by Twyla Jane
The disclaimer is and always will be I don't own 'em and never made a plug nickel off 'em. Wish I did. This ain't betaed. All the mistakes are mine and mine alone. Thanks to Mog for this AU.
Chris Larabee was pissed as he stepped off the small plane into the sweltering heat, swearing under his breath that by the time he was through there were going to be a few dead agents for rousting him out of bed in the wee hours of the morning. They were dead. He was going to kill those two real slow for putting him through this. They had vanished inexplicably seventy-two hours earlier... how could that pair get into so much trouble? How the hell had they ended up in a Mexican jail? Interrupting his long over due vacation for this shit. The entire team had been ordered by Judge to take some down time after a particularly hard, long and drawn out case. That was less than three days ago Larabee had sequestered himself at the ranch, the others had joined him with the exception of Tanner and Standish they had gone off together shortly after the order and no one had seen them since.
The team hadn't worried until almost a full day had passed. It was J.D. who had started calling around to all their usual haunts inquiring about his missing friends. It wasn't long before everyone was involved in the search. Thirty-six hours later the wreckage of a rental car in Standish's name was found in the bottom of a ravine just across the Mexican border from San Diego. The occupants were missing. The team had intended to go to Baja California to look for them the next morning. That is until late last night or early this morning when Larabee received a phone call from an agitated Mexican Federale to come post bail for his men. After leaving a relieved message on Buck's answering machine he rushed off into the night to board a late flight to Tijuana.
Relief turned into anger.
Oh they would pay for this.
For a brief time Chris had thought about leaving them in the pokey. But he decided it would be infinitely more satisfying to wring their necks.
The two Americanos once asleep gave their jailers a well-deserved reprieve from the continual loud racy off-key little ditties that they had been belted out more or less in unison since they were arrested disturbing the peace, the officers had found them staggering through the streets in a drunken stupor. In between verses they had a repeated a slightly slurred singsong request that the officers call the gallant Larabee to come to the rescue. A demand which the weary guard was more than happy to comply with if it would get the pair to shut up for any length of time.
By the time Larabee arrived at the jail he was drenched in sweat. The man was in an understandably foul mood as he entered the cell. Despite the heat Standish was still fully dressed lying on his belly covered by a blanket only his expensive imported European leather shoes were set against the wall. His grubby bare feet dangled off the end of the bed. His fractured left wrist was covered with a pristine cast. Tanner was under his bed curled up with his back towards the barred entry clad only in a pair of boxers, a t-shirt, his well-worn Fryes boots and his right knee held firmly in place by a brace.
Chris bellowed causing Ezra to flip out of bed as Vin slammed his head into the frame. The Texan clutched his head while letting loose a string of pain filled sounds.
"That wasn't kind at all Mr. Larabee..."
Mumbled the subdued southerner who was sporting a Texas size hang over. The older man just glared on as the battered and bruised younger men struggled to right themselves. A slightly pale Standish managed to get back on the filthy mattress as the world around him spun at a nauseating speed. The bandage was missing from the stitches that were barely visible in his hairline above his right eye. The vivid bruise underneath it was finally beginning to soft in hues. Tanner remained sitting on the cool floor with one hand holding his skull the other resting lightly on his damaged knee fervently hoping that the relentless pounding in both would let up. Larabee smirked at the duo before he spoke.
"Mind telling me what happened?"
Neither man looked up, so he continued.
"How about I tell you what happened?"
Not receiving a response an exasperated Larabee heaved a heavy sigh before hauling up the shaky sharpshooter on the edge of the bed.
"No? Come on lets go I've paid your fines."
They didn't move.
The pair jolted as Chris snapped out the order. They slowly struggled to their feet and followed their leader out. Larabee grabbed the abandoned shoes before he stepped out the door.
"Couldn't stay outta trouble for five minutes could ya?"
Vin and Ezra hobbled mutely behind Chris as he ranted on for another five minutes as they made their way to the rental car.
"Ez, I think he missed us..."
"Seems your assumption is correct Mr. Tanner..."
"Yup he missed us..."
Larabee stopped short spun around and glared at both of them.
"You idiots couldn't call?"
"Ez lost his cell phone when that jack-a-lope ran out in front of the car, I swerved to miss 'im and well..."
Vin stopped talking and Ezra picking up where he had left off.
"... the vehicle flipped a few times and rested precariously perched on a protrusion of rock. I thought it prudent to egress. Mr. Tanner's cellular at that point in time slipped from his grasp as we attempted to climb back to the main thoroughfare....I assure you next time we will just call with our whereabouts."
Ezra paused for a moment and Vin continued the explanation.
"...it just took us a fair piece a time to get in ta town is all with my leg and Ezra leakin' all over I used his fancy tie fer a bandage worked good plus him having a bum arm kinda made it hard to help me much..."
The southerner grimaced as the expensive silk accessory was mentioned, he did get even by using Vin's torn jeans as a sling for himself and a makeshift splint for the scruffy man's damaged knee.
"That explains the phone but why didn't you go to the hospital... Never mind."
He knew neither man would be willing submit themselves to the services of the medical establishment by their own free will.
"Care to explain the drunk and disorderly charge?"
"Had to dull the pain..."
"Mr. Larabee I think what Mr. Tanner is trying to say is instead on enduring hours of wasted time under the auspices of those who follow the Hippocratic oath we opted to pursue a more eastern style of treatment... self medication with fine liquor and song. The local constabulary took offense to our methods. "
"No Chris, Ez is right they got pissed for no reason just because we were causing a ruckus by singing an' all. Even made us see their damn Doc after they locked us up."
Larabee tried to remain pissed at the bedraggled pair but it wasn't possible and he cracked a small smile.
"Mr. Tanner I don't think he believes us."
"Damn Ez, I'm surprised he ain't burst a blood vessel yet."
"Think you two can sit here in the back seat, be quiet and stay out of trouble while I call the others to let them know you ain't dead."
The pair said together.
"Maybe nothing... behave or I won't let you wash up or change before we go back..."
The grimy duo climbed wordlessly into the back without uttering another word and both were asleep before Larabee had finished making the call. The lean blond stared at them in the rearview mirror his life was never dull with those two in it. He just wished they would try to whiten his hair all at once with stunts like this.
They had scared him.
Next time... hell there would be no next time. He was going to put an electronic anklet on each of them so they couldn't slip off without him knowing... nope that wouldn't work Ez would have his off in no time and Vin would probably gnaw his off. Nope he'd had to shove one up their ass, he'd smirked to himself thinking he'd enjoy that. But he would get even with them first because since they were asleep they were going to the airport to catch their flight as is.
Larabee's smile grew.
Ah it was good to have them back.