Author's Note: This has been done before in some way shape or form, I'm sure. But it just came to me and I started writing. :-)
Summary: Ezra finds himself in the middle of nowhere on a road with no help, while his teammates are left wondering where he is.
Disclaimer: I do not own the Magnificent Seven, or the ATF AU.
At least he still had his shoes. He looked down to appreciate them, and frowned. Well, at least he still had one shoe. How had he not noticed that one was missing?
Now that he did notice it, his discomfort increased, suddenly his foot- the left one- throbbed. He cursed colorfully under his breath. He was going to have to buy new some new shoes when he got back, putting them on the agency account. Better shoes. Ones that didn't disappear without their owner's prior knowledge.
He shook his head to clear out such thoughts, as they made little actual sense. How had he ended up here anyway? Ezra contemplated this for several minutes, hazy scenes flashing before his eyes. He struggled to make sense of them, but could not. With a sigh, he took in his surroundings again, the road showed no signs of life in either direction; so he limped on- desperately hoping to come across civilization really soon.
It was 10:00 on Monday morning and ATF team 7 was hard at work, filling out reports for the previous weeks arms dealer bust. The day had ended well; they had brought in Emilio Sanchez, who had evaded the law for the past four years selling arms to anyone who could pay more than everyone else.
With a tip from one of Ezra's contacts, they had trailed his number two guy to the warehouse and made the bust accordingly, bringing down 10 men in the process. They had parted ways sociably at The Saloon, turning in for the evening with short goodbye's and "See you on Monday" s.
Team 7 leader, Chris Larabee, looked up from his desk once more to take an unconscious headcount. J.D.: check. Josiah: check. Buck: yes. Vin: yes. Nathan: At his desk, working away. Ezra: Not at his desk. Not working away. And definitely not present. Where was he? It was driving Chris up the wall. Sure, it was not the first time that Ezra had come in late, but something about this time had him on edge. Things Friday had gone too well, and he figured something had to give eventually.
He tapped his finger on the edge of his keyboard. Tap. Tap. Tap. Tap.
He eyed his phone, but did not pick it up.
Tap. Tap. Tap. Tap.
His hand twitched, but he restrained himself.
Tap. Tap. Tap…Tap.
"Just call him already!" Buck said in exasperation, although he too was worried about their missing companion. But his worry was not limited to Ezra; Chris was always hell to deal with when one of them was hurt, missing or late. It made him edgy and he tended to snap or lash out, it was how he dealt with his anxiety.
Team Seven was unlike most ATF teams, they were close. Too close, some would say. But they had never cared what others thought, they were a family. Not one of them had someone else to turn to, another family member to care for them. So it was not surprising that the group of men, ranging from the youngest member to the hardened leader, had become emotionally attached to each other, treating each of the others as a brother, or comrade in arms.
The only one of them who had something to set themselves apart from the group was its newest member, Ezra, who had been on the team for a little over seven months. Ezra did have a mother, and she was indeed alive. She seemed like a pleasant enough woman, from the few times he had met her. But Ezra did not spend much time with her, even spending his most recent holidays with his teammates rather than her. He acted like the rest of them, like he had no family. Larabee had never asked Ezra why he spent so little time with his mother, but he figured they would learn about it someday, when he was ready to share.
"Who?" Chris asked, pretending to be unaware of who his oldest friend was speaking of.
He heard a snort from Vin, and saw Nathan roll his eyes.
"Ezra," J.D. supplied. "But I'm sure he's just at home, sleeping or something."
"Brother Ezra does happen to come to work late quite a bit," Josiah added unhelpfully.
Chris clenched his jaw, this was all true. So why did he feel like something had gone horribly wrong?
Making a decision he picked up the phone, dialing Ezra's number from memory. He knew all of their numbers by heart, it came with the job. So did the constant worry and, he was convinced, the grey hairs he had found while looking in the mirror.
He waited while it rang, and hung up when he reached the machine. He then dialed Ezra's home number, also getting a machine. He stared at the empty desk for a moment, and then said, voice devoid of emotion, "Vin, Josiah, go to Ezra's place and make sure that he ain't just sleeping. Buck, call up the local LEOs and see if they've heard anything. J.D. trace his credit cards and cell phone for their last use. Nathan, check the hospitals."
The men knew better than to question Chris when his big brother/boss instincts kicked in, and yet, someone had to be the voice of reason.
"Don't you think that's invading Ez's privacy just a tiny bit?" Vin asked quizzically, preparing himself for a stare down.
"Better safe than sorry," Chris said back, his voice gravelly and tight.
Vin looked him straight in the eyes before nodding, "Ok, cowboy. We'll check it out."
Chris nodded, turning back to his report, eyes not really focusing as he waited for some good news.