Chris pulled his truck to a stop beside the brick building.
"I can't believe he came back here," Vin said pointing to the Buick.
"Seems a little easy don't it?"
The two agents climbed quickly out of the truck readying their weapons. On the way, Chris had called for back up and Josiah was already directing the other agents on the scene. With a nod to his own team members he signaled they were ready.
They went in as planned and Watson surrendered with virtually no resistance. Chris felt a heavy knot grow in his stomach. Vin was right, it had been way too easy.
"You okay Ezra?" Vin asked leading the undercover agent towards the truck.
Ezra blinked once and nodded. "I'm fine Vin, thank you."
"We're gonna need to take you back to the hospital to get checked out just in case."
Again Ezra nodded. "Fine," he murmured, as he settled in the truck.
Chris came up beside Vin "How is he?" he kept his voice low.
"Says he's fine, but didn't even put up a fight about getting checked out."
Chris frowned, "Then he's far from fine." He rubbed his hand over his face thinking. "Bring Watson to the hospital with us. I have a few questions I need answered."
+ + + + + + +
Chris sat calmly across from the hand cuffed Chester Watson. At least by his appearances he was calm. Ezra was in with a doctor down the hall, so Josiah had procured a small currently deserted office to use for an interrogation. Placing his hands palms down on the wobbly table separating him from the drug dealer, Chris took a deep breath.
"You know what I want Watson."
"I'm sure you want many things Mr. Larabee." Josiah watched from the doorway noting the tips of Chris' fingers turning white from the pressure he was applying to the table. Maybe I'll just go check on Vin and Ezra, he thought stepping into the hall.
Upon their arrival to the hospital Nathan had confirmed the doctor's most recent report. JD had also been drugged. They were giving him drugs to counter act the effects of the hypnotic, but they'd given the same treatment to Ezra and it was obvious to all of them that the southerner still hadn't fully recovered.
"I'm not here to play games," Chris growled, "What's the trigger to getting my men back to normal?"
"Question is, were they ever normal to begin with?" the chuckle Watson started to follow his smart comment with, died in his throat as the table exploded into tiny shards of press board and plastic. He felt rough hands grab him by the shirt front, lifting and slamming him against the wall. He'd closed his eyes at the outburst and opened them now slowly. Chris Larabee's face was inches from his.
"Think it over you son of a bitch. I've got plenty of doctors around to put you back together and when they're done," he slammed Watson again for emphasis, "I'll just tear you apart again."
"Chris?" Josiah's anxious voice interrupted.
"What?" Larabee's eyes flared at Watson.
"We've got a problem with Ezra."
Chris immediately dropped Watson. "What's wrong?" he asked.
"He freaked out in the exam room, knocked the Doctor out. Vin's trying to talk to him," Josiah's eyes drifted to Watson, "He's not himself Chris."
Chris looked down at Watson and scowled. "You're coming along." He pulled the man up by his hair ignoring the yelps of protest. Kicking aside the remains of the table, he dragged Watson behind him, as he quickly followed Josiah.
The scene that awaited him down the hall caught him off guard for a second. Ezra paced nervously back and forth, as Vin stood blocking his path. The southerner bore little resemblance to the immaculate agent Chris was so used to working with. His hair was disheveled, dark circles ringed his eyes. His shirt was untucked and wrinkled. Roughly, Chris pushed Watson against the wall. "Stay here," he hissed.
Watson only grinned. He wasn't going anywhere, he didn't want to miss the show.
Chris and Josiah came up behind Vin cautiously. Ezra appeared to be muttering something to himself, as he rubbed viciously at his one arm. Shaking his head every now and then, he seemed to be arguing with himself.
"What's going on?" Chris asked Vin. What he was witnessing scared him.
Vin's shoulders sagged slightly, as he answered, "I don't know Chris. He wants to get to JD's room, I think. Muttered his name a few times."
Chris scanned the hall.
"It's behind us six doors down." Josiah filled in the information.
"Have you talked to him?" Chris asked.
"Only right after he knocked the doctor out. Told me to get out of his way, there was something he had to finish."
"Let's try again."
Vin nodded. "Hey Ezra?" he started calmly.
"Get out of my way Vin," Ezra's thick drawl was laced with emotion.
"We just need to know what we can do to help you." Vin's words rang through Ezra's head, but couldn't deaden the rising voices. You have to kill JD. If anyone tries to stop you, kill them.
"No," Ezra said out loud shaking his head.
"Ezra?" Chris kept his voice low and soft.
The voices were getting louder. If anyone tries to stop you, kill them. Ezra stopped in the center of the hall and faced his friends. "Get out of my way."
"We need to know where you're going first Ezra," Josiah explained.
"Get the hell out of my way!" Ezra shouted pulling a gun from his back waistband. He aimed it squarely at Vin's chest.
"Whoa now," all three agents took a step backwards, hands out non-threatening. None of them reached for their own guns.
"What are you doing Ez?" Vin asked, using the more familiar name he sometimes called his friend.
"I have to." Ezra blinked and shook his head again. Turmoil swirling in his green eyes.
"Have to what?" "I have to finish it," he stepped forward, "Now get out of my way."
"We can't Ezra," Chris told him.
'If anyone tries to stop you, kill them.'
"Now!" Ezra fired his gun at the ceiling. One of the plaster tiles exploded into dust. There were screams from the nurses station and a few people came out into the hall.
"Get out of the hall!" Josiah shouted, "Stay down."
Footsteps behind them signaled the arrival of Buck and Nathan.
"What the hell?" Buck started.
"Go back to JD's room now," Chris ordered without looking over his shoulder. Understanding the danger immediately, Buck slowly backed away until he was in JD's doorway. Watching Ezra and the others he cursed. What was going on?
Ezra's eyes darted from man to man .
"Get out of my way, please," his voice rasped.
"We can't do that Ezra," Josiah said carefully.
Emotion twisted Ezra's features. "I don't want to kill you." The gun was again aimed at Vin, but now it shook as Ezra's hand trembled. If anyone tries to stop you, kill them. Ezra pressed his free hand against one ear. They just stood there, Chris, Vin, Josiah, Nathan. They were his friends. They'd all saved his life more then once. They were the closest thing he had to a family. JD was family.
"Oh God," He whispered, as he faced his team. How could he have betrayed them this way?
'If you are stopped, kill yourself.'
Chris watched Ezra wrestle inwardly. Ever so slowly he took a step forward. "You won't kill us Ezra," he almost whispered.
"I can't I have to. Chris?"
"It's okay Ez. I trust you. We trust you," he took another step forward, "You won't kill us."
Ezra pointed the gun at him then back to Vin and back to Chris again. His head felt like it was slowly shattering. Chris trusted him. Vin stepped forward, as Chris spoke again.
"We understand you're confused. It's not your fault. Hand me the gun Ezra." Ezra's eyes widened, as the men moved slowly closer. He couldn't squeeze the trigger, not this time. JD's voice rang out in his memory. "Ezra No!" the guilt hit him in waves again, crashing like the incoming tide.
"I can't do it," he whispered closing his eyes. There was only one other option. If you are stopped, kill yourself.
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