CHASING SIGNALS

By Jackie

The Magnificent Seven -ATF / Rated PG-13

 

Part 3

 

Biding their time in the waiting room, the four agents watched as their team leader slowly and painfully made his way across the floor, with Vin and Ezra following behind

 

Buck hopped up and placed a steadying hand on his trembling friend, “Damn, Stud, you look like hell.  You going to be okay?” Without waiting for an answer he continued on, “Listen my truck’s just outside, I can give you a ride home.  Let the boys go get something to eat.”

 

“Actually Buck, I could use something to eat myself.  Does anyone have any ideas?” Chris asked looking around at the others.

 

“I vote for McDonald’s, the drive-thru’s open all night.” Vin called out cheerfully.

 

“Yeah, me too.  I love their food.” J.D. got up to join the group, standing next to Vin to show a united front.

 

Ezra scowled, “I for one have no intention of subjecting myself to the gastrointestinal disturbance guaranteed to occur if I eat their food.  I vote for the Saloon, Inez has the kitchen open until 2 a.m. on Friday and Saturday nights.”

 

“Ezra we were just there, and Chris here looks as if he is fading fast.” Buck pointed out as he watched Chris rub at his red rimmed eyes.

 

“Listen, I’ll do whatever you all want.  Let’s just speed up the decision making process.” Chris groused, hobbling over to a nearby chair.

 

“I’ll eat whatever is the main consensus.  At this point I do not care, let’s just do as Chris says and make a decision.” Josiah pulled himself out of the chair he’d been occupying.

 

Nathan sat nearby, closely watching the team leader.  Over the last few moments he’d noticed the flushed look and the shivers increasing.  “Here we are discussing our stomachs when Chris is obviously in pain.  What did the doctor say Chris?”

 

Before Chris could answer Vin chimed in, “Oh, he’s got a severe sprain and the flu.  He wasn’t hypothermic at all; in fact he’s got a fever.  He has a doctor’s appointment on Monday morning with an orthopedic surgeon.  I say we just stop by McDonalds on the way to Chris’s place.”

 

“The flu.  Why didn’t you say so earlier?  You shouldn’t be out running around in your condition.” Nathan hurried over clapping his hand on Chris’s forehead, “You’re burning up.”

 

Chris scowled at Vin before returning his attention to Nathan, “Thanks, Vin, you could have left that little piece of information out.  Nate, I’m starving.  I promise as soon as I eat something I’ll get home and go to bed.”

 

“I know you’re going home to bed, because we are taking you.  We’ll get McDonald’s because it’s on the way.” Nathan explained as he reached down and pulled Chris up from the chair.

 

“Nate, come on.  I don’t feel great, but I don’t feel horrible, yet.” Chris bemoaned realizing that he was sounding like a child, but really not caring at this point.  “Let’s go to the Saloon.  I don’t think I could handle McDonald’s tonight.”

 

Josiah just smirked; he knew exactly why Chris wanted to go to the Saloon.  It was a sure bet the man was going to try and sneak a drink.  Josiah glanced up to find the team leader staring at him.  Josiah just shrugged and smiled.  Chris just gave him a slight nod in acknowledgment.

 

“Okay, come on times a wastin’ and I’m starving.” Chris growled and hobbled toward the door.

 

“I guess we’re going to the Saloon.  Come on boys, before ol’ gimpy beats us outside.”  Buck called and hurried after Chris.

 

“Buck, it’s my ankle that’s screwed up, not my ears.” Chris snapped, cringing against the cold wind that blew through the exit doors.

 

“Where’s your coat?” Nathan asked as he moved up beside the team leader.

 

“Forgot it, Vin rushed me out the door this afternoon.  I was supposed to have been back home by now.” Chris’s breath showing in the cold air.  “Okay, who’s drivin’?”

 

“Well, Nathan, Buck and Josiah’s vehicles are here.  We left Ezra’s at the Saloon.” J.D. supplied as he jammed his hands down into his pockets.

 

“Come on Chris, I’ve got an extra coat that’s got a little more insulation than the canvas coat Vin lent you.” Buck directed Chris over to his truck.  “Actually, now that I think about it, it might be one of your old ones.”

 

“Buck, I’m beginning to wonder why you have Chris’s clothing living in your truck.” Vin grinned as he passed by on the way to Josiah’s Suburban.

 

“No clue, just happens.” Buck replied as he handed Chris the coat to put on.  “We’ll see you at the Saloon.”

 

“Ok, no problem.” Vin called as he ran to catch up to the others.

 

“You sure you want to go to the Saloon?” Buck asked as he pulled out of the hospital lot, “I could just as easily take you home, you know you don’t have to keep up appearances with me.”

 

Resting his forehead against the cool glass of the passenger window Chris sighed, “I don’t know what I want.  I feel like shit, but I don’t want to let the guys down.”

 

“Stud, you’re not letting the boys down.  If you feel that horrible you shouldn’t feel obligated to stay out, if any of them have anything to say about it, and I know they won’t, they’ll have me to deal with.” Buck pulled out his cell phone and dialed Nathan.

 

Chris barely listened to the conversation, the aches and pains of his body demanding his full attention.  Gritting his teeth against the building pain, he cursed when he realized that Ezra had the pills he’d refused back at the hospital.

 

“Didn’t take the pain killers did you?” Buck asked as he reached behind the seat and pulled out a bottle of water, “Pays to be prepared, here you can take your pills with this.”

 

“No I can’t” Chris bit out as he took the proffered bottle.

 

“Just take the pills, I told you, you don’t have to be tough with me.” Buck glanced at Chris noticing how pale he looked.

 

The team leader just laughed, “I can’t take the pills because Ezra has them, I’ve really screwed the pooch this time.”

 

“You don’t have anything?” Buck asked and Chris shook his head, “There should be some Tylenol in the glovebox.  Take some of those until we can get Ezra out to your place.”

 

Digging through the papers and other paraphernalia, Chris located the bottle and swallowed down four tablets.  After he managed to close the overloaded compartment, with some difficulty, he leaned back in the seat and closed his eyes.  In a matter of minutes he was starting to drift off to sleep, while half listening to some tune Buck was quietly whistling.

 

Buck made sure that he took extra special care to miss the potholes and rough spots on the road so as not to disturb his sleeping friend.  The trip that would normally take about forty minutes was drawn out to almost an hour, and by his calculations the boys would probably show up at Chris’s another hour after that.

 

Chris woke suddenly when they turned into his driveway; Buck had inadvertently hit a deep gouge that had been dug into the gravel drive.

 

“Damn, Stud, where’s that come from?” Buck cried as he righted the vehicle.

 

“Sorry, forgot to tell you.  We had a really bad storm the other night, torrential downpours, the works.  I haven’t had time to fix it yet, I’ll work on it tomorrow.”  Chris pushed himself up in the seat, groaning as the pain in his ankle came to life once more.

 

Buck pulled the truck up to the house and parked near the garage, “Chris, don’t worry, me and the boys will take care of it.  All you got to do this weekend is rest and relax.  Now let’s get you inside.”

 

Chris slid out of the truck and took the crutches from Buck when he came around on his side.  “Thanks, now scoot so I can get in the house.  Mother Nature is screaming my name.”

 

Buck waggled his eyebrows at Chris, “Oh why didn’t you say so; I can carry you into the house.  Get there a lot quicker that way.”

 

Chris scowled at Buck and made his way to the front door, “Yeah, you’ll get a crutch upside the head a lot quicker that way too, your choice of course.”

 

“All right, a man on a mission, that’s what I like to see.  Let me get the door for you.”  Buck hopped up the stairs and opened the door so Chris could go in.  He watched as Chris made his way down the hallway, “Hey! You need any help, you just call.”

 

“I’m sure I won’t!” Chris called back as he pushed his bedroom door closed behind him, listening to Buck’s booming laugh coming from the area of the kitchen.  “It’s gonna be a long weekend.”

 

~o~

 

The boys had arrived at the Saloon in record time, unbeknownst to Buck and Chris, the remaining five decided against actually eating at the Saloon.  The ATF agents gathered around the bar, clamoring to get their orders in so that they could get back on the road.  Several customers watched as they spoke amongst themselves, trying to decide what to bring their injured leader to eat.

 

“He’d want a steak and fries, oh and how about a chocolate milkshake.” Vin called out over the din of the bar patrons.

 

“No, I think he’d want one of Inez’s famous burritos with extra hot sauce and a coke.” J.D. supplied from somewhere in the back of the pack.

 

Nathan shook his head “Guys, the man has the flu and is injured; he’s not going to want something heavy to sit on his stomach before he goes to bed.  No, he should have chicken noodle or maybe the vegetable beef soup.  Order something light, but nutritious.”

 

Josiah turned back to the bartender taking their order and smiled apologetically.  “Um, add the bacon cheeseburger with lettuce, tomato, onions and pickles.  Cooked medium, and order of – Oh wonderful, onion rings, a large order.  That one goes in the bag marked ‘Buck’, pecan encrusted Salmon with the asparagus and garlic mashed potatoes is marked ‘Ezra’.  Lastly, I need 2 quarts of chicken noodle soup with a bunch of crackers.” Josiah glanced back at the group and noticed that they were frowning, “That should be it, and we’ll be waiting here.”

 

The bartender gathered up the numerous tickets and moved to the back.  Josiah turned to the group, “What? Did I get something wrong?”

 

“What about Chris’s steak, he said he was starving.” Vin griped with his arms crossed over his chest, “The guy’s been through enough tonight.”

 

“I got the chicken noodle soup for him.  Grease and spice aren’t great companions for the flu; unless of course, you and J.D. don’t have any reservations about cleaning up the aftermath.” Josiah explained as he sat on a stool at the bar.

 

Vin and J.D. looked at each other and shook their heads.  “He’ll be okay with the soup.” J.D. agreed.  He had no desire to be cleaning up any kind of bodily fluids; he knew either he or Vin would get relegated to the nasty task, especially if the others pulled the age card.

 

Ezra reached into his pants pocket to take out his wallet and found a small brown envelope, he looked at it in confusion, trying to remember what it was.  Opening the packet he peered in, “Oh, shit.”  Four pairs of eyes turned to his with question, “I have Chris’s meds; he refused to take them earlier.  I put the pills in my pocket, because I figured he’d soon realize that he really needed them.  I have his prescriptions too.”

 

“Damn, Ez.  You better go ahead and drive to Chris’s.  Don’t worry about your dinner, we’ll get it and you can square up with me later.” Vin replied as he dropped down next to Josiah.

 

Nathan dug in his pocket for his money and handed it to Vin.  Holding out his hand to Ezra, “Give me the prescriptions, I know of an all night pharmacy, I’ll just pick them up on the way to Chris’s.”

 

“All right, gentlemen.  I’ll see you all in a bit.” Ezra and Nathan both moved to the exit to perform their delegated tasks.

 

~o~

 

By the time Chris had managed to take care of Mother Nature and scrub up from his adventure in the woods he was exhausted.  The chills had once again begun in earnest and his head was pounding in time with the beat of his heart.  As he pulled on a clean t-shirt and a thick sweatshirt he looked longingly toward the bed, his loudly growling stomach had him heading back out toward the kitchen.

 

“Wow, Stud.  You look like ten miles of bad road.  Maybe you should just go to bed now and eat later.” Buck whistled as he turned away from the stove when he heard Chris coming up behind him.

 

Chris sniffed the air detecting the aroma of warming chocolate, “Thanks Buck, I appreciate your observation.  Is that chocolate I smell?” Chris lowered himself gingerly into one of the kitchen chairs.

 

Buck grinned as he turned back to the pot simmering on the stove, “Yes it is.  Thought I’d be nice and make you one of my famous hot chocolates.  It warms the insides and will help you fall asleep.”

 

Before Chris could say anything, Ezra breezed in, “Good morning.  I had hoped to arrive before you went to bed Mr. Larabee and it appears that I am in luck.  I have your meds from the hospital, you really should take these.”  Filling a glass from the tap the undercover agent placed the pills and water in front of the team leader.  “What in the world is that heavenly aroma?” Ezra sniffed at the air appreciatively and glanced into the pan, Buck was standing in front of, “Is that what I think it is?”

 

“Yes it is, and if Christopher is a good little ‘doobie’ and takes his pills, I’ll give him an extra large helping.” Buck threw a glance over his shoulder at his friend who had yet to pick up the pills.

 

“That’s blackmail.  Here I am wounded and sick and you’re trying to bribe me with your chocolate.” Chris pouted but choked down the pills, “I’m holding you to that extra helping.”

 

Ezra just stared at his team leader in amazement, “All I had to do was get you some hot chocolate and you would have taken your meds?  I don’t believe it.”  Ezra pulled down three mugs and waited for Buck to finish.  “I hope you made enough for all of us.”

 

“No Ezra, I wouldn’t have taken my meds for just any hot chocolate, Buck’s hot chocolate is like pure unadulterated heaven.  I can’t get enough of it.”  Chris grinned holding out his hand to accept the full mug Buck had prepared.

 

Ezra sniffed his mug and smiled widely, taking a small sip he moaned, “Buck, I hate to admit this, but Mr. Larabee is correct.  This is absolutely delicious, bordering on the ‘better than sex’ category.  I must have the recipe.”

 

Turning around to lean against the counter Buck wagged his finger at Ezra, “Sorry there Ez.  The recipe is in my head and that’s where it will stay.  Chris has been trying to get it out of me for like fifteen years, but I haven’t budged.  Of course, I do take pity on him at times and brew him a special batch.  I also make it on Christmas so make sure you’re here and you’ll get some.”

 

Chris took a long drink from his mug and sighed in contentment his eyes drifting shut, savoring the moment.  Buck and Ezra joined Chris at the table and the three drank their hot chocolates in companionable silence.

 

By the time they were done drinking their chocolates Chris was struggling to keep his eyes open.  Buck reached out to take the mug from Chris’s lax fingers.  “Come on, Stud.  Let’s get you tucked up in bed.”

 

Chris jerked awake and yawned widely before slurring out, “No Buck, I want to get something to eat first.”

 

“Mr. Larabee, I can assure you that the morning is not far off and you can have a hearty breakfast instead.  Right now you would probably fall asleep in your plate.  Not an attractive prospect, I can assure you.”  Ezra gathered up the empty mugs, rinsed them, and placed them in the dishwasher.

 

Buck got up and pulled Chris to a standing position, but Chris’s body had the rigidity of a wet noodle.  Chris’s head fell forward and Buck heard a small snore.  Laughing quietly he slung his friend over his shoulder, “Pain meds kicked in, he’s got no tolerance for them.”

 

“Lest you forget, Mr. Wilmington, he hasn’t had anything to eat for quite a few hours, I’m sure they went right to his head.”  Ezra grabbed up Chris’s crutches and hurried ahead to pull the covers down.

 

Once in Chris’s room, Buck dropped his cargo gently onto the bed.  Ezra handed him some extra pillows, which Buck propped under Chris’s injured ankle.  After pulling the blankets up to his shoulders they crept to the door and turned the light off.  At the sound of car doors slamming Buck pulled the bedroom door shut and sprinted to the front door.

 

Buck reached the door just as it shot open.  He was able to snag the door before it bounced off the wall.  Throwing a heated glare at Vin and J.D. he indicated that they needed to be quiet.

 

Vin and J.D., laden down with boxes of food shuffled into the kitchen, “Sorry!” they crowed in unison and Ezra hissed at them.

 

“Mr. Larabee just fell asleep and here you two are lumbering in like a herd of buffalo.” Ezra admonished taking a box from Vin and setting it on the counter.

 

“Don’t be getting your panties in a bunch, we said we were sorry.  The boxes were awkward and the door moved faster than we intended.” Vin growled back, flopping down in the kitchen chair, “I didn’t figure I’d be eating dinner at what?” he looked at the clock on the stove, “Shit it’s three o’clock in the morning.  We should be sleeping not eating.”

 

“We got you a burger with all the fixings and a large order of onion rings, Nathan wouldn’t let us get Chris a steak.  He’s got chicken noodle soup instead.” J.D. mentioned as he popped the top on a can of Mountain Dew.

 

Ezra pulled out the two quarts of soup and moved them into the refrigerator, “He can eat these later.” Picking up his meal he set it on the kitchen table along with a glass of iced tea.  “Where’s Josiah?”

 

Vin laughed evilly, “Oh well, he’d gotten himself this monster coffee while we were waiting at the Saloon and when we were turning into Chris’s driveway, he took a sip.  Did you find the gully in Chris’s driveway?” when Ezra laughed Vin continued on, “Well needless to say he hit it full speed, the gully I mean, and sent coffee up his nose and down his front.  Me, I bit my lip.”

 

“Josiah’s outside cursing six ways to Sunday, trying to mop up the coffee and clean himself up.  I thought I might have heard him say something about breaking Chris’s other leg for not forewarning us.” J.D. giggled as he was drinking his soda.

 

Buck poked his head in the kitchen and snapped, “Guys, I can hear you all the way back in the hallway, hush, Chris is sleeping remember?”

 

“What’s wrong now Buck?” Nathan asked as he stepped into the kitchen.

 

“Nothing, when’d you get here?” Buck asked taking a seat at the table.

 

“Just now, got Chris’s meds so we don’t have to go back out tomorrow.” Nathan joined them and J.D. handed him his dinner, “I can stay for a while, but I promised Raine I’d be home by one o’clock to take her Christmas shopping.  It’s gonna be a long day.”

 

“Okay, where’s my dinner.  I’m starving.” Josiah belted out as he stepped in the kitchen.  He was greeted with five hisses. “What, where’s Chris?”

 

“He crashed, he was sleeping in his bed, not so sure now with all you loud mouths.  You know how grumpy he is when he’s feeling low.” Buck replied and took a large bite of his burger.

 

“Who’s taking first watch?” Josiah asked as he sat down.

 

“I’ve been watching him already, so whoever’s next better get to it.  By the way, I’m gonna get a little snooze after this, I’ve got the guest room.” Buck stuck his tongue out at Vin who scowled.

 

“Hey, I was gonna take the guest room.  I was stuck out in the woods too you know.  It could be me laid up instead of Larabee.” Vin groused and washed his dinner down with a Coke.

 

“Mr. Tanner, I believe it was your faulty vehicle that left you in the woods.  Have you ever heard of the concept of routine maintenance?”  Ezra pointed out as he threw the remains of his container in the trash.

 

“Blow me, Ez, I had just changed the oil, she was purring like a kitten.” Vin pouted and grabbed another can of soda.  “I’ll take the next watch.  That way when you are doing the morning chores I’ll be snuggled up in bed.  Shit, no wait!  I’ve got to get my Jeep off the stupid mountain.”

 

“Naturally.  Aren’t you the one who told me that there was nothing wrong with honest work and honest sweat?  Do your watch, then you can wake me and I’ll take you up the mountain to wait for the tow truck.”  Ezra explained on a yawn.

 

“Thanks, Ez.  You’re all heart, thanks for the sympathy.” Vin snorted and dropped his head on his hands.  “I’m too tired for this.”

 

~o~

 

Treading softly back the hallway, Ezra stopped at Chris’s bedroom door and listened, hearing nothing he slowly wrapped his hand around the doorknob and turned.  Pushing the door open just a little, he wondered if their leader was still sleeping.  Leaning partially through the doorway Ezra looked toward the bed, trying to discern the shapes on the bed in the dim light.

 

Chris had apparently gotten restless and had turned onto his right side, somehow keeping the stacked pillows beneath his ankle.  The awkward position did not appear to be comfortable to him, but their team leader was his own enigma.  Closer inspection revealed that the comforter was currently trailing onto the floor amongst the other bedding, and Chris was curled up as if to conserve body heat.  Ezra could tell he was shivering, even from his current locale.

 

Sighing dramatically, Ezra tiptoed into the darkness of the bedroom.  He had not wanted to turn on the lamp for fear of waking their sick and injured friend.  Reaching the bed, Ezra carefully straightened the blankets and laid them back over Chris, tucking them up over his shoulders.  Chris suddenly moved, and fearing that he’d awakened the man Ezra froze in place.  The seconds ticked by agonizingly slow, as he waited for Chris to settle back down.  He watched as Chris reached up to his shoulder, grasped the blankets, burrowing further into the warmth.

 

Silently counting to ten before backing slowly out of the room, Ezra hoped to make his escape with no one being the wiser.  He pulled the door to without making a sound and turned to head to the guest room only to run flat into Josiah.  Biting his lip to keep a startled yelp from getting out he glared at the larger man.

 

Josiah moved to the side to let Ezra pass, “You know Ezra, no one would ever guess that you were so caring.  You spend all of your time trying to cover up your good nature, even though it would do your soul well to let it out more often.  The good Lord rewards those with an honest and caring heart.” Josiah whispered clapping Ezra on the back.

 

Huffing, Ezra moved up the hallway, “Save the sermon and praises for someone worthwhile, Josiah.  My soul is too crooked and stained to save.  I didn’t do anything different then the rest of you gentleman would have.”  Stepping through the guest room door, Ezra called out lowly, “You would do better to save one of the others, good night,” looking down at his cell phone he smirked, “I stand corrected, good morning.” The undercover agent closed the door effectively ending the conversation.

 

Josiah laughed softly; Ezra was about as pleasant as Chris when there was a lack of sleep.  Moving to the living room, he lowered himself into Chris’s favorite recliner.  He could hear Buck’s snores coming from the direction of the couch and the soft electronic beeps coming from some video game J.D. was playing while stretched out across the second one.

 

Vin moved into the living room from the kitchen, dropping down onto the hearth with a sigh.  “Sun will be up in a few hours, Nathan just high-tailed it outta here.  Said Raine was going to kill him because he promised to be home at one, well it’s four now.  By the time he gets home it’ll be getting onto five.”

 

Josiah nodded in agreement, “Ezra just went to bed, if I were you I’d wait until later in the morning to call about your Jeep.  You’re going to be paying extra for the weekend, don’t want to pay more for the early hour.  Of course if you would subscribe to an auto club you wouldn’t have to worry with that.”  Josiah watched the emotions play across Vin’s face.

 

Rubbing at gritty eyes Vin groaned, “You know Josiah, even if I had a membership to an auto club it wouldn’t have mattered.  There was no cell reception on that mountain.  Hell, Chris was going to use his auto club, but we couldn’t get a call out.  This could have happened to anyone, cars break down.”

 

Sighing deeply Josiah replied, “I wasn’t blaming you, Vin.  I was just saying that you could save yourself some of the towing fees if you had subscribed to an auto club.  Things happen.  I completely sympathize with you, it’s happened to all of us at one time or another.”

 

Vin just grunted and leaned forward to rest his head in his hands, “I’ve got to go check on Chris.  I’ll be right back.”

 

“Ezra checked just a little while ago, he was sleeping then.  I think he’ll be fine until daybreak.  Why don’t you go grab some shut eye,” Josiah yawned as he extended the foot rest on the recliner and settled in.

 

“Maybe I will, I’ll sack out in the den.  See you in the morning.”  Vin groaned as he pulled himself up and trudged to bed.

 

Soon the house was quiet except for the random, snores, snuffles, and sighs coming from the six men occupying the team leader’s residence.  The sun rose slowly in the east, the sky lightened, bringing with it the promise of a cold and clear day.

 

As the morning moved on the sun’s rays entered through the master bedroom’s windows, streaming across the floor and making their way ever closer to the king sized bed where the team leader lay oblivious to the new day.

 

Chris lay perfectly still as consciousness slowly returned, he didn’t want to be awake right now.  There were just too many aches and pains clamoring for his attention, and to top it all off, there was a pesky sun beam trying to penetrate his tightly closed eyelids.  Groaning loudly he pulled the pillow from underneath his head and slapped it over his face.  Issue number one confronted and destroyed.  “Yea, Larabee!  Score one for you.” He thought acidly, if only the other issues were as easy to deal with.

 

He continued to lie on the bed praying that his bladder would go back to sleep, but it was not meant to be.  So, unless he wanted an embarrassing mess he was going to have to drag his ass from his comfortable bed and take care of it.  Throwing the pillow across the bed he levered himself up onto his elbows and glared at his traitorous ankle, which was just now joining the party.  Slowly moving his feet off the bed, he ventured to put an infinitesimal amount of pressure onto his bad foot, effectively short circuiting his brain.  Letting out a yelp he tried to pant through the pain, while trying to see past the flashes of white light obscuring his vision, “Holy shit!  What the Hell?  Owww, just shoot me now.”

 

“Well now, Cowboy, I think that’d be the waste of a good bullet.  So what’d you do?” Vin looked down at his friend who was quickly wiping tears from his eyes.

 

Scowling up at the sharpshooter Chris growled, “All I tried to do was get out of the bed.  Didn’t even put my full weight on it.”

 

“Well you weren’t supposed to put any weight on it, doctor told you so.  Just stay in bed, I can get you what ever you need.” Vin slumped onto the edge of the bed and scrubbed at his neck.

 

“I have to get out of bed for some things, Vin.” Chris grabbed for his crutches, pulling himself up slowly and moving to the bathroom.

 

Vin laughed out loud, “Why didn’t ya say something, I could have gotten a pitcher from the kitchen.”

 

Chris stopped his trek across the bedroom and threw a look at Vin, “There is no way I’d take a piss in a pitcher, that’s just gross.  As long as I’m still breathing I will make it to the bathroom to take care of business.”

 

“I’m just saying, Cowboy.  Just to make your life easier, and anyway, that’s why God invented soap and water.” Vin called as Chris entered the bathroom.

 

“Vin, I’m going to pretend I didn’t hear that.” Chris sighed and slammed the bathroom door behind him.

 

“Just trying to help out.  I’ll just wait out here, in case you need some help.” Vin leaned back on his elbows and waited for Chris to reappear.  Man, Chris’s bed sure was comfortable, perhaps he’d check it out just for a few moments; there was no harm in that.

 

Chris exited the bathroom about ten minutes later to find Vin snoring softly on his bed, shaking his head he grabbed his robe off the hook on the door.  Putting it on and tying it tight, he made his way out toward the kitchen; everyone else appeared to be still sleeping.

 

Noticing his prescriptions sitting on the counter he debated whether he should take them.  The heavy ache in his ankle convinced him otherwise, downing the pills with a glass of water he grabbed up what he needed for a bowl of cereal.  Once he’d finished eating he made his way back to bed.  As he entered the room he felt the chills start back up, suppressing a groan he painfully pulled off his robe and crawled back into bed.  Pulling the blankets up to his chin he curled up so that he wouldn’t accidentally kick his friend in his sleep.

 

Sighing heavily he waited for sleep to overtake him once again.

 

 

 

 

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