Skating and Beer

by Jaye B.

AUTHOR'S NOTE: I just had to write this. I know that I haven't written where all the boys were adults but I just couldn't resist. This story came about after a co-worker of mine told me his skating experience when he was younger (age 19). I laughed and then thought about putting the boys in this situation. He gave me permission to use it as long as he got an honorable mention. Here is your mention Craig. Most of what my friend told me about the bathroom scene is his with a few of my additions. The description of the rink and people plus I just had to have Ezra in the right place to get a little banged up are mine. Hope you enjoy! FB is welcomed.

He was going to kill Buck. That was all. He was going to kill Buck for getting him into this situation. Sure it was Vin's birthday and Vin wanted to go rolling skating but they were grown men for God's sake! Chris winced at the shrieking of the children running or rolling by and around him. Of course there were teenagers and adults around too. There was even an old married couple who leisurely skated around the indoor rink. He scowled as he saw Josiah with Nathan merrily gliding around. He watched as JD, Vin and Ezra were taking a turn on the circular wooden floor. He noticed that Buck was leaning over the rail not far from him chatting to some buxom women who were smiling at whatever bull crap Buck Wilmington spun. All this Chris Larabee, boss of Team Seven, watched as he clutched with white knuckles at the railing that ran around the rink while screeching music blared overhead. They even had a dang spinning silver ball hanging from the ceiling. The railing was there for people who were beginners or those like him who hadn't been skating in years. Maybe that was why Buck had hardly moved from his spot. But then Buck had rarely glided across the floor back when he, Sarah and his friend took Adam skating. A moment of sadness crossed Chris' face as he thought about his murdered wife and son. Vin at that moment sped by him with JD hot on his tail as they started an impromptu race bringing him back from the brink of depression. Ezra slowly rolled himself to a stop by his boss as Chris shot another glare at Buck. It was HIS entire fault they were in this place.

The Friday night had started out simple enough with all of the seven ATF agents leaving the office to meet at their usual watering hole, Inez's Cantina. They were going to drink, eat and play pool for the rest of the night. The pretty owner/barmaid brought them their first round of beers on the house in honor of Vin Tanner's birthday. Then Chris and five of his men raised their glasses and toasted the birthday boy before ordering their meal. This night no one was a designated driver. Nathan was going to stay at Josiah place while Chris with Vin were staying at Ezra's condominium. Of course Buck and JD had their own apartment. They would be taking taxis after they had a night of celebration. Inez had agreed to let their cars stay in the valet parking garage. This night was not only to celebrate Vin's birthday but the boys were coming off a long exhausting case. Team Sever had decided to blow off a little steam.

They proceeded to munch on chips, dip and peanuts as they waited for the food. They came to the bar without gifts because Vin hadn't wanted any, but then again when did this crew ever do what anyone wanted. Chris gave Ezra a nod. Ezra Standish, undercover agent extraordinary, walked over to the bar to speak to Inez. Inez nodded then tossed a grin at the table where Team Seven, nicked named the Magnificent Seven, sat. She disappeared into the back room then reappeared carrying a box that held several brightly wrapped packages. The rest of the bar hollered and hooted out snippets of song and congratulations to the blushing Texan who gave his own version of the Larabee glare to his team mates.

"I told ya no presents," Vin growled as the gifts were taken out of the box and laid before him.

"You knew that wasn't likely to happen," answered JD as he gleeful pushed one of the presents towards his friend. "This one's mine. Open it first."

Amidst the opening of presents, ribbing of the birthday boy another round of beer was brought to the table by Inez. "Team eight," she said with a smile. Team eight immediately started a rowdy rendition of a questionable birthday song. Buck joined in gleefully at the chorus. Even Nathan Jackson, team medic, started to chuckle at the blushing sharpshooter as he muttered, "Does everybody have to know?"

Josiah Sanchez clapped the younger man on the shoulder as he said, "Cheer up Brother, it could be worse."

Vin gave the profiler a disbelieving look as he asked, "How?"

Ezra smirked as he replied for Josiah, "JD wanted to hire a clown while Buck wanted a stripper." Vin got a terrified look on his face as he frantically looked around for the clown and stripper. Ezra continued, "But common sense prevailed in the matter. Beside Chris threatened them."

"Thanks Chris," said Vin gratefully. "Don't think I could have showed my face in here again."

Chris nodded his head in understanding. His men could take things a little too far. Now for Ezra's birthday, he just might encourage JD to get the clown.

The food arrived; more beer was drunk when JD suddenly asked a question. "Vin? If there was one thing you wanted to do on your birthday, I mean one fun thing, what would it be?"

"Now JD that an easy question. Everyone knows Vin loves that old mule head horse of his Peso," stated Buck as finished his glass then preceded to fill it from the pitcher on their end of the table.

Vin got this small smile on his face as he said, "Didn't always have a horse, Bucklin. Most foster homes were in the city and couldn't afford to feed one much less have one."

"So what did you do?" asked JD as he popped more chips and salsa in his mouth.

"When I was with my ma before she died, she uses to take me skating whenever we could afford it."

"Skating?!" squeaked Ezra as he almost choked on his beer. For one night, the elegant undercover agent had decided to forgo his usually bourbon in honor of his friend's birthday.

"Really? You skate like on ice?" inquired JD, as he looked at his co-worker in a new light.

"No JD. Roller skating. Still go with some of the kids from around the apartment sometimes," replied Vin as he fingered the knife Ezra had given him. It was a good knife, one that he had admired not long ago and probably cost a lot. He knew Ez had wrapped it discreetly hoping he wouldn't notice that it was expense but Vin knew. It was confirmed by Nathan's reaction of a sharp whistle to the weapon. They all must have had more then enough to be getting a little drunk after what happen in the next moment.

"Hey, you want to go skating Vin? It is your birthday and you should do something that fun," asked JD as he bounced up from his chair. "Come on guys, let's take Vin skating!"

Buck had put his two cents in when it looked like Chris was going to balk. "Come on Chris. It's been a long time and beside, I remember that there are some mighty fine looking women hanging out at those rinks."

It seemed like a good idea and they weren't falling down drunk yet. But they were just inebriated enough that their common sense went flying out the door as in an insane moment they all agreed. After arrangements were made for taxis, Inez wouldn't let any of them drive (that should have been the first clue), they all headed to Cox's Skate-a-Rama. In hind sight, they probably should have gotten one closer to the Denver Memorial.

Now here they all were in this...this oh hell Chris didn't know how to describe it. They had arrived in a jolly mood, rented the skates, found a table and ordered more beers. They would get up and skate a lap or two (in Chris' case just one) then come back to the table and drink more beer. Somehow Ezra had found a way to get a cake delivered and the remains where sitting in the middle of their table. The cake caught a lot of the kid's attention and Ezra did the honor of gleefully telling them it was Vin's birthday. Vin didn't seem to mind that the children knew.

"How are you faring, Mr. Larabee?" inquired Ezra as he gracefully stepped off the floor and sat on the bench behind his boss. Chris cautiously turned around and watched as his agent started to remove his skates. Ezra grinned at Chris as he unlaced his right skate when his boss only reply was a growl. Slick little bastard wasn't even drunk thought Chris as he watched his friend remove the wheeled shoe.

"That good," smirked his undercover agent as he removed his left skate.

"Shut up, Ezra," grounded out Chris. He was trying not to move too much or attract a lot of attention as he was just a little sloshed. Chris noticed Ezra stand up then sort of sit back down. He looked at his friend and chuckled. Well, well what da you know. Ezra had a little more to drink then Chris thought as he saw the slight dreamy look in his employee's eyes.

Ezra noticed that Chris was having a little amusement at his momentarily unstableness and said, "I just stood up a little too fast, Chris. Now I'm off to the restroom to get rid of some of this beer."

Damn it! Why did he have to say that? Now Chris had to go.

"Wait up Ezra. Think I'll go with ya." Chris thought about sitting down to take off his skates but decided he really had to go. It would take too long and he had had too much beer. Ezra helped his boss to the men's room by offering his arm.

While Ezra went to a urinal, Chris went into an empty stall and closed the door. He wasn't taken any chances with these skates on. He sat down with a sigh. After a few minutes, he tried to stand to pull his pants back up by using the stall door. Not really a good ideal with skates on. He heard Ezra flush the urinal outside then walk over to the sink area. Chris' feet started to shift back and forth causing him to clutch at the top of the stall door to steady himself. With the skates clacking as he tried to gain his footing, he heard Ezra asking if he was alright. Cursing loudly, pants and underwear down around his ankles, his feet were frantically moving when the stall door suddenly opened and swung him outside. It didn't get too far before the door hit something, Chris heard a grunt then the door started swinging him back. He grunted as his back was smashed against the middle panel. He caught a glimpse of some stranger quickly zipping up his pants as he stared with big eyes at the action going on before him. You thought that would have been the extent of his mishap but noooo. The stupid door swung back out carrying him with it. His feet got tangle up with something on the floor and he went sprawling as his arms finally gave out. He scraped his knees as he landed face first on something soft with a, "whoosh". He thought he heard another grunt, as his soft landing pad seemed to buck up a moment before settling back down. His head was spinning after the wild ride so he rested a moment.

Groans sounded right in his ear than a man's shoe came into view as he heard someone up above ask, "Are you guys all right?" That's when he noticed he was laying on a groaning Ezra who made a few struggling movements before laying still. Oh shit!

The stranger suddenly moved to the doorway, opened the door and shouted, "Hey, I think someone better call for an ambulance! People are hurt in here!"

Chris scrambled off his friend trying to distance himself while he pulled up his pants and took off his skates. People rushed into the men's room as Chris finally painfully stood up and limped over to his friend. By this time most of his agents were in the room flashing badges and gaining control. Nathan, the team medic, was checking Ezra out as Buck pulled the stranger aside to get his story. Vin walked over to Chris asking, "Are you all right?"

"Yeah, I'm more worried about Ez. How is he Nathan?"

"Out cold. How long before that ambulance gets here?" asked Nathan as he jumped up to grab a few paper towels. He quickly wet them then started patting Ezra's face. The undercover agent never moved. JD came through the door saying, "Ambulance will be here in two minutes."

Chris just stood there watching as his men did their job in crowd control. What a mess, he thought. He notice Buck sharply look at him with his mouth open as the stranger told what he had seen while moving hands and arms mimicking Chris swinging. The ATF leader hung his head as he thought about the humiliating story going around the office. Oh yeah, he was in for a lot of ribbing, the guys would never let him down. Yeah, killing Buck might just be his only way out. One thing was for sure, skating and beer didn't mix.

Buck wondered how much he could get for this wild tale from Reader's Digest.

The End