ATF Alternate Universe
Near the check in station a group of men gathered listening to the radio to see how things were going. Four of the seven were present in that group, Josiah was over at the first Aid Station while Nathan had gone with one of the vagrants to the hospital, a young pregnant teen who went into premature labor with all the excitement. JD was, of course in the building.
The radio was silent, except for the clearing of sections of the building, Chris was silently pleased that JD was still on his second section while most everyone else were on their last.
"You mind telling me why everyone's almost done and you're boy hasn't cleared but two sections?" Dan Holland asked making his way through the group and to Chris.
"He's takin' his time," Chris said, glad JD was taking this like he was still first in.
"Well, that's obvious. He's last in, all the dirty works been done. Why's it taking him so long?"
"He's the best," the small group of 15 men answered the detective.
"You, ah, gotta be somewhere? You didn't call a press conference already did you Dan?" Buck sarcastically asked, knowing that whoever organized the operation couldn't leave until the place was cleared.
"Shut up. Just make sure he's out in a decent time, I'm sending perimeter officers home," Holland revealed.
"We got people in there, you can't send perimeter back," Vin said.
Perimeter officers were the men who watched from the outside, just in case who ever used the place to stash, wouldn't come into the building and get into a situation, it was a matter of safety.
"You have 5 minutes, then I'm sending them back," Holland offered, and walked away.
"I never liked that guy, now I'm starting to hate him. We can do perimeter if he sends them back," DEA agent Shawn McClain said, speaking for himself and his agents.
Chris was about to respond when the sound of a familiar ATF agent came over the radio, the men all quieted and listened, as some got ready to assist in anyway.
"You done yet?"
"Will be in about five, wadaya need?"
"Just a hand"
"Hang on, will be there in 3"
"No, take your time"
The groups serious faces dimmed and some sported smiles.
"I'll tell Holland," McClain said with a smile breaking from the group to tell Holland personally, to insure that he might not hear' the transmission, that JD had found something.
"Buck? What's all the smiles about?" Dirk Anderson asked, knowing he wasn't the only one who wanted to know.
"JD's found somethin'," Buck said with a smile.
"How can you tell? He didn't say anything," another DPD officer asked.
"He wanted a hand," Chris smiled the answer.
Chris looked up to see McClain running towards him.
"He took out perimeter," he said breathlessly.
"What?When..It hasn't even been 3 minutes!" Chris yelled.
"I didn't reach Holland; saw Thompkins, he was on perimeter. I told him we still had guys in there, he's gettin everyone back up," Shawn stated.
"Ezra, get Hogan on the phone." Ezra nodded, and began to dial his phone.
While Ezra did that, the group split up and tried to get a hold of the different divisions around the building on the different frequencies to find out what was going on. The thing all the men wanted to know was where Holland was, and if he was still there.
"Chris, this is Tony, we're heading over to JD,"
"Okay," Chris responded, "let me know if you need anything."
"JD, this is Burke, you need anymore hands?" Chris heard the PD officer ask.
"No... I think we'll be all ...set..Thanks anyways" Buck looked to Chris with concern, hearing the kid out of breath a bit.
"Okay," Burke replied to JD.
"I'm fine Buck," JD said seriously over the radio, causing the men to snicker and laugh and Chris to shake his head.
"He knows you too well, pard," Chris smiled.
"Hey Chris. Burke, O'Connor and Max." The PD officer said, handing over his and his dog's tag to Chris and O'Connor doing the same.
"Okay, find anything?" Chris asked
"Not much, few bags, most of them spent, and get this, we actually found 10 never-before-used needles," O'Connor smiled.
"That's a change," Vin said.
Four more teams came out, giving their names and handing tags over, leaving four men and 2 dogs in the building.
"Chris, perimeters all set," Thompkins said apologetically.
"Mr. Larabee, he either is not answering his phone or he's not there," Ezra told Chris.
The perimeter had been unguarded less than 7 minutes, but it was enough time for a small group of 8 armed men to gain access to the building to retrieve a strong box full of the cash they received from their deals and their stash of 8 kilos of pure heroin under the box.
+ + + + + + +
"Hold up Zeke, they know something's there, go sit with Casey," Tony said, as the dog got a scent of what Casey already knew was there.
"What ya' find JD?" Tony asked.
"Me? Nothing, Mike did," JD sent the recognition to the rookie.
"No kidding, what ya' find Mike?" Malloy asked, giving the rookie a pat on the back.
"Well, she kinda flipped out, started going through the pile here, and I saw some floor boards. Told JD I thought it was off, ya' know; wood in a concrete floor. And well, we been pulling floor boards ever since," Sweetser said, wiping at the sweat from his brow as he talked from his position on the floor.
"We got the first board up, shined my light and I think it's a strong box. So.." JD grunted as he pulled another floor board "I figured we either found sunken treasure..or we hit a stash," JD relayed pulling another floorboard.
Tony and Travis joined the two already on the floor and began pulling at the floorboards. The last floorboard was pulled and the men sat back for a minute to catch their breaths. Mike felt the adrenaline rush and finally lurched to the hole that held the strong box, he was stopped by a strong arm on his.
"Hold up," JD said.
"Why? It's right there."
"Give me my light," JD turned to Tony, who did so.
"What are you doing?" Mike asked, not impatiently but anxiously.
"Checking for trips, some dealers like to keep it real safe," Travis explained.
JD grabbed the strong box and handed it to Mike. He got off his stomach pushing himself to his knees and smiled a very satisfied smile.
"Last my ass, we hit a stash," JD said, shining his light in the dark hole revealing the treasure.
"Holy..wow," the rookie said.
"Good eyes rookie," JD said proudly.
"She's the one with the nose," Mike retorted.
"She just pointed you in the right direction, you're the one who knew something was off," JD pointed out.
"Just say thanks rookie and go with it, you might not hear it very often," Tony said, knowing JD most likely saw the floorboards before Mike, but let him discover it for himself. Tony also knew that if Mike hadn't have found it, JD would have either pointed out a few things to make Mike find it, it's just the way JD was.
"Thanks JD," Sweetser said, somewhat embarrassed.
"You bet," JD smiled, starting to go back to his belly when he heard Casey whine.
He turned to the dog and saw her laying very low to the ground, her half standing ears laying back against her head and JD understood her body language.
He turned to Tony and Travis, "We got company," he whispered.
"Where," Tony whispered back, looking around the warehouse.
"Can't tell. Mike," JD turned his attention to the rookie, who had gone 4 shades of pale, "what ever you do, don't point, keep your eyes and ears open and try and keep an eye on us."
"How many eyes you think I have?" Mike whispered out angrily, not meaning it to show how scared he was.
"It's okay, just be calm and keep your head, this is just another exercise," JD smiled, never losing his temper.
"You'll be fine rookie," Tony added reassurance.
JD put his finger to his lips to signal the men around him no more talking as Casey whined again. Tony and JD gave a hand signal to their respective dogs and Zeke went behind a large wooden box, Casey went to a crate and both lay down for cover. They received the stay command, as the four men looked up and down, and began to carefully scan the area.
JD pulled his gun from behind him as Tony and Travis did the same, JD thought that Mike went even paler as the rookie watched and started to unholster his weapon. JD sent an encouraging smile to the rookie, he'd been in Mike's shoes and remembered how it felt, hell he was still there he had just learned to use that fear instead of letting it get to him.
Mike tried to smile to JD as the words just another exercise ran through his head. He nodded and took a deep breath to calm himself, JD nodded his approval and returned to scanning the area.
The four men turned as they heard a noise where they had left the stash behind them a few feet away. They saw two men going for the stash and another going for the strong box. The four men confronted the three, Tony was able to lock his mic key as they did, they never saw the other 5 and before anyone could do much, bullets were flying as the four men tried desperately to find cover.
+ + + + + + +
"Hold it!" Chris heard Tony over the radio.
"Shit," Chris said to the group, he looked to his men and the 5 others that had chosen to stick around.
"Command, Command, we have a situation!" Chris yelled never waiting for a response as all the agents and officers cleared the area and headed for the buildings entrance, they made it to the door when they heard the first shots.
"Zeke stay!.......shit! Travis!...God dammit...........Mike.......okay..Tony..Mike's hit..Casey stay.. Cas..... Tony! JD's down.....Chris! Chris! We need back up..we need..ba......" the words suddenly turned to static.
The gun fire stopped suddenly when the small group heard voices calling for, what they thought, were the officers they had jumped and they dropped everything and ran.. When the gunfire ceased Tony looked to where Travis was the last time he looked, he ignored the pain in his calf and went to where he was. He could see two bullet wounds one to his shoulder and the other to the center of his chest. Tony felt for a pulse, knowing he wouldn't find one , he sighed and bowed his head as he reached to close the man's eyes We were last, how the hell did this happen? Tony thought to himself.
"JD? JD!" Tony yelled to were the other two had been positioned.
"Over here, Mike's hit. You guys okay??" JD asked from behind the small crate he was held up.
"Got one in the leg. Travis..don't ask. How about you?" Tony asked weakly as he began to crawl towards the voice.
"I'm fine," JD said.
"Liar," Tony said, just before he passed out.
"Tony," JD said, hearing Tony go down shit.
"How ya doing Mike?" JD asked, as he tried the best he could to remove his rubber glove.
"O-o-okay-y-y," Mike choked out. He'd been hit in the right shoulder but was scared beyond believe.
"Y-you?" Mike asked, making JD smile.
"I'm fine, look can you get a glove out and put it on my hand? I'm covered and..well..I need to help stop the bleeding...... this place is already a mess and I'd hate to think...........that all your rookie blood would be.............. messing it up more," JD said, ignoring his own pain in his left side that was causing him to find it a little hard to breath, as well as the burn in his hip.
Mike did as he was asked to do without question, managing to get the glove at least to cover JD's right hand. JD winced then smiled at Mike as he moved closer to him, and put his hand over the bleeding wound.
"Owe," Mike gasped out, not really wanting to, he could see JD was bleeding and was having a hard time breathing, and all that JD seemed to be worried about was him. The rookie made a move with an ungloved hand to try and curb the bleeding from JD's chest, but was stopped by words.
"Don't," JD said seriously, the last thing he wanted was for the rookie to get some of his blood on the rookie.
"But," Mike tried
"No, it's not..... safe. First raid....... huh?" JD changed the subject, trying to catch his breath, and said with a smile
"Yeah, third day even," Mike smiled.
"Just...to ..let..ya know..... I don't ...get ..this much....excite...ment...on..first..sweep.." JD smiled weakly to Mike.
"Maybe you shouldn't talk JD," Mike said, seeing JD had begun to grow pale and sweaty.
"Hey Tony? You awake yet?" JD asked, regretting the wasted air.
"Yeah.. I'll..be right...there." Tony said weakly.
"No....stay there... I can hear....them com...ing," JD said as he put his head back against the crate he sat against, Mike was sitting against a crate cornered to his.
"JD?!" Mike panicked.
"Just..taking...a rest..just ...take....easy breaths..okay?...slow...down," JD instructed trying to calm the rookie down.
"No...that's...not...a good...thing.." JD smiled out.
"Hey, Calvary's here guys," Tony said weakly not hiding the smile.
"Take it easy Tony," Josiah said.
"We're all clear Chris," Thompkins relayed over the radio, "we got em"
"We need the medics now, we got..six down," Chris said to his radio, as he scanned over to where Travis lay a Medic put a cover over the man.
"Travis is gone, you said six? The dogs?" Tony asked, knowing JD and Mike were still alive, but hadn't gotten to Zeke and Casey.
"Casey!?" JD yelled out breathlessly as he heard Tony ask.
"Take it easy kid," Chris said, coming around the crate to find the the young men.
"Mike's hit...in the..shoulder...where's...Cas....ey?" JD asked not hiding his worry, Mike seeing the calm exterior change to panic.
"Can you stand Mike?" the rookie nodded, two agents helped him stand and then they headed to the exit, only then did he see Travis laying on the ground, covered with a blanket or a jacket, he wasn't sure which. Tony was sitting up as Medics worked on his leg, then lifted him onto a stretcher, still asking about Zeke. He passed by a sheltered area and saw something covered, and saw the golden tail of Zeke, he looked back to see a big man squatted next to Tony talking, and heard the strangled wail Tony let out.
Mike knew Casey wasn't far from Zeke and he prayed he didn't have to hear the same sound from JD. A well dressed man was bent over. Next to him he saw a man wearing a blue T-shirt that read MEDIC on the back; the well dressed man cursed and threw a bloody towel out from behind him, Mike heard the whimper and the man, a southerner, talking.
"I'm sure he's fine, young lady. I know it's painful Miss Casey, we'll get you the attention you require shortly my dear," the well dressed southerner used a soft consoling tone as if talking to a child.
"How she doin Ezra?" Mike heard a man say coming to kneel next to the man, he had long dirty blond hair, ripped jeans and a T-shirt.
"Is it normal for dogs to bleed so much Mr.Tanner?" the man named Ezra asked.
"Let's get her loaded," the Medic said. Mike saw Tanner move to grab the dog, but Ezra held him off.
"Mr. Wilmington has been delayed outside, I'm sure JD will be worried about them both," he grunted out as he lifted the dog from the floor and carried her out, quickly making his way past Mike and his escorts.
"This Sweetser?" Tanner asked the medics, who nodded.
"How ya doin'?"
"Okay, thanks" Mike answered.
"Says he's fine,but..." Mike started but was cut off.
"Shit," and Vin headed to where he was.
As Vin got closer he could hear Chris trying to calm JD down, no doubt about Casey, who he kept trying to call; from the way JD sounded he knew the medics were already working on him and trying to work on JD was hard enough when he was hurt, add a little worry into the mix and it was nearly impossible.
"Hey kid, let them do their jobs, remember they're the good guys," Vin said as he made his way to his two friends.
"Where's...Casey..Vin..." JD almost cried out, his worry very present, he had been okay until Josiah had told Tony about Zeke and he flew into a panic, knowing the dogs were close.
"Ezra's taking care of her, just ease up and let these guys take care of ya," Vin said calmly.
"She.....hurt?" JD questioned, his eyes beginning to fill up with the fear Vin was going to tell him she was dead.
"She took a bullet in her shoulder, Ezra's taking her to Cedars," Vin said, naming the animal hospital that ran better than some hospital's he'd known. That seemed to calm him down, a little.
"Where's ......Buck?" he asked, suddenly remembering he hadn't seen him.
"He's out side"
"He's .....okay...did ...som"
"He's fine, he caught a couple of the guys, he's gotta take them downtown, he'll meet us at the hospital, okay?" Vin said, as calm as he always was.
"Okay," JD said, all the worries over and knowing that things were being taking care of, he finally gave into his injuries, as his eyes closed his breathing became more rapid.
The medics were finally able to move JD onto the stretcher, and just when they thought they'd heard the last of JD's rambling, he surprised them.
"Chris," he whispered out.
"Right here, son"
"Don't....ev...er.....be.....last....it........bites," he whispered through the rapid breaths and glassy hazel eyes, and a fraction of the sideways smile that he usually gave when making clever remarks.
"His bp's dropping, we gotta move," one of the medic's stated, and they rushed the stretcher out.
"Dammit JD, you just can't gradually get worse can you, you just decide to drop off on me all of a sudden, don't they teach you at the academy you can't do that?" Cole Williams chided JD for hanging steady for the time it took him to make sure everyone was taken care of and then fall apart.
"He flunked that class" Vin smiled.
"Flunked? I think you slept through it didn't you?" Cole asked his patient, knowing JD had a way of surprising the medics, like he did now as he sported the small smile.
"I'm going ."
"You stay and grab Buck, Chris. I'll ride with him," Chris nodded as JD was loaded into the ambulance, and Vin right behind, he closed the doors and tapped them twice, and the ambulance took off, Chris watched as it went no more than 10 feet and stopped.
He ran to the ambulance, knowing something was wrong, he could see activity in the back as he got closer and he felt that same feeling he had when the car had blown up with Sarah and Adam in it. He reached the door and opened it, the driver was heading back to the driver seat when Chris opened the door, he looked back and nodded.
"Some one needs to get Buck to the hospital, now," Chris said to his radio as he jumped into the ambulance.
"I got it," Thompkins relayed.
He looked at Vin who was at JD's head, squeezing a bag that was attached to a tube that had been placed down JD's throat. That was bad enough, but he had expected that, he'd seen the way JD had been breathing and from experience was pretty sure he'd need some help. Vin looked up to Chris with the most hopeless look Chris had ever seen, even when JD had been OD'd Vin didn't look this bad, he was pale and Chris could see his hand shaking when he released the bag.
What gave Vin the hopeless look and what caught the leader of the Magnificent Seven' so off guard that neither one could hold their emotions in check, was the fact that Cole Williams had straddled the stretcher JD was on and had his hands on JD's chest, pushing down in a steady rhythm.
"Don't you quit on me JD, Don't you quit.." Cole repeated with every push.
"Minute and a half, Cole," the driver yelled back.
"Call it in," Cole requested.
"Four Corners General, this is Truck 38"
"Go ahead 38."
"We're enroute with a 25 year old male, multiple GSW; two to the chest, one to the hip. We haven't any vitals at the time. Patient is in cardiac arrest, he's being ventilated and compressions have been ongoing."
"How long has patient been in cardiac arrest 38?"
"Just under a minute."
"What is your ETA, 38?"
"I'm backing in now."
Chris and Vin were at the familiar window that one of his team members seemed to always be behind in the ER, they were on a first name basis with most of the hospital staff which Chris thought wasn't a good thing. Maybe it wasn't such a bad thing occupying space here at the hospital, after all, the staff all knew the men and were well aware of their relationship.
Most of the staff had learned the intense relationship these men shared with each other and how they would react when one was hurt, and if they were new to the staff, they got a quick education. The staff came to admire the men, for the way they worried and how each would show their concern, support or words of comfort.
The men were regarded as family at the hospital; and although not one man shared a bloodline, the staff had never seen a tighter family. When one hurt they all hurt, and if it was the youngest that hurt, the hurt and concern was so present it was like a whole entity in itself, floating amongst the men, not visible, but felt, letting one know it was there.
The staff at the hospital didn't go untouched either. They dealt with every branch of law enforcement, gotten to know the men and women, but would still distance themselves until their task was done, but there was an exception; a 25 year old ATF agent, who looked more 17 than 25 with a heart of gold and a will to match, exception.
JD had cast his spell on everyone there. He amazed doctors with his stubbornness, which usually worked in his favor, he had the oldest crankiest nurses wrapped around his little finger and had the ability to get whatever it is he wanted with one look, just like he did with the six men he worked with.
+ + + + + + +
Neither Vin nor Chris remembered getting off the ambulance and walking into the ER, they didn't remember getting pushed out from the room to stand where they were, all they could see was the continuing effort of the hospital staff trying desperately to keep JD alive, all they needed was a heart beat.
The only thing Chris could be thankful for was JD being JD, knowing how the hospital staff felt he knew the doctors, nurses, orderlies right down to the janitor, wouldn't give up, not without a fight, he just hoped JD had some fight left.
The room was full of people, all seeming to inject something into the IV lines, Chris saw a nurse, Shannon, who had sat with him during his detox talking to him, doing the same now; as was everyone else.
It seemed like they stood there for hours watching, when in fact it hadn't even been 2 minutes. The two men saw the defibrillator being brought into the room, then more needles into the IV's, then everyone stood back as the doctor put the paddles on JD. Chris and Vin both jumped as JD's body reacted to the jolt trying to jump start JD's heart.
The compressions continued, then stopped, Vin and Chris jumped. Compressions, stop, jump. More injections, more compressions, stop, jump until Dr. Gabarini looked to the men as he closed the curtain.
Chris closed his eyes as he pressed his forehead to the glass.
Vin stood, not able to speak, he couldn't move, he wanted to scream, he wanted to run, he wanted.....he wanted JD.
He heard his name from behind him, he just couldn't move.
He heard his name again. He turned to face the voice, Gabarini's voice.
"Where is he? Chris, he in there..where is he!" Chris and Vin both turned to see Buck running to them, Thompkins and a few others behind him. Seeing his friends faces told him all, there were no words necessary and Buck felt all his breath leave him and his heart stop.
"No, Oh Jesus no!"
Thompkins and the others held back at the sound of Buck's cry, the four men who came with Buck hung their heads.
He was too late.
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