Just Desserts

by Wildcard

Disclaimer: Not mine - sniff, But if Ezra comes up in any auction I'll be first in the queue. Only borrowing for a little bit of fun.

Author's Note: Challenge, Issued by Rhonda - MOM Challenge April 07: Write a story that involves all seven guys and their favorite girls scout cookies. <G>

"No way!" JD shouted, as he slammed down his hand of cards disgusted that he had lost yet again.

Buck chuckled then winked at the kid with affection and placed his own cards down face up for the rest of the guys to see. "You should have folded earlier..." Buck said in a singsong voice and scooped the pot across to his side of the table.

The day had been a relaxing one for Team Seven, of the ATF. They were letting their hair down after a bust had successfully gone their way for once and the perps were safely in the slammer. The ball game they had watched earlier had been a raucous affair with mixed emotions as they each shouted for their favorite team.

The chaos of their afternoon and evening exploits now untidily decorated Chris Larabee's lounge, but he knew from past experience that it would all be miraculously cleared away by the time he got up the next day. That time to be determined, depending on how good a night they would be having as the beers were out. The card game had been a boisterous affair with Buck winning, which had surprised Chris, and then he had caught an amused glint in Ezra's eyes and knew it had been a set up all along.

Chris turned wordlessly to pluck up a bottle of Scotch and poured a couple of glasses as the game was nearing it's end and thrust the glass quietly into his undercover agent's hand without the others noticing.

"Sneaky, very sneaky, but Nicely done, Ez," complimented Chris as he raised his glass to toast the con man who had clearly set the deck in Buck's favor.

"My pleasure," Ezra said softly, and raised his Scotch likewise to his boss and friend.

JD and Buck had had a tough week and watching their byplay as they acted like kids raised everyone's spirits further.

The pizza boxes lay strewn around and empty bottles littered the floor and for once Chris didn't moan or glare at his team for not clearing up when finished. He was only glad that they were all still in one piece and with no injuries other than a few cuts and bruises that Nathan had taken care of easily.

"So, what's for dessert?" Buck said jovially as he stood up from the card table and stretched and rubbed at his stomach. "I'm still hungry." There were yells mocking him from "No, way!" through to some more crude that had Buck mock fighting with his friends.

"Sorry pard - not got anything in since last month," Chris said. The guys had cleared out his freezer the previous visit, and he hadn't gotten around to shopping yet. His workload at the ATF kept him constantly busy, and it had been take-outs or eating on the move. His cupboards literally were bare.

"Awe Cowboy," complained Vin, joining in whining. "I'm famished." He got similar hoot calls as Buck had but grinned and pouted putting on his puppy dog look that had them all laughing as it didn't work.

"We could drive over to...." Started Josiah and then realized they each had drunk more than the legal amount of beers that'd allow them to drive safely. "No can do." Chris said as he set his empty Scotch tumbler down onto the card table. "We are all over the limit and it wouldn't be responsible." "So no dessert?" pouted Vin.

"No pudding?" groused Buck.

"Nope - you will just have to settle for more beer," suggested Chris, and this raised their spirits for a moment, but it didn't stop Vin and Buck from heading through to his kitchen to scrounge in the hope of finding something more to eat.

The doorbell chimed as if on cue, and Josiah being nearest headed to the door and returned with a variety of boxes and a grin plastered on his face. "Boys our prayers have been answered - I've dessert!" Whoops and hollers were heard all around and even the two Girl Scouts couldn't help but stop and turn to stare back toward the home they had just left, and then they laughed knowing that their Cookies were responsible.

The attention of six men were on Josiah as he smiled his toothy grin and cautioned them to back off - not to rush all at once - needless to say Vin and Buck were in the front of the queue.

The variety of colored boxes had been scrutinized and soon each of the men had a box of cookies perched on their laps and were washing the crumbs down with beer.

"I am unsure if this is the correct beverage to drink with this dessert," remarked Ezra who was more than slightly intoxicated.

"Shut up Ezra!" responded his friends in unison and a part of a discarded cookie flew across the room and bounced off his head. Vin snickered and JD nearly choked on his beer, which was halfway down his throat when Buck threw the broken cookie across the room.

They munched contentedly, and drank in silence for a time till Nathan posed them with a question. "Which was their favorite Girl Scout Cookie?"

"Since you asked the question, Nate, why not get the ball rolling. Which is yours?" said Chris sipping at a newly filled tumbler of Scotch.

"That's easy," grinned Nathan as he bit into one of his cookies and smiled broadly. "Caramel deLites."

"Why these?" asked JD in surprise. "I don't like them much."

"'Cause they remind me of my family, JD, and 'cause I like coconut," Nathan continued as he remembered the first time he tasted the cookies.

"One of my sisters - can't remember which one, had joined the Girl Scouts and of course she brought back piles of boxes of cookies to sell, mainly to the family if we could be persuaded." Nathan smiled in fond remembrance and revealed he had snuck a few cookies from one of the boxes, and his sister had only discovered the theft when she started to sell them around door to door.

This had the guys laughing fit to burst.

"Bet you got a whupping for that!" laughed Josiah giving his best friend a nudge.

"Sure did.I couldn't sit for days, and I had to pay up for boxes with my pocket money." Nathan rubbed at his thigh and chuckled." A sore lesson but I still liked the cookies and bought them when ever I could even if it wasn't off my sister."

"My favorites are Cartwheels." JD said interrupting Nathan's story and got a smack up side the head from Buck. "What ya do that fer`?" he complained, rubbing at his neck.

"Ya interrupted Nate," Buck said with a roll of his eyes.

"Sorry Nate," said JD with his brown eyes wide as he looked crestfallen as the beer had given him that melancholy feeling it always did.

"I prefer the "All Abouts", " said Buck with a grin. "I like the Girl Scout sayings - "Be Prepared" and all that"

"Typical, Mister Wilmington." Ezra scoffed then coughed on a cookie that was only half way down his throat.

"Serves you right... " Buck chuckled, "shouldn't make aspurshums or whatever the danged word is."

The word you are struggling to find is Assumptions." Ezra said with a snort and started to cough once more.

"That cookie used to be named Animal Treasures," Josiah said looking across at Buck. Buck's whole countenance changed, and his smile fell from his face. His friends knew he was thinking about another time in his life.

"What ya thinkin'?" JD asked softly, wondering if Buck would tell.

"My Ma, - she'd buy the Animal Treasures and save them up, and then give them to me if I'd been good while she'd been out workin'."

The room was silent as they listened to Buck's tale and when he finished he struggled as a tear slipped from the corner of his eye. "She never did eat any of those cookies. She only ever bought them for me."

Buck stood up and headed to the fridge in the kitchen for more beer, as he needed one.

While Buck was out of the room Josiah stepped in to recount why he was eating the cookie named, Thanks-A-Lot. "It's not just for the fudge I buy them." He grinned as laughter erupted, because they all knew how much he had a sweet tooth for fudge in any shape or form. "It's the foreign words written on them that I have always liked. Seeing the words of "Thank You" written in other languages always brings back memories of when I was a child. Yes, I know my childhood wasn't that great, but I did like meeting the foreign folk we came across in our travels, and I always tried to speak the lingo."

"Yeah," Chris interrupted. "Like the time you tried to ask the Chinese lady in the Chinese Embassy here in Denver for her telephone number?"

Buck came in and howled along with the rest of them overhearing Chris's comment and couldn't resist adding his own memory about that incident. "Asking her to go to bed with you isn't 'xactly what I'd recommend to do on a first date - well not at least before dinner or something."

"Thank you Chris, Buck!"" Josiah said with a chuckle and a slightly red face. "Thanks for reminding me." Josiah wiggled one of his Thanks - a - lot cookies then put it into his mouth whole.

Vin snagged a bottle of beer from Buck and winked up at the man in thanks. Buck tried to snatch one of Vin's cookies from him, but the sharpshooter was too fast and managed to keep the few remaining Peanut Butter Patties, also known as, Tagalongs out of Buck's reach.

"Mine!" Vin said with a snarl and followed it quickly with a laugh.

"Territorial - aren't you Mister Tanner?" Ezra said still munching happily on his own cookies and had ensured the box was safe out of any grasping hands by tucking it behind his back.

"Sure am, Ez. These little fellers have chocolate and peanut butter in them."

"Suppose it makes a change from the chocolate and peanut butter sandwiches," JD added merrily as he had similar tastes in that department.

Ezra's face grimaced at the thought and was pleased his palate had never had the desire for such concoctions, well not at the same time.

"What's your favorite then, Ez?" asked Vin safely popping one of his last cookies into his mouth.

"Come on guys," Chris shook his head in wonder, knowing the various cookies, and he knew by name which one Ezra was chomping on. He had recognized the cookies name by the color of the box.

"Gauchos!" cried out Buck.

"No," Josiah said. "That was the old name. They are now called 'Do-si-dos' I think."

"Trefoils?" called out Nathan and got a glare from Ezra in return.

Samoas?" asked JD.

Ezra shook his head as each of the cookie names like Cartwheels, and Lemonades were tossed at him, but none proved to be correct.

"Mister Larabee believes he knows the cookie I favor." Ezra glanced over toward Chris and raised his eyebrows and waited.

"Café Cookies," said Chris in a firm tone and met Ezra's eyes and he started to smirk. He could see he was correct and also had seen the light brown box.

"I should have got that!" Josiah said, as he slapped his own forehead with the palm of his hand. "They are a gourmet style cookie - am I correct?"

"Mister Sanchez and Mister Larabee, yes, you both are correct." Ezra removed the brown box from behind this back and opened it to lift out a cookie and confirmed it to them. "It's the gourmet of Cookies coated with cinnamon. The best of the very best."

"I disagree, I think the best of all is my own particular favorite," Chris said after taking a large slug of whisky knowing that the ache in his heart was from the memory of his late wife Sarah. "Thin Mints," he said. All around the room nods of agreement came from all quarters and even Ezra admitted he liked them very much.

The six men watched as their leader drifted back into his memories and told them in a soft burr of how he met Sarah for the very first time.

"My Ma had gone to fetch her purse to pay someone who was waiting on the front porch and the door was still open as I came down the stairs from my room. I glanced over but took no notice of the shadows on the porch. Then I heard a soft laugh - it was from a young gir,l and I had to go and take a peek to see what she looked like. I was half way through the door when my Ma returned and she caught me."

The men laughed and asked for more details.

"Okay, hang on...." Chris continued his story of how his mother had wanted him to fetch the boxes from the front porch and not to wander off as she had assumed he was skulking off to tag along with Buck.

"Some things never change pard!" hooted Buck, having heard some of this tale before but not with such an easy going Larabee.

"Shut it, Buck." Chris sent a glare his way and started from where he had left off. "My Ma shoved me through the porch door and I ended up face to face with a trio of Girl Scouts. The pretty one that had caught my eye giggled, and I recognized the laugh that had caught my attention."

Chris's mother had bought many boxes as presents and had chosen various varieties of cookies. The bulk was 'Thin Mints', as they were the favorite with most of their relations and Chris loved them. He noticed that Sarah was holding the pile of 'Thin Mint' boxes and took them from her. Their hands brushed as he looked down at her, as she was about 6 inches shorter than he.

They both had blushed and he thankfully had turned to head toward the kitchen with the boxes and catch his breath before returning for more.

"Is that it?" asked JD, with his mouth hanging open. He wanted to hear more.

"Yep," Chris said. "Unless you want to top up my glass for me kid, it's empty."

"Come on, JD." Buck said, giving JD a shove with his foot as he headed across to refill Chris's glass for him. "We know he married the lady ain't that enough?"

"Just wondered when you shared your first 'Thin Mint!' JD asked as he reached Chris.

"That's another story," Chris said with a wink.

"I'm still hungry," Vin said and wondered why he got pelted with empty cookie boxes.

The End