Finding Me, Too
Disclaimer: They are not mine.
Author's Note: Companion piece to Finding Me.
The room was bare except for the table and the three chairs that the occupants were using. Vin wondered why they had to use the same interrogation room that was usually reserved for suspects. He shifted uncomfortably in his chair as the interview continued.
"Agent Tanner, please tell us again what happened."
"For the millionth time...."
"Don't get smart."
Vin took a deep breath, then another. "Agent Standish had set up a buy with Roger Parker. I was in the rafters covering the buy."
"How long had you been in position at that point?"
"About four hours. We had the advantage of setting the place for the buy so I could get in position early."
"And you weren't tired?"
"Not as tired as I am of you."
"Agent Tanner!" he was warned.
"Senior Agent Cunningham. I have been a sharpshooter for six years; four in the army and two with the ATF. I know how to do my job. I was not tired."
"So what happened?"
"Parker arrived with three other men, muscle really. There to move the merchandise."
"Just three men."
"In the building, Buck... Agent Wilmington and Agent Jackson were in charge of scouting outside for any other men. Agent Dunne and Agent Sanchez were in charge of the electronic surveillance."
"And Agent Standish?"
"He was already in place, with Senior Agent Larabee acting as his bodyguard."
"A senior agent in a subservient role?"
"Somebody had to do it," Chris said with a shrug. This jerk wouldn't understand the concept of wanting to look after his men personally.
"What happened next?"
"Everything was going as planned. Agents Standish and Larabee checked out the guns and Agent Standish negotiated the price. He was just about to call in the troops when everything went bad."
"This is when Mr Walker came walking into the building?"
"How did he get past Agents Wilmington and Jackson?"
Vin was tired of answering the same questions over and over for the past 3 hours. "Ask Wilmington and Jackson. Ask Dunne and Sanchez. Hell, ask the man in the moon. I do not know. I only know that he made Ezra, Agent Standish to you, as a Fed from a previous bust. Parker drew his gun and everybody started shooting. Parker got a bead on Ezra and I had to take him out."
"How is it that only Parker of all the suspects was killed?"
"He's the only one who didn't give up when the rest of the boys stormed the warehouse."
"So lethal force was necessary?"
"In my professional opinion, I did what I needed to save the life of my fellow agent. He was behind a crate so I had a limited number of places where I could shoot him."
As Cunningham consulted his notes and was about to ask another question Chris stood up. "That's enough for now. I think Agent Tanner has sufficiently answered all of your questions."
The look on Chris' face was enough to convince Cunningham that the interview was at an end. "Of course Mr Larabee. You know this is just routine after a shooting. Especially a fatal one."
"Of course, but we all know that Agent Tanner had no reason to want to kill Parker. He acted in accordance to his job and his training to protect his fellow agent."
"So you say. I'll let you know what actions, if any, will be recommended once I listen to the stakeout tapes and interview the other agents involved. In the meantime, Agent Tanner is on administrative leave with pay." When the sharpshooter started to protest, the agent added, "That's also routine, as is the appointment you will make with the departmental councilor."
Vin bowed his head and nodded. He didn't want to have to go see the shrinks, but if it got him back to work he guessed he'd have to.
Once Cunningham left, Chris turned to regard his young agent. "Is there anything you need to tell me?"
"If the one in danger had been anyone other than Ezra...?"
"I'd have done the same. Just because the man's my lover doesn't mean I would kill someone unnecessarily. If I'd had a choice, I'd have wounded Parker and let the law take care of him."
Chris studied him for a long moment, then nodded. "Let's get out of here."
Team Seven's offices were deserted as the two men gathered their things. Chris made a short phone call and they headed out, taking the elevator to the garage. Chris guided Vin over to his own car.
"Ezra's orders," he said with a grin.
The ride out to Chris's ranch was silent, both men too tired to make small talk and this wasn't the time and place to talk about the shooting.
It was not yet dark when they arrived and Chris pulled in near the barn. Vin's horse, Peso, was tacked and waiting for him. As they got out and approached, Vin asked, "Where's Ezra?"
Chris shrugged and motioned to Vin's mount. "You're a tracker, track."
As he followed his lover's trail across the ranch he was surprised that the trail seemed to meander, not heading anywhere in particular. Vin crossed the creek, pausing a moment to watch the tadpoles scatter. He remembered a night a few months earlier when they had camped by this stream, the frogs had been gathering. Ezra had complained that he couldn't sleep for the noise, so Vin had had to find a way to help him get to sleep, He grinned at the memory.
His trail next led him past the Eagles' Roost. Vin had brought Ezra here not long after the undercover agent had joined the team. Ezra had never seen a bald eagle in the wild before. Ezra had been mesmerized watching the young eagles find their wings and take flight. Vin had been mesmerized by Ezra.
He traveled on, reveling in the beauty of the nature all around him as the tension of the morning slipped away. Finally he came to Ezra's campsite on the far side of Chris's property. He dismounted and took off Peso's tack, confident that the horse couldn't wander too far in the fenced pasture.
Ezra had his back to him as he approached. He stood on a hill watching as the sun was beginning to set. He didn't move as Vin approached. As he moved to his lover's side, he put an arm around Ezra's shoulders and Ezra's arms came around his waist. Silently they watched as the sun disappeared over the horizon. As the last light began to fade, they turned to one another and Vin buried his face in Ezra's neck.
"I haven't had to do that since Afghanistan," Vin whispered.
Ezra drew back to look in his lover's eyes, a puzzled look on his face.
"I haven't had to kill a man. Not since I left the Army."
"Oh Vin," he said softly and brushed the hair from his face.
"All the shootouts and arrests. I haven't had to kill a man." He shook his head. "I know what my job is, what I'm supposed to do. But until this morning it just wasn't necessary."
"And this morning?"
"I know what everybody is thinking. Yes, you were in danger but I wouldn't have killed him, not if I had had any choice."
They stood there for a long time, just holding each other until the only thing illuminating the campsite was the fire.
Finally Ezra asked, "Are you hungry?"
Despite not having eaten since breakfast, Vin shook his head.
"Later," he said as he let Ezra lead him over to their sleeping bag where they lay, Vin leaning back against his lover while Ezra ran his fingers through his hair. He listened to the night sounds and could feel Ezra's warmth enveloping him.
"Sleep love, tonight there is nothing but you and me in this place. Everything else can wait." Ezra's voice was little more than a whisper in his ear. Vin yawned as they shifted so that he lay with his head on Ezra's chest. The last thing he felt as he drifted off was his lover's lips press against the top of his head. He knew he was loved and that he loved in return.
If you enjoyed this story, we're sure that GoneToTheDogs would love to hear from you.
HOME | GONETOTHEDOGS' FIC | TITLES | AUTHORS | UNIVERSES
This website is maintained by Donna and Barb
with corrections and additions