Rating: PG-13 Language

Disclaimer: The Magnificent Seven is owned by Trilogy, Mirish and MGM. No money is being made. This fanfic is purely for entertainment purposes.

AU: ATF - Thanks Mog!

Author's Notes: Phyllis really gave me a great beta. She put a lot of thought and effort into it and the story is better for it. I can't thank her enough. Any mistakes are mine. I've been thinking about the subject of this story for quite a while - the life of an undercover agent. I made a couple references to my story Your True Family.

Hope you enjoy it. Feedback is always greatly appreciated. Please let me know what you think. Ruby :)

 

On Our Side

By: Ruby

"Do you ever wonder how Ezra can live with himself?" JD asked softly in the semi-dark room.  "I mean, he basically betrays people for a living, you know?" He sighed in consternation. "Not that this is the best time to talk about it. But, I mean, he's an undercover agent. He makes friends with these people, and then," JD shrugged apologetically, "he *screws* them over."

"Oh," he backtracked, "I know they're bad guys, bad people. But," he sighed, "do you think it ever bothers Ezra? Keeps him up at night? Makes him wonder about his place," he waved his hand in front of him, "in life? I know he does it for a good cause, and that should count for a lot, if not everything, but..." he sighed.

"Ezra sits down to Thanksgiving Dinner with this family, and three days later, he sends three of them to jail, and one to Hell." JD shuddered.

"He can be one mean son of a-" he coughed slightly, looking abashed as he shrugged sheepishly. "He acts like a... what's a good way to say it? A dandy? Like the state of his clothes is more important than the state of his health. And then... BAM! The next second he's mowing down a gun runner with that little throw-away of his. Ruthless, when he's protecting the rest of us, like our lives are more important than his. More worthy. You know what I mean?"

"That's what's been making me wonder about all this.  That he does think his life doesn't mean as much, maybe because of what he does for a living. But it's all for good, right? And isn't that what's important? Or should be. But does it bother him? I bet it does."

He grinned slightly. "Heck, I know we all act like he's uncaring, unfeeling." His eyebrows drew together. "But he's not!" He said emphatically as he glanced up. "You know that, right?" He pleaded. "He really is a good guy. A good friend. He's-" he paused, deep in thought. "What if he's doing that to us?  Not betraying us, of course," he defended. "Just... pretending like he's our friend."

"No." JD shook his head. "He wouldn't do that."  He shrugged. "I hope." 

After a few moments of silence, he spoke again, "I hope he doesn't think *we* would! Betray him, I mean."

"After the whole FBI thing, you couldn't really blame him for thinking that, could you? I mean, jeesh, he was betrayed by his best friend for God's sakes." He ducked his head. "Sorry," he whispered before continuing. "And then he was thrown to the wolves by the rest of those bastards." He cringed even as his hands clenched in fists. "I'd really like to get my hands on them. I'd show them what friendship was all about!"

"But that's in the past, right? And now he has us. And we're different. We..." he cocked his head, deep in thought. After a moment, he wilted. "Oh," he sighed, "we're not so different. Not really. We've done it too." His shoulders slumped even deeper. "Thought the worst of him. Made him 'prove' himself - time and again."

"Why wouldn't he think that? That we'd betray him, turn on him. He expects us to think the worst, do the worst, and then is surprised when we don't."

He smiled proudly. "You should have seen him today." Then he dipped his head, grinning sheepishly. "You did see him, though, huh? You were watching."

"Wasn't he something? One moment, he's in character, sweet talking and conning, and the next - Pow! There's shots and yelling and Ezra's taking down one of the gunrunners even as he's knocking Chris to the floor. That's Ezra - ruthless, and quick on his feet. Fast talking, and fast thinking. I think I could learn a lot from him, if he'd let me." JD sighed, a long, sad sound.

"I sure wouldn't want Ezra to be on the bad side." He grinned slightly. "He'd make a 'formidable' opponent, or so he would say." He shook his head. "I'm damn glad he's on the good side, on our side." JD took his eyes off Ezra's pale, unconscious form, to look skyward. "And if You'd just let him wake up, God, I'd tell him that. I'd make sure he knew."

 

December 2004

 

Sequel: His Word

 

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