One Stone

by KT

Disclaimer: Not mine, never were, never will be.

Note: Written in response to the 'Honouring a Sacrifice' challenge. In honour of Sir Nicholas Winton. Betaed by Kerry.

It was a chance meeting on a bright spring afternoon in Denver. Buck was on his way to deliver flowers to Sarah and Adam's graves. He'd been sent the flowers while in the hospital, despite the fact that he'd only been in for one night and the operation routine. It was work related and all Vin's fault, as he'd reminded the younger man on many occasions. Six months ago he'd broken his arm.

They had been setting up for a stakeout; the house they were using was old and no longer had water or power. As a result, there was a good deal of equipment to bring in and, to make sure they remained unseen by their target, this had to be via the back. Vin had carried a huge bottle of water up to the first floor landing and then balanced it on the corner of the banister while he got the door open. Buck was coming up the stairs with a box of sodas in his arms when the wind slammed the door behind him. The resulting vibrations were sufficient to topple the precariously balanced water, which bounced down the stairs slamming into Buck's shins and sending him tumbling back down the stirs, where he landed in a heap with mild concussion and a broken arm.

It was a bad break of his humerus and had needed two pins to secure it. He'd been back at work, fully fit and cleared for active duty for the last four months, and since he'd stopped ragging on Vin, the others, with the possible exception of Nathan, had forgotten about the injury. Thus they were all mildly surprised when he announced he'd need Friday off as he was going into the hospital to have the pins out and would be back at work on Monday, not to mention out at Chris' on Sunday as normal.

"Guys, I don't want no fuss, you all don't need to come visit or nothing, I'll be in surgery in the afternoon so I'll most likely sleep the rest of the day away - you know me," he told them.

It was true, that while Vin's reaction to anesthetics was to be violently ill, Buck just slept the sleep of the dead for hours on end after his initial recovery.

"Bucklin, I'm sor..." Vin began.

"Quit it, Junior. I know you're sorry, but it's over. I had my fun making you pay, now I just want this last bit over and the whole thing forgotten - okay?"

"Sure thing."

JD had been a little hurt that Buck hadn't even told him what was happening, but he, like the others, had respected his wishes. However, when he finally woke up on Saturday morning, Buck found a huge bar of luxurious chocolate beside the bed - from the rest of the team - and a bouquet of flowers from 'all the girls in human resources'.

So it was that he was on his way to Sarah and Adam's graves when he spotted Ezra, standing by a rather anonymous looking grave. As Buck watched, he bent and placed what looked like a small pebble on the top of the modest gravestone.

Ezra stood, but kept his head bowed for a second then turned to walk away; as he did he spotted Buck and froze for a second, momentarily wrong footed.

"Good afternoon," he finally greeted. "How are you?" He nodded to the sling supporting Buck's left arm.

"Fine. It's just for show really. The ladies love a wounded hero."

Ezra had been walking and was now in front of him. "You fell down the stairs," he reminded with a raised eyebrow.

"Whatever. So, what about you? I didn't know you had any relatives in Denver."

Ezra looked over his shoulder for a moment. "I don't." He looked back at Buck and seemed to come to a decision. "Knowing you, if I don't tell you the story you will only investigate it for yourself."

Buck opened his mouth to protest. "Oh I know you wouldn't share the results of your sleuthing, but you would do it. Like all good investigators you, Mr. Wilmington, have an insatiable curiosity."

"You don't have to tell me, not if you don't what to."

"Oh, I think I do. That grave over there, it belongs to one Saul Edelstein. The inscription reads, 'Saul Edelstein Holocaust Survivor' and some dates. I found it one day, just after I arrived in Denver, quite by accident and I noticed there were no stones on it - you know about Jewish graves and stones?"

Buck nodded.

"Thursday is Yom Hashoah ve Hagvura, the day Jews remember the victims and heroes of the holocaust," he translated before Buck could ask. "Have you never considered that Ezra is a Jewish name?"

"I guess, kinda, but you're not Jewish - are you?"

Ezra smiled. "No, I'm not even a Christian, but my paternal grandmother was, Jewish that is."

Ezra turned and began to stroll in the direction of the Larabee graves. "Her maiden name was Eva Baker, but she was born in Prague, as Eva Rosenburg. In 1938 her parents, Ezra and Maria, who was a convert, placed her on one of the first Kindertransport which means children's transport. The Nazis let children leave when England opened her borders to Jewish refugees, but only children."

He stopped and looked at Buck. "Can you imagine what it must have been like for them? They handed their only child - she was only six - over to strangers, strangers in a hostile land, knowing they would never see her again. That is the ultimate sacrifice. They gave up their child to save her."

"How did she come to be your grandmother?" Buck asked softly.

"She was sent on from England to live with her mother's sister, who was married to an American, my great aunt Greta, she and her husband adopted her. She went on to marry Miles Standish and have a son - Patrick."

"Your father."

"I never really knew him, and Eva and Miles died in a car crash before I was born, but I did live with Greta for several months, on at least three occasions. She told me the story and showed me the pictures."

"What happened to you great grandparents?"

"They died in Auschwitz. I can't place stones on their grave, but I can at least do it for Saul."

"It's enough," Buck stated.

"You think so?" Ezra seemed genuinely uncertain.

"I do."

Ezra nodded slowly. "I hope you will keep this to yourself."

"You don't even need to ask that."

"I know, sorry." They were almost at Sarah and Adam's grave. "I'll leave you here."


The End