Looking Back

by Sue M

Disclaimer: Just playing. I know I can't keep 'em but if I could they'd be on season 10 by now!

Thanks to Mog for the superb ATF/AU

Thanks to Phyllis...what would I do without you?

Happy First Birthday Mag 7 UK

Team Seven had thoroughly enjoyed their celebration meal at the CDC and were now out on the deck enjoying some beers.

They had been together a year, and were celebrating their first successful bust as a team. The team had been in place for a month before JD finally joined them, but they considered this date to be the one for the diary.

JD watched his friends as they drank and talked. He asked them a question.

"Guys, if you could think of one thing special to you in this last year, what would it be?"

The conversation stopped dead, and for a moment, JD felt a little embarrassed, wondering if he had said the wrong thing.

Josiah clapped his hands together.

"Excellent question, John Dunne. May I go first?"

Getting nods from the others, he began;

"Well, for me, it has to be fulfillment. I have always enjoyed my work, I have even mostly enjoyed my life, but this past year has changed my outlook on everything. There are more days than not when I go home and sigh with contentment. I thank God every day for guiding me to you all, because I truly believe I have found what was missing in my life...I am now complete, because of all of you, and that, for me is special,"

For a moment, no one spoke, which was never a comfortable feeling for Team Seven's youngest. He cleared his throat.

"Nathan? How 'bout you?"

Swigging from his beer bottle, Nathan smiled.

"Well, if we all hadn't been to the hospital so often, I guess I wouldn't have met Rain, and that's pretty special."

They all smiled and nodded.

"Also, I guess, like Josiah, I'm working to my full potential, not just another 'lurking' EMT. Every day I walk into the Federal Building and onto floor seven... I reckon I hold those moments pretty special, and I can't believe my luck some days, that I found y'all."

JD was starting to enjoy this; it looked like the others were too. "Vin?"

The sharpshooter wasn't looking too comfortable with the question, but one look at JD's wide eyes and a 'look' from Larabee, started him talking.

"Reckon it's pretty simple, really, I've always been a loner, liked my own company, worked alone. I'd been taking care of myself in foster homes for years so it seemed natural. I thought I didn't want it any other way, even when I joined this team. I figured I could just go on as I was, working alone."

"But now you feel differently?" JD pushed.

Vin lowered his head momentarily then looked back up, grinning, his blue eyes twinkling.

"Yeah, I kinda like you guys being around, having someone to watch my back, to kick back and relax with." He paused for a moment, and then nodded, satisfied with his answer, "Yeah, I like not being alone anymore."

"Ezra? How about your thoughts on the subject," JD asked.

"Mister Dunne, I really do not believe there is anything of value I can add to this conversation, but I thank you for your enquiry."

JD sat forward, feeling he was onto something, "Aw, c'mon Ezra," the youth bobbed his eyebrows, "Humor me."

Ezra sighed, and then sighed again as he saw all eyes were on him.

"Very well, but I fear you may be disappointed." He appeared to be thinking for a moment, or at least pretending to, but then his expression genuinely softened and his eyes misted.

"Well, if I must say something, it would have to be that, since joining this sorry band of misfits," Ezra smirked, "I have learned to trust again."

They all grinned, realizing how hard that must have been for the undercover agent to say.

"In fact," he added, surprising them all, "I do believe there is not one of you I would not stake my reputation on, and know now, that you would do likewise. That, for me, is very special."

Buck was amused at the expression on his roommate's face as he stared at the southerner in awe. Snapping out of it, JD looked at Buck.

"My turn?" the big guy asked, putting in a grand gesture of pointing to himself.

JD rolled his eyes, "Yes, your turn," the boy mocked back as he pulled a face, earning himself a slap across the back of his head from his best friend.

"Well," Buck began, "I have a whole list, but I suppose, for me it can be condensed into this," he looked at Chris then JD, then to the others, "To see my oldest friend back on track and where he should be, leading a great team, to have someone in my life I feel so close to, I feel like we've known each other forever, and to be with people who risk their lives every day yet make me laugh until I cry... that's pretty special."

All six men swallowed the lump in their throat. JD looked shyly at Larabee,


The blond attempted to give his youngest agent a glare, but was clearly not up to the task, and the Easterner chuckled. Chris heaved a huge sigh, pursing his lips for a moment as he prepared himself for what he would say.

"Ok, I guess it comes down to this. Just over a year ago, I was lost. I wanted to die," he looked at Buck, "Even though there were some clinging on, desperate to keep me here," he looked at Vin, "And then others who touched my soul and made me wake up to myself," Larabee scanned the other men, resting on JD, "And more who test me every day, and remind me of why I came into this, and why the world needs people like us, people who fight for justice every day, people who are special, but not just to them, to me too.."

Buck couldn't hide his smile as the others looked to their leader with deep affection. Rarely had he said so many words, which meant so much. They were honored.

JD rose to his feet to get more drinks. "Thanks guys," he called, "That was awesome."

"Hey, hey, hey!" Buck called after him, "Get your bony li'l ass back in here and answer your own damned question," he insisted.

JD returned to see six expectant, if not amused faces.

"Oh, yeah...right. Well, that's easy, apart from feeling like I belong for the first time in my life, I guess it's pretty special when you know, without question, that there are six people in your life that, without hesitation, you would die for. More beer, anyone?" He walked toward the kitchen, calling back as he did so.

Six men stared at each other in shock. A simple sweeping statement that was clearly stated in a way that suggested it was an everyday thought rather than an on-the-spot consideration. The ultimate question, the one each man thought about every day, knowing, as JD did, the only answer, that each man would willingly give his life for his brother.

JD returned with the beers, handing them out to each man in turn. "So, should we make a toast?"

"Do you have one in mind?" Josiah asked.

JD thought for a moment, then chuckled..."How about...'To Team SPECIAL'?"

Twisting off their bottle caps as they groaned, they flicked them all at the young agent in dismay, but then, as one, they each raised their drinks and toasted,

"To Team Seven...Team Special!"

The End