The nurses were changing shifts. A ritual that occurred to few times in a twenty-four hour period. With the passing of charts and instructions came the awesome shift of responsibility. One nurse was relieved of the burden while another shouldered the yoke of day to day caring of patients. To accommodate the sudden weight of a starting a shift the new nurse accompanied her weary counterpart to the two rooms that comprised the toil for their day.
The surgery patient, Mr. Tanner, recovering nicely, pleasant to deal with, meds QID. Fluids were to be stopped and catheters had been removed in another 24 hours or more. He would most likely be discharged in another few days.
They stood at the entrance of the room. Vin slept comfortably on his side huddled under white blankets. Mr Larabee, self appointed guardian, slept curled rather uncomfortably on a small unforgiving couch made only to seat two medium built people.
The nightshift nurse quietly pointed out she already put the coffee on....medicinal dose of caffeine goes along way in tempering Mr. Larabee.
They walked a few doors down. Their thick soled white shoes were nearly silent in the deserted halls.
The orthopedic patient, Mr. Standish, still resistant to waking. Pain meds pushed back to BID. The new nurse raised her eyebrows. Pain medicine only twice a day. Someone was in for some discomfort.
The two nurses surveyed the room from the door way. Standish had managed to twist himself onto his side, ensnaring his casted leg in the sling. He too burrowed under a mountain of blankets only a mop of dark hair was discernible on the pillow. Mr. Wilmington slept twisted in a Houdini type manner in one of those Gawd awful waiting room chairs. The morning nurse noted that the large man had his feet securely tucked under the blankets of the patient.
The night nurse merely shrugged.... 'He's from San Fransisco or something.....'
The nurses both nodded their heads in 'understanding'. To each their own. Who were they to judge others?
+ + + + + + +
JD burst into Standish's room like a Jack Russell on speed. Josiah and Nathan followed a discreet few yards behind. Sanchez juggled a cardboard carton of coffee and Jackson, under protest, carried doughnuts.
Buck kept his eyes closed. He had only managed to fall asleep an hour ago. A bone numbing chill had settled on him and despite every attempt he made he failed to find a comfortable position to sleep. At one point he had considered tossing Standish out of his bed and sending him down the hall. Ezra was disoriented enough that he might have listened and actually done as he was told. Common sense and the fact that Josiah would be visiting, kept Buck from commandeering the undercover agent's bed.
" 'Ey Buck how ya doin'?...Ya sleep good?...Gawd that chair looks awfully uncomfortable....You slept in that?" JD's questions tumbled out running into one another. Josiah and Nathan hesitated at the door wondering if it would be safe to enter the small room.
"No I did not get any sleep and who the hell gave you caffeine this morning?" Buck grumbled out sitting up. His lower back complained and his toes curled in protest as they were rudely brought out from under the blankets.
"Between this blasted chair and Ezra's endless questions it's a wonder I got any sleep at all," Buck muttered out. "Josiah ya bring that coffee to hold or are ya gonna share it?" Wilmington did not bother to try and gain his feet. His muscles seemed frozen in place.
Sanchez knew better than to tease an overtired Wilmington. Buck was a fun loving easy going kind of man.....but even he had his limits. Apparently that yellow, non-yielding, plastic chair had been his undoing. Josiah quietly handed over the large black coffee....an adult pacifier.
Nathan tossed the bag of doughnuts to JD and walked closer to the sleeping undercover agent.
"He woke up last night?" Jackson asked peering at the relaxed features. There was a difference in Standish's appearance...sure he was a sleep but it was not the same unresponsive slumber he had hidden in for the last 48 hours.
"Yeah," Buck muffled out around bites of a Maple Bar glazed doughnut. Wilmington sipped on the scalding coffee and silently thanked Josiah and Nathan for their foresight. This was a little bit of paradise in hell. "He was a little confused....not sure where he was an all," Buck elaborated between bites of doughnut. The light brown sugar frosting was his favorite. There was nothing like a healthy dose of sugar and caffeine to get a jump start on the day.
"You straighten him out?" Sanchez asked.
"Kind of..." Buck answered. He silently gaged Josiah's reaction. Funny thing about the ex-anthropologist, he got a little protective of the undercover agent when it came to in house stuff. Sure, if any outsider was fool enough to pick on one of the seven....that poor imbecile would ensure the wrath of the other six. If one of the others, however , crossed some invisible line, (a line Buck thought shifted on a whim) and tore into Standish, it was inevitable you also had to face Sanchez. Never as a united front. As far as Buck could tell Ezra was not aware of Sanchez's somewhat bearish, defensive, attitude. They had all discovered the preacher's protective streak at one time or another.....and faced it.
Buck leaned back in his chair, 'Thank goodness he himself was not that bad with JD.' Wilmington sighed when Josiah hit him with an unamused glanced. Wilmington quickly noticed the hackles begin to rise on his large friend, "Ahh Josiah his memory's got more holes in it than a pair of Vin's Levi's."
Nathan noticed the potential confrontation. Why Sanchez felt the urge to coddle the Southerner Jackson would never know? Standish had been pampered most of his life. It was time he stood on his own two feet and faced the consequences of his poor decisions....
It would never happen if Josiah kept quietly 'correcting' people. It was just like this accident, Ezra could have gotten Vin killed.
"He's probably right Josiah," Nathan said tiredly. He would never fully understand what motivated his older friend, "Ez got a nasty bang off the head," The medic stared down at the sleeping form in the bed. Standish was going to be pretty uncomfortable in a few hours, "He ain't gonna remember much of what we tell him."
JD noticed this seemed to pacify Josiah somewhat. Dunne sipped his Coke and wondered what Josiah would have done to Buck. Last time Nathan had ripped into Ezra at the office in front of everyone. The undercover agent merely smiled it off and turned his attention to his computer screen as if unconcerned everyone was staring at him. Nathan had been down right pissed about something. Whatever it was JD had later that day overheard Josiah and Nathan in a quiet argument of their own. Standish had skipped lunch finished his paper work and left early, never saying a word to anyone but never letting his smile dip either. Dunne had not thought that Jackson's shouting had had any effect on the undercover agent. Josiah must have thought otherwise.
"You boys gonna horde all the coffee in here?" Larabee's voice sounded from the doorway. He looked as rough as Wilmington. Unlike Buck, Chris tended to bare his teeth when short on sleep.
JD quickly held out a cup of coffee to their leader. Larabee growled out a muted thanks. Dunne took a step back. Chris strode into the room, his agents quietly, unconsciously shuffled out of his way giving space. An ill tempered mood emanated off their leader like the heavy air before a thunder shower.
"He wake up yet?" Larabee leaned over the bed and stared at his undercover agent. Damn man would sleep until the Second Coming if given a chance.
Buck shot an unsure glance toward Nathan...should he tell Chris? Jackson frowned and nodded his head. You shouldn't lie to their leader...it was not smart. Ezra and Vin kept hammering home that point through example.
"Yeah last night," Wilmington answered sipping his coffee.
Larabee merely nodded never taking his eyes off his downed agent. The right leg was an eye sore. JD and Buck had started a mini-war.
"Ezra git yer lazy ass out of bed...now." It was spoken in a soft, burning voice. Threats dripped from every syllable.
JD took a step backward bumping the back of his shoulders against the window pane. Nathan raised his eye brows and watched Josiah. Buck's mustache curled upward as a small grin begin to spread across his face.
Larabee leaned down next to the undercover agent's ear and unpleasantly whispered, "Ezra I'm not asking a second time."
Standish rolled onto his back, forcing Larabee to straighten up.
"Leg hurts," Ezra muttered out, eyes still closed.
Chris ground his teeth. He would wring the neck of the physician who cut back on the pain medicine.
"Wake up Ezra and you'll get more pain meds," Larabee prompted. Vin was dozing now in a comfortable narcotic haze. The stitched surgical incision was only a muted reminder of his surgery. The broken arm though noted did not hurt. Vin despised the medication but Chris could not help but be thankful that the pain had been blunted.
"You shouldn't make deals that might not be kept," An aged physician strode into the room smiling. His short white hair stood up in spots. Though his attire clean it had a rumpled wild look about it. The amused hazel eyes were off set by laugh lines.
"I don't," Chris stated. There was no humor or leniency in his voice.
Buck smiled into his mug... 'Good ole Larabee charm at work again.'
The Doctor was accustomed to dealing with exhausted family and friends of accident victims. He understood that nerves were frayed by worry. The Doctor did not bristle at the innuendo. Instead he flipped through the three ring binder. A frown appeared and deepened as pages were turned. He easily closed the blue plastic book and approached the bed. He stared down at the heavily hooded features. A large contusion and laceration wrapped itself around the right side of the forehead and temple. The right side of his patient had been battered and broken. He must have been the passenger...not the driver.
"Mr. Standish? Do you remember what happened?" His voice, though low, carried across the room.
At the strange voice Standish opened his eyes. He focused briefly on an unknown face. A quick flash of panic burned across his pale features. Buck and Chris recognized it at the same time.
It was the very reaction that had kept them at the bed sides of their two companions. Any of the others handled waking up in a hospital with relative calm if not forced nonchalance. Buck and Chris especially. JD was sometimes frightened but it was not hard to keep Wilmington or one of the others close by. Vin, however, would bury himself deep with in the bedding. He would watch the world through a frightened, predatory gaze, his heart would race. His blue eyes would become untrusting and threatening...warning everyone to stay at bay. Standish normally panicked in those few moments. An unadulterated fear would strike down and hold him fast. It was for this very reason one of the others stuck close. Vin and Ezra sometimes did not have the restraint to wait out these tidal waves of emotions. They would bolt.
With silent curses the two older agents converged on opposite sides of the bed. Chris squeezing passed the elderly doctor.
"Right here pard'," Buck smiled and laid a reassuring hand on the non bandaged shoulder.
Chris held his tongue. Instead he met the questioning, expressive eyes. The fear was bared for all to see, and Larabee hated it. Fear and panic were private emotions not for public viewing as some would believe. It was one of the few things Maude Standish and Chris Larabee agreed upon. Such displays were for private excising. They were not fodder for outsiders to bear witness to. Chris had to concede that such raw, most times silent outbursts of panic and terror were best soothed by a few select friends. Most time the fleeting surges of unadulterated fear were subdued by the very presence of trusted friends. Strange it would be Vin and Ezra who needed such reassurances.
Funny how much Tanner and Standish could be alike. Misfits..Like the rest of the team.
Larabee knew the minute his features came into to focus for the Southerner. Chris could pinpoint the exact moment Buck's voice registered with their struggling friend. The panic seeped away like water through a collander. Vin was no different. The calm, half amused expression slipped onto his undercover agents face. Standish was now ready to face the world.
"Gentlemen what has brought us to this sorry state?" His voice was hoarse and raspy, the accent unusually thick. Standish gasped as his eyes traveled down the bed and settled on the seventies style color choices that imprisoned his right leg.
"Your lousy ideas," Nathan said with a smile. He peered around the doctor at the Southerner. In those flashing moments of disorientation Jackson always felt he saw a part of Tanner and Standish that not many were privy too. It saddened him to see it. They were strong proud men but they too needed the team to hurdle certain private crises.
"An' Vin's rotten drivin'," JD added. It embarrassed him to witness those few moments of fear in Standish's eyes. It bothered him even more to see it in Vin's. It was for this very reason that he stayed clear of Tanner's room until the sharpshooter had both oars in the water so to speak.
"Well technically it was your studly bodies," Buck leered out waggling his eyebrows in a suggestive manner.
This caught the doctor's attention. He had heard the nurses talking about the mustached man and his predilections. The doctor had reprimanded his nurses for unprofessional behavior but he was beginning to understand what they were speculating about.
Josiah and JD both noted the doctor's expression and shared a quiet chuckle. Buck put the noose around his own neck.
Standish ignored the others as his eyes struggled to focus on the colors that encompassed his right leg, "Good Lord....what have you done?" The doctor had to have been either color blind or bereft all good sense of color schemes. Ezra grimaced slightly nauseated at the brilliant contrasting colors that ran the length of his leg. All he was missing was a ty-dye shirt and cut off shorts and maybe some Love Beads.
Confusion and revulsion ran rampart across the Southerner's face. Larabee did not bother intervening. He would let him suffer a little longer.
"How are you feeling?" The doctor asked. This group was a strange lott. It would be best if they could just shuttle these city dwellers back to their version of civilization.
Standish focused on the older man. Ezra unconsciously rubbed at his cast and muttered, "Leg hurts."
The doctor chuckled and shook his head, "So I have heard." He met Larabee's gaze, "We'll get something for the pain."
Larabee nodded his thanks.
Vin woke to the sounds of laughter and hollering. What the Devil?
He opened his eyes. Nathan sat beside the bed apparently engrossed in a magazine. The noise and commotion continued outside in the hall. Jackson focused on his magazine as if he heard nothing. Tanner weakly raised his head off the pillow. His neck shook with exertion. Something was coming down the hall...at a good clip.
Vin heard Buck before he saw him. Wilmington flew past the door way in a speeding wheel chair. It appeared briefly as if he were trying to stop.
Next came a panicked southern drawl, "Turn Mr. Dunne! Turnnnnn......"
"I'm tryin'!!" came the strangled reply.
Tanner saw the casted leg stretched out before he saw the wheel chair. JD hunched shouldered and leaning clung to the inadequate handles trying to turn the racing chair.
"Shit....shit...shit..." Dunne and Standish spit out in a rapid fire cadence. JD muscled the chair and it's occupant trying to make the sharp turn into the room.
The chair tipped dangerously to the left. Standish grabbed the right arm rest with his good arm attempting to keep himself in his seat.
JD made the turn....almost.
The left side of the chair careened into the door frame. The outstretched casted leg was spared any impact. It still pointed some what down the hall.
The sharp report of metal and plastic meeting an immovable door jam filled the area.
Then a very soft southern drawl breathed out, "Mr. Dunne we must work on your driving abilities."
"Yeah, well at least we beat Buck," JD huffed out between breathless pants.
"Yes, I suppose winning is everything," Standish agreed trying to keep himself and the chair from hitting the floor. It hung at a precarious angle its front raised tire wedged tightly in the small space created by the door and its hinges.
"Nathan ya wanna give us a hand?" JD asked trying to wrestle the chair and its occupant back into the upright position.
"You fools got yerself into that mess," Nathan said, briefly looking up from his magazine, "ya can jist as well git yerself out of it." He flashed Vin a smile before returning to the article he was reading.
Buck came to their rescue...sort of. With a laugh he squeezed past JD and into the room.
"Beat cha!!!" he gloated.
"Did not!" JD retorted with an indignant shout letting go of the chair. Standish and the chair momentarily forgotten by their 'chauffeur' suddenly found themselves in the undeniable grasp of gravity.
"JD!!" Both Buck and Ezra shouted out.
"What?" JD returned heatedly. He grabbed the handles of the chair and wrestled to stop its momentum toward the floor, "I got it."
"Sure ya do kid," Buck chuckled out. Between the two mobile agents they freed the front wheel from the door jam and once again set the chair on all four wheels.
"'Ey Guys," Vin softly greeted. Vin smiled slightly...Ezra's cast was uglier than his own.
" 'Ey Vin how ya feelin'?" JD piped up. The young agent maneuvered the chair to the opposite side of the bed from Nathan.
Tanner took in Ezra's condition. Chris had told him about the broken right leg, dislocated shoulder and concussion. Vin had to admit Standish looked better than it sounded. Least he was up running around so to speak.
"Better JD, thanks," Tanner stared at Standish, "how ya doin'?" He felt bad for nearly killing the undercover agent even though Chris had explained there was no fault to be found. Not counting Ellie Mae and her brood.
" A fair peace better than you Mr. Tanner," Ezra chuckled. With a non-sympathetic grin, and with a touch of gloating added, "I am getting released from these dismal halls of medicine today."
The shocked indignant expression that settled on Tanner's features brought a wider smile to Standish. "What?!" Vin turned his attention from the boasting agent to Nathan.
"How come he gets out today...he jist woke up this morning...I've been conscious almost as much as he's been sleepin?" The sharpshooter tried to sit up taller in the bed but the abdominal stitches pulled tight and hastily reminded him of his recent surgery. Sharp raw rib edges grated unmercifully sending burning flashes of pain across his chest.
Jackson ignored the rantings of the younger man and continued to gaze at the magazine, "Don't worry Vin he's gotta stay with Buck and JD."
It was Standish's turn to act indignant and Vin to smile at the small victory. He gave Standish a 'Gottcha sucka' sneer.
"What?!" Ezra would have risen from the chair if his right arm was not strapped to his chest or his right leg encased in fiberglass.
"Well, what did you expect?" Nathan intoned flipping the page of his magazine as if engrossed with the article.
"I expected to go back to my own comfortable abode," Standish retorted hotly.
"And what Ez, flop from room to room," JD asked. He did not understand why the resistance. Ezra never did anything at their place but sleep whenever they had to 'baby-sit' him.
"Yeah Ez?" Vin leered out, "not like ya can git around by yerself...." Tanner hammered home, scratching at an already open wound....and enjoying it. They all knew in a few days Vin would be moving under his own power, slowly and carefully but on his own.
"Well at least I still don't have tubing in parts of my body that should not accommodate such wide bore devices." Standish shot back with a knowing smirk.
Vin, against his will, turned an interesting shade of red at the mention of the urinary catheter.
JD and Buck exchanged glances trying to gage when to interfere without drawing to much attention to themselves. Those two were on a roll and the digs were flying.
Nathan studied his magazine and listened with amusement. Those two deserved each other.
Josiah and Chris stood in the door way listening to the barbs fly back and forth. With a sigh Chris stepped forward. Sanchez reluctantly followed. Sometimes self inflicted Hells were worse than any Biblical hell imagined.
"You two through?" Chris asked. His tone indicated they were.
"How come he gits to go home?" Vin shot out turning his frustrations on a new target.
"He doesn't he's got to stay with Buck and JD," Larabee returned nailing Standish with a silencing stare. He would not listen to any more of Standish's complaints. Damn man was better tolerated when he was sleeping.
"So..." Vin muttered out.
"Does Mr.Tanner have the freedom to return to his crumbling, rat infested hole he calls a home when released from the clutches of these medical professionals?"
Chris took a breath and held it. He would rather baby sit Billy Travis's third grade class than deal with these two whining fools.
"No, he goes back to my place," Larabee wondered why he took on the extra responsibility. He could just as easily stick Nathan or Josiah with Vin. Chris shut his eyes briefly no Jackson and Sanchez were friends he could never do that to any one he considered a comrade.
Vin shot Standish a heated glare while the undercover agent silently mocked the sharpshooter. Buck and JD were a lot more fun and lenient than the formidable Mr. Larabee. Ezra did everything in his power to stifle his laugh.
"Not a word Ez, not a word," Vin warned in a quiet voice.
"Me?...I won't say anything....I'm sure you'll have a marvelous time under the nursing administrations of our sympathetic leader," A smile twitched as the corners of his mouth flashing the occasional dimple.
"Git him out of here," Buck whispered to JD. Dunne nodded in agreement of Buck's assessment of the volatile situation. He swung the wheel chair around and headed for the door at a quick pace.
"Bye Vin, guess I will not being seeing you since I'm discharged now," Standish waved his good arm as he peered past Dunne's shoulder. "Hope you lose your intimate friend real soon," The southerner chuckled as an unused bed pan sailed across the room. It smashed against the wall and rattled to stop on the floor.
Ezra stopped the chair with his one arm and foot. He leaned around in the chair, "Mr. Tanner you may need that....." a sinister smile crossed his dimpled face, "oh that's right not for another day or so." A taunting giggle escaped from the Southerner as JD hustled the chair quickly from the erupting battle ground.
Chris sighed. 'Why me?' What did he do so wrong to deserve a team like this?
Tanner seethed with unchecked anger. "When I git out of here I'll kill'im," Vin promised.
"If not, JD's cookin' will," Buck promised. "See ya guys later," He said as he headed toward the door.
"You got him all checked out?" Chris asked.
"Ya picked up his pain killers this morning....and JD got us a rental," Wilmington answered. He was glad to be leaving this hospital. The nursing staff was very receptive toward him but something was just not right. He could not put his finger on it...Maybe he would ask JD if he noticed anything. Check that.....maybe he should ask Josiah.
"Seeya Vin," Wilmington waved and headed through the door. It would be a three hour ride back to Denver. Buck flipped the keys in his hand listening to the clink they made when they slapped his palm. If things went according to plan the pills should kick in on Standish in twenty minutes. The cocky, motor mouth hopefully would be in a slumber for most of the trip.
"Give us a call when ya get settled in," Josiah hollered out.
"Sure thing," Buck's voice rang out from down the hall. Wilmington had to confess he was glad he got Standish and not Tanner. Ezra slept his days away Vin was just down right nasty and bristled at being caged up.
Chris chose his own poison.
Part 9 - two weeks
Anger emanated off the Ladies Man as he entered the ATF offices. Nathan and Josiah watched as the large Midwestern agent strode purposefully over to the undercover agent.
For the last two weeks Buck had been forced to deal with JD and his blasted obsession with 'Deliverance'. Dunne had watched it late the night they had returned home with Standish. The kid kept talking wildly about packing a gun whenever they left the city. Buck kept reminding him that they did indeed bring their weapons with them...everywhere. Still JD heard banjo's behind every tree and bush. Buck wanted to strangle the kid. Better yet he would just send JD on a day trip with Vin and Ezra.
Even worse Nathan and Josiah had kept stringing the kid along....there was no reason why Bobby Jo and her family couldn't make a small trip to the fair city of Denver. JD was, after all, closer in age to the young woman than Ezra and Vin. Buck had to finally pull those two idiots aside and threaten them to shut-up or Dunne would never leave city limits.
Standish was no help on the JD front either. He would thicken his accent and weave tales of strange disappearances in the back woods of some deep southern state. JD listened with rapt attention. He even rented 'Southern Comfort' on Standish's recommendation. Wilmington would have knocked the gambler senseless. Unfortunately the pain medicine had beat Buck to the punch so to speak. Ezra slept undisturbed and unconcerned at his own impending death. It was with drugged apathy Standish witnessed JD's growing unease with all things rural.
On top of it all, the fool Southerner had become driven with a single minded obsession. A maddening itch had developed under the cast just out of his reach. Wilmington swore if he heard the undercover agent rub the cast against one more stick of furniture he would throttle the man. Things had begun to disappear around the apartment. Wilmington suspected they would be found when the cast was removed.
This morning Buck reached for one of his most coveted possessions....only to find it missing. He ripped his work area apart. With thoughts of murder running through his mind he advanced on the undercover agent's desk.
"All right Ezra where is it?" He demanded with hands on the desktop leaning angrily toward the Southerner.
Vin kept his eyes glued to his computer terminal. He and Ezra were still on 'non aggressive' duty. Basically they were only allowed to man their computers.
"Where's what?" Standish asked his confusion clearly evident in his voice.
"Don't play games with me...I'll turn ya upside down and shake it out of that cast of yours," Buck closed in on the gambler.
Ezra rolled his chair away trying to maintain his personal space. Vin hugged himself closer to his terminal trying to remain inconspicuous. The sharpshooter knew what Buck was looking for and knew where it was to be found.
Standish didn't....Vin let a smile leach across his face. The plan had finally fallen into place.
"What games?" Ezra took a calming breath trying to ignore the incessant itch of his leg, "If you could possibly impart what it is you have missed placed maybe I could aid you in your search." It was no wonder Mr. Wilmington was missing something, taking into account the pig sty he and Mr. Dunned called home.
"Don't start with me Ezra," Buck hissed out reaching for the undercover agent. Last week it had been the ignition key to the Chevy. The damn fool taped it to a ruler in an attempt to reach an itch on the calf of his leg. The ruler came back but not Buck's key. Then the ruler mysteriously disappeared, followed by a pair of blunted scissors, then his lucky pen, assorted kitchen utensils...but this...this was the last straw.
"Start what with you Mr. Wilmington?" Ezra asked trying to inch back further in his chair. His leg rested on a waste paper basket. When Buck made to grab for him, the plastic trash bucket tipped over dropping the weighted leg to the floor. It hit heel first. The distinctive muffled sound of metal striking metal reached across the room. It was followed by a sharp, painful intake of breath.
Nathan and Josiah heard it and both rose from their seats. Jackson suspected the cast had been bothering the undercover agent for a few days now. Standish had begun to protect the leg with increasing aggressiveness. Both agents closed in on the source of the sound.
Buck narrowed his eyes.
Chris watched from the door way of his office. JD contemplated whether or not to call 911. It looked like someone might be in need of assistance if Buck's attitude was any indicator.
A smile blossomed on Tanner's face. He did not bother reaching into his desk to re-assure himself that Buck's 'little black book' of names and phone numbers was still there.
"Ezra yer leg bothering ya?" Jackson asked. He knew the answer the minute he saw the pale sweating features of the undercover agent.
"No," was the tightly rasped reply. Damn plastic trash receptacles.
Buck flashed a hideous leer and lashed out with his foot connecting it solidly with the cast. A sharp deep groan rolled across the office floor.
"Uhuh," Nathan replied unconvinced.
Vin chuckled....oh sweet, sweet, revenge...
+ + + + + + +
Three hours later, Buck Wilmington, Nathan Jackson and an amused Chris Larabee watched as the Resident M.D. used the saw to remove the tri-colored cast. Standish lay quiet under a drug induced haze.
The Resident knew what to expect after viewing the films but still he let loose with a low whistle at the paraphernalia that had been shoved down the cast.
"Pediatrics doesn't even see this much stuff," The doctor said picking up a G.I. Joe action figure entangled in the cotton padding. He turned it in his hand slightly curious what a grown man would be doing with action figures.
Buck ignored the doctor and rifled through the stagnant, musty, smelling debris that had accumulated over the weeks. Keys, scissors, a ruler and a half, coins, pens, action figures (must be Billy's) Buck guessed, playing cards...three quarters of a deck from the looks of it....but no little black book.
Chris reached over and picked up the flat Carpenter's Pencil he had misplaced last weekend. Larabee stared at his sluggish agent....sticky fingered son of a bitch.
"Damn it," Wilmington hissed out in frustration.
"What are you looking for?" Nathan asked with exasperation. The EMT noticed a pair of mosquito hemostats he had lost just yesterday. They were ensnared in the cotton sock of the cast. Jackson pulled his eyes from the assortment of Foreign Bodies found wedged in the material, to Wilmington. Nathan wondered if the metal detector on the ground floor of the office would pick up such debris. It should. Maybe he would make Standish walk through it everyday.
"My little black book," Buck explained as if Nathan should have known.
Chris smiled. He stared at his drugged agent, who fought the effects of the narcotics and sedation, to Wilmington. Tanner had extracted his revenge. When would the others learn not to taunt the Texan?
Larabee's gaze settled on his owl eyed undercover agent. Tanner sure played dirty.
Chris turned his attention to Buck.
"Ya ever think to ask Vin?"
Buck stared from Chris to Nathan down to Standish. He suddenly understood.
"I'll kill'im," Wilmington whispered out plotting his revenge against Tanner.
"Uhuh," Chris smiled.
The Resident had started to recast the leg and listened to the discussion at the other end of the table. He silently wondered if he would be seeing the rest of the infamous team before the day was out.
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