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Upsetting the Merry Men

Day 1

Ranger was up at five to get ready to leave. He had a mission to go and his flight was leaving in a little over an hour. He quickly jumped in the shower not knowing when his next one was going to be. He toweled off rehearsing what he was going to tell Steph. He grabbed a bagel and his bag and made his way out the door. He took the elevator down to the fourth floor, there he got out and made his way to 4D where Steph was currently staying.

Her last spat with Morelli was over two months ago and Ranger still hadn't made a move towards her. Morelli had yelled at her for the usual things: Ranger, her job, and her marrying him. After their fight Steph had gone to Ranger asking if she could work for him again.

"This isn't to get back at Morelli, is it?" Was the only thing that Ranger had wanted to know?

"It started out that way, but then I looked at my empty fridge this morning and decided it was for the best."

Ranger had shaken his head and hired her, giving her a distraction to do that night.

Now two months later she was still working for him and had moved in. Now she only had to worry about Ranger or one of the Merry Men breaking in to drag her out for a morning run.

Ranger used his key to get into her apartment. He set his bag down by the door and made his way into her room. Steph lay on top of the bed with the covers on the ground surrounding the bed. Ranger sat down next to her and watched her sleep.

"I don't want to run."

"Babe."

"Ranger don't make me."

"Babe, I'm not."

"Thank you."

"I'm leaving."

Steph bolted up, wide awake. "For how long?"

"It shouldn't be longer than a week."

"Be safe."

"Babe, don't go crazy." Ranger leaned over to give her kiss and then he was gone.

Steph didn't bother going back to sleep, she got up and tried to put some semblance of order to her bed. After that she jumped in the shower to get ready for the day.

Steph dressed in her uniform of all black and made her way to five to begin her day.

The guys of Rangeman were charged with the duty of making sure that she was safe. Ranger stopped at the control room before leaving to make sure that she would be looked after while he was gone. The guys weren't going to screw this up.

Steph worked till noon doing searches for the guys and then went to go catch up at the bond's office. She stopped at the Cluck-in-a-Bucket before she went so she would have something for the girls when she got there. When she did get there, there was a black truck parked outside of the building. Great they were following her.

Steph paid no never mind to it and she went right in and was surprised that it was Woody who was with her today. She was even more surprised that he was waiting inside the Bond's Office instead of inside the truck at the curb.

"Hey Woody."

"Afternoon Bombshell." He said nodding his head in her direction. "You left without me."

"I didn't know I was suppose to wait for anyone. Connie there any files for me?"

"Only one Steph."

"Thanks." Steph didn't wait; she left the chicken there and went out into the alley. She leaned against the wall and flipped through the file trying to focus on it. All she could think of was Ranger. Woody followed her out and leaned next to her trying to read the file with her.

"I hate having you guys feel as if you have to protect me when Ranger's gone."

"Come on Darlin' we don't want to see you getting hurt."

"I don't have a partner when Ranger is here I don't see why I should have one when he isn't here."

"Ranger would skin us all alive if something happened to you while he was gone. Besides when Ranger is here he is your partner."

"Sorry Woody I don't know what's wrong with me. I guess I just miss him already." Steph commented looking around the alleyway wistfully.

Woody looked around the alley too. He didn't see anything then guided Steph towards the truck.

"Come on we'll share the truck today."

Together the two of them went out to drag Kevin Barlow back into the system. Woody parked across the street from his house.

"Alright Darlin', I'll take lead." Woody was telling her as the picked their way across the toy-strewn yard.

"I don't think so Woody, he's mine I can take him."

"But…" before Woody could protest anymore the front door flew open.

"Steph I'm sorry." Kevin came running out wearing a huge winter jacket, mittens, boots, and at least three scarves. "I totally forgot. I don't know what happened. Who's this?" Kevin asked pointing to Woody.

"Partner."

"What happened to the chick?"

"The guys thought you might cause a problem."

"Why?"

"They're guys."

Woody grunted at that and Kevin just looked confused. Steph didn't bother to go into further detail she just opened the back door so Kevin could get in. Kevin talked to Steph the entire ride to the police station.

"It wasn't until this morning that I remembered that I had forgotten that I had to remember to go to that hearing. By then of course it was too late to have remembered so I got my stuff ready because I knew you'd come get me just like the last time that I had forgotten to remember to go."

"Yeah Kevin, just like last time."

"I know and after last time I told myself. I said to myself that I had to remember to make it to the hearing. And did I remember? No, of course I didn't, I forgot. I can't believe that I had forgotten again. I had even remembered to write it on the calendar that I keep in the kitchen. But you see the thing was that I had forgotten to look at the calendar so I didn't remember to go. But next time, next time I will remember to look so that I remember to go so that you don't have to keep coming to get me."

Kevin continued to apologize no matter how many times Steph had told him that it was all right.

"And look I remembered to bundle up today because yesterday I hadn't and I got this cold you see. My nose is all plugged up and I can hardly breath. I just feel terrible. But my mama told me that when you're sick you have to drink lots of liquids, so I am. I hope that you don't have to be out much longer today Steph you don't want to catch a cold."

"I'm sure I won't Kevin, come on. Connie should be here to bail you out."

"All right Steph you're the greatest."

Woody stayed in the car amazed at how much and how fast that guy had talked. He hadn't even waited five minutes when Steph came out with her check in hand.

"You ready?"

"Back to the office?"

"Yeah and then back to Haywood."

"That's it?"

"Yeah why?"

"Damn Darlin', you're suppose to be my excuse for dumping my work on the other guys."

"Sorry Woody." Steph said laughing. "Looks like you're going to have to do your own paperwork."

Steph didn't do much when she got back to the apartment that day. She watched Ghostbusters while eating Ben & Jerry's ice cream then afterwards she checked her messages.

4 new messages. Where was she when these came in?

First new message. "Darlin' what happened? You left without me."

Oh no. She couldn't believe she hadn't heard the phone all morning. She had missed Woody's call.

Second new message. "Stephanie this is your mother. You haven't been by for dinner in a while; I'm making a pot roast tonight see if Joseph wants to come. Be here by six."

Great another meal having to explain to my mother that she is no longer with Joe.

Third new message. "Cupcake? Bob misses you."

Not even going to address that one.

Fourth new message. "Steph its Connie. Turns out Kevin has the flu, just want to give you a heads up in case you got sick."

Shit. She didn't want to get sick, she hated getting sick. She is a terrible sick person.


A/N: I absolutely love the stories that have the Merry Men in them so I wanted to write one that incorporated them all, so Ta-Da, this is what I came up with. Let me know what you think and what you'd think would be funny if it were to occur.