by Sammy Girl
Disclaimer: Not mine, never were, never will be.
Note: Betaed by Kerry.
Feedback: Yes please.
Back to: Struck Down
Buck took care to shut the door quietly.
"I'll get supper started shall I?" he called, Ezra, walking down the long corridor toward their bedroom, didn't respond.
In truth Buck wasn't hungry, there was a tight, nauseous feeling in his gut that wasn't about to go anywhere. Nonetheless, he felt he had to do something. He removed his shoes and placed them neatly on the shoe rack under the hallway coat hook, hanging his suit jacket above them. Tugging off his tie he made his way to the kitchen. Ezra was the real cook, but Buck could put pasta in a pan of water, heat a jar of sauce and chop a Chorizo sausage as well as anyone. For good measure he put some garlic bread in the oven and opened a bottle of red wine. While the pasta cooked he set the table, making sure it was perfect. For dessert he cut up a fresh melon. The whole meal took less than twenty minutes to prepare.
When he went to tell Ezra it was ready, the bedroom door was closed. On any other occasion he'd just have walked in, this time he knocked.
"Supper is ready, any time you want it." There was no response. "I opened some wine," he added, but there was still no response.
Fifteen minutes later, Ezra emerged. He had apparently showered and changed into some more casual clothing - which, this being Ezra, meant some smart slacks and a designer label polo shirt. He sat at the dining table in silence.
"There's a good movie on tonight," Buck commented as he set the food down. "To Have And To Have Not, I'm thinking of putting it on disc." He set his own food down. "I mean, I've got it on tape, but it'll be better to have it on disc - right?" He sat down opposite his lover and looked up hopefully. Ezra said nothing; he just picked up his fork.
Buck hated this silence, he felt guilty, but it was irrational guilt, because it just wasn't his fault. Sure Ezra had a reason to be mad, and upset, even to feel guilty himself, but it absolutely was not Buck's fault. The more Ezra 'punished him' the more his guilt was turning to anger.
"Food okay?" he asked.
"Fine," Ezra muttered, making it sound like a dismissal.
"I never claimed I could cook, but I did my best."
"I told you, it's fine."
They ate in silence until the plates were clean. "So," Buck made another effort to break Ezra out of his black mood. "Do you want to watch the movie with me?" he asked breezily.
"I'm going to bed, I may read for a bit." He stood up, and was almost at the door when he stopped. "Good night." He didn't even look over his shoulder.
"Good night." Buck called. "Fuck!" he cursed softly.
Guilty or not, not - he reminded himself - he didn't want to antagonise Ezra any more. So he cleared the table, put the cork back into the untouched bottle of wine, put all the plates, cutlery and cooking utensils into the dishwasher and switched it on. He made sure the table was clear and there were no crumbs on the floor, before wiping down the kitchen surfaces.
This is ridiculous! He sat down in front of the TV with a beer. I didn't do anything wrong, why am I the one who's tiptoeing about? He switched on and selected the channel he wanted to watch. It's not like I had a choice. He took a long pull on his beer. It's always me, I'm always the one apologising and cleaning and tiding and being 'nice'! How come no one ever cares how I feel?
Before he knew it, the movie was half way though and he hadn't started the recording. Ah hell! He switched off the TV and stood up, since this 'dispute' had even ruined his movie, he decided to call it a night and head for bed.
As he was about to open the bedroom door he noticed something on the floor. Since he didn't wear anything in bed, Ezra couldn't put his nightclothes outside the door, so he'd placed the sliver framed picture of Buck's mother outside. A clear message that he wasn't welcome tonight.
So much for 'it's your place as much as it is mine'! Buck picked up his picture and turned for the spare room.
Sleep would not come, he just lay there replaying the days events.
>>"Thank you Special Agent Standish, you may step down."
"The defence calls Special Agent Buck Wilmington."<<
He knew it was going to happen, they all knew, yet until he was actually called to the stand he had convinced himself it wasn't real, he wasn't going to have to testify against Ezra - but he did.
"To hell with this!" He got up, glancing at the clock, it wasn't even midnight, somehow it felt as if he'd been lying there for hours.
From the way Ezra shot up when Buck marched into the bedroom, he hadn't been asleep either.
"I thought I made it clear I wanted to sleep alone tonight," he stated curtly.
"Yeah you did, I got the message, but you know what?"
Ezra didn't bother to respond.
"Right… well I'll tell you, my mother told me 'never go to bed on an argument'."
"Mothers say a lot of things," Ezra's tone dripped with anger and sarcasm.
"Don't!" Buck snapped. "Don't compare your mother with mine. We need to get this sorted out - now."
"We're not 'going to bed on an argument', because we aren't arguing," Ezra pointed out. "Or we weren't until you barged in," he muttered under his breath.
Buck was not to be deflected from his course. "No, we're… not arguing, which is worse. So come on tell me, tell me what I did that was so bad you've been giving me the silent treatment and kicked me out of bed?"
Ezra sat up a little higher, but he didn't get off the bed, Buck was still standing in the doorway, arms folded across his chest.
"Tell you what you did? Oh that is rich, you buried me in that courtroom. The loathsome Hugo Durrent is now free to walk the street. He will no doubt waste no time in setting up a new still, make more illegal and potentially lethal grain alcohol and sell it to more frat houses full of temporally brain dead young men, who may well tern into permanently brain dead young men or blind or ..."
"I know, damn it!" Buck snapped. "Believe me, I know."
Ezra just continued to rant. "And how is this possible, after we arrested him in the very act of selling us said illegal brew?"
"Ezra it wasn't…"
"It wasn't you're fault? So that wasn't you up there testifying for the defence? That wasn't you helping the defence to convince the jury I was guilty of entrapment?"
"They subpoenaed me, what was I meant to do? Not turn up? Would you rather I was in jail for contempt of court?"
"No! No of course not."
"Right," Buck softened his tone. "All I did was tell the truth, that's all."
Buck prided himself he was good at giving evidence in court, even Chris admitted that. Josiah was good too, people believed him, Nathan could be a little stiff, JD suffered because he looked so young and had a tendency to talk too fast. Ezra sometimes came over as smug and over confident, Vin had that whole 'rabbit in the headlights' look and Chris? Well Chris tended to scare people. Buck knew the defence lawyer, who had a reputation for being very clever and very ambitious, would try to twist his testimony around and he was ready for it. He just kept saying the same thing, the whole conversation between Ezra and Durrent. He'd written it down verbatim in his report that day, and that was the text he stuck to.
"Did you want me to perjure myself?" He challenged. "Are you saying I got it wrong?"
"No." Ezra looked up at him, pain, the pain of defeat, the pain of hurt and disappointment so obvious in his eyes Buck wanted to rush to the bed and take him into his arms right then. "I didn't entrap him."
Buck just knew what Ezra really wanted to say was, 'its not fair'. So Buck said it for him.
"Life's not fair, never has been, never will be, and anyone who tell you it is, is lying to you. I know it wasn't your fault, the judge knew it - he all but said so in his summing up. It's not my fault the jury fell for that damn lawyer's bullshit. Travis told us there wouldn't be any action against you."
"Disciplinary action or not, it'll go on my permanent record."
"Ah hell Ez! If we worried about all the things on our permanent records we'd never get anything done, you know that. Compared to the black marks and reprimands on my record, or Chris', you're just a beginner."
And there it was, the first hint of a smile on Ezra's face, the faintest of indentations that if he really smiled would turn into the most adorable dimples.
"I didn't do this," Buck stated again, relaxing his poster and tilting his head - he knew Ezra thought he looked cute like that - and put on his best 'lost puppy' look.
Ezra looked at him for what seemed like the longest time then sighed and shook his head as he pulled back the covers and moved over to the far side of the bed.
"You better come in if you're coming I guess."
Buck needed no second bidding. "I hated doing it. If there'd been any way, any way at all to get out of it…" he admitted, as they spooned. He wound his arms around Ezra, revelling - as he always did - in the wonderful feel of his beloved's smooth, hard, warm body, taking comfort in the steady heart beat beneath his hand.
"I never doubted that. It's just that I've never lost a case that way. I'm sorry I took my anger out on you."
"It's okay, you hang out with Larabee for long enough, you get used to it. Losing is part of the job. We win some, we lose some, but we'll get him in the end. We're Team Seven, we always get our man."
"That's the Mounties - although it isn't actually their motto, which is…"
"Shut up, I know we always get our man, 'cause I got mine right here."
Ezra rolled over in Buck's embrace so that they were now facing each other. "You sure?"
"Oh yes, I'm sure and I intend to prove it."
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