We can't let them win JD. There is just too much at stake."
"I know. So, why do you think Buck joined the police?" JD asked, glancing over his shoulder at his slumbering best friend.
"Same reason as me, that and the fact that Buck has this innate need to protect, you must know that better then any of us."
JD did indeed know that to be true, and even thought it sometimes felt like he was being smothered, deep down it gave him a good feeling to know Buck was always watching out for him.
"I guess it's like Nate said, if we want to live the way we want, we have to fight for it," he finally admitted.
"It's always been that way, probably always will be," Josiah reminded them all. "The fight between good and evil is eternal."
"And so long as it is, people have to stand up and be counted in the fight," Ezra observed.
"Yup," Vin confirmed.
"Guess I'm gonna be one of them," JD admitted.
"Now yer talking, kid."
"Buck! We thought you were asleep," JD exclaimed.
"Think I could sleep through you lot saving the world?"
Theme from 'The Flashing Blade'
I have no idea who wrote it, who owns it or who translated it - since it was almost certainly originally in French. The Flashing Blade was an French TV adventure serial, set in the 100 years war (I think) that was dubbed (badly) into English and shown on British kids TV, many, many years ago.You've got to fight for what you want,
For all that you believe.
It's right to fight for what we want,
To live the way we please.
So long as we have done our best,
Then no one can do more.
For life and love and happiness,
Are well worth fighting for.
They're well worth fighting for!