Sneaking Around

by Tiffiny

ATF Alternate Universe

Disclaimer: This is just for fun. No profit and no copyright infringement intended. The boys were just bored sitting around in that dusty old vault, or wherever they're keeping them, and wanted to come out and play.

Comments: This is just a silly little bit which I dedicate respectfully to Mog, since it was a comment from her that inspired it Thanks, as always, to her for the ATF universe. It's so much fun. <g> Anyway, I hope you all enjoy the story. Please feel free to let me know, if that's the case.

"Pass me those pretzels will ya, JD?" Buck Wilmington propped his feet up and leaned his head back with a sigh of pure pleasure.

"Thanks, kid." Buck said, grabbing a handful of pretzels from the proffered bowl.

"This is the life." he continued, only slightly hampered by the fact that his mouth was now full of those same pretzels. "A big screen TV, plenty of beer and snacks, some good company. Everything we need to enjoy the biggest game of the year."

"Too bad Chris had to attend that ATF seminar." JD said as he reached over and snatched one of the pillows that Buck was greedily hoarding on the couch.

"That's what he gets for being the leader." Buck replied heartlessly, trying to nudge JD's recently acquired pillow out from under the young man's head with his foot.

"I would recommend cultivating a more sympathetic attitude in the presence of our illustrious leader, if you value your continued existence." This comment came from the depths of the room's most comfortable chair, in which Ezra Standish was firmly ensconced.

Buck merely grinned in the southerner's direction. "So, what kind of bet do ya have going with Maude this year, Ez?" he questioned, eyes gleaming wickedly.

The other man shuddered. "Let us just say that Mother has risen to new heights of deviltry."

Josiah Sanchez shook his head in admiration. "What a woman."

"Anyone want another beer?" Vin Tanner's voice could be heard calling from the kitchen.

"Yes." came a chorus of voices in reply.

As the sharpshooter entered the room and began passing out the drinks, Nathan reached over and grabbed the remote off the table.

"Ya'll be quiet now." he ordered. "Game's about to start."

As the six men stared expectantly at the screen, a terrible thing happened.


The crackling noises stopped as suddenly as they began, leaving six men staring in horror at the now blank TV screen.

"This can't be happening!" Buck screeched. "Do something, Nathan!"

"Me? Why me?" Nathan was not eager to assume this responsibility.

"Why? Because you're the doc. That's why!"

The healer rolled his eyes. "It aint sick, Buck. It's broke."

"Now, brothers. Let us remain calm." Josiah was the voice of reason. "We can simply go elsewhere to watch it."

"Well, what about Ezra's place?" JD asked, looking over at the man in question.

"Terribly sorry, gentlemen. But I paid a small fortune to have my carpets cleaned today."

"Then what about you, Nathan?" Buck said hopefully.

The other agent shook his head regretfully. "Rain is in town visiting, and I promised her the use of my place today to hold one of her women's meetings."


"I'm afraid that I don't own a TV. Devil's handiwork and all that." replied the ex-preacher.

"You're just here for the company, aint that right?" Vin Tanner asked with a sly grin.

"Right." Josiah agreed, with a wink in the sharpshooter's direction. "Someone's got to look out for your immortal souls."

All eyes turned in Vin's direction next. He was their last hope.

"Sorry fellas. I'm still arguin' with the damn insurance company about replacin' my set. They seem to think bullet holes oughtta be classed along with Acts of God and natural disasters when it comes to me." The former bounty hunter shrugged. "Just cause it's happened a few times in the past."

"I don't know why you don't just move, Vin. What does that make? Four times now?" JD shook his head at his friend who grinned in response.

"But I like that apartment, JD."

"What are we gonna do now ?" Buck brought everyone's attention back to the matter at hand.

"Too bad Chris isn't here." JD said again. "He just got that big screen TV and all." The young man sighed at the thought.

"Out of the mouth of babes." Ezra sat up from his sprawled position in the chair, a slow smile spreading across his features.

"Ezra..." Nathan began in protest. But he was waved to silence by Buck and JD.

"We wouldn't be hurting anything. We're his closest friends. I'm sure he'd say yes, if he were here." The two were at their most persuasive.

"Well...What do you think, Josiah?" The healer turned to his friend.

"I think..." The large man paused. "I think that charity should begin at home and our Brother Chris is a charitable man." That Josiah was able to say this with a straight face was testament to his many years of undercover work.

"Vin. You got a key, don't you?" JD looked at the sharpshooter.

"I don't know, JD. I wouldn't feel right about using something Chris gave me in trust."

"Would your conscience be satisfied if we obtained entry in another fashion?" Ezra sent a small smile in his friend's direction.

"Well...I reckon that might be the case." Vin drawled, shooting the southern agent a little smile of his own.

"What're we waiting for then? Let's go!" cried Buck, jumping to his feet and grabbing an armful of the various snacks spread out on the coffee table in front of him.

Five happily grinning men followed his lead, and in no time at all, they were on their way out the door, heading towards Chris Larabee's ranch.

+ + + + + + +

I thought you said you knew how to do this, Ezra," Buck complained, trying to peer over the other man's shoulder.

"Kindly remove your oafish elbow from my ribs, Mr. Wilmington. It appears that Mr. Larabee is more clever than I gave him credit for. And less trusting, I might add. The access codes have been changed," Ezra replied crossly, glaring at Buck over his shoulder.

"Vin. You're his best friend. Did he tell you what they are?" JD was bouncing around in a combination of nervousness and frustration.

The long haired agent shook his head slowly, a thoughtful gleam in his eye. "Nope. Don't know."

"But I bet you could make an educated guess," Josiah said shrewdly, noting the expression on the tracker's face.

"Well..." The tracker exhaled slowly. "Try this, Ez," he leaned over and whispered something in the southern agent's ear.

Ezra let out a delighted chuckle as the alarm was deactivated. "It appears that our Mr. Larabee has a sense of humor. Who would have guessed?"

The six men made short work of breaking and entering once the alarm was out of commission. They were the best ATF team in the country, after all.

"Now this is the life." Buck sank down onto the couch with a sigh.

"I seem to recall you saying something to that effect not too long ago," Ezra drawled.

"That's because it is , Ezra. Now hand me those chips."

"We just gotta remember to leave everything exactly as we found it." JD was a little nervous now that they were actually here in the house. In Chris Larabee's house. If Chris found out...JD didn't want to think about that possibility.

"Kid, we deal with arms dealers, arsonists and crazy people trying to take over the world on a daily basis. I think we can handle a little clean up detail." Buck cast a withering look in the young man's direction.

"Relax and enjoy it, JD. It's too late to turn back now." Josiah advised with a smile.

The youngest member of the team somewhat reassured, they were able to turn their attention to the big sceen which dominated the room.

+ + + + + + +

"Well boys, how was your weekend?" Chris Larabee strolled into ATF headquarters looking positively cheerful. It was spooky.

"Same as always."
"The usual."
"Nothin' special."
"Stayed home, mostly."

The chorus of replies came a tad too quickly.

"Anything happen I should know about?" Their leader persisted, leaning casually against a file cabinet.

Guilty looks were exchanged and then came a chorus of replies like before.

"Can't think of anything."
"Uh Uh."
"Not that I"m aware of."

"Well, how was the game then? Surely you boys didn't forget about that?"

The guilty looks now contained an edge of panic. Did he know? How could he? They'd made certain to remove every last trace of their presence. Hadn't they?

"It was ok."
"You didn't miss much."
"It was nothing special."
"I don't remember."
"It was this weekend?"
"Same as every year."

"Really?" Chris curled his lips in a brief smile. "Well, we'd best get to work then." He turned and began walking in the direction of his office. When he reached the door, he paused and put a hand inside his duster, pulling out a small package which he held up for their inspection.

"Next time you boys go sneaking around where you don't belong, I suggest you remember to check under the couch. You forget these." In his hands was a box of chocolate mallowmars.

"We'll discuss this later." Tossing his team a chilling smile, he went into his office and closed the door.

Almost immediately, the chorus of voices could be heard raised in accusation.

"All right. Who had snack detail? Was it you, JD?"

"It wasn't me. I thought it was Ezra."

"I had fingerprint duty, so it wasn't me."

"I most certainly was not the culprit."

"There's only one person to blame here." That got everyone's attention and they turned to glare in Josiah's direction.

"Who?" they demanded suspiciously.

"There's only one of us who eats those things." Josiah turned to look suggestively in that direction. The other men followed his look and then began advancing slowly on the guilty party.

+ + + + + + +

He was trapped. Trapped like a rat. Caught between the five men approaching with blood in their eye and the office door of their leader, he was paralyzed with indecision. Oh God. He was gonna die...


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