Characters: Buck, JD
Warning: Some bad language
Disclaimer: Just playing. I know I can't keep 'em...damnit!
Thanks to Mog for ATF
Thanks to Phyllis for all she does for me. And to Blackraptor for giving my stories a home.
"No, I'm not covering for you, Buck. Chris said Travis's party was compulsory; if we're all going, you are too!"
Buck placed his hands on his roommate's shoulders, dodging his head every which way until he made eye contact.
"Aww, come on, li'l bro...do it for me, please? I can't pass up this date...this woman is...amazing."
"Bring her to the party; Travis said we could bring dates if we want to."
"JD...kid...the kind of fun I expect to be having with Carrie-Ann...isn' t really suitable for the Travis' party...if you catch my drift."
JD pulled away, making a mock-movement to punch Buck's favorite body part, causing the brunet to arch away, relieved when the punch was pulled.
"Fine...you go ahead and make sure your 'friend' gets taken care of. We'll have fun whether you're there or not."
Buck watched JD storm off, wincing as the youth slammed his bedroom door. Sighing, Buck went up to his own room. He felt bad; he'd blown off plans with JD or the guys four times to get this date. Each time, the lady in question had to reschedule due to flight delays. This time, she was in Denver for two days. The team had been working last night; this was his last chance. A half hour later he was ready, the slam of the apartment door telling him one disgruntled twenty one year-old was leaving. Buck vowed he'd make it up to him...and then some.
"What do you mean, he's not coming?"
JD looked at Chris. He really didn't want to lie. JD hated lying; he was so bad at it. He needn't have worried, though; his face gave him away long before his words did.
"He just said he needed to do something and had to take a rain- check."
Chris took pity on JD. It was pointless chewing the kid out, he could hardly be held responsible for Buck's decision, besides, the youth was the most miserable elf he'd ever seen...likely due to his missing partner who was supposed to come as Santa Clause to JD's elf.
None of the team had wanted to come to the post-Christmas fancy dress party, they thought it pointless, but Evie Travis had been visiting her sister directly before the holiday and so postponed it until now. They allowed JD to choose the costumes, seeing as they had no real enthusiasm, a decision Ezra vowed retribution for when he realized what their youngest had in store for him.
"Okay, enough...let's go have fun." There was no real conviction in Chris's words, but it was better than dwelling on it.
As they came up for air, Buck kissed his lady's neck, his words whispered as he nuzzled her. "Hey darlin', what say we take this to a more...comfortable setting?" Buck loved his truck, but figured his days for making out in it were long gone, plus, being parked outside one of his favorite restaurants wasn't exactly a perfect location. Carrie- Ann writhed beneath him, stretching up to capture his lips.
"Mmmmf...sounds good. I just need to be home by six...my husband gets off shift at eight."
Buck straightened. "Your...your what...your husband? You're...married? "
She nodded. "Didn't I say?" She pulled him down "Aw to hell with comfortable...just do it!"
Again, Buck straightened, adjusting his clothes and ignoring her confused expression. He started the truck. "Where do you live?"
Carrie-Anne sat up. "What's going on?"
"I'm taking you home. Where do you live?"
"Why...what did I do...what *didn't* I do?"
Wilmington turned to her. "I don't date married women, I'm sorry, it's not you...I promised someone very special to me that I wouldn't do that any more."
"Like who?" she scoffed, "Your wife?"
"Buck smiled, fondly. "No...my kid brother. Now, where do you live?" He watched her get out of the truck, wincing at the slam to the door.
"Forget it, I'll get a cab. Oh...and for the record...you kiss like a girl!"
"Well, darlin' that suggests I really *am* with the wrong lady if you know about things like that!"
With a huff, his date stormed off, hailing a taxi in less than a minute.
With a heavy sigh, Buck drove home. Maybe it wasn't too late to make it up to the guys...and one very disgruntled Santa's little helper.
The smile on JD's face had his teammates convinced the kid was either drunk or ready for an institution. This party sucked...even Evie had come to realize a post-anything theme was doomed to fall flat.
"Whatever you're drinkin' kid...give!"
JD chuckled. "Not drunk, Vin...however, Buck just called and he said he's on his way over."
Five men grinned back at him. If the team were going to be miserable... it had to be better...together.
By the time Wilmington got out of the cab outside Orin's house, he was already well on his way to drunk. While he was getting into his costume, back at the apartment, he had chugged his way through half a bottle of fine whiskey, his mind going over the evening's events, one minute regretting his promise to JD...the next, realizing the boy was concerned for Buck's morals and that he was right. Buck's mood spiraled downward as he got changed. Dating used to be so much simpler. The bottle was almost finished before the cab had arrived at the Travis', the vehicle pulling away, leaving Buck swaying in the drive.
JD had been watching out for him, grinning as the cab pulled up. He went out to greet him.
"Buck...you made it!"
The big guy pulled JD into him, the latter choking as he inhaled half a fluffy white beard. Instantly smelling the alcohol, JD pushed back.
"You been drinking, Buck?
"Oooohhh...just an itty bitty...BOTTLE! " Buck howled laughing, staggering as the younger man tried keeping him upright. "Are you hot?" he started pulling off his beard, then his coat, "I'm hot..."
JD attempted to pull the clothes back on, alarmed as Buck started tugging on his pants.
"Buck...no...stop...aww shit...let me go get Chris."
"Chris is here?" As he spoke, he spun around, his elbow slamming hard into JD's face, dropping the youth like a stone. Buck was oblivious as he continued disrobing, toeing off his boots and finally removing his boxers.
"Thassss better. JD?" He looked around, totally missing the crumpled heap on the ground. "JD? You gone on in without me, boy...WAIT UP, KID!" He picked up the gift he'd dropped on the floor and headed in.
JD groaned. What the hell had happened? One minute he was on his feet, the next, it felt as if his head had exploded as everything went dark...except for the stars...lots and lots of stars. He looked at the beard next to him on the ground, first frowning, then panicking... Buck! JD tried getting off his knees, but couldn't. Looking toward the door of the house, he just saw a bare butt disappearing through it. "Oh shit!"
As he entered, carrying his gift, he looked around. Josiah looked formidable dressed as an angel. And was that Nathan dressed as a snow- covered Christmas tree? He was shocked to hear Vin and Ezra's voices coming from inside a reindeer...they didn't sound too happy. He wondered who'd lost out to be the butt.
He staggered. Seeing Chris dressed in a red suit with matching tie surprised him. Red...Chris? Where was JD? Glancing around for his roommate, Buck suddenly panicked, he looking down at himself...he was... NAKED!
"Oh no...oh dear God...Noooo!"
Chris and the team were around Buck in seconds, vaguely aware of Evie's amused 'Mister Wilmington!' and one other 'who's he supposed to be?'
"What the hell are you doing?" Even as Chris spoke, he could smell the whiskey. They spoke together.
"He...he came in he...here," Buck hiccupped. Chris knew JD had gone out to meet him. A look to the now de-reindeered Vin sent the Texan outside. Chris gratefully accepted a coat from Josiah while Ezra helped Buck into the reindeer's back legs, grimacing at the proximity of a certain appendage.
"Buck, I must insist you remain as motionless as possible while I assist you."
Travis caught Chris's eye once...once was enough.
As soon as Vin walked outside, it was obvious JD was in trouble. His long legs took him to JD in seconds, dropping down on one knee to support him. "Easy...easy, kid."
JD groaned and Vin took a good look at him, grasping his chin and tilting his face. The Texan's expression was like thunder.
"Did Bucklin do this?"
JD nodded, then grabbed Vin's shirt as he felt the man try to stand quickly. "It was an accident...he didn't know. Hell, he's so drunk he went on in without me." Clinging to Vin, JD stood, a little shaky at first, but soon able to straighten. He touched his eye gingerly, looking at Vin with his good one.
"Is it bad?"
"I reckon you should get it looked at."
JD exhaled, noisily. "Maybe later; let's get Buck out of there and home first."
They both looked up at the noise coming from the doorway.
"Where we goin'? I only jusssst got here, Chris...wh...where' s JD?"
Wrapping Buck's arm around his neck and holding the wrist firmly while his other arm held onto Buck's waist, Chris started dragging the ladies' man out of the house. Ezra shuffled awkwardly as he tried to keep hold of the coat at the front and Josiah opened the door while Nathan collected up their coats. Buck dug his heels in.
"What are you doin'? Let go of...me...JD! Where did he go...I saw him...JD!"
"Knock it off, Buck, we'll find him in a minute." Chris hated to make a false promise, but he needed to get Buck out as quickly as possible. He moved his head, narrowly missing a head-butt from Buck as they stepped outside.
JD slipped in between Ezra and Buck, sliding the man's other arm over his shoulders. Buck looked down at his roommate, blinking hard, then smiling.
"Whe...where'd ya go, boy? I been loo...lookin' for you." He turned to Larabee. "See...here he is...told ya he wassss here."
Chris nodded. "Yeah, you did. Come on." He was looking at JD's face, turning to Tanner, who somehow conveyed the message of 'later' with a single glance.
A soft moan alerted the two in the room that the man in the bed was waking. JD put down his ice pack. Despite Nathan's protests, JD had refused to get his eye checked until he knew Buck was awake and he could see the big guy was okay
"Buck...BUCK! It's okay, bro...just don't move around too much and you'll be fine."
Wilmington stopped moving and listened. He knew that voice. "JD?" God, his voice sounded weak...and he felt...awful!
"Yeah, it's me. Chris is here, too. Don't move around too much. Here... drink this."
Buck felt a straw touch his lips, sucking on it to ease his parched throat. Finally he opened one eye, letting out a groan when he saw Larabee staring back at him.
"Tied one on good, didn't I?"
The blond nodded. "That you did, my friend. It took four of us to get you home."
Buck swallowed, "Sorry." He turned to be able to see JD, shocked at the youth's swollen, black eye. "What happened?"
JD offered a lop-sided grin. "Err, your elbow, I'm afraid." He noted Buck's horrified expression. "Hey...it's okay...it was an accident."
Again, Buck gulped. "I'm so sorry, kid." He sighed, shifting slightly in the bed. He went quiet for a short while, appearing to try to remember something. "I just had this weird dream...I dreamed I went to Travis's party...naked."
Chris and JD looked at each other, Chris nodded and JD lifted the sheets to show Buck his naked form.
"Buck...bro...it was no dream."
There was an inevitable howl from the bed. Vin came in.
"You ready, kid?"
JD nodded, standing and squeezing Buck's bare arm. "Sure. I'll see you later, Buck."
Wilmington watched him go, turning to Chris. "Where's he going?"
"Just getting his eye checked..." he held up a hand, "...it's just a precaution, Buck." He watched the man cover his face with an arm.
"Oh God...what a mess."
"Care to tell me about it?" Chris helped Buck sit up as Ezra brought him in a coffee, gave a small salute and left.
"I didn't mean for it to happen."
Chris nodded. "That's usually the way."
"My conscience got to me."
"And did it sound like your ma?"
Buck grinned raising his hand to a vague height. "Nah...more like someone about yay high with black hair and eyes that make you feel you'll destroy his world if you say no."
Chris laughed. "Okay...go on."
"Do you think Buck's okay?"
Tanner had wondered when JD would speak. He'd barely said a word the whole trip.
"Yeah, I reckon so."
"How can we know? What do you think set him off?"
"Guess that's somethin' you're gonna have to ask him yourself. If he wants you to know, he'll say so, but you may never know if you don't ask."
JD nodded. "Yeah."
Having slept most of the day, despite it being 1am, Buck was wide awake. He eased open JD's door and peeked in, smiling at the young agent snoring soundly while the tinny sound of his iPod drifted from the earpieces still in his ears. He sighed at the bruising. How could he have been so drunk not to know he had hit him? Before he realized, he was sitting on the edge of JD's bed.
The bed moving slightly woke him. JD sleepily snapped on his lamp, pulling the earpieces out as he did so. "Buck...something wrong?"
"Sorry kid, didn't mean to wake you. How's the eye?"
JD pulled himself up. "It's okay, honest. No permanent damage, just have to do desk duty for a few days as a precaution. How are you?"
Buck laughed softly. "Embarrassed. Travis called while you were out."
"Was he mad?"
"Strangely enough...no, just concerned. I apologized, of course, but he said it was the most fun they'd had all night, said to forget it, they already had."
JD laughed softly, his smile slowly fading as he asked, "What happened? Why..."
Taking JD's wrist, the brunet smiled. "When you moved in here...we kinda got off to a rocky start, but, I quickly realized...even though I could never completely change...I was ready to change some...for you..." he stopped the impending protest with a raised hand., "...and for me, too. Carrie-Anne...she was married. Almost went the distance, too...but she told me...just in time."
JD sat up straighter. "What did you do?"
"I offered to take her home. She declined...politely... " They both chuckled, "...and I decided to join you guys, but then I got all maudlin', started takin' a shot or two while I got changed and...well, you know the rest."
JD beamed. "I'm proud of you. I know you've never deliberately gone after a married woman, but...you obviously liked this one. Good thing she told you."
Buck nodded. "Yeah."
"I sense a huge 'but' there, Buck."
The brunet grinned. This kid really did know him. "Aaah, it just got me to thinking...I guess the older I get, the less single ladies are out there, right?"
JD moved closer. "Hell no...stats show there are millions of women out there looking for someone like you. Divorcees, widows, career women. You got years of womanizing ahead of you, bro...*years*."
Buck bellowed out a laugh. "C'mere." He pulled the younger man toward him. JD patted his back.
They separated. "Better now," Buck confirmed. "Seeing as I didn't get a steak for your eye...how about we invite the guys over for steaks and poker..." he looked at his watch, "...tonight?"
JD nodded. "Cool. 'Night Buck."
Wilmington grinned as he got up and moved to the door. "Sleep tight, kid."
Buck went back to bed, feeling as if a huge weight had been lifted. As he climbed into bed, he smiled. There was that new secretary that started last week, seemed kind of sweet...definitely single...maybe...
He drifted off to sleep...yeah...tomorrow; he'd ask her out...tomorrow.