Title: Child Of My Heart
Universe: Highlander/Mag7 Crossover; Old West
Characters: HL: OFC Charlotte Sparrow (AKA Pearl Black); Mag7: All Seven
Summary: Ezra finds that being Immortal is very useful in a gunfight
Child Of My Heart, Epilogue
One month later
The gunfire fell away as the last of the bandits were subdued. As Ezra kept his gun trained on one of the miscreants, he reached inside his coat to hold himself upright. Even though he was Immortal now, the bullet wound still hurt like hell. He could sense it healing. He just had to keep still and away from Nathan long enough for it to finish.
Suddenly he was spun around to face a very irate man in black. "What the hell were you thinking?"
"To which thought were you referring, Chris?"
The gunslinger glared at him and Ezra enjoyed the moment. He shouldn't ramp the man up so much, but it had become a bit of game between them and he suspected there was a part of Chris that enjoyed it when they butted heads as well.
"You know damn well," he said. "Running into the street like that, making yourself a target."
"I was simply preventing that man," he gestured to the criminal that Vin was now leading away, "from shooting JD. If I hadn't acted, our young compatriot might have been irreparably harmed." It had been a reckless act, and the wound he suffered might have killed any other man, but he didn't have that problem any more. In fact, he felt a great deal of satisfaction for his ability to take a bullet for his friends and keep them from harm.
"Yeah, Chris, he saved my life," JD said as he approached. "Thanks, Ezra. That was too close." The young lawman slapped the gambler companionably on the shoulder.
Ezra tried not to wince from the friendly contact. "My pleasure, JD," he said.
"It was still stupid. We don't need to be trading one man for another." Implied in the gunslinger's tone was that Ezra was just as important as JD. It still surprised the gambler when he recognized such sentiments being directed at him.
Chris studied him. "You're hurt."
"I assure you, Chris, I am fine."
"Then why are you standing funny?"
Ezra cursed to himself as he realized that he was unconsciously favoring his side, supporting the wound. "You are mistaken."
Chris ignored his protests as he spotted their healer. "Nathan. Get over here, Ezra's hurt."
Nathan jogged over and took in the way Ezra was holding himself. "Foolish man. Wonder you ain't got yourself killed pulling a crazy stunt like that. Now let me see."
Ezra waved him off. "I have no need of your attentions, Nathan."
He backed away from the healer and bumped into Buck and Josiah who each laid a hand on one of his shoulders preventing his escape. They had obviously finished installing the remaining outlaws in the jail and had joined the group to see what all the fuss was about.
With his free hand, Buck reached over to JD, flipped the bowler hat to the ground and ruffled his hair. "You ok, kid?"
"Cut that out, Buck," JD groused as he bent away from Buck to retrieve his hat. "I'm fine thanks to Ezra."
Buck gave the gambler's shoulder he was holding a squeeze. "You done good, Ezra."
"Thank you and please release me, Buck."
"Can't do that," Josiah said "Let Nathan do his job, son."
Ezra deflected once again, now that he sensed that the wound was fully healed. "Do you gentlemen seriously believe that if I was bleeding from a shot to the gut that I would resist Nathan's ministrations?"
"He's got a point," Buck said as he loosened his grip on Ezra's shoulder.
"You sure you're not hurt?" the healer asked.
"I am sorry to disappoint you, Nathan, but I assure you I am unharmed."
"Yeah, big disappointment because you are such a cooperative patient," Nathan teased.
This evoked a round of laughter from those gathered.
"If your bedside manner were to improve, I would have fewer qualms about allowing myself to catch bullets with my body," Ezra responded with a laugh. "As for today, my garments are the only things wounded because of the confrontation with those miscreants."
Ezra stuck a finger through the hole in his plum colored jacket, careful to not reveal any of the blood on his vest. "I am dismayed at how often I must repair this type of damage," he groused dramatically.
Buck looked down at the location of the hole and whistled. "You are one lucky son of a bitch."
His performance seemed to put to rest any thoughts that he was injured. He noticed the relief in the faces of his friends and he was profoundly touched by their concern. With each passing day, he was growing more comfortable with the idea that these men cared about him. Immortality, instead of separating him from his mortal friends, had somehow given him the courage to get closer to them.
"It was a calculated risk, Buck. Luck had nothing to do with it," Ezra said. "Now if you'll excuse me?"
"Where the hell do you think you're going?" Chris said, the twinkle in his eye at odds with the sternness of his words.
"To the saloon for a drink," Ezra explained, confused by Chris' demeanor.
"Don't think so, pard," Vin said. Ezra hadn't noticed when their seventh member had joined the group. The man moved like a ghost.
The tracker had a smirk on his face that Ezra recognized and returned. "Of course, how could I have forgotten? We are all invited for supper at my cousin's.
"And we're late," Chris said as he gestured for the men to head toward the livery. "Let's get a move on. Don't want her worrying about us."
"But what of our prisoners, surely one of us must stay and watch over them?"
Ezra had to restrain himself from laughing at the stricken looks that passed between his friends at his suggestion. None of them wanted to miss a meal at Charlotte's.
"I'll ask some of the livery boys to keep an eye on them. Shouldn't be no trouble," JD offered.
"Good idea, kid," Buck said.
The others tossed in their approval of the plan as the seven headed down the street.
"What kind of pie you think she made this time?" Vin asked.
Ezra chuckled. "Now, Vin, does it really matter?"
"Hey, Ezra," JD called as he came to walk beside the southerner. "I just noticed something."
"And what miraculous observation has captured your attention, JD?"
"You don't call nobody by their last names anymore. How come?"
Ezra stared at the young man as he thought back over his conversations from the past few days. It was true and the reason made him smile. "One should always address ones friends with familiarity," Ezra explained.
Chris looked over his shoulder and grinned. "About damn time."