azombiewrites: (The Magnificent Seven)
[personal profile] azombiewrites
Title: Finding Adam Larabee
Rating: PG
Fandom: The Magnificent Seven
AU: Missing Persons
Genre: Hurt/Comfort
Summary: Ezra Standish has been using his psychic abilities to find the missing, but he can't do it alone anymore. After seeking the help of the 'Missing Persons' unit, he may just end up finding Chris Larabee's missing son.
Main Characters: Ezra, the rest of the seven
Disclaimers: The guys are owned by CBS, MGM, Trilogy Entertainment Group, and The Mirisch Corp.
Beta: Not betaed
Notes: I snagged the idea of a Psychic Ezra from the movie '13 Ghosts' which I absolutely love!
Spoilers: None.
Word Count: 15,242




Part One


'Get out of the fucking way!'

Panic was quickly becoming a reality, as time seemed to stop altogether. A quick glance over his shoulder told him that he was now stuck in traffic, horns blaring from every direction, drivers cursing the other. Behind him an altercation between two taxi drivers ended when a large man hit the other with a baseball bat; what was the world coming too when drivers couldn't sit patiently while waiting for the traffic to move. He punched the horn harder than he needed to and grimaced at the pain it caused. Time was running out for nine-year-old Delta Burtron, he had to move and he had to move now.

'Damn it!' He grabbed his cell phone and exited the black Jag his mother had given him ignoring the fact that the engine was still running. All the better for him, if someone stole the damn thing: it was only a hindrance to him.

The warehouse, which held the child and her killer, was still three blocks away and he only had a matter of minutes to get there. His eyes glanced down as his thumb punched in 911 on his cell phone

The voice on the other end of the line was calm. He wasn't.

'Police. I need to report a murder,' he wasn't going to make it in time to stop it and this was the only other way that it could be stopped. God, have a patrol car close by. Please!

'Your name, sir?'

'She's in an abandoned warehouse on the corner of Crystal Waters Road and. . . . ,' He didn't see the person step in front of him so he wasn't able to sidestep them quick enough and as a result he collided hard and fell to the ground with the other person landing on top of him. The air was sucked from his lungs and he had to struggle for air while trying to get off the ground. He was glad he had done the buttons of his jacket up to hide the gun he was carrying. It seemed to take forever but the weight was finally lifted off him. Trying to breathe again was difficult but he couldn't let that stop him, he couldn't let anything stop him, he had to give a hundred percent. The guilt of not trying would be too hard to live with. After pushing himself back up onto his feet, he continued to run.

'Sir? Sir are you still-'

'Ensemble . . . Street . . . She's inside the warehouse with her killer. Nine years old, that's all she is, nine . . . You need to hurry, she's not dead yet but she . . . will be in a few minutes. I'm not going to be . . . able to get there in time. She's going to die because . . . I can't get there in time.'

'Sir, we'll have a patrol car there in a few minutes.'

'She doesn't have a few minutes, that's why I'm calling you! You have to help her because I can't.'

There was only one block to go and he knew that it might as well be ten miles. His breathing was too rapid and his chest too tight, the panic he was already feeling grew quickly and his heart was pounding so hard within his chest he feared that it was going to explode.

The warehouse was in sight and he didn't hesitate when he reached the door. There were no police in sight and he didn't have the time to wait for them. He grabbed the door handle with his left hand and pulled the hidden revolver from his shoulder holster with his right. A sweating palm and forward momentum caused his hand to slip off the handle and he fell against the door creating a noise that would easily be heard from inside the building.

'Shit!'

After pulling the door open, he stepped inside. He could smell her death in his mind and knowing he was too late caused him to double over to try to hide himself from it. The only thing he could hear was the sound of his own harsh breathing and his beating heart. This wasn't the first time he'd been too late and each time another bout of guilt was added to the growing pile. The guilt was wearing him down into a depression that he couldn't shake.

The sound of a siren wailing in the distance caused him to turn to the door. If he was caught in here with Delta's body then he would be accused of being her killer, he had to get out of here before they arrived. After checking, that it was clear outside he exited the building and ran.

Fear and guilt kept him running, running until he tripped over his heavy feet and collapsed in a heap on the pavement. Men and women eyed him with suspicion, a few considered throwing change at the man with the sweat soaked hair while others saw a gun in a holster and moved faster away from him.

He came to a sudden realization while he was lying on the ground as people moved around him; he could no longer do this on his own. He was tired both physically and emotionally and his body was close to exhaustion. Someone else had to do the legwork. He was no longer up to it and he knew who that someone had to be. But would he be able to convince him to help.

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


Chris Larabee was staring at the two chairs that had recently held Mr. and Mrs. Penal who had hired Larabee and his men to find their fifteen-year-old daughter who had gone missing two weeks earlier. They had wanted good news but he couldn't give them the successful conclusion they had prayed for. He understood their grief and pain, his own son was missing, two years come January 21. Before they left, he gave them an address for a support group but whether or not they would make use of it he didn't know.

The job he did wasn't an easy one but he did it because he knew by experience that he could do more for people than the police did. His team didn't wait for forty-eight hours to do something like the police. Not everyone knew that the police had to react immediately to a missing person's report or that they could call the FBI if the police didn't start an immediate search. They also had friends in the right places. But none of this was helping him find his son.

He put the bad thoughts to the back of his mind where they belonged and returned to the task of finishing the Penal report for the official Missing Persons Police department. Ten minutes later, he was disturbed by a loud panicked voice with a southern accent coming from the other side of his office door.

'I need to see Mr. Larabee . . . Now!'

A body was slammed against his office door and he heard the voice of Buck Wilmington, his right hand man and a friend who has stood by him for the last two years through thick and thin.

'You're not going anywhere until you tell us who you are and why you want to see him!'

'I need to talk to Larabee. Please, I need to talk to him.'

'Josiah, throw him out on the street where he belongs.'

Larabee would have allowed it but something in the man's voice told him that he should be listened to so he got up and opened the door to see Josiah Sanchez dragging a man at least three inches shorter than him towards the door. The smaller man was putting up one hell of a fight.

'Josiah, bring him back. I want to hear what he has to say.'

'Chris,' warned Wilmington.

'It's alright, Buck.' Larabee smiled at his friend. He knew what Wilmington was doing - there were many crackpots out there and some of them had claimed that they either had his son or knew where he was.

The first thing Larabee noticed was the desperation written all over the man's face, it was only interrupted by the trickle of blood running down the left side of his face, the cause of this being a gash on his forehead. Larabee folded his arms when the man came closer, he didn't want to hit another crackpot, and they had warned him that the next time he did he would spend time in jail. If this man was a crackpot, he didn't want him to know that he was desperate for any information on his missing son.

'Mr. Larabee, I need your help.'

'You should get that seen to.' Chris pointed at the man's head.

'Get what seen to?'

'You've got blood on your forehead.'

'I have?'

Chris watched him slowly lift his hand and feel around the front of his head until he found the gash on his forehead.

'I don't have time for that there's more important things to deal with. I need your help.'

'You want to make a missing persons report? One of my men can take care of that.'

'Later,' the man hesitated and looked over his shoulder at five men who were watching him, a threat written on each face told him that he had better be careful when talking to Larabee, 'do you know about the missing child Delta Burtron?'

Chris frowned and flicked his eyes towards Wilmington who nodded in return.

'Nine year old Delta Burtron disappeared from her home four days ago. At the moment the police have no suspects.'

'She was taken by a family member or a very close friend of the family,' Chris could see the man was becoming more agitated as he talked, 'he took her somewhere. I'm not sure where but I do know that he didn't sexually assault her. He took her for some other reason. Why would a man kill a child just to settle a score, there's something wrong with that, something seriously wrong. About an hour ago he took her to a warehouse on the corner of Crystal Waters Road and Ensemble Street where he killed her.'

'She's dead?'

'I can't give you a height but he's under weight, with thinning blond hair and a dark moustache. I'm sure if you gave this description to her parents they would be able to give you a name, you can then go to the police and they'll arrest him.'

'Why didn't you go to the police yourself?' Two of his men were now standing behind this man ready for a signal to take him by any physical force necessary. Larabee didn't like what he saw in the man's green eyes; he saw depths of hidden secrets . . . and desperation.

'If I gave them information that only the killer would know they would arrest me.'

'And what makes you think we won't arrest you.' Chris smiled and nodded to Vin Tanner, another member of his team and watched as the Texan roughly grabbed the man and turned him to face Wilmington so he could place a set of handcuffs on him.

'You can't do this! I didn't kill her!' The man ducked and twisted his body sideways until he was facing Tanner. 'I came here for help.' He was grabbed from behind a second time but he no longer had the energy to fight. He knew it wasn't going to be easy to convince Larabee but he hadn't expected this.

'Vin, call the police.'

'I came here to get your help,' he repeated. 'We need to catch Delta's killer, then we can start finding other missing persons.'

'You've taken more than one child?' Chris was able to keep calm because it was a part of his job. If he could, he would take him out the back and shoot the piece of scum. Not anyone who killed a child deserved to live.

'No, I didn't take them but I can find them.'

'You can't find them unless you took them.' Chris told him.

'Police are on their way.' Vin reported to his boss.

'You can't do this!'

'So you already said. Vin, sit him down in a chair until the cops get here.' Larabee turned his back on the guy and moved back into his office.

'This is exactly why I didn't go to the police, Larabee!'

Chris closed the door but it didn't shut out the man's voice.

'Listen to me you son-of-a-bitch! I can help you find people. I can help you find your son.'

The last three words stopped Chris in his tracks. He turned back to the door and opened it. His movements were very slow as he made his way back to the man. He was surprised to see him still sitting down; surely, one of his men would have attacked him for what he had just said. Maybe they were finally learning, or they were just as shocked as he was.

'Don't you dare tell me you can find my son!' Chris leaned forward forcing the man to lean back against the chair.

'I don't know where he is but I have a way of finding out. All I need is a photo.'

Chris began to laugh, 'Are you trying to tell me that you're a psychic?'

'Yes.'

'Do you know how many people have come in here trying to tell us that they're psychic abilities can help us find people.' It wasn't a question and he didn't expect an answer but he got one anyway.

'I don't give a shit how many people think they are. I can prove what I am if you give me a chance!'

'You're a complete idiot if you think I'm going to hand you a photo of my son!' Chris snapped.

'Chris, you don't have to talk to him.' Buck moved to stand between his boss and the man in the chair. 'He doesn't know anything about Adam.'

'I can tell him what he wants to know if he'll-'

Buck back handed the man then grabbed him by his shirtfront. 'Not another word! Do you understand me?' The man opened his mouth to say something. 'I swear I'll tape your mouth shut!'

'Police are here.'

Chris forced his eyes away from the ones that were staring at him and looked at the youngest member of his team, JD Dunne. Two officers were standing behind him.

'This the guy?' The taller officer nodded at the man in the chair.

'Yeah.' Wilmington stepped away from the chair and allowed the officers to do their job.

The tall officer approached the chair and smiled down at the familiar face. 'Ezra Standish, I didn't know you were back in town.'

'Came in a few weeks ago.' Ezra Standish refused to look at the uniformed officer.

'You were supposed to let us know if you came back.'

Chris Larabee wasn't the only one with a confused expression on his face, all of his men looked as though they were watching a tennis match, their eyes glancing back and forth between the officer and the man, who they now knew as Ezra Standish.

'You know this guy?' Chris asked.

'Yeah, Ezra Standish. He and his mother ran a scam here last year, tried to get money out of people by promising to find their lost loved ones.'

'And did they?'

'No'

Standish tried to stand up but was pushed back down by Wilmington. 'I didn't know about the ones my mother cheated and they refused to question the ones I did help.'

'He told you he killed Delta Burtron.'

'No, Officer . . . ?

'Ronan.'

'He said that he had a description of her killer and a location of her body.'

'A warehouse on Ensemble Street.'

Chris frowned at him. 'You found her?'

Ronan nodded, 'Someone called 911 -'


'That was me! I called them because I wasn't going to be able to help her, there was a traffic jam, I fell . . . I left my car a couple of blocks away.'

'A black jag?'

'Yes.'

Ronan continued, 'The call was made about an hour ago, a man with a southern accent gave a location and said that a nine year was about to die and that he wasn't going to be able to get there in time. When the patrol car got there they found the girl, she was still warm.'

'How did she die, Standish?' Chris was staring down at him.

'You already think I killed her so why should I tell you anything else.'

'Just tell me!'

'The guy smashed her skull in and left her to die alone in the dark.'

Chris looked up at Ronan who nodded in agreement. 'Nathan?'

A tall solid black man stepped forward and looked down at Standish. 'He hasn't got any blood on his clothing, but that doesn't mean he didn't do it.'

'I heard the siren and ran from the building,' Standish argued. 'If I killed her, I would have either dumped said clothing and murder weapon close to the warehouse or I would have passed people in the street wearing bloody clothing and carrying a murder weapon. So which is it?'

Nathan Jackson ignored him, 'How did you get the injury to your head?'

'I fell when I was trying to get to her and I fell afterwards when I was trying to get here and may I add that that idea was a complete waste of time.'

'Officer Ronan, can I have a word with you in my office?'

'Sure . . . Mr.?' Ronan asked as he passed Standish.

'Larabee.' Chris answered and waited for Ronan to follow him into his office.

'Oh, by the way, did you search him?'

'Standish? No. Why?' Buck looked at Ronan then Standish.

'He was carrying a concealed weapon when we had our run-in.' Ronan was smiling when he passed Larabee and stepped into the office.

Buck swore and ripped opened what he didn't realise was an expensive jacket and removed the gun from its holster.

'Hey, this is an expensive piece of clothing and you are going to pay for the damage you just caused it!'

'You're not going to need it where you're going anyway.' Buck retorted.

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


Once they were in the office Chris closed the door and turned to Ronan. 'You know that guy pretty well?'

Ronan nodded. 'Dealt with him a few times, know he loves kids but not in the way that you're thinking. He has a way with them. I saw him at the station last year talking to some runaway kids who then decided to go back home. He was just sitting there handcuffed to the chair and the kids . . . they were . . . sort of drawn to him. Never did understand how he did it and he would never explain when I asked him,' he shrugged and looked back at Larabee, 'I don't see him as a killer but then . . .' he left the sentence hanging in the air.

'Standish is it?'

Ronan nodded.

'Do something for me and I'll owe you one. He gave me a description of the man he claims killed Delta Burtron. Underweight with thinning blond hair and a dark moustache, said that the Burtron's would recognise the description. Call it in and let's see what happens.'

Ronan didn't hesitate. He had liked Standish.

Chris sat down in his chair and listened to Ronan and when the uniformed officer was finished, he said, 'So now we wait.'

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


Ezra Standish wanted to lean forward and hide himself behind his hands but he couldn't. His headache was getting worse. His chest was still tight and sore and the cut on his forehead was now stinging with a sharp pain. It wasn't supposed to turn out this way. If they didn't follow up on the information he gave them then he was the one that was going to go to jail.

Nearly thirty minutes had passed since Larabee and Ronan had gone into the office and he had no idea why he was still waiting. They were accusing him of being a child killer, if anything they would have thrown him into a cell by now along with a few extra bruises. Something was going on and he didn't like it.

He was also being stared at, they were all staring at him, but there were a pair of eyes that were boring into his soul and he didn't like it, it made him feel extremely uncomfortable - not that he wasn't already uncomfortable.

'Would you please tell him to stop staring at me?'

'Who? Josiah?' Buck Wilmington chose to answer the question. 'You can't stop Josiah from doing anything once he sets his mind to it. He's an ex-priest who still likes to try and save souls but I doubt that even Josiah would try and save the soul of a child killer.'

'I didn't kill her and would you please tell him to stop staring at me, it's making me feel uncomfortable.'

'We can't have that can we', said Wilmington.

'So why do you do it?' JD Dunne asked Standish.

'I didn't do it, I didn't kill her, and I haven't killed anyone.'

'Why con people out of their money? Why tell them that you can find loved ones, give them hope then rip them off and leave them to wonder what the hell had happened.'

'I'm not a fraud, I can find people most of the time-'

'You just said you weren't a fraud and in the same sentence you say most of the time.' Buck couldn't help but laugh at him.

Standish frowned at the man and was about to continue when Dunne pulled up a chair and sat down to face him.

'Explain it to me. I need to know why you'd do something like that to people.'

'I don't con people,' Standish stared into Dunne's huge brown eyes; there was still innocence in those eyes. 'The police didn't question the right people.'

'That didn't answer my question.'

'I don't con people, that's my answer.'

'The cop said you and your mother conned people.'

Standish looked to his left at the police officer who was standing in the doorway. 'He said scam and I didn't scam anyone, my mother scammed people then left me to take the fall. I spent six months in jail for something I didn't do.'

'You mean you got caught and your mother didn't.'

'I don't have to answer to you, Mr. Dunne, so get the fuck out of my face!' snapped Standish.

'Mind how you talk to the boy, asshole!'

'Jeez, Buck, I'm not a boy and don't call me that in front of a killer, it's embarrassing.' JD's face reddened as he stood up and walked away with the chair, his fellow work mates openly laughing at him.

'Ezra, this wasn't one of your more intelligent ideas.' Standish muttered to himself. 'You should have listened to your mother; look after number one. If I did, I wouldn't be here in this mess. What the hell are you talking about, a young girl is dead, her killer at large and all you can think about is yourself. You are one selfish bastard sometimes Standish!'

'You often talk to yourself?' Tanner asked him.

'Yes.' Standish retorted at the man who wore his hair down to his shoulders.

Tanner's only response was to raise his eyebrows at Standish.

Standish stood up to stretch his legs but someone grabbed him from behind and forced him back down onto the chair.

'Sit down,' it was a warning that Wilmington was giving him, 'and stay down!'

'Let him go, Buck.' Larabee came out of his office with Ronan behind him.

'You know something we don't?' Vin asked his boss.

'Standish didn't kill Delta Burtron, her step-father did.'

'You know that because?' Vin continued.

'Ronan here called in the description Standish gave us, they called her parents who recognized the description, and they went to the guy's place where he was still trying to wash the blood out of his clothes.' Chris was watching Standish while explaining what had happened.

'Just like that? What makes them think that it's her blood?' Vin said again.

'Well,' Ronan made his way to his partner, 'I'd like to hang around and see what happens but I have to go and explain this to my boss. Just keep him with you like I said until he comes up with a good explanation as to how he knew the details of the crime, if he doesn't give one then bring him in.'

Standish looked up as Ronan passed him. 'Officer Ronan, whatever you did . . . thank you.'

'Don't thank me, Standish, thank Larabee, he was the one that asked me to call it in.'

Standish turned his eyes to Larabee but the man was watching the two officers leave but he thanked him anyway. 'Thank you, Mr. Larabee.'

'You're not out of the woods yet, Standish.' Chris warned him.

'Hold on a minute!' Buck held his hands up. 'What makes you think this guy didn't help the step-father.'

Larabee shrugged his shoulders and simply said, 'Burtron said he did it alone.'

'And the cops believed him?'

'Yeah.'

'Why?'

'Child killers tend to work alone. But there is no way I'm going to believe his psychic story.'

'Of course you're going to believe he's psychic because you'll do anything to find Adam and who could blame you, any one of us would do the same thing.'

'Then let's get on with it shall we.' Larabee was staring hard at Buck, the man was a good friend but there were times when he didn't know when to keep his mouth shut. No one talked about his son in front of strangers but there wasn't time to deal with him now, it would have to wait until later.

'Get on with what?' Vin asked.

'We can test him.'

'You just said that you didn't believe him.' Growled Buck.

'I don't but we need to prove it either way. If he fails the test then he'll have to tell the truth about how he knew where Delta was.'

'Okay,' Buck stepped closer to his friend, 'just be careful.'

Chris nodded and moved to stand in front of Standish.

'The police still want to know how you knew where the girl was,' said Larabee.

'I saw her picture in the paper and . . . ' he looked at Larabee, 'do we have to do this now, I've had a long day and I would like to go home and get some rest, maybe we could do this in the morning.' The expression on Larabee's face told him no. 'I linked with her.'

'Linked with her? What the hell are you talking about?' Buck was standing next to Chris.

'I linked with her mind, I saw her past and her future, and I saw what was happening through her eyes.'

'As though you were in her body sharing her memories?'

Standish watched as the ex-priest came towards him, it was the first time the man had spoken; his voice was strong and full of empathy. He eyed him with suspicion and answered, 'Yes.'

'Did you feel her pain, her fears?'

'Yes.'

'You believe him, Josiah?' Larabee asked him.

'Like you said give him a photo and let's see what happens.' Sanchez answered.

'I can't do this now.' Standish warned them.

'Vin, get me Sharon Penal's file.' Larabee ignored him. 'Buck, cuff him at the front.'

'What are you going to do with him if he's lying?' Buck asked while he pulled Standish to his feet and un-cuffed one of his hands then handcuffed him back together at the front.

'Hand him over to the police.'

Vin returned with the folder Chris asked for and took out what he knew his boss wanted: a photo of Sharon Penal but he didn't give it to his boss, he stepped up to Standish and reached out with the photo but Standish wouldn't take it.

'You gonna take it or not?' Vin asked him.

'I can't do this now.'

'You do it or the police will charge you with Accessory to Murder.'

Standish ignored him and instead spoke to Larabee, 'They can't prove that and you can't force me to do this.'

'Then you don't know me very well,' Larabee smiled at him. 'Vin, Buck.'

The two men knew what he wanted done. Wilmington placed his hands on the smaller man's shoulders and forced him to stay seated while Tanner grabbed his right hand and put Sharon Pedal's photo in it. This had all happened so fast that Standish hadn't had time to react; he looked to see what they had done. He was staring into the eyes of a fifteen-year-old girl who had died during the night.

The link was immediate, his back arched as the pain exploded in his skull. His own hands reaching for his head as he fell to the floor. A hoarse cry of pain stunned the others, some of who thought it was an act but Nathan Jackson, an ex-medic, knew it was no act. He rushed to Standish who looked as though he were convulsing.

'Don't touch me! You'll break the link.' The words were spoken through gritted teeth but Jackson understood him clearly.

His entire body shook with the pain as the images flew through his mind; scenes of a happy childhood, images of arguments with her parents, pictures of her leaving home, the nightmare of living on the streets, then the final moments of life. That final image brought another shudder of excruciating pain then there was nothing.

Six men watched as Standish closed his eyes and began to breathe deeply, his forearms wiping the sweat off his forehead. He continued to lie on his side and allowed the photo to fall from his fingers; he no longer had any use for it.

Nathan Jackson, concerned, bent down in front of Standish and watched him for a moment. 'You okay?'

'No.'

'You need something?'

'My jacket pocket, left side.'

Jackson searched the pocket and retrieved a prescription bottle. 'Pain killers?' Standish nodded. 'Let's get you back into the chair.'

'I'll get some water.' Sanchez headed towards the small kitchen on the right side of the room.

'Coffee . . .' Standish was now in the chair with his head resting in his hands and his elbows leaning on his knees; it was a subtle way of trying to hide his trembling limbs. Someone then took his hands and removed the handcuffs but he didn't open his eyes to see whom it was.

'How many?'

'Two, I only need two, they're a strong medication.'

'How often do you take them?'

Standish finally lifted his head. 'What are you? A doctor?'

'Close enough and you better do as he says.'' Larabee spoke from the other side of the room. He had given Jackson the room he needed to work - if Jackson believed Standish wasn't putting on an act then something bad just happened. It was either a psychic episode or just some sort of fit.

Standish nodded, 'Only when this happens and before you ask it only happens when I link with someone and then I'm usually prepared.'

'You take the pills before hand?'

'Yes, it eases the pain somewhat.'

'Here's some coffee,' Josiah handed Standish a large mug certain that the man was going to need it. 'I put some cold water in it so it won't be too hot.'

'Thanks.' Standish took the mug and the two prescribed pills from Jackson. He waited for a couple of minutes for his hands to stop shaking then swallowed the pills with a large sip of coffee. 'This is instant coffee.'

'It's the only way I make it.' Vin told him.

'You ready to tell us what happened there?' Larabee wanted to force the information out of him. If this man were genuine then he would be able to help him find his son.

'This girl isn't missing.'






Part One | Part Two


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