Say What?


By JudyL

January 15, 2012


Universe:  ATF

Character Focus: Buck, JD, Vin, Nathan

Language warning: just a little

Summary -   2nd 1 hour fic – January celebration 1-15 Vin F&D group

Theme word: Cracker

Length: 835 words


“I already said no, Buck, and I mean it,” JD said, walking away from his roommate, irritation written all over him.

“Ah, come on, JD, just for the weekend. He won’t be any trouble,” Buck wheedled as he followed, trying to use puppy dog eyes on the computer tech.

“What’s going on?” Vin asked overhearing the rather loud discussion in the hall easily from his desk.

“Buck got himself roped into babysitting for one of his girlfriends and is trying to dump it on me so he can go out with someone else this weekend!” JD exclaimed, throwing his hands up in frustration and disbelief.

“Come on, Buck,” Nathan chided. “That’s low, even for you.”

“Hey!” Buck protested. “Jenny is not my girlfriend. Yeah, we went out a few times, but we’re just friends. She asked me to watch Alfred while she was out of town this weekend because we get along, but I promised Alicia I’d take her skiing.”

“And,” Vin concluded, “since the mountains just got a fresh layer of powder, you thought it was a good time to go.”

Buck nodded earnestly.

JD just flopped into his chair shaking his head. “Well, I have plans too, and they don’t include Alfred! He’s noisy, messy and demanding!” He turned on his computer and started accessing a file.

Nathan raised his eyebrows a bit shocked by JD’s obvious dislike for the kid. “He can’t be all that bad. How old is he?”

JD stopped typing and stared at Nathan. “What does that have to do with anything? He’s Buck’s responsibility?”

Nathan shook his head and looked pointedly at Buck.

The ladies man shrugged helplessly.

“Come on, guys, you can’t guess by his size?”

Buck frowned and opened his mouth to say something, but was interrupted by Chris entering the office.

“You guys remember we have a briefing in,” he looked at his watch, “half an hour, right?” Chris asked pointedly. “Make sure you’re ready,” he added, casting a frown at Ezra and Josiah’s empty desks as he continued to his office.

There was a brief moment of silence, then Buck turned to Vin.  “Would you watch him? He’s really not hard to take care of? I’ll bring all his food and…”

Vin held up his hand. “Do you really think Jenny would want Alfred hanging out in Purgatory?”

Buck paused again, but shook his head. “Hell, Vin, he already knows more dirty words than me,” he said with a grin.

JD just nodded emphatically.

Vin and Nathan shared a confused look.

“Well,” Vin drawled, “hell, he can’t be worse than some of the kids in the neighborhood and I suppose I do all right with them. Ain’t got any plans…” he paused and seeing Buck’s pleading, hopeful gaze grinned broadly. “It’ll cost ya though.”

Buck whooped. “Thanks, Vin. You’re a pal. Whatever you want. And I’ll bring the food, bedding, his cage… Oh and don’t give him crackers, whatever you do…”

Vin stared at Buck in confusion. “Crackers?”

“Cage?” Nathan asked at the same time.

JD nodded. “Crackers give him diarrhea. Trust me, you do not want to give him crackers.”

“Yeah,” Buck agreed with a face that proved he had seen the result personally. “And he needs to stay in his cage when you aren’t home or you’re sleeping, otherwise he gets into all sorts of things. Mainly chewing them up, but if you’ve…”

“Wait!” Vin said loudly, holding his hand up to get Buck’s attention. “Wait just a damn minute, Bucklin. What the hell is Alfred? Tell me you’re not putting a kid in a cage?”

Buck stopped his recitation cold, stared at Vin for a moment, exchanged a look with JD and then they both burst out laughing. After a few moments, during which Nathan and Vin shared their own confused and slightly irritated looks, Buck and JD got themselves under control.

JD managed to talk first, probably having built up his wind from all the speed talking he did. “Guess we didn’t tell them,” he said cryptically.

“No, guess that didn’t come up,” Buck agreed with a wide smile. “Alfred is a Macaw parrot. He’s about two feet tall, not including his tail, has the mouth of a sailor and can’t stomach crackers.” He turned big, blue eyes on Vin. “Will you keep him for me? Please? He’s really a good bird.”

Vin laughed. “Maybe I should meet him first to see if he likes me.”

Nathan chuckled. “I’m just glad you didn’t get around to telling us how big he was, that really would have blown our minds.”

They all laughed and JD added, “Yeah, and what if we knew how old he was, these guys live for decades.”

Buck shook his head. “You’d a thought I was babysitting a two foot tall, fifty year old, with digestive issues that we kept in a cage,” he said dissolving into laughter at the thought.

The others joined him and that’s how Josiah and Ezra found their comrades just moments later.

The end

Feedback is greatly appreciated. JudyL

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