Disclaimer:They are not mine. I don't make profit from this.

Would be best if you have seen both shows ("Psych" and "Magnificent Seven") or at least know about the characters; If you don't, then you'll just miss the inside jokes.

Thanks to Amanda for all her help.

Warnings:

The personalities (M7) and situations had been slightly altered to fit (P season 1); I have twisted the legal procedures, protocols and everything else I could get my hands on, just for the sake of the story.

Ezra is not the proper, mature and sad gambler we often see in the fan-fiction.

This is my attempt at our conman being young, carefree and happy. If you don't want to read about that I suggest to skip this story and go look for any other of my stories about him. :)

Feedback is welcome (be kind; English is not my first language.)

Pineapples were not harmed in the writing of this story.

*M7* Psych AU*

Introduction

Ezra had a gift, as his mother called it; he was blessed with a photographic memory, amazing deductive skill and his silver tongue and unique mannerisms made him appear even more knowledgeable.

What he didn't seem to use while working for his new job were his great understanding of police procedures and the best training in all kinds of firearms, courtesy of one of his so many stepfathers, because he worked for the Four Corners P.D. as a consultant… a psychic consultant.

The story of how Ezra got a job with the FC PD was an unusual one.

*

"That's how all this began"

Flashback, 17 years ago

Four Corners Police Department locker room.

Officer Sanchez walked into the room in time to hear amused laughter and a half hearted complaint.

Intrigued, he got closer to the group of cops circling a double row of benches.

Apparently the fellow officers were engaged in a game of poker with a young kid.

"What the hell is going here?" Josiah thundered.

Instantly the rest of the officers remembered that they had to be in another place ASAP and left the room, leaving the sweet little boy with a bunch of money in his hands, and eyes as big as saucers.

"Care to explain?" Josiah asked, taking a seat across the green-eyed kid that he recognized; the child had been picked up in a raid to a clandestine gambling house that same day.

The worry showing in the kid's eyes let the officer know that the child remembered him from the raid.

The boy smiled slightly, enough to show his dimples. "Good afternoon, officer," he said nonchalantly. The carefree attitude didn't fool Josiah who saw the kid swallow nervously.

"I got lost in this big building and these kind officers were looking after me until my mother arrives?" explained the kid uncertainly.

"Your mother hasn't showed yet?" asked surprised the officer. It had been several hours since the raid; somebody should have contacted the child's parent by that time.

The kid shrugged. He didn't know.

Officer Sanchez ran a hand through his hair, took a deep breath and looked at the kid. "You can't stay here."

The child flinched slightly. He had been waiting at a desk upstairs and had gotten bored. After a couple of ¨incidents¨, a nasty cop had cuffed him to a chair so the kid would stay put, not knowing that Ezra, even at his young age, was an expert at picking locks.

Getting the cuffs from one of his pockets, Ezra handed them to Josiah. "I don't need these. I'll try not to get in the way," he promised, worried at the anger that materialized in the cop's face.

Fortunately the officer recognized the flash of fear in the kid's face and forced himself to relax.

"Where did you get these?" he asked as calmly as he could, gesturing to the cuffs.

"I found them?" Ezra tried unconvincingly.

Then he sighed in defeat, "it's not as if I jumped bail or escaped Fort Laramie…"

Before the big man could say anything, two officers and the kid's mother rushed into the room. They had been looking for Ezra for the past hour.

Maude hurried to her child's side and hugged him, suppressing sobs and saying soothing words.

Had one of the officers paid attention to the kid they would have noticed the way he stiffened when her arms enveloped him or how he rolled his eyes at the sobs and words of comfort from his mother, but nobody noticed.

Not even Josiah, who was enthralled with the woman's beauty.

Over the next few days, Ezra went back to the station a few times to answer questions about the case. Later, the kid would show up during Josiah shifts ¨just to visit¨, he would say.

Josiah was impressed with the kid's curiosity, intelligence and good memory.

The big man was also awed by Maude's strength when the cop learned that the beautiful widow had, in her own words, ¨cared and raised her son without help¨.

Ezra would have snorted at that piece of information.

One afternoon Josiah found the boy, again, playing poker with off-duty cops.

The officers scattered as soon as the big man had cleared his throat.

Ezra blushed but stayed put and kept quiet.

Approaching, the big man asked as gently as he could; perceiving the child's discomfort, "Where did you learn to play poker?"

"Mother taught me. She says that I have a gift with the cards," the kid mumbled.

"Really? How is that?" asked the officer, intrigued, as he took a seat on the other bench.

Ezra looked at the clear blue eyes and in his naiveté tried to explain. "When I shuffle the deck I see bits of all the cards and I kind of know which cards are around and which are not after I deal them"

"You do?"

The kid nodded and lowered his head, ashamed. "But I can't do it with more than two packets; Mother said I have to practice more."

Josiah leaned slightly toward Ezra, clearly impressed. "Let me get this straight… you can memorize two packets of cards while you shuffle them and then remember to whom you give the cards after you deal them?"

Ezra nodded.

Josiah observed the kid pensively for a moment admiring the potential of the young mind.

"Let's go, I'll give you a ride home," he finally said.

Ezra eyed the officer suspiciously. "Mother is not there," he said, now not so innocently.

Josiah blushed slightly, the kid had him pegged.

Chuckling, Josiah got to his feet. "Come on, I'll call my neighbors to ask if you can stay with them for a while. The Jacksons have a boy your age."

Ezra arched an eyebrow at the possibility of spending the day around an unknown boy, but Josiah continued before the child could utter a protest.

"You can't stay here at the station, I don't think the rest of the boys' pockets can afford it." He chuckled at the kid's blush. "But don't worry; Nathan is not as rambunctious as the other kids."

Josiah saw Ezra shudder.

"Oh, and no more betting money or games of chance," said the big officer as an afterthought.

The boy looked affronted. "I never let anything to chance," he mumbled.

Josiah heard the comment. // Did the kid just admit that he cheated? // he thought, and decided that he had to talk with the child's mother as soon as possible.

*

Less than a month later Josiah and Maude got married. However, less than a year later, Maude left the city, abandoning Josiah and carrying most of their savings.

The only explanation Ezra got as he and Maude left the city was that he was getting soft and too attached to the police officer and that Maude needed him sharp.

*

Over the following years, Ezra would appear at Josiah's doorstep and stay with him for short periods.

It was on these short visits that the big man got to see the real relationship between Ezra and his mother, which he'd missed during his marriage with Maude where she had projected a perfect picture.

Most of the times that Ezra was left with the officer were because the boy's presence wasn't required by Maude's ¨business¨, but neither Josiah nor Ezra minded as they usually enjoyed the time together.

Josiah also encouraged the only friendship Ezra had maintained for more than a few months… to the horror of Nathan's parents who saw the green eyed child as a bad influence for their son.

Ezra enjoyed being in Four Corners, it didn't matter if they did boring things like repairing Josiah's house, fishing, or playing some of the memory games that the old man liked.

He basked in the attention that the officer gave him.

*

At first it took a while for the green-eyed kid to learn to enjoy his childhood, to stop acting like an adult and enjoy experiencing new things, but after a while Ezra seemed to get stuck in that phase…

Unfortunately, that occurred when he should have started maturing and acting as an adult.

*

(to be continued)

*

Author notes:

This story is based on Psych season 1 episode 1001 that is the pilot, and the 1010 episode that is "Cloudy… chance of murder", with minimal references to the rest of the season.

…and from the Magnificent Seven pilot (Ghosts of the Confederacy), Sins of the past, Love and honor, Wagon train, etc.

I got the Psych´s episode name from the episode guide of the series. (Since I had it in Spanish and is not the same, funny thing)