The hospital hallway was silent, as one man stood before his friends. His mind tormented, his body trembling with his efforts to maintain control. Ezra knew what he had to do. He met Chris' eyes, then Vin's and Josiah's. He saw their own fear and confusion. He saw concern. The gun lowered slightly, as Ezra swallowed and closed his eyes. In a moment it'd be over. The voices would stop forever. This was the only way, the only redemption.
Josiah watched Ezra closely, as the confused agent met his gaze. For an instant he could see into the hollow green depths and realized what remained of the man he knew was dying. The moment Ezra began to lower the gun, Josiah was in motion. He didn't wait for Chris' signal, because he knew there wasn't time. His bulk moved with quickness and grace traversing the few feet between him and Ezra. He saw the smaller man's eyes close and the twist of his arm, as he turned the gun towards himself. Somewhere behind him, Josiah heard Vin yell, "Ezra No!" The southerner opened his eyes, tears instantly flowing. Josiah saw the recognition and anguish. It was the same thing JD had yelled out in his sleep earlier.
"Oh God." He heard the strangled whisper, as he barreled into Ezra grabbing the arm with the gun and slamming it hard into the floor as they landed in a tangled heap. Josiah cringed at the impact of Ezra's arm with the floor, knowing immediately that it had broken.
The whole incident took mere seconds, but to the involved agents time had slowed. Josiah lay on top of Ezra, now pinning him to the floor. He knew Chris and Vin were there. From the corner of his eye he saw Chris retrieve the gun and then heard Nathan trying to get through to check on Ezra. Carefully Josiah pulled back, his face almost touching Ezra's. "I'm sorry brother," he whispered, "I'm not losing you today."
"Josiah, Josiah let me check him. Vin get his doctor." Nathan was pulling Josiah off Ezra now.
"Watch him Nathan," Chris said fearing what Ezra might do next.
Nathan looked at the now catatonic agent on the floor. "He's not going anywhere right now Chris."
"Is he okay?"
"I don't know."
"His arm's broke," Josiah said slowly climbing to his feet.
Nathan nodded. Right now he was more concerned with the fact that Ezra was just laying there staring at the ceiling.
"Ezra? Ezra? Can you hear me?" Ezra's empty eyes continued to stare. Nathan gently wiped a drying tear from the prone man's face expecting some reaction to his touch, there was nothing. "Ezra?" Nathan raised his voice and slapped Ezra's face lightly, "Come on Ez." Still nothing.
Chris watched Nathan work on Ezra. His own emotions threatening to break out of control. The world felt like it was revolving in slow motion ever since Josiah had begun to move. He could see people moving about in his peripheral vision. He heard Nathan pleading with Ezra to respond. Vin and the Doctor were coming toward them. Josiah stood to one side, a sadness in his countenance. Chris remembered Watson. Anger boiled to the surface, as Chris turned suddenly and strode to the observing drug dealer. Without a word he grabbed the man by his neck and hoisted him into the air.
"What's the trigger?" Chris voice was eerily calm.
Watson struggled for air, as strong fingers squeezed his throat. "Won't do you any good," he stuttered. With one fluid motion Watson felt himself airborne. His flight ended as soon as it began when he hit the opposite wall.
"Let's try again," Chris grabbed him by the neck once more lifting him high.
"Somebody help me," Watson pleaded, but there was no one to listen, as he once again was sent flying into the wall. He rolled onto his back raising his cuffed hands up to protect his neck from another suffocating grasp. This time, however, Chris planted his foot firmly on his chest.
"You're out of time. What's the trigger?" Slowly he leaned over placing his hands on his slightly bent knee. Watson squirmed under the increasing pressure. "Please," he begged.
"The trigger," Chris pressed his foot down harder. It was like stepping on a bug and it took all his control to keep from crushing this particular insect.
"Okay, okay," Watson managed between gasps. Chris let up slightly, "The lights."
"What about them?"
"Turn them on and off three times."
"That's it?" it seemed too simple.
"Yes," Watson nodded grimacing.
"If that doesn't work"
"It will. I swear."
Chris released Watson with an extra shove that bordered on a kick and hurried back to where Nathan and the Doctor still knelt over Ezra.
"Get him in a room," he commanded, "Josiah watch him," he waved over his shoulder toward Watson. Two nurses arrived with a stretcher, their faces lined with a combination of fear and concern. Quickly Ezra was lifted onto the stretcher.
"Watch his arm," the doctor warned, as they took the precaution of strapping him down.
Once inside a private room Chris didn't wait for them to transfer Ezra to a bed. "Move back," he pushed the nurses aside, "Vin when I signal blink the lights on and off three times."
Vin nodded and stood by the light switch.
"Ezra? Ezra can you look at me?" Chris leaned over Ezra who didn't stir. "Ez, you gotta do this for me. Look at the lights. " He drew back so Ezra was staring up at the overhead flourecent lights and nodded to Vin.
Off and on, off and on, off and on. Three times Vin hit the switch. Chris held his breath, as he watched the light blind above Ezra's expressionless face. After an eternal minute Ezra blinked a few times and closed his eyes.
"Ezra, you okay?"
"Would someone care to explain why I'm staring at this infernal light?" the drawl was just a whisper, but the tone that had been missing for the last two weeks was back.
"We're getting you into a bed in a minute then we'll take care of your arm," Nathan explained.
Ezra nodded solemnly, "Oh God," he reached with his good d hand to touch his head, but was impeded by the restraints. A flash of panic slipped through his features, but was gone, as soon as it appeared. "I didn't dream it did I ?" he opened his eyes searching Chris' features.
Chris shook his head. "No, but it's over now."
"He'll be okay. Just relax so they can get you settled."
Nathan took his que from Chris and began to help the nurses move Ezra to the bed. "They're going to hook you up to an I-V to give you some medication."
"It's to counteract the hypnotic that Watson gave you."
"He is in your custody correct?" Ezra looked again to Chris for the answer.
"Regretting every minute of it." "As well he should."
+ + + + + + +
Buck is whispering softly to me. I can hear the words, but for some reason it's taking me a while to figure out what he's saying. Maybe I'm not awake enough yet.
"It's going to be okay kid."
I smile and force my eye open. It's getting easier each time I try.
"Hi Buck. " I glance around the room. "Where is everybody?"
A familiar grin crosses Buck's features. "They're out saving the world."
"And you didn't join them?"
"Nope." He still looks worried. I look at the ceiling a minute trying to clear my head. There's a commotion in the hall. Voices loud and strained. I hear Chris. Buck tenses beside me.
"Go," I tell him hiding the fact that my fear is rising. Ezra will kill you. The voices are returning. Just as Buck stands up, there's a gunshot. Buck runs out.
I stare at the ceiling again counting the tiles and trying to stay calm. Who would be shooting a gun in the hospital? My heart beats a little faster. The voices grow louder. Run, Ezra will kill you.
No, Ezra wouldn't hurt me. The voices don't seem as strong as I remember. Struggling to sit up a ways I realize it's not going to work. Too much pain, and too many tubes. I feel like my side is on fire. I watch the door anxiously. Buck's back, but he's facing into the hall. He glanced at me once. He's afraid of something.
Man I wish I knew what was going on. I feel like I've been in a separate world. I can see and hear everything that's going on, but it's all so far away. Every one is so far away. No one is coming to help you, No, I know better, but I can't chase away the doubt. What is wrong with me? I can't hear what's going on in the hall anymore. God I wish I was out there. All I've ever wanted was to be a part of something, a team, a family, both. I thought I had that but now...
I didn't realize I'd closed my eyes until I hear Buck calling me.
"Hmm?" he's standing over me. Chris is here and Nathan. "Hey guys," I sound weak. I hate being helpless in front of Chris.
"I'm going to ask you to do something for me." Chris looks stressed. "Sure." What can I do stuck in bed?
"I need you to star at the light and not close your eyes until I say."
"At the light?" This is weird.
Now what's going on? "Okay." I settle back and look up. It's one of those big panel florescent lights. Why is the light so important? I wonder. I hear Chris say "Okay," to Nathan, I think then the light goes off and on. Off and on. Off and on. Three times. For a moment I keep staring at the brightness almost expecting to see something there. It's like there's a switch inside that's been thrown on all of the sudden. Like when the power's been knocked out in a thunderstorm and the electricity suddenly comes back on.
"JD? You okay son?" Buck asks.
"Yeah, I think so. What's going on?" My thoughts and memories are so jumbled. Like they're trapped behind a stage curtain that's very slowly rising and I can't quite get the whole picture yet.
"What can you remember?" Nathan and Chris move to one side of my bed.
"Starting when?" There's just so much. The three of them exchange a weird look like they're trying to decide what they should or shouldn't say. Ignoring them I close my eyes. I know I'm in the hospital again, because I ran, I ran because I was afraid of Ezra. Ezra? Ezra shot me. Opening my eyes I realize they are all staring at me.
"Ezra shot me." I can't believe that happened.
"We know JD," Buck touches my hand.
"Something's wrong with him though," I try to explain, "he acted all different and I know he was undercover and everything, but there was something else. Watson did something to him I think," My voice is speeding up as I talk and it's hard to breath, but I need to explain. To try to process it myself.
"Slow down JD," Nathan commands, "We know."
"What happened?" Please somebody explain all this to me.
"Watson gave Ezra and you both shots of a drug that let him basically hypnotize you," Nathan explained.
"I was hypnotized?" I've always wondered what it would be like to be hypnotized.
"Is that why I felt so afraid of Ezra at the apartment?" I can remember now, seeing the bullets and then gun.
"Yeah probably," Chris answers.
"Is Ezra okay now?" He doesn't still want to kill me does he?" I can't believe I just asked that question.
"He never wanted to kill you JD." Chris sits in the chair beside the bed now. He looked tired. They all do, but I guess they've been up all night. I nod trying again to process the information. Ezra didn't want to kill me. I still feel a little frightened though.
"Is he okay though?"
Chris nods. "I think so. Confused like you are. He's got a broken arm, but other than that physically he's fine."
Physically. "How'd he break his arm?" I wonder out loud.
I can't suppress a yawn.
"We should let him rest Chris," Nathan points out.
"I feel like all I do is sleep," I complain. I feel like they think I'm weak and lazy.
"Understandable. It's your body's way of healing JD. Don't fight it," Nathan smiles.
"Do you want me to stay?" Buck offers.
"Naw, you need rest. I'll be okay. " I want to be alone. Buck looks hesitant, but Nathan nods to him and motions for the door.
"Hey wait," I call after them.
Chris turns concern in his eyes. "What is it?"
"Am I still, you know, hypnotized at all?"
"No." His answer is firm and confident.
After they leave I lay there thinking. Running the events through my head again. It' like watching a movie I didn't even know I was staring in. It seems so unreal that something like this would happen. Ezra really did shoot me. I wonder if I'll be afraid when I see him. I hope not. Ezra is part of the family I always wanted. I don't want to lose the feeling of belonging I have here. I couldn't bear to lose that.
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