Only a Block

by Mary Ann

Thanks to beta - Rosalee

"Come on, it's a block and then we'll have them cornered," Chris called to Vin and Buck as he raced past them after the men who had taken off.

With a small grin Vin shot a glance at Buck then took off after Chris.  He couldn't let the blond get too far ahead in the dark, he blended too well with the darkness.  As he ran, he heard Buck's footsteps coming up behind him and knew the big man would be watching their back as he caught up with Chris and paced his stride with Chris's.

As Buck followed the black as night figure and the slim sharpshooter, he keyed his mic and told JD where they were headed, and their hope to corner the runners. JD advised him that their teammates were after the other two men.

As they ran side by side Vin wondered how in the world they ever got into this mess. The bust was supposed to be easy. A quick in and out and arrests, but something had gone wrong as soon as Josiah and Ezra stepped into the small brick building. There was no way that any more people could be inside; there was no room for anything but two desks, several chairs and file cabinets. The back door opened onto a 16 car parking lot; behind another door was a tiny washroom/toilet. A front door and large window looked out on the quiet street. The two agents had entered the office then almost instantly came backing out as gunshots rang out.   

By pure luck neither man was hit but those inside fled, two men from the front door and two others from the back. Two by two racing in different directions down the block. Nathan, Ezra and Josiah took off after the men who came out the front while Chris, Buck and Vin went after the others. Chris knew the direction the two men they were chasing were headed; they'd end up in a dead-end cul-de-sac a block and a half away. 

In the darkness Vin saw one man stumble and go down, before they could reach him he'd rolled and started firing his Uzi at them. The three split and tried to find cover from the deadly spray of bullets. Vin yelped as something hot grazed across his ribs as he hit the ground. He rolled behind the short crate and aimed at the man who was getting up still firing in their direction. He pulled the trigger and heard two more guns fire from nearby. The man went down unmoving and the three men rose and moved back into the dark alley.  

Chris had heard Vin's cry and looked at his sharpshooter. The long hair covered Vin's face as he looked down at his side; as his shaggy head rose, a loud crack of thunder sounded over their heads and the sky opened up and began to drop a flood of rainwater on top of them.

"I'm fine let's get that other one and get out of this rain," Vin said and headed after the last man. Buck shook his head at Chris as the two men took off after Vin who was running easily through the downpour looking for the last man.

They couldn't see more that fifteen feet ahead of them, it slowed their pace as they looked for the man who had bolted. Vin was moving silently against the last building to Chris's right and Buck had moved to the left; the three moved cautiously through the rain. They crossed a narrow intersecting alley and saw they were nearly at the end of the long alley; they could faintly see the dead end that the man was going to be trapped against.

A gunshot sounded and the three ducked as a bullet gouged a long splinter of wood from the building next to Vin. Vin fired at the flash and heard a yell but more shots rang out. The flashes were moving to their right and the three fired several rounds.

For several seconds silence reigned over the area and they could hear sirens in the distance coming closer. Fleeting thoughts of the others passed through each man's mind and they hoped their teammates were all right.

Gunshots broke the silence, and they ducked again. This time they all fired at the gun flashes they could see and then a bit in front and behind them.  Once again silence fell; the downpour covering any noise from the shooter. Vin rose and ghosted through the rain staying close to the building then making a dash across to where the man had been. Still nothing and he cautiously worked his way along the tall concrete wall that blocked off the area. Peering through the rain he saw a figure laying on the ground ahead of him, partly behind a pile of dirt that was quickly turning into mud.

Ducking down Vin watched the figure then carefully crept closer. He could see the man's head and shoulders, and then movement froze him in place. The man rose up on his elbows and aimed the sub-machine at the alley and pulled the trigger. Vin's gun spoke and the man went down in a limp heap, the gun falling from his hands.

"Chris, Buck all clear," Vin yelled over the drum of rain. Moments later the two arrived and looked down at the man.

"It's Wilson. Looks like he didn't want to go to jail for everything he did," Chris said looking at the dead man as Buck called it in.

Buck reported their location to JD, asked for an ambulance for the two dead men and then added, "How did he know though? It was set up pretty fast and he was new in town."

"Not sure, something must have given us away." Chris suddenly looked at Vin remembering that he'd been wounded. "Vin?"

"I'm fine, here comes an ambulance." Vin changed the conversation as he pulled his jacket closer around him, shivering from the cold rain.

Chris and Buck exchanged a glance before Buck turned towards the ambulance and waved it into them. The two EMT's arrived and as one moved to the dead men. 

"Hey, one of you look at my friend's ribs; a bullet grazed them. That guy is dead, you can't help him," Buck said as one man knelt beside the body. The other EMT turned in mid-stride and came back to where the three were standing.

"Which one of you is hurt?"

"Vin here," Buck said helpfully, ignoring the blue-eyed glare that should have froze him in place where he was standing. Buck just smiled at the younger man.

The EMT looked at Vin and waited a moment, Vin snarled and walked beside the man to the back of the ambulance; at least it blocked some of the rain. Pulling his jacket aside then his shirts up, Vin exposed the wound. The man checked the graze and bandaged it and advised Vin to go to the hospital to have it cleaned and checked to see if it required stitches.  As Chris stood by, Vin promised he would go.

Both EMTs loaded Wilson onto a stretcher then placed him into the ambulance before they collected the other gunman. Within minutes the ambulance was heading though the alley and back to the hospital and morgue. The three agents walked back through the alley to where their ride was waiting for them.

As Chris slid into the driver's seat he snapped at Ezra and Josiah, who were climbing into the van's  rear seat, "What happened?"

"We aren't really sure Chris," Josiah answered. "We walked into the office and Wilson was there with those other three men and he said, I see the ATF has arrived just on time.' When Ezra tried to say something, Wilson called Ezra by his name and we got out of there as fast as we could."

"Mr. Sanchez tipped the desk over taking them by surprise and giving us the time we needed. I do believe that we established who gave us away. My snitch, who provided us Mr. Wilson, is deceased; stuffed into the refuse container down the street where Mr. Jackson stumbled on him. He had quite a bit of money on him, so we surmised he had spoken to Mr. Wilson of us." Ezra filled in.

"Well we don't have to worry about Wilson and his cohorts any longer. He is totally out of business, only one of the men we chased will be going to jail when he's out of the hospital."  Nathan said as he looked towards Vin sensing a problem.

"I'm fine Nathan, just a scratch and I'm going to get it treated; I just want to get out of these wet clothes and into a hot shower," Vin said without turning his head.

Buck laughed and clapped a hand on JD's shoulder as he looked over his shoulder at Vin. "Junior is going to be checked out pretty soon if we're heading where I think we are. Only a block to go now."

Vin opened his eyes and groaned as the van turned into the hospital parking lot.

Laughter rang in the enclosed van as it parked. Seven men got out and headed for the emergency doors. All was good.


Feedback to: