The Devil Made Me Do It
Rating: R (for violence and language)
Disclaimer: I do not own or profit from the use of the Magnificent Seven characters. Thank you to MOG for the creation of the ATF.
Comments: I will say this is going to be different for some readers. It is based on a real incident that happened in Massachusetts. Mucho bowing to my beta, Mog the Magnificent<G>. The song that appears in the beginning is The Promise by Tracy Chapman.
Archivist's Note: This fic was previously hosted on another website and was moved to Blackraptor in September 2006.
Devil Duckie, you're the one,
I find myself in a precarious position. I have been ducknapped. Time elapses in the darkness. Even though I am a Devil Duckie I do not embrace the dark like my brother, Glow-in-the-dark Devil Duckie. A hand is reaching in. There is a flash Is it all over?
"Kirt Gustin from Team Eight is acting wicked weird." JD announced to Nathan and Buck, the occupants of the office.
Wilmington leaned back in his chair, raising an eyebrow at his teammate·s use of the Boston expression, but choosing to ignore it in favor of talking about himself. "That's because he realizes he's no competition for Buck 'Ladykiller' Wilmington."
Dunne rolled his eyes and continued, directing his commentary to the medic. "He came up behind me at Security and whispered - ·the chicken is next·. What do you think that means?"
Jackson picked up his Starbuck's cup and tossed it into the trash. "Are you sure you understood him clearly?"
JD nodded. "I turned around and he said it again. Then pretended to cut his throat." Dunne mimicked the motion by drawing his thumbnail across his neck.
Wilmington opened a draw at his desk and took out a sun-faded rubber chicken. He shook it in the direction of Team Eight, a floor above them. "Ryan's crew is a bunch of sick bastards. They won't get their hands on him."
"It would be less of a target if you washed it." Nathan commented as he left the room. He refused to allow himself to be drawn into a strange conversation that would only lead to his exasperation.
"Dogs. I didn·t even think of that, Nate. I·ll bet those sons-of-bitches would bribe one of the K-9 teams to help them. Jackson, you·re a damn genius!" Wilmington toted the chicken off to the breakroom for a bath.
I don't like this one bit. I don't belong here. I am a Devil Duckie that looms evilly over the desk of Kirt Gustin. I have a position of importance. It is my charge and duty to look mean at those who cross my path.
The hand again.
I hope he takes a picture of my good side.
"Thanks for lunch, Ezra." Vin said as the elevator doors slid shut and the lift propelled them upward.
Standish merely raised an eyebrow nonchalantly. "When you excused yourself for an interminably long time as the check arrived I deduced you may be having cash flow issues."
Tanner shrugged his shoulders. "Yeah. Put it on your expense account·right?"
"Of course," Standish grinned. "I believe, Agent Tanner, we had a business lunch."
"Whatever you say, Ez." Vin slapped the other agent's shoulder. The partners walked in silence down the hall to their own office area. The two exchanged a perplexed glance when they observed Team Eight·s Douglas Stone rifling through the sharpshooter's desk. "Ya looking for something?"
Stone jumped back, while closing the drawer, nearly crushing his fingers in the process. "Yeah, some·umm, pencils."
"Is there a pencil deficiency on the twelfth floor?" Ezra sat on the corner of the desk.
"Pencils are right here." Tanner handed him a half dozen Universal Blackstonian Number 2·s that lay in a tray on the top of the desk. "And you're the sniper?"
"Well, thanks, I'll bring them back. . ." Douglas looked at the pencils, "when I can."
The southerner and the Texan watched the other agent walk away. Tanner surveyed his desk. "What was that about?"
Ezra moved a Hostess cupcake wrapper out of the way. The plastic wrap stuck to his hand. He fought to wave it off. "Does anything appear to be missing?"
"Nope," Vin pulled the plastic off of the undercover agent's hand and threw it in the trash with a Snickers wrapper. The sharpshooter's desk, beneath the snack food, was undisturbed. "But maybe he booby-trapped it·.after that time with the plastic wrap. . ." Tanner grimaced.
Standish nodded, remembering the incident. He decided it might be a good time to visit the breakroom for some coffee. "Tread carefully," he warned.
Vin grabbed the ruler from his desk and opened up each draw carefully; jumping back at each time. He was preparing for the worst.
A change in props is needed. All I see are guns and more guns. They clash with my red coloring. I am a summer after all. I hope those pictures do not fall into the wrong hands - like Rubber Duckie· always jealous of my horns.
"Chris, enough is enough. We want the duck back." Ryan placed his hand on Larabee's chest before the departmental meeting with Travis.
The blonde man looked at the hand on his chest before lightly pushing it away. "What are you talking about?"
Team Eight's leader crossed his arms. "Our mascot, the Devil Duckie. We know you have him."
Chris turned to enter the room. "We don't have it."
"Yeah, right. This is something Tanner and Dunne would do." Ryan placed his hand on Larabee's shoulder to stop him again. "We have pictures of the duck on your busts."
Chris turned around, unclear about what was going on and annoyed with the other leader. He was about to tell him so when Travis interrupted them. "Gentlemen. . ."
I am hastily placed in a drawer. I notice one of my kindred is in the drawer with me - a rubber chicken.
"Can you help me?" I ask.
Obviously, I am a higher life form as the chicken does not reply.
Just as quickly the hand reaches in again and I am placed into a bag.
Friday night and the boys were at the saloon; thankful to have finished another week without incident. JD was at the bar ordering the drinks. He saw Jordan and the others of Team Eight. Chris had questioned Dunne and Tanner about the mascot, both he and Vin denied any involvement.
"We don't have your duck." Dunne said to Jordan, hoping to put the confusion past them.
"JD, we want our lucky mascot." Jordan stated, placing his hand on the mug of beer so the youngest member of Team Seven could not lift the glass.
Dunne let the mug go and laughed. "Look, it isn't like it was helping."
"What?" Jordan was insulted and the other members of Team Eight didn't look too happy either at the flippant comment. In a minute, a punch was thrown. Seeing the ruckus Buck signaled the others.
"Damnit, JD." Wilmington said as he ducked a swing.
Finally, Chris was able to bring some control to the room, with the assistance of Inez's shotgun. He ordered the place cleared and took note of his men. Nathan had gone to a function with Rain and wasn't there to tend to the assorted cuts and bruises.
JD was covering his eye. "I didn't do anything."
Vin was dabbing at a split lip and shook his head. "Someone is framing us. Got to give them credit - it's a good idea."
Ezra placed his hand in the ice bucket. "Quite Machiavellian; however, this is no longer just an annoyance. This is affecting our well-being." Standish examined his bruised knuckles.
Josiah moved his jaw around in an attempt to work out the soreness. "Chris, I suggest a peace offering."
On Monday Sanchez came down the elevator with a hand on his forehead and another hand holding the duck.
"They hit you in the head with the duck?" Buck asked as he saw the profiler come through the office.
"Yes," Sanchez's reply came through tight lips.
"You okay?" JD asked, stepping back as Josiah stared at him.
"Yes," the large man replied.
"Did I not mention that perhaps their Duck had additional markings?" Ezra's self-promotion was ignored.
"You want to shoot it?" Vin suggested, offering one of his guns.
Josiah looked at his teammates and walked away.
Vin shrugged his shoulders and put the gun away. "Always helps me."
"You'll be back where you belong soon."
I am humiliated. No one should take a picture of my underbelly. I am a private duck.
In one week the tension over the Duck had grown. Team Seven was on their guard, suspicious of Team Eight. Unfortunately, they soon would be working on a case together, and the situation was far from being resolved. Travis was beginning to question both teams about the tension.
No one was offering him any answers, but replies of ·Fine,· were infuriating the Assistant Director. Orin did not fail to notice the undercover operatives of each team were still on speaking terms. He had tangled with both men before, and being specialists, good at their job, they easily deflected his threats and were able hide the real answers with subterfuge. It didn·t really matter. In the end, he was their boss. They would follow his orders. They would get along and like it.
JD held up his hand to get the attention of the others. He was finishing up on a hurried phone call. "Harry said Team Eight is on the move. They all just went into the elevator to the garage."
"We're following." Buck replied.
Vin went to get Chris and the others. "I couldn't find Nate."
They took the stairs. JD phoned Harry, the security guard who informed him of Team Eight's movement to the garage.
"What are they going to do? Tamper with our cars?" Dunne wondered aloud. Ezra picked up his pace down the steps. They arrived slightly out of breath and watched the spectacle.
Nathan was already in the garage darting between the cars in a dance of fits and starts. Finally, the object he was chasing ran by the two teams.
Cuervo had a red plastic object in his mouth.
Ryan was looking at the scene in puzzlement, and tried to sort out the situation by talking out loud to himself. "We got the note that said we'd find the Duck in Tanners's car."
"My car?" Vin exclaimed, offended at being blamed. "I didn't have anything to do with the stupid duck."
"Maybe the cat did it?" Douglas Stone pointed to Cuervo still giving chase to the medic.
"The cat did it?" Larabee repeated, finding it not quite right. "The cat can't write notes."
Jackson was finally able to catch the cat as it perched itself on JD's motorcycle. He jogged back to where the two teams were standing, dumbfounded. "Hey, I uh noticed Cuervo had something in his mouth. . ." Nathan started to explain then stared at his feet as he caught Chris glaring at him.
Nelson, Team Eight's undercover operative pulled out his wallet. He slapped a twenty-dollar bill in Ezra's awaiting hand. "Damn, Standish if you weren't right."
"Right about what?" Dunne asked trying to understand the circumstances.
"Only someone with the patience for careful plotting, unlike you and Agent Tanner who thrive on instant gratification of your amusements, would be able to execute a plan of this magnitude." Ezra explained. "Isn't that correct Agent Jackson?"