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That's What Friends Are For

by: Ruby


Rating: PG-13 Bad language

Warning: Bad language. Please, if you don't want to read a story that contains bad language, stop now.

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: Thank you to Mog for starting the ATF/AU and letting us write in it. Thanks to Judy for betaing for me. This story is *not* meant to be serious in any way. It's not how I really think that the character would act. I'm just *projecting* my own feelings. <g>


That's What Friends Are For

by: Ruby 


"Do you *ever* knock, Vin?"

"Chris, you are one sorry son-of-a-bitchin' cowboy."

"Vin," Chris looked up from the papers on his desk, "if you don't have enough work to keep you busy out there, and to keep you out of here, I can sure give you more."

"Chris, don't even try gettin' out of this one. I've got your number, cowboy. You're goin' down. There is no way that you can make me do this. No way. You hear me?"

"Yeah, yeah, I hear you, cowboy. How in the hell could I not, with all the yellin' you're doin'." Chris looked at his watch. "What in the hell are you still doin' here anyway? It's nighttime, Vin. Time to go home."

"You're still here." Vin shrugged, grinning.

"Yeah, I'm still here 'cause I have a hundred and eighty things I have to get done."

"Well, anyway, so we're clear here, right? I'm not doing this."

Chris snorted. "The hell you're not."

"But you just said that 'you heard me.' "

"I said that I heard you Vin. Not that I was agreeing with you." Chris looked back down, mumbling under his breath, "I'm sure the people out at the stadium heard you too, you bastard."

"Chris! NO! I'm not doing it!"

Larabee slowly raised his head back up, his eyebrows flitting high up on his forehead. Catching Vin with one of his 'looks,' he smiled. "You're *not* doing it?"

Vin's eyes narrowed and he balanced all of his weight on his right foot, leaning nonchalantly against the bookshelf. Crossing his arms over his chest, he looked at Chris with a determined set to his chin. "That's right, Larabee. I ain't doin' it. And you can't make me."

"I can't," Chris slowly came to his feet, grasping the edge of his desk with white knuckles, "make you?" His eyes narrowed, shooting venom-dipped daggers at his best friend.

Vin was about to reply when he saw Chris's eyes become huge, round saucers as he stared, horrified, at a spot above and behind Vin's left shoulder. Vin turned quickly, expecting to see Bigfoot or the Abominable Snowman. Instead, he didn't see anything. Turning back, he was surprised to find Chris up on his rolling desk chair, and then up on his desk, pointing wildly up at the corner of the room.




"S-P-I-D-E-R!!" Larabee let out in a bloodcurdling scream.

Vin raised his eyebrows as he watched ATF Team Leader, deadly weapons expert, ex-US Navy Seal, all around son of a bitchin' bad ass bastard, Chris 'I can smite you to Hell with just one look' Larabee, yelling and screaming and jumping around on his desk, pointing his finger at a small black spot high up on the ceiling in the corner.


Vin's body was rooted to the spot, watching his boss like he was that cigarette smoking alien from the X-Files. The sharpshooter decided it was finally time to shake himself out of it and come back to his senses when he saw Chris pulling his gun.

"God dammit, Larabee, don't shoot a damn hole in yer wall. I'll get it." Vin grabbed a paper towel out of the bathroom in Chris's office and then stood at the base of the bookshelf, looking up into the high corner. "How in the hell am I gonna get up there?"

"You could climb up the bookshelf."

"I could cli- what?" Vin whipped his head around to see if his boss was joking or not. Apparently, he wasn't. "Okay, I could climb up the bookshelf," Vin muttered under his breath, shaking his head.

Vin Tanner, ATF Sharpshooter, crack shot, the best God-damned tracker west of the Mississippi, began climbing up the bookshelf, in pure 'raggin-fraggin' mode. "Damned bastard. I don't know why *I* have to kill the damn good-for-nothing spider anyway. He could get off his lazy ass and climb this fourteen-foot bookshelf. But, noooooo. He's too scared. He's scwared. Poor wittle Chwis Lwawabee. Scared of a spwider."

"What was that, Vin?"

"Nothing." Vin rolled his eyes, again muttering under his breath, "bastard."

Finally, Vin was almost to the top of the bookshelf. Holding on to the next shelf with one hand, he let go with the other to reach up with the paper tow- "Agggghhh." THUD!



"Vin? You gonna get that spider, or what?"

"Christ, Larabee, I just fell two stories, here. Can't you at least ask if I'm all right?" Vin spat out disgustedly.

"Vin, you all right to get back up and get that spider?"

"You're all heart, Larabee. Seriously, all heart." Vin pulled his battered body from the floor and started back up the bookshelf. "The itsy-bitsy... spider climbed up the... water spout."

"Vin? What are you doing?" Chris, holding a cross in his hands, asked from his perch on top of a pile of books still atop the desk.

"I'm," Vin grunted out, breathing hard from climbing, "singing. Is that all right with you?"


"Down came the rain and wash-"

"I really wish you wouldn't do that."

Vin let out a long-suffering sigh. "A man can't even sing while he's 'gettin' another man's spider. What's this world coming to?" Vin continued singing, softly, "...washed the spider out. out came the sun and dried-"

"You're still singing."

"Jeezus, Larabee, I'm whispering, for holy hell's sake. Can't a man whisper while he's 'gettin' another man's spider?"




"If I didn't have to hold on with both hands, I'd be shootin' myself in the head right about now." Vin groaned.

"Wait 'till *after* you get the spider."


"Tanner? You okay up there? Are you crying?"

"No." Sniff. "I'm fine."


Shaking his head, the sharpshooter resigned himself to his situation and started *humming* the 'spider song.' Hopefully, a man could *hum* while 'gettin' another man's spider.

F-i-n-a-l-l-y, Vin could see the small black dot. Holding on with one hand, his feet and anything else he could use, he reached up with the weapon. "It's paper towel heaven for you, my friend."

The small, black dot looked at him, its small, black-dot eyes pleading with the blue-eyed tracker to save it's life. "Christ, Larabee, this thing ain't even big enough to see under a microscope. Why don't we throw 'im back and maybe in a year or two come back and get 'im."


"Okay, okay. I'm gettin' 'im." Vin shook his head. "Gonna turn you into the Animal Protection League, Larabee." Sniffing, Vin reached up. "Poor little guy." As the paper towel came closer and closer to its target, Tanner could swear that the little black dot was actually whimpering. Frowning, he glanced down to see if Larabee was watching him closely.

He wasn't.

"Well, that mission was successful," Vin sang out as he jumped down, landing hard on the floor, wadded up paper towel in his hand.

"Did you get 'im? Did you get 'im?"

"I got 'im, Chris. Holy Christ, you're like a baby." Vin tossed the towel in the trash can.

"Shut up you bastard and just make sure that he's dead."

"What do you want, a Coroner's Report? He's dead for Christ's sake. I squished him in a paper towel and threw the little sucker away. Think he could have lived through that?" Vin looked up at his still-terrified boss and couldn't keep his chuckle hidden. "You can come down now, Chris."

There was a lot of grumbling as Larabee stepped down from atop the desk. "I'm down, you sorry excuse for a friend."

"Hey, I killed your spider, didn't I?"

"Yeah, yeah, whatever."

Suddenly, silence filled the air - silence pregnant with sinister undertones.



"You know, Chris, I was just thinking."

"Yeah, 'bout what?" Back to work at his desk as if nothing had ever happened, Chris's voice was back to normal and not the high-pitched squeal it had been a second before.

"Well, I was thinkin' about that thing that yer gonna make me do and how maybe I could get out of it if I promised not to tell the guys about this when they come in in the mornin'."


"You wouldn't." Larabee hissed.


"Vin Tanner, you are the sorriest excuse for a man I've ever had the misfortune to meet."

Satisfied laughter.


The air in the room dropped to sub zero temperatures.

More silence.

Finally, Chris sighed, defeated.

"Thanks, Chris. I'll let Ezra know that he needs to come see you in the mornin'. Let 'im know you have a 'real fun' job for 'im to do."

Chris growled.

"Night, Chris."


Vin walked out, quietly shutting the door behind him.

Chris Larabee went back to work after moving the trash can, and assumed spider burial ground, to the other side of the room.

April 2001


No spiders were actually harmed in the writing of this story. In fact, the spider in question is still living in the corner of Chris Larabee's office. Growing larger and larger and larGER and LARGER.....



Sequel: You Want Me To Do WHAT?


  Please let me know what you think. I'd love to know. Ruby :)

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