Future LB-ATF Universe
Rating: PG-13 due to subject matter
Disclaimer: Don't own them, nor do I profit from their use. Thank you to the creators of the LB universe
Comments: MOG betaed it. Song is from the Black Crowes.
|She never mentions the word addiction
In certain company
Yes, she'll tell you she's an orphan
After you meet her family
She paints her eyes as black as night now
Says she talks to angels
She keeps a lock of hair in her pocket
Says she talks to angels
She don't know no lovers
She Talks To Angels
Vin picked a window seat on the bus that looked out in the park. "JD, did you see her?" He said to his younger brother who sat next to him. JD was talking to a friend about the sword they had seen at the museum.
"See who?" The younger boy looked around, seeing only the other freshman and sophomores.
"That woman by the park benches, across the street."
"I wasn't paying attention. . ." JD laughed at something one of the other kids on the field trip had said in the seat in front of them. Dunne noticed that his older brother wasn't laughing. "Vin, are you okay?"
"Yeah, fine." Tanner replied without looking away from the window.
At dinner that night Buck and Chris were eager to hear about the high schoolers field trip. "So how was the exhibit?"
JD had taken a bite of bread. "Pretty cool, we got to talk to an archeologist," he said through chews.
"What about you, Vin?" Chris asked, noticing his other son had been quietly pushing around the food on his plate.
"Huh?" Tanner looked up from his meatloaf and mashed potatoes. "Oh yeah, it was good."
Larabee looked intently at Vin, wanting to question him more. He knew something was bothering the young man. JD drew his attention back.
"How come we can't have a field trip to the ATF?"
Buck laughed. "You know how it goes, JD, once your class saw everything - we'd have to kill them. It would upset Nathan."
Vin put his fork down, clanking it accidentally against his plate. "Is it okay if I go to the library tomorrow?" He bit his bottom lip then added, "After Saturday chores. ."
"Do you need some help on your school work, Vin?" Buck enjoyed helping with homework. He said he was learning what he had missed while he was chasing every girl in his class.
Tanner shook his head . No, no, Im doing a project for history class."
"Okay, sure." Chris replied, eating the remaining meatloaf from his plate. Larabee disregarded his sons behavior as being preoccupied with school. The sophomore worked extra hard to maintain his grades.
For the next month Vin went to the library every weekend. Buck and Chris were more than happy to give the sixteen-year-old a ride.
In fact Larabee was expecting to pick up his son in a few hours and was doing some paperwork at home. When the phone rang he thought it was one of his team calling. However the voice on the line was unfamiliar. "Agent Larabee?"
"Yes, Chris cradled the portable phone in his neck as he signed off a requisition. Who's calling?"
"This is Sergeant McKillon of the Four Corners PD. We have your son, Vin, here."
Chris stood up, dropped the pen, and walked a few steps around the den. "Is he okay? What happened?"
"He's fine." The police officer said in a reassuring tone. "If you could come pick him up and we'll talk then. He was just in the wrong place at the wrong time."
The team leader took a deep breath, grabbed his keys and hurried out the door.
Sergeant McKillon was new to the Four Corners PD. He had Vin sitting beside him in the bullpen when Chris arrived. Relieved to see his son unhurt, Larabee hugged Tanner. Vin rested his head against his fathers chest. Chris heard a mumbled. Im sorry.
The police officer introduced himself and asked to speak privately to the ATF leader. Your son called 911. I took the call and found him with an overdose victim. She was DOA, and probably, well, a prostitute. McKillon cleared his throat. Vin seems like a real good kid. He said he knew her, called her Miss Anna?
Larabee shook his head. He had no idea what his son was up to, and he did not like anyone keeping secrets from him. Thanks Sergeant., Ill talk to Vin. I appreciate your help.
They walked back to where Tanner was sitting. The Sergeant shook the young mans hand and wished him luck. Chris grabbed the sophomores backpack. They didnt talk until they were in the truck. Larabee made sure his son was in the truck then slammed the door in aggravation.
Chris opened his door, sat down and placed the keys in the ignition. He then let his hands rest against the steering wheel. "Are you going to tell me what's going on? I'm already guessing there was no school project . . . "
"Miss Anna's dead. Vin looked at Chris. He nervously licked his lips. She was the lady I was with. She was good to me."
Chris wanted to remain calm and ask the right questions He tried not to let his thoughts race ahead of him. "Good to you?" He couldnt believe his son had been with a prostitute. "How well do you know her?"
Tanner traced the outside of the glove compartment over and over with his finger absentmindedly. "When Mom died, Miss Anna was our next door neighbor. She took me in. The teenager made a fist with his hand to stop the nervous behavior. It's why the foster system never found me. It wasn't like my mom, he looked up at Chris to relay that Vin never wanted anyone to think he didnt think the world of his mom. But I didnt want to be a foster kid. We had them in our building. . ."
Buck and Chris had found the orphaned children in a dilapidated warehouse. They both believed the boys hadn't lived on the street that long. The adopted fathers knew Vin had been their longer, but never were able to figure out how much longer. "Then how did you end up on the street?"
"Living with Miss Anna didnt last too long. . . heroin." Tanner swallowed. "Anyway there was this guy, Lenny, her boyfriend, I guess. He didnt like me. . ."
Larabee gripped the steering wheel. A million scenarios fed to him by his years in law enforcement made his stomach tighten for an instant. The idea of Vin in an abusive situation was something he didn't want to face. The young boy knew what his father must be thinking and continued his story quickly so as to dispel any misconceptions.
"Miss Anna told me to leave." Vin wiped down his face. Then, noticing his hand was shaking he crossed his arms and tucked his hands in his armpits. "It wasn't safe for me, and she needed Lenny to give her drugs. She told me about the warehouse." The young man gave a twisted grin. "She used to bring food Happy Meals JD used to think it was his momma from heaven leaving Happy Meals for him. "Vin looked back into his father's eyes. "I wasn't looking for her- just saw her one day on the field trip to the museum."
"Vin, why didnt you say anything?" Chris stretched a hand and placed it onto his son's shoulder. "We would have helped."
Tanner dropped his head down and fidgeted his feet. "Dad, I know what kind of lady Miss Anna was and I didn't think you'd want her around. Plus you don't like to hear about the stuff before I met you and Buck."
Chris rubbed his sons back. "Vin, I can handle your past. I want to help you with it. You can trust me-always. You were very lucky that you werent hurt. I want to protect you and wish you didn't have to see someone overdose."
"Sorry, Dad, I know I'm not the perfect kid. I wasnt trying to run away. I wanted to help her like she helped me. . . Vin relaxed, and rested his head back against the car seat. She wasnt dead when I found her. I dont know if she remembered me or not. She touched my hair and said she was happy for me."
Larabee nodded, started the Ram and pulled it out into traffic. He was glad Vin had a precious moment with Miss Anna. There was nothing to say-the young man had been graced by an opportunity to say good-bye. "Promise me you'll never do that again."
"I promise. Tanner replied. He went to turn on the radio, but then stopped. Can I ask you something?"
I want. . .I mean. . .I think Miss Anna should have a proper funeral-with a gravestone and everything."
Chris tousled the boys long hair. "We can do that. Ill have Josiah make the arrangements."
Vin took Chriss hand in his and gave it a squeeze. "Thanks Dad"
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