A Different Kind of Lady

by Nomooretears

Summary: Written for the Vin Feedback and Discussion Group - Celebration Week Theme “Phobia”. The team finds a lady that Buck can’t handle.

“Who wants a beer?” JD called from the kitchen. Receiving a bunch of “me’s” and one “I”, he grabbed an armful and headed back to the table. The team had gathered at Buck and JD’s for a poker game, and were currently sitting around the table, setting out chips and pretzels, and Nathan’s veggie platter, while Ezra shuffled the cards with blinding speed.

Managing to set his load down without dropping a bottle, he looked around and asked, “Where’s Buck?”

“In the john,” answered Vin.

“He mentioned something about being prepared to sit at the table until he beats Ezra. He’s still convinced that he almost won last time,” Nathan added. They all chuckled. Buck had nearly lost his truck to the southerner, but refused to believe that he couldn’t win. Fortunately, Chris had stopped the game before Buck and JD had ended up paying their rent to Ezra.

“Mr. Wilmington may attempt to attain victory, but he will not be successful,” Ezra drawled with a smile.

“Someday, someone will beat you, Ez, and I hope I’m there to see it,” said Vin.

“Never, Mr. Tanner.” Ezra smiled, knowing the Texan was teasing him.

They all jumped when a sudden, loud bellow came from the direction of the bathroom. Automatically reaching for weapons as they ran to Buck’s aid, five of the six didn’t notice the sixth shaking his head with a grin. He had recognized that bellow.

Reaching the bathroom door, Chris and Vin each took a side, while Josiah stood in front of it, preparing to kick it open.

“Wait!” JD hurried to the front, trying to save the door from damage. Before he could offer any explanation, Buck started yelling again.

“JD! Get it, get it, get it…” He started repeating this mantra, still not opening the door.

JD sighed and opened the door, disappearing from view for a moment. The others listened from the hallway, slowly coming off the adrenaline rush caused by Buck’s scream, and holstering their weapons.

“Where is it, Buck?”

“Back of the door! Get it, JD, it won’t let me out!”

The others looked at each other, wondering what on earth was going on. Buck sounded terrified, which was not something they were familiar with. Even when facing down armed bad guys, Buck never showed any fear. They all backed up as JD reappeared, his fist curled around something.

“Is Buck alright?” asked Nathan.

“He’s fine. Might not come out for awhile, he’s gonna be a little embarrassed,” JD grinned at them.

“What are you holding, JD?” asked Vin.

JD opened his fist, revealing a little red ladybug. “Buck hates these things. Won’t go near them. We’ve had a bit of an infestation in the building the last week or so. You should have been here when he found one on his face at three in the morning. I thought for sure the cops were gonna be knocking on the door, he screamed so loud. I have to come rescue him every time he finds one.”

“Coccinellidaephobia,” said Ezra.

“What?” five voices asked in unison.

Ezra looked at them and sighed. “Fear of ladybugs,” he explained.

“Why on earth would you need to know that?” asked Chris. “Never mind,” he quickly added as Ezra opened his mouth to reply, probably with a detailed description of why knowing what the fear of ladybugs was called was important to an undercover agent posing as an arms dealer.

“Did you know about his phobia, Chris?” Josiah asked Buck’s oldest friend.

“Nope, this is new to me. I can see why he would hide it, though. He’s not going to live this down for awhile,” Chris answered with a smirk.

JD headed toward the balcony, releasing the ladybug outside as the others reconvened at the table. “It’s gone, Buck,” he called toward the bathroom.

There was no answer, but a couple of minutes later, a red-faced Buck walked slowly to his seat. Trying to stop the teasing he knew was coming, he spoke up first. “Can’t help it, just always been that way. Can’t stand the things.”

“Bucklin, what would the ladies think if they knew that the office ladies man was afraid of ladybugs?” grinned Vin.

“They don’t need to know, Tanner,” growled Buck.

“Maybe I should take you on a few nature walks, just to get you used to itty bitty bugs. I can show you some that are actually dangerous.” Vin was going to take advantage of this new information. After Buck’s last joke about his Jeep, which was not funny, he needed some payback.

“I’m not afraid of bugs, Vin, there’s just something about those things that are just…creepy!”

The others just watched, heads swiveling back and forth like they were watching a tennis match. They all had an idea of who would win this game. This was much more entertaining than poker.

“Something like this is hard to keep secret, Buck. What would happen if you came across a little red ladybug at the office? Would be kind of hard to keep your reputation if the entire building hears you scream for JD.”

Buck just glared at him.

JD paled at the thought. “Don’t drag me into this, Buck, or you’re on your own for the next one!”

Buck dropped his head into his hands with a sigh as laughter broke out again. They were never going to let him live this down.

The End