This story was formerly hosted at another website, and was moved to blackraptor in May 2016.
It was a quiet Monday morning in the usually busy ATF Office. Three of the seven agents were off today, leaving the other four to catch up on their paperwork. It was after ten o'clock when Buck Wilmington arrived. He tossed his keys in his pocket, before hanging his jacket up. He greeted his comrades and whistled all the way to the coffee maker. Finally, he was at his desk and ready to roll. He brought his computer up and reached for the top folder in a large pile at the corner of his desk. He flipped it open and began to read the case notes, when his hand unconsciously slid his drawer open. Without taking his eyes from the arson investigation notes, his hand reached inside and then he frowned. Casting his handsome features south, his blue eyes were drawn into the open drawer at his knees. He took out the object and set it on his desk, then stood to examine it closer.
"Goddammit Vin!" he bellowed, slamming the metal drawer shut.
"Aw, hell..." the sharpshooter complained from his own desk, a solitary fixture at the end of the large room. "Why is it always 'Goddammit Vin'," he complained, rising and furrowing his brows. He quickly strode forward, still grumbling. "How come it ain't never 'Goddammit Nathan' or 'Goddammit Ezra' or 'Goddammit Josiah'."
"Because this has your crooked signature all the over it!" Buck roared, blue eyes flashing in anger. The Texan slowed his pace, as he drew closer. Buck's eyes left the unreadable Tanner's face long enough to gaze at the object of his anger, causing his temper to flare. "Goddammit Vin!"
"Somethin' wrong, Bucklin?" Vin asked innocently, his blue eyes large and hinting of mischief.
"Don't you give me that 'butter-will-fuckin'-melt-in-my-mouth' look!" Buck warned, jabbing the smaller man's chest hard enough to force a yelp. "Where are they?"
"Hey, that's real pretty, Buck." Vin eyed the small white basket, adorned with pastel ribbons and a ream of green Easter grass. Several kinds of chocolate eggs, speckled eggs, peanut butter eggs and jelly beans filled the basket. Vin reached his hand down to grab one, only to have it slapped soundly.
"Get the hell away!" Buck roared, "You got balls reaching in there, after what you did."
"Me?" Vin chirped backing up, trying not to laugh.
"Yeah you!" He barked. By this time Nathan appeared, leaving only J.D. as the missing member. The dark-skinned medic didn't hide his laugh, which only made Buck angrier. "It's not a damn bit funny, Nathan."
"It's fuckin' hilarious!" the EMT disagreed. "I never seen the likes of it. Damn that's funny. "
"They were fine when I got here at eight o'clock." Buck commiserated. "I was only gone a couple hours in Forensics. What the hell happened?"
"Why are you asking me?" Nate demanded.
"Because you sit three feet away," Buck replied, eyes drilling the smirking Jackson, "You had to see who done this."
"Well, I was gone for awhile, I met Rain in the lobby for coffee."
"Goddammit Nathan..." Wilmington barked
"It's about damn time," Vin nodded, "I get tired of carryin' all the blame."
"Why are you mad at me?" Nate retorted, "I didn't do it."
"No, but you're just as guilty. You left them two juvenile delinquents alone!" he roared of J.D. and Vin.
"Buck, I ain't a goddamn babysitter," Jackson retorted sharply.
"Who ya callin' a juvenile delinquent?" Vin protested.
"Don't change the subject." Buck sassed, eyeing the office carefully. "Where's your partner in crime?"
"I don't know what yer talkin' about." Vin huffed, raising his head in indignance.
"How about if I remind you?" Buck growled, grabbing the back of the Texan's neck. He shoved the younger man's face downward, over the confectionary crime scene. "You got a twisted mind, Vin. It's takes a sick fuck to do something that horrible."
"Ya don't get yer hand offa m'neck and I'll show ya how twisted I am..." Vin warned, trying hard not to laugh.
"That sure is a sad sight, Buck," Nate agreed, reaching his hand toward one of the 'bodies'. The perimeter of the basket had been lined with purple, pink and yellow peeps. The marshmallow bunnies and chicks which once stood proudly guarding the basket, were now mutilated. The confectionary soldiers now stood sadly, without their heads.
"Might as well put the little fellers out of their misery," Vin agreed, aiming for the nearest 'corpse'. It was a short trip as his hand was slapped again.
"Ow!" Vin yelped, pulling his hand back.
"Where are they Vin?" Buck moved around the desk, forcing the smirking Texan into the copier. "You got two minutes to give them back."
"Come on Buck," Nate added, "You got plenty of candy. Don't you think you're getting a little carried away?"
"Hell, no!" Buck disagreed. "They're my favorites. Gabrielle made me that basket," the rogue noted of his current girlfriend. "The peeps are my favorite, I was saving them for last. I was airing them out..."
"Airin' 'em out?" Vin's laugher burst forth. "Them little critter's o' yers inherit yer gas problem too?"
"Shut the hell up, Vin." Buck stalked the now hysterical Tanner, who was trying to escape by skirting the copier and eyeing the door to the hall. "I'm warning you... I want their heads restored. They were almost done... can't eat 'em 'til they're a little stale and crunchy."
"Restored?" Nate laughed, "Like Dr. Frankenstein?" His shoulders shook with laugher.
"They got about a thousand boxes of them damn things at the dollar store down the block," Vin argued. "Go get some more..." He challenged, taking the plunge. He ran for the door, but an arm grabbed his shoulder. "Shit..." He hissed as his arm was forced behind his back and he was thrown over the empty desk by the door. Despite his position, he laughed even harder.
"Get your laughs in now, Pizza Boy," Buck warned, noting the sharpshooter's favorite food. "Your jaw's gonna be too sore to laugh in a minute."
"Ya best let me go if ya aim t'get yer critter's heads back..."
"What's that supposed to mean?" Buck pulled the long-haired ATF agent upwards and spun him around. Vin arched an eyebrow and smiled smugly. Buck's eyes narrowed and he turned his head. "What the hell?" He released Vin and ran back to his desk. There freshly taped to his computer screen was a polaroid picture of J.D. holding a paper plate with the peep heads displayed in a gruesome grouping.
"J.D... .You best get your ass out here now!" Buck boomed, eyeing the vacant room. Behind him, Nate and Vin were laughing hysterically, only making the mustached man angrier. "I want them heads back or I'll tell Casey about the little redhead you took to lunch last week."
There was a stilled silence, before the intercom came on. The youthful voice of the youngest member of the superskilled ATF team, sailed through the room.
"For the right price, Buck..."
"Ransom money?" Buck growled, hands on his hips.
"Reckon lunch at Buster's outta cover it," Vin proclaimed of a nearby steakhouse. "I got a hankerin' for a nice steak and some fries. "Speakin' fer m'partner... we accept," he drilled, plucking a chocolate egg from Buck's sweet nest.
"Get your hand out of there." Buck pulled the basket away and frowned at the smug Texan. Sighing, he nodded reluctantly and winced as J.D.'s war whoop sounded. The dark haired youth appeared, from Chris's office, bearing a plate of two dozen brightly colored peep heads. Buck took the plate and basket, before disappearing out the door.
"One o'clock Bucklin!" Vin hollered after him. "Make sure ya get us a good table."
Two Days Later
It was a quiet morning in the ATF Office as a half-dozen agents toiled away. The silent morning air was shattered by the sound of an irate voice.
"Something wrong Vin?" Buck replied innocently, dark blues eyes shining in triumph.
"What the hell is this?" Vin demanded, dropping the object on the smirking man's desk.
Buck examined the one pound chocolate carving carefully. The former bunny now stood defiled.
"An Easter squirrel?" Buck teased of the earless rabbit.
"It ain't funny." Vin warned, "... was a gift from Miss Nettie, from the gourmet place across town. I want the damn ears back!"
"Well," Buck smiled, handing the defaced Easter sweet back to the flushed-faced sharpshooter. "For the right price..."
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