by Winter

ATF Alternate Univers


The sound of the alarms woke Vin and he began to struggle and started to gag. Chris called Buck over to give him a hand with Vin. They finally got him calmed down and Chris heard the doctor say the medication wasn't working they would have to shock Ezra. The machine charged and the doctor placed the paddles on either side of Ezra's chest. He yelled clear and everyone stepped away. Once everyone was clear he pressed the button on the paddles and Ezra's back arched off the bed then fell back. Chris's attention was brought back to Vin as he tried to talk causing him to gag.

"Vin calm down," Chris instructed.

He tried to do as Chris said but jumped when they shocked Ezra again. Vin turned his head to look at Ezra and all he could see were nurses surrounding his bed. He turned his head away and starred up at the ceiling. Chris could see he was worried and took his hand. The other members of the team had gathered over by JD. Buck was standing with Chris as they watched the doctor work on Ezra. They had to shock him again since he wasn't responding to the drugs. Chris couldn't understand what they were saying until he heard them say that he had a normal rhythm. There was a flurry of activity as the nurses moved equipment and checked Ezra's IV's and monitors. Chris realized one of the nurses was talking to a now conscious Ezra.

"Everything's alright, Mr. Standish," she said. "Just relax."

She stroked his hair and talked quietly with him until Chris saw Ezra relax. The doctor gave the nurses instructions to watch his electrolytes closely. He also told them to check Vin. When he was done giving instructions he left the nurses to their task. Josiah walked over to Ezra's bed and the nurse let him take over talking to Ezra. Josiah took Ezra's hand and Chris saw him grasp it like a lifeline. Another nurse came over to check on Vin. He jumped when she touched him.

"Easy, Mr. Tanner," she said. "I'm just going to take some blood and run some other tests."

"What happened?" Chris asked.

"The food poisoning effected their magnesium an potassium levels," she explained. "They dropped to low causing an irregular heart beat." "Will he be alright," Buck asked.

"Right now he's stable," She said as she took a blood sample from Vin. "We have him on medication to keep his heart at a regular rhythm."

"What about permanent damage?" Nathan asked.

"He's young and strong so there shouldn't be any problems," she answered.

Vin hand signaled he wanted something to write on. Chris handed him a pen and held the pad while he wrote. Vin wasn't a lefty so it was tough to read but Chris was able to figure it out.

"He says it hurts," Chris translated.

"I know the tube is uncomfortable," the nurse began.

Vin wrote 'No' then tried to write something else but became frustrated and threw down the pen. He looked at Chris and he understood.

"I think it's his shoulder hurts," Chris said.

"Oh I see," she smiled. "I'm sorry but with your blood pressure so low we can't risk giving you any pain killers. As soon as it's higher we can give you something."

Vin closed his eyes and tried to block out the pain. She left with the samples and Chris looked around at the team. Josiah and Nathan were explaining to Ezra what happened. Buck had gone back to sit with JD. The Kid looked pale and a little frightened. He sat quietly with his leg propped up on another chair. Chris watched as Nathan moved away from Ezra and Chris could see he had fallen asleep. Chris looked at Vin and saw him staring up at the ceiling but lying quietly. He took a seat next to Vin and took his hand. He leaned back in the chair and tried to get comfortable. Chris was surprised he had fallen asleep when Vin squeezing his hand painfully rudely awakened him.

"Easy, Vin," Chris said standing and stroking his hair. "What's wrong?"

Chris could see he was in pain but there was something else he could see it in his eyes. Chris could see Vin was starting to panic. Nathan came over to see what was wrong. Suddenly the alarm on the heart monitor went off. Nathan watched as Vin's heart beat raced to 300 beats per minute. The nurse ran in and Nathan moved back. They pried Chris's hand out of Vin's grasp and pushed him back as well. The doctor came in and Chris watched as they tried medication to bring his heart rate back to normal. When that didn't work he ordered the defibrillator charged.

"Oh God, Nathan, "Chris said shocked. "He's wide awake."

They heard the doctor yell clear and everyone stepped back. They all watched in horror as Vin's back arched off the bed then fell back. Ezra thankfully remained asleep as they were working on Vin. They had to shock Vin twice more before they could get a normal rhythm. Chris saw them hook different medications to Vin's IV's. Once everything was settled the doctor left with some of the nurses. One of the nurses's left behind called Chris over.

"Talk with him," she said. "Being awake for this can be a little frightening."

"A little!" Chris blurted.

She smiled and pushed him over to Vin. He moved next to the bed and took his hand. He could see Vin had his eyes closed as tears fell from the corners. He wiped them away and leaned over to whisper to him.

"Easy, cowboy, just try to relax," Chris soothed.

Vin tried to do as Chris said but everything hurt especially his shoulder. He opened his eyes and starred at Chris.

"Can't you give him anything for his shoulder?" Chris asked. "Him jumping around like that didn't help the pain."

"I know," she smiled. "We're going to sedate him."

When Vin heard they were going to sedate him he became agitated. Chris tried to get him to relax but it was no use Vin wasn't listening. Chris could see Vin try to move his legs but the toxin still had them paralyzed. The nurse gave him the sedative and he tried to fight the effects but it was no use. In a short time he was laying peacefully in the bed.

"Damn I don't think I could have handled that," JD piped up.

"That must be a really crazy feeling," Buck agreed.

"Hey, Buck," JD said. "Ya think we could go back to the apartment?"

"You feeling OK JD?" Nathan asked.

"My leg kinda hurts and I'm tired," he admitted.

"Why don't you take him home Buck," Chris suggested. "There's nothing else you can do here."

"I'm sorry Chris," JD said.

"For what?" Chris said. "You were in an accident only last week. Vin and Ezra will understand."

"You'll call us if anything happens?" Buck asked.

"We will," Josiah said. "You just worry about JD."

Buck helped JD to stand and handed him his crutches. Before he left he hobbled between the two beds and gave Ezra and Vin a reassuring pat. He headed for the door with Buck close behind. After they left technicians wheeled in a portable x-ray machine to x-ray Vin's shoulder and chest. The doctor wanted to make sure he hadn't rebroken his shoulder or his ribs. Nathan and Chris moved over to sit in the chairs JD and Buck had just vacated. Josiah continued to sit with Ezra. Chris put his head back against the wall and tried to relax. Chris dozed for a short while when the nurse came back to let them know Vin's shoulder and ribs were OK. Chris thanked her before she left. At least that's one thing we don't have to worry about Chris thought. He leaned back in the chair and fell asleep.


Over the next thirty-six hours Josiah and Nathan took turns staying at the hospital. Nathan tried to get Chris to leave but he wouldn't. He agreed to eat and sleep. But he wasn't leaving. Ezra's heart rate remained at a steady rhythm and the toxins were leaving his system. Whenever he woke up the nurses would check his arms and legs for paralysis. Vin's heart rate kept fluctuating but they were able to regulate it using drugs. Chris was just thankful they didn't have to shock him again.

Vin's body was having trouble eliminating the toxins and his legs remained paralyzed. The doctor decided it was because of the damage his right kidney had suffered from the accident. Vin's kidneys weren't work efficiently they were slower in removing the toxins causing Vin's recovery to take longer. Whenever Vin was awake he would become frustrated when he couldn't move and fought the tube. It was getting harder for Chris to calm him down forcing the doctor to sedate him. They had sedated him twice more over the last thirty-six hours. Chris had called AD Travis explained what happened. He shuffled some of their cases and Team 7 was put on research duty. Josiah, Buck and Nathan had been holding down the fort at work.

Buck brought JD to the hospital for a visit and they found Chris sitting on the bed next to Ezra. Buck saw that Vin was sleeping so walked quietly passed. As they got closer they saw Ezra was awake.

"Hey, Pard, how's it going?" Buck asked quietly.

"Hey, Chris," JD greeted.

"Everything's fine," Chris said. "Why don't the two of you entertain Ezra while I get something to eat."

"Already got that covered, " Buck said holding up a bag.

Chris got off the bed and headed over to one of the chairs. Buck pulled another one closer to Ezra's bed. Buck took up a position on the bed next to Ezra. He smiled at Ezra gave him an emerald hard stare. Ezra wrote something on the pad and handed it to Buck. It read 'Make a comment and I will shoot you'.

"Now Ezra, would I say anything?" Buck asked innocently.

"Yeah you would," JD said. "Since Ezra can't answer you back."

Ezra wrote something again and showed it to JD. "Want to bet?"

"I hope this teaches you boys not to eat that raw fish any more," Buck scolded.

Ezra wrote again and handed it to Buck.

"On the contrary, this is only a minor set back," Buck read with a southern accent.

"You mean you' d risk eating it again?" JD asked shocked.

"Ezra's just a glutton for punishment," Chris answered.

"This is just a minor inconvenience," Buck read again imitating Ezra.

Ezra gain scribbled on the pad and handed it to Buck who read it and laughed.

"What he write?" JD asked.

"He said my southern accent is deplorable and if I didn't stop he will shoot me," Buck answered.

JD laughed and said Ezra was right. Chris finished his lunch and put his head back to take a nap. Buck and JD talked with Ezra for awhile when Buck noticed in start to stir. He got up and moved over closer to his bed. He knew they had been having problems making Vin stay quiet so he wanted to be ready to hold on to him. Vin opened his eyes and blinked. He raised his hand and went to grab the tube when Buck stopped him.

"You don't want to do that, Junior," Buck said.

Vin tried pulling his hand out of Buck's grasp but it was no use he didn't have the strength. Chris was awoken when he heard Buck arguing with Vin. He looked over to see Vin struggling against Buck holding his arm. JD watched quietly in alarm.

"What's going on?" Chris asked as he walked over.

"Every time I let go he tries to pull out the tube," Buck explained.

"Damn it, Vin!" Chris cursed. "Do you want them to sedate you again?"

Vin tried to speak then started to gag. Buck still held his arm and felt Vin tense as he tried to control his reaction. He could also see the frustration in Vin's blue eyes. Buck looked at Chris and shook his head. Chris decided to try another tactic.

"Looks like Ezra has more patience than you," he said. "He doesn't struggle when he's awake. Why can't you?"

Vin glared at Chris and stopped struggling. He glanced over at Ezra and saw him wave. Vin tried to wave back but Buck still had his hand.

"You gonna behave?" Buck asked releasing his hand.

Vin gave him the finger and Buck laughed. Ezra wrote something and handed it to JD.

"Crude, but effective," JD read in a southern accent.

Ezra rolled his eyes causing Buck and Chris to laugh. JD protested saying at least his accent was better than Buck's. They didn't notice one of the nurses standing by the door.

"You boys having fun in here?" she asked as she came in.

Chris moved out of her way as she checked Vin. When she was satisfied everything was all-right she walked over to Ezra and checked him also. When she was finished she motioned to Chris as she walked out. Chris followed her out it the hall.

"Is there something wrong?" he asked.

"No everything's fine," she smiled. "I just wanted to say appealing to Mr. Tanner's pride was ingenious. The doctor didn't want to sedate him again." "Why is it causing problems?"

"It just makes it hard to check his reaction to stimuli," she explained. "Besides the blood tests we use his reaction to us touching his legs to gage the effects of the toxin, which you already knew."

"Is the doctor coming down to check on them?" Chris asked.

"I let him know they were both awake," she answered. "He should be here


She left Chris and he went back inside. Buck was telling a story of a bust that had gone sour when they were working for Denver PD. Buck was making himself out to be a super cop when JD said he was full of crap. Ezra wrote something and held up "I agree!" Buck laughed and continued anyway. Chris noticed Buck had Vin's arm pinned to the bed. Chris sighed and took Buck's place but didn't hold Vin's arm. When Vin realized Chris wasn't going to hold his arm he tried to reach behind his back.

"What is it Vin?" Chris asked.

When Vin realized he couldn't reach he stopped and asked for the pad. Chris held it while he carefully wrote something. Buck continued his story letting Chris handle Vin. When he was done writing Chris read 'Back Itches'. Chris realized the incision from the glass was bothering him. He wasn't surprised. Vin had been lying on it now for almost two days. Chris was going to get the nurse when she came in followed by the doctor.

"Hello gentlemen," he said. "Well Mr. Tanner I'm glad to see you aren't fighting things this time."

"He says the incision is bothering him," Chris said.

"I'm not surprised," he said. "The nurses can change his bandages when I'm done. I'm sure the one in his shoulder is bothering him also."

Vin wrote something on the pad and when he was done Chris smiled.

"He said it wasn't until you mentioned it," Chris said.

The doctor laughed and walked over to Ezra. He checked his charts and nodded. He discussed something with the nurse then checked the output from his catheter. Chris smiled when he saw Ezra's reaction. He hated this as much as Vin did.

The doctor noted something on the chart then pushed the blankets off of Ezra's feet. He asked him to move the toes on his right foot. When he did the doctor was pleased. He asked the same of his left. Ezra was able to get them to move but not as much. The doctor said that was excellent and wrote something on the chart. When he was finished he moved to Vin. He did everything the same but frowned when he checked Vin's catheter. He told the nurses to try to push more fluids and wrote it on the chart. Next came the part Chris dreaded. Vin usually got upset when he couldn't move his legs. The doctor pushed the blankets off and look up at him.

"Alright, Mr. Tanner, are you going to stay calm?" he asked.

Vin nodded but Chris could see he was getting anxious. He felt Vin take his hand and Chris looked down and smiled at him. The doctor asked him to try to move his toes on his right foot. He knew this one had reacted slowly since the accident. Chris watched as Vin starred at his toes willing them to move. Vin finally admitted defeat and shook his head 'No'. The doctor said when he was ready to try his left foot. Chris felt Vin squeeze his hand as he concentrated. When nothing happened the doctor almost said that was fine when suddenly Vin's toes slowly moved. Buck cheered and everyone laughed.

The doctor said that was fine and told him to relax. Chris could see this small effort had cost Vin and he sagged against the pillows. The doctor finished writing things done on the chart then left. The nurse gathered the supplies she would need to change Vin's bandages. She gave Vin a painkiller before she started. Chris helped and by the time they were done Vin was exhausted and fell asleep.

Buck looked at his watch and said he had to get the Kid down to his physical therapy. Ezra was also starting to doze off. Buck and JD said good bye and went out the door. When the nurse saw they were both sleeping she made Chris leave to lie down in the doctors quarters. She promised she would come get him if anything happened. He finally gave in when he realized how tired he was. She showed him to the room and Chris gratefully sank in to the bed and fell asleep.


Ezra was getting restless. Now he understood why Vin hated the breathing tube so much. He glanced over at the sharpshooter and saw he was sleeping quietly. He had awoken earlier and became agitated when he realized Chris was gone. The nurse ended up having to sedate him when he wouldn't calm down. They also put his left arm in a restraint so he couldn't pull any of the IV's or other equipment in his sleep. The reason Chris was gone was the doctor had finally forced him out. Ezra knew his forced exile wouldn't last long but he knew why the doctor had ordered it. Team 7 leader hadn't left the hospital in 48 hours. Ezra was actually glad the others weren't around. Their hovering was starting to drive him crazy. As he watched Vin he thought maybe the Texan had the right idea. Under sedation he could sleep the time away. As he was thinking the doctor walked in followed by a younger woman.

"Good afternoon, Mr. Standish," he said. "We just got back your latest tests and your blood gas is back to normal. This is Marta, she's the respiratory specialist."

"Hello," she said with a smile. "Do you want me to explain what's going to happen?"

Ezra wrote on the pad that it wasn't necessary he knew the procedure. She was about to ask how and Ezra pointed to Vin.

"I don't understand," she said.

"Mr. Tanner seems to be a permanent fixture here," the doctor smiled. "Ezra was around the last time Vin had a tube in and when it was removed."

"Oh I see," she smiled. "Alright I will just get started then."

An hour later Ezra was coughing up the tube as Marta pulled on it. Once it was out he collapsed back on the pillows. She placed a nasal cannula under his nose and Ezra's breathing returned to normal and he relaxed.

"Thank you," he croaked.

"You might want to take it easy talking for awhile," she suggested.

"That would be impossible for Ezra," Buck laughed. As he walked in followed by JD on his crutches.

"Hey Ezra!" JD exclaimed, "You got the tube out."

"How observant," he whispered.

"Mr. Standish," Marta warned handing him some ice. "Here suck on this ice, it will help sooth your throat."

"What happened to Vin?" Buck asked.

"It's just a precaution, Buck," Kathy said as she walked in. "He was moving his arm around as he slept and we didn't want to take any chances he might pull something."

"He ain't going to like that when he wakes up," JD observed.

"Don't worry we'll take it off when he starts to wake up,' she said. "How's your leg?"

"Doctor says it's doing great," JD answered. "Still hurts some."

"What brings you to this fine establishment Mr. Wilmington?" Ezra asked.

"I give up," Marta said in exasperation. "If you want to keep talking that's up to you."

"This bunch will make you crazy," Kathy agreed.

"Well I'll leave them to you,' she said as she left.

"Was it something I said?" Ezra asked.

"Mr. Standish," Kathy warned. "Just because the tube is out doesn't mean I can't sedate you."

"Damn Ezra she told you," Buck laughed. "To answer your question JD's has a rehab appointment and since the doctor banned Chris I said I'd check up on the two of you."

They brought Ezra up on all the gossip at the office. JD was telling Ezra about the latest research they were doing when Buck noticed Vin starting to move. He watched as he pulled against the restraint on his arm and moved his left leg. Buck was surprised, a few hours ago he could hardly move it.

"Buck can you give me a hand over here?" Kathy asked as she moved towards Vin.

Buck grabbed his legs and Kathy took a hold of his shoulders. The monitors went off another nurse came running. When she saw Vin was dreaming again she turned off the alarms and helped Kathy as Vin began to toss. The dream only lasted a short time than Vin lay quietly.

"Thanks Buck," Kathy said as she check all the wires and tubes. "Now you see why we secured his hand."

"How long has he been doing this?" JD asked.

"Ever since Chris left," Kathy sighed. "I warned the doctor this would happen but he wouldn't listen. He just wants to make our work harder."

"Don't worry," Buck smiled. "We'll get Chris back for you."

"I'd appreciate it," Kathy laughed.

"Well come on Kid," Buck said, "Let's take you down to be tortured."

"Thanks Buck," JD scowled. "See ya Ezra."

Ezra watched as they left the room. Kathy walked over to his bed and pulled up his blankets.

"If you need anything just call," she said.

Ezra nodded and smiled. He watched as she checked Vin one last time and walked out. The southerner took a deep breath and settled back against the pillows. He closed his eyes and drifted off into his first comfortable sleep in 48 hours.


Later in the afternoon Ezra woke to a voice talking in a whisper. He opened his eyes to see Chris sitting next to Vin reading the paper out loud. Vin was starring up at the ceiling as he listened. Ezra could see the restraint was off and Vin was plucking at the blanket with his fingers. Vin sensed someone was watching him and glanced at Ezra. Chris noticed and turned to him also.

"Hey Ezra," Chris said. "It's good to see you awake without that tube."

"Thank you, Mr. Larabee," he said in a scratchy voice.

"Hold on a second," Chris said.

Ezra watched as a silent communication took place between the two men before Chris walked over. He poured Ezra a glass of water and handed him the cup.

"Thank you," Ezra said handing it back. "How's Vin taking this?"

"He's not happy but what choice does he have," Chris laughed.

"True," Ezra smiled.

As they were talking Vin wrote something on the pad and ripped it off. He balled it up and threw it towards Ezra. His aim was a little off with his left hand and hit Chris. Chris turned and picked up the paper. He straightened it out and read it. He smiled then handed it to Ezra. Ezra read the note and it said 'You owe twenty bucks'."

"I always pay my debts, Mr. Tanner. "Ezra laughed and started coughing.

"You better take it easy talking for awhile," Chris advised. "Before they kick me out again."

"If you insist," Ezra wheezed.

Chris spent the rest of the afternoon entertaining the two injured agents. One of the nurses came in to take a blood gas from Vin and check Ezra. When she was done she smiled and left them alone. Vin fell asleep around 6:00PM and Chris said the others better get here soon since he was starving. Ezra said he could keep an eye on Vin if he wanted to leave. Chris laughed and wanted to know who was going to watch him. Ezra was about to tell Chris he was perfectly capable of watching himself when Nathan walked in. He took Chris's place holding Vin's hand and Chris left to get some dinner. As he walked past the nurses station Kathy stopped him.

"Thanks for coming back Chris," She said.

"I didn't want to leave in the first place," he growled.

"I know," she said. "Vin's been miserable and making our jobs a lot harder. I finally convinced the doctor to let you stay or else."

"I guess you 'or else' worked," Chris said. "I'll be back after I get some dinner."

Around 8:00PM the rest of the gang showed up and they decided to try a game of poker. Chris was going to help Vin but he wrote on a piece of paper to get his own cards. Buck laughed and Ezra dealt the cards. Chris handed Vin his cards face down. Vin did his best spreading them out to see what he had. He laid them on his chest and threw in his ante. The other put in theirs and asked for cards. Chris watched Vin struggle a bit but knew the stubborn agent wouldn't ask for help. Vin finally handed Chris four cards.

"Vin needs four," Chris said.

"Well we know Junior has an ace," Buck smiled.

Vin gave Buck the finger and took his cards from Chris. Buck laughed again and handed two cards to Ezra. Once everyone had their cards the betting started. It came down to Buck and Vin. Every time Buck raised Vin would see his bet, then raise.

"You're bluffing," Buck smiled. "I'll see your bet, now lets see the cards."

Vin spread out a full house two aces and three eight's. Buck threw down his cards. He had three jacks.

"Damn, Ezra," Buck yelled, "How'd you deal him the winning hand?"

"And just what are you implying, Mr. Wilmington?" Ezra asked arching an eyebrow.

"Never mind," Buck grumbled," Just deal the cards."

They played a few more hands when Chris noticed Vin starting to nod off. He went to take his cards when Vin gripped them tighter. He opened his eyes and blinked a couple of times and starred at his cards. Chris knew he was pushing himself but he wasn't going to make a big deal about it. Ezra had noticed Vin was getting tired also.

"Well gentlemen, and I do use that term lightly," Ezra said. "It's been a long day and I need my beauty sleep."

"You sure do," JD teased.

"Are you feeling alright?" Nathan asked in concern.

"I'm perfectly fine Mr. Jackson, just tired," he answered.

"Then we better let  you get some sleep," Josiah said. "Come on, John Dunne, let's get you out to the car."

Josiah handed JD his crutches and they said good night. Buck and Nathan said their good byes and followed the others. Chris took the cards form Vin and handed them to Ezra. Vin tried to stay awake. He knew Ezra had only said he was tired to get the others to leave. They both smiled as they watched Vin's eyelids get heavy and he drifted off to sleep.

"Thanks Ezra," Chris said.

"My pleasure, Mr. Larabee."

Chris pulled up one of the comfortable chairs Kathy had found for him and got comfortable. He took Vin's hand and watched as Ezra closed his eyes and was soon snoring softly. Chris leaned his head back and joined them.


Vin and Ezra spent two more weeks in the hospital before the doctor said they could go home. Vin's breathing tube had been pulled out the day after Ezra's and the two of them drove the nurses crazy. They were always arguing over something. Ezra said they were only having a few lively debates. Again the nurses were happy to see them go. As Ezra and Vin started feeling better they became more adamant about leaving. Vin's right leg was still a little stiff and he was forced to use a wheel chair to get around. The two clever agents had been caught trying to leave a number of times.

Chris found it amusing that Ezra wouldn't leave without Vin. The nurses said Ezra could have left using his disguises but Vin in the wheel chair always gave him away. Finally the doctor relented and decided to let them go. He said they could leave only if they weren't left alone. The others made arrangements to let Vin go back with Buck and JD while Josiah agreed to take Ezra. When Ezra found out, he wanted no part of it. He made arrangements for a private nurse to move in with him while he recovered and said Vin would be joining him. The day they were ready to leave everyone came to pick them up.

"Now Ezra why won't you let Vin stay with us?" Buck asked.

"Because, Mr. Wilmington, I'm concerned some vermin will carry him off," Ezra said as he packed his bag.

"The loft ain't dirty," JD protested.

"That's debatable," Ezra smiled.

As the three men argued Chris helped Vin pack his stuff. With Vin's shoulder still out of commission he wasn't able to use crutches so he was stuck in a wheelchair. Chris knew he wouldn't last long in it but they had to try. When Chris asked Ezra how they were going to get the chair up the stairs he informed Chris it wouldn't be a problem. He had a temporary chair lift installed on the outside stairs and Vin would use the guestroom on the first floor. Finally they were ready to go and they signed themselves out. They were both given written instructions for the medication them were on. They were both still on drugs to maintain a steady heart rate. The doctor said they would need to stay on them for another two weeks. Vin was also scheduled for rehab three times a week. The nurses wished them luck as Chris pushed Vin out the door. When Ezra so the wheelchair brought in for him he refused it. The nurse said it was either he rode in the chair or hr stayed. Ezra quickly sat down and they were on their way.


Chris was at the ranch getting everything ready. They were finally going to spend their football weekend at the ranch. Ezra would be returning to work on Monday with a clean bill of health. The doctor wanted him to be on light duty for another week but Ezra didn't mind. Vin would also be coming back on light duty. Vin had graduated to using a cane for his leg and his kidney and back were healing fine. JD's leg was doing well and his cast had been removed at the beginning of the week. He had continued with his rehab with Vin and it was now a contest to see which one could do better.

Chris had been worried they might be pushing themselves to hard and had called their physical therapist. She assured Chris they were both fine. She said Vin knew he wasn't as strong as JD and stopped when he got tired. Chris was finishing putting out the chips when the doorbell rang. He went to answer it but Buck walked in on his own.

"See I knocked this time," Buck smiled carrying a case of beer.

"Yeah but you're supposed to let Chris answer the door before you barge in," JD scolded.

Chris watched as limped into the kitchen carrying a grocery bag filled with pretzels and chips. He was glad to see the limp was hardly noticeable. The next to arrive was Josiah and Nathan. Josiah carried a pot of his chili and he placed it on the stove. Nathan brought soda and more chips. Everything was in place and they were waiting for Ezra and Vin.

"Maybe one of us should have picked them up," Nathan said worried. "Ezra was only given permission to drive again the other day."

"Don't worry Nate," Josiah said. "They'll be fine."

Chris wouldn't say anything but he was getting a little worried also. Ezra was stopping off at Vin's apartment so he could pick up some more clothes.

Vin was going to be staying at the ranch since he wasn't able to drive himself to work. Chris knew they were probably ready to kill each other and offered to take Vin off Ezra's hands. Chris relaxed when he heard the familiar purr of Ezra's Jaguar as it pulled up the drive. He heard the door close and walked to the front door to let them in. Chris was a little shocked at what he saw. Vin stood on the porch in a dark blue tailored silk shirt. His right arm was in a black silk sling. His pants were a medium gray and also silk. His hair was neatly pulled back into a pony tail and he carried a silver handled walking stick. Ezra stood next to him in a burgundy silk shirt and black silk pants.

"Ah Mr. Larabee, how good of you to meet us at the door," Vin said as he walked in.

"Yes that was very courteous of you," Ezra said as he passed the stunned man.

Chris shut the door and followed them into the living room. Vin walked with a noticeable limp leaning on the cane. When they others so him they starred.

"Mr. Standish is there something wrong with my attire?" Vin asked the southerner.

"Of course not, Mr. Tanner," Ezra answered. "Why do you ask?"

"Because our fellow associates seem to be staring," he commented.

"That's because they are jealous of how you look," Ezra smiled as he took a seat.

"I see," Vin said as he sat next to Ezra.

JD just starred with his mouth opened. Josiah smiled and leaned over and shut it for him. Nathan just shook his head. Buck finally couldn't take it anymore.

"Alright, Ezra, what the hell do you do with our Vin!" he demanded.

"Really, Mr. Wilmington," Vin said. "Ezra has just educated me in the finer things in life and I have decided to emulate him."

"I knew it!!!!" Buck bellowed. "I told you we should never have let Vin stay with Ezra."

Vin finally couldn't do it any more and burst out laughing. Ezra joined him as they looked at the others.

"How long did it take you to get his mannerisms down?" Josiah asked.

"Not too long," Vin said. "The hardest part was gettin' all those words right."

"You two think you're funny don't ya?" Buck said.

"Actually Buck you're the funny one," Vin smiled. "Damn you should have seen your face when I started using them big words like Ezra."

Chris just laughed and went into the kitchen. He listened as Vin said how he practiced for days to get everything right. Vin admitted he did like the feel of the clothes Ezra wore even if they were a little flimsy. Chris was pouring some chips in a bowl when Josiah walked in.

"Those two scare me sometimes," Josiah said.

"Well now we know Vin can go undercover with Ezra if we need him to," Chris smiled. "He does look good in the clothes."

"I'm sure Ezra picked them out," Josiah laughed. "He has impeccable taste in his haberdashery."

"Don't you start," Chris warned.

"It's good to finally get to this weekend," Josiah sighed.

"I know," Chris said. "It's not our fault those three decide to make a change in plans."