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Tooth and Nail, Mag7 ATF AU, Gen

Title: Tooth and Nail
Characters: Ezra and the rest of the Seven
Rating: PG 13 I guess... swearing and violence
Length: 3106 words
Notes: Although this isn't quite in the story arc, it mentions some happenings from Broken. I have a fascination with Ezra's tooth apparently. And so do the guys.
Thanks to[info]sparrowwritings ,[info]tygermama , and[info]egorstandish for looking at this in its dribs and drabs, and to[info]strangevisitor7 who helps me make sense of the shit i write and make it better.


The Saloon was busy for this time of evening. People would stop by on their way home from work for a quick drink or a bite to eat, some would stay a while, some would leave as soon as the glass emptied. At a larger table towards the back, a group of men congregated over pitchers of beer and good conversation. They came here with enough regularity that this table with its seven chairs was always saved for them. Even if someone were there when they entered, it was vacated by the time they traveled the length of the room.

Tonight, there were six chairs occupied. The seventh was left there, empty, not being touched by other patrons or asked to be borrowed.

JD poured from the pitcher, refilling the rest of the guys’ glasses before getting up to fetch another pitcher. Inez kept the beer flowing, running a tab for them and them only. No one else was allowed that privilege.

“So what did Ezra say he had to do?” asked Buck.

“He didn’t. Just said he wouldn’t be joining us tonight,” Vin supplied before taking a long swig of his beer.

“I’m sure everything’s all right Buck, if that’s what you’re worried about,” Josiah supplied.

“I’m not worried. Ezra’s a big boy.” He belched loud and long. “Just ain’t the same when someone’s not here is all.”

“Nice rip,” JD said as he sat back down at the table with a new pitcher. “You miss me or something Buck? I just went to the bar,” he said smiling.

“Talkin’ ‘bout Ez, kid,” said Vin.

“Maybe he’ll change his mind,” said Nathan absently.

Chris snorted. When Nathan looked hard at their leader, Chris remarked, “Oh come on. You ever known that man to change his mind about anything once he’s decided?”

“There’s a first time for everything,” Nathan said.

“I will bet you tonight’s bar tab that he won’t change his mind,” Chris said in all seriousness.

“Did someone say ‘bet’?” came a drawl from off to the side. Ezra approached the table, still dressed in the suit he had worn to work, only minus the tie. He pulled out his usual chair and sat.

Chris groaned. Good thing he had brought his credit card.

JD got up and reached over the bar to grab another chilled glass. Inez smiled at him and waved. Another Team Seven perk.

“Well boys,” Buck said with a big smile, “looks like Chris is buyin’ tonight, so drink up!”

JD poured Ezra a beer and conversation ensued, starting with Ezra’s definition of a “sure thing” when betting, for Chris’ benefit.


Several rounds later they all had a decent buzz going. After watching in fascination how the light would shine off of Ezra’s gold tooth, JD’s curiosity got the better of him.

“So Ezra, how did you get the tooth?”

“Which time?” the southerner replied with a laugh.

“What do you mean which time? How many times have you lost it?” asked Buck.

The southerner replied in a jovial, overindulging-in-alcohol tone, “This last time, courtesy of Mr. O’Brien, makes four.”

After a moment of silence, Vin prodded. “That’s all we get? You tell us you lost that tooth four times, and what? We’re not supposed to be curious?”

Standish took a large swig of his beer, cheeks blushing in correlation to his buzz. “Not that interesting, really.” He wiped his hand over his mouth, removing the beer-mustache that had formed on his lip.

“Anyone who loses the same tooth four times… come on. There's got to be at least one interesting story in there!” Nathan chuckled as he spoke.

“Well, you all know about the time with O’Brien,” Ezra stated, and several of his teammates winced in remembrance. Yeah, they wouldn’t be forgetting that one for a while.

“Shillelagh,” JD announced.

Ezra nodded and raised his half full beer mug in salute to JD. “Shillelagh. That’s one.”

“Some sport?” Josiah guessed. “Baseball maybe?”

“Sport, yes,” Ezra saluted with his glass again. “Baseball, no.”

“Track?” Nathan asked.


“Hockey? Buck asked.

“Hockey!” Ezra saluted again.

“You don’t strike me as the hockey type Ezra,” Nathan commented. “You seem more like a runner.”

“Street hockey, my friends. A slap shot gone awry. I must say though, Missy had one hell of a wrist shot. She just didn’t quite have the slap shot down as well. She missed the ball and nailed me in the face,” Ezra chuckled as he finished.

“You got your tooth knocked out by a girl?” Vin teased.

“She was a big girl!” he said defensively. “With a big stick!”

“How old were you?” Josiah asked.

“Ten. Mother wasn’t too pleased. Knocked my tooth right out. And my foray into dental work began.”

“Ok, so we got a shillelagh, a hockey stick…” Buck ticked off the items on his fingers as he spoke.

“Someone must have punched it out of you at some point,” Chris spoke up.

Ezra looked at the blond man. “Are you insinuating that I have the ability to anger someone so much, that they would violently take it out on me?”

Chris just smiled.

“Well, I don’t quite know how to take that, but you’re right. It was ‘punched out’, as you so delicately put it, in the line of duty.”

“Who did that?” asked Vin.

“A suspect at a bust. It appeared that he had a difference of opinion with the FBI as to the nature of our visit.” Ezra looked at JD’s confused face. “He didn’t want to go to jail.”

“Oh, I knew that.”

“Yes, well… I was chasing him, and he turned and laid me flat out with one mean left hook. Rattled it loose, if you will. Not that it was in there very well at that point. The last dentist to put it back in didn’t do such a bang up job. But after that time, I decided to get the gold one. The others were porcelain, and I had cracked it a couple of times biting down on something. And if I was laid flat out, it flat out broke,” he finished with a snort.

“How old were you then?” Josiah repeated his earlier question.

“The ripe old age of twenty two. It was only my second or third bust with the FBI.”

“Ok,” Buck said, “so shillelagh, hockey stick, fist…”

Ezra sighed. “Foot.”

At the questioning glances of his teammates, he elaborated. “One of Maude’s less-than-stellar choices in men.”

“A mark?” asked Chris, concern in his voice.

“No,” he said somberly. He took a swig of his beer before continuing. “This was actually a man that she… well, she fell for. She won't admit it if you ask her now. She’d come up with some reason she was using him for something or other. But she did actually fall for him.” He blew out a breath. “We were with him—his name was Daniel—for five months. One day, I came home from school, and he was hitting her. Being a gentleman, I asked him to desist.”

“You just asked?” Vin asked.

A half smile graced his face. “I hit him with a chair.”

“Subtle,” Vin said with a shake of his head.

“Got the point across.”

“I bet,” said Josiah

“Well, I got his undivided attention after that,” Ezra said and tipped the last of his beer into his mouth. With a half smile still on his face, he reached for the pitcher on the table and topped off everyone’s glasses before he began.


Ezra stood panting, staring at his step father who was picking himself up off the floor. Pieces of the chair lay strewn on the floor. His mother was still cowering next to the couch. Ezra wasn’t even sure if she was conscious. Anger radiated off the teen, and he took a protective stance in between where his mother cowered and where his step father was getting to his feet.

“You little bastard! You hit me with a chair?” Daniel said, coming to his full height and rubbing the back of his neck. His face was bright red, reflecting his anger and his pain. His bell had been rung but good.

“Gentlemen,” Ezra spat the word, “do not treat ladies like that.” Ezra sneered at the man.

“Well boy, you want to settle this like men?” Daniel sneered. “Fine with me.”


Ezra took another swig from his beer.

Vin looked at Chris, a silent question as to what to do. Did they let the southerner keep talking? They all wanted to know more about him, but was this the way to do it –through a drunken rambling?

Chris returned Vin’s look with one of controlled patience. With the slightest shake of his head, Chris acknowledged Vin’s concern, but conveyed the message that this should play its way out. Vin nodded. Maybe this was what the Southerner needed. Or hell, maybe it was what he actually wanted to happen.

Josiah looked pensive, Buck looked on in morbid fascination, Nathan looked like he was in awe of Ezra’s gall, and JD’s mouth hung open. Ezra didn’t notice anyone’s reactions as he continued his tale.


The first punch was delivered to his face, faster than Ezra ever thought Daniel could move. His nose immediately began to run blood and he saw stars. He staggered back with the force of the blow.

“Don’t like that much now, do ya?” Daniel spat at him as he advanced on the dazed teen.

Ezra shook his head, trying to clear the stars from his vision, but not before the second hit came. This one caught him in the midsection, doubling him over as the air rushed from his lungs. Sinking to the floor on his knees, he gasped and tried to take in a breath. He imagined he looked much like a fish. His eyes bulged from their sockets and tears flowed freely down his face, mixing with the blood flowing from his nose. The rushing in his ears drowned out most other sound.

In a moment of conscious concern, he looked over to where his mother was. I hope she’s unconscious, he thought. I don’t want her to see this asshole kill me. Maybe he’ll spare her.

Air rushed back into his lungs with an urgency that left him light-headed as he rolled onto his side on the Persian rug. I hope at least to leave you with a bloodstain on your fucking rug, he thought as he struggled to get his breathing to return to normal.


“Oh my God,” JD said quietly.

Ezra quirked an amused eyebrow and shrugged while smiling. “Wish the Good Lord had stepped in during that.” Ezra took a large swallow of his brew.

“Ezra,” Chris started, his tone saying that he could stop telling his tale now if he wanted.

“Chris,” he answered in an exact mirror of his friend’s tone.

Chris sat back in his chair as Ezra continued.


Ezra must have blacked out, because when he came to, he heard Daniel speaking harshly to someone. Shit, Mother!

He rolled to his knees and looked through blurry eyes, surveying the room. Maude stood on shaky legs, holding the mantle to steady herself. Daniel paced near her, clearly agitated.

The words being spoken were muddled at best, but the tone was clear. Daniel was angry and looking for a release. How long had this been going on? This was a new side of Daniel for Ezra. Not that they had been especially close, but he'd seen no hint of the violence so clearly on display now.

He got to a three-point crouch, his free hand clenched tightly to his abdomen, and he looked over the top of the glass-top coffee table at the arguing duo. Duo… right. Daniel was arguing with Maude, and Maude stood there –well, she barely stood there. She looked about ready to collapse. Ezra could see a dark bruise on the side of her face, and her hair was in disarray. Her face looked glossy, covered in sweat.

Daniel advanced on her, apparently expecting an answer to his rant. On pure reflex, Ezra shot to his feet, taking the edge of the coffee table with him and throwing the entire piece of furniture at the enraged man.

Daniel had caught the movement out of the corner of his eye, and got his left arm up to block the projectile. The glass-top shattered, slicing Daniel’s forearm, which only seemed to anger him further.

Maude looked at her son with scared, wild eyes. She swung her focus to Daniel, the fog clearing slightly in her abused mind, her face alight with concern for her son. “Daniel, don’t…” She didn’t get to finish as Daniel pushed past her, the force of the contact throwing her to the floor near the hearth.

“You little fuck. You’ll pay for that,” he sneered.

“I’m not afraid of you, you son of a bitch!” Ezra yelled. But he was. He was terrified of this man who had murder in his eyes.

As Daniel covered the distance between them, Ezra tried not to pull back in retreat. The man swung out at the teen, but Ezra got his arms up to block the impact. The angered fist deflected off of his arms as the teen spun with the force of the blow. Daniel, in one swift motion, grabbed Ezra by the shoulder and threw him to the ground, trying to bounce his head off the hardwood floor. Ezra’s arms managed to protect his head from the impact, but he was in no position to deflect the kick to his midsection, followed by a swift kick that caught him in the mouth. He felt the porcelain tooth that had been knocked out so many years before give way, and fly from his mouth, skittering across the floor. Ezra’s face came to rest on the floor, his eyes fixed on the eviscerated tooth. As he started to black out, he heard and enraged Maude scream “DANIEL!” followed by a sickening thwack and a thud of a body hitting the floor near him.

Ezra smiled.


“So, Maude got him?” Nathan asked.

Ezra nodded. “She struck him with the poker from the fireplace. How he wasn’t killed with the force of the blow, I don’t know.”

“So, what happened to this guy?” Buck asked.

“He went to jail. Domestic abuse was taken very seriously. Especially when the judge saw the medical records of what he had done.”

“What did the records say?” asked Nathan.

“Mother had three broken ribs, a hairline fracture of her left wrist, and many bruises and scrapes.”

“And you?” asked Josiah.

Ezra sighed. “A wounded pride, mostly.” He chuckled to himself, but it held no humor. “No, I had a broken nose, bruised ribs from the kicking, and a missing tooth.” He ran his tongue over his gold tooth, looking thoughtful for a moment. “I have no doubt he would have killed me if Maude hadn’t stopped him.” He smiled a wry little smile. “And I was the one who was trying to protect her.”

“Mothers will always protect their children,” Josiah intoned.

Vin sat quietly and nodded. After a moment, he looked at the Southerner’s face, lost in thought and still smiling. “There’s something more, isn’t there?” he asked.

Ezra looked up and met Vin’s eyes. He smirked as he reached for his suit jacket on the back of the chair. From it he pulled a piece of paper and slid it towards Vin.

“What’s this?” Vin asked, taking it and opening it. It was a letter.

“Read it,” Ezra said as he took another drink of his beer.

Vin started at the letter momentarily, then started to read to himself.

“Aloud, if you will Vin.”

Vin cleared his throat. “It’s from The State of Georgia, Department of Prisons. ‘We are writing to inform you of the death of Daniel Davids, Jr. on the Tenth of November… Ezra, this was last week,” he added, pointing to the letter.

“I know.”

“He died in prison?” Buck asked.

“A little anticlimactic, to be sure,” said the Southerner. “Would have made a better story if Maude had taken care of him.” He swirled his beer in his glass before bringing it to his lips.

“Ez, why didn’t you tell us?” JD asked.

He lowered the glass and smiled as he looked at the young man. “I believe I just did, JD.”

“No, I know, but why not last week? When you found out?” he pushed.

“You just found out today, didn’t you?” asked Nathan with a grin.

“That’s why you joined us, isn’t it?” continued Josiah.

Ezra just smiled. “It was quite fortuitous that you asked about my tooth when you did JD. It broke into the discussion quite nicely.”

“So, what is this? A celebration of sorts?” asked a confused JD.

Ezra looked at him seriously. “JD, I never celebrate the loss of anyone’s life, regardless of whether or not they’re an abusive rat bastard.” He smiled to lighten the mood. He took the letter back from Vin as he slid it towards the Southerner. “This,” he shook the piece of paper to emphasize, “is the conclusion to a chapter of my life. It provides some sort of closure, and I wanted to let you all in on it.” He met the eyes of everyone in turn.

“And…” he drawled after a moment of pause, “I wanted to get blind stinking drunk. But gentlemen,” he swayed a little as he started to stand, “I have the most exquisite bottle of whiskey that my mother sent with that letter that I would love to share with all of you.”

“Maude sent whiskey?” Josiah asked.

Ezra paused in his adorning of his coat. “Yes.”

“Is she celebrating?” asked Chris.

Ezra smiled. “Mr. Larabee, I would imagine she is also feeling a mixture of emotions. The most likely would be relief. After all, she sent whiskey, not champagne.”

Pulling his keys from his pants pocket, he paused only a moment before flipping them to Josiah. Ezra then turned and headed for the door, giving a salute to Inez as he passed through her line of sight. The rest of the boys followed, while Chris settled the bill.

Smiling a goodnight to Inez as he turned for the door, Chris thought about a special bottle of Kentucky Bourbon he had been saving. Maybe he would take a quick spin by his house and grab it before joining the boys at Ezra’s…

He chuckled as he walked through the door and out into the night.



( 38 comments — Leave a comment )
Nov. 16th, 2009 10:00 pm (UTC)
Nov. 16th, 2009 10:02 pm (UTC)
thank you!
(no subject) - ithildyn - Nov. 16th, 2009 10:04 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - winks7985 - Nov. 16th, 2009 10:06 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - ithildyn - Nov. 16th, 2009 10:08 pm (UTC) - Expand
Nov. 16th, 2009 10:13 pm (UTC)
Wow! Just wow! And go Maude! I like your take on her and her protecting Ezra.

*pets Ezra* Poor guy.

But I hope you continue more tooth stories! :D
Nov. 16th, 2009 10:22 pm (UTC)
heheheh i love his tooth! and i love knockin it out! and i love makin him all better!

yeah... i have kind of a different take on maude. maybe i'll "write" her write her some day, but i bet she was far more fierce and protective of her darlin boy than a lot of fic makes her out to be.

(no subject) - sparrowsverse - Nov. 16th, 2009 10:26 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - winks7985 - Nov. 16th, 2009 10:29 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - valiha - Nov. 17th, 2009 06:12 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - winks7985 - Nov. 17th, 2009 12:56 pm (UTC) - Expand
Nov. 16th, 2009 10:14 pm (UTC)
I do enjoy the idea that Ezra lost the tooth the first time to a big hockey girl.

I really enjoyed this. But you are evol to Ezra - at least this time it was only in flash back
Nov. 16th, 2009 10:23 pm (UTC)
i can't help but be evil... cuz then i get to make him all better... :D

yeah, being hit in the face with a hockey stick HURTS! or so i've been told... {cough cough}

Nov. 16th, 2009 10:51 pm (UTC)
*hugs Ezra*

We seriously need to get that man a mouth guard.

But at least he's reaching out when he needs help. :D

And then there were drunken shenanigans! (but I'm hoping nothing tragic happened to the neighbour's cat)

You write the boys so well. I've told you this before. But still... You ROCK!
Nov. 16th, 2009 11:00 pm (UTC)

oo drunken shenanigans may ensue. who knows?

and thanks babe! you rock too!!
Nov. 16th, 2009 11:05 pm (UTC)
Damn...that had to hurt. Great story. Glad Ezra was able to talk.
Nov. 16th, 2009 11:06 pm (UTC)
i'm glad you liked it!
Nov. 16th, 2009 11:55 pm (UTC)
Awww, this is fantastic!!!! I can picture absolutely everything and damn... I just always love your writing!

And also:
I must say though, Missy had one hell of a wrist shot.
Nov. 16th, 2009 11:57 pm (UTC)
hahahaha yeah you did!!!

aww, i'm glad you *love* my writing... (blushes)...

thanks hun!!
Nov. 17th, 2009 06:21 am (UTC)
Loved it, the end espesially:)
Nov. 17th, 2009 12:55 pm (UTC)
i'm glad you did! thanks!

i also was happy with how the end came out... kind of wraps it up nice, doesn't it?
(no subject) - grachonok - Nov. 17th, 2009 04:43 pm (UTC) - Expand
Nov. 17th, 2009 02:24 pm (UTC)
Shillelagh - \0/!

Another fine offering to the growing list of wonderful M7 fic you're adding to the cause. I really enjoyed this one.
Nov. 17th, 2009 02:26 pm (UTC)
awww, thanks hun! i'm glad you enjoyed it.

and yes, SHILLELAGH!! \o/
Nov. 17th, 2009 02:46 pm (UTC)
Ahhh, what a great little story!

Love the ways he lost the tooth - being a big hockey fan, that was my favorite. ;-) I loved the story about his stepfather, though, and how the guys handled hearing it.

And Chris lost his bet, lol.

Really tight story, wrapped up very satisfyingly. Thanks for sharing!
Nov. 17th, 2009 02:50 pm (UTC)
i'm glad you liked it hun!

i am also a big hockey fan (or used to be), so hell yes ezra is as well. :)

Nov. 18th, 2009 12:38 pm (UTC)

This is fabulous!

I really enjoyed this. You have a wonderful way of making Ezra better after you hurt him. And I really liked Maude here.

Thanks for creating and sharing. Also loved the squirrel pic the other day.

take care
Nov. 18th, 2009 08:39 pm (UTC)
i'm glad you liked it hun!

i do like to make ezra all better... almost as much as i like hurtin him!

(no subject) - gemspegasus - Nov. 22nd, 2009 03:55 pm (UTC) - Expand
Nov. 23rd, 2009 08:58 am (UTC)
Yessss! Ezra hit Daniel with a chair. That boy's a star. Love the way you write the boys in a bar.
Nov. 23rd, 2009 09:50 am (UTC)
i love that boy. and that boy as a man.

i'm glad you liked it! :)
Nov. 28th, 2009 09:37 pm (UTC)
LOL - I for one am THRILLED that you have a fascination for Ezra's tooth, 'cause you sure wrote a tale that captured and held my attention from the first word to the last!

I loved the backstory and the way in which it unfolded with the men having some drinks around the table. The comaraderie was just priceless. What a great way you brought closure to the story too.

Thank you so much for writing and sharing this!
Nov. 29th, 2009 01:25 am (UTC)
aww, thanks hun! i always love feedback from you. you make me blush :)

yeah, i can't stop thinking about his tooth. maybe i have a fascination with teeth in general... who knows.

i'm glad it captured you and held you... that was the aim. and i have to say, one of my favorite stories ever was "three questions" by helen adams, and i was always in awe of the way she used the 'three questions' reveal to gain insight into ezra.

so i had that in mind while writing this, eventhough my ezra is a bit different than hers in that he already trusts and knows the guys, and feels more secure in his role in the group.

that's what i love about this fandom... you can all write the same character so differently. :)

i have another bunny i am fostering that has a set up somewhat similar to this story, so i might hold onto it for a while until it bites real hard...

Thank you so much for writing and sharing this!

you're more than welcome!
Dec. 2nd, 2009 08:30 pm (UTC)
Another awesome fic here, loved seeing some of Ezra's backstory and how the guys reacted to it :)
Dec. 2nd, 2009 08:55 pm (UTC)
i'm glad you liked it hun!

i am thinking of doing another one of these types of stories as well...

(no subject) - tpena19 - Dec. 3rd, 2009 12:37 am (UTC) - Expand
Mar. 14th, 2010 08:44 pm (UTC)
Umm...not so sure Any of the guys should be driving..so I decided that they walked out to the cabs waiting for them. ::::nodding head::::

Wow! I know Ezra had a bad childhood...both in OW and present day. (poor guy...don't you just want to cuddle him?!) And I had wondered about his gold tooth. But 4 times?

And that Daniel ::::shudder::: I was fliching while reading that, btw. You wrote it so real that I was there and trying to figure out a way to help Ezra and Maude. Glad she nailed him with the poker. And he is out of their lives forever now.

Thanks for sharing.
Mar. 14th, 2010 08:57 pm (UTC)
i'm stoked you liked it!

well, only ezra was realling drinking a hell of a lot. that''s why he gave his keys up ;)

once you knock out a tooth, it has a tendency to keep getting broken, cuz it isn't your original. it's a replacement part, if you will. :)

i had a friend who got 2 or 3 porcelain ones, one after the other, and finally the dentist was like, "dude, you need to go to gold".

i'm glad that daniel was "real". i try to make my stories as real as possible, so yays!!

and yeah, i killed him >:)

( 38 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.



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

~The Cask of Amontillado


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