Magnificent Seven ATF Universe
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Relaxation

by Marilyn Crawford

Summary: Humor. After a frightening bust in which most are injured, the seven are ordered to relax by Director Travis. They congregate at Chrisí ranch and find an innovative way to relax. (Needs to be taken with a grain of salt).


Relaxation!

"I got it!"

"Hey JD, you cheated!"

"You canít stand to lose, Vin!"

"I thought I was red!"

"Youíre brown, Nathan!" boomed Buck.

"Well, at least Iím not yellow like you, Buck!"

"I shoulda have been blue, not Vin!" Buck retorted.

"You wanna tell Vin heís yellow, Buck! Ouch!"

Chris Larabee didnít have to see it to know that Buck had cuffed his young roommate on the head. He stood in the hallway of his ranch, trying to guess what his team was up to now in his front room. A difficult and frightening bust in which nearly everyone on the team barely escaped with their lives had shaken up his usually stoic men and one twenty-year-old agent-in-training up. Nathan took a glancing hit off his right leg while Vin had taken a nasty fall scrambling from his sniper position. JD was knocked out struggling with a man trying to kill Buck, and had lain so still in a pool of blood (luckily turning out to be the goonís blood) the others thought briefly that JD had been killed. Josiah had a bullet ricochet into his chest area, and only his vest kept him from taking a fatal bullet to the heart; faring better than Ezraís expensive suit, not being protected by a vest, was, in Ezraís esteemed words 'Torn to pieces by the uncivilized ruffians.' Initially, Chris, who shouted to each man to ascertain their status and with JD, still unconscious, and Josiah, still stunned and unable to answer, was not amused by Ezraís reply. Vin, Nathan and Buck, however, had burst into laughter, though nervous in nature.

That was the last time Chris had heard any more humor until Vin proposed a funeral for Ezraís suit and burned it in Chrisí fireplace with Josiah intoning a toast to the "dearly departed" with whatever liquor they could get their hands on.

Still musing over the bust, Chris heard his name as JD piped up. "What about Chris?"

"Yeah, heís missing all the fun." Not surprisingly, Buckís voice was slurring.

"Not enough colors."

"I know Ė he can be pink!"

Chris stared. Was that girlish giggling come from his youngest agent Ė his twenty-year-old agent Ė who was not supposed to drink?

Apparently, JDís giggling started an avalanche, with Buckís loud guffaws, Vinís rat-a-tat laughter, Nathanís deep chuckles and Josiahís belly laughs.

"You only get pink and purple on Easter!" Buck snorted.

"Then Ez can be purple!" Nathan announced.

"Purple for royalty!" Ezra retorted. "Better than yellow or orange or PINK!"

JDís giggles accelerated like a car running out of control, Buck executing an imperfect series of hiccups and Ezraís dignified laughter dissolving into 'ill-mannered yelps' similar to a puppy as Vin always teased Ezra.

"Say, whoís >hic< keeping >hic< score?" Buck barely got out.

"Ezís keeping score!" Nathan croaked.

"Ez always cheats!" JD proclaimed between giggles.

"I do not have to resort to cheating to lick a puppy!"

The roar of laughter increased.

Ezraís face, as Chris peeked around the corner, showed puzzlement.

Between shrieks of laughter, Buck stuttered, "Iíll hold the puppy while you lick, Ez!" and Buck promptly pounced on a wiggling JD.

Ezraís face, already reddened from drink and laughter, turned even darker. "Beat JD! Beat JD!" trying to clarify his earlier statement.

"Weíll help!" and Vin, Nathan and Josiah promptly dived in the thick of things; JD being hopelessly outnumbered by the four men while Ezra shook his head in disgust. There were a few muttered grunts of pain as JDís legs and arms made some headway in trying to escape.

"Whatís going on here!" Chris demanded, unable to keep his curiosity in check and striding into the room.

While five of his agents froze briefly at their imposing leaderís appearance, Ezra waved what was obviously not his first glass of wine, greeting, "Ah, Mr. Larabee. We were jusí taking your excellent advice about relaxing."

Chris was hard pressed to keep his stern countenance as he surveyed Ezra first, then a tangle of Buck, Josiah, Vin and Nathan surrounding something he hoped was his youngest agent though unable to see more than a foot, two fingers and a lock of dark hair. "Get off JD before you suffocate him," Chris ordered.

The other agents, mussed hair and all, reluctantly moved out and revealed a still giggling and drunk JD. "Hey, Chrissssss, >hic<, thanks, >hic<. Though I was as dead as . . . >hic< . . . as dead as Ezzzrahís suit."

"Murdered before its prime," Ezra muttered, taking a large gulp of wine and staring at Chrisí fireplace.

"What kind of game were you playing?" Chris demanded. He would give in to his own laughter later, but his keen eyes surveyed with disapproval smears of chocolate and colored dints of orange, green, blue, red and yellow specks all over the floor.

"JD suggested it," Josiah threw the boy under the bus, perhaps reasoning Chris would not KILL JD. "Whoever caught the most M & Mís in their color won. I got stuck with orange. And I donít have orange eyes."

"Got brown for my beauti ---- beauty ---- nice brown eyes," Nathan added, holding his stomach.

"Vin got blue and I got stuck with yellow," Buck complained between hiccups.

"I got green," JD announced between more giggles. "Ez was score . . . thingy but he kept stealing my green." And the mature ATF trainee stuck his green and brown tongue out at Ezra.

Ezra and the rest responded in kind with ugly tongues covered in chocolate. It occurred to Chris that he was paying too much for his computer genius if this was the kind of idea he came up with. "You caught them in your mouths?"

"Vin pretended to catch them even when they hit the floor and he scooped them up from there," Josiah observed.

"With his tongue on the floor?" Nathan was horrified and stopped smiling.

"Told ya Vin donít like to lose," JD sang out.

Vinís only reply was a foolish grin; he was well-oiled.

Chris wasnít used to seeing Vin so loose and so Chris bit back any retorts. Travis said relax; though he would probably be shocked at this; Team Seven, with the exception of Chris, was relaxed into kindergarten goofiness.

Life isnít fair, Chris thought, as leader he needed to make an example of at least one person and he bent and lifted the still giggling JD over his shoulder, calling to the others, "Clean up this mess while I remind young Mr. Dunne that, genius or not, he apparently canít count the number of birthdays heís had. And that as M&Ms are bad enough, I will NOT tolerate puking all over my floors. When I return, if this isnít cleaned up you will follow Tannerís example and use your tongues as cleaning tools."

With a parting slap to JDís backside, Chris exited the room.

The others listened to protests from the Kid as they counted 20 whacks and 20 yelps. Chris raised his voice. "That, Agent Dunne is the number 20. And donít think I will be stopping with you if that living room isnít cleaned within ten minutes!"

Scrabbling around and moaning and groaning, using brooms, cans, paper towels, everyone except Ezra cleaned. Ezra stared at the fireplace, picked out a scrap, clutching it. "It was an exemplary masterpiece."

Chris, now watching his youngest agent moan over the toilet, upchucking again and again, raised his voice one last time.

"That suit will have a lot of company shortly if that floor is not spotless!"

Chris could not hold back anymore and buried his face in his favorite pillow to muffle his laughter.

He was really looking forward to his weekly report to Orin on this one!

The End

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