by Xaneth

Disclaimer: I do not own the Magnificent Seven, nor do I make any money whatsoever from this story. All copyrights apply. (Translation: Although I am quite obviously obsessed with these boys, I have yet to claim them for my own. But one day, who knows, they may be mine, ALL MINE!!! MWAHAHAHAHA!!! Um, sorry, got a little carried away.)

Thanks to Nancy and Joy, as well as my Beta readers, and my mum and my dad and my dog and my sisters and Tom, Dick and Harry, of course.

Rating: PG for some bad language (sweary words!) and dying (guts and gore [not really!]!).

Feedback welcome.

Chris Larrabee lowered his binoculars and looked Buck Wilmington, who stood to his right, rifle at the ready. The situation across the street had just turned from bad to worse; the man inside the building had at least seven hostages, three of them children. It had been eight but that was before team seven had arrived. The Denver Police Department had called them in because Josiah Sanchez was the closest thing to hostage negotiator they had that could get to the scene in time. The anthropologist was in there with the perpetrator along with the team’s undercover agent, Ezra Standish. As the leader of team seven knew it, the hostages were each strapped with enough C4 to destroy the entire city block, not to mention kill a lot of people.

"What is it?" Buck asked sensing Chris’ change of disposition.

"Josiah’s going in," the leader of team seven replied as he walked slowly around the car he was standing behind and came to stand next to JD Dunne, who was manning coms and radios. He picked up a mike and spoke into it, "Ezra, what the hell is Josiah doing?"

"John’s threatening to kill one of the children," the undercover agent got right to the point, the tension palpable on his voice.

Chris hesitated before replying, "John?" he wanted to know.

"The hostage taker," came the static filled answer, "It’s what he told us his name is."

"Is that his name?" asked Larrabee, recognizing the implication.

"Could be, it’s hard to say," Ezra sounded oddly confused, "Josiah says he’s never come across a man like this, says he has not one identifiable human emotion."

Chris set his jaw, "You mean he’s a psycho?"


Larrabee ran a hand over his face, wishing for the hundredth time that day that he had a different job, "Ok, what’s your situation?"

There was a rustle of fabric as Ezra changed positions, "Josiah’s inside the bank manager’s office with John and all the hostages, trying to talk him down. From what I can see through the door, he’s just sitting there on the desk, holding the trigger in is hand, listening to Josiah. He seems quite calm"

"Ezra, is Josiah wearing his vest?" Chris wanted to know.

Standish sighed, "Wouldn’t make a difference, Chris," he said, using his bosses first name for once, "The man doesn’t even have a gun."

"Shit!" Chris lowered the mike, and looked at Buck, "How the hell does one man take an entire bank full of people hostage when he doesn’t even have a damn gun?"

Buck raised an eyebrow but refrained from commenting. Chris picked up the mike again and hailed the team’s sharpshooter, "Vin, you read me?"

"I read ya, cowboy," came the soft reply.

"Can you see Josiah, Vin?" Chris asked him.

"Nope, just the perp from where I am," the sharpshooter replied, meaning his perch on the roof of the building across from the bank, "Got a clear line of sight through the door if you want me take him out."

"Negative, Vin," Larrabee replied quickly, "You wanna blow us all to hell?" he asked jokingly.

A soft chuckle came over the airwaves, "Not today," Vin countered.

Chris put down the mike and looked at his old friend ever vigilant at his side, "Any ideas?" he asked him.

Buck shrugged, "I reckon we’re gonna have to wait this one out."

I should have refused, Ezra Standish thought to himself, just flat out refused. Why did Josiah want me along anyway?

Because if Josiah can’t talk him down, you can bullshit him out of doing this, Ezra answered his own question. He shifted his crouched position out side the door to the office and peered through the crack between the door hinges, he could see Josiah’s back as he talked softly to the man and he could see John’s hand holding the trigger and seven people’s lives.

The undercover agent adjusted his grip on his semi-auto rifle, and lent his head back on the wall, listening to Josiah’s calming voice, wondering to himself if it was possible to talk a man who couldn’t care less out of blowing up a city block.

I mean, it’s not like you can guilt him out of it, Ezra’s thoughts wandered and he had to keep reminding himself to keep alert. Squatting out in the passage way was not the undercover agents idea of a nice way to spend the afternoon, though it did beat sitting around the office and doing reports. He shifted position again, and then rocketed up when an abrupt gunshot shattered the silence in the bank, it had come from the office.

Where the hell did he get a gun from, Ezra thought in a split second, then, it’s Josiah’s, of course.

A string of shouting, by John, followed the shot.

"DO NOT, I REPEAT, DO NOT FUCK WITH ME!" he yelled with in the office, at, Ezra hoped, Josiah, "You think I won’t blow these people to smithereens! Well you’re wrong, the only reason these people are still alive is because I allow it!"

Standish made his way slowly toward the door, so the man did have emotions after all, but before he could step through he heard the hostage takers voice, addressing him, "Agent! In the passage! Don’t even think about coming in here, your man has just become one of my hostages, that ought to make you think twice about trying to patronize me again." His voice was soft and monotone, almost lifeless.

Ezra froze, then regained his composure, "Who’d you shoot John?" he asked, not actually caring for protocol anymore.

A soft, but slightly manic laugh came through the door, "I think her name was Sarah," John told him with no hint of remorse.

The ATF agent in the passage way closed his eyes and willed himself to stay calm, it took a fair bit of self-control, and hating himself at the same time for being glad it wasn’t Josiah.

"Such a pretty little girl," the hostage taker went on, "Ah, what a pity, to have to die at such a young age. I must also apologise for my barbaric outburst, most uncivilized. You just sit tight, agent," he said to Ezra, "I’ll have a use for you in a few minutes."

Standish crouched back down on the floor and spoke into the com on his wrist, "Come in, Mr Larrabee," he said abruptly.

"Ezra?" Chris’ voice came back over the airways, "What was the shot?" he asked immediately.

Ezra was silent for a few seconds, and then he said quietly, "Jack killed one of the children and has taken Josiah as one of his hostages."

Chris was deathly silent but the undercover agent heard JD in the background say, "Shit!" under his breath. Ezra was inclined to agree.

Chris’ voice came over the com then, distant and severe, "Has the bastard made any demands yet?"

Ezra shook his head, before realizing that his boss couldn’t see him, "No," he said, "He said to stand by for a while."

"A while," Larrabee seemed to be muttering to himself, "How much longer does he want us to wait?"

Ezra wisely remained quiet, until Chris said, "You’re just going to have to sit tight, Ezra. Let us know when he starts making demands."

"Right," Standish said while thinking to himself sarcastically, where have I heard that before recently?

He stood again and made his way back to the doorway, "John?" he called out softly.

"What do you want," came the monotone reply.

"Well, I was actually going to ask you that, John," Ezra told him.

There was a silence then, "I beg your pardon?"

Standish indulged in a sombre smile, "This all has to be for something, John, what is it?" he asked talking softly and slowly.

There was another silence, and then Ezra heard John shift himself along the other side of the same wall he was leaning against, until they would have been nose to nose if not for the wall.

"Power," John said softly, "Respect," he went on, "People to fear me, that sort of thing. Oh and lots of money, of course."

Ezra raised an eyebrow for his own benefit, "Are you making fun of me, John?" he asked, only half serious.

He was rewarded with a short chuckle, "What’s your name, agent?" John asked him.

"Ezra Standish."

"Well Agent Ezra, you’ll understand shortly," the hostage taker’s voice faded as he moved away from the wall and Standish could hear him rooting around in what sounded like a metal trunk. Then there was an unmistakable clink of a pin being drawn out of a grenade and the undercover agent wasted no time, he burst through the door, gun up at shoulder height just in time to receive a grenade to the chest. Ezra looked down in comical fascination as the green army grenade skittered around his feet, where it had landed, for just a split second before scooping it up, dashing into the passageway and throwing it out of the window in one deft movement.

The explosion wasn’t overly violent, but it was enough to shatter the windows and shower Ezra in broken glass. As the dust settled he heard someone calling his name over the screams of the children and the only woman in the room. He shook his head causing a cascade of glass splinters and regaining his senses before dashing recklessly back into the office coming face to face with John Morris, former computer technician turned mass murderer when he slaughtered his cheating wife and her lover, and hung their bodies from the telephone cables outside their house. Team seven had been inadvertently responsible for his arrest when the man turned up at the bust of a man smuggling tobacco to a country where the stuff was illegal. JD had recognized him from a wanted brief and informed Chris, who had in turn ordered his arrest. Ezra had, along with the rest of the ATF, been informed of his escape two weeks previous. The man had been sentenced to life imprisonment with no hope of parole so he most definitely was not supposed to be out from behind bars.

"Agent Ezra," said the nerdish looking man, "We meet at last."

Morris laughed lightly then turned away, while Ezra raised his weapon and aimed at the back of his head.

Josiah was kneeling by the opposite wall behind the manager’s desk with all the other hostages. He called him, "Ezra, are you okay?"

Standish looked at him and nodded, "Sure," he told the anthropologist, "And you?"

Josiah nodded his head in reply; Ezra could see that he had not been strapped with explosives while the six remaining hostages each wore a vest lined with C4, each with a transmitter for the remote control trigger. Against the other wall, Ezra could see two bodies, one of a young girl, Sarah presumably, and one of a middle-aged man, who was more than likely the bank manager. Standish looked away and turned his attention back to Morris who was smoking a cigarette while he gave the undercover agent an appraising look.

"Are you going to shoot me in the head, agent," he said mockingly, "Personally, I wouldn’t recommend it."

Ezra narrowed his eyes at the man, "And what do I get if I put the gun down?"

Morris smirked then looked serious; "You want to exchange yourself for a hostage do you?" he asked.

"For the children, yes," Ezra told him.

Morris smiled evilly, "The remaining two?" he asked acerbically, "Well, sure. Why not?" He took a draw from his diminishing cigarette, "Act of good faith and all that."

Standish didn’t reply but lowered his weapon and placed it on the desk. Then he stepped back and looked at John Morris expectantly, your turn, his expression said.

The hostage taker, murderer and general psycho gave a charming smile and stubbed out his cigarette on the mahogany desk, and then he addressed Josiah, "Agent, bring those two rugrats over here."

Sanchez stood and led the two young boys away from their hysterical mother over to Morris, who set about disarming the explosives and unstrapping the vests.

Meanwhile, Ezra called up Chris, "Mr Larrabee?" Then plucked his earpiece out of his ear and held it away.

"EZRA, WHAT THE FUCK IS HAPPENING UP THERE?" Larrabee yelled his patience spent.

The undercover agent grimaced, "Are you done?" he asked his boss, then replaced his earpiece to its original location, "We’ve got hostages coming out, two children, but I need someone to take them from me at the door."

"You’re not coming out are you?" Chris asked, not really needing and answer. He didn’t get one either as Ezra remained silent.

Chris sighed, "And that fireworks display above our heads, what was that all about?"

"Ah, that was just a slight misunderstanding on my part."

Chris waited but that seemed to be all he was getting out of his agent, "I’m sending Nathan and Buck over to the bank entrance now," he paused, "Was the other child really killed?" he asked.

Standish bowed his head and nodded as he said, "I’m afraid so, and the bank manager was the other fatality," he added.

Chris swore, "Well," he said, "We’d best count our blessings. Out."

"Out," Ezra said quietly in return. Then he put on his poker face and turned to Morris, who shoved the two now vest-less children toward him.

"But before you go," Morris said, "Put this on," he held up a vest he had taken off one of the kids, "Just in case."

Ezra looked ready to refuse, but shrugged instead, took the vest from him and put it on over his Kevlar, strapping the Velcro in place. The certifiably psychotic Morris then armed the explosives again and waved him away.

"You try anything…" Morris left the sentence unfinished.

"I understand," Ezra said before grasping the two weeping boys by their shoulders and guiding them out into the glass littered passage and into the main bank.

Buck and Nathan could be seen behind the glass of the main doors and Ezra could feel the children he was leading wanted desperately to run to them, but the undercover agent wouldn’t risk it now and made them walk all the way to the door, which Nathan pulled open as they approached. Buck grabbed the two boys arms and pulled them out of the bank and behind him to a waiting cop, who immediately rushed them off to a waiting ambulance.

Nathan seemed to have gone impossibly white at the sight of Ezra’s new garment of clothing and Buck seemed to agree with his reaction as he looked over the vest with an expert eye. He gave a low whistle under his breath and looked Standish in the eye, "Damn," was all he said.

"How many people with those on?" Nathan asked.

"Five and a spare," the undercover agent told them, "And I must tell you this is not the most comfortable situation I’ve ever been in."

"I don’t blame you," Nathan said.

"Yeah," Buck agreed, "It does look awfully hot," he added with a grin.

Nathan and Ezra stared at him as if he was mad for a second, and then laughed along, grateful for the break in tension.

"I’d better get back," Ezra said.

"Josiah okay?" Nathan asked.

"Yeah, he’s fine," replied Ezra, "No vest," he mouthed. Then he turned to go, but Buck called after him, "Hey Ez, I gotta tell you," Standish raised an eyebrow with interest, "You look like shit."

Ezra smiled slowly, "I’ll remember you said that," he warned and made his way back to the office.

"The kids okay?" Chris asked as Nathan and Buck came back from the bank.

The medic nodded, "Yeah, just a little shook up," he replied.

Buck shook his head, "Chris, that man is packing some heavy demolition, shoulda seen the vest Ez was wearing, seam to seam with C4. And there’s six just like it in there."

"Ezra’s wearing a vest?" Chris asked confused.

Buck nodded, "But Josiah’s not," he said; "I think the perp put it on him to stop him trying anything. Must have traded himself for the kids."

"Did he give any indication of who the guy doing this is?"

"No but-."

"Excuse me, sir."

Chris turned to the uniform cop who had interrupted Buck and raised an eyebrow in question.

"One of the boys you brought out found this in his jacket pocket," the uniform handed Chris a piece of paper, "It’s federal documentation so it must belong to one of your men."

Larrabee looked at the piece of paper with a frown, then his expression cleared and he actually smiled, which made the men around more nervous than anything else. He nodded his thanks to the cop and as soon as he had left, turned to Buck, Nathan and JD holding the page up for them to see.

"That’s the brief on John Morris, the escaped convict," JD said unnecessarily.

Chris nodded.

"Very clever," Nathan said appreciatively.

"Well, now we know who it is in there, but we still need to find out why," JD said from his station behind his beloved computer.

"Oh, the usual, kid, don’t you doubt it," Buck told him.

"Huh?" JD squinted up at the ladies man.

Buck gave a feral grin, "Revenge," he said.

JD still didn’t quite understand, so Chris explained, "We’re responsible for his capture, so he’s sore at us, wants to take revenge."

"But lots of criminals are sore at us, they don’t all try’n blow up a building?"

"Morris is different, he’s probably been waiting for this moment for many months. This took a lot of planning, don’t forget," Buck put in.

"Seems like an awfully round about way to get to us though, why not just send us a letter bomb or something?" JD persisted.

Buck sighed, "It’s a little more complicated than that," he tried to explain, "Morris may be a murderer but he’s also a genius. His mind won’t allow for such a simple thing as that, it’s too complex."

JD nodded slowly but he still didn’t really understand.

Chris chuckled then and decided to help the kid out, "It means he can’t just give a straight yes or no answer, he has to explain why and if possible the origin of his decision," he told the computer technician.

"Oooohhhh," JD said, drawing the sound out in realization, "Like Ezra?"

"No, not like Ezra, he’s not a-, well, no, maybe a little like-," Chris paused, "Okay, exactly like Ezra, except Ezra isn’t like that to the extent that he would go crazy. You see it’s Morris’ superior mind that drove him over the edge."

JD narrowed his eyes slightly, "So, having the two of them together in there is along the same lines as a ticking time bomb," he pointed out.

The other three teammates nodded glumly.

Vin Tanner resisted the urge to change position, as he needed an eye on the target at all times. He was resting on his stomach on the rooftop of the high building across the street from the bank, one eye constantly to the sight on his long-range snipers rifle. Unlike many amateur snipers Vin didn’t need to shut one eye to concentrate on the view through his sight, as he had long since perfected the art of blocking out what he could see through his unoccupied eye. He thus, prevented the strain of squinting, and the inevitable headache.

Vin had kept close tabs on the exchange at the door and had got just as much of a fright as anyone else when the grenade went of in the air across from him. The blast had even shattered a few windows on the floors beneath him. But that was far from his thoughts as he concentrated all his focus to the window, and the door beyond, that Ezra had thrown the grenade out of, for through that door was the office and the hostages. And his quarry.

"Yeah?" Vin answered an unheard voice in his ear without moving a muscle.

"Report," Chris’ voice sounded strained even through the tinny airwaves.

"No movement for the last while, not since the exchange."

"Damn," Chris now sounded frustrated, "Can you see anything from your position?"

"Nope," Vin replied, "They’ve closed the door. This position sucks."

"Yeah, I know. I’ll call you again in ten."


Vin sighed he didn’t like the situation anymore than his boss. Suddenly something on the opposite roof caught his eye and he trained his sight on it, then sat up involuntarily

as he realized what it was.

Morris had one of the hostages and was making his way across to the back of the roof.

Tanner stood up abruptly, snapping the "legs" of his rifle up.

He put his fingers to his ear as Chris’ voice came through the line, extremely loud.


"I see him, cowboy," Vin said.

"You do? Where?"

"Morris is up on the roof, heading toward the back, he has one hostage with him. Where do you want me?" Vin asked.

There was a beat, then, "Stay there I need a good sniper up there."

"Gotcha." Vin said.

He took the opportunity to find a new spot, more out of sight, and eventually settling himself behind a vent, targeting Morris quickly.

Then he settled in to wait.

Ezra made his way back from the front door, hoping they would find the Morris brief in the boy’s anorak. Upon approaching the door he called out to warn Morris he was approaching then stepped through the door.

John Morris was sitting on the desk casually swinging Standish’s rifle in one hand, the trigger lay beside him, while holding a cigarette in the other. He held up the cigarette and raised his eyebrows at Ezra, "Got a light?"

"Not with this on," the undercover agent told him, indicating the highly explosive vest.

Morris actually smiled lightly, "You may take that off now," he said.

"Thank-you," Ezra said bordering on sarcasm.

Morris dug a lighter out of his pocket as Ezra removed his vest. The agent took the opportunity to check on the hostages including Josiah. The anthropologist seemed calm and would occasionally give the other hostages encouraging smiles.

Morris settled himself on the desk and took a long drag on his cigarette, held it for a beat then let out a long stream of smoke.

"I have decided," he informed the occupants of the room.

Ezra resisted the urge to roll his eyeballs and throttle the irritating man, but instead gave the man his full attention.

John Morris gave him an appraising look, "I want," he started, "All the members of team seven in this room, within five minutes."

Ezra kept his face carefully blank, glanced at Josiah then said, "No."

Morris hefted the weapon in his hand, and cocked his head, "No?"

"If you think we’re going to line up here and let you slaughter us, you’d be much mistaken."

"Mr Standish," Morris said in simple tones, "You don’t have a choice."

"Says you," Ezra replied with uncharacteristic bad grammar.

Morris gave him a blank look then shrugged, "It’s up to you," he said, "Either you call your team mates or I kill a hostage."

He looked towards the people lined up by the wall, taking his attention off Standish, and Ezra acted instinctively by activating his sleeve gun and pressing it to Morris’ throat. With his other hand he reached down and gripped the barrel of his own rifle holding it down towards the floor.

John Morris froze. So did Ezra and the rest of the hostages, they stayed that way for a good moment until Standish said slowly, "Josiah, take off those vests," meaning the hostages. The anthropologist did as he was bidden swiftly, dumping the vests to one corner and snatching up the trigger. He then moved the hostages behind the desk and stood before them protectively.

Ezra turned back to the murderer in front of him, "Morris, drop the gun," he said.

Morris pressed himself up against the gun in Ezra’s hand tauntingly and said decisively, "No." Then he lashed out with his foot and caught the undercover agent with a solid crack against one of his shins. In spite of himself, Ezra’s leg collapsed out from under him and he let go of the rifle’s barrel to support himself on the edge of the desk. Morris took advantage of the situation by snatching up the ornate letter opener by the ink blotter and nailing the undercover agents hand to the wood of the desk.

Ezra yelped in pain and his eyes glazed ever so slightly in shock, but didn’t remove the gun from Morris’ throat. John Morris for his part aimed the rifle at Josiah, thus creating a standoff.

Ezra hesitated only a second before lowering his gun and sagging to the ground, keeping the arm of his pinned hand rigid.

"Toss it away," Morris ordered him, so the ATF agent complied by tossing his weapon to the opposite side of the room.

"Good," John Morris moved away from the desk and towards the hostages, he looked at them each one in turn for a moment, then pointed at one of the bank clerks.

"Stand up and come here," he ordered her. The woman didn’t move from fright so Morris stepped forward, "NOW!" he yelled. The teller jumped but managed to stand and walk towards him.

Morris was not stupid; he knew things were not going well and he had lost his original advantage. He grabbed the woman by the arm as soon as she got close enough and addressed the people in the room, "I am leaving now, if anyone tries to follow me, this woman will die," and then turned and walked out the door, dragging the now sobbing clerk behind him.

Josiah immediately came forward to help Ezra but the undercover agent held up a shaking hand, "Whatever you do," he said through clenched teeth, "Do not touch my hand."

The anthropologist stopped and nodded in understanding. Instead he called up the leader of team seven, "Chris?"

"Josiah?" Chris sounded relieved but confused at the same time, "What’s going on?"

"Morris is headed out with one of the hostages. All the others are safe and the threat of explosives has been neutralized," Josiah said hurriedly.

"Right, I’ll get a location from Vin," Chris told him, "In the meantime I’m sending up Buck and Nathan."

The connection was broken before Josiah could reply and seconds later Buck and Nathan came barrelling through the door. Wilmington immediately went to the hostages, while the medic came forward to Josiah and Ezra; the latter had a glazed expression and silly smile on his face.

Nathan cleared his throat, "Ah, Ezra?"

Ezra turned his head toward him and glared despite himself, "Mr Jackson, would you mind?" he nodded his head towards his hand.

"Sure," Nathan said sympathetically.

Chris charged down the corridor and screeched to a halt out side the office, "Buck, Josiah? I need you on the roof," then carried on, hearing his two men following immediately. The three ATF agents charged up two flights of stairs and burst out into the daylight on the roof, they immediately spread out, weapons at the ready.

"Don’t come any closer," a frantic voice came from the other side of the roof, where Chris could make out Morris standing very close to the edge with the clerk and brandishing a rifle. He instantly brought his own weapon up and aimed at Morris but didn’t dare fire. Instead he tried to reason with him.

"Let her go Morris," he commanded, for this was indeed Larrabee’s idea of reasoning.

But John Morris responded only by stepping closer to the edge hauling the frightened woman with him, "Put down your guns," he called to Chris.

Larrabee hesitated for a moment, unwilling to relinquish his rifle, before placing it on the ground and backing away. Buck and Josiah took the lead from their boss and did the same.

"Morris think about this," the leader of team seven called to the desperate man, "Let her go and you can still get out of this alive."

"I’m not going back," Morris called over the clerk’s shoulder.

Chris thought quickly, he didn’t want his to go on for too long or else Morris would become frustrated and do something stupid, "What do you want?" he asked.

Morris licked his lips nervously and remained silent. Just when Chris was about to speak again the psycho suddenly smiled and regained his composure, "I want every member of team seven up on this roof now!" he yelled to the man in black, repeating his earlier demand.

Chris looked slightly taken aback and turned glanced back at Buck and Josiah. The former just shrugged, but Josiah said quietly, "That was his original demand."

Larrabee nodded and came to a decision, "Alright," he called to Morris, "Just give us a few minutes," then turned and nodded to Buck, who turned and hurried into the stairwell to track down the others.

"No, no, wait," Ezra said, holding up his free hand.

Nathan sighed in frustration and leaned back, "What now?" he wanted to know.

Ezra swallowed, "Just give me a moment," he said.

"Ezra, that’s what you’ve said for the last three tries. Now just hold still, it won’t hurt that much," Nathan told him impatiently. The medic that was helping Jackson gripped Standish’s arm and pressed his thumb in to his inner arm, cutting off the blood flow, while Nathan held his hand flat and gripped the handle of the letter opener.

"On three?" he asked the undercover agent, who just nodded, closed his eyes and took a deep breath.

The assistant medic tightened his grip as Nathan counted down.

"One..," he said and gave the opener a sharp yank freeing it from the wood and Ezra’s hand. Much to both the medic’s surprise now unpinned agent didn’t react except to open his eyes and say, "For god’s sake, Mr Jackson, would you just get it over w-," but stopped when he realized his hand was now free.

"Oh," he said looking sheepish.

"What did I say?" Nathan asked the world in general as he bandaged the wound for stitching later.

Ezra opened his mouth to reply but at that moment Buck came barrelling dramatically into the room, talking into his com.

"Right away," he said to, presumably JD, before turning to the two agents in the room.

"We need you two on the roof, Morris is demanding-," he started.

"All of team seven," Ezra finished looking resigned.

Buck nodded, "I’ve just called JD and Vin, they’re on their way up," he said.

"Already here," came a voice from the doorway, JD sporting a vest and weapons of choice for all. Vin stood just behind him with his treasured rifle.

Ezra grinned at him, "Good man," was all he said.

The five agents made quick work of getting to the roof where they found Chris and Josiah standing apart, weapons still on the ground, Morris was looking calmer now, thinking he had things under control.

The seven men immediately spread out to form a semi-circle around John Morris and the bank teller.

Chris addressed Morris in quiet tones but the tension was tangible in his voice, "You have what you want now let her go," he said.

Morris laughed lightly, "Not just yet," he said, "I’m not that stupid."

There was a general change in demeanour with the seven men as they tried very hard not to comment on that last statement. Larrabee in particular was fighting hard to keep his temper in check, "At least move away from the edge," he said to the man.

Morris appeared to think about this, then he nodded slowly, "Alright," he said and stepped two paces from the immediate edge and the hostage relaxed visibly.

Chris looked around at his men, unsure of what to do now, so he decided to ask. He called to Morris, "What now?"

The man at the edge grinned wickedly, "Now," he told them, "You jump."

Chris raised an eyebrow. "Excuse me?" he asked.

"I want you," Morris talked as if to a child, "To walk to the edge all together and jump off. Or else," he added raising the weapon he had stolen from Ezra, "I will kill this innocent woman."

Larrabee tucked his chin into his chest and gave a mirthless chuckle, "You are insane," he said as if just realizing it for the first time.

Josiah, who was standing to Chris’ left, stepped forward, "Tempt not a desperate man," he said to his boss quietly.

Chris took a moment to look at the anthropologist, before nodding slowly and looking at Vin who stood at the other end of the line of men, You ready, his expression said.

Vin smiled, Always.

"All right, Morris," he said insincerely, and started leading his men toward the edge. Only Vin lingered, and Morris in his gleeful haze didn’t seem to notice. As the seven made their way to the edge, Morris turned his body slightly to watch, thus exposing his side. Tanner immediately dropped to one knee and brought his sniper rifle up, and before Morris could even begin to react, he shot him twice. The first bullet ripped through the murderers throat, the second tore through both lunges at an angle, cutting off all hope of breath.

Josiah and Buck immediately leapt forward and grabbed the bank teller as she began to scream, trying to calm the hysterical woman. Morris fell backwards, and landed in all his undignified glory to bleed his final life onto the tarred roof.

Team seven stepped forward as one and looked down at the man who had believed himself invincible as he breathed his last, he actually smiled as he did this and raised one hand to point at them like an omen, before it dropped back down and John Morris died.

There was a long charged pause, before Ezra commented, "Well, that was…" he groped for a word.

"Creepy," JD supplied.

"Symbolic," Josiah added.

Chris looked up, "Fucked up," he said decisively.

"That’s the one," Ezra said.


Comments to: