Weapon Shop 7


Author: Nu_Klear <nu_klear[at]yahoo.com>

Author: Kyle Bernard <csktech[at]yahoo.com>

Copyrighted: Date 7 Dec 2004

Category: Crossover

Rating: PG-13

Spoilers: None

Legalese: All characters with their respective rights, properties and copyrights are the property of their respective creators, authors, owners, producers and agencies. These characters are used without permission. No copyright infringement is intended or meant, and no money will be made from this story. This story may be copied in its entirety, and may be distributed as long as all copyright information remains.

Summary: Andy and Tommy find some common ground, but not much.

Chapter 1

Andy woke up out of a sound sleep; for a moment he wondered what had awakened him, then he realized what it was and went absolutely still… he could feel someone's eyes on him and after a moment of listening intently he could hear quiet breathing at the end of the couch. Slowly the wheelchair-bound gunsmith slid his hand between the couch cushions and gripped the handgun he had hidden there when he laid down.

Once again he thanked God that he had moved the masterpiece of a couch Dragan had given him to his house, replacing it with something that he could nap on or hide something in while working at the shop, without worrying that he was going to stain and ruin a piece of furniture that probably cost a tenth of the price of his house.

"Who's there?" Andy ordered as he sat up quickly and pointed the Smith & Wesson in the direction he was hearing the breathing from, only to jump when a very small form shrieked in a child like voice and ran from office. "What the fuck…"

*CRASH* "NO! Bad Gar… Humph… NO!" Hearing the ruckus in the shop Andy got into his chair as quickly as he could and rolled out there. Halfway between his office and the farthest workbench Tommy was struggling with a large growling and hissing lizard of some kind. What happened next made Andy's eyes go wide in surprise.

"BAD MAN!" The lizard roared as it saw him, then hissed and its struggling increased greatly. "Bad man want hurt Krisle, let Gar GO! Gar protect Krisle!"

"No way," Tommy growled as he finally got to his knees and was able lift the Gar off the floor so it no longer could get any leverage behind its struggles while he got to his feet. "I let you go, you attack Andy, he shoots you, Dad kills Andy for shooting you, then me for bringing you here and letting it happen!"

"Just what the hell is going on out here?!" Andy growled in annoyance, after getting over his surprise, and crossed his arms belligerently. "And what the fuck is that thing?!"

"Give me a minute, can't you see I'm a little busy here, Andy!" Tommy yelped as the Gar's tail caught him across the thigh. "Stop that!"

"NO! Tommy wet Gar go!"

Andy shook his head both in disbelief at the scene before him and annoyance at the way the kid had just spoken to him. Feeling a tug on his pants Andy looked down, and then blinked when he saw a small shivering lizard in a red hat and wrapped in a gray piece of cloth looking up at him with wide open black eyes. "Ooka. Why hooman wit wheels want shoot Kwisle?"

"Uh, I didn't…" Andy said after a moment.

"Den why point gun at Kwisle?" it asked tilting head slightly.

"Hey, I woke up to find someone in my room when there wasn't supposed to be anyone in my room! What should I have done, stopped to ask what they wanted?"

"Yes," it said in a serious tone as its little head bobbed up and down in a nod.

"You're kidding, right?" Andy looked at it incredulously for several seconds when it nodded its head before looking over where Tommy was still trying to hold onto the Gar. "Is this thing for real?!"

"Yes," Tommy grunted as he shoved the Gar into a large case by the work bench, quickly shutting the lid and throwing the lock. A moment later the case began rattling, jerking and jumping across the floor. "That should hold her for a while, as long as she's not mad enough to start trying to chew out of it…"

"Why is my shop crawling with lizards?" Andy asked in a disgruntled tone.

"Kwisle not wizard, Kwisle is Kwisle!"

"Sure, whatever you say…Kwisle." Andy said, looking down at the, now very put out, looking little creature and then back at Tommy. "I'm still waiting for an answer…"

"The Krisle are my buddies. Pop's been looking after the little guys since he was a kid, so they have always been around me..." Tommy saw the look on Andy's face and hurried the explanation along. "Anyway, seeing as I was going to be here a while and it looked like I was never going to get the chance to clean that room you gave me--and I sure as hell wasn't going to sleep in that pig sty until it was clean--I asked them for help. They said they would be glad to get rid of the rats and clean it for me."

Tommy quickly decided not to mention that he had bribed them with chocolate to get the cleaning part. "Guess they decided that I meant the whole shop because they have been cleaning in here when we weren't in here for the last couple of months."

"Okay, I guess I can buy that, but what was that one's problem and," Andy looked at the still 'dancing' case and several smaller ones at the workbench with a bemused expression, "where did all those cases come from?"

"Well, Noel dropped the small ones off when your couch got here… the large one is for something I've got to fix…" Tommy said and looked at the floor guiltily before sheepishly pointing at the workbench. "I was just checking over some of my collection while trying to figure out how to repair it, if I can."

"Really, now," Andy looked at the work bench and his eyes started to sparkle as a large grin crossed his face; laying largely disassembled on the work bench was an honest to god Thompson sub-machine gun. After rolling over to the bench he looked over the weapon. "Whoa, now that's a work of art… where did you get it?"

"That one, one of my brothers gave to me when I was ten," Tommy said with a grin. "It's an FBI presentation model. He picked it up in the twenties, but they wouldn't tell me where he got it from. The others I picked up from various sources over the years."

"The others…?" Andy gave the young man an appraising look before going back to looking over the workmanship that went into the handmade weapon.

"Well, in total I have seventy-five that are fully functional," Tommy shrugged slightly, "and another fifteen or twenty that are nonfunctional and are in various stages of being repaired."

"Geez, kid, you know most kids your age just collect baseball cards…" Andy said sarcastically.

"Andy, I'm 57 years old…" Tommy snapped indignantly. "Quit calling me a kid!"

"You look like a kid and act like it most of the time; act your age and you get treated that way. Say what…?" Andy did a double take. "What the hell is that?" Andy turned to glare at the kid when he noticed something huge sitting on the shop's main workbench. "What the hell is that?" he repeated.

Tommy followed his gaze and frowned. "That would be what Noel dropped off for *me* to fix…"

"Really; I think someone is forgetting which of us is the employer… and which one is the employee," Andy's eyes narrowed and he rolled over to the workbench. "What the hell is this thing supposed to be?"

Sitting on the bench was a huge weapon, vaguely resembling an assault shotgun only much larger; so large in fact it almost made Andy think it should be mounted on a vehicle except for its lack of mounting brackets. Checking the barrel Andy felt like he should recognize the huge bore of the chamber but the more he searched for the memory the farther it slipped from him. "What the hell is this, an anti-tank gun?"

"I wish! That would be easy to fix. This is a custom job I made for Noel about ten-fifteen years ago." Tommy walked over and turned the gun around so Andy could see the damage on the other side of the gun, pointing out the hairline crack in the frame where it looked like the clip attached, and the mangled cocking mechanism was obvious. "It's a pump .935 Four bore; according to Noel there was some *real* trouble at the Mixer last week and he had to use it to block an axe."

"Jesus, what did he need a monster like this for?"

"Self defense…" Tommy shrugged at the look Andy gave him. "What can I say? There are some damn big people that want him dead…"

"Okay, whatever…" Andy rolled his eyes and shook his head, then began looking the gun over for other damage. "Do you know for sure if the barrel is intact?"

"It should be…Noel said that the axe blade caught it across the side panel and pump shaft," Tommy said as he quickly paged through a notebook, stopped flipped back a few pages and read something. "'…while the axe's handle caught and ripped the clip out…' I figure that's how the frame got cracked; the barrel is over three inches from the nearest damage so it should be fine."

"In other words, you don't know... we'll have to check it to be sure. I'm not going to risk having any weapon worked on in this shop blow up in someone's face." Andy shook his head with a sigh and reached for his tools to start tearing down the gun as he began to mentally tally what would need to be done to get the weapon back into working order. "This thing's receiver is definitely going to need to be replaced; get out your blueprints and I'll walk you through entering them into the mill."

"Blueprints…? What blueprints?" Tommy asked distractedly as he continued to leaf through the notebook.

"The blueprints for this cannon masquerading as a gun, its receiver specifically..." Andy said as he picked up a screwdriver that looked like the right size for the screws holding the damaged panel on. "But you might as well grab all of the ones for this thing while you're at it."

"Oh, okay," Tommy said not looking up from the notebook, "it's just that I don't have any blueprints for it."

<What the fuck?> Andy froze, his screwdriver set to remove the first screw from the gun's damaged side panel; then slowly turned and gave Tommy an incredulous look. "You got to be shitting me? There is no way you would throw out something as important as a set of blueprints!"

"Nope, I never made any," Tommy shrugged and held up the notebook in his hands. "I just made notes while I was building it."

<I don't believe this shit!> Andy's face darkened. "What do you mean, you never made any?!"

"I mean I never made any." Tommy shrugged, looked up and sighed at the look on Andy's face. "Look; I can't draw, okay!"

"Oh, that makes it perfectly alright then, never mind all the regulations it violates, or that not having the proper documentation could get the shop's class four license yanked," Andy stated sarcastically. "But what about if someone else is repairing it and needs to make a part for it?"

"Okay… I get that you need them for the license part," Tommy looked at Andy perplexedly, "but why would anyone else need to work on one of the guns I made? I mean, if they just brought it to me I'd fix it."

Andy blinked at the audacity of that statement, shook his head and wordlessly held out his hand and motioned for Tommy to hand him the notebook. When Tommy handed the book to the Immortal gunsmith, Andy pointed at the drafting table with a look that brooked no argument and made the fact he wanted Tommy to go there absolutely clear.

Opening the notebook he started reading but soon stopped and began flipping through it, occasionally stopping to read something that caught his eye. It soon became apparent that the notebook had been used for more than one project and that the notes had been written as they were thought up rather than in any sort of organizational system. After flipping through a few more pages Andy closed the book and wheeled over to Tommy. "Okay kid, you've got a passably good head on your shoulders so why the hell would you do something as stupid as not making blueprints for your weapons?"

"Andy," Tommy looked a bit embarrassed, "if I have trouble with stick figures, I'm afraid to even think of how a gun would turn out."

Andy looked at the young man. "Then learn. If you don't have the ability to make a blueprint that expresses all of your thoughts there's no way you can program the CNC properly!" Andy sighed, "Look, Tommy, this is both an art form and a science. If the art overshadows the science then all you will have are weapons that are one of a kind. Think about the next guy that may have to fix it under worse conditions."

"Hey, I've got it all written down in my books," Tommy muttered with an embarrassed and confused expression. "Why can't the thing just take the written information?"

"Damn it, kid, you aren't listening. That thing is a nice combination of features, but I guarantee that if any other gunsmith saw it they would cringe. If they were told to fix it they would throw their hands up in the air and say they couldn't do it, or at least the honest ones would. Now, given a blueprint that shows how it works and the specs they could honestly say, 'ok, I'll do my best.' Do you see what I'm getting at?"

The defiant look on Tommy's face set Andy's teeth on edge and his voice took on a serious tone. "That's it, kid; I'm signing you up for art classes. Three nights a week you will go to USC and learn to draw."

"Yeah, but..." Tommy scratched the back of his head and sighed, "What I see and what you see aren't exactly the same thing..."

Andy could see what Tommy was getting at, "That's what art is all about, expressing what you see. Look, I know this won't be easy, but if you want to remain my apprentice it's a skill you will have to master."

Andy made a quick decision. "Wait here a second." He rolled past the case that held the Gar and shuddered. His revulsion for reptiles was well earned; he'd had a good friend in 'Nam killed by a Two-Step and since that day he couldn't stand snakes.

Andy pulled his key ring out of the side pocket of his chair. He rolled over to the filing cabinet by the couch. As he sorted through the keys he thought, <Kid's outlook is way too narrow, better learn this lesson sooner rather than later.>

He unlocked the bottom drawer and pulled out two books that measured 18x24. <I hope he appreciates this.>

He headed back to the work area. "Tommy, come over here for a minute. I don't usually show these to people but I want to make a point. He laid the large book down on the table. "Go ahead."

Tommy opened to the first page and then had to unfold that page several more times. "A drawing of a house; I don't get it."

"These are the full scale plans for my niece's dollhouse. I drew them up and sent them over to a friend of mine that also did the custom grips for your Pop's pistol. Keep going."

Tommy thumbed through the book, he stopped politely on each and made noises of appreciation. It wasn't until he got to the second book that he began to realize just how talented Andy was. It was a single picture that drew his attention. "Why do you have a picture of Chyra in here?"

"It's not a picture of Chyra, Tommy."

"It has to be, I can see the anger in her eyes. You must have caught her when she was pissed off at Pop; he's the only one that gets that look."

"Its not a picture, it's a bronze casting that I gold plated and enameled, and thank you I wasn't sure if it was really true. Your father was very polite when I gave it to him."

"You gave this to Pop?"

"I had to do something. Hell, he spent a damn fortune to have that couch made. Look, I'm not saying that this has to be your thing. For me, it helps me to relax. What I'm asking you to do is learn to draw well enough that you can use the CNC effectively, that's it."

"Fine, I'll do it..." Tommy muttered dejectedly and shook his head before looking up at Andy, "but 'til then what are we going to do about Noel's gun?"

Andy and Tommy returned to the workbench. "Well, I'm half tempted to make a new receiver group. I don't know what it is about you guys and swords, but I'm thinking we may need to beef up the whole thing." "You saw the rib I added to Dragan's gun?"

"No, Pop won't let me near *his* armory..." Tommy looked embarrassed, "says he doesn't want to risk me messing any of them up or modifying them without permission."

Andy smiled, "Smart man, your Pop! Well, I'll not only let you see them but if you can convince me you have a better idea you can try it on the prototype... after you pass the art class. Deal?"

Tommy grinned, a gleam in his eyes, "Deal!"

"Alright then… Now what do you want to do about this monstrosity?" Andy was deliberately forcing Tommy to put his ideas into words. <He'll never learn anything if I just do it for him.>

"Well, I'm a little worried about that crack..." Tommy said turning the weapon over and pointing at an almost invisible mark in the magazine well with a frown. "With the force this thing recoils, I'm not sure that it won't tear after the first shot. What do you think?"

"Given the powder charge of a four bore I'd tend to agree, however if we heat the entire receiver group up before we weld the crack and then heat-treat the entire group as an assembly, that should give us the strength that we are looking for. Personally, I'd make a new receiver group but that will take us a few days and knowing your people, Noel wants the gun back yesterday."

"Actually, he said to take my time..." Tommy shrugged and chuckled as he thought, <I just wish I knew 'why' he wasn't in a hurry to get it back!> "so I guess we got the time if that's what it needs."

"Now that's a refreshing change from Dragan's gang," gloated Andy. "Ok, strip it down. I want the magazine group and the bolt in my office in ten minutes. I'll start the blueprint and you make coffee. It's gonna be a long night."

"Ok," Tommy stopped, looked at the gun for a moment before clearing his throat and turned to Andy. Hesitantly he asked, "Ah, Andy if the pump won't move all the way down, how do you get the bolt out?"

Andy gave a wicked smile. "Cut the pump rods and unscrew the barrel, then drive the bolt into the most rearward position. Don't worry; I can make a new pump rod in my sleep…"

"Okay, I was worried I would have to do something drastic for a second." Tommy looked around for something to cut the pump rod and noticed the case with the Gar in it still 'dancing' across the floor as it yelled to be let out. "Andy, think I should let the Gar out yet?"

Andy was still not thrilled with the Gar hanging about the shop, but the Krisle had proven handy around the shop. They'd been taking care of the cleaning, which wasn't one of Andy's favorite things. Besides that, Recon loved all the attention. It was rare that there wasn't at least one or two of the little creatures petting the large Saint Bernard.

"Looks like it may be past time; don't let it go too far. The kids around here are just as likely to kill it as run from it."

"No problem, she's not going anywhere as long as the Krisle are here..." Tommy walked over to the case, knelt down and tapped it to get the Gar's attention. "If I let you out do you promise to not hurt anyone?"

The Gar was quiet for a moment. "No try hurt Krisle, Gar no try hurt man!" Tommy opened the case and the Gar scrambled out; after get it's bearings it walked over beside Andy and looked up at the gunsmith. "Man no try hurt Krisle?"

"If they promise not to wake me again," the gunsmith conceded. <Besides, if Recon likes 'em, they can't be all bad.>

"'Kay, Gar no wake neck time." The Gar grinned at Andy. She leaned upwards and licked him on the face before going to see what Tommy was doing.

"TOMMY!!" Andy yelled, "That damn thing licked me." Andy violently held back a shudder.

"What's the matter?" Tommy asked as he looked up from the toolbox he was looking through. "I've seen Recon do it to you... what's wrong with the Gar doing it? It's not like its hitting on you or anything... wrong time of the year of that."

"Recon's tongue is soft and warm, that thing's tongue felt like eighty grit sandpaper." Andy choked down his revulsion for snakes and lizards. <OK, get a grip, dude, it's a person, a weird one, but still a person.> "Just tell it that all licking privileges have to be earned."

The Gar looked from Andy to Tommy and back as it puzzled out what the gunsmith had said. "Gar no lick wheely man?"

"I think you already did..." Tommy smirked as he went back to looking for something to cut the rod, "Andy where do you keep your hacksaw?"

Andy glanced between Tommy and the Gar. "I'll let you know when," he said to the Gar. Turning back to Tommy he growled, "Get a die grinder, it's faster. Get the coffee made and the gun torn down, and I'll be in the office." With that said he turned his chair and escaped with as much dignity as he could salvage.


Andy opened the door to the shop and blinked at the sight of the Krisle wandering through the shop, each one carrying a ball of crumpled paper that they threw on one of the many mounds of paper that were currently covering the floor. "What the hell?"




Tommy's reaction echoed off the shop's walls, "SON OF A BITCH!!!"

Andy swung around, hand dropping to his Smith and Wesson, and then blinked at what he saw. Tommy was hopping around the drafting board, holding his fist and spouting what sounded like venomous cursing, even if it was in a language Andy had never heard before.

Andy grinned at the scene for a few moments, fighting to keep from laughing, that is until he noticed the fist sized hole in middle of his drafting table. "What the hell did you do to my drafting table kid?"

"I punched it!" Tommy looked up from examining his hand; dark circles had formed under his eyes, his expression a combination of frustration, pain and anger. "Want to make something of it?"

"Maybe," Andy said careful to keep his voice neutral as he didn't want the kid to try and vent his frustration on him, Immortal or not. "I won't know whether or not I want to until I know why you did it."

Tommy glared at him for a moment then snatched a half open sketchpad off the drafting table and threw it into Andy's lap. "That's why! I've been trying to finish an assignment for that art class you're subjecting me to for the last three days... and the god damn thing still won't come out right!"

Andy raised an eyebrow and picked up the sketchpad contemplating whether or not to tell the kid how pathetic a reason that was for someone his age throwing a tantrum. After straightening the pad he opened it to the first page and stared, after a moment he flipped through the other pages, then looked up at Tommy with a confused expression. "I know I must be missing something but what's the problem? They're not finished but from what you have done I'd say these are some of the best detailed sketches of pistols I've seen in a long time..."

"Give me a break, Andy... They're crap!" Tommy snarled as he rolled his eyes and threw up his hands "I can't even get the barrel drawn right! Look at it! The lines that make up the barrel either move too far in and out or move in and out in the wrong places! The paper's grain keeps making my pencil move in or out without my wanting it to, at least when hill and valleys that make it up are not just flat out getting in the way!"

"Riiiiight..." Andy looked at Tommy for a moment, then sighed and closed the pad. "Kid, have you slept at all since I left?"

"Huh?" The question startled the young man and left him blinking at the Immortal gunsmith dumbly as his mind struggled to shift gears.

"I thought so," Andy crossed his large arms across his barrel chest and gave the kid a stern look. "Go get some sleep... we'll talk about this when you wake up."


"There's nothing on the shop's books for today that I can't handle myself in a few hours." Andy pointed towards the staircase that led to Tommy's room. "So get your ass in that bed and I don't want to see or hear so much as a peep--except for maybe snoring-- from you for at least the next few hours. Now get to bed!"

Tommy blinked a few times, opened his mouth as if to argue, saw he expression on Andy's face then shrugged and shuffled towards the stairs muttering to himself in a mix of languages, most of which sounded totally alien to the gunsmith.

Reaching 'his room' Tommy pulled off the oversized sports jersey he wore around the shop. The young man looked at the shirt and chuckled at the memory of all the shit Andy had given him during the first few weeks working for him over wearing it in the shop. Finally, Tommy had had enough of the Immortal's bitching, so he walked over and turned on the bench grinder. Andy watched in horror as Tommy covered his hand with his shirt sleeve and pressed his palm against the whirring grinder, sending up a shower of sparks.

Within a few seconds Andy hit the emergency stop for the grinder. Tommy lifted his hand, showing off the light red stripe that marked where the grinding wheel had rested across his palm before asking if Andy had any concerns about him wearing it around the shop other than him getting hurt and was promptly introduced to the fact that Andy had a vocabulary of curses to rival his father's and was nearly as good at coming up with punishment.


< I don't see how this is a punishment? > Tommy smiled slightly as he took stock of the items sitting on the ground beside the tub and then checked the temperature of the water inside it before calling the intended bather. "Yo, Recon, get your butt over here!" < I mean what's the big deal about give a dog a bath? >

Recon came bounding around the corner, a big grin on his doggy face at the prospect of getting a bit more attention; that is until he saw the tub and items lying around it.

Tommy blinked as Recon did something which given his previous experience with the dog he never would have believed possible. Recon stopped, spun 180 degrees, then took off at a full run and managed to do it all within the length of his own body.

Tommy shook off his surprise and took off in pursuit of the fleeing dog. "Hey, Furball, get back here!"

After several minutes of chasing Recon while doing his best to ignore the jeering catcalls of the neighborhood kids, Tommy finally managed to catch the dog in the shop, when Recon tried running to Andy for 'protection' by knocking the already cranky gunsmith over and laying on him, licking his face. Tommy wrapped both arms around Recon's middle, lifted him off the cursing Immortal and started carrying the struggling dog back to the tub.

Getting him back to the tub Tommy set Recon in the water, only to have the Saint Bernard launch himself out of the tub like he was on loaded springs. Tommy made a grab for him only getting a handful of fur which yanked him around, his feet slipping on the suddenly damp ground. He was suddenly sitting in the tub of water watching Recon's tail vanish around the corner of the shop.

Tommy launched himself out of the tub, taking off in pursuit of the dog with a snarled curse and a large splash of water. Catching up to Recon as he passed by the front door to the shop Tommy dove, attempting to tackle the Saint Bernard to a stop only to get a reminder in one of his first hand to hand lessons from Dragan.

'Remember, strength and mass are two completely different things; somebody may be strong enough to out power a train engine, but still be thrown around like a rag doll by a normal human because of how little mass they have', Tommy could almost hear Dragan saying in the split second before Recon recovered his balance from the tackle and took off at full speed, dragging Tommy along beside him.

Finally getting his feet under him, Tommy slid his arms around the dog's neck and with a move straight out of bull wrestling took Recon's feet out from under him. Quickly lifting the squirming dog into his arms like the Saint Bernard was a lapdog, Tommy started to the back lot. Giving the kids that had been making fun of him a dirty look while pointedly ignoring the amused look Andy was giving him through one of the shop's windows as he passed Tommy dropped Recon back into the tub and, keeping a firm hold on the back of the dog's neck, began wetting down the unwilling dog with the hose.

Once Recon was thoroughly soaked Tommy placed a generous an amount of shampoo along the dog's back and began working it into a thick lather. Soon Recon was almost obscured by the suds and Tommy was beginning to relax as the Saint Bernard's struggles had all but ceased. Until, without thinking, Tommy reached down for the hose to rinse Recon off with the hand that had been gripping the scruff the dog's neck.

Instantly Recon jumped out of the tub, knocking Tommy on his backside, shook himself furiously and then took off at a dead run.

Tommy slowly reached up, wiped the suds that now covered him from head to toe out of his eyes and watched as Recon proceeded to roll in something in an alley across the street. Tommy saw red and his eye began to twitch. As he watched the dog, he was surprised to find himself wondering if he could get Andy to believe that some random demon was responsible if he just went ahead and ate the damn thing.

Finally coming to the conclusion that more than likely that would only lead to a slow and painful death, Tommy got up, slipped off his sopping wet shirt, which was now also covered in mud, and soap suds and started towards Recon with a purposeful expression. The Saint Bernard took one look at him and took off down the street with Tommy in hot pursuit. So chase was on; for the next five minutes, with Tommy's frustration and temper building with each second, the pair passed through alleys, side streets, and even a few abandoned buildings as the Recon tried to lose his pursuer. Finally, using the distance gained when Tommy almost tripped on a homeless man, Recon climbed under the husk of a burnt out car about a block down the street from the shop.

Slowly walking up beside the car, Tommy squatted down and looked under it. "Okay, Furball, get your ass out here!"

Recon's only answer was to just lay there looking at him pitifully.

"Fine, have it your way," Tommy snarled in frustration. He stood up and grabbed the bottom of the car, which had been all but stripped to the frame, and lifted with everything he had, tilting the car until finally the remains of the car flipped over onto its roof on the sidewalk.

Grabbing the startled Recon by the scruff of the neck, Tommy wrapped his other arm around the dog and carrying the Saint Bernard like a small child started back to the shop; where Tommy dropped the once again dirty dog into the tub and began hosing him down again.

Tommy was just reapplying the shampoo when Andy stuck his head out of the shop. "Hey kid, don't forget to dry him off really good when you're done!"

"Yes sir, Andy sir; thank you for reminding me. I would never have thought to do that on my own, sir!" Tommy snapped sarcastically, glaring back at the Immortal over his shoulder. "Is there anything else you want me to do after that? Maybe give him a good coat of wax, or possibly detail him while I'm at it? Oh, sorry about that, forgot he wasn't a car for a minute there…"

"Smartass kid…" Andy growled as he wheeled back into the shop.

Tommy turned back to the task at hand, rinsed the Saint Bernard off and began toweling the squirming Recon off. When Recon was finally dry Tommy let him go with a sigh of relief and an aborted kick to the rear and began cleaning up; once he had the area cleared of suds he walked into the shop with a pained expression. "Well I'm done…"

"Not really, you're not finished until I say you are… and I'm not going to do that until I get to see a clean and dry Recon standing right here in front of me." Andy looked around the shop and smiled. "So where is he?"

Tommy blinked, turned to look out the shop door, saw the Saint Bernard rolling around in the back lot and felt his eye began to twitch again.

˜˜˜end flashback˜˜˜

Suppressing a small shudder at the memory, doing his best to suppress the memory of trying to give Recon a second bath and then the cleaning that came after that, Tommy began unfastening the harness to the mongoose system he was wearing.

First, he removed the wrist mounted pistol auto-draw mechanisms by giving each clasp a squeeze and yank, only cursing once when a clasp momentarily refused to release before giving in. After peeling the devices and their ceramic alloy forearm guards off, he began unwinding the thick silver ribbon-like linkless feed belts from around his arms and torso.

Once he had finished removing the belts Tommy looked at his pistols and more importantly the auto-draw devices they were still attached to for a moment, considering whether or not he could get away with doing a quick check on the air hydraulic system before following Andy's instructions to get some sleep, Finally Tommy decided to err on the side of caution and set the devices, pistols and all, on his desk so he would remember to do the check when he got up.

Once that was done he reached up and unfastened each of the nylon straps holding the mongoose in place before pulling the 200 pound device, which looked like a cross between a back supporter and a fanny-pack, from his lower back. Setting the mongoose on the desk beside the auto-draws, the young man walked over to the bed and fell face first on to it. A few moments later, the sound of his breathing softened as he passed into the land of dreams, followed shortly by the bed springs groaning as his body suddenly gained more than three times its previous size and weight.

Three hours later

Andy looked up from the design he was studying and frowned at the ceiling as banging sounds began coming from the room above. Growling slightly at the open insubordination Tommy was showing him, the Immortal gunsmith grabbed a set of artificial legs he kept around the shop 'just in case', and after strapping them on made his way up the stairs to his apprentice's room to find out what the hell was going on.

Andy paused at the door as a high pitched whimpering sound from beyond the door caused a possible reason for the noise to come to mind. So rather than throw open the door and demand answers Andy lifted his hand and knocked, only to have the door swing open silently on well oiled hinges.

Andy looked at the open door a moment then shrugged and stepped into the room. A slow look around the room revealed what looked like a reddish-orange cocoon with three silvery growths coming out of one end of it, one of which was twitching, causing the banging noise when it came into contact with the wall. As he stared the cocoon suddenly began to twist and stretch as it changed. When it was finished, a dragon was lying on the bed in its place, which immediately began scratching itself with a sleepy mutter. After a moment the large creature gave a contented sign then began to change again; a moment later the cocoon was back.

Andy blinked, opened and closed his mouth a few times before closing his eyes and giving his head a single shake as he stepped out of the room, closing the door behind him.



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