You Didn't Know What You Were Doing
Buck, JD & Chris but all 7 involved
Violence & lots of angst
Size: Approx 200K
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JD felt alienated. Casey had been invited to a party being thrown by one of her fellow students and had persuaded him to accompany her. She knew that he felt awkward, his life being totally different now that he was part of ATF team 7 but she told him that occasionally she had to attend these parties if she wanted to fit in.
Casey was stood talking to one of her classmates and the conversation turned to boyfriends. All the girls were envious of her, since being with JD she had realised how shallow her university friends were and she had resolved that they would only stay for a couple of hours. She looked up at JD and recognised the feigned look of interest as one of the 'jocks' discussed cars with him. Although they were the same age, both young men were poles apart in their experience and outlook on life. Excusing herself from the shallow conversation with the over made up blonde, she moved to his side and took his arm.
Sorry to drag you away honey but remember that I need to be home by 11 o'clock, she said smiling sweetly at the 'jock'.
JD smiled down and nodded his head, thankful of her consideration. He was totally bored by the conversation but couldn't find a polite way of exiting it.
Ok Casey. I need to use the bathroom and then I'll go and find our coats.
The 'jock' moved away and joined his friends.
I don't know what she sees in him, he muttered as he watched JD move away with Casey hanging on his arm.
Sam Bryant smiled at the couple.
She wouldn't like him so much if he wasn't a cop. She thinks he's better than any of us.
The 'jock', John Barber nodded. Maybe we should have some fun with Agent Dunne.
What do you mean?
Have you got any of those tabs left?
Bryant looked at his friend and let a slow smile cross his face as he realised what he was planning.
They're on their way out you can't put it in his drink.
No, I've got a better idea. Find his coat and put it in his pocket. When he next wants a headache tablet he'll think he's lucky that he's got one in his pocket.
I wish I could see the result, said the heavily muscled sportsman, handing the tab to his friend.
Yeah, laughed Barber moving to where the coats were stored. Quickly finding JD's jacket, he put the tablet still in its blister pack into the pocket. It's manufacturers had disguised the hallucinatory drug with ASPIRIN stamped across it.
Jackie Bowman frowned as she watched the two boys fiddling around with the coats. She thought they were stealing from the pockets but heaved a sigh of relief as they put the coat back and walked away without anything in their hand. She had not wanted to confront them.
She smiled at her friend Casey as she walked past. JD collected the coats and slung his arm round her shoulder. Jackie watched them go and breathed lucky girl before turning her attention back to the party.
Four Days Later
Buck Wilmington leaned back in his chair and rubbed his aching neck. He and JD had been camped in the surveillance van for most of the afternoon and they had finally been given the stand down order.
Let's get this wrapped up Kid, he murmured
JD looked up and grinned as he saw Buck kneading his neck.
Feeling your age? he queried and laughed as Buck threw him a baleful glare.
I can still keep up with you young 'uns you cheeky monkey, he returned and threw a wadded piece of paper at him.
When they had packed up everything and returned the van to the garage he climbed the steps wearily to the fourth floor home of team 7. JD frowned as he watched Buck once again knead the back of his neck.
You feeling ok Buck? he asked
Buck turned and saw his concern. Just a bit of a headache. I've got some Tylenol in my desk drawer.
JD nodded and followed him into the office.
Buck opened the top drawer of his desk and took out the bright red box.
Damn. The packet's empty. Where's Nathan? moaned Buck, the headache causing his head to throb.
He's out of the office for another hour, called Ezra from the other side of the room.
Hang on Buck, I think I've got an aspirin in my coat. Just a sec, said JD, remembering that he had put his hand in his pocket a couple of days ago and found the pill. He had forgotten putting it there. He raced over to his desk and rummaged in his pocket, withdrawing the blister pack in triumph.
You're lucky, there's only one left.
Sure sign that the kid loves you Buck if he's willing to give you his last aspirin, drawled Vin Tanner from where he was sat behind Ezra.
Buck smiled and went into the kitchen to pour himself a glass of water. He swallowed it down and returned to his desk.
Thanks JD, he said throwing a lazy smile at his young colleague.
For the next hour the team completed the necessary paperwork. Buck's headache eased slightly but didn't disappear.
Chris Larabee came out of his office, his briefcase in his hand.
Ok guys. That's enough for today. Who fancies a drink at Inez's?
Most of the team accepted but Buck shook his head.
Naw, I think I'll make it an early night, he said and grinned at the grunts of disbelief from the other team members.
You ok Buck? asked Chris in concern. Buck rarely turned down a night at Inez's.
Yeah I' m fine Pard. Just feel a bit tired and can't seem to get rid of this headache. I think an early night is in order. I'll see you tomorrow ok?
Do you want me to come home with you Buck? asked JD worridly. He really would appreciate a drink at Inez's but if Buck was sick then he felt it would be more important to be with his flat mate.
Buck shook his head. I'm fine Kid. You go and enjoy yourself. I'll see you later.
JD seemed torn as to what to do but Chris saw Buck shake his head good naturedly.
Come on JD. Buck's a big boy now and he doesn't need you mothering him, he said, taking the young man by the arm and leading him away.
All the team chuckled at the role reversal including JD.
Ok Buck, I'll be home to tuck you in around 10 o'clock.
God JD, you're worse than me, muttered Buck, smothering a grin.
JD waved Vin and Chris goodbye and ran up the steps to his apartment building. More mellow than drunk he decided to take the stairs and made short work of them. Opening the front door he quietly crept into the lounge not wishing to disturb Buck if he was asleep. He was proved right as he saw the older man lying hunched up on the sofa. Smiling JD went to wake him up and tell him to go to bed but as he crossed the room he felt the twinge of a full bladder and decided that he needed to use the toilet first. Shrugging off his coat he carelessly tossed it on the back of the sofa where is promptly slipped off in a heap. Buck woke up as he heard the bang of the bathroom door shutting. The drug coursed through his system and his brain was overloaded with stimulation. He rose to his feet and walked around the chair and stopped gasping in horror. He saw JD's jacket and his hallucinating brain formed a terrifying picture of a head, hands and a pair of legs protruding from it. His overactive brain convinced his eyes that a pool of blood lay under the body and he let out a loud anguished cry.
JD had finished and quickly opened the bathroom door as he heard Buck's scream.
Buck? he called uncertainly looking at his friend kneeling on the floor beside his coat.
In Buck's fevered brain he didn't see JD, he only saw the man that had murdered his friend and with a roar that encompassed all his anger and grief he launched himself at the unsuspecting younger man.
JD was sent staggering backwards, crying out in pain as he hit the wall hard behind him. Momentarily stunned by the sudden attack he didn't defend himself and Buck brought his hand up to punch him hard in the jaw.
Buck? he cried It's me, but was terrified as he looked into his friend's face. Something was terribly wrong and there was no trace of any recognition on the hate filled face before him. He was used to seeing junkies and he saw the pinprick pupils that meant Buck was on an uncontrollable drug trip. He grunted as he felt Buck rain more blows on him but he was reluctant to fight back. He tried to squirm away but was held by the stronger man and he screamed as Buck savagely punched him in the ribs. Gasping with pain he tried to cut through his friend's fog, pleading with him, telling him that it was JD he was hitting but it was of little use. Buck was not hearing him or not understanding the words. Finally, when his body was on the point of blacking out Buck seemed to hesitate, for the first time looking down at the bleeding figure beneath him. The older man pulled back and rose shakily to his feet and JD wiped the blood away from his bleeding nose. He put his hand out to steady himself and attempted to rise but Buck raised his foot and brought it down hard on his outstretched fingers. JD screamed as he heard the bones snap and he curled in agony holding the hand to his chest.
Why? he whimpered
Buck leant down and spit venomously Because nobody hurts JD and gets away with it.
But it's me Buck, I'm JD, he cried, his mind whirling, the pain coursing through his battered body.
You killed him, Buck screamed and I'm going to kill you.
JD felt himself on the verge blacking out and was relieved when he sensed the older man walk away. Crawling towards his coat he found his cell phone in the pocket and pressed the number 1.
Chris was just reaching the fringe of Purgatorio when his phone began to ring. Clicking on the hands-free unit he called out Larabee.
I need help. Buck's gone crazy. Hurry! pleaded JD, his breath coming in painful gasps as broken ribs made themselves known.
Vin and Chris exchanged glances.
JD. What's happened?
Hurry, was the only reply he got before they heard a loud roar of anger and a cry of agony.
We're on our way JD, called Chris as he flung the Ram into a tight u-turn. Vin got his mobile out and began to call the other members of the team.
JD's vision cleared and he came to his senses finding Buck straddling his body.
Buck, he called weakly It's me. Can't you see. Please Buck.
The older agent examined his victim coldly, his thighs keeping a firm grip on JD's torso.
His mind was whirling, his brain connections snapping and sparking and he had no control over his thought processes. Nothing made sense. The only thing he was sure about was that he had JD's murderer at his mercy and he was going to make him pay. Reaching behind him he brought his hand forward and JD saw a large carving knife. He knew that it was razor sharp because he had carved a roast only a few days before. He looked up at his best friend and shivered at the coldness in his face. Buck didn't know him and he knew in that instant that Buck was going to kill him.
Oh Buck, he sighed, resigned to his fate. This'll hurt you more than me, he whispered and saw his words cause the older man to hesitate.
This'll hurt me more than you? he asked incredulously. I loved that boy and you've taken him away from me. I don't care how I'll feel after I kill you because my life is over.
Please Buck. Don't do this.
Buck raised the knife and held it out to his side turning it over so that JD could see the metal glinting in the light. He grinned. I'm gonna stick this deep in your side and watch you bleed to death you bastard. Just like you did to JD.
In a last desperate survival instinct the younger man bucked his body up and twisted as he felt the heavy weight of the other man fall to the side. Roaring in anger Buck collected himself and sprang at the teenager who was desperately trying to crawl away. A red rage flooded through him and he had no control on his emotions. Somewhere, distantly he heard a banging at the door and somebody calling his name but he ignored it. The only focus of his attention was that JD's murderer was trying to get away. He leapt forward and landed with his full weight on his knee into JD's back causing the dark haired boy to scream in pain and he swiftly brought the knife up ready to strike the killing blow. From behind him came the sound of a gunshot and splintering wood as the door was forced open but he managed to swing his arm back and stab the knife deep into JD's side.
Chris and Vin had driven at full speed to the CDC and had run breathlessly up the stairs. Chris hammered on the door calling out Buck's name but they only heard JD call out in his agony. Stepping back Vin pulled out his firearm and shot out the lock and Chris ran at full pelt into the room. Taking in the situation in an instant he aimed for Buck but was too late and the knife was rammed home before he forced Buck away.
Buck reacted instinctively and tried to protect himself from this fresh attack and the two best friends rolled on the carpet.
Buck, called Chris at the top of his voice but got no response. Looking into the other man's eyes he saw the pupils were pinpricks and he recognised the drug induced state. Buck still had the knife in his hand and he slashed it down catching Chris on the arm. Shouting in pain and surprise Chris let go and fell back and Buck immediately went in for the kill. As he brought the now bloody knife up to slash the blonde agents throat there was the sound of a gunshot and he fell back, a bullet lodging in his leg.
Vin leapt over Chris and kicked the knife away from the squirming man, expertly disabling him with a knee to the throat.
Get the cuffs on him, he snapped turning to look at a stunned Chris.
The drug gave Wilmington great strength and he threatened to toss Vin across the room and it was only the combination of two men that managed to finally subdue him and secure him.
Ezra, alerted by Vin's urgent call, had made quick progress and he bound into the room just as Buck was finally disabled. He took in the scene of horror and swallowed his bile quickly. Vin glanced up and saw the pale face. Help JD Ez. He's been stabbed.
Ezra fell to his knees by JD's side and saw that the boy had been badly beaten. A red flower of blood was staining the side of his t-shirt and he swiftly ran to the bathroom and collected a towel. Placing it against the wound he pressed hard hoping to slow the steady loss of precious fluid. JD was barely conscious and Ezra heard him whisper why? repeatably.
A few seconds later came Nathan who took over JD's care allowing Ezra to call for paramedics.
What the hell happened? demanded Nathan looking up at Chris who's arm was being bound in a damp towel by Vin.
Chris gritted his teeth at the sharp pain. The slash was not too deep but was about 12 inches long and he knew that he would have to suffer a large number of stitches to close the wound.
We heard JD scream and found Buck on top of him. He stabbed him Nate. I can't believe it.
He's wired. Who the hell knows what he was thinking, said Vin who, now that he had bound Chris's arm ,was attending to Buck's leg wound.
Who shot Buck? asked Ezra as Josiah finally turned up.
Buck squirmed but couldn't release himself.
He killed JD, he cried loudly. I had to kill him, he killed the kid
The other members of the team turned in stunned silence to their friend.
Chris summed it up precisely.
Buck tried to kill JD. I got him off the kid and he tried to kill me. If Vin hadn't shot him he would have slashed my throat. He's out of his mind and he doesn't know what the hell he's doing.
How did this happen? cursed Nathan looking at JD's battered and bruised face.
The question hung in the air as all the five agents looked at each other.
This is going to take some sorting out, murmured Ezra.
Oh shit, no JD don't do this to me, cried Nathan urgently as JD's breath expired and he didn't take another.
Josiah and Ezra moved into him as Nathan fought to bring their young friend back to life. Nathan was a highly experienced EMT and he used his intense training to resuscitate the ailing patient. Breathe JD, he shouted as he leaned forward and blew breath into the slack jaw.
Chris and Vin unconsciously clung to each other barely taking a breath themselves watching helplessly as the drama unfolded in front of them..
Josiah took over the heart massage and thumped the battered chest rhythmically as the dark medic breathed air into the stilled lungs.
The other agents watched in terror, each pleading with JD to find some strength from somewhere. The only one that didn't seem bothered was Buck who was on the verge of losing consciousness. He watched as they battled over JD's killer and screamed at them in fury to let the bastard die.
Chris's frayed nerves finally snapped and he hit the bound man hard, knocking him unconscious. He met Vin's eyes and got a look of pure understanding.
Hold on a second Josiah, said Nathan rising from the open mouth. They waited for a few seconds and were relieved to see the chest rise weakly by itself.
Thank the lord, murmured Josiah.
No, thank you two, replied Ezra. You brought him back to us.
I don't know how long for. We've got to get him to a hospital now.
As if by request a team of paramedics came into the room and quickly took over the care of the three patients.
Ezra put his hand on Chris's arm as he was guided into the ambulance.
Josiah and I will stay here and attend to the formalities. We'll see you down at the hospital later.
Chris nodded his thanks and sat down on the cot. The ambulance taking JD had departed minutes before, it 's emergency lights flashing. The unconscious body of Buck was strapped into the other cot and Chris looked at him, his heart breaking. His oldest friend had tried to kill him and he knew that the kind hearted ladies man would be devastated when he learned what he had done to him and JD.
Chris sat in the chair gazing at the delirious man in the bed before him. Buck had regained consciousness but the drug was still coursing through his veins and he was now secured by leather restraints buckled around his wrists and ankles. Twisting Buck tried to escape and seemed unable to recognise his friends. It was torture just watching the crazed man, his movements surely causing him great pain. He heard someone come in behind him and turned to see that it was Vin and Ezra. Absently he nodded a greeting and was not surprised to see the defeat reflected in both their gazes.
How's the arm Mr. Larabee? asked Ezra quietly.
Chris looked down at the bandaged arm. 27 stitches but it's not so bad thanks to Vin.
Vin nodded, a look of understanding passing between them. The words thank you for saving my life, were left unsaid.
How's JD? he asked instead.
Still in surgery, answered Vin walking over to Buck's bedside. The moustached agent twisted painfully but did not react to his presence.
What the hell happened Bucklin, he said softly, gazing into the troubled brown eyes. What would make someone do what he did? he wondered aloud.
Beneztrol Athezical Nitroglate, said a voice behind him and all three agents turned to see that the Doctor had walked into the room.
What? asked Chris vaguely.
That's what is in his system. It's a new derivative of LSD and we've had quite a few problems with it recently. It seems that someone is pushing it to the local college kids.
How the hell did he get this Benez demanded Chris turning his gaze back to Buck.
We know it as B.A.N. All we know is that it comes in tablet form and it short-circuits the brain. Apparently it messes with the emotions and causes hallucinations. Your friend can't be held responsible for his actions, he wouldn't have been able to control his aggression.
Chris closed his eyes. At least that explained his actions but that would not mollify Buck when he found out what he had done. It didn't answer his question though. How had Buck come to take B.A.N.?
The Doctor continued.
We had two road traffic fatalities last weekend. Two college kids, barely 18 drove their car into a tree at 120 mph. The toxicology reports came back that they were both showing a large dose of B.A.N. in their systems. In fact the Police found some aspirin in one of their pockets and we ran some tests. That's how they've been pushing it.
He turned as Ezra uttered a uncustomary curse.
Buck had a headache earlier. JD gave him an aspirin.
I remember, said Vin. I even cracked a joke about him loving him so much as to give him his last aspirin.
Chris looked at his two friends in disbelief.
You mean that JD gave the drug to Buck himself?
Vin was quick to defend his young friend.
Yeah but he couldn't have known what it was. He's young but he's not stupid.
Chris sighed deeply and rubbed his hand against his tired eyes.
This just gets worse and worse. Look guys we've got to get to the bottom of these as soon as possible. If Internal Affairs get the sniff of a drug scandal JD's career will be over before it's even started.
Aw hell. Someone will have to tell Casey, said Vin remembering JD's girlfriend.
Ezra stood up. I will go Mr. Tanner.
Chris tiredly shook his hand.
Thanks Ez. We'll keep in touch.
Mrs. Wells held her eye up to the security spy hole in the door and was surprised to see the man stood on her doorstep. It was gone midnight but knowing him as being a workmate of JD she opened the door and invited him in.
I'm sorry for calling this late Mrs. Wells but I need to have a talk with Casey.
What is it? Has something happened to JD? she asked in a small voice.
I think it best if you ask Miss Wells to come down, he said reassuringly and allowed himself to be guided into the sitting room. He heard her climb the stairs and ask Casey to come down. After a couple of minutes Casey entered the room dressed in her nightclothes, a gown wrapped around her slim figure.
Mr. Standish? What's happened? she asked fearfully.
Ezra saw tears begin to run down her face and gently pulled her arm to sit down next to him.
Miss Wells, Casey, there was an incident tonight and I'm afraid that JD got hurt.
She let out a little whimper and out of the corner of his eye Ezra saw Mrs. Wells put her hand to her mouth.
He's in the hospital and hopefully he is going to be alright, he assured them both.
What happened? asked Mrs. Wells.
He was attacked and stabbed. He's lost a lot of blood but the Doctors are hopeful that he'll be alright.
I've got to go and see him, said Casey trying to rise to her feet.
Ezra gripped her arm and pulled her back down.
There's no point tonight. I checked with the hospital just before I knocked on the door. He's just come out of surgery and he'll be sleeping the anaesthetic off until tomorrow. It'll be best if you wait until tomorrow.
Did you get him, demanded Casey The man who hurt JD? Did you get him?
That's where it gets complicated, said Ezra sighing It was Buck who attacked him.
Both woman let out cries of disbelief.
I don't believe you. Buck wouldn't do something like that. Buck and JD are like brothers, cried Casey.
Buck didn't know what he was doing. He thought that JD was someone else.
So it was an accident?
In a way. Buck was drugged. They found a hallucinatory drug in his system. He didn't know it was JD. In fact he thought that he was the man who had killed JD so in a way he was protecting him.
How can this happen? demanded Mrs. Wells.
Ezra shifted uncomfortably.
It appears that he acquired the drug from JD.
What? exclaimed Casey. JD doesn't do drugs. He's sensible not like some people I could name .
Ezra saw a glimmer of a lead and pressed on.
Casey, Buck had a headache earlier and JD gave him an aspirin from his coat pocket. Apparently the drug is disguised as aspirin tablets. We can only assume that he thought it was just an ordinary painkiller.
And that's nearly cost him his life.
Yes. Miss Wells, I need you to think very carefully. Can you think of any way that a tablet of B.A.N. could have ended up in JD's pocket?
Casey thought hard but couldn't think of anything.
I'm sorry, she whispered.
Ezra rose and gave her arm a gentle squeeze.
I'll leave you now as it's late. If you think of anything please let me know. I am sure you can understand the repercussions for JD's career if we can't prove where the drugs came from.
Casey nodded numbly and Mrs. Wells showed Ezra to the door.
I'll look after her Mr. Standish. Thank you for coming in person I really do appreciate it. She looked back to make sure that Casey was out of earshot.
Is JD really going to be alright? she asked quietly.
Ezra shook his head unwilling to lie to this woman
I don't know Mrs. Wells. Physically his wounds are very serious and he has lost an alarming amount of blood but he has the positive benefit of youth and we can only hope that he pulls through.
Mrs. Wells could only nod in agreement.
Ezra pulled a card from his top pocket. If you or your daughter have any queries please feel free to contact me any time.
Thank you Mr. Standish, she said quietly and bid him goodnight.
Ezra turned and walked to his car.
I fear it is mentally that the wounds may scar both JD and Mr. Wilmington, he said under his breath.
Buck was finally still, his exhausted body succumbing to the rigours of the previous hours. Chris rubbed his eyes, his own body tired. It had been a long traumatic night but he had never left his friend' s side. He had listened to the ramblings and screams of the tortured man and he knew that it was not going to be an easy conversation when Buck woke up. Buck loved JD as a younger brother and what he was going to discover when the drugs cleared his system was likely to severely damage the man. If ever Buck needed friends it was now. Chris cursed the person responsible for this mess again, an act he had carried out several times that evening.
He was disturbed by a knock at the door and he stood up wearily and opened it. Ezra was stood at the entrance reluctant to enter the room. Chris nodded a greeting.
Nathan asked me to come and collect you. JD is out of surgery and the Doctor wants to speak to us.
Chris glanced back at the sleeping patient and Ezra put his hand on his arm.
I'll sit with Mr. Wilmington while your away.
Thanks Ez, replied Chris rubbing his eyes again. Which room is he in?
ICU unit, room 200 - third floor.
The blonde agent cast a glance back at Buck.
He's sleeping now. The doc doesn't think he'll wake up till tomorrow. I'll come back down later.
Alright Mr. Larabee. I won't leave him on his own.
Chris walked into the ICU unit and spotted Josiah hovering outside room 200 waiting for him.
I'll tell the Doctor you're here, he said simply and Chris nodded as he walked past and entered the room. Nathan was sat by JD's bed and he rose to his feet slowly.
You look as tired as me Nate, he said with a small smile. He nodded a greeting to Vin who was seated quietly on the window sill. Walking over to the bed he studied the pale young man, wincing at the bruises and bandages evident on his battered body. Wires and catheters were plugged in to various parts of his body and he watched as JD's chest was automatically inflated by a breathing tube. He closed his eyes in despair. How the hell was anything ever going to be the same again when Buck saw the damage he had caused?
The doctor entered the room behind him and Chris, Nathan, Josiah and Vin all gathered, looking at him expectantly.
How's he doing? asked Chris gruffly.
The doctor sighed. His injuries are very serious and he has lost a lot of blood. I'm afraid JD has a fight on his hands.
But he's got youth on his side, said Vin urgently, not liking the Doctors pessimism.
JD's strong, he's a fighter, added Nathan earning a grunt of agreement from Josiah.
Chris tried to keep the emotion out of his voice.
What are we facing here? The truth please.
The doctor nodded and began to reel off JD's injuries.
Ok, you know he's been severely beaten. His nose is broken, two ribs are fractured and he has extensive bruising over most of his body. He has three fingers broken on his right hand as well. The worse injury of course is the knife wound. When we took him down to surgery we found that the blade had been driven into his liver which caused a large amount of blood loss. His heart stopped twice during the surgery but each time we managed to bring him back. You're right, JD is a fighter and he has managed to hang on when a lot of other patients would have given up.
Seeing nods of approval from his audience he continued.
We're replacing the blood and fluids and keeping an eye on him but the next 24 hours are critical.
There followed a short silence as all eyes fell on the patient.
We've done all we can for now. The rest is up to JD, added the doctor.
He's got his friends around him to help as well, murmured Chris moving to hold JD's undamaged hand. Don't you worry Doc, we'll make sure JD doesn't give up.
I'll be back later to check on him. You're all welcome to stay as long as you want.
As soon as the Doctor left Vin asked How's Buck doing? He felt guilty about hurting his friend but he was convinced that he had acted correctly at the time. Buck would have killed Chris if he had not shot him.
He's finally resting, said Chris, still looking down at JD. Once again taking in all the tubes and bandages he sighed deeply.
It's going to devastate Buck when he finds out what happened.
It wasn't his fault. The drug scrambled his brain, protested Nathan quietly.
Chris looked at him. We all know that but getting Buck to believe it is going to be nearly impossible. I've known Buck a long time and something like this is going to eat away inside him.
Josiah joined in the conversation. Brother Buck is not alone Chris. We'll get both of them through this.
He let a small smile play on his lips as Vin and Nathan agreed sharply.
Let's just hope he let's us help him. I'm not looking forward to telling him when he wakes up.
He turned and studied JD again, cataloguing the injuries.
Who the hell gets a kick out of selling drugs that make people do things like this? he wondered aloud.
I don't know but when we catch up with them they're certainly going to see the error of their ways, drawled Vin nastily.
Each agent nodded their agreement.
I'd best get back to Ezra. I want one of you to stay with JD tonight - I don't care who. The rest of you get some rest. I want you fresh in the office tomorrow to track down the bastard responsible. I'll send Ezra home as well.
You need your rest too, murmured Nathan.
I've got to be there when he wakes up Nate. It's best if he hears it from me first. I'll get some rest when he knows.
There wasn't anything the others could say and each man sympathised with the hard task that their leader had set himself.
Ok. We'll keep in touch.
+ + + + + + +
Buck opened his eyes and squinted at the bright light. Becoming more aware, he shifted slightly and groaned as a sharp pain burst through his leg. His head was pounding and his muscles felt as if they had run a marathon. He took a few moments to collect his thoughts before he began to study his surroundings.
Aw shucks, not Hospital again, he groaned What the hell happened this time?
He turned his head slightly and looked for one of his team members. He knew from previous experience that someone would be sitting by his bedside. He was not surprised to see that it was Larabee and he smiled weakly at his friend.
The blonde agent sighed deeply, steeling himself before he leaned forward.
How you feeling Bucklin? he asked quietly.
Buck closed his eyes. Must have been a helluva party, he muttered in answer.
He opened his eyes again and saw Chris frowning. The blonde man looked exhausted.
What happened? he asked, his brown eyes linking with Chris's green gaze.
What you do remember? he asked slowly.
Buck frowned as he cast his mind back.
I left you guys early because I had a headache. I was so tired that I just wanted to crash out. Guess I was sick was I?. Did JD find me when he got back?
He saw that Chris seemed very uncomfortable and his heart began beating a little faster as his fuddled brain began to register alarm.
Tell me what happened Chris, he said slowly.
We dropped JD off at your apartment just after 10 o'clock. We got a phone call from him about 10 minutes later saying he was being attacked. Vin and me got to your place as quick as we could but it was too late. He'd been beaten and stabbed.
Buck's face drained of the remaining colour.
Ah shit. Is he .?
Chris shook his head vehemently. No, he's in the ICU in a critical condition but he's fighting.
I guess whoever hurt him got to me first?
Chris shifted uncomfortably. No.
Buck looked up in puzzlement. I don't understand?
You were shot Buck but that was after we found JD.
Hell Larabee. You've lost me completely I was shot after you got there?
Chris nodded and took a deep breath.
This ain't easy to tell you Buck so I'll just say it. When we broke into your apartment you were straddling JD's back. You had a knife in your hand and before I could stop you, you stabbed him. You'd already beaten the shit out of him.
Buck let out a cry of disbelief but Chris continued.
I managed to get you off him but you slashed my arm. He held up his bandaged arm as proof. As I fell back you tried to slash my throat and would have succeeded too if Vin hadn't have shot you.
Buck's mind was whirling. He had hurt JD? He had tried to kill Chris? Vin had shot him?
I don't remember anything, he whispered in horror. I don't understand. I couldn't hurt you guys. JD's my Oh God, tell me this is a nightmare Chris.
Chris moved to comfort the distressed man in front of him.
I know it's hard to believe Buck but it's true. You were drugged, you didn't know what the hell you were doing.
Buck reeled back, his head pounding and his stomach churning. Chris's words filtered through.
Drugged? he whispered and saw his friend nod.
Do you remember JD giving you an aspirin in the office?
It turns out that it was a new derivative of LSD. It messed with your brain and caused you to hallucinate. As far as we understand, you thought that JD was dead and that you were attacking his murderer. In your mind it wasn't JD you were hurting.
Buck felt his eyes fill at the thought of what had happened.
How ? He asked vaguely.
JD gave you a tablet for your headache. He thought it was an ordinary aspirin. We're not quite sure how he got it yet.
Chris nodded watching as fat tears slid down Buck's face. He tried to assure him.
You were out of your mind. You didn't know what you were doing.
I stabbed JD I may have killed him. It was me Chris I did that.
It wasn't you, it was the drug
No, it was me, don't you understand? It was me that stabbed him.
Chris tried his best to comfort the near hysterical Buck but his efforts were useless. His words of denial and encouragement went unheard as Buck let the full weight of his guilt flood through his system.
He loved JD as his little brother. How had he been able to hurt him? He had not registered Chris's explanation of mistaken identity. He just couldn't get around the fact that he had nearly killed JD.
He got so hysterical that eventually the nurse was forced to give him a sedative and Chris watched in despair as he watched his oldest friend fall into an uneasy sleep.
He heard a small cough behind him and he turned to see Vin standing in the doorway.
That was tough Cowboy, he commented simply.
How much did you hear? asked Chris standing up and stretching his tired muscles. His head ached.
Enough to know that you won't be able to cope with him on your own. We've got your back Chris. Now it's time for you to take a break.
Chris nodded and rubbed his tired eyes.
Ok. I'll get a few hours rest. Will you stay with him?
Yeah. I just wanted to let you know that Ezra is following up on Casey's college friends, he seems to think that there is some connection with them. Josiah's liasing with the DEA about recent shipments.
How's JD doing?
No change. He's hanging on.
Chris looked back at the sedated patient.
This isn't going to be sorted out straight away. Both Buck and JD have a long road to recovery.
Vin nodded. Get some rest Cowboy I've got a feeling you're going to need it.
+ + + + + + +
Before he left Chris decided to visit the youngest member of his team. JD lay in the bed surrounded by various tubes and although he was unconscious his rest wasn't a peaceful one. His head tossed on the pillow and his uninjured hand reflexively flexed its fingers, grasping the thin sheet. A sheen of sweat shone on his brow plastering his dark hair damply to his forehead. Chris was pleased to see that the breathing tube had been removed and the young man was breathing for himself.
Nathan acknowledged Chris as he walked in.
It might not look it but he's doing better. It looks like it won't be long till he wakes up.
Chris nodded and walked over and took JD's hand.
Don't worry kid. Everything's gonna be ok. Me and Nathan are going to get some rest but someone will be here with you all the time.
He didn't mention Buck, not knowing how JD would react. He turned and indicated Nathan to step outside. Nathan followed and once they were outside he looked at his friend.
You look like shit Chris. I guess you told Buck. How did he take it?
Chris's frustration flared. I've just told him he tried to kill two of his best friends - how do you thing he feels? he snapped and then immediately regretted his tone. Nathan had only asked a fair question. Shit, sorry Nate.
The black medic put his hand on Chris's arm to comfort him. It went that bad hey?
The nurse had to sedate him in the end. I tried to talk to him but he just wasn't hearing me.
It's gonna take some time for him to understand what's gone on Chris - don't expect too much too soon. He's had a shock but he'll be better when he's calmed down and understands what happened wasn't his fault. He's probably still feeling the lingering effects of the drug and don't forget that he's been shot as well. He's only human.
Chris sighed deeply. I sure hope you're right Nate. He looked back into the room.
The best thing for Buck is for that boy to wake up.
Nathan patted his arm. You're not wrong there. Are you going home now?
Yeah, Vin's downstairs with Buck. I'll get a couple of hours sleep and get into the office. Ez and Josiah are chasing some leads on the drug pusher.
Nathan nodded. Vin called in here before he came to you. He say's Josiah is on his way down to relieve me. I'll do the same.
Good. I'll just say goodbye to the kid.
He walked back into the room and took JD's hand again, stopping the flexing fingers moving.
God I'm tired, it's been a hell of a night.
Too right, murmured Nathan feeling the weary ache in his own muscles.
They both looked down into JD's pale face, each lost in their own thoughts.
JD sensed a presence close to him and felt a warm hand still his fingers. The bond helped him rise to full consciousness and he let out a low groan as his body was washed with a wave of pain. He felt his hand gripped and heard the soft voice of Larabee urging him not to move. He rode the pain as he heard Nathan call for a doctor.
Buck, he called quietly, calling for his big brother who was always there when he was needed.
Chris squeezed his hand and he opened his eyes to see his two worried friends looking compassionately down at him.
Buck can't be here right now JD.
The memories flooded back to the young man and he began to panic as he realised what the others must think. His breathing began to quicken as he tried to get his thought processes across. He had to tell them that Buck hadn't realised that it was JD he was beating.
Seeing the boy getting more agitated Chris glanced back mentally urging the Doctor to come.
It's alright JD, please calm down. You've been badly hurt but you're going to be alright, he soothed.
No, you've got to know it's not Buck's fault. He wasn't himself. Don't blame him, cried JD, his face turning red with the strength of his emotion.
Chris leaned over and restrained the wild movement that was obviously causing JD pain.
It's alright JD. We know Buck was drugged. He's going to be ok.
JD collapsed back onto the bed sobbing from the pain of his injuries but Chris's words mollified him. It's not his fault, he murmured feeling the last of his strength give out.
We know JD. Don't you worry we're going to get this all sorted out.
The Doctor entered the room and by the time he had examined the patient JD had fallen into a healing sleep.
Chris and Nathan had stepped back as the doctor carried out his examination and watched quietly as he ran through a few tests. Finally finishing he made a few notes on the report and turned to the two agents.
He's doing better than I expected. His blood pressure is a lot better and his temperature is coming down. His wound is clean and not showing any signs of infection. It's going to take some time but I think he's definitely improving.
Nathan spotted Josiah walking down the corridor and nodded a greeting. After a short conversation they left the large agent to sit with JD.
Something was troubling the dark agent and Chris noticed that he seemed to be quieter than normal.
Nathan, what is it? he asked quietly as he caught him casting another worried glance at JD's room.
Nathan turned to look at Chris.
He got quite agitated there but did you notice that he didn't move his legs at all?
The blonde agent looked back at the doorway.
I didn't really notice. Do you think it's something we should be worried about?
Nathan shrugged his shoulders. I don't know, he answered honestly.
Chris looked around and spotted the Doctor.
Let's go and ask the expert, he said and pulled Nathan towards the white coated medic.
The doctor looked up as he saw the two agents approach.
You're right. JD is a fighter, he commented, pleased with the resilience of his young patient.
Nathan noticed that JD didn't move his legs, said Chris.
The doctor nodded. I'm not surprised. He has extensive swelling and bruising to his lower back. We'll need to run more tests when he's next awake but it may be that the nerves are being compressed by the swelling.
He saw the shocked faces of the two men and hurried to reassure them.
Let's not panic for now. It's quite common for lower back injuries to result in temporary paralysis. As I say, we'll know more when he's more awake.
Shit, what more does he have to contend with, cursed Chris
Do you mean JD or Buck? asked Nathan quietly.
Both, sighed Chris.
The doctor looked meaningfully at the two tired men before him.
I'd recommend you both get some rest. JD is going to be with us for a long time and he's going to need the support of his friends. Don't forget to look after yourselves too.
Chris nodded and threw him a tired smile of thanks.
Thank you he said and then turned. He's right Nate. We both need to get some sleep. Go home and I'll speak to you later.
Ezra had spent the day investigating any possible links to the college. He discovered that the two youngsters who had been killed in the car accident were in Casey Wells' year and he decided to make discreet enquiries. He was just researching the records of Sam Bryant and John Barber when his cell phone rang. He picked it up and was pleased to discover it was Casey on the line.
Mr. Standish? she asked hesitantly.
Good to hear from you Miss Wells. I am sorry that I had to give you such bad news last night.
I rang the hospital and they told me that JD is stable. I'm hoping that they'll let me see him later.
That's good news. I have every confidence in our young friend's resilience, he answered.
He sensed Casey hesitate and decided to press her for some information.
I have been investigating the circumstances of how JD would have had a tablet of B.A.N. in his pocket. Do you know a Sam Bryant or a John Barber.
He heard Casey hiss.
Yes, she answered. JD was talking to John Barber on Saturday night. I had to rescue him because he looked bored stupid. He and his friend Sam Bryant were in a car crash that night.
Did you know that they had B.A.N. in their bloodstreams?
No, whispered Casey, the realisation hitting her. They were pretty wild party animals. We all assumed that they were drunk.
Do you think that they could have planted the tablet in JD's pocket.
Casey let out a quiet denial. Not when he was talking to JD. Our coats were in a pile near the door.
Ezra sighed. It seemed that a good lead was disappearing before his eyes.
There were quite a few people at the party. I'll ask around and see if anyone saw anything.
Please do that Miss Wells. Ultimately we may be forced to interview everyone at that party but if we can do it informally it would be so much better.
I'll get back to you later, answered Casey now feeling more positive. She would do anything to help the man that she adored.
Ezra was just filling in Chris Larabee on his findings when she rang back.
Mr. Standish, she said in an excited voice. What would you say if I told you that I have a witness who will swear that she saw John and Sam messing around with JD's jacket just before we left?
I would say that JD has a very resourceful lady. he answered. So, my dear are you telling me the truth?
Yes, one of my friends , Jackie Bowman, saw them lifting JD's jacket. She thought they were stealing something but they didn't have anything in their hand when they walked away. She didn't think anything of it until I asked around.
And Miss Bowman is willing to give me a statement?
Yes. All the girls adore JD and she 's got no reason to protect Sam and John anymore.
True. Ezra glanced at his watch. Can you give me Miss Bowman's contact details.
She's here with me now at my house. Can't you take her statement here?
Ezra asked her to wait while he discussed it with his boss and he quickly told Chris what had been said.
The blonde agent nodded, a relieved smile on his face. At least JD was in the clear for possession of drugs.
That's ok with me Ezra. I'll make sure Judge Travis is aware of the situation.
Ezra returned the phone to his ear.
I'll be with you in approximately 30 minutes Miss Wells. And when we've finished I will take you down to see JD.
Oh thank you Mr. Standish - Ezra.
Chris breathed a sigh of relief. At least that was one problem ticked off the list. They knew who had planted the drugs, now it was a matter of investigation to find out the source of the drugs. And when he found out who that person was he was going to take great pleasure in causing him as much hurt as he had caused to team 7.
Buck opened his eyes again and squirmed as he felt the throb in his leg. However, his head was a lot clearer and he took a short glance around the room. Vin was sitting in the chair beside him, a motorcycle magazine in his lap. He looked up as he heard the movement and gave him a wide grin.
Hey Bucklin. How ya feelin'? he drawled.
Buck remembered the previous conversation and closed his eyes cutting himself off.
He felt Vin stand up and take his arm and shake it gently.
Hey Buck, don't shut yourselves away. I've gotta get this guilt out of my system or else my head will explode.
This made Buck open his eyes in surprise. What the hell did Vin have to feel guilty about? He was the one that tried to kill his friends.
Vin smiled inwardly as his ruse had worked. He put on his contrite face.
I'm sorry for shooting you Bucklin.
Buck gasped. You shot me?
Yeah, said the Texan confused. I thought Chris told you?
Buck thought back but his memories were all confused.
I guess I didn't register that. He told me I stabbed JD and tried to kill him.
Vin nodded solemnly. Yep that's right. I had to shoot you or you would have slit his throat. I'm sorry Bucklin - you know I wouldn't have done it if I could have avoided it.
Buck's mind whirled but his thought processes were clearer now. Looking up into the sincere blue eyes of his friend he saw the concern in his gaze and he leaned back into his pillow and let out a large sigh.
I forgive you Vin. I suppose you didn't have a choice. I guess I should be thanking you for stopping me.
It's the first time someone has thanked me for shooting them but I understand where you're coming from. You know that it wasn't your fault don't you?
Buck closed his eyes again.
Accordingly to Chris I beat JD to a pulp and stabbed him and then tried to kill him for helping the kid. How do you come to the conclusion that that's not my fault? he snapped accusingly.
Vin put his hand on his arm to placate him.
You were drugged Buck. You didn't know what you were doing. I guess you didn't listen much last night but you're going to listen to me now and you're going to understand that you're just as much a victim as JD.
Shit JD. How is he? moaned Buck. Feeling even more guilty that it had taken him this long to ask.
The Texan flicked his long hair back over his shoulder.
He's beat up pretty bad and he's lost a lot of blood but he's awake and doing as well as can be expected. According to Chris his first thoughts were for you. He demanded that we all know that he doesn't blame you.
Vin was disappointed to see tears well in the dark brown eyes of his friend.
Oh shit. I nearly kill the boy and his first thought was for my welfare. I don't deserve him.
Of course you do. Look Bucklin, I'm gonna tell you everything that happened and this time you're going to listen. You can wallow in guilt if you want but that boy has enough to cope with without having to worry about you as well.
Buck leaned back in the pillows and wiped the tears from his cheek angrily.
Alright you lanky haired Texan. You tell me everything and I mean everything. Don't gloss over anything and if I want to wallow in my guilt then I will.
Vin smiled warmly, pleased that the feisty ladies man was showing a bit of spirit.
Ok Bucklin. We dropped JD off at the CDC at about 10 o'clock
Chris walked in a short while later and heard the tail end of the story. He heard Buck's quiet murmurs of protest and gasps of horror as Vin listed all of JD's injuries. He didn't mention the back injury as Chris and Nathan had decided to keep that news from the others until there was something more positive to report.
Vin turned as he saw Buck glance up to see the tall blonde agent and gave his friend a tired smile. Buck's questions had worn him down and he was glad of some back-up.
Chris came over and perched on the edge of Buck's bed.
How are you doing pard? he asked looking down at his oldest friend.
Buck appraised the blonde agent. Vin had told him everything and he now realised the full extent of what had happened. He knew that it wasn't only JD and him that had suffered that night.
Vin shot me, he said accusingly.
Chris looked up at Vin. He had his reasons, he said slowly.
I know. He's a good friend. And you are too. I guess I was still out of it last night. Thanks for trying to help me anyway.
Chris didn't reply but merely grasped Buck's arm in comradeship.
You're just as much as victim in this Buck. Just you remember that.
I know. I guess it'll just take some time for me to realise that. How's the arm?
Chris shrugged. It's just a scratch.
How many stitches did he have Vin? asked Buck throwing a glare at the blonde agent.
27 answered Vin with a grin as he became a victim of the Larabee stare.
Buck mumbled a soft curse. Guess it hurt's like hell?
Chris shrugged again. It's sore but I'll survive. How's your leg?
Sore but I'll survive, answered Buck with a weak smile.
Buck changed the subject as he saw Vin's haunted expression of guilt.
Have you been to see JD?
No, Ezra brought Casey in to see him. I thought I'd best keep out of the way.
Good idea. You don't want to witness all that mushy stuff. Vin say's he's awake.
Chris nodded. He's drifting in and out but he's definitely improving. The doctor thinks he'll be ok in time.
No thanks to me, murmured Buck.
Chris tightened his grip. He's already made sure we know what went on. He's worried about you.
Damn kid doesn't realise that I could have killed him.
Yes he does. But he also knows that you didn't know what you were doing. When he gets a bit stronger we'll get a full statement of what happened. In the meantime, you've got to rest up. Do you feel up to seeing him later?
Buck shook his head and his breathing hitched.
I don't know if I can Chris. I'm not ready to face him yet.
I understand. Maybe tomorrow then?
Yeah, maybe tomorrow, said Buck quietly.
Chris decided not to push it so he changed the subject.
We've found out how JD got the tablet in his pocket. The two young men who were killed in the car crash on Saturday night were at the same party as JD and Casey. In fact JD was talking to one of them. We have a witness who saw them messing around with his coat.
Buck breathed out heavily. At least the kid won't have a possession charge hanging over his head.
Chris noticed the ladies man was tiring rapidly.
We're going to let you get some sleep. If you need anything just remember your friends are here.
Thanks guys, mumbled Buck as he settled back into the bed. Just don't shoot me again ok.
Vin and Chris both laughed aloud.
Chris knew that Buck was putting on a front for his friends but he was more positive now that the ladies man had understood everything that had gone wrong and that he was just another victim.