Disclaimer: This story is the product of different minds coming together to have some fun. We have ownership over any new characters but the rest belongs to others (such a shame!).
Authors' Note: This is a fun piece so enjoy!!
"Good Lord, what is that atrocity you are wearing?" Buck looked down and grabbed hold of the black and silver shiny disco jacket he was wearing, "What this?"
"See, Ez agrees, it's horrible." JD stated as he walked out of his office, he'd been trying to sneak into Buck's room to throw it out but Buck caught him out every time. "Now you know why I refuse to go out with you when you insist on wearing that thing."
"You two just don't have any taste." Buck smiled pulling the collar up, "This here is my lucky jacket."
"How could such a frightfully appalling, ostentatious looking garment possibly be considered lucky?" Ezra was still staring at Buck.
"Well, just ask JD if I came home last night," Buckís grin grew even larger while JD could only just roll his eyes and shake his head with Ezra chuckling at the sight.
Vinís head appeared around the corner, "Hey you three, Chris wants you in the conference room now," He had been sent looking for the three missing members of the team. When he noticed Buck he moved into the room to get a better look, "What the hell is that? You look like a goddamn pimp. Take that jacket off, or someone is bound to arrest you."
JD looked over at Buck and almost doubled up laughing. Buck scowled as he took the jacket off and placed it inside the wardrobe in his office.
"Okay, now that everyone's here, how are you two going with the Venturri case?" About three weeks ago Chris had sent Ezra and Vin in to find out who Venturri was buying his weapons from. Ezra was undercover as a seller with Vin as his bodyguard. They were supposedly trying to offer Venturri a better deal than he was currently getting, while snooping around looking for any documentation that would give them a link to who the actual seller was. So far they had come up with nothing.
"Mr Larabee, it takes time to establish trust with people like Mr Venturri, especially since we are attempting to have him turn his back on somebody he already trusts," Ezra was starting to get exasperated, didn't this man realise that it took time for an operation to come together, "Mr Venturri has invited me to join him for dinner at his home tonight, perhaps I will get a chance to look around then."
"Will Vin be going with you?" Josiah asked. He tended to be the father figure of the group trying to keep them all safe. His overprotectiveness was brought to the front whenever one of them went undercover.
"Mr Tanner will be accompanying me when we first arrive, however he will have to leave so I can demonstrate my trust."
"Maybe, I should send some more people in," Chris was getting worried himself. He didn't like the sound of Ezra being alone in this guyís house without any backup, "Is there an opening?"
Ezra couldnít understand why they were fussing. "I don't think that is necessary, I am quite capable ........"
"Yeah, Chris," Vin interrupted. "Venturri had to take care of a couple of his bodyguards for speaking out of turn."
"I fully understand his sentiments," Ezra grumbled.
Vin ignored him, "Actually he's always swapping staff around, he doesn't like anyone to stay on for too long."
"Mr Tanner is correct, the man insists on hiring thugs that are only skilled at drinking and starting brawls."
"He figures the dumber they are the less they're likely to find anything out, " Vin smiled "Ezra, on the other hand, hires only the most accomplished bodyguards."
"That's debateable." Vin was enjoying this assignment way too much. "Mr Larabee, as I was saying, I am quite capable of handling this myself," Ezra noticed that Chris wasn't looking too convinced and decided to try a different tact. "At least allow me to have dinner with him tonight and see what I can find out, then perhaps we can discuss the possibility of bringing in someone else."
"Alright Ezra, I'll think about it," Chris gave a signal that the meeting was over and everyone started heading towards the door. "Buck, can I see you for a second?"
* * * * * * *
That evening Ezra and Vin were shown into the sunroom where Mr Venturri was waiting. Standing behind the gunrunner two new bodyguards drew both their attentions. Ezra hid any reaction he might have had, but Vin wasn't quite as quick.
"What's wrong with your guy?" asked Venturri as he noticed Vinís amused expression.
Ezra looked over at Vin and nodded for him to answer, "Sorry, I didn't know you were looking at hiring the Village People."
"What's that s'posed to mean?" one of the bodyguards growled.
"Nothin', unless you want it to mean something," Vin was now glaring at back at the two men.
"That's enough," Venturri ordered, he didnít like insubordination in employees, "Why don't we go to the dining room and you can tell me your proposal. These two can show your bodyguard out." Ezra acknowledged his agreement. He also gave Vin a last look to assure that he would be safe.
Following the two bodyguards towards the entrace, Vin couldnít help examining their clothing closer. He almost hadnít recognised his leader as Chris was dressed in tight black leather pants and a matching vest with nothing on underneath except for a gold medallion. Even Buck had excelled his normal taste by wearing faded blue jeans under knees high black biker boots with a too small black and red muscle t-shirt. A black leather strip around his neck finished the look.
"Are you listening to me?" Chrisí glare became dangerous but Vin was unable to stop his uncontrollable laughter.
"Yeah, I'm listenin', just give me a minute."
"It ain't that funny," Buck was also getting irritated by now. Vin put his arms up in a gesture of surrender and headed for the door still laughing.
"We don't look that bad, do we Buck?" Chris didnít know whether to be angry or embarrassed.
"Nah, they're just jealous."
* * * * * * *
The meal went fine, however Ezra found he was never able to get away to check any of the rooms without arousing suspicion. He couldnít help but smile as he thought of the spectacle he had witnessed. Maybe Chris and Buck had the right idea, Venturri had his staff quarters located directly behind the main house. This enable the servants to be at his beck and call but this would also allow Chris and Buck to wander around the estate quite freely. What a shame Venturri hadnít disposed of those bodyguards sooner, but then again, he wouldn't have been caught dead in those ridiculous clothes.
As Vin was driving Ezra home later that night he filled him in on what Chris had told him. "They're going to see if they can search the house, if they find anything they'll give a signal to JD by computer. Then you arrange a meeting with Venturri and they slip either you or me the info. That way we can send a team to get the seller and backup to get Venturri without ever having to blow anyone's cover."
"Wonderful, Mr Tanner, but how are we going to procure the information? It seems to me Mr Venturri would look on us with suspicion if we decided to start acquainting ourselves with his help."
"Do what we do best, create a diversion," Vin grinned, "They are a couple of meatheads remember."
"Quite," Ezra intoned with a smile, "You don't suppose those are their own clothes do you?"
* * * * * * *
Back at the office Vin and Ezra let everyone know that Buck and Chris were fine and would be staying at Venturri's place.
JD was curious to know what they were wearing as they had snuck off to Chris' place with a armful of bags and hadnít returned to the office. "It couldn't be worse than Buck's taste already, could it?"
Vin smiled and couldnít resist the temptation, "Do you remember the Village People?"
Without divulging any more information Vin walked away leaving JD with a confused look on his face.
* * * * * * *
"Buck, you're supposed to be watching the door."
"There ain't no-one around, besides it's quicker this way." Chris thought they'd have found the information by now. Ezra was right undercover work did take time.
Damn Ezra and Vin, anyone else on his team would have shut up and quit laughing with just one glare. But not those two, no they came out with snide remarks everytime a meeting was held. They had even taken to humming Macho Man when Venturri wasn't around. If they kept this up he wouldnít be able to stop Buck from shooting one of them, hell....he might even help just for the satisfaction.
"I've found something," Buck informed Chris, waving a document in his hand. Finally they had found confirmation of the original seller. Buck had a stock list, with an address printed across the top. After carefully making their way back to their quarters they signalled JD over the laptop.
"I hope Ezra can secure a meeting soon, I'm sick of this assignment and of those two laughing at us," Chris mused.
"Yeah, I can't wait until we can create a diversion and kick Vin's ass." Chris smiled at Buckís comment, they hadn't told Vin what kind of diversion was going to be used.
At the meeting Chris and Buck glared at Ezra and Vin. "I don't think your new hired help approve of us," Ezra observed to Venturri.
"Yeah well, you think your so great, but you've only got one bodyguard," Chris nodded towards Vin. "He doesnít look like he could handle a featherweight".
"When you employ the best, no-one else is required," Ezra looked at Chris with disdain.
When Buck stepped forward to grab hold of Ezra's jacket, Vin moved quickly to intercede but was stopped when Chris grabbed him from behind throwing him off balance. Vin reacted by throwing his head back slamming Chris in the mouth with enough force to cause Chris to stumble and release him. Acting on sheer impulse Vin then pounced on Buck with his swinging fist connecting with Buck's jaw.
Venturri and Ezra stood off to the side watching the fight. Although Ezra made a show of smiling proudly as his bodyguard was obviously holding his own, he was actually getting a little worried. Some of those punches weren't looking too staged and although he knew it would be their own fault, Chris and Buck were getting a fairly good beating. He knew hindsight was a great thing, if only Chris and Buck had warned us of what they were planning, Vin wouldn't have reacted so blindly. They all knew he didn't like being grabbed, especially from behind. So what did Mr Larabee expect.......?
The action suddenly came to a halt when a gunshot sounded Ezra hadnít noticed that Venturri had pulled a gun until he had already shot Chris in the leg. Chris slid to the ground while everyone else stared shocked at Venturri, "Get back to your quarters and pack, your both fired. Can't even win a fight two against one, what good are you?"
Buck helped Chris to stand up, that wasn't supposed to happen. "Well it seems you have some more employment problems, so I suggest we postpone this meeting to another time," Ezra decided to get himself and Vin the hell out of there, at least before Chris and Buck left, a head start would definitely be a good idea.
Venturri turned to Chris and Buck, "Get your stuff, I want you off my property within the half hour." Chris leaned heavily against Buck as they head for their quarters.
"Wow, I've never been fired before," Buck stated slightly dazed.
"I get shot in the leg and you're worried about being fired?" Chris was holding his leg tightly to stop the bleeding.
"Sorry pard, are you okay?" Buck changed his grip on Chris to support more of his weight as he limped along.
"No, let's just get outta here."
On the way to the hospital Buck noticed Chris grinning at him, "What?"
"I thought we were supposed to kick his ass?" Sitting in the passenger seat of the car he could now see the bruises that were starting to appear on Buckís face.
"Very funny, you know your face doesn't look any better, how did he manage to get passed us without a scratch?"
They both knew the answer to that question but Chris still couldnít believe it. "Don't know, but my excuse is that I was shot in the leg."
"Yeah right! Like anyoneís gonna believe Vin hit you after you were wounded." Buckís laughter only made Chris sink further into the upholstery and shut his eyes.
"One thingís for sure Buck, everything comes around".
* * * * * * *
The 2 hour hospital visit resulted in Chris' leg being diagnosed as just a flesh wound. The doctorís warning to stay off it was just the excuse he needed to give Buck and him a few days off to recover. After the hospital staff had also tended to both Chris and Buck's other bruises, both men were soon on their way home.
"Buck just called to say that they are fine." Nathan informed the worried agents. "He had to take Chris to the hospital but says it was just a flesh wound. They are going out to Chrisí ranch and he wants us to meet them there." The agents could relax now they knew what was happening. As Nathan, Josiah and JD made their way over to the elevators Vin and Ezra walked into the office.
"What are you two doing here, weren't you at the hospital with Chris?" Josiah asks.
"Well, Mr Tanner and I thought it prudent to come into the office and start moving on the information we have obtained," Ezra says reaching into his jacket pocket and retrieving the crumpled up document. "Are the other teams ready?"
"Yeah, just waiting on your call. Prudent?" Nathan stared at the two men trying to figure out what Ezra meant, "One of you didn't shoot him did you?"
"Not exactly. Mr Tanner and I just feel it would safer to be rounding up these villains than spending the afternoon with Mr Larabee, or Mr Wilmington for that matter." Ezra made his way toward a phone to put the next stage in action.
"Well, I'm gonna go see how they are," JD stated as he headed for the elevator once again with Nathan and Josiah right behind him.
With the agents gone Vin concentrated again on their mission "Okay Ez, lets get these guys."
* * * * * * *
Chris' vehicle hadn't been moved from the garage since they went undercover. Buck had been driving him to work and home again as Chris still had a cane and limped quite heavily. The bruises that both Buck and Chris shared were starting to fade and JD had given up asking them where they had got them from.
JD thought it wasn't fair. He was just about jumping up the walls trying to figure out what had happened but no-one would tell him anything. Vin and Ezra were just as tight lipped, but his curiosity was kept alive as occasionally he would hear them singing Macho Man when passing by either Chris or Buck which would result in a death glare.
* * * * * * *
As it was Friday afternoon they decided to go get a drink at the "Saloon". Chris came out of his office, "Wait a minute, I have an assignment." Everyone turned to look at him, "The DEA have secured crates of merchandise being shipped over. Along with the drugs there were a couple of crates of illegal tobacco."
"What do they want with us?" Josiah asked "It just sounds like clean up."
"It is, unfortunately a crate of tobacco fell overboard in the scuffle. Itís now sitting on the bottom of the channel that the sewerage empties out into. As soon as I heard, I volunteered my team to help, the DEA were happy to hand it over." Nathan, Josiah and JD just look at Chris incredulously, while Buckís crazy grin makes Vin start shuffling nervously. "Vin, seeing as your the best diver I'm sending you down to retrieve the crate, you leave now."
Buck is now laughing. "Shut up Buck, this ain't funny," Vin is glaring at both Chris and Buck.
"Mr Tanner, it seems like justice to me," Ezra is also grinning. "You can wipe that smile off your face, Ezra. You're going with Vin, he'll need some help hauling the crate onto the dock."
"What? Mr Larabee I must object, I had no involvement at all in your and Mr Wilmington's injuries."
Buck is still laughing, "Maybe not pard, but I never saw you trying to help. In fact you looked down right amused."
"Besides," Chris added, "maybe you two can come up with another song to be singing around the office from now on."
"What about us?" JD asked and instead of Buck, Josiah was the one to pass on the punishment by hitting JD on the side of the head. "The rest of us are going to the 'Saloon' for our Friday drinks and then heading home." Everyone grinned and headed for the door once more.
"Well, Mr Tanner I suppose I should see if we can acquire one of the agency's vehicles so we can head out this evening." Ezra couldnít keep the weariness out of his voice at the thought of doing menial labour.
"What for, Ez?" Vin said with a wink, "I know where Chris keeps the spare keys to his truck."
Ezra smiled viciously, maybe this wouldnít be so bad after all, "Excellent, less paperwork."
Vin fetched the keys from Chris' office and waited for Ezra seeing him come out of Buckís office.
"What's that for?" he questioned.
"I thought Mr Larabee would appreciate us using a drop cloth." Vin chuckled as Ezra draped Buck's lucky jacket over his arm and followed him out the door.
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