Gen humor with #$%&! language. It’s Chris what, do you really think he doesn’t cuss like an exSEAL or cop?
Characters: Chris, the rest of the 7 except Ezra's late to work as usual and missed it.
Disclaimers: ATF AU is Mog’s, bless her creative and ingenious heart.
Plot bunny: From one of those funny notes that gets circulated, and it just struck me as something for Chris.
Now you might have to read this like a puzzle, checking back to refer to the numerical points, but hey #8.
Thanks: Laramee, who betaed this and contributed a much better ending.
It was another one of those Monday mornings, despite a sunny and unseasonably cool late summer day in Denver.
For Chris Larabee, it started with a busted stall latch in the barn (not that hardheaded jackass Peso, for once), dead crow frozen in the water trough (not one of Josiah’s friggin' omens, he hoped), and running out of coffee in his kitchen. (How the fuck can Tanner use a whole threepound can of coffee in one weekend?) That was followed by having to change into his last clean Oxford shirt when some cherry preserves decided to pay homage to Newtonianfuckin’ Law and decorated the front of his shirt by diving off his single piece of sourdough toast. (The last slice, thanks again to Tanner and his addiction PBJ’s. Idly he wondered how much time he would save in grocery shopping if he just shot Tanner to save him from the misery of what had to be an unending goddam' tapeworm.)
Even with the delays, Chris might have made it in before eight, but a traffic jam a compact car lost out when its asshole driver decided to lanechallenge a tankertruck put him behind schedule enough that he didn’t bother to stop for coffee. He could only pray that Vin Tanner, sharpshooter extraordinaire and maker of the most guteating coffee in this hemisphere, had not gotten in first and started his own pot of darkroastroofingtar. He pulled his Dodge Ram pickup (now making that mysterious damn ticking sound from the left front wheel again) into his space and parked.
Helluva start to the week.
Time hack: quarter past eight. Shit. He was the last one in. Except Ezra, of course. (A law of the universe that he had learned to expect in the first three months after Standish joined the Team).
Vin’s battered light blue Jeep Scrambler sat beside Buck’s classic ’56 Chevy pickup “Lady”, and in turn was parked beside Nathan’s – no, today it was his wife Rain’s—Saturn Wagon; and at the far end, Josiah’s rebuiltyetagain vintage Suburban. (Did they make a “Resurrection” model?) No sign of JD’s Crotch Rocket, but with threatening weather, the kid had probably ridden in with Buck.
Gathering his briefcase (oh, fuck, did he put the Masterson Case file in before he left?) Chris headed for the elevator after locking the truck. (The goddam’ remote’s little prissy ‘tweet’ was still annoying even after a year.)
One of the uniformed guards, an older, plump man appeared from around the corner by the elevator. “Ray,” Chris said with a nod.
“’Mornin’, Agent Larabee,” Ray replied, his smile forced to the point of making him look constipated. Instead of waiting for the elevator, he walked away hurriedly toward the stairway door.
Chris shook his head, wondering what rumors were circulating now about him/the team/ their pasts/his past/their latest “killer” case/ who he had shot lately and buried on his ranch. Ray was sort of like a barometer – the weirder he acted when he saw Chris, the stupider the rumors.
The elevator was still 2 floors up when his cell phone vibrated on his belt. It was Buck.
“Hey, hoss. Where are you?”
“Something the boys wanted me to tell you about so you know— it probably ain't aimed at you or us in particular, but –“
The elevator bell dinged as the doors opened.
Chris held the door with his briefcase, knowing he would lose Buck’s signal in the elevator. “I’ll be up in a minute.”
“You’re IN the elevator?” Buck said it like he’d just stepped in some horseshit. Someone in the background (JD?) did say, “oh, shit.”
“I’ll be up in a minute, and this fuckin’ better make some sense,” Chris snapped and cut his phone off. He stepped through and turned as the door closed.
Some genius had decided a couple months back to make better use of elevator time, and in true government style, a memo board had appeared on the wall on the right side of the doors, beside the control buttons. A surveillance camera kept an eye on the occupants of the elevator from the garage for security reasons but also on anyone radically opinionated enough to deface or remove important notices and memos. Mostly there were Daycare schedules, Bake Sale notices, and cartoons pinned up. He'd already read the "Pearls Before Swine" clipping that was posted, so he almost didn't bother checking anything else on the board. However, there was something new:
Printed on official Human Resources Stationery was a Memo of the Day.
Chris narrowed his eyes as he read, digested the contents, then read it again. Slowly he turned toward the surveillance camera.
Somewhere in the Security Offices, the on duty officer rolled his chair back from his surveillance screen as if to duck as SAC Chris Larabee of Team Seven looked up from the Memo Board and... smiled.
The elevator doors opened into the lobby where the morning security line was slowly trickling through the gates, so Chris turned back and read it again. For some reason, no one spoke to him as he cleared building security inspection (something good for a change!) and continued to the interior bank of elevators.
Another Memo of The Day hung in that elevator, too.
By the time he reached the 7th floor, he had read it a third time all the way through, this time aloud. Oddly enough one of the agents from Team Six got on at the 4th Floor and immediately got off at the 5th floor. (Maybe it was while he was reading point #12 aloud.)
As the doors opened on the 7th, Chris was still smiling, but now it was at the sight of Buck leaning in the door. In his hand was a printout of The Memo of the Day.
“You read it?” Buck asked with a snicker.
Chris shook his head. “Number 5, 6, 7.”
“Number 12,” Chris added and walked through the bullpen to his office, ignoring Vin and JD who were exaggeratedly practicing the new use of language, accompanied by appropriate silent gestures.
Josiah and Nathan broke out in booming laughs.
Vin grinned. “Reckon it’s a Number 18 morning?” The rest of them referred to their copies:
TO All PERSONNEL: Please Read and Comply
SUBJECT: Language in the Workplace
Manditory reading for all departments, all floors.
It has been brought to the attention of Human Resources that some individuals have been using foul language during the course of normal conversation with their coworkers and fellow agents. Due to complaints received from some employees who may be easily offended, this type of language will no longer be tolerated. This memo is not meant to target anyone person or group in particular and is considered relevant to all.
We do, however, realize the critical importance of being able to accurately express your feelings when communicating with coworkers.
Therefore, a list of 18 New and Innovative 'TRY SAYING' phrases have been provided so that proper exchange of ideas and information can continue in an effective manner.
Number 1: TRY SAYING: I think you could use more training. INSTEAD OF: You don't know what the f___ you're doing.
Number 2: TRY SAYING: She's an aggressive gogetter. INSTEAD OF: She's a f___ing bit__.
Number 3: TRY SAYING: Perhaps I can work late. INSTEAD OF: And when the f___ do you expect me to do this?
Number 4: TRY SAYING: I'm certain that isn't feasible. INSTEAD OF: No f___ing way.
Number 5: TRY SAYING: Really? INSTEAD OF: You've got to be sh___ing me!
Number 6: TRY SAYING: Perhaps you should check with... INSTEAD OF: Tell someone who gives a sh__.
Number 7: TRY SAYING: I wasn' t involved in the project. INSTEAD OF: It's not my f___ing problem.
Number 8: TRY SAYING: That's interesting. INSTEAD OF: What the f___?
Number 9: TRY SAYING: I'm not sure this can be implemented. INSTEAD OF: This sh__ won't work.
Number 10: TRY SAYING: I'll try to schedule that. INSTEAD OF: Why the f___ didn't you tell me sooner?
Number 11: TRY SAYING: He's not familiar with the issues.... INSTEAD OF: He's got his head up his a__.
Number 12: TRY SAYING: Excuse me, sir? INSTEAD OF: Eat sh__ and die.
Number 13: TRY SAYING: So you weren't happy with it? INSTEAD OF: Kiss my a__.
Number 14: TRY SAYING: I'm a bit overloaded at the moment. INSTEAD OF: F__ it, I'm on salary.
Number 15: TRY SAYING: I don't think you understand. INSTEAD OF: Shove it up your a__.
Number 16: TRY SAYING: I love a challenge. INSTEAD OF: This f___ing job sucks.
Number 17: TRY SAYING: You want me to take care of that? INSTEAD OF: Who the f___ died and made you boss?
Number 18: TRY SAYING: He's somewhat insensitive. INSTEAD OF: He's a pr_ck.
Chris paused in his office doorway, and with barely restrained ire, ground out, “FIFTEEN!” and slammed his door. Yup, another one of those Monday mornings.