Disclaimer: The Magnificent Seven is owned by Trilogy, Mirish and MGM. No money is being made. This fanfic is purely for entertainment purposes.
AU: ATF - Thanks Mog! :)
Author's Notes: Thanks to Phyllis for the great beta. This is a sequel to Boston Ain't Your Kinda Town. Please read the warnings and authors notes for that story.
Getting to the Getting There
Sequel to Boston Ain't Your Kinda Town
"Hey, kid, ya find those keys yet?" Buck asked, exchanging a bemused look with Chris. They stood in front of a run down apartment building.
Buck walked over to slap JD on the back, but was alarmed to feel the young man trembling. "Kid?" he asked, concerned. "You okay?"
Chris walked up to stand on JD's other side. He reached out, grabbing JD's arm when he started to sway.
"Fine," JD whispered, his voice muffled, his chin almost touching his chest.
Buck lifted the kid's chin to look in his eyes. He hissed out a sharp breath. "Good god, boy. You look like you're on your last legs."
JD's face had a gray-green tinge to it. "Just need to get inside." He finally pulled his keys out of his pocket, but then just stared at them blearily.
Buck gently pried the keys from JD's hand and tried them in the lock. He got lucky on the second try. He opened the door and JD stepped inside the long hallway.
Chris stood facing the street, staring at the beat up Kawasaki Ninja parked a few spots down from the door. He assumed it was the kid's ride, since the bartender had mentioned that Dunne had a motorcycle. After a moment, he turned and followed Buck and JD inside. He watched as JD came to a stop at the third apartment door down the hall.
With just a small amount of fumbling, Buck opened that door also and then all three stepped inside.
"Excuse me," JD hissed out, sliding by Buck and escaping into what had to be the bathroom.
They heard loud retching and both men shook their heads, their faces grim.
The one room apartment was clean. There was no couch or kitchen table and chairs, just a couple bar stools at the kitchen counter. But there was a three-piece bedroom set that looked well cared for. The gleaming mahogany furniture looked out of place in the drab room.
"Well." Buck sat down on a stool at the kitchen counter. "How we getting' home?" He asked Chris.
Chris pursed his lips, looking thoughtful. He shrugged. "Well..."
"Oh, God," JD moaned, throwing up again. He was going to die. He hoped so, anyway. His stomach cramped, his head hurt, his vision seemed foggy. He felt like crap. And... he had two strange men in his home. Cops... or, so they said.
Jesus Christ, Dunne, he berated himself. His face paled. You have no idea if they're who they said they are. They could be anyone, for all you know, and you let them into your house because they 'said' they knew the Captain and they 'said' they were ATF agents.
They didn't even look like Feds.
Christ! He slowly stood from where he'd been kneeling in front of the toilet. He walked over to the sink and turned the faucet on. Cupping his hands underneath the flowing water, he rinsed his mouth out and then splashed the cool water over his face. Pulling the towel down from the shower rod, he dried his skin and patted his mouth dry.
He stared at his reflection in the cracked mirror. He looked like hell. His face was pale and his eyes were glassy, rimmed with red, blotchy skin. His cheeks had bright spots on them, the beginning of a fever, he thought dejectedly. His bangs were wet and stuck to his forehead. Had he really just held a gun under his chin?
He was losing it. And on top of that, he had to go out and face those two men. They said they were from Denver, JD remembered. He'd always wanted to see the mountains, he thought wistfully.
Well... JD grabbed the door handle. Here goes.
Stepping out of the bathroom, JD squinted as bright light assaulted his eyes. Someone had turned the lights on. JD liked it dark.
"Oh." He held his hand up to his forehead, dizzy.
"Kid, sit down before you fall down."
The voice came from the tall, dark-haired mustached man who was spinning on the bar stool at the kitchen counter. The man was grinning stupidly at him, and JD thought the man looked entirely too merry for three in the morning. And, JD's eyes widened, if he didn't stop that spinning, he was just going to throw up right here on the stained linoleum.
Buck, JD thought. The man's mom had named him Buck. Huh.
The other man was standing just inside the closed front door. Blocking it? JD shuddered. The man's arms were folded across his chest and a deep scowl marred his face. What was his name? Dammit, JD couldn't remember.
He walked over to stand at the kitchen counter. "I..." his voice cracked and he cleared his throat. "I need to see some ID," he told them, trying to sound tough. He tapped his finger on the counter. "Right here, right now," he said, using his best 'cop' voice.
Buck barked out a laugh and then stood slowly and walked up to the counter. Reaching into his back pocket, he pulled his worn, black leather wallet out. He smiled sardonically at JD as he flipped it open and pulled his ID out, snapping it down onto the counter. Then, he grabbed his ATF badge and laid it next to the ID. "There ya go, kid," he said, sounding like he wanted to ruffle JD's hair.
JD leaned down, staring at the identification. Then he looked up at the other man, who was staring at him darkly. JD swallowed. The two held eye contact for a long moment.
The blonde's eyes were hard and JD could still feel the cold gun barrel pressed up under his chin and the man telling him to pull the trigger... or come work with them. Finally, the blond pushed away from the door and stalked towards him. He mimicked Buck's actions, laying his ID and badge on the counter.
Chris Larabee, JD read. The name sounded familiar. Larabee was the Team Leader; somehow JD had known that. He studied the IDs and badges again. After a long moment, he looked up to find both men watching him.
Larabee shook his head, staring darkly at him. "It's about time you asked for those," he hissed. "We'll be talking later about believing whatever strangers tell you."
JD tried to look tough, but was scared just the same. He sneered. "I saw you sitting with the Captain at the bar," he defended.
Larabee snorted. "And that tells you what?"
JD opened his mouth and then closed it. He stalked away from him in a huff. "If you still want me to work with you, you can pick me up in the morning," he told them, on his way to the bed in the corner of the room.
"No way, kid," Buck smirked, shaking his head. "We're not taking our eyes off you." He glanced at Larabee and then back to JD. "Either you're stayin' at our hotel with us, our we're staying here with you." He raised an eyebrow. "And it looks like you've just got the one bed, so..." He shrugged, smirking.
Chris spoke on his cell phone for a few minutes and then snapped it shut. He stepped forward. "Come on, kid, pack a bag. We'll be leaving in five minutes. Tomorrow we're going to go talk to Wolkham, let him know what's going on. Then we'll come back here and pack your stuff up." He dismissed JD, turning to Buck, "We'll have to figure out how to get his furniture out to Denver. He has a motorcycle outside."
JD bristled at being talked about like he wasn't there. He muttered darkly under his breath while he stuffed some clothes into a duffle bag. He turned and found Buck smiling at him bemusedly. JD frowned. This wasn't going to work. There was no way he could just go with these men out to Denver.
He sat down on his bed, his body a dead weight. Putting his head in his hands, he took in a deep breath and let it out slowly. What if he got out there and the job didn't work out? Then what? He was scared, he'd admit it. Scared and hurting and just feeling sick as hell. And he wanted to sleep, but these guys wouldn't let him.
JD looked up to find Buck standing in front of him, his face lined with concern. "You okay?" he asked him.
JD nodded. "Sure. Fine." He massaged his shoulder; sometimes it still hurt where he'd been shot. Then let his hand drop.
"It's going to be okay," Buck said, squatting down in front of him to look at him eye to eye.
JD looked like he was going to cry.
Buck cleared his throat, looking around helplessly. "Nice furniture, kid."
Glancing around, JD shrugged. "My ma and I never had much, but this," he motioned to the three pieces of matching bedroom furniture, "was her pride and joy. It wasn't passed down from relatives or nothin', but she worked hard to get enough money to buy it. That was before..." he let a shaky breath out through his nose. "Before she got sick. She died five months ago. I moved out of our old apartment and sold anything that didn't have meaning to pay on her medical bills." He patted the mattress he sat on and gazed lovingly at the chest of drawers. "But I couldn't sell this." He swallowed, looked up at Buck, and then quickly ducked his head.
Buck smiled sadly at him. "Like I said, kid, it's all gonna be okay. Just gather your stuff up for tonight. We'll get you back to the hotel and you can get some sleep. It'll all look better in the morning."
"It is the morning," JD said, a slight grin breaking over his face.
Buck clapped him on the knee. "Later in the morning."
"Come on, girls," Larabee hissed from the open door.
"Jeesh," JD gave the blond a dark look and then stood and went into the bathroom to gather his belongings there.
Buck walked over to stand next to Chris. "Cut him some slack, big dog."
Narrowing his eyes, Chris glared at him. "Let's just get back to the hotel. Get some sleep. We can talk about all this crap in the morning."
Buck held his hands up. "Okay, Mr. Congeniality."
Chris rolled his eyes, the corner of his mouth turning up.
"Okay!" JD huffed out, coming towards them with a bag slung over his shoulder. "I'm ready."
"'K, kid," Buck said. "Let's get this show on the road."
JD nodded. They stepped out of the apartment door, JD locking it behind him. Quietly, they walked down the hall and out of the apartment building.
There was a cab waiting for them.
"Always one step ahead, ain't'cha?" Buck smiled at Chris.
"Hell, gotta be. How did you think we were getting back?" Chris laughed at Buck.
Shrugging, Buck grinned slyly. "Hadn't really thought that far ahead, yet."
"Okay," JD interrupted them. "I'll just follow you." He started for his bike.
"No way, kid," Buck stopped him with a hand around his arm. "You're coming with us."
"I am!" JD tried to pull away without result. "But I can take my own ride over there."
Chris shook his head. "Get in the cab, kid."
JD started to balk. He looked up to meet Buck's understanding eyes.
"Come on, kid," Buck spoke softly. "Just come on with us. We'll get the Nagasaki nutbucket in the morning." He pulled JD towards the open door of the cab and pushed him inside.
"It's not a 'nagasaki whatsit'," JD sat down with a huff. Chris was already sitting on the far side, eyeing him warily. JD scooted only far enough in to leave a little room for Buck. The three sat awkwardly as the cabbie started driving through the quiet Boston streets.
"And by the way, where the hell is your helmet?" Buck glared darkly at JD, who looked like a deer caught in headlights.
"Um..." JD hedged. "I don't have one anymore."
"What?" Buck squeaked. "Kid, do you even have a brain?" He shook his head in disgust. "No, let me answer that. You won't have a brain for long riding around on that organ donor machine without a helmet. God," he sighed theatrically. "I'm glad that we found you when we did."
Buck stretched and then laid his arm on the seat behind the kid's head, but he didn't touch him. Buck shared a look with Chris, his words only too true. Chris nodded.
Yep, they were glad they found him when they did.
"Kid, get up," Buck kicked the cot the kid slept on.
JD moaned, rolled over, went back to sleep.
Buck shook his head. "Kids," he huffed out.
Rolling his eyes, Chris just stared at JD.
After a moment, JD shivered, sitting up in bed. "Jeesh," he muttered, "I could feel your glare even with the covers up over my head."
Buck barked out a laugh. "Good one, kid."
"Come on," Chris said. "It's time to get going. We've got a lot to do today."
"But..." JD looked at the alarm clock on the table between the two double beds. "It's just after nine. And I just got to sleep a few hours ago." He puckered his lips into a pout. "And quit calling me 'kid'," he huffed under his breath.
"Boo hoo, kid," Buck mocked, but then took a harder look at JD. "You feeling all right? No offense, but you look like shit."
JD shrugged. His head was pounding, and he felt hot. He blinked a couple times. "Fine," he breathed out. "I'm... just gonna use the bathroom." He stood carefully and walked over to the far door, not turning his head, his body completely stiff.
"Oh," Buck smirked to Chris. "Looks like somebody has a hangover."
Chris shuddered, the memories all too recent. He narrowed his eyes. "Kid doesn't look good."
Buck nodded his agreement, staring at the closed bathroom door. "He shouldn't have too much left to puke up."
"Great visual there, Buck," Chris rolled his eyes, turning away.
"Just telling it like it is," Buck laughed. "So," he asked, sipping his hot coffee while he stared out the hotel room window. "What do we do? We fly back home, ship the kid's furniture and motorcycle? Or hire one of those U-Haul trucks and drive? If the kid's not feeling good, I hate to put him up on a plane."
"Jesus, Buck, I'm not riding cross country with you."
"Why the hell not?" Buck asked.
"Because..." Chris glared. "I don't want to enter the Seventh Circle of Hell."
"I thought you lived there." Buck blinked slowly.
"We've got to get the kid's stuff back home, anyway. We can ship it or we can just drive it ourselves," Buck said reasonably.
"Jesus, Buck, the kid doesn't have *that* much stuff. It's not like he lives in the Taj Mahal. We're flying," Chris huffed.
"But he has enough. We're driving," Buck argued.
They heard loud vomiting.
"You really want to take that up on a plane?" Buck asked, cocking his head towards the bathroom door, his eyes wide.
Chris sighed. "Fine! But I'm driving."
Buck held his hands up, placating. "Never thought you wouldn't be." He bobbed his eyebrows. "You'll give road rage a whole new meaning."
Chris glared at him.
Buck looked thoughtful. "Though, I don't think they have all-black U-Hauls." He snapped his fingers. "Why don't you have someone fly the Big Bad Ram out here and we'll take it back."
"Buck... you're really... annoying me."
Buck shrugged. "Well, all the practice is finally paying off." He glanced at the bathroom door again, his face sobering. "We'll take a few days to get there, kid can dry out."
The bathroom door slowly opened and a vision of death warmed over walked out.
JD held his head with both hands. "Could someone just... kill me now?" he breathed out.
Chris reached for his gun.
JD squeaked. "Just... joking."
"Oh," Chris looked disappointed and then grinned slyly.
Rolling his eyes, JD walked over to one of the beds and fell backwards on it. "Can someone please shut the drapes?" he asked, as he pulled the comforter over his head.
"Nope," Buck grabbed the blanket and pulled it completely off the bed. "We're burning daylight, kid. Gotta get goin'."
"Burning daylight?" JD stared up at him woozily. "How can you burn daylight? It's... it's... daylight. It can't-"
"Kid," Buck interrupted. "It's a figure of speech."
JD frowned up at him. "Well... it's stupid."
Buck blinked a few times and then turned helplessly to Chris.
Shaking his head, Chris held up his hands. "Oh, no, Buck. You deal with it."
Huffing out a breath, Buck sat down on the bed next to JD's prone form. "Listen, kid," he looked down at him. "We've got a long day ahead of us. Get on up and get dressed. We'll fill you in on what's happening while we eat."
"What's happening?" JD asked, sitting up.
Buck smiled. "Get dressed. We'll talk about it at Breakfast."
JD stood. "Where are we eating?"
His shoulders slumping, Buck looked defeated.
JD stared at him for a moment and then quietly walked over to pick up his duffel bag, and then went into the bathroom, closing the door softly behind him.
"Kid's going to be the death of me." Buck looked skyward.
"You changin' your mind?" Chris asked him.
"No. No... kid's just so... different from last night."
"How would you rather him be?" Chris raised an eyebrow.
"You're right. I just... wonder... He hasn't talked about it, hasn't mentioned it. You think he's trying to block it out?" Buck stared at his friend.
Chris shrugged. "Hell, I don't know, Buck. Can't blame him if he is."
Buck looked down. "Yeah."
The two were silent and then Chris flipped his cell open and walked away, speaking quietly into the phone.
Buck stood and walked over to the window to look out far below him.
After a short conversation, Chris came over to stand next to him. "I talked to the guys. Told them what was going on."
"Vin probably already knew." Buck bobbed his eyebrows. "What with how you two read each other's minds and all."
"Jealous, Buck?" Chris asked seriously.
"Heck, no. He's a good kid. Good for you," Buck explained.
"I wouldn't let Vin hear you call him a kid."
Buck shrugged. "He's not very old. So... he's a kid." He grinned.
"He's been around the block a few times," Chris said. "Seen things. Done things. Being a sniper in the Rangers will do that."
"Sure." Buck smiled at him, measuring. He rubbed his hands together. "If I knew it would bother Vin, I'd've called him a kid sooner. Can't wait to get home and pester him."
Chris shook his head, grinning. "You never change, Buck."
"Don't you know it."
The bathroom door swung open and JD walked out. His hair was wet, shiningly clean. And he'd shaved. His clothes were a little wrinkled, and he looked really young. The dark circles under his eyes made his pale skin look sallow. He swallowed hard. "I'm ready to go." He stared at them.
Buck cocked his head. "All right, kid. Let's checkout and then we can go get some food in us."
They picked their bags up and started for the door.
"Wait," JD said. "We have to leave a tip for the housekeeper."
Chris stared at him.
JD pulled his wallet out and winced when he looked inside. He swallowed, looked up at them and then away.
Smiling sadly, Chris pulled a five out and left it on the table. He put an arm around JD's shoulders and steered him toward the door. "Come on, kid."
They walked out of the hotel, spotting a diner across the street.
"I need to run down to my bank. It's just a couple blocks away," JD told them.
"Breakfast is on us," Buck said.
JD shook his head. "I've got some business to take care of at the bank. Few other loose ends to wrap up, too. Shouldn't take very long."
"Sure." Buck smiled warmly at him
Chris glanced at the diner and then back at JD. "Tell you what kid, how about we eat first and then you can take care of your business before we head to the police station to talk to Mark."
JD blanched. "The police station?"
Buck steered him into the diner.
"Yes," Chris said, sitting down in a booth. JD sat down and then scooted over so Buck could sit next to him.
JD stared at the Formica tabletop.
"Something wrong, kid?" Buck asked.
JD shook his head, opening his menu and hiding his face behind it.
Buck and Chris exchanged a look.
Elbowing JD in the ribs to get his attention, Buck frowned at him and then raised his eyebrows. "What?"
Unconsciously rubbing the dark bruise under his chin, JD shrugged. "Just don't want to go to the police station."
Chris' brow furrowed. "You used to work there, kid."
Looking down, JD swallowed. "Yeah." He shrugged morosely. "Just don't want to go there. See the guys. Face anyone."
"JD," Chris said to him, "no one blames you for what happened."
"I don't want to talk about it," JD cut him off, his face granite hard.
Chris shrugged. "Fine. Let's eat then."
"Fine." JD narrowed his eyes and then went back to reading his menu.
Chris shook his head at Buck.
Buck sighed sadly.
"You won't be sorry, Chris." Mark Wohkman locked eyes with Chris, who sat across his desk from him. "I don't know if I mentioned this already," Mark frowned, "but I thought you might need to know. Kid's mom died a short while ago and JD moved out of the apartment that he and his mom lived in, into that place he's in now. He's spent almost all the money he has to pay her medical bills. So maybe you could watch out for him until he gets on his feet."
Chris smiled sadly. "Sure."
Relieved, Mark smiled. "JD's a good cop. You need something technical, computer-wise, he's your man. He's also loyal and trustworthy. I know he'll be a great asset to your team. But," he shrugged, "if it doesn't work out, you make sure you get him back here."
Chris nodded. Standing up, he shook Mark's hand. "Thanks. I'll keep in touch."
Mark smiled. "See that you do."
It didn't take Chris long to walk out of the police station. Across the street, Buck and JD sat on a park bench. Chris hadn't been able to stand the look on the kid's face, so after JD had talked to Mark, Chris had suggested that he and Buck wait for him outside. The kid's color was better, Chris thought. It looked like it had been a good idea.
"So?" Buck stood, watching Chris.
Chris glanced at JD. "All done. The captain said to tell you good luck."
JD nodded once and then looked down.
"Well, come on. Let's go find a U-Haul office and rent a truck. Then we'll go get your stuff." Buck smiled.
Shrugging, JD grimaced, but then slowly stood. "I don't really have that much," he mumbled.
Buck winked. "That's okay, kid. Chris wanted to drive back, anyway."
Glancing from one to the other, JD's eyes narrowed. "I don't want to put anyone out."
"You won't be." Buck patted him on the back before sending a glare Chris' way.
Rolling his eyes, Chris fake smiled. "Yeah, kid, who doesn't want to drive all the way from Boston to Denver. I'm sure it'll be just as much fun as a pleasure cruise." He blinked a couple of times and then sighed.
JD squinted, unbelieving. But he reached down and grabbed his bag just the same.
Buck and Chris each grabbed their bag and then Chris flagged down a cab.
Once they were all three sitting in the car's back seat, Buck grinned at JD, who was once again relegated to the middle. "It'll be like the Great American Adventure. We can stop and sightsee."
Ignoring Chris, Buck continued enthusiastically, "We can take the back roads. 'The road less traveled.'" He bobbed his eyebrows. "See all those pretty little country gals. Eat all that good country food. Heck, we can drag it out to a week, a week and a half."
"No." Chris sighed, deeply aggrieved.
JD smiled from Buck to Chris. He laughed when Chris glared at him. He looked back at Buck. "Sounds good."
Buck rubbed his hands together in anticipation. "Yep, kid. Getting there is half the fun."
Rolling his eyes, Chris let out a deep breath. "God help us all."
August 03, 2005
Sequel: Getting There is Half the Fun
Feedback is loved. Thanks. Ruby ;)
Back to Ruby's Magnificent Seven Page