And I Know How To Use It
Disclaimer: The characters of "The Magnificent Seven" belong to MGM, Trilogy, etc.
and are used here without permission. No copyright infringement is intended.
Genre: BSS - Bumper Sticker Story (a story inspired by a bumper sticker)
Characters: Chris, Vin, JD
Rating: FRC (Fan Rated acceptable for Children) - Child
Feedback: to MMW
,b>And I Know How To Use It
JD hopped out of Chris’ Ram as the blond parked it on the street outside Vin’s apartment building. The young man was excited about today and being a part of renovating the empty lot. Having grown up in a city, Dunne was well aware of the lack of places to play and saw this as a chance to build the playground he always wanted.
Seeing Vin nearby, he walked briskly over to the Texan and pulled out his work gloves. “JD Dunne reporting for duty,” he teased as Vin smiled in greeting. Turning to look over the landscape, JD identified three distinct groups of people, all of them kids. “Where are the adults?” he asked, turning curious eyes to his friend.
“Most of them have to work today and the ones that don’t have errands,” Vin explained. “The kids decided if they were going to play here, then they should have a hand in cleaning the place up.” Seeing the younger man nod in agreement, Tanner smiled and slapped JD on the back. “I have you in charge of the 9 and under crowd over there. They’re good for running errands, picking up most trash and small brush. I’ve already been through and tried to pick up anything they shouldn’t be around, but you best keep an eye out.”
Nodding, JD tried not to think about the inappropriate things Vin had already cleaned up. “Sounds good,” he agreed. “Trash bags?” A roll of trash bags appeared in his hands along with a box filled with kid-sized work gloves. “Guess we’ll get started then,” he informed with a smile as he headed off to the group of about ten children.
The sharpshooter turned and looked for Chris, wondering what was keeping him. The blond was leaning against the side of his truck staring down a group of five older teens. With a sigh, Tanner walked over and stopped between the groups. “This isn’t getting our work done,” he informed the six men. “The lot’s over there and we need to get working on it,” he informed, his look telling the five teens and his friend that he wasn’t about to put up with anything happening today. With a final glare at the blond man, the group moved toward the lot’s entrance.
Turning to meet his friend’s glare, Vin frowned. “You’re here to help, not start something,” he stated, folding his arms across his chest. “It might work better if you lose the attitude.”
Chris met the blue gaze for several seconds before standing up straight and letting his arms drop to his sides. “Then let’s work,” he suggested, heading toward the lot.
Vin shook his head and couldn’t help but smirk at his friend. Originally, Vin was going to let Chris handle the older teens and those doing community service, but now he decided his friend could spend the day with the 10 to 14 year olds, mostly girls who already had a crush on the blond man who dressed in black.
By the time lunchtime rolled around, the three ATF agents were feeling the morning’s work. JD’s cheeks were flushed and he was talking almost as fast as his small charges. The group of younger children had done a wonderful job picking up the garbage and small debris.
Vin, working with the older teens, had been able to clear away most of the larger items. The boys who had been staring down Chris earlier had proved industrious workers and they were well ahead of schedule.
By the time Vin called lunch, Chris was ready for a break. The constant looks, batted eyelashes and giggles had been somewhat annoying but easily ignored until the boys in his group started informing him that the girls liked him. Still, he had more or less shrugged that off, after all preteen and teenage girls had been a mystery to him when he was their age and he highly doubted that would change any time soon. Still, the pinching of his behind had to stop.
“Looks like you have some fans there, Chris,” Vin teased as the man in black leaned against the wall next to him.
Chris shot a glare at the Texan and saw the laughing blue eyes. “You knew they had a crush on me,” he accused.
A smile was Vin’s only reply as he took a sip of water. “Couldn’t have you working with the older boys like I planned, not after that face off earlier.”
Chris glared at his friend for a moment before huffing out a breath and taking a sip of his bottled water. Any reply he would have made was cut off when several ladies from the apartment building showed up with lunch.
The afternoon wore on swiftly and before long Vin called it a day. The younger children and JD all let out groans of disappointment that their fun was over. Chris, cheeks pink from embarrassment more than exertion; amazed at the comments he was overhearing and the actions of some of his charges. The group that had been working with Vin said nothing, but remained quiet and orderly.
Dismissing the children to back to their apartments, Vin walked over to his two friends.
“That was great, Vin!” JD enthused. “I had a lot of fun and I think we accomplished a lot today.”
Smiling at the younger man, Vin nodded his head and agreed, “That you did, JD.” Taking in his other friend’s countenance, he managed to hold back his laughter but could do nothing about his smile. “Interesting day, Cowboy?” he inquired.
Chris glared at Vin, the blond’s cheeks turning a deeper shade of pink.
Unable to hold back, Vin’s laughter echoed around the empty lot. Slapping both men on the back, he suggested, “Why don’t you grab your bags and you can take showers up at my place before we head out to dinner.”
“Sounds good,” JD said, heading off toward the Ram.
Chris hit the remote unlock on the vehicle and then turned to the smirking Texan. He opened his mouth to say something and then closed it again, shook his head and headed off toward his truck, leaving the chuckling sharpshooter behind.
Vin watched Chris move off to get his things and then headed into the building to make sure he had enough towels out.
Chris nodded at JD as the young man headed past him into the building. Opening the door and leaning into the cab, he grabbed his bag and was just standing straight when a high-pitched shriek reached his ears.
Turning quickly, he caught sight of two of the girls he’d been working with that morning surrounded by several gang members. Leaving his bag on the seat and closing the door, he headed down the sidewalk and called out, “There a problem here?”
The gang members turned and watched the man dressed in black approach. They weren’t too concerned after all he was just one man. “This ain’t none of your business,” one of the youths informed.
Stopping a few feet behind the girls, a cold, evil smile crossed Larabee’s face as he stared at the leader. “Oh, I’ll make it my business,” he informed, his voice low and cold. He took pleasure in the nervous glances flitting between the gang members.
“There’s only one of you,” the leader retorted, hoping the fear he felt at the cold look in the blond man’s eyes didn’t carry in his voice.
Taking a step closer to the youths, Chris motioned for the two wide-eyed girls to head back to the apartment building and safety. Baring his teeth and shifting his weight to the balls of his feet, Larabee hissed, “Hardly seems like fair odds… For you.” He smiled more broadly as he saw the leader of the group swallow convulsively even as he began backing away.
“Let’s go,” he commanded the others, turning and walking away, hoping no one noticed how his voice cracked.
Watching the would-be tormentors walk away, Chris turned when a hand clapped on his shoulder. He found himself looking at the laughing face of his friend, but he noticed that the Texan’s eyes were hard, cold as he watched the retreating forms. “Looks like you might need to work on those social skills Ezra’s always going on about,” he teased.
Chris offered a half-smile and shrugged, “Could be, but in that sort of situation, you need the right attitude to pull it off. I don’t think Ezra can project that.”
“Hey,” a youthful voice called.
Turning, Chris caught sight of one of the youths that had been eyeing him when he arrived this morning. Watching the young man approach, Chris waited to see what he would have to say.
“I want to say thanks for looking out for my little sister,” he said. “I wasn’t so sure of you when you came, especially the way she went on about you, but you’re okay,” he finished offering his hand for the blond to shake.
Chris smiled and took the proffered hand. “Anytime,” he assured.
The youth smiled, nodded and returned to his friends.
Later, after showering, Chris, Vin and JD were headed out to the Ram and then to dinner. JD had walked behind the truck and came to a stop as he spotted the bumper sticker that he knew hadn’t been there when they arrived. Looking at his older friends, he smiled and continued on his way.
Curious about what had caught JD’s attention, Vin and Chris made their way to the back of the truck. Catching sight of the sticker attached to his tailgate, Chris frowned as Vin laughed at the words before heading toward the cab.
Looking around, Chris spotted the youth whose sister he had helped. The kid lifted his chin in acknowledgement that he had applied the bumper sticker. Turning his attention to the words and reading them, a smile spread across Chris face. He caught the young man’s eye once more and nodded in appreciation. For once, he thought, he’d leave the sticker there.
Walking around to the cab, Larabee joined his friends, still grinning. “Where to?” he asked.
“You decide,” Vin replied, not really caring.
“After reading that bumper sticker, I’m not about to choose somewhere you don’t like,” JD teased.
Chris smiled and put his truck in gear as he thought about slogan his tailgate now bore : WARNING: I have an attitude and I know how to use it.
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