Witness Protection

by Rachel Tanner

Main Characters: JD and Vin

Chris sighed as he hung the phone up after talking to AD Travis. Travis wanted Vin and JD to protect a witness to a murder until they could track down and arrest the man responsible. He looked out the open door to the other six who was sitting at their desks doing work. He stood up and crossed over to the door.

"Conference room guys," he told them.

They piled into the conference room and sat around the table and Chris got down to business.

"I just got off the phone with Travis," Chris said. "Do any of you remember the murder that happened over the weekend?"

"Wasn't it about the family that had gotten killed?" Vin asked and Chris nodded.

"There was one survivor, the family's one daughter was hiding in the closet when the murders took place," Chris explained. "She managed to escape but not before the killer saw her and would have caught up with her if a police car wouldn't have rolled to a stop. Travis wants two of us to protect her while the rest of us work on tracking down the killer."

"And who does he want to do that job?" Buck wondered looking around at the others.

"He wants JD and Vin to protect the girl," Chris said. "Her name is Sylvia Browning, 16 years old. She was the only witness to the killing of her parents. Apparently her father was a big-time lawyer that alot of people would have loved to get rid of. Right now, the cops have her at the station for her own protection. They need us to take her to a safe house until the case is solved."

"When are we supposed to meet her?" Vin asked.

"We're supposed to be at the station in an hour," Chris said. "Vin, you and JD will stay at the safe house with Ms. Browning."

Meanwhile at a old warehouse, Jerry Reynolds paced in a room. The murder of the man and his wife who had put his father in jail had almost been perfect, if their daughter hadn't escaped. He looked up as another man came into the room and crossed over to him.

"Have you found her?" Jerry asked as the man stopped in front of him.

"I traced a call from the police station to a Chris Larabee of ATF 7," the man said. "They have the girl at the station right now and then they're going to take her to a safe house."

"And who's going to protect her once there?" Jerry asked.

"According to the call, it's a Vin Tanner and JD Dunne," the man answered. "The youngest of ATF Team 7."

"Perfect," Jerry said. "Head to the station and follow them to the safe house and then report back here when you find out where it's at."

The man nodded and left the building, heading for the police station. At the station, the guys had just gotten there. Sylvia was brought out by two policemen and they got her into Chris' Ram and headed out of the parking lot and onto the highway. They didn't know they were being followed.

Sylvia didn't talk much during the ride. JD glanced over at her and she looked at him and smiled. An hour and a half later, they pulled up in front of a big old house, got out of the vehicles and entered the house.

"Sylvia, this is where you'll be staying until we catch the man responsible for your parents' deaths," Chris told her and then motioned for JD and Vin to approach. "Vin and JD will be staying here as well to protect you in case the man responsible for the murders finds you."

"Thanks Mr. Larabee," Sylvia said. "I really appreciate it."

Chris turned to the others. "Let's get going," he said and then to Vin and JD. "We'll keep in touch with you guys. There's plenty of food in the kitchen and rooms upstairs for you to sleep in."

The others left and they turned to each other. "I guess we should go find us a room and unpack and then find something to eat," Vin said to them.

They headed upstairs to unpack. Outside, the man that had followed them jotted down the address of the house and then headed back to report to Jerry. At the warehouse, Jerry heard the car stop and then the man entered the warehouse once again.

"Report," Jerry ordered.

"They're at the old Hoffman house on the outskirts of town," the man said.

Chapter Two

At the house, JD and Vin's room were right beside Sylvia's. Sylvia glanced up as someone knocked on the door.

"Come in," she said.

"Are you done unpacking?" Vin asked as he and JD entered the room. She nodded and he continued, "Let's head downstairs and find something to eat."

They headed downstairs and found the kitchen. They made sandwiches and sat around the table eating and talking. Meanwhile, Chris and the others had met with Travis at the Browning's house. They were going to look around the crime scene to try and find some kind of clue to whoever had killed the girls' parents.

They split up and took different parts of the house. Chris and Buck were in the parents' bedroom where the killing had taken place. Buck looked around the bed while Chris checked the closet where Sylvia had been hiding the time her parents' had gotten killed. Two hours later, they regrouped having come up with nothing.

"Let's go back to the office and start our search on the files in the disk we found in Sylvia's coat pocket," Travis told them. "She said her dad had given her the disk right before she was shoved into the closet the night her parents were killed."

They left the house and headed back to the ATF building. Meanwhile, Reynolds and six others were heading for the house they were keeping Sylvia at. At the house, Sylvia was standing on the balcony overlooking a big maze in the back yard of the house. Vin was checking out the perimeter of the house while her and JD remained inside the house. She turned when JD placed his hand on her shoulder.

"Are you okay?" JD asked as she turned to him.

"I'm fine," she told him. "Just thinking about my parents."

"You don't have to worry," JD told her. "Me and Vin won't let anything happen to you."

"Thanks JD," she said just as Vin came into the room.

"Everything okay outside?" JD asked him.

"Looks okay," Vin said.

All three relaxed at that and sat down to watch some TV. At the office, Chris and the others were looking at the files on the disk. It was mostly about a case involving Travis Reynolds, a big weapons and drug dealer that they had busted over a year ago and the man was sent to prison for life. He had one son, Jerry, who was second in charge of his dad's business.

"Was his son apprehended along with the others that worked with his father?" Ezra asked Travis.

"Actually, no trace of him was found," Travis said and then it hit him. "That's probably who killed Sylvia's parents. If he finds where Sylvia is, they'll be in big trouble."

"Nathan, get on the phone and contact Vin and JD," Chris told Nathan. "Tell them to watch out in case anyone followed us when we took them to the house."

"You know we did notice a vehicle following us not long after we left the station," Josiah said. "But it pulled off on a side road and we never saw it again."

"Let's just hope it wasn't Reynolds or any of his followers," Chris said.

At the house, they looked up as the phone rang and JD answered the phone.

JD listened to Nathan and then hung up the phone and turned to the others. "They know who killed your parents, Sylvia," he said to her and then to Vin, "They think it's Travis Reynolds' son, Jerry. They want us to be on the lookout."

They decided to move to another part of the house so they could see if any vehicles came to the house. Meanwhile, Jerry and his men were five minutes from the house.

Vin, JD and Sylvia went down to the kitchen to fix some snacks when they heard the front door to the house slam open. Vin glanced out the door and saw about eight men enter the house and turned to the others.

"Sylvia, go out to the maze and hide," he told her. "We'll try to intercept those guys."

"Be careful guys," Sylvia said to them and left out the kitchen door and entered the maze.

Once she left, JD and Vin turned to each other, "You take the east and I'll take the west," Vin said to him. "We'll try to separate them, make it easy."

JD nodded and they pulled out their guns and got ready to break out of the room and go separate ways.

Jerry had joined the men on their search when JD and Vin burst out of the kitchen door, guns out and pointed in their directions. They fired some shots and disappeared in different directions.

"Very clever," Jerry said and turned to his men. "Half of you go that way and the rest of you go the other way. I'll search for the girl."

The men went separate ways as Jerry made his way into the kitchen to search for Sylvia. He saw that the door to the kitchen was open and he went and looked out in time to see her duck her head back in the entrance to the maze and disappeared. He grinned and started towards the maze.

JD had gone straight out of the main room and headed upstairs. Halfway up, bullets started flying and he hurried faster up the stairs until he felt a sharp pain in his shoulder and he almost fell but kept going and managed to reach the top of the stairs and duck behind a pillar and started firing back at the men who was coming up the stairs behind him. He could feel blood pouring down his arm from the wound in his shoulder but he didn't have time to worry about it. He was able to cause them to back off and take cover in another room and he kept going.

Vin wasn't having too much of a bad time dealing with the guys following him. He had managed to take down four of the men, leaving only two others to deal with.He ducked into a room with big vases and came up with an idea. Picking up two of the vases, he stayed behind the door and waited. One of the men came in the room and he slammed the vase down on the man's head and he fell. Then he did the same thing to the other man when he followed his comrade. He quickly handcuffed their hands behind their backs and hurried out of the room to find JD and then go and find Sylvia.

In the maze, Sylvia ran for her life. She could hear footsteps coming behind her and that made her run even harder. She saw a crevice in between two bushes and slipped through it and headed back to the house. Jerry had no idea that she had done it and kept going.

In the house, the pain in his shoulder was starting to slow him down. He knew the bullet hadn't gone all the way through since he wasn't feeling wetness on the back of his shirt. He was still being followed by those men, but they were down to only three since he was able to cut down three of the men. He didn't know how Vin was fairing and he hoped he was safe. He decided to head downstairs and go into the maze to find Sylvia and hopefully find Vin. He made it downstairs without any trouble and headed outside, not realizing that Sylvia was back in the house. He entered the maze and started walking. Jerry was pissed because he had reached the center of the maze and there was no trace of Sylvia anywhere. He started back out of the maze.

Vin had met up with Sylvia and they started searching for JD.

"Let's try out in the maze," Vin said after searching the house and losing the others that were still after them.

They headed outside and entered the maze.

JD's shoulder was starting to slow him down.

Jerry stopped when he heard footsteps and looked around the corner to see JD heading his way and he decided to capture him and make it easy for him to capture the others. As JD appeared at the corner, he lashed out with a karate blow to JD's neck and JD collapsed to the ground unconscious.

"That was too easy," Jerry said. He slipped his hands under JD's shoulders and started dragging him back to the center of the maze.

The sudden movement made JD gasp in pain and Jerry then noticed the gunshot wound in the boy's shoulder but he kept dragging him. He made it to the center once again and used duct tape to secure JD's hands behind him with the tape around a bench's one leg. After securing JD, he pulled out a walkie-talkie."Walters, it's Reynolds," he said. "I have one of them. Find the other guy and the girl and tell them the deal and if they want their friend back, they better come to the center of the maze."

"Will do sir," Walters said back.

He turned the radio off and glanced at JD who was still unconscious. In the house, Vin and Sylvia was just coming downstairs when they heard footsteps coming toward them. Ducking around the corner, Vin waited and as Walters came around he grabbed him and slammed him up against the wall.

"I don't think you want to harm me," Walters said.

"And why shouldn't I?" Vin said.

"Unless you want my boss to hurt your friend," Walters said grinning.

"Where is JD?"

"Center of the maze," Walters said.

Vin punched the man one time and he slumped to the ground unconscious and then turned to Sylvia.

"Stay behind me and you'll be safe," Vin said.

She nodded and they headed outside to the maze and started walking. Meanwhile JD started to come around and the first thing that registered was the tremendous pain in his shoulder from the bullet wound. He tried to move and found his hands tied securely behind him. When he looked around, he saw Reynolds sitting not far from him.

"I see you've decided to join the world, Mr. Dunne," Reynolds said getting up and walking over to him.

Before JD could answer, he heard Vin's voice and pretty soon Vin and Sylvia appeared. Sylvia was standing behind Vin for her protection. Vin could see that JD had been shot once in the shoulder and was in a lot of pain.

"Okay we're here," Vin said. "Let JD go."

"First off, we're going to make sure you don't get in my way right now," Reynolds said. "Sit over there next to your friend."

Pretty soon they were both tied beside JD.

"Are you okay JD?" Vin asked.

"Besides a bullet in my shoulder, I'm fine," JD said.

They looked up as they heard Reynolds on the phone talking to someone. At the ATF office, Chris looked up as his phone rang and he picked it up.

"Larabee," he said.

"You might have succeeded in sending my father to jail but you won't get me," Reynolds told him.

"Reynolds, what do you want?"

"Let's just say you're men are keeping me company along with the young girl they were protecting," Reynolds said."Let them go Reynolds," Chris demanded his voice raising getting the attention of the rest of the team in the outer office and they all came into his office and stood around.

"Come to the old house and you'll know where to go from there," Reynolds said and hung the phone up.

Chris slammed the phone back down on the receiver and looked up to the shocked faces of his friends. "Reynolds has JD, Vin and Sylvia hostage. We need to get to the house."

Chapter Three

At the house, the loss of blood from the bullet wound was making JD very tired. Vin looked over as JD's head once again dropped and then back up.

"Try to stay awake JD," Vin said. "Chris and the others will get us out of here."

"That's what you think," Reynolds said strolling over with his men right behind him. "Take them in the house."

Their hands was loosened and then tied again and they were forced to walk. They were taken to a room on the first floor and left there, with them locking the door behind them after untying their hands. The movement from the maze to the house, had caused the wound in JD's shoulder to start bleeding again and Vin knew he had to get it to stop. He found some towels and put pressure on the wound. He could tell it hurt but he had to stop the bleeding.

Vin looked over at Sylvia who had a worried look on his face. "Don't worry, Sylvia," Vin told her. "Chris and the others will get us out of here."

"I hope so Vin," Sylvia said and looked over at JD who was unconscious. "Is he going to be okay?"

"I'm sure he will," Vin said. "It doesn't look like the bullet went all the way through. If I keep the bleeding under control, he should be fine until we get out of here and to the hospital."

A mile up the road, Chris and the others were heading for the house.

"I hope they're okay," Josiah said. "If Reynolds tries anything, he'll pay and I'll make sure he does."

"He'll have to deal with all of us, Mr. Sanchez," Ezra commented.

The house came in view and they screeched to a halt and climbed out and headed for the front door. Inside, Reynolds watched them walk to the house from a window. He turned to three of his men and nodded and they left heading for the room they were keeping the others. Vin heard the footsteps coming and hid behind the door to try and jump the men and knock them out. The door opened and the first guy came in and Vin punched him out. The other two ran in and in minutes, they too were on the ground. He tied them up and then helped JD, who was awake to his feet. Sylvia helped him along also and they exited the room and headed towards the voices they heard.

"That's far enough Larabee," Reynolds said in the living room. "Drop your weapons and back away from them."

Vin glanced over at JD, and he nodded, knowing what they had to do.

"Let my men go, Reynolds," Chris ordered.

"Oh, I intend too," Jerry said. "But the girl comes with me."

Chris saw movement behind Reynolds and saw Vin, JD and Sylvia come in behind Reynolds. Chris glanced over at Buck who nodded that he seen them. Though weak, JD was willing to help Vin take out the men behind Reynolds. Vin caught Chris' eye and nodded.

Chapter Four

Sylvia hung back as JD and Vin advanced on the men from behind. They were going to give the others time to get to their weapons. Sneaking up behind two men, they grabbed them and knocked them out, taking their guns from them. Reynolds and the others swung around with their guns drawn. That gave Chris and the others enough time to rush over and pick their guns up.

"Back away Reynolds," Chris ordered. "You don't stand a chance."

Reynolds glanced over at Sylvia, who was standing near the door.

"You may have me but you won't have the girl," Reynolds said and pointed his gun straight at Sylvia's chest and pulled the trigger twice.

He was hit by a bullet straight in the chest as the shot was fired. Sylvia closed her eyes awaiting the bullet but it never came as two figures jumped in front of her. One of them barreling into her and the other in front of her.

While that was going on, Chris and the others apprehended Reynolds' men and Nathan checked on Reynolds to find him dead, then they turned to check on Vin, JD and Sylvia.

"Ezra, call 911," Chris said as they ran over to their friends.

Sylvia was fine, just bruised from hitting the ground. JD had jumped in front of her and took a bullet in his side. Vin hadn't been so lucky. As he jumped at Sylvia, pushing her out of the way, the bullet had hit him right in the chest. Both were unconscious.

Nathan had Chris keep pressure on Vin's chest while he checked on JD. The bullet had entered right near his ribs and JD's breathing was labored.

Buck came over and he put pressure on that wound while Nathan checked JD's shoulder.

Five minutes later, they heard the ambulances pull up in front of the house and paramedics rushed in.They took vitals and loaded JD and Vin onto stretchers and into the ambulances and sped towards the hospital. Buck went with JD and Chris with Vin.

Halfway to the hospital, JD stopped breathing and Buck just about panicked. The paramedic got an airway in and had Buck pumping oxygen into him.

They arrived at the hospital right before Vin and rushed JD into the ER where Doctor Johnson took over his care.

"Nurse, get three units of blood going and let's get some x-rays and get him up to the OR," the doctor said. "We need to get him stabilized."

Buck was ushered out of the ER and forced to wait in the waiting room where the others, except for Chris, joined him.

"How's JD?" Josiah asked."They had to start an airway halfway to the hospital," Buck said flatly. "They think the bullet hit his lung."

Chris came in five minutes later and sat down next to Buck.

"They're taking Vin up to OR now," he said. "They don't think the bullet did alot of damage but they can't be sure."

Chapter Five

They soon were up in the ICU waiting room waiting on any word on their friends. Four hours later, Dr. Leeland, Vin's doctor, came in and Chris stood up.

"The surgery went fine," he said. "The bullet hit his collarbone, spraining it. He's going to be in ICU for a couple of days to be on the safe side. He's sedated right now, which is the best for him right now."

"Can we see him?" Chris asked.

"He's in recovery right now," the doctor said. "As soon as he's settled in his room, I'll send a nurse for you."

"Thank you Dr. Leland," Josiah said.

The doctor left and everyone breathed a sigh of relief. They sat around waiting for Dr. Johnson to come in and tell them about JD's condition. They looked up five minutes later and saw a nurse motioning for them. They all stood up and followed her to Vin's room. Vin was laying on his side on the bed.

Chris went straight over to the bed and Buck turned to the nurse. "If a Doctor Johnson comes looking for us about JD, tell him we're in here."

She nodded and left the room, leaving the five alone with Vin. Couple minutes later, there was a knock on the door and Sylvia poked her head in the door.

"Can I come in?" she asked when the others looked at her.

"Sure, come in," Josiah said, smiling.

"How is he doing?" she asked as she sat down.

"The bullet grazed his collarbone," Chris said to her. "He was lucky."

"And JD?"

"Still in surgery I guess."

"Are you waiting on news about Mr. Dunne?" Dr. Johnson asked coming in the door.

"Yes we are," Buck said standing up. "How is he?"

Dr. Johnson came into the room and shut the door. "He's doing better than we thought he would," he started. "The bullet hit his lung, causing it to collapse. We were able to fix that. The bullet in his shoulder caused some damage to his shoulder blade. He'll probably have to go to therapy."

"What room is he in?"

The door opened and a bed was rolled in carrying JD. The guys moved as they maneuvered the bed and machines in position and then left. JD was hooked up to a respirator and about a dozen other machines. Sylvia cringed at the sight.

Everyone left two hours later except Buck and Chris, who stayed. Around midnight, a noise woke Chris up and he looked over at Vin to see him staring at him with half-closed eyes.

"Hey Vin," Chris said quietly since Buck was sound asleep. He stood and walked over to the bed.

Vin grinned and looked over to where JD was and said, "Is he okay?" he asked, his voice barely a whisper.

"He'll be fine," Chris said. "They had to repair his lung that collapsed from the bullet and he has some damage to his shoulder blade."

"That's good," Vin said, closing his eyes and drifting back to sleep.

Chris smiled as he sat back down in the chair. He glanced over at Buck who was awake and watching him. He looked at Vin and then JD and fell back to sleep. Chris went back to sleep couple minutes later.

One week later

Vin had been moved out of ICU three days after they were brought to the hospital but JD remained in ICU. A week later, Dr. Johnson removed the respirator two days after JD woke up. He was sitting up in bed watching TV when Sylvia came by for a visit.

"Hi JD," she said coming in the room and sitting down in the chair beside the bed. "How are you feeling?"

"Better now that respirator's out," JD said, his voice still sore. "They're moving me out of ICU tomorrow."

"That's good news," Sylvia said. "Did the others tell you the news?"

JD shook his head.

"I'm moving in with my aunt that lives across town," Sylvia said. "Vin already said he would come visit whenever he can and I was hoping you would do the same."

"That would be great," JD said.

She stayed and talked awhile until JD started nodding off again and she said goodbye and left the hospital. The next day, JD was moved out of ICU and into the same room as Vin.

Five days later, Vin was released from the hospital but couldn't work for a month and a half. JD left a week later on a two month leave of absense from work. They visit Sylvia whenever they can. JD was in therapy for three weeks to strengthen his shoulder up and returned to work four months after the shooting. Vin went back to work a week before JD.

The End

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