ATF Alternate Universe
"Woooheeee!" Buck yelled as he walked into the ranch house.
Chris and Vin cringed slightly and looked to the couch, waiting for a movement.
"He's woken up twice Chris, and he weren't any better..what the hell are we gonna do?" Vin's panic evident in his whisper.
"Where the hell is Ezra when you need him?" Chris whispered back.
"Up on the chimney click click click.."
The two men looked at the couch, JD's eyes closed, smile on his face and attempting to snap his fingers as he sang click click click', softly..both men thanking God it was quiet this time. The last attempt at singing, was a loud rendition of If I were a Rich Man' from Fiddler one the Roof'.
"Gentleman..our instructors and cowboys in training have returned," Ezra said urgently, but quietly as he came from the back porch.
"Hey!! Ya' made it back!!" Buck said loudly again as he entered the living room, the three men leaning on he back of the couch. "Where's JD?"
"How was your ride?" Vin asked calmly, putting his hand on the back of the couch, then stood a bit straighter as he felt a hand gently touch his.
"Good, something wrong Vin?" Buck asked, seeing him straighten.
"Spider," Vin smiled, slapping at the hand.
"How'd the boys do?" Chris asked, he held the urge to flinch as the wondering hand from the couch goosed him, causing his jaw to tighten.
"Moon River..." came the loud singing voice from the couch, Ezra covering quickly as he lip synched, hoping Buck would buy it.
"Good," Buck eyed the three suspiciously. "You fellas feelin' alright?"
"Yeah..Uh-huh..perfect," came the three answers, all the men smiling.
"What you hidin?" Buck grinned mischievously, making his way closer to the men and the couch.
"Just sit right down and I'll tell you a tale..a tale of a fateful trip..." JD began again.
"You got the TV on in another room?" Buck questioned noticing that the big screen in the living room wasn't on.
"..The tiny ship was tossed..if not for the courage of the fearless crew the Minnow would be lost..the Minnow would be lost.."
"What the.." Buck asked, eyebrow raised as he realized the noise was coming from the couch. He made his way around to the front of it and his mouth dropped.
"..the ships aground on the shore of this uncharted desert isle.. With Gilligaaaaan, the Skipper too, the millionaire and his wife..the moooooovie star, the professor and Mary Ann, here on Gilligan's IIIIIsle!"
"Good God," Ezra said, turning and leaning his elbows on the back of the couch.
"So that's how that goes," Vin smiled, aping Ezra's actions.
"I'm impressed, never could remember the whole song," Chris nodded as he too turned.
"Someone want to explain this?" Buck asked seriously. "I thought you wet to get pastries...did you let him have too much rum cake again, Chris? You know he can't handle.."
"It's the medication," Chris said
"Medi..you didn't go get pastries..he got hurt this morning..what did he do now?"
"T-bone kicked him into the stall wall, he broke a rib...or two," Chris said.
"He's gonna be okay..I mean his ribs?" Buck asked, very concerned.
"Yeah, he'll be fine," Chris assured.
"Good..I gotta get my video camera..this is just too good!!"
"Well cowboy that we..." Vin tried, but was interrupted..again by singing.
"I wanna be a cowboy..and you can be my cowgirl..I wanna be a cowboy..Yippie yippie yo yippe yo yippie yo yo yo.."
"Keep him singing..keep him singing!" Buck urged as he searched the room for his Video camera.
"Where did you put it?" Chris whispered to Ezra.
"He'll never find it I assure you, the pot on top of the hutch, I realize it to be a crude pla.."
"Crude..oil..black gold that is..Well the next thing you know Ole Jed's a millionaire." The song stopped suddenly, the men looked down at the couch to find the smiling young agent looking at them.
"Did you know that Mr. Howell and Jed were both millionaires?" JD said, sounding like he just discovered the meaning of life.
"Where is that damn thing!" Buck yelled.
"Bucktooth!! When'd ya' get...ummm..where are we again?" JD looked to Chris.
"Ranch," Chris answered.
"Oh..you sure?" JD yawned his question. The three men by the couch smiled, he was finally tired..not drug tired..but really tired.
"Yeah, I'm sure," Chris smiled as he went over to the other side of the couch.
"Hey Chris," JD asked quietly.
"I don't feel so good," and he fell asleep.
"No..no..no.." Buck said quietly, quickly making his way to Vin. "You have anymore medication?"
"Why? I was gonna send this into Americas Funniest Videos!" Buck pleaded.
Three hours later JD woke up.
"Hey kid," Vin smiled, they had moved him to his room, so Nathan wouldn't see him.
"Hey," JD said through a slight wince.
"You want some supper?" Vin asked.
"Supper? What happened to breakfast, lunch and all the little meals in between?" JD asked.
"Someone slept through them all," Vin smiled.
"Wow..guess I was tired or somethin'," JD said, trying to sit up with a little help from Vin.
Definitely or somethin' Vin thought.
+ + + + + + +
"Well well well..look who finally decided to get up," Buck said.
"Hi Buck, guys..guess I wasn't feeling too good," JD offered.
"Nathan's gone with Josiah, Chris said they needed to be at work tomorrow," Vin smiled. Noticing JD relax a bit.
"Oh.." JD said, wincing as he sat.
"Hurt a lot JD?" Joey asked.
"Naw," JD tried to smile, took a deep breath and edited his answer. "Yeah," he said through clenched teeth.
"Didn't they give you something for the pain?" Ryan asked.
"I don't know. Did they Chris?" JD asked.
"Yup," Chris answered.
"Well, if he's hurting that bad shouldn't you give him something?" Robbie asked.
"NO!" Ezra, Vin and Chris answered quickly, making the 3 boys jump a bit.
"Well, I think if the kids hurtin' that bad we should give him somethin'," Buck replied, letting his concern' show.
"Found the video camera?" Vin asked with a sideways smile.
"What!?" JD glared at Buck.
"I..I..I was..ah..well...you see..I mean..for.. Reference..in case.." Buck tried.
"Buck, I ain't a movie of the week ya' know!" he scolded Buck, he new he couldn't handle medication. He turned to Chris and asked softly, "Was I that bad?"
"Yup," Chris sighed out.
"TV themes mean anything to you?" Vin said softly as he leaned over JD.
"Oh God," JD said, putting his elbows heavily on the table, hiding his face in his hands; he did this a little too fast and the tug on his side made him wince and let out a small gasp.
"You don't remember what you did?" Joey asked. JD just glared at him from the corner of his eye.
"Hell, he don't remember the walk to the truck after we left the hospital," Chris smiled. Then added, "Do you?"
JD's face was back in his hands, he didn't answer but just shook his head no.
"I think I'm gonna go back to bed and forget today ever happened," JD stood slowly, again with a little help from Vin.
"Take another pill and you will!" Buck laughed out.
"Right..I'm sure you'll show me exactly how it was too," JD sneered.
"Hey JD..haven't seen you all day," Nathan said as he approached the young man.
"I..Chris said you were going back home," JD asked, his face going pale.
"I am. forgot somethin', so I came back to get it; glad to see you're still in one piece," Nathan smiled.
"Me? Why wouldn't I be in one piece?" JD almost panicked.
"Probably because of what T-b.." Joey started, but Robbie jumped up and covered his mouth.
Joey's eyes grew wide as he realized all eyes were on him, and they weren't friendly.
Robbie removed his hand as they heard Nathan's heavy footsteps returning to the kitchen.
"Have fun Friday JD," Nathan said, coming around JD, and slapping him harshly on the back.
JD let out noise, causing Nathan to turn quickly.
"You alright?" Nathan asked.
"Oh yeah..just peachy Nate," JD said with a forced smile, trying not to let his voice sound strained.
"Okay," and Nathan walked away, not believing a word of what JD said.
JD let out the breath he was holding as the door closed.
"Lean against me," Vin said, JD leaned back on Vin's chest where he stood against the wall. Vin grabbed a towel and quickly wiped the sweat that was on JD's forehead.
"Don't move," Chris instructed the boys, seeing they were about to move towards JD.
"..seven ..eight..nine...ten," Ezra counted, the door swinging open quickly and Nathan poking his head in, looking right at JD, who smiled innocently. Nathan gave a slight nod and backed out, closing the door.
No one moved until they heard the vehicle leave.
"You okay?" Chris asked, his concern present, as he stood and quickly made his way to the two youngest agents, Vin almost supporting JD now.
"Shit that hurt," JD gasped out .
"Now wait a minute here! Every time I start to say shi.." Buck started.
"Guests, Mr. Wilmington," Ezra reminded with a smile.
"Why can he say it and I can't!!That ain't fair..he says it and it's okay..but I go and start to say it and it's Guests Buck'..'remember the guests Buck'!" Buck imitated.
"He's hurt..you're just sayin' it to say it," Vin smiled.
"Ahhh...POOP then!!" Buck yelled, turning on his heel and walking out the door.
"Is Mr. Buck mad at us for being here?" Joey asked.
"My dear boy, I assure you Mr. Buck' is simply acting childish for the simple reason he has to curb his usual behavior and try and use the manners he locked in a closet somewhere years ago. In essence..he's bummed out'," Ezra smiled reassuring the youngest boy.
+ + + + + + +
The next day found the three boys sitting at the kitchen table with Vin and Chris. Ezra and JD had gone back to the clinic, so JD could get his ribs checked and get the bandages tightened, between Nathan's love tap' and a restless night the bandages had loosened.
The three had discussed the passing days events and found it odd that not one day had gone by that JD didn't get hurt...somehow.
They had asked Chris and Vin if they thought it was odd that all this stuff happened to JD.
"He wouldn't be JD if things didn't happen," Chris answered as Vin nodded his head in agreement.
"He must be the unluckiest guy I've ever met," Robbie stated.
"Unlucky? I'd say his pretty damn lucky," Chris said.
"How you figure that?" Ryan asked.
"He's still alive ain't he," Vin answered with a smile.
The conversation was interrupted by the sound of Chris's cell phone ringing.
"Speak..JD?...Slow down....What!..Where are you?? Oh for crying out...Okay...okay..I said okay, we'll be right there," Chris folded his phone
"Somethin wrong?" Joey asked.
"JD called, course somethin's wrong," Vin sighed out knowingly. "Just how wrong is the question," he looked to Chris.
"Ezra's been arrested," Chris sighed out, with a bit of a smile.
"For?" Vin asked.
"Child abuse..it seems that 17 year old Jake Saunders has made too many visits to too many clinics in the past week.." Chris tried not to laugh out.
"Who's Jake?" Joey asked.
"JD," the older men answered.
"JD's real name is Jake?" Joey asked.
That boy couldn't follow a conversation if he was tied to it, Vin thought.
"No..it's an alias," Chris said.
"So why doesn't he tell them he's not 17?" Robbie asked.
"He did, they don't believe him," Chris said, standing from his chair, and walking to the living room. "Aw hell..where are their files?" Chris asked to no one.
"Under K and C," Vin answered, also standing from his chair and grabbing Chris's truck keys from the key chain.
"Thanks," Chris yelled back, returning with two beige folders in his hand.
"C and K?" Ryan asked.
"Yeah, Ezra and JD," Vin stated.
"Why C and K" Robbie asked.
"C for cheater..K for kid," Chris smiled. "Tell Buck we had a meeting if he asks where we are," he said to the boys, who all nodded; they understood not to say anything.
Chris walked into the police station, and went to the front desk, Vin right on his heels.
"May I help you?" the gruff desk sergeant asked.
"Looking for someone that's been arrested," Chris answered.
"In a jailhouse?" the man asked, then added after the lack of a reaction "it's a joke... Ahem..Name?" the officer asked, seeing that neither men thought the joke to be funny.
"Maxwell Saunders," Chris said.
"You his lawyer?" the officer sneered. "You should see what he's done to that kid if you are, might change your mind about defending the bastard."
"No, I'm his boss," Chris's even expression never waivered, he added, "he's an agent of mine..so's the kid."
"What branch?" the officer asked, he suspected the man was lying as well.
"Since when they let 17 year olds into any branch?" the officer asked.
"You the officer investigating this case?" Chris asked, throwing daggers with his eyes to the man behind the desk.
"No..that would be McNally," the officer directed with a point in the mans direction.
The two men walked over to McNally's desk.
"You McNally?" Vin asked.
"That would be me, look , if your reporters asking about the Saunders case, the kid is doing fine and I promise the old man will be going away for a long time," McNally said, not looking up from the desk that held pictures showing bruises, a cast an a very familiar broken nose.
"Do I look like a reporter to you mister?" Chris asked.
"No," McNally answered after he looked up.
"You seem a little excited about this case," Chris noted.
"And you are?" McNally asked ignoring the statement.
"Chris Larabee, ATF," he showed his badge, Vin did the same.
"Gentlemen, yes I am..I hate child abusers..they need to be strung up," McNally seeped through clenched teeth.
"Nice to see you hide your hostility well," Vin said sarcastically, sitting on the edge of the man's desk, picking up the picture of the broken nose.
"He's right, it does look like Marsha Brady's," Vin smiled handing Chris the picture.
"Yup..that it does," Chris laughed out.
"Excuse me? There isn't a picture here with the young boys face fully exposed. You can't possibly know who this is," McNally chuckle out.
"Yup, recognize that nose anywhere," Vin smiled at McNally.
"Uh-uh...you are not taking over this case..ATF has no jurisdiction over this! This is MY case!"
"Don't get you're panties in a bunch McNally," Vin said calmly
"He's one of my agents," Chris said, opening the file and exposing JD's picture and records.
"No.." he gasped out "No, no, no..we caught the old man dumping out the medication the doc gave the kid! He was ID'd as the one bringing him into a clinic for a cast change in Four Corners, the kids been brought into 2 different clinics since then, and came back today..we busted him," McNally stated, knowing he was dead to rights.
Chris looked over to Vin, mouthed the words cast change', Vin aped the action and mouthed later'.
"Maxwell Saunders..Ezra Standish, he's one of my undercover agents," Chris put the other file down in front of the man.
"Sorry," Chris smiled.
"He was dumping the kids medica...the kid said he was 25, doesn't look more than 17..Shit."
"He's a bit accident prone," Vin smiled.
"He came back ..to get his ribs checked again..he said his arms been...we did some checking with his picture..he's been hurt a lot.." McNally said.
"Mister, JD has a whole hospital wing full of just his records," Chris said seriously.
McNally grabbed the phone, "Larkin, let Saunders go, he was telling the truth. He'll be here in a few minutes," he said to Chris as he hung up the phone.
"Mr. Larabee, thank you for arriving to delegate my emancipation," Ezra said as he strolled to the desk.
"Just be happy JD called," Chris said.
"Where is he?" Vin asked.
"He wasn't feeling to good, he's laying down in one of the cells..the door is open," McNally stood, and the group of men went to where the youngest was located.
The lock up door opened, the cells full of degenerates and riff-raff all stood near the bars of their cells riveted to an unlocked cell.
Three men groaned as they heard it.
"Thought you said he dumped the medication" Chris said to McNally.
"No I said we caught him trying..after the kid used the phone, we gave him a pill to calm him down, he thought it was aspirin," McNally said, "I didn't know.I mean.."
"If you remember I told you repeatedly exactly what it would do to him," Ezra scowled.
"He's riding with you Ezra..no way's he going with me," Chris stated as they stopped at the cell door where JD had just finished singing the song to Green Acres' and began another song.
"It's the story..of a lovely lady..who was bringing up three very lovely girls, all of them had hair of gold...just like there mother..and one had a really big nose when a football hit her in her face so she couldn't go out with the BIIIIIGG man on Campus..Chip, Drip, Kip..or whatever his name was," JD sung.
"You get him," Chris said to Vin.
"Uh-uh..you," Vin protested.
"Hardly, you forget I have the pleasure of his company for the next 45 minutes, surely you can spare me the embarrassment of another attempt at my name," Ezra said most seriously.
"Fine, he calls me Chrissy..I'm not sure what I'll do," Chris said, stepping into the cell.
"That's the way we became the Brady Bunch and Alice," JD smiled, eyes closed.
"Hey kid..JD," Chris said softly. JD's eyes opened and searched for the sound, he then turned his head and looked to Chris.
"Mr. Wannabee! How'd you get..are we anywhere?" JD asked.
"Yup, time to get ya' home son," Chris smiled, Chrissy Wannabee'..he'd kill him if he ever said that when he was straight.
Chris lifted JD to a standing position, JD did what appeared to be a lucid once over of himself, pulling his shirt straight, brushing off any dust, raking his fingers through his hair, hitting himself once with his cast.
"Well, that hurt..Did Buck do this?" JD asked with a wide smile as he looked at the cast. "He's always doin' stupid shi..hey..who are you?" JD asked as he and Chris went past McNally.
"I suggest you say nothing about your name, unless you wish him to slaughter it later," Ezra leaned forward and whispered.
"Arnie McNally," the man ignored Ezra's warning.
"Anal Mcnasty! I used to be JD Dunne," JD smiled.
"I did warn you," Ezra leaned forward again.
"Vindows! Are you not here either?" JD asked Vin seriously.
"Lets just get ya' home, kid."
"Oh shit..Ezra's in jail..me too!" JD said quietly.. "Are we breaking out?" JD asked with a wry smile.
"Yes, Mr. Dunne, the getaway car is waiting," Ezra replied.
"Ez..we goin in the Jagular?" JD smiled.
"I'm afraid so."
"If ya ever need a stereo..that thing is wicked!" JD said to one of the prisoners.
+ + + + + + +
Ezra pulled in behind Chris 45 minutes later. Chris and Vin jumped out of the truck to help or save Ezra from JD, they weren't sure which one it would be.
"How was your ride?" Vin laughed out his question.
"At first it was nearly impossible to keep him still, for more than a half hour he has been fascinated by the sound of sweaty palms on leather and has managed to keep himself very entertained," Ezra smiled.
Vin opened the door to find JD's hand on the leather seat, slowly taken his hand away listening as his skin broke free. He then put his hand to the dash board and did the same thing, returned it to the seat, and laughed as he heard what he wanted.
"Recess is over kid, time to get inside," Vin said.
Vin managed to get JD out of the car and onto his feet, just as the door opened to the house, out stepped Buck holding the video camera...just as JD broke out into the theme from Friends'.
"HAAAAH..I am gonna win the million dollars with this..this is..just tooo..sweet!!" Buck laughed.
The men were about to read Buck the riot act when they looked up to see Joey waving a video tape in his hand, Ryan and Robbie mouthing the words.. it's empty' and pointing to Buck, who followed JD and Vin into the house.
"Boys, I am truly impressed!" Ezra smiled.
"You boys ever think about police work?" Chris asked as the group began to move into the house, Born Free' echoing through out the house.
Chris and the others stopped as the pastured horses alerted them to someone approaching.
"Mr. Sanchez wouldn't come back here would he?" Ryan asked.
"It's not Josiah, car's too quiet," Chris said seriously.
"Oh sh.." Joey started; Chris and Ezra's icy glares stopped him.
"Your language young man" Ezra pointed out.
"I was gonna say sheesh!"
"That's Joe's car, he's our manager," Robbie answered, adding the manager part when Ezra gave him a questioning look
"Shit," both agents sighed.
"Language boys," Joey smiled widely, the smile disappearing when the two agents turned their heads to face Joey.
"Chris! Boys!" Joe smiled as he stepped out of the car.
"Joe," Chris answered
"Hey Joe!" The boys said in unison.
"How's it been going? They been any trouble?" Joe asked.
"Hardly noticed they were here, they are delightful young men, and were perfect gentlemen," Ezra smiled.
"Joe this is Ezra, Vin and Buck are inside" Chris said.
"Where's JD?" Joe asked.
"He's.ah..inside too," Chris said.
Ezra turned to face the house ,"I believe he has given Mr. Tanner a difficult time going to his room" Ezra whispered to Chris.
"So you think JD's ready for Friday night? What the ..." Joe asked seriously.
"Sundays, Mondays, Happy Days..Tuesdays, Wednesday, Happy Days.."
"TVLand..sorry Mr. Larabee, I guess I forgot to shut the TV off," Joey said apologetically.
"Thanks kid," Chris smiled, giving Joey a wink.
"I do believe I will join you in your task, young man," Ezra smiled, putting his arm around Joey's shoulder, leading him into the house. Unfortunately JD had escaped Vin's grasp, and had bolted towards the door with great agility; Buck was, of course, documenting this all on his empty video camera.
"JD! Stop!!" Vin yelled just as JD made it to the front porch.
"Run Forest, run!" Buck encouraged from behind Vin.
"Hold on there kid," Chris said as he grabbed JD around the waist, knowing JD would feel it later when the drug wore off, but not wanting the kid to do something foolish; not that he hadn't already.
"Oh hey Chris.." JD smiled at the older agent.
"Hello there.....Good heavens," Joe began to greet, but change his expression and tone when he saw the smiling kid in front of him.
"Hey Chris, look..it's that Knighthoodly guy..oh..and look.he brought Hanson with him!" JD said pointing to the boys.
"Ezra, I think JD might be getting tired, you wan..." Chris started
"I ain't tired..I was gonna go for a ride," JD said, then tried to turn towards the barn.
"My dear boy, you are already on a ride," Ezra said.
"I am? I think you've lost your mind Ezra," JD shook his head, letting out a yawn as his head fell heavy into Ezra's chest; the man was able to pick him up and started for the door, although JD's body had given up, his mouth hadn't.
"Scooby dooby doo, where are you..we got some work to do now..." the young agent tried weakly.
"It appears he has expanded his musical horizons to that of the cartoon variety," Ezra smiled as he turned to Chris and the others, the young agent effortlessly cradled in his arms.
"Ezra?" JD asked quietly.
"Is it too early for bed? Me thinks me am tired," JD said as he yawned again.
"Me' thinks you are as well," Ezra smiled and walked into the house, nearly knocking into Buck who once again followed the pair hoping to get a couple more songs out of the incapacitated young man.
Chris and Vin sighed heavily, the boys smiled like nothing had happened and Joe stood there dumbfounded. Chris composed himself, and turned to Joe.
"What did you ask me?" Chris asked, cocking his head to the side, and scratching his head.
"If...JD...would be ready for Friday," Joe asked again, cautiously.
Chris turned to the 3 boys behind him, "What do you think boys, will he be ready?"
"You bet, yeah..no problem, what makes you think he won't?" The boys offered seriously at the same time.
"I think we got some explainin' to do, huh?" Vin asked.
"I guess so," Joe started into the house, his car horn reminding him he'd forgotten something.
"Oh, I forgot someone," Joe said as he made his way back to his car, just as Buck came out onto the porch.
"JD is gonna love this! I got some great shots..I gotta tell ya, he is gonna be one hurtin' puppy tomorrow! You should have seen him runnin' around in there when Vin was chasin' him..Oh I got you on the tape too, Vin," Buck smiled widely, coming out on the porch, as he ran off at the mouth
"What was he thinking!" Chris whispered as he saw the passenger of Joe's car emerge.
"Christmas has come early and Buck has been a very good boy indeed!" Buck smiled.
"What the hell is that?" Vin asked the small group.
"That is Cosette," Chris sighed heavily.
Comments to: firstname.lastname@example.org