Shave and a Haircut M7 ATF AU
"I've gotta do what?!"
The words echoed in two different accents as Vin Tanner and Buck Wilmington both stared at leader Chris Larabee in shock and horror.
Chris knew this wasn't going over well, and he hated to have to put his foot down, but he'd been given no choice in the matter either.
"Buck, you have to shave and Vin, you have to get a haircut." One hand was raised when the two men started in again at a high decibel.
"Look, I didn't decide this on my own. It's over my head this time. All of us except for Josiah and Nathan have to go undercover on this case, and we're going to be dealing with people who may have contacts in law enforcement. Travis thinks some of us will be too distinctive the way we are, so we need to change up our looks as much as possible. I'm usually clean shaven, so I'm letting my beard grow out. Ezra's going to use colored contacts and get hair extensions. Buck, you have to shave off the mustache. It just says 'Buck Wilmington, ATF agent'. Vin, everybody knows your long hair, so you need to get it cut. You can both grow them back out after the case, but for now, this is the way it's got to be. I'm sorry. JD's the only one who doesn't really have to change much."
The two handsome agents continued protesting and wheedling for a while longer, but since Chris kept shooting them down, they finally shut up. That didn't stop both from sitting at their desks doing what could only be called 'sulking' for the rest of the afternoon however. Every attempt from the others to joke with the pair or try to point out a good side was met with a version of a blue stare.
Ezra tried mentioning that he frequently had to disguise his appearance.
"Yeah, but you're our 'designated' undercover agent, Ez. And you like the challenge. Vin and I like our looks just the way they are." Wilmington brushed his fingers fondly over his trademark 'stash. "The ladies love ol' Buck's facial hair."
JD grimaced. "Not all of them, Buck. Remember that temp receptionist downstairs? She told you she didn't date men with mustaches."
"She just said 'cause it tickled when she kissed 'em. Didn't say that she didn't think they were attractive." responded the taller brunet.
Josiah was curious. Buck had sported the luxuriant lip accessory ever since Sanchez had known him.
"How long has it been since you were clean-shaven Buck?"
The ladies' man moved his hand to his chin as he leaned back in his chair to think. The team had been together almost four years now, and he'd had the mustache when he and Chris were in SWAT together before that…
"Well, I reckon it's been ten years at least. Didn't have it when I first joined the SEALs, so Chris' seen me both ways. But he's about the only one I still know that has."
Nathan decided to try a new direction. "So how did ya do with the women when ya were in the Navy?"
A wide grin of reminiscence curved up the attractive mouth under the distinctive facial hair.
"Mighty fine, Nathan! Mighty fine! I remember there was this set of twins… long, blond hair flowin' down their backs, smelled like jasmine. I tell ya, they looked even better walkin' away from a man than they did toward him, if ya know what I mean!" The tall form leaned back even further and laced his hands behind his head as he beamed at the memory.
Sanchez looked at Jackson and gave him a discreet thumb's up for reminding the explosives tech that he'd been attractive to the ladies even without the prized mustache.
The conversation had intrigued Standish, who turned in his chair so that he was facing Tanner, whose desk was behind him.
"How about you Mr. Tanner? How long since you had short hair?"
Vin leaned back in his chair to think for a minute too.
"Guess it's been about as long as Buck. Had to have it short when I was in the Rangers, but I let it grow once I got out. Just didn't bother when I was bounty huntin'. Plus it was warm in the winter when I had to be outside to stake out perps or bail jumpers. Guess I should'a when Eli Joe put that bounty on my own head, but was kinda used to my look by then and it felt like lettin' him win if I changed. Always appreciated the fact that Chris managed to talk the Judge and higher-ups into lettin' me keep it long after I joined the team. I know he had to use that level 10 glare and some threats to let me go this long without havin' to get it cut."
The leader under discussion had heard the conversation and was now standing in his doorway listening. One broad shoulder leaned on the frame and the long ebony-garbed legs were hip-shot as the blond made eye contact with the sniper and dipped his head just a fraction to acknowledge the comments. It had taken some effort, but fortunately Vin's extraordinary talent with a rifle had made it an argument that Larabee always managed to win.
JD smiled at the sandy-haired figure. "At least this isn't permanent, Vin. Like Chris said, you and Buck can both grow your hair back out once this case is over."
Josiah gave a grin as well. "And who knows, you might both find out that the ladies like your new looks just as well as they did the old."
Nathan let out a rich chuckle. "Hey, yeah. Give the women in the buildin' something different to drool over! Who knows, one or both of ya might decide to keep it that way for a while…"
Tanner and Wilmington got speculative looks on their faces while the rest laughed at the mental images. It was hard to picture a short-haired Vin and bare-faced Buck.
Chris left his doorway and strolled further into the bullpen.
"Either way, it has to be done for now boys. We've got a week to make the changes happen and Travis has given us the time off since he apparently realizes that it'll be traumatic for poor Vin and Buck." A teasing smile curved the sculpted lips as the hazel gaze flicked to the two men. "Why don't we all meet at the ranch next Sunday? I'll grill some steaks and we'll donate to Ez's suit fund at poker. Then here on Monday to finalize the plans, and out to play our parts on Tuesday."
"Not that you gentlemen ever bet enough to support my tie fund, much less allow me to buy a suit, but I'm in. I shall arrive in my new guise so that you may all inspect it as we do Mr. Tanner, Mr. Wilmington, and Mr. Larabee's."
Buck nodded. "Alright. But the first one that laughs gets a punch in the nose!"
Vin dipped his head in assent. "Yeah. What Bucklin said!" A grin did curve the attractive lips however.
Nathan gave a wide smile. "Ya know Josiah and I'll be there. Somebody's gotta take pictures of this!"
JD's bangs flew as he nodded agreement. "Heck, yeah! This is gonna be like something for the record books."
Larabee gave a pleased nod. "Alright. It's a plan. You boys shut down and we'll head to the Saloon to have a wake for Buck's mustache and Vin's hair." White teeth gleamed in amusement and the normally icy green gaze sparkled with mischief.
Tanner held up three fingers to give his best friend a subtle "read between the lines" flip off and Wilmington stuck out his tongue behind the blond's back.
"I saw that Buck. Don't make me shoot you before you can even shave."
Laughing the rest started saving their computer work even as the sniper and explosives expert grumbled that it still wasn't fair that they had to change their looks the most.
Ten days later at the Federal Building-
The other six members of Team Seven leaned on their hoods in the parking garage as they waited for Ezra to arrive. They'd all agreed the day before to enter the Federal Building together so that the other occupants wouldn't have to go into shock four separate times. There had been lots of ribbing and joking at the cookout at Larabee's the previous day, but all had finally admitted that while a bit disconcerting, the new looks were actually quite attractive. Chris sometimes skipped shaving when he was off for a few days, so his look wasn't totally new to the team, but would be to the building personnel. All six were used to Ezra in different personas, so once again it would be the people in the office who were surprised since the undercover agent didn't normally come in when he was using an alias. Buck and Vin did indeed look much different even to the team, but they'd had the day before to get used to the appearances, so were comfortable with them now. The building occupants however were another story.
Purring in, the Jag slid smoothly into a spot down from Chris' Ram. The now brown-eyed and longer-haired Standish climbed out and joined his fellow teammates. To complete the new identity, the normally expensively dressed figure wore fitted jeans, comfortable brown cowboy boots, and one of Tanner's blue tee shirts. The distinctive southern accent was also missing, replaced with a nondescript way of speaking that gave no indication of any specific locality.
The other six rose to their full height and then unconsciously formed into a loose group as they moved to the building entrance. Stepping inside, they resembled a pride of big cats and appeared just as dangerous. And apparently just as intriguing if the immediate results of their entry was any indication.
As expected, almost the whole area suddenly froze in shock and awe. Josiah wondered absently if a bomb explosion would have moved the various people from their stupefied spots. He and Nathan were their normal selves, so they simply garnered the attention that they always did because of their size and impressive appearance.
JD was going undercover with Buck and the others, but looked so little like an agent that he hadn't had to change much. Mostly he'd just worked with Ezra to lose the way of speaking that identified him as an easterner. Baggy denim and a loose, brightly-colored tee shirt made him look more like a teenager than an ATF agent. Any younger girls that he met were going to be impressed however, since the kid was undeniably appealing.
It was the other four that were really causing the surrounding agents and support staff to stare in wonder and disbelief.
Ezra's look had people gaping in astonishment since most had never seen the handsome agent in anything except one of his thousand dollar suits and Italian loafers. The expensive haberdashery also tended to somewhat conceal the exceptionally well-muscled figure underneath. Now however, the sky hued knit shirt clung attractively to the firm torso, displaying a toned chest and firm bare lower arms. The fitted dark blue jeans showed off the impressive legs and trim waist, emphasizing the graceful movements honed by years of martial arts. While it was a bit disappointing not to see the bright emerald gaze, the brown contacts still allowed the sparkling intellect and a hint of amusement to show through. The color was about the only shade that would cover the green effectively, but was still quite attractive. And while he'd added hair extensions to lengthen his locks and they were now a somewhat darker shade than the usual chestnut he normally sported, he hadn't gone for a really long look. The casually disheveled style was different enough in itself to look totally opposite to the usually impeccably groomed, extremely special, Agent Standish. He'd even covered his gold tooth with a white cap, so now matching teeth gleamed in a wide smile as he bowed lightly to the amazed and admiring audience. A couple of feminine sighs of appreciation sounded loud in the prevailing silence.
Chris was one of those men who looked great no matter whether they were clean-shaven, had a full beard, or anything in between, so the addition of the naturally darker facial hair was no deterrent to his impressive appearance. If anything, the beard seemed to enhance the dangerous aura that always surrounded the lean blond. Tight ebony jeans caressed the long legs and showed off the SAC's 'assets' and a fitted gray tee shirt displayed rippling muscles to perfection, the addition of black cowboy boots and a matching belt adding to the feline impression. The leader's fluid motions and piercing green gaze often reminded people of a panther on the prowl. That didn't stop the golden hair, broad shoulders, and slim rider's hips from being amazingly attractive to most females who saw him. And the sparkle of amusement in the hazel eyes and hint of a smile that currently graced the gorgeous face were almost more than a few of the ladies in his immediate range could handle. The stillness was broken by hands fanning flushed faces in the universal symbol for 'hot'.
Buck was cautiously watching the women's reactions as their eyes moved to take him in. Dark blue jeans hugged the long legs and slim hips, while chocolate brown western boots covered his feet. A sapphire tee shirt clung to the toned pecs and abs and strained over the broad back and shoulders. The dark hair was casually combed, one lock falling on the tanned forehead in a way that made a couple of ladies watching want to run their fingers through it. The chiseled lips were now even more in evidence with the absence of the thick mustache that usually graced the upper one. The effect was actually even more sexy once the surrounding females got over the shock of seeing Wilmington clean-shaven. When two of the ones nearest him instinctively went 'ooohh' as they took the look in, his mouth curved in a smirk of success. Apparently his 'animal magnetism' was more than intact! Cobalt eyes gleaming, he winked at the ones who had sighed, causing them to blow him kisses.
Vin's slender form was displayed quite effectively by the stonewashed jeans and brown motorcycle boots he had on. A bright blue tee shirt encased the well-muscled torso, showing off washboard abs and shoulders that were much more muscled than was often in evidence. The sky-hued gaze was sparking with amusement at the reactions that surrounded the team, and white teeth gleamed in his trademark wide smile as several ladies looked him over. Instead of the wavy locks that normally brushed his shoulders, a very closely trimmed style now showed off the tanned neck and brought the chiseled cheekbones and forehead into prominence. Coos of approval escaped the women who were openly inspecting the handsome figure. Thumbs up signs signaled their definite approval.
Once the crowd had taken the impressive sight in and the shock wore off, the silence turned to excited chattering. The men started toward the elevators, accepting the admiring comments and answering a few questions. Buck happily accepted the phone numbers that were handed to him, and Vin bobbed his eyebrows at a woman who was mouthing 'call me'. Ezra stopped to chat a moment with a female DEA agent that was licking her lips as she looked him up and down, laughing when she said his new hairstyle made her want to play with it. Chris simply smiled in acknowledgment of the "Now that's Magnificent!" comments that followed him. The other three grinned as well at the various compliments that eddied around them as they strode with the rest. As the elevator doors closed behind them to someone saying they deserved their informal name, relieved laughter erupted in the enclosed space. Wilmington and Tanner shared a high five to the amusement of the others. Maybe a shave and a haircut wasn't such a bad thing!