Title: The Truth Is Immortal (1/6)
Fandom: Magnificent 7 and Highlander
Beta: Much thanks to ithildyn
Characters: HL: OFC Charlotte Sparrow (AKA Pearl Black); Mag7: Ezra Standish, Chris Larabee, Vin Tanner, Buck Wilmington, Josiah Sanchez, Nathan Jackson and JD Dunne

Summary: During a gunfight Chris is hurt trying to protect Ezra not realizing that he is Immortal. Ezra is torn between telling the others about his Immortality and leaving town to prevent anyone else from getting hurt.

A/N: This is the sequel to Child of My Heart.

A/N: Just a reminder: The Mag7 boys know Ezra's cousin Charlotte by her current alias: Pearl Black

The Truth Is Immortal: Chapter 1

Ezra felt the impact and was face down in the dirt before he registered what exactly had propelled him in that direction. It was when the weight of another body landed on his that he realized that someone had pushed him down. He had been trying to get to one of the criminals that was sequestered behind an overturned wagon in the street when he'd been tackled from behind.

He'd known it was a risk crossing the open main street, but his Immortality had given him an edge in these situations that Ezra had learned to use to his advantage. His attire had suffered due to his endeavors, but so far none of his companions suspected that he'd ever been hit by gunfire. As he analyzed his current situation, it became clear that someone had decided to stop this particular advance.

Spitting out dirt, he attempted to push off the weight still lying protectively on top of him when a hand on his shoulder prevented him from moving.

"Stay down, you idiot," Chris growled.

"Chris?" Ezra asked, though he already knew that it was. "Let me up; I can get to him."

"No, you won't! Vin is flanking him from above. We are getting back to cover," Chris commanded as he finally rolled off of Ezra and began moving away.

Ezra nodded and was edging backwards as both men fired blindly to cover their retreat. They were almost to safety when Ezra heard Chris cry out. Turning he saw the gunslinger fall backwards.

"Chris!" Ignoring any personal danger, Ezra rushed to Chris's side to drag him out of the line of fire. Chris was coherent enough to throw one arm around Ezra's shoulder as he felt himself being lifted. Ezra positioned himself to shield his burden and, as he expected, the Immortal felt a bullet tear into his upper back almost causing him to drop his friend. Only the knowledge that the wound would begin healing immediately kept Ezra moving forward.

"Almost there," he encouraged Chris through clenched teeth. Ezra hoped that no more bullets found their way into him because his shoulder was screaming in agony to release his passenger, and he was sure he wouldn't be able to stay upright under the pain of another hit. Ezra guided Chris up the boardwalk and into the safety of the jail.

Depositing Chris onto the floor, away from the entrance, Ezra collapsed next to him. His head was swimming and he willed his healing power to hurry up. He had yet to be seriously wounded enough to pass out in previous shootings and he hoped this wouldn't be the first time. He leaned over apply pressure to the bullet wound on Chris's thigh. It didn't appear to be too bad but he wished Nathan were here.

Chris propped himself up on his elbows in an attempt to sit up.

"Relax, Chris. I am endeavoring to stop the blood flow and your movements will only exacerbate the situation."

"Hurts like a son of a bitch," Chris groaned as he fell back onto the floor.

"I am sure it does," Ezra chuckled ruefully, straightening his back trying to ignore his own pain.

"Everyone else?" Chris asked.

Ezra spared a glance out the door and was relieved to see Vin and Buck leading the last of the miscreants their way. The gunfight was over.

"It appears our compatriots have won the day and are headed in our direction," Ezra informed his patient as he felt relief flow through him. As soon as Nathan arrived, he'd be able to collapse quietly in the corner and finish healing.

Vin and Back pushed the criminals into the jail and stopped short when the saw Ezra leaning over Chris.

"Take 'em. I'll get Nathan." Vin shoved his prisoner at Buck before heading out.

"You okay, stud?" Buck asked as he passed by on the way to lock up their captives.

"I'd be fine if Ezra hadn't been an idiot."

"I fail to see how you putting yourself in harms way was my fault," Ezra replied indignantly. "I would have succeeded; there was no reason to throw me to the ground."

Chris scoffed, "You take to many damn risks."

"He's right, Ez. You got a death wish or something?" Buck asked. Having finished with the task of incarceration, he settled in behind the sheriff's desk.

"I assure you my continued healthy existence is paramount in my mind. I simply saw an opportunity to end the conflict and was attempting to implement my plan when Chris interrupted my advance."

"Not the way I saw it," Chris grumbled. "You didn't see the one in the alley. He had you in his sites."

Ezra paled as he realized that he may have misread the situation. If he'd been 'killed', his time in Four Corners would have come to an abrupt end. His second thought was that Chris had risked his life to save him. That thought was even more unsettling than the first. It had not occurred to him that in using his Immortality to protect his companions from harm that any of them would throw themselves into the line of fire to save him; a gesture which could prove fatal and completely unnecessary.

"While I'm grateful for your actions, you should not have put yourself in danger." Ezra was still a bit shaken by what Chris had chanced for him. He could not remember anyone being concerned enough about him to risk their own life.

"I wouldn't," he spat out. "If you hadn't put yourself there first!"

Ezra was prepared to continue the defense of his actions but at that moment, Nathan swept in and took over. The others piled in behind him, anxious to see if Chris was all right.

"He okay, Nathan?" JD asked.

"Give me a chance," Nathan snapped as he gestured for the others to provide him room to work.

Ezra gratefully relinquished his hold on Chris' leg to the healer and moved to stand in the corner. While his wound was fully healed the soreness that came with such damage took a little longer to dissipate. He stretched and rolled his shoulder, trying to work out the kinks.

Vin moved to stand next to him. "You hurt, Ezra?"

The gambler smiled. "Our fearless leader is no light weight and I had to drag him quite a distance."

Vin chuckled and clapped Ezra on his freshly healed shoulder causing him to wince at the contact. Ezra felt Vin's hand linger on his back. He turned to look back at the tracker who was frowning at him.

"Something wrong, Vin?"

"Ez, ain't this a new coat?"

"I was unaware that my garments were worth your notice, but yes it is."

"Then how'd you get this bullet hole?"

Ezra plastered a false smile on his face while inwardly he bemoaned the tracker's sharp eyes. "I must have torn my coat during the melee. I find the cost to my wardrobe to be incalculable. I do feel that Judge Travis should reimburse us for replacements and repairs."

Vin cocked his head and Ezra could see that his attempt at misdirection was being met with skepticism. It had been a disaster of a day and Ezra was too tired to continue to argue with Vin. Beside there was no explanation he could give for the damage to his coat that his friend would believe. Instead he turned back to ask how Chris was fairing. To his relief, Vin let the subject drop.

Nathan had finished his preliminary investigation of Chris's wound. "Bullet went straight through. Just need to get him back to the clinic to stitch him up," Nathan said.

Without being asked, Josiah came forward to help Nathan get Chris to his feet.

"Buck, you and JD stay with the prisoners," Chris commanded before he allowed himself to be lead away.

Ezra waited for the others to leave, fully planning to head in the opposite direction and collapse in his bed.

"You coming, Ez?" Vin called from the doorway.

Ezra's mind was still a jumble from the events of the day. Without conscience thought the old walls came up and his separation from this life began.

"No, . Mr Jackson has assured us that will be fine and as you pointed out, I need to change my attire, so I will retire to my rooms."

Six pairs of eyes turned to stare at him.

"Ain't mad at you 'cause I got shot, Ezra" Chris said. "Just angry that you took a stupid risk."

"As I mentioned previously, I did not see it as a risk. But that is neither here nor there. The clinic is far too small to easily accommodate so many. I will stop by later and check on your recovery."

Chris continued to stare at him. "You do that," he said coldly

"Don't got time for this," Nathan interrupted. "We need to get to the clinic before you start bleeding again.

Ezra watched them maneuver Chris out of the jail. Nathan's voice floated back to him as the healer addressed Chris loud enough for Ezra to hear, "Could have at least thanked you for saving his life."

Ezra felt like he'd stepped back in time to the first few weeks he'd been part of the group when everything he said or did wasn't good enough. He'd handled this situation badly. His altruistic motivation to use his Immortality to end the gunfight had not gone as planned. He had endangered Chris and he was officially persona non grata once again. How quickly they closed ranks against him.

He looked back to see Buck and JD watching him. They were waiting for him to say something he was sure. Instead, he simply placed two fingers to his hat and left.