A Day Like Any Other

by Twyla Jane

The disclaimer is and always will be I don’t own ‘em and never made a plug nickel off ‘em. Wish I did. This is a series of stories where Ezra’s a child and the remaining seven are adults. In a Modern universe where the boys are working in Chris’ and Buck’s 4C agency as private investigators, bounty hunters and body guards. This ficlet takes place after 4CAU's "This place". 11/12/01

The sun rose over the mountains its golden hues shimmered through the trees casting fluttering shadows on the earth. A weary Chris Larabee lay on the couch as comfortably as he could with a limp seventy-pound body draped over him wrapped in a colorful hand made afghan that covered the both of them. The boy was sleeping now. Ever since his son had come home, Ezra had been plagued with nightmares. The sessions with Dr. Travis were helping the dreams dwindled and lessened in intensity. Usually it was enough for the lean blond to hold his son and comfort him. Last night was the worse by far, at two in the morning he was awakened by hysterical screaming that had him running to Ezra’s side. The hoarse shrieking filled the room.


Engulfed in a horrifying dream, the boy wailed red faced with tearing streaming down his face unable to wake up as Chris picked him up and held onto him rocking as arms flailed and legs kicked. After fifteen minutes Ezra’s voice failed and the struggles weakened until he hung flaccid in his father’s arms, the gentle rocking motion didn’t stop until Chris was sure the spent child was deeply asleep. He kissed the sweaty forehead and patted the boy on the back. At some point Ezra had lost control of his bladder and wet himself. Grabbing another pair of pajamas, the man made quick work of cleaning up the exhausted boy and changing him out of the damp clothes. Larabee had settled onto the couch in the living room with his son before finally succumbing to sleep almost ninety minutes after being startled from his bed.

A lone tear slipped down from under his lashes. It was too soon so much had happened in the last few months and there had been little time to settle in before the anniversary was upon them. An anniversary as if it were joyful celebration, six years since the horrifying day his wife Sarah died and his son was stolen away. Chris hadn’t mentioned the significance of this day, maybe he should have. Ezra had gone to the cemetery earlier that week with Tilly where the date was carved in stone. His daughter was coping the facts and he couldn’t ask for more, Tilly had left the day before stating she had to return to Phoenix… ‘Loose ends’ is what she had called it. More like needing a little room to breathe. So today he and Ezra were left on their own.

Ezra woke to a pleasant aroma of cinnamon and bacon wafted through… he realized with a start he was in the living room and not in the same clothing he went to bed in. A hazy recollection of the night’s events returned and he blushed while wrapping the blanket around his thin frame before wandering into the kitchen.

“Morning sleepyhead…”

Chris had been up for couple hours he had washed and dried the boy’s bedding and clothes. By the time he had finished remaking the bed he knew how he wanted to spend the day. Genuinely smiling as Ezra shuffled into the kitchen with hair sticking up on end with his head hung low. Clearly the boy was embarrassed not having said a word in reply.

“Made some breakfast… actually brunch for the both of us…”

Ezra glance up for the first time and noticed the clock on the stove, it was almost noon. Chris was still home and it was a workday, the youngster shamefully lowered his eyes to the floor before mumbling.

“I’m sorry…”

“No need to be...”

“But you supposed to be working today…”

The guilt washed over him, he had kept the older man from his job. Not noticing as Chris turned the flame off underneath the pan of cooking bacon before he knelt down in front of him.

“Don’t…” Was quietly spoken as a warm callused hand brushed the side of his face. “You know what today is and so do I.”


The protest was barely a whisper.

“I wasn’t going to work…” Green eyes snapped open and stared as Larabee gently smiled before tousling the youngster’s hair. “Come on let’s eat before the food gets cold.”

The breakfast dishes had been cleaned and put away when Larabee asked Ezra to follow him out to the barn. He wasn’t a man of many words and didn’t know where to start or how to explain about this day. There was little he could do about what his son had seen, except comfort him and reassure him he was safe. But Tilly pointed out something before she left, during their visit to Sarah’s grave there was something missing. In the cemetery there had been no headstone or marker of any kind for Adam. If she had noticed so had Ezra. He climbed the ladder to the loft, turning occasionally to see if the boy was still behind. Striding across the loft to another ladder that led to the roof.

“I want to show you something.”

Chris explained simply as he led Ezra out onto a small dip in the roof. The view of the ranch was incredible, a hazy memory surfaced. He was sitting perched on the roof watching the horses run in the paddock below. He heard a male voice calling him and turned to see his father Chris as the door creaked open. “Adam, get your tail back in here…”

“Daddy I can see everything…”

The fleeting memory was gone. Chris sat down on the roof and he ran his fingers over the brass plaque that was mounted by the access door. Ezra leaned in closer so that he could read the words.

In loving memory of
Adam Christopher Larabee
Lost June 30, 1995
May he find the way home

“This was your favorite place…used drive me crazy but your mother knew you wouldn’t fall…Buck put this here….” He patted the plate. Chris sighed early during the dark times when he had refused to put a memorial up for Adam because there had been no body to bury. His friend found a way to deal with his own grief. After a year and a half of persistence he helped Larabee back on the road to sobriety he showed him the simple epitaph. Ironic choice of words, Buck had hoped Adam’s body would be found. Instead Larabee’s son had found his way back home alive.

“I didn’t want you think you weren’t missed…” Chris tried to explain but Ezra wasn’t listening instead the boy was gazed off into the distance before speaking.

“Chris…I remember you calling me…” The quiet words were almost inaudible. “I liked it up here because I could see the horses run and play.”

“I had a difficult time keeping you on the ground… used to scare me…you were so independent… so determined… you still are and I’m still afraid for you.”

“Last night?”

“Yeah… and today… it’s been six years… I wanted this anniversary to be different. Sarah… your mother… wouldn’t want us to spend the day mourning her loss… I thought maybe if you want I could tell you about her…”

Chris found himself as the recipient of a tight hug from Ezra.

“I’ll take that as a yes…”

The pair sat atop the barn on the roof ridge enjoying the warm sun, sharing memories and watching clouds float by.