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In Spades, ATF AU, Gen 5a/6

Title: In Spades
Character(s): Ezra, All Seven
Word Count (this part): 5,653
Summary: What happens when Ezra goes in too deep?


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

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Josh Nevins walked into the shop with a purpose, his eyes scanning for Sheppard.  He caught sight of the man’s trucker cap through the office window. Nevins approached the open door, and rapped lightly.  Sheppard was on the phone, but looked up as Josh knocked.  Taking in Josh’s obvious nervousness and look of contrition on his face, he said into the phone, “Hey, let me call you back in a bit, alright?” and hung up, not waiting for an answer.

His full attention on Nevins now, he asked, “What’s wrong?”

There was no gentling into it.  “Eddie’s been arrested.” 

Sheppard blinked slowly, and crooked his head as he let the info set in.  “I’m sorry, what?”

“Eddie’s been arrested,” Nevins repeated.

“No, I heard you the first time.  What happened?”

“We hit a deer, but we didn’t know it.  Cops pulled us over for leaving the scene of an accident.”  Josh entered the office and shut the door behind him.  “We had the stuff I picked up in the trunk.  Eddie said they were gonna search us, find the guns and then we’d be screwed.  He told me to announce to them that I had a license to carry concealed, and that I had a registered gun on me, so that the situation didn’t escalate.”

“I’m assuming they ran Eddie’s name, and saw his warrants?”

Nevins nodded.

“So why didn’t the car get searched?” Sheppard asked, sitting back in his chair and blowing out his breath.

“I don’t know.  But if I had to guess, I’m thinking the cops recognized his face from last night’s incident.”  He sat on the corner of the desk and looked down at his boss.  “I think they wanted a few minutes alone with him.”

“And you left him?” Sheppard asked acidly.

“He instructed me to go along with everything he said, no matter what it was.”

“So they must have run your name then too, right?  And the car’s registration?”

“Yes.”

“So it’s only a matter of time before they turn around and come back to you and then to me.”  He took off his hat and ran his hand through his hair, blowing his breath out in a frustrated sigh, then placed the cap back on his head.

“Looks like we’re moving shop sooner that we thought.  Get a few of the boys to start packing up anything and everything.”  He stood and started to shuffle some of the papers on his desk into piles.

Nevins nodded and turned for the door.

“Josh,” Sheppard said from behind him.  When Nevins turned, his hand on the doorknob, Sheppard took in a deep breath and exhaled slowly, head facing down towards his paper piles, like he was deciding something in that moment.  “We have to… “ he paused, trying to put his thoughts into words.  He looked up and locked eyes with Nevins.  “He protected us; we have to protect him.  With his record, he’s not gonna ever see the light of day again.”

Nevins shook his head slightly and blew out his breath.  “That’s not gonna be easy.  It might not even be possible.  I hate to say it Mr. Sheppard, but maybe we should just take the time that Eddie gave us and go.”

Sheppard looked up at the clock then back to Josh.  “I know that shift change at the station is in 45 minutes.  If we’re gonna go, we gotta go now.”

Nevins kept his gaze momentarily locked with the man he’d been loyal to for years – the only man who ever treated him like a son.  He slowly nodded and headed out of the office to prepare. 

7777777

Chris glanced out of the room with the holding cells and saw the two officers leaving the Chief’s office, not looking too happy.  The two men sat at a couple of desks in the bullpen, pulling out assorted paperwork.  Neither man looked in Chris’s direction.

The Chief came to her office door and stood overlooking the bullpen.

“I’ll be back in a minute,” Chris said to Vin and Ezra.

“I’ll be here,” Ezra drawled from his cell.  Vin smirked.

As Chris headed out of the room, the Chief saw him and came to meet him halfway, in front of the conference room, where the rest of the team and the DEA agent sat waiting.

“I’m sorry,” Owens said to Chris.  She waved her hand absently towards where the two men were sitting.  “They’re very close with Anderson, the guy that got attacked last night.  When they saw the guy, their eyes got too big for their stomach.”

Chris quirked up one side of his mouth.  “I know the feeling.  I’ve been there before.”

“Does this destroy your case against him?” she asked.

“I hope not,” Chris said sincerely.

“Is there anything I can do?”

He looked her directly in the eyes, seeing her contrition there.  It can’t be easy, thinking you just screwed something up for the ATF, especially when you just did exactly what they asked you not to do.  After a moment of consideration, he said, “Step in here for a minute?” jutting his chin towards the conference room where his team was set up.

She furrowed her brow in confusion before heading into the room.  Chris followed directly behind her, shutting the door tightly behind him.

JD, Nathan, Buck and Josiah shot questioning eyes first at the Chief, then at Larabee.  Henderson sat at the end of the table, still smarting from the southerner’s verbal assault, no doubt.

“Everything all right Chris?” asked Buck, sitting up straighter.

“Everything’s fine,” he replied, pulling a chair out for the Chief to sit.  Wordlessly, she complied, still looking confused.

“Is our friend all right?” asked Josiah.

Owens looked at Sanchez as though his question was one of the strangest things she’d ever heard.

“Vin’s with him.”

After an awkward moment of silence, JD piped up.  “So… what’s this about?”  He closed the lid to his laptop, giving his full attention to his boss.

Chris leaned against the wall and looked at the Chief.  He crossed his arms over his chest and took a deep breath before he spoke.  “Eddie Craig is not who you think he is.”

“Larabee!” Henderson objected.

“Shut up, Henderson,” Chris answered, never looking at the man he addressed.  “We’re in her backyard, and we owe her the courtesy.”

Henderson sputtered from his chair.  He sighed angrily, then bit out, “This is on you.  This falls apart, it’s on you.”  The man then sat back in his chair, resigned to the loss of control.

Owens watched the byplay with skepticism.  “So…”

“He’s a member of my team,” Chris announced.

She nodded slowly.  “Like an informant?”

Chris looked down to hide his smile.  “More like an ATF agent.”

Owens sat there, a look of astonishment on her face as the info sunk in.  “The guy in the cell?” she asked in clarification.  “He’s an ATF agent?”

“Yes.”

“Wow,” she said, eyes wide.  “He looked like such a… a…” she struggled for the word.

“Scumbag?” provided JD.

“Delinquent?” supplied Nathan.

She looked at JD and Nathan, then back at Chris, still leaning against the wall.  “Yeah…” 

“He’s very good at what he does,” Josiah added.

She shook her head in question.  “What about what happened with Anderson?”

“We knew about it, about an hour after it happened,” Chris said, looking up.  “Ezra said he didn’t know what to do, and did the only thing he could think of that would have a positive outcome.”

“I’m sorry, this is just a lot to take in.”

“We understand,” Chris said, pushing himself off the wall.  He glanced out the conference room window to the nearly empty bullpen, then back at Owens.  “What we have to do now is ascertain if his cover is still intact and if we can resume this case or if we call it quits with what we have.  We have to ask that you don’t share this with anyone, not your deputies or any other officers right now.”

“Do you think I have a leak?” she asked incredulously.

Chris smiled.  “No, I think it’s more of a small town and everyone knows everyone else’s business type of thing.”

She nodded knowingly.  “So, what now?”

“A couple of us need to talk to him for different reasons,” Chris said, gesturing to the rest of the room.  “We can’t all go into the holding cells if we’re hoping to keep his cover.”

“You can use my office if you need to,” she supplied.  Answering the questioning glances shot at her, she elaborated, “You can’t bring him into a conference room full of people for the same reason you can’t all go into the holding cells, and our interview room is full of boxes and other junk.  We hardly ever use it.  Small town,” she smiled apologetically, “And I doubt you can talk about what you need to in the bullpen.  Even for a small town, there’s always someone here, no matter the time of day.”

Chris nodded his thanks.

7777777

“You know, I’m half hoping that this is done and over with,” Standish drawled from where he lay on the cot in his cell.

“I’ll bet you do,” Vin agreed.

“I miss my own bed; my own things.”

“One way or another, it’ll be over soon.”

Ezra snorted his disbelief.  “Promise?”

“Let’s go, Hoss.  Get up,” Buck bellowed as he walked into the room, Chief Owens on his heels.

“What’s up, Buck?” Vin asked, glancing at the Chief quickly.

“Chris and JD are waiting for him,” he nodded towards Ezra, now sitting on the cot and watching the byplay.  “Henderson, too.”

“Waiting where?”

“Chief Owens’s office,” Buck answered, as Owens moved forward to the cell with a set of cuffs.  “Henderson’s getting to be a bit of a pain in the ass, don’tcha think?” he asked Vin, who shrugged once in answer.

“Put your hands out in front of you please,” she said.

Ezra got up and walked to the bars and did as he was asked with a sigh.

As she closed the cuffs around his wrists, keeping them loose enough to be comfortable, she said, “It’s not so bad.  Anyway, appearances are everything.”  She gave him a smile.

Ezra shot a wide-eyed look at Buck, then at Vin. 

Buck nodded, yeah she knew.  “It sure is good to see you, Hoss.”

Standish let out a long-suffering sigh.  “Good to see you too, Buck.”

Owens opened the cell door and escorted the ‘prisoner’ out of the holding cells and towards her office, followed by the two ATF agents.

7777777

Outside the small police station, two men sat in their darkened car, parked just outside of the main door’s line of sight.  As they exited their vehicle, both men looked around, confirming the lack of cars in the parking lot.  The shift change would occur within the hour, and this was the only time that would allow them to pull such a stunt; all officers on duty were still away from the station, and all officers coming in for the next shift were not there yet.

Using the dark to their advantage, the two men left their dark sedan.

Benjamin Sheppard and Josh Nevins approached the front of the building using stealth and speed.  The weapons they held, both under their clothing and in their hands, were no joke.  When Sheppard wanted something done, he spared nothing.  But the overkill of weapons was intended to scare whoever was in the station into submission, rather than to murder them.  Although, he wasn’t opposed to going that extra bit further if it came to that.

Josh flanked Sheppard to the side and behind him, the place of a loyal dog.  The two men approached the bottom of the steps.  Sheppard slowed and turned to his friend briefly. 

“In and out.  No more damage than necessary.  Then we’re out of here, with Eddie.  This town’s done for us now.”

Josh knew the man was reiterating the plan as a means of taking a breath before doing something huge, if not dumb.  Josh nodded at his boss.  “I know.” 

“Good,” he said, and took a cleansing breath of the night air.  “Let’s go.”

7777777

Dunne set himself up at the Chief’s desk with his laptop open.

“What are you doing?” Henderson asked.

JD shot him a look and an eyebrow.  “My job?” he asked, as though the answer were simple.

“Why is he even here, Larabee?” Henderson snipped. 

“Seriously?” Chris turned to glare at the DEA agent behind him.  When he saw that the man was in fact asking a serious question, he looked back out the window into the bullpen.  He shook his head in annoyance at the DEA agent’s belligerent attitude.

“How are we supposed to get any info from Standish if the room is full of his buddies?”

JD stood up straight from where he was leaning over, about to respond, when Chris’s voice, quiet and threatening, replied first.

“Henderson, if you don’t shut the hell up, I’ll throw you out of this room and the DEA can go fuck themselves.”

There was no further objection from the DEA agent.

7777777

Ezra did his best not to smirk at the two cops who had arrested him as he passed by their desks.  The two men shot daggers at him as he walked slightly in front of the Chief towards her office, with Buck and Vin following.

It was almost over.  The long nights, the dirty deals, the shit of being Eddie Craig.  Maybe he would just ask to be pulled from this whole situation while talking to Chris, assuming that that was who was waiting for him in the Chief’s office.  Of course, the DEA guy… what was his name again?  Well, whatever his name was, he was probably gonna be pissed.

Fuck him, he thought.  He just wanted to get back to his life as Ezra Standish.  He wanted to not have to wear these clothes.  He wanted to cut his hair.  He wanted a decent shave.  He wanted a good night’s sleep in his own bed.  Two months straight of being Eddie, who was gruff and hard, was exhausting.

But soon.  Soon it would be over.  The thought made him quirk his mouth up in a half smile. 

One of the two cops, still watching him closely, snapped out at him, “What the hell are you smilin’ at, pretty boy?”

Ezra just shook his head and let out a breathless chuckle as he looked back at the officer.  Jesus, he couldn’t wait to shed Eddie’s mannerisms.

He received a small shove at his back from the Chief, directing him to keep going.  He couldn’t help but hold his contemptuous look for another moment. 

Looking ahead of him and focusing on the door to the Chief’s office, he saw Chris through the office’s windows.  Their eyes met for a stark second, but then Ezra’s focus was drawn away by movement ahead and to the right, to the front door.

The mostly-glass door opened, and two ordinary looking men came through.  The young man working the front desk looked up as the men come through the door to the lobby/bullpen, clearly ready to help them with whatever the problem was that had brought them to the station at such a late hour.

Ezra’s eyes widened in recognition and his step faltered, almost to the point of stopping.  And then time slowed down.

Hands still bound in front of him, Ezra wasn’t going to be able to do much to help, he realized. 

“Oh, shit!” he drawled out in a voice that directly contradicted the panic he was drowning in.

Buck and Vin both followed Ezra’s gaze to the door in time to see the two men come side by side and raise what looked like AKs. 

The fraction of a second it took them to react, Ezra turned and toppled the police Chief behind him, knocking her to the floor. 

Buck and Vin had both drawn their weapons before Ezra and the Chief hit the ground.

The first spray of bullets from the assailants’ guns arced left to right, starting near the door to the holding cells and peppering the wall across the back of the room.

Nathan and Josiah, still in the conference room, dove to the floor and drew their own weapons.  Unable to see a target through the solid wall, they started to crawl towards the open conference room door, getting pelted with falling glass from the window they had both been staring out of.

Vin and Buck dropped behind two of the bullpen desks, followed immediately by Craine and O’Connor. 

Chris had seen the look on Ezra’s face and interpreted it immediately.  He had turned and drawn his gun, sighting the threat and then dropping for cover behind the solid part of the Chief’s office wall.  JD made it around the desk and down to the floor as the arc of bullets sprayed across the front wall of the chief’s office, breaking both windows to the side of the door as well as the large one in the door where her name was painted.

Henderson also dropped, pulling his weapon as well, taking cover in front of one of the office’s wooden chairs that faced the desk.

As soon as Ezra and the chief hit the ground, he rolled off of her and to the side.  “Stay down!” he yelled at her.  He noticed she looked dazed and appeared to have had the wind knocked out of her when she hit the ground.  He grabbed her under the arms as best he could and dragged her behind the desk next to him. 

The arc of the bullets swept now from the Chief’s office back towards the holding cells.

Ezra had no weapon, and his hands were bound in front of him.

This was not good.

7777777

“Nathan, are you alright?” Josiah shouted over the noise of all out war around them.

“Yeah, you?” he shouted back.

 “Fine!” In truth, Josiah was sporting a pretty awesome looking gash across the right part of his forehead and into his hair, courtesy of one of the first pieces of shattered glass to fall.  Being so close to the window when it shattered, he had also found himself crawling toward the door through a scattering of glass shards and pieces, digging into his palms and forearms.  His jeans seemed to protect him from this danger for now.

Nathan crawled up along the side of the conference room table towards the door, meeting with Josiah and turning his back to the solid part of the wall under the gaping hole where the window had been.  Josiah sat next to him.  Glancing at the big man quickly, Nathan said, “Fine, my ass!”

“Later!” he yelled back, then swung his head around the door jamb to return fire.

7777777

The first arc of bullets had been all Nevins, as Sheppard took the gun he was holding and smashed the stock into the man at the front desk’s head.  The man dropped like a brick and remained motionless.

The second arc of bullets had come from both men, and had been lower this time.  The intent was to keep whomever from being a hero, and in this little bodunk town, heroes were few and far between.

Sheppard had seen Eddie being led towards a room on the right as he and Josh had entered, but now with all the commotion, he couldn’t find the man they had come to get.

“Eddie!” he yelled.

7777777

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


Comments

( 1 comment — Leave a comment )
tpena19
Aug. 15th, 2012 05:55 am (UTC)
Oh man, oh man. I guess Ez's cover was definitely intact, lol. Can't wait to see how the team decides to play it out.
( 1 comment — 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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