Character(s): Ezra, All Seven
Word Count (this part): 5,908
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]
Ezra’s vision swam as he tried to focus. His eyes stayed shut more than they were open right now. Every now and then, the light cast off by a street lamp entered his vision, then exited as quickly as it came. He dragged his left hand to his face, his right accompanying along due to its tether, and felt a fresh flow of blood from his nose. He felt some of the wayward blood slip down his throat, inducing a cough reflex. He turned on his side and coughed, painfully, until he could muster a clean breath. He hocked and spit to clear his mouth. Only then, as his focus sharpened, did he realize he was lying across the back seat of a car.
“Eddie,” Shep shouted from the driver’s seat. “I need you to come around. I need you to help Josh a bit.”
“I’m fine, Mr. Sheppard.”
“You’re not!” he shouted to his passenger. “I know you got hit, and vest or not, I want Eddie to check you out right now!”
Ezra watched the scene with an odd detachment, like watching a TV program unfold its plot.
Sheppard looked in the rear view mirror. “Eddie!”
Ezra’s mind kicked back into gear. “Yeah,” he said in acknowledgement, and moved to fit himself in between the two front seats of the sedan, resting a good portion of himself on the padded armrest.
“He okay?” Sheppard asked, glancing over to the two men, now with his line of view to Nevins mostly blocked.
“One sec,” Ezra said, trying to get a good look in the passing streetlights.
Nevins said nothing, staring at the Southerner. His breathing was steady and deliberate, and he was obviously in pain.
Ezra found a set of keys in Nevins’ jacket pocket, and on the ring a small handcuff key. Thank god for boy scouts. He freed himself of the cuffs and threw them to the floor, then proceeded to check Nevins. As Ezra ran his hands over the man’s chest and arms, looking for obvious wounds, Nevins hissed below him. “All right, all right,” Ezra soothed. “You’re in good hands here; fix you right up.”
Nevins let out a sound, somewhat like a snort but pained. “No, you won’t.” He said it so quietly, Ezra had to strain to hear him.
Ezra shot Nevins a questioning look, and Nevins looked down at himself, lifting his hand away from a hole in his belly, just below where the vest ended. He quickly covered it back up.
Standish had seen wounds like this before, and without immediate medical help, they were usually fatal. Hell, even with help they were sometimes fatal.
A look of understanding passed between the two men.
“Eddie, for fuck’s sake!” Shep barked, trying to get an answer.
Nevins shook his head ever so slightly, not breaking eye contact with the southerner. Ezra understood.
“A bit banged up, a couple new holes where there weren’t before, but he looks ok. He should see a doctor. Nothing we can do right now.”
The corner of Nevins’s mouth quirked up in a small semblance of a smile, his thanks evident. Ezra put his hand over where the fatal wound was, capturing the man’s hand in his own and giving a small squeeze.
With the waning light, Sheppard would not see the true extent of Nevins’s injuries. Ezra sat back on the seat behind him, but stayed forward, hanging his arms between the two front seats. “So what now?” he asked, wiping the halted blood flow from his nose with the back of his hand.
“Now,” Shep said, “we get the fuck out of Dodge.”
Ezra noticed then where they were. “This doesn’t look like we’re getting out of town…” He knew that Shep most likely had known where he had been staying as Eddie Craig, but the fact that it had never come up in conversation, coupled with the fact that Shep was now signaling a turn that would bring them right to Eddie’s doorstep was unnerving.
Shep swung the car into the motel’s parking lot, coming to a halt in an open parking space. “Get your shit, get to the shop, then we’re gone.”
Ezra fumbled for the door handle and got out of the car. Nevins rolled his head on the seat to look out the window at the southerner, a small smile on his face. Ezra knew it would be the last time he would see the man alive.
Shep rolled down the driver’s window as Ezra walked in front of the car. “Hey, if you’re not there in twenty minutes, we’re leaving without you.”
“Kay,” Ezra said as he turned for the staircase that led to the second floor where his shitty little room was. He didn’t watch as Sheppard drove away, knowing full well that the man was going back to the shop to either destroy the evidence or pack it up. In either case, he had twenty minutes to get there and stop him; it was gonna be close.
He entered his rented room, closed the door swiftly behind him and locked the deadbolt.
He whipped off his jacket and paced back and forth for a minute, then stopped in the middle of the room and bent slightly as he yelled at the top of his lungs, “FUCK!” Afterwards, feeling slightly better, he started to put a plan into action. He pulled the wobbly desk chair over to the center of the room, positioning it just so. He climbed up on it, his balance precarious, and pushed on one of the ceiling tiles. The loose tile wouldn’t be noticeable to a casual observer, but Buck and Nathan had put a small compartment in the ceiling for Ezra a week before he moved in as Eddie Craig.
He fished around with his hand, finding the parcel he wanted, and withdrew it. He didn’t bother to re-seal the compartment; he wouldn’t be coming back to this life after tonight, and he didn’t give a shit who found the small hidey hole in the ceiling. He hopped down from the wobbly chair, opening the parcel as he went. Inside were his service piece and his ATF credentials, as well as a burner cell phone.
He grabbed his discarded jacket and headed out of the room, not looking back. There was nothing of him there anyways.
“You’re trying to tell me that all this shit means his cover is still intact?” hollered Henderson, holding an ice pack to his jaw where JD had hit him.
“Don’t even start,” Buck said, getting up from where he had just been treated for the nick in his neck by a paramedic. The small police station was swarming now with Oak Falls PD and paramedics treating the wounded and dazed men.
Josiah had been bandaged up from all his cuts, and Nathan was fortunate to only have bruised his collarbone area.
Officer O’Connor had been transported to the hospital in one of the town’s ambulances, but was alert and talking as they wheeled him out.
Vin, JD and Chris seemed to have escaped with the most minor injuries: Vin with a bruise growing on the side of his face and JD with a small egg high on his forehead.
“Enough!” Chris announced. He turned to the DEA agent. “If his cover wasn’t intact, they would have executed him, not saved him.” The command in his voice conveyed that there would be no further speculation as to ulterior motives of the undercover agent.
Chris turned his attention to his men. “JD?” he asked.
“I got nothin’, Chris. He doesn’t have his phone, so no GPS. No communications. I just… I don’t know.”
“We need to get in touch with him. Vin?”
Vin looked up from where he was rubbing the side of his face with his hand, eyes averted. “You serious?” He looked over at JD, then back to Larabee. “You think me and Ezra got some sort of wondertwin connection or something?”
“I’m lookin’ for ideas. If Sheppard figures this shit out, he’ll kill him. And I don’t put it past him or that ogre that was with him to inflict some hurt on Ezra before he does decide to kill him.”
“Mr. Larabee?” a voice called across the busy room.
Chris turned to see a young officer across the room holding up a phone receiver and gesturing to him. “Line three.”
He reached for the nearest desk phone that hadn’t been blown to bits. “Larabee.”
“Chris, thank Christ,” Ezra breathed out.
“Ezra? Where are you, are you ok?”
The southerner dodged the question. “We gotta move on the shop, now. Sheppard’s on his way back there; he’ll destroy the evidence or pack it up and get out of here. He’s not waiting for me if I don’t show.”
“Ezra, wait, no. I’ll send someone to get you. You at the hotel?”
A snort. “I was. I’ll be at the shop in less than 5 minutes.”
“No, come to the station. Don’t be stupid.”
“This is too big to let go,” he insisted. “This guy’s killed people…”
“We’ll get him another way. Ezra, please.”
He could hear the worry in Chris’s tone, but if he were to go to the station, precious time would be lost. Sheppard would be lost. Then all of the hell he’d been through for the past months would be for naught; all the time spent being someone he was not… all the time spent away from his friends, essentially alone… Jon’s life… The assholes whose merchandise Sheppard was shipping would ultimately win.
Ezra blew out a steadying breath. “No.” And with that, he disconnected the call and flung the burner on the passenger seat.
“Dammit!” Chris said as he slammed the phone down. “He’s going after Sheppard himself. We have to get to the shop. Idiot’s gonna get himself killed.” He and his men were in motion.