While the Cat's Away

by Anneack

Summary: Chris takes a sick day.

Characters: Vin and JD

Thanks to Antoinette for the beta job, to Sara h for the LV/AU, and to Blackraptor for housing these tales for us.


Chris Larabee, head of security, and head zoo keeper, at the Montecito Resort and Casino took a sip of his morning coffee as he entered the security bullpen. Vin Tanner and JD were in their usual seats watching everything on the wall of monitors.

"Feeling any better?" Vin asked, turning to look at his boss.

Chris tried to answer but a hacking coughing fit overtook him.

JD winced sympathetically, that was a wicked bark that Chris had developed. Usually, he only growled.

Vin held out an unopened bottle of water.

Nodding his thanks, Chris took it and downed most of it in an attempt to soothe his sore throat.

"I wish I was feeling better, I just came in for a quick meeting with Orrin and to see if everything was under control," Chris answered Vin's question.

"Reckon I can keep things in order for a day," Vin said. Chris needed to go home and rest if he was going to beat that bug and unless he was sure everythi ng was under control, he wouldn't.

Chris smirked. Ah, the days of youth when you didn't believe there was anything you couldn't handle. He remembered it well. Vin was experienced and capable, though, so the casino should still be upright and in one piece when he returned.

"In that case I'm taking a sick day, and I'll see you tomorrow or Monday," Chris told them. It was Thursday, so if he was not back tomorrow, he wouldn't seen the pair until after the weekend.

"Hope you feel better," JD responded.

"Let me know if there's anything you need," Vin offered.

Chris thanked them both and headed out. Home, sleepy stuff cough medicine and bed were screaming his name.

All-in-all, it had been a pretty boring day, which at the Montecito usually meant to expect something along the lines of Armageddon any time. There was only two hours left in the shift, so maybe they would actually have had a quiet day.

JD grabbed an alert that he had just printed out. The casinos shared information on major cheaters, scam artists, and other nefarious scoundrels, as Ezra called them, that it was in the best interest of all the casinos to have caught quickly and taken off the streets.

0Vin, center in on Ezra's table," JD asked.

Vin brought up the cameras that were focused on the table their pit-boss, Ezra Standish, was running.

"Got something?" Vin asked.

JD handed over the alert.

"Guy's got more names than the phone book," Vin snorted. "Looks like Carl Morrison is his real one."

"The dark haired man," JD pointed.

"Aw, hell," Vin swore, confirming JD's identification of the man.

He was wanted by a number of local casinos for scams he had run on their guests. Vin signaled two others to take over for them as he and JD got their feet and into their jackets. They needed to get this guy before he slipped away or did any damage.

Vin came at their target from one side and JD from the other. In the interest of not spooking him into doing anything dangerous or stupid, each man had two others backing him up, but not immediately behind. Josiah and Buck, seeing that something was going down, were each guarding a door.

Seeing a man on each side descending on him, Carl leapt up from the table and ran for the door.

"So much for easy," Vin muttered and took off in pursuit.

JD got to him first, but the large man backhanded him, tossing him aside and bouncing him off a slot machine.

Vin caught him in a flying tackle that sent them both careening into a Blackjack table.

Josiah picked the man up off Vin and half dragged him to a holding room. Nathan, who had come to the floor on hearing of the excitement, took a deep breath after seeing the angle of Vin's wrist.

"What just happened here?" Ezra asked. Security had warned him that he should keep the man at his table and that security was on the way, but there had been no mention of a floor show.

"Scam alert out on him, guy's wanted for questioning by the police," Vin answered, wincing as Nathan began tending to him.

"JD, son, that's not how you play the slots," Buck teased his young friend.

"Shut up, Buck," JD snorted, and then went white as Buck grabbed his arm to haul him up.

"Nathan, need you over here, JD got nailed, too," Buck called over to the doctor.

Vin, splinted and given pain killers, Nathan headed over to JD. Buck had a supportive hand on the young tech's good shoulder.

Poking and prodding, Nathan announced that JD had broken his collarbone.

Vin and JD sighed, there was no way around a trip to the hospital. At least neither of them were so critical that they required an ambulance.

Chris stopped dead in the doorway to the security bullpen. He had been told there had been20an incident yesterday and the reports were on this desk. He had not been told that his two top people were on desk duty with arms in slings. One day, he had left for one day, and he came back to his men in pieces. Well, this should be an interesting story.

"Boys," He said looking at them seriously.

"Caught a scammer we had been alerted to," Vin began.

"He ran and I got thrown into a slot machine, Vin tackled him into the Black Jack table," JD finished.

"Doctors say we'll both make full recoveries. Our reports are on your desk," Vin added.

Chris nodded slowly, he had thought things had been too quiet around here. Well, at least the dynamic duo had not been seriously hurt. He couldn't wait to learn the particulars.

Half an hour later, he had read the reports. He had viewed the security tapes showing the incident. JD had good eyes to have seen the man on the monitors. They had acted quickly and done exactly what they had been taught to do. No, they hadn't done anything wrong, not that he suspected they had, it was just dumb luck that they had both been injured bringing the guy down.

Stepping out of his office he saw that Vin and JD were in their usual seats manning the monitors. Even temporarily one handed, they were the best.

"Looked over the reports and tapes, you both did fine," he told them.

Vin nodded, he knew they hadn't done anything wrong. JD grinned at his boss and relaxed, he hadn't thought they handled it wrong but maybe they had seeing as they both got injured.

"I'd think by now you two would know not to try and beat the house, it always wins," Chris grinned at the pair.

"Reckon the house gave us a beating," Vin replied.

JD just smiled in relief. Chris wasn't mad, they hadn't done anything wrong and both he and Vin would be fine in a few weeks and didn't even have to miss work. Life was good.



The Las Vegas Chronicles