Disclaimer: Not mine, no profit made
Author's Note: The boys celebrate the holiday in a unique way.
"Why are we here on the 4th, again?" asked Vin as the ATF agents known as the Magnificent Seven pulled on safety vests and got out other protective gear.
"The DEA had a bust scheduled, and in the process of sweeping the area, they discovered some crates labeled 'explosives', and since we are the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives, they called us in investigate and secure whatever it is," explained Chris somewhat wryly as he fastened his vest neatly. Not that the item would keep his head from getting blown off if anything exploded, but at least his torso would be safe, the lean leader thought with a roll of his eyes. The blond knew the protective pieces were necessary, but none of the men were particularly fond of the somewhat bulky, cumbersome garments. Talented hands slipped on a pair of black leather gloves as well and then grabbed a pair of lightly-tinted safety glasses.
Buck was the explosives expert of the team, so he was setting out even more pieces of equipment.
"At least the warehouse's on the edge of town, and nothing got hit by gunfire yet," commented the tall brunet as he stuffed his gear in a large duffle. Normally joking and jovial, the lanky form was all business at the moment.
"Amen," added Josiah as he pulled on his own items.
Chris looked around to make sure everyone was ready, then a leather-garbed finger made a motion toward the garage.
"Alright, let's head out and see what we've got."
The rest of the team nodded and followed the lean form of their leader as he moved to the parked vehicles. JD handed out comms, mumbling to no one in particular as they walked.
"Sure hope we're done in time to enjoy the fireworks. It just isn't the 4th without 'em."
The others nodded in agreement, silently wishing the same thing as the electronics tech.
An hour later on the outskirts of town . . .
The team had expected the DEA agents to be done with their part of things, and everyone to be cleared out. However, that wasn't the case when they arrived. The leader of the drug ring had managed to slip away and arm himself, then get weapons to a couple more of his guys. Gunfire was going off sporadically, and the other agency members were hidden behind boxes and crates . . . whatever they could find to use for cover. The lead suspect was up on a second floor mezzanine, giving him the ability to keep the Drug Enforcement personnel pinned. No one was seriously injured yet, but every time one of the agents tried to get to the stairs, they were forced back to their hiding spot by the spray of bullets that met the actions.
Team Seven exited their vehicles and found places to take cover as well. JD called for backup, but was informed that it would be at least half an hour before anyone was available. Chris studied their surroundings, spotting a set of steps that went up the outside of the building to a door at the second floor level. Catching Vin's eye, the blond motioned with his head to the stairs.
Tanner gave a brief nod and then slipped the sling of his rifle over his shoulder as he headed almost silently toward his objective. Larabee made his way to the nearest DEA agent to get an update, keeping behind crates and columns as much as possible. The lean figure was fast and moved with a fluid, cat-like grace that kept any of the spitting rounds from hitting him as he zig-zagged to his new position.
The rest of the team crouched in their chosen areas, each positioned so that they covered at least one or two of the others. They knew Chris wouldn't take any action until he had as much information as possible from the other leader, unless it was absolutely necessary. There appeared to be about four of the DEA agents scattered around, but could be others that were out of sight, so Larabee needed to know the approximate locations of all of the Drug Enforcement people to make sure none were put in danger accidentally.
Once he'd confirmed that the agents they could see were all that were in the warehouse, the rest having moved the secured prisoners out of range of the gunfire, Chris quietly directed his own men to spread out via the communication devices they all wore.
They slowly did as directed, moving into positions that gave them better access to try to take down the two drug runners who were firing from behind large pieces of equipment on the main floor of the building. Tanner had made his way up the outside stairs and was now silently entering the mezzanine. The man on that level was intent on trying to contain the agents below him, so missed the shadowy form of the sniper as he slipped inside and then moved along the wall until he had a good vantage point overlooking the lower action. The ring leader was out of Vin's line of sight for the moment behind a stack of large crates, but the sandy-haired figure saw a second set of steps that would let him get above the shooter. Softly communicating his plans to Larabee, the slender form started climbing stealthily.
Deciding to distract the man above from Vin's approach and try to get at least one of the suspects on their level, Chris spoke quietly to the rest of the team. At a signal from the blond, Buck and JD rushed the man behind the fork-lift, one coming at him from each side, while Josiah and Nathan did a pincer move on the shooter who was using a moveable conveyer belt as cover. Chris and Ezra slid out where they could backup either pair, the DEA agents covering them.
The man firing from above couldn't keep up with all of the movement below him, so each of the team members made it to their destination unscathed, and none of the drug ring saw Vin as he ascended the steps against the upper wall.
The man behind the fork-lift swung his pistol toward JD, causing Buck to come up behind him and swing his weapon down on the perp's head, knocking him out cold as a cucumber. Sanchez and Jackson made it to the suspect using the conveyor belt at the same time. The medic punched the smaller figure with a huge fist, sending him reeling into the profiler. Josiah swung the form around and hit him right between the eyes with a massive left hook that caused him to crumble at the bigger agent's feet with a whimper, gun dangling uselessly from one finger.
Things were going well until Vin's raspy voice muttered "Ah, hell!" into their earpieces, followed by "Grenade!!"
Chris yelled "Get to cover!!" immediately after, and all six of the team members on the floor dove for whatever protection they could find.
Tanner hadn't quite made it into position to fire on the drug leader on the mezzanine when the man gave up on the rifle he was using and dug into one of the crates beside him, coming out with a grenade launcher which was already loaded. The form aimed in the general direction of Chris and Ezra, who had taken cover behind some boxes.
Vin did the only thing he could think of to stop the man, making a flying leap from the steps onto the heavier figure's back. The action caused the launcher to swing away from Standish and Larabee's position, but the man's finger tightened on the trigger as the weight landed on him and drove him to the metal grating.
Silence reigned, as all eyes watched the propelled grenade streak toward the stacked crates that had 'explosives' stenciled on the sides. The agents all curled into as small a balls as they could, hoping to minimize the damage to their persons. Muttered curses and prayers suddenly ended the stillness. They had no idea what was in the crates, so each pictured all sorts of mangled concrete and steel, not to mention flesh and bone.
All the figures in the room held their breath as the grenade smacked into the top boxes. Suddenly loud bangs and pops filled the air, accompanied by sizzles and blinding flashes.
When nothing but bits of fairly harmless light debris landed on them, the members of Team Seven, along with the DEA agents, gingerly raised their heads to peer over their improvised shields.
Riots of all colors and shapes were enveloping them, as fireworks whistled and exploded inside the warehouse. Rockets flew to the ceiling and bounced off the walls as fountains spewed in magnificent spectacle. Firecrackers went off like gunshots, and bursts that rivaled the most impressive fireworks finales mingled together into an amazing display that filled the entire expanse.
Chris and Ezra rose and leaned their forearms on the boxes in front of them so they could watch the spectacle better, occasionally ducking to avoid bits of still sparking debris. Josiah and Nathan cuffed their now comatose prisoner and then hopped up on the motionless conveyor belt to enjoy the show. After securing the man who launched the grenade, Tanner settled on the edge of the mezzanine and dangled his legs through the railing as he took in the display that enveloped him, a huge grin on his mobile face. Buck and JD cuffed their shooter to the lift, then rested their arms on the forks as they tilted their heads up to watch the fireworks bursting above them.
"Wow, this is cool!!" JD gushed as he took in the elaborate spectacle. "It's like being inside a display!"
"Well, ya did say ya didn't want to miss the fireworks, Kid," answered Wilmington with a chuckle.
"We sure ain't missin' this one," added Vin over the comms, as a large rocket burst directly over his head.
"It is kinda neat, since no one's gettin' hurt," Nathan supplied, while Josiah simply sat with a smile stretching his mouth and one hand swatting away the pieces that occasionally fell on his broad shoulders.
"Even I must say that it is intriguing," stated Ezra as he took in the colorful bursts that exploded around him and Larabee.
At Dunne's comment of "I bet it'll go on for a long time as many boxes as there are." He pulled out his small notebook from his pocket.
"Would any of you gentlemen care to place a wager on the length of our impromptu show?"
Chris rolled his eyes, even as he admitted that it was rather a unique experience. Pulling out a twenty, he handed it to Standish with the words "Fifteen more minutes."
Then he looked around the warehouse, eyes finally stopping on Buck and JD. "But if any of you idiots EVER suggest using a grenade to light our fireworks again, I'll shove a rocket so far up your ass, the sparks will come out your ears!"
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