by Ice Queen

Disclaimer: Not mine, not now, not ever.

Author’s Notes: This is in response to Robin’s Challenge #22. I would love feedback, especially constructive criticism, but be gentle!

Chris Larabee cursed under his breath as he sprinted down the sidewalks of Denver, eating up yards with his long strides. He could hear them coming after him, the sound of their feet echoing against the walls of the glass buildings on either side. It was like a canyon affect: what were really fifty sounded like a thousand. So he ran faster.

The entrance to the ATF office building was only a few blocks more, he could make it. He hoped.

Pedestrians shouted angry insults at the tall blonde as he bolted through the thickly packed sidewalks, shoving people out of his way in his haste.

"Watch it buddy!" a man shouted, giving the black-clad man the finger.

"Fuck you too, pal!" Chris shouted over his shoulder, without slowing his mad pace. He could see the agency parking garage mere yards from him and the sight of hope gave him an extra burst of speed.

The shouts were getting louder behind him; they were closing in.

Larabee skidded around the corner, taking a few hop-steps on one foot to keep from falling and took off towards the revolving glass doors of the Denver ATF office building, home of the most feared and hated ATF team to grace this side of the Mississippi: Team 7, "The Magnificent Seven."

Soon to be the Magnificent Six if I get my hands on Buck, Chris cursed. He charged the revolving door, throwing all his weight against the glass door and propelling himself through the entrance with an almost alarming speed. The guard didn’t bother to stop him and force him to show his ID; he knew all of Team 7, and he knew to never ask questions where Larabee was concerned.

Larabee slid across the highly polished marble floor, vaguely noting that he probably looked like he was posing as Tom Cruise out of Risky Business.

To hell with the looks, Chris thought darkly, taking off once more for the elevators and hitting every single call button in his rush. They were coming. He knew they were. In seconds they’d be at the doors, and Carl from security might delay them for a minute, but then they’d soon over take him like Tsunami flood waters at the gate.

A satisfying ding from one of the elevators had the stouthearted leader leaping in the safe confines of the steel doors and hitting the "close door" button repeatedly until it shut with a satisfying finality. It would take them awhile before they could run up the seven flights of stairs to wear his office was, and even longer if they tried the other elevator since it hadn’t been working since last June and bore no sign of warning on the doors.

He watched impatiently as the numbers on the elevator slowly lit up in ascending order. Second, third, fourth… Chris muttered to himself. "Come on, come on!" he growled at the doors, as if it would speed the lift up. "AHA! Seventh," he said to himself victoriously. The doors slid open and whom should they reveal but Larabee’s long-time friend Buck Wilmington.

"Shit!" Buck exclaimed, tossing the pile of folders at his boss to distract him while he made a getaway to the stairs.

"BUCKLIN!" Larabee shouted, swatting the flying papers out of his way and charging after the Ladies’ Man. He managed to snag the back of Wilmington’s Jimmy Buffet shirt and Buck choked as the neckline caught around his throat. Chris pulled him around and shoved him up against the wall, gripping him by the front of his shirt.

"Um…hi, Chris…" Buck made a futile attempt at a grin before Chris slammed him against the wall.

"What the hell did you do?" Chris demanded. "They nearly stampeded me on my way to work!"

"Well, you see, funny thing about that…" Buck was cut off again as he was forced high on the wall, this time with Larabee’s arm across his throat. "It was Vin’s idea, I swear! He thought you should meet new people so he put an ad in the singles section of the paper!" Wilmington gasped for breath. "It’s his fault!"

Tanner, who had started sneaking towards the door, froze at the sound of his name. "I did not!" he protested, even though he knew he looked twice as guilty making a run for it.

Chris immediately dropped Buck and launched himself at the sharpshooter. Tanner, not expecting an aerial attack, could only yelp in surprise as he was tackled to the floor, Larabee’s hands winding their way around his throat.

"Tanner, so help me God, I’ll make sure you can never help me again!" Chris yelled. The man in black suddenly froze, his eyes widening in horror. It sounded like a herd of cattle charging up the stairs and by the volume, they were already on the sixth floor landing. "I’ll kill you later," Larabee threatened, before leaping to his feet and sprinting for the window.

Vin could only laugh as their "fearless leader" ran for his life. Buck had almost fallen to the floor beside him, clutching his sides as he laughed so hard tears rolled down his face.

The thunderous noise was growing louder, and suddenly the staircase entrance flew open, revealing tens of hundreds of women, of all shapes and sizes, clamoring for one Christopher Larabee.

Chris froze halfway out the window, one leg in and one leg out on the fire escape, and his hand clutching the sill for support.

"Oh, Christopher!" one called out, as if he were a disobedient child that they were attempting to force somewhere unpleasant, but tried to fool him with an overly sweet voice. "Come back here!"

Chris rebelliously shook his head and hopped out the window on one foot. "I’LL GET YOU TWO FOR THIS!" he shouted at his so-called friends before sprinting down the iron stairs.

"Quick ladies! Back downstairs, he’s making a break for it!" the woman who had spoken earlier commanded.

With excited squeals and giggles, the women disappeared down the stairwell, the exit door swinging shut with a clang.

Wilmington and Tanner looked at one another before bursting into another round of laughter.

"Damn, son, what’d you say in that ad to get fifty women chasing after him?" Buck finally managed to ask through tears.

"I didn’t say nuthin’," Vin replied, then grinned wickedly. "I just put a picture there, with a couple choice words that Ez added."

Buck smiled. "Just what did Ez have to say about Chris to get a whole stampede on his ass?"

"Something about ‘straight Caucasian male looking for female companionship; personality plus and loves to snuggle’," Vin replied.

"’Loves to snuggle’?" Buck echoed incredulously.

"Yep. Guess Ez thought Chris looked like a snuggler."

Buck shook his head. "Damn. Ez is gonna get his ass kicked when Chris finds out."

"Why do you think he’s in Atlanta? I figure it’s revenge for that blind date Chris conned him into with the fifty year old lady who wanted someone to carry her groceries so she could watch his ass," Vin answered.

"Forgot about that one," Buck said.

"Ez didn’t."


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