"Where is he?"
"Mr. Wilmington. . . please. . . why don't you come in," Ezra said as he opened the door and Buck practically ran over him.
"Where is he?"
"In the shower, you brought a change of clothes I assume," Ezra asked, noticing the plastic bag Buck carried.
"Yeah, then I can get him home," Buck stated.
"I don't think that is advisable," Ezra sighed.
"What do you mean it ain't 'advisable'?" Buck asked with a laugh.
"I don't think he'll go home with you," the green eyed man said dryly, knowing too well it was fact.
"Then I'll just have to drag his ass home," The lean man threatened.
"Mr. Wil. . . Buck, he's in no shape to be . . . .'man handled', he's been beaten, he's tired and not feeling well. . . and in less than 9 hours he's going to be sneaking around a building trying to listen in on a rival gangs plans. .I suggest you leave him here and let him rest. . . so he doesn't get himself killed later," Ezra said, sounding much like Buck in 'Mother hen' mode.
"Fine, just let me see him and make sure he's okay," Buck asked more than stated.
Ezra was again going to recommend Buck leave when he was interrupted by the bathroom door opening and JD coming out of it, towel around his waist and another drying off his hair.
"Jesus," Buck gasped quietly as he saw the bruises and cuts JD had.
"Hey, Ez. . . You got stuff to cover this up with," JD asked, his words muffled by the fact he was drying off his hair.
"I believe I have the necessary items. . . You have a visitor," Ezra said , the last part coming out quietly as he went by JD to the bathroom. JD removed the towel from his head and lifted his head and saw Buck.
"Ezra call you?" JD asked, looking back at the bathroom.
"He asked me to bring a change of clothes for ya," Buck said softly, shifting his stance nervously.
"Did you?" JD asked Buck.
"'Course," Buck answered, pointing to where the bag was.
"You done your good deed, you can leave now," JD said harshly, and turned to move, but Ezra was standing beside him.
Buck was sure Chris had over exaggerated JD's mind set, Buck realized he hadn't after listening not only to the words the young agent said, but the way they were said.
"Give me a chance to explain would ya?" Buck laughed out nervously, it was better than getting mad at the kid.
JD took his eyes from where Ezra was re-applying a bandage to his arm.
"That's rich Buck," JD laughed out sarcastically, "'ME' give YOU a chance? Why? You didn't give me one," JD's serious tone made Bucks bones ache.
"You gotta understand. . . " Buck tried again.
"Already had this 'I gotta understand' talk with Chris, I don't feel like having it again," JD said a sarcastic smile crossing his too young bruised face.
"Dammit JD! You ain't bein fair here!" Buck's frustration made him angry.
"You're right Buck. . . it ain't fair! I finally get an assignment that you couldn't talk Chris out of givin' to me. . . I get the shit kicked outta me for this assignment. . . and then with three stupid fuckin' pictures you think the worse of me. . . THAT'S what ain't fair!" JD grabbed the first aid tape from Ezra's hands, then grabbed the bag of clothes and went to Ezra's bedroom.
"Let me know when he's gone," JD said as he passed back by Ezra, not lowering his voice so Buck could hear.
"Jesus, how the hell am I gonna get him to forgive me. . . .us?" Buck asked, not meaning for it to be heard.
"I don't think you can 'get' him to forgive, I'm sure time is the on ly cure for the boy," Ezra sighed, making his way to where Buck had helpless ly flopped onto the couch.
"Keep an eye on him, you ain't gonna let him out tonight are ya'?" Buck knew that he wouldn't if JD looked the way he did.
"It's his choice," Ezra said.
"He ain't in no shape. . . "
"Mr. Wilmington, not only is he an adult, but he is still on an assign meant, he takes this very seriously. He'll finish the job he was asked to do, not to prove something to any of us. . . but because, as always, it's the right thing to do," Ezra smiled.
"You think he'll give us a chance to explain, after the case is over?" Buck asked, knowing that right now Ezra was the one who still had JD's trust.
"I don't think he'll be around to hear an explanation," Ezra relayed his thought.
"He say that to you?" Buck asked, his voice in a bit of a panic.
"No, but trust is one of the most important things to that young man, you all doubted. . . that translates to a lack of trust to him. . . if he hasn't trust. . . he has nothing," Ezra voiced his fear.
"He still has you Ezra, you didn't doubt him. Family is just important as trust to him, he still trust you. . . and wether you like it or not, you're part of the family we got here," Buck smiled.
"I do believe you over estimate my importance," Ezra said, uncomfortable with the responsibility.
"He let ya help him, I don't think I'm overestimatin' anythin'," Buck said slapping his hand on Ezra's back as he stood up to leave.
The two were silent as Ezra shut the door behind Buck. He made his way to his bedroom and knocked softly on the door, there was no response from the other side and his stomach wrenched. He slowly turned the handle to the door and opened it, the knot unclenched as he saw the young agent lying on the bed, the towel still wrapped around his waist, the first aid tape held loosely in his hand and the bandage still only half taped on.
Ezra sighed, took the tape and finished securing the bandage. JD was exhausted, he'd never even flinched as Ezra touched the injured arm. The older agent's hand touched the younger's forehead gently and was pleased to find that the slight fever he'd felt at the warehouse was gone. He stood from the place he'd sat on the bed, grabbing at a quilt that was neatly folded at the foot of the bed and covered JD with it, then left the room leaving the door ajar so if the boy woke or began to stir Ezra could hear him.
Ezra grabbed a book and sat in a chair that gave him good vantage point to the bedroom. He looked at the clock that sat on the small table next to the chair. 10:33 a.m., he hoped JD would sleep till 6 or so that night knowing he needed the rest.
He opened the book to the marked place he'd stopped reading and sighed. Ezra appeared to be reading the book, but after ten minutes of rereading the first paragraph 6 times and still not knowing what it said, he replaced the marker into the book and shut it.
His eyes found themselves turning to the bedroom door, he'd placed him self in a position to see JD's feet and nothing more. He stood from the chair and made his way to the door frame, pushing the door back again he leaned on the frame, and watched the young agent sleep.
He watched intently for 5 minutes, when his breath caught in his throat. He quickly made his way to the bed and gently lay a hand on JD's back. He sighed quietly as he felt the slow even motion of the boys back indicating that he was still breathing.
"Ez? It 6 already?" asked the young man laying on his side, eyes closed, his voice husky with the lack of sleep.
"No, no. . . go back to sleep," Ezra said quietly.
"Something wrong? Buck still. . . "JD asked, his eyes finally opening.
"Mr. Wilmington is no longer here, you have roughly 7 hours to make up for the sleep you were deprived of the previous night, I suggest you use it wisely," Ezra said, making it sound more like an order.
"Go back to sleep?" JD asked, wondering if his translation was accurate.
"Go back to sleep," Ezra nodded.
"Ya' keep talkin' like that and I'm sure I'll be asleep again in no time," JD smiled as his eyes closed, with a long yawn JD was back asleep.
Ezra's hand hovered over the side of JD's head, he took his hand back, telling himself that he'd only wake him back up. He noticed that somehow the quilt wasn't covering all of JD, how it gotten like that he didn't know, JD hadn't moved from the time he'd left before. Ezra sighed and brought the blanket back up to cover JD's shoulders, he then found his hand on the side of JD's head.
"Thanks," the tired voice whispered.
"You're welcome my friend," Ezra smiled, then turned and left the room , leaving the door ajar. He turned the chair he had occupied earlier to face the door, moved the foot stool as well and sat in it, never taking his eyes off the room.
"Ez. . . Hey Ezra. . . " JD said with a smile, hitting the agents feet that were crossed on the foot stool.
"Hmmmm?" Ezra answered, still not fully awake.
"Ezra. . . come on. . . wake up, I gotta get goin," JD said, hitting the feet harder.
"I'll have your head if you have scuffed or smudged my Italian leather shoes," Ezra said, opening his eyes.
"Shut up Ez, it's 5:30. . . I gotta get outta here," the younger agent reminded lightly.
"Very well then, 5:30 you say, that gives us enough time to 'grab a bite' on the way," Ezra smiled.
"Only if you're buyin, I don't have a cent on me," JD said, he'd left his wallet at Vin's, he always did if he met up with Joey, if they happen ed to get a hold of his wallet, his cover would be blown.
"Ahhhh," Ezra sighed, "Well. . . I suppose you have used my shower, towels , medical materials, and slept in my bed, now you wish to spend my money. . . I will however make you a deal, I will buy your meal under two conditions. . . 1) the meal takes more than 2 minutes to prepare and 2) you breath a word to this to anyone and I will personally make you life a living hell. Do we have an agreement?" Ezra smiled cheerfully.
"I guess. . . but. . . I only got a half hour to eat. . . settle for Subway?" JD asked.
"That would be an acceptable amendment, after all. . . it is. . . freshly prepared," Ezra said standing from the chair and walking with JD to the door.
"And if ya take your time. . . it could take as long as 3 whole minutes to 'prepare'," JD said sarcastically. . . doing his best Ezra imitation.
Ezra smiled to see JD in better spirits, the rest had obviously changed the young mans attitude. He doubted JD had forgotten the events of the last two days, but he didn't seem to be focused on it at the moment, more concerned with the case, his assignment, than past events.
After leaving Subway, the two rode in silence. JD concentrating on his first meal in 24 hours and Ezra still trying to figure out why he had been so suddenly charitable.
Ezra never had ties to the men he worked with, of course he cared about them; but he felt something different towards JD, it was. . . .kinship. He understood the need to prove oneself, hell he'd been trying to do that from the time he joined up with Larabee and his team, not easy for a former conman.
JD had been trying to prove himself since he'd gotten on the team as well, and hadn't been given the chance to do so; Ezra had tried to help more than once, telling Chris that he needed a right hand on certain jobs making sure he'd ask for a young man. . . Chris would give him Vin. The sting they had set up over the computer using coded words JD had created. . . .Ezra was told he'd done outstanding work in setting the operation up, when he'd given full credit to JD, the young agent got 'good job' or 'nice work '. . . Not a 'without you, Ezra couldn't have pulled it off' or 'way to go, great idea'. Ezra was upset with the lack of recognition the others had shown, but not JD. . . he was grateful for any comment.
"What ya' thinkin' Ezra?" JD asked, swallowing the last bite of his BLT with extra mayo.
"How you managed not to soil my interior with that God awful amount of. . . what ever that is," Ezra said, wrinkling his nose.
"Jeez, it's mayo. . . ain't like it's that stuff ya put on your eggs," JD aped the older agents expression.
"Hollandaise sauce, my lad; and as you say 'don't knock it till you try it'," Ezra said, mocking JD the best he could.
"Ezra, no offense. . . but I seen better looking stuff that a cat hocked up," JD said seriously.
"Thank you for that visual Mr. Dunne, I will truly enjoy my tuna sub later," Ezra sneered.
"Sorry Ezra," JD laughed out as Ezra turned to the warehouse, Joey and two others were already there.
"Ah, shit," JD sighed, he had hoped that he would beat the others here.
"Do you need me to introduce myself?" Ezra asked, normally he wouldn't have asked, being the senior agent gave him certain powers, but JD knew these boys better, this was JD's case. . . and as the only one who seemed to realize the importance of letting JD control this, he gave him the say.
"Naw, I might have to give them your pager number though," JD said, knowing that if Joey knew he had a connection that Joey would try to score.
"And where exactly is 'my' pager located?" the southerner asked with a raised eyebrow, he didn't own a pager.
"Next to my wallet at Vin's," JD smiled.
"Very well then, I expect to be busy returning pages then," Ezra smiled as he pulled to a stop, JD proceeded to get out of the car then turned.
"Thanks for the ride," JD said leaning on the opened door, then shutting it; Ezra backed up, able to watch JD through the tinted glass, he was impressed that the others were anxious and happy to see him.
+ + + + + + +
"Nice taxi Ferret," Joey smiled, "He your connection?" the 18 year old asked.
"Yeah. Needed to get back here somehow," JD said with an amusing smile.
"Noticed the bike was gone, get stolen? Cause we can find it. . . and make whoever it was that took it pay," Joey smiled.
"Old man took it," JD simply said.
"He looked pretty pissed. Damn! He even scared me," Joey laughed.
"Shit Joey, he looks pissed when he's smilin," JD smiled.
"So. . . you feelin up to this?" his 'leader' asked.
"Hell yeah, didn't knock me 'round enough to take me out commission," the young agent, new gang member, said.
"Cool, I got the address, from what my scouts say, best way to get in there is in a crawl space in the back. They meet usually around 9, no one 's usually there until Steel shows up," Joey instructed.
"How'll I know when Steel's there?"
"Can't miss the guy, he's huge. . . and always in a bad mood. . . like you're old man. His head's shaved and he's got this huge tattoo of a spider making a web on his head," Hall described.
"Thinks everyday is Halloween, huh?" the Ferret said with a grin.
"Yeah, well. . . just remember this. . . he finds you and he'll play grim reaper with your ass. I did some checkin' on you, before we let you in," Hall said, watching JD closely for a reaction at the sudden change of topic.
"I hope so, maybe you guys ain't as second class as I thought," JD said walking past the leader and his 'body guards'.
"My source sent me some. . . paper work. . . seems you were pretty busy. . . skipp ed around a lot," Joey said seriously, turning to face JD who was headed for the warehouse door.
What is this. . . question JD's loyalties week? JD thought as he turned to face Joey.
"I went with who offered the best deal," JD shrugged casually.
"You skip out on us, I'll make sure you don't go anywhere else. . . things work different here then back there, we don't look kindly on traitors," Joey was in JD's face, trying his best to intimidate the agent.
"Jesus, Joey. . . take a Prozac will ya'? Thought ya' was stable, you ain't gonna freak out on me are ya'?" JD laughed.
"Don't give me a reason too, 'cause it'll be the last thing you do," Joey threatened.
"You know somethin' Joey?" JD asked.
"Ya' need me. . . I don't need ya', Hell. . . you and your boys are amateurs. . . . guys I ran with would've had you for lunch. . . ya' wanted a Ferret. . . you got one. . . your 'connection' done his homework he would've found out I'm the best. . . you want the best. . . or a wanna be?" JD said seriously, with everyone on the team doubting him provided JD with a lot of hurt and anger, causing JD to be bolder than usual.
"My connection done his homework. . . he said you were the best. . . "
"So ya' doubting me?" JD asked.
"Just checking ," Joey said holding his hands up in surrender. He'd seen JD initiated, 8 guys were chosen for the task, and the Ferret had managed to get a few good knocks of his own in before they rushed the inductee. Joey had no desire to meet his Ferret one on one.
"So. . . ah. . . you mind tellin me where it is I'm goin?" JD asked, changing the focus of the conversation back to what it had originally been about.
"Yup, corner of 3rd and Wells, there's an old crack house, Jokers use that as a meeting place. They got their paws on a couple of crates of gun s, don't know what kind, don't really care. What I want to know is where they are so we can go grab them for ourselves, my man Boxer has a potential buyer lined up for tomorrow night down on James street," Joey instructed, "You find out where the crates are, get back here by 10 and then we'll go get them," Joey smiled.
JD nodded and headed for his destination; after walking 2 blocks from his 'home base', he looked around casually, making sure he wasn't being followed and took the cell phone Ezra had given him earlier and dialed.
"Larabee. . . " the voice from the cell phone greeted.
"I'm headin to the rivals, Joey's the one who is supplying for Boxer," JD said quickly.
"So you're guys have the guns?"
"No, I'm supposed to find out where they are, head back to the warehouse; I guess the plan is to steal the guns tonight. . . then deal with Ezra tomorrow night".
"Where's the rivals hangout?"
"I can't tell ya that. . . they'll see ya' and then I'm gonna be stuck," JD said knowingly.
"Okay kid, how you wanna play this? Bust on stealing the guns. . . or wait for the deal?"
"Bust on the stealing. . . we can get both gangs then," JD smiled.
"Have any idea what time were talking about?" Chris asked, this could go very wrong, very fast.
"Uh-uh. I'm supposed to be back by 10. I'm sure they'll have someone watching the stuff ; I'll do the best I can to let you know what time Joey plans on breaking in, I find his time. . . I can probably give ya' half an hour," JD said, taking another look around.
"Too many if's JD, I don't like it," Chris said sternly.
"It's either that or we wait for Boxer and Ezra to deal," JD stated.
"Anyway you can stay clear when they're stealing the guns?" Chris asked.
"Normally I'd say there wouldn't be a problem. . . "
"But, Joey don't have a large group. . . no more than 15. . . if he's smart, he'll send everyone in on this," JD sighed.
"Is he a smart leader?" Chris asked, noting the uncertain tone in JD's voice.
"Well, he ain't stupid, but he ain't all that bright," JD smiled, "He set up a deal, without the 'merchandise', Chris, not a smart thing to do with Boxer," JD pointed out a fact Chris knew too well. JD and the others had found bodies of people who they suspected had 'crossed' Boxer, it wouldn't mean anything to kill the group who didn't deliver.
"Either way, you're at risk here JD," Chris thought out loud.
"Make you a deal, if we get the guns. . . we deal with Boxer and Ez, if not. . . at least I know where a good place to tip the PD off for a raid," JD offered.
"Okay, let me know if you get the guns," Chris said after a long silence.
"I will. I gotta go. . . " JD said as he saw the building he was looking for.
"JD. . . "
"Turn the phone off okay?"
"One more thing. . . "
"Stay safe," Chris said so seriously, JD could picture the look on the man's face.
"Hey, I'm the Ferret Chris. . . I'll be fine," JD assured, folded the cell phone, remembering to turn off the phone before putting it in his back pocket.
He found the entrance he was looking for, he could hear voices in the distance and peered over several stacked boxes to get a better vantage point of the layout.
He saw a small group talking, gesturing with their hands to add drama to the tale they were obviously telling. The voices echoed in the empty building making it hard for JD to hear what they were saying, but knew they were talking about shooting. . . either at something, someone or just shooting in general. . . maybe they had tried out the guns they had come by.
JD watched as others joined the group and observed them heading to a different part of the building where they stood around an old trash barrel. The groups attention diverted from their tales of the day as two men entered the building.
Once again JD peered over the boxes and found where he needed to be, with great skill he managed to move quietly around the debris that formed a wall of protection and the ferret slipped into the empty box 3 feet from the group.
He took a long slow breath and released it in a slower manner; an uncomfortable feeling crept from his gut up into his throat as he began to experience the familiar rush he would get when he was back with Stack and various other leaders.
No he thought to himself, talking to the adrenaline high that made his heart beat faster. He didn't want to feel the 'excitement'. 'That ' feeling was in the past, he was the law . . . working undercover . . . on a case . . . working for a bust. . . . . . working too close to 'home'.
JD closed his eyes to clear his head, he was thinking too much. He did n't mind the rush. . . but the reason for the rush was wrong, he needed to feel the rush of being 'the good guy'. The feeling refused his attempts to go away so he stopped trying to figure out which feeling went with which cause. . . and just do his job and listen.
". . . . . . want 4 guys in the storeroom watching the 'stuff', I sent word on the street we got guns and we're looking for a buyer. . . we got a good lead on someone, solid rep and good cash," the leader informed the 20 other members that had joined in the meeting.
"We gonna be moving them from the storeroom, Steel? I mean if words out we have heat, rivals are going to be looking to swipe it from us," the bright red haired teen asked.
"I thought of that, I figure we leave it here. . . rivals might think we'll be moving the stash, we'll do a dummy move, they can get a crate full of nothing," Steel smiled.
"Cool, so who's on watch?" a teen asked.
"Pinhead, Stroker, Ace and me," Steel said.
Steel had moved on to different business, JD took the opportunity to make his exit and back to the safe haven of the warehouse; with in minute s, he was outside of the house and walking casually down Wells Street thinking Joey would be happy that he'd gotten the information and gotten it quickly, by tonight the War Dogs would have the guns and tomorrow night be rid of them and have a good chunk of change to boot.
JD smiled widely at the thought and put his hands in his back pockets, his right hand was engulfed by the pocket, the other was stopped by the object he'd put there before entering the Jokers home base.
He lifted the object out of his pocket, and both hands met in front of him as he held the cell phone. JD's fast paced walk came to a sudden stop, he looked around as if he was lost, like he was wondering where he was and how he'd gotten to where he was.
He sat heavily on the edge on the concrete sidewalk, the cell phone in his right hand as his left raked through his hair. The free hand then covered the young man's mouth as he rubbed his face and he sighed heavily.
Chris was right. . . this assignment was too close, too easy for him.
JD hung his head as he thought back to the empty box where he'd fought the rush he'd felt. . . . . . the wrong rush; he realized that he'd completely forgotten why he was with the War Dogs. He didn't forget why he was in the abandoned box, but forgotten that he was supposed to be undercover as a 'ferret'. . . .not the true ferret that he had been.
The leader of the Magnificent Seven had been right. . . he couldn't handle it.
"Larabee," Chris said into his phone.
"Take me off," JD said dryly into the cell phone that he held.
"Where are you?" Chris asked, the look of concern didn't escape the two other agents that were at his office.
"In front of O'Shea's Deli. . . on Wells Street. Chris. . . I need off," Chris could hear the pleading tone; something had gone wrong.
"I'll be there in 5. . . okay?" Chris said, the usual 'leader' tone replaced by the fatherly concern he'd held in reserve just for his youngest agent.
"Chris. . . hurry 'kay?"
"5 minutes," Chris reassured, as he waited for the elevator door to open, the other two agents had followed Chris out of the office with concern on their faces.
"What's the matter cowboy?" Vin asked.
"Don't know, I'll be back," Chris said.
"That was JD wasn't it?" Buck questioned knowingly, he hadn't missed the tone in Chris's voice.
Chris nodded and with a final glance to the two agents, left the office floor to head for O'Shea's Deli.
Chris's heart sank as he came up Wells street, JD was sitting on the curb, the streetlight shone on the head resting on his arms, looking much like he had when he'd fished him outta of jail earlier that day.
Chris stopped the truck and was preparing to get out when the passenger door opened and JD hopped in. Chris was going to ask him what the problem was, when he sighted no new injuries, and JD's despondent voice stopping him from speaking.
"Just drive," JD said as he looked out the window, as if mesmerized by the blue and red neon lights that flashed on and off
Chris signaled to get back into the flow of traffic his tension and concern not alleviated as he drove in silence, not unusual for Chris. . . but it was for JD, making the 5 minute drive seem more like 5 hours; Chris parked the truck near a small pond, the only place not built up so the moonlight was allowed to shine on the water, it was the closest thing they would both get for 'wide open' space.
"This okay?" Chris asked, the 10 minutes more of silence did nothing to ease the leaders mind.
JD nodded, then hung his head.
"I can't do this. . . you were right," JD conceded.
"Right about what?" Chris asked.
"The case, it's too easy. . . .I can't. . . I don't want to do it anymore," JD answered, Chris was puzzled.
"What happened?" the leader questioned, he knew something had, just not what.
"I was hidin' in this box, listening to the plans. . . and I got. . . this fee lin. . . you know, like a rush," JD said, his self concern missed by Chris due to the fact JD still hung his head.
"Nothing wrong with that JD," Chris comforted.
"It was the wrong rush, Chris!" JD said loudly, turning to face his leader.
"What do you mean the 'wrong rush'?" Chris asked cautiously, seeing the distraught look on JD's face concerned Chris.
"When I was sittin there. . . it all came back, ya' know. . . it was the same feelin I'd get when I was back east. . . an' all I could think about was how Joey was gonna feel when I told him what I found out. . . I never thought of how good it was gonna feel to put these guys away," JD finished quietly, his head hanging again.
"Ya' think I'm turnin'?" he asked honestly.
"JD. . . the rush you felt. . . it doesn't matter how or why you felt it. Are you turning? Hardly, you called me. . . you needed help and you asked for it. .you're not turning, you just got scared. . . ain't nothing wrong with getting scared . . . we all do, just some of us are too pig headed too admit it. . . or believe some thing because someone else says it's true," Chris said evenly.
JD brought his head up to look at Chris, who sat behind the wheel of the truck his head hanging slightly.
"I shouldn'tna' blown up about the pictures, they were pretty convincing," JD said shyly, he thought he'd gone a little overboard and said a lot of things he shouldn't have.
"You have every right to be pissed off at us JD, no one's gonna tell you any different. I should have asked you. . . then I should have believed you. . . I don't have an excuse good enough to tell you why I didn't," Chris said, trying to ease JD's own guilt at how he'd handled the situation.
Kid's still worried that he'd done something wrong. . . Hell I would have killed everyone if it were me Chris thought, a grin tugging at his mouth.
"Still. . . I said some things. . . Can ya' forgive me?" JD asked.
"Jesus, JD," Chris almost laughed out, "You aren't the one that needs forgiven. . . We let you down, I don't know why you think you need forgiving, " Chris said, still amazed at JD.
"Ya' don't know me all that well, can't blame ya for thinking what you did. I mean. . . No one knew about the gangs and well. . . all that stuff in the pictures. . . I would've put 2 and 2 together. . . " JD smiled shyly.
". . . . . . and when we would've said it wasn't any of us. . . you would have believed us. . . end of story," Chris said earnestly, knowing it was the truth.
"Ezra's always sayin' I trust too much. . . " JD laughed out, causing Chris to chuckle as well.
"Can I ask you something?" Chris asked, suddenly remembering something JD had said in Vin's apartment.
JD shrugged, "I guess".
"You said it wasn't the first time some one thought you were turning, you have trouble back east with someone?" Chris wondered.
"Yeah. . . Detective Henderson, he hated me with a passion," JD smiled.
"Really, now why would he hate you?" Chris smiled, knowing that JD could wear on the nerves of the Pope.
"He was a beat cop, took me in a few times. . . I think he even took the picture of me that you got when I was 12," JD grinned, "When I wanted out , Cap'n helped me out. . . Henderson could've cared less. . . .I guess he'd figured I do Cap'n in or something. . . anyway, after I graduated from the academy. . . I got assigned to the station, Henderson had been promoted to Detective then. Most of the guys that had worked with Cap'n had retired, but a lot of the guys knew who I was. They kept me around as a reminder, I think. . . you know . . . they'd all done somethin right. . . and I was the result," JD smiled fondly.
"Nothing wrong with reminding themselves and others why they do their job," Chris smiled, knowing that JD was embarrassed at praise and hated to be put on display.
"So what was Henderson's problem?" Chris asked.
"I dunno," JD shrugged, "Once a gang banger always a gang banger I guess. . . He hated me doin undercover work. The Sarge was one of the cops that bust ed me a few times, he's the one that assigned me to infiltrate the gangs. . . If I had been involved in one of the gangs they were investigating he wouldn 't send me in. . . sometimes I'd run across someone I knew, they just figured I'd been in jail. . . I was there for . . . I don't know. . . 6 months or so. . . the guys voted me Cop of the month. . . Sarge told me Cap'n woulda been real proud," the smile JD had been sporting disappeared.
"You should've been proud of yourself, not many can get that honor in such a short time," Chris said, noticing the change of expression.
"Woulda been, came in the next morning, the plaque they always put up was there. . . but my graduation picture was covered up by one of the mug shots. It was the same way in the paper. . . 'OFFICER OF THE MONTH JD DUNNE (AKA FERRET)'" JD said, using his hand to indicate the headline under his picture, "That picture was accompanied by 5 or 6 shots of me doing undercover stuff, didn't show me in the best light," JD chuckled out.
"Henderson. . . " Chris stated.
"Couldn't prove it, everyone else pretty much figured it was. The old guys. . . the ones that had been there when Cap'n was there didn't care. . . told me to ignore it. . . you know. The others, who weren't. . . they had their doubts . . . they always said I was too good at working the gangs. . . they just never knew why . . . until then," JD's head hung again, "Started gettin death threats, Sarge couldn't even put me back on the street, had me doin office work till you called".
"So what happened to Henderson?"
"Nothin', knowing him he's gotten himself promoted to Police Commissioner by now," JD smiled.
"I'm sorry I doubted you JD. You got a good head on your shoulders. . . you'll do the right thing," Chris assured, after the short silence.
"I ain't to sure. . . "
"Kid, you just listen to what your heart tells you," Chris said, start ing the truck up.
"Do you?" JD asked.
"Not usually, but it's getting louder than my head," Chris smiled.
JD nodded and smiled, "Drop me off about a block ahead of the warehouse, I doubt they'd believe my Dad would drop me off," JD said.
"So. . . ah. . . what did you find out?" Chris asked after acknowledging JD's request.
"Steel said they ain't gonna move the guns. . . he's gonna have 4 guys kee ping watch," JD told Chris.
"You gonna be able to stay out of this you think?"
"Don't know, I don't think Joey wants to take them out. . . just get the guns. . . but I could be wrong," JD stated.
"You going back to Vin's later?" Chris hoped.
"Can't, I forgot my key," the young agent smiled.
"I'll tell Vin not to shoot you when you get there," Chris grinned, knowing that Vin would leave the door unlocked if he knew JD would be coming, but also on his guard for leaving the door opened.
"Thanks," JD smiled as Chris pulled to the curb a block before the warehouse.
"Be careful," Chris ordered.
"I will," and JD got out from the truck, he crossed traffic and began walking on the sidewalk towards the warehouse. . . he glanced at his watch, 9:20. Joey said to be back by 10. . . he was still early.
Chris watched JD until he turned the corner and disappeared. It dawned on him that JD had forgiven him, not by saying it. . . but by calling him when he felt he was in danger of losing his perspective.
He grabbed his cell phone and dialed, as the phone rang he pulled out into the street and headed for the ATF headquarters.
"Ezra, do me a favor, find out who the new head of Narcotics is," Chris said, a feeling he had began to nag him.
"Are we looking for any particular name?" Ezra suspected that he was.
"Henderson, don't have a first name. . . but if the name matches. . . "
"I'll need to do some checking of his background?" Ezra asked, suspect ing Chris was up to something.
"Yup," Chris grinned, glad that he and Ezra were on the same page, but he doubted Ezra knew why he asked.
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