Warnings/Ratings: None, totally PG, might be an ah moment or two.
Comments: This story is all Mog's fault. In the ATF bible she says Buck owns a '57 GMC. I started thinking, how did he end up with that truck instead of the beater Chevy from the first ATF stories? The story went from there. The various references are from early ATF stories written by various authors. The first bit of silliness was prompted by the discussions on an early M7 list that is no more.
Disclaimer: I don't own them and I'm not making any money.
Note: This story was archived on my website until AOL did away with it. Thanks Nancy for taking me in.
This is the story of how one man found his true love. No, not a woman, a truck, men tend to find it easier to fall in love with trucks. It's starts when they're little boys playing with Matchbox cars and just goes downhill from there. But I digress, where was I? Oh yes
This is the story of how one man found his true love. It all started on a warm spring day in Denver Colorado. Why Denver you ask, because that is the home of the celebrated Team Seven of the ATF.
Who is Team Seven? (Honey remind me to give you a reading list after the story.) But since you've asked, lets take a little look at Team Seven.
Team Seven was created by Chris Larabee at the request of a lot of other people. That's him the handsome scary looking blond man sitting behind the desk. He is talking to his oldest friend, Buck Wilmington the image of T D & H.
What is T D & H? Tall dark and handsome dear. Yes they're both handsome I know. You think it's hard to decide who is better looking now, well take a look in the outer office.
The young man with the dark hair falling in his eyes is JD Dunne. He's Buck's roommate, the two are closer than many actual blood brothers. That's Buck's desk across from his. Now over in the left corner, the long hair man, cleaning the gun, that's Vin Tanner.
Yes, he does have incredible blue eyes. Do you need a cold drink, you're looking flushed. Well if you're sure.
The very sharply dressed man facing Vin is Ezra Standish. Across the isle from Ezra the dark skinned man with the incredible eyes is Nathan Jackson. Nathan's deskmate with the gray at his temples is Josiah Sanchez. He has the most wonderful voice.
No, _I_ don't need a cold drink. Yes, I'm sure, thank you. Now what was I, oh yes.
This is the story of how one man found his true love. It all started on a warm spring day in Denver Colorado. Why Denver you ask, because that is the home of the celebrated Team Seven of the ATF. This is the bullpen we're looking at we'll just watch for a bit? If we're very quiet they won't even know we're here.
Team Seven was enjoying a lazy Wednesday afternoon. Everyone was supposed to be catching up on reports. Course that didn't stop JD from playing his newest computer game. He was smart enough to keep an eye peeled toward Chris' office. His best friend and roommate, Buck, was in there now. With everything so quiet Buck wanted to take a couple of days off. JD was sort of looking forward to having the apartment to himself.
"Thanks Stud, see you Sunday." Buck spoke back over his shoulder as he left Chris' office. Stopping in front of JD's desk he reached out to ruffle the younger man's hair. "Stay out of the hospital while I'm gone okay?"
JD swatted at Buck giving him a mock glare, which turned into a grin. "Yes Mom."
Buck laughed as he turned to the others. "Later guys. Don't do anything I wouldn't."
"That should be easy." Vin drawled as the elevator doors closed. Nodding toward where Buck had disappeared he asked JD, "Where's he going?"
"He wouldn't tell me, but it can't be far, he's driving." JD responded.
"Not far indeed." Ezra drawled, "Especially in that rattletrap masquerading as a truck. I believe he's averaging a break down a week now."
"Yeah, I wish he'd give up and buy something else." JD sighed. "Last week I had to go get him at two in the morning. My bike isn't made for two when the other person is Buck. I even tried leaving the keys in it a few times, hoping someone would steal it."
"Maybe we can get it condemned." Ezra drawled.
The truck they were referring to was Buck's 1972 Chevy. Most of the paint was gone and the side panels were rusted. Every time you started it black smoke belched out the tailpipe. The seats were torn, the passenger door had to be opened from the outside and the radio only got one station. Buck had always defended his truck saying it never failed to start. But lately even that wasn't true. The Chevy had developed a nasty tendency to die at the most inopportune moments. Secretly everyone didn't think Buck should drive it to the store, let alone out of town.
"Maybe he'll use his vacation time to find something else." JD said in a distracted way, more interested in his computer than the conversation. "Especially after his last date refused to get in it."
"That truck is history." Vin laughed.
"Not much of a vacation." Nathan mused. "Four days won't give him much of a break."
"Actually only three." Josiah spoke up. "He's planning to be at the barbeque Sunday."
"Less talk, more work Ladies." Chris stood in the doorway of his office.
"Hey pard, did Buck tell you where he was going?" Vin asked.
"Yes and before you ask, no I won't tell you." Chris smirked before entering his office ending the conversation.
Chris lazily popped the top on a Fat Tire Ale and surveyed his front yard. It was a typically beautiful Sunday afternoon in Colorado. He grinned as Ezra flopped down in the chair next to him with a groan. The look on the gambler's face that morning when he arrived had been priceless. Chris was sure today was Ezra's first time building fence. Vin and JD were in for a lot of paybacks for tricking the southerner. He was going to have to remember to ask Vin how he had gotten the other man into showing up in time to help. With chores done everyone was relaxing till dinner. Vin and JD were playing frisbee on the front lawn while the others sat on the porch calling out rude comments. Vin paused in the act of throwing, cocking his head toward the road.
"Probably Buck." JD turned eagerly to look. He'd never admit it, but the apartment had been too quiet the last three days.
"Nope." Vin started jogging toward the porch motioning for JD to follow. "To quiet to be his truck." Raising his voice, he called to Chris. "You expecting company?"
"No." Chris stood shading his eyes to look down the road. Through the trees that lined the road to the house glimpses of a shiny red truck could be seen.
By the time the vehicle came around the bend and into view it had everyone's attention. Exclamations and whistles of admiration greeted its appearance. The beautiful, old, GMC came to a stop in front of the house.
"Hey guys, miss me?" a grinning Buck climbed out.
"Buck!" JD ran forward. "Where'd you get it?"
The handsome ladies man patted a glossy red fender. "Don't you recognize her kid?"
JD walked slowly around the truck. The puzzled look on his face mirrored by everyone except Chris. It was Vin who remembered first.
"Damn, it's Dino."
Everyone crowded around the truck, examining it, laughing and remembering.
"She looks great." Chris clapped Buck on the shoulder.
"Still think I was crazy for buying her?" Buck asked quietly.
"Yep, but you were also right." Chris saluted the other man with his beer. "How did you know?"
Buck chuckled. "I can always spot a beautiful lady pard." Watching his friends check out the truck, he allowed the present to fade, replaced by memories.
It all started shortly after Team Seven was formed. Buck, Vin and JD had accompanied Chris to a farm auction in Greeley. Chris had been looking for a tractor to feed with. Vin wanted to check out the tack advertised. Buck went along to enjoy the sight of Chris smiling and keep JD out of trouble. The young man was excited to being doing something with his new teammates. They lazed the morning away, walking around checking everything out while waiting for the tractor part of the auction. There was so much stuff to sell two sets of auctioneers worked the grounds. While Vin and Chris discussed the merits of a harness, JD and Buck wandered away. That was when Buck found the truck, sitting behind a barn, surrounded by weeds.
"JD let me see that equipment list." Buck held out his hand, never taking his eyes off the truck.
"What are you looking for?" JD handed the list over agreeably.
"That truck over there behind the barn." Buck said scanning the list.
JD looked over and snorted. "Your joking right?"
The truck looked awful. At one time it had been dark green, but most of the paint had peeled off. The hood was propped against the truck bed and the engine had a bird's nest in it. As JD watched a chicken flew out of the cab.
"You can't be serious." JD turned to look at the other man. "That thing is a piece of junk."
"That is a '57 GMC JD. It's a classic." Buck looked up at the truck. "You just don't recognize a lady when you see one."
JD snorted again, "Trucks aren't female."
Buck grinned waggling his eyebrows. "She is if I own her." He walked over to join the crowd gathering around the truck.
"Where's Buck?" Chris' voice behind him made JD jump.
"He's over there." JD pointed to the crowd around the truck.
"Well go get him, we're ready to go." Chris ordered.
"Uh, well, um," JD stammered, "he's kind of busy right now."
"Yeah and next time she'll be a blonde." Chris said referring to the auctioneer's brunette assistant. "Come on JD, if you're going to live with Buck you need to know how to pry him away from a woman."
"Is that possible?" Vin asked wryly as he and JD followed.
"You ready?" Chris stopped next to Buck.
"Just about. This truck's up next." Buck explained. "I want to see what it's gonna go for."
"All right." Chris crossed him arms preparing to wait.
The bidding started slow stalling at $275.00. Chris had turned his attention to Vin and JD not really paying attention so he was surprised when Buck spoke up.
"$300.00" Buck motioned with his program.
"What are you doing?" Chris hissed as someone else countered with $325.00.
"Buying a truck, you've been telling me I need something new." Buck said agreeably. "$350.00."
"A new truck," Chris stressed the word new, "not something in worse shape than the one you have."
"Sold." The auctioneer banged his gavel and pointed at Buck. "To number 231."
Chris, Vin and JD groaned.
Chris had brought a flatbed trailer just in case he bought a tractor. It took the four of them three hours to hoist the truck on it. Vin and JD spent the entire time teasing Buck unmercifully. He took everything good-naturedly. Letting is slide off his back, while pointing out the many nice features of the vehicle. Vin was the first person to call it Dino, short for dinosaur cause of the size and color. By the time it was loaded everyone was hot, filthy and tired.
The farmer's wife watched the entire process from her porch. The moment they'd finished she came over with lemonade. It turned out the truck had belonged to her father and she was anxious about it's fate. Buck soon eased her mind and she was pleased that someone intended to restore it. She brought Buck the original owner's manual and papers. According to the title, the truck had been bought new from a dealer in Greeley. Her father had driven it until his death in 1979. They had used it on the farm for a couple of more years before parking it behind the barn. She also gave Buck a photo of the truck taken the day her Dad brought it home.
That was the first chapter of the story. The next chapter began the following weekend when the rest of the team came out to help unload the truck from Chris' trailer. Again Buck's sanity had been called into question. Nathan was sure it was a health hazard, while Josiah thought they should give it last rites and be done. Ezra had been the only one to actually take Buck seriously. Chris had been resigned, going as far as offering the use of an empty shed. Between the six of them, Ezra refusing to touch it, they'd muscled the old wreck into the shed.
For the last few years there it had sat. That first year Buck worked on it when he had the money and the time. It became his sanctuary when he was troubled. He used it to work out frustrations, fears and plain old anger. Sometimes he'd drag one or two of the others out to help him.
Gradually the shed became a haven for anyone who needed to work something out.
It was where Chris had found Buck the first time JD was shot. He was pounding dents out of a fender with tears in his eyes. Needless to say, the fender had to be replaced.
It was also where Chris found JD, the first time Buck was shot. Like Buck, JD had waited until he knew everything was going to be okay, before disappearing. He was sitting beside the truck with red eyes.
Josiah spent one weekend restoring the carburetor after a visit to his sister.
Vin worked on the brakes while recovering from a sprained ankle.
Nathan sanded all the replacement boards for the floor of the box the week after his father died.
But not everything was done in pain or sadness. There was the day Buck went to pull the engine. He talked Josiah, Vin and JD into helping him. By the time they were done, all three men were covered in oil and bird poop. The sight of Ezra running from the three grime- covered men had Chris and Nathan rolling on the grass.
There were also hours spent just talking. Men spoke easier when they had something to occupy their hands. Many times Buck would look up to find JD, Vin or finally even Ezra standing in the door. Most of the time the talk was light, but occasionally something important would slip out. A glimpse of someone's soul.
Everyone put a part of himself into the truck. Ezra provided Buck with paint and fabric swatches in the original GMC colors. JD spent hours searching the internet for needed parts. Vin helped install many of them. Josiah and Nathan were always around with an extra pair of hands to help move something. Chris often wandered out with coffee when Buck was working late at night. This continued for about two years. Gradually though the truck was forgotten, pushed aside by other concerns. It had served its purpose, helping to forge the fledgling team into a working unit. Giving all of them something in common when they needed it.
If you had asked the others they would have said Buck had forgotten about Dino too. Only Chris had known he still came out occasionally to work on it.
"Buck, Buck, hey you in there?"
The sound of his name brought Buck back to the present. JD was standing there waving a hand in front of his face. The others were standing around him and the truck.
"Sorry guys," Buck's trademark grin made his mustache dance. "So what do you think? She turned out beautiful didn't she?"
"So what are you going to call her?" Chris asked.
"Her name's Lady. As in 'The Lady in Red'." Buck executed a little half bow while waving one arm at the truck.
"Trucks aren't female." JD snorted.
"She is when I own her." Buck retorted, waggling his eyebrows, giving the expected response.
Laughing the others crowded around while Buck pointed out the features of his new Lady.
What you want more? Well I'm afraid that's all the time I have today. Maybe someone else can tell you how the other's got their vehicles.
The end. Really.