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In Spades, Mag7 ATF AU, Gen 1b/6

and because of the post size, 1b...

[Part 1a][Part 1b][Part 2][Part 3][Part 4a][Part 4b][Part 5a][Part 5b][Part 6a][Part 6b]

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Chris was looking through the file the DEA had sent over by courier. In a petulant display of passive aggression, they made sure it arrived at the ATF offices after the close of the day. But Chris had been waiting for it, and wasn’t leaving until he got a look at what it contained.

There were pictures of Ezra looking to be dealing drugs, and others of him hanging out with Sheppard and his people. Standish looked very ingrained in Sheppard’s group; there were even a couple of pictures with Standish and Sheppard laughing together and Sheppard with his arm around the southerner’s shoulders in a brotherly way.

To Chris, it looked like it was supposed to. Standish was working his way into the man’s good graces, and he wasn’t doing anything unexpected. Hell, the communication log that Vin was keeping had mentioned that Standish had been asked to deal, among other things. And of course he looked comfortable in the role; Ezra was more that great at his job.

Larabee dropped the stack of pictures to his desk and sat back, sighing.

The DEA could pound sand. They had nothing.

*

After a silent trip, Ezra pulled up to the garage door and honked the horn twice. As it opened before them, he pulled into the garage and killed the engine. He slid out of the driver’s seat and shut the door firmly behind him.

Sheppard walked out of his office towards the newly arrived truck. A beat up trucker hat covered his gray hair, but his smile was genuine as he approached. “My man,” he said in greeting to Ezra. He reached out and gave Ezra a friendly slap on the shoulder. “Where’s Jon?” he asked. Ezra nodded towards the truck cab, as Jon came around the front of the truck, still holding his arm. The kid looked like a whipped puppy.

“What happened?” Sheppard asked. His smile faded away. “Why are you both in the truck?”

“I had to dump the car,” Standish said.

“Why? What happened?”

Ezra looked over at Jon expectantly.

“We… I mean I… ran into a problem.”

“What kind of problem?” Sheppard asked slowly, a hard edge to his voice.

“I got pulled over…”

“WHAT?” Sheppard roared. Jon froze like a deer in headlights.

Ezra picked up the story. “Busted taillight. Don’t worry, I took care of it.” He gestured to the truck behind him. “We should unload this and then get rid of it. It’s not worth the risk that they have the make and plates. Probably already have a BOLO out on it.”

Sheppard was glaring at Jon. He walked right up to the young man and removed his hat, running his hand over his mussed up hair. He leaned in, his face only about an inch or two from Jon’s face and sneered, “Do you know how big of a fuck up this is?”

The kid floundered a little, opening and closing his mouth like a fish gasping for air, trying to decide what would be the right thing to say.

“No,” Sheppard continued, “I mean can you even fathom what could have happened? We could all be hauled off to the pen and left there to rot.” He smacked Jon with his hat for emphasis, hitting the injured arm.

Seeing how angry Sheppard was and hearing Jon’s hiss of pain, Standish tried to defuse the situation. He came closer to the kid, still behind and slightly off the kid’s left shoulder as he spoke. One hand stayed on his hip and the other was held out to the side in a gesture of concession. “Shep, it wasn’t totally his fault. We didn’t know the taillight was busted.”

Sheppard leaned back, out of Jon’s face and smiled. Then, as he backed up, he started to laugh maliciously. Jon started to grin reflexively, looking to a few of the faces now staring at him, and let out a nervous chuckle.

Standish’s eyes darted back and forth between Sheppard and Jon, and also looked at the few other people in the shop at that time. They weren’t laughing. Ezra felt cold sweat trickle in between his shoulder blades.

“Jon,” Sheppard started, as he calmed his mirth. He placed his cap back on his head. “I’m sorry my boy, but you’re just not up to running with the big boys.”

“I’m sorry Mr. She—“

It’s a weird sound. If you’ve never heard it, it’s hard to explain. It’s almost like a pop, but still different. The silencer makes a bit of a whoosh at the same time, almost like someone trying to clear a hair off their tongue without using their hand, but it doesn’t completely arrest the sound. Then there’s a sickening sploosh-type of sound as the bullet travels through skin, bone and brain, annihilating everything in its path. All these sounds happen in the exact same second.

Jon never got to finish his apology before his brain was blown out the back of his head by Sheppard’s silenced handgun. Blood and matter from the wound sprayed onto the side of the truck, adding to the graffiti already there in a macabre mural.

Ezra hadn’t reacted to Shep’s swift movement nor the sudden sound of the weapon discharging. The high velocity slug had finished its path before Ezra even realized it had been fired. His eyes reflexively shut and he flinched when debris landed on his face, like blinking in a rain shower. Bits of what he knew were blood and brains and bone had landed on his face, his jacket, and in his hair. Jon’s lifeless body fell to the ground in a heap.

Sheppard turned to one of his other guys in the shop. “Unload the truck and get rid of it.” He tossed the gun onto the table behind him. Nodding towards the crumpled body on the floor, he added, “That too. Dump them in the lake.” He looked back at Ezra, who had yet to move.

Standish had managed to open his eyes and straighten himself. His gaze locked on Jon’s body.

“Eddie,” Shep said.

It took Ezra a second to realize he was being spoken to. He looked up to Sheppard. “Yeah?”

He waved the agent towards him, expecting Ezra to come stand next to him. Ezra did so robotically, stealing one last glance at the boy’s body on the floor as he stepped around it. A dark crimson puddle had started to bloom on the floor and spread like an oil slick.

Jesus, he was just a boy.

As the two men walked back towards the office, Sheppard scrutinized Eddie’s face, trying to puzzle together what the problem was. “Cheer up, Eddie. This deal is going to make us all very wealthy, and will set up a new pipeline for our shipments.”

Ezra tried to plaster a smile on his face, but he knew it wasn’t very convincing. “Yeah.”

Shep stopped their forward movement with an outstretched hand and turned Ezra to face him. “Hey, you with me?”

Ezra shook his head slightly. “Yeah. I’m sorry, I just wasn’t expecting…” he gestured back towards the truck.

“Hell, you didn’t even like him anyways.” He looked Ezra up and down, and seemed to realize just now that the man had blood on his face and clothes. “Eddie, go and take a shower in the locker room. Leave me your jacket; I have a guy that can get it clean. I’ll get you a shirt to change into; I’ll get rid of that shirt for you.”

Ezra was still in a daze as he slid out of the leather jacket, followed by his shoulder holster and weapon, and finally his button-down shirt and t-shirt, handing everything to Benjamin Sheppard. Benjamin Sheppard, who had just murdered a boy right in front of his eyes. Benjamin Sheppard, who just brought this game to a whole new level.

*

Ezra made use of the locker room shower, allowing the hot water to cascade over his shoulders and down his back. The runoff at his feet had run pink at first, but had since become clear. The last bits of young Jon washed down the drain, carried out on a tide of soap and suds. Ezra leaned his head and forearms against one of the tiled walls, letting the hot water beat on his back.

How could I stand there and let that happen?

He took a deep breath and blew it out slowly, catching the small droplets of water dripping down his face, sending them splattering to the wall. He had to get himself under control.

Snap out of it, Standish. You’ve seen people die before.

But this kid didn’t just die. He was murdered.

He shook his head in a vain attempt to clear it of these thoughts. Too much. It was all too much.

Taking one last deep breath and holding it, he turned toward the showerhead and let the water beat on his face. He lowered his head as he exhaled, water pouring over his head plastering his hair down to his skull before peaking at his nose and chin and cascading in an arc to the floor and down the drain. His skull. Half of Jon’s skull was gone… blown into a million little bone fragments that would never be reunited with the rest of his body, wherever his body ended up.

He ran his hand up his face and into his hair and along the back of his head. His in-tact head.

God, I helped kill him.

Bringing his hand around suddenly, he slapped the tiled wall with enough force to make his hand sting.

He would have killed him anyway. It had nothing to do with you.

But Shep’s words echoed in his head… “You didn’t even like him anyways…”

He slapped the wall again, harder this time, and then shut off the water. No amount of water would wash away his sins. No amount of washing would make him feel clean again.

*

Tanner sat on his couch, watching the last bit of news before he headed to bed. He had stayed late with Chris to get a look at the stuff the DEA had sent over, and had agreed that they didn’t have shit. Of course, that didn’t alleviate his fears that they would try to make something out of that nothing; put some sort of slant on it to suit their needs. He shook his head and shut off the TV. He wasn’t really watching it anyways.

As he was shutting off his lights and heading to the bedroom, his phone rang. He quickened his pace to reach the phone in time to take the call. He made it into his bedroom by the third ring and took the phone off the charger to answer it before it could go to voicemail, not looking at the caller ID.

“Tanner.”

Vin…”

He was quiet for a minute, trying to figure out the whispery voice. He pulled the phone away from his ear and confirmed the identity of the caller from display. “Ezra?”

There was no answer at first, and Tanner thought he may have been disconnected, or even butt-dialed.

An exhaled breath. “Jesus Vin… they killed him.”

“Whoa, whoa, whoa…” Vin knew his own voice sounded panicky. “Ezra, who did they kill?” He grabbed the small notepad and pencil sitting on his bedside table and started writing.

Just… blew his fuckin’ brains out right in front of me. I didn’t do a thing…”

Vin sat on the edge of his bed and listened to the pain in his friend’s voice. “Ez, talk to me. Who did they kill?”

Another pause. “He was just a boy. A baby. God, Vin, he didn’t even see it coming.”

Tanner closed his eyes and dropped his head back as realization dawned on him. ‘Errand with the punk’. That kid, Jon, was dead.

“Jesus, Ezra. Are you all right?”

A deep breath in, a small hitch at the end of it, and a slow expulsion of air through the mouth.

I’m fine.”

“Bullshit.” Vin heard the snort of amusement on the other end and could imagine the small smile on Ezra’s face.

One more deep breath. “We picked up a shipment tonight. A drop job.” A pause. “There was an incident on the highway.”

“What kind of incident?”

Shots were fired. I came up to it late. It’s all gonna be on the dash cam. Tell the officer… I’m sorry.”

“Sorry for what? Ezra, what happened?” Vin’s voice was tense.

I have to go.”

And the line went dead. Vin stared at the phone for a moment, then returned it to the charger. He looked down at the scribblings that he wrote during the call. He immediately rewrote them out into detailed notes while it was fresh in his mind, including how Ezra sounded and what was said. Tomorrow, he would have to find that footage of whatever ‘incident’ Ezra was talking about.

He reread his notes and sighed. I don’t think this can wait till morning.

He picked up his phone again and dialed.

Larabee.”

“Chris, I think we have a problem.”


7777777

[Part 1a][Part 1b][Part 2][Part 3][Part 4a][Part 4b][Part 5a][Part 5b][Part 6a][Part 6b]


Comments

( 12 comments — Leave a comment )
zeuses_wild
Aug. 7th, 2012 10:01 pm (UTC)
Oh, DAMN! What a crappy thing to experience, that would certainly fuck you up to witness it. I would probably feel as guilty as Ezra does.

Looks like the DEA is looking to pin some dirt on Ezra. >:( Last thing he needs is TWO Federal agencies out for his blood! I am holding out hope that they are just concerned, and not FBI-level assholes, haha.

Excellent, shocking first installment!!!

Can't wait for more! Whee!!

Edited at 2012-08-07 10:53 pm (UTC)
winks7985
Aug. 8th, 2012 12:29 am (UTC)
more will be coming soon. :)

ahh yes, the DEA. let's hope they're not too big a jerk... but we all know the boys' luck...:)
grachonok
Aug. 8th, 2012 05:05 am (UTC)
Damn, shitty situation all the way round.

(And it's great to have a new M7 story to read, been really a while!)
winks7985
Aug. 8th, 2012 11:13 am (UTC)
i enjoy putting the guys in shitty situations, then seeing how they work themselves out.

glad you're enjoying it!
:)
angstbunny
Aug. 8th, 2012 09:30 am (UTC)
af;jaklfjdlakfj;dlkf omg, I love the details, the descriptions, and I love the plot. It's super tense, and I'm chomping at the bit for more. Can't wait for the next part.
winks7985
Aug. 8th, 2012 11:15 am (UTC)
yays! i'm glad you're diggin it.

just wait... there will be more tension...
:)
sallymn
Aug. 8th, 2012 11:59 am (UTC)
Ohhh... poor Ezra...
winks7985
Aug. 8th, 2012 12:08 pm (UTC)
:D
kojont
Aug. 9th, 2012 09:37 am (UTC)
It's been ages since I've read M7 fics. Something like... over 10 years? I was so surprised to see people still write them and that the ATF AU is still going strong! I've fallen in love with the fandom yet again and well written fics like these are like returning to an old lover. Thank you thank you thank you!
winks7985
Aug. 9th, 2012 10:27 am (UTC)
welcome back my friend! you'll always be welcome here!

i'm glad you're enjoying it. more should be coming today :)
tpena19
Aug. 11th, 2012 01:54 am (UTC)
Much Love
I like that Chris, Vin, and (it seems) the Judge are backing Ezra. Good on you boys.

Woah! Totally did not see that death coming, though I should have - they are the bad guys after all. Ez must have been pretty shocked too, since he rather liked Shep before this.

Aw, poor Ez - Vin, he totally needs you guys!

Can't wait for more :)
winks7985
Aug. 11th, 2012 02:16 am (UTC)
Re: Much Love
Yays!!!! I'm glad I could surprise you with that. One of the original scenes I had in mind (and wrote) was Ezra in the shower (not in the naughty way, mind you).

More soon. Stay tuned. :)
( 12 comments — Leave a comment )
People spend thousands of dollars on therapy; I just beat shit with a hammer.

~~~~~~~

Monsters do exist. Ghosts too. They live inside us and sometimes they win.
~Stephen King

~~~~~~~

Better to write for yourself and have no public, than write for the public and have no self...
~Cyril Connolly

>^..^<

Oh! An Irishman's heart is as stout as shillelagh,

It beats with delight to chase sorrow and woe;

When the piper plays up, then it dances gaily,

And thumps with a whack to leather a foe.

~~~~~~~

"FOR THE LOVE OF GOD MONTRESOR!"

"Yes," I said, "for the love of God!"

~The Cask of Amontillado


ezra

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