azombiewrites: (The Magnificent Seven)
[personal profile] azombiewrites
Title: He Had To Do It
Rating: PG
Fandom: The Magnificent Seven
Category: ow
Main Characters: Ezra and the rest of the seven.
Disclaimers: The guys are owned by CBS, MGM, Trilogy Entertainment Group, and The Mirisch Corp.
Summary: While returning to Four Corners with Chris and Vin, Ezra sees something that causes him to react on instinct.
Spoilers: None
Status: Complete



He Had To Do It


Ezra Standish was bored, very bored; so bored that he would almost, (but not really) volunteer for menial labor. They had been riding for nearly six hours and it was still another hour before they reached Four Corners. The conversation during the first thirty minutes had been interesting, but the interest and conversation died shortly after and he'd been riding in silence ever since. Not that it had been Ezra's choice. If given the opportunity he would talk all day. Unfortunately Vin and Chris preferred silence over intelligent conversations and had threatened him with physical harm if he didn't shut up. Ezra knew of course that they wouldn't hurt him; well he hoped they wouldn't but he did suspect that they might gag him.
Vin Tanner had offered him his spyglass on numerous occasions so he could search the distance for something. Did Vin think he wanted to look at the trees in the distance? It wasn't like they were any different than the ones he could see with the naked eye. Ezra gave up after a short period of time; boredom had won out. He accepted the spyglass to try and ease the boredom.

Normally, he would have had his cards, but Chris had snatched them from him two hours into the trip. It seemed their leader was in a particularly foul mood this day. Ezra protested of course but his mouth was forced shut when he saw Chris remove a dirty rag from his saddlebags. Uncouth, that's what they were. If they intended to gag him they could at least use a clean piece of material. He could easily catch something from the things Chris kept in his saddlebags.

It didn't take long for the Southerner to find out that looking at trees and hills was just as boring as doing nothing but riding in silence. Trees, nothing but trees. Ezra slumped unhappily in his saddle. No cards and no conversation, this wasn't the way to live. These men needed lessons in the ways of keeping your friends happy.

He was about to return the spy glass when something of interest finally caught his eye. What he saw took a moment to register in his mind and when it did he reacted on gut instinct.

'Aw hell!'

Ezra tossed the spyglass back to Vin, who caught it deftly, and then urged his horse into a gallop, leaving the others behind to wonder what Ezra was doing.

'Where in the hell is he going?' Chris asked Vin.

'How should I know?'

'Use your god damn spy glass and tell me where he's going!' Chris turned in his saddle and gave the sharp shooter a cold stare.

Vin peered through the instrument, but the only thing he could see was Ezra and his horse as they disappeared over a rise.

'Well?' Chris asked him.

'Keep your pants on cowboy and give me a minute.'

It took Vin a few more seconds before he found the image that had caused Ezra to take off at a gallop without a word.

'Shit.'

'What is it?'

Vin urged his horse into a gallop knowing that Chris would trust his silence and follow.

____________________________________________________



Ezra continued toward the scene of violence knowing that he might not get there in time. He hadn't hesitated when he saw the three men attacking what was left of the small family. The man that lay unmoving must have been the father of the woman and daughter that were being stripped of their clothing. It was obvious what the three men planned to do and every second counted. There hadn't been time to explain to Chris and Vin what he had seen.

He had to stop the killers from raping a mother and her daughter even if it meant his own life. Chris and Vin would be following him soon enough to finish the job. All he had to do was disrupt the crime long enough for Chris and Vin to arrive.

While holding the reins loosely with his left hand Ezra pulled his rifle from its scabbard and raised it in preparation to fire. He knew he wasn't going to hit a human target, but he hoped the shot would cause them to pause in their activities allowing Ezra to get closer before they could respond.

As the gunshot reverberated through the plain, the men stopped to search for the source of the sound. Upon sighting Ezra, they grabbed the woman and child and held them in front of them for protection. Ezra had hoped that they would have used the wagon for cover. These men were obviously cowards.

Undeterred, Ezra fired a second shot hoping that it would drive them behind the wagon. It didn't work.
Good Lord, I'm going to die, he thought but still he charged onward.

He would not leave these defenseless women to the twisted desire of those miscreants.

Ezra jumped from his horse while it was still moving and pulled his guns from their holsters; grateful that he had worn both. Ezra was in the open and he knew it. Chris and Vin should arrive at any moment but would he die before that moment arrived.

'Release them and I will allow you to live!' Ezra shouted as he brazenly strode forward.

If they thought he was crazy then maybe they would do what he asked. They didn't. Instead one of the three men lifted his weapon and fired. The bullet exploded into Ezra's left shoulder missing the heart and lung. He was one lucky son-of-a-bitch and he knew it.

He twisted and fell to the ground but managed to keep one of his guns in his hand. More than anything he wanted to roll onto his back and place his hand against his wound but his best bet was to play dead. If he heard the terrified screams of mother and daughter then he would turn and fire. Only one would die but it would give Chris and Vin better odds.

Then he heard one of the cretins shout, 'More riders coming!'

Thank the Lord. At the first sound of gunfire he would turn and help protect the women as best as he could. His plan was destroyed when he someone grabbed a fistful of his coat and hauled him to his feet. Ezra dropped his weapon. A sharp cry of pain escaped him as the person put pressure on the wounded shoulder.

'Knew you were playing possum,' the voice chuckled. 'Old Luke there isn't that good a shot.'

Ezra was dragged toward the rest of the group and got a closer look at the two females. The mother had covered herself up and had managed to rescue her daughter from the oldest criminal and now held her close to her bosom.

'No doubt these two riders are friends of yours?'

'No.' Ezra grunted when he was forced to the ground.

'They're coming from the same direction so they must be.'

'I assure you that-' Ezra didn't appreciate the kick to his shoulder. He fell forward onto his side and held on for dear life until the pain began to ease.

He was grabbed again and positioned in front of the man who had kicked him. A scream told him that the girl had been separated her mother. Three men with three hostages that were going to be used as shields. Ezra glanced up and watched as Chris and Vin pulled their mounts to a stop.
'What's going on here?' Chris couldn't help but notice the blood that was soaking through Ezra's shirt and jacket.

'These men had the intention of raping this woman and her daughter.' Ezra explained. 'I thought if I stopped to explain myself to you they may have succeeded. As you can see,' he nodded toward the dead man, 'they already killed her husband.'

'I wasn't talking to you Ezra!' Chris growled.

'Oh.' Ezra nodded in understanding.

'But now that you have explained it I don't have to use pain to force one of these guys to tell me what's going on.'

'Pity.'

'Shut up!' The man holding Ezra put his arm around Ezra's throat and pushed upwards.
'Hurt him again and you'll die.' Chris warned him.

'I intend to hurt him plenty more . . . unless you agree to let us go.'

'There's three of you and two of us,' Vin smiled at the man, 'and you're trying to make a deal.'

'I know who you are.'

'Your reputation precedes you Mr. Larabee.' Ezra forced out through clenched teeth.

'I told you to shut up!' This time he slammed his fist into Ezra's injured shoulder.

Ezra yelled out and his knees buckled. It was enough to cause Chris to jump from his horse and arm himself. He cocked his weapon and raised it upwards. His aim was true as he fired. The bullet entered between the eyes of the man holding Ezra. As the man died he dragged Ezra to the ground with him.

'I told you, you'd die if you hurt him again.'

"A well placed shot indeed, Mr. Larabee." Ezra muttered as he struggled to get up onto his knees. He noticed that he was close to the daughter and the man who was using her for protection. He smiled at the man who was now watching him carefully. Ezra flexed the muscle in his forearm and the derringer easily sprang into his right hand.

'Would the two of you like to die?' Chris asked them.

The two men looked at their dead companion, at Ezra who had a small peashooter aimed at one of them then at Chris and Vin who were ready to fire their weapons. They dropped their own guns, let the hostages go and stepped back.

'I'll take that as a no.' Chris eyed Ezra for a moment. 'Vin, you take care of those guys and I'll take care of Ezra.'

'I'm perfectly fine Chris, it's just a flesh wound, merely a scratch, and it doesn't even hurt.'

'It's going to, Ezra.'

'And what did I do to deserve this treatment?' Ezra could see that Chris was ready to explode and he couldn't understand what he'd done to make the gunslinger so angry. The silence that came from Chris as he walked towards him unnerved him. 'Chris, I didn't-'

'Shut up Ezra and let me have a look at your shoulder.' Chris tugged at Ezra's coat but the Southerner pulled it back.

'You are not going to check my shoulder while your mood is . . . is . . . is so deplorable!'

'So you want to bleed to death is that it?'

'I assure you that I am not going to bleed to death.'

'Ezra, just let me look at your shoulder!' Chris reached out for the stubborn gambler's coat for a second time.

'What did I do this time?'

'You almost got yourself killed that's what you did!'

'But I didn't-'

'Next time you pull a foolish stunt like that, you-'

'Saving a woman and child is by no means a foolish stunt, Mr. Larabee. I would never stand by and allow them to be ravaged and possibly murdered. I had to do something.'

'Saving them isn't the foolish stunt I'm talking about.' Chris raised his hand again and looked at Ezra. This time he made sure there was no anger showing on his face or in his eyes. 'It's the fact that you tried to do it alone.'

'Alone?' Ezra allowed Chris to take his jacket off.

'You should have said something when you took off, or even fired your gun. That way we would have known there was trouble and we would have been right behind you.'

A demanding cough drew Chris' attention. "Ya followed me without bein' told," Vin reminded the gunslinger. "We both shoulda done the same for Ezra."

Chris nodded his head accepting the truth of the situation. "Next time, and there better not be one, we'll be right behind you. Okay?'

'Yes, fine,' Ezra started, pleasantly surprised by Chris' admission.

'Ow!' Ezra grabbed Chris's wrist and pulled it away from his shoulder. 'Perhaps it's best if Nathan takes care of my injury.'

'You won't last that long Ezra.'

'But it's only a flesh wound.'

'The bullet is still in there, which means it has to come out.'

'And you, Mr. Larabee, are not going to take it out! You are an uncouth, violent and very angry man. If you tried to do it you would cause me grievous bodily harm.'

'I could do it for you.'

Both Ezra and Chris looked up at the woman who was offering to help Ezra. She had changed her clothing and was now standing close to them with her daughter by her side.

'It's the least I could do. You saved my daughter from those men, they would have . . .'

'I only wish that I was able to save your husband.' Ezra lowered his eyes.

'Ezra! Don't even start with the guilt trip. It was enough that you saved the women, and don't give me any of your 'if's'. You hear me?'

'Your friend is right. I don't know what I would have done if my daughter . . .' A sob caught in her throat and she placed her against her chest. 'I'm sorry.'

'There's no need to be.' Ezra assured her.

'I'll go put some water onto boil.' Chris moved away from the trio.

'My name is Cynthia Gains and this is my daughter Pamela.'

'Ezra Standish. The man with the blond hair is Chris Larabee and the other is Vin Tanner.'
'Pamela, why don't you go and help Mr. Larabee with the fire.'

Her daughter hesitated for a moment then moved away but she continued to keep an eye on her mother. She didn't want to be separated from her again.

'Now Mr. Standish, why don't I take care of that wound for you?'

~~The End~~








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