Rating: T - Suitable for teens, 13 years and older, with some violence, minor coarse language, and minor suggestive adult themes.  I'm switching over to these Fiction Ratings.  Fiction Ratings.

AU: ATF/AU Thanks Mog for the ATF/AU! 

Disclaimer: The Magnificent Seven is owned by Trilogy, Mirish and MGM. No money is being made. This fanfic is purely for entertainment purposes.

Author's Notes: Answer for the 10-22-07 challenge: 'So how about we do drabbles with animals. Have the boys rescuing, helping or returning an animal.'

I don't know if this is exactly what Phyllis had in mind. And it's way over on words. But... it got me writing. Thanks Phyllis!

 

Trade-off

ATF

By: Ruby

Rocks scattered as JD Dunne and his motorcycle skidded across the two lane road, and onto the shoulder. The motorcycle bounced clear of him and flipped into the grass.  JD rolled three times before coming to rest half on and half off the white line at the edge of the road.

Tires squealed as drivers swerved around him. Cars screamed to a stop all over.

Shaking his head, JD pushed himself up off the pavement. His arms strained as he tried to push his chest far enough up so that he could pull his legs underneath him.

"Easy, son. Just stay still," someone was telling him.

Finally on his hands and knees, JD swayed. "I'm... okay," he said, his helmet muffling his voice. His jeans were ragged and torn, his bloody legs showing through the holes. In places, the leather on his motorcycle jacket was completely shredded. There was blood running down the arms of his jacket, dripping off his black-gloved fingers.

Sitting back on his haunches, JD cradled his left arm close to his chest, panting hard, trying to catch his breath and take stock of his injuries. He hurt, but it wasn't as bad as it should have been after taking a dump like that, he thought. Maybe he wasn't hurt that bad after all, though the broken arm he held close to his chest kind of played hell with that idea. Or, he figured, maybe the pain just hadn't caught up with his brain yet. Probably, it was shock.

He was fifteen miles from Chris' house, on the last stretch of road before the turn off for the ranch's driveway. He was going to meet the guys at noon for a cookout and afternoon trail ride.

"Oh my God! I'm so sorry!" JD heard a very-young voice saying. "There was a turtle in the road. I swerved to miss it. I didn't mean to hit him!"

More legs were running up to him. JD watched them out of the corner of his eye as he shook his head, trying to get the black spots out of his vision. Then something else caught his eye. Behind those legs, walking as though it owned the whole world, the little turtle was waddling off the road and into the rocks on the shoulder. JD stared as the turtle bobbed its tiny head in time with its steps, seemingly without a care in the world. Then, it walked across the rocks and into the high grass beyond the shoulder, vanishing into the prairie.

JD couldn't help it, he let out a loud cackle as he watched the little turtle disappear. He wasn't sure why it was so damn funny, but the dedicated look on the turtle's face as it marched on its way into the wilderness, oblivious to the carnage it had caused, just struck JD's funny bone and he couldn't stop laughing. 'Of course,' JD grinned, as he awkwardly unstrapped his helmet with his right hand and pulled it off, tossing it on the ground, 'it could be from the concussion.' He glanced around at all the concerned faces staring at him. That just made him laugh harder.

"Son?" A worried man asked, as he kneeled next to JD. "Are you okay?"

JD couldn't stop laughing long enough to answer him.

Then a teenage girl was squatting next to him. "I didn't mean to hit you! I was trying to avoid the turtle."

'Miss the turtle, hit the guy.' The irony struck JD and he let out another high pitched cackle. "Well," JD gave the girl a cocky grin and bobbed his eyebrows. "At least the turtle's all right."

She gave him a watery smile as she wiped tears from her face.

"The ambulance and police are on their way," the man told him. "Just stay still." He cocked his head in concern. "Is there anyone you want us to call?"

JD snorted out a laugh. 'Just six people,' he thought wryly. Gingerly, he reached under his abused leather jacket and pulled his cell phone from its belt clip. Flipping it open one-handed, he was surprised to see that it still worked. "Nah" he told him. "I've got it." And he hit #1 on the speed dial.

The guys weren't going to believe this, JD thought, grinning as he waited for Buck to pick up.  And he could almost picture the headline on the fake newspaper Buck would print out to hang on the breakroom bulletin board. 'ATF Agent John Daniel Dunne felled by a five inch box turtle. ...The turtle's fine.'

 

October 2007

 

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