This fic will comprise nine parts: a prologue, seven chapters, and an epilogue. The principle pairings will be Chris/Ezra, Buck/JD, and Ezra/JD. There may be mildly smut-flavoured parts…that is, as smut-flavoured as FFN will allow. Be warned of slash ahead – flamers fail to interest me on any level, so please spare me the effort of holding you in contempt.

Prologue – Farewell Note

Firstly, allow me to say that I understand how angry you are at this moment; if you are reading this, then my absence has clearly been noted. I beseech you not to burn this letter or otherwise throw it away. I swore once I would not run out on you again, and though at the time I meant every word, circumstances have made a liar of me. I have no doubt that by the time you finish this letter, you will also feel that my departure was for the best.

To put it bluntly, I cannot be the man you and the rest of our compatriots need me to be. I cannot deny my nature any longer. In truth I have been expecting this for a long while now; the only surprise is that I have held out this long. I have been well aware of my own proclivities for many years. I am equally aware that these proclivities are likely to get me shot should they ever be discovered.

I know what it is that attracts me. I have an inexplicable weakness for blonde hair. But more than anything else it is a sense of danger, so similar to the rush of combat or a daring con, the threat of imminent death. A dangerous person.

I am almost certain you realise where this is going.

Under any other circumstances, I would be able to control myself indefinitely. A little unrequited lust is common enough, and easy to deal with. This, however, was not supposed to happen. I am truly sorry. I was unprepared. I was not expecting to fall in love.

I suspect it is futile to wish for you not to think ill of me, but I need you understand why I left. This is better for everybody. I will not press my attentions where they are so clearly unwanted, but my life as a con artist has taught me that maintaining a facade constantly for too long is wearying. One becomes tired, makes mistakes. Sooner or later I would have been unable to stop myself.

Tell the others whatever you wish. Let them hate me for abandoning and betraying them, for my unnatural and unwanted desires. But then forget me.

Forget me. Please, for the love of God, forget me.

I'm sorry.

Slowly, the letter is crumpled in a fist and thrown against the wall.

"Goddamnit, Ezra, why didn't you say something!"