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Good lord, I forgot I had this one. :X

Title: Headache
Author: Yum@
Fandom: Magnificent 7 ATF
Rating: PG, hurt/comfort, friendship, angst
Words: 2000+words, complete
Summary: Ezra has a headache. (really, that's the summary. It is what it is. LOL.)
Author's Notes: Published previously in Brotherhood 1 (ah, a zine dear to me…oh, what was I thinking? LOL!).





Ezra looked up from his computer every so often, just over the top, to be sure there were no more paper projectiles, candy wrappers, or the odd popcorn bits—he still wasn't sure where that came from—being thrown about.

They should require Mr. Larabee to never leave his office more than once a day, Ezra thought to himself.

He leaned back in his chair with a wince. It was back again, the incessant pounding just behind the eyes, squeezing the back of his head. He resisted the urge to sigh. Slouching deeper into his seat, Ezra hid behind his monitor, bowed his head, and raised his hands to massage his temples. The throbbing eased a little under the circular motion, and Ezra, for a brief moment, hoped it meant the torment had passed.

"And I say you're full of shit, Buck!" A paper projectile bounced off the top of Ezra's head and rolled serenely across the floor. "Oops. Sorry about that, Ez."

Then again…

"Damn it, Buck, did you have to use up all my paper?" JD complained. He rummaged around rather loudly in his desk, until a soft triumphant exclamation could be heard. Some more crinkling and— "Sorry about that!" he piped from his desk, Buck snickering loudly behind his.

No. Their team leader, Mr. Larabee, should not be allowed to leave the office more than once a week. Budget meetings should be prohibited from occupying Larabee's schedule this often, especially considering the chaos usually left in his wake by six agents floundering for mental occupation.

Another paper ball sailed over. Thankfully, it didn't target his head. Instead, it became a lovely addition to the pile already residing to the right of his feet.

Make that no more than once a month. Actually, never would be more apposite.

"I'm telling you, kid. They were triplets, and what one sister does, the other sister does, and the other and—"

"Do I really have to be hearing this?" Nathan complained. This time the paper projectile came from the medic's direction, but Buck batted it away like it was a volleyball and again—

"Aw, hell, Ezra. Maybe you oughta move seats," Buck called out in apology.

"Maybe I should move states?" Ezra muttered, squeezing his eyes shut. The throbbing returned. His brows knitted together in an agonized expression.

"Eh?"

Ezra covered his groan by typing loudly.

"You're still working on that report?" Buck's chair creaked as he strained to see. "Ezra, it's Friday!"

"And your point is?" Ezra drawled, calm and composed, or at least hoping he sounded like it. Just a few more hours, then he was going to go back to the pharmacy to refill his migraine prescription once and for all.

A paper wad went by, sailing over his head and behind him, sliding to a halt by Vin's feet. Tanner merely leaned over, looked at the intruder, and toed it away from his desk toward Ezra's. He ignored the glower Ezra sent his way.

"Shoot. So close!"

"Not even, kid. Pay up!"

"Two out of three! Come on!"

"Brothers, perhaps now isn't the time to—"

"You're going to take someone's eye out with those things."

"Yeah, yeah, he shoots, he...scores! Whoo-hoo!"

Ezra ducked his head. Just in time, as the paper—this time an airplane—went over in a big swoop, then landed gracefully…

Right into the wastepaper basket in the open office of one missing Chris Larabee.

"Five bucks, boy. Pay the man!"

"That was amazing, Josiah!"

Ezra blinked. Josiah? He raised his head enough to see the smug profiler reclined in his chair, slowly folding another one to demonstrate, Nathan across from him shaking his head in his hands, muttering dire predictions, yet peering through his fingers to watch as Buck called out helpful suggestions on paper aerodynamics. Ezra glared at them, but the lights were too bright. His eyes burned and began to tear before Ezra had to sink back into his seat with a groan instead of the complaint hanging off the tip of his tongue.

"Psst..."

Ezra stared at his screen. The lines of text blurred together.

"Psst...Ez...Hey, Ez."

Ezra. Ez. Ra. Two syllables. He couldn't understand why they could never get it right.

"Ez!"

A paper ball bounced off his monitor and promptly landed on his lap. Ezra looked at it for a moment before looking over his shoulder. Vin nodded toward the office.

"Chris," Vin mouthed.

Ezra winced. The sharpshooter was right. The senior agent would not be happy to return to a dozen paper airplanes in his office. Why was his door open, anyway? He could have sworn Larabee shut it before.

"Go get it," Vin formed silently.

Ezra gawked at him. "Me," he replied back just as quietly, although his bloodshot eyes spoke louder. "Why me?" He pointed a finger at Vin with an abrupt cut in the air.

"You're closer," Vin whispered. He grinned.

Ezra turned back around, unwilling to look at him. He refused to join in. Any other day, sure. But he'd only returned from an assignment that had gone from bad to worse. Thank God everyone came out unscathed, but there were too many close calls. Too many. They haunted him all the night before, and now his head felt like a vise was squeezing both sides of his skull together.

Ezra bowed his head. The Tylenol was refusing to work. All eight of them sitting in his belly were on strike, apparently. Or defective. Or both.

"I say double-loop, over the bookcase and— Oops. Sorry, Ez. Maybe you should move after all."

"Just a bit," Buck chimed in. "You're blocking Josiah's shot."

"I'm blocking—" Ezra heaved a sigh. "Gentlemen, I would suggest you get rid of the evidence before Mr. Larabee returns from his meeting."

Blank stares and a "who me?" from Josiah were the only answers.

The fluorescent lights above seem to pulse, to the point Ezra had to stand and walk away before he grew any dizzier. The restroom and breakroom looked dauntingly too far away. He stood there by his desk, swaying, undecided, squinting at the light, before heading for Larabee's office instead. He made a point not to look at Vin as he walked by. He staggered in and halted, staring at the office in dismay.

Good lord, it was a mess. Ezra ran a hand through his short chestnut brown hair. How long was this going on before he noticed? Outside, the rest of the team was still arguing what trick to try next in sailing their plane. Ezra rolled his eyes and shut the door just as Nathan's plane took flight. He ignored the muffled "Hey!" and slapped his palm over the light switch. The office fell into darkness, and he sighed, relieved. He pressed his forehead on the wall by the switch and took a deep breath. The darkness was cool and soothing against his shut eyes.

Shakily, Ezra pulled away from the wall, kicked aside one paper airplane in his path before he sat down on the leather couch lining the wall.

He stared at the wastebasket, then at the floor. Had he a dollar for every plane they missed…He shook his head, then flinched as the room spun. Ezra leaned forward and braced it with a groan.

Just a few more hours, he told himself, and the week will be over. Case's done, everyone's alive, you didn't screw it up.

It was so close. So damn close. Ezra had been playing Cassidy to Lewis Truss' Butch for almost a month. Four weeks of pretending to enjoy every disgusting account Truss bragged about, secretly going through Truss' files for something to put the miscreant away for a very long time.

Ezra eyed the door warily. Surprisingly, it was quiet outside now. Ezra muttered a prayer to himself. Hopefully, Chris Larabee would be returning soon, before Buck and JD found other things to occupy their minds. Last month, they'd crazy-glued everyone's drawers shut. Ezra heard Larabee's tirade and Josiah's banging at his drawers to pry them open the whole time he prepped for his undercover stint in the meeting room. Oddly enough, the noise back then wasn't as grating as it was now.

He stared at the floor and the crumpled airplanes by his feet. They looked like dead bodies. Bile soured in his mouth and he swallowed, hard.

The team, after weeks of secret communiqués and meetings at midnight, set up a raid the day before. Ezra was glad to see an end to the case but, to his dismay, the meeting place for Truss' deal was changed and signals were crossed.

Ezra sighed. He poked at the paper projectile with his shoe.

Luckily, everything went down well, sort of, kind of. Team Four who'd served as backup, went in a little too eager to claim the glory. Two of their men had been shot and were now in guarded condition in St. Luke's. It so easily could have been his team, his friends, his fam—

Ezra pressed his fingers over his eyes and exhaled harshly. He could still hear Vin's shouted warning about a sniper. The bastard had pinned Josiah and Nathan at a corner until Vin's keen eyes found him and took him out. And the bomb… If Buck hadn't found the bomb in time…

Ezra sat back for a second. It's over, he repeated to himself, annoyed. It's over, you're back, get over it.

His body sagged. Ezra felt his head strike the back of the sofa. He stared blearily at the ceiling, barely discerning the hanging sconce in the dim lighting. He felt his eyelids grow heavy.

Just for a minute, maybe until the dizziness went away, and he'd gather up all the projectiles before Larabee got wise. Least he could do for nearly getting his entire team killed...



Chris Larabee trudged into the office, one finger already working the knot of silk threatening to choke him. He grunted as everyone chimed their welcomes, his other hand carrying his briefcase offering a half-hearted wave back.

"Meetings should be outlawed," he muttered as he headed straight for his office. Haven. Hours of trying defend the right for his team to have bullets, better vests, even coffee in the break room was tiring. Even his boss Judge Travis' sympathetic grimace tossed his way as the next PowerPoint presentation rolled in didn't help much. He needed his space, maybe a beer, a sledge hammer would be nice, too…

"Eh, hold off there," Vin said quietly, halting his steps.

Chris raised an eyebrow.

"Uh...Ezra's in there," JD said awkwardly. "He's, uh, sleeping."

Another eyebrow, now at the rest of the team, who looked suspiciously serious and somber for a group left alone for three hours. Last time he'd been in a meeting, Chris came back to find gummy bears pinned to the ceiling by sharpened pencils.

"Been having a bad headache all morning," Nathan murmured, his eyes on the door. "Damn fool wouldn't admit it. Had to hide his Tylenol before he took any more. He would have OD-d on the stuff before admitting to the headache."

"Figured it must be a migraine again," Vin added. He was sitting by the door, a stack of folders and a notepad on his lap.

"He didn't look too good after the raid yesterday," Josiah murmured. He tucked a folded piece of paper under a book on his desk.

"How did you manage to get him to sleep in there?" Chris lowered his voice.

Buck waggled his eyebrows. "We have our ways."

Chris carefully opened his door, ignoring the hissed warnings. He peered inside. Sure enough, Ezra was sitting on the couch, head tilted back, sleeping. Even in sleep, however, Chris could see the lines of pain. Chris narrowed his eyes, scanning his room before shutting the door again.

"Vin," Chris murmured, backing away from the office. "Wake him in about an hour and hustle him home, will ya?" If there was anyone who could talk some sense into Standish, it was Vin. "And knock some sense into him," Chris added. "Damn fool probably worked himself into a whole shit pile of worries about the raid last night."

Vin nodded. He remained where he was, waiting.

"I'll be in the conference room instead." Chris rolled back his shoulders. "Probably get more work done away from you yahoos, anyway." He nodded to them all. "Nice work, boys," he added with a touch of pride in his voice. Then, all lightness disappeared as something else occurred to him.

"Who the hell threw all that paper in there?"


The End


Author's Acknowledgment: To my dear friend, who has a headache. Alas, I can only hug from afar. And to brate7, who's getting a headache…

Comments

( 23 comments — comment )
oxbastetxo
Sep. 1st, 2009 01:26 am (UTC)
Lovely story. Poor guy. Great job as usual. ;-)
mrwubbles
Sep. 2nd, 2009 10:17 pm (UTC)
Thanks, sweetie. Oooh, adore your Ezra icon!
oxbastetxo
Sep. 3rd, 2009 01:27 am (UTC)
I got that one from the Mag7 group. :-D

You're fics have been very nice diversions lately. Going through some health things again. :-/
tpena19
Sep. 1st, 2009 05:24 am (UTC)
Poor Ez. Sneaky of the boys. Yays for in charge Chris, and Ezra-Vin friendship!
mrwubbles
Sep. 2nd, 2009 10:23 pm (UTC)
Ezra-Vin friendship!


Agreed!
solosundance
Sep. 1st, 2009 07:20 am (UTC)
Love how the sneaky boys are sneaky. Hee, gummy bears on the ceiling. Great juxtaposition (crap it's hard typing that this early in the morning) between the job that went down and the antics. Aw, and headachey Ezra - my favourite!
mrwubbles
Sep. 2nd, 2009 10:25 pm (UTC)
Aw, and headachey Ezra - my favourite!

My person favorite, too. Oooh, love your icon, too! Man, I only have one Ezra icon. I feel so deprived. LOL...
grachonok
Sep. 1st, 2009 09:18 am (UTC)
Nice scene, and very well described:).
mrwubbles
Sep. 2nd, 2009 10:25 pm (UTC)
Thank you!
shiney_captain
Sep. 1st, 2009 01:02 pm (UTC)
A nice little distraction before work this morning. Well done. Poor Ezra. Loved how the boys were looking out for him. Now I can drive to work thinking about ways to make Ezra feel better :)
mrwubbles
Sep. 2nd, 2009 10:26 pm (UTC)
LOL, where is that scene from your icon from?
shiney_captain
Sep. 3rd, 2009 04:02 am (UTC)
The incredible bookaddict43 made it from strangevisitor's screencaps of Witness. Its the scene where they hang the bad guy upside down in the tree. Usually I only go for the tongue porn icons but I couldn't resist this one ;)
romanse1
Sep. 1st, 2009 04:09 pm (UTC)
Oh boy did I love that! A hurting Ezra and those very, clever friends of his!!!

LOL - what a clever story and I didn't suspect until you revealed that the boys had Ezra's situation well in hand!
This is my favorite line:
Ezra bowed his head. The Tylenol was refusing to work. All eight of them sitting in his belly were on strike, apparently. Or defective. Or both.


I so enjoyed the banter between the men and seeing how they interact. Brava for a story well-told and it certainly joins the ranks of my favorite Ezra headache stories!


mrwubbles
Sep. 2nd, 2009 10:27 pm (UTC)
A hurting Ezra and those very, clever friends of his!!!

It's a button of mine. :)
winks7985
Sep. 1st, 2009 04:12 pm (UTC)
this was quite good!

i enjoy a good headache story, especially if it's something the likes of which i haven't read before.

well done! and so clever...
mrwubbles
Sep. 2nd, 2009 10:29 pm (UTC)
Thank you so much for the feedback!
sivanshemesh
Sep. 3rd, 2009 10:41 am (UTC)
LOL... now that was outstanding...

Glad that the team helped Ezra to get some sleep.

The ending is hilarious.

Thank you for writing it.

*Hugs & Kisses*

Have a great day/night and keep smiling,

Sivan Shemesh
mrwubbles
Sep. 10th, 2009 02:17 am (UTC)
Thank you! Well, Ezra wasn't going to help himself, someone had to....:)
gemspegasus
Sep. 5th, 2009 09:41 pm (UTC)
Hi,

What a wonderful story. I enjoy how you describe Ezra and the headache and how it relates to the bust. Also adore the boys being sneaky about getting Ezra into Chris's office to rest. Love the banter between all of them, The paper airplanes and gummy bears on the ceiling, I definitely see our boys doing that while Chris is away. Thank you for such a great story.

Have a fun weekend.

take care
hugs
Angela
mrwubbles
Sep. 10th, 2009 02:18 am (UTC)
Thank you! One of my early ventures into Mag 7. It was a lot of fun!
gemspegasus
Sep. 15th, 2009 09:18 pm (UTC)
Hi,

You're welcome. :)

Glad it was a lot of fun. Hope you venture further into Mag 7. :)

take care
hugs
Angela
vcg73
Sep. 17th, 2009 01:34 am (UTC)
Ah, such clever and caring friends! It didn't occur to me that they'd staged the paper fight until Ezra turned off the office lights and nobody came to investigate. :)
mrwubbles
Sep. 19th, 2009 07:44 pm (UTC)
It didn't occur to me that they'd staged the paper fight until Ezra turned off the office lights and nobody came to investigate. :)

Oh, our boys are sneaky. LOL
( 23 comments — comment )

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