azombiewrites: (The Magnificent Seven)
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Title: A Murder Hunt
- Sequel to ‘A Murder Mystery’
Rating: PG Bad Language
Fandom: The Magnificent Seven
Category: Four Corners Detectives AU
Main Characters: Ezra and JD
Disclaimers: The guys are owned by CBS, MGM, Trilogy Entertainment Group, and The Mirisch Corp.
Notes: The April 2005 Challenge (the Mystery Challenge) - offered by Jesfrealo. Write a story where a mystery plays a key role in the story. Have one or any combination of the guys be the detective(s). It can be funny or serious and in any open universe. Extra points if you make an unusual pair of the guys work together to figure out the mystery (so not Chris and Vin or Buck and JD...). Have fun!!
Summary: Detectives Standish and Dunne hunt for a killer
Spoilers: None

Author's note: A BIG thank you and a bear hug to the person who nominated this story for a 2008 & 2009 MoM award!

Warning: Josiah Sanchez is the bad guy in this story!

Part One

Detective Ezra Standish slammed the door of the black SUV closed, not caring about the noise it made. Damnit, if he had to be awake at this ungodly hour of the day then so did everyone else. He wasn’t going to be the only one in a bad mood. It was a Saturday for Christ’s sake; a day for sleeping-in not for working, and sleeping in is what he did best – apart from his job and gambling.

Damn town. Why did he have to move here of all places? Obviously because someone had told him, it was a nice place to live: quiet, secluded, quiet, and most importantly quiet. That’s what he had wanted but it wasn’t what he got. He’d been here almost eight months now and was ready to leave. This town wasn’t quiet. It was hell. If it wasn’t the crime driving him to insanity – for some reason they committed ninety-eight per cent of the crimes during the night in Four Corners – it was the townsfolk. They were strange, alien like even. It was almost like living in Petticoat Junction, Green Acres or on Gilligan’s Island. He wouldn’t be surprised if, years ago, aliens had abducted some of the children who’d lived in Four Corners and did something to their brains – something that caused their personalities to scream, “Redneck wannabe”! No doubt, parents dropped the rest of them on their heads and more than once. Must have been a common thing around this place. He could almost picture the scene at the local hospital.

“Hello Mrs. Greenacre,” the doctor would say. “Here for the usual . . . dropping your baby on its head?”

“Yes, doctor,” she would answer. “Third time this week actually.”

“Had to bring my own son to the hospital the other day.”

“First dropping on the head?”

“Yeah, we were so proud.”

“Good for you, I hope you have plenty more incidents. Couldn’t happen to a nicer person . . . “

No. It wasn’t the town and it certainly wasn’t the townsfolk. Most of them were the nicest people he had ever met. He was the problem. He wasn’t use to ‘nice’, hadn’t grown up with ‘nice’, and didn’t know how to deal with ‘nice’.

What he had done twelve months ago wasn’t helping him either; it had almost driven him crazy at the time. A breakdown had left him in a hospital for the mentally insane. He had told the doctors that he was fine and only needed a few days rest but he had known that he wasn’t okay. How could he be fine after what he had done? He still woke up in the middle of the night with the images of what had happened playing in his head like a bad horror movie. Mood swings caused by the nightmares made him feel bitchy, like a woman during her menstrual cycle, like his mother on a bad day.

He would have gotten a different job but didn’t know what else to do. Being a police officer was in his blood; his father, (killed in the line of duty) and grandfather had both been police officers. Besides, doing a different job wouldn’t have stopped the dreams. So instead, he decided that a small town with a low crime rate would be best. Four Corners did have a low crime rate – until he arrived. Violence seemed to follow him to the small town of Four Corners.

He stormed up the driveway with his brown knee length coat billowing behind him. When he reached the front door, he didn’t hesitate. He banged on the door until his hand hurt.

“Get up, JD! We’ve got work to do!” Standish counted to three and then banged on the door again. “Now JD, I haven’t got all day to wait for you.”

Standish looked to his right when out of the corner of his eye he noticed a light come on in the darkness. At least he’d woken someone up; Dunne’s neighbour. He didn’t care. He turned back to the front door when he heard the lock turning. The door opened to reveal a very sleepy JD Dunne.

Furthermore, a very naked JD Dunne.

Standish removed a digital camera from inside his coat and took a photo.

“We’ll see how you like having your photo up on the bulletin board . . . ,” Standish then turned around in embarrassment. “Go put some clothes on, JD.”

“What . . . Ezra it’s nearly six in the morning,” Dunne was rubbing his eyes with both hands.

Standish, who was waving his hands behind his back at Dunne said, “JD, you need to put some clothes on!”

“What? Oh shit,” Dunne’s eyes widened in understanding. He covered his groin with the only thing he had – his hands, “I didn’t . . . you were yelling . . . I didn’t have time . . . shit, I’ll go and get dressed.”

“Do it quickly, I don’t have time to wait.”

“Jeez, Ezra, what’s the hurry?” Dunne asked.

Standish turned his head to look at Dunne. “Sanchez escaped.”


“Yes, now hurry up.”

When Dunne turned to hurry back inside Standish took another photo.


“You can’t put that photo on the bulletin board,” Dunne was arguing. He had tried to take the camera from his boss on the way to the car but Standish had been too agile for him and had twisted his arm behind his back, turning his wrist at the same time, twisting it until he yelled ‘uncle’.

“Why not?”

Dunne was staring hard at his boss who was driving. He knew Standish didn’t like to drive but didn’t know why. He waited for Standish’s green eyes to look at him but his eyes didn’t leave the road, they were staring straight ahead and the knuckles gripping the steering wheel were turning white.

“Why not? Because I was naked, that’s why not.”

“I didn’t get a full body shot, JD,” Standish lied. “Besides, you told me that once a photo is taken it has to go on the board. You said that it helps with the men’s morale or something.”

“I said once the photo goes on the board you can’t take it off!” Dunne noticed that Standish was slowing for a green light. “The light’s green, Ezra.”

“I know, just making sure that nothing’s coming the other way.”

“Why don’t you like driving?” Dunne asked him.

“That’s none of your damn business,” Standish snapped back at him.

“Ezra,” Dunne turned in his seat to look at the older man. Standish was only five years older than he was, making him thirty-three in age but he looked older. The eyes were haunted, his soft handsome face tired beyond its years. Something bad had happened to this man, something so bad that he had refused to discuss it with his friends. “Why don’t you just let me drive?”

He wanted to say, I need to do this, JD. I have to spend some time behind the wheel. Doctor said it would be good for me. Of course, the man’s a quack. But instead said, “You were too busy covering your d--”

“Ezra, tell my why you don’t like driving a car.”


Dunne turned back to the front to stare out the window and said, “One day you’re going to tell me what happened.”

It was only then that his boss turned to look at him but Dunne didn’t see the sadness in his features.


Standish almost groaned aloud when the cars headlights illuminated the scene in front of him. He didn’t want to do this, he couldn’t do this but he didn’t have a choice. If it had been any other prisoner he wouldn’t be here but it had been Sanchez. He and Dunne had arrested the man for the rape and murder of Shannon Bell three weeks earlier. The Judge had denied bail the day before. Early this morning he began his journey to a local prison where he was to await trial. Five minutes past the town’s welcome sign, he had managed to escape.

Standish slowed the car to a stop and stared at the vehicle in front of him. The area had been be tapered off with yellow police tape. The transport car was lying on its roof with one of its back doors wide open. Deep scratches lined the left side of the car – it looked as though a large cat had run its claw along the side, almost ripping it open like human flesh – revealing the metal beneath the white paint. One headlight still shone, revealing a body covered by a white sheet. One dead. He didn’t want to know who it was.

“Damn Ezra, you didn’t say he killed one of his guards,” Dunne muttered.

“I didn’t know,” Standish managed to say in a steady voice.

There was an ambulance parked near the overturned vehicle. Its two medics were working on a man lying on the road next to the car. Movement from the injured man told Standish what he needed to know; he was still alive.

Other images began to invade his mind . . . darkness . . . pouring rain . . . three bodies covered with sheets . . . a medic working on another, shaking his head, indicating there was nothing more he could do . . . four bodies covered in sheets . . . his partner standing in the rain staring back at him . . . ‘It wasn’t your fault, Ezra’.

He shook his head to clear the images and voice from his mind.


He didn’t hear Dunne’s voice but he did feel his hand on his shoulder.

“You okay, Ezra?”

“I’m fine, just a little shocked.”

“Yeah, I know what you mean,” Dunne said. “I haven’t seen too many car accidents, they don’t happen very often in Four Corners.”

A knock on the driver’s window caused both men to jump. Standish glared at the man responsible. Tanner, the only attending officer on sight – every other on-duty police officer was out looking for Sanchez – was looking through the window, his right forearm leaning on the roof of the car. “You guys gonna come out of there?”

Standish looked at Dunne who nodded back at him. They both got out of the car and walked with Tanner to the abandoned police vehicle. Standish looked at the injured man – it was Grayson – the medics were still working on and asked, “Is Grayson going to be all right?’

“Yeah, got knocked out is all.”

“He one of ours?” Standish nodded at the body in front of the car.

“Nope,” Tanner said.

Standish noted Tanner’s casual tone. The man was so laid back that when as a child, his response to finding out that Santa Clause didn’t exist would have been a very simple, “huh, really, who would ‘ave thought.”


“Lorne over there,” Tanner pointed to a uniformed officer who was sitting in the back of the ambulance with his head resting in one hand, “said the dead guy forced them off the road. I reckon if the car didn’t tip over they would have kicked the guy’s ass but . . ." Tanner shrugged, “anyway, Grayson, who was driving was knocked out cold. Dead guy put a gun in Lorne’s face before he could figure out which way was up and which way was down. Forced him to open the back by threatening to shoot Grayson. Figured he didn’t have much of a choice. Would have done the same if I was him.”

“We all would have,” Standish chided himself for not seeing Lorne in the ambulance earlier.

“Did Lorne do that?” Dunne nodded toward the cadaver.

“Sanchez killed him. Shot him right there.” Tanner pointed to the spot between Dunne’s eyes.

“Any ID on him?” Standish asked.

“Haven’t checked. You know what Fenton is like. He’d kill me if he knew I went through the dead guy’s pockets before he got a look at him.”

“But you checked him to see if he was dead?” Standish knew his question was irrelevant; he just wanted to know how Tanner would respond.

“Well . . . yeah, like I said, bullet between the eyes, brains splattered all over the place. Kinda gives it away.”

“Hey guys,” Dunne was smiling like an idiot. “How do you tell when someone is really dead?”

Both Standish and Tanner looked at Dunne as though he were an idiot.

“Jam a stick or a pen into the back of his neck, if he gags, he’s not dead.”

“Where in the hell did you get that idea?” Standish wasn’t sure if he wanted to know.

“Got it from the ‘Action Hero’s Handbook’.”

Standish rolled his eyes as he made his way over to the corpse. He nodded to Lorne on the way past the ambulance then knelt down next to the body and lifted the white sheet to look at the face. For a few seconds he saw another face. A young girl with blonde blood-streaked hair stared back at him. He shook his head until he saw the face of the man before him. He didn’t know him.

“Do you want to stick the pen in his neck or me?” Tanner had knelt down next to Standish and was watching him carefully. “Ez?”

“JD? Do you know him?”

“Don’t know him.”

“Sanchez took this guy’s gun and car?” Standish stood up and looked towards the North, which was the way out of town.

“Took Lorne’s and Grayson’s as well.”

“So, he’s got three loaded weapons and . . .” he looked at Tanner, “how long a head start?”

“Hour at least.”

“Road blocks have been set up,” Standish asked.

“Yeah, but it’s like closing the barn door after the horse escaped.”

“Sheriff’s departments in the surrounding counties been notified?”

“Yeah, Chris has taken care of all that and before you ask, forensic guys are on their way . . . Fenton too.”

“Where’s the witness?”

“Took his statement and sent him home. He was pretty shook up about it. Never seen a dead body before.” Tanner looked at the cadaver before adding, “He was one lucky son-of-a-bitch.”

“How’s that?” Dunne was rubbing the back of his head and frowning at Tanner

“Arrived five minutes after it happened,” Tanner said. “Any sooner and he’d be a corpse lying on the side of the road,” he looked at Dunne, “and I’ve only got one pen.”

“Damn . . . that was lucky.”

“There’s blood on the back seat too.” Tanner led them to the back of the car and pointed up at the seat, “Probably belongs to Sanchez.”

Standish looked north again then back towards town. Any criminal with some intelligence would leave town – but not every criminal was intelligent, some were downright stupid. Sanchez wasn’t stupid. He was intelligent, very intelligent and he liked to play. Not only with his victims but also with authority. Standish had learnt that during their first interview. What if Sanchez wanted to play now? If he did, they were in trouble. He headed back to their car with Dunne and Tanner following him.

“Which direction was the passer-by going?”

“North and no, he didn’t see the car Sanchez was driving, says he didn’t see anything at all. Lorne was able to get something on the car, late model sedan, brown in colour. Already put a BOLO out on it.”

“It’s not much but it’s better than nothing,” Standish nodded then said, “JD, get the town map out of the glove compartment, please.”

"You going to do a Tommy Lee Jones impersonation?” Tanner asked while JD ran ahead to get the map.

“What?” Standish frowned at Tanner.

“You know, ‘The Fugitive’, Tommy Lee Jones, brilliant actor,” Tanner then went into his own Tommy Lee Jones impersonation, “Listen up, our fugitive has been on the run for ninety minutes. Average foot speed over uneven ground baring injuries is four miles. An hour gives us a radius of six miles. What--"

“I know who he is and I’ve seen the movie, Tanner!”

“Good isn’t it,” Tanner said. “Best part being where the guy says, ‘I didn’t kill my wife’ and Tommy Lee Jones says, ‘I don’t care.’ I love that part. He got an Oscar for it. But they ruined the scene when they threw the dummy out--”

“Officer Tanner--”

“You could tell it was a dummy by the way its leg bent up backwards--”

“TANNER!” Standish snapped.

“Sorry boss, got a bit carried away there,” Tanner said. “So, you gonna do it or not.”

“No, I’m not going to do it! And don’t call me boss.”

“Spoil sport,” Tanner muttered.

“I heard that.”

The sun was beginning to rise but it was still to early for it to give off enough heat to warm them up, not like the car’s engine, so they leaned against the bonnet for protection against the cold while they waited for Dunne to get the map.

Standish shifted towards Tanner and whispered into his ear, “Got a picture of JD for the bulletin board.”

“Yeah . . . is it embarrassing? Has to be embarrassing.”

“I was naked,” Dunne answered as he came around to the front of the car. He scowled at his boss before spreading the map out on the bonnet.

“You’ve really got that selective hearing thing, haven’t you, JD,” Tanner said.

“Got a picture of your butt as well,” Standish added before turning and looking down at the map spread out before him.

“WHAT! You didn’t. Ezra, you wouldn’t put that up would you?” When his boss didn’t answer him, he began to plead with him. “Ezra, tell me you wouldn’t . . . Ez . . . please.”

“So, what you’re saying is,” Standish frowned at him, “you would rather have a picture of your dick on the wall than your butt.”

“No . . . I . . . Ezra, you just can’t!” Dunne’s voice had risen in anger.

“Remember who you’re talking to, Detective Dunne!” Standish berated him.

“Sorry,” Dunne looked across at Tanner who was now laughing behind his hand. “Hey, Ezra, are you going to do a Tommy Lee Jones impersonation?”

Standish ignored him. “Mr. Tanner, Mr. Potter lives on Anderson Street doesn’t he?” He rested his forefinger on a spot on the town map.

“Yeah he does. Why?”

Standish’s finger traced Anderson Street until it reached the main road out of town. “I don’t believe Sanchez left town--”

Dunne frowned at him, “Why not?”

“He’s not finished,” Standish answered simply. “He may have turned right onto Anderson, followed it until he reached Acorn Road, which would take him back to Four Corners.”

Tanner nodded and said, “You think Potter might have seen a brown, late model sedan go past his house?”

“You once told me that Mr. Potter rises at four in the morning,” he grimaced at the thought of getting out of bed at that time of the day; he would rather vomit into his bowl of cereal, and then eat it before getting up at that time of the night. “If he did, my suspicions would be confirmed.”

“I’ll go and talk to him.”

“No, I don’t want anyone stopping and stamping all over this scene. You stay here and wait for forensics and Fenton. JD and I will go and talk to Potter.”

“Potter’s place is at least twenty minutes from the main road, Ezra,” Dunne reminded him. “There should be someone closer who could stop in and ask about Sanchez. It’ll save a bit of time.”

Standish nodded. “Go make the call, JD . . . and tell whoever it is to be careful.”

Tanner grabbed Standish by the arm and began to pull him away from the car. “Ezra, can I have a word . . . in private.”

“Officer Tanner, if you’re going to question my orders I suggest that you--”

“No, just want to ask you something is all.”

Dunne had left the car door open and heard what the two men had said. “If it’s about that photo--”

“JD, shut up and make that call and when you’ve done that I want a list of the calls Sanchez made while he was in jail.” Standish told him while Tanner continued to pull him away from the car.

When Tanner thought he was far enough away from the SUV and Dunne’s selective hearing, he stopped, crossed his arms – not in defense but because he was cold – and stared at his boss. He stood silently not knowing how to start the conversation. Standish’s mood was traveling high and low – and not just today, today and every day since Tanner had met the man – and Tanner wanted to know why. They all wanted to know why. A week after he had joined the small town police force they had thought it was just his personality but another week told them that something was eating away at him. Tanner had asked him before what was wrong. They had all asked him on many occasions but he never got an answer that satisfied him. Now seemed the right time to ask him – again. Yes, a murderer had escaped and time was short but this was the best time to question someone like Ezra Standish. The man would either run or answer the question. He was hoping that Standish would answer the question.

“Ezra, can I ask you a question?”

“I take it by the use of my first name that it’s a personal question.”

“Uh, yeah it is.” Tanner uncrossed his arms and shoved his hands into the pockets of his jacket; he almost scuffed the ground with his boot but stopped himself.

“As long as it’s not about my sex life because that would take too long to answer . . . or why I left Atlanta . . . or why--”

“Can I ask it or not?”

Standish nodded, “Go ahead and ask but if it’s the same question you always ask me you already know what the answer is.”

“These mood swings of yours, is there a reason for them?” Tanner saw the anger appear in Standish’s green eyes and then quickly disappear. The younger officer watched as his boss turned away from him. He thought Standish was going to walk away.

He didn’t.

Standish began to turn back to him, hesitate then continued to turn until he was facing Tanner. “You’re not going to stop asking are you?” When Tanner shook his head no, Standish made a decision he hoped he wasn’t going to regret for the rest of his life. He took a deep breath and for the first time he gave Tanner an honest answer. “It’s because I refuse to take my medication.”

Medication. Tanner was both shocked and surprised. Surprised that he had gotten an answer and shocked by the answer. “Medication? You take medication.”

“Yes . . . no . . . I did, but I don’t anymore,” Standish said.

“You have some sort of mental disorder?”

Standish snorted at the question. “No, I take it for . . . it takes away my ability to think clearly, to concentrate. It also makes me tired. When I did take it I was sleeping up to fourteen hours a day.”

“That’s a lot,” Tanner was nodding. He had a friend who was on a medication that had the same side effects. His friend suffered from depression. He wondered if Standish had depression. He didn’t want to ask so he waited for Standish to continue.

“Why do you ask Mr. Tanner, do you have a problem with my . . . behaviour?”

“Is it serious?”


“Ezra! You know what.”

“No, it’s not serious. Damn Doctor gave out pills at the drop of a hat,” Standish answered.

“Are you seeing anyone,” Tanner saw the frown on Standish’s face and added, “a shrink. Are you seeing a shrink?”

“Okay Vin, I’m going to be totally straight with you, no pussy footing around and I’m only going to do this once, so don’t ask me the ‘it’,” he raised the forefinger and middle finger of each hand in a quote gesture, “question again . . . I had a bout of depression a while back but I’m fine now.” Standish knew it was a lie, he wasn’t fine, not yet but he wasn’t going to tell Tanner that.

“Then why the bad mood all the time?” Tanner asked him.

“Because . . . I have to deal with imbeciles like you every day!”

“So, if you didn’t work with us, you would be suffering from a sunny disposition?”

“Something like that.” Standish stepped closer to Tanner, close enough to feel the Texan’s breath on his face. “If you tell Chris any of this, I will kill you . . . well, not literally but you know what I mean.”

“Can I tell him you think we’re imbeciles?”

“He already knows.” Standish turned and walked away, leaving Tanner to watch over what was going to be the first of many crime scenes.

Part One | Part Two

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