Disclaimer – I do not own M7 and if I did the series would still be going.
AN: I apologise for any spelling or grammatical mistakes in advance.
OK this chapter seemed to just ramble with no destination in mind, I normally like Casey but for some reason I had her behaving nastily. I hope you all enjoy this chapter and that I can update a bit quicker on the next one (as real life been a bit of a nightmare these last few weeks), where the boys will have some fun at FLETC and Chris will be finally on the road to recovery.
The Pain of Paperwork Two.
Sheppard then had to fight the urge to drawback as the pale man glared at him after the growled words, he now understood why some criminals would rather plead guilty that have to face this man.
"Only temporarily Chris just until you're recovered." Travis could not understand why the man was so angry.
"No." Chris snarled, he struggled to keep his breathing steady. He glared angrily at the two men sat opposite, he could not believe that these men would do this too him after everything he had been through. "Get out."
Travis raised his hands in a placating gesture, he saw Sheppard mirror his actions, the blond was shaking and the man's breathing was becoming loud and agitated.
"Chris calm down." Director John Sheppard did not understand where the mans anger was coming from.
"I won't go." Chris shook his head he stood up leaning towards the two shocked men. He had thought that Travis would support him, and would allow him to work with his team even if it was not in the field. "Just get out you have my resignation."
The two men sat gobsmacked as Chris yelled at them, they hardly had time to react as he angrily stormed out of the room, and Chris did not notice or even feel the drip rip from his hand as he slammed the study door. He did not acknowledge anyone as he stormed out of the front door, striding towards the barn he pushed open the door and then began to pace in agitation in front of the stalls.
"What the hell just happened?" Sheppard looked at Travis in dismay and shock, emotions he saw mirror on the other man's face.
Travis repeated their brief conversation in his head, it was then like a light bulb went off as he realised what the sick man thought they meant about the temporary transfer.
"Damnation." Travis swore. "Chris thinks we're sending him away from his team John."
Sheppard nodded he could see how the man could think that by the short conversation they had just had.
"What have you done?" Vin snapped he did not care who these men where they had upset his friend and he would find out why.
"Vin it's a misunderstanding." Travis tried to reassure the man stood glaring at the two of them. "We want Chris and you men to take some time to teach at FLETC, but Chris thinks it's only him we're sending."
Vin could see that the thought of being separated once again from his team would upset the ill man.
"We'll go explain to him what we mean." Sheppard made to stand.
"I don't think that's a good idea right now." Vin saw Travis nod, he looked at the Director. "I'll tell him and maybe you can come back and talk tomorrow."
"Alright." Travis agreed, he did not want to leave with such an air of distrust surrounding Chris and himself but he also did not want to upset or stress the injured man any further. "He's hurt Vin he pulled his drip out like it wasn't there."
"We'll deal with it." Vin walked the men to their car and watched it drive off; he walked to the barn pushing the door open he moved to stand beside Josiah and Buck as they watched the angry man pace.
Chris wanted to hit something desperately, he wanted to scream his frustration to the world, he continued to pace backwards and forwards, not aware of the blood dripping from his hand or the desperate sound of his distress breathing.
"Do something before he collapses." Vin did not understand why the two men where simply stood watching Chris pace.
"Everytime I go near his he snarls at me." Josiah had thought that Chris would lash out he was that mad. "I want to give him a chance to calm down."
The three men listened with growing anger as Chris snarled and snapped rambling; he mentioned the ordeal he had to go through the previous day. He snarled and growled when he raged against what Waterman, McKay and Faulkner had said to him, he turned an intense glare on Buck.
"Why the hell did you attack two members of Spikes team?" Chris continued to angrily pace and curse not giving the other man a chance to answer.
"Calming down isn't happening is it?" Buck looked at Vin. "What happened with Travis, what did he say?"
Vin told them quickly what the Judge had said, Buck scowled and then sighed. Chris showed no sign of slowing down and the men where becoming worried as he continued to rant and rave, he was even using his hands to emphasise how irate he was.
"Let's put and end to this then." Buck girded his loins and stepped in front of the raging beast that was his best friend.
Chris simply stormed around the larger man; he was continuously growling now no words being recognisable to the three men.
Buck moved and this time he caught hold of the man.
"Chris calm down you're gonna make yourself sick." Buck wrapped his arms around the snarling man; he could feel the man shaking with barely suppressed rage.
"Let go of me." Chris snapped he found his arms pinned by his sides by the bear hug the man had on him.
"When you calm down I'll let you go." Buck was glad when Vin and Josiah moved to surround the agitated man.
"Easy Chris." Josiah could see the sick man was shaking like a leaf and gasping for air, blood was dripping down his fingers where the port had been ripped out. He took hold of the wrist noting the racing pulse.
"I thought you may need this." Ezra had walked unnoticed into the barn silently followed by JD, he held up the first aide kit.
"Chris for god's sake calm down brother." Josiah placed his hand on the man's heaving shoulder; he looked into the worried blue eyes of Buck Wilmington.
Chris began to struggle against his friends hold; he was irate and did not want to be restrained.
"Let go Buck now." Chris felt Buck tighten his hold as Josiah and Vin crowded closer essentially pinning him between them.
"Let it go Chris." Buck refused to be intimidated by the sick man.
"Chris we're all going with you." Vin spoke quietly into Chris's good ear; he rubbed his hand up and down the heaving back.
"I'm getting sent away again," Chris shook his head; he was close to losing it and about to fight to be free.
"No Chris." Vin could feel the tension ramping up in Chris.
"Big Dog listen to Vin." Buck pulled the panting man closer if that was possible, Ezra and JD now moved so that all of them where surrounding the agitated man.
"Together as a team." Vin emphatically declared.
"As brothers." Josiah's voice boomed out.
"I don't feel so good." Chris's groaned as he sagged in Buck's hold.
"What the hell's going on?" Nathan's voice sounded from by the barn door.
"Nathan just get over here and help." Vin shouted back as Buck held Chris upright.
"Gonna puke Buck." Chris gave the man a chance to move as he wrapped his arms around himself as his stomach rebelled.
Buck held Chris as he vomited, Nathan and Raine both rushed over as Chris's panicked breathing interspersed with his weak vomiting had all the men crowding round offering their support.
Nathan turned Chris onto his side once the man had finished puking his guts up; Chris was struggling for every breath, shivering with cold and reaction.
Buck pulled a horse blanket from where it was hanging by Pony's stall; he wrapped Chris in it then simply picked the lighter man up.
"Let's get inside." Buck swiftly headed towards the barn door, which JD rushed to open.
"What happened?" Nathan looked at Vin, who quickly filled the two medical professionals on what had occurred.
"Great this is all Chris needs." Nathan snarled he followed the quick moving Buck.
"Where do you want him Nate?" Buck cradled Chris close, he could feel the man's panting breaths.
"On the couch." Nathan quickly placed the oxygen mask on the gasping man; he frowned as Chris continued to hyperventilate.
"Nathan?" JD sounded as if he was about to panic as Chris struggled.
Nathan picked up Chris's hand as Raine worked on cleaning his other damaged hand and to reinsert the IV port. He placed it against his own chest, he leant down and he waited for the dazed green eyes to focus on him.
"Chris listen to me I want you to copy my breathing." Nathan noted that all the others remained silent. "Feel how I'm breathing Chris."
Nathan breathed slowly in and out, he kept his hand on Chris's chest and almost sagged in relief as the man's breathing began to mirror his own albeit less deeply but still it was much better than the panicked breathing of before.
"That's good Chris." Raine smiled at Nathan, she injected a pain killer and added a dose of the sedative that they new worked on the sick man, and she wanted him kept calm as his pulse had still not slowed to anywhere near normal.
Nathan gently placed Chris's hand on his chest as the sick man succumbed to the effects of the drugs Raine had administered, with Josiah's help he moved Chris so that he was propped up, Buck removed the man's boots and handed Nathan a blanket, JD had removed the horse blanket, he covered the sleeping man.
"Why would Chris have to face all those AD's?" JD sat down in Chris's recliner. "He did nothing wrong."
"I don't know JD." Vin could only imagine the grilling the sick man must have gotten from his irate ramblings.
"Why would Travis not support Chris?" Buck was angry at the Judge, to put the ill man in that type of situation and then not provide the support he deserved just seemed so out of character for the Judge.
"Did you sedate him?" Ezra looked at Raine and Nathan.
"I thought it best." Raine quietly explained. "He's never going to fully recover if he keeps having these setbacks."
Ezra nodded, he understood where Raine and Nathan were coming from, and it was just hard to see the normally strong man so sick and weak.
"Maybe someone should go and speak with Travis and Sheppard." JD quietly suggested.
"No." Chris voice was slightly slurred he struggled to sit up.
Raine exchanged a stunned look with Nathan, how in the hell was he resisting the drugs they had just pumped into him.
"What happened with Travis?" Buck moved behind the man, Chris leant against him using Buck as a back rest.
Chris began to fill the men in on his meeting with the Assistant Director's and the Director. Raine left the men briefly returning with two bottles full of juice the kind that people use when they go out jogging. She placed one in Chris's hand and encouraged the tired looking man to drink. The group listened in growing dismay and anger as Chris spoke of his experience at the meeting. Occasionally one of the men would ask a question, causing Chris to pause and think of an answer, Chris was grateful for the fluid as his throat felt extremely irritated and sore. Chris leant more heavily on the man behind him; he felt one of Bucks large hands rubbing gently up and down his back. Chris blinked sleepily, he felt like he had been speaking for what seemed like hours, shaking his head he tried to focus on what Josiah was saying.
"I can't believe that Judge Travis allowed the meeting to carry on knowing that Waterman and McKay have such an aversion to Chris and the rest of us." Josiah looked at the sick man, he could see that Chris was fighting to stay awake, Raine handed Chris the second bottle the injured man looked confused for a moment as Raine smiled at him,
"Drink it Chris." Raine hoped it was only a matter of time before Chris gave in and went to sleep.
"Travis sat there and let them have their say." Chris speech was becoming more slurred, but the men all heard the sadness in the man's husky voice. "Waterman is a bastard."
Chris rubbed tiredly at his eyes he wanted to sleep, but he had to tell his team what had happened, now he had started he was determined not to stop.
Buck pulled Chris tighter to him, he had felt the small shivers running through the other man, he was surprised that Chris was allowing himself to lean against his side, Buck had to stop rubbing the man's back he instead began to gently rub the lean hand in his larger one.
"Are you cold Chris?" Vin moved to the large fireplace and set about lighting the fire laid there.
"I'm fine." Chris could tell he had not convinced the men and Raine simply raised an eyebrow at him. "Just tired and feel drugged."
"You are drugged Cowboy." Vin had to laugh as Chris grinned at him, the green eyes laughed at him good naturedly.
"It's good I don't feel any pain." Chris snuggled into Buck's side. "See it's the good stuff."
Buck chuckled as Chris patted his knee and grinned goofily at him, the man still wore the hated oxygen mask.
"No wonder he doesn't like to be doped up." Nathan smiled as Chris chuckled to himself.
"Waterman and McKay hate me and I don't know why." Chris sadly announced.
Smile's where lost at the sad words, the men waited to see what else Chris would say.
"Waterman said it was my arrogance that got Sarah and Adam killed." Chris turned and buried his head against Buck's throat; he did not want the others to see his tears. Chris hated the drugs pumping through his body they made him act weak and he needed to be strong for his team, he was their leader after all.
"It's alright Chris." Buck could feel the silently sobbing man shaking as he fought to remain quiet. Buck slowly stroked the sweaty blond hair, the remaining; members of Team 7 crowded round, and put their hands on any part of their wounded leader they could reach, offering their support even though he tried to hide his despair from them.
"Sorry." Chris could feel the hand's touching him, he felt so drained of energy he was weak and needy and he hated it. "I'm sorry."
Nathan picked up the thin bony wrist and without fanfare began to count the pulse beating under his fingers, he is satisfied with the slow and steady rhythm.
"Chris, you'll be comfier in bed." Nathan released the wrist as Chris pulled away from him and burrowed closer to the quiet Buck.
"No stay here." Chris slurred voice responded.
"Let him stay Nathan he's fine." Buck smiled at Nathan as the man nodded.
"So FLETC guys it's going to be great." JD bounced as he sat in Chris's recliner. "I can't wait."
"What about Casey?" Vin quietly asked the bouncing stopped.
"We'll be fine, it's only temporary and we have Skype and a phone." JD confidently replied.
Nathan looked at Raine, she raised a hand and stroked his cheek, Nathan smiled as he realised this woman who had captured his heart was happy with this opportunity he was being presented with.
"I love you." Nathan could not help himself.
"Ewww get a room." JD chuckled as Nathan smacked his arm.
Chris moaned and rubbed at the side of his head, snuffling in his sleep he snuggled closer to the source of the heat he could feel. Buck was surprised the man had not dislodged the oxygen mask when he had moved closer.
Buck yawned, he found himself sprawled on his back on the long couch, with a sleeping Chris using him as a human pillow, his head still burrowed against his neck, they where covered by a thick blanket. Buck did not remember lying down; the others must have moved the two of them when he fell asleep. Buck looked at his watch seeing that it was just after six o'clock, he rubbed his stomach as it growled with hunger.
"Ezra's going to prepare dinner for seven o'clock." Josiah's spoke from the recliner he had sat in as he kept watch on the two sleeping men. "Do you want to wake Chris now so he has time to wake up properly?"
"I need to get up." Buck needed a bathroom desperately.
"Do you need any help?" Josiah indicated the sleeping man.
Buck wiggled from under Chris who continued to sleep on, he rushed towards the bathroom. Josiah had to smile after the big man, he moved to sit on the edge of the couch, he felt Chris's forehead glad the man was only slightly warmer that usual. He then noticed the green eyes where open and looking up at him.
"How do you feel brother?" Josiah helped Chris sit up, he handed the man the bottle of water someone had left on the coffee table.
"I'm fine." Chris looked around. "Where is everyone?"
"Ezra with JD's help is preparing dinner." Josiah chuckled as Chris sniggered at the thought of the bouncy JD helping the reserved Ezra. "It's fairly quiet in there."
"Not for long." Chris mumbled as he handed Josiah back the bottle.
"Vin, Nathan and Raine are in the barn." Josiah was ready to help the sick man as Chris got to his feet. "Buck's just gone the bathroom."
"Great idea." Chris felt Josiah stand beside him; he looked questioningly at the stocky older man.
"You don't want to pull out the drip again." Josiah hid a smile as Chris glared at the afore mention fluid drip.
"Need to pee Josiah." Chris yawned he snorted as Josiah suddenly pulled him into a bear hug. "Don't squeeze me."
Josiah booming laugh had Chris sniggering as he was hugged close to the broad chest.
"Siah I gotta pee." Chris whined he could not help himself as he was pinned securely against the barrel chest.
"Don't forget the drip pole." Josiah smirked as Chris pulled off the oxygen mask grabbed the pole and hustled out the room he nearly bumped into the yawing Wilmington.
"Move it Buck." Chris growled as he raced to the bathroom.
"What's the rush Chris?" Buck grinned as he pulled his friend close for a quick hug.
"Ohhh no." Chris danced on the spot as Buck hugged him.
Buck released the man who slammed the bathroom door behind him, laughing the big hearted rogue suddenly found himself pulled into a Josiah's arms as the chortling profiler hugged him.
"Poor Chris I though he was gonna leave a puddle." Josiah felt the other man return his hug.
Chris shook his head as he headed to the kitchen determined to get himself a cup of coffee, he knew that Nathan was keen that he should not drink too much caffeine, but he was sick and tired of water and juice.
"No coffee Chris." JD gulped when he realised he had barked at the grumbling team leader. Ezra reached into the fridge and pulling out the milk he pour a glass, he handed it to the stunned looking Larabee.
Chris frowned at the glass he held, he was still surprised at being stopped from getting his coffee by the gulping JD. He looked at Ezra who regarded him unblinkingly as the southerner position himself in front of the coffee maker folding his arms across his chest, Chris realised that he his attempt had been foiled by the two men. Shrugging he gave the two men a small smile that promised another attempt at some point he headed back to where Josiah and Buck where trying to decide what they wanted to watch on the television, Chris plucked the remote from the moustached man's large hand and turned to the news channel, settling himself onto his recliner he ignored the smirking Josiah and glaring Buck.
"But I wanted to watch the game." Buck pouted, he so wanted to tell the smiling blond that he had a milk moustache but he kept silent, he could tell that Josiah also had no plan to inform the man about his new facial feature as he winked at him.
"We can after the news." Chris wondered what had the two men sniggering he shrugged as he took another mouthful of the milk.
Nathan, Vin and Raine starred hard at Chris who looked back at them clueless, they then burst into giggles, and Chris looked over to Josiah and Buck who had also dissolved into happy chuckles.
"What? Why are you all laughing?" Chris though maybe being coped up too long had gotten to his friends he sat mystified as they continued to laugh.
JD was drawn from the kitchen followed closely by the curious Ezra; both men stood watching the laughing group both looked at their confused friend. Chris scowled grumpily as JD and Ezra both joined in with the laughing, Chris crossed his arms across his chest and gave the men of his team and Raine his deadliest glare. He was not happy when his action just seemed to make the others laugh louder.
"What's so damn funny?" Chris growled grumpily he picked up his glass of milk and frowned when he noticed it was nearly empty, he drained the last of it and then went back to scowling at the laughing occupants of his living room.
"He looks so cute?" Buck sniggered; his blue eyes twinkled merrily at the glaring green eyed man.
"Like a cute kid." Vin sniggered as the laser like glare turned in his direction.
"Don't you have a dinner to make?" Chris snarked at Ezra and JD, the young Bostonian giggled and then hid behind the laughing Ezra.
"Idiots." Chris shook his head and then laughed along as the sound of his friend's happiness was infectious.
"Here Mr Larabee." Ezra held out a tissue. "Are you trying to intimidate Mr Wilmington?"
"Oh very funny." Chris realised he must have given himself a milk moustache; he wiped his lip and threw the screwed up tissue at the chortling Tanner.
"I'm hungry." Buck nudged Ezra who pushed him back. "When will it be ready?"
"Ten minutes until you get to taste my gastronomical delight." Ezra boasted. "Mr Dunne will you be so kind as to lay the table?"
"Sure Ezra." JD could not help himself he picked up Chris empty glass. "Do you want some more Boss?"
Chris threw a cushion at the laughing youngster, who ducked and went to do as Ezra requested.
Sighs could be heard as the well fed group settle down back in the living room, Ezra was very content that everyone had cleared there plates of the meal he had so loving prepared, he was even happy that Chris had managed at least six mouthfuls before stopping, Ezra closed the oven as he waited for desert to cook, he had placed two of the pies that Raine had baked to heat, and he was going to offer both ice cream and cream as an accompaniment once the delicious smelling offerings had warmed through.
"I've decided that I don't want company on New Years Eve." Chris stated he held his hand up as the men went to argue. "I want you all to go out and have fun."
"I don't want to." Buck fired back.
"Look Buck I'm sure you've had a hot date planned so just go." Chris looked at Nathan and Raine. "I can imagine that Raine's family are having a party which you've been invited too, please go."
"Chris its fine." Nathan saw Raine nod in agreement.
"Look guys I can be left for a night on my own. Please go and enjoy yourselves, I know how hard these last few weeks have been." Chris could see the men where not convinced. "JD I know Casey had a college party she wanted you to go to with her."
JD reluctantly nodded.
"So go. And that goes for the rest of you." Chris was adamant that he would win this argument. "We can all get together for New Years Day dinner; I'll even help cook it."
Vin looked at the others they could all tell that Chris meant what he said, and they did not want to argue anymore.
"Alright Big Dog, but you'll call if you need anything." Buck wondered who he could call to make a date with possibilities ran through his head.
"Great it's settled then." Chris was glad that the others had seen his point of view; he had actually thought it would take more to get them to agree to leave him alone; no doubt he will have numerous calls to answer from the others checking up on him.
Chris rolled over and opened his eyes, pushing the oxygen mask off his face he picked up his watch he had placed in the drawer of the bedside cabinet, noting that it was just after six o'clock he decided to get dressed and go help Vin with the horses, not that he would be much help in his weakened condition.
"Morning Cowboy." Vin greeted the man he considered his closest friend.
"Morning Vin, morning JD." Chris smiled at the youngster who waved back from his position cleaning Doc's stall.
The three men finished the chores and headed back into the ranch house, Chris sprawled on his recliner looking at the plate of toast Buck had handed him and the cup of coffee, and he started to slowly eat one slice as he drank the hot liquid.
The rest of Team 7 slowly emerged from various bedrooms and congregated in the large family room.
"Nathan where's Raine did you wear her out?" Buck jokingly asked.
"No Buck she left for her shift at the hospital." Nathan gave Chris a look when he put his plate down after not even managing to eat one slice of toast.
"Doug Fallen is coming to the ranch today to talk to me." Chris could tell he had the men's interest. "He's got some questions and he's going to update on what he's found out about Fowler and Ramirez."
"Hopefully he has some news." Josiah noted the men nod; he did not think that Fallen would have any news because they would have found out before hand.
Chris took the other team leader and his second into his study when they arrived, not that he would not fill in the team when he had finished but for now he wanted to hear what Fallen had to say without the distraction of his team.
Buck kept shooting glances towards the closed study door, he new he was not the only one who was waiting for the meeting to end. Buck was very tempted to just walk in and demand to know what was happening but he had so far resisted the urge. He exchanged a glance with Vin who also looked impatiently at the door.
Chris walked the two men to the door, he then turned back to find himself surrounded by the six members of his team all looking expectantly at him.
"Alright guys, lets get comfy." Chris headed to his recliner, he then proceed to tell the men that Fallen had no leads or could find no real connection between Ramirez and Fowler, it looked like Fowler was a freelancer that the crime boss had simply hired to do his dirty work. They had tried to trace Fowler's movements and tracks for the past few years but the dead man had covered his tracks and they had hit a dead end, so essentially they where back were they had started with no leads and nothing to go on. Chris fought to not give in to the despair he was feeling, he should have expected nothing to come from the investigation so far, he could see the men looking at him worriedly. "I'm fine guys, just not really any further to finding out the truth than I was when Sarah and Adam where first murdered."
"But Chris you have a name to fit to the face that planted the bomb." JD insisted. "We'll find whoever did it no matter how long it takes."
Chris gave the man a proud smile; he needed to keep positive like JD always was. He nodded, and then looked up as he heard another vehicle pull up in front of his home. Nathan moved to the window, looking out he frowned when he saw the occupants of the car.
"Nathan?" Chris called seeing the frown on the medics face.
"It's Travis and the Director." Nathan growled fully intending to stop the men before they could upset the sick Larabee.
"Nathan it's ok." Chris stood slowly; he was going to keep calm no matter what was said by the two men. "I'll be in my study when you show them in."
Nathan lip curled into a snarl as he considered the two men about to knock on the door.
"Be nice Nathan." Chris had forgotten how protective the dark skinned man could be.
Sitting behind his desk he waited for Travis and Sheppard to enter.
Director John Sheppard forced himself not to twitch or fidget as he was subjected to intense stares from Team 7; he could tell the men where not happy that he was there.
Travis kept his gaze level and blank as he was glared at, he had never been subjected to the full on intensity that was Team 7, he could tell the men where angry with him, and really he could not blame them, the more he thought about it the more he realised the mistake he had made allowing Waterman and the others to interrogate the sick Larabee. He understood that he would have to work on regaining the trust with Team 7 especially with the man waiting for them in the study.
"Chris is in the study." Josiah calmly informed the two men.
"Thank you Josiah." Travis gave the man a small smile which was not returned.
Chris waited for the two men to seat themselves, he was determined that this time he would not lose his cool, he would hear what they had to say and then enjoy the rest of his day.
"Chris how are you today?" Director Sheppard thought the man like no better than yesterday.
"I'm fine." Chris smiled somewhat at his usual response to any question regarding his health.
"Alright then." Travis nodded, although he did not believe the pale man for a moment.
"Chris I'd like to apologise for yesterday's misunderstanding." Director Sheppard began.
Chris waited for the man to continue.
"We want your whole team to go to FLETC." Sheppard carried on. "We believe it will be an excellent opportunity for you and your team."
"I have spoken with the Director of FLETC and he will be contacting you to discuss possible training opportunities you and your team can provide, and also whatever training you think will benefit your team I want you to put your team forward for." Director Sheppard could only imagine what his flagship team would be involved in. "I believe we are thinking at least three months possibly longer, it all depends on you Chris."
"OK." Chris gave the men a one word answer. He would see what happened when he spoke to the FLETC Director, he wanted his men to be given an opportunity to shine, and also he would have to look at the training programme and see what courses he could get his men to take.
"I'm sure that you'll all be fine and this will give you a chance to heal before your team returns to active duty." Travis felt disappointed by Chris's lack of reaction.
"I'm sure the guys will be fine." Chris wondered how much trouble his team could get in, he knew he would have to try and rein them in. "I'll keep control of them."
"Sure you will Chris I'm sure they'll be perfect angels." Travis snorted as he thought of the seven men lose in Glynco.
"Just try not to piss anyone off too much." Sheppard felt sorry for the man who had to corral the six spirited men who made up Larabee's team.
Chris shrugged and looked innocent. Both Travis and Sheppard smiled at Chris not believing that he would toe the line, Sheppard decided that he would have too speak to the Director at FLETC and warn him of the uniqueness of his premier team.
"Try not to do too much damage to FLETC at least leave some buildings standing." Director Sheppard smiled at the grin the pale man shot back at him, the green eyes twinkled.
"I'm sure that we'll make an impression." Chris confidently assured the Director.
"That's what I'm afraid of." AD Travis shook his head fondly at the smiling man. He was so relieved that the misunderstanding of the previous day had not been repeated.
"They won't know what there in for." Sheppard had to mutter.
Chris saw the two men out, he turned and grinned at his team mates who where sat relaxing as they waited for his return.
"Mr Larabee may I suggest a new wardrobe." Ezra saw confusion flair in the clear green eyes.
"I think Ezra's trying to say you look scruffy." Vin sniggered as Chris glared at him. "At least buy a belt that fits."
"Oh joy shopping." Chris muttered heading towards the kitchen and the cup of coffee calling his name.
"I will offer my able assistance." Ezra followed the blond man.
"I'll have to take a bank loan to pay for what you'd want me to buy." Chris griped, the remaining men laughed as they heard Ezra indignant spluttering.
New Years Eve morning found Chris and Ezra travelling into Denver, Ezra had persuaded the thin man he needed to replace some clothes, Ezra had used the argument that better fitting clothes would hide any perceived weakness Chris felt, especially with the team all going to FLETC and being amongst a wide variety of law enforcement agencies.
Chris grumbled as Ezra led him to the clothes store he normally shopped at, Chris looked around he ignored the hovering sales person, who Ezra was now discussing what he thought Chris needed. Picking up a shirt Chris's jaw nearly hit the floor at the price tag, turning he crooked a finger at the dapper southerner.
"Ezra I want out of here lets go somewhere else." Chris did not feel comfortable in the shop he wanted to go where he normally purchased his clothes, he saw the resignation on Ezra's face as he nodded.
Finally after what seems like hours the two men had finished, Chris had a number of new suits for work, all black although Ezra had managed to persuade the man to get a few none black shirts, also bought where a number of casual outfits that would fit his leaner frame.
"Let's go home Ezra." Chris looked towards the Jag that Ezra had drove them into Denver, he hoped that his beloved RAM was fixed when he got home, he knew that the local garage in Four Corners had promised to attempt to solve the problem by the end of day and Josiah and Vin where taking care of it, before everyone left for the New Years celebrations.
A couple of hours later Chris felt Josiah's large hand rubbing up and down his back, as he coughed and repeatedly spat out the crud from his lungs, he was really glad he had not eaten or drunk anything before the older man had insisted that he use the percussion technique on Chris that Dr Frasier had shown the group. Raine before her and Nathan had left had informed them that getting rid of the crap in Chris's lungs would probably help him recover quicker, so here Chris was trying not to vomit or whine as Josiah's large hand rubbed his aching back and shoulders.
"I'm ok Josiah." Chris took the bottle of water from the concerned looking Tanner. "Don't look so worried I'm fine."
Josiah lifted an eyebrow at the reserved Texan, Vin removed the bowl barely holding his disgust in check as he emptied it down the toilet, and he then left Josiah quietly encouraging the sick man to take a nap before the rest of the men left to go celebrate New Years.
Chris slowly opened his eyes and sat up, he pushed off the annoying oxygen mask, he moved off the bed, he went towards the kitchen, he could hear Buck and JD bickering as they got ready to go out to their separate New Year's parties.
"Hey Big Dog where all going to be leaving soon, if you need anything call ok." Buck nudges JD out the way as he enveloped the pale man in a brotherly hug. "Happy New Year Chris."
"Years not over yet." Chris returned the larger mans hug with one of his own.
"Soon will be." Buck grinned. "Come on then JD, you don't want to keep Casey waiting."
"Coming." JD gave Chris a hug too. "Happy New Year Chris."
"Keep safe guys." Chris called after the two men. He was hugged and wished a Happy New Year by the remaining men as one by one they left. Chris looked around his home, sighing he could not believe how quiet it was, settling on the large couch he turned on the television and settle in too relax.
Chris blinked sleepily and looked around wondering what had woken him, looking at his watch he was surprised to see he had slept through the striking of midnight and it was now officially just over an hour into two thousand and twelve, he realised that he could here Buck's cell phone ringing, the moustached man must have left it behind by accident. He went into Buck's room and picked it up as it began to ring again; he looked at the display frowning when he saw it was the youngest member of his team calling.
"JD what's the matter son?" Chris could tell that the other man had not expected him to answer the phone. "JD are you alright?"
"Sorry Chris I thought I had called Buck." JD timidly replied.
"Buck left his phone." Chris walked into his bedroom; he began searching for warmer clothes to wear. "JD what's wrong?"
"It doesn't matter Chris, I'm sorry." JD whispered.
"JD do you need picking up?" Chris knew that JD was supposed to be staying with Casey at her friends house where the party the youngsters were going to have had been held.
"I don't want to be a bother." JD sadly responded.
"Give me the address." Chris wondered what had happened for JD to sound so sad on the phone; he listened as JD recited the address to him. "I won't be long hang tight."
Chris stomped towards the RAM, he was relieved that the garage had fixed his truck, clambering into the cab, he suffering through a harsh coughing fit, cranking up the heat, he knew that Buck, Nathan and the others would not be impressed with him making this mercy dash to collect JD but he wanted to find out who or what had upset the big hearted kid.
Chris gave the satellite navigation system an evil glare as it spoke its directions, he was not impressed with it or the horrible weather, a journey which should have taken him just under an hour was now coming up to two when suddenly Chris spotted a figure walking at the side of the road cursing under his breath he pulled up at the side of the forlorn figure.
"JD get your butt in here now." Chris shouted, he grimaced as his throat did not appreciate his yelling.
"Hey Chris." JD slammed the truck door; he could not meet his friend and mentor's eyes he felt like a child having to call for help.
"JD why didn't you wait for me?" Chris realised that shouting was not going to help; he could see the younger man was shivering; he was not really dressed for walking out in the snow and wind.
"I don't know." JD blinked he still had not looked at the green eyed man; he did not want to see the disappointment on the other mans face.
"JD look at me son." Chris took hold of JD's chin when the man refused to look at him. "I'm not mad at you, I am worried."
JD barely held in a sniffle as Chris's hand went round his neck and he was pulled into a hug.
"Do you want to tell me what's happened?" Chris quietly asked, he felt JD shake his head. "Alright."
"Can we just go home?" JD tiredly requested, he felt Chris release him, he could imagine that once they where back at the ranch Chris would ask him again for an answer to his question.
"Sure JD." Chris began the slow drive to his home; he noted that JD soon began to snore as the younger man rested his head against the passenger window.
Chris was so happy to see the turn to his drive, he was not happy with the RAM, he just hoped that it got them to the ranch house before it broke down again, he growled as he lost all power and the truck rolled to a stop. Looking out Chris reckoned that they where about half a mile from the ranch house, he scowled at the heavily falling snow, he realised that they could not stay in the car, and he shook JD shoulder.
"JD we're going to have to walk the rest of the way, the RAM's dead." Chris waited for the man to nod he understood. "Here there maybe an old coat in the back."
"Chris it's too cold for you to be trekking to the house." JD could feel the temperature dropping within the confines of the RAM. "I could walk to the house and come back and get you."
"No we stay together, let's get this over with." Chris opened the door, he shivered and hoped that a half mile walk in such weather did not make him any sicker than he already was, but knowing his luck he would probably end up back in hospital. He knew there would be no hiding this from the others when they came back later in the day, he could imagine Nathan's reaction. "Come on JD."
JD struggled behind the slow moving Larabee he could see the older man's shoulder hunched against the biting wind, he saw that Chris was trying to keep to the ruts in the road leading to his inviting looking home, JD was frozen with cold and he could imagine it was ten times worse for the sick man plodding through the snow in front of him. Buck was going to kill him when he found out that he had caused the ill man to trek through the snow. JD moved so that he was right behind Chris, he saw the man look quickly over his shoulder to check that he was still following. JD rushed forward as Chris slipped, hitting a patch of unseen ice, the thin man landed heavily on his back as his feet slipped from under him.
"Jesus Chris are you alright?" JD tried to keep his teeth from chattering he was so cold, he helped the now soaked man to his feet.
"Just keep going JD." Chris wanted to puke he was now completely soaked and he was so cold, and he was pretty sure he was going to have a lump on his head the size of Texas, he resisted the urge to feel for it and simply started towards the house, he could see they did not have very far to go now.
Slamming the heavy door behind him, Chris started to peel off his wet clothes, he saw that JD was just standing there teeth chattering with cold.
"Strip JD." Chris began to cough, he headed to the thermostat and turned it up a few degrees, and he could see JD struggling with his buttons and zippers. Returning from the bathroom, Chris threw a large bath towel to the shivering man. "Dry off JD."
JD could not believe that Chris had stripped down to his boxers he shrugged as he followed suit, he tried not to stare to hard at the other man, but he could not help himself, it seemed to JD that every bone in Chris's body stood out prominently, he reminded JD of the survivors of the concentration camps that you see in various movies and documentaries, the man's back was crisscrossed with scars and bruises from the brutal torture he had suffered.
Chris raised an eyebrow at the staring JD, he could tell the other man was horrified by the state of his body but at the moment Chris knew they needed to get warm, he nudge the younger man towards his bedroom.
"Get into dry clothes JD and I'll make us something hot to drink." Chris began to cough he managed to get to his bedroom before he had to sit down, he ran a hand over the back of his head flinching as he felt the lump from his fall. Sighing he did hoped that JD did not tell the other men that he had slipped on the ice. He slowly stood up and began to collect warm clothes to put on.
JD was finally beginning to feel warm again, he wondered how long he could hide in his bedroom before Chris came looking for him and an explanation into why he had left the party he had been attending with Casey. Thinking about the young woman he felt a tear come to his eye, throwing himself on the bed he lost the battle to hold in his tears, he jumped slightly when he felt a hand running up and down his back as he sobbed into his pillow.
"JD son tell me what's wrong." Chris continued to run his hand up and down the broad back as the man cried, Chris felt helpless as he listened to the sounds of distress, he simply sat and offered what comfort he could. He wanted to kill Casey Wells because whatever the girl had done had broken the youngster's heart. "Shush it's gonna be alright."
JD could not believe how tired he felt, he rubbed at his eyes. Chris smiled JD looked like a child as he rubbed tiredly at his eyes, Chris patted the man's shoulder as he sat up, keeping his face blank now the other man was looking at him, he did not want JD to feel embarrassed by the sobbing he had just done.
"Come on JD I made hot chocolate for us." Chris left JD to follow him. "With marshmallows and chocolate sprinkles."
JD gave Chris a watery smile as the lean man stood up and headed for the door.
The two men settled at either end of the large couch which dominated the living room, sipping the hot chocolate he had made for the two of them Chris looked into the red rimmed eyes of his young team mate.
"JD do you want to tell me what happened?" Chris could see JD wanted to refuse, but then he seemed to deflate.
"Casey broke up with me." JD quietly told the other man.
"Did she say why?" Chris saw JD nod. "Do you want to tell me?"
"You'll laugh." JD looked down at his hands wrapped round the cup of hot chocolate he held on his lap. He flinched as Chris moved closer and a thin finger tapped him on the chin he looked up into the kind green eyes of his friend and boss.
"I wouldn't laugh JD." Chris promised. "Now tell me what happened."
"I thought she was happy to wait." JD looked so very sad to Chris. "But she said that she needed a man not a boy."
"Are you telling me that Casey broke up with you because you wanted to wait before you had sex?" Chris new the younger man was innocent but surely he was not a virgin. Chris shook his head as he realised that JD was especially considering the fact that the intelligent youngster had jumped a number of grades in school gone to college extremely young and he had been and still was incredibly shy when it came to the fairer sex.
"She did it in front of all her college friends; she laughed at me when they did." JD eyes filled with tears at the remembered humiliation. "I thought I was respecting her waiting for her to be ready."
"You where son, it's not your fault you weren't ready." Chris missed the mumble from JD. "What was that JD?"
"I've never had sex before." JD repeated his softly spoken words, he felt so embarrassed.
"I know JD and its nothing to be ashamed of." Chris again tapped the younger man's chin making him look up. "You will with the right person JD and it's not something you have to rush into."
"But Casey." JD began.
"No JD Casey had no right to make you feel bad because you wanted to make your first time special." Chris wanted to rip into the Wells girl. "Was she drunk?"
"No." JD could not believe that Chris was acting like his virginity was not a joke or a problem. "I don't like her college friends."
"Casey will learn that some men are creeps and realise that treating you so badly was a mistake." Chris handed the red eyed JD a tissue. "I'm proud that you have stuck to what you believed in JD and never let anyone tell you you're wrong."
Chris could see his last sentence made the other man look up surprised by his words, Chris gave the man a reassuring nod that yes he had said he was proud that JD was still a virgin.
"But I'm twenty four." JD knew it sounded like he was whining.
"What does that have to do with anything?" Chris wanted JD to explain himself.
"It's not normal." JD tried not to flinch under the intense scrutiny, he was startled as Chris suddenly laughed and then pulled him into a hug.
"JD you ain't normal." Chris squeezed the stocky youngster. "And that's what makes you so special, and the right girl will jump at the chance to show you how unique you are."
"But Casey?" JD squeezed Chris back.
"Casey is a child who obviously has no clue." Chris growled down JD ear. "You'll find the right woman it's only a matter of time."
"But." JD started to protest.
"There is no but JD." Chris again tightened his hold on the sad youngster.
"I love Casey." JD whispered.
"I know son." Chris felt JD's head rest on his shoulder. "But she doesn't deserve your love when she treats you the way she just has."
"Maybe I should wait and then try and talk to her." JD could not believe he was being comforted by the other man.
"If that's what you decide to do JD." Chris patted the man's back. "The choice is yours."
JD released Chris and he felt Chris let him go; he gave the man a watery smile and found nothing but compassion and concern in the tired green eyes.
"Maybe we should go to bed." JD yawned after the words left his mouth.
"You go JD I'm not really tired yet." Chris's head was pounding he wanted to take some more pain pills and give them a chance to work before he tried to sleep.
"Alright." JD stood up and then a horrible thought came to him. "You won't tell anyone will you?"
Chris head tilted as he looked up at the horrified JD.
"They won't judge you JD." Chris could understand how embarrassed and worried the other man was. "But I won't tell them if you don't want me to."
JD worried at his bottom lip.
"JD they're your family and they love you." Chris watched the shaggy head nod.
"If you have to then I suppose its ok." JD realised that his brothers would not tease about something like this.
"Go on to bed, and Happy New Year." Chris went to his bedroom; he took a pain pill and then returned to the couch pulling the thick heavy blanket around himself Chris waited for the pills to work.
Buck frowned as he drove passed the snow covered Ram, he exchanged a glance with Vin who shrugged, and the men entered the warm and welcoming ranch house. Buck approached the blanket covered lump, he smiled when he saw that JD's wallet and mobile where on the coffee table, and Buck grin grew as he prepared to launch himself onto the young man.
"Up an at em JD." Buck howled as he threw his full weight on the blanket covered lump, he bounced up and down laughing; he then began to pummel the lump.
"Buck." Vin shouted as he noticed JD coming out of his bedroom rubbing at his eyes sleepily.
Buck looked at Vin seeing the horrified expression on his face he stopped his enthusiastic bouncing.
"It's Chris." Vin rushed over to Buck, who scrambled off the couch.
The two men starred horrified at the trembling blanket covered mound, JD rushed into the room drawn by Vin's shout.
"Chris." Vin slowly reached out a hand and attempted to pull the blanket away from Chris.
"No Pa please don't hit me no more." The quietly whispered plea struck Buck, Vin and JD like a punch to the gut.
"Ahh Chris." Vin let go of the blanket.
"What do we do?" JD felt like weeping.
"Chris it's alright no ones gonna hurt you."Vin felt helpless, he looked to Buck whose face had gone pale and sick looking when he had heard the quiet plea.
The three men stood staring down at the man who had curled into a tight ball, Vin again tried to remove the blanket so they could see what state Chris was in. Chris pulled himself into a tighter ball he put his arms over his head trying to protect himself from the heavy blows.
Buck sat on the couch he hesitantly reached out a hand and stroked the shaking blond head, frowning he felt an out of place lump.
"I'm sorry Chris." Buck noted that both Vin and JD perched on the coffee table, Vin leant closer and began to stroke the bony hand clenched tightly against the trembling man's head.
"Easy Cowboy." Vin wanted to kill Chris's father and he glad that the man was dead otherwise he would have had to hunt him down and kill him for the abuse Chris had suffered.
The two men kept up there quietly spoken assurance that Chris was safe and their touch gentle, while JD could only sit and wait for Chris to snap out of whatever hell his mind was stuck in.
Slowly but surely and to the men's relief Chris seemed to exhaust himself and calm to the point he relaxed into sleep. Vin rubbed tiredly at his eyes, he felt JD get up and return a short time later with the oxygen, the younger man gently fitted the mask over the sleeping man's face.
"Did you hurt him Buck?" JD really hoped that Nathan would arrive soon.
"I don't know, I thought it was you."Buck's head hung in shame.
"It was a mistake Buck." Vin nudged the larger man.
"JD you want to tell us what happened with the RAM?" Buck frowned when JD shook his head. "I thought you where staying at Casey's friends."
"I don't wanna talk about it Buck." JD refused to look away even though he could feel himself turning red with embarrassment.
"JD what happened?" Buck was like a dog with a bone as he stubbornly persisted.
"Leave him alone Buck." The three men looked down at there injured leader, Chris rubbed at his eyes; he could not understand why he felt like he had been stomped on by an angry bull. Struggling he tried to sit up, he moaned and then seeing the concerned looks on the men's faces bit his lip so no other sounds would escape, he seriously needed to empty his bladder and coffee, and maybe some pills to ease the pain.
"You ok Chris?" Buck helped the pale shaking man to sit up.
"I'm fine." Chris tried to keep the pain off his face; he felt Buck's large hand rubbing his back.
"Maybe you should lie down again." JD saw Chris shake his head.
"Toilet and coffee." Chris mumbled, he stood unsteadily wrapping and arm round his waist he felt the world begin to tilt.
Buck hurriedly wrapped an arm round the swaying man's waist, he could hear Chris swallowing as he seemed to turn even paler than before.
"Chris maybe you should wait a minute wake up properly first." JD could not believe how stubborn the man was as he used Buck's support and headed towards the bathroom.
"I'm sorry Chris." Buck supported the man as he weaved towards the large family bathroom.
"What are you talking about Buck?" Chris could hear buzzing in his ears he wanted to empty his bladder and then hopefully one of the others would take pity on him by making coffee, while he tried not to moan in pain.
"I thought you were JD." Buck knew Chris must be feeling every bump and bruise on his body as the shivering blond allowed him to enter the bathroom with him.
"I can manage." Chris felt Buck release him, he did his business and then turned to find Buck watching him guilt written all over the man's handsome face. "What is it Buck?"
"I didn't mean to hurt you." Buck could read the confusion on Chris's face. "I jumped on you thinking you were JD and you reacted badly."
"Badly how Buck?" Chris sighed as he washed his hands.
"You thought I was your Pa." Buck saw Chris pause as he dried his hands.
"Don't worry about it Buck." Chris patted the mans shoulder as he passed.
"But." Buck turned and followed the coughing man as he headed to the kitchen.
"There's no buts Buck, although." Chris smirked to himself.
"What Chris?" Buck realised that Chris was going to begin preparations for the New Years Day roast dinner.
"I know now why I feel like I've been stomped on by a bull." Chris hid a grin as Buck blinked at him.
"A bull?" Buck queried.
"Yep a fat and heavy one." Chris snorted as Buck charged towards him growling, he braced himself, but the moustached man was gentle as he was pulled into a hug.
"I ain't fat." Buck growled down Chris's ear as he squeezed the thin man.
"Too many donuts." Chris sniggered returning the hug with one of his own.
"That's not nice." Buck whined.
Chris pulled back and poked Buck's flat stomach.
"Hey." Buck pouted.
"Anyway since you're in here you can help me prepare the roast." Chris stuck his head in the fridge he pulled out the large ham and then turned on the oven to preheat.
"So how did you get that lump on your head and what happened to the RAM?" Buck began to peel the potatoes.
"The RAM broke down when I went to pick up JD, I slipped on some ice. " Chris heard JD enter the kitchen.
"So do you want to tell me what happened with Casey?" Buck looked at the silent JD.
"We broke up." JD sat at the breakfast bar.
"Why?" Buck did not think it was JD who had broken off their relationship.
JD looked at Chris for help; Chris gave the man a calm smile and nod.
"I wanted to wait before we had sex and she decided she didn't." JD words rushed out of his mouth, he waited for Buck to make a joke at his expense, he nearly jumped as a large hand settled on his should he looked up into the friendly blue eyes.
"It's her loss JD." Buck squeezed the younger man's shoulder. "You weren't ready and she should have respected that."
JD realised that his claims in the past of experience with women had not fooled the consummate ladies man.
"I don't understand why she had to break up with me in front of all her friends from college." JD was still upset by the young woman's actions.
"I'm sorry she was mean to you JD." Buck sat opposite the younger man, the peeling could wait.
"I don't like her new friends from college." JD was glad that Buck was not making a big issue of his lack of sexual experience. "She's changed since she starting hanging around with them."
"Don't worry JD the right girl will come along." Chris knew that the younger man was devastated by Casey's actions.
"Woowee JD just think of all the females in FLETC that we can chase." Buck grinned at JD who could not help but smile back.
"Oh great Buck, JD doesn't need to become a hound like you." Chris laughed as Buck grinned back at him.
"I won't." JD solemnly promised.
"Since you're in the kitchen you can help." Chris handed JD the carrots to peel.
Buck looked over at the man sat next to him as he drove into the underground car park of the ATF building. He wondered what was going through the Team 7 leader's mind; he parked and waited for Chris to exit his car.
Chris spotted Buck's latest love interest, he nudged the other man.
"Go on Buck I'll see you later." Chris watched as Buck loped over to the smiling woman, Chris could see that the two maybe a while as they began to chat. Heading to the elevator Chris waited impatiently for the car to rise from the level below him, entering the car he noted Coffey and Hicks from team one, neither man looked directly at him, Chris mind turned over as he considered the two hulking men.
Coffey and Hicks kept silent and did not acknowledge the Team 7 leader.
Chris watched the number change as the car rose towards his floor; he reached over and pressed the emergency stop button.
"If either one of you knuckleheads go anywhere near Buck or any member of my team again." Chris paused as he glared at both men. "I'll make you sorry you where ever born."
Coffey and Hick's crowded together as the green eyes flashed insanely at them, the feral grin that Larabee was wearing made both men understand where the bad ass reputation Larabee had had come from. The smaller man did not seem at all fazed that they both bigger that him or that there was two of them. Chris took a step closer to the silent men.
"In fact I'll make your grandchildren sorry you where ever born." Chris snarled quietly he almost laughed as the two muscle bound men backed away from him.
"We never did anything." Coffey tried not to let his fear show in his voice, the man was insane he was sick and wounded but he was threatening them like it did not matter.
"Right like I enjoyed my torture session." Chris's insane grin grew to epic proportions. "You just be good boys and maybe just maybe I will leave you alone."
Hick's nodded his head, he wanted out of the car before Larabee completely lost it and attacked them, and he had always suspected that the man had a screw loose; he had to be slightly insane to be able to control the freaks that made up Team 7.
Coffey drew himself up to his considerable height and tried to glare back at the smaller man.
"Oh no." Hick's almost whimpered as he watched the two men.
"Don't threaten me." Coffey tried for an aggressive growl, which turned into a ladylike screech as the blonde moved faster than he thought him capable and found himself nearly singing soprano as the man grabbed him. "Please."
Chris grinned as he tightened his grip.
"I'm sorry." Coffey begged as he felt the man's hand tighten tears leaked from his eyes.
"You will be I promise." Chris snapped.
"Yes sir." Coffey felt like he was going to vomit.
"Glad we understand each other." Chris released his painful grip on the sweating Coffey he flicked the emergency button again, as they reached the next floor, Coffey and Hicks almost fell over each other in there haste to escape the confines of the elevator.
"Jesus he's crazy." Coffey held himself as he limped away; Hicks nodded thanking his lucky stars that Larabee had not turned on him.
Chris laughed to himself as the doors closed, reaching his floor he headed straight for his office and the ensuite where he scrubbed his hands after his escapes with the unfortunate Coffey, turning on his computer he began looking through his emails.
Buck looked at his watch Vin had left the office to go get lunch for the team, Buck wondered how Chris was doing the other man had closed his office door as he had been on a video call with the Director of FLETC since just after nine o'clock and it was nearly twelve now. Buck decided to see if Chris was finished he listened at the door he could not hear any talking, without knocking he opened the office door. Chris was sat at his desk reading from his computer, he looked up and smiled at Buck.
"You ready for lunch?" Buck could hear Vin telling JD to grab some plates, Buck returned Chris's smile as the other members of the team pilled into Chris's office.
Chris glared at the rowdy bunch who occupied his office.
"So what the name of the FLETC Director?" Vin handed Chris a sandwich and coffee.
"Charles Anderson." Chris half heartedly bit into the sandwich he had been given. "I have an initial outline of the some of the courses you could be teaching."
"Do we not have any say in imparting our impressive knowledge?" Ezra merely raised an eyebrow at the glare being directed at him.
"No." Chris smirked at the disgruntled looking undercover agent.
"Chris?" Buck voice was wheedling.
"Humph like I wouldn't get any peace if I just told you what you had to do." Chris grinned at the pleased looking Standish. "We essentially discussed the courses I thought you maybe interested in."
The men listened intently as Chris outlined the courses each member of the team could be taking, each man could tell that Chris had thought a lot about what their needs where and how the FLETC experience could benefit them as individuals and as a team. He then gave the men a run down off the courses he thought they may like to teach, playing to each man's strengths, he also informed them that they would also be taking part in various teaching scenarios as criminals such as bank robbers hostage takers to name but a few.
Chris shook his head as his team smiled when they heard his last statement he could only imagine what mischief they would get up to playing the bad element.
"Nothing been set in stone yet so if you have any suggestions let me know." Chris ignored Vin nudging JD with the biggest shit eating grin on his face.
"When are we going Brother?" Josiah turned everyone's attention back onto Chris with that question.
"We travel on Sunday." Chris held his hand up to forestall any questions. "We're going in the Director's jet."
"Oh great special treatment." Vin sniggered at JD's words.
"Alright guys back to work." Chris waited for the men to get up to leave before calling out to his second in command. "Buck you're coming to the team leader meeting at three."
"Sure Big Dog." Buck wondered if his next words would go down well with the pale man. "Maybe you should take a break before the meeting, maybe lie down for half an hour."
Nathan stopped by the door; he had heard Bucks suggestion and was fully prepared to add his two cents into the mix.
"Alright I will." Chris was tired and he knew that he needed to be alert for the meeting.
Buck and Nathan exchanged a surprise look as Chris made himself comfortable on the leather couch.
"Buck come wake me if I'm not already up at 14.30" Chris sighed as he forced himself to try and relax.
"Alright." Buck went into the cupboard pulling out the blanket he knew Chris kept there for when he worked late and was too tired to go back to the ranch, he covered the shivering man.
Buck was engrossed in the report he was reading, he lifted his head up and noticed that Josiah was missing, he looked at his watch, noting that it was coming up to the time to go wake Chris, he headed to the office, he stopped at the door.
"What's going on Josiah?" Buck asked the heavy set profiler who was sat in a chair close to the sleeping Larabee.
"Chris was restless." Josiah nodded towards the sleeping man who had curled up on the couch under the blanket just the top of his blond head showing. "So I decided to read my report to him."
"It worked then?" Buck had always found Josiah's voice to be calming when the man read out aloud.
"Yes he's hardly moved a muscle." Josiah quietly spoke; both men paused as Chris rolled onto his back, his congested breathing sounding increasingly louder due to his new sleeping position.
"He sounds awful." JD whispered as he entered the office. "Should you just let him sleep?"
"Nope he'll blow a gasket if he misses the team leader meeting." Buck would love to be able to leave the sleeping man to get some much needed rest.
"Hopefully the meeting won't last that long." Josiah saw Buck nod at his words. "We'll more than likely all be at the ranch tonight, I know Vin plans to be there and Nathan as Raine's working."
"Good." Buck looked at his watch he knew that Chris wanted to wake up completely for the monthly meeting. "Chris time to wake up."
Chris opened his eyes he hardly felt rested after his short sleep, he found Buck, Josiah and JD all smiling down at him, sitting up he smothered a yawn and then a cough, he gave a grateful nod to Josiah as the older man handed him a glass full of water.
"Don't you men have work to do?" Chris gave a half hearted glare at the three members of his team.
"Nope was too busy watching you doing an impression of sleeping beauty." Buck smiled at the glare now directed his way.
Chris stood up he headed to the bathroom off his office, he splashed water on his face, feeling more awake and ready to face the monotony of the monthly meeting.
"Buck you ready?" Chris strode towards the bank of elevators, barely pausing long enough for his close friend to catch up, pressing the button he impatiently waited for the car to arrive.
Chris pushed open the conference room door, he felt everyone's eyes immediately turn to him, he could feel Buck stood at his shoulder giving his silent support. Suddenly he was surrounded by people welcoming him back, Buck felt Chris struggle not to flinch as the enthusiastic team leader from team six slapped him heartily on the back.
Bob Spikes sat frozen in his chair, he had been told by Coffey and Hicks that Larabee was in the building but he had not expected the still clearly sick man to turn up at the meeting, he tried not to let his unease show. He struggled not to retreat in fear as the laser like green eyes seemed to bore a hole in his very being.
"Alright everyone lets get this meeting underway." AD Orrin Travis waited for the two members of Team 7 to take their seats.
Chris fidgeted in his seat the meeting was finally nearly drawing to a close, he was struggling not to cough and finding it hard to concentrate on what was being discussed, he was glad that Buck was here as anything he missed the moustached man could fill him in on later.
Buck kicked Chris under the table as the pale blond restlessly adjusted his seating position, he could see that the sick man was struggling to stay focus as the meeting dragged on, Chris smothered a jaw cracking yawn, but the ill man was unable to stifle the next harsh cough.
Chris covered his mouth as he coughed repeatedly and harshly, he ignored the fact that the meeting had ground to a halt as he suffered through the bout of coughing. He hated the fact that they where all staring at him as he struggled to breath, he felt Buck's hand on his back, silently offering his unwavering support.
Buck could feel every cough rattling the thin shoulders under his hand, he could see they had drawn every eye in the room, the silence making Chris's struggle for breath sound even worse than it was. Finally after what seemed like an age Chris stopped coughing and Buck felt him gasping for breath.
"You ok Chris?" Orrin was seriously reconsidering his decision to allow the injured man to return to work even if it was on restrictive duty.
"I'm fine." Chris raised his head and gave the worried looking man a look that challenged him to argue with his statement. "Nothing to worry about Judge."
"If you're sure." Travis saw determination flare in the weary green eyes at his quietly spoken question.
"I'm good." Chris stubbornly declared, Buck hid a grin at Chris's words the man could be dying and he would still deny there was a problem.
"Alright a final a matter is that Team 7 will be going to FLETC." AD Travis could see the interest on the other team leaders faces at his declaration. "They will be teaching some courses and undertaking some training."
Chris starred hard at Spikes who had hardly said two words throughout the whole meeting, he was unsurprised when the man did not meeting his eyes. He had expected the larger man to make some comment or observation when Travis had informed the gathered leaders of the plan for the team to spend time at FLETC.
Bob Spikes could feel the green eyes looking at him he refused to be drawn into a starring match with the Team 7 leader. He had been shocked by the tale Coffey had told him about Larabee threatening the two men, he knew sick man was dangerous and at the moment he wanted nothing more than to just get on with his life and not be involved with anything that involved Larabee or that mad woman Ella.
Travis noted that Chris seemed to almost sneer at the subdued looking Spikes, he called an end to the meeting and indicated to the pale blond for him to stay, and he saw that Wilmington looked to be staying as well.
Chris responded to the farewells and best wishes as well as congratulations from the other team leaders and senior members of the Denver ATF, he watched as Bob Spikes scuttled out the room without acknowledging him, he then found himself and Buck alone with the stern looking judge.
"Are you sure you're well enough to go to FLETC?" Travis felt it his duty to ask the sick looking man.