Magnificent Seven Old West
Ezra 7: 6-7

by Laura

The characters of Magnificent Seven, the town of Four Corners and its inhabitants don't belong to me. I ain't tryin' to make no money off of 'em, and no threat of copyright infringement is intended.

This story is Ezra mostly, (Like the title didn't give that away!), but Josiah is pretty important too. The title is the book from the Bible, Ezra, chapter seven, verses 6-7.


Ezra clutched at the burning graze the bullet had left, softly cursing under his breath as he felt the blood oozing out of his arm under his fingers. Pushing the pain from his mind, Ezra raised his gun with his good arm and fired, watching in satisfaction as his target fell to the ground from the roof of the bank. The gunfight was going on for an incredibly long time. Ezra glanced around and was happy to see that the other six gunmen who protected Four Corners were all still standing. He could see a trickle of blood running along the side of Chris' face, but aside from that, the others seemed unharmed.

The gambler ducked as a bullet clipped the top edge of the wagon he was using for cover. Why couldn't these imbeciles rob somebody else's bank? The first shots had been fired almost ages ago, or at least that was what it had seemed like. Suddenly, the bank doors crashed open and Ezra watched four men run out, each holding another person as a human shield. As the men reached their horses, they jumped on, shoved their hostages aside, and kicked the animals into a full gallop.

Ezra watched as the other six gunmen were kept pinned down by a constant barrage from the outlaw's guns. He was the last thing that stood between them and their escape from town. Checking the loads of his weapons, Ezra grasped one in each hand. Without a second thought, he stepped out from the wagon and painfully brought his arm up and fired, alternating between his guns. Two of the men barreling down on him fell from their horses and another slumped over his saddle. A searing pain in his right shoulder sliced into Ezra's concentration, followed by a liquid heat that poured from his body. He fell to the ground, trying desperately to breathe against the white hot agony in his shoulder, shaking his head as he heard his name screamed into the air.

Still acting on his last coherent thought, Ezra managed to turn over and use his good arm to fire at the two remaining figures that were riding away. He pulled the trigger at the same time as six other guns went off. Each bullet found its mark and the two men fell dead from their horses. Ezra allowed himself to relax into the ground, gritting his teeth and willing himself to stay conscious. A shadow fell over him and he tried to focus his eyes on the face.

"Just stay still, Ezra," the voice told him, gently undoing the buttons on his shirt, pulling it aside. Ezra watched the healer as he examined his shoulder, hissing as he felt fingers prodding around on the back for an exit hole. Once found, Nathan ripped at the fabric of the blood stained shirt, using the rags to press into the holes of Ezra's shoulder, stopping the bleeding.

Several other forms hovered near, and Ezra forced himself to focus on them. Chris was kneeling on his other side, his face pale and dripping with blood from a cut on his forehead. Buck was standing just behind the black clad gunman, his hand on his shoulder. Nathan looked around and called to Josiah. The large man dropped the body of the dead outlaw he had been dragging off the street and rushed over.

"I need him up in my room, now!" Josiah nodded and knelt down, picking up the much smaller man as gently as possible, mumbling apologies as Ezra groaned in pain. Nathan motioned to Chris as well.

"You too."

"Aw, it ain't nothin'. Just a scratch." Chris rose from his kneeling position to follow Josiah and Ezra, but stumbled against the dizziness in his brain.

"Right," Nathan said sarcastically, reaching out to grab the other man's arm. "Buck?" he asked, making a gesture with his free hand. The usually jolly man with the mustache latched onto Chris' other arm and helped Nathan lead his friend up to the healer's room. Vin and JD continued to drag the bodies off the street, each aware that two of their comrades had been hurt, and each knowing that they were going to be sorry they couldn't kill the outlaws again if it turned out to be serious.

The three men reached the room shortly after Josiah, finding Ezra laid out on the bed, his shirt and jacket laying in a bloody heap on the floor. Setting Chris down in a corner, Nathan made his way over to the gambler. Buck helped keep the blonde man steady, watching as Josiah handed Nathan his bag and stood by if an extra set of hands was needed.

Buck stood back out of the way, trying to keep an eye on both Nathan's activities and Chris. He hadn't seen Ezra get shot, but Chris' loud scream had brought his attention to where the smaller man lay in the street. He had immediately took aim and fired, not noticing until after the fact that Ezra had managed to take a shot as well. His only thought after that, aside from Ezra's well being, was Chris. The older man had gotten that look in his eyes that Buck only remembered seeing when Sarah and Adam had still been alive. Chris would get *that look* whenever one of them did something that could have hurt them, or did hurt them. Buck knew that these other men had finally worked their way into Chris' soul, giving him once again a family that he cared about very much. And now, at the thought of losing one of them, Chris was lost.

Ezra moaned as Nathan finished wrapping the wound, tying the bandage tightly about his shoulder. Chris jerked slightly at the sound and watched as Nathan stepped back, using the back of his bloody hand to wipe the sweat from his brow. The other three men waited in silence as the healer rinsed off his hands before coming to stand before Chris. A slow smile lit his face.

"He's gonna be fine. I'll keep him in bed for a couple of days just to be sure, but the bullet went in and out real clean. He might develop a slight fever, but nothing to fret about. He's gonna be just fine." Chris nodded and slumped visibly. Buck tightened his grip and Nathan frowned, walking back to get his bag. Chris opened his eyes at the sound of the returning steps, seeing Nathan carrying a spool of thread, a needle, and a few other articles that Chris wasn't real sure of. He started to rise, only to find Buck grinning down at him as he held him still.

"Traitor," he murmured, feeling Josiah take his other side. Chris shook his head and then held still, submitting to Nathan's abilities. Three stitches closed the cut on his head and a bandage was placed to help keep it clean.

Vin and JD quietly knocked before entering, reporting that all had been cleaned up downstairs. Nathan filled them in on Ezra's condition and saw the relief that crossed both their faces. Chris waved off any concern for himself, instead getting up and carefully making his way over to the prone form on the bed.

"Damn fool," he muttered. JD came up to stand beside him.

"Did you see the way he faced 'em, Mr. Larabee? I never seen nothin' like it." Chris shook his head again, not at JD's statement, but at his own thoughts as he voiced them.

"Never knew a man to put himself into so many reckless situations and come out alive, much less barely hurt." Josiah walked to the other side of the bed, watching the slow, measured breaths that caused Ezra's chest to rise and fall.

"I guess Ezra is just living up to his namesake," he said quietly.

The other men threw him a confused look. "Ezra. It's a book in the Bible, as well as a figure in it." The big man paused a moment in thought and then continued. "'He was a teacher well versed in the Law of Moses which the Lord, the God of Israel, had given. The king had granted him everything he asked, for the hand of the Lord his God was upon him.' Ezra, chapter 7, verses 6-7."

The other men looked down at the still, southerner, something new gleaming in their eyes.

"Well," Vin drawled, a smile lighting up his face, "That well versed part was right. But I don't know if it's the luck of Heaven or Hell that keeps him alive." The others laughed quietly until Nathan ushered them out, holding Chris back as he tried to make the door.

"Not you. I want you to stay here for a little while. I'll go down and grab us a bite to eat and bring it back." Nathan's tone brooked no argument and he left without waiting to see if Chris had any opinion on the matter. The blonde man shrugged and sat back down in his chair, only then noticing that Josiah had stayed behind as well.

Josiah laid a hand on Ezra's forehead, mumbling a quiet prayer before turning to leave. Chris' voice stopped him.

"This Ezra from your Bible...was he a good man?" Josiah looked from their leader to the gambler, a twinkle coming into his eyes.

"Yes, Brother Chris. He was. He was a priest and a judge. He was also a leader. He cared about his people very much." Josiah nodded as he left the room, leaving Chris to look at the sleeping man before him, confusing thoughts running through his head. Finally, Josiah's last comment settled on his heart. "Yep," he said to the sleeping form, "I guess you are livin' up to your namesake."

The End