azombiewrites: (The Magnificent Seven)
[personal profile] azombiewrites
Title: Bones are Broken
Rating: PG - Violence and Bad Language
Fandom: The Magnificent Seven
Category: OW
Main Characters: Ezra with Buck and Nathan
Disclaimers: The guys are owned by CBS, MGM, Trilogy Entertainment Group, and The Mirisch Corp.
Notes: My first story for the [profile] 10_hurt_comfort challenge. The original table can be found here.
Table Injuries
Prompt: No. 2 - broken bone
Spoilers: None
Status: Complete




Bones are Broken


Ezra Standish rolled onto his stomach, pushed himself up onto his hands and knees and began to crawl towards the Remington lying in the dirt a few feet away. A kick to his right side stopped him, the force of the blow tossing him onto his back. His chest struggled to rise and fall as his lungs drew in what little oxygen they could. Another kick to his chest forced the air back out. He rolled onto his side, drawing his knees to his chest, trying to protect it from any more blows – too little too late. Through the blood that clouded his vision, he could see his Remington; it was now only inches away from him. He reached out toward it with his left hand and saw the heel of Rosewood’s black boot seconds before it slammed down onto the back of his hand, snapping one of the bones. Ezra screamed as he pulled his hand to his chest and cursed the man standing over him.

“Damn it, Rosewood, will you just kill him already. We don’t have time for this. I’m tired, I’m hungry and I need to take a crap, and I’m not going to do it out here in the middle of nowhere, where there’s nothing to wipe my ass with.”

“Shut up, Byrd,” Jake Rosewood snapped at his friend. “I told you I was going to take my time and enjoy it. I’m not putting him out of his misery until he’s had enough.”

“Well maybe he’s had enough, ‘cause I sure as hell know I have!”

“Then you know what you can do, Byrd.” Jake Rosewood, six foot three and built like a bloated barrel, stared at his friend. His eyes narrowed at the sight of Daniel Byrd and he wondered why they were friends. Byrd was scum; he never looked after himself – Rosewood couldn’t even remember the last time Byrd had bathed – and it left him with a continuous foul smell floating around him like a cloud. “You want to leave, then leave. I’m not stopping you.”

Byrd was shifting continuously from his left foot to his right and back again. “We’re three hours from the nearest town, Woody. I’m not going off on my own, not when it’s getting dark, so just make it quick, okay.”

Rosewood smiled at his friend and said, “Make it quick? That’s the last thing I’m going to do, Byrd.”

Byrd rolled his eyes and turned away, preferring to watch the setting sun rather than the beating that was taking place three feet away from him.

Rosewood turned his smiled down toward Standish. “What do you think, Standish? Should I make it quick or maybe you want some more?”

“Go to hell,” Standish spat out through broken and bleeding lips.

Rosewood reached down, grabbed Standish by his torn and bloodied shirt and pulled him up onto his feet. He jerked his head back when Standish tried to head butt him between the eyes. Son-of-a-bitch still had plenty of fight in him, even after all this time. Rosewood, putting all of his weight behind the blow, hit Standish and felt a swell of pride in his own abilities when he felt Standish’s nose break beneath his large fist.

When the gambler’s knees bent toward the ground, and his eyes rolled toward the back of his skull, Rosewood lifted him back up so they were eye to eye and shook him until he was sure he had Standish’s complete attention once again. He couldn’t help but smile at the sight of Standish’s face. Bruises covered the left side. The bottom lip – that Standish seemed to have a habit of running his tongue over – had split in two places. Blood flowed from a deep cut above Standish’s left eyebrow into his eye, no doubt making it more difficult for him to see what was coming.

The cheat didn’t look so handsome now.

“Who’s winning now, asshole?”

It took a lot of effort, but Standish said, “You’re cheating.”

Byrd laughed, but still refused to look at what was happening.

Rosewood growled, the sound rumbling deep in his chest; it sounded as though he was about to explode.

He did.

Grabbing Standish by the left wrist, Rosewood spun him around and pulled the wrist up high between the Gambler’s shoulder blades. He felt Standish shift his body weight onto his toes as he tried to move away from the pain.

Whispering into Standish’s left ear, Rosewood said, “You aren’t going to be able to cheat with your arms broken.”

Rosewood jerked Standish’s wrist up even higher, and then felt something else, something that was unfamiliar to him, something that he enjoyed. Standish’s left shoulder had moved into an unnatural position.

Ezra screamed, the sound so full of pain it had Byrd grimacing in sympathy.

“What in the hell did you just do, Woody?”

“What do you think, you idiot,” said Rosewood. “I broke his arm.”

Rosewood pulled the arm even higher, and this time when Standish’s knees buckled, he couldn’t keep him upright. He let go of Standish and at the same time placed the sole of his boot in the middle of Standish’s back and pushed him forward, letting the Gambler fall flat on his face in the dirt.

Ezra was staring down the barrel of the Remington.

Rosewood watched as Standish took a deep shuddering breath then lay still. He knew Standish wasn’t stupid. The Gambler would be waiting to see what Rosewood’s next move would be. Rosewood stepped in front of Standish, blocking his view of the Remington.

“You want to go for your gun, Standish?” Rosewood nudged Standish’s injured shoulder with the toe of his boot, causing a grimace of pain to pass over the man’s damaged face. “Go on, Standish. I’ll even give you a ten second head start.”

Ezra glanced up at Rosewood.

Rosewood, laughing at his own intelligence, knelt down and picked up Standish’s gun. He then placed it in Standish’s broken hand, which lay unmoving next to the Gambler’s hip.

Rosewood knew Standish wouldn’t be able to grip the gun. The pain would be too much for him and even if he did manage to push through the pain, he wouldn’t be able to hold the gun, wouldn’t be able to lift it, and Standish sure as hell wouldn’t be able to pull the trigger.

“Just like I thought,” said Rosewood. “The man’s a coward.”

“Woody! Let’s go.”

“In a minute!”

“If we don’t go now, I’m going to crap my pants.”

“Jesus, Byrd, what is your fucking problem.”

“You know what my problem is.”

Rosewood used the toe of his boot to push Standish onto his back. He then stared down at Standish, watching the anger – and was that perhaps a touch of fear – flicker in the Gambler’s green eyes.

“Woody! Just kill him so we can go!”

Rosewood crouched down, one knee resting in the dirt next to the Gambler’s head, took Standish’s Remington into his own hand and placed the barrel of the gun up against Standish’s chin.

“Oh shit.”

“What?” Rosewood looked up at Byrd. “What’s your problem now, Byrd?”

“I knew it, I fucking knew it.”

“What?”

“I’m shitting myself here, Woody.”

Rosewood shook his head. Maybe he was going to have to end his friendship with Byrd, but then again, who else would keep him company. He sighed and looked back down at Standish. “He makes up for it in other ways.”

Ezra stared back, waiting for the bullet that would take his life.

Rosewood surprised him.

“I don’t want to end your life with a bullet, Standish. It would be too quick, too easy for a cheat like you.” Rosewood stood up and threw the Remington. It landed a few feet away. “I want you to suffer for as long as possible, so I’ll tell you what I’m going to do. I’m going to leave you here, let you die in your own sweet time. Maybe you’ll get tired of waiting for death to come. Maybe you’ll crawl to your gun and use it to put yourself out of your misery.”

Rosewood smiled. “And maybe I’ll come back tomorrow and make sure you’re dead.”

Ezra tried to turn his head when he saw what Rosewood was about to do, but he wasn’t quick enough. Rosewood’s boot smashed into his cheek, breaking both skin and bone.

Darkness quickly followed.

Rosewood turned to his friend, the smile on his face fell at the sight of Byrd pulling his pants away from his ass.

“Jesus, Byrd, don’t you have any respect for yourself,” said Rosewood as he walked away from the beaten and bloodied form on the ground. “I can’t take you anywhere!”


~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~



Ezra drifted in and out of the dark place on a cloud of pain, moving from one level to the next, each level more painful than the last. With the pain came the sudden realization that he was waking up. It was the last thing he wanted to do. The dark place had been painless, comfortable, and there had been no fear of death.

Over the sound of his own ragged breaths, he could hear the sound of thunder. It was going to rain. Ezra opened his eyes expecting to see a sky full of dark, threatening clouds but the sight of a blurry, but clear, red tinted blue sky confused him – so did the two suns staring back at him.

The sound of thunder was still there, it was distant, but coming closer. His breath jerked in his throat and the fear squeezed his heart. It wasn’t thunder he heard, it was the sound of galloping horses. Rosewood was coming back to finish the job, to beat him senseless before killing him.

Ezra suddenly felt vulnerable and defenceless.

No. Damn it, he wasn’t a coward. If he was going to die, he was going to die a hard death. He would make it as difficult for Rosewood as he could. He would fight until his last breath.

Mother would be proud.

He rolled himself onto his stomach, and after two miserable attempts, he managed to get himself up onto his knees. His right arm shook with the effort, and his left arm hung useless at his side. He could see his gun – two of them – and this time he was determined to reach it. Rosewood would die before he could get his fat ass off his horse.

As the sound of thundering horses grew closer, Ezra crawled, his left arm, knees and the toes of his boots leaving a trail in the dirt. His breath quickened, the pain in his chest growing with each breath. It felt like he had crawled for miles, but it was only feet, and before he knew it, he had reached his gun. He fell to his left, his dislocated shoulder hitting the ground; the pain he felt almost caused him to pass out. His fingers gripped the loose dirt before moving an inch to the right to grip the butt of the Remington.

He lifted the gun, turned onto his back, aimed and pulled the trigger.

And missed the target.

Ezra thanked the Lord that he did. The bullet had missed Buck Wilmington’s skull by two inches; his double vision had thankfully, affected his aim and saved Buck’s life. He’d never been more grateful for anything in his life, except maybe the arrival of Buck and Nathan.

His head fell back, landing softly in the dirt. The Remington fell from his loose fingers, his eyes closed and he drifted back into the dark place.


~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~



The second time he woke up, Ezra thought that someone had wrapped his body up in a cocoon of pleasant numbness; he didn’t feel a thing. It was as though nothing had happened. Of course, it was possible that it had only been a nightmare. One that had contained a very unpleasant aroma. He sighed at the welcomed feeling, his head shifting closer to his right shoulder, his left knee lifting then falling back down. His tongue flicked out over the split bottom lip and the pain it caused was nothing compared to what came next. It struck with a suddenness that had him screaming through clenched teeth and struggling to breathe. His lips trembled, his eyes watered and his body shook. It hadn’t been a nightmare.

Rosewood.

Ezra’s eyes snapped opened – one with more difficulty than the other – his upper body shot upward, and he struck out with a weakness that both embarrassed him and shamed him. Strong arms wrapped around his upper body, stilling any attempt to use his arms.

Rosewood had come back, just as he said he would.

Ezra was so sure of it, that he began to struggle harder, putting as much effort into the fight as he could, kicking with his feet when his arms still wouldn’t move. His foot hit something soft, burying itself in the soft flesh of his opponent, causing a grunt of pain. He felt a feeling of satisfaction and kicked harder, this time finding only empty air.

Then a voice he recognized whispered to him, calming him instantly, “Take it easy, Ezra.”

It wasn’t Rosewood. It was Buck. Ezra closed his eyes, and he almost sobbed with relief – almost. He wouldn’t let Buck know how scared he had felt at the thought of Jake Rosewood coming back and finishing what he had started. Another time maybe, but not now, not today. Not when he felt so weak and vulnerable.

Buck’s hold on him tightened, and he spoke again, the words confusing, “Just hold on a bit longer, Ezra. Nathan’s almost finished. It’ll be quick.”

“It’ll only take a second, Ezra,” said Nathan.

The pain wasn’t as bad, but it was enough to send him back into oblivion.

Sometimes the cure can be a lot worse than the cause.


~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~



When Ezra woke up the third time, it felt like someone had beaten him to within an inch of his life. His upper body ached with a passion, the numbness he felt in his face, and the pain in his chest was a strange mix. His tongue was thick in his mouth, his throat dry, and his bottom lip felt like it had grown to the size of his forearm. His brain felt slow, every thought coming to him from behind a cloud so thick it felt like he was banging his head against a wall – a very painful wall that hit back.

He struggled with each thought; finally coming to the conclusion that someone had come close to beating him to within an inch of his life. Jake Rosewood, a man who wasn’t very fond of Gamblers had decided that he didn’t like Ezra Standish on sight, and proved the fact with his very large – yet accurate – fists. After the first punch, Ezra too, had decided that he didn’t like Jake Rosewood very much, or his foul smelling friend.

Ezra thought about rolling over and going back to sleep but there was an unwelcome ache in his lower abdomen that wanted relief. He needed to take a piss – badly. He made the effort to move but the only part of his body that seemed to want to work were his legs and right arm. His bare feet scraped against the ground and the dirt between his toes was a wonderful feeling. He was still alive and when he stopped to think about it, even the pain felt good because if he didn’t feel anything, it would have meant that he was dead and that thought did not sit very well with him.

He felt his body ignore the ache and his mind began to drift. A hand pressed against his forehead, stayed for a few moments then lifted. It brought him back to reality and the ache grew stronger. His eyes didn’t snap open, the left eyelid opened slowly and the right one refused to acknowledge that it even existed and would do so for at least a week. His vision was blurred but he was still able to make out Buck’s form in the weakening light. Was it sunset or sunrise? If it was sunrise did that mean--.

“Ezra?”

He licked his lips, regretted it, spoke and regretted it even more. “Buck.”

“Yeah, think you could drink some water?”

The thought of water made him feel ill. The difficulty he had swallowing, and the dryness he felt in his throat caused Ezra to reconsider the offer and he nodded.

Buck leaned forward, placed a hand behind Ezra’s neck and lifted his bleeding mouth toward a canteen. Ezra managed a few sips before turning his head away.

“You need to drink more, Ezra.”

“Sick.”

“Nathan said you would be, but you need to drink.”

With his one eye, Ezra stared at Buck. “Sorry.”

“For what?”

“Almost killed you ... thought you were Rosewood.”

“Is that who did this?”

Ezra nodded very carefully. His thoughts became confused again as his mind and body decided they’d had enough, and he went back to the darkness.

His bladder wasn’t impressed.


~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~



Oh God! The fourth time he woke up, Ezra was sure he was going to piss himself.

His lips still hurt, his throat still hurt, the only part of him that didn’t hurt were his legs and he used them to push himself onto his right side. His right hand – his left arm, for some reason, refused to move – struggled to open his pants and his body jerked in his surprise when his hand was pulled aside and someone else reached inside his trousers. He groaned with humiliation when that someone helped him to relieve himself then tucked him back into his pants.

He searched for the person responsible with his one eye and found Nathan smiling back at him. Ezra growled but the sound didn’t scare Nathan; it only made his smile to grow wider. His friend – because only a friend would do such a thing – then moved behind him, lifted his upper body off the ground, and carefully dragged him away to an area that didn’t smell of urine or vomit.

When had he thrown up?

“Please ... don’t do that ... again.”

“You’d rather piss yourself?”

Ezra thought about it, thought about how Nathan would strip him of his trousers and underwear, leaving him half-naked and vulnerable. “No.”

“You up to telling us what happened?”

Ezra stared back; it was all he could do. His blurred vision danced, his head swam and his bladder smiled with relief. His one eye rolled toward the back of his head and he found himself back in the world of darkness.

“I guess not.”


~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~



“Ezra.”

He heard the voice, felt the tiny sting of pain in his left cheek – so tiny that it barely registered in his sub-conscious – and ignored both. After sniffing, stretching out his legs, Ezra rubbed his left cheek against his shoulder and then promptly went back to sleep.

“Ezra!”

His breathing hitched and then changed at the sound of his name. His eye opened and then continued to blink as he tried to bring the person leaning over him into focus. The two images of Nathan Jackson became one, broke apart, and then merged back into the one image where it thankfully stayed.

The sun sat heavy in a clear blue sky behind Nathan, telling him that another day must have passed.

When he felt something damp and cool cover the right side of his face, Ezra looked to his right and saw Buck; the man was smiling at him.

He didn’t like the look of Buck’s shit-eating grin. What in the hell was he so happy about anyway?

“Hey,” said Buck as he sat back on his butt and crossed his legs in front of him.

Ezra frowned at Buck’s smile, and then looked back at the more mature Nathan; but he was also smiling.

Didn’t they know he was injured? Did they have no sympathy for him?

“How are you feeling, Ezra?” Nathan also moved back, sat down and placed a hand on Ezra’s thigh.

Ezra was uncomfortable with the touch, especially after what Nathan had done – touched – earlier, but he ignored it, knowing that it would help Nathan more than it would help him.

He took a moment to think about how he felt physically. Half of his face felt numb, his right eye refused to open, and his stomach kept tilting from side to side. His upper body ached, and the left arm still wouldn’t move. And his head? Well that felt like someone had removed it, placed it in a boat and then set it adrift to float down a river. He felt so tired that he thought he could sleep for a week. But apart from that, he didn’t feel too bad and he said as much.

“That would be the laudanum,” Buck told him.

“Oh.” That would explain the titling and floating sensations.

“Try not to talk too much, Ezra,” Nathan told him. “You’ve got a broken eye socket.”

Ezra actually snorted, frowned and then, very carefully said, “What does that have to do with talking.” As he spoke, he felt a twinge in his upper jaw, and realized what Nathan had meant. It wasn’t so bad; the numbness drove most of the pain away.

Instead of explaining, Nathan said, “Just be careful, okay.”

“Can I go back to sleep now?”

“No,” Nathan got up and walked away, but continued to talk, “you need to drink some more water and then I want you to eat something. You’ll need your strength for tomorrow.”

Ezra frowned at Buck.

“We’re heading home tomorrow,” explained Buck.

“Oh.”

“You know, you’re a lucky man. Nathan said that if this Rosewood guy had broken your cheek instead of your eye, you wouldn’t have been able to talk for a while.” Buck opened and closed his mouth a few times, trying to get across what he was saying, but when Ezra continued to frown at him in confusion, he continued, “he said it would be too painful to talk and you know what that would have meant, don’t you?”

“That I wouldn’t be able to talk.” Ezra was grateful for the numbness.

Buck shrugged, “Yeah, well that too, but I was thinking of the peace and quiet.”

“Really,” said Ezra.

“You should see it, Ezra.” Buck pointed to Ezra’s right eye. “The right side of your face is one big bruise and the eye is swollen shut. When Nathan had a look at your eye it was looking to the right instead of forward like it should do, he had to sort of push it back into place--”

Ezra swallowed the bile that jumped up into his mouth at the thought of Nathan pushing his eye around in the socket. He had an incredible urge to run his tongue over his bottom lip but knew it would only cause him pain.

“--and your hand, well that was a mess, broke a bone. Nathan fixed it though, did a real good job, and strapped it to your chest so you wouldn’t use it.”

Ezra looked down at his hand but couldn’t see it beneath the blanket. “Will I--”

“Leave him be, Buck,” said Nathan when he came back with a canteen and a plate of beans. “Don’t worry about your hand, Ezra. It’ll heal up just fine.”

“Just trying to cheer him up,” said Buck.

“Trying to cheer yourself up more like it. I told you he’d be fine and you will be, Ezra.” Nathan sat down, laid the plate and canteen on the ground, and then proceeded to push Ezra up into a sitting position.

Ezra felt as though he was going to fall over onto his side, but Buck pushed something up against his back, keeping him in an upright position. He’d rather be flat on his back sleeping.

“I’ll feel better when we get him back to town.”

“Rosewood?” Ezra asked.

“The asshole that did this?” Buck, again, pointed at Ezra’s face.

“Yes.”

“We’ll get him, Ezra.” Buck assured him.

“Did he come ... back?”

Buck frowned at Ezra. “Was he supposed to?”

“Said he was going to.”

“Haven’t seen anyone since we found you, and that was the day before yesterday.”

Two days? It had seemed like an eternity to Ezra, even though he only remembered bits and pieces of what had happened since Buck and Nathan had found him.

“Said he might comeback and make sure ... I was dead.”

Buck looked across Ezra to Nathan. “Maybe I should stay, wait and see if this guy does come back.”

“There were two of them.” Ezra explained. “You can’t ... not on your own.”

“Ezra’s right, Buck.” Nathan told him. “There’s no cover. You’d be facing down two men on your own. One would kill you while you’re trying to kill the other. We’ll get Ezra back to town tomorrow and once he’s settled in, we’ll go after this Rosewood guy.”

Buck gritted his teeth, clenched his fists against his thighs and said, “I don’t like the fact that this guy could get away with this.”

“He won’t,” said Ezra.

“What happened anyway?” asked Nathan.

“It seems that he doesn’t like Gamblers.” Ezra took a deep breath, felt the ache in his chest grow, and then let it out. “I was on my way back to the saloon ... I don’t remember anything after that ... I woke up here ... and then he ... well you know the rest.”

“So he knocked you out, dragged your sorry ass all the way out here then beat the crap out of you,” said Buck.

Ezra was about to protest, but realized that, yes, his ass was sorry.

“Yes.”

“All because he didn’t like Gamblers?”

“I would have asked him for a more ... specific reason but at the time he was ... hitting my face.”

“And the rest of you,” said Nathan. “You’ve got bruises everywhere, Ezra.”

Ezra nodded in agreement, because he was starting to feel as though he had bruises on every part of his body. He just wanted to go back to sleep. “Perhaps, you can explain how you found me.”

“Saddled horse came back to town,” Buck shrugged. “We decided to check it out, had nothing else to do. Followed it’s tracks back here ... found you.”

Lord he wanted to smile at that one. “It sounds like a cliché from a story.”

“Well maybe this is a story, Ezra,” Buck winked at him. “Because I’ll be telling it to the rest of the guys when we get back.”

Ezra nodded, his eye closed, he was growing more tired with each passing moment.

“Hey,” Nathan shook his shoulder. “Not yet, I want you to eat and drink something first.”

Again, Ezra nodded, but he refused to open his eye, it was too heavy, he was now beyond tired.

His chin fell toward his chest, and sleep quickly followed.

“Guess he wasn’t hungry,” Buck smiled at Nathan.


~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~



The next time Ezra woke up, it was to the day that he would be returning home.

For now, Jake Rosewood would remain free of retribution, but one day, Ezra would find him, and payback would be a pleasure – for Ezra Standish, anyway.



The End


Note: Quick ending I know, but if I kept going I would be here for a lifetime and Ezra, would forever be feeling pain, and yes some of you probably would think that’s a good thing.

And Rosewood, I hear you say. Well, sometimes the bad guys don’t get caught. There may be a sequel, I’m not sure yet.





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