Ghosts of the Mine

Author: Gothic Spook

Rating: PG

Summary: All seven get trapped in a mine, one of them is on his own.

Spoilers: None

Characters: All Seven, main Ezra

Archive: Anywhere that wants it but let me know first please!

Feedback: It's what I love for!

Disclaimer: I don't own them unfortunately; I'm just toying with them for my own amusement and the amusement of others!

Authors Notes: First EVER Magnificent Seven fanfic so be gentle please. Also I have only seen the first season so be extra gentle!

Ezra and Buck were sitting in the Saloon at their usual table eating breakfast when Chris and Vin walked in with annoyed looks on their faces. Both Buck and Ezra moved the chairs opposite out from under the table using their feet at the same time.

"Morning fellas." Buck spooned a fork full of bacon.

"We're heading out in an hour." Chris as usual was all business.

"Where we heading?" Buck asked, taking a big bite of eggs.

"To a mine, half a days ride east of here. The folks, who own it, are claiming that they keep seeing ghosts, and that they can't work the mines with all the haunting." Chris looked around the saloon to see if there was anyone there he didn't recognise.

"Mr Larabee might that be an endeavour to make a joke?" Ezra looked between Chris and Vin, from what he read, they weren't making a joke.

"The folks who own the mine happen to be friends of the Judge." Vin told them. Inez came to their table and placed coffee in front of both Vin and Chris. They both nodded their thanks.

"The Judge is sending us to look for ghosts?" Buck looked at Chris unbelieving.

"Meet at the livery in an hour." Chris finished off his cup of coffee and then left to find the others and let them know they were leaving.

"Please tell me this is an elaborate and appalling attempt to play a prank?" Ezra's eyes looked pleadingly at Vin.

"Afraid not Ez." Vin finished his coffee. "See you boys in about an hour." He stood and left the saloon.

Buck and Ezra shared a look with each other. Buck gave a shrug and continued eating his breakfast. Ezra quickly finished his coffee and then stood up.

"Well Mr Wilmington," Ezra placed his hat, which had been placed on the table, back on his head. "I best go get packed for what I imagine will be an interesting journey." He tipped his hat and then went up the stairs to his room.

An hour later the seven were riding out of town and towards the mines. JD was the only one of the seven who was smiling; he loved all types of adventure, and so was looking forward to this one.

They kept a fast speed with the horses, the sooner they reached the mines the sooner they would be able to come home.

"Run now!" Chris yelled over the rumble of the mine as it started to give way.

They all knew they were too deep to make it out but that didn't stop their attempts. The rumble became deafening and then suddenly everything was black as rocks and boulders fell down.

Ezra was the first to regain consciousness. He had dropped his flame torch as something had hit him but luckily for him it had landed leaning against the far wall and so lit up the surrounding area for him. It took a moment for his eyes to adjust to the darkness of the room and he found he was on his own. He was lying on rubble, he was on the ground, but in a sitting position as it was a small hill of rubble. He started to rise but couldn't stop the scream that erupted from his throat as pain raced through his body. It was then he realised that he was trapped where he was by one of the heavy wooden posts which had collapsed under the pressure of the mine.

"Wonderful." He winced as he realised he wasn't just stuck, he was pinned, and that he was alone with no help.

"Come on cowboy wake up." Chris felt a hand tapping the side of his face. Opening his eyes he saw Vin leaning over him. Sitting upright quickly he assessed what had happened.

"Damn mine." Chris mumbled as he made it to his feet, leaning against the wall behind him for support. He looked around and saw that Buck and JD were also in their section. "Everyone alright?"

"Us four are all alright." Buck paused. "The others aren't here though." Just then they heard a scream of pain.

"Shit that was Ezra!" Buck ran to the side of their section which the yell had come from. "Ezra! Can you hear me?!" He screamed. "Ezra!" The others joined in yelling out the gamblers name.

Ezra had just failed another attempt at moving the beam, another scream escaped his lips. Yep his shoulder was defiantly dislocated again. That was when he heard it, someone calling his name.

"Buck!" He yelled back. "Good Lord I've never been more pleased to hear your voice in all my days!"

He heard Buck rumble in laughter. "Damn Ezra, I always knew you had a soft spot for me!"

"Anyone with you?" Ezra called out, relaxing more that he knew he wasn't the only one alive.

"It's me, Chris, Vin and JD. We're all okay. The others with you?" Ezra heard the hope in Buck's voice.

"I'm on my own I'm afraid. The others were behind me." Ezra made another attempt to move the beam, and again another scream of pain left his lips.

"Ezra what's happening?!" Vin's anxious yell came through. Ezra hesitated in replying, not wanting to worry them. "Don't you dare think of lying!" Vin added on, knowing his friend wouldn't want to make them worry more than they already were.

"I'm trapped under a beam, my shoulder has popped out again, and I can't move the beam on my own with only one arm, it's far too heavy." Ezra sounded breathless.

"Just hold on Ezra, we're gonna start digging and are gonna come and get you." Chris instructed as the four of them started moving mud and stone.

Josiah's eyes flew open when he heard a scream, sitting up quickly he thanked the lord that he was alive and unhurt. Looking at his surroundings, he saw Nathan a few feet away, eyes closed.

Standing up on shaking legs, Josiah made his way over to his friend and reached out to find a pulse, breathing out a sigh of relief when he felt a strong one.

"Brother Nathan." He shook the healers shoulder and watched as Nathan's own eyes flew open and he sat bolt upright.

"What the hell happened?" He asked as his eyes adjusted to his surroundings.

"The mine collapsed around us." Josiah stated as he looked at their surroundings.

Nathan was about to ask about the others when they heard another scream of pain.

"Ezra!" Josiah yelled as he placed his ear against the wall of rubble. "Son can you hear me?!"

"Thank the Lord." Ezra muttered when he heard Josiah call his name. "Josiah! It is so good to hear your voice my friend!"

"Are you okay?!" Was the yell back.

"Just dandy Mr Sanchez. Is Nathan present with you?" Ezra made a silent prayer that he was.

"I'm here Ezra!" Nathan answered.

"Well gentlemen, if I do say so myself, we are a lucky bunch!" Ezra laughed at the situation. Ezra felt his body shiver in the cold.

"Chris you there?!" Josiah yelled. Luckily, Ezra's section was small enough that the two on either side could hear each other.

"Right here Josiah, it's me, Buck, Vin and JD trapped together, Ezra's trapped on his own between us and you." Chris stopped his digging while he answered; the other three never stopped digging.

"Anyone injured?" Nathan yelled back.

"Us four are fine, just bruised. Ezra says he's trapped by a beam and he can't lift it on his own." Chris thought for a moment. "I need you two to dig your way in to Ezra's section. We're going to have two people digging for the exit and the other two digging into Ezra's part." Josiah called back to agree and he and Nathan both started digging. "JD, Vin take the entrance side." The two nodded and went to their task.

Ezra heard the conversation that went back and forth between his friends but didn't have the energy to put in his input. He felt hot but knew the air around him was cold. Feeling dampness on his hands he looked down and saw blood covering his hand. He let out a curse as he tried to feel with his other hand where the injury was, but was stopped by pain and the beam.

"How you doing Ezra?" Nathan called.

"Excellent Mr Jackson." He tried to mask the pain he was in but his friends knew him to well.

"Ezra now isn't the time for that poker voice." Chris yelled from his side.

"My shoulder is dislocated and I just discovered that the beam has also cut somewhere along my arm. I can't reach it with my arm to stop it as the beam is too big." Ezra was breathless from his effort to reach his other arm around.

"How bad is the bleeding Ezra?" Nathan was now in healer mode.

"I can't see it to tell you exactly, but the blood has run down my arm to my hand and is dripping off." Ezra's eyes started to close from exhaustion.

"Ezra I need you to stay awake!" Nathan shouted. "I need you to keep talking Ezra!"

"About what Mr Jackson?" His voice sounded tired, this made everyone dig faster.

"Anything, just stay awake!" Nathan instructed.

Ezra did as he was told; he talked about one of his favourite things, literature. He recited one of his favourite poets. As time went he recited more and more. He felt the heat building within his body and knew he was getting a fever, his eyes grew heavier. There was a slight rumble which made everyone pause, Ezra looked around with wide eyes as crumbles started falling around him as the rumble grew louder. The beam which had him pinned slipped down a couple of inches, pressing harder against Ezra.

"Ah!" He screamed as a fresh wave of pain ran through his body. Ezra squeezed his eyes shut tight as he tried to gain control of the pain that went through him as the rumbling stopped. He heard his six friends screaming his name but he was in to much pain to reply for a few minutes. The six friends went silent as fear ran through them all.

"Ezra if you don't answer me this minute I swear I will give you early morning duty for the next month!" Chris threatened. Minutes went by with no reply. JD eyes tear up as he tried to control his fear.

Josiah hung his head as he and Nathan heard no reply to Chris's threat.

"As tempting as that sounds Mr Larabee," Ezra paused to cough, "I would prefer not to have that duty."

"Ezra what happened?" Nathan needed to know the extent of his injuries.

"The beam," they heard him pause and take a deep breath, "fell a few more inches, pinning me harder and resting more of its weight on me." As soon as he had assessed his further injuries all six men continued digging again.

As time went on, none of the six stopped digging, they were all tired and needed to rest, but none of them would when one of their own was in pain.

Ezra had stopped talking about ten minutes earlier, no calls could get a response from him, and this pushed the men on even more.

Ezra wasn't unconscious though; he had become feverish and couldn't hear the calls to him. Through fevered eyes Ezra frowned as he looked at the person he saw before him.

"Mother?"

The six friends digging around him paused as they heard Ezra's voice for the first time in a while.

"He's feverish." Nathan whispered to Josiah. As his six friends continued digging they could hear all what Ezra was saying.

Ezra watched as his mother looked him up and down.

"Now really Ezra what have I always told you about appearances being everything?"

"I apologise Mother." Ezra laughed. "It couldn't be helped this time."

"That is no excuse, if you had come with me to St Louise then you wouldn't be stuck in this predicament would you." She took out a fan and started fanning herself. "It is ridiculous you staying in such a low money area with men who are less than ideal."

"They're good people." Ezra scowled at her.

"Do you honestly believe they care about you?" Maude practically spat the words at him. "They're just waiting for you to run out on them again."

"I made a promise." Ezra defended.

"How many promises have you made in the past? How many of those promises have you kept? Hell they all probably hoped you had died when this place caved in."

"No."

"That way they wouldn't have to watch their back around you."

"No." Ezra tensed at her words.

"They're probably not even digging."

"No." His eyes flared with anger.

"Most likely already free and on their way to that back water town right this second. Praising the lord that you're here rotting."

"No!" Ezra screamed as he attempted to push the bean away again, his cry turned in to a scream of pain as the beam still pinned him. His mother vanished before him.

"Ezra!" Everyone yelled as they heard him scream.

Ezra cried, actually cried for the first time in years, at his mother's words. He didn't want to run out on his friends, no they weren't his friends, they were his family. He would die before he left any of them. Again he tried to push the beam away, and again he screamed in pain and exhaustion.

"Ezra! Can you hear me Ez?!" Nathan voiced broke through his fevered mind.

"Nathan?" Ezra looked around in confusion, hearing Nathan but not seeing him.

"That's right, listen Ez, I need you to stay still, don't move and don't try to push the beam by yourself. Can you do that Ez?" Nathan tensed, waiting for a reply.

"Yes." Came the weak reply.

Ezra did what Nathan asked and stayed still. Through his fevered mine he saw a shadow move along the walls. It came closer towards him, even though Ezra wanted to move away from the frightening figure, he knew Nathan had told him to stay still for a reason, so he trusted his friend and didn't move. The shadow moved closer and closer and Ezra saw that it wasn't a shadow but was a person.

"No." Ezra whispered as his eyes went wide, recognising the man who now stood in front of him.

"Bet you never thought you'd see me again did ya boy." The man laughed.

"Stay away from me!" Ezra yelled in a desperate voice. His six friends could hear him but they never stopped digging.

"Remember who you're talking to boy!" The man screamed at him. "I took you in when your Mother abandoned you and look how you turned out! A gambler! A con artist! The scum of this Earth!" He took a step closer to Ezra.

"Stay back!"

"And now you think you're a law man! Ha!" He spat at Ezra. "I'm surprised you aren't in jail already, I'm even more surprised that no one has killed you yet, you certainly give them reason to. Your own father didn't want anything to do with you!"

"Don't you dare talk about him!" Ezra looked at his uncle with hatred in his eyes.

"Ever since he left you've been playing the weak boy, looking for a replacement, no one would ever take you in." He knelt down in front of Ezra. "You think these six friends of yours can fill that hole. You think that preacher friend of yours actually might think of you as a son. They laugh at you and your hopes. Especially the preacher."

"He's a better man than you!" Ezra yelled.

"Have you even told them about your past?" He gave Ezra an evil smile. "About how I got you in line. Remember that time when you had the nerve to cry over a small fall you took." His uncle's teeth glittered. "I remember."

Before Ezra even realised what he had done, he had raised his free hand and engaged his derringer and shot at his uncle's form. He yelled in pain as he raised his injured arm and then after shooting dropping it heavily back down.

Everyone dropped to the floor as they heard the gun shot.

"Ezra!" Chris yelled. "Ezra! Talk to me this second!" He received no reply. Everyone dug more frantically as their fear for their friend increased.

JD never stopped digging his side of the cave, trying to hide tension he felt. What if they didn't get to Ezra in time? What if he never finds a way out? JD punched the mud wall in front of him in frustration and gasped when his fist went through and his hand felt fresh air.

"Buck! I'm through!" JD yelled out in excitement.

"Keep digging kid till you can get all the way through!" Buck yelled back at him.

Buck and Chris continued digging for a few more minutes before it was Buck's turn to yell in joy.

"Yes!" He and Chris tore at the small hole which had been formed, making it bigger and bigger until it was big enough for them to slide through, first Chris and then Buck.

"Good god almighty." Buck gasped as he first laid eyes on his gambling friend.

Ezra had blood all over him. The beam hid most of his body but it was obvious he was badly injured. Blood ran down the side of his face, down his neck, staining his once white shirt. Chris and Buck could see the blood which had ran down his arm.

"Buck help dig through to Nathan and Josiah." Chris instructed as he went to Ezra's right side, the part which wasn't covered by the beam. He winced as he saw the blood that still ran down the gamblers arm. Taking out a handkerchief from his pocket Chris started cleaning the blood from Ezra's face. Ezra stirred under his touch.

"Come on Ez, open them eyes for me." He watched as Ezra struggled to open his eyes and looked at him with an unfocused gaze.

"Chris?" Ezra's voice quivered as he tried to control the pain.

"That's right Ez, just hold on. The others will be here any moment and we'll get you outta here." Chris could feel the heat coming off his friend. No wonder he had been hallucinating. It wasn't until what seemed like hours later that Nathan and Josiah were by his side.

"Josiah." Ezra gasped as another shot of pain went through him.

"I'm here son." Josiah ran his hand through the younger man's damp hair.

"We need to get this beam off of him. Josiah and Buck get ready to lift the beam. Chris I need you to help me pull him away from it."

Everyone got in to their places and braced themselves.

"Ready?" Chris waited as everyone nodded. "One … two … three!"

Summoning all the strength they could Josiah and Buck lifted the beam as high as they could, Chris and Nathan quickly but carefully pulled Ezra out and away from his imprisonment. After the beam was placed slowly back down so as not to disturb the walls and risk another cave in, Buck, Chris, Nathan and Josiah quickly surrounded their injured friend. Nathan quickly started tending to his injuries.

"His shoulders dislocated again," Nathan grimaced at the amount of blood. "We need to get him out of here. I can't do much without a lot of light and I need some boiled water." Nathan looked at the hole in which Chris and Buck at come through in, he looked at Chris. "Have Vin and JD start boiling some water. Chris, Buck I need you to go to the other side and grab him when we push him through. Josiah I will need you to help me lift him up carefully."

Throughout all of this Ezra had not been unconscious, he had been trying to focus on the conversation but he found his mind kept wondering. Through half closed eyes he saw as his friends around him looked at him with worry and Nathan prodded him.

"Ezra can you hear me?" Nathan voice broke in to his mind.

"Yes Mr Jackson." He whispered through parched lips.

"We have to move you out of here before I can patch you up, it's going to be painful by we'll try and be as gentle as possible." Nathan tried not to show his fear for his injured friend. Nathan waited while Chris and Buck went through to the other section.

Josiah ran his hand through Ezra's damp hair. Ezra turned his eyes to him and managed to smile through the pain. Josiah could feel the heat coming off of the young gambler. He was feverish.

"I never knew my father," Ezra couldn't help what he said out loud, his mouth speaking before it even registered in his fevered mind that he was speaking. "My mother never even told me if he was alive or dead." Ezra coughed, irritating his dry throat.

"Just rest son." Josiah continued running his hand through Ezra's hair. He saw that Ezra was struggling to stay conscious.

"I like being called your son." Was Ezra's last whispered words before he succumbed to darkness. Josiah's hand stilled as what Ezra had said registered and he couldn't stop the smile from spreading across his lips. Josiah had felt a connection to Ezra that went deeper than friendship, he felt as though Ezra was indeed his son and was protective of him like a father would be. Even though Ezra had whispered the words, in the echoes of the mine, it was loud enough for all to hear. A big section of the wall which Ezra had surrounding him had just been knocked down.

Nathan laid a hand on his friends shoulder, indicating it was time to get Ezra out of here so he could look him over. Nathan placed his hands under Ezra's shoulder, being careful not to move the injured one. Josiah placed his hands under his legs and in sink the two lifted their injured gambler.

"Here he comes Chris!" Nathan called as they lifted Ezra through to the waiting hands of Chris and Buck.

"Buck you grab his shoulders and I'll take his lower half." Chris instructed as Ezra was slowly moved in to their section, followed by Nathan and Josiah. They got him through the second hole and all of them were finally free from the mine. Luckily all of their horses had not fled when the cave in occurred. Some had wondered a few feet away, but all had waited for their masters.

"Vin lay out that bedroll next and boil these herbs in the water, I want to give Ezra something to help with the pain before I start working on him." After Vin spread out the bedroll, Ezra was slowly laid down, each man trying not to further injure their gambling friend. "Josiah see if you can wake him, I need him to swallow some of this ones it's boiled."

Josiah knelt down next to Ezra and ran his hand through the damp hair. Now that they were out of the cave and in the sun light they would see the full extent of the injuries. It was obvious Ezra had taken a blow to the head as blood ran down the side of his face, down his neck, staining his once white shirt. His shoulder was indeed dislocated and a large gash went across his upper arm, blood running down his hand, to his fingers. "Ezra son, we need you to open your eyes for us." No response. "Come on son, just for a moment." Still nothing.

"Hell he won't wake up when he not injured let alone when he is." Buck had to laugh at his stubborn friend.

"I know what will wake him up." Chris said as he knelt on the opposite, everyone looked curiously at him and then smiled when they saw him pull out him gun. As soon as Chris cocked the gun Ezra's eyes flew open and his uninjured arm reached for one of his guns. Realising it was a trick on his friend's part he allowed his arm to flop back down.

"That, Mr Larabee was uncalled for." He scolded with a smile on his lips.

"Well it was your fault for playing possum." Chris helped raise his head as Nathan bought a cup forward. "Drink this." Ezra did as his leader instructed, managing not to choke as the fowl tasting liquid went down his dry throat.

"First thing I'm going to do Ez if put that shoulder of your back in place." Nathan told him and instructed Josiah to help him by lifting Ezra up and leaning him back against his chest. "You ready Ez?"

Chris took hold of Ezra's other hand and gave it a strong squeeze. Josiah wrapped one arm around Ezra to hold his as still as possible, the other hand was still running through the younger mans hair.

"Yes." Ezra whispered as he braced himself against the pain he knew was coming.

Nathan counted to three and on three pulled the arm hard so it popped back in to place. Ezra let out a cry of pain as he felt the bone pop back in to its rightful place. He was glad that Nathan had made him drink his herbs, without them he knew the pain would have been worse.

Nathan rotated the arm to make sure it was in properly. "Now let's clean out that cut on your arm. Looks as though that's where the corner of the bean had been digging in." Nathan soaked a rag he was handed by Buck in whisky and then started cleaning the wound. Ezra's face grimaced as the whisky made his arm sting. He squeeze Chris's hand through the pain. Josiah never stopped running his hand through Ezra's hair in a comforting manner.

Soon Ezra's wounds had been cleaned and wrapped. The gash on his arm had been wrapped and then the entire limb had been placed in a sling. A bandage was now wrapped around Ezra's head to protect his head wound where the beam had first hit him. The others had changed him in to his spare clothes and piled the blankets on him. Josiah sat next to him and washed his face with a cool cloth, trying to bring down the fever he had.

Nathan had looked at everyone else and found no one, besides Ezra, had received more than small cuts and bruises.

The others sat in a circle around a camp fire which Vin had made, eating dinner, all were hungry after being trapped for so long.

"Who do you think it was Ezra saw in the mine?" JD asked.

"He defiantly saw his mother." Vin answered as he took another bite.

"Who was the second one he saw though." JD asked, he had known that Ezra had seen his mother.

"Whoever it was he obviously wasn't a friendly face." Buck commented.

"You defiantly don't shoot at a friendly one." Chris put in. Everyone was silent as they remembered that Ezra had fired his derringer at the hallucination.

"Do you think he'll tell us when he's awake?" JD asked as he set his bowl down.

"He'll tell us when he's ready." Josiah said as he continued cooling the gambler down. "One day soon."

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