Cold Case
Episode 5:
Revealing The Truth -- Part 2

(Cold Case)

by BML

Summary: Chris is dying. Can Ezra really summon the cavalry in time? And just how does he plan to do it? And how can Vin keep Chris in the 'land of the living'? Secrets revealed. The past uncovered. Second part of a Double Bill.
Open AU: Chris heads a cold case unit at the Denver PD, with a little help from the Afterlife.
Mild Slash: Vin/Ezra
Author's Notes: There now, were you really worried at the end of the last one? Good, you should be. Here comes the promised Vin/Ezra past, and the others finding out, etc. Personally I have 10 episodes planned out that will number 1-10 eventually, but as my laptop actually died on me and I am using my little brother's computer (which I won't be able to use when I return to England and uni) don't expect the other seven episodes any time soon (unless someone is extra nice and buys me a new laptop for my birthday today, lol.)

Back to: Episode 4: Revealing The Truth -- Part 1

Part 1

Chris Larabee's Cold Case team weren't idiots (despite how they sometimes acted). They all knew something was wrong with their leader. They just couldn't work out what it was. It was now coming up to six months since Sarah and Adam had died, two months since he had returned fully to work, and none of them were sure just when this madness had begun.

"I've seen him, talking, in his office. But not like how you talk to yourself. It was like he was talking to someone else, listening to someone. But there was no one there," JD said quietly. He looked up to Chris, so this behaviour confused him greatly.

Everyone looked to Nathan Jackson, who held his hands up. "I'm a forensic scientist, ask me about physical stuff, fine I can help. But I don't know nothing 'bout the mind."

All eyes swivelled to Josiah, who, next to Chris knew all there was to know about the human psyche.

"Schizophrenia," the big man rumbled.

Buck and JD exchanged a look before sending twin looks of disbelief to Josiah.

Josiah shrugged. "You wanted an explanation and I provided it."

"Could it be some side effect from losing Sarah and Adam?" Nathan asked, shooting an apologetic look to Buck; they had all suffered in the wake of their deaths, but Buck had borne the brunt of Chris' grief.

Buck looked saddened. "If he was still drinking and acting irrational, I'd agree with that. But he's not drinking too much, the odd beer with us. He's not turning up to work hung-over. In fact, he's been on the top of his game since he came back to work." Buck shrugged helplessly.

"So why are we worried?" Nathan asked. He was the only member of the team who did not spend all his time in the Cold Case unit, being that he was the only forensic pathologist in the whole precinct.

"Because it just isn't Chris. Sure he's broody and mysterious, but he doesn't talk to thin air. He's a bloody good profiler, but these 'feelings' of his are starting to weird me out. Chris has never relied on 'feelings' or 'hunches'. Sure he has them, but he never sends us off on one until he's had it completely checked out first. And he's been right every single time." Buck was deadly serious.

"Mayhaps brother Chris has developed psychic abilities," Josiah offered.

Nathan snorted. "You can't believe that Josiah?" he said.

"Why not? There are stranger things in the world. And the police have more than once used the aid of a psychic to help find missing children and the like," Josiah stated calmly.

"Don't you need to have like a near-death experience to become psychic? Can psychics see ghosts? Or is it the future they can see? Josiah?" JD questioned, in his excitable exuberant way he possessed when something had sparked his interest.

Josiah laughed. "I don't know son, maybe."

"This is crazy talk, ya hear me," Nathan stated, shaking his head, but he was smiling a little over the gullibility of JD, as was Buck, who shared Nathan's thoughts on the matter of psychics.

"Hell Nathan," Buck said, slapping JD on the back companionably. "We're a whole bunch o' crazy here."

It was to this that Ezra materialised. He couldn't prevent his nose wrinkling a little at the uncouth behaviour. Though, having lived with Vin for as long as he had, one would think he'd have been well used to it by now. "Wonderful," he muttered. He glanced round the room, but found nothing he could use to attract any attention. His eyes landed finally on the room's occupants.

Ezra had spent a great deal of time studying these four men, more out of complete boredom than anything else. He was naturally good at reading people. Vin had told him he could take the measure of a man a mile away and be dead to rights every time.

"Good Lord, I hope this works."

He knew he'd picked the right person, now he just had to find out if he could successfully 'borrow' their body for a time. Gathering himself he stood behind his chosen person and without really knowing how he did it, he passed inside of them.

"Mr. Wilmington, if you do not desist in your thumping, I fear young Mr. Dunne may suffer from a spinal injury."

His words were greeted by shocked silence.

"JD?" Buck found his voice first.

"I'm afraid not, Mr. Wilmington. My name is Ezra Standish, and I have temporarily taken possession of Mr. Dunne's body in order to relay to you that Mr. Larabee is in grave danger. He has been shot and is currently in the cellar of one Aaron Hewitt, Abigail Hewitt's uncle." Ezra made JD stand, surprised at just how difficult it actually was to make a living body move where it was supposed to.

"Ok JD, funny -- you can stop now," Buck laughed nervously.

Ezra turned to him and made JD's eyes narrow at him. "Mr. Wilmington, do I sound like Mr. Dunne? Do I act like him? Would he joke about Chris being in danger?" Ezra shook JD's head. "You aren't the most open minded person in the world, but I know you wouldn't leave Chris or a young girl to die merely because you do not believe in the concept of ghosts and psychics. Now, I am going to walk Mr. Dunne out of here, and I hope to see you all down at those contraptions you call 'cars'."

With that said, JD's body made an un-JD like flourish and turned. Ezra made his way hurriedly, but cautiously, still not entirely in tune to how the body worked. He reached the cars, four rather horrible looking cars (in regards to the sports cars Ezra had seen). But no one was there.

"Wonderful," he muttered to himself. He looked at the cars. Could he drive one? He had observed Chris driving and it hardly seemed the most difficult thing to accomplish. As he was making up his mind he heard a cough behind him. He turned to find Buck, Josiah and Nathan standing there.

"So where exactly is Chris?" Nathan asked.

Ezra felt JD's body slump as relief washed through him.

Part 2

"Ok Cowboy?" Vin asked.

Chris coughed. "The girl?"

"Frightened, but she'll be fine."


"Ya gotta stay awake, Cowboy."

What could have been a laugh came from Chris. "Any ideas?"

Vin looked around the darkened room. "Nope. Ez is much better at this kinda thing."

Chris coughed again. "Tell me... about you and Ezra... how did ya meet?" he coughed again. "He said it was luck."

Vin smiled at that. "Ok Cowboy. Just remember I ain't that good with words. That's Ezra's department." The ghost took a deep breath. "When I was 'bout 25 or so, I was a bounty hunter, framed up for murder with a bounty on my own head. Ezra calls it irony, I reckon it prob'ly is, iffen I knew exactly what it meant." Vin paused as Chris choked out a laugh.

"So I was out in the old territories, what used to be native land. I stopped in a saloon for a drink and to rest my horse, and just sort of fell to watching a poker game. Course my whole attention was on Ez. I recognised him from somethin', he was dressed like a peacock and he could make those cards dance. I ain't never seen anyone who can do that like Ezra.

"So I'm watching, when suddenly one o' the men stands up an' accuses Ez of cheating. Course Ez don't take too kindly ta this, and I know he ain't been cheating, even if something didn't sit right with me 'bout him. He tried to reason with the cowpoke, but he pulls a gun. 'Course my gun comes up too, just in-case it's needed. But Ez, cool as ya please, pops out his little derringer an' tells them 'gentlemen' to decide whether or not he's willing ta die over a card game.

"An' up another one gets, with his gun out. Then another, all accusing 'im of cheating. Seeing as how iffen I was caught I was bound to hang fer something I didn't do, I wasn't gonna stand by an' let them gun down another man just because they was losing to a professional gambler." Vin paused, unsure if Chris was still listening.

"Go on," Chris urged, swallowing a cough.

Vin nodded. "So I told them I'd been watching the game, thinking a cutting in even, and there'd been no cheating as I saw. Course these guys aren't none too pleased with that and start shooting the place up. Somehow me an' Ez got outside and to our horses." He paused again for a moment, smiling at the memory. "Weren't too soon after that I realised why I recognised him. He was wanted fer jumping bail in some fort. I outright asked him iffen he'd done what he was wanted fer, and he told me he 'may have had a run in at that particular venue'.

"So's I figured, he was guilty o' somethin', an' I needed the money. So I took him in. Fer a man I know can get outta any situation no matter what, he went along pretty willingly. I took him back to the fort, got the $200 he was wanted fer and rode on out before anyone recognised me. Next town I come to, I find none other than Ez, sittin' at the poker table. When he saw me he just smiled and winked. After that we just kinda travelled together. There'd be no point taking him back, they'd notice me more if I took him back again. Got ourselves a bit of an outlaw gang name once people started recognising the two of us. But there was only ever the two of us, and we never really went lookin' fer trouble." Vin smiled slightly.

"So how'd you die then? Or am I not allowed to ask you either?" Chris questioned, his voice growing fainter.

"You asked Ez how he died?" Vin said with a slight grimace, only he truly knew how much that question hurt his lover. "He don't like being asked that."

"I found out. So -- can you tell me?"

"Sure Cowboy, so long as you keep awake fer it," Vin promised.

"I... I will Vin. The most I've ever heard you talk. Can't miss it now." Weak humour, but at least he was trying.

"This ain't a happy story Cowboy -- fact, it's downright depressin' the whole way. Me an' Ez were attacked. They left him fer dead and dragged me back to Tascosa fer hanging. They didn't even bother gettin' my side of the story. Ezra figured where I was. But by the time he got there, there weren't much he could do.

"Now, I spent some time with the natives. So I believed in a world of spirits, where you lived on. But Ez -- well, he believed once you were dead, you were dead. An' because o' what we had -- the first good thing in his life he told me -- and we'd bin together a good ten years by that point. It hit him hard that he was alone again. Started gettin' reckless with himself.

"So 'course I decided to go to him, show him there was a spirit world, and we'd meet up again there when it was his time. He was like you at the start, couldn't believe, didn't want to. Drove himself so near to crazy I had to leave before he did something he and I both woulda regretted. But I still kept an eye on him.

"He settled in a little frontier town. Did some real good things fer them folks, no one ever knew t'was him though. He likes making everyone believe he's selfish and looks out only fer himself. He was killed saving the life of a little boy from a bear that'd come to close to town," Vin ended softly.

There was no response.


"How come he don't like talking about it?" Chris asked.

Vin's eyes darkened a little. "He died alone Chris, without anyone he loved by him," he answered honestly.

And suddenly Ezra's evasion earlier made perfect sense to Chris. "But you were waiting for him on the other side." Chris's voice was growing weaker with every passing word.

"I was," Vin said, knowing what Chris was doing. "An' I'm sure Sarah an' Adam'll be waiting fer you. But it ain't your time."

"Feels like it."

"Ez is gettin' help."


Vin bit his lip. He didn't know. "He will get help Chris. Ez is stubborn that way."

"Noticed that."

"Don't ever tell him this Chris, but it's him that's your spirit guide. Not me. 'pparently you needed someone who could make you fight," Vin told him in a hushed whisper, as if he expected Ezra to appear at any moment.

"And why can't I tell Ezra?" Chris was confused now, and interested, and much less likely to slip away as soon.

"Could you really imagine him if he knew? He'd be headin' fer the hills faster than if he had a cougar on his tail." Vin smiled. A likely scenario should Ezra ever discover the level of responsibility he held with Chris. It wasn't that Ezra wasn't capable, Vin didn't think that, but it would destroy his lover to find he had to keep someone else safe, especially when the last time he'd had someone else's life in his hands, he had lost it. Vin had never blamed Ezra, but it was a guilt Ezra could not let go of.

"Reckon so," Chris laughed wheezingly.

Part 3

"Take the next left," Ezra said as they came to the next junction. Nathan was driving, surprisingly fast for the usually law abiding man. (Secretly, beneath his worry over Chris, he was enjoying getting to drive fast with the sirens on. He never usually got to.)

"How do you know the directions?" Buck asked suspiciously, still not entirely convinced this wasn't just JD, even though he knew the younger man would never joke like this.

"As illegible as Mr. Larabee's handwriting is, I read the directions. Next left and the second turn on the right."

Nathan took the next corner.

"So... Ezra... why have you come to us?" Josiah asked.

Ezra looked at him for a long moment before replying. He knew exactly what Josiah wanted to know, but Ezra was not in the habit of giving away information so readily. "Mr. Larabee is in danger." He gave the predicable, and obvious answer.

"And what is your connection with Chris?" Josiah asked, well versed in getting facts out of unwilling suspects or upset victims.

The grin that lit JD's face was most definitely not his. "Mr. Sanchez, I am glad to see I was correct in my analysis of your character." He had pegged Josiah and JD as being the most open minded, and therefore the most receptive to the idea of spirit guides and the supernatural world in general. But he had known that he would need Josiah's worldly knowledge to help convince Buck and Nathan to believe in him. Those two had their minds closed to him almost completely, like his own had been to Vin.

"Take a right at the next corner, then two blocks down take another left." He turned his attention back to Josiah, ignoring the wave of tiredness that assaulted him. "I and my companion, Vin Tanner, who is currently with Mr. Larabee are spirit guides."

Josiah nodded, as if it all made perfect sense. "Two of you? Is it not only powerful psychics who have more than one guide?"

Ezra shrugged. "I'm just along for the ride. Vin does all the actual work, after all, gentlemen do not engage in menial labour."

Josiah nodded again, more slowly.

"Spirit guides?" Buck questioned.

Ezra didn't answer, fighting off another wave of tiredness, obviously he wouldn't be able to keep this up for much longer.

"Spirit guides are known from the native American culture," Josiah answered. "They believe that each person has a guide from the spirit plane, normally in the shape of a totem animal. This spirit guide will help that person to make their life choices, and protect them from the evil spirits. The psychics the police use all have a guide as well, a spirit that breaches the gap between the spirit plane and ours. Psychics never speak directly to spirits, only with their guide and protector; it's for their protection more than anything else. Evil spirits can attack and hurt the person." Josiah looked to Ezra. "Am I right?"

Ezra nodded. "On the last point most definitely, as to the rest I'm afraid I don't know. I know very little about either the spirit world or the guides," he admitted.

"Where to now?" Nathan asked.

Ezra looked. "End of the street turn right. You then need to look for Primrose Avenue, and it's number 15... Oh, good Lord!" he said, pressing a hand to JD's eyes.

"What?" Nathan asked, glancing to the side.

"Possessing someone is a lot more difficult than television makes it appear. And much more tiring."

"What about JD?" Buck asked, worried suddenly.

"He'll be just fine Mr. Wilmington, he's been kind enough to allow me the use of his body for this long."

"He knows you're there?"

"You hardly expect me to do something like this without asking? Once he understood the reason, Mr. Dunne was most helpful. However, I need to leave now. I'm not sure how long I can keep this up. I shall check on Mr. Larabee." With that, Ezra relinquished control.

There was a collective silence until JD took a deep breath and virtually exploded. "That was SO COOL!" he gushed, before his whole demeanour changed and he became serious. "We need to hurry, Ezra showed me an image of Chris when he last saw him, and he doesn't look good."

Nathan took the turn into Primrose Avenue, he had cut the sirens at the last turn. "Where's number 15?" he asked.

Buck pointed past him. "I don't know, but that guy looks to be in an awful hurry."

"And that's Chris' car!" JD pointed out.

Nathan pulled the car over, blocking the man's driveway, and the four got out of the car.

"Sir, we're looking for the driver of that car," Josiah said, his hand hovering near his gun, just in case he needed it.

The man looked up startled, they each recognised the decision the man made when his arm twitched, as one gun raised to fire at them, three went off. JD's and Josiah's deliberately missing and driving little furrows into the grass on either side of the man, while Buck winged him in the arm holding the gun, causing it to drop.

"I'll stay here. Get to Chris," Josiah said.

"Where'd the ghost say he was?" Buck asked.

"Basement!" JD supplied.

The three men rushed into the house.

Part 4

Ezra materialised inside the basement as soon as he had left JD, appearing as tired and as worn as he felt (he would not be trying that again any time soon). "Vin," he called into the darkness. "Chris?"

"Here Ez," Vin called back.

"Is Chris--"

"I'm here Ez." The voice was weak, but unmistakeably Chris'.

"Good, because I doubt your companions would be best pleased if you were elsewhere." Ezra smiled when he heard the thumping on the floor above. "And it would appear they have arrived."

"How..." Chris broke off, coughing. "How'd you do it?"

Ezra smiled, a flash of gold catching whatever light there was in the dark room, though how, Chris would never know. "Magic Mr. Larabee. Magic," came the answer.

Chris gave a wet sounding chuckle before he started coughing again. The lights went on.

"Chris?" Buck called.

"Buck!" Chris gasped out.

Buck saw him and the girl. "Jesus. H. Christ! Nathan!"

Nathan had already pushed past and was kneeling beside Chris and checking him over.

JD stood to the side, as Buck untied and put his coat around the girl and Nathan put pressure on the gunshot wound, staring straight at Ezra and Vin, who had moved to stand beside each other.

Ezra, seeing that they were the focus of JD's gaze flashed him a dimpled smile and a wink.


A week later Chris was released from hospital and was back in his own apartment. His team had invited themselves round, indicating that they needed to talk. Chris was just glad to be back in his apartment, and free to tell Vin and Ezra to shut up and leave him alone when he wanted to. Having Ezra talking and shuffling those damned cards the whole time he was in hospital, and being unable to tell him to go away because the staff would think he was losing his mind, hadn't been pleasant.

He was also very glad to have the case wrapped up. What Ezra had told him he had gotten from the girl was corroborated by Hewitt. After Abigail had come to live with him, he had found himself harbouring inappropriate desires towards the young teenager. So, in a sick effort to get over it, he kidnapped another girl, Emma Carter, who was around the same age, same psychical build and with a bit of hair dye was a replica of his niece. Abigail had, one night after being out with friends, stumbled upon her uncle's secret. Knowing he couldn't let her tell anyone, he had tied her up and locked her in the basement. After disposing of Emma, he had returned and lived his fantasies with his niece. He reported her missing so no one would become suspicious, and kept her locked up in his basement for almost three years before he accidentally killed her. After that he had kidnapped two other girls and done the same thing as he had with Emma Carter, all within the following fifteen years. The girl they had found had been missing for nearly two years.

Yes, Chris was very glad they had wrapped up this case.

He didn't mind that the others were coming over either. They deserved some kind of explanation for all of this. Vin and Ezra were engaged in a poker game, seated Indian style on the floor on either side of the coffee table. Ezra's face was inscrutable as he looked at his cards, though his conversation with Vin was light and cheerful.

After what Vin had told him about Ezra, Chris had looked at him a little differently, wondering if he would have reacted the same way as Ezra had Sarah returned to him. That Ezra was his spirit guide made sense in a way. He understood what it was like to lose a loved one in a manner he couldn't have hoped to prevent, but wished to God he could have.

The door of the apartment opened as Buck let them all in with his key. "Hi Chris," he called, looking round, as if he expected to see something odd.

"Buck," Chris nodded, ignoring the conversation from the coffee table ("Do you suppose Mr. Wilmington would be more comfortable if we donned sheets and made 'whooo' noises?"/"Don't rightly know Ez. Maybe we should try.")

The others filed in, JD, much to Chris' surprise, was fighting back a smile, almost as if he could hear the ghosts' comments, this was confirmed when he nodded in their direction and said, "Hey."

"He can see you!" Chris hissed, shooting an accusing look at Ezra; somehow this was all the southern ghost's fault.

Ezra shrugged easily. "Obviously when I took possession of him something remained with him to allow us to be seen."

"It can happen Cowboy," Vin added.

"Cowboy?" JD spluttered, trying to smother his laugh, without much success it must be noted.

Josiah smiled knowingly.

Nathan and Buck, determined not to be too closed-minded about this, shared a confused look. Ezra and Vin shared a cheeky smile, and Chris heaved a deep, put upon, sigh. Readying himself to explain.

End Episode 5

There now. Took me ages to get this typed up. Sigh. Hope you enjoyed and I hope you will review.
1. Josiah, Buck and Nathan cannot see or hear Vin and Ezra (I will at some point rectify this if I ever get a new computer to write with).
2. If you're going to borrow, have fun.

Cold Case Index On to: Episode 6: Unspeakable

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