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Part 9 of 10.
Title: Before, During, And After.
Author: Lopaka Tanu
Disclaimer: I do not own The Magnificent Seven or Without A Trace.
Characters: Martin, Jack, Danny.
Words: 1052
Sequel to: Following Along The Way.
Spoilers: Without A Trace: Pilot.
Fandom: The Magnificent Seven/Without A Trace
Pairing: None
Rating: Teen
Warnings: Angst, Language, Violence.
Summary: Martin's first day with the MPU in three scenes.
Author's Note: Spring - 2002.

Stepping off the elevator, Martin felt like his heart was about to burst through his chest. He couldn't ever recall being so nervous in all his life. What the hell had he been thinking accepting this assignment?

Closing his eyes, he paused just outside the door to the office. Sucking in a breath through his nose, he exhaled slowly from his mouth. He did this twice more before he opened his eyes. Martin knew he wasn't ready for this.

Swallowing back a need to look around, he reached up and pulled open the door. Soft noises drew his attention rather quickly. A phone rang in the distance mingled with the hum of several computers running. For a moment, he was back in the office in Seattle. This gave him the will to push forward.

He was never going back there.

Following the sound of voices, he wandered over to what he assumed was his new boss. The man looked very well in his suit, almost as if born to it. The people around him, from what he could see, were also rather attractive. There were none of the pasty skinned, off the wrack suit wearing individuals from the old office. That was a very good sign.

Martin knew exactly when Jack noticed him. The man stopped talking and stared directly at his face. The frown made Martin a little uneasy, so he stepped forward. Raising a hand, he waved it at the man.

Shaking his head, Jack went on with his lecture to the other agents.


Sitting in the passenger seat, Martin nervously licked his lips. His stomach twisted very time the older man would glance over his way. This was not the first day jitters he had been expecting. Clearing his throat, he decided to start a conversation to break the tension. "So, how long have you been doing this?"

"Five years, give or take a couple months." Traffic was going slow enough that Jack didn't have to keep his eye constantly on the road. Glancing over at Martin, he couldn't stop himself from frowning again. "Tell me a bit about yourself. Your file didn't exactly give away many details."

"Sorry about that, it's the case I used to work on." This was something Martin had prepared for. He smiled as he slipped in to the prepared response. "Before Seattle, I was assigned to the RICO unit. I went undercover shortly after completing my training."

"It said you were there for six years. That's a long time for any agent." A horn honking behind them forced Jack to face the front again. "What was that like for you?"

"It was great, actually. Coming back wasn't exactly by my choice." Realizing the bitterness in his tone, Martin hummed under his breath. "I can't go in to details, but my situation had become too much to handle."

"That's understandable." Jack debated turning on the blinker. He was close enough to use it, but the cars in front of him weren't moving. In the end, he flipped the switch anyways. Casting another glance at Martin, he sighed. "This is going to sound strange, but I have the feeling we've met before."

Twisting his lips, Martin shook his head. The other man was in no way familiar. "Sorry, you're not ringing any bells. I don't recall having seen you before today. Not that it isn't a pleasure meeting you, that is."

"Don't worry, your job's not in jeopardy just because I'm having a mental short circuit." The look he gave Martin's profile said that he didn't think it was just a mental gaff.

Martin slid two fingers along his forehead to ease the forming headache.


As Jack slammed the doors to the ambulance shut, Martin glared at him through the glass. His head was killing him and that idiot with the gauze pressing against the wound wasn't helping anything. Gritting his teeth, he braced himself when he heard the engine start up.

Sitting on the bench across from him, Danny watched Martin's reaction with a smug grin. That quickly shifted to a smirk. "You let the perp get the jump on you. Stupid move, Martin. I don't think that was a real good way to impress Jack with your skills."

"Oh, thanks for the concern." Martin clenched his eyes shut. Each pot hole the ambulance hit caused the paramedic to accidently touch his head. "Can you wait until we're parked before you finish?"

"Sorry, sir, but this has to be taken care of now." Using one hand to hold the gauze, the paramedic pulled open tape with the other.

The thought of that being stuck in his hair made Martin sigh. It was going to take a lock with it when it came out. "Great first day on the job."

"Couldn't have said it better myself." Danny had to brace himself on the gurney as the ambulance made a turn around the corner. His hand slipped off the edge and bumped in to Martin's leg.

"Hey, watch it!" Trying to get his leg away from the clumsy oaf, Martin leaned forward to give himself leverage. Unfortunately that dragged him away from the paramedic and the bandage in his hand. Martin's eyes shot open as he bit his lip to keep from whimpering.

After righting himself, Danny looked up at Martin with a smirk. That quickly turned in to a frown. "You okay there, Fitzy?"

"No." Eyes facing directly in front, Martin held his back straight. The only sign of the pain he was in were his knuckles. They were clenched around the hem of the blanket and quickly turning white. "I think I am going to kill that guy when I get out of the hospital and my head stops hurting."

"Hey, don't worry about it. I'll even hold the guy down for you." Danny reached up to thump Martin on the shoulder.

"Danny, no!" Too late, Martin's body was jostled and the paramedic's hand slipped.

Wincing, Danny pulled back to his side of the ambulance once more. "Sorry."

Face contorted in a grimace of pain, Martin glared at the other man from the corner of his eye. "And you. I think I'm going to kill you too just for touching me." He really was.

Danny's only response was an even bigger smirk.

THE END..............................
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