Cold Case
Episode 6:

(Cold Case)

by BML

Part 2 added 10 September 2007
Parts 3-4 added 1 October 2007 - Completed

Summary: When a murderer dies in prison his journal leads the police to believe he had an accomplice. But communing with the murderer may prove fatal for Ezra.
Open AU: Chris heads a cold case unit at the Denver PD, with a little help from the Afterlife.
Mild Slash: Vin/Ezra
Warnings: Some derogatory language and some scenes of torture.
Author's Notes: In this I will attempt to make the others see and/or hear Vin and Ezra, as well as getting some Ezra Owies in. LOL.

Back to: Episode 5: Revealing The Truth -- Part 2

Part 1

Chris rubbed the bridge of his nose and wondered just how things had gotten this bad. Vin was gone, searching the spirit world for Ezra. Chris tipped back a shot of whisky, hoping it would relieve his headache, all the while knowing it would not. This headache was a direct result of Ezra's disappearance.

And to think, twenty-four hours ago everything had been normal.

~~~ 24 hours earlier ~~~

It was five in the morning when Chris rolled out of bed and made his way into the kitchen, where he found his two live in-ghosts at the table. Vin was seated, his feet crossed on the table top, dressed in jeans and a buckskin jacket.

JD had questioned them on how they changed clothes; he had thought ghosts couldn't do such things. He'd been told they could just think about it and it happened, they couldn't explain it. Ezra was dressed stylishly in slacks and a shirt, with a jumper over the top. He could have passed for a rich playboy.

He was currently looking mournfully at the coffee maker on the counter. With a wicked smile that he quickly hid, Chris strode in and turned on the pot. "Like a mug, Ez?" he asked.

That earned him a glare. "That was a low blow Chris, a truly low blow. Not only was I forced to rise at this ungodly hour by the early bird here, but now you taunt me with coffee? You are cruel, Mr. Larabee, cruel and cold."

Vin shook his head in bemusement and Chris grinned at him, but no apology was forthcoming. Ezra heaved a sigh and muttered something akin to 'Neanderthals'.

Chris took a cup of coffee and sat at the table, considering what needed to be done at work. Thinking about work no longer left a feeling of dread in Chris. For about a month now his team had known about the existence of Vin and Ezra, JD could even see and hear them, so he thankfully no longer had to justify his 'feelings' and 'hunches'. Though Buck and Nathan were both having a hard time coming to terms with the whole idea. Since Chris had actually been back in work after the shooting, they had started a major overhaul on the cold cases. Chris was not the kind to just sit around and wait for new evidence to be brought in. Cases weren't solved by sitting around and waiting.

All in all things had been going well. The drive to work started out in companionable silence, mostly because Ezra was still in his morning slump. Chris glanced over to Vin and shook his head when he saw him in what looked to be a seat belt, a quick look in the mirror showed Ezra looking the same.

"Why do you do that?" he asked.

Vin looked at him. "What?"

"Look like you're wearing seatbelts when you can't."

Vin shrugged.

"To make it easier on those who can see us," Ezra answered.

Chris shot him a look.

"There are many kinds of people who can see ghosts, Chris. There are people like you, who open their minds to us in grief and despair; those who are born with the gift and sight; and those who actively go searching for the spiritual plane to make contact. Now, the first and last of these requires Spirit guides because their minds were never ready for the impact of the spirit world. The second I mentioned, those who can see ghosts from birth, don't have a connection to the spirit world but can see ghosts that are in the human plane. You can't see any other ghosts, but there is most likely someone out there who can see us. It is easier on their sanity if those of us who aren't angry and sorrowful or vengeful behave like any other person on the street."

"So what is JD?"

"I'm still sure it was just my possession of him that left him able to see us. He doesn't appear to have been able to see before. Oh, he believed, but he couldn't see anything of the spirit world."

"So if you possessed the others, would they be able to see you?"

"Doubtful. Though Mr. Sanchez believes enough, so he could possibly see us after a possession. But it's tiring work and I'd prefer not to do it again."

JD had enthused at great length about being possessed and the fact he could now see ghosts. Ezra had taken to the young man immediately, enjoying the opportunity to shoot off a little and the idea of a conversation that didn't die out on one side in the space of three sentences.

Chris found it amusing and silently agreed when Vin called him a Peacock showing off his feathers.

The drive ended not long after. Chris walked on, anticipating another day checking over old profiles and seeing if he could improve on them, or seeing something that might have been missed. What he didn't expect was to enter the Cold Case unit to be faced with three grim faces. JD's greeting to the ghosts was also subdued.

"What?" Chris asked. Buck held out a file for him to take while Josiah explained.

"Marcus Hograve died this morning. They were clearing his cell and found a journal he'd kept."

"Hograve? Wasn't he the serial killer in the 80s, killed fourteen men because they were gay?"

Josiah nodded. "Sodomised and tortured them before killing them."

"Wonderful," Ezra sighed.

Vin shot him a look but said nothing, not liking where this was going.

"In his journal he talks about an accomplice. It had never even been considered he might have had help before, but from his accounts he couldn't have killed so many alone. They want us to find the other killer."

Chris looked round at the ghosts. Vin looked unhappy, but nodded at the silent request and vanished to search for either the spirit of the murderer or his victims. Ezra settled on the edge of a nearby table to wait.

"Where's Vin going?" JD asked.

"To find the murderer in question, JD," Ezra answered.

JD looked at Ezra and frowned. "Is that safe?"

Ezra appeared thoughtful for a long moment before shrugging. "Vin can handle it. He'll probably be easier to find. Malevolent ones usually are."

"But can it hurt Vin? I know it can't kill him or anything, but can it hurt him?"

Ezra shrugged in deliberate unconcern, all the while wondering the same thing.

"There were survivors, right?" Chris asked, ignoring JD and Ezra, and the closed look on Buck's face as JD talked to the ghost. His old friend would come around, he knew he would.

"Three," Buck responded.

"Right then, you and Josiah get onto the survivors and find out as much as you can. JD, go through the archives; see if you can find any cases that look likely after Hograve was imprisoned."

"Gotcha Chris." JD spun his chair to his computer and started pulling up files.

"Ezra," Chris said.

Ezra rolled his eyes and made his way to Chris' office.

When Chris followed him, shutting the door behind him, the first thing he asked was, "Will this be okay? Can you commune with a malevolent spirit?"

"Communing with a malevolent spirit is much the same as with a normal spirit, we just have to be sure it is contained and cannot attack."

"Vin can contain it?"

Ezra nodded. "Vin is quite adept at setting traps, Mr. Larabee; he can contain it."

"Is this going to be an 'unspeakable' commune?" Chris asked.

Ezra shrugged. "Perhaps."

"Look, this case hits a little close to home for you guys. We can do this the old fashioned way."

Ezra's eyes hardened. "I would rather not spend any more time than is necessary on this case, if you don't mind. And mine and Mr. Tanner's relationship should not come into question at all in regards to this -- Vin?"

Chris blinked for a moment at the sudden change in conversation before realising Vin was behind him.

"'E's ready for you, Ez." There was a hint of something behind those words.

Ezra nodded. "Join me when you have finished your report, if you would."

"Sure Ez."

Chris marvelled at the sheer amount of silent concern, assurances, and conformation of mutual feelings that passed between them. When Ezra had said they were subtle, he meant subtle."

Ezra vanished.

Chris turned to Vin with a raised eyebrow.

"Found Hograve, new dead are always easiest to find. I'll be back when I get the story off Ez," Vin said quietly.

Chris nodded. This was definitely going to be an unspeakable.

Vin vanished.

Chris settled himself to wait for his return when he was suddenly hit by an overwhelming pressure behind his eyes that blossomed into a full scale headache that threatened to burst through his skull. He knocked his phone and hit speed-dial one -- Buck -- before he collapsed, his chair falling with a loud clatter to the floor.

Chris' last thought was for Ezra -- knowing something had gone wrong.

Part 2

Just as Buck pulled out his mobile to check who was calling he heard a great crash from Chris' office. In an instant Buck was wrenching the door open. "Chris?" he asked, then he saw Chris sprawled over the floor. "Get Nathan!" he yelled back to the others.

It was unnecessary, as Josiah was already calling Nathan. JD pushed into the room and looked around, searching for the ghosts.

"What's wrong with him?" he asked.

Buck knelt beside Chris and straightened him up a bit. Worried when he realised Chris was unconscious, though his face was twisted as if something was hurting him bad.

"Aw Shit!"

JD spun to face Vin, who looked worried and a little panicked, his shoulders slumped in frustration. "What's wrong?" JD asked. When Vin looked at him he was shocked by the pain in his eyes.

"Ez is gone. Hograve broke his bindings somehow."

JD's eyes widened. "Will he be okay?" he asked.

"I don't know."

"Is that why Chris collapsed?" JD questioned.

Vin nodded. "It means Ezra's in trouble."

"Will Chris be okay?"

"If I find Ezra in time. Tell him what happened. I'll be back when I find Ez."

With that Vin vanished.

Buck looked at JD, torn between whether he should set aside his disbelief and ask JD who he had been talking about or to just wait for Nathan and a normal explanation.

"Ezra's gone missing, that's why Chris is hurting," JD informed him.

Buck decided he wanted a normal explanation.

There wasn't a long wait before Nathan arrived, clutching a first aid kit. He knelt beside Chris, opposite to Buck. "What happened?" he asked.

JD bit his lip, knowing his input wouldn't be appreciated, Nathan didn't understand about the ghosts, not yet.

"There was a crash in here; he was like this when I came in," Buck said.

Nathan frowned at Chris' scrunched up face and gently peeled back an eyelid and shone the little penlight from the first aid kit into his eyes.

Immediately Chris groaned and turned his head away, blinking slowly as he woke up. "Wha--" he cut himself off with a hiss of pain, screwing up his eyes in agony. With an effort he peered through blurred vision until he found JD. "Wha' happened?" he gritted out.

JD shifted nervously. "Vin said Hograve broke his bindings and Ezra's disappeared."

"Chris! Chris, where does it hurt?" Nathan asked, forcing back the doubting words that rose up when the ghosts were mentioned.

"My head," Chris answered shortly. "Is Vin..." He hissed as another wave of pain hit him.

"Vin went after Ezra."

"Good -- Nathan, give me a painkiller or something," Chris said, his eyes screwed up.

"Chris, I need to make sure you're okay. Did you hit your head? You may have a concussion or something," Nathan protested.

"I didn't hit my head. Just give me a painkiller and I'll go home," Chris said, fighting back the urge to throw up.

"Maybe we should take you to hospital," Nathan worried.

Chris barked out a laugh. "And tell them what? That my head hurts like hell because something happened to my spirit guide? I don't think they'll believe that Nathan. Just give me a painkiller and let me go home."

Nathan looked ready to argue, but subsided when he saw the stubborn set to Chris' jaw. "Fine, but someone drives you home, and we'll come over tonight to make sure you're really okay," he reasoned.

Chris nodded, a testimony to just how much pain he was truly in if he was agreeing so easily. "JD, keys are on my desk," he said. "Buck, Josiah, get onto the victims, find out what you can. Solve this case for me."

JD hurried to get the keys while Chris was helped to his feet. He moved ahead of Chris out of their little corner of the station and to the car park.

Exchanging worried looks, the others went back to work.


Ezra blinked slowly as he came back to awareness, he knew what had happened, he just couldn't even begin to comprehend how. He trusted Vin implicitly, Hograve had been contained, of that there was no doubt. But how had he broken the bindings?

Ezra shifted a little, hoping to find out if he was alone, or if Hograve was still hovering about. His movements ended up tearing a cry of pain from him as something tightened almost unbearably round his neck, and a sharp pain shot down his chest.

"You know," came a rather conversational voice to his left. "This is actually a lot easier now than it was when I was still alive. Then I had to set everything up, prepare everything so that it was within easy reach, and the cleanup afterwards was the worst. But now I just have to think it and it happens."

Ezra had managed to catch sight of Hograve and watched him with growing apprehension.

"Take this for example," Hograve continued, tone still conversational, as if he was discussing the weather. "I always enjoyed ripping the little faggots to pieces, but it was always so much work to tie them up with this," he held up a long strand of barbed wire. "Always a chance I'd cut myself and leave evidence on the body. That's how they caught me, you know, because of this." The murderer considered the wire in his hands before grinning wickedly. "But I always did like the effect."

In an instant Ezra found himself in the most painful situation he'd ever been in, alive or dead. His arms were above his head, barbed wire holding his wrists pinned together, two long threads of it wrapping around his arms in a spiral the whole way to his shoulders, where they crossed his neck in a noose. Not enough to break skin, but tight enough that they would tear the skin right off if he made a sudden move.

"Now, you can't die on me, so I'm curious how long I can keep you like this. I once had a faggot who lasted three whole days, until the wire crushed his throat. If you can't die, and you don't really need to breathe, how long can you hold out before you go crazy?"

Ezra swallowed uncomfortably. "Why--" he licked his lips as speaking put pressure on his throat and the barb that was dangerously close to there. "Why me?" he finally got out.

Hograve leaned over him and grinned nastily. "Because I don't like faggots."

Ezra strove for a neutral look, but the very real threat of harm to his being made it more difficult. After his first real encounter with malevolent spirits, when he and Vin had first joined Chris, he had sworn never to go head to head with them again. Obviously luck was not on his side.

"What makes you think I am a 'faggot'?" He inwardly winced at the crude word.

"Oh, I know. I have a sixth sense about these things. Now, shall we play?" Hograve asked, looking past Ezra to a spot just outside Ezra's line of vision.

The pain was so unexpected, Ezra didn't know where it came from, or what had caused it, but it brought forth a scream of agony as the wire dug into his arms and neck as he writhed in pain.

Part 3

Vin could not pick up Ezra’s trail. It was as if his lover had just vanished, which was impossible unless he had moved on, or had faded. He knew Ezra would never have moved on without him, and given the situation the more likely reason was the second. But he would not allow himself to believe that Ezra had faded.

He refused to feel guilty about Hograve, he knew he had contained him completely, he would never put Ezra in that kind of danger. So something had happened...

Then it clicked and Vin cursed. Redoubling his efforts to pick up any trace of Ezra’s presence, or Hograve’s, vowing to destroy the murdering scumbag if he had hurt Ezra. It took some time, but finally his face lit up in a feral grin as he picked up the dark scent of Hograve’s trail.

48 hours had passed, slowly, and for Chris, painfully. He didn’t know how time worked in the spirit world, but it was a long time in this one. He hoped Vin was close to finding Ezra. Sleep had evaded him completely for the second night running, and just when he thought his headache was beginning to lessen (though whether that was a good thing or not he wasn’t entirely sure), there would be a sudden spike. If it was this bad for him then he hated to even consider what must be happening to Ezra.

As promised the others had invaded his apartment for the second night running, camping out. Josiah had taken his bed once he realised no use was going to be made of it, stating that one of them needed to be well rested for work the following day. JD had curled up on one end of the couch that he and Buck were sharing, sleeping. Buck on the other hand was still wide awake, and watching Chris in concern. Nathan was in the kitchen making yet another pot of coffee.

Josiah and Buck had given him their reports, and in the ebbs between spikes of pain he considered what he had been told. They had spoken to all of the survivors over the past two days, and none of them had yielded anything concrete on a second person’s involvement. One had told them he had been sure he had been violated at one point during his captivity, but when he had escaped there had been no sign of any sexual activity. The others had said they had felt like someone other than Hograve had been with them, but they had never seen anyone else, so they couldn’t be sure it hadn’t just been their imaginations running wild in the sick situation.

All in all it was a confusing case. Even JD had come up with nothing. Murders or abductions similar to Hograve’s were non-existent. Even a rundown of Hograve’s family, friends and work mates yielded nothing. To all appearances the man had worked alone.

Chris bit back a groan as another wave of pain crashed against his skull.

“Chris?” Buck asked worriedly.

“M’fine Buck,” he answered.

Nathan snorted from the doorway of the kitchen, leaning against the doorframe, a new cup of coffee in his hands.

“Look, if it’s the ghost that something’s happened to, why are you the one getting hurt?” Buck asked, frustrated at being unable to do anything to help his friend.

“He’s my spirit guide Buck, I don’t know how this works.” Chris sighed, leaning back. “And I think he’s getting hurt, badly. I’m just feeling the backlash.”

“But how can a ‘spirit guide’ feel pain? They’re dead if that’s what you want me to believe.”


Chris turned in surprise, groaning when his headache returned full force. “Vin?”

Buck let out a frustrated sound, this was all getting to be too much!

“I found Ezra, but he’s in bad shape. I can’t get him away from the Hograve brothers without help. The only way I can do that is by bringing them here, to this plane. They’ll be weaker here. But so will me an’ Ez. I need you to help me stop them,” Vin explained hurriedly.

Chris nodded immediately, and Vin looked so relieved that Chris wondered if the ghost had thought his request would be refused.

Vin nodded shortly and vanished.

It was then that Chris latched onto something Vin had said as the pain ebbed a little. “Brothers?” He turned to Buck, more slowly this time to keep his head as clear as he could. “Did Hograve have a brother?” No one had mentioned one, and he hadn’t been able to peruse the file.

It was JD who answered, looking very alert for someone who had just woken up, which meant he had woken when Vin had arrived back. “He had one, ten years older than him I think. Died young, about twenty or something. Why?”

An idea formed slowly in Chris’ mind. Nothing seemed too far fetched any more since Vin and Ezra had entered his life. “What did he die of?” he asked. JD thought for a moment. “Emm... AIDS I think. Why--? Oh, oh, OH!” he cried, catching up.

Chris nodded.

Buck looked between them in confusion. “Mind letting me in on the revelation?” he asked.

Chris was about to answer when the living room exploded into a flurry of sound and motion as Vin returned, bringing Ezra and the two malevolent spirits with him.

Part 4

Vin approached the darkness created by the Hograve brothers, sneaking in past their defences, knowing he couldn’t strike yet, no matter how tempting it truly was to do so. They could be gone in an instant should he alert them to his presence. He couldn’t afford to let them go, not when they could so easily take Ezra with them. He listened with growing rage to what they were saying.

He had yet to hear Ezra speak, a worrying enough act in and of itself, the only reason he knew he was even still here and not almost completely faded was the harsh rise and fall of his chest. Ghosts and spirit guides did not have to breathe, it was just a reflex from their time alive, if he had given up and was ready to fade completely all such actions would have stopped.

“I’m coming Ez,” he whispered quietly.

He had never brought a malevolent spirit to the human plane before. But he knew it was where they were weakest. They had to possess someone soon after arriving or they would be forced to return to the spirit world. Vin was confident he could make sure they didn’t possess any of Chris’s team, but more importantly still, Ezra would be safe there until he could get rid of the Hograves for good.

Taking a breath to steel himself, ready for what he had to do, he straightened and forced his own presence into theirs, breaking through that darkness as he strode towards them. He knew he had the upper hand when his first shot slammed into the elder brother, who was standing far too close to Ezra for his liking, knocking him backwards. The next shot took out the younger.

It wouldn’t hold for long.

Hurrying to Ezra he grimaced when he saw him. He reached down and brushed Ezra’s hair off his face, willing the wire to vanish, relieved when it did. He gripped Ezra’s hand and pulled him up, steadying him, taking most of his weight because Ezra was not all there at all. He turned cold eyes to the brothers who were struggling back from his shots, yelling incoherently.

“You want him?” Vin asked, knowing they did not have the capacity to understand anything but the fact their prey was being rescued. Knowing they would have to chase it down. “Follow me.” He disappeared from their view, leaving a clear trail back to the human world, arriving just a moment or two before they did.

And the room exploded into noise and motion.

Chris did not notice much going on with his team, much more focused on the scene before him. Vin had let Ezra drop slowly, and the usually graceful ghost sprawled where he landed. Not awake as such but not fully out of it either, he was going see-through again. Now that Chris understood what that meant, he was even more concerned.

“Vin?” he called.

Vin didn’t even turn to him, taking a stance to protect his fallen lover. “Will him to fight. I need his help.” Vin hated to force his lover to fight, but he needed the help to weaken them enough to protect the living from possession, and he knew Ezra would fight for that if not for himself. Then he would take them back and kick their asses.

“How?” JD worried, eyes wide and frightened by what he saw. He liked Ezra, seeing him like this was a very disturbing sight.

Ezra groaned and moved a little, but he ended up grunting in pain as Vin was forced back, accidentally kicking him in the side. Vin struggled, grappling, but losing his ground. “Ezra!” he grit out in desperation.

Suddenly a shot rang out, forcing the malevolent spirit back, Ezra lay panting heavily, still not fully solid, a tiny derringer smoking in his hand. A louder blast followed as Vin managed to bring his mares leg into play. Vin sent off another shot, and another, making sure the Hograves were back far enough that he could keep them incapacitated long enough to gather his remaining strength to get rid of them completely.

“Mr. Larabee...” Ezra said, his voice weak, but the words almost normal sounding. “I feel the need to inform you that there is no living accomplice.”

“Figured that out Ez.” Chris smiled in relief. “Now what?”

“Ez stays here and I go take care of these two,” Vin replied, his face settling into a feral expression as his gun went off again.

Ezra’s hand moved towards Vin before it flinched back when he realised it was covered in blood. “Vin,” he said instead, almost unheard.

“Don’t worry Ez, I’m ready for the bastards this time!” Vin told him.

Ezra looked like he wanted to argue, but he dropped his head in a nod and struggled to his feet, stepping back and away from Vin. Then the room fell completely silent as suddenly as when it had exploded with noise.

“You okay Ez?” JD asked in a hushed whisper.

Ezra looked down at himself, seeing that he was still not completely there, and at his bloodstained clothes, and the marks they hid. It would take a long time for those marks to fade, he knew that. “I am tired Mr. Dunne, but that is all,” he lied easily, not wanting the boy to worry.

“I suppose there wouldn’t be much point in me taking a look at your arms, would there?” Nathan asked, bringing everyone’s attention to the others in the room, to Buck’s shell-shocked expression, Josiah’s knowing smile that was tainted with a trace of concern, and Nathan’s disbelieving but resigned expression.

“I don’t believe so, no,” Ezra answered, frowning in some confusion.

“They can see you!” JD exclaimed.

Buck swallowed hard, physically shaking himself out of his shock and nodding slowly, reluctantly.

“I can too, but he flickers in and out of sight, the way people do in discos when the lights are going. I can hear him clearly though,” Josiah responded.

“How come you’re going see-through Ezra?” JD asked after assimilating Josiah’s words, and noticing Ezra’s non-solid state.

Ezra sighed deeply. “An unfortunate side effect of being in the dubious company of malevolent spirits,” he answered, his voice quiet.

There was silence, because even to those who could not see Ezra clearly, it was obvious he was hurting, and badly. Vin chose this moment to reappear behind Ezra, shooting him a concerned look when his lover just visibly flinched at his presence. He answered Chris’ questioning stare with a slight nod. The Hograve brothers would not be coming back. “Ez?” he asked.

Ezra sighed. “If you would excuse me gentlemen. I need to rest now.”

They didn’t wait for any acknowledgement, just left.


“Ezra?” Vin asked softly, taking a seat beside his lover, not touching him, a suitable distance between them. It was second nature to put the required distance between them to avert suspicions. Even when they were alone. But knowing that Ezra actually needed this physical distance hurt Vin. It had been days in the spirit world, a lifetime, and Ezra was not coping as well as he projected. If Vin hadn’t spent ten years with the man in life learning to read him like a book, and a further hundred or more in the afterlife, he would never be able to tell just how shaken his lover truly was.

“Is it time?” Ezra asked, pausing in his shuffling, ignoring that his hands were still not completely there, that his skin was practically translucent.

“Hmm,” Vin answered. “We don’t have to,” he offered.

Ezra shook his head. “No, might as well get it over with.”

Vin got back to his feet and held out a hand to help Ezra up, hiding his surprise and elation that Ezra actually took it. Ezra had avoided any contact no matter what spirit it was given in. And when Ezra was standing that he didn’t immediately snatch his hand back gave Vin hope that this was passing, and Ezra was healing.

“Shall we?” Ezra asked slipping his hand away and stepping back.

Vin nodded.

Chris Larabee’s living room was once again full of his team members, two days after the event there. Chris had given all of them a chance to think about what they had seen and what they believed or didn’t. He didn’t want to push it, but he did need to be certain his team could still work together. Something like this changed things. Especially for those who did not believe to begin with.


Chris looked at Ezra. “You okay?”

Ezra nodded, his lack of verbal response telling Chris what he needed to know.

JD was grinning madly from where he sat beside Buck, he had teased the other man mercilessly about not believing them over the last two days. And he could see by the somewhat resigned expression that Buck could still see Vin and Ezra.

“Shall we begin?” Ezra asked when no one seemed likely to speak. He truly didn’t want to be here. It wasn’t in his nature to seek company after something of this magnitude, but hiding away would only make it that much more difficult to return to this. He knew that. He had felt the distance growing between he and Vin, and he couldn’t stand it.

Time to get back in the saddle as the saying goes.

“I would like to know about this brother and what he had to do with it,” Josiah suggested, keeping his eyes on the ghosts. They no longer flickered as much, staying in his vision for longer than they had before, before flicking out for a few moments and returning. It was a little dizzying, but fascinating really.

“Hograve’s brother died of AIDS, which I’m fairly sure he got from another man. It explains Hograve’s hatred of gays,” Chris said.

“His brother started it,” Ezra announced quietly.

“His brother?” JD asked.

Ezra nodded and let them draw their own conclusions.

“Makes sense,” Nathan said with a shrug, once again surprising everyone with his calm acknowledgement of Ezra’s words. “If he died from AIDS then he was obviously pissed at the other guy, and did some astral communing with his little brother and fed all these ideas of revenge into him... or something... What?” the forensic pathologist asked self consciously. “I read about it.”

Josiah laughed heartily and clapped Nathan on the back.

“An apt version of events Mr. Jackson,” Ezra nodded.

“After he was dead?” Buck finally spoke.

Ezra half smiled at that. “Is it so difficult to believe, after all Mr. Wilmington, you are conversing with ghosts yourself.”

Buck lowered his head and muttered something indistinguishable, knowing he had been caught out there, and the room exploded into laughter as JD let his snickers escape and Josiah joined him, Nathan chuckling as Buck’s neck turned red, though whether in anger or embarrassment was unknown as he couldn’t help but join in ruefully.

Chris looked at them, and at Vin and Ezra, who shared a smile, Ezra shaking his head, as Vin’s smile blossomed into a grin, and he felt something click and fall into place. He didn’t know what. But it worked.

End Episode 6

Footnote: I just realised you might not know what I mean by ‘fading’, so to make sure I have covered all bases, fading is basically when a ghost has their energy completely stolen by a malevolent spirit, who requires this to survive themselves.
I apologise for the long wait. But I have a new laptop now, so I can write and update quicker. I’m toying with going back and doing Episode 2 or 3, or would you prefer if I did Episodes 7, 8, 9 or 10? I’m planning a movie for this little series as well, so you have that to look forward to.
I also apologise for the oddness of this episode, it didn’t turn out exactly as I had planned, but I thought it was kinda cute at the end.

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