Disclaimer: Just playing. I know I cant keep 'em…damnit!
Thanks to Mog for ATF
Main Characters: JD, Orin Travis
Summary: JD and the guys get to see Orin's 'other side'.
My thanks as always to Blackraptor for their generosity in archiving my stories.
July 3rd. Nothing or no one was going to spoil this day for Agent JD Dunne. Tomorrow the team was heading over to Chris's for a day of cook-out, beer, touch football…well, more like slam-dunk, tickle and anything in between football if Buck got his way, and fireworks.
However, the instant JD walked into the team bullpen he knew something was up. Buck wore a shit-eating grin that made the office lights look dim in comparison, and Vin's planted smirk didn't do much for the youth's confidence, either.
'Aww, shoot.' "Okay, I'll bite, what did I do?"
Josiah and Nathan simply grinned and unhelpfully sat back to enjoy the show.
"Why, Mister Dunne, however did you ass-ertain something was wrong?"
JD's eyes narrowed when Vin's grin grew, and Buck positively snorted at Ezra's remark.
"W-e-l-l, maybe 'cause there are some pretty goofy grins around here right now," the youth replied.
"Not much evidence for you to ass-ume anythin's wrong, Kid," Vin commented.
When Buck let out an odd sound, JD's head turned sharply toward him. His eyes narrowed. "Ya think?"
"Would it help if we were to ass-ent to your conclusion JD?"
Buck flat out laughed and slapped his knee. "Ass-ent, good one, Ezra."
"You could just ass-k' JD straight up," Josiah piped up with a smile, causing Ezra, Vin, and Buck to stifle laughs.
Subconsciously JD reached for the seat of his jeans...yep, still there. "O-k-a-y, I think I'm on the same page. Why the obsession with ass?"
"Kid didn't even need any ass-istance from us," Buck chimed in. "Impressive, Squirt."
JD raised his hands in defeat, and then pointed to his desk. "Whatever. I'll be over here when school's finally out, okay, guys?"
"Aww come on, JD," Nathan put in. "Surely you don't give a rat's ass about their teasing, do you?" His words opened the floodgates and all but JD laughed. JD sat down and rested his forehead on his desk.
"JD! My office!"
On hearing Chris's voice, JD jolted upright and his head almost took out his desk lamp. "Oww, shoot." He got up from his chair and walked toward the disembodied voice.
"Chin up, Kid," Vin called. "Ass-ert your authority in there."
JD knocked on Chris's open door. "You bellowed, Bossman?"
Chris crooked a finger and JD came closer. "This report you finished last night, did you proofread it?"
JD tilted his head. He'd finished it quite late, and after a real long day. "Sure, but I use Spellchecker, anyway." At Chris's gesture, JD sat down. "Why?"
"This went up to Travis, yes?"
"Yessir, just like you asked. I left a copy on your…"
Chris passed over the report's copy. "Read it aloud, would you? Just the final rounding up."
Flipping the pages of the four-page document, JD read.
"At this juncture, District Attorney Cooper was unable to comply with the deadline, and insisted he would arrange to visit AD Travis no later than noon the following day as the ass he intends to present is sizeable…" JD's jaw dropped. "Nooo."
Larabee's green gaze twinkled, but he kept his expression somber. "Oh yes."
"It should read the add he intends to present, damnit…the add!"
"I figured that."
"Add...add...it should be add..."
"Rookie mistake...add...Oh Gawd...
JD's eyes were wide as he stopped mumbling and looked at Chris. "How did I miss it?" He swallowed hard. "Ahh shit, please tell me this didn't go to…"
"I'm afraid it did." Chris nodded. He pushed headed notepaper across the desk. "And he replied."
JD's hand trembled as he picked up the correspondence and read it.
I am set to bill you for the dry cleaning of the suit pants I wore to work this morning. Whether I shall take steps over the fact the once hot coffee that currently stains them is there due to the nature of your recent report remains undetermined.
I refute any desire to have DA Cooper's ass in my office in any way other than fully clothed and sitting on a chair while we discuss the merits of Team Seven's current case. As to the proportions of the aforementioned gluteus maximus, I have neither considered the subject, nor wish to do so at any future date.
AD Orin Travis
JD rested his head in his hands and groaned.
"Any last thoughts, JD."
JD peeked out. "Last thoughts?" He gulped. "What do you mean last thoughts?"
Chris sat back. "Travis wants to see you."
"See – me?" he squeaked.
Chris nodded and raised an eyebrow. "Now."
With his deportment as that of a condemned man going to the gallows, JD headed out. His teammates called out supportive comments until he left the bullpen, before they did a poor imitation of settling down to work.
After a buzz from her intercom, Travis's PA, Alice, looked up at JD who was sitting in the outer office and looking as though he might run at any moment. She smiled. "Assistant Director Travis will see you now, Agent Dunne."
Blowing out a breath, JD headed toward the door. 'It was an honest mistake. How bad can it be?' After composing himself, he knocked.
As JD nervously entered, Travis stood and approached the young agent. "Come with me."
Dutifully, JD followed him; out of the office, down the hall, into the elevator and right to the staff cafeteria on the building's second floor. While agents, police officers, and personnel looked on, the pair picked up an order and then sat together at a table. Orin sipped on a coffee, while JD stared at the 'Grande' chocolate milkshake in front of him. Unable to contain his curiosity, JD finally spoke.
"So, uh…is this a softener before you tell me you're letting me go?" JD was pretty disappointed that a spelling mistake had come to this – whatever 'this' was. He sipped on his shake, deciding he might as well enjoy some before he choked on it.
"Actually, it's a thank you."
JD looked up mid sip. He swallowed. "It's a what, now?"
Travis smiled. "Despite soiling my pants this morning, I haven't laughed like that in work for some time."
Being in mid-sip of his drink, Travis's words caused JD to choke and snort. He snatched up a napkin in a desperate bid to prevent the shake from exiting via his nostrils. Orin patted JD's back.
"Good Lord, are you alright, son?"
JD was struggling to stifle a giggle. It didn't go unnoticed.
"Care to share?" Orin asked, somewhat amused.
JD's voice was strained. "You, uh, you soiled your pants?"
There was a pause, before Orin chuckled, and then laughed, and soon they were both laughing, while onlookers were left to muse on what it was Travis liked so much about the maverick eclectics of Team Seven and its junior member.
Composing himself, Orin raised his coffee cup, and in a gesture, he and JD clinked drinks. "Touché, John Dunne." There was a momentary pause. "I'm guessing your teammates ribbed you this morning about your faux pas?"
JD huffed out a soft laugh. "Oh, yeah."
Travis checked his watch and chuckled. "Chris and I have a little wager as to how long it will take them to come down here when Chris tells them that, pardon the pun, I'm firing your ass...which I'm of course, not," he quickly added. "I figured you were due a little payback," Travis winked.
JD's grin was dazzling, and grew broader when Larabee himself joined them with a very large, black coffee. "Hey, Chris. The guys not with you?"
"Nah, I figured I'd let 'em stew awhile." Chris bobbed his eyebrows when, at the entrance to the cafeteria, five familiar and anxious-looking agents caught his eye.
JD and Travis saw them too. They both continued drinking as the group approached.
Buck spoke first. "Uh, y'all okay over here?"
Travis gestured to the chairs. "Right as rain. Why don't you boys join us?"
Josiah, Nathan, and Ezra sat down. Vin and Buck spun their chairs to face backwards and straddled them.
Chris sipped his coffee. "I came down here to appeal to Orin."
"Uh, really?" Buck said, a hint of nerves in his voice.
"Yeah." Chris looked at the man that he respectfully and affectionately called 'Judge'. "So, Judge, would you and Evie consider hanging out with these reprobates at my place, tomorrow?"
"Aww, yeah!" JD exclaimed. "Come on, Sir, we promise you don't have to play football. Buck cheats, anyhow."
"Hey!" Buck complained, and then grinned. "Not so much."
"Of course not, Buck," Ezra deadpanned, "sitting on top of one of your opponents during play is merely your way of showing your commitment to the proper intervals being observed."
Vin laughed and winked at JD. "Not this time, huh, Kid?"
"Damn straight," JD replied. They had no actual plan of attack, but it was fun to see Buck pondering on it.
"Judge?" Chris urged.
"Well, Evie is away visiting friends and won't be returning for several more days." He looked around the group. "So I would be happy to celebrate the 4th with you all."
July 4th, and by the time it was dark enough for fireworks, the teammates and Orin were a little merry. Chris had his hand on top of the large, sealed fireworks box that Buck and Ezra were holding.
"I r-e-a-l-l-y don't think you guys are up to this."
Buck swayed slightly. "Sure we are, Pard. Walk in the park."
"Nooo, we won't see them from there," Ezra said, then chuckled at his own joke.
Josiah and Nathan were sitting on a bench on the deck as they puffed on fat cigars. The latter shook his head. "Oh, boy, we're all gonna die." Despite his words, Nathan was grinning.
"Well, we always wanted to go out with a bang," Josiah replied.
Seated close by and swirling a brandy around a large, bulbous glass, Orin laughed. "Have faith, boys. I get the feeling it's not the first time your fireworks have been set off while the one with the matches was a little tipsy."
"Yup, that's why there's a new roof on Chris's barn," Vin stated.
He and JD lay on their backs on the grassy yard in front of the porch and as they looked up at the stars, JD chuckled at the memory. That incident was definitely funnier after the event than during.
"Hey, any cake left?"
"What?" Vin squawked. "Ain't you full yet?"
The youngest patted his belly. "Uh huh. So – any cake left?"
They all looked at Chris when he joined them. The blond glanced back and shook his head at Ezra and Buck as they debated and slapped at each other's hands while attempting to set up the display. "I renewed my insurance, but I should've built a bunker."
JD jumped up. "I need cake."
Barely moving his head, Vin looked up at him. "I could go for a piece too, Kid."
Orin pointed. "Uh, is it bad that Buck and Ezra are running this way?"
Chris turned to them. "Problem?"
Buck shook his head vigorously, Ezra smiled. "Perish the thought."
Just as JD plopped back down on the grass and handed Vin some cake, the first stream of sparks shot into the air, followed by another, and another, to color the sky in bursts of brilliant light and sound. Each man raised a glass and together toasted the flag in Chris's yard fluttering in the gentle breeze at the top of the flagpole.
"God Bless America."
There would be sore heads in the morning, but the team had the foresight to take the next day as personal time. Orin looked around at the seven, laughing friends; seven men who he inadvertently brought together, and thanked God every day for having them around.
They were pioneers in law enforcement, brave, dependable to the core, unswerving in their desire for justice, and thoroughly nice guys.
And Orin Travis, whilst appointed as their supervisor, was proud to also call them friends.
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