by Karin

ATF Alternate Universe


The truck pulled up to the ranch, the trio letting out their ‘oohs' and ‘ahhs' as they went past the pastures. Chris smiled a little at the kids expressions. gotta love the city kids, probably think they're in the old west

"Um..Mr. Larabee, right?"

"Not in public, you can call me Chris. Ryan, right?"

"Yeah, which horse is the one that JD fell off and broke his arm?" the teen asked, looking at the horses running in the pasture.

"JD doesn't fall off horses," Chris stated the truth, he told Ryan the real reason. "He broke his arm falling from a loading platform," Chris said.

"Oh..was he ..working then?" Robbie asked.

"Yup," Chris looked in his rearview and got a glimpse of JD, who was still asleep.

"Thanks for doing this Mr. Larabee, it'll be nice to just lay back and relax for a couple days," Robbie sighed out.

"You're welcome. Here we are boys" Chris said pulling up to the ranch house.

"You want to me to wake JD?" Ryan asked.

"No..see that guy right there," Chris pointed, Robbie nodded his head.

"Something wrong?" Joey asked, so much like JD it was scary.

"Not really. That's Nathan, JD has a way of getting fevers when he's been hurt, and from the way the kids been sleeping I'd say he's got one. Nathan gets..well a little vocal sometimes," Chris said with a casual smile.

"Why?" Robbie asked.

Chris was going to answer, but Vin made his way to the truck.

"Hey cowboy," Vin greeted.

"Boy's this is Vin, Vin this here's Ryan, Robbie and Joey. And you know Rip Van Winkle in the back."

"Boy's," Vin nodded as they all got out of the truck. "See you done wore JD out," Vin smiled, climbing into the back of the truck, just as Chris got out; pulling the seat forward.

"Well?" Chris asked not adding ‘he have a fever?'.

"Yup," Vin answered the unasked question. "How long he been sleeping?" Vin asked.

"Ever since we left the city," Chris sighed, he knew that wasn't a good thing.

"JD..hey..come on..we're home," Vin said, shaking the kid slightly.

"Huh? We're home?" JD asked, eyes still closed.

"JD, you don't get up I'm having Nathan come check you out," Chris threatened.

"Okay..I'm awake.." JD said, eyes flying open.

"Everything okay Chris?" Nathan asked.

"Yeah, JD got his foot caught under Mr. Larabee's seat," Joey said, with a smile.

Vin, Chris and JD looked to Joey, then back to each other and smiled.

"What have you been teaching them kid?" Vin asked quietly, still next to the kid, but looking like he was trying to get the kids foot unstuck.

"I had nothin' to do with it," JD said, resting his casted hand on the back of the inclined seat for ‘leverage' to help Vin with his ‘stuck foot'.

"Here, try this," Nathan said pushing the seat back quickly.

"Nate," Vin and Chris together

"No!" the trio saying it with them.

It was too late, the cast came back with force, catching JD on the bride of his nose, the force causing his head to snap back hitting the rear window.

"Ahh...God.........Dammit!" JD cried out, as he curled into a ball next to Vin, his hand going to the back of his head, while the other casted hand held his face, trying desperately not to spill any blood in the truck, but that was already a lost cause.

"I'm sorry JD..I didn't all right?" Nathan asked, normally he was the one fixing, not causing the need to be fixed.

"What do you think!" JD snapped out, as he tried to get out of the he did, he grazed the top of his head on the door frame.

"Owe!! Shitshitshitshit,"JD's muffled words still heard loud enough as he stamped his foot as he chanted. Vin and Chris both winced..they knew that hurt.

"You think it's broke?" Chris tried, after JD got done stomping his foot in pain.

"I got a freakin' Marsha Brady football nose..what do you think?" JD said, taking his hand away from his face, then looked at his cast "How the hell am I suppose to get the blood off ?" he yelled loudly again.

"Let's go get that x-rayed before Buck gets out here," Chris tried again calmly.

"Why, I know it's broken. Sides..we'd probably get in an accident on the way..gee lets do that..lets see if I break my leg today.." JD said storming off into the house.

"I'll get him," Vin assured.

Chris sighed and looked to the trio, who stood there..mouths open, noticing Ryan had gone a little pale.

"He's just tired, he gets kinda cranky when he's tired," Chris smiled.

+ + + + + + +

"Hey," Vin said as he walked into the living room where JD had found the couch, he was laying down , his legs off to the side so his feet were on the floor, a bag of ice on his face.

"Hey," JD muffled back under the ice, eyes closed and both hands under his head.

"You feel okay?" Vin asked sitting at the end of the couch, knowing it was a stupid question, but seemed it was becoming a mandatory one for the kid these days.

"Well, besides the fact the blood running down inside my cast is driving me nuts, I already have one black eye, my nose is broke, I hit my head..twice..and I'm sure I'm gettin the raccoon eyes already..I'd say all and all it's been a pretty normal day and that I feel just peachy," JD's muffled voice was light, but dripping with sarcasm.

"Yup, I'd say you've had a pretty normal day, nothin unusual," Vin smiled.

"When's Buck suppose to get here?" JD asked, taking the ice from his face and sitting up.

"Not till later," Vin said.

"Think we'll make it back from the hospital before he gets back?" the black and blue, broken young agent asked.

"If we leave now, maybe," Vin couldn't help but smile, he could see the bruises already forming under JD's eyes.

"I look that bad?" JD asked, seeing the look on Vin's face.

"Looks like you went a few rounds with Tyson," Vin said lightly.

"Really?" JD replied as he got up from the couch "my ear still there?" he finished with a smile.

"Come on..I'll take you in the Jeep, Chris is cleaning the truck," Vin relayed, putting his hand to JD's back.

"How big a mess is it?"

"Not too bad, I think you caught most of the blood," Vin laughed out as they passed through the kitchen and out to the front porch.

"What happened?" JD asked alarmed as he saw Chris and Nathan hovering over Ryan, who was sitting on the ground, elbows on his knees, his head in his hands.

"He's a little squeamish about the blood, that's all," Chris smiled.

"You okay Ryan?" JD asked. Ryan just rocked his head up and down, nodding in his hands.

"Where's the other two?" Vin asked.

"They wanted to see the horses, Josiah took them over," Chris smiled. "I'm taking JD to that clinic down on Juniper Street," Vin said. "Be careful," Chris pleaded.

"I'll try ‘Dad'," JD said with a smile. "Be back in a bit."

+ + + + + + +

"Larabee," Chris answered into his cellular phone. He was pretty sure he knew who it was.

" he's not here.....well..he ..Uh.....Well give me a minute before you start giving me hell for nothing..He's with the boys are here...where'd he go with Vin? Where are you....yes it makes a difference where you are...cause it does.....Vin took JD to the hospital," Chris said..not waiting to hear what Buck had to say he held the phone into the air, bringing the phone back to his ear, checking periodically.

"Buck.." phone in the air "Just..." back in the air. "Hold on!! Before you get any more wound up he's fine......well I know that if he's going to the hospital he isn't fine..but considering it's JD he's fine...he busted his nose....yes he hit it with his's a long story...okay..half an hour then," Chris folded up the phone, he turned and smiled at the 3 boys behind him.

"Just Buck," Chris smiled.

+ + + + + + +

The 2 agents sat in the waiting room, JD's legs jiggled impatiently as he waited to see the doctor.

"Will you stop that?" Vin asked.


"Jigglin' you legs up and're making the whole floor move," Vin said.

"Sorry. This place is worse than the one we went to Saturday night," JD whispered to Vin.

"You went to a clinic Saturday night?" Vin asked, eyeing the kid suspiciously.

"Yeah, me and ‘Maxwell' came after........never mind," JD suddenly shut up, realizing he'd done a very Joey thing, which was not very Joey thing at all, but very much a JD thing.

"Sorry..too hurt yourself playin' Saturday," Vin stated.

"Well..I mean it was already broken...and playin' Saturday just cracked the other ‘technically' I didn't hurt it again," JD smiled in self satisfaction.

"No just made it worse," Vin said.

"Well if you're gonna be so negative about it ..."

"Mr. Saunders, Jake Saunders?"

"Right here," JD stood up

"Right where?" Vin asked sarcastically under his breath as he stood.

"Come this way," the nurse said.

"Mr. want to tell me what happened?" the doctor asked, examining JD face, touching the bruises around JD' eyes.

"Well..I hit my nose with my cast,"

"I see," the doctor sad suspiciously.

"Ask him..he was there..I just.. OW!!! I'd like to keep the nose there if ya' don't mind!" JD yelled as the doctor set his nose with no warning.

"Sorry," the doctor smiled, a too big a smile JD thought.

The doctor than retrieved a small saw like instrument and began removing the cast from JD's arm. The doctor removed and discarded the cast..JD thought he seemed way too interested in the bruising pattern of his arm.

"Hey Doc...I already know it's broken."

"I want an x-ray of that arm," the doctor ignored JD's statement.

"I've already had 2 sets of x-rays taken..I'm pretty sure it's broke," JD offered his opinion.

"Yup, what bone did you break Mr. Know-it-all?" Vin couldn't help but snicker.

"The ulna..Hah! See Vin I was paying attentio..OW!" JD pulled his arm back, as the doctor cleaned off the blood, none to gently.

"Hey Doc..not to criticize..but shouldn't ya' be a bit more might break.."

"OWE!! You want me to clean it!" JD interrupted Vin's calm comment by snapping at the doctor.

"Does it hurt when I do this?" The Doctor asked moving JD's thumb.

"Yeah! hurts when you look at it!"

"You broke the radius too." The doctor said flatly, he left the room to get the portable x-ray machine.

"Gee, wonder how that happened?" JD said sarcastically of the doctors rough treatment.

In 15 minutes the arm was x-rayed... casted ...again...and the 2 agents were on the way back to the ranch.

"Think he'll notice?" JD asked, admiring his new cast, his thumb an addition to the casted parts.

"Gee JD..What do you think? Last he saw, ya' could still thumb you have a permanent hitch-hiking thumb."

"Hey Vin, ya' wanna stop at that little shop?" JD asked, the smile in his eyes as noticeable as the one on his face.

"What do you have brewing in your head, kid?" Vin asked as he stopped at the shop.

"Nothin'," JD said innocently, hopping out of the Jeep. Vin shrugged his shoulders, and followed JD into the small shop.

+ + + + + + +

Chris was in the kitchen with Nathan and Josiah, trying to figure out what to have for supper when Chris heard the horses whinny and looked out the window. He saw a familiar old beat up blue pickup coming towards the house and a cloud of dust following.

He stepped out onto the porch as the truck stopped, out of the corner he saw a very dusty Jag emerge from the cloud of dust.

"So..Where are the kids?" Buck asked with a huge smile, he couldn't wait to see what JD had gotten himself into.

"Vin and JD aren't back yet, the boys are in the house getting settled.." Chris said, then added "You're gonna be in trouble when Ezra finally gets out of his car you know."

"With all this dust I have enough time to go back to the office and back here and he'd still be waiting for the dust to settle," Buck smiled.

"Here they come, guess you will have more time," Chris smiled at the ladies man, seeing the Jeep approach with another cloud of dust behind it.

The Jeep stopped, Vin got out and looked down; trying to hide his smile.

Robbie, Ryan and Joey came out of the house hearing the vehicles approach, they stepped off the porch and stood near Chris.

"Buck," Vin said his hello as simply as possible..this was going to be good.

"Vin, where's JD?"

"Hey Buck! This is Robbie, Ryan and Joey; guys..this is Buck," JD smiled, stepping beside Chris and the boys, acting like nothing was unusual.

"Eh..Boys," Buck said, shaking each ones hand, but looking at JD.

"Buck? Somethin' wrong?" he asked, worry in his voice present. The trio looked away, they had a hard time hiding their smiles; they looked towards Vin, who motioned his head for the three boys to come over with him...he had a better vantage point, and wanted to fill them in.

"Wh...Whe..Yo...Hair," Buck finally got out.

" like it?" JD smiled, like he just thought it was the greatest thing he'd ever done.

"Well..I ..ah..It's.." Buck tried to find a word..any word.

"Good Lord! Mr. Dunne what in Gods name have you done! Oh my Lord..please tell me I am halucinating from inhaling all that dust and you have not altered the tint of your hair!" Ezra said, as he walked from his car and stood mouth open in disbelieve next to Buck.

"It's short," Buck finally managed to make sense.

"You don't like it?" JD asked, his face dropping the smile going directly into a pout.

"It's short," Buck said, again

"And ..blond," Ezra added.


"Yeah I know..but you see that's what all the guys in the other groups are doin' I figured I'd go and get mine done too, so I'd fit in," JD smiled, again justifying his reasons.

"JD..that..It ahh..Help me out here Ezra," Buck still found it hard to talk.

"It's repulsive!! What were you thinking!! I do believe that they left the peroxide in your hair a tad to long and it seeped to what you call your actually ‘like' this new ‘look' of yours? Do you know that it is permanent..that just doesn't come out, do you not understand that your fractured appendage will be usable before that abomination you call hair fashion is back to it's original color!" Ezra stated, almost in a panic.

"What!?" JD asked, shocked at what Ezra had just said. This is too sweet JD thought, and Ezra was a bonus..the others would certainly respect him now..he was conning a con!!

"That color ain't gonna come out..not until your hair grows out again," Chris stated flatly, not a hint that he knew what was going on.

"NO!..She said it would come out! ain't there a way I can get it back to the way it was?" JD panicked.

"Nope, sorry."

"How could you let me do this Vin!!" JD accused.

"Don't get me into're the one that said you thought it would be a good trick," Vin defended himself.

"Hah!! That's what you get for trying to trick me!! It back fired !!" Buck couldn't help it any longer..his laughter roared through the crowd, each person adding there own laughter to Bucks.

"You sure do look purty with that hair!! JD, the girls are gonna go nuts with you lookin' like that!! Arm all busted up..and your!! You know that really brings out the blue in them bruises of yours!!" Buck managed to say taking a break from his laughter..only to go back to it ten fold.

The laughter of the crowd subsided a bit, except for Buck, who was practically bent over holding his guts from laughing so hard. JD made a motion, and the crowd erupted again, with out Buck this time.

"Thank the Lord," Ezra sighed out.

"Gotcha!" JD said, smiling victoriously as he held the short blond wig in front of Buck.

"You little sh.."Buck was cut off.

"We have guests Buck," Chris reminded him.

" are going to get it..not right now..but you will get it!! Give me that damn thing!" Buck grabbed JD's ‘hair' and threw it on the ground and began stomping on it and kicking dirt on it.

"Hey..hey hey hey..don't do that! I need it for my performance," JD said calmly, picking up his ‘hair' and wiping the dust from the blond locks.

"What's so important about the wig, huh?" Buck asked sarcastically.

"I'm gonna be famous..and I need to have the blond hair to fit into the's in our contract," JD was having fun at Buck expense for a change.

"Famous my a.."

"Guests," Chris reprimanded.

"Well..that's all a bunch of..of...of... hooey!" Buck yelled back.

"I dunno Buck, Cosette seemed to like him an awful lot, she thinks he'd go real far; if he was willing to make a few ...a..ahem..sacrifices," Chris let out.

"Oh..nooo..don't even go there!" JD yelled at Chris.

"Cosette huh? What she look like?" Buck asked, a scoundrelous look crossing his face.

"Well..she was ah..." Chris tried to think of just the right words.

"Oh I think she'd like you Buck," JD smiled.

"Well of course she would," Buck smiled widely, weren't a woman around that didn't.

"Yeah..she has this thing for hairy chests and wax," JD smiled, winking towards Chris and the boys, who tried to hide their smiles.

"Suppers on!" Josiah yelled from the door.

"We can talk later about Cosette..she sounds like she was really something," Buck said, in a way that told JD ‘if I was real nice to you, would you introduce me' and he put his ‘big brother' arm around JD.

"Oh..she was somethin' alright" JD answered as he thought What, I don't know..but ‘somethin' pretty much says it all

+ + + + + + +

The men sat around the table, JD was waiting for Buck to comment on JD's appearance and was surprised he hadn't already, he didn't have to wait long though.

"So gonna make JD register that arm of his as a dangerous weapon?" Buck smiled out, winking to the boys.

"Funny Buck. I'll have you know that it wasn't my fault..Nathan did it," JD smiled.

"Oh..that's real cute kid, blame it on forget he fixes, not causes?" Buck said seriously.

"No I didn't forget..but it was his fault I broke my foot was stuck," JD stated, sitting back straight in his chair.

"Where? In your mouth again?"

"It was stuck under Chris's seat, he had it inclined so I moved it back, JD had his arm restin' on it..the momentum made him knock himself..he's right Buck, I did it," Nathan said, hanging his head..almost in tears at the thought he hurt someone.

"Oh that's a bunch of Horse sh.."

"Guests.." The table interrupted Bucks thought.

" biscuits," Buck smiled to the table for his edited version. "Kid you got the smallest feet I ever seen, ain't no way you got your foot fell asleep didn't ya?" Buck figured out.

"Mr. Buck? Chris was saying that Nathan gets a little loud if JD gets a fever..and so..when he came over to see if he was alright..I said he got his foot he wouldn't know that he had a fever and then Nathan pushed the seat back and then JD hit himself, then his head..and see...I said too much again, huh?" Joey asked as he looked to find everyone but Buck and Nathan hanging their heads at his ramble.

"No son, I'd say you said just enough," Buck smiled, knowing Nathan was going to tear into JD and the others.

"You let me think that I hurt you..and you all played along?" Nathan bellowed out, looking at each man at the table, skipping over Buck.

"I wasn't there Brother Nate," Josiah relayed.

"Mr. Jackson, I know that you enjoy the fact when you have a reason to berate my person, but if you recall I only arrived a few hours ago and had nothing to do with the circumstances behind the charade this ‘delightful' young boy attempted to undertake," Ezra smiled widely, then added, "I myself, although admire this young mans notion of the foot being stuck, would have thought of a much more believable explanation for Mr. Dunne's distress," he pointed out to Nathan

"What?" Robbie and Ryan asked.

"He says he would have thought of something besides JD's foot being stuck," Joey said, not looking at anyone but taking another bite of potatoes.

"What?" Joey asked noticing the silence, then looking up to see all eyes on him, except for JD's who was eating, ignoring the silence.

Buck leaned over to Chris and whispered "God made two of them?" he commented on how JD and Joey were alike.

"I think God was feeling a little giddy," Josiah leaned over to the two whispering.

"Hope he doesn't get ‘giddy' again," Chris smiled.

+ + + + + + +

After supper and the dishes were done the men and guest went into the game room. JD, Ryan, Robbie, and Buck played a game of pool; Nathan and Josiah were both reading; Chris and Vin were in ‘work mode' discussing vantage points at the concert arena and Joey and Ezra were playing cards.

"Cool..I won again!" Joey exclaimed.

"Yes...I can see that," Ezra sneered behind a false smile.

"Can we play again?" Joey asked.

"Are you sure you've never played this game before?" Ezra asked.

"Are you kidding, my Mother abhors gambling..she'd kill me if she could see me playing this."

Joey's victory yell alerted the men to the game, and knowing that Ezra was the best cardsharp they had ever was entertaining to see the man losing. The men all gathered around the table, Ryan and Robbie joined as JD and Buck filled them in on Ezra's expertise.

Ezra shuffled the cards confidently, then dealt the cards to himself and Joey. Ezra fanned his cards and looked at them seriously, in deep concentration. Joey playfully fanned his, taking cards out of and placing them in different spots, the smile never waning.

"I believe I go first?" Ezra said, seriously..he would be damned if he lost this time.

"Okay..go ahead," Joey smiled.

Both players took on serious and concentrating faces, a bead of sweat rolled from Ezra's brow, and Joey smiled wryly at the man's obvious panic; he wanted to win this hand and Joey knew it, it was all in the cards..would lady luck finally come back to the gambler..or would Joey have another victory.

The group of men and boys stood stock still, the tension in the air growing as the group waited for the first words of the two card players, the agents noticed Ezra seemed to be unnerved by the young 16 year old, doing a poor job of not hiding his satisfaction of the cards in his hands.

"Do you have any sixes?" Ezra asked, deathly serious, one eyebrow raised towards the young man.

"Ahhhh..." Joey scanned his cards. "No...Go Fish," Joey smiled.


"Mornin boys," Chris greeted the 3 guests.

"Morning Mr. Larabee," the trio answered in unison.

"Sleep well?" Josiah asked, sitting next to Chris.

The boys were about to answer, but were interrupted as the kitchen door swung open. Vin peeked his head into the door, taking a casual and cautious look at the table.

"Nathan and Buck awake yet?" Vin asked softly.

"What happened?" Chris seemed to groan out.

"Can ya' get the smelly stuff that wakes folks up?" Vin asked again, without answering Chris's question.

"I'll get it," Josiah offered.

"Where is he?" Chris asked, standing from the table.

"Barn," Vin answered.

"He fall off a horse?" Ryan asked, assuming they were talking about JD.

"JD doesn't fall off horses, kid," Vin smiled.

"You gonna tell me what happened or are you busy trying to think of what to say to Buck and Nathan?" Chris asked.

"No, Ezra's workin' on that part..he kinda hurt his side, got the wind knocked out of him is all," Vin smiled.

"Do I dare ask?" Chris asked as he began walking out the door, three shadows following him.

"Well, he was checking T-bones shoe, guess he hit a tender spot and he sent JD into the stall wall," Vin smiled.

"Any blood?"


"Well, unless he's broken his ribs, I don't see how Na.."

"Where is he?" Nathan asked, running up behind the small group.

"Now Nathan, he ain't.."

"Good morning gentlemen!" Ezra greeted the men at the barn door, JD standing slightly behind him so Nathan couldn't see him holding his side. "Ezra. You okay JD?" Nathan asked, concern in his voice.

"I'm fine Nate, why'd you ask?" JD answered, with a forced smile.

"I saw Josiah looking for the smelling sal.."

"Probably worried about Buck," JD offered, still trying to hide the pain he was in.

"Buck? Why would he be worried about Buck?" Nathan asked.

"He didn't look too good when he went to bed, least I don't think so," Chris offered, understanding JD's distraction effort.

"Yeah, he did look a little green around the gills," Vin added as he played along.

"Sorry JD..I gotta go check on Buck!" and Nathan ran off back to the house.

"I think he may have fractured a rib or two," Ezra said seriously.

"Well, guess it's my turn" Chris said.

"I'm fine, really" JD tried.

"So if I told Joey here to tickle ya', ya'd laugh?" Vin asked.

"After I killed him, yeah," JD said, making Joey go pale.

"Okay..lets go..ah..where are we going?" Chris asked Ezra.

"Perhaps our young friends here were not totally satisfied with the offerings available for breakfast. Where upon, Mr. Larabee and Mr. Dunne offered to purchase some fresh pastries for their guests; which the young gentlemen found much more to their liking" Ezra smiled.

"And when we come back without anything?" Chris asked.

"Well, then pick some up on your way back. I truly don't know how you people managed before I came along,"Ezra replied exasperated

"Sounds good to me," Chris said. "You ready?" Chris asked JD.

"Yeah, just don't hit the bumps to hard," JD said quietly as he made his way to the truck.

"Broken huh?" Chris asked knowingly as he helped JD into the truck carefully.

"Course," JD winced out.

The boys and 2 agents watched as the other two left to go to the hospital.

"You think his ribs are broken?" Ryan asked concerned as Vin and Ezra headed back to the house.

"I'd be surprised if they weren't," Vin answered.

"Why's that?" Joey asked.

"Due to the fact that young Mr. Dunne repeatedly insisted he was ‘fine'," Ezra stated.

"If he was hurt why'd he say he was fine?" Joey questioned.

"He's JD" the 2 agents answered simply.

"Well, I suggest we go back to the ranch and explain were Mr. Larabee and Mr. Dunne have ventured off to; I assume that you will all help with our charade?" Ezra turned a serious face to the 3 boys.

"Yeah, I guess; but I gotta tell you..pastries sound really good, kinda bummed out there won't be any," Joey said.

"‘Bummed out'?" Ezra asked turning to Vin.

"Means he's upset," Vin translated.

"Ah, yes. . .Well, I can assure you. We share your 'bummness'" Ezra smiled.

+ + + + + + +

"Dammit Nathan get that sh.."

"Guests," Josiah said, as the door opened.

"Just let me take a look at you," Nathan pleaded.

"The only person I want looking to see if I'm sick is a cute little thing in a nice tight white nurses uniform with a skirt so short and the shirt cut down to he..." Buck replaced his anger with a scoundrelous smile, and talking animatedly about how the nurse should look.

"Guests!!" the boys yelled, it was to early in the morning to get this mental picture.

"Mornin Boys! Vin, Ezra. JD still sleepin'?" Buck asked swatting Nathan's hand away from his forehead.

"Nope, just missed them both," Vin said.

"Where they going so early? Kid knock himself out with that cast of his?" Buck laughed out his question.

"No, they went to a place called Lorraine's, Joey here wanted an eclair for breakfast," Ryan offered, rolling his eyes for effect.

"They got them things at the store down the road, why'd they go to Lorrianes?" Nathan asked.

"They aren't fresh in the store," Joey said.

"Oh..well, I guess being famous has it's perks then doesn't it. You know when I was your age.." Buck began to ramble on about childhood meals, not realizing the minute he'd said ‘when I was your age' the room had cleared out.

"Hey..were'd everyone go?" he asked 15 minutes later.

+ + + + + + +

Chris looked over to the young agent sitting in the passenger seat of the truck as they headed back to the ranch, he sighed heavily and picked up his cellular phone and dialed.

"Ezra...we have a problem," Chris said seriously, looking over to JD who was fogging up the window with his breath and then making little feet in the fog with his good hand.

"Who ya' talkin' to Chris!?" JD asked excitedly.

"Ezra," Chris answered.

"Hi Ezra!!" JD leaned over and yelled into the receiver.

"Yeah..that's our problem..hell if I know what they gave he feeling any pain? I ain't to sure he feels anything!" Chris said seriously. "Ezra, people on speed are calmer than he is right now, he was fine when he left, then he started to fidget...I already called the, they said he was just a bit spaced out..he gets anymore spaced out he'll hit Jupiter," Chris said, rolling his eyes as JD opened and shut the glove box repeatedly.

"JD what are you doing?" Chris asked impatiently.

"The lights always on..did ya' ever notice that? Just trying to see if it stays on when ya' shut it," JD smiled, leaning in a bit more..slowly closing the glovebox, trying to see if the light stayed on.

"Cut it shuts off when you close it," Chris snapped.

JD pouted at Chris and crossed his arms in front of him, and sat still for all but 2 seconds before finding the button to open and close the windows..and decided to play with that, his head following the window up and down, stopping it half way, then continuing.

Chris pushed a button so JD couldn't play with the button anymore.

"Hey!! Did you see that!! I wanted it to go up..and it just did it all by itself!! I must be telermathic!!" JD announced with a huge smile.

"Jesus," Chris sighed, still on the phone with Ezra.

"Who ya' talkin to Christopher?" JD asked, again.

"Ezra," Chris sighed, again.

"Oh..lemme talk to him!" JD said, grabbing the phone from Chris's hand.

"JD.." Chris tried..too late, he was talking.

"Hey's it going..guess what..I'm telemathmatic! Yeah I am..see I wanted the window to go up and the glovebox to close and the sky to be blue..and it just did it just like that! I can't wait to tell Bucky all about it!" JD said seriously, then dropped the phone quickly.

"JD?" Chris asked concerned.

"Holy shit Christopher!! Someone's in that thing..I think it's haunted or something!! Maybe we outta stop at a church or something and get it circumcised!" JD said pointing to the phone on the floor.

Thankfully they had stopped at stop light and Chris was able to retrieve the phone off the floor in front of JD's feet, with much protest from the young agent not to touch the haunted cell phone.

"You still there?..that's a real good idea, the doctor said he'd fall asleep..well I don't know when, he can't keep going like this..JD what the hell are you doin?" Chris asked seeing the young agent had taken his pine tree air freshener from his rearview mirror and seemed to be bathing in it.

"Just wanted to smell like the outside," he said, casting Chris an over exaggerated ‘look'. "Is that a bad idea?" he asked, tears filling his eyes.

"Jesus Ezra..he's like a women in the middle of menopause," Chris relayed as JD began to cry.

"I'm sorry Chrissy..I didn't mean to ruin your tree," he said quietly and he put his head on Chris's leg, and fell asleep.

"Tell Vin to stop laughing, and get Nate and ‘Bucky' out of the have 10 minutes."

+ + + + + + +

As promised Chris pulled up to the ranch 10 minutes later, JD was still asleep.

"How was your ride ‘Chrissy'?" Vin laughed out.

"He's all drugged up, you're not," Chris growled. "They gone?"

"Yeah, Buck took the boys for a horse ride, Nate went along in case one of them fell off," Vin smiled.

"Mr. Larabee, I'm unable to assist you in extricating the lad from the truck, the door is locked."

"Had to, he opened it three times..thought the wind felt ‘radical'," Chris smiled out.

"May I ask why he has 2 seat belts on, and why they are connected incorrectly?"

"He undid them five times, finally just made a mess and he could't figure out what went where."

"What the hell are these?" Vin asked, pointing to the marks on the window that shown in the sun.

"Baby feet, kept him happy for 20 minutes," Chris grinned out.

"Why did he not answer my question on the phone?" Ezra wondered, remembering he had asked JD what color the sky was before the kid wanted it to be blue.

"He thought it was haunted, thought we outta stop at a church..get it circumcised." Chris couldn't control the laugh.

"Think he'll remember anything?" Vin asked seriously.

"God I hope not," Chris said.

"What the hell he get into?" Vin asked as he and Ezra began lifting JD out of the truck.

"He wanted to smell like outside," Chris said, picking up the crumpled pine tree.

Vin and Ezra just shook there heads and laughed, unfortunately JD woke up.

"Ezrailia!!'d we get here?" JD asked, as Vin carried him up the stairs to the porch.

"Did you carry me all the way here?" JD smiled affectionately at Vin.

"Nope, I think you flew here," Vin smiled.

"Why thank you Ezrial." JD smiled widely as Ezra held the door open.

"You're welcome my friend," slightly amused by the boy, but not hiding his worry; he'd never seen JD like this.

"Hey carried me all the way in the house..Where's Buckford? I gotta tell him what I found out!" JD said, Vin carefully put him on the couch.

"What was that kid?"

"Well, you know that light in the glovebox? It doesn't stay on when you shut it," he said, like it was big secret that no one knew "And..I'm Telemarketed," JD said, still serious.

"I see," Vin said. "How 'bout you get some look tired," Vin tried.

"Ya' think?"

"Yeah, I think"

"I think too," JD said quietly, and fell asleep.

"They give him anymore pills?" Vin asked as he covered JD with a blanket.

"Yeah, why?"

"Be pretty funny to see Josiah this happy," Vin smiled wryly.

"Think I'll just flush them thank you very much. JD's bad enough on a good day..he don't need to be that happy for another for ten years," Chris said, sitting in the overstuffed chair heavily.

"Rough ride home huh, cowboy?"

"I'd rather be babysitting a nest full of rattle snakes."

"I hate rattlesnakes..they bite," came a serious voice from the couch, eyes closed.

"Say good night JD," Chris ordered.

"Good night JD."


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