ATF Alternate Universe
The boys had been working on the case for a couple of weeks now. They needed to get a positive ID on this smuggler, and their break was finally coming. A hospitalized FED gave a description to the sketch-artist, and it was being faxed to them right now. JD was standing at the machine, waiting for the slow process to end. But, when he pulled the picture from the machine, his face turned positively ashen, and his eyes started to fill. He lay it down gingerly, and excused himself. His partners exchanged worried glances, and Buck decided to go after him. He found him about a minute later, in the washroom, furiously splashing cold water on his distraught young face.
Buck: (concerned) JD?
JD: Oh, hey, Buck.
Buck: You okay, kid?
JD: I'm f. . .
He broke off, choking back a sob, unable to even issue his standard reply.
Buck: (putting a brotherly hand on his shoulder) JD? You're startin' to scare me, kid. . . Ya recognize that feller or somethin'?
JD: (voice barely a whisper) It's him, Buck.
Buck: (bewildered) "Him", who?
JD: The guy that killed my sister.
JD: I told ya about my sister Loretta, didn't I?
Buck: Um, not much, kid. . . You told me she died when you were 7?
JD: Yeah. . . She was real pretty, Buck. . . Hair like warm honey. . . and her eyes were this sparkly kinda blue-green. . . I, uh. . . I'm the one who found her, ya know. . .
Buck sucked in his breath in shock, but didn't feel this was the time to interupt.
JD: (allowing a few tears to trickle out) She was. . . she was just. . . lyin' there, Buck. . . I didn't know what had happened. . . why she wouldn't wake up. . . I didn't realize then, but, later I found out. . . she'd been raped. . . Then he strangled her. . . (voice breaking) God, Buck. . . her face was so blue. . .
Not knowing what else to do, Buck just wrapped his arms around him comfortingly, hugging him tight, as if to protect his "little brother" from the demons that still haunted him.
They waited until JD had calmed down a bit, and decided they should go back before the others started looking. When they came back, Buck gave them a look that clearly stated," leave it alone", so they wisely didn't ask JD any questions. This greatly relieved the young agent, because he didn't feel up to re-telling that story again. . . and certainly not for so much larger an audience. . .
Chris: We need someone to go undercover to make a deal with this guy. Ez---
JD: Let me do it.
Buck: (giving him a hard glare) Are you nuts? !
JD: What? I can't go undercover all of a sudden?
Buck: (strained patientice) You can't go undercover when it's personal, JD. Ya know that.
JD: That's why I have to go Buck.
Buck: No. . . what if he recognizes you?
JD: That ain't likely.
Buck: No, but it could happen.
Vin: (curiously) How is it a drug smuggler'd know ya, JD?
JD and Buck exchanged glances. Sighing heavily, JD steeled himself to tell the story the second time, praying it was the last, that this could finally be put behind him. . .
Fortunately, they didn't really question him too much about it. Chris didn't remove him from the case, knowing full well they'd never be able to remove him from a case if he'd found the person responisble for the car-bomb that took Sarah and Adam. . . But, he did concede that Buck had a point. . . it was much too personal for him to be the undercover guy. You have to be detatched for something like this. . . Although he wouldn't say this to JD, even though they'd never met Loretta, he didn't think any of them would be able to maintain the necessary degree of. . . detachment. . . Chris decided to call it a day, saying that they needed to rest up for tomorrow. JD knew the real reason, but. . . he wasn't about to look a gift-horse in the mouth, so to speak. . . He couldn't stay there any longer. Since his bike was in the shop, he had ridden with Buck in the pickup, and didn't have a lot of choice about where they were going. But, he still got slightly annoyed when he saw Buck turning off on the side-street, instead of the main road that went to their loft.
JD: Buck, what'cha doin'? I thought we were goin' home?
Buck: Yeah;I'm gonna stop by the store first, though. We're outta beer.
JD: Oh, okay. . .
They went into the liquor store, and Buck grabbed a couple of 6-packs and headed to the counter. He was surprised when JD grabbed himself a large bottle of Don Diablo.
JD just shrugged & reached for his license, identifying him as 22. . .
They never made it to dinner. Or, rather, JD didn't. They got home around 4:15, and JD just slumped on the couch, taking a big slug from the bottle.
Buck: Hadn't ya oughta eat somethin' first?
JD: Ain't hungry, Buck.
Normally, Buck would've aruged with him, but. . . It didn't take much. Half bottle and about 10 minutes later, JD was unconscious. Buck looked at him affectionately. He looked so sweet and innocent when he slept. . .
Buck: (wryly) Yeah, I know better, huh, kid?
He hefted him up and carried to his bed, removing his shoes, socks and shirt before pulling the dishevelled blankets over him.
Buck went to make dinner, hoping the kid would be awake by then, but. . . he was still zonked. . .
Buck: Ah, well. . . I'll just leave 'im some in the fridge.
He was starting to get concerned around 10:00, when JD was still asleep, but shrugged it off, thinking maybe the hangover would be less if he slept more. . .
JD was walking in an oppressive fog. He didn't know where he was, or what he was looking for, but he knew he was looking for something. The inky blackness was starting to get to him, and he began to wish Buck were there. . .
JD: Buck? Buck, ya here? Where am I? What's goin' on?
Suddenly, he saw a silhouette, that started to materalize before his eyes. . .
JD: Loretta. . .
JD rushed to her in shock, sweeping her into his arms and holding on tight. He thought at first this might be a dream, but. . . if it weren't real, why could he feel her arms around him? If he were dreaming, could he smell her familliar scent. . . like honeysuckle and lavender. . .
JD: But. . . how. . .
Loretta: (taking his arms firmly and looking him in the eyes) JD, you have to help me. . .
JD: I. . . I'm sorry I couldn't save ya before---
Loretta: That doesn't matter now. . .
JD: But, I don't understand. . .
Suddenly, he came face to face with the man from the sketch.
JD: (wrathfully) You bas---
But, he was cut off as a lightening-bolt shot from his hand, sending JD flying back several feet. Before he could get his footing, Meesum had grabbed her, wrapping a scarf around her kneck.
Loretta: JD, help me!
JD: (weakly rising up) Let go of my sister!
He tried to get to her, but. . . Meesum just yanked her off into the inky-blackness, and disappeared. He rushed around frantically, looking for them, any sign at all, but he could only hear that mocking voice. . .
Meesum: (laughing cruelly) You couldn't save your big sister then, and you can't now. . . Just like you won't be able to save your "big brother", or the rest of your friends. . .
JD: (swallows back his rage) You stay away from them! Where's Loretta? What have you done with her?
Meesum: You'll never find her again. . . she's mine forever! (laughs psychotically)
JD: (falling to his knees & screaming at the top of his lungs) NO! ! !
Suddenly, the fog was gone. The night was still dark and oppressive, not to mention sticky-hot. . . Running his shaking hands through his hair, he realized that he was drenched in sweat. Before he could rise up, though, the lights were flicked on, nearly blinding him.
JD: (trying vainly to shield himself from the brightness) Ahhh! Buck, what---
Buck: (pale) You okay, kid?
JD: (squinting at him) What's wrong, Buck? You look scared.
Buck: (sits down beside him) Well. . . somebody woke me up screamin' his head off.
JD: (looks down, embarrassed) Uh, sorry, Buck. . . Guess that liquor got to me, that's all. . .
Buck: (looks at him carefully) Ya sure that's it, kid?
JD: (jumps up & tries to make his tone light) Yeah, Buck. . . I'm fine. . . I, uh. . I'm gonna go shower. . .
With that he raced towards the bathroom, leaving Buck to stare after him in concern and bewilderment.
Around 7:00, Buck hollered to JD to come eat breakfast.
Everything was so surreal. . . her voice, the lighting. . . so swirly. . . Why was she surrounded by candles? . . .
Loretta: Smile, though you're heart is aching. Smile, though it may be breaking. Everthing will be alright, if you just smile. . .
Getting no answer, he strode into JD's room, seeing him staring at a portrait in an old-fashioned silver-plated frame.
Suddenly, a large rope drops from the sky, looping around her neck, dragging her upwards. . .
Buck: Who's that?
JD: (jumps) Huh? Oh. . .
JD hands him the frame and, he looked at the family there. A pretty woman, maybe 30, who looked too much like JD not to be his mama. She had long dark hair, and hazel eyes, and a smile that just glowed. On her left was a pretty young thing about 16, honey-blonde-tresses, and sparkly aquamarine eyes. . ." Just like JD described her," Buck thought. On her other side was a boy about 7, who was unmistakeably JD. . ." Little squirt ain't changed much. . ." he mused. . .
JD: (quietly) This was taken about a week before it happened.
Buck: Um, JD. . . They catch him?
JD: Naw. . . he was arrested, but he jumped bail. . . I reckon the statute of limitations would've run out by now. . .
Buck: Yup. . . But, (puts a brotherly arm around his shoulders) don't you worry none, kid. . . we ain't got no "statute of limitations."
JD: (leans into his shoulder comfortingly) Thanks, Buck.
By the time they got to the office, they were already preparing to make the first contact. Ezra was being wired up, as was Vin. JD and Buck were going to listen from the van, while the rest were to be stationed around, keeping an eye out. . .
Chris: Alright, let's hit it!
They didn't get the information on the first meeting. This was not unusual, but. . . this was just so personal to them all now. They had to get this guy! After work, JD got ready to pick up Casey, and took her to a nighclub.
Casey: JD? Are you okay?
JD: Yeah. . . fine. Why?
Casey: You seem so distracted, that's all.
JD: Oh, I'm sorry. . . case is gettin' to me.
Casey: Well, if you'd rather go work on---
JD: Didn't say that;I'd rather be with you than anything.
Casey: (smiling beatifically) Really?
JD: (grins) Uh-huh. . .
He leans across the table and kisses her.
JD: Hang on a sec. . .
He gets up and goes to the jukebox, putting in a song.
JD: (extends his hand) Dance?
Casey: (takes his hand) Uh-huh.
They go onto the dance floor, holding each-other close, her head on his chest, his cheek resting on her head. . .
Oh, oh, oh.
For the longest time.
Oh, oh, oh.
For the longest time.
If you said goodbye to me tonight,
there would still be music left to write.
What else could I do?
I'm so inspired by you.
That hasn't happened for the longest time.
Once I thought my innocence was gone,
Now I know that happiness goes on.
That's where you found me,
when you put your arms around me.
I haven't been there for the longest time.
Oh, oh, oh.
For the longest time.
Oh, oh, oh.
For the longest.
I'm that voice you're hearing in the hall.
And, the greatest miracle of all,
is how I need you,
and, how you needed me too.
That hasn't happened for the longest time.
Maybe this won't last very long.
But, you feel so right,
and I could be wrong.
Maybe I've been hoping too hard,
but, I've gone this far,
and it's more than I hoped far.
Who knows how much further we'll go on?
Maybe I'll be sorry when you're gone.
I'll take my chances,
I forgot how nice romance is.
I haven't been there for the longest time.
I had second thoughts at the start,
I said to myself,
hold onto your heart.
Now I know the woman that you are.
You're wonderful so far, and it's more than I hoped for.
I don't care what consequence it brings,
I have been a fool for lesser things.
I want you so bad,
I think you ought to know that I intend to hold you for the longest time. . .
They kissed gently but passionately, finding something in each-other's eyes. . .
JD: Um. . . you want to go back to the loft? Buck's gonna be gone on a date for a while. . .
Casey just nods slightly, and he takes her hand to lead her out. . .
Buck got up and dressed the next morning, and decided to rouse JD. He went over to the bed and saw the lump shoved under the covers in the center of the bed.
Buck: (laughing) C'mon, sleepyhead! Get up!
With that, he started pulling the covers off, to reveal the tousled head of Casey Wells! Casey was huddled into a ball, a smile of contentment across her sleepy face. Fortunately, she was still asleep. Eyes widening, he pulled his the covers back over her and quietly rushed out of the room. He went into the kitchen to get some coffee, a dopey grin spreading across his features. Suddenly, JD came out of the shower, clad only in a pair of jeans.
Buck: (happily) Hey, kid.
JD: Hey, Buck. What's goin' on?
He looked confused as Buck kept grinning knowingly at him, until he noticed Casey come out of the room in one of his button-up shirts, and Buck didn't even bat an eye.
JD: Oh, so, you. . .
Casey: (looks down shyly) Um, hi Buck.
Buck: Hey, darlin'.
JD: Um, Casey, you want some coffee or somethin'?
Casey: (shakes her head no) I, um, probably need to get ready in a minute. I got class.
JD: (nods) Okay. You know where everyting is.
Casey: Uh-huh. . . (leans up and kisses him gently, shyly) See ya later. (walks off towards the shower)
Later that morning, they went to get ready for the next meeting, hoping to be able to set up a meeting for a buy. . .
Meesum: So, Mr. Simpson. . . you expect me to sell to you?
Ezra: You are in the business of selling, are you not?
Meesum: (scratches his chin thoughtfully) I suppose. . . but, not to the ATF. . .
Ezra: (maintaining his poker-face) I beg your pardon?
Meesum: I know. . . I know everything. . . I have a. . . friend that works in your building, bugged your office. . . I even know that someone from my past works with you. . .
Ezra: What's that got to do with---
Meesum: (snaps his fingers) Bring 'er out, boys!
Suddenly, they bring out a bound, gagged, and struggling Casey.
Ezra: (bitingly) The girl has nothing to do with this---
Meesum: Oh, I beg to differ.
Vin: (evenly) Let her go. . .
Meesum: We checked you guys for weapons before we started. . . Now. . . this is how it's gonna go. . . You are gonna tell one Mr. JD Dunne to come up here and collect his woman, as well as the rest of your team. . . And, I know how many of you there are. . . (cocks his gun and points it to Casey's head) You have 1 minute to get them up here, or this little pretty ain't gonna be so pretty no more. . .
JD had heard enough. He ripped off the headphones and started to bolt for the door, but was stopped by Buck's hand on his arm.
Buck: Easy there, kid. . .
JD: He's got Casey!
Buck: (soothingly) I know;and we'll get her back, but. . . we're all gonna end up dead if we go out there half-cocked.
JD: (nods, still breathing a bit shallowly) Yeah, you're right. . .
They all gathered slowly. . . no sudden moves, nothing that would make his trigger finger itchy. . .
JD: Well, we're here. . . you can let her go now.
Meesum: Defeat the purpose, wouldn't it, boy? (grins evily at him) I remember sweet Loretta---
JD: (wrathfully) You bastard!
Suddenly, his men grab all of them, restraining them.
Meesum: (approaching the struggling JD) You found her, I heard. . . This. . . this can be so much more. . . you can watch first hand. . .
JD: No. . . no. . . you. . . She's done nothing to you! Leave her out of it!
Meesum: (backhands him) You blame me for your sister? I had to go on the run for years. . . It will give me great pleasure to have your whore. . .
Suddenly, they all started struggling violently, as Casey was dragged away.
Meesum: Take them too. . . tie 'em up. . . They need to enjoy the show.
It all happened too fast. . . they had forgotten to check any but Vin and Ezra for weapons. Chris shot the guy holding him, and all hell broke loose. Shots rang out all over the place. Fists and bullets flying rampant. . . Vin was closest to Casey, so he pulled her out of the way and untied her. . . fortunately they'd forgotten to check his boots for his knife. . .
Casey: JD? Where's JD?
Vin: Hush now. . . JD's gonna be fine. . .
Finally, the sirens arrived. It was the sweetest sound they'd ever heard. . . After the men were lead out towards the official vehicles, they started doing a check, rounding up the team, seeing injuries. . .
Casey: (screams) JD! (falls on her knees beside his prone form)
With trembling hands, he brushed the bangs out of the pale, clammy face. Then, he looks at the spreading red-stain on his chest. . .
Buck: Somebody call an ambulance!
Everything was this beautiful, golden glow. It was so warm, beautiful. . .
Loretta: Hey, little brother. . .
JD: Loretta. . . (cups her face) Is this another dream?
Loretta: No dream, JD. . . You're safe here.
JD: (hugs her tight) I missed you. . .
Loretta: We've missed you too. . .
Loretta: (gestures with her hand) Look.
Buck: (pacing nervously) Why won't they tell us anything? !
Josiah: Calm down, Buck. . .
Chris: (coming up) We found the leak.
Chris: (shrugs) And, it's been dealt with.
Buck: Do we get to---
Chris: Naw, as much as I'd like to. . .
JD: Mama, what's goin' on? Am I. . .
Mrs. Dunne: No, JD, you're not.
Loretta: You have to go back, JD.
JD: But. . .
Loretta: (makes a move with her hand, showing them all in the waiting room) Your family, JD.
Mrs. Dunne: They've taken good care of you, son. . . we're so proud. . .
JD: (eyes filling) I. . . I'm gonna miss y'all. . .
Mrs. Dunne: We miss you, too, son. . .
They each give him a big hug and a kiss. . .
Dr. Chambert: Are you all here for Mr. Dunne?
Buck: (rising up) Yes. How is he?
Dr. Chambert: (smiles softly) He's awake now. . . he's asking to see you all. . .
When JD's eyes adjusted to the harsh florescent lighting of the hospital room, he saw his "family" standing all around him. His smile grew as he saw that Casey was on one side of him, holding his hand, and Buck was on the other side doing the same.
JD: (weakly) Hey. . .
Casey: (smoothing his hair) Shhh. Don't try to talk too much, JD. . .
JD: M'fine, Case. . .
Buck: Be honest, kid. . . how ya really feelin'?
JD: (dryly) Like I been shot.
Casey: Oh, JD. . . I was so scared. . .
JD: Nah, Casey. . . no reason to be scared. . . I can't die. . .
Buck: Ya think you're Superman, do ya?
JD: No, just couldn't leave my family. . .
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