Disclaimer: I don't own anything, I'm not making any money, and all the wonderful characters belong to JE. This story takes place 9 weeks after TS ends. It was my thought for Lean Mean Thirteen. I took the Lean and Mean to heart. I'm sure most people have read this, but if you haven't, I hope you enjoy it. This was my very first fan fiction. I've since went back and did a lot of work on it. Same plot, but I've added and deleted and just all around cleaned it up.

Rating: R

Warnings: Violence, foul language, and sex

Thanks to Stayce my fabulous editor.

***Completely and seriously reedited***

Learning Thirteen


He pressed my body down again into the sand, claiming my mouth. The water touched us and retreated. I was climbing higher and higher, begging with my body to reach the top. My mouth dropped open, shouting, "Beep, beep, beep, beep …." Everything changed. I was confused. Where was the sand, the water, the body pressing me down, pushing into me? Ranger was suddenly standing in front of me, his lips tipped up at the corners. I reached for him, and there it was … again! That damn beeping sound.

I was awake, my dreams lost, but my pillow was soft, and I was flat out refusing to open my eyes. Not that it mattered one little bit. The beeping continued. I buried my head under the comforter. No use! The beeping was in my head, pounding, keeping me from finding my Ranger dreams again. For the love of all that is holy, was it too much for a girl to ask to get some sleep around here? I gave up after another minute and rolled out of bed, glaring at the noisemaker. Whoever invented the alarm clock needed to be shot! I reached over and slapped the off button, tempted to bounce the thing off the wall. I gave into a full body stretch, while giving a last wistful look at my warm bed, and trudged into the bathroom.

Fuck I was tired. I had a late night bringing in a skip, so 5:30am was waaay too early to get out of bed. I shuffled over to the sink and brushed my teeth with my eyes closed. I think I fell asleep for a second or two. I cupped my hands under the freezing stream of water and splashed my face, letting out a shriek when the water ran down my arms and into my shirt. Once my eyes were functioning correctly, I looked in the mirror and shuddered when I saw my Bride of Frankenstein hair. So much for natural beauty. I brushed the rat's nest into a ponytail and padded back into my bedroom. I shuffled around in the dark for something to wear. I dropped my nightclothes and wiggled into a sports bra, warm-ups, a t-shirt, a hoodie, and sneakers. Lastly, I strapped on my ankle band and grabbed my HK P30 9mm pistol from the nightstand drawer.

I was out the door and down the stairs, seconds later, gun at my side. As I walked across the parking lot, my eyes constantly roamed. Ranger would be proud that I was finally aware of my surroundings. I keyed open the car and got in before slipping my gun into my ankle band.

It was Friday morning in late October. The black sky was completely clear and filled with stars, and the temperature was in the low thirties. The perfect time and temp for a run in the park. Something I didn't think I'd ever want to do voluntarily. But in the past nine weeks everything changed. Nine weeks since Scrog shot Ranger. Nine weeks since I realized I was in love with two men. Nine weeks since Joe informed me he accepted an out of town assignment.

The day Joe left, I wasted the day feeling sorry for myself. In fact I cried myself into a solution. I realized I was at a point in my life where I needed to fish or cut bait. It was time for me to get serious about my job and my personal life. So I called Lula and we decided to become partners at the bond office. We made a list of what we wanted to do professionally, and I made a list of what I needed to do on a personal level. We called it Operation Grow the Fuck Up. Naturally we kept our little operation to ourselves, but as time went by, it was getting harder and harder to keep our secret. It was time to share what we'd been up to. We weren't finished with our operation. Not finished by a long shot, but it'd changed names somewhere along the way. We grew up. We were serious about our jobs, about our lives. Now we were aiming for Operation Become Bad asses.