You Didn't Know What You Were Doing

by Nellie

Page 1 | Page 2 | Page 3 | Page 4

Chris was feeling a lot happier. Buck and he had talked for hours, each man finally admitting and sharing their feelings and though a few tears had been shed their friendship had been solidified. Chris had mentioned Vin's opinion on JD's state of mind and to his surprise Buck had nodded sagely saying that he too feared for the young man's mental health. They resolved to support JD as much as possible but to give him the space to come to terms with his own feelings as well. They had weighed up the pros and cons of JD moving straight back to the CDC and eventually decided that if JD wanted to go straight back with Buck then Chris would move in with them until Buck was more mobile on his injured leg. After sharing a last cup of coffee he had made sure that Buck was comfortable in bed before turning in himself. He found sleep hard to come by however and his thoughts turned to the trauma JD was going through. He berated himself for not realising sooner but then smiled as he remembered how resolute the youngest member of his team could be sometimes. He had a warm heart and was always putting others ahead of himself. Chris knew that JD would be put first by all of the team until fully recovered and in a way was already feeling sorry for the kid as he was not going to enjoy being fussed over. It was going to be the same for Buck, especially from Vin as he himself recovered from the guilt of hurting him, but Buck could go back to work and concentrate on tracking the dealers. Poor old JD would be a sitting target until the bruising went down and his legs started working again. Sighing deeply he turned over and got comfortable. Closing his eyes he finally slept and the next thing he heard was the alarm going off at 6.30am.

+ + + + + + +

JD lay awake in the early hours of the morning. The hospital was quiet and although the room was not completely dark, the lights were dimmed to a low level. He had woken from a nightmare and the twisting of his body as he jerked awake had caused a nagging pain to start around his stomach wound. He knew that it would eventually fade and was reluctant to use the morphine so here he was lying awake in the middle of the night alone. He had dreamed of Buck standing over him, his face a visage of pure hate and a shiny blade plunging towards him. He had screamed out to stop him but the blade had pierced his skin and he had seen the blood fountain from the wound. That had been the moment that he had woken, jerking in pain once again experiencing the feel of the knife wound. Coming back to his senses, his overactive mind stopped him from falling asleep and he pondered on his situation. What if his nerves were permanently damaged? The doctors had assured him that when the swelling receded he should start feeling some sensation but that had been days ago. He had noted that the Doctor had been particularly vague about time scale and he was convinced that they were not telling him the whole truth. If the doctors weren't sure whether he'd recover then he had to consider how he would cope with the worst scenario. How would life change if he was a cripple? His job with the ATF would definitely be finished and he didn't know if he could keep up his friendship with the other members of the team if he had to stay at home every day instead of being out in the field. He supposed that he might be offered a desk job but at 19 was that what he wanted? Perhaps that was all he could expect of his life from now on. Chained to a wheelchair, not able to run, to play the many sports he enjoyed, never able to dance with Casey ….. He swallowed as a lump blocked his throat. Would Casey want him if he was stuck in a wheelchair? Would she be able to cope with all the restrictions that his new life would involve? Silent tears began to fill his eyes. And what about Buck? How would his best friend cope seeing the results of his uncontrollable rage every day. No, he couldn't put Buck through that trauma. JD resolved that if he ended up in a wheelchair it would be better for all concerned if he ended his life. It would be tough on all the people who loved him but it would be better than watching them being torn apart by guilt and sympathy. God, sympathy - that was something that he didn't need.

The pain stabbed at his side as his chest heaved with heavy sobs. He cried himself to sleep.

The next morning Buck and Chris came to visit, bringing in a handful of magazines and a box of donughts for breakfast. They were stopped by the nurse before they got to JD's room.

“Mr. Larabee, Buck. Go gentle with him. I'm afraid JD has had a bit of a rough night.”

“What happened,” asked Buck in concern, looking towards the room.

“I passed about 3.30am and he was crying.”

“Didn't you go in. He could have been in pain?” snapped Chris looking sharply at the nurse.

She adamantly stared back at him, trying to hold back the snappy reply.

“I'd administered his pain meds about 2 hours earlier. It will have been perfectly adequate to see him through to this morning. He wasn't in pain, he was upset Mr. Larabee. I get the feeling that he puts on a brave face for visitors but when he's on his own I guess he lets his emotions out.”

Chris apologised. “I'm sorry. We're worried about the kid too. We've noticed the same thing.”

She nodded, accepting his apology with a smile.

“Try and get him to talk. It's doing him no good just bottling everything up,” she advised.

“I guess it's someone else's turn to do the talking,” said Buck looking at his friend and receiving a grim nod.

“How do you want to handle this Buck?” he asked evenly.

“Well we agreed last night to do what JD wants. Lets see how he reacts. I don't think it's wise to push him when he's still feeling bad.”

The blonde agent nodded thoughtfully. “Maybe a little reassurance that we're here for him won't be pushing too much,” he added and received a nod of agreement from his friend.

Buck took his crutches and limped towards the room followed by Chris. Walking in they found JD sleeping, his swollen eyes betraying the lack of sleep and the emotion he had hidden. Plopping down into the chair at the side of the bed Buck studied him, a deep frown marring his handsome face.

Chris moved to the other side putting the donughts on the blanket.

JD stirred as the smell of freshly baked donughts filtered into his senses. Opening a sleepy eye he saw the white and green box and smiled slowly.

“Morning Buck, morning Chris,” he said without even looking at his visitors, knowing that Buck would have bought the donughts and that where Buck was Chris would be for the time being.

He turned his head and saw Buck smiling down at him.

“Hey kid. Thought you'd appreciate some decent food for a change.”

JD smiled and turned his head to see Chris on the other side. He nodded a greeting and Chris leaned down.

“Do you need some help with sitting up?” he asked quietly.

JD nodded, a little surprised that he had asked. Wasn't it obvious that he needed help.

Chris raised the bed head a little and as Buck lifted JD forward the blonde agent plumped up the pillows and arranged them so that JD would be comfortable. Slowly easing him back JD smiled at the tenderness with which the large man held him.

“Thanks,” he said.

“OK young man. Seeing as you're the patient you get first choice,” said Buck holding up the box.

JD looked inside and picked up his favourite chocolate iced one and began to eat it. He watched as Chris and Buck each chose one and began to eat theirs.

“Are there any leads?” he asked, his voice muffled by the food.

“Now JD, didn't anyone tell you not to talk with your mouth full,” said Buck, himself chewing.

Chris just rolled his eyes in exasperation.

“Nothing concrete yet. We've got some names but it's going to take some time to track them down. Buck is going to be sat in the file room for most of today.”

JD couldn't help but laugh at the groan that came from the moustached agent.

“And how are you feeling today?” continued Chris.

JD had finished his donught and reached into the bag where three coffees were included. He tried to prise the lid off but couldn't manipulate it properly with his broken fingers. Sighing in frustration he let it fall back into the bag and looked at his friends. Both of them seemed to be ignoring his problem. He hated being so helpless and his frustration bubbled to the surface.

“I'm doing great. I'm stuck in a godamn hospital bed and I can't even open a fucking Starbucks coffee,” he hissed shutting his eyes.

Buck and Chris shared a glance. They had seen him struggling but hadn't wanted to interfere. Perhaps this was a good time to get through to the young man that he had friends that were there to help him.

“JD,” called Chris softly.

JD kept his eyes closed trying to fight the tears that were threatening to well up. He hated being so weak and the last thing that Buck needed was to see how badly he was coping.

“JD,” he heard Buck call.

He felt someone move the box away from the bed and sit by him. He felt his hand being grasped by the other man and he opened his eyes. The concern etched into both faces broke the flood barriers and the tears began to flow down his face.

Chris moved in closer and held JD against his shoulder until his tears dried. Buck squeezed the warm hand in his grasp frustrated that his injury prevented him from leaping up and doing the same. Eventually, the storm passed and JD hiccupped to silence, his breath hitching every so often as he regained control over his emotions. Chris moved back and both men gazed at him, their own emotions running heavy through their hearts.

“I'm not like Josiah, with profound words or even Ezra with his fancy words JD. But I want you to know that we're here for you - all six of us and Casey too. You're pretty banged up at the minute but your injuries will heal. I'm not gonna tell you it's gonna be easy because we all know it's not but you've come through this so far on your own and it's time you accepted our help.”

Buck chipped in. “Chris and me talked last night and it'll helped us both a damn lot. You've been worried about other people for too long, it's time you concentrated on yourself Kid.”

JD looked up through tear smeared eyes.

“I'm sorry, I didn't mean for you to see that,” he sniffed and saw both men nod.

“Have you been feeling this low all along? I thought you were doing ok?” said Chris.

“I am doing ok. It's just that sometimes it just kinda creeps up on me.”

Buck laughed. “Yeah, I guess we all know that feelin'. Don't be embarrassed kid, you're only human. You can't guess at the number of tears I've shed over the last few days.”

“And me,” added Chris with a rueful grin.

JD looked at the two men and saw a look of appreciation pass between them.

“Must have been some conversation last night.”

Buck and Chris shared an amused glance. “Yeah, but we resolved a lot of issues. Now JD, do you want that coffee before it goes cold?”

JD nodded and watched as Chris easily flipped the lid off and handed it to him. Carefully holding the cooling cup in his good hand he managed to drink it himself and when he was finished nodded gratefully at the blonde agent.

“Anytime you want to talk JD, you know that one of us will listen,” said Buck.

JD looked at his friend, the man who had nearly ended his life and a wave of affection flooded through him as he saw the concern reflected in the brown eyes.

“I'm a bit tired. I didn't get a good night's sleep last night.”

Buck nodded and Chris stood up.

“OK kid. We'll let you get some sleep but if it's ok I'll stay for a while.” He looked up at Chris with a question on his face. Chris nodded.

“I'm sure one of the others will want to visit later. You can catch a lift back with one of them,” he said quietly. “Is that ok with you JD?”

Once again JD was surprised. He didn't expect to be given the choice.

“Of course it is,” he said sleepily.

“OK. You take care now and don't try to do too much. I'll see you back at the office Buck, that filing office is waiting for you.”

JD chuckled as he heard the low groan again.

As the wounded teenager finally closed his eyes Buck climbed to his feet and limped to the door with Chris.

“That went better than I expected,” he whispered.

“Lets hope he's taken the first step on his road to recovery,” answered Chris quietly.

“In more ways than one,” countered Buck. “See you later pard.”

He watched as the tall blonde walked to the elevators and with a final wave turned back and sat down in the chair next to the now sound asleep JD.

“A tiny step a day kid. That's all you need,” he mumbled before leaning forward and taking one of the magazines off the cabinet.

+ + + + + + +

Later that night Buck and Chris were sat in the living room, nursing a hot coffee. It had been a busy day at work and Buck had not returned to the office until after 2 o'clock. Apparently, when JD had woken up he had begun to tell Buck exactly what he was feeling and his fear that the paralysis would be permanent. Buck had found his guilt hard to cope with but they had both talked for what seemed like hours and they had held each other up emotionally, each giving and taking of the same degree. Now the two older men were chilling out before going to bed.

“So did you tell the Doctor what he said?”

Buck shook his head. “I just asked the Doc how JD's back was doing. He told me that he's scheduled for a scan tomorrow and they should know more after that. I want to be there tomorrow when he goes down for the scan.”

Chris nodded. “Of course.”

“He told me how it got damaged. I jumped on him with my knee full weight in the small of his back. It's a wonder I didn't break his spine.”

“No more guilt Buck,” warned Chris quietly. “You didn't break his spine and he's going to be fine as soon as the swelling goes down.”

“But what if it goes down and the nerves don't work? Admit it Larabee, it may only be a small chance but it may happen.”

Chris frowned. “Then we deal with it. JD needs encouraging not frightening.”

Buck shook his head. “I'd never say anything like that to him Chris. It's just ……”

“It helps to say it aloud to someone”. finished off Chris.

Buck nodded numbly.

“It hurt's so much when I see him just lying there and knowing that I'm the cause of all his pain. I don't know how I'll cope if he's stuck in a wheelchair for the rest of his life. Hell Chris, he's only 19.”

Chris turned round and put his coffee down. Taking Buck's coffee cup he placed it on the table as well. Buck looked up in confusion as Chris took his arms firmly.

“Look at me Buck Wilmington,” he ordered.

Buck did as he was told.

“The odds are in JD's favour. He's badly knocked around but he will recover in time. What happened can't be undone. You've got to stop this guilt trip because it's going to consume you in the end and I don't want to lose you Buck. You looked after me when Sarah and Adam died and I'm trying my best to repay you for that. But I will not put up with any more of this talk. We both know that JD is feeling really vulnerable now and we need to fight for him.“

Buck winced as Chris pressed on his arms to strengthen his point.

“Hell Larabee you're scaring me,” he muttered.

“No more defeatist talk Buck. We're fighters in this team.”

“I'm a lover, not a fighter,” said Buck bringing out his catchphrase.

Chris stared back and then smiled as he saw Buck break into a grin.

“Thanks Pard,” said the dark haired man “I guess I needed the pep talk.” He rubbed at his arms.

“I didn't hurt you did I?” asked Chris in concern.

“Naw. Made of pure American Beef the Wilmington's.”

“Are we ok?” asked Chris quietly.

“Yeah pard,” said Wilmington, giving Chris's knee a squeeze.

“Guess I just needed someone to say that to me out loud.”

Chris grinned and handed Buck back his coffee.

“Damn, I just wish this was all over.”

“It won't be till we get that son of a bitch who's peddling B.A.D.”

“Yeah. Lets hope your afternoon in the filing room pays off.”

Buck groaned again as he remembered a boring afternoon pouring over files of suspects. He had produced a short list but it was still several pages long.

“Come on,” said Chris, slapping his friend on the leg. “Let's get you to bed. You've got a long day ahead of you tomorrow.”

Buck rolled his eyes but complied and climbed painfully to his feet.

“Alright, but I want you to read me a bed time story this time. You forgot last night.”

It was Chris's turn to groan.

+ + + + + + +

The next morning they shared breakfast with JD again. The boy was understandably nervous and was relieved that Buck would be staying at his side. Chris looked at his watch.

“I've got to go now guys. I've got an appointment downstairs to get these stitches taken out at 9 o'clock.”

He patted JD's leg. “Be positive JD. Everything is gonna be ok I'm sure of it.”

JD nodded, smiling weakly.

Buck nodded up at his friend. “See you later pard,” he said, frowning as he was reminded of Chris's injury.

Over the last few days the blonde agent had not shown any signs of discomfort and with long sleeves covering the bandage, the injury was all but forgotten by Buck.

Once again, the guilt rose in his chest but he stamped it down trying to be positive.

JD watched Chris leave and then turned his attention to Buck.

“It must be tough,” he said simply.

“Huh?” replied Buck, drawn from his guilty feelings.

“Being reminded of what you did?”

Buck looked down at the incisive young man watching him with concerned eyes.

“You'll never realise how hard it is sometimes,” he said quietly.

“I understand Buck. You've just got to remember that we don't blame you. Chris is getting better and so will I hopefully.”

“Not hopefully JD, definitely. Think positive thoughts.”

JD leaned back in his pillows and threw a tired smile.

“Yeah, but it's hard. It's just the not knowing.”

“Well hopefully the scan results will put your mind at rest," consoled Buck picking up and holding JD's warm hand.

“Yeah,” sighed JD and then smiled “Thanks for staying Buck.”

Buck didn't reply but simply squeezed the hand in his fingers.

Chris endured the discomfort of nearly 30 stitches being removed and was pleased to see that the wound had bound together nicely. He was assured that the scar would fade to almost nothing and he was glad because he didn't want Buck to be reminded of the attack every time he looked at him. Taking his mobile from his pocket he dialled the office. Ezra picked up the line.

“ATF Denver, Team 7, Agent Standish speaking.”

“Ez, it's Chris. I've been delayed at the hospital. Any news?”

“Nothing at the moment. We're just processing the list that Buck came up with yesterday.”

”Good. I'll be there in about an hour. Where are the others?”

“Mr. Tanner is currently sitting in the file room with Mr. Jackson. Mr. Sanchez is at the moment ensconced in front of the computer attempting to track down the source of the ingredients. How is our young colleague this morning?”

”He's pretty nervous about having the scan but Buck will be holding his hand all day.”

“Let us all hope that the results are what we all desire.”

”I can't argue with that Ez. Right, I'll see you later. You can ring me on my mobile if you get any more news in the meantime.”

He broke the connection and walked out of the entrance doors. Climbing into his 'Ram' he took a minute to get his head together before sliding it into gear and moving off.

After lunch Buck called to say that the scan had shown up a marked improvement in JD's back. The bruising was going down and the Doctors were optimistic that soon he would regain movement in his legs. The day had been frustrating for all the members of the team, each growing more pessimistic that the dealer was going to slip through their fingers and they were glad that some news brightened the day. Vin told Buck that the team would call down after work to visit.

Buck was sat by JD's bedside chatting to him, pleased to see that the young man's black mood had lifted. The doctor had stressed that the results of the scan were excellent and that there was no question of the feeling in his legs never coming back. He had warned that it would take some time but now that they knew that they only had to wait, a great weight had been lifted from both men's shoulders. They looked up as they heard a knock on the door.

“Afternoon JD. Ready for some exercise?” said Marcie, the physiotherapist.

JD groaned as Buck treated her to a wide grin.

“Great JD. I'll make myself scarce while you lie back and enjoy those flexible fingers.”

Marcie laughed as JD rolled his eyes. JD wasn't looking forward to this session as the movements still caused him pain but he understood that they were essential if he was to recover and knowing that meant he had to do it.

“Hi Marcie,” he said quietly. “What are we working on today?”

The large black woman came around and began to pull the blanket off the bed.

“I spoke to Dr. Mason and he told me the results of the scan. He's given me the ok to start working on the muscles in your legs. I know it's going to be sore honey but the sooner we get those muscles working the better it'll be.”

Buck took up his crutches and limped towards the door.

“I'll go and get a drink JD. How long do you want me to stay away for?”

Marcie turned. “You don't need to go if you don't want to. You can just sit over there out of the way.”

Buck frowned. The last thing he wanted to witness was JD in pain and he knew that the young man wouldn't want him to witness it either. He looked over at JD and received a look of understanding.

“It's ok Marcie. It'll give Buck time to check in with the office. There's probably a few things they need to sort out from yesterday.”

Marcie nodded. “Ok honey. JD has my undivided attention for about an hour.”

Buck nodded and limped out of the room. “See you later kid. Don't give her any back-chat.”

JD leaned back into the pillows at his back and grinned at Marcie as she began to massage the muscles in his lower leg. It soon turned to a grimace as she lifted and flexed it.

Buck made his way to the coffee machine in the waiting area and made himself comfortable. He helped himself to a coffee and prepared to take a breather. The worry of the scan had worn him out and he'd had a restless night's sleep. He took out his mobile and dialled the office but before he was connected he became aware of someone calling him.

“Agent Wilmington?” he heard again and looked up to see that JD's doctor was walking over to him.

Buck clicked off the phone and began to struggle to his feet but Dr. Mason stopped him with a hand on his arm and sat in the chair beside him.

“Agent Wilmington. I'm glad that I found you on your own.”

“What's up doc?” asked Buck in concern, worried that something was wrong with JD.

“I've just had a call to the ER department. They have just admitted an 18 year old boy who is showing all the signs of B.A.D. intoxication.”

Buck's heart began to race. “Is he ok?”

The doctor nodded. “The emergency team has managed to stabilise him. Obviously it'll take a while for the effects to wear off but he's going to be ok.”

“I really need to talk to him Doc. He can tell us where he got hold of the drug.”

The doctor nodded again. “That's why I came up to tell you. I can only hope that it helps you.” He stood to go. “I think you'll be able to get some sense out of him tonight.”

Buck smiled. “I reckon I've got six guys who'll be here to interview him. Do we know his name?”

“Daniel Bardon, age 18, a pupil at Spring Hills.”

“Spring Hills. So our guy has moved high schools. Thanks Doc, I appreciate you coming up. I guess I'd better ring the boss.”

Dr. Mason shook the proffered hand and frowned as his beeper went off.

“Sorry, got to go. I'll see you later. I hope you find what you need.”

“Yeah so do I,” murmured Buck as he watched the white coated man walk towards the elevators. He picked up the mobile and dialled the office again.

+ + + + + + +

Daniel Bardon lay in his bed, the drug finally releasing its hold on his over-stimulated brain. A dark cloud of depression hung over the youth and he swore that he would never do anything for a dare again. His parents were sitting by his side and he knew that he had worried them to death. He would probably be grounded for the rest of his life he realised with a deep sigh of despair.

Chris decided not to let Buck conduct the first interview as he wanted someone with a clear head to ask the questions they all so desperately craved the answers for. Therefore, it was Ezra who accompanied him down to the recovery ward. Standing outside the room patiently they waited until the parents gave their permission for them to interview him. Dr. Mason came out and waved them in.

“This is Mr. and Mrs. Bardon. They wish to stay in the room while you talk to Daniel.”

Chris reached out and shook their hands, followed by Ezra.

“I appreciate you letting us talk to Daniel, Mr. and Mrs. Bardon. I know this has been a traumatic day for you all and all we want to do is find the perpetrator who is dealing these drugs to our kids.”

The middle aged couple both nodded their agreement and moved back so that the two ATF agents could address their son.

Daniel looked up at the two grim faced men and was afraid. He knew that he was in a hell of a lot of trouble and didn't know what to do.

“Hello Daniel. My name is Special Agent Larabee and this is Agent Standish. We work with the ATF office in Denver and we're hoping you're going to be able to help us.”

Daniel nodded numbly.

“How are you feeling?” asked Ezra, staring down at the fearful young man.

Daniel grimaced. “Not good,” he croaked.

“We really need to know where you got the drug from. You don't want anyone else to go through what you did do you?” said Ezra leading the questioning just as had been agreed between the two agents.

Daniel shook his head.

“Can you tell us where you got the tablet of B.A.D. from?”

Daniel thought about it for a moment and decided that he was already in trouble and he didn't want to add obstructing police enquires to his record.

“There's a guy in the year above us. He was at football practice last night and he was telling us what a wild time he had on it. He made it seem so exciting.”

“Oh Daniel. You stupid boy,” sighed his Mother.

Chris turned round and placated her. “Kids will be Kids Mrs. Bardon but we need to get this dealer before anyone else gets hurt.”

Ezra continued. “Do you know his name?”

“I'm not sure. I think it's Shane someone, I've never really had any dealings with him before. I guess we all thought it would be a bit of fun. We kinda dared each other to take it but I was the only one who did.”

“So there are other tablets still out there?” asked Chris urgently.

“Yeah, I bought one and Jack and Davy bought one too.”

“But they didn't take their tablets?”

“No, when I started acting funny they didn't take theirs.”

“That's a relief,” said Daniel's father from behind them.

“Daniel. Is there anything you can tell us about this dealer? This drug is really dangerous and we really need to trace him.”

“Not much. I know his Dad has a drugstore downtown but that's about it.”

He closed his eyes as his head throbbed.

Both agents watched him and were aware of his struggle to stay awake.

“I think that's enough for now. I'll see you outside Ezra.“ Ezra nodded and turned to leave.

“Thank you Mr. and Mrs. Bardon. If it's any consolation, we know the drug will have left his bloodstream within the next 24 hours and he'll be fine.”

The couple were surprised.

“Has this happened before then?”

Chris nodded. “The sooner we get this drug off the street the better. It's been responsible for a lot of heartache over the last week or so. We'll interview your son formally when he's feeling better.”

Mr. Bardon shook his hand. “Thank you Agent Larabee. I hope you get the son of a bitch who's peddling that shit.”

Chris smiled at the unassuming man's candour.

“We're doing our best,” he assured him.

Outside, he found Ezra waiting for him.

“What do you think?” asked Chris quietly.

“I tend to believe him Mr. Larabee. I can't imagine that he has any reason to lie. He's scared to death. I can only assume that he has never been in trouble with the authorities before.”

Chris nodded.

“Look, it's late. We can make a start tomorrow on tracking down the elusive Shane. I want you to check out the school rosters and the drugstore owners in the area. I'm pretty certain he won't be too hard to find.”

“And then what happens Mr. Larabee? I would not recommend Mr. Wilmington attending the interview.”

Chris smiled ruefully. “Nope. I've gotta agree with you there. Just you and me Ez. I want everyone to keep a clear head on this. I don't want the scumbag getting off on a police harassment charge. I want everything done by the book.”

“Agreed Mr. Larabee. Perhaps now would be a good time to share our news with our illustrious team-mates.”

Chris grinned. “Lead on Agent Standish,” he said with a flourish of the hand.

When they came out of the elevator on JD's floor they were surprised to see the team sat in the waiting room.

“What are you doing out here guys?” asked the blonde agent walking up to the quietly chatting group.

“Casey is visiting,” said Nathan with a grin.

“And you thought you'd let the two lovebirds have a few moments alone?”

“In a way,” said Vin with a grin causing Ezra and Chris to raise their eyebrows in a question.

Josiah changed the subject.

“Did you get any information?”

Chris nodded and proceeded to fill in the remaining members of his team about their conversation with Daniel Bardon.

Stretching Buck grimaced as his leg wound ached and Nathan frowned.

“It's time for you to go home Buck. You've been here all day.”

The moustached agent nodded.

“I guess so. Are you ready to go Chris?“

Chris nodded. “Anytime you are pard.”

Buck climbed wearily to his feet and nodded as Vin handed him his crutches.

“I'll just go and say goodbye to JD.”

“You'd better knock before you go in,” warned Vin with a laugh.

“I need some help with that,” sighed Buck as he pointedly looked at his two hands occupied holding the crutches.

Vin shadowed Buck to the door and knocked for him. Casey came and opened the door.

“Hi Casey, I just wanted to tell JD that I'm going home now. “ he looked around her and nodded at the patient. “See you tomorrow kid.”

JD called a loud goodbye. The other members of the team came up behind Buck.

“We're all off now. We'll see you tomorrow as well,” called Nathan and JD once again called out a farewell.

Casey looked coldly at Buck but the warm hearted agent didn't notice her doing it. However, Vin did and as he helped Buck turn around he began to wonder at her reaction. When Casey had arrived it had been clear that she wanted the rest of the team out of the room as quickly as possible. That was understandable as the two sweethearts needed some time alone but she had shared a word with everyone except Buck. Buck hadn't realised that but Vin had got the feeling that trouble was brewing in that young lady.

They all walked to the car park and got in their respective cars. The other members of the team were in a happy mood, now that their quarry was in sight. However, Vin was quiet and Chris noticed this. He resolved to talk to the long haired Texan in the office the next day. However, his current priority was to get a tired and sore Buck back to the ranch and to bed.

Chris and Buck walked into the office to find the others already hard at work. Vin was researching the local directory of drugstores as Ezra was speaking to the secretary at spring Hills high school. Leaving Buck to help out, Chris went to his office and began to process the pile of paperwork which was mounting up on his desk. He knew that his team would tell him when they came up with a name. It only took half an hour before there was a knock at the door. Ezra poked his head round as Chris called him in.

“I'm pleased to report that we have the reprobate's name Mr. Larabee.”

Chris shut the file in front of him and followed Ezra into the main office.

“What have you got for me?” he asked as the other members of the team gathered round.

“Shane George Farmer,” declared Ezra.

“And his father?”

“There is a George Farmer who owns the Parkbrook Pharmacy on 3rd and main,” drawled Vin, a grin on his face.

The blonde agent nodded. “Good. Do we have an address?”

Ezra nodded. “233 Wilson Boulevard, Spring Hill.”

Chris nodded and turned to the large profiler. “Josiah can you check with the DEA whether they have come across him before?” Josiah nodded.

“Nathan and Vin I want you to check into the background of the father. It's a new drug and it's a bit of a coincidence that our dealer's father is a qualified chemist.”

Ezra chirped up. “I assume that I will be accompanying you.”

The blonde team leader nodded. “I need your level head to stop me saying something unprofessional.”

“I'm sure that won't be a problem Mr. Larabee,” assured Ezra.

Buck looked up at the other members of the team. Chris had not included him in his orders.

“What about me boss?” he asked.

Chris looked down at Buck with a frown. “You're not officially on duty Buck. I can't let you out in the field.”

Buck nodded “So I'll just wait here and do nothing while you get the bastard who caused all this trouble,” he snapped.

He heard sharp intakes of breath from the other team members. Nobody was usually brave enough to challenge Chris Larabee.

Chris brushed back his irritation, understanding his friend's frustration.

“We all need to do this by the book Buck. I don't want this bastard getting off because he somehow had an accident when he was arrested.”

“Hell Larabee. I'm on crutches. What do you think I can do?”

Chris shook his head.

“I'm not willing to risk it Buck. Hell, I'm gonna need Ezra to keep me in line. I can't be having to worry about you as well.”

Buck cursed but realised that his friend was right. He slumped back in his chair and breathed a big sigh.

“I want this bastard Chris.”

He felt a hand on his shoulder.

“We all do Bucklin but Chris is right. If we don't do this properly he'll wriggle off the hook,” said Josiah sagely.

“Ok, I don't like it but I'll stay here.”

“I'm sure Vin and Nathan will need some help,” added Josiah and Buck smiled his gratitude.

Chris clapped his hands together. “Right team. Get on with your jobs. Ezra and I will bring him in.”

They drew up in front of an imposing detached house.

“Drugs must pay well,” commented Chris, gaining a nod from his colleague sat beside him.

Getting out of the Ezra's Jaguar they walked to the front door and pressed the bell. It was answered by a short dark woman dressed in a mauve track suit.

“Yes?” she said warily drawing in a sharp breath as both men held up their identity cards.

“Special Agent Larabee and Agent Standish. We're with the ATF. Are you Mrs. Farmer?”

She nodded

“Is your son home?”

She put a hand to her mouth in shock.


“Your son, Shane. Is he home?”

She involuntarily glanced inside giving away the fact that her son was inside the house.

“What's all this about?” she asked.

“May we come in Mrs. Farmer? I'm sure you don't want your neighbours to hear your business.”

She shook herself and stepped back.

“Of course. Please come in,” she invited.

As she led them into the kitchen, they saw a youth sitting at the table.

“Shane, these men are from the ATF. They have asked to talk to you,” she said.

Shane Farmer got to his feet warily.

“Shane George Farmer?” asked Chris.

He nodded slowly. “What's all this about?” he asked.

“Do you know a Daniel Bardon?”

He watched as the youth shook his head.

“Daniel Bardon was admitted to Denver Memorial yesterday suffering from a serious reaction to a drug he had taken.”

“Drugs?” gasped Mrs. Farmer and Chris a twinge of sympathy for her. Why was it that the parents were always the last to know?

Chris continued. “When interviewed, he gave your name as the supplier. Can you explain that to me Shane?”

Shane shook his head. “I don't know what you're talking about. Who is this guy? I've never messed around with drugs in my life. I'm a football player. You've got to be clean if you want to be in the team.”

Ezra watched the body language. This boy was showing all the signs of being guilty. His eyes were wide and a thin sheet of sweat was breaking out on his brow. The phrase 'the boy protesth too much sprang to mind'.

Chris tried to keep a check on his irritation.

“Daniel told us that it was a boy in the year above him called Shane and that his father owns a drugstore downtown. Our enquiries have brought us to your door.”

Mrs. Farmer gasped again.

“What have you done Shane?” she accused, fixing him with a steely stare.

The youth swaggered. “They can't prove anything Mother.”

Ezra took a step forward as he saw the anger glint in his colleague's eyes.

“I think it will be better if Mr. Farmer helped us with our enquiries back at the office Special Agent Larabee,” he said firmly.

Chris stared at the youth and then nodded slowly.

“Get your coat Mr. Farmer.”

“Am I under arrest?” snapped the boy.

“Not at this time,” said Chris evenly. He turned to the woman.

“Shane will be helping us with our enquiries. Until then he will not be under arrest but should our enquires be proved I am afraid your son is in a heap load of trouble.”

Mrs. Farmer was realistic and she nodded. “It's all right Shane. I'll contact your father and get our lawyer to come down.”

“As you wish Mrs. Farmer. Now please get your coat Mr. Farmer.”

Several hours later a sombre team watched through the two way mirror to the interview room. Shane's parents had brought with them a very slick lawyer and the interviews over the last few hours had been very frustrating for all involved.

They watched as Chris Larabee finally gave up and allowed Mr. and Mrs. Farmer to take their son home.

They all met in the main office and Vin was the first one to commiserate with his team leader. The others all passed on their comments quietly, the mood dark.

Chris scrubbed his hand through his hair and cursed in frustration.

“I know he did it dammit but that fuckin' lawyer just ran us round in circles. It's Bardon's word against his. We haven't even got enough to get a search warrant issued.”

All the men nodded their heads in sympathy.

Josiah thought for a moment. His research with the DEA had thrown up no evidence against Shane Farmer but he had found out that his father had a conviction for drug possession when he was younger.

“If we can't get the son, how about going after the father?”

Chris shook his head. “We've got nothing to go on. Vin, Nate and Buck couldn't find anything to pin on him. As far as we know, he's just an ordinary chemist.”

“I know but I just get this feeling that there's more to George Farmer than meets the eye. He got pulled for drugs when he was younger.”

Nathan snorted. “Possession of cannabis when he was 20. I don't think that'll help us Josiah.”

Josiah shook his head. “No, but he doesn't know that. What if we bring him in and tell him we want to follow up on his previous record.”

Chris shook his head again. “His lawyer will just press charges for harassment if we take him in on a 20 year old drug conviction. No, we've got to go round this another way. Any ideas?” he prompted looking at each team member expectantly but only saw shaking heads and troubled faces. He clapped his hands together in frustration..

“Ok that's enough for now. Let's get something to eat and go and see JD.”

“Maybe that's what he should do?” said Buck quietly. “If he saw the damage his drugs have caused then it might make him think.”

A spark fired to life in Josiah's brain.

“You may have something there Buck. Sometimes it is horrifying for a person to be confronted with the consequences of their own actions.”

“What are you getting at?” asked Chris confused by the turn in the conversation.

“I believe that Mr. Sanchez is proposing that Mr. Farmer be introduced to JD and Buck,” said Ezra, his green eyes scanning the giant agent's face.

“Maybe not JD I do think that it may be beneficial for Buck to speak to Mr. Farmer and his son.”

Chris shook his head “No way,” he denied vehemently.

Buck looked at his friend, irritated by his attitude. ”Why not Chris? Don't you think I can control myself? You said you trusted me but you're not showing that now.”

Chris stared helplessly at the glaring Buck. “No, it's not that Buck. It's just ……”

He lost his words and Nathan came in.

“If you touch him Buck then our case goes out of the window and so does your job as well.”

Buck nodded. “I know that. Give me some credit here guys. At least Josiah thinks I can handle it.”

Chris sighed deeply and scrubbed his hand through his hair.

“What do you think Vin?” he asked, looking up at the long haired sharpshooter who had kept quiet.

Vin considered the question for a long moment before answering.

“You've spent most of the day in that room with him and not managed to get anything from the son. The father is not going to confess to something that'll put him away for the next 30 years. I reckon you're all forgetting the other person.”

“His wife,” concluded Nathan.

“Yep. I reckon that if she knew the hurt and suffering that those drugs have caused then she'll get to considering.”

“Good thinking Vin. Look guys it's getting late and we won't be able to do anything till tomorrow anyway. Let's just get something to eat, visit JD and get some rest. Tomorrow's a fresh day and we can sit down and work out what we're going to do in the morning.”

Each man agreed and they finished off their work and made their way to Inez's for an early evening dinner.