Rating: T - I'm switching over to these Fan Ratings. This one is rated Teen, for coarse language and a very dark theme. (I went back and forth for a while, thinking this story should be rated M for mature teens and adults, because of the thoughts that JD has in this story. But when I read the Fan Ratings page Teen seemed like where it should be. *sigh* I always try to be careful to rate my stories so no one will read them if they'll be offended.)

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: This story would go after Plan B and before Nightfall. Plan B is my idea of the episode Achilles in the ATF/AU. You most likely need to read that story for this one to make sense. If not, it's going to seem out of character. Heck, it might anyway. But... I was in the mood for angst. <g> This story is extremely dark. JD and suicidal thoughts.

 

Messy

By: Ruby

You know, some days I don't even think about it. The whole day passes and not once does it even cross my mind.

But those days are few and far between. And I always hate myself for them later.

Mostly, I don't get through a day without thinking about it. Without getting that sickening twist in my gut, like a punch and nausea rolled up into one. It almost doubles me over and I can practically feel the blood drain from my face. My hands start to shake. I look around at the other guys in the office, but they don't notice. They don't see my soul shriveling up and dying. That's what it feels like. Like I'm dying. I want to throw up, and I believe that I might.

I think about it. Remember that day. I can picture it in my mind - as if it would ever go away. Blonde hair, pink waitresses' uniform, blood. So much blood.

And I spilled it.

I killed her. There's a person who's dead now because of me. And not some lowlife bad guy. No. A beautiful blonde haired woman who died because my bullet ripped her guts out.

I killed her. Me. JD Dunne. A once-promising government agent, the youngest of the seven agents who make up the best damn ATF team around. Now, I'm just a fraud, a fake. I go through life trying to make my friends believe that I'm okay. That I'm getting by. That I don't want to put my gun in my mouth and blow the back of my head off.

Messy. Just like murder. Just like my life.

I know what Josiah would say. Suicide is not the answer. That makes me laugh. Not the answer. Hah. And why isn't it the answer? Why can't it be? Why aren't sane adults allowed the option of offing themselves if the going gets tough? I mean, if it doesn't hurt anyone else, why should it be wrong? We have the responsibility of living our lives, why can't we have the responsibility of ending them?

Hell, we could sign a waiver. I, John Dunne, being of sound mind and body do hereby make the decision that I do not want to live. Blah, blah, blah. Oh, it would sound good, have all those big Ezra-words, but it would come down to the same thing in the end.

Bang!

Christ, we could even donate our organs. Here you go, something good for something bad. And our slates are wiped clean.

And I'm not talking about God here. That's a whole other story. I'm just talking about our responsibility as human beings.

God... well, I'm not sure what I think there. And the whole 'go to Hell' thing if you commit suicide. Well, if I thought I wasn't already going to Hell, I guess it would matter. But... yeah... I'm definitely going to Hell. That's what you get for murder.

You know, I can't help but laugh. A giggle escapes me and Buck looks up from across our desks, gives me that 'look' like he's afraid maybe I've gone off the deep end.

And have I? Do sane people sit at their desks in cool, clean ATF offices and think about suicide and all that it offers?

Probably not.

But who said I was sane? Oh yeah, I did. I mean, I think I'm sane. Do crazy people know they're crazy? I mean, isn't that the idea of being crazy? I don't know. But some days I wonder how I could be sane. Can you be after you kill an innocent person? Living every day knowing that you killed someone, stole their life.

I sigh, deep and sad and I watch as Buck's head whips up and he gives me a harder version of 'the look'. This one is grim, concerned... and is that pity? God, I hope not. But I give him a smile and he stares even harder.

Does he know what I'm thinking? I know he would care. But do I get the luxury of caring friends? I'm a murderer, remember? Should I be allowed friends, brothers, who care about me? Does that seem fair?

Annie doesn't have anyone. Annie's dead. I killed her. 

Buck's eyes are narrowing on me, like he's reading my mind. I swallow hard, thinking about what Buck would do if he knew I was having these thoughts.

I snort. Thoughts and actions are different. But what if they become the same? Would I? Could I?

See, there goes my whole 'if you don't hurt anyone else' clause in my Suicide Agenda. 'Cause I would hurt someone. Someones. Is that a word? I don't think so. Anyway, they'd be pissed. It would almost be worth it to see their faces. I shake my head, looking down, ashamed that I would ever even think that.

I would *not* want Buck to be the one to find me. And hell, knowing my luck it would be him.

I feel a glare and look up. Chris is standing in the doorway to his office. He's looking at me. Glaring. Oh, Jesus, *can* he read my mind? The look on his face. Damn. I look away, down, start typing random words on my keyboard. He can't see my monitor, he won't be able to tell that I'm not doing anything but staring at the computer's wallpaper. I chance a quick glance up at him. He's still staring at me. And he looks pissed. And I can't help but think that if I actually *did* kill myself that he would come down to Hell like an avenging angel and kick my ass. Oh yeah, of that I'm sure.

He's walking over. Here he comes. Oh, quick, get a program up. Pretend like you're writing a report.

"JD."

I look up at him, he's standing next to my right shoulder, arms crossed over his chest. And he's staring down at me.

"Ah... Hi, Chris. I'm working on my report. I'll have it done soon." I give him a weak smile.

He sees right through it.

I watch as he glances at my monitor and then back at me.

He bobs his eyebrows. "Don't have much done, do you."

"Ah..." Oh, shit, I'm *so* caught. "Well..." I swallow hard and I wilt back into my seat.

The corner of his mouth quirks up, but the smile is sad, knowing. He pats me on my shoulder, like a friend. "Why don't you come out with me to the ranch tonight. Stay over. There's some things I'd like to talk to you about."

I purse my lips, my eyes wide. "Th... things...?" I stammer.

He sighs, a deep sound coming from his soul. He sits on the edge of my desk, still watching me with those all-seeing eyes. "Seems like you've been doing an awful lot of thinking over here. Thought you could come out," he gave a half shrug and his look turned dark, "I could give you an idea of what you've been thinking on. Give you some pros and cons."

I swallow convulsively. He can't be thinking about what I think he's thinking about. But he's looking at me like he knows. Does he know? I quash that thought immediately. He can't know. There's no way. But, oh, Jesus, he sure looks like he does. "Ah..." I don't know what to say. I sniff, look around at the other guys, who are all not looking at me, and then I look back up at Chris.

He leans forward, grasps my shoulder right up next to my neck and he gives it a squeeze. It hurts, and from the look on his face, he means it to.

"You'll come out. We'll do some talking."

"Well, yeah, okay, Chris." I bob my head in agreement, my eyes scared.

He nods once, his lips turning up in a feral smile as he stands and walks back into his office, closing the door behind him.

I stare after him. What the hell? There's no way that just happened. The other guys don't notice. They're oblivious or something. I glance around at them and for the first time notice they're trying awfully hard *not* to look at me. Hmmm. Gives me something to think about. I turn my attention back to Chris' door. And I wonder if he knows. And if so, how?

Now I've got more questions. I hope I'll get the answers tonight.

 

April 2005

 

I can't tell you how much I would appreciate feedback. I haven't written much lately and I'd love to know someone's still reading. Besides... feedback gets sequels.<g> Ruby ;)

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