Fandom: Magnificent Seven
Series: Stolen Moments
Episode: One Day Out West
Notes: This series could be considered an AU as it presupposes that Vin and Ezra had met before the pilot episode.
Summary: Ezra does some drinking and some thinking.
Stolen Moments #2
Ezra sighed. It had been a long day. They'd returned from the Seminole village and rode right into a shooting. The cantankerous old judge from Fort Laramie had spotted him and the kid, all puffed up with pride at being sheriff, had tossed him in jail on the old man's orders.
Then the judge had been shot and he'd found himself, giving advice to the sheriff from the inside of a jail cell, on how to fake the judge's death.
It was ridiculous.
He was a criminal. He wasn't supposed to help the law. Mother would be furious and on top of it all, Vin hadn't even bothered to come and see if he was all right. Not that he needed the scruffy tracker's assistance, of course, but still....
And the man was spending all his time with Larabee, not that he was jealous or anything. Larabee wasn't interested in Vin that way. The sparks flying off him and that Widow Travis every time that they got near each other made that clear. But they had even planned to go back down to Tascosa together and deal with the bounty on Vin's head.
He snorted. He wondered if Vin even knew that he was aware of the bounty. That wet-behind-the-ears sheriff certainly wasn't or Vin would have been sharing that cell with him.
He tossed back his drink.
So, why hadn't he simply told the old judge about that bounty? He could have made a deal, traded Vin's freedom for his own... after all he was just a petty thief, a conman, Vin was wanted for murder.
[A murder he didn't commit.] A voice inside his head whispered.
[You don't know that.] A voice that sounded suspiciously like his mother replied.
But he did know. He didn't know *how* he knew but he knew with absolute certainty that Vin Tanner was innocent of the charge against him.
And knowing that he could never turn him in. It wouldn't be right.
[Yeah, right.] The derisive voice in his head mocked him. [Since when do you care about right and wrong? Five hundred dollars is five hundred dollars. Is that big dick of his really worth that much to you?]
[It's not his dick!]
He felt like banging his head on the bar. He glanced in the mirror and frowned. The view only confirmed that he was the odd man out in this little grouping. Six men sat at the table he could see reflected there, each neatly paired with another. Nathan and Josiah, fast friends. Buck and JD, brothers, if not born so. Vin and Chris Larabee... with some silent connection, soul deep, strong and unyielding that his own tenuous, physical connection to Vin could never hope to rival.
[Rival?! For what? That scruffy bounty hunter's affections?]
Good Lord! Now, he could even see his mother's incredulous face, one eyebrow raised in disdain.
[No, of course not. I don't... I couldn't... we don't ... it's just.... Aw, hell!]
He had fallen in love with that damned, scruffy, uneducated heathen!
This time he did bang his head on the bar.
"Stupid." Bang. "Stupid." Bang. "Stupid." Bang.
The soft question had him spinning to see Vin now standing beside him. "Fuck." He muttered, not realizing he'd said it aloud.
Vin's eyes warmed and sparked with amusement. "Anytime."
"No!" He managed to gasp.
"Okay." The blue eyes lost none of their warmth at the rejection. "Ya all right?"
"Yes." He answered curtly reaching for his glass.
Vin's hand got there first. "Reckon ya had enough."
Their eyes met and held in a war of wills.
Then Vin said softly, "Man starts beating his head on the bar, it's time ta quit drinkin'."
"Or time to start drinking in earnest."
"Won't solve the problem. It'll still be there when ya wake up and you'll have a hangover to deal with, too. Ya know ya get meaner'n a snake when yer drunk or hungover." He paused then added, "Kid don't need to see that... leastwise not yet."
What difference did it make what the damn kid needed? The damned kid had tossed him in jail! His lower lip began to protrude slightly in a petulant pout.
"Go to bed, Ez." Vin leaned closer and dropped his voice. "I'll stop by in a bit."
He blinked up at the tracker for a minute then let himself be steered to the foot of the stairs to his room. He sighed and gave the man a slight nod. He wearily began the climb up the stairs while Vin returned to the table with the others.
Chris cocked an eyebrow as Vin sat back down. [He all right?]
Vin shrugged and gave a soft sigh. "He gets this way sometimes."
JD's head came up. "So, how long have you known him?" he asked.
Buck whacked him on the back of the head.
"What? I just wanted to know. I mean, he musta knowed him before if he knows that Ez gets like this."
"You don't ask about a fella's past out here, JD." Buck instructed.
Vin picked up his glass and turned it around in his hand. Finally he took a swallow. "Awhile." He said shortly.
Silence fell across the table, everyone aware that that was the only answer they would get from the taciturn tracker.
Ezra sank down on the edge of his feather bed and tugged at his tie undoing it as his mind went back to his thoughts in the bar.
Somehow, somewhere among a few brief, if intense, physical encounters with the lanky ex-bounty hunter he had let his heart get wrapped up in the man.
Shit! How could he have been so stupid?
Now, he had to get through thirty days in the same town with the man. If he wanted to get his pardon... and he did want the pardon.
He was fucked.
Vin's words echoed in his mind. [I'll stop by in a bit.]
He stood up and began to undress, pulling a nightshirt out of the dresser to put on. Vin liked his nightshirts, especially the silk ones.
What the hell... with just a little bit of luck, he would be fucked tonight.
He crawled into bed to wait for his scruffy tracker.