azombiewrites: (The Magnificent Seven)
[personal profile] azombiewrites
Title: The Cost of Revenge
Eighth story in 'The Continuing Ezra Standish Saga'
Rating: PG
Warnings: Bad writing ahead!
Fandom: The Magnificent Seven
Genre: Hurt/Comfort
Summary: When five of the town's lawmen leave to help a town two days away, Chris and Ezra are left alone but then Chris leaves after receiving information about the murder of his family. Ezra alone, has to protect the town against five outlaws.
Main Characters: Ezra, Vin and the rest of the seven, and some OC's
Disclaimers: The guys are owned by CBS, MGM, Trilogy Entertainment Group, and The Mirisch Corp.
Beta: Not betaed – written in the early days when I didn’t know what the words grammar and edit meant. *is ashamed*
Notes: Eighth story in the ‘Continuing Ezra Standish Saga’.
Spoilers: None.
Word Count: 17,305




Part One


Both Ezra and Buck looked up as they heard the lone rider riding through town at a gallop. They could see them coming straight towards them as though they knew exactly who they were looking for. Ezra and Buck gave each other confused glances and then stood up as the rider pulled their horse to a stop in front of them. The rider jumped off the horse and ran into the saloon without even glancing at either of them. This caused Ezra to smile in relief and Buck to show an expression of hurt that the young lady had not even looked at him. They saw the moment the person jumped off the horse that she was a woman. The clothing that hugged her curves and the blonde hair that fell below the dirty hat that she was wearing.

Buck was hurt because he thought that every woman fancied him and Ezra was relieved because he had actually gone two months without anything else happening to him. He looked over at Buck and had to laugh at the comical expression on his face. Ezra wiped his lower lip with his thumb as he always did when he found something funny.

"Well it seems, Buck, that your animal magnetism is not working today," Ezra laughed. He laughed even harder as Buck threw him a dirty look.

"You’re only jealous because she didn’t shoot you on her way past." Buck saw Ezra pretend to look hurt at that, well he hoped that he was pretending. You could never tell with Ezra. He was his old self again as he had two months to get over everything. They had all watched him for a while expecting something else to happen to him but as the weeks passed they had all begun to relax and everything had gotten back to normal.

"What's so funny?" asked JD thinking that he had missed a good joke.

Ezra smiled at him. "Buck has failed again in his attempt to attract a lady."

Buck was not about to be left out of this. "And Ezra here is still healthy." Buck and Ezra had become closer since Rochelle's death and his physical health had become something for them to joke about but he still had trouble deciding if Ezra was joking or serious, he could still not see behind that poker face of his but he sometimes thought that this was also part of the joke. Ezra was too good at that poker face of his. Buck had tried numerous times to put his own poker face but Ezra always saw through it.

"Huh?" JD was confused.

Both Ezra and Buck laughed at him. They stopped as Chris and Vin came out with the young lady in question. "There’s some trouble at Eagle Bend," said Chris on his way to the Sheriff's office. "JD, go and find Nathan and Josiah. You two," he nodded at Buck and Ezra, "come with us."

They stepped off the porch and followed them. "Here's your chance to protect the young lady, Buck." Ezra looked serious but smiled at Buck's look of confusion.

"If you keep going, Ezra, I’m going to shoot you myself," he smiled at Ezra just to make sure that he knew he was joking.

They followed the others inside and waited for JD to return with Josiah and Nathan. Once they had arrived introductions were made. "This is Enid Summers, she’s come from Eagle Bend where it seems they’re having trouble with some outlaws who have taken up residence there."

"People are scared of them and won't do anything about it. I tried but I had no backup," said Enid.

"You tried?" asked Buck.

"I am very resourceful, l Buck," she answered him.

"I am sure that you are, Miss Summers," he titled his hat to her. Ezra smiled, Buck always had to try.

"I had to leave though as they threatened to kill me," she grimaced at the thought. She hadn't wanted to leave but her friends didn’t want to see her die so she did the next best thing that she could think of and that was to get some help. She had heard about these men and hoped that they would help.

"There are four of them so I am going to send five of us. Ezra and I will stay behind while the rest of you go to Eagle Bend and sort out the situation there," he looked over at Ezra. "That okay with you, Ezra?"

Ezra returned the look. "Do I have a choice?"

They all caught the sarcasm that Ezra threw at him. When Ezra had followed Chris back into the saloon over at Hills Rock, they thought that things were okay between them. However, Ezra had not been impressed with the way Chris had treated him when they found him in the saloon after he had gone to kill the man who had killed Rochelle. Things had become even tenser between them.

"Not really," Chris threw back at him the anger showing in his own voice.

"Is there any particular reason you want me to stay behind?" asked Ezra.

"Does there have to be?"

"It depends on whether it is out of concern or lack of trust," he stared at Chris not hiding the anger that he was feeling.

"Let's just say that the time for concern is over," Chris said it before he could stop himself.

Something flashed through Ezra's eyes but it was gone before Chris could work out what it was. "I will take my leave then as this no longer concerns me." Ezra got up and walked out of the jailhouse.

Chris watched him leave and then turned back to see all the others looking at him. "What?"

Enid had watched what happened carefully and wondered why the man didn’t trust the gambler. She could tell he was a gambler by the clothes that he wore. She saw the looks that the others had given Chris Larabee after the man had left and knew that they didn’t like what just went down between the two men.

"There was no need for that, Chris," Buck said.

Chris ignored him. "Go and get ready I want you leaving within the hour," he said no more and walked out himself.

Chris had come into the saloon to find Ezra already drinking his fair share of whiskey, he decided to wait a while and let him cool off. He would then confront him about his attitude.

After the five hired gunmen had, left Enid went to the saloon to look for the other two. She had decided to stay behind but she didn’t have a choice either as they would not let her go. She entered the saloon to find Mr Standish at one end of the bar making his way through a bottle of whiskey and she saw Chris Larabee sitting at a table. He was not drinking but he was sitting there staring at Ezra Standish. She decided to sit on her own and watch them, as she was very interested in what was going on between the two men. Enid would not have to wait long.

Chris had decided to wait as Ezra had drunk too much and he knew that he would not be able to talk to him when he was that kind of state. However, it seemed that Ezra had other ideas. He had seen Chris watching him and he walked over to Chris's table and sat down.

"So, Chris, you don't trust me enough to go to Eagle Bend with the others. Do you think that I would run out on them?" Ezra asked him.

Chris didn't really know what to say. He hadn't meant to say what he did, Ezra had made him angry as usual and it had slipped out before he could stop himself. "Ezra I shouldn't have said that, I didn't mean it, it slipped out."

"But you were thinking it though." Ezra made sure that Chris heard the sarcasm that he again voiced at him.

"Ezra, I’m not going to talk to you about this now, you’ve had too much to drink and you’re going to say something that you’re going to regret."

"I will not regret anything that I have to say to you, Chris, as you never seem to regret what you say to me. You apologise at times but you don't mean anything by it. You apologise because you think you have to not because you want to."

"You seem to have forgotten Hills Rock, I followed you out of that saloon remember and told you that I was sorry for what I said," he looked at Ezra waiting for him to agree.

"Did you do that on your own or did someone say something to you." Ezra asked him knowing that what he had told Chris was true. He had never apologised to him because he wanted to. He always had another reason.

Chris remembered what JD had said to him and he realised that Ezra was right. He looked down at the table. "Just what I thought," smiled Ezra. "I don't care if you like me or not, not many people do and that is something that I have learnt to live with but I thought that after everything that the seven of us have been through that you would trust me by now." Chris didn’t say anything. "Why don't you trust me, Chris?"

It was a simple enough question but Chris thought that the answer was complicated. He got up and made a movement to leave Ezra sitting where he was. "You don't want to answer my question?" Ezra asked him.

"Fine, you want an answer, I'll give you one." Chris sat back down and looked Ezra in the eye watching to see if there would be any sort of emotional response from him. "You’re right, Ezra, I don't really like you. You’re a cheat and a liar, I know that you have changed since you came here but you still allow your own interests to come first. You think of yourself first and that is why I don't trust you. That sort of self-interest could get somebody else killed. And I am worried that one day you’re going to cost one of us our lives and that is why I had you stay behind."

Ezra listened to what Chris said knowing that most of what he said was true but what Chris didn’t know was that Ezra would give his own life for any of them. They had risked their lives for him and he was willing to do that for them. He proved that when the Nichols’s family arrived in town looking for Chris's father in-law, he had risked his life twice then but no one seemed to acknowledge it or thank him for it. Not that he wanted any thanks but he associates seemed to forget the things that he did. However, for some reason they could not forget what he did at the Semolian Village.

"Then why do you allow me to stay at all then?" Ezra made sure that he kept his poker face on so Chris could not see how those words hurt him.

"Sometimes I wonder." Chris got up then and left Ezra sitting on his own.

Ezra returned to the bar, got another bottle of whiskey, and then went to his room. Enid had been listening to the conversation as she had moved closer to the table when she saw the gambler join the other man. She didn’t understand most of the conversation as she had not known their history but from what she could understand the man in black didn’t like or trust the gambler. She had watched Ezra as he was at the bar, she could see the emotions that crossed his handsome features and she knew that he hid those feelings from the others. She didn’t even know Mr Standish but after what she saw of him at the bar, she knew instantly that she could trust him, knew it with her heart. She could see through most people and she was able to see through him. She knew that what Chris said to him in the jailhouse had hurt him and that he is now probably hurting more but for some reason he didn’t allow Chris to see it.

Enid decided to leave it for now but she was going to watch them both carefully. Her friends had often told her that she interfered too much in other people’s lives and she had told them that somebody had to; she just could not sit by and watch people get hurt, it was not part of her nature and she could see that Mr Standish needed some help dealing with Chris. So she was going to butt in wether they liked it or not.

=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=


Chris was sitting in the saloon with his own drink. Ezra had still not come down from his room and Chris didn't expect to see him for quite a while yet anyway. He thought to himself that this is exactly what he was talking about yesterday, what if something was to happen right now, I would have to deal with it on my own because Ezra is still up in his room asleep. He looked up to see Mary enter the saloon. She had a telegram in her hand and his first thought was that something had gone wrong in Eagle Bend.

"Chris, I have a telegram for you, it's from a friend of yours called Henry Smithers." She saw the expression that crossed Chris's face. She knew what the telegram was about and knew what the expression meant. She watched as he read the message. It told him that Henry had gotten some information regarding the murder of his family and that he wanted Chris to come to Clear Creek, which was a town five days ride from Four Corners.

"Are you going to go, Chris?" She asked him knowing that he would.

"I have to Mary. It sounds like he might finally have something for me."

"It can't wait till the others come back?"

"If I wait the information may not be any good to me." He looked up at her.

"It will mean leaving Ezra on his own to protect the town. Do you want to do that?"

"I'm sure that Ezra could take care of anything that comes up. Besides the others should be back by tomorrow at the latest," he stood up to leave. "Would you tell Ezra that I have gone and will be back in a couple of weeks?"

"No. If you’re going to leave him to protect this town on his own then you can tell him, Chris. I’m not going to do it for you."

"Mary, I have to go as soon as I can and he may not be up for hours yet."

"He's up now so you can tell him." She nodded towards Ezra who was coming down the stairs. She could see his bloodshot eyes from where she was standing.

Chris turned to see Ezra and nodded to Mary. He walked over to him to tell him that he was leaving town.

"Ezra, I need to talk to you." Chris told him as he came down the stairs.

"Did someone ask you to apologise again?" asked Ezra as he walked straight passed him.

Chris let that one go for the moment. "I have to leave town." He saw Ezra stop and turn around and face him with a smile on his face.

Ezra could not believe what Chris had just told him. He turned to him to see what expression his face held in case he was having a go at him. However, he saw that he was indeed serious. "Excuse me?" He raised his eyebrows in a question.

Chris was not in the mood for Ezra's games, he was in a hurry and he wanted to leave for Clear Creek five minutes ago. "You heard what I said, Ezra."

"Yes I did but I wanted to hear it again just in case I heard wrong," he stepped towards Chris. "You’re leaving town?"

"I'm not in the mood for your games Ezra, I'm in a hurry." Chris growled at him. He was getting angry.

"And may I ask why?"

"No you may not. I will be back in a couple of weeks." He turned to leave but Ezra was not finished.

"So, Chris, you’re running out on me."

It was Chris's turn to stop and turn around. He walked back to Ezra. "I am not running out on anyone, I told you that I’ll be back."

"Ah. However, if it were I leaving, you would be accusing me of running out on you. Is that not true?" Ezra could see that he was making Chris angry but he didn't care about that. It didn’t really bother him that he was leaving, what bothered him was that it was always a different story when it involved Chris. In addition, that's what made Ezra angry.

"I haven't got time for this, Ezra."

"Make time, Chris." The bitterness showed in Ezra's voice. He had enough of this man accusing him of things that he no longer did, of him not trusting him.

"I am not going to argue with you, Ezra. If you want to we can take this up when I get back." Chris tried staring him down but Ezra could be just as stubborn. He stared straight back at him.

"No, we deal with this now!" Ezra didn’t flinch and Chris knew that he would have to do something so that he could leave.

Chris stepped back. He drew his arm back and hit Ezra full in the face, splitting his lip but Ezra didn’t fall so Chris went to hit him again but before he could do so Ezra had his derringer in Chris's face. Chris stopped where he was. "There is no need for physical violence, Chris," said Ezra grimacing at the taste of the blood in his mouth.

Chris was livid now. This was the second time that Ezra had pulled a gun on him and he didn't like it.

"Get that gun out of my face, Ezra! Now!" Ezra didn’t move though. "Afraid that you can't beat me in a fight, Ezra."

"Of course not, Chris," he nodded to his left. "But there are ladies present and I do not feel that they should see you act in such a manner."

Chris looked to his right and saw Mary watching him. Enid Summers had also joined the crowd that had gathered to watch what was happening. "I’m leaving now, Ezra, but when I get back we are going to finish this."

"I will be glad to." Ezra smiled at him and put his derringer back up his sleeve and while Ezra had shortly taken his eyes off him, Chris hit him again. Ezra this time fell to the floor.

"That's for pulling that gun on me again." He looked down at Ezra the bruise already forming on his cheek.

"Do you always hit people when they’re not looking?" He said back at him.

Chris didn’t answer him though he turned and left the saloon. Once he had his horse saddled, he went to the store, bought some supplies for the five-day trip, and left Four Corners. He hadn't noticed the five men that had ridden into town.

The men went to the livery and stabled their horses. They then asked the stable boy what sort of law they had in town. He told them that there were seven men hired to protect the town but five of them left yesterday and another one just left. That meant that there was only one left. They asked the boy who that man was, what he looked like and where could they find him. The boy answered the questions, as he didn’t know that he was doing the wrong thing by giving them this information.

=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=


Mary didn’t enjoy watching Chris and Ezra argue, she could not understand why they held so much anger towards each other and that anger had finally come to a head. She saw Chris hit Ezra and she was shocked, she was even more shocked when Ezra pulled his gun from his sleeve. However, when he indicated her and Enid she realised that he had done that to stop the fight. He wants to stop them from seeing the two lawmen fight. He was thinking about them and not about defending his own honour. But when he put his gun away, Chris had hit him again. This made her angry. She ran to Ezra as Chris turned and left the saloon. Enid was by his side just as quickly.

"Are you alright, Mr Standish?" asked Enid.

"Of course I am my dear, I have been through a lot worse," he smiled up at her wincing at the pain and he put his hand to his split lip. "And please call me Ezra."

"You're going to need that seen to, Ezra," she said.

"There is no doctor here." Mary spoke up. She didn’t really know what to say to Ezra. "Nathan, one of the men you met yesterday is the closest thing we have to a doctor."

"That's okay I have done some doctoring myself," smiled Enid. "Come on, Ezra." She pulled him up off the floor and they went and sat at one of the tables. "Mary, could you get me some water please."

Mary came back in a few minutes with a bowl of water and a cloth. Enid soaked it and placed it against Ezra's lips. She noticed how soft they felt and she blushed. "Hold this will you please, Ezra." She allowed him to take the cloth from her. "When you’re done with your lip hold it against your cheek. It might stop some of the swelling."

"Ezra, are you going to be okay?" asked Mary.

"I'm fine, Mary," he smiled at her trying not to grimace at the pain.

"Well I come back later to make sure, I have to get back to work." He nodded at her not wanting to smile or say anything as that would cause his lip to sting. It was the first physical injury that he had had in two months.

Mary walked out of the saloon straight into five men. "Well, what have we here?" said one of them.

The five men that face Mary were going to enjoy themselves in this town. All they had to do was take care of the hired gun and they were going to use this woman to do it. McCormack grabbed Mary by the arm.

"Let go of me," she said to him.

"Not until I’ve finished with you," he grinned at her wickedly.

"What are you going to do to me," she was afraid of what the smile on the man's face meant.

"We’re not going to do anything to you yet." He motioned to his men to take their places. They knew what he had in mind. He didn't have to tell them anything, as they had known him to long and knew what he was thinking.

He moved to the saloon doors and saw a man who fitted the description of the seventh hired gun that the stable boy had given him. He nodded towards him. "Is that Ezra Standish?" McCormack asked Mary. She tried to hide the worry that she suddenly felt for Ezra. But the man saw it. He pulled Mary back and pulled his gun.

"What are you going to do?" She was scared now but no longer for herself.

The man fired his gun into the air and waited for Ezra to come out of the saloon. He waited. And five minutes later, he was still waiting. He pushed Mary to the man that was standing behind him and stepped towards the saloon doors and when he did, he felt a gun pressed against his temple.

=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=


Ezra had heard the gunshot but he decided not to go rushing out the door, as he had no one to back him up. He saw Enid stand up behind him. "Give me one of your guns, Ezra," he turned to her with a shocked expression on his face. "I can shoot a gun, Ezra, so don't look at me like that. You need back up so give me one."

Ezra suddenly remembered George Lascon and Enid saw the expression that overcame his face.

"No," he said to her. "If something was to happen to you I would not forgive myself." Ezra moved forward leaving her to watch him go.

'Well if he is not going to give me one then someone else will.' She looked around the room until she saw a man whom she could remove a gun from.

Ezra slowly moved out of the doors not removing his gun from the man's temple. Mary saw him coming out and tried to warn him but the man holding her and put his hand over her mouth. When Ezra came out of the doors, he could not see anyone else so he thought that this man was alone. He didn’t move his gun though just in case. Before Ezra could say anything to him, another man came from around the corner and he was holding Mary in front of him. The man gestured to Ezra to back off but he didn't.

"If you don't take that gun away from my head my friend here will kill the woman. And that is no threat," he growled at Ezra. The man was feeling stupid. This gambler had tricked him but he was grateful that they had the woman. If she had not come out when she did they would have continued on into the saloon thinking that they would have been able to take him but from this reaction he thought that he may have taken a couple of his men with him.

Ezra looked into the man's eyes and knew that it was not a threat. He lowered his gun from the man's head. As he did this, he saw Enid out of the corner of his eye. He turned towards her and shook his head. She didn’t know what he meant until she saw Mary being used as a hostage. She knew that there was not a lot she could do while Mary was their hostage, she would have to do what Ezra asked and back him up if an opening occurred.

McCormack saw Ezra look into the saloon. "Move over there," he nodded towards the railing.
Ezra walked backwards not wanting to turn his back on these men. As he did so another three appeared beside their leader but they had not drawn their guns.

"Put your gun on the ground," he said to Ezra.

Ezra hesitated for a moment. But the man holding Mary put his gun to her head and squeezed her arm tight enough for her to cry out. He began to lower his gun. "Ezra don't do it. Please." said Mary.

"I don't seem to have a choice, Mary," he looked at her seeing that she was scared but he didn’t realise that the fear was for him.

"Ezra, they will kill you," she cried.

"And they will kill you if I don't." Ezra looked at Mary. He knew that he would not let her die. He did as he was told. 'Well here I am going to do another one of those heroic deeds that everybody will soon forget.' thought Ezra before he bent down and put his gun on the ground. He then stood back up and faced the men who now had their guns pointed at him.


"How honourable of you," laughed McCormack. He nodded to one of his men who drew their gun and walked towards Ezra. He lifted Ezra's coat and found the gun in his shoulder holster. He then checked his arms and found a derringer he moved to Ezra's side and told him to put the derringer on the ground as well. Ezra looked up at the leader. "Don't even think about it," he said.

Now that he was sure that, he had all of Ezra's guns, the man walked back to his boss and stood behind him. He put his own gun back in its holster. Ezra felt a slight relief at that but there were still two guns pointed at him and Mary was still a hostage. He had no idea how he was going to get them out of this.

"I am no threat to you now so why don't you let her go." Hoping that at least Mary could get out of this okay. He was not so sure about himself.

"As long as you’re alive you’re a threat to me."

Ezra didn’t like the sound of that at all. "Why don't you let her go anyway?"

"Because I don't want to."

Ezra saw Enid watching from the saloon and he knew that she wanted to do something. He caught her attention and he then looked at Mary. Enid saw Ezra and followed his gaze; she knew what he was telling her. He didn't want her to do anything until she knew that Mary would not get hurt. She didn't like it because she wanted to do something now because she was afraid that Ezra was the one going to get hurt not Mary.

Mary was watching Ezra and she knew that he was risking his own life to protect her. She was afraid that these men were going to shoot him. She heard two guns fire almost at the same time.
Ezra's life was saved by the fact the two guns didn’t fire at the exact same time. McCormack had aimed for Ezra's heart but his right hand man had fire a split second before him, the bullet entering Ezra's right shoulder and breaking his shoulder blade as it exited from his body. The force of the bullet had caused him to move the to the right thus saving his life as McCormack's bullet entered high on his left side missing his heart but breaking a rib in two places. The second bullet also went straight through. Mary screamed as she saw Ezra fall to the ground when he was struck by the bullets.

"Damn," grimaced McCormack. "You made me miss him." He turned to his right hand man and hit him causing him to let go of Mary. She ran to Ezra, McCormack tried to stop her but before he could grab her Enid came from the saloon firing her gun at him. She didn’t have the distraction of a right hand man so her bullet killed McCormack instantly. Enid then shot the man standing next to him.

Someone else had followed Enid out and held his own gun. The three remaining gunmen didn’t draw their guns but instead raised their hands. She looked at the man standing beside her and nodded at him to indicate that she wanted him to watch them while she checked on Ezra. He nodded back to her. Enid then turned to see Mary leaning over Ezra trying to stop the blood flowing from both wounds.





Part One | Part Two


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