Disclaimer: I don't own the characters of The Magnificent Seven. They belong to the Mirish Corporation, MGM, CBS and a whole lot of other people. I'm not making any money off of this piece. The ATF A/U was created by Mog. I also did not originate Ezra's undercover name.
Acknowledgements: I'd like to thank my beta-fish, Mog, Carla, and Suzy. Greenwoman also gave me technical help regarding the choice of candy.
Guest Cast: (Hey…I figure this is a Virtual Ep, with Virtual Production Values, so I can have Virtually anyone I want since I've got Virtually all the money in the world to Virtually pay the guest stars….and I'm feeling Virtually spunky right now)
Brian Riggs …..William H. Macey
Jordan Aikens ...Peter Barton
Sandy …………Missy Gold
Jemma Chase….Marietta dePrima
(For those of you wondering: Peter Barton played Matthew Starr in "The Powers of Matthew Starr", Missy Gold was the governor's daughter on "Benson", Marietta dePrima was in the episode Piano Man of "Quantum Leap")
Feedback to: Catstandish@thewateringhole.com
(ATF VS Episode)
The park was crowded with children on the sunny day. The distant sound of a radio could be heard from almost any point. Children ran rampant, playing on the merry-go-round, sliding down the slides, swinging on the swings. It was in a nice part of town. Several parents stood by watching over their young ones.
A couple of clowns and a juggler were entertaining various groups of children. One of the clowns was handing out candy.
"Now, you be sure and ask your mom if you can have that," he admonished the group of youngsters gathered around him. Each of their young heads bobbed in acknowledgement of his request. Then he gave them each a bag of pixie stix, in original packaging.
"Go on. Be good. And don't forget to ask your mom if you can have that candy," the clown said, smiling as the children obediently ran to their mothers to ask if they could eat the candy their new friend had given them.
Several hours later, three children lay in the emergency ward of the hospital, being treated for cocaine overdose, while two others were being delivered to the morgue.
Chris hung up the phone. "Standish!" he called out.
A moment later, Ezra walked into Larabee's office. "You requested my presence?"
"Yeah. Just got off the phone with the DEA. Seems they're not happy because you turned them down."
"Indeed I did. Last time I checked, I was not employed by the DEA," Ezra replied.
"Any other reasons?"
Ezra nodded. "Several. The fact that they have lost three agents on this case already shows that they are not precisely adept at aiding their undercover operatives. Therefore, I'm sure you'll understand if I am not interested in placing my life in their hands."
Chris nodded. "Do you understand the case."
"Indeed. And I find the individuals responsible to be morally reprehensible. However," Ezra paused, "I cannot work with that agency. I…I."
Chris waited a moment for Ezra to continue.
"I do not trust the contacts they have established. I do not have faith in their ability to back me up."
"And if the odds were changed? Are there any conditions under which you'd do this?" Chris asked.
"If you ordered me, I would. But I would want to report to you. I would want this case to be transferred to your jurisdiction where this team would back me up."
Chris watched him. "Anything else?"
"I do not use their contacts. They can give me all the information they have on file. However, I will find my own way in. I have a feeling that the method of entry is partially responsible for the failures of the previous agents." Ezra shook his head. "And from the sound of this, they lost an agent, and immediately replaced him. This is going to make the organization a bit more cautious. And it is going to make it more difficult for another agent to be trusted."
Chris nodded. Ezra had obviously thought it through and had good reasons to not get involved on the case. "Done. I'll get the case transfer paperwork started. You start getting ready. Get whatever information you need from them."
Ezra grinned. "I already have, Mr. Larabee."
Chris almost laughed. "Tell me what you've got so far."
Ezra looked down, then he grinned. "I've found that quite often, criminal elements will gravitate towards those who are in dire need of finances. Their price is lower, so to speak, as they are desperate to extricate themselves from the situation in which they are presently located.
"I have made it a practice of mine," Ezra continued, "to attempt to fit in with this group. You will no doubt be shocked to find out that, when I am not undercover, I spend one night every two weeks walking the streets…making contacts, establishing a routine. They trust me as they believe I am one of them. I've heard of this group from a few individuals. I'm quite certain I will be put in contact through this."
"Anything else, Mr. Larabee?" Ezra asked.
"Go home. Get some rest. I've got a feeling this is going to be a long assignment, and I want you ready to go in on a moment's notice."
Ezra raised his fingers in an imaginary salute and left his office.
Jemma Chase sat on the couch and looked at the picture. It was her and Sam on their wedding day. She loved him so much. Then three years after they were wed, he was taken from her….on their wedding anniversary.
Jemma didn't care that Sam was breaking the law. She didn't care about all the people who had died because of him. All that mattered was that Sam was dead, and she was alone.
Jemma took out another picture. It had been folded several times. Sam's face looked back at her as she reread his obituary. "Oh Sam, I miss you," she cried. It had been three years since that ATF team had taken her Sam away from her. Three long, painful years. Now, on what would have been their sixth wedding anniversary, she was beginning her revenge. They would pay.
She'd been studying the team. All seven of them. She studied the leader, the one who had spearheaded the bust. She studied the sharpshooter, the one who had shot Sam. She paid close attention to the young one, the one who had monitored everything over the listening devices, and his partner. She studied them all. But Jemma knew who was responsible for Sam's death, that undercover man. Sam had brought him home once. He'd seemed so perfectly charming. Then he betrayed Sam. He had betrayed her. They would all pay, but that undercover man would be the one to die.
A life for a life. Standish's life for Sam's. Jemma just knew that if she could offer an exchange, Sam would come back to her. Otherwise, what was the point of anything? She had to be able to do something to bring him back.
It had taken Jemma quite some time to gather the man's real name. Then she watched him, carefully. Jemma knew his routine, and she knew that when he deviated from it, he was undercover.
Everything was ready. Jemma was ready, her plan was ready. Soon, Standish would be dead, and Sam would come home.
Jemma smiled brightly and stood up. "I've missed you so much, Sam. So much."
Ezra Standish ran his fingers through his chestnut hair and checked his appearance. He nodded once, accepting the image he was showing. He looked like a working stiff, reliable in his dun-colored tweed sports jacket and golf shirt. His khaki pants and braided leather belt were finished off by a pair of dark brown duck shoes, a remnant of the eighties which Ezra Standish had not been sorry to see go. However, Ezra Simpson was.
Ezra also decided that he would not be sorry to see Ezra Simpson go either.
The assignment had started out simply enough. The DEA had requested Ezra's help. Ezra had, naturally, refused. Then they had gone to Chris Larabee. Reluctantly, Ezra had agreed to take the assignment. However, he'd had a few stipulations of his own. Ezra would report to his team, and Ezra would find his own way in.
That had been three months ago.
Three months when he had not seen his friends; three months since he had slept in his own bed, or answered to his own name.
Three months since he had worn an Armani suit.
Three months since he had been himself.
But it would be worth it to bring down the individual responsible for the deaths of three DEA agents and countless children.
Ezra smiled as he left the room he'd been allotted on the compound. He already had enough information to close this place down. But Ezra wanted more. He wanted to make sure another one like it didn't open up somewhere else. And to do that, he needed to get the evidence on the leader. Today, he was going to meet that person.
And then he could call Chris. And then he could go home.
But first, Ezra Standish had a job to do.
JD knocked on Chris's door.
He went in. "You think Ezra will be back by Friday, Chris?"
Chris looked up. "Don't know. Maybe. Any particular reason?"
JD smiled. "It's our anniversary. Well, mine. Friday makes three years since ya invited me to join the team. So it really is the team's too. I was thinkin' about reservin' Inez's and celebratin' and all that. But it just wouldn't be right without Ezra."
"No it wouldn't. It's a nice idea, JD. Ezra's supposed to call in tomorrow. But you know how it is with undercover, he can't always check in when expected." Chris sounded worried.
"Everything all right?" JD asked.
Chris nodded. "Don't worry about it, JD."
JD frowned. It wasn’t fair. No one ever wanted to tell him anything. "He's my friend, Chris."
Chris smiled. "I know, kid. I just got a feeling. You go ahead and make the plans. If we have to, we can do it late."
Buck Wilmington walked from the elevator, balancing two large cinnamon buns each atop a latte and carrying a folded newspaper. He deftly sat one bun and latte on JD Dunne's desk, then placed the other on his while he sat down.
Buck picked up his coffee and started to sip it as he browsed through the paper. Ezra would say that his manner of reading the news was reflective of JD's attention span. But it worked for Buck. He skimmed each headline and put a check by the ones he'd read later.
He stopped suddenly, attempting to put the latte on the desk but missing and not noticing as it fell to the floor.
"Chris!" he shouted as he stood up and practically ran over Vin who was walking to his office.
Vin looked at him. "In a hurry?"
But the look in Buck's eyes was one of pain. "Where's Chris?"
Vin thought a moment. "Um. Last I saw he was headin' to his car. Had a call from Travis. Somethin' wrong pard?"
"Yeah, Vin. Something's wrong," Buck replied vaguely as he picked up a phone and dialed Chris's cell number.
"Larabee," he heard from the other side.
"Chris, you gotta come back. We have a problem."
"What's up, Buck?" Chris asked.
"I'd really rather not say on the phone. And I only think I can say it once," Buck said cryptically.
Vin looked on and raised an eyebrow, noticing that Buck was clutching a newspaper. He took it from him and looked at the page it was open to. The obituaries.
Vin held up the paper and looked at it, his face draining of all color. He looked at Buck. Buck nodded.
Ezra P. Standish
ATF Agent, 32
Ezra P. Standish, formerly of Atlanta, Georgia, died on January 28, 2000. He was 32 years of age.
He was born June 6, 1967 in Charleston, SC. He served as an agent with the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms for three years. Prior public service includes the Atlanta Police Department and the Federal Bureau of Investigation. He was killed in the line of duty.
He attended the University of Georgia and graduated in 1989, with honors. He was a member of the Delta Tau Delta fraternity.
He is survived by his mother, Maude Von Hauken.
Contributions may be made to the Four Corners Children's Hospital Fund.
Chris reread the obituary, his eyes drifting to the picture of the young agent printed alongside it. It was obviously the file picture. He looked at the faces of the men seated around the conference table. JD was clearly in shock. He didn't seem to believe what he'd just heard. Buck and Vin were both past shock, and heading straight to anger. Josiah was praying. Nathan was just sitting there shaking his head.
The quiet was almost oppressive. Then questions started to fly.
"When's the funeral?"
"How did he die?"
"Where is his body?"
"What is the source of this information?"
The last question shocked Chris, particularly since it came from JD. He turned to JD "You call the morgues. I've got to call the newspaper. Buck, Vin… find the funeral home. Nathan and Josiah, I want the police report on this. And I want to know why the Hell we were not notified before it hit the paper. Move people. I want some answers."
Five men quickly left the conference room; each was intent on finding the answers. Chris sat down, rereading the obituary once more before picking up the phone.
"Mary Travis," Mary said as she answered the phone.
"Why didn't you tell me?" Chris demanded from the other end.
She looked at the phone shocked. "Tell you what, Chris?"
The tone he had in his voice was one she hadn't heard before; it was a combination of grief, anger, confusion, hurt.
"What about Mr. Standish?"
"Mary, the Clarion ran his obituary today."
"What?!" She was genuinely shocked. "Chris, I swear, I didn't know. What happened?"
Silence met her question.
"We don't know. We just don't know." Chris paused. "If you find out anything, you'll let me know, right?"
"Of course. I'm so sorry Chris. How are the others taking this?"
"'Bout as you'd expect."
Mary nodded. She wasn't quite sure what to say. Chris was ordinarily so strong, yet she could hear the pain in his voice. She could hear him trying to keep his feelings contained, and she was afraid if she said the wrong thing, he'd lose what control he did have.
"When's the service?"
"We don't know yet. I'll let you know. I've got a few more calls to make, Mary."
"Yes, of course. Talk to you later." She hated the inadequacy of the words.
"Yeah," he said, then hung up.
Mary looked at the receiver for just a moment, then hung up the phone.
Chris sat staring at the phone for what must have been hours. He'd called Travis and the DEA. Neither knew anything about the obituary.
He yet had one more call to make. He wasn't sure what he was dreading more: telling her, or listening to the reaction. Ezra's mother was difficult to predict at the best of times. Many times, Ezra had been hurt and he'd contacted her to let her know. Each time, she had a reason for not coming up.
If she came up with a reason to not attend Ezra's funeral, Chris wasn't quite sure how he would react.
However, he didn't want to call her. Not until he had the details.
"Buck!" Chris shouted.
A few moments later, Buck Wilmington appeared at the doorway.
"You find anything out yet?"
Buck shook his head. "Chris, we've called every funeral home. Every last one of them. And Nathan and Josiah have checked with all the hospitals. No one has anything. There isn't even a report on his death at the precinct."
Chris looked at him. "What do you mean? Nothing?"
"Where was his assignment Chris. Was it in Denver?"
Chris just shook his head. He wasn't even sure where Ezra had been last time that he'd contacted him. And if he wasn't in Denver, the chances of finding out what was going on slimmed.
"Get JD to get into accounting's records. Last time Ezra called he used the 800 number. I want the number he called from, so I need the phone records. Got it?"
"You got it, pard,"
Chris watched as Buck left his office. "Ezra, what the hell happened?" he muttered to himself before picking up the phone. He couldn't delay this any longer.
Ezra followed Jordan to the back of the warehouse.
"Ezra, I really think you're working out really well. Riggs has been a little bit tense lately. The DEA tried to slip in three agents, but fortunately, we found them out in time."
Ezra looked appropriately appalled. "Indeed."
Jordan grinned. "Riggs just don't trust folks that easy."
"I certainly understand that. This operation must be quite profitable to risk it though."
Jordan laughed. "You could say that. Last month, our outfit alone brought in nearly two million."
Ezra whistled. "Any idea why Riggs wants to meet me?"
"Well, Ezra, he's been looking for someone to manage his western warehouse. I think you're just the right person for the job."
Ezra smiled. "I'm touched." This was it. It was almost too easy.
Ezra followed Jordan to the back of the warehouse. Jordan opened the door. He smiled at the secretary who was in the outer office.
The secretary looked up at them. "Can I help you?" she asked.
"Sandy, will you tell Mr. Riggs that I've brought Ezra Simpson to meet with him."
She nodded and looked once again at them. "Certainly, Mr. Aikens." She pressed a button on the phone.
"Mr. Riggs, Mr. Aikens has brought a Mr. Simpson to meet with you."
"Send them on in Sandy."
She smiled at them and signaled them to go in.
Ezra followed Jordan into Mr. Riggs's office.
Riggs offered him a seat. Ezra and Jordan both sat down.
"You've seen how the distribution is handled on your end. We have a steady client base, and we maintain that by keeping consistent with our prices," Riggs stated. "We can afford to do that because our clientele are addicted before they realize it. This is my end of our operation. One might say that I am in marketing."
Ezra kept quiet. He knew his testimony alone of this conversation would not be enough.
Riggs simply smiled. "You've been with us how long, Ezra?"
"About three months."
"You've made quite an impression on Jordan over there. He's an excellent judge of character."
"Show him around, Jordan."
Jordan nodded and stood up.
JD shook his head. "Buck, I got the records he wanted, but there are hundreds of calls on the 800 number. How are we going to know which one was Ezra's?"
"I don't know kid. You give it to Chris."
JD walked past Nathan and Josiah. "Any luck?"
"No. I think we've called half the precincts in the state. None of them has anything on it."
"You think maybe it’s a hoax?" JD asked hopefully.
Josiah shook his head. "Who would benefit from that JD?"
"I don't know, Josiah. But we can't find him."
Nathan put a hand on his shoulder. "Son, don't get your hopes up."
JD nodded and went into Chris's office. "Here's that record you wanted." Chris looked awful.
"Chris?" JD asked.
Larabee looked up at the young agent. "Maude sends her regrets, but cannot be expected to 'traverse the distance between Munich and Denver simply to attend a funeral.' She's arranging for one of her husband's offices to gather Ezra's belongings. Oh. And she blames us."
JD was appalled. Even worse, he could see that Chris was not taking Ezra's death well. Suddenly, JD realized how much Chris cared about each of the members of the team. Chris was taking this personally. The leader had aged so much since that morning. JD himself felt years older, but Chris's eyes betrayed the years he had seen.
Then Chris nodded, and JD left, knowing he couldn't offer any words of consolation. JD closed the door behind him as Chris's phone began to ring.
Jemma watched the clock. Any moment now, Standish's cover should be blown. He should die soon.
She went to the kitchen and placed the roast in the oven. Sam always loved her pot roast with new potatoes. She wanted to have his favorite meal ready when he came home. She placed a Vivaldi CD in the stereo and listened as the music filled the room. She could almost imagine Sam holding her in his strong arms. Anytime now. Soon he would come to her.
Jemma set candles on the table and fresh flowers, waiting. Today was their anniversary. He would come. He had to. She had waited for so long. She just knew Sam would be coming home soon.
"Larabee," Chris answered the phone.
"I've got what we need. Is the team ready?"
The voice on the other end of the phone was such a shock to Chris that he almost dropped the phone. "Ezra?" Chris stood up and walked to his office door, opening it. He signaled to the other members of Team 7 to join him.
Buck and JD walked up and looked at him curiously. Vin leaned against one of the wall. Nathan and Josiah looked up from their desks. None of them could mistake the look of surprise on Chris's face. Each of them wanted to know what was going on.
Chris listened as Ezra relayed information that he had regarding his assignment. "When can you get back here?"
"I just explained that."
"Ezra, I want you back here now."
At that statement, five faces immediately took on a look of shock. Buck whooped with glee.
"Is that Mr. Wilmington?" Ezra asked.
"Yes. Your cover has been compromised. We're going to have to go with what you have, and hope that it is enough. I know, it's three month's hard work. But your life is in danger Ezra. Back to the office. I expect to see you here in one hour. I'll explain when you get here."
"I shall see you then." Ezra broke the connection.
"Gentlemen, I want to know who submitted this obituary." Chris's tone was ice. "I'll get Travis to get us the proper authorization. But I want to know exactly who did this."
Five heads nodded. They were torn between relief that Ezra was alive, and anger over the act which still put the man in danger and had tortured their hearts. Until Ezra was back with them, they wouldn't completely trust his safety.
True to form, Ezra showed up at the office one hour and thirty minutes later…thoroughly unprepared for the reaction his appearance received.
JD was sitting on the trunk of Buck's beat up Chevy, petting a protesting Cuervo. "Ezra!" JD shouted, then forced himself not to run towards him.
"Good afternoon, Mr. Dunne. What brings you down here?"
"You were late. And I kinda got tired of watching the elevator doors. 'Sides, Buck's pacin' was getting to be a bit much." JD let the cat go free and walked to Ezra.
Ezra merely raised an eyebrow and nodded. Then he walked to the elevator.
In a few moments, the elevator opened and the two men silently got on. JD couldn't stop smiling. Ezra kept glancing over at him. But neither man spoke.
Ezra stepped off the elevator and was quickly enveloped in a bear hug by Buck.
"Mr. Wilmington, if you do not mind," Ezra stated.
Buck backed up. "Ezra, sure is good to see you again. Oh! Them are some nice shoes."
Ezra grimaced at the remark. "Consider them yours."
Josiah and Nathan both patted him familiarly on the back. Vin just offered a quirk of a smile and took a bite of a Twinkie.
Ezra merely looked confused.
"Standish, in my office."
Ezra walked towards Chris's office. Before he could shut the door, the other five agents piled in.
"Did I call you in here?" Chris asked.
"Didn't have to," Vin said.
Chris just shook his head.
"You said my cover was compromised. I want details, Mr. Larabee," Ezra said.
Without another word, Chris handed the paper to him. Ezra scanned the column and looked up at them. "This certainly explains your surprise when I phoned in earlier."
"You still think we can proceed with the bust?"
Ezra nodded. "We will need to move with all speed. If Riggs reads the paper before we get there, he'll slip away." Ezra slammed the paper down furiously. "Three months! I worked on this case for three months…for nothing. Because of this!"
"Easy there, pard. Let's see what we can do," Buck said.
"Right. Teams Four and Nine are ready to go as soon as I give the word," Chris said. "Why don't you go over the details now."
Ezra ran his right hand through his hair. "All right. Riggs has several small warehouses which function to supply the distributors."
Buck gave him an odd look. :"Distributors? Don't you mean pushers?"
Ezra sighed. "Semantics, Mr. Wilmington. What I am saying is that these warehouses are not the central operation." Ezra wrote down an address. "This is the central marketing area. It is a processing plant where a legitimate product is made. You go here without proper knowledge, and you'll never find anything on them."
"What do you mean?"
Ezra looked down. "Pixie sticks. Sugar candy, believe it or not. They assemble them. The cocaine is processed in the basement, which is not on the city-approved blueprints. Access is difficult without knowledge." Ezra snorted. "Riggs calls it 'building a customer base' and 'marketing'. He is addicting young children to this substance under the auspices of a treat."
"Kinda makes the adage 'don't take candy from strangers' hold true," Josiah stated.
"Worse," Ezra put forth. "He's about to start selling these candies to certain area retailers."
The entire team was stunned.
Jemma was beginning to get nervous. Sam hadn't come back yet. She turned off the oven and got her coat.
Apparently, she was going to have to follow through herself. She drove to the ATF building and was dismayed to see Team Seven pulling away from the office….all seven of them, including Standish. No wonder Sam had not come home.
She followed them. Wherever they were going, Standish was not coming back.
Riggs sat in his office and opened up the newspaper. He liked to read the newspaper with his dinner. Nothing struck him as interesting, until he got to the obituaries. Ordinarily, he didn't read that section; however, a face jumped out from the paper. A very familiar face.
Sandy quickly came to the door. "Yes, Mr. Riggs?"
"Get me Jordan on the phone. And tell the plant foreman to pull yellow." The foreman would know to also remove the yellow-wrapped sticks from the floor room. The cocaine was only packaged in yellow wrapping, giving them the ability to track it easily.
"Yes sir." She disappeared from his doorway.
Riggs stared at the obituary. The man he'd just met, the man he'd shown the entire operation to, trusted as one of his newest associates, was an undercover operative. There was nothing to be done for it. This office was as good as scrapped. But he was leaving.
Riggs opened his desk safe and loaded a briefcase with the contents: money, plans, technical schematics. He might lose this office, but he wasn't going to quit. He would see to it that Simpson/Standish would pay for this betrayal.
As soon as he was all loaded up, Riggs left the office and went out the back door.
"Going somewhere, Mr. Riggs?"
He turned to see the agent staring at him.
"Yes, Simpson, I'm headed home for the night."
"I don't believe so. Perhaps you might accompany me," Standish suggested.
Riggs turned to run back into the warehouse, only to see that agents were now crawling all over the floor of the building. He started to relax, until a man in a black suit opened the secret panel that led to the basement.
"Perhaps you would allow me to recite one of my favorite pieces of literature, Mr. Riggs? Feel free to join me. 'You have the right to remain silent.'" Ezra continued reciting Miranda Rights to him.
Riggs glared at him.
Just then, a shot rang out. Ezra turned to see where it came from, then looked back to Riggs. A large crimson stain was beginning to cover the suspect's shirt.
"What?" Ezra asked, confused, as Riggs dropped to the ground.
Another shot came, and Ezra was thrown back against the building, pain exploding against his chest. Three more shots rang out, each finding a mark. Ezra shook his head, trying to see where the bullets were coming from. But he couldn't get a fix on them.
All he could do, before blacking out, was radio the others. "I'm hit. North side of building."
Jemma watched as first the other man then Standish fell. She'd done it. She ran over to him and rolled him over.
Much to her dismay, he wasn't dead. He was still breathing. How could that be?
Jemma felt his chest. "Vest. Damn."
She bent down and started to remove the vest when a hand grabbed her shoulder.
She turned to find the sharpshooter staring at her intently.
"Any particular reason you're here, ma'am?"
Jemma didn't say anything.
"Why don't you just hand me the gun?"
Jemma shook her head. "No. He has to die." She once again aimed at Ezra.
Vin reached forward and grabbed her wrist. "Ma'am. I think you ought ta just drop that gun now. I'd hate to have to break your wrist."
"NO!" she cried out and tried to aim at Ezra once more.
Vin twisted her wrist and forced the gun from her hand. Quickly he cuffed her and pushed her down. "You stay right there, ma'am."
"Chris, Vin here. Ezra's down. Riggs has been shot. May want to send Nathan and Josiah over here."
"We're on it," Josiah's voice came over the ear piece.
"How's Ezra?" Nathan asked over the headset.
"Don't rightly know yet. Been dealin' with another situation," Vin said as he knelt beside Ezra and checked his pulse.
As he did so, Ezra groggily opened his eyes and looked at him. "Mr. Tanner."
Vin smiled at him. "You stay put. Nathan's on his way."
"Dear lord," Ezra said as he closed his eyes.
In the background, Vin could hear Jemma keening over Sam.
Jemma sat in the holding cell, staring at a very irate Chris Larabee. But the ire demonstrated by Larabee paled in comparison to that of Ezra. Ezra stood beside him, a thick bandage wrapped around his head, one arm braced in a sling, and wearing a tastefully cut Armani suit.
The other men were at Inez's waiting for them. But Chris and Ezra wanted to talk to Jemma first, maybe get some answers
But she was oblivious to the anger these two men showed. In fact, she hardly noticed them, blankly staring ahead and rocking, mumbling "Sam, Sam, Come back to me" over and over again. It was obvious to them both that Jemma Chase would never answer their questions, even though her actions were doing it for her.
JD had given Ezra the file on Sam Chase earlier that day. It had been on the young agent's desk because it was one of their first cases together as a unit. This was a side of law enforcement Ezra rarely saw, the aftermath and impact on the unsung victims...the families of the criminals. The young widow had not recovered from the loss of her husband.
For a moment, understanding and compassion flickered in Chris's eyes. Then he turned to Ezra. "Let's go." Ezra nodded. But neither man moved.
They stood and watched as a doctor came in and spoke to Jemma. They watched as she was led to from the room to a van from the Four Corner's Mercy General psychiatric ward. She'd never stand trial, both men knew that.
"I do believe I need a drink, Mr. Larabee," Ezra said softly, breaking the silence.
Chris offered a slight smile, and the two men left the station and drove to Inez's.
The place was full. Buck and JD waved them over to the table. "Bout time you got here, boys," Buck said with a smile.
The two men sat down, and once again, for the time being, they were whole again.