All For One

by Suzy B.

Disclaimer: The characters from the television program The Magnificent Seven are the property of Trilogy and The Mirisch Co. I am making no money from their use. This Story is created for entertainment purposes only, no infringement intended. Not to be copied without permission from the author.

Notes: Eternal thanks to Mog for letting me play in her ATF AU sandpit. Thanks to Karen for all the collaboration and characterization help, couldn't have done it without you. Thanks to Rhonda for the beta'ing and grammar additions.

Chris Larabee replaced the phone receiver back in its cradle and leaned back in his chair. His mind awhirl with the news that he had just received. He stood and moved to the window and looked out over the city below him. The rest of the team was not going to be happy at all. But Damn it, if Orin wanted them there as a team, he was going to get them as a team, if it killed him.

He stepped out of his office and cast his gaze around the men he was proud to call family and spoke loudly.

"Conference Room Boys," he stated. It was an order not a question. He preceded his men into the room and waited at the end of the table for the others to arrive.

"What’s up Chris?" Buck asked as he lowered his frame into a chair, crossing one long lanky leg across the other, his arms resting on the arms of the chair as he waited.

"Nothin'," Chris spoke. "Where’s Ezra?" He took stock of his men and realised that the southerner was missing.

"I’m here Mr Larabee." Ezra spoke from the doorway as he closed the door behind him. Ezra was still moving a little more gingerly than normal after a serious shooting six weeks ago, but he refused to spend any more time away from his Team 7 cohorts.

"Damn Ez," he spoke with a smile. "Even when you are in the office when the meeting is called, you’re still late to it"

"Just wouldn’t be gentlemanly of me to be anything other than fashionably late," he smiled and sank slowly into a chair beside Vin.

"Why the meeting brother?" Josiah asked quietly.

"I just received a call from Orrin," he stated.

"And?" Nathan asked.

"We have just received an invitation to a party tomorrow night." He waited for the words to sink in.

"And just why does this warrant a team meeting?" Ezra’s eyes narrowed realising that something was afoot here.

"The honorable AD Travis has "requested" that we attend as a team." He watched the looks of incredulity on the faces of his friends.

"Why?" Vin asked.

"Apparently the newspaper is honoring Mary, and for some entirely female reason it is important that the team be there," Chris answered.

"Well why didn’t she ask us?" JD spoke.

"Who knows?" Chris answered.

"Could it be perhaps that she anticipated our reaction to that particular request would be in the negative?" Ezra spoke leaning back in his chair his eyes closed happily listening to the banter.

"Probably." Chris mulled the notion over in his mind.

"What’s the problem? A party could be just what we need." Buck’s head was already filled with thoughts of the ladies he could be meeting.

"The party is fancy dress." Chris waited for the explosions from his men. When none were forthcoming, he looked up into their speechless incredulous faces.

"I ain’t going," Vin spoke.

"Me either," JD stated.

"I do believe I am already engaged that evening," Ezra drawled.

He listened to their delayed spluttering reactions and let them die down before he spoke again "No Dice boys," he spoke. "This is important to Mary, therefore it is important to me. We will be going," he stated firmly, "as a team." A slight smile crossed his face as he spoke again. "Besides Orin has threatened to put us on surveillance duties for the next six months if we don’t go." There was complete silence round the table for several minutes as he watched his men weigh up the costs of boring, sleep inducing surveillance against the complete embarrassment of dressing up.

"What’s your plan Mr Larabee?" Ezra spoke realising that there was something working through his boss’ mind.

"I figure, if he wants a team," Chris spoke, "he’s gonna get one." He paused and watched the recognition dawn on the faces of his men "What we have to do is come up with a team theme."

"Ahhhh I see," Ezra’s devious mind had caught onto Chris’ thought and was already starting to work. "Something that is obvious enough to signify to all present that we are united in our solidarity, and quite obviously a team."

"Yeah." Chris knew that Ezra would understand his thought even if none of the others did.

"But, I will tell you right now that I refuse to attire myself in the manner of Ms. White’s Miniscule Cohorts," he continued.

‘Huh?" Buck and JD chorused together.

"The Seven Dwarfs gentlemen." Ezra rolled his eyes and leaned back against the headrest, thinking hard.

"What else is there?" Nathan asked.

"What about the Seven Deadly Sins?" Josiah questioned.

"I like that," Buck spoke. "I'm already dressed for Lust," he grinned.

"The Days of the week?" Vin offered.

"Good thoughts," Chris spoke. "But, I don’t think they make the statement we are looking for."

The others all looked at Chris, not understanding what he meant. "Allow me, Mr. Larabee." Ezra filled the silence that followed. "What we need is a team that everybody knows; a team that is renowned for their kinship. Something that is easily costumed and recognised as that team." He scoured his mind for an example. "Some examples would be Batman and Robin, and the Three Stooges. A perfect example would be the Three Musketeers, however, as you are aware we seriously outnumber that particular group."

"We could always go as the movie Magnificent 7 western characters," JD spoke. "Since that’s what they call us."

"Good thought, JD, but they will expect that from us, so we must dare to be different, to challenge the boundaries of what they think they can expect from us," Ezra replied.

"I have an idea." Chris spoke almost to himself. He looked at his watch and then back at his team. "We’ll meet back here in two hours," he stated, listening to the grumbles of his men as he briskly left the room.

None of the men had missed the evil glint in Chris’ eye as he had left the room. When the allotted time arrived they were all standing inside the conference room, some pacing, some fretting, all knowing that an evil plot was hatching in their leader's mind, and it was going to take all of them to talk him out of it. All this from men who had no idea exactly what Chris was thinking. They were all startled at the sound of the outer office door slamming, and they sank into chairs to await the dreaded announcement. Chris had to fight to hide the glimmer of laughter in his eyes as he entered the conference room. His six companions all sat at their conference table with differing levels of distress painting their faces. At that very moment he realised that no matter what they decided on this was all worth it. Finally, after three years of practical jokes, stubborn patients, and just downright juvenile pranks, he felt sure that he was about to get his own back, and then some. He looked at the almost fearful faces of the men around the table; choked back his laughter and disguised it as a cough. His eyes flew to the face of his undercover specialist knowing that if anyone picked up on his mirth it would be him. Ezra’s clear green eyes met his, full of innocence and something that Chris couldn’t quite read, but the slight tilt of Ezra’s head told him all he needed to know. Even if he knew what Chris was up to, he wouldn’t give the game away.

"Where’ve you been Chris?" Buck asked quietly, his voice missing its usual spark of humor.

"Well thanks to JD, I had an idea. I thought I would go and follow up on it." The corners of his mouth tugged upward as he watched the embarrassed flush creep up JD’s cheeks, knowing that the young man thought the trouble they were about to find themselves in was somehow his fault.

"Pray, Brother Larabee," Josiah was a little wary of the uncommon expression on the face of his team leader, "what did you come up with?"

"Well as you all know, they call us the magnificent seven, right?’ He spoke as if addressing a class full of children as he walked around the table dropping a sealed white plastic bag on the table in front of each of them. "We have to show more ingenuity than to costume ourselves as the original Magnificent Ones," he pondered, watching as each of his men eyed the packages in front of them suspiciously. A grin grew wider on the downcast face of the southerner.

"So, I remembered when we worked the security at the Atlanta Olympics, Buck." He spoke and almost laughed as Buck’s wide eyes flew to his. "Ezra you probably worked there too" he indicated, remembering the agent's former FBI days.

"Certainly I did, Mr Larabee." He paused, his eyes met Chris’ briefly, sharing a conspiratorial wink. "Fascinating event," he finished, turning his face back to the table, desperate to laugh, but not willing to give up the game. He now knew exactly what his team leader was doing and couldn’t help but admire the man’s evil wit.

"Gentlemen," Chris announced with a flourish. "Your costumes are in the bags."

"In these liddy biddy bags?" Buck spoke reticently, barely trusting enough to take his disbelieving gaze from Chris' face.

"Can’t fit much in these bags, Chris," Nathan spoke, not sure that he wanted to touch the bag let alone look at the costume.

"Yep, we will be attending as a team alright..." He almost laughed as he watched his men tip there bags upside down on the conference table. Each of the men found a small mound of white spandex trimmed with red, yellow and blue in front of them. "…the US Women’s Gym Team otherwise known as the Magnificent Seven."

He would remember the reactions of his team until the day he died, he was certain. Ezra bless his heart, having worked out in his own mind what Chris was doing, played the gag for all it was worth. He held the leotard up and sized it against his frame. He even stood and removed his jacket, pulling the spandex to test its sizing against his muscular frame. Nathan lifted the costume up with one hand, alternating his glance between the rest of the men and his leader, not sure exactly what was going on but sure that he was not happy about it.

JD sat motionless, his gaze moving between the scrap of spandex on the table and Ezra who was diligently stretching his own costume across his chest, testing its sizing. The young man's face glowed red, not sure exactly how to cope with the days events, and he knew that somehow he was gonna find himself to blame for their predicament. Josiah was lifting the leotard with a pen, his face a picture of confusion. The funniest by far were Vin and Buck. Buck had pulled the scrap of fabric from the bag; as his fingers touched the slinky material he stuffed it back into the bag and turned his attention to Ezra’s modelling, all the while he kept shaking his head. Vin had pushed his chair away from the table and was backing away from all of them, one hand waving toward the bag almost as if he truly was terrified of the spandex. The look on his face was that of a cornered animal, and Chris loved every minute of it.

"Well gentlemen?" Chris asked, trying desperately to hold his mirth in for long enough to hear their arguments.

"An admirable choice," Ezra spoke, ducking his head with a refined cough as he couldn’t contain his laughter.

"Ah, Chris…" Josiah started, trying to be reasonable. "You have remembered we are men, haven’t you?" he asked.

"We’ll be the laughing stock of the bureau Chris," Nathan tried to reason.

"Chris, you can’t really mean it," JD spoke, his eyes full of youthful embarrassment at the mere thought of being seen in the leotard.

"I don’t care if I get busted back to foot patrols," Buck swore. "I am not wearing that thing." He punctuated each word with a glance at the bag, sure that the costume was going to escape the bag on its own.

"You got something to say, Vin?" Chris asked, watching the sharpshooter inching his way back toward the table.

"Yeah," he started to speak, about to tell them that he wasn’t wearing no spandex outfit that wouldn’t cover….well wouldn’t cover anything. In fact, he was certain it would enhance or detract from some attributes, But, there was something about the glint in Chris’ eye that pulled him up. Suddenly, it dawned on him; he knew beyond doubt that this was a joke, so settling into his practical joker role he turned the tables on his boss. "For you I will do it." He spoke. "I won’t be happy, but I’ll do it," he answered, watching Chris’ slightly crestfallen expression at the display of faithful loyalty from his best friend.

May be this wasn’t such a great idea after all, Chris thought to himself.

Chris dismissed his men and watched as one by one they left the room. Ezra lingered behind the others. "When are you planning on telling them that this isn’t the costume?" he spoke quietly.

"I wasn’t," Chris spoke, his eyes sparkling with humor.

"You can’t be serious?" Ezra spoke.

"Of course not," he chuckled. "The real costumes are being delivered to the CDC tonight," he spoke, and laughed as he saw the wave of relief wash over the southerner.

"You have a truly devious mind, Mr. Larabee." Ezra smiled at him as he remembered the card game they had planned for this evening.

"Yeah, well it’s time the rest of you got some payback," he spoke as he followed the southerner from the room.

The silence throughout Team 7’s offices was deafening. It seemed that Chris had completely thrown the five men who weren’t aware of his plan into a tailspin that they could see no way out of. Chris couldn’t help himself; he kept leaving his office all afternoon, usually making a smart mouth comment about gymnastics or spandex, loving the way that Buck practically turned green every time the leotard was mentioned.

+ + + + + + +

It was with heavy hearts that they made their way to the CDC for their regular card game, combined with a night of Josiah’s chilli and a few beers. The usual rambunctious atmosphere was considerably more somber. They were so depressed that Chris almost relented and told them of the real costuming, but he couldn’t. He had gone this far he had to see it through to the end.

Three hands into the game there was a knock at the door. Buck, his heart not in the card game at all, rose to answer it, and returned several minutes later with seven large boxes. "Hah," he spouted. "Hah," he smiled triumphantly, as he opened the box that bore his name. "I knew it!" He almost danced around them room. "I knew you wouldn’t make us wear those little elastic things."

"They’re called leotards, Buck." Chris shook his head. "You won’t be infected by them if you say the word."

"Whatever?" he spoke, as he pulled a hat from the box, completely entranced by the new costume. The hat was large and made of white felt one side adorned with an abundance of blue feathery plumage. Sitting the hat on his head, he delved further into the box to find creamy colored leggings, brown bucket top boots, a blue suede like shirt trimmed with white muslin cuffs and collars, a blue suede jerkin and a blue velvet cape. Lifting the whole lot from the box, he was surprised to see a replica musket and a sabre.

The others, intrigued by the display of Buck’s attire, found their own boxes and unearthed identical clothing. It wasn’t long before the living room was turned into an impromptu costume shop. Chris still sat at the card table, looking like an indulgent father, as he watched his men try their costumes on. As he watched them, he realized that he had made a fine choice. Not only were they all relatively happy, but they all looked contented, almost like they belonged in the attire. In fact, it had been a long time since he had seen his entire team looking so relaxed and happy. JD and Buck were happily having a fencing duel, while Ezra was giving fencing and etiquette tips to a bemused Vin. Nathan and Josiah sat on the sofa, chatting amiably and picking pieces of lint from their velvet outfits.

"So, what made you choose the musketeers, Brother Chris?" Josiah asked, tilting his head backward to look at their leader.

"To be honest, I’m not sure." He looked at all of them, knowing that when he explained they would all understand. "I went to a costume shop looking for a team theme we could use and stumbled across the musketeers."

"Wasn’t there only three of them?" JD asked, earning himself a whack on the rump with Buck’s sword.

"Now even I know there was four," Buck spoke.

"My god!" Ezra feigned surprise. "He does read."

"Ahhhh. Actually no, watched a movie not long ago. Cute girl in it," Buck grinned.

"Why does that not surprise me?" Ezra rolled his eyes skyward as he turned back to Chris.

"Can I explain for you?" he asked, and at Chris’ nod he turned back to JD. "The Three Musketeers was a classic written by Alexandre Dumas. It is the tale of d'Artagnan, a Gascon youth who travels to Paris to seek his fortune in the King's Musketeers, or personal guard. On his first day he meets three musketeers, Athos, Porthos, and Aramis. Although they get off to an abominable start, they become the best of friends. Throughout the book they thwart the plans of the infamous Cardinal Richelieu and Milady de Winter." Ezra looked at the faces of his fellow agents. "I believe that despite our numbering more than four we do indeed have the correct attitude for the musketeers."

"They had a motto." Chris looked at the other men. "All for One and One For All." He shrugged his shoulders. "I figured it sounded like us."

"Indeed," Ezra nodded. "I believe you have made a fine choice." The others agreed and with a shrug of their shoulders Buck and JD went back to their swordplay.

"Except," Chris shook his head, "I think I should confiscate their swords."

"Oh, I don’t know, they may just kill each other," Ezra laughed.

"Can you two stop that?" Chris bellowed at them, and they both immediately stopped.

"There will be a car here to pick us all up tomorrow night," Chris spoke. "There will be no late arrivals." He looked at Ezra pointedly. "We will arrive as a team and leave as a team." He looked at his team Lothario who just shrugged his shoulders.

"Don’t worry, Brother Larabee. I’m sure we can all behave just for one night," Josiah spoke with a laugh.

"I’d be happy with just civilised Josiah."

All thoughts of a card game fled from their minds as they packed their costumes back up.The terror of the fancy dress party now gone, it appeared to Chris that they were all actually looking forward to it. He just hoped things didn’t change in the next 24 hours.

+ + + + + + +

All seven men were at the CDC in plenty of time for their lift to arrive. The minibus collected them and delivered them to the hotel where the party was being held. None of the men noticed the looks of gratification they received from the persons they passed on their walk toward their destination.

It seemed almost as if they had truly become musketeers. They walked down the wide corridor in a line, no one in front of another, they moved as one. Chris, their leader, walked in the middle of his men, his gait proud and true, the blue velvet of his costume the perfect foil for his rugged blond good looks. On his right, his best friend, his blue gaze intensified by the blue of his velvet cape, his long curly locks held back by a tight leather thong, one hand resting lightly on the imitation musket that rested in a holster against his thigh as he walked. On his left, his oldest friend, who wore the costume with the dashing debonair carelessness of Errol Flynn, one side of the cape flung back over his shoulder. If ever there was a costume made for Buck Wilmington it was the musketeer uniform. He rested his hand lightly on the hilt of the rapier that was slung from his waist. His deep blue eyes gleamed with merriment, as he himself realised what a commotion their arrival was causing.

Ezra walked on the right of Vin, his countenance immaculate, one gloved hand on the hilt of his rapier. He arrived this evening at the CDC bearing seven pairs of white suede gloves with wide cuffs to accommodate the lace cuffs of their shirts. He had told his counterparts that no gentleman would arrive with bare hands and that had been all it had taken. They had all donned their gloves without questions. His green eyes darkened to the color of rainforest leaves reflecting his contentedness in the deep blue velvet. He was the one who looked most like he belonged in the uniform, dashing, charming and yet still possessing that hint of danger.

On Buck’s left, his best friend and pseudo little brother walked, his head tall, proud to be in the company of the other men, his thick black hair swept back under the plumed hat he wore at a jaunty angle. Both sides of his cape flicked back, one hand on his musket, the other hand resting on his rapier. The sparkle in his deep brown eyes reminded onlookers of the youth and innocent zest for life of the fabled D’Artagnan.

To Ezra’s right walked the oldest and perhaps wisest of the seven, his step shortened to equal that of the smaller man to his left. He wasn’t sure if it was the kinship he shared with the others or the attention they were receiving, but dressed as they were he felt almost invincible beside his brothers.

Nathan walked to the left of JD, feeling a little conspicuous in front of the crowd they appeared to be attracting. He knew that they gave a formidable appearance, but he also knew that they didn’t need the clothes to make a lasting impression to the outside world. He lifted his head with a jaunty tilt to his chin and walked proudly forward. They bore the aura they carried with them wherever they went, but united in uniform as they were, there was no mistaking their unity.

As the doorman flung open the doors for them and they stood on the slightly raised entrance to the ballroom, they paused, watching every head in the room turn toward them. They were completely unaware of the picture they presented to the outside world in the costumes they wore. Arriving individually they would have caused a stir, but arriving as a team they commanded the attention of every person in the huge ballroom. The women wanted them, the men wanted to be them, and the seven were completely oblivious to both their power and charms.

Orrin Travers looked up from where he had been talking to a heavily costumed friend of his, who currently appeared to be Winston Churchill; however, he was in reality a man who held a position high the shadowed echelons of the government. If anyone thought it was strange to see a British Prime Minister speaking with Ernst Blofeld, one of Bond’s most memorable villains, no one said a word. He had known that the only way to obtain the presence of Team 7 together at any function of this nature was through subterfuge. The heavily commended team had always managed to evade an official ceremony to receive any commendation. Well, this time Orrin Travis would get the last laugh. There were almost 200 people present, and Orrin knew without a doubt the attention of every person in the room was fixed on the seven. It had been Mary’s idea to make the outing less formal and a fancy dress theme. In her eyes it had been a slightly corny idea, but she was trying in her own way to make the men more comfortable and at ease. As he heard the gasps of shock from around the ballroom, he knew that it had been the right idea. There was not one person in the room that did not see a team when they looked at the men in the doorway. Orrin looked at the team with a wry grin. Not one of them had the slightest idea of the effect they were having on the room.

Mary stood beside her father in law and watched the men as they arrived. She had long known that the men of team 7 were good looking, but the sight that greeted her when she turned was enough to take her breath away. Individually, each man was as different to his neighbour as night was to day. Some ruggedly attractive, some charming and debonair, some with the careless attraction of a man who didn’t realise his looks, some older, some younger, some quiet and reserved, some loud and boisterous, but all very handsome men in their own way and their own right. Yet together, the group exuded raw sexuality, a passion for life rarely seen and just a hint of promised danger. She tore her eyes from the sight before her and looked around the room. The men, most of them a little jealous, were beginning to lose interest in the newcomers, but the women’s eyes held the glow of appreciation and longing that she knew was mirrored in her own eyes.

Orrin took his daughter-in-law's arm and together they made their way to the men who had rapidly found their way into the hearts of all of the Travis’. "Good to see you men," he spoke as he shook hands with Chris. The others all inclined their heads, murmuring words of greeting as they took in both Orrin and Mary’s costumes.

"Excellent choice of costume gentlemen," Mary spoke.

"We can take no credit for the apparel, Ms. Moneypenny." Ezra spoke, acknowledging her costume, bending into a low graceful bow as he flourished his hat and took her hand to place a soft kiss on her knuckles. "The accoutrements were all Mr Larabee’s doing." He stood and looked with a smile at the gentle blush that stained her cheeks.

"What sort of award are you receiving tonight my dear?" Ezra spoke quietly.

"Me receiving an award?" she commented. "I’m not receiving the award you are." She spoke softly, knowing that she was about to witness an explosion, well to be completely correct seven explosions.

Seven pairs of eyes flew to Orin’s face looking for confirmation or denial. Hoping for the latter but finding the former. "That was a low blow," Chris muttered through clenched teeth as he tried to remain calm.

"Every time we request your presence, you point blank refuse us," Orin spoke softly. "The entire department wishes to honor the seven of you, and I think it is well overdue. In three years you have had double the caseload of other teams and you have yet to record a loss. You are probably the most practiced and well skilled team in the entire country." He looked at the frowning, disenchanted faces that looked at him. "It’s about time you were rewarded for that."

"At the risk of appearing uncharitable," Ezra spoke. "We are merely performing our occupations; none of us is expecting rewards." He looked along the line of his teammates and friends, seeing them all nod in confirmation.

"We decided that since you all have trouble with a formal ceremony we would have a costume party with a small awards ceremony, nothing formal, just a way for the department to say thank you for your hard work, even if they usually treat you badly."

"Treat us badly," Chris snorted. "Hell we’re usually lucky they acknowledge us at all."

"Oh they acknowledge us alright," Josiah chuckled wryly. "Just not in a way our mama's would appreciate."

"That may well be the case," Orrin nodded sagely. "But the city appreciates your sacrifices and as such you will graciously accept." His eyes scanned the men that surrounded him. "Is that clear?"

"Crystal,"came the eerily echoing vocal response from the men clustered around him.

Silence fell over the group that was still the focus of so much attention before Ezra cleared his throat and extended a hand to Mary. "My dear would you do me the honor of accompanying me on the dance floor." He smiled as she glanced at Chris and then slid her slender fingers across Ezra's palm.

"Dang it, Ez" Buck muttered. "Why didn't you just ask her to dance with you?"

"I was comfortable with the assumption that I just had." Ezra shrugged with a grin before he led Mary to the small dance floor.

The remaining men did the only thing they could. They mingled, albeit grudgingly, with the guests and dignitaries that had gathered to honor them. After all things were considered it really wasn't a hardship. They were expected to partake of good food and drink, and dance with a myriad of beautiful and often influential young women. At least Buck was in his element.

Several hours into the evening, Orin walked onto the bunting covered stage accompanied by Wild Bill Hickock, otherwise known as the mayor of their city, George Handers. "Ladies and Gentlemen," George spoke into the microphone. "Can I have your attention please?" As the room's inhabitants turned to listen to him, he continued. "I'd like you to assist me in welcoming to the stage a group of men who have made the streets of our fine city safer for our children to grow up on." He beckoned to Chris as he spoke. "Ladies and Gentlemen please join with me in welcoming Team 7." He stood back from the microphone and began to slowly applaud. The applause grew as the seven team members slowly made their way to the stage. As they neatly lined up uncomfortably behind the mayor, he turned back to the microphone. "Many of the tasks they perform are cloaked in shadows of secrecy, others shrouded in political mystery, but one thing is certain. Without these men protecting us, many of our defenceless children and neighbors would be in dire straits. Tonight goes just a small way toward thanking them for the sacrifices they make for us, but it’s a start." He paused and extended one arm toward the seven. "Mr Larabee could you step forward please?" He waited until Chris stood beside him; hands folded in front of him, waiting.

A click of George Handers fingers saw Calamity Jane arrive at his side with a large oak chest in her arms. He lifted the lid of the chest and extracted a large ceremonial gold key from the inlaid blue silk lining.

"Mr Larabee, in a gesture of gratitude to you and your fellow team members, it is my honor to present you with the key to the city." He pressed the key into Chris' extended hand and shook the hand that Chris proffered, both of them squinting through the sudden flashes of the surrounding cameras.

Chris stepped forward his fingers tightening around the key as he waited for the applause to die down. He turned to look at the team, his eyes meeting the eyes of each and every one of them before he turned back to the crowd. "Thank you," He spoke. "We don't perform our duties for thanks or awards, or even for the keys to our fine city." He paused. "We all thank you for this evening and for the key," he smiled. "But it's our job, a job we all love." He felt more than saw his teammates stepping forward. "As for why we're such a successful team. Maybe it's because we're…" he shrugged and drew his rapier, holding it high, "…All for one…" he stated, and was not surprised to hear six identical rapiers being drawn and clanking as they hit his.

"And one for all," they all chorused.

The End

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