I Didn’t Do It

by Rikke

"Have you seen this?" Nathan Jackson asked as he walked in to the office with a stack of newspapers under his arm. He threw the stack on Buck's table, it read:

Senator Williams Wife
Killed by Young ATF Agent

"How the hell did they get that story so fast?" Nathan continued. "I mean for Christ sake, I´m surprised they didn’t mention the kid's name."

"Or the fact that young Mr. Dunne had a sexually relationship with the deceased." Ezra looked at his co-workers. "Is it possible that the source of this story want to earn some money by going to the press but still don´t want to ruin Mrs. Williams reputation?"

Chris nodded. "Yeah I think it is. Vin, what did you find out last night?"

"Nothing at all, people were either too cranky or just wouldn’t talk to me."

"I got Mary on it, she can probably get something we can’t. By the way, me and Buck stopped by Jerry Fulton before we got here, JD will be out by noon."

The agents looked at each other. "How is that possible?" Josiah asked. "The FBI were so certain about him killing her yesterday, why would they let him out today?"

Buck told them about what they had found out the day before. "We dropped by the mechanic who could confirm JD's story and then we were by Jerry’s place. The paperwork will be done by noon and the kid will be back in freedom." The others where relived that JD would be out of jail.

"That of course does not exclude JD as a suspect, but it’s a step further to clearing his name. Now let's get back to work people. Nathan and Josiah, I would like you to go back to the house and have a chat with the senator. Check his alibi and find out if he knew about his wife’s affair and check the staff too while you are there. Ezra, I want you on the street. Talk with your people, find out if they have heard anything. Buck you go to the jailhouse. Try to see if its possible to get the kid out sooner. Vin, you and I will stay here going through the FBI´s reports, okay?" he looked round on his men who all nodded. "Let's go, people."

Buck once again glared at his watch. 9 am, it felt like he had been there for hours but it had only been minutes. It had turned out that they would release JD sooner than expected, and now Buck was only waiting for the kid to come out. He held his breath when the door opened and JD stepped out. His hair was a mess and he had dark rings under the eyes, his clothes were bit creased, but except fom that he looked the same as the day before.

Buck hurried to the kid's side and gave him a big hug. "Are you okay, kid?"

"Yeah, I’m fine," he answered in a low raspy voice.

JD didn’t say a word before they sat in the car on their way to the loft. "´Where’s your car?" he asked like it was the only right thing to say.

"I left it at Chris’s."

JD nodded and said a small ´oh´, then he continued looking out the window. He slowly took a pack of cigarettes from his pocket and lit one with out taking his eyes from the road.

Buck looked in surprise. "When did you start smoking?"

"Three hours ago," JD said, still looking out the window while blowing smoke fanatically.

Buck looked at JD not believing what he saw. JD turned his head and found Buck staring at him. "What?" he said in an annoyed voice. "Oh come on, give me a break will ya. God damned, I’ve been locked up all night. I don’t fucking believe this."

"Take it easy son, I’m not here to judge you. I’m just tryi…….."

"Judge me? Would you listen to yourself?" he said in a loud angry voice, but then continued in a more settled tone; "You know I’m really not in the mood for this, can we just stop talking about it?"

When they reached the loft JD put out his cigarette and looked at Buck. "Listen Buck, I’m sorry. I know you’re not the bad guy here, and still I take it out on you. It’s just that I have had a very rough night. I’m just very tired. I’m sorry."

"That’s okay son, I understand what you’re going through," Buck said in a calm gentle voice. He could see that JD was hurting real bad, but like the other injuries he had had in his time with the ATF bandages and painkillers couldn’t make the pain go away.

I want you to go back to the office, I’ll do fine on my own." Buck was about to say something but JD interrupted. "You won’t do any good here anywhere, I just need a shower and some sleep and you can’t help me with that. I want you to go back to the office and find out who killed Susan, will you do that?" Buck nodded but kept silent. "Thanks Buck that really means a lot." JD opened the car door and stepped out. "See you later." He closed the door and went inside.

JD stood in the shower, not really taking notice of the hot water. His thoughts were elsewhere’s he was trying to come up with something she had said which could help finding her killer, but the only thing he could hear was her soft laughter, and the only thing he could see was her beautiful smile and her red hair.

+ + + + + + +

She looked at him with laughter in her eyes and a big smile on her face. "You wanna hear my theory?" she asked as she crawled up on her elbows and looked down at him.

He grinned at her. "Humour me."

"I believe that having sex and making love is two very different things, even though it’s about the same thing. You see, having sex is something you have for the fun of it, for the pleasure, but when you are making love that’s the closest you can get to another person. It’s about being together with the one you want to be with," she smiled an innocent smile. "So what do you think?"

"I think………that I’m hungry." She took her pillow and hit him playfully in the head. "No seriously, I think you’re on to something."

"Yeah?" She bent down and kissed him.

"Yeah!" He quickly grabbed her arm and rolled around so he laid on top of her. "So what are we doing?" he playfully asked.

She gave him a big smile. "We Mr. Dunne are making love."

JD leaned his head against the cool stonewall. "I’m going fucking crazy," he said aloud knowing that no one would hear him. He took a towel and put it around his waist and went to his room. He came back 5 minutes later fully dressed. He found his leather jacket and his keys and walked out the door.

In the meantime Josiah and Nathan had reached the senators house and were waiting for the senator to arrive. They had been told that the senator was with his daughter having lunch but would be back in half an hour, and they had agreed to wait.

"Excuse me, Miss," Josiah addressed the young servant who brought their tea. "Were you here the morning Mrs. Williams where murdered?"

"No sir, I wasn’t, the madam likes to cook her own breakfast so no one from the staff are in the house before nine o’clock," the girl spoke with a very British accent.

"Thank you." The girl smiled and left.


Josiah looked at his friend and smiled a small smile. "So the staff won’t be much help. Now we can only hope that the senator know something, and if he does that he is cooperative."

"I will do anything in my power to help." Both Nathan and Josiah turned around when they heard the senator’s voice.

"Mr. Senator," Josiah said as he stood up. "I am agent Sanchez and this," he gestured to Nathan who now stood beside him, "is agent Jackson. We are from the ATF, we’re here regarding the death of your wife."

"Yes, shall we sit down?"

Senator Mark Williams was a tall dark man with a small moustache, which reminded Josiah of a gangster in a movie he once saw, his black hair had started to get a touch of grey and it made the man look older than he really was. He was dressed in a black suite and there was something almost stately over him.

"First, can you tell us about the morning you found her, and where you were at the time of her murder?"

"Of course, but I must tell you that the FBI already has been here to ask these questions."

"We know that Mr. Williams, but you must understand that it is an ATF agent who is the FBI’s main suspect, and we are just trying to clear his name. Now would you please answer the question?"

"I see. Well I was at my office working on a speech I have to do; my secretary was there with me." Nathan raised an eyebrow. "It’s not what you think, Mr. Jackson, my secretary is a man not a woman." Nathan nodded. "I came home the next morning and found her lying on the floor. I could see that she was dead, she was very pale, so I called the police. I didn’t touch anything."

"I’m sorry I have to ask you this, but did you know that your wife had an affair?" Josiah asked.

"I had been suspicious for some time, and when she the night before she was killed told me she wanted an divorce I was sure in my case."

"How did you take that news, Mr. Williams?"

"First I was shocked, then I got mad, and then I decided to go to the office."

"Did the FBI agent who was out here tell you that your wife was pregnant when she died?"

The senator, who the whole way through had looked calm now looked a bit shocked. "No, I didn’t know that." He shock his head. "That’s terrible."

After talking to the senator Nathan and Josiah walked around talking to the staff, but no one knew anything, and no one had seen or heard anything, so the two ATF agents decided to go back to town and help out where they could.

"There is something about the senator that I can’t figure out," Nathan said as they sat in the car on their way home.

"I know what you mean brother, it’s like he knows something that he doesn’t want to tell, but I don’t think it has something to do with the case."

"Buck, what are you doing here?" Chris Larabee asked with surprise in his voice as his oldest friend walked into the room.

"The kid needed some time alone so I’m here to help." He grabbed a chair and sat down. "Found anything?"

Vin looked up from the report he was reading. "Nope, not a thing, and I mean absolutely nothing. The killer has either been very good or very lucky." He looked at the report and then back at Buck. "I think very lucky, strangling people just isn’t very professional."

Buck nodded. "Have you heard anything from the others?"

"Ezra called 15 minutes ago, one of his sources think he has heard someone say something about killing a Williams; the source is checking it up"

"Have you heard anything from Mary?"

As on a cue Mary Travis walked in the door followed by Nathan and Josiah. She sat down with a sigh. "You are not gonna believe this; Senator Williams is the one who told the press that JD was involved."

They all looked silently at each other for a while, then finally Buck broke the silence. "That doesn’t make any sense, are you sure?" Mary just nodded.

"I don’t really care how much sense it makes. Vin, would you call for a patrol car to pick up the senator. This time I don’t want to come to him, he can come to me." Vin stood up and walked out of the room. "No, wait a second, ask them to be discrete and pick him up in a regular car. I don’t want the press or the judge for that matter on my neck."

Ezra walked up and down the streets while waiting for his snitch to show up. He walked pass a pub when something caught his eyes. He opened the door and walked inside and up to the bar where a young man sat. "May I join you?"

The young man looked up. "Ez, what are you doing here?"

"Better yet, what are you doing here, Mr. Dunne?"

"Don’t worry, I’m not drinking," he looked down at his mug of beer. "I’ve been sitting here looking at my beer for the last hour." Ezra looked at the bartender who nodded. "I wanted to go out and get wasted, I wanted to get so drunk that I couldn’t remember my own name, but now I can’t even get myself to drink a beer."

"What made you change your mind, my young friend?"

"I think I realised that it wouldn’t help, she wouldn’t come back." Ezra knew the kid had a lot on his mind, so he just let him talk. "Have you ever been in love, Ez? I mean have you ever loved someone more than anything else in the world?"

Ezra looked at him and decided to tell him something he had never told anybody else "Once, her name was Karen. She was undescribable, she was quite something."

JD looked at him. "Yeah? What happened?"

"We were very young, I was a bit younger than you are now. My mother didn’t approve that I was seeing this girl, and she talked me out of marrying her."

"Do you ever regret it?"

"I do, but there comes something good out of everything. If I had married her I would never had meet you or any of the others, and I would never had experienced such a strong friendship as I feel that I now are a part of."

"You know even though I experienced some of the best time with her I kind of wish I had never meet Susan. Does that sound weird?"

"No, not at all, you wish you had never meet her so you wouldn’t feel the pain when she died?" JD just nodded. "Would you mind telling me about her?"

"I don’t know what to tell you. Susan was that kind of girl where every time she looked you in the eyes your heart stopped for at moment and then started beating again. She laughed a lot, she had the most beautiful smile I have ever seen, her eyes were so full of life and you just couldn’t help feeling happy when you were with her." JD looked away for a moment then continued. "No matter where I am I see someone who looks like her. I see red hair everywhere and I keep hearing her laughter. I think I’m going crazy, Ez?"

"I don’t believe so, my young friend. I believe that time will heal, and one day you can think back on her without sorrow."

"You know she is getting buried today, and I can’t even go to her funeral. It wouldn’t be proper. Her husband and all the other people that she found boring can go, but I can’t because I’m someone that she officially didn’t know." He lighted a cigarette, took a quick blow, then squashed it out in the ashtray. "I can’t even smoke with out feeling sick."

"Well that’s good, smoking is a bad habit you know?" Ezra said dryly.

JD smiled at the man. "What ´are´ you doing here anyway?"

"I’m waiting for an acquaintance of mine to arrive, he perhaps knows something which may lead us in the right direction."

"Then I better be going." He stood up and paid for the beer which hadn’t left the mug. "See you later." He laid a hand on Ezra’s shoulder and left for the door.

"Ah, Mr. Dunne?"

JD turned around. "Yeah?"

"Be careful, don’t do anything foolish."

JD sent the conman a big smile. "I won’t."

Chris had just been on the phone with the FBI, who still didn’t have anything new in the case when the phone rang again. "Larabee…….you have?…We’ll be there in a minute" He hung up the phone and looked at his men. "The senator is here, me and Buck," he stood up and took his jacket from the chair. "Me and Buck will handle this, the rest of you keep looking through the reports, and try to see if you can get in contact with Ezra."

The two ATF agents took the elevator down to the interrogation room where Senator Williams sat together with his lawyer. When they stepped into the room the lawyer stood up to greet them, but the senator remained seated. The lawyer was very polite but there was something about him which almost made Buck laugh. He was not very tall and with his small body and large head he reminded both agents of a turtle.

"Would you please inform me what is going on, I will not take being dragged out of my home and treated like a criminal only an hour after I was questioned by two agents, and what it is make it quick. I have a funeral to attend in couple of hours."

Buck and Chris sat down and Chris took the word. "Senator Williams, did you know that it’s against the law to inform the press about a case which is under investigation?"

Mark Williams didn’t bat an eye when he heard the question, but neither Chris nor Buck took this as a sign of his innocence. He was after all a politician and as good at lying as an actor. "Of course I know that." Buck smiled like the senators statement was a big joke. "May I ask what is so funny agent?"

"Nothing really, just the fact that we have heard a little bird sing that you have leaked information regarding your wife’s death to the press."

"What? Have you gone mad? I would never…"

"Don’t answer that question, Mark," the lawyer cut in and then addressed Buck and Chris. "If you are going to come with accusations like that you can charge him. If you don’t intend to do that we are leaving." He stood up and gathered his papers. "Come on, Mark."

"Sit down," Chris’s voice broke through. The lawyer did quickly as he was told. "Now you can cooperate with us, and everything will be fine, or we will charge you and not only will you be thrown in the nearest jail, your oh so clean reputation will also be ruined forever. I will see to that."

The senator paled a little but didn’t say a word, so Buck continued what Chris had started. "And we will not only charge you for leaking information to the press, we will also see to it that you will be locked up for the murder of your wife."

"You got to be joking," the now completely pale senator cried out.

"Do you have any evidence of what you are accusing my client for?"

"No evidence so far, but we have one or two very good reasons why he should have killed Susan Williams, and have leaked the information about an ATF agent to the press," Chris said with a serious look on his face. "You were married before, right Senator?"

"I can’t see what that has to do with anything, but yes I was married before."

"So this would be your second divorce?" Chris asked. "It’s an election year this year isn’t it? Hmm, a divorce is not something the voters will forget, or what do you think, Buck?"

"I sure think you are right, it wouldn’t look good if the senators wife eloped with another man right before an election, a senator who is a widower is a whole lot better than a divorced senator. That’s a pretty good motive, don’t you think senator?"

"You have no right to come with that kind of accusations against my client…" the lawyer stated.

"It’s okay, David," Mark Williams said. "I would like to answer the agents question. You forget that I have an alibi. I spend the night at the office, my secretary John Walter can, as I have pointed out earlier, confirm that."

"Is that the same John Walker as the former convict John Walker, who just happens to be your sisters husbands brother? Cause if it is, his words won’t stand a chance in court." Buck smiled. "Now senator, don’t you think you should just tell us the truth so we can all go home?"

"Okay, okay, you are right I was the one who told the press about the young man." Suddenly the senator didn’t seem like such a strong man. " But I was angry and frustrated and I just needed to get those frustrations out. I was angry at that young man for taking my wife away from me, and I felt ashamed of being replaced by a 24 year old kid who could be young enough to be my son."


"Excuse me?"

"JD is 22, and your wife is old enough to be your daughter." Buck said in a tone that hinted that he didn’t liked what the senator was saying.

"Well, that doesn’t make it better," the senator continued like he hadn’t heard the last part of what Buck said. "When the FBI captain told me about my wifes affair I wanted to destroy the boy who had put me in such an embarrassing situation."

"You told my men that you knew about the affair," Chris pointed out.

"I told your men that I had an suspicion, but I haven’t been home very often lately, so I couldn’t know for sure."

"Thank you for your co-operation, senator," Chris said as he closed his files. "I’m afraid I have to ask you to stay in town, and you will hear from us as soon as possible." The two agents left the room before the senator got a chance to response.

When Chris and Buck stepped out of the elevator and into the office, the remaining part of ATF’s team seven looked up. "So how did it go?" Nathan asked.

"He confessed that he was the one who informed the press, " Buck said.

"Do you think he could be the one behind his wife’s murder?"

"Honestly I think he is capable to do something like that, he got a lot of rage inside of him, and maybe he just snapped when he found out about his wife’s affair."

"Well you can forget about that," Vin said as he hung up the phone. "That was Ezra. One of his "sources" has a friend who two weeks ago was offered 100.000 if he would kill Susan Williams. He took the offer, but the night of the assassination the man gets arrested." Vin looked at the others "The person who ordered the murder was a woman."

"A woman?" Chris asked a bit chocked. "So she had to get a new man to do the job?"

"No, Ezra said that the date of the murder never changed. I believe she panicked and did the job herself, that explains why it was done so clumsily."

"Then we are looking for a woman; that means we have to start all over again. We have to find out everything about the women in the senators life: secretaries, mistress’s, female friends, ex-wife…"

"Wait a second, ex-wife," Nathan took the file laying on his desk. "Yes, here it is, take a look at this will ya." He passed it on to Chris who looked at it, smiled and then passed it on to Buck

"Buck, get a hold of JD, we need his help at something."

JD walked into the crowded café and looked around. He finally found the person he was looking for and walked toward the table where a dark haired girl sat drinking nervously of a glass with ice-tea. "Karen Graham?" he asked as he reached the girl. She nodded slowly. "I’m JD Dunne, we spoke on the phone."

"Oh yes. Please sit down." JD did as he was told. "Now tell me what you want, it sounded pretty important on the phone."

"Was it a nice funeral yesterday?" JD asked.

"Funerals are not nice, Mr. Dunne, and if you don’t mind I don’t have much time, so if you don’t have any important to tell me I think I will go," she took her purse and started to stand up.

"No please, Miss. Graham, sit down. I will try to make this short." She sat down and looked at him. "You know I have always wondered what it must feel to kill somebody."

Karen Graham looked at him coldly. "You should know that Mr. Dunne. If I’m not mistaking that’s your job."

"Yes you are right, my mistake, how do you think it feels to strangle someone?"

"I don’t know Mr. Dunne, and I truly don’t understand your point."

JD gave her a cold smile. "Oh I think you do Miss. Graham." His smile disappeared. "I saw you that night. I know you did it."

She paled for a split second, but was quickly her usual, calm self. "What do you want."

"Half a million before the day is over."

"That’s impossible, there is no way I can get that much money in so little time."

"You’ll find a way. Eight o’clock tonight at the Hemingway parkinglot right outside of town in the park," he stood up. "Good day Miss. Graham," he said before he left.

Karen Graham turned off her headlights before she stepped out of her car. She had a grey suitcase in her hand and a small 9mm gun in her pocket. There was no sign of the young man. She started walking up and down the parking lot when she finally heard the sound of a motorcycle, and soon saw one coming toward her.

JD stopped the motorcycle and the woman walked toward him. "Is that my money?" he asked as he removed his helmet.

"Yes, all of it, but I would like to ask you why? You are an ATF agent, why didn’t you tell somebody, why didn’t you get me arrested? I thought you loved Susan."

"I did, very much, but half a million $ is a lot of money. If you saw my paycheck you would understand. My turn to ask a question why did you kill her?"

"Because he loved her more than me. He divorced my mother because of her, she ruined my life." Her eyes had turned black and she shouted the words. "She ruined my life and I hate her for it."

"Okay, easy now." JD held his hands up in defence. "Just give me the money and that will be the last of me you’ll see."

"I know what kind of person you are; first it’s half a million, next you want 200.000, then again half a million. It will never stop, you will just keep coming back for more, what kind of fool do you think I am?" Before JD had a chance to react she grabbed her gun and fired it against him twice. Everything turned black and he fell to the ground.

"ATF, freeze" was shouted from the woods. She looked around and found herself surrounded by agents. She dropped her gun.

Buck ran to JD’s side as soon as Karen Graham had dropped her gun. She was now being taken care of by a couple of agents. "Kid, are you okay?" he asked the unconscious young man laying on the ground, then noticed the blood running down his check. "Nathan," he shouted then turned his attention back on the JD. "Oh my God."

"What’s going on?" Nathan asked as he came running, then he saw the blood and quickly bent down next to his friend. He held his breath while he put his fingers down on JD’s throat to search for a pulse. When he found it he breathed out in relief then nodded to Buck.

In the meantime the others had joined them. "What happened?" Vin asked.

"He took a blow to his head. Just a gaze, nothing serious, but enough to give him a headache when he wakes up." The men smiled at each other, nothing serious had happened to their youngest. Has anybody called after an ambulance?"

"Yes, I believe Mr. Johnson from team 5 has done that, what about the second bullet?" Ezra asked concerned.

"It hit the vest," Nathan said as he put a bandage around the headwound. He check the pulse once again and found that it no longer was regular. "Something’s wrong," he tore JD’s shirt of and took off his bullet-proofed vest. The young man's chest was covered in blood which kept running out of a small bullet hole on the right side of the chest. "Shit, it went right through. I need some towels quick."

While Nathan worked on JD and the other helped as well as they could with holding pressure on the wound Buck felt his world crashing. If he lost the kid he would lose the most important person in his life. JD was not just his best friend, he was his "little brother", someone who needed him more than he had ever been needed before. After what seemed like hours the ambulance arrived and the paramedics took over.

"Me and Buck will drive with JD," Chris said before he got seated in the ambulance. "See you guys at the hospital."

Buck looked at his watch. They had been there for almost 2 hours and they hadn’t heard a word. Nathan was trying to talk with somebody who knew something but he hadn’t had any luck. Josiah was with him. Ezra was shuffling a deck of cards but wasn’t really keeping his mind on what he was doing so some of the cards ended up on the floor. Vin was looking out the window, he was sitting in the same position as he was the last time Buck looked at him. Chris was just sitting in a chair with an empty look on his face. Buck looked down at his hands and saw the dried blood, it made him sick but he couldn’t get himself to wash it off.

"How is he doing?" Judge Orin Travis asked as he stepped into the room.


"Hello Chris, I have been stuck in an airport in Norway for three days. When I finally got home I heard that Dunne was out of jail but now in the hospital instead. So how is he doing?"

"We don’t know, sir," Nathan said. "He was grazed in the head and hit pretty bad in the chest. He has been in the operating room for almost two hours."

"Why wasn’t he wearing a vest?"

"He was, the bullet went right through."

They waited another hour before a doctor came out to talk with them. "How is he, doctor?" Buck asked before the doctor got the chance to open his mouth.

"Mr. Wilmington, please calm down. Your friend is out of surgery. The bullet only barely missed the heart. He is in a coma right now but I must say I’m optimistic; if he is ready to fight I’m sure he will be just fine."

"Can we see him?"

"You can, but you must be ready for the sight that waits you, he has just had a 3 hour long surgery which was very hard on him. This way gentlemen."

When Buck stepped into the room he felt a chill down his back. He had never in his life seen JD so still. Even when he slept there was movement and a life over him, he was usually so full of energy, and sitting still was not one of his favourite activities. But now he just laid there, his skin was paler than a ghosts, and his black hair laid like a soft carpet around his head and made his skin look white.

They stood all in silence for while just looking at the pale figure in front of them. "God, he looks so young," Buck finally got choked out.

"Too young," Vin said softly.

Don’t worry brother Buck, he is a strong kid, he’ll make it," Josiah said as he put his hand on JD shoulder.

"Of course he will," Buck said and took JD’s hand. "He’s a fighter, he’ll get through this, he has to."

Before Judge Travis went home that night he told his agents that he the following day, which was a Sunday, would go to church, light a candle, and say a prayer for the young agent who was fighting for his life.

All 6 men stayed at the hospital that night, they didn’t get much sleep, but they didn’t feel they could leave their friend when he needed them most. The next day Chris ordered Vin, Ezra, Nathan and Josiah to go home and get some sleep and a shower. They all returned 4 hours after they had left.

"What are you doing here?" Chris asked, "I though I gave you an order to go home and get some sleep?"

"You did Mr. Larabee, but I must inform you that we have already done that. I can of course only speak for myself, but I slept for exactly 3 hours and that is all the sleep I need."

"Chris, it’s your and Buck’s turn to go home and get cleaned up. JD won’t go anywhere and if his condition changes you will be the first to know." Nathan looked at his friends. "You need to get something to eat or you will end up in one of those beds too."

"No it’s okay, I would rather stay."

"Buck, he is right, come on." He walked towards the door but Buck hesitated. "Buck, let's go." Buck finally stood up and walked out of the room, glancing over his shoulder to get one last look of his friend before he left.

+ + + + + + +

A week had come and gone but there were no changes in JD’s condition. He was still in a deep coma and the doctors had started to worry that he wouldn’t come out of it. The guys still hoped and prayed that he would wake up and everything would be fine. They had decided to take turns at JD bedside so he wouldn’t be alone when he woke up. Buck were sitting with the kid’s hand in his, talking to him praying that he could hear him.

"Kid, it’s time to wake up, we are all getting a little bit to old for this." He squeeze the hand a little. "Come on kid, rise and shine."

"Hey Buck, how is it going, any changes?" Vin asked as he stepped into the room.

"Hey Vin, no, nothing yet. What are you doing here?"

"I came to replace you." Vin sat down on the chair opposite Buck "You look tired, why don’t you go home and get some sleep?"

"I would rather stay here, it seems wrong to leave him. I need to be here when he wakes up."

"It’s your choice Buck, but you have been here for 10 straight hours. You must be exhausted."

"I’ll be fine, I just keep wondering if we could have done anything to prevent this. If we could have planed it better."

"There was no way telling that the bullet would go through the vest, Buck."

"I know that, I just can’t take my mind of it."

"Buck…" came a small tired voice from the bed. "…shut up."

"Kid? You’re awake?"

"Yeah, well, it’s impossible to sleep in that noise."

"Hey JD, how are you feeling?" Vin asked.


Buck smiled at Vin and then looked back down at JD. "Go back to sleep kid."

"Okay." The word had barely left his lips before he was back in a heavy sleep.

The next time JD awoke all his friends were in the room. "You guys look like you haven’t slept in 3 days."

"Kid? How are you feeling?" Buck asked.

"Okay, I guess."

"Mr. Dunne, you have no idea how delightful it is that you are no longer unconscious."

In the same moment the doctor walked in to the room. "Mr. Dunne, it’s good to see that you are awake. How are you feeling? Do you hurt anywhere?"

"Ehh, I’m fine."

"That’s good to hear." The doctor started to examine him. "Does your head hurt?" JD shook his head. "Does it hurt when I press here?"

"Ouch, would you stop that?

"It all looks good. I’ll be back in an hour to check on you. If there is anything you need, call the nurse."

"Doctor? When can I be out of here?"

"Now let's take one day at a time, Mr. Dunne." The doctor started to leave the room, but then changed his mind and turned around. "Two to three weeks."

JD fell back into his pillow. "Three weeks, he can’t be serious."

"I’m afraid he is, JD." Nathan smiled at the boys reaction.

"It ain’t funny, Nate." He looked around. "I’m serious, it’s not funny."

"Your right kid, it ain’t," Buck said, trying to stop laughing.

"Thanks for your sympathy. And you’re supposed to be my best friend."

"Are you hungry?" Chris asked.


"Guys, would you get JD some food, not hospital food, real food. I have something to talk with him about." Chris looked at his men. "Try the new Chinese restaurant, they should have good food."

As soon as the 5 men had left JD looked at Chris. "Are you mad at me," he asked.

Chris smiled. "No JD, I’m not mad at you. I’m actually very proud of you."

JD looked puzzled. "Why are you proud of me?"

"When I lost Sarah and Adam my world fell apart. I wanted to end my life. One time I sat with my gun in my hand all night long, trying to gather enough courage to shoot myself, but I didn’t have the guts to do it. Instead I started drinking in my attempt to forgetting them." He looked at JD then continued, "You lost the woman you loved and your unborn child, and I’m proud of you for not making the same mistakes as I did."

"I almost did," JD whispered.

"I know, Ezra told me, but you didn’t."

"There was a time in the jail when I wanted to die, too, but I’m afraid of dying, of what will happen." JD looked at his hands. "I guess that makes me a chicken, hah?"

"No it doesn’t son, it takes much more courage to live. Believe me, it does."

"Thanks Chris, that really means a lot."

+ + + + + + +

Buck stood behind JD, who was kneeling at a grave with the text:

Here lies Susan Williams and her unborn child
May you forever rest in peace

"Are you okay?" Buck asked after a couple of minutes of silence.

"No, I’m not okay, Buck." He looked at the tombstone. "Not at all." He put a single rose on the grave, then stood up. "But I will be."

"Of course you will, kid." Buck laid a hand on JD's shoulder. "Let;s go home."

They walked to the car in silence, no words were needed. JD felt empty inside, but he knew that someday the pain would go away and his heart would heal. ‘Cause he had six of the best friends in the world, friends who had never doubted him and who would always be there for him, no matter what.

The end

Comments to: Rikkebwalther@sol.dk