Chris and Vin

by Anneack

Notes: Snipers rarely have to shoot more than a handful of people in a year. It is considered one of the most high stress jobs in law enforcement.

Vin could hear the other man come up behind him. It was a familiar and unmistakable sound, so he didn't bother moving, really, just shifted to one side a little to give the other man room.

"Hey, Cowboy," Vin greeted him as Chris settled next to him.

"Hey, yourself. You okay?" Chris asked, looking at him.

"Will be, just needed some time," Vin sighed as he watched a stone he had tossed roll and tumble its way down the mountain.

"Head hunters are looking for you."

Vin nodded, "Reckoned they would be. I'll do my mandatory sessions."

Chris bit his lip as he took in his friend. Vin well and truly hated the psych sessions required after any killing, but he understood why they were there and went without a fuss. While Chris had no doubt that Vin would pass this time, just as he always had in the past, for the first time he was wondering if Vin would pass with flying colors.

"I'll pass, not worried about that. Just needed to get away for awhile," Vin assured him.

"Understand that, just warn me more than two hours in advance and don't shoot me an e-mail," Chris told him sternly.

Vin looked over and saw the fear and anxiety coming off his friend in waves.

"I hadn't planned on this trip. I was heading home after filling out all the paperwork on the bust and suddenly just had to get out of there. Breathe some air again, see the wide open spaces, hear something other than the city," Vin tried to explain the almost panicked need to get out.

Chris nodded. "Talked to Travis, you've got the next week off. Job starts getting to you again, you talk to me."

Vin smiled at his boss. That had not been a request, but an order. "Just been a bad year. Hell, I usually don't have to shoot more than three or four people in a year, done that many already this year and it's only August."

Chris took a deep breath. "You thinking of leaving? Know I sure wouldn't want your job."

Vin saw only understanding and compassion in Chris's face. The Texan had had plenty of bosses who figured as long as he could pull a trigger he was fine. Chris actually worried about him. Cared about how he was affected by a job that included getting another human being in the crosshairs of his scope and shooting them. The blond would not think any of the less of him if Vin said yes.

"Nope, not wanting to leave, but I'll take you up on that week off," Vin told him.

"Good, Buck's already got camp set up and JD's threatening the fish in the river."

Vin laughed as he and Chris got up. Not only had his brother come after him, but the rest of the family had come along to take care of their hurting friend. The quiet and peace of the last two days had done their work, and now it was time for the love and companionship of his family. With these heart-brothers he would never have to worry again about losing himself in the dark side of his job.