azombiewrites: (The Magnificent Seven)
[personal profile] azombiewrites
Title: That Damn Car!
Rating: PG
Fandom: The Magnificent Seven
Category: ATF
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: How did he get that car?
Spoilers: None
Status: Complete
Warning: Bad language.

That Damn Car!

Ezra Standish, an undercover agent with the Denver ATF for nearly five months made his way to his team's conference room. He brushed at his expensive suit then straightened his hair. The long fingers of his right hand adjusted his tie as he prepared himself for the onslaught. He'd finally made it into the office before eight and he was going to pay dearly for it. They were going to say it was a miracle and anything else they could think of. Buck would probably ask him if he wet the bed. His answer would be an expression of disgust, then a witty comeback. He was very comfortable with these men, he was able to relax his guard in front of them. The real Ezra Standish was able to show a part of himself to the men that were quickly becoming close friends. It hadn't happened before, it had never happened before.

With the FBI, he'd become one of the best undercover agents around. Everyone admired his work but it wasn't enough. They said he had a problem with authority, that he liked working on his own too much. Other agents didn't like his attitude, he was too smug, thought he was better than the rest of them. He didn't socialise enough with them, therefore he had a problem. They didn't bother to find out why or invite him into becoming part of the group, or even try to get closer to him. It was all too much trouble for them.

The men in the ATF's Team Seven were different. They did everything they could to make him a part of their group. These men were more than friends, they were a family that protected and supported each other through hell and back. They were patient. They knew about the situation that had brought him to Denver; the rumours of how he'd been on the take. How else could he afford the black jag that he drove.

Chris Larabee, the leader of Team Seven knew that Standish had a problem with trust, that he found it hard to work with other men. Every Friday night he was invited to the Standish Tavern for a drink - he was surprised to find that there was a bar that had an owner with the same name as him - and every time he had said no, that he had other plans. By the third month they had stopped asking. Ezra hadn't been surprised. But he had been surprised when they abducted him and physically manhandled him to the bar, forcing him into a corner booth and keeping him there. For the first hour he had felt violently ill. Then the feeling of friendship had taken over and eventually he had begun to enjoy himself. He went home pleasantly drunk and woke the next morning to Vin Tanner in his kitchen drinking fresh coffee. It had been a good feeling to know that someone cared, that six men cared.

But the last Friday that had gone by had been different. He wasn't sure why. Maybe it had something to do with the looks that had been thrown his way when they thought he wasn't paying attention. That night he'd spent at the Standish Tavern had been a confusing one. Something was going on that he hadn't been made aware of and it caused him to become extremely uncomfortable. Eventually he was driven to leave early, going home with a dark cloud floating above him. The cloud continued to darken his mood causing sleep to become difficult. He hardly slept during the nights that had come and gone since.

Now approaching the conference room he heard his name being spoken. It stopped him outside the open doorway. He waited and listened, hoping that whatever was being said would explain what was going on. The conversation that followed, broke him. The betrayal that he felt was overwhelming.


"Yeah Standish." Chris nodded into the phone and looked up at Buck. He waved the approaching hand away, he could handle this, he didn't need Buck's help. Gawd, sometimes that man just didn't trust him to do this sort of thing. What'd he think, that he was going to back out on them. No way in hell, not this time. "S.T.A.N.D.I.S.H."

Buck Wilmington stood in front of his long time friend, giving him verbal instructions as to what to say. His voice was low so the man on the other end of the phone couldn't hear him.

"Yeah . . . I already told you it's official business. ATF business. We need to know if he paid for the car with cash or a check." Chris put his hand over the phone. "These people are assholes."

"Give it to me then." Buck reached out again.

"Leave him be Buck." Vin admonished him. The man was like a dog chasing a bird in these sort of situations. Wouldn't give up until he had it in his mouth with the knowledge that it wasn't going to get away.

"What do you mean you can't tell me!" Chris was angry now. "I'm tellin' you now, if I have to come down there you'll regret it. I'm angry and when I'm angry I . . . " a few seconds of silence. "Finally, now tell me how he paid for that damn car."


Ezra couldn't listen to it anymore. He turned away from them and stormed to his office and slammed the door shut. If anyone had heard him they didn't acknowledge him. No, they were too busy trying to find out how he got his car. Did they believe that he had been on the take and bought the car with his own money? He had never told anyone how he got it, he no desire to bring his mother into it. If he gave them an answer it would be a lie, he didn't want them thinking that he was dependent on his mother. He hadn't relied on his mother since he was six. But they would still think it because of the car. The only time he lied to these men was in regards to his feelings and personal health. He didn't like people worrying about him or trying to take care of him. So he told them nothing.

He sat in his chair and spun it to face the wall, a blank wall that held no decorations. Ezra adjusted his chair so he could lean back place his feet on the wall. His left heel sat on it much like it would on a wooden railing. The other crossed over it. The green eyes were then hidden behind hooded eyelids, he was tired. Not Sleep tired but tired of trying to find a life where people would trust him without question. He thought he found it here. He was obviously wrong.

What the hell was he going to do now? Could he stay here knowing that they didn't trust him? Where the hell would he go? Shit! The minutes passed by without his knowledge, his thoughts controlled by his feelings of anger and betrayal. That damn car. Why did he keep it?

A knock at the door interrupted his thoughts but he refused to acknowledge it. The knock persisted and then without permission the person opened the door.

"Hey Ezra, thought you were here." Vin stepped into the room. He had seen a figure through the distorted pane of glass that made up half of the wall. It was a way of allowing light into the room while still giving the occupant some much required privacy.

Ezra didn't answer. Vin of all people. He thought he could rely on him. Vin had been the first person he had opened up to. Giving away a piece of his past, just enough to satisfy the man. And then he had to go and do this to him. Damn them and damn that fucking car.

"Ezra? You okay?" Vin asked as he moved closer. The eyes were open, this told him that Ezra wasn't sleeping but why hadn't he answered him.

"I'm perfectly fine Mr. Tanner." Ezra replied. He kept his tone neutral, under control like he had been taught. Inside he was a river of emotions breaking through a solid damn.

"You're in a bit early aren't you?" Vin smiled down at him but then frowned in confusion.

"Is there something wrong with that?"

"No, just hasn't happened before."

"I assure you that it won't happen again."

"Hey Vin, watcha' doin' in . . . " Buck stormed into the office to find out why Vin had left the conference room, was he up to something else. "Ezra, you're early for a change and it's only . . . "

"I am quite aware of the time, I don't need you to tell me!" Ezra stood up and pushed his chair back, it slammed into the desk leaving a permanent mark. He didn't care. He was leaving. The thought of what these men had done was to much to bear. He pushed against the two men as they tried to stop him from exiting. He forced his way by them.

"What the hell is wrong with you Ezra?" Buck demanded to know as he followed the younger man into the hall. "Maybe you shouldn't have gotten up so early."

Ezra stopped in his tracks and turned to look over his shoulder. "Fuck you, Wilmington."
he saw Chris come into the hallway, he had heard his last remark. "Fuck all of you."

Chris and the others were left in shock, their mouths hanging open.

"What did you say to him?" Chris rushed towards Buck. It had to be the ladies man, who else was capable of pissing Ezra off. Well he knew he was but he hadn't done anything; had he? He had to stop and think for a moment, well a few moments. No, he hadn't done anything.

"Me, what did I do?" Buck defended himself.

"You usually do something." Chris growled.

"I didn't do anything."

"I think we better find out what's going on." Josiah walked passed them and made his way to the elevator.

By the time it reached the seventh floor the others were standing with him. Now they just had to find out where Ezra went. Home or the bar.


Ezra had driven his car to Chris' cabin. He had plans for the jag and he wanted to do it where he wouldn't be interrupted. They would look for him, if only to ease their own minds and not his. He parked it where it would be seen. In the driveway. Chris would arrive home tonight to find it blocking his path. If anything it would tell his former boss that he didn't care about the car. He never had, he hadn't had a choice in the matter. Try saying no to his mother.

He got out of the car and removed the weapon that he had purchased. The car glared back at him, the sun beating off the polished surface. It seemed to know what he had in mind; the headlights were dark as though it had fallen into a deep depression. The bumper bar seemed to hang lower in an expression of mourning. It didn't want to die.

Ezra didn't care, the car had caused more trouble than it was worth. He began to walk around it, his fingers gently brushing against the black shiny surface. The feel of it had always reminded him of silk, he hated silk. He lifted the baseball bat over his shoulder and put all of his anger into the swing. The windscreen cracked under the first blow. He swung it a second time, then a third. His anger hadn't lessened so he continued. The side windows were next, they broke easily under the blows that were controlled and precise. The back window took longer but he had plenty of time. They wouldn't look for him here.

The bat continued to swing, each time hitting a particular part of the car; headlights, brake lights and blinkers. Once Ezra was satisfied with that he began to damage the car's body beyond repair. Large dents appeared all over it, the paint cracked, revealing the metal underneath.

Ezra swung the bat one last time then allowed it to fall from his fingers. His chest heaved with the emotions that continued to rage through him. Sweat ran down the sides of his face and his hair clung to his scalp. The shirt under the tailored jacket stuck to his flesh, it was transparent enough to see the muscles underneath flex each time the bat had made its attack against the enemy. The jacket itself was covered in dirt and shreds of safety glass.

He moved to the front of the car to appraise the damaged that he had caused to the vehicle that had ruined his life on more than one occasion. He pulled his handgun from his shoulder holster, he didn't even bother to aim but instead fired into the hood of the car until the clip was empty. The gun was re-holstered.

This hadn't been enough. He needed more. He needed to get drunk, to forget what was happening, to drive the emotions from his soul. Ezra looked up at the house, he knew where the good stuff was hidden. Why not drink Larabee's alcohol instead of finding his way back and using his own money. He could call a cab later to take him home. He walked up to the front porch and climbed the stairs. He removed the key that was hidden behind a large splinter of wood. The damaged jag wasn't given another look as he made his way inside.


They hadn't found him at the bar or at his home. He was either somewhere they were never going to find him or somewhere so obvious that they wouldn't think to look there. And now they were on their way to the last place they could think of. Chris Larabee's ranch.

Confusion still filled their minds as to what had caused Ezra to tell them off. Everything was going fine, the man had begun to settle in nicely. It turned out that he was the missing part that was required to make the team whole. They liked the him, they cared about him, would give their lives for him but something had happened. Ezra hadn't seemed himself on Friday night. He was withdrawn and silent. Not his usual self.

The sun was beginning to set as they entered the road that would take them up to the Larabee cabin. The headlights were turned on so they could find their way in the approaching darkness. Chris was so occupied with his thoughts that he didn't recognise the piece of crap in his drive. Somebody had to tell him what it was. But more to the point, whose it was.

"That's Ezra's jag!" JD yelled from the back seat. "I wonder what happened to it."

Chris slammed on the brakes and allowed the car to stall. He jumped out and ran to the car, he was afraid that Ezra was inside that mess. He felt a tidal wave of relief wash over him when he found it empty.

"He in it?" Vin asked him, he decided not to get to close.

"No." Chris looked up at the house and began to walk towards it. There were no lights on in the building but that didn't mean it was empty. The front door was unlocked. So, this was where Ezra had been hiding all day. Smart ass. "Ezra!" he yelled into the darkness. There was no answer. "EZRA!"

A falling glass shattered on the wooden floor. Chris made his way to the sound with the others following him. He found Ezra. The smaller man was slumped in one of the large arm chairs. The broken glass lay at his feet along side an empty bottle of whiskey. Damn, that whiskey's ten years old. It only took three steps to reach the nearly empty bottle that was gripped in the trembling hand. Ezra refused to let go. Chris had to tear it from the Southerner's hand.

"Ezra." He knelt down in front of him. "What are you doing?"

Ezra smiled at his boss then kicked out with his booted foot. The amount of alcohol in his blood stream weakened the kick, his aim was also off. The heel of the boot landed on the fleshy part of the left shoulder. There was enough force to throw Chris off his feet but not enough to cause any more damage than a painful bruise.

"Ezra!" Buck and Vin called out as one.

"What did you do that for?" JD asked as he moved to help Nathan lift Chris to his feet.

Ezra bent down to reach for the bottle that now lay on the floor, the brown liquid was leaking from the bottle. He tried to save it but he wasn't quick enough. Well, didn't matter, he'd just go get another one. He stood up and swayed for a moment. He glared at the men who came close to him. He was willing to lash out at them, if only he'd kept the base ball bat. His feet moved, one in front of the other. Then he stopped, but the room didn't. It began to spin in a circle. Around and around, the movement becoming faster. Aw hell. His eyes rolled up into his sockets and he fell to the floor in a heap.

"Shit!" Vin had watched but he was to confused to react. He'd seen Ezra drunk before but not like this. He was mean, the look of hate that filled the green eyes that he had never seen before. He ran to the fallen man's side and knelt down. Vin rolled Ezra onto his back and stared down into the face that was covered in sweat. Was Ezra sick?

Nathan left Chris after making sure that he was okay and moved on to his next patient. Couldn't these men go just one day without needing medical care? His hands ran over Ezra's body, a large thumb lifted each eyelid. He came to a quick conclusion.

"He's just drunk, nothing else." Nathan informed them.

"Then what the hell is wrong with him?" Chris demanded to know.

"Guess we'll find out in the morning." Josiah bent his knees and put his arms under Ezra, he lifted him then carried him to the spare room.

"He better have a good excuse for his behaviour." Chris followed Josiah into the bedroom. After watching him lay Ezra down on the bed, he began to help him remove the dirty clothing and boots. He stepped back when Josiah threw a blanket over the sleeping form.

"I'm sure he will Chris, after all we have our demons as well and have ended up in just as bad a condition as Ezra here."

Chris nodded. Josiah had a point. But still, the excuse had better be good.


Ezra groaned. Someone had split his skull open. He lay still for a few minutes. Oh yeah, that someone was him. He had done this to himself. Why? Oh yeah, that damn car. The comfortable feeling that he was getting was no doubt coming from a bed. He was sure he wouldn't have put himself there. That would mean that they had found him. They were going to want to know why he had killed his car. If that's what they wanted then he would tell them. But first he had to empty his stomach of the bile that was threatening to erupt. He threw the covers back and cried out in surprise when someone grabbed his arm. He looked up into the eyes of Josiah Sanchez.

"Fuck off!" Ezra yelled at him.

This man that was attempting to help was supposed to be a man of understanding. Yet he understood nothing. He didn't know what it was like to go through life without friends. To not have anyone trust in you. And then finally after thirty years of loneliness you find what you had wanted all your life only to realize that they were lying to you too; that they never really trusted you. These men must have been playing a game, bring him in, make him feel comfortable then tear his insides out. That's what it had felt like when he had overheard the telephone conversation.

"What's wrong Ezra?" Josiah was concerned, there was no reason for Ezra to talk to him this way He had done nothing to hurt him.

"Just piss off and leave me alone!" Ezra walked to the adjoining bathroom and after entering it he shut the door behind him and locked it. He knew Josiah would stay on the other side of the door. He heard other people join him, their voices whispering, trying to find out what was wrong. He slammed his fist against the door in an attempt to send them away. They wouldn't go. He felt the bile rising and rushed to the toilet.

It was fifteen minutes before he stopped vomiting. And another five before he was sure. No one had tried to get in, nobody knocked on the door to get his attention. He took advantage of it and curled himself up into a ball on the cool tiled floor. It eased the heat that was radiating from his skin. He closed his eyes and was soon asleep.


"What's he doing in there?" Chris paced the bedroom floor.

"Dying probably," Buck joked.

"Maybe we should get in there just in case," Nathan suggested.

That was all Chris needed. Josiah and Vin had told him to leave Ezra alone, that he needed time. Chris hadn't agreed, but it was two against one. Nathan's concern made it two against two and he was the boss so the vote went his way. He moved forward and with one kick opened the door. He saw Ezra lying on the floor, then jerk up in surprise. The confused green eyes stared back at him. Chris stepped aside and allowed Nathan into the small room.

Ezra for his part, pushed himself into a corner to get away from them. He shivered as he realised he was dressed in only his boxers. Why did they always find it necessary to remove his clothing when they put him to bed?

"Come on Ezra, I just want to make sure you're okay." Nathan reached out a hand.
"No you don't." Ezra pushed himself to his feet. Again he swayed side to side. His head hurt even more now than it did before.

Nathan grabbed him before he could fall and had to hold on when Ezra tried to push him away. Help came in the form of Josiah Sanchez. The large man grabbed an arm and began to drag Ezra back into the bedroom. A pair of sweat pants and a t-shirt lay on the bed for him.

"Get dressed." Josiah ordered him.

Ezra only complied because he was cold. Once he was dressed he would find the phone and call a taxi, he needed to get out of here before he did something stupid.

"What the hell is going on Ezra?" Chris stood in front of him, his arms crossed over his chest.

Ezra refused to answer him. He pulled on the t-shirt and as soon as he did he was forcefully pushed back onto the bed. He glared up at the man who was responsible. Buck was staring back at him.

"What did we do to make you so angry?" Buck stood beside Chris. They had no intention of letting the undercover agent leave until they had an explanation.

"Don't you think you should be answering that?" Ezra stared at them.

"Why? We don't know what we did." Chris shrugged.

Ezra looked down at his hands. "So, how did I pay for that car?"

"What?" Vin had also moved up to stand in front of Ezra. JD, Nathan and Josiah guarded the doors.

"Was it cash or did I pay for it with a check?"

"You heard that?" Chris began to laugh, he couldn't help it.

"It was a bet Ezra." Buck explained to him.

Ezra looked up and saw the smiles that lined the six faces.

"Excuse me?"

"We had a bet going." Buck continued. "Chris, JD and Josiah said that Maude bought it for you and Vin, Nathan and me thought you won it in a card game."

"You made a bet." Ezra was getting angry now. He stood up. "You made a bet over how I got the jag?"

They all nodded.

"I phoned the car dealership from the plate on the back of the car, told them it was official business. They said that a woman had bought it. An older woman with a Southern accent. So we won." Chris looked over at JD and Josiah.

"Are you telling me that I wrecked my car over a fucking bet!" he yelled at them.

"You did that?" Chris raised an eyebrow.

"Aw hell," he fell down onto the bed and put his head in his hands, "I wrecked my car over a fucking bet."

The End

This story was also based on a dream and it was written as it happened.

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