by Phantom Black Sheep
Disclaimer: Don't own them. Enough said. This contains several tongue-in-cheek references to William Shakespeare's Romeo And Juliet. No offence meant to him, he wrote much better than I ever could. Consider it a form of a tip of a hat to him.
Warning: Some language. Complete and utter silliness.
Status: Complete, unbeta-ed.
AU: ATF (Not mine.)
Summary: Of all the things to go wrong in a bust, bet you never thought this would be one of them.
Author's Notes: In answer to Denise Timberwolf's challenge of writing the seven into a chat/reality show. I took some poetic license by altering the challenge into making a show up rather than inserting them into an already existing one, and they're also more… gatecrashers rather than actual guests. Hope that's not too audacious of me.
"A curious number of events took place earlier today in Fair Verona studios. Home of many daytime television shows, including the acclaimed Star-crossed Lovers. No one could have predicted that the studio would be the host of a new, unplanned reality drama as their set was raided by the ATF. Reasons for why it happened have yet to be revealed. There will be more on this story later today.
"This is Jane White from MSC news, have a good evening."
Orrin Travis turned off the small television. The screen flashed, and with a static crackle, faded to black, whilst the AD leaned back in his chair. He wore a severe frown upon his face as he surveyed his two sheepish agents.
The silence that filled the room was both uncomfortable and long. It was the kind that somehow amplified the absence of noise. Technically it lasted only a minute, but to the two agents, it felt like a lifetime.
Orrin finally had the grace to speak, deciding he'd drawn them out enough.
"What is the meaning of this?"
The two agents began speaking (Or, more correctly, babbling) at once.
"Well you see… ah…"
"It was the… erm…"
"We never meant… to…"
"A complete accident…"
"Stop!" Orrin barked. Like two trained animals, the men immediately silenced and snapped their mouths shut with a dual clacking of teeth.
"Breathe," Orrin commanded. There was a hiss and a gulp as they exhaled and returned moisture to suddenly dry mouths.
"Start from the beginning. Buck," Orrin looked to the man least likely to bull shit and nodded. "You first."
Buck bobbed his head firmly and shifted in his seat. Steepling his fingers above his knees, he stared intently at the authoritive figure and pursed his lips.
"It all started with the bust," he began uncertainly. Glancing to his fellow agent for confirmation, he received a nod then looked back to the older man with more confidence.
"We'd managed to catch Tybalt and his cronies and were about to pack 'em up when they… er… started giving us trouble."
"Completely unwarranted," the southern drawl of the other agent commented quietly. Orrin focused a quick glare on him.
"It's not you turn to speak, agent Standish."
"My apologies, sir," Ezra replied, although he seemed too distant to actually have meant it.
"Carry on, agent Wilmington."
Buck took a deep breath.
"Yeah, well, as Ez said. They were being unnecessarily rude and crabby. As you know, these guys weren't that dangerous and were kind of stupid so we didn't have any backup.
"I was taking care of some ratty little guy and let me tell you. He needed a bath real bad. I mean I wouldn't have been surprised to find out a load of bugs shared his jacket!"
"Could we get back on topic, please Mr. Wilmington?" Orrin interrupted him with a long-suffering sigh.
"The topic, right, yeah." Buck grinned nervously. "Ez' here was havin' some trouble with his guy. The stupid oaf was plain refusin' to listen to any of his orders." Ezra shifted in his seat and gave an unhappy cough into his hand at this point, causing Buck to hastily retrace his steps. "Not that Ez wasn't givin' his orders well. He was as strict as… well… something strict.
"Thank you, Mr. Wilmington," Ezra said. The two agents shared a smile. Orrin massaged his temples and looked to the sky.
"Give me strength… could you please stop straying? I do want to get home tonight."
"He's only stating the facts, sir. Is that not what you asked? Ezra asked innocently as he arched a brow. The silence that followed this statement, along with the reddening of Travis's face spoke far more than any words could. Buck continued.
"Well anyway, I went to help him out when the oaf suddenly started going crazy. Hell, up until that point I thought it were impossible for a human to buck like a horse. This guy was as riled as a peacock with mange and nothin' we tried to do would quieten him." Buck paused and frowned internally before once more turning to Ezra.
"That's when the rest of the guys came in, right, Ez?"
"Indeed," Ezra agreed. "Not even Josiah could quell this beast."
"Wait… you mean to say you couldn't stop this man even with all seven of you on top of him?"
"He was big," Buck stated. The tone of his voice suggesting that Travis had just insulted them terribly.
"Very big," Ezra affirmed with just the same expression as Buck.
"C'mon milk dud, get your ass inside the car like a good little bad guy," Buck cheerfully taunted as he aided the man in ducking his head down. He made sure to add an extra ruffle of his hand before letting go, destroying the faint resemblance of a hairstyle the man sported.
With the same casual air, he ignored the muttered filth that was directed at his back and instead moved to aid Ezra. The agent was trying to guide a man twice his size with half his brain span towards one of the cars. Even with the handcuffs on, the chunk of beef was proving to be difficult and to say Ezra was struggling would be an understatement.
"Need some help there, Ez?" Buck called out.
"No," Ezra snapped whilst peeking out from behind a large elbow. "I'm doing just fine on my*oof* own!
The elbow jerked sideways and with a yelp, Ezra ducked backwards, only just avoiding a black eye. Buck raised a brow and casually strolled towards them. Without even the slightest bit of concern, he grabbed hold of the man's bicep and jerked him aside, just before he could stamp down on Ezra's foot.
"That wasn't nice," Ezra pouted in annoyance.
"Can't blame him, Ez. It's probably just him venting his frustration at the world because he's so stupid."
The large man emitted a strange combination of a growl and a curse from the depths of his trunk-like neck. Ezra eyed the tensing muscles beneath his fingers and glared at Buck.
"Stop taunting him!" he hissed.
"Relax, guy's so dumb he doesn't know the difference between a taunt and a compliment."
Neither man expected what happened next. With a roar that would have been more fitting coming from a wild animal, the ox-like man threw both of them free and charged forwards. His body was tilted forwards, hands resting upon his back, tied by the chains, and his head was ducked to his chest. What with the thundering of his footsteps and the whistling of his heavy breathing, he both looked and sounded like a charging rhino.
The men present didn't know whether to laugh in hysterics or shout in fear. Instead they choose to jump out of the way quickly. Very quickly.
"Nice going, Buck." Ezra sneered sarcastically as the man's charge ended when he crashed full force into a car. The offended vehicle's metal shell buckled under the pressure and it emitted a pained screech as it was shunted out of its original spot.
The large man fell back onto the pavement, looked around in confusion, shook his head and began to struggle back to his feet.
Seeing this, the men who had originally been watching on in shock leapt into action and ran to intervene the ox-man.
"Who the hell set him off?!" Chris bellowed as he latched onto the first available lump of skin and muscle. It turned out to be an elbow.
Ezra and Buck both looked at him. One nervous, the other sheepish.
"I should have known," Chris growled. He lifted a foot to avoid stepping on Vin who had tackled the man's legs and looked apologetically at Josiah when he was jerked into him.
JD and Nathan, who had been busy with another, thankfully much calmer guy, ran forward to help. The both of them dove into the array of flesh and grunting and grabbed onto anything, trying to keep the ox-man down.
"So then what happened?" Travis sighed.
"Chris sh-erm… I mean… the guy got shot… somehow."
"Chris Larabee shot the man?"
"No! I never said Chris shot him, did I say Chris shot him?"
"Not that I heard," Ezra piped in. "No offence meant, sir. But you're inserting words into Mr. Wilmington's mouth."
"Fine, so *somebody* shot the man," Travis growled in irritation. He was glad he was recording this conversation rather than jotting it down. Something he had learnt to do from an early stage when dealing with team seven and their indecisiveness. "So how'd this freak shooting lead to Tybalt's escape?"
"We're not too sure about that. I mean we didn't *see* Tybalt get away or we would have done something then, wouldn't we?"
"Let me rephrase that. When was it that you first saw that Tybalt had escaped?"
"It was Ez who saw he'd gone. Right after he got hit by the oaf."
"Which I expect to be fully reimbursed for."
Travis looked over Buck's shoulder to Ezra in disbelief.
"He only punched you in the gut. It didn't even draw blood!"
"He landed in a puddle," Buck supplied for his friend.
"I'll cut you a deal, agent Standish. I'll pay for your new clothes once you've paid the cost for a new studio."
After a lengthy pause, Ezra quickly mumbled.
"I'm sure I could have these dry-cleaned myself on the way home." Travis nodded his head, satisfied.
"So then Chris told Josiah and JD to stay with the buncha' meat heads whilst the rest of us split off to look for Tybalt."
"For clarity sake could you please state who split off from whom, Mr. Wilmington?" Travis interrupted.
"Me an' Ez went towards the warehouses. Chris, Vin and Nate went to the city."
"Ezra and I," Ezra corrected quietly. Buck shot a look over his shoulder.
"Ez and *I* went to the warehouses. We didn't know they were studios at the time so we didn't see why there'd be any problem with breakin' in."
"You broke an entering?" Travis raised a brow.
"No! We just… it wasn't our fault the door broke. Serves them right for putting a chain on it in the first place."
"Chains on doors are practically asking a person to break in. Honestly, you would have thought they'd have more sense."
"How silly of them," Travis uttered sarcastically.
"Glad you agree, sir. Well anyway, we'd gotten inside when we spotted some guy running around a corner. It was dark and far away so naturally we thought it was Tybalt."
"An honest mistake," Ezra agreed wholeheartedly.
"I'm guessing it was during this chase that you found yourselves breaking into the set on live television?"
"Not exactly. We were actually forced to go on. The stupid idiots thought we were their guests. How stupid could they be? I mean it's one thing to lose a drug lord but to lose a couple of guests?"
Mike glanced around nervously as he slipped into the dressing room. He knew he shouldn't be here, but his desperation to clear things and talk this over overrode all else.
"Are you the makeup people? It's about time!" A voice cried out from behind a box of old snack bars. "I have this zit which is *so* huge and what's with this changing room? Aren't TV stars meant to get lights and Evian? This looks like… it looks like a broom closet-Oh my god, Mikey?" The diatribe cut short as the owner of the voice rounded the corner and came face to face with the other man.
"Toshie," Mike greeted quietly. The two men stood before each other, neither one knowing what to say. By the time there was so much as a move made, the silence had stretched into minutes.
"You're not meant to be here," Toshie stated with a cold glare. He turned away and busied himself with looking through the snack boxes for the sequined mirror he was sure he'd been promised.
"I had to see you."
"Why? To convince me not to do this? I'm sorry, Mikey but it's not about you or me anymore." He turned around; his brown eyes alight with excitement. "This is about me being on television!"
"You're going on a talk show with a host called Brock Smiley," Mike corrected scornfully. Ice once again returned to Toshie's gaze and he flounced back behind the boxes.
Mike mentally kicked himself. Damnit! He was meant to correct this and keep this man, not chase him away!
"I didn't come here to convince you not to do this. If it's what you want then I'm happy to go along. I just came here to convince you that…" he swallowed al ump in his throat that oddly enough felt both painfully dry and chokingly wet. "That I love you."
Toshie's manicured head poked back around the boxes. "Come again?" he asked in confusion.
"I love you, Toshie!" Mike cried. "I always have and I always will!" Suddenly fuelled by his own deperation, Mike chased away the distance between them and flung his arms around Toshies neck.
"Oh, Toshie. Why don't we just run away? Forget our family's prejudice. We can leave them behind and start over, we can start together! Who cares about what they want?"
"I bloody well do!" Toshie snapped as he pulled himself free. "Without my parent's income I'd have to," Toshie swallowed his own lump. "Why I'd have to work!"
"No you wouldn't. I have my own money, Toshie, lots of it! I have enough to make you feel like a king for the rest of your days."
"Queen honey, I would be a queen. Their clothing is *so* much prettier than a king's and-wait… did you say you had money?" Toshie frowned and surveyed Mike in a suddenly new light.
Silently, love shining in his own eyes, Mike nodded.
"Enough to be able to bribe directors into putting me into their movies?" Again, Mike nodded. "Oh, Mikey-poos! Why didn't you tell me before?"
"I… I was afraid it'd scare you away."
Toshie silenced the man as he lunged on top of him and sealed their mouths together with a kiss.
"I love you Mikey! Let us run away and be together and… and buy a really big house, and a pool!"
Mike swept the other man into his arms and carried him out of the dressing room (That wasn't at all a broom closet.)
"Our love shall last forever." Mike sighed happily. For once in his lonely life feeling complete.
"And a big dog named Rufus!" Toshie's shrill exclamation filled the corridors as the two men slipped unnoticed out of the studio.
Just as the door shut behind the two men, Fran, the producer of Star-crossed Lovers ran flustered down the corridor.
"We have a problem," she cried to anyone who would listen. "We've lost our next guests!"
Rob, who had only just started work the other week and was still eager to please looked up in shock.
"What do they look like?" he asked anxiously. Hoping maybe he'd seen them somewhere.
Fran merely glanced at him and shrugged whilst gesturing wildly.
"There was two of them and they were… men. I don't know! Don't all men look alike?"
"Are those them?" Rob nodded behind her to two men, one taller than the other running down the corridor towards them. Fran glanced at them, frowned, squinted her eyes then shrugged.
"They'll do, help me grab-erm… guide them on set."
"Didn't you think to try and tell them otherwise?" Travis asked.
"You try talking to a producer. They damn well put dogs with bones to shame!"
"So what happened once you were on the show?"
"I'm not sure," Bucked said vaguely. He squinted into the distance and frowned slightly.
"The lights were bright, the audience loud, and the host was smelly. I mean really smelly. Try week old fish smelly."
"Everyone appears to be smelly to you, Mr. Wilmington," Travis grumbled in annoyance.
"Nah," Buck disagreed. "Ezra ain't smelly."
"Why thank you, Mr. Wilmington. You're rather pleasantly fragranced yourself."
"Ya think so?" Buck grinned happily as he turned in his chair to face Ezra. "Was kind of worried this new aftershave was a little over the top."
"Not at all, it enhances your masculinity whilst adding an edge of elegance."
"Gentlemen!" Travis snapped. "The story. Please!"
"Fragrance envy," Buck hissed to Ezra before turning back to Orrin. Ezra nodded his head in mute agreement.
"Well anyway, the host, Brock or something, wasn't it? He started asking some really stupid questions. Now why would my pa' and Ez's be feuding? They didn't even meet each other! But the guy still insisted on asking us these questions, even when we politely told him to stop."
"It says here that you both threatened and insulted him."
"Depends on your idea of threatening, now. Doesn't it?"
"In 5… 4… 3…" The cameraman held up his fingers, counting down to the end of the break as the group of three men perched on the uncomfortable couches.
"Just answer my questions like we rehearsed and don't forget to act when I scratch my ear," Brock Smiley hissed to the two men from behind clenched teeth.
Ezra stared at him in confusion whilst Buck just openly glared.
"What the hell are you talking about?" Wilmington growled from behind his own set of clenched teeth. Brock ignored him and instead beamed at the camera.
"Hello and welcome back! For those of you who have just joined us, today's show is titled 'Family Feuds'." The sound effects spat out a deafening version of some kind of music that just might have resembled danger. Ezra jumped and glanced around whilst rubbing at his offended ears.
"Now our next guests have it twice as difficult as most others. Not only do they have a feud trying to break them up, but they also have the difficulty of being one of a minority! I would like to introduce Toshie and Mike."
Brock gestured to the seat next to him and the camera zoomed left whilst the autocue applause filled the studio. The real audience sat zombie-like in their seats. Oblivious to anything and everything.
"Now which one's Toshie and which one's Mike?"
Ezra and Buck stared at him. Brock let out an uncomfortable laugh, though his eyes flashed.
"Come on, now! No need to be camera shy!"
The two men continued to stare at him in silence.
Brock swallowed and his already fake smile took on a forced quality.
"I'll direct this next question to the both of you. How does it feel to be so persecuted for so many different reasons?"
"How does it feel to be such an arse?" Buck growled under his breath. Unfortunately, he wasn't aware of the wonders of extra sensitive microphones and his voice was broadcasted loud and clear over thousands of television sets.
The audience gasped, some snickered. Others blinked and wondered where the hell they were, but generally they came to life.
"So you would be Mike," Brock breathed a laugh though it was more like a cat's hiss.
"What the hell is he talking about?" Buck asked Ezra. Ezra shrugged and glanced around, squinting against the harsh lighting.
"I'd rather find out why the hell we're sitting here."
"You're here to talk about your star-crossed relationship on..." Brock beamed at the camera. "…Star-crossed Lovers, broadcasted live at twelve."
"We didn't ask you," Buck snapped. Brock blinked, though he continued to smile. He lifted a hand and pointedly rubbed his ear whilst focusing on Ezra. Ezra frowned and touched his own ear, nope; there wasn't anything on it.
"Is something wrong with your ear?" he asked.
"No! You idiot. Kiss me!" Brock hissed, trying to shield his mouth from the microphone.
"What?!" Ezra cried in shock. "Why on earth would I ever wish to kiss you?"
"We rehearsed it, remember. If you don't kiss me you don't get paid!"
Ezra turned his nose into the air in disgust and folded his arms.
"I most certainly do not carry out that kind of favour for money, sir. And I use the term lightly. How dare you even think I would be willing to do such a thing? Not only are you repulsive, but also I don't even know where you've-" Buck's elbow in his ribs silenced Ezra and he turned to glare at Wilmington.
Buck was squinting past him, looking into the audience.
"I saw 'im." Buck hissed as he climbed to his feet.
"Where?" Ezra asked. He too joined Buck and both men walked to the edge of the raised platform.
"And at what point did the two of you see fit to draw your weapons and point them at the audience?"
"We weren't pointing them at those guys," Buck dismissed with a laugh. "We were pointing them at Tybalt… or what we thought was Tybalt."
"Once again I feel we must stress that the series of mistaken identities are not our fault and we should in no way be held responsible."
"Sure," Travis responded sceptically. Though he said no more of the matter and ignored the dual frowns directed at him. "What happened next?"
"We chased the guy out of the studio and down a load of corridors."
"Did you catch him?"
"No, we…erm... we kind of lost him."
"Weren't you right behind him? How could you lose him?" Buck glanced sheepishly over his shoulder to Ezra. Standish shrugged and casually directed his gaze downwards to examine his nails.
"Ezra fell over," Buck said.
"What?!" Ezra sputtered and jumped forwards in his chair. "If anyone fell over, it was you!"
"Nope, I remember clearly you fallin' over and me havin' to lift you up."
"And *I* remember clearly having to help *you* up."
"How on earth can you get confused on who fell over?" Travis attempted to cut in, to little avail.
"Fine," Buck grumbled. "We both fell over. But Ezra fell over first!"
"Like hell," Ezra snorted under his breath. Buck turned around to glare at him. Ezra returned the glare.
"You know what?" Buck commented absently as the two of them made their way down the corridor, glancing into doorways as they passed them. "As strange as it is, that actually made me kind of horny."
"Oh really," Ezra said absently. "Would you still have been horny if I'd actually kissed the man?"
Buck gave a roar of laughter. When he saw Ezra hadn't joined him, he went abruptly silent.
"You wouldn't have, would you?" he asked uncertainly. Ezra only shrugged mutely with a teasing smirk.
"Maybe I would, maybe I wouldn't."
Buck stopped so suddenly in the corridor that he very nearly gave himself whiplash. With narrowed eyes he surveyed Ezra's back as the undercover agent continued forwards.
Ezra ignored the man, instead smirking quietly to himself. He never expected the sudden thunder of footsteps along the floor. Nor did he expect the disconcerting feeling of being tackled to the ground. With a breathless gasp Ezra wriggled beneath the firm grip and flipped himself over onto his back.
"What the---?" His gasped question was cut short by Buck's lips as he was caught in a firm, passionate kiss. Buck refused to let him surface until he too felt the drum of blood in his veins as his lungs screamed for air.
"Thought it was about time I reclaimed my territory," Buck grinned playfully. Ezra glared despite his own smile and wriggled out from beneath the man. He purposefully moved his leg just so to brush against Buck's groin.
"As successful as your claiming was, Buck. We have a job to do and you really should learn to restrain yourself."
"Guess you'll have to teach me tonight, eh?" Buck winked.
Just as Ezra was about to speak, an echo of a sound, like the crack of a whip, came from the other end of the corridor. The two agents looked up, all playfulness and innuendo leaving them as they once again became connected with the serious nature of their jobs.
In the time it took them to climb to their feet, they had forgotten the previous byplay and had once again returned a firm grip to their guns.
Both Buck and Ezra's expressions went from angry to… something unreadable and they looked away from each other.
"We both fell over," they clarified together. Travis raised a brow, his gaze moving from one to the other suspiciously.
"I think we've covered that already," he pointed out. "What happened next?"
"Well we heard that whip thing, didn't we?"
"…We went to investigate it…"
"Erm… we couldn't get the door open so we kind of… broke it down. Those cracks were pretty loud, for all we knew someone was being hurt!"
Travis just looked at him. "And…?" he prompted.
Buck frowned and looked down at his feet. "How were we to know they were just filming a show?"
"Well you could have asked, rather than running in there with your weapons drawn."
"And that guy could have not thrown his chair at us!"
"He thought you were hijackers."
"And we thought he was the mad whippest!"
Travis looked to Ezra for help. The agent made no signs of stepping in and instead seemed quite happy to allow Buck to do all the speaking, so he instead returned his gaze to Wilmington.
"Could you tell me in your own words what happened next?"
"We thought we saw the guy running along the platform in the rafters so we tried to get him to stop. The stupid idiot didn't and we were forced to go after him--"
"Wait," Travis interrupted. Buck pursed his lips and leant back in his chair, his arms crossed defensively over his chest.
"How exactly did you try to stop him?"
"Oh you know. The usual, shouting, threatening, cajoling. More shouting than anything."
"And how exactly did you manage to send the entire set of lights, which cost more than a month of your wages, crashing to the floor?"
"Ah," Buck said. "That."
"They were barely stable," Ezra contributed for his floundering friend. "A slight bit of wind would have brought them down."
"But instead you decided to test this theory with bullets?"
"One bullet actually. And it was just used to scare him more than anything."
"Damnit!" Buck cursed as the bullet whistled past the shadowy figure. It didn't even slow the man down as he disappeared over the iron walkway, his footsteps echoing back to them in a taunting manner. "I'd meant ta' hit him!"
Just as those irritated words had left Buck's mouth, did an ominous creaking sound come from above.
Looks were shared. Groans were voiced, and eventually cries were emitted as the long bar supporting no less than ten overhead lights split away from the ceiling, the bullet having shattered one of it's supporting beams. It jerked downwards and swung to the side, supported only by one source, which was most definitely not designed to hold such a weight.
Buck and Ezra watched in disbelieving awe as the long, black lump of metal and glass twisted lethally, it's freed edge cutting into the maze of overhead circuitry and wiring, all the time emitting the same, deep, metallic groan. It slowed to a stop a good 180 degrees from its original position, before, with a quick jolt and a snap, plummeted to the ground.
People dived out of its way, falling over each other in their haste, and trampling the detailed set.
The sound of the initial crash was ear splitting and caused a gasp of surprise to sound in each and every adjoining studio set.
Even Brock Smiley, who was at that time weeping over his destroyed career looked up in bleary-eyed surprise.
"Just so we're clear on this, that was in no way my fault!" Ezra called over his shoulder as the two men raced up the metal stairway in pursuit of the figure. They were seemingly unmindful of the destruction they had left in their wake.
"It wasn't that bad," Buck excused hastily. "I mean really, they are kind of exaggerating by saying we demolished their studio. You know the acting type, always so damned melodramatic."
"You're still paying for it," Travis responded.
"Actually you are, sir," Ezra said with a deceivingly pleasant smile.
"How'd you come to that conclusion?" Orrin snorted.
"We came to an agreement earlier, remember? You promised that if I were to pay for one cost of damages, you would pay for the other. I retracted my offer and replaced it with an offer to pay for the other set of damages and you never retracted. Thus meaning I was left to assume that you were willing to take up my previous damages. You'll find this to be true once you replay your recording."
Orrin could only stare at Ezra. Damn that man could bull shit when he wanted to.
"Do you want the rest of the story, sir?" Buck ventured tentatively once the silence had grown to uncomfortable lengths. Orrin started and frowned a little bit.
"Pardon? Oh, yes. Right. So You'd just destroyed an entire set… do I even want to know what happened after that?"
Orrin grimaced. "Tell me anyway," he sighed.
"We were gaining on the guy when he turned and ran straight into a dead end. We were about to reach him and arrest him and all that when… well… it went a little bit haywire after that."
"How were we to know we'd just been chasing a kid all that time?" Ezra asked.
The figure skittered nervously from foot to foot as the two men approached him. They moved slowly and carefully, guns drawn and focused on the man they neared. From the amount of times he had slipped past them so far, they weren't about to let it happen again.
"C'mon now Tibby. We gotcha'. Why don't you just be good and let us throw your ass in jail?" Buck coaxed gently, seeing the figure's distress.
"Oh, that's going to work," Ezra snorted in quiet sarcasm. "Way to calm the guy down, Wilmington."
"Quit criticising and say something yourself then, smart ass," Buck mumbled back.
Ezra cleared his throat and did just that.
"It's probably wiser to listen to my compatriot, sir. Cooperating with us will be most beneficial towards your sentence."
"Sentence?!" a voice squeaked. It was high, surprisingly high, most definitely not the same voice as the one they had grown to associate with Tybalt. "Y-you mean like… jail sentence?"
"Does that sound like Tybalt to you?" Buck asked Ezra. Standish shook his head, frowning all the while.
"Who are you?" he called out to the figure.
"I… god please don't tell my mom! I'm sorry misters… I just… I only snuck in here to see Brock Smiley. I didn't know it was so… I'm sorry!"
"Brock Smiley?" Buck repeated in disbelief. He and Ezra shared a look.
"You're not William Tybalt, are you?"
"William who? No man… I'm just a kid man! I'm sorry. God my mom'll kill me!"
"Ah shit," Buck swore under his breath. "Look, kid. Who ever you are get the hell out of here!" Buck called out.
"You aren't going to arrest me?" The young voice asked anxiously.
"Nah," Buck shook his head.
The kid seemed to relax instantly and he scuttled forwards.
Little did he know that all his fretting had worried at a length of rope pile upon the darkened metal. With each twist and turn of his stunted pacing, he had wound it further and further around his ankle, turning it into a noose. The minute he tried to move away, it caught, tightened and tripped him up, sending him sprawling down to the ground. Instinctively reacting, the kid curled in on himself and rolled onto his side, unmindful of the fact he was dangerously close to the edge. Buck and Ezra could only watch as he disappeared from view with a startled yelp.
"Shit," Both Buck and Ezra swore at the same time. They dived towards the edge of the walkway.
"You know how annoying it is to sit in front of that hot cooker for hours on end, cleaning off the burned remains of your previous dinner?" a man who was much too chipper to be wearing the black suit he was squeezed into cried jubilantly as he skipped across the stage.
"Yes," the audience replied emotionlessly.
"Well now, thanks to hang and clean cooker detergent, it takes no more than five minutes to make your oven look sparkly new!"
"Ooh," the audience read from the cue cards.
The salesman nodded his head in excitement.
"That's right! All you have to do is hang this little box up, leave it for two minutes, then just wipe away all that loosened grime!"
"Aaaarggghh!!" the audience screamed, the sound deafening in its chorus of fear and surprise.
The salesman stopped and frowned. He was certain the next cue card should have read 'wow'.
"Ohmygod ohmygod ohmygod!" a rather shrill woman shrieked louder than all others. "He's… he's dangling!"
"By his feet!" a man joined her with the bellowed exclamations.
"Huh?" the salesman asked and turned to face whatever they pointed at. He came face to face with a startled young teenager, swinging back and forth from a rope connected to his feet and immediately let out his own shrill shriek.
Half leaping, half dancing, he dove for cover amongst the throng of audience.
Chaos reigned. People leapt from their seats. Members of adjoining sets ran to see what the commotion was about. Camera crew and staff raced back and forth like headless ants.
The boy swung back and forth like a pendulum, too shocked to so much as utter a single word.
Two sheepish faces peered out from the walkway above.
"Oops," Buck cringed.
"My thoughts exactly," Ezra responded.
"Please tell me that's the end of it," Travis groaned into his hands.
"Other than us getting a very loud phone call from Chris about them catching Tybalt in the city?" Buck asked. "Basically, yeah."
Orrin couldn't help but let out a sigh of relief. He had a headache the size of the world drumming between his eyes.
"You know," he began. "I've seen a lot in my lifetime. I've even witnessed a team of agents being attacked by a group of stray cats. But I can honestly say that this is the first time I've ever, *ever* had to deal with something like this. I don't even know how to start writing this report."
"We could do it for you, sir. We have written them before," Buck began.
"Heavens no!" Orrin snapped. "Lord knows what you'd put in it."
"Do you need me to give my account?" Ezra voiced suddenly. Orrin blanched considerably.
"This one will suffice, agent Standish. It riddled with your opinion as much as it is agent Wilmington's."
"So may we be excused?" Buck asked hopefully.
"You're excused," Travis affirmed.
He waited until both agents had left the room before he allowed himself a small smile. Granted team seven never failed to give him a headache, but they also never failed to amuse him either.
Both men stepped out of the office at the same time. They walked next to each other, both silent, both thoughtful.
It wasn't until they'd reached the elevator and the doors had closed behind them that the two of them burst into unrestrained laughter.
"Did you see the look on his face when we told him about Brock?" Buck cried as he wiped a tear from the corner of his eye.
"I… I half expected him to burst a blood vessel!" Ezra gasped between pants of air as he used Buck's shoulder as a support post. Buck stamped the floor and slapped his leg with one hand whilst trying fruitlessly to answer. All he could do was let out a loud snort, which caused Ezra to fall into further fits of laughter.
This went on for the entire time it took the elevator to reach the basement. It was late and the building had emptied long ago so there wasn't much point in returning to the office. Once the men managed to calm themselves and return to some form of normality with only the occasional snort, they were already at their cars.
"You know," Ezra began with a sly smile. "If Brock had asked me to kiss you rather than him, I wouldn't have hesitated."
Buck eyed the fellow agent, his own expression turning appreciative as he grinned a slow grin.
"I wouldn't have expected anything less."
Buck stepped forwards and trapped the smaller man against the side of his truck as he placed a leg between Ezra's, rubbing his knee gently against the man's inner thigh.
"You think we were right in leaving out what happened once we were out of the studio?"
"Most definitely," Ezra purred. "It's bad enough being responsible for the destruction of a set, do you really want to be blamed for AD Travis's cardiac arrest too?"
Buck didn't answer. Instead he bent down and nipped at the other man's lips before giving him a slow, sensual kiss.
Just as Ezra's passion was mounting and he'd quickened the kiss to one verging on feverish, Buck pulled away and took a step back. Ezra pouted a little and moved to step forwards. Buck's hand on his chest stopped him.
"You know, I think I can feel an itch coming on in my ear. Think maybe I'm going to have to scratch it when we get home. You think that action is still valid?"
Ezra's disappointment faded and his smile returned.
"I guess we'll have to hurry up and get home to find out."
As one, the two men living only for the present left the scene.
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