Justice's Warriors

by GinaD.

Warnings/Ratings:  Very PG. This ficlet was inspired by Toby Keith's song "Beer For My Horses". I've included the lyrics of the song at the end. Read the chorus and tell me that ain't the boys. :) I'm dedicating it to our service men and women. May God watch over them all.

Disclaimer:  I don't own them and I'm not making any money. 

Special thanks to Heather, the creator of Team Eight. I'm so glad she let me borrow them. If you want to read more of her stuff check out her site. Team Retreat still makes me laugh until I cry. http://flah0.tripod.com/hfssite/

Note: This story was archived on my website until AOL did away with it. Thanks Nancy for taking me in.

Inez surveyed the crowded room with concern. Typically a full house on a Tuesday night would be enough to warm the heart of any bar owner. But this crowd was one Inez hated to see on an off night. Especially acting the way they were tonight.

Seated at tables around the bar were groups of ATF field agents, office personnel with some Denver PD officers thrown in for good measure. Usually when this group got together the place was filled with laughter, music and loud conversation. Tonight everyone was subdued the noise kept to a minimum. Voices conversed in low tones, carefully dancing around the real reason everyone was here. Not that the criminal element of Denver was stupid enough to set foot in Inez' Saloon. Still agents could be superstitious and no one wanted to take a chance of jeopardizing anything.

Inez gave a heavy sigh shooting a look at the clock. No she didn't need anyone to tell her what was going on. The signs were all there for anyone who knew Denver's finest the way she did. Somewhere in Denver there was a huge bust with a potential for major disaster going down.

Busts were supposed to be secret things with only the teams involved knowing the details. But the clues were always there, if a person knew what to look for. A missing agent, a tense team and the final clue, tonight's gathering. Everyone waiting…for what? Most waited to know only that it was over, the good guys safe. Some morbidly wanted to be the first to hear if things went bad. A few might even jealously hope things wouldn't go well. Though those few usually knew better that to come to Inez' Saloon. It was no secret where she stood.

One only had to look back at the two large round tables along the back wall. Those two tables sat near the pool tables with the best view of bar, dance floor and main door. Originally there had only been one table set beside a couple of booths but about a year ago the booths had disappeared replaced by another table. Each was large enough to sit seven or eight men comfortably. Inez had installed the second table at the request of Team Seven after an especially bad bust. It was an unspoken thank you from one team of warriors to another. It also made it easier for the two teams to indulge in their favorite pastimes of heckling and betting with each other.

Tonight members of Team Five and a couple of secretaries occupied the two tables. They'd been there ever since running off some college kids a couple of hours ago. Team Five's presence at the table also spoke loudly as to who was involved in tonight's bust. Teams Seven and Eight.

Grabbing a cloth Inez began wiping down the bar with quick, sharp strokes. The concerned glances some of the team leaders were sending the clock meant there should have been some news by now. Throwing down the cloth Inez looked around for Tim Anderson, the head of Team Five intending to demand information. She was just motioning to him when the doors burst open. Chris Larabee and Ryan Kelly, the team leaders walked through first. Both were sporting what promised to be two beautiful black eyes in the morning. Behind them trailed their teams. Between smudged faces and torn dusty clothing everyone sported signs of a fight. As their men stumbled toward the two tables that had miraculously cleared, Chris and Ryan stopped in front of Inez. Up close it became clearer that the two men were actually holding each other up.

"Inez!" Chris made a half bow nearly pulling Ryan over. "Whiskey all around please."

As the two men weaved off Inez raised a questioning eye at their shadows, Nathan Jackson and Douglas Stone.

"Adrenaline" Nathan assured her. "Chris and Ryan got cut off from the rest of us and took on four gun runners by themselves."

Motioning to a barmaid to start drawing pitchers of beer, Inez dug out a bottle of Johnny Walker Black Label. A quick word to the kitchen to start making appetizers and she headed over with the first round. JD was already at the jukebox. As Inez poured whiskey shots the sounds Toby Keith's "Beer for My Horses" mingled with the laughter. By the second chorus the entire bar was singing along.

Beer For My Horses from the Unleashed album
A Toby Keith/Willie Nelson duet.

Well a man come on the 6 o'clock news / Said somebody's been shot, somebody's been abused / Somebody blew up a building / Somebody stole a car / Smebody got away / Somebody didn't get too far / They didn't get too far.

Grandpappy told my pappy, back in my day son / A man had answer for the wicked that he done / Take all the rompe in Texas / Find a tall oak tree, round up all of them bad boys / Hang em high in the street for all the people to see that..

Justice is the one thing you should always find / You gotta saddle up boys, you gotta draw a hard line / When the gun smoke settles we'll sing a victory tune / We'll all meet back at the local saloon / We'll raise up our glasses against evil forces, singing, whiskey for my men, beer for my horses.

We got too many gangsters doing dirty deeds / We've tot too much corruption, too much crime in the streets / It's time the long arm of the law put a few more in the ground / Send 'em all to their maker and he'll settle 'em down / You can bet he'll set 'em down 'cause..

Justice is the one thing you should always find / You gotta saddle up boys, you gotta draw a hard line / When the gun smoke settles we'll sing a victory tune / We'll all meet back at the local saloon / We'll raise up our glasses against evil forces, singing, whiskey for my men, beer for my horses.