Loyalty: The Bust

by Celeste

Summary: Set before Loyalty: What exactly happened during Monday’s bust? (Should be read after Loyalty or the bloody thing won’t make a lick of sense, I promise you. Not that it makes a lot of sense now, either…)

Author’s notes: LOL well, Michelle said I touched on an FF rule and I MUST elaborate on the events that were mentioned in "Loyalty". *G* and I’ve never been one to break the rules…often. ;P LOL so…I guess I can say thanks to Michelle for urging this, and Nancy, who suggested more on the story line (which I’ll be try’n to work on…) Oh! Thanks to Luna too, for her insights (and superb beta work, as usual). I’d be lost without her. J

Disclaimer: The Seven aren’t mine, but I like to think the 7 members of Team 5 are. They’re real bastards though, kinda makes me wonder if I wanna keep ‘em anyway (Greta called them, the Anti-Seven LOL). What do you think all, an Anti-Seven AU? ;P Anyway, the ATF universe isn’t mine either, ‘m just playin’ in it for a while cause I love it so much! (Thanks Mog!) The character mentioned from Team 8 (Kelly) also isn’t my creation; I borrowed them from Heather, and would like to thank her for letting me use her characters. :-)


I asked Judge Travis if we couldn’t have Team 8 backing us up this time. I don’t like the looks of Team 5. Figures, Kelly and the fellas would be too busy closing in on some small time drug dealer runnin’ the south side of Denver. Kelly said he wanted Standish for it. Ha! If only he hadn’t already been in on this case, Ezra’d be safer. I’m worried about him, right now. Team 5’s undercover man, Jameson, is an idiot. He couldn’t undercover his way out of a wet paper bag with a machete. I look at Vin on the other side of the door, the two of us waiting for our cue to go. ‘Watch his back.’ I convey the words with a thought. Vin nods, and I know I probably didn’t even have to look at him to tell him that. He would have watched out for Ezra anyway.

We’ve been working this case for four months. Ezra got the call today; he and Jameson were to meet here, now. Just our luck, Team 8 wasn’t readily available. They’re on stakeout duty all week. So, Judge Travis called in Team 5 to back us, ‘cause the lazy bastards don’t have their own case to do. Most of the bigger cases go to my team and Kelly’s team nowadays. I think Terry resents us. Fuck him. I know he doesn’t like my team, and if I cared, well, I wouldn’t, so I guess that’s going too far. I don’t like him, or his team either. It’s just something about them, but I don’t know what.

I turn my attention back to the radio in my ear, listening to what’s going on inside that warehouse. Damn it, Terry, your undercover man is squeakier than a goddamn cat toy. Does he even know what he’s doing in there? I shake my head, and Vin sees it. He knows how jumpy this is making me. How the hell am I supposed to work when I can’t trust the people watching my men’s backs? Sure, they’re on the right side of the law, and they’ve done well in the past, I suppose, but… I don’t know. Jake Terry and his team may have been working the ATF a long time, but my gut tells me that having them here, today, is a mistake. I’d rather have my team do it on our own; I can rely on my team. Something tells me it’s gonna get ugly, and I want people I trust watching out for my men. I ready my weapon and wait for the signal from JD and Agent Riley in the van. Be careful boys, something doesn’t smell right…


Chris looks nervous, almost. I figure no one that don’t know him well enough can see it, but I can see it, plain as day. Probably ‘cause I feel it too. Team 5, hell, I don’t know ‘em well enough to say nothin’, but they make me nervous. They got a cold look to ‘em…guess they’ve seen a lot in their days runnin’ the circuits, but shit if’n that ain’t makin’ me even more nervous right now. The colder you get in this business the less you care. The less you care, the more mistakes ya make. An’ pardon me if’n I don’t mind that Terry and his team makes their mistakes on their own, but when it might get my teammates neck deep in someone else’s shit, I don’t take too kindly to it.

I mean, not like I’d want Team 5 to get into shit or nothin’, hell, I don’t wish that on anyone, ‘cept maybe the crime bosses and the drug lords we bust our necks tryin’ ta bring in everyday. It’s jest… something in Team 5’s eyes, like they don’t trust no one. That’s mighty hard when you’ve got to put your life in the hands of your teammates. An’ if’n these fellers can’t even trust each other when they’ve been workin’ together for so many years, I jest don’t know if I kin liken to ‘em watchin’ the backs of my friends. Chris is right…I can’t help but feel like something bad’s goin’ down today. I tighten my grip on my weapon. I wish I was up there on the third story with Fraser and my rifle, but I still got that injury to my shoulder from last week, ‘n I’m not up to a high powered kick from the AWP yet. Ez’d say somethin’ ‘bout rotten luck right about now, I reckon. I pop the bones in my neck by rotating my head and get ready to jump in; case Ezra needs me. I have a feelin’ he jest might.


God, Jameson, cool it! I’m watchin’ him here on this screen and it’s drivin’ me nuts. He ain’t performin’ worth a damn. I’ve been in undercover a few times and I can say without a doubt that I played it cooler than he did. Ezra, watch your back buddy, Jameson looks like he’s gonna blow.

I can’t even believe this guy graduated from the training academy. Granted, it is a pretty big bust…Ezra’s been workin’ this circuit four months now. It’s a big Chicago gunrunner who wants to monopolize Colorado and New Mexico for import in and out of Mexico. He also dabbles in drug shipments from Colombia. He’s a real bastard. Carretta, the circuit boss, figures since the local gun bosses have been run out, by yours truly of course, that he can take over this area. Bet he didn’t count on Ezra.

Course, we didn’t count on Jameson either. Fuck! He’s sweatin’ so much he’s clogging up my audio reception. Knew we shoulda stuck that mike into the front of his briefcase with the camera.

Riley’s sittin’ next to me like he doesn’t even care. He’s snacking on beef jerky. I’m too damn nervous to eat. How can he sit there and not even care? His teammate is in there, giving the worst performance I’ve ever seen, and endangering not only his life, but Ezra’s too! I’m scared for both of them. Carretta is getting suspicious…the way his eyes are shifting. I can tell. Oh god! What did Jameson just say? Did the bastard just blow Ezra’s cover to save his own hide!? You idiot… you two came into the circuit together… you don’t think they’ll suspect you too? It’s gone bad…it’s gone bad… I push the button on my radio even as I release the safety on my glock. "It went bad!! It’s gone bad! Move in! Move in!" Then with a prayer, I spring out the back of the van, weapon ready. Ezra’s in trouble.

(Team 5: Troy Riley)

Damn, kid’s jumpier than a grasshopper on speed. Wish he’d calm down, he’s makin’ me claustrophobic in this god-awful van. It smells like horseshit in here. Dunne’s lookin’ at me now… yeah, I’m listening you little fuck. What else is there to do in this sweat hole? Little shit thinks he’s so great ‘cause his team’s got a rep. Pffft. Like I care about the "Magnificent 7". What a dumb name. Kid’s barely out of diapers and he’s part of that? Guess I shouldn’t be surprised. Wilmington and Tanner act like they’re two years old too.

Dunne don’t know when to just play it cool. Hell, it’s not like he’s in there with Jameson and Standish. The kid’s fine out here. If the lead starts flyin’, it most likely won’t be at him. What’s he so worried about then? His little team’s "reputation"? He looks like he’s the one about to get shot. Someone get him something to drink and a paper bag to breathe in. Or, remind him that if lead start’s to fly, he’s in this comfy van with the bulletproof paneling, not knee deep in hot lead like Standish and Jameson.

I ignore Dunne before I have to shoot him and adjust my headset so I can listen to Jameson… he don’t sound too good. Ha, I knew the little shit was all hot air and tough guy talk. He doesn’t have the balls to go up against the real thing, the big thing. He’s in there and he sounds like crap. Graduated top fifteen percent of his training class? Must have been a canine training unit. Jameson’s the fucking worst undercover agent this side of the Rockies, and it shows. Shit… looks like Jameson blew their cover. Time to go clean up his mess, again. I follow JD out the back of the van, loading my gun. If this goes fast, maybe I’ll get home in time for the game.


I’m in position on the second story entrance with Campbell, slick son of a bitch. Tellin’ me how Travis thought my rookie team would need help from Colorado’s "veterans." Fuck him. I’ve been working law enforcement jobs all my life; I know how it goes down. I know my team could kick the shit out of his team, if push came to shove. So, I try to ignore him for a while…before I eventually turn around and tell him to shut the fuck up before I drive a bullet into his head. Damn, never thought I’d lose my patience and threaten someone Josiah’s age. I usually got more respect than that. Course, I only give respect when it’s due, so I guess this works.

Now that Doug’s quiet, I try to concentrate on my earpiece, waiting for Agent Riley and the kid to tell us when. Today’s the day; it’s finally over. Ezra’s been workin’ this case hard the past four months, and I’m glad the guy will be rid of it.

I went undercover with him once before, damn hardest thing I had to do in my life. You try to remember who and what you are when you’re in a room with people; tryin’ to convince ‘em you’re someone else. You try to be as cold hearted as them, as mean and as uncaring. You lose a little more of your soul every day, the longer you got to deal with folks like that. I don’t envy Ez. But, the fact that he’s workin’ with Jameson on this one too, I don’t like even more. They pulled Jameson in ‘cause every trained undercover agent this side of the Mississippi was in on something else. Jameson ain’t at the level to be playing with the big guns. Ezra makes it look easy, but I know it ain’t, and Jameson’s been showing it these past few days. I hate to say this ‘bout anyone, but some people just don’t have it in them to see things through. Jameson don’t, and that worries the hell outta me, but, only cuz Ezra’s in there with him. Keep your head Ez, we’ll watch your back, like always.

Suddenly, my radio buzzes. "It went bad!!" I hear JD’s voice; I hear how scared the kid sounds as he throws the back door of the van open. Sweet Jesus. It went bad. Fuck! I kick open the door. "ATF! FREEZE!!!"


I look over at Erikson, the two of us standing near the east alley door of the warehouse. He’s picking lint off of his jacket, tapping his foot with some unheard melody in his head. I can’t be so lucky, so confident. I’m worried about Ezra. Isn’t he worried about Jameson? I’d like to believe that he has confidence in his teammate, but my gut tells me otherwise. Jameson isn’t likeable, I’ll agree, but he’s still part of Team 5, part of the agency. Erikson fiddles with his headset and lets out a long-suffering sigh. I ignore him for now. Lost sheep need to be shown the path home, but some never want to be found. He’s probably thinking about his vacation time after this is all over. I switch stations on my transmitter to listen in on Ezra and Agent Jameson. The older man doesn’t sound too good, sick. He has every right to be afraid, I suppose. But, he has no right to be doing a job where he has another’s life in his hands if he’s afraid. I shake my head and pray for them both. Brother Ezra, be careful. I switch back to the station linked up with the other agents and wait for JD’s signal from the van after the transaction’s been made. That’s when I hear it. God, it’s gone bad. I mutter a prayer for both Ezra and Jameson before ducking into the warehouse ahead of Erikson.

(Team 5: Jake Terry)

Ha, you think you’re a bad ass son of a bitch don’t you, Larabee? I know you don’t want us here, and damn it all if my team and me don’t wanna be either. You can stop glaring like that at me…hey… maybe your face will freeze like that, one day. Maybe it already has. It’d make you a lot less desirable to the ladies down in expenses who think you and your team are the dreamiest shit that ever walked into a government owned building.

What are you and Tanner so worried about right now anyway? I’m lookin’ at the both of ya and you look like you wanna blow some fucker’s brains out right here, right now. Are you worried about Standish in there? I thought he was your flawless little undercover agent? What about his reputation? He’s supposed to be the best of the best, isn’t he? You’re so worried about him, it must mean the little shit’s rep is bigger than the real thing. He’s not as good as you’d like to think he is, is he? Yeah, guess you got good reason to be scared, the both of ya. Jameson ain’t good either, but I ain’t worried. It’s his own fault if he gets shot, the bastard couldn’t undercover a mattress with a blanket if you ask me. Standish, yeah, he’s good. He has potential. Talks too much, and makes a man wanna commit homicide though. Might be best if both of the shit heads were shot.

I hear Dunne’s crack on the mic, suddenly. Kid’s voice is raised several octaves, he sounds like he’s fucking scared for his life. Either that or he got kneed in the balls. Did someone infiltrate the van? No…it’s gone bad. I hear him say it like it’s freaking Armageddon. I jump, startled, when Larabee and Tanner kick in the door. It splinters a little, and Larabee dives in with a roar. The man’s an animal. I follow them in at a more "prudent" pace. Which actually means, I go in behind Tanner. His Kevlar can eat it before mine does.


This is absolutely, enormously, incredibly, one hundred percent ridiculous. Unquestionably the worst undercover work I have ever seen in my entire lifetime. Perhaps the most frustrating thing about it is, I can’t do anything to help. All I can do is perform and hope to God that they don’t shoot Jameson, because I might want to do it later. One should always keep his options open, as mother used to say. What is that impudent little rat saying now?

Oh God… he told them I was a Fed? I recant my earlier statement. I KNOW I will shoot the cretin later, if either of us get out of this unnerving predicament alive. I try to look insulted at his accusation, like the man is crazy. I even throw in my best, "Jameson is an insect to be smashed beneath the hooves of lice ridden mules," expression, but Carretta is suspicious now, of both Jameson and me. He nods to one of his men, a massive hulk of matter with a particularly unpleasant face. I know what that means, unfortunately. I realize it, even as I get pulled back sharply by the collar of my eleven hundred dollar suit. Such tasteful articles of clothing were never made for this sort of reckless abuse. I look annoyed, because if I look scared or worried, that could be the end of everything; Jameson and I will be executed like dogs. I glare at the other undercover agent as Carretta’s thug begins to search my briefcase and my suit for wires, manhandling me in the worst of ways. The indignity of it all could kill a man. Then, like a blessed symphony, I hear it. "ATF! FREEZE!!!" Mister Larabee’s hoarse, barked orders have never sounded more melodious to me than right now. JD must have called it. God bless the boy. I grab Jameson and pull him to safety behind a stack of crates just as the lead starts to fly. After all, I want to be the one to kill him when all this is over. That is my reasoning, anyway.

(Team 5: Lawrence Jameson)

God, how can he just stand there? Like he’s out for some fuckin’ Sunday stroll. This is the Carretta cartel you ignorant bastard!! Standish is a jackass if he doesn’t know how fucking BIG this is. My God… I think Carretta just gave me the eye. I think he’s suspicious. God, what do I do? I know this bastard; he’s as ruthless as they come. I heard he got a hold of some undercover agents back in Chicago and cut out their tongues… popped their eyes, removed their fingers one by one and mailed ‘em back to their teammates. If he finds out I’m a cop, he’ll shoot me before any of the others can get here. He’ll shoot me dead, if I’m lucky. I have to draw the attention off of me. I see Carretta and his cronies all looking right at me, right through me. I have to throw them off the scent. So, I say the first thing that comes to mind

"I see a wire! He’s a cop!!!" I point at Standish, my voice higher than I had planned.

Standish doesn’t react, as far as I can tell. He looks slightly indignant at the fact, like I’d used his fancy French creamer on my cheap American coffee instead of handing his head on a platter to the biggest crime boss in the Windy City. You deserved it, you bastard. This was the fucking CARRETTA cartel!!! I watch as a bodyguard pulls Standish back, gives him a pat down, searches his briefcase for wires. The entire time the boy just looks annoyed. What does it take to scare this putz? Then I hear it on my earpiece. The kid’s calling it from the van. I freeze, and Carretta sees it, sees me as I tense up and my eyes get even bigger. He yells at one of his guys to get me. That damn kid, it’s all his fault. Now Carretta knows I’m a cop!! Somewhere in the warehouse, I hear Larabee scream. "ATF!!!!! FREEZE!!"

I can’t help it, I do just that; I freeze. Before I know it, Standish slugs the guy holding him across the jaw hard and draws his gun from the strap on his calf. I half expect him to turn on me and shoot me for what I did, but instead, he tackles me and pulls me behind some boxes. I shove him off of me when we hit the floor and draw my own gun, looking around nervously. I don’t fire at anyone. The bad guys have too much. Some of them have taken out the P-90’s Carretta pilfered from the government, the ones me and Standish were supposed to buy. They’re too good, and I’m afraid. I have to get out of here! Now! I don’t wanna die. So, I back out from cover slowly, towards the exit. I can see Delvin holding position at the door. I know they’ll be looking for me in this gunfight, training their weapons on me to get even for bringing them down, if I don’t take this chance. So, I run for it.

(Team 5: Clint Delvin)

Whoowie! Look at the bastard run! I don’t think I’ve ever seen Jameson so scared. I can’t say I really blame him for it, ‘cause Carretta really is one of the big guns, but if I didn’t blame him, I wouldn’t get to rag on the little rodent for runnin’ like a chicken. So, I do blame him. Coward. I fight the urge to laugh and concentrate my fire somewhere into the building. Larabee’s team is all in there now, and I think Terry braved it and went in too. Shit, I see Campbell and Erikson with Sanchez and Wilmington, and that probably means if I don’t get in there too, Terry will have my ass for slacking. I slide in and hit cover on the other side of the door, even as Jameson makes it to my side. I look at him.

"I’ll cover the back!" he calls to me.

"All right." I nod, but it doesn’t mean I believe his bullshit. Yeah, run you little chicken. You fucking have a vest on! Granted, the other team’s got P-90’s, but hey, we’ve got Glocks, Aks, and an AWP upstairs. I shake my head. I’ll definitely report this to Terry later. Nothing better than watching an undercover rat squirm.

Speaking of undercover rats, I wonder if they shot Standish when they were searching him? Hmmmm, maybe. Ten more minutes of me firing into the rafters go by, before the sounds pitter off. I hear sirens; someone probably called for an ambulance. I stand up, and walk towards the center of everything, trying to look like I had done something important. When things go good, you want to be in the middle of it. It just looks better.

Speaking of looking good to the higher ups, I see Larabee and Tanner in the middle of it all, looking tired. Not excited, not smug, just tired. I wonder when the thrill of the hunt left these guys.


It’s over. I breathe heavily, looking at Vin. He’s okay. Carretta is on the floor, clutching a broken, bloody arm and telling Nathan to get the fuck away from him. "Leave him," I tell Nate. If he doesn’t want to be looked after, then don’t look after him. Instead, I look around, for the rest of my team. "Check in boys!!!!" I order into my mic, as I holster my gun and take off my vest. It’s sweltering in here.

"Vin here…" Vin says into his own mic. I know he’s here, ‘cause he’s right next to me, but we don’t want to worry the others, either.

"Checkin’ in pard." Buck was okay.

"All’s quiet at the eastern entrance, brothers." Josiah’s fine.

"Nathan here," Nate states simply, finally turning his attention away from Carretta with prompting from Vin and moving to tend some of the more compliant ones.

"JD at front entrance, everything’s quiet," JD chimed in after another second.

"Ezra?" I ask, looking around for good measure. The bastard better not have gotten himself killed. I sort of need him. But I don’t delve further into that thought.

I don’t see Ezra anywhere, but I see Delvin strolling up like he saved the fucking day. I glare at him and point him to one of the perps who got hit in the leg. "Watch him," I say simply. Delvin almost glares back, but thinks better of it and holsters his gun so he can comply.

"Ezra!?" I repeat into my mic, more than slightly worried now.

"Here, Mister Larabee…"

I hear it on my earpiece, and my body loses some of its tension. Fucking idiot always tries to give me a heart attack, but I’m glad he’s all right. "You okay?"

"Fine… however my jacket is dead and gone," Ezra drawls, and I can hear a hint of humor in his voice. Not too long ago, the thought of loosing his jacket would have infuriated him. But, now he knows that as long as his teammates are okay, the agency will pay for his clothes. I nearly laugh, but don’t. "Where are you, Ezra?"

"Back here…"

I see him stand up, sorely, somewhere to my left. He waves slightly, kicking some boxes out of the way so he can get out and join us on clean up. He takes off his vest and he grins that cocky ass, "I’m invincible" grin at me, and I can’t help but do the same. Damn, it’s good to have a bust go well. My brain pauses. Oh wait… I move to my mic again. "Team 5, check in."

(Team 5: Jake Terry)

I hear Larabee call for a check in, for MY fucking team. What a presumptuous bastard. He has no authority on Team 5. Angrily, I finish cuffing the perp on the floor and let some EMTs that’ve arrived take him. With a push on my mic, I order my team. "This is Supervisor Terry, Team 5, check in."

Larabee and Tanner look at me, then look at each other. That damn Texan looks like he thinks he knows something. Ha, he doesn’t know anything, the dyslexic bastard. My team checks in with their usual brevity. They’re short and to the point, always have been.







"Where the fuck are you, Jameson?" I hear it; it’s Delvin.

We all hear Jameson take in a breath. "I’m…at the um…back entrance, with the DPD…"

It’s a lame excuse, and I know it. I’ve worked the agency long enough to know every single excuse in the book. Hell, I wrote the book.

Delvin hears it too, and the man snorts and starts making chicken noises.

"Shut the fuck up, Delvin! I did as much as you did!" Jameson is defensive. I laugh to myself. Who the hell are these two trying to impress anyway? I’m not impressed, either way.

(Team 5: Clint Delvin)

I nearly burst out laughing when Jameson says he did as much as me. Bastard ran like a Baptist from a whorehouse. Actually, I do burst out laughing, and before long I have to take a breather. The perp I’m watching glares at me, but I ignore him and bind up his leg with my handkerchief best I can. It would do no good to have the guy bleed to death before sentencing. Actually, he’d probably die either way, but I don’t really fancy getting blood all over my jacket while I cuff the guy.

"Yeah right Jameson, I’ve seen better agent work on the X-Files," I reply after a second.

"Delvin, you don’t shut up, I swear, I’m gonna…"

"You’re gonna what?" I always wanted to see what the little fuck was made of. I fiddle with my cuffs idly, waiting for Jameson to say something he’ll regret, when I break his face that is.

"I’m gonna kick your ass!" he replies lamely over the system.

"All talk now, aren’t ya, Jameson? Yeah, I’m sure Standish was impressed, watching your big tough backside while you hightailed it outta the line of fire!"

I lean over the perp and grab one of his hands to cuff him, while I listen to Jameson spout some more shit. He knows I’d kick his ass if I had the mind to. Larabee looks in my direction, annoyed with what’s happening on the mics. I look down and pretend not to see him.

"Pick those guns up, Delvin," he says. I look at the discarded weapons of the cartel members, strewn on the floor. What am I, the cleaning service?

(Team 5: Brad Fraser)

As I come down the stairs, I see Delvin laughing to himself over what’s going on. I think Delvin would kill Jameson if things ever got that far. I wonder if they will, considering the way Jameson is sounding right now. Pipsqueak. Shouldering my rifle, I watch Clint cuff one of his perp’s hands. I see the perp reach into Delvin’s jacket as Clint reaches around to get the other hand, mindful of the man’s leg. Ha, the sissy’s always been afraid of blood. I wonder if he knows he’s just been pick-pocketed? Not that government agents get much cash anyways. I wonder if I should say something, but I figure it’ll be more humorous when we go out to lunch and Delvin doesn’t have anything to pay with. So I keep quiet about it and move to case my rifle out by the van.

(Team 5: Clint Delvin)

I turn to see Fraser coming down the stairs, and he’s kind of smirking at me. I turn away and shake my head. I didn’t see him doing much of anything either. A sniper with a slow trigger finger; it figures we get stuck with him. Jameson’s coming my way now, and the undercover rat looks sort of pissed. Not that I’m scared of him though. I stand up and meet him halfway, with a backwards glance to make sure my perp is still down.

"What do you want Jameson?"

He glares at me, trying to look all manly and tough. "I didn’t run."

"Just had to take a piss out back or something?" I shoot back. God I love teasing this man. Talk about your mountain of insecurity.

"Hey you two, cut it out and do your job," Wilmington reprimands, pushing a shooter into DPD custody. We both glare at him. He doesn’t look frazzled.

Forgetting the guns I’m supposed to pick up, I face Jameson. "Look, I saw what I saw."

"You still think I ran."

Wow, he is smarter than he looks.


Look at those two. It’s disgusting really. I move towards Mister Larabee so I can talk to him about some of the things I saw in Carretta’s office the day I met him. We’ll probably go there and sweep up before lunch. I wonder if the rest of the team would like to get some Thai food with me, I have an urge for some chicken Satay and peanut sauce… it really is the world’s most delightful food.

"Hey you two, cut it out and do your job," I hear Buck say. Jameson? Do his job? I wonder if the man has ever even tried. I note with some distaste that the runners’ guns are still on the floor. I turn course away from Mister Larabee to pick them up. It would be most prudent if I secured those weapons in case one of the perpetrators decided to get bold.

I’m halfway there before I notice something peculiar going on with one of the criminals. An EMT is trying to look at him to work on his leg, which is bound with a handkerchief. What the hell? Why on God’s green earth aren’t his hands cuffed!? Suddenly, he shoves the EMT off of him hard, and reaches for one of the guns. I’ve seen that look before. He has nothing to lose, but he won’t go down alone. He clasps his fingers around the weapon lying closest; a standard government issue revolver. I can’t believe this is happening, and I speed up, ready to shout warning. I assume he’ll try to shoot Delvin or Jameson, because they’re right there. Instead, he trains his gun to his right. I follow it with my eyes; a straight line from barrel to target like the academy trained us to do. Good God, he’s aiming for Chris, and he doesn’t have his vest on anymore. I see it, draped over his arm as he talks to a DPD officer. Turning around instantly, I run back towards my friend, shouting.

"Everyone get down! He’s got a gun!" Chris turns around and looks at me, ducking a little in reaction to my warning, but I know it’s not far enough, so I take a flying leap at my friend. Right about now, I wish I had kept my own vest on a little longer.

(Team 5: Brad Fraser)

Holy shit, when I thought that guy was pickin’ Clint’s pocket it musta been for the key to the cuffs! I hear the commotion over my mic while I’m out back casing my gun. Someone’s gonna fucking get shot. I switch off the mic, so I can’t hear the fire; ‘cause I can’t stand knowing someone’s gonna die. I’ll start feeling guilty for it, and I don’t need that right now. Besides, it’s not really my fault, right? I mean, Clint was the one that lost his key to that perp in the first place. He shoulda been paying attention. I don’t gotta take responsibility for his carelessness. He should have picked up those guns, and he should have been paying attention. They don’t pay me enough to pay attention for my teammates, especially that idiot. I finish casing my gun and run my fingers over the combination case, scattering the numbers. I’ve done my job here. I shot from the rafters. I nailed one or two perps, and I’m casing my gun the way procedures say I should. I hear the sound of shots from the warehouse, and I cringe. Clint didn’t do his job, but I did mine. I should be fine, and if I don’t tell anyone about what I saw, all the shit for this incident will go on Delvin’s plate anyway. Whoever said ignorance wasn’t bliss?

(Team 5: Kevin Erikson)

"Everyone get down! He’s got a gun!" I hear Standish scream. I draw my weapon reflexively and look around for any signs of trouble. I see it. One of the criminals has gotten a gun. I’ve seen this before; they try to get even with the men bringing them down. If I know my ABCs of criminals , he’ll go for Larabee…

God, what the hell is Standish doing? If there’s a gun warning you duck! He’s running… I see him jump on Larabee as two shots explode. Standish and Larabee are both thrown back with the impact; I see a spray of blood burst from Standish’s head. Oh god, the bastard killed him…

Then, almost instantly after, there are five more gunshots. I look around, hoping Carretta didn’t suddenly get some sort of backup. No, he didn’t. I see Tanner, Wilmington, Jackson, Sanchez and Dunne all holster their guns before running towards Chris and Ezra. I look back towards where the perp that had gotten loose had been, and see Jameson and Delvin hiding behind a stack of crates. They had gotten down mighty fast when Ezra had warned them ‘bout a gun. Nearby, the body of the man that shot Standish is still smoking. You can’t even recognize his face anymore. Poor bastard never stood a chance, and from the blood I saw, neither did Standish. But, Larabee’s okay. The EMTS rush over there, as well as Jackson. They take Standish’s pulse. Larabee looks like he’s in a rage. He storms over and slugs Delvin hard. Wow, I’ve never seen Clint fly like that.


But, Delvin doesn’t hear him, ‘cause he’s been knocked out cold. I turn away from the scene, shaking my head. Why on earth had Standish saved a man like that? Why would he sacrifice himself for a violent, bitter, ferocious man like Chris Larabee? God, I can’t believe I just saw that. What was that fool man thinking? Jumping in front of the bullet like that… it was…well; I’ve never seen the likes of it before.

Why did he do it? Why did Standish do it? For the likes of his boss? ? I look at my boss, Terry, who’s crouched behind a pillar, breathing heavy from the scare, and the question just gets even more obscure when I do. Larabee, still seething, threatens to rip Jameson’s balls off and shove them through his nose and into the cavity that’s supposed to be holding his brain, if he doesn’t take care of those guns, now. Delvin is really unconscious; he hasn’t moved a muscle since Chris decked him; he’s lying sprawled out on the floor next to the criminals. Why would Agent Standish put his life on the line for that man, or rather, that type of man? I look at Standish, with an oxygen mask over his mouth while the EMTs try to keep him ticking. Then I look at Larabee, who’s so pissed he might just rip someone’s head right off of their shoulders. Cringing at the glare Chris has got on his face, I look back at my own boss, Jake Terry. Would I ever take a bullet for Jake like Ezra would for Chris? My immediate answer is no. Why did Ezra, then? Larabee and Terry, they aren’t so different… are they?


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