Disclaimer: Just playing. I know I can't keep 'em...damnit!
Thanks to Mog for ATF
Characters: JD, Buck, Vin
Ratings/Warnings: Some bad language
Summary: Federal Agents on surveillance and quietly going stir-crazy.
Inside an ATF pool car, JD Dunne stared at the flashlight in his hand as he turned it on and off, its beam intermittently lighting up his features while he did so. Glancing sideways, he sighed to see his partner's eyes closing while the man's head drooped to rest against the car's side window. A wicked grin graced JD's face and he flicked on the radio full blast, and then turned it off the instant Buck jerked awake with a snort.
"Uh, sorry Buck…did I wake you?"
The brunet sat upright, and stretched. "No…no…just resting my eyes is all, I wasn't sleeping."
JD smirked. "Yeah, r-i-g-h-t."
Buck rubbed his eyes and stared out of the windscreen. "Anything happening?"
JD shook his head as too he peered out into the night. "Nah…all quiet. I reckon Preston's gonna stay in that bar for a while yet."
"Unless he slipped out the back."
JD shrugged, "Anything's possible, but Chris told us to keep our distance…so we are."
Buck yawned. "Any coffee left?"
"Uh, yeah…a little." The easterner stretched down to the floor of the car. After feeling around the empty McDonalds packaging, he picked up a flask and handed it to Wilmington. "I'm getting kinda hungry now, though."
"Yeah, I could go for some pizza right about now."
JD touched his growling stomach, "Aw, man…now you got me fantasizing about pizza."
The ladies' man chuckled, "Well, let me know when you start to see pizza slices walking or dancing along the dashboard…then I'll know we're in trouble."
Neither man batted an eyelid when the back door of the car opened.
"Now that's what I call good timing, Junior!" Buck grinned.
Tanner climbed inside, sat down on the back seat, and then handed over a square, flat box. "I brought pizza and coffee."
JD's happy gaze looked up to Heaven, "Wow…I guess someone up there really is listening!"
Silence ensued while the three men enjoyed their food. Buck looked in the rear-view mirror when he heard Vin rustling through a paper bag.
"Jeeze, Vin, you done already? What did you do? Inhale your food?"
JD chuckled and turned to see what Vin was searching for. "Whatcha got?"
Buck stared. "What, you too? For the love of…you're both gonna get an ulcer."
JD turned around to face front, delighted with the jelly donut Vin had passed him. "You keep raggin' on us, Buck, and it'll be you that gets the ulcer, and hurry up, or Vin'll eat your donut."
Keen not to miss out, Buck waggled the fingers of his outstretched hand at Vin and the Texan placed the sweet treat in his palm.
"Watch it," Vin warned, "The jelly's real…"
"…squishy," he finished.
Buck grabbed a napkin and attempted to remove the red jelly from his jacket. JD shook his head and grinned, ducking when Buck attempted to swat his partner's head.
"Did you bring us anything else, Vin?" the youth asked.
"Nope, but I still got a box…well...half a box, of caramel Ho Hos."
"Ooh…give." JD smiled at Tanner as he handed over two cakes.
"How come you guys don't have zits?" Buck grumbled while he watched his roommate stuff a cake into his mouth.
JD signaled with his hand to indicate his mouth was full and so he couldn't reply.
"Genetics." Vin mumbled around a mouthful of Ho Ho. JD nodded enthusiastically, and gestured to Buck for the flask of coffee.
"Struggling to swallow?" Buck teased as he just caught the glisten of the boy's watering eyes in the headlights of a passing car.
Taking the drink, JD shakily poured some coffee from the flask and sipped several times. He stopped to take a breath, closely followed by a few sputtering coughs. Vin patted his back.
"Shit!" JD choked out.
"What did you expect, stuffing food in like that?" Buck admonished.
"You okay, Kid?" Vin checked, while stuffing in another cake.
"Oh, man." He coughed again. "Yeah, I am now, thanks," JD said, hoarsely.
Buck shook his head and continued dabbing at the jelly on his jacket. 'Kids.'
Time continued to appear to pass slowly, and in an attempt to alleviate the boredom, the three talked about most everything they could bring to mind.
"I spy with my…" JD began.
"You have got to be kiddin' JD," Vin complained.
"Just trying to keep us alert…jeeze, BUCK!"
Buck jerked awake on hearing his name, "What? I'm awake, I'm awake…see?" JD and Vin laughed as Buck pulled open his eyelids with his fingers and thumbs and made his pupils spin wildly.
"Yeah, you are now," Dunne countered.
"Show some respect for your elders," Buck complained.
JD made a little noise.
"And you can just roll those eyes back into the forward position, Squirt; when I was your age, I respected my senior officers."
"I do!" JD defended.
"I never see any," Buck mumbled.
JD and Vin looked at each other…and then laughed. "Since when did you become a senior officer, Bucklin?" Vin asked.
"I'm older than you two…therefore, more senior."
"Nu uh," JD argued, "That's not how seniority works, and you know it."
"I have experience."
"So does everyone else on the team," the easterner reminded.
"Well, most of us," Buck said a little too sharply. JD sank in his seat a little.
"And it's saved your sorry ass a few times…my experience."
JD's answer was soft. "I know." He grabbed an empty soda bottle and opened the car door. "Need to pee." JD checked the coast was clear and then disappeared into an alley.
Vin punched Buck's shoulder.
The brunet rubbed at the ache. "Hey, what was that for?"
"What's up with you, Buck? We were sittin' here jawin', happy…why d'ya have to go and put him down like that?"
There was a pause before Buck sighed. "Shoot, I didn't mean to, it just came out. He gets all sassy and I guess with being tired I just…aww hell."
"And if we're talkin' 'bout savin' asses, here…"
"I know…I KNOW! Damnit, Vin...you know how I feel about him...how proud I am." Buck faltered. "How scared I get."
Tanner nodded. "Sure, and so does he, that's why he puts up with the shit you throw sometimes. He has to be a little cocky, Buck, shrinkin' violets think too much, and you know what thinkin' more than doin' gets you in our business." Buck didn't reply so Vin supplied the answer they both already knew.
Buck turned to face the Texan, but the conversation stopped when the door opened and JD jumped back inside. There was a short, awkward silence.
JD didn't look up from his inspection of the hands clasped in his lap.
"JD…about earlier. I'm sorry. That was a cheap shot. I uh, hell I'm just gettin' cranky."
There was a soft reply. "We're all tired, Buck."
Buck sighed. "I know, I know. Kid? Kid, please, look at me."
Dunne raised his head a little and glanced sideways.
"I'm sorry." He raised his clenched hand. JD stared at it for a moment, grinned and then fist-bumped his best friend. In the back seat, Vin smiled and relaxed. Crisis averted.
A little later, and still with no sign of their target, JD felt a tap on his shoulder. However, he'd also noticed what Vin was seeing and was nudging a dozing Buck while starting the car.
"Yeah, Bucklin," Vin confirmed, "Our guy's on the move."
"Did you see who picked him up, Vin?" JD asked as he did a cautious U-turn in order to follow the Toyota that Preston had climbed into.
Vin leaned over and tapped information into the onboard computer. He smied at the information supplied. "Car's registered to Creighton, looks like we got our connection between the two." There had been suspicions the two drug barons were dealing with each other, but so far, no hard evidence.
Wilmington finished buckling up. "Chris'll be pleased, I think he was beginning to believe this assignment was gonna go belly-up."
"Still might," JD pointed out. "All we got is a pick-up, we haven't actually seen Creighton yet."
Twenty minutes of tailing the vehicle found the three agents parked outside a Chinese restaurant. Preston was inside and meeting with Creighton, and Vin snapped off a few shots with a digital camera. He lowered it.
"Could go for some Chinese food right about now," Vin mumbled.
JD nodded, "Yeah…damn, why do stakeouts always make me hungry?"
"You and Vin are always hungry," Buck stated. "Though, I have to admit, Chinese food does sound good right about now."
A breeze alerted the pair that Vin had left the vehicle. Buck and JD watched the Texan slip across to the restaurant.
"Shit…what if Preston or Creighton see him?"
Buck shrugged, "It's not like they know him."
Buck relaxed, his stomach growling in anticipation. Fifteen minutes later, while Preston and Creighton continued with their business dinner, the three in the car were switching between watching, taking photos, and tucking in to soft fried noodles, duck in plum sauce, and special fried rice.
Within two hours, they were once again on the move. JD hastily handed his soda to Buck and started the engine to follow their mark to his next stop, which turned out to be a bar. The two drug barons drank and talked together, but didn't stay long. The next destination was Preston's home. In the gray, morning light, Vin snapped off a few more shots when Preston got out of the car. The man leaned back in for a few minutes and took something from Creighton as he reached out from the car.
"He took something, Vin?" Buck asked.
"Yup, a package, I think, but I got it, so we can check later."
JD grinned, "Turned out to be a good night after all."
In the parking lot outside Buck and JD's apartment block, Chris shook his head as he stared into the pool car's interior. He observed the cartons and debris littering the seats and floor as it sat parked. Inside the building, Chris called for the elevator and checked his watch. He felt a little guilty that he had to disturb his three men, but figured it better to talk to them now, before they fell into a deep sleep.
The blond leaned his butt against a handrail as he traveled to the top floor. Stepping out into the corridor, he approached the familiar apartment door and rang the bell. Having been ignored the first two times, Larabee leaned on the buzzer and stayed there until he eventually heard the door being unlocked. He nodded to the sleepy and disheveled twenty year-old who was peeking out through the crack in the door.
"Chris," he grunted. He opened the door wider and turned to go back to the living room. He ruffled his unruly hair, yawned, and rubbed his eyes. "What time is it?"
Chris followed the boy. "It's nine-thirty in the morning. What time did you get to bed?"
"…'bout seven. Coffee?"
Chris grinned to see the Texan sleeping on the couch. "Take a load off, Kid, I'll go make it."
JD collapsed onto the recliner and curled up. He awoke with a start when the smell of coffee wafted under his nose. He grinned sleepily when he spotted a weary Texan and a 'bed-head' Wilmington sitting side by side on the sofa, and both inhaling their brews in an attempt to come around. JD took the mug from Chris, and nodded his thanks.
Chris took a seat in the armchair and they all sat in silence for a few moments, drinking their coffees.
"So," Larabee began, "You had a good night."
Buck yawned. "Yeah, pretty good, made the connection; Vin took a few shots…should have something there."
"Good, give me the camera and I'll run it by the lab." Chris leaned across and just saved JD's coffee mug from spilling over as the young agent started dozing.
"No need, I uploaded it," JD mumbled. "Should be in your email."
"Thanks, JD." Chris leaned over and poked Vin's arm. "You need a lift home?"
Tanner shook his head. "Nah, I'm good thanks, Chris. JD and me, plan to hit the gym, later...maybe Bucklin, too, if we can get his butt movin'."
Chris grinned and once more looked at a sleeping JD before turning to see Buck's head bobbing backwards and forwards as he tried desperately to stay awake.
"Okay." He got up. "I'll leave you guys to sleep. See you in the Saloon around seven?"
Buck flipped a weary hand and Tanner nodded. Chris picked up the blanket from the back of the sofa and draped it over JD's sleeping form. He patted his knee.
"Sleep tight, Kid."
"'Night, Mom…" JD mumbled as he hunkered down under the covering.
Chris chuckled, and then turned to Buck and Vin, "Oh, and I do not want to see an expense claim for all that crap you ate last night." He smiled wickedly, "Or a valet slip for the pool car that you will be cleaning out before you return it."
He went to the door smirking to himself when Vin and Buck groaned. He turned back for a moment before leaving.
"Hey!" He smiled when they looked up. "Good work, fellas."
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