four corners pd

What's Your Excuse?

By: Heidi




Characters:  Seven, Casey, Raphael, Rafe, OFC

Category:  Humor 

Warnings:  A few bad words, and some bad excuses.  Many of the excuses are true and have happened. 

Timeframe:  Takes place prior to the opening of the AU, which is where JD is introduced.

Author's Note:  Thanks to Cin for the beta.  Who said those in law enforcement don't have a sense of humor? 


Part One

Lt. Halter stared out at the eight men and one woman who volunteered for this assignment.  Perhaps "volunteered" was too polite a word.  The Four Corners Police Department received a federal grant for this type of work, and the strict usage restrictions and a bureaucratic error put them in the use-it-or-lose it-and-future-grants forever position.  Since Halter wrote the grant, Chief Travis handed him the responsibility of fulfilling the terms.  Only a handful of people could work it in the compressed timeframe, and it would be bad for future potential grants to have missed the deadline on this one.

Two days ago in desperate need to get personnel to work the special detail before the deadline, the midnight Shift Commander Lt. Halter approached Shift One Sgt. Chris Larabee about his squad being able to work the detail on their day off.  Somehow, Chris encouraged his men to volunteer, and in the spirit of friendly competition, Larabee convinced dayshift Shift Three members Sgt. Raphael Cordova de Martinez and Rafe Mosely to come out also.  The dispatcher made the tenth person, so they filled the personnel requirement. 

Taking his place at the podium, Lt. Halter began, "Welcome to Traffic Enforcement 101." 

They laughed. 

"You'll work in pairs, one on each side of the road, on four different busy thoroughfares.  Find one violation, look for another.  Let's make them stop thinking we're only good for barking dogs and loud noise complaints."  He referred to the recent formation of the Four Corners Police Department, and the fact that many of the citizens did not take them seriously.  Yet.  FCPD would have to prove worthiness and earn respect.  If enforcing traffic regulations would bring a measure of that, then they would do it. 

"Perhaps I am missing something," a soft drawl interjected.  "Unless my mathematics fails me, we have nine persons present, which does not divide evenly into pairs."

Halter smiled; he would have been disappointed if someone missed that little detail.  "Precisely why you are roving, Standish.  This will allow the rest of you to have a canine available for searches.  Make your own stops, Ezra."

The canine handler nodded.  

"Assignments."  The Shift Commander knew his people, and saw the silent looks for pairing up.  "Before you get all cozy with your chosen partner as usual, we're mixing it up.  Wilmington, Martinez, you'll have Fern Highway.  Let's see if you can stay out of trouble." 

"That'll never happen," Corporal Nina Caswell joked.  "Just look at them – like two roosters ready for a fight, already prepared to compete."

"Not true," Raphael replied.  His eyes narrowed at the only female in the room.  "We are not out to write as many tickets as possible; we are here to stop offenders and establish a presence, to keep the roadways safe for our citizens."

"Get the knee boots and a shovel," Caswell retorted.  "It'll be a contest between you two before long."

"And I'll enjoy the be…beverages you'll buy me at the end of the night when I write more than you," Buck told him.  It was obvious to all that Wilmington was going to say beer and changed it in front of Lt. Halter, who had a limited tolerance for unprofessional behavior and comments. 

"I'll celebrate mi victory," Raphael replied.  "At your expense, of course."

"Yeah, right," Buck answered.

"Sure you want to keep them together, sir?"  Nina asked.  "That's kind of like sticking Tanner with Larabee.  Cluster Central."

"Since you mentioned it, Corporal, Larabee and Tanner will be working together.  Tanner needs the exposure, and Larabee's highway experience will help."

"That means ya have ta write tickets, cowboy," Vin teased.  "Blow the dust off yer citation book."

Chris's green eyes glittered with challenge.  "Try and keep up, cowboy."

"Let the testosterone flow," Nina mumbled, throwing up her hands in mock-resignation. 

Halter hid his smile.  He picked these pairs intentionally, knowing they would inspire the others into doing the job right, and check each other to make sure that the citations issued would be valid and hold up in court.  "Mosely, you'll be partnered with Sanchez."

"Josiah's water to Rafe's fire," OFC Nathan Jackson remarked.  "One will wind them up, and the other will calm them down."

"Are you saying I'm a hothead?"  Rafe glared at Nathan.  "I'm not."

"Hardliner," Jackson explained.  "Sometimes rubs people the wrong way."

"We're not out for arrests, folks, we're out for traffic enforcement," Halter reminded them.  "So let's not piss off the populace into acting stupid."

Ezra drolly said, "There are two constants in the universe – hydrogen and stupidity."

Laughter erupted.

"Job security," Buck added.  "Find a stupid person and you'll find a cop nearby with his hand over his face."

"Or her face," Nina interjected.  "Unless, of course, she has her hand over her face after watching yon old man sergeant lose his temper."

"Call me old man again and they'll be watching you walk foot patrol."  He smirked at her. 

"Foot patrol?  How exciting.  Does that mean I get to roust the drug dealers again, and you deal with the Water and Sewer Department complaining about the amount of drugs flushed into their system?"  Nina smiled, a wicked gleam in her eyes.

Larabee covered his face with his hand.

Vin passed Ezra a five dollar bill. 

Everyone else tried hiding grins.

"Nathan, I guess we're together," she said. 

"Someone has to watch your back," Nathan replied. 

"And what a fine back it is," Buck said softly.

Raphael shook his head.

"Corporal Wilmington," Halter warned. 

Rolling his eyes, Buck blew out a breath and spoke in a monotone.  It was obvious he had the words memorized.  "I apologize if anyone was offended by that comment."

"Guess my back's not that pretty," Vin whispered just low enough for Chris to hear.

Larabee coughed to cover his strangled laughter. 

A bemused Lt. Halter finished out the briefing.  "Your clock ends four hours after the time you set up and notify Communications you are ready to begin.  Work off Channel Two, and there's a dispatcher assigned to this detail.  Try not to abuse her too much."

"Who'd we pull?"  Buck asked. 

"Casey," Halter replied. 

Nods of approval met this announcement. 

"Any questions?"

No one spoke.

"Get out there, then.  I'll give Casey your locations."  He passed out a paper to a member of each team with the projected target spots.  Halter wanted to make sure everyone knew where everyone was just in case something went wrong.

The group left the Roll Call room, checked that they had enough citation books, and then went out to their cars.  Each person went through the checklist, made sure everything worked, and agreed to meet up at the Saloon when they finished. 


Part Two

Buck Wilmington believed today was going to be interesting.  They scheduled the task force to begin during the start of the afternoon rush hour until after dinner, as those were usually the best hours to catch offenders on both the main roads and those flying down the copious back roads.  Excepting, of course, when the bars closed and the drunks tried to drive home hours from now.  He and Raphael pulled Fern Highway for their location, one of the prime spots to catch violators because Fern catered to Interstate traffic by advertising food, lodging, and gas.

He set up on a turnaround in the median of Fern, a dual lane divided highway, and Raphael set up out of sight several blocks ahead.  They could radio each other if a driver passed them then floored it, knowing drivers had the tendency to hit the gas once they passed a stationary officer thinking the road was clear further ahead. 

On the floor of his patrol car, passenger side, his travel cooler held drinks and snacks to get him through the shift.  If he was going to talk that much to violators, he wanted to keep his throat wet.  The beer Raphael was going to buy him later would taste even better, but until then, he was sticking to ice water and iced tea.  Figuring he was ready, he prepped the radar gun, and then called in to Communications.

"11-02, FC."

"11-02," Casey answered.

"Commencing run."

"10-4. 1555 hours."  She gave the time so he would know when his four hours were up.

His radio squawked.  "13-01, FC."  It was Raphael, making Buck smile.  Neither one were wasting any time.

"13-01," she replied.

"Commencing run."

"10-4. 1555 hours."



"Watch and learn, rookie," Chris said into his CB, knowing Vin was listening on the channel the squad used for talk around.  He picked a spot on the road leading into Four Corners town proper, a rare section with full shoulders on both sides, and where he would have a perfect view of both sides of traffic.  He pulled his car onto the shoulder, ready to go. 

"I'll get the other side," Tanner replied, stopping on the opposite shoulder.  This way they could scan both sides of traffic without endangering anyone, and visually observe each other's stops. 

Larabee knew they should have a staggered pattern, but Tanner was too new to try that pattern.  This setup worked just as well for seasoning the rookie and Chris felt better having Vin in sight.   

He grabbed the CB mike again.  "You remember supplies?"  Green eyes slid to his cooler on the floorboard of the cruiser. 

"Hell, cowboy, I ain't that much of a rookie.  Reckon I can dig in better than ya can.  When ya get thirsty and run out, I'll spot ya a soda."  Tanner's cocky grin was evident by the flash of white teeth across the road.

Narrowing his gaze, Chris looked for a reason to razz Vin about his uniform, but he found the man perfectly turned out.  The black boots were polished to a shine, the pants and sleeves razor-creased, and the long hair pulled into a queue and tucked under the hat.  He still didn't know why Vin insisted on keeping his long hair, but it was professional in appearance and did not detract from the general appearance.  This included blue eyes that could skewer a man where he stood, but laughed at the sergeant right now. 

Shooting his own medium intensity glare across the road, he lifted the CB mike.  "You ready to observe a master?"

"I was born ready, but I don't see any masters around here," Vin retorted.  "Ya gonna call it, or stand there flappin' yer mouth."

Another glare flew the distance between the two men, and Larabee reached up to his lapel.  "11-01, FC." 


"Commencing run for myself and 11-05."

"10-4. 1556 hours."

Josiah and Rafe's spot was along the main road connecting Outer North with the rest of Four Corners, and relatively rural.  They decided to focus on one side of the highway, and pull cars over one after the other, instead of using both directions of traffic.  Choosing the wide shoulder, they set up.  Josiah opted for second position, figuring Rafe could use the experience and the other man enjoyed traffic enforcement.

"Traffic Hound," a description referring to those who enjoyed making vehicle stops and usually made them one after another, did not apply to Josiah Sanchez.  He rarely pulled a vehicle stop of his own volition unless the person did something spectacularly stupid in a very obvious manner.  Chris convinced him to sign up for this overtime, promising equal time at the Perlman Youth Center for all the officers if he helped.  It didn't take much for Josiah to agree, or get Chris to agree to this; Larabee proved to be an excellent leader for the squad and an inspiration since he was hired.  The sergeant also gave Sanchez considerable leeway in handling his calls, not being a micro-manager, and Josiah respected that.  Besides, he would have done it for Chris just for asking, but the promise of extra help for his own project only sweetened the deal.  

Looking over at Rafe, he still saw the rough edges, but noticed a gradual smoothing over time.  He knew it took Nina awhile to train Rafe, improving his perception that not everything was black and white, but the preacher's son was turning out to be a fine officer.  His romance with Amber from Communications tempered the headstrong personality even more, making him well-rounded versus gung-ho and not thinking through the consequences.

"You ready?"  Rafe asked, bringing Josiah out of his reverie.

"Call it," Sanchez answered. 

"13-05, FC."

"13-05," Casey acknowledged.

"13-05 and 11-03 commencing run."

"10-4. 1556 hours."

 Nathan Jackson figured he probably drew one of the better partners out of the bunch.  He usually worked with Josiah, and they had their own rhythm down, but Nina knew what she was doing and wouldn't need babysitting.  He figured anyone who could work Nevada Highway Patrol as long as she did without going insane from traffic accidents and citations could manage a four-hour stretch of traffic enforcement without going nuts or making Nathan crazy. 

They were a little alike, both being minorities in the group.  Nathan was the only black man, not that it mattered to any of their friends, and Nina was the only woman, which also didn't matter to them.  Both knew what it was like to be persecuted unfairly for being who they were – him for his skin color, and her for her gender – but they respected each other, backed the other up, and she was a stickler during his Academy class for proper training. 

Nathan liked being a police officer, and he was proud to be part of this new department.  Putting on his uniform still gave him a thrill, and he took great care in his appearance.  His belt was black patent leather, his shoes regulation and polished to show his reflection, and his uniform ruthlessly pressed.  All of his collar brass gleamed, and since they were outside, he made sure the regulation Stetson was aligned perfectly.

"You know what?"  Nina asked him.


"You'd scare me if you pulled me over.  All spit-and-polish.  I wouldn't give you any guff."

He laughed.  "Thanks."

"I'm serious.  You look like a recruiting poster."

Nathan gave her a look.  "That a compliment?"

"Yeah, it is.  Rain's a lucky woman."  Giving him a grin, she climbed back behind the wheel of her car.  "Eye to nose?" 

"Love to."  They would set up facing each other on either end of the flat stretch of road they'd drawn for location, mostly in the section between the town and the University.  Radar would be run pointing at each other, and they would catch whatever came either direction, able to use the other's readings to write the tickets.  This also allowed them to see the other's actions and know if things were going well on the stops.

"11-08, FC," Nina said.


"Commencing run."

"10-4. 1557 hours."

"11-04, FC."


"Same traffic."

"10-4. 1557 hours."



Ezra Standish looked in the rear view mirror at the big black face staring back at him.  The Labrador retriever let his tongue hang out, panting a little bit while he sat in the modified kennel.  Ace of Spades, Ace for short, was ready to go to work.  His badge dangled from his collar, and the tinted windows protected him from the merciless sun.

"Hello, partner," Ezra said softly, reaching a hand back to rub behind an ear.

Ace woofed in response, leaning into the hand. 

"A short day, but hopefully a productive one."  He still couldn't believe Larabee convinced him to do this on his day off, but his friend and sergeant rarely asked for favors.  A part of Ezra knew he still owed a debt of gratitude for Larabee writing the glowing recommendation – one that contained more than the bare minimum of words – to allow Standish to get canine handler.  He had a permanent partner now, and that partner was one of the most loyal companions he'd ever had.  He loved canine, and if Chris needed a few hours of his time, well, the blond was welcome to it.  Of course he offered token resistance; no need in appearing so willing to cooperate that it might make the others think he was changing.  He enjoyed the challenge too much to do that, and after all appearances were everything.

One ear listened to the others check in and advise they were starting their radar, and he picked a centralized location so he could reach any of them without too much hassle.  If he had taken bets…wait, there was still time, and again it was expected of him after all.  Grabbing his CB mike, he keyed up. 

"Who's interested in a wager or two?"

"Name it," Buck eagerly replied.

"Ten dollars for the highest number of tickets," he suggested.

"I'm in," Nina said.

"Count me in," Chris added. 

"Yup," Vin said.

"I'm in, brothers and sister."  Josiah's voice rumbled through the speakers.

"Me, too."

"And me," Raphael said. 

"Since I will be required to do searches and not have equal time to write myself, perhaps I should be compensated for my troubles," Ezra joked.

"I figured that," Chris said.  "We'll do that if you can come up with another reason for me to take Tanner's money."

"Ya ain't got a prayer, cowboy," Vin retorted.  "I'll outwrite ya."

"How about best excuse?" Nathan suggested.  "We'll see who gets the best reason for the violation – speed, broken equipment, etc.?"

"Ten dollars a head," Standish said.  "Makes twenty a person, two pots."

"Done," Larabee said.

"Prepare to lose," Buck announced. 

"Ha!" Raphael barked into the mike. 

"Let the games begin," Ezra intoned.  He changed mikes.  "K9-16, FC."


"Roving and available," he said. 

"10-4. All units have checked in and commenced run, 1600 hours."


 Part Three

Buck took the honor of the first stop.  He approached the driver's side, saw the window rolled down, and proceeded with the standard greeting, "Good afternoon.  I am Corporal Buck Wilmington of the Four Corners Police Department.  Do you know why I pulled you over?"

The young male driver looked right into his face and asked, "Do you know why you pulled me over?"

"Yes, I do."

"Okay, at least one of us does."

Any thoughts of sympathy fled with the smartass remark, and Buck issued the first citation of the day.



"I'm Sergeant Chris Larabee of the Four Corners Police Department.  Do you know why I pulled you over?"

"Are you Andy or Barney?"  The sixteen-year-old driver cracked.

"Neither.  Sergeant Your Worst Nightmare," Larabee replied.  "License and registration."



"Sir, I am Officer Rafe Mosely, Four Corners Police Department.  Do you know why I pulled you over?"

"Sorry, Officer, I didn't realize my radar detector wasn't plugged in," the woman said, connecting the small device.

"A little late, Ma'am.  I need your license and registration, please." 



"Officer Nathan Jackson, sir, of the Four Corners Police Department.  I stopped you for excessive speed."

"Aren't you the guy from the Village People?"  The older man asked.

"No, sir."

"Huh.  Did my wife pay to play a joke on me?"

"No, sir, unless you consider court fees and rising insurance premiums a joke.  License and registration."




"Hola, Senora.  I am Sergeant Raphael Cordova de Martinez, Four Corners Police Department.  Did you realize you were excessively speeding?"

"Hey, you must have been doing about 125mph to catch me.  Good job!  Especially in that car."  The woman grinned at him. 

"Gracias.  Since I have, I sincerely hope you feel the same about my good job after I write your citations."



"Sir, I'm Officer Josiah Sanchez of the Four Corners Police Department.  You were operating 55mph in a posted 25mph zone.  License and registration, please."

"I thought you had to be in good physical condition to be a police officer," the man replied.  "You're old and heavy."

Josiah straightened as he growled a second request.  "License and registration, please." 

He ignored Rafe's broad grin.

"Okay, okay.  Don't stroke out on me, man.   Geez, he's old and out of shape, and I'm the one getting the ticket.  This sucks."



"Sir, I'm Corporal Nina Caswell of the Four Corners Police Department.  I pulled you over for operating 75 in a 55 mph zone."

"I pay your salary.  You don't have the right to pull me over."

Nina reached one hand into her pocket with the other out.  "License and registration." 

"This is ridiculous.  I pay taxes."

"Yes, sir.  I'm about to return to you your portion of my salary for the inconvenience."  She held up a quarter.  "Now, your license and registration."



"Sir, I'm Officer Vin Tanner of the Four Corners Police Department.  Are you aware that you have no taillights?"

"You're not going to look in the trunk, are you?"

Warning bells sounded in Vin's head.  "That where the taillights are wired?" he asked. 


"Then I'll have to check the assembly," Vin said with a straight face.  He signaled Chris, knowing he had a good stop and possible illegal items in the trunk of the vehicle. 

The kid refused to allow them access to the trunk, so Vin requested Ezra and Ace for a search.  Ace alerted almost immediately on the vehicle, specifically the trunk, and the officers used that probably cause to search further.  They recovered marijuana packaged for individual sale, and Vin placed the operator under arrest. 



Josiah studied the driver.  "Gee, son, your eyes look red.  Have you been drinking?"

"Gee, Officer, your eyes looked glazed.  Have you been eating doughnuts?"

He gave a mental sigh.  It was going to be a long day, and he now had a very probable DWI arrest in front of him.



Buck asked, "Do you know why I pulled you over?"

"I was speeding because my brakes weren't working, Officer.  But, hey, what do you know?  They're working now!"

"So's my pen for your ticket."



Nathan stared down at the driver.  "You were doing 73 in a 55 mph zone."

"It's this engine, Officer," the woman explained.  "It's big, and it just wants to go and go."

"Ma'am, that's the same engine I have in my vehicle," he calmly replied.

"Well, you know what I'm up against," she answered.

"I know how to control mine."  He accepted the license and registration.  "It's called not pressing on the accelerator." 



Chris yelled over the din, "Ma'am, your tags expired two months ago."

She bellowed back over the screaming kids in the car, "Please take me to jail.  I need the rest."

He looked in the backseat and saw two siblings doing a fair job of beating each other up.   "Get your tag fixed, and I hope your day improves."  It was one of the few times he would let someone off that day.



Rafe stared at the driver.  "I'm giving you a warning because this is your first violation.  Your next one will be a ticket."  He passed over the form.

"Thanks, Officer!  The last officer only gave me a warning, too."

He wanted to rip up the warning, but it was out of his hands now.  Literally.



"You were operating at an excessive speed," Nina informed the driver.

"I was trying to catch up with traffic."

"There's no traffic around," she retorted.

"Yes, I know there were no other cars around.  That's how far ahead of me they are."



"Good Afternoon, I'm Officer Ezra Standish of the Four Corners Police Department.  I stopped you for speeding."

"I'm employed by OJ Simpson and in pursuit of the real killer."

"Mr. Simpson's expenses will be extensive for your lack of driving skill."  He went back to his truck to write the ticket. 



Raphael said, "I clocked your speed at 88 mph."

"88, huh?  Then your radar gun works.  Are we going Back to the Future?  This isn't a DeLorean."

"Nor are you able to go back in time and escape this citation, Senor."




His shades kept his eyes covered to hide the disgust.  Wilmington intoned, "I realize you have a black Trans Am, but the posted speed limit is 55, not 95."

"Don't talk to me, Officer, talk to K.I.T.T."

"Tell K.I.T.T. to run a self-diagnostic while you're getting a few tickets."



"And then the grasshopper landed on the windshield when we left, so we wanted to see how fast we could go before it blew off," the woman explained to Nathan.

He could barely contain his smile.  "Really?"

"Yeah, it's still on the windshield.  See?"  The grasshopper was there.

"Yes, and I see a moving violation citation, too."



"Officer, I have a hot date tonight.  If you saw her, you'd be speeding too."  The guy produced a picture.

Rafe had to give him a warning for that one.



The guy was obviously worried.   Hurriedly, he explained, "My dog got neutered today and I have to check him out."

Standish nearly crossed his legs, prevented a shudder, and waved the man on with a verbal warning.



Having finally finished his arrest, Vin returned to his traffic post with Chris.  The first vehicle he stopped was a pickup truck.  When he approached, he smelled alcohol.  "Sir, I'm Officer Vin Tanner of the Four Corners Police Department.  I stopped ya fer speedin'.  Can I see yer license and registration?"

"I can't reach my license unless you hold my beer."  He passed a mostly empty bottle to the rookie police officer. 

"How many of these have ya had?" asked Vin.

"That's my last out of six, but I got more in my cooler there.  I'd offer you one, but you're on duty so I can't.  Unless your boss doesn't mind." 

Tanner's blue eyes connected with Larabee's, and the sergeant shook his head with disgust in his expression, a smirk playing on his lips.  After watching the man fail the field sobriety tests, Vin placed him under arrest and transported him to the station. 



"I was speeding because I did not see the radar trap," the college student explained.

"You were caught because you were speeding," Nina replied.  "If you had driven the speed limit, we wouldn't be having this conversation.  License and registration, please."



"I'm sorry, Officer, I was trying to blow a leaf off my windshield," the man told Josiah.

"Stopping on the shoulder and removing it works better," he replied.



"Where are you going in such a hurry?" Rafe asked.

"I'm going to be late for work.  If I'm late, I'm going to be fired."

"You should have left earlier."

"Don't you see?  If I'm late, I'm fired, and you detaining me will get me fired.  Then I can't pay the fine."

"Then I'll arrest you for failing to pay the fine.  So, if you hadn't been speeding, you wouldn't be in this situation.  Do yourself a favor…pay the fine, or go to court.  Then the circle will stop."



"Can I explain?"

"Go ahead," Chris said.

"I dropped my cigarette into my lap.  While I was lifting my butt up to retrieve it, I must have inadvertently pushed down on the gas pedal."

"Where's the cigarette now?" Chris asked.


"Show me your pack and your lighter."  He watched the woman wince.

"I don't smoke."

He smirked.  "Nice try.  Your prize – two citations."



"What did you pull me over for?"

Ezra replied, "You were speeding and weaving all over the road."

"Oh, I know about that.  I ran out of beer two miles back and I'm in a hurry to get more."

Standish requested a backup.  Chris responded and stood by while Ezra administered a field sobriety test to the driver.  He ended up arresting his driver for driving while intoxicated, taking him out of the citation circle for a time, and putting him with Vin at the jail processing his prisoner.



"He's not stopping," Raphael said into his radio. 

"10-4," Casey replied.  "11-02?"

"Right behind him."

"10-4.  Tag comes back to 19481 Spruce."

"He's pulled into his driveway."  The sergeant watched the man run into his house, yelling over his shoulder he would be in the bathroom.

They waited in his living room. 

When he came out, he said, "I'm sorry.  I had to go to the bathroom really bad, and sped home."

Raphael asked, "Do you realize you passed ten service stations and fast food restaurants, all of which have public restrooms?"

"I didn't care.  I'm sensitive."

"So you endangered the lives of the public to go to the bathroom at home because you're sensitive."

Buck hid his smile, looking stern while watching the man expect them to understand.

"Well, no.  I was just speeding, not endangering the public."

"Speeding, reckless endangerment, improper lane changes, failure to signal, fleeing and eluding."

"You can't charge me with all that!  I was just going to the bathroom!"

"And passed more than one bathroom en route to your residence, Senor."  Raphael started writing.



"Ma'am," Nathan said, "I'll need to see your license and registration."

"Why don't you cops get your act together?  Yesterday you take my license away, today you expect me to show it to you!"  She crossed her arms.

The mild headache intensified.  "Why was your license taken?"

"Because you people are stupid and suspended me because I didn't go to that dumb driver improvement program.  At the hearing they took my license away, so I don't have one to give you."



Chris watched the woman click the seatbelt into position while he walked up.  Saying nothing about that yet, he introduced himself and requested her license and registration.

"Here you go, Sergeant."  She smiled prettily at him.

"I noticed you're wearing your seatbelt.  Do you believe in wearing it all times?"

"Yes, sir."

"Do you always wear it looped through the steering wheel?"



Josiah looked at the white collar of the priest, a driver the officer observed speeding with reckless abandon down the road.  Before he asked for the license and registration, the priest started talking.

"Bless you, my son.  The devil took control of my foot and I was praying to control my speed!  Thank you for stopping me!"

"Father, is there something wrong with your left foot?"


"Your left foot, Father.  While the right foot may giveth the speed, the left foot can taketh away with the brake.  If the left foot's possessed, the right hand can work the emergency brake.  License and registration, so I may give you a citation and you can go forth and speed no more."



"Sir, are you okay?"  Wilmington asked the driver after one look at his flushed face, labored breathing, and frantic eyes.

"No, sir.  Look, I know I was speeding, but it's a matter of life and death."

Buck felt another good one coming his way.  "Why's that?"

"There's a naked woman waiting for me."

He smiled.  "I understand your hurry, but if she's waiting for you, it's not life or death."

"If I don't get home before my wife does, I'm a dead man."

Buck gave him a warning.



"May I see your license and registration?" Ezra asked politely.

"I bet you're selling me tickets to the patrolmen's ball, right?"

"No, ma'am," he said.  "We do not have any balls."  As soon as the words left his mouth, he wanted them back. 

"I see," she said.  "I apologize for your condition, Officer."

"You have been warned to slow down.  Please continue on your way."  He managed to keep a straight face, albeit slightly red, until he got into his truck.  At that point, he burst into mortified laughter, covering his face with his hands. 



"Can you tell me why you were speeding?" Nina asked.

"I wanted to race you, but I guess you're the tortoise since you were sitting still."

"That makes you the loser, just like the hare," she said with a straight face.



Vin left the station, pleased to get back out on the traffic detail.  His citation count was woefully low because of all the arrests, and he knew Chris would give him a hard time.  Resetting himself, he found a vehicle coming at him at a high rate.  Vin stopped it, finding five people occupied the car. 

Signaling Chris, Vin took the driver's license and registration, smelling the pungent odor of marijuana in the vehicle.  

To make his day complete, three out of the five people were wanted, requiring a patrol unit respond to assist with the transports to the jail and taking both him and Chris off the detail. 

"Good catch," Chris said quietly, collecting his handcuffs and preparing to leave Vin behind at the jail completing the arrest paperwork.

"I'll win on arrests."

"We don't have a pool for that."

"Go catch a speeder," Vin muttered, shooing his friend away.  "I've got three warrants to serve."

Chris smirked.



"What's the problem, Officer?" the man asked.

"Senor, you were operating 75mph in a 55mph hour."  Raphael studied the male driver and his disgusted looking wife.

"No sir, I was going 65."

"Oh, Harry, you were going 80," she said.  "The officer's radar gun's a little off."

"Were you aware one of your headlights is out?  I will have to issue a repair notice for that."

"I didn't know about that!" the driver exclaimed.

"Yes, you did.  I told you two weeks ago to fix it."

The driver glared at his wife.

"And you're not wearing a seatbelt," Raphael continued, realizing he was making up in quantity for the fewer stops he had versus the others.

"I took it off when you came up, Officer."

"You never wear your seatbelt, Harry.  Don't you always say it's against your rights to make you wear it?" she continued.

"SHUT UP!" Harry yelled at his wife. 

"Senora, does your husband always speak to you this way?"

"No, only when he's drunk."


Raphael guessed the alcohol from the mouthwash fumes, hoping the helpful wife would point out the drinking and driving in her own way.



The motorcycle passed Nathan at 110 mph.  He chased it down,  getting it to stop, and Nina pulled up as backup behind him.

"License and registration, sir," Nathan said softly.

The man adjusted, getting out his wallet and passing the documentation.

"Can you tell me why you're speeding?"

"It was freezing cold so I wanted to get home fast."

"I didn't realize 68 degrees outside was the new equivalent to freezing."



"Do you know how fast you were going?" Ezra asked the elderly woman.

"I don't know."

"75 mph."

"Really?  I was seeing if my muffler leaked."

"Perhaps a mechanic could tell you better, but I fail to hear a problem with it, or the proper operation of your accelerator."



"What is his problem?" Nina muttered to herself, continuing to pursue the vehicle.  "11-08, FC, vehicle that will not stop, northbound from my location."

"10-4, 11-08," Casey answered. 

"11-04's behind her," Nathan added.

"11-01's enroute," Chris called out. 

"Radar detector on the dash," Nina sighed to herself.  Reaching over, she flipped the radar gun on, watching the detector in the vehicle in front of her light up.  "Blow by me while the gun's turned off and think I won't notice you're speeding because of a radar detector?  Please."

The subject slammed on his brakes so hard he went into a skid, losing control of the vehicle.  He came to a stop in the ditch alongside the road.  Her hand went up to her lapel, keying her mike.  "11-08, he's stopped, FC.  Ran into a ditch.  Stand by for EMS and start me a tow."

The driver hopped out of the car, immediately kicking the tire. 

"Driver, put your hands behind your head," Nina yelled from the cover of her driver's door.

He did as she asked, standing stock still while the two officers approached.  "Oh, shit, I didn't see you!  Why didn't my detector go off earlier?"

"Because I didn't turn my radar on until I was behind you," she said.  "Proven police technique called pacing.  Don't need the radar gun for that." 



"I'm sorry, Officer," the man squinted at the tall officer.

"Sorry for what?" Josiah asked.

"Speeding," the man continued.  "Without my glasses, I can't see the speedometer."

"Where are your glasses?"

"At home.  I left them by the paper this morning.  Can't see a thing without them."

"Hope you can see the line to sign the ticket," Josiah answered.  "And I'll be calling a family member to bring you your glasses.  Unless you'd prefer I tow the vehicle and call you a cab?"



Chris realized that his number of speeders had significantly declined on one side.  Deciding to check it out, he saw the problem almost a half-mile away from his position.  There was a small boy holding up a sign that said "SPEED TRAP AHEAD" with a can marked "TIPS".  There was a large amount of change in it. 

"Having fun?" he asked the kid.

"I'm saving to buy an Old West playset.  Can I try on your Stetson, Officer?  It looks like a cowboy hat."

"Only if you stop warning traffic," he replied. 

"Can I see the inside of the car?" 

"If you promise not to put your sign out again," Chris said. 

"Okay."  The kid smiled.  "Cool."



"Senor," Raphael said to the elderly man.  "Perhaps you can tell me why you were operating below the speed limit?" 

"No, sir, I wasn't under the speed limit.  The sign said 25."

"Which sign?"  A sinking feeling filled Raphael's stomach, and the scared expressions on the three passengers did not help it.

"The one right over there."  The man pointed. 

Turning his head, the sergeant nearly winced.  "That's the exit number for the resort off the Interstate."

"Oh.  That wasn't the speed limit?"

"No, sir."  Leaning forward, he asked, "Is everyone okay?"

Scared faces peered back at him, all in the midst of heavy breathing or attempting to meditate.

"They'll be fine," the driver reassured him.  "We just got off Route 115."

"You mean exit 115 from the Interstate?" 

"I guess so," the driver replied.

Raphael shuddered just thinking about it.  Someone else was driving home, and probably cleaning out the car, too.



He'd followed the guy for almost a half a mile before the man pulled over.  Buck adjusted his hat, walked up to the man, and introduced himself.   Having had more than enough lies and excuses today, Buck said, "Tell me why I shouldn't write you a ticket."

"Because my wife left me for a police officer two weeks ago and I thought you were him bringing her back.  You'd run too if you knew her."

It was too much.  Buck just started laughing, letting the man go.



"I did it in forty-five seconds," the kid told Nathan. 

"Did what?" asked the officer.

"Stole the car in forty-five seconds.  Better than that movie Gone in Sixty Seconds." 

The sound of a siren reached Nathan's ear, and he looked up to see a Sheriff's Department vehicle slam on the brakes, skid to a stop, nearly strike his vehicle, and the deputy leapt out. 

"Hold onto him!" the deputy yelled.

Nathan reached down and placed a restraining grip on the juvenile driving. 

"Uh-oh," the kid said.  "I knew she'd call."

"He took the Undersheriff's daughter's car," the deputy explained while catching his breath.  "You're under arrest."

"She loves me," the kid countered.

"Which is why she has a peace order against you," the deputy retorted. 

Nathan assisted in removing the juvenile from the vehicle and transferring him to the custody of the deputy.  He noticed Nina never talked to the deputy, and he never made eye contact with her.  Both were professional, but expert in their avoidance of each other without sacrificing the job. 

"I love her," the kid cried again as he was walked to the deputy's car, another deputy arriving to take possession of the vehicle.  "She won't press charges.  I just wanted to have something of hers so she'd have to talk to me." 

Jackson shuddered at the juvenile's comments.



Relieved to finally leave the jail, Vin wanted a chance at getting at least one non-arrest citation.  He had twenty minutes by the time he set back up by Chris, ignoring the other man's smirk. 

Lo and behold, a tractor-trailer came barreling toward them.  Vin managed to activate his lights and indicate for the driver to pull over.  Once the rig stopped, Vin approached on the driver's side.  Chris took up the passenger side, and both men were prepared for anything.

"Sir, I'm Officer Vin Tanner of the Four Corners Police – "  His words were cut off when the trucker revved the engine.

"What?  I can't hear you!" he yelled down.

Vin tried again.  "Cut your engine!  I'm Officer Vin Tanner of the – "

The driver revved the engine again.

Now pissed, Vin climbed up to door level.  "Mister, cut off the engine or I'll arrest your for failure to obey!

In response, the trucker shut down the engine, followed by pushing the door open and knocking Vin to the ground.

Eyes narrowed, Tanner landed on the soles of his boots, his martial arts training allowing him to keep from sprawling to the ground in a heap from the blow.

"You didn't say anything about not opening the door," the trucker defended himself immediately.  "Ain't no assault if you're thinking that way." 

Vin chose not to answer the last comment, instead issuing an order, "License and registration, along with your manifest."

"You ain't got probable cause for my manifest."  He tossed the license and registration down, letting the breeze carry it away. 

Vin smiled.  "Ya just added littering.  Now, get outta the cab and pick it up."

"Screw you."

"Yer not my type.  Now, out of the truck, pick up yer papers, then hand them to me."

"Fascist pig," the trucker muttered. 

Vin glared.  He planned on charging the guy for assaulting him with the door, but held the action for the time being, wanting to get the man out of the rig first.

The driver climbed out and did as he was told.

Chris came around the front of the truck.  "I know you."

"I ain't seen your ugly mug before.  If I did, I would remember it."

Vin called in the driver's license number to Casey, who gave back the response that that the operator was suspended.

"11-01, 11-08," Chris said.


"Need you to slide over and ID this subject.  K9-16, respond as well."

"Sir, are ya aware your driving privilege has been suspended?" Vin asked, talking over the radio.

"You don't say?"  The trucker remarked, his hands sliding to his pockets. 

"Get your hands out of your pockets," Vin ordered, one hand slipping to his gun. 

"Easy, man, easy."  He lifted his hands above his head. 

"You used a different name in Nevada," Chris said.  "In fact, I knocked you on your ass."

"Ain't been to Nevada in years," the trucker responded.  "Look, give me my ticket, and I'll be on my way."

"11-05, FC.  What's the date of suspension?" Vin asked.

"Two years ago," Casey replied.  She gave the exact date of suspension.

"Ya drove fer two years on a suspended license?" 

"What state did I give you?" the trucker asked. 


"Damn.  I meant to give you my real license in Washington State."

"Can I see that one, then?"

"Will it get me going faster?"

"Maybe," Vin allowed, watching Chris keep a straight face. 

The trucker reached into his wallet, removing the appropriate license. 

Tanner's eyebrows rose at the sight of what looked like multiple ID's in the man's wallet, needing additional probable cause to search the wallet; a person could have multiple picture ID's for work, home, credit cards, so he couldn't assume those were all licenses.  He noticed Nina's car pull up behind the rig.  Ignoring that momentarily, the rookie continued, "11-05, FC, copy another driver's license number.  Different state."  He gave it to Casey, and was not surprised when it came back suspended. 

"Corporal, do you recognize the operator of this rig?"  Chris used a formal tone with Nina.

"Yes, sir.  How could I forget?"

"You!"  The driver sputtered.  "What are you doing in this backwater hell?"

"Completing your misery," Nina cheerfully replied.  "Officer Tanner, I have had the occasion to deal with this subject, and at the time he was holding multiple suspended or revoked licenses.  If I remember correctly, and I'm sure I do, he also failed to appear in court."  She reached up to her lapel mike.  "11-08, FC."


"Using the date of birth provided, run the subject with last name Misert, first name Clinton, middle of Harvey."


"How many warrants will she find, Clinton?"  Nina said companionably.

"I should have hit you harder," Clinton muttered.

"You should have made sure I didn't get back up.  Please tell me you're going to be stupid and we'll go again."  She smiled at the driver. 

"This subject assaulted ya, Corporal?" Vin asked softly.  A tiny bit of menace underlined his tone. 

"Good shiner.  Knocked me flat before I got up.  Then we tussled.  Sergeant, didn't you introduce this subject to the side of his rig when you found him assaulting me?"

"That's correct."  Chris smiled.  "Give me a reason to reintroduce you," he said, the light of battle in his eyes.

"I'm sure Corporal Wilmington would like to renew his acquaintance," Nina added.

"Maybe I should bring him over.  He was a little perturbed that this subject was in custody when he arrived last time," Chris commented.

"That he was.  It was a good mad, too.  How much will seeing him bring back that kind of mad?"

"You had a black eye, slight concussion, and bruises from head to foot.  I think the memory will refresh quickly."

Clinton looked at Vin.  "Take me to jail.  Please.  They're nuts.  They'll kill me this time."

"Are you stating that you struck Corporal Caswell in your prior encounter with her?"

"I served my time for it."

"He served his time, Sergeant.  Isn't that nice?"

"But they let him out," Chris replied.

"I paid my debt."

"Let's ask Corporal Wilmington his opinion."

Before anyone could call Buck, Casey took over the channel and advised Vin she had information that he needed to step away from the suspect for, and after he did, told him that the subject was wanted through five states. 

Shaking his head, he walked back over to the man.  Figuring to use the driving suspended charge and the previous assault on him to hold the subject until all the warrants were confirmed, he said, "Turn around, you're under arrest for driving suspended and assaulting an officer.  Me."  He saw Chris and Nina grinning maliciously, and he knew those grins.  Those two were itching for a fight.  "Step over here first."

"Gratefully.  Just keep that bitch, her bulldog, and her pot-bellied pig away from me."  He glared at Nina and Chris, countering his glare by inching carefully away.

It didn't take long for the man to be cuffed and placed in the patrol car.  A long knife was recovered off his right ankle, and a smaller knife was tucked in his belt.  Rolling his eyes, Vin dragged the complaining man to the detention center, ignored the jail personnel laughing at him for his quick return, and sat down to start the mountain of paperwork.  He called Casey, asking her to run some additional information, and began to write.  And wrote.  And continued writing.

The telephone rang, telling him that Ace's scan with Ezra, hit on the rig.  Chris and Nina recovered drugs from the trailer, creating more charges for him. 

His hands hurt from all the typing and writing, and he was just getting started. 



Part Four

Chris settled in his chair, a beer in one hand.  He remembered why he hated traffic enforcement; he could only take being lied to so much without nearly blowing a gasket.  Now that it was over, fun could be had at another's expense.  Checking the room, the sergeant realized most of his squad had arrived but not seated themselves.

Josiah was across the table with a full plate of food in front of him.  They were the only ones at the table, and Sanchez was staring at the meal. 

"Something wrong with it, Josiah?"  Chris asked.

"No," Sanchez replied.  "But do I need it?"

"Of course he does," Nina said, dropping into the chair beside Josiah.  "This man makes me sick.  Eats like a horse and never has an ounce of fat on his body.  Me, I look at that and gain a pound."  She swiped a fry off his plate and ate it.  "Hello, pound." 

"Get your own," Josiah replied, sliding his plate out of her reach.  "I work mine off." 

Larabee then realized that Josiah was worried about his weight and appearance; something a guy didn't really talk to another guy about, and didn't know how to ask if he was getting heavy.  "More than me.  Gotta admit I respect you for all the manual labor you do."

"Did I hear that hated terms manual labor combined in an odious sentence?"  Ezra shuddered delicately, taking the seat beside Nina.  "I already did enough today, thank you." 

"Quit bitching.  We all worked today," Buck told him, spinning his chair around and sitting down beside Chris.  "Some of us more than others."

"Si.  I believe I have the highest number of tickets to show for my labors," Raphael informed them, taking a seat between Buck and Ezra. 

"We'll see," Rafe interjected, dropping on the other side of Josiah.  

"Someone want to grab this?"  Nathan appeared his hands full with drinks from the bar, and behind him one of the servers had a full tray of appetizers. 

Both Josiah and Chris stood to help pass out the drinks, and Nathan took the seat beside Rafe.  There were two empty chairs left at the table.

"Vin and Casey behind you?" Larabee asked Raphael, knowing the sergeant was the last to leave the station.

"Vin's finishing his paperwork, and la senorita will drive him.  Apparently Vin wants to drink tonight, and she will take him home."

"I don't blame him," Buck muttered.  "That boy caught every arrest.  How many tickets did he write?  Six, seven?  Poor guy."

"So poor yer buyin' my first," Vin said, reaching over to take the freshly delivered bottle from in front of Buck, sitting down next to Chris in one of the empty chairs.  "And yer buying the second, cowboy."

Chris scoffed.

Casey eyed them.  "Anyone else wanna surrender keys to me?  I've got room for three more."

"I can manage myself, thank you, Ms. Wells," Ezra declined.

"Sit down, Casey, and we'll let the men be stupid temporarily.  We'll stop them before they leave.  Now, I'm going indulge in fat."  Nina helped herself to some of the messy cheese fries.  "So did we work your fingers raw?"

"Maybe.  It'll take a Sinful Sundae to make up for it," she replied. 

"Allow me to treat you for all your fine work," Ezra offered. 

"You don't have to do that, Ezra.  I was joking."

"Hell, Ez, if you're gonna spring for dessert, I'll get her dinner.  She did more work than the rest of us running all those names."  Buck signaled for a fresh beer.

Chris tipped his bottle in her direction.  "We'll all chip in."

"Guys!  I'm not asking for that," Casey tried to refuse, staring at each of them.

"Ya worked just as hard if not harder than the rest of us," Vin argued.  "Ya deserve it.  'Sides, it'll do Ez good ta part with some of his money."

"I beg your pardon?"

"Si, Senor Ezra can be generous enough to buy me a drink," Raphael added. 

"I can what?"

"Buy me a drink, too," Rafe teased. 

"How about a round for the table?" Buck suggested.  "Excepting, of course, Miss Casey since she's driving."

"Ginger ale for me."  Nina smiled. 

Buck rolled his eyes.  "You used to drink.  Why the change?" 

"You ask that every time, and the answer's still the same.  I'm done with drinking and getting stupid."

"Mr. Wilmington has mastered stupid without the benefit of libations."  Ezra sipped his drink. 

"Says the man who talks to a dog all day," Buck retorted.

The words were nearly drowned out when the band started their first number, something with a dance beat.  "Casey," Nina called over to the younger woman.  "Let's ditch the insult match and dance."

"Right with you."  Casey grinned, and the two women left the table.  They weren't alone on the dance floor; several of the patrons joined them on the floor, and many of the single women gravitated toward Casey and Nina, making a large circle.  Not wanting to be left out, many of the single men started moving in, finding a partner in the group. 

The first song ended and rolled right into another dance beat, this one faster, more primal, and sensuous than the tune before. 

"Watch this," Vin whispered to Chris, indicating Buck with his eyes.  Wilmington was in the process of eating his dinner, ignoring what went on around him. 

Prepared to be amused, Chris turned his attention to his oldest friend.

"Buck!"  Tanner called over the din.

"What?"  Wilmington twisted away from his insult match with Raphael. 

"I think someone's getting a little friendly out there."  Vin pointed out on the dance floor.

The eyes at the rest of the table focused on the dance floor, seeing Nina and a tall, good-looking man currently engaged in dancing positions probably more appropriate in a bedroom setting than in public.

Buck didn't say a word; he just got up, walked over, and nudged the other guy aside.  When the man protested, one look sent the man scurrying.  He reached down, yanked Nina up against his side, and whispered something in her ear, diffusing the flush of her rising temper on her face. 

"I take it they are 'on' again?" Ezra asked.

"An addiction," Raphael said, bobbing his head.  "They are addicted to each other, yet like most addictions, ultimately destructive."

"Mr. Tanner?"

"Yeah, Ez?"

"Perhaps Ms. Wells could need some rescuing.  I do believe I saw that man's hand go under her skirt, and her fist impact with his stomach."

"He what?"  Vin was off like a shot, and this interruption was not as polite as Buck's.  The man found himself bounced out of the bar, accidentally impacting with every hard surface between the dance floor and the door.  Vin came back in a minute later, ordered a beer at the bar, and downed half of it. 

Chris watched when Casey cornered Vin, dragged him by the shirt into a narrow, dim corridor, and verbally flayed him.  His smile widened when he watched his friend frantically try to explain, but Casey wasn't buying it.  Finally, Larabee saw Tanner say something that caused Casey to hug him tightly, and he pressed her head into his shoulder, one hand in her hair, murmuring softly. 

The pair returned to the table at the end of their talk, followed by Buck bringing Nina over, sitting down and dropping her in his lap. 

"Who wins?" he asked the table, one hand around Nina's waist and the other on his beer. 

"The girl or the pot?" Ezra drawled. 

"I'm not a prize to be wagered on," Nina replied hotly.  "And Casey can take care of herself."

"That's right," the dispatcher hotly declared.

Vin winced.

Casey continued, "I just need a little help every once in a while."  She reached over and squeezed Vin's shoulder. 

"Amen to that," Nina announced.  "A toast."  She reached over and grabbed her mug of ginger ale, waiting until the rest of the mugs and bottles lifted.  "To good friends, and to another safe shift."

"Hear, hear," everyone echoed. 

"So who won?"  Rafe asked.

"What was the best excuse?" Ezra asked. 

Buck said, "I heard some doozies today, but I think Raphael's takes the cake.  He had a pursuit so a guy could go to the bathroom.  We waited in his living room for him, then Raphael wrote him five tickets."

"Can't beat that," Josiah agreed.

"Nope," Nathan shook his head.

"Uh-huh," agreed Rafe.

"Shall we call it unanimous?"  Ezra looked around, and then passed one part of the two pots he collected when everyone arrived to Raphael.

"Muchos gracias."  Raphael tucked the money away in his wallet.  "For that, I will buy the table a round."

"My thanks, sir."  Ezra inclined his head to the dayshift sergeant. 

"What about the most citations?"  Nathan asked.

 "We know it's not Vin all he got was arrests," Buck joked.

"Actually, Mr. Tanner has the most citations issued."  Ezra handed the other pot to a surprised Vin.

"How'd that happen?" Chris asked.  "I watched him take arrest after arrest."

"His last stop," Ezra explained.

Chris stared at Vin.  "Misert?"  He didn't see Nina giving him an expression not to bring that topic up.

"You had Misert and didn't call me?"  Buck's arm tightened around Nina's waist.  "Were you there, Chris?" 

"It's nothing, Buck," Nina assured him.

"That man put you in the emergency room, Baby.  That's not 'nothing' to me.  Why didn't you call me?"

Chris smirked.  "We were going to, but the cowboy here hustled him off before we could."

"Hustled him off?"  Buck's glare landed on Vin.

"They were threatenin' my prisoner," Tanner primly replied.  "I feared fer police brutality."

"We were not!" Nina exclaimed. 

"Like hell on brutality.  Hitting him becomes necessary when he gets going," Chris explained.     

"They were threatenin' ta bring ya over and watch ya beat him up," Vin explained.  "After goading him ta resist." 

"Not watch," Chris corrected.  "I wanted to slam him into the side of his rig again."

"And you didn't?" Buck nearly yelled.  "Why not?"

"My stop, my prisoner," Vin declared, "and he fell down a couple times going inta the jail, along with bumpin' his head on the way out.  Tripped on his shoelaces.  Clumsy fella."

"That's it?"  Buck shook his head. 

"Along with forty-eight citations, possession with intent to distribute controlled dangerous substances, kingpin, seizure of the rig and trailer, all cash monies contained within,  and a variety of other charges," Ezra concluded.  "Adding those forty-eight with his other citations from the DWI arrests, and the probable cause citations for the others, Mr. Tanner wrote the highest number."

"Forty-eight?"  Nathan's eyes widened.  "To one person?"

"He was suspended or revoked in thirty five states," Casey explained.  "I should know; I had to run him nationally, and send for certified copies of every suspension and revocation.  Along with five hit confirmations and locates.  That's why I took so long."

"You wrote him for every state he was suspended or revoked in?" Josiah asked, awe in his voice.

"Yup.  He was drunk, too, so he got a DWI charge on top of it.  Failed field sobriety in the jail parkin' lot.  Weren't safe around those two."

Nina twisted in Buck's lap to stare him in the face.  "I'm fine, Vin handled it, so let it go." 

Buck stared at her for a minute.  "Did I tell you about the guy who said he had a life or death emergency?"

"No," she answered. 

"He had a naked woman at his house."

"That's an emergency," Rafe joked.  "Gotta get home to that."

"Si," Raphael agreed.

"Before his wife got home," Buck added.

Groans went around the table. 

"Someone ought to make a list of the bad excuses and post them somewhere.  Along with the message 'Don't ever try this'," Nathan said. 

"How about changing the standard greeting?"  Josiah suggested.

"Ta what?" Vin prompted.

"Chris?"  Sanchez grinned at his sergeant.

A smile played on Chris's lips.  "I'm Sgt. Larabee of the Four Corners Police Department.  I caught you.  What's your excuse?"



Author's Note:  Many of these excuses have been used before, and will be used again by citizens. 

Safety tip:  When pulled over, keep both hands high and visible on your steering wheel and wait for the officer to approach.  Do not reach for anything, go in the glove box, or search your purse/briefcase for your identification.  Keep your hands where the officer can see them, then look for the items when asked and where he/she can watch you.  Officers tend to tense up when people start reaching for things out of their sight before they've approached the car, with good reason.  Many line of duty injuries occur during a routine traffic stop.  Officers don't know what you have in your purse, glove box, or briefcase; they're trained to expect the worst.     

Safety tip #2:  Be polite and courteous.  Depending on the officer, that might help.  Many officers I know document what you said on the back of their tickets and when the Judge asks them if they had any problems on the stop, they will quote you back to the Judge.   

Although I have heard some of these excuses from my deputies, many of them came from a collective web site search.  Some of the sites are provided below: