azombiewrites: (The Magnificent Seven)
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Title: The Hunted
Nineth story in 'The Continuing Ezra Standish Saga'
Rating: PG
Warnings: Bad writing ahead!
Fandom: The Magnificent Seven
Genre: Hurt/Comfort
Summary: The bank of Four Corners is robbed and when the seven hired gunmen go after them, the robbers set a trap and two of the lawmen are injured. The hunters then become the hunted.
Main Characters: Ezra, 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: Nineth story in the ‘Continuing Ezra Standish Saga’.
Spoilers: None.
Total Word Count: 24,041

Part One

Ezra was right; they did forget his heroic deed when he risked his own life to save Mary's from the outlaws. Another six weeks had passed and he had almost healed from his wounds. His shoulder still gave him trouble at times but he made sure that only Nathan knew about it. Chris had already begun to treat Ezra the way that he usually did - with distrust and dislike and he didn’t disguise the way he felt about Ezra.

Ezra had rubbed Chris's face in it, well that's the conclusion that he came to anyway as Ezra didn’t talk to him about what happened, he didn’t blame Chris for what happened, he didn't tell him that it was his fault. Ezra didn’t cast any blame at all and Chris thought that Ezra was doing it on purpose, trying to make him feel guilty and this angered Chris. He didn’t stop to think that Ezra actually didn't blame him.

They were all the same, except Buck and JD maybe. All it took was one wrong word from Ezra or one wrong intent and it would cause them to think he had his own self-interests at heart. They would roll their eyes at him or make some comment and they forget the man he had become and treat him as the man that they had first met in the saloon when he was pulling a con.

The six weeks had been quiet up to now and three of the lawmen were trying to deal with three men who had had too much to drink and were trying to make their way to the bottles that sat on the shelf behind the bar. Ezra had been sitting at the card table playing poker with a couple of gentlemen who had arrived in town the day before when he heard the sound of breaking glass. Nathan and JD who were sitting at another table also heard the sound. All three of them got up at once and went to deal with them but the men were not willing to leave easily. They put up a fight. Ezra got to the bar first with Nathan and JD right behind him. Ezra jumped over the bar making sure that he used his left arm to take the weight. He pulled the first man towards him a placed a punch on the man's jaw that knocked him senseless to the floor. Nathan was able to take care of the second by hitting him over the head with an empty bottle. JD though had a bit of trouble with his and before he could deal with him, he was able to land a blow against the side of Ezra's skull sending him to the ground. It was not hard enough to knock him out but he did hit the ground hard enough to hurt his shoulder. Ezra grunted at the pain and grabbed his shoulder. Only Nathan saw his reaction as JD was able to take care of the third drunk.

Ezra managed to get himself off the ground and gave Nathan a smile to indicate the he was okay but Nathan didn’t think so. He knew that Ezra didn’t want anyone else to know that he still had some pain in his shoulder so he didn’t say anything at that moment. He would talk to him later. Nathan turned to see Vin and Buck coming through the saloon doors to find out what the ruckus was about.

"Looks like we missed out on all the fun," said Buck as he looked at the mess behind the bar.

"A lot of fun, Buck," said Ezra.

"Hey, Ezra, are you okay?" asked JD.

"Of course I'm alright; he didn't hit me that hard," Ezra smiled at him trying to keep the pain from showing on his face. It was beginning to ease already. "Now if you will excuse me I have a poker game to finish." he left them to deal with the three men lying on the ground. They managed to drag them out of the saloon and took them to the jailhouse to lock them up for the night.

Once they were done, Nathan returned to the saloon to check on Ezra. He found him still sitting at the table but he was on his own now. "The game must have finished pretty quick," said Nathan as he sat at the table with Ezra.

"What do you want, Nathan?" asked Ezra.

"Just wanted to make sure your shoulder was okay, I noticed you hurt it when you hit the floor." Nathan watched his face waiting for the poker one to replace the one that he was wearing but he kept the same expression.

"It's a bit sore but the pain is easing." Ezra looked up at him.

"You mind if I have a look at it? Make sure that it is okay?"

"Yes I do mind actually. I said that it was okay." Ezra looked back down hoping that it was the end of the conversation.

"Sure, Ezra, but if you want me to check it you know where I am." Nathan got up and left the table. He had noticed how Ezra had his right arm sitting in his lap while he used his left arm to do drink with.

The pain in Ezra's shoulder did ease but a small twinge stayed in his shoulder for the next couple of days. It was giving him a lot of trouble at nighttime and he wasn't able to get a lot of sleep. On the third night, he finally gave up and went to see Nathan. He made his way up the stairs wondering if Nathan would be asleep yet. He knocked on the door beginning to hope that he was asleep. He waited a few moments and then grateful that Nathan didn’t open the door he started to walk away.

"Ezra, is that you?" Nathan asked from the doorway. "Is there something wrong, is someone hurt?"

"Everyone is fine Nathan, it's . . .” Ezra looked down feeling a bit embarrassed.

"Your shoulder?"

"Yes. But if I woke you up I can come back later."

"If I let you go now, Ezra, you won't come back. Get yourself in here so I can have a look at it."

Ezra walked in not noticing the smile on Nathan's face after he passed him in the doorway. He made his way to the chair and sat down.

"Can you take your jacket off without help?" He asked Ezra. He nodded and proceeded to take his jacket off. Nathan noticed that he didn’t have his usual waistcoat on under it.

Nathan came over and began to use his fingers to feel Ezra's shoulder and back. "Is it giving you a lot of trouble?" He came around to face Ezra.

"No, it is just more of a soreness during the day, it's not too bad. It just gets worse at night when I’m trying to sleep on it. I end up sitting in the chair but I'm not getting a lot of sleep lately."

"I can't feel anything wrong with it. It's probably just bruised from when you hit it the other day."

Nathan took in Ezra's appearance. He hadn’t noticed until Ezra mentioned it but he did look tired, he saw the blackness under his eyes. "I'm going make up something for you so you can get some sleep tonight. I'll check your shoulder again tomorrow; I might have to get you to wear that sling again for a couple of days."

"I’ll say yes to your first suggestion Nathan but no to the second." Ezra grimaced at the thought of that sling. He had only gotten rid of it a couple of weeks ago.

It took Nathan only a few minutes to make up something to help Ezra sleep. "Make sure you don't drink it till you’re actually ready to sleep because it works pretty quickly. It’ll give you a good night sleep though."

"Nathan," Ezra stared at him. "Could you please keep this between us?"

"If that’s want you want, Ezra." Nathan closed the door, went back to bed while Ezra went to his own room, and drank the foul tasting drink that Nathan had given him. He would have to have a word with him about that tomorrow.

The following morning an explosion followed by gunshots echoed through Four Corners.


Ezra heard the gunshots but found it difficult to wake himself up. He wondered if that was because he had been shot. He lay there for a moment trying to remember how it happened but then he realised that he was just asleep in his own bed. He was having trouble opening his eyes because Nathan had given him something the night before to help him sleep. He finally managed to open his eyes and drag himself out of bed. Something was going on outside and he was sure that the others would need his help. He dressed himself quickly, grabbed two of his guns, and left his room. As he ran down the stairs, he became more alert and he was now hearing voices to go with the gunfire.

Ezra ran out onto the porch of the saloon and saw six men ride past him, shooting behind them as they rode out of town. He knew that these men had to be stopped and he raised his gun to take aim. He fired and saw one of them fall from his horse. The leader turned to see his man go down. He saw a fancy dressed man standing in front of the saloon taking aim again. Ezra fired again and wounded another but this one managed to stay on his horse. Ezra didn’t bother to fire again as they were now out of range. He heard the other hired gunmen running up to him.

"Way to go Ezra, you got one." JD was glad that at least one of them managed to stop one of the bank robbers. They had all been sitting in the saloon having breakfast when they heard the explosion.

They assumed that it had come from the bank and when they got their they saw six men riding off. They gave chase and fired at them hoping to bring them down but they hadn't managed it.

Chris pushed his way through the others. "Where the hell were you?"

"I was asleep," said Ezra, knowing what was coming.

"You were asleep. Six gunmen just robbed the bank, explosions and gunshots going off and you didn't wake up. That's just typical of you isn't it Ezra." Chris growled.

Ezra raised his eyebrows when the word explosion was mentioned. He must have been out of it to not hear an explosion.

"Come on, Chris, you know how heavy Ezra sleeps," said Buck hoping to ease the situation.

"He was probably still too drunk to wake up," Chris said in disgust.

Nathan stood next to Ezra then wanting to explain what the situation was. "Chris I gave Ezra . . ."

"There’s no need to explain it to him, Nathan," Ezra interrupted.

Chris gave Ezra one of his looks. Ezra was getting quite use to them now. There was not really a time when he didn't look at Ezra like that anymore.

"I want everyone ready to go in fifteen minutes. Were going after them," He looked at Ezra. "And that means you as well."

The others left to get ready leaving Nathan with Ezra. "You should have let me tell him, Ezra," said Nathan knowing why Ezra was still asleep while the gunfire was going on around him.

"Why, Nathan, it would not have any difference to Chris. Now don't you think that we should get prepared to leave like we have been asked?" Ezra left Nathan standing there wondering why it was much easier for Ezra to have Chris angry at him rather than explain the reason for him still being asleep. Sometimes he really didn’t understand that man. Nathan shook his head and went to his own things and his horse. He thought that he should take some medical supplies just in case.

Fifteen minutes later the seven hired lawmen rode out of town after the five bank robbers. They knew which direction the robbers had gone in but because they didn’t have them in their sight, they needed Vin to track them. He stopped the group for a moment as he looked around to see which direction they went in. JD looked over at Ezra and watched him stifle a yawn.

"Hey, Ezra, did you hear the explosion? It nearly blew my ears off it was that loud." JD was excited.

"No, I didn't." Ezra didn’t want this conversation to go on. He saw Chris look at him out of the corner of his eye.

"Had too much to drink last night didn't you, Ezra?" Chris didn’t voice this as a question. It was an assumption on his part. Ezra grimaced at Chris but he let it go.

Buck saw the look that Nathan was giving Ezra. It was one of understanding and sympathy. Buck thought that it was strange because Nathan only looked at Ezra liked that when there was something wrong with him. Buck's mind began to tick over. He nudged his horse to move and stopped him when he was standing next to Ezra's horse. Buck looked at him. Ezra didn’t return the look.

"What's wrong, Ezra?" asked Buck, not to loud because he knew that Ezra would not answer him if he thought that everyone else was listening.

"There’s nothing wrong, Buck," Ezra said.

"If you don't tell me then I’ll ask Nathan."

"You can ask Nathan if you wish but he’ll tell you the same thing." Ezra saw Vin get back on his horse and ride off. This gave him an excuse to leave Buck sitting there. Buck looked over at Nathan and saw him sigh and raise his hands in a gesture that said 'I can't say anything.'

Vin was surprised that the bank robbers were able to get such a lead on them. They had only a fifteen-minute head start but they must have ridden the horses hard. He saw an area ahead, which he thought, would have been a perfect place for an ambush. He stopped his horse and waited for Chris to pull up beside him.

"Something wrong, Vin?" asked Chris.

"I just think that we should be careful here. To many trees around which are at the base of a hill. They could be hiding anywhere in there."

Before Chris could say anything, they heard a gunshot. "Everyone grab cover!" Chris yelled.

They all rode their horses to the edge of the trees and jumped off the horses. No one bothered to tie them at that moment. They knew they wouldn't go too far anyway.

"Well now we know that they are in there," Vin said.

"We can't stay here all day though so we’re going to go in and look for them."

"Everyone spread out and keep your eyes open they could be anywhere. If you don't find any of them within ten minutes then head back here. And don't try anything stupid," Chris said.

Everyone spread out in their own directions. Buck and Josiah had moved to the left while Vin and Chris went straight ahead. Nathan and JD followed Ezra to the right but everyone soon separated again. They would make harder targets if they were on their own. It had been ten minutes and no one had seen anything to indicate that the robbers were still there and as some of them headed back to the area where they were told, to meet a group of explosions occurred at the same time.


The leader's name was Silvers and he had his men stop at the base of the hill. "Joe, you take the horses and Mike around those rocks and tie them up so the explosions don't scare them off. Mike, stay with them as you ain't going to be much use to us now. The rest of you come with me." He made his way up the hill taking the sticks of dynamite with him. Silvers had all intentions of taking care of the seven men that had followed them. They waited for nearly twenty minutes when they saw them stop just before the tree line. As they were on top of the hill, they were able to see them below.

"Steven, fire your gun, I want them to scatter." Silvers told one of his men. He did what he was told and the seven lawmen rode into the trees. They lost sight of them from there but that was okay. They didn't need to see them when they started throwing the dynamite. He waited another ten minutes then he passed around four sticks of dynamite and had his men light the fuses and throw them into the trees in four different directions as Silvers knew that the lawmen would separate while trying to make their way towards them.


The first explosion occurred near Buck. Josiah heard the noise and looked up in time to see Buck fly through the air. His flight was ended when he hit a tree and collapsed in a heap at the base of it.

Josiah ran to him hearing another three explosions behind him. He waited to be thrown against a tree as well but it didn’t happen. He reached Buck and turned him over. He saw the blood flowing from the gash on his forehead. He quickly checked him for any other injuries, when he was sure there was none he picked him and carried him back to the area where he knew the others would also be headed. If they were okay that was.

The second and third explosions occurred near Chris and Vin. Once they made sure that each other was okay, they headed back to the meeting point. Nathan and JD had heard the explosions come from different directions, three to their left and one to their right. Without thinking of Ezra, they ran back to the area where Chris wanted them to meet after looking for the robbers. They entered the clearing to see Chris and Vin standing next to the area where the horses were supposed to be.

"The explosions must have scared them off," said Nathan. They went up to Chris and Vin. "You guys okay?"

"Yeah, Nathan we’re fine. You and JD?" Chris quickly looked them over with his eyes.

"We’re fine, Chris," answered JD.


They turned around to see Josiah coming towards them with Buck in his arms. They ran up to him.

"Put him on the ground Josiah. JD, go and get my . . ." Nathan's voice trailed off knowing that the horses had been scared off.

"Vin, go and see if you can at least find Nathan's horse," growled Chris. Vin nodded and ran off in the direction of town thinking that was the direction they probably went in."

Nathan again checked Buck for any other injuries, he checked for broken bones including his ribs. He found none; it was the head injury they needed to worry about. He tore a strip from his shirt and wiped the blood away to see how bad the cut was. It didn’t look serious so he pressed to cloth to the wound to stop the bleeding. The others stood around Nathan waiting for him to tell them how Buck was.


Ezra had heard the explosion that came from the left; he immediately thought about the others but before he could go back and find out if everyone was okay three more explosions occurred, one of them close to him. The force of it threw him backwards. At first, only the pain he felt came from his shoulder and his first thought was that Nathan was going to make him wear that sling again. It wasn't until he tried to move that he felt the searing pain in his side. He tried to move away from the pain, the agony tearing through his side again. He found that he couldn't move at all. Ezra waited a few moments for his sight to clear, he had nearly passed out. He then tried to look behind him, only moving his head to the side. He saw that he was leaning against an old tree that must have fallen years ago. He couldn't understand why he couldn't move away from it. He was not going to try again as it hurt too much when he tried. He knew that the pain came from his left side so using his left arm - as there was still pain coming from his shoulder so he didn't want to make that any worse - he lifted his jacket to the side and saw the reason for him not being able to move away from the tree. He saw a branch protruding from his side.

Ezra saw that the branch had entered his side at an angle so he hoped that it had missed his kidney. He thought about trying to pull himself off it but he thought better of it. He decided that the best thing to do was to wait until the others came looking for him. If they were all right that was. He hoped that he would hear them coming through the trees at any moment now. He looked towards the direction that they would be coming from but saw no one yet.


After five minutes, Nathan was able to stop the bleeding. He then went to tear another strip off his shirt but Josiah handed him one that he had already torn form his own. He then wrapped it around Buck's forehead and as he did this Buck moaned.

"Buck, can you hear me?" asked Nathan.

"Yeah, I can hear you."

"You’re okay apart your head wound but it doesn’t look serious," explained Nathan. "You’ll probably just have a bad headache."

"I've got one of those already," he complained.

Chris smiled at this. It meant that he was going to be okay. He looked up then to see Vin walking towards them with two horses but neither of them were Nathan's.


Ezra thought that at least ten minutes had passed and he had yet to see any of his associates. He began to worry that they were also out there injured and unable to help each other. He had no choice now, he either stayed here like this or he got himself out of the situation. He went for the latter. He knew that it was going to hurt but he couldn't just stay there. He placed his hands behind him feeling the pain in his right shoulder and he gritted his teeth against the pain that he knew would come. He looked at the angle that the branch was protruding from his side and knew that he would have to push in the same direction, as it would make it easier for him. He was going to count to three and then push.

He closed his eyes and began to count aloud.

"One, two . . ." but he found it hard to say three. He waited a moment longer. "Three." Ezra pushed with all the strength he could, he felt the branch tear through his flesh and before he knew it, he was lying on his stomach. He didn't know if he had cried out or not. At that moment, all he could see was darkness as it tried to take him. He waited a few minutes hoping that it would, the pain was agony. He remembered the other times he felt pain and thought that it was the worst that he had ever felt but this pain was worse than any of them combined. When the darkness didn't take him, he rolled over onto his back. He hardly noticed the pain in his shoulder any more, as it was nothing compared to what was coming from his side.

Ezra managed to sit himself up giving out a small cry at the pain. He looked in the direction where he hoped that everyone was but he still saw no one coming for him. He looked down at his side and saw that his shirt was quickly becoming soaked with blood. He put his hand against it, holding back another small scream. He waited a moment longer and stood up. He grabbed the nearest thing to him to stop himself from falling, as he suddenly felt dizzy. He held himself against the tree for a few minutes.

After he thought that he could stand without falling Ezra began to walk back to where he hoped someone else would be. He was worried that they were all hurt as no one had come looking for him. It took him at least ten minutes to find his way back as he had to keep stopping as he was beginning to feel weak at the loss of blood that he was suffering from. Once he reached the area, he saw five men standing over another. He saw that it was Buck and his stomach lurched at the thought of Buck dead.

Then he heard his voice complaining about Nathan not leaving him alone. Ezra could feel the anger boiling within him. If everyone was alright, then why had they not come looking for him? Ezra walked towards them.

"I see that you gentlemen have your priorities straight," growled Ezra as he dropped to his knees.

They all turned around at the sound of Ezra's voice. They saw him fall to his knees. What he said kept repeating in their minds. They were so worried about Buck they had forgotten about Ezra.


Slivers had enjoyed listening to the dynamite go off. He wondered if any of the lawmen were hurt. He smiled at the thought of it. "Are we going down there to finish them off?" asked Joe.

"No, not yet, you can see that most of their horses have run off. We can see if they try to leave from here and if they do, we can take them from here. Well just wait for a while," he continued to smile. He knew that Steven was a good shot and if anyone of them tried to ride out - if they could find a horse first that was - he would be able to shoot them from here. They couldn’t see down into the trees as they were too thick in areas but if they were to leave the cover of the trees, they would see them. He was going to wait a while and then go down.

Part One | Part Two

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