This is a Magnificent 7 ATF xo Make It or Break It

I'm breaking a steadfast rule of mine by publishing a story that hasn't been completed yet. I guess rules are made to be broken :P . I'm so close to finishing it and thought I'd try posting the parts I have done to jump start my muse. I'd appreciate any constructive criticism, keeping in mind that I am twisting these two worlds to suit my own evil muse, so I don't really care if the story follows canon all that much ;)

This is a Magnificent 7 ATF xo Make It or Break It. Here is a very brief summary for those who aren't familiar with one or the other of the TV shows.

MIOBI (Make It or Break It) – For those unfamiliar with MIOBI, actor Anthony Starke (Ezra) plays Steve Tanner. He is the father to an elite gymnast, Lauren Tanner. The series is about the teen gymnasts at 'The Rock' gymnasium in Boulder Colorado. For the purists, please see a disclaimer at the end of the story. I don't want to give anything away G. I don't recall hearing a first name for Steve's mother, so I made one up. And as far as I'm concerned we are veering off into AU territory 'cause I like Steve and Chloe together! This story takes place early in the second season after Steve's mom visits and meets Chloe, but before all that insanity with the boyfriends. If you don't know what I mean, don't worry about it G.

Magnificent 7 – for those who don't know M7… shame on you! G. It was a, sadly, short-lived (on screen) western produced in 1998-99. Fortunately, we love the boys and you can find all kinds of fanfic based on M7. In this story, they are ATF agents created by MOG (one of the MANY universes the 7 ride in G). Anthony Starke played a gambler in the series, in the ATF universe he is an undercover agent on ATF Team 7.

Disclaimer: I own nothing. But I like to play with them and I hope you enjoy this story.

Boulder, Colorado – March 2010

Steve Tanner jerked awake, the vaguely familiar images from his nightmare fading out of memory even as he woke. He lay on the bed trying to control his breathing as he wondered why the nightmares had started up again. He'd had them as long as he could remember, but they'd been thankfully few and far between in the last few years.

Steve sat up and scrubbed a hand through his hair, then looked at the clock. It was almost five a.m., too early for him to be up, but there was no way he'd be able to sleep now. He sighed, then stretched and got up to start his morning routine.

Perhaps it had been his rather disturbing conversation with Chloe Kmetko yesterday that had instigated his nightmares this morning. He'd been seeing Chloe now for a little over four months and surprisingly, they seemed to get along quite well. As a high priced lawyer with his fingers in numerous successful business enterprises, Steve's mother was always looking to get him remarried to some rich socialite.

His brief affair, if you could call it that, with Summer Van Horne had been reluctantly approved of by Margaret Tanner. But only because Summer could fit into the spot of a trophy wife and mingle with high society politely and elegantly.

Chloe was… well, she was almost the exact opposite of Summer. She was lively, vivacious, sexual and not at all afraid to speak her mind. Her normal wardrobe was anything but conservative, though she had looked very classy the night she met his mother. Steve smiled. Chloe was a wild flower in full bloom compared to Summer's pure white lily.

And for some reason, Chloe saw something in Steve that he didn't understand. Summer must have seen it too, but Steve was still at a loss. He was often self-centered, snobbish and even a complete jerk at times. Oh, he could turn on the charm and knew he had the looks to attract the ladies, but he often felt less than deserving of their respect. Perhaps it was due to the way his first wife had abandoned him and their daughter, Lauren.

Steve finished buttoning up his shirt and ran a comb through his hair, taking one last look in the mirror. He frowned and studied himself. For a man in his early forties, he'd held up well. Clear green eyes looked back at him. The face was handsome with a few more lines around his eyes. He had to grudgingly agree with his mother about his receding hairline, but he kept himself in good shape and a little less hair wouldn't be noticed with the right clothes to set off his lean physique.

He grinned at himself, then frowned again as he bared his teeth and examined them more closely. Time for a whitening again. That one canine he'd had to have capped was just a shade whiter than his natural teeth.

He stepped back and straightened his tie. Somehow he felt more comfortable in a suit today than in his normal casual wear. The nightmares tended to make him feel off balance for days afterward. Steve frowned again. Chloe had told him that an old friend had looked her up needing money after getting out of prison.

She had refused, not wanting the two-time loser anywhere near herself or her children, but was admittedly afraid of the man who had spent time in jail for drug and weapons dealing. Steve had assured her he would look into it today. He didn't have to practice law much anymore. A few lucrative settlements early in his career as well as shrewd business investments had set him up for life. Steve Tanner was a man who could do anything he wanted and never have to worry about money.

But that didn't mean he'd let some two-bit hood squeeze money out of him by threatening his girlfriend. He did have connections after all.

Steve entered the kitchen to find his daughter already having breakfast.

"Good morning, Daddy," Lauren said from her spot at the table. She was already dressed in her leotard and a pair of shorts, ready to go to The Rock for practice.

"Morning," Steve said, still off-kilter from his rude awakening.

"Boy, you look awful, Dad," Lauren said bluntly.

"Well thank you, dear," Steve returned sarcastically. He did love his daughter, but sometimes she lacked subtlety. "I'll be going into the office for a few hours before I go to the gym."

"Okay," Lauren said, obviously occupied with her own problems and not concerned about why he would go to an office he only saw a few times a month.

"Well, you have a good day, Lauren," he said pointedly, hoping for something more.

Lauren nodded and stood up, leaving her bowl on the table as she collected her duffle and purse. "You too, Dad."

Steve moved across the room and gently caught her arm. He looked down at her and smiled slightly.

"Dad?" Lauren asked, confused.

"Love you, puddin'," he replied with a nickname he hadn't called her in years. Steve kissed her on the cheek and let her go.

"Ah… me too," Lauren stammered, hitching the straps of the bag up onto her shoulders as she turned and walked away. She stopped and looked back at him with a frown. "Love you, that is," she clarified and then smiled brilliantly.

Steve returned the smile and watched her go. He still had trouble thinking of her as a teenager, let alone sixteen. Where had the time gone?

Denver, Colorado – March 2010

Chris Larabee opened the envelope and sighed. He both dreaded and looked forward to these missives from Maude Standish. She was good about sending regular updates on Ezra's new life, but it was never enough to satisfy the men who felt like they'd lost a brother. Thank God, Ezra hadn't died that day, over ten years ago, but it was almost as bad not being a part of his life since.

Chris sat down at the dining room table and skimmed through the letter. He leaned back in his chair, his mind drifting to the fateful day that had literally changed Team 7's lives forever.

Several miles outside of Denver – November 1999

Team 7 had been working to bust a gun running ring with connections out of Vegas and Tahoe. Ezra and Vin were undercover, hired on as extra body guards when the ring's leader managed to tick off his previous bosses by stealing their guns and selling them for his own profit, thus setting himself up in business.

There was no loyalty amongst these thieves and after several rounds of retaliation from each side, the promised threats to loved ones had inspired Kenny Long to hire more men. Vin got stuck babysitting Long's mistress and her kid, while Ezra was tentatively trusted with watching Long's back, along with four other men that Long trusted implicitly.

The trouble came when the deal to sell the weapons, and thus the bust, was set up. Long feared that the buyer might be setting him up for retaliation from his old bosses, but at the same time desperately needed to unload the weapons for cash. So the deal was set to take place in an open field miles outside of town where neither side could ambush the other. Unfortunately, that also meant that Ezra and Vin were on their own until the deal was made and the ATF could move in.

For some reason, Long insisted that his mistress and her daughter be close by. Evidently he didn't trust that they would be safe at home with only one body guard, so Vin and his charges were bundled into a vehicle and added to the small caravan making their way to the meeting place.

Ezra was in another car, with Long and several other men, leading the way in front of the semi-truck carrying the weapons.

Chris and the others, including Teams 4 and 8, were stationed along one of the few roads on this stretch of highway, listening to the bugs Vin and Ezra wore and watching the monitors for their tracking devices. What none of them knew was that on another side road just a little further along, waited revenge.

Good so far? Confused? Is the chapter too short, too long? Any comments are appreciated.