Author: sablecain PM
FAM/AU- Chris finds four of his men extremely intoxicated but it's the reasoning behind the unusual display that catches him off guard. Another short background filler for this AU.Rated: Fiction K+ - English - Chris L. & Vin T. - Words: 2,463 - Reviews: 3 - Favs: 5 - Follows: 3 - Published: 06-18-09 - Status: Complete - id: 5147226
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
disclaimer:The Mag 7 characters belong to MGM, Trilogy and Mirisch. No copy right infringement is intended with their use.
Response a Challenge on the Magnificent Seven Challenge site at Community Zero (later became Magnificent 7 challenge list):
Any AU, any setting....Whatever floats your boat so to say. Some of the seven guys are stuck on one side of a water way (river, pool, pond, puddle, bathtub anything with water) and some of the others (one or two or how many you want) are on the other side. For whatever reason, the one group refuses to cross the water and join the others, despite the fact bad guys can be heard bearing down on them
Chris could hardly believe his eyes. He stood stiffly, his arms crossed in front of his chest and tried to keep a lid on his boiling anger. To his right, Josiah covered his mouth, obviously trying to suppress his laughter while Nathan stood beside the former Peace Corps volunteer shaking his head and muttering under his breath about catching pneumonia and freezing to death. Larabee glanced past Jackson up at the spot lit memorial several yards away where Abraham Lincoln sat looking out at them…and swore the damn statute was smirking at him.
"Well." Josiah cleared his throat, bringing Larabee's attention back to him. "Any suggestions on how we get them out of there?"
Chris reluctantly focused on the subjects of his current wrath, the four of them wallowing languidly in the shallow waters of the reflecting pool. His eyes widened as Buck leaned back and a steady stream of water began spouting in the air from his pursed lips, like a mini fountain. "We could shoot them," he offered.
Sanchez lost his ability to stifle his laughter and chuckled freely.
"Nah," Nathan cut in. "Be too messy."
"Hey look!" JD sat up suddenly, his arms flailing as he splashed Standish and Tanner. "Chris and Nate and Josiah are here. Chris don't look happy." He hunched back down in the pool as if he could hide.
"Hey guys." Vin waved. "You ought to come in, the water's nice."
Nathan dunked a hand into the pool and shivered. "It's freezing and ya'll are gonna be sicker than dogs!"
"Where does that expression come from anyway?" Ezra's drawled thickly, then with a sly grin he suddenly began to spit water like an old lawn sprinkler. Vin and Buck laughed uproariously.
"Damn, Standish. How drunk are you?" Chris asked his usually well-mannered agent.
"I assure you Mr. Larabee, I am no more inebriated than any of these gentlemen," Ezra responded easily.
Josiah looked at Chris and raised an eyebrow in serious doubt.
"Sure, Ez," Tanner laughed, shaking his head. His hair splayed out in all directions, spraying the others and eliciting a yelp from Ezra.
"Yeah, right," Buck added. "And Chris was totally sober when he came home the happy owner of that Aztec too."
"Shut up, Buck." The low growl carried over the water so that the four friends heard it clearly.
Unfazed by the implied threat, Buck continued, "Come on, Chris, it's true. That stuff the dentist gave you made you Mr. Sunshine. Salesman didn't have to do more than wave the keys in front of your face and you were driving that funny little van home. Hell, you were too embarrassed to even return the thing!"
"Buck." The growl was louder this time.
JD burst into a fit of giggles. "He wanted to be a Survivor." His loud whisper was cut off sharply by Ezra clamping a hand over his mouth and shoving him backwards, creating a giant splash.
"Alright, boys," Josiah interrupted before they had big trouble. Laughing gas might turn Larabee into a Mr. Rogers clone but they sure as hell didn't need to be reminding him of that incident right now. "Time to get out of the pool before you have security here arresting us all."
"Valid point." Ezra nodded as he laboriously climbed to his feet.
"Think that's them?" Buck pointed behind the sober trio causing them all to spin around quickly.
"Damn." Chris watched the spots of light slowly bobbing towards them. He turned back around. "Come out of there," he ordered.
"Working on it, Cowboy," Vin responded, grabbing onto Standish for balance as the water weighted down his already uncooperative limbs.
Nathan watched, shaking his head as the four men "helped" each other to their feet; JD landing on his backside three times before he managed to stay upright. To his and Chris' surprise the group moved toward the opposite site of the pool.
"Get over here," Larabee hissed loudly, glancing over his shoulder to check on security again.
"No way." Buck pointed, knocking Ezra back two steps but Tanner grabbed the Southerner, keeping him on his feet. "Security is over there. You come over here."
Chris opened his mouth to curse at Wilmington but changed his mind. As drunk as these four were they were beyond listening to his angry threats.
"How are we going to get them over here?" Nathan asked.
"I don't' think we are," Josiah answered. The four were already struggling out of the far side of the pool.
"Stay right there," Chris ordered loudly.
"What?" JD hollered in response.
"Oh God," Nathan groaned. The lights were approaching faster now.
"Damn it," Chris swore.
"Can't hear you, Mr. Larabee. Why don't you three wade over and join us?" Ezra spoke just loud enough for his voice to carry across the pool.
"I am not getting into that water," Nathan was adamant. "It's freezing for one thing and secondly, knowing how things usually turn out, we'll be the ones getting arrested."
"Can't just leave 'em there." Chris scowled and pinched the bridge of his nose. "Orrin will kill us all if we let them get arrested."
"Better decide soon," Sanchez warned. "We're about out of time."
Chris looked at Nathan, then back at security again and finally at the pool itself. "Fine. I'll go across and make sure they don't double back. You two head up around that end and help with the roundup on the other side." He was in the pool before he finished, splashing awkwardly toward the others.
It took longer than he would have liked to drag himself through the freezing cold water. By the time he reached the other side, and the four errant agents, he could hear the security guards approaching.
"This way!" Josiah waved from the top end of the pool where he and Nathan waited.
"Follow Josiah," Chris gasped to Vin and Ezra , giving Buck a shove and grabbing JD's elbow to steady him. They made it out of the park just as security reached the reflecting pool. The swimmers were mostly quiet now, giggling occasionally but they allowed themselves to be led easily away from the memorial and on the short walk back to their hotel.
It took almost an hour but eventually the shivering men were each changed into dry warm clothing and though Chris' anger seethed over the entire incident, he knew better than to try to get answers at the moment. With a harsh, "Get them to bed." he smiled wickedly at the foursome. He'd get his answers in the morning.
Chris sipped his strong coffee and waited patiently. The sun was just beginning to peak through the closed curtains of the suite that connected the two hotel rooms where the team slept. He couldn't help but grin at the low, constant curses emanating from the room to his left, as the phone rang suddenly. Wake up calls were a bitch when you were hung over.
Fifteen minutes later, Tanner was the first one to emerge from the room. Dressed in jeans and an unbuttoned shirt, his hair stood out wildly in all directions. He scowled at Chris and helped himself to a cup of coffee.
"Thought we had this morning to sleep in," he drawled roughly as he sat down at the table opposite Chris and turned his chair sideways so his back was against the wall.
"Yeah, well…you lost that privilege last night."
Vin's brow furrowed as he strained to remember. "What'd we do?" he finally asked.
"I'll wait for everyone else so I can enlighten you all at once."
"Wonderful." Vin leaned back and closed his eyes.
Eventually Buck, JD and Ezra joined them, all looking bleary eyed and guiltily chagrined.
"Might I assume by the expression on your face and the early wake up call that we are in trouble?" Ezra asked after he'd drank about half of his coffee. He stood with his back against the refrigerator while Buck and JD slowly took up places around the room.
"You remember anything?" Chris asked calmly.
Buck shrugged. "Remember finding Ezra and Vin at the bar." He glanced at the two. "They were already drinking pretty good so we joined them."
"Did we go swimming?" JD asked suddenly.
"It's February; where the hell would we have found an open pool?" Buck asked, shaking his head.
"Try the Lincoln Memorial." Chris sat back and waited for the reactions.
"Good Lord," Ezra muttered, suddenly looking mortified.
Vin chuckled and shook his head. "Take it we avoided security then?"
"Barely…"Chris nodded. "Three of us got you out of there just before you earned a night in jail." He glanced around the room, making eye contact with each of them. "What the hell were you thinking, getting that drunk? Do you have any idea how much trouble you'd be in if we'd had to bail you out last night?" He glared at them, angry for the position they'd put him in.
"Chris." Buck held up one hand, trying to placate his friend. "Look, we're sorry. It just happened; it won't again."
Chris sighed heavily, leaning back in his chair and running a hand over his face, suddenly feeling very tired. Who was he to light into these guys for one night of carelessness when he'd spent well on a year trying to drown himself in alcohol…not that long ago. "Just…next time…one of you have the common sense to stay sober enough to call someone."
He looked at Vin and then turned to Ezra. "What started you two off in the first place? You never drink like that in public."
Ezra waved him off, frowning as he took another swallow of coffee. "I believe I issued a challenge of sorts," he explained.
"I thought you two were drinking 'cause Vin was upset about seeing that Patterson lady," JD questioned, realizing belatedly he should have kept his mouth shut when Ezra and Chris both glared at him. Vin suddenly found the inside of his coffee mug interesting.
Buck shook his head and gently grabbed JD by the back of his neck. "Let's go scare up some breakfast for everyone." He suggested, steering the younger man out of the room.
"He didn't mean nothing," Vin defended after a few minutes of quiet. "I was gonna speak up anyhow." He met Ezra's gaze, making it clear that he wasn't going to let the Southerner take the entire rap.
Ezra shrugged and joined them at the table. "I didn't discourage you any," he pointed out. "And I was the one who challenged you to the shot contest."
Larabee watched the pain flash over Tanner's face and understood the events of the previous evening instantly.
"Never expected to see her again," Vin admitted quietly.
"She recognized you?" Chris asked, already knowing the answer.
Vin laughed roughly, a harsh sound that seemed unnatural coming from the usually laid back agent. "Oh yeah. Guess I don't have a face you can forget." He pushed out of his chair and moved toward the window, throwing open the heavy drapes and flooding the room in sunlight. "Then again, what mother would forget the man who killed her son?"
Standing, Chris caught the look of helplessness as Ezra bowed his head. He paused, resting his hand on the younger man's shoulder a moment, hoping to reassure him. He knew that if Ezra hadn't been with Vin the night before, Tanner would have ended up sullen, reckless and probably in jail or worse and he wondered exactly how drunk Ezra had been after all.
"She brought it all back, you know?" Tanner acknowledged Chris' approach without looking away from the window. "That day. Every detail. The whole thing."
"It was an accident, Vin," Chris reminded quietly. Out of the corner of his eye he saw Ezra slip into the other room.
Vin shook his head. "I aimed at him and pulled the trigger with every intention of killing him."
Larabee suppressed the urge to yell at his friend. "You had no way of knowing that maniac had switched clothes with his hostage. You were following orders."
Vin huffed and tightened his hands into fists. "Still, that woman blames me for her son's death and she has every right to."
"No, Vin." Chris closed his eyes, trying to find the right words. "Seeing her caught you off guard, didn't it?"
"Hell, yeah." Vin looked up at him. "For a minute I thought she was there to put me on trial again. I actually looked for the marshals, I mean what are the chances of just running into her like that?"
"Imagine what it did to her," Chris whispered softly.
"Shit." Vin ran a hand roughly through his tangled hair.
"It was a tragic accident that the marshals hung you out to dry for. But it was not your fault."
"Sure feels like it." Vin leaned forward, pressing his forehead against the cool glass of the window. His hair cascaded around his face, hiding him from view.
Chris didn't speak again. He knew Vin needed time to recover from the encounter with his past, time to put everything back into perspective again.
"Ezra helped," Vin admitted, surprising Chris by breaking the silence.
"Don't know where I'd have ended up if he hadn't been there. God, he even handled Mrs. Patterson."
"I think he understands, to a degree."
"As much as he can." Vin nodded.
Chris shifted and leaned against the window, facing Vin. "Glad he was there."
Vin looked at him again for a moment and then away, focusing on the view of D.C. again. "Sorry about the Lincoln Memorial thing," he apologized faintly.
Chris just shrugged. "Could have been worse," he chuckled. "At least none of you were naked."