Ezra's Valentine's Day

by Kendra Standish

Once upon a time, Ezra had a crush on one of the secretaries in the Denver ATF office on the seventh floor of the ATF building. So for Valentine’s Day, he looked up a cute love poem in one of his poetry books and bought flowers for the girl. But when he got to work, late as usual, he found them in the trash.

Ezra felt his heart of gold breaking in his chest and he ran to the bathroom to hide his tears. He didn't want anyone to see him cry. His mother taught him that he couldn't trust people with his emotions.

In his haste, he accidentally ran into the girls’ restroom, and into the secretary he had secretly admired. The secretary stared at him for a second and Ezra felt his face turn red, so he pulled his poker face out of his pocket and put it on.

"Oh, hi Agent Standish," said the secretary. "I'm sorry, I'm going to have sex with Buck tonight."

"Oh," Ezra said, looking away from her face. She walked down the hall and back to her desk and Ezra realized that if he was going to hide, he should hide in the men's room instead of the ladies' room, because he didn't want to get slapped with sexual harassment, that was Buck's job. He went into the bathroom and went into a stall and locked the door.

"Good job, Ezra," he said to himself. "You just made a fool of yourself."

"What was that, Ez?" came Vin Tanner's voice from one stall over.

Ezra panicked. He didn't want to face any of his team, let alone Vin Tanner because the sharpshooter could read people like a book. Well, a very easy book, he was dyslexic after all. He would certainly find out about the secretary in seconds.

"Ezra?" Vin said questioningly. "Did ya hear me? Ya ain't ignorin' me, are you?"

Ezra sniffled. "Mr. Tanner," he began. God he hated how shaky his voice sounded.

"Ezra, what's wrong? Ya sound like yer cryin'," Vin said, his voice urgent.

"Nothing, Mr. Tanner, it's nothing, I shall compose myself and meet you back in the office," Ezra said, but his voice was still wavy.

"Hell Ez, ya know that I ain't gonna fall fer that shit," Vin said. Ezra heard him flush and step out of the stall. Then he heard the sink running.

"Ya know, ya don't have to keep hidin' from us, we're yer friends," Vin said.

Ezra felt his throat tighten. He knew that his team cared about him. Whenever he got shot, which was actually quite frequently, they waited for him in the hospital. They even invited him to have drinks with them after work and to BBQs at Chris's ranch. But he couldn't help but remember how it had felt in Atlanta to be hated by his coworkers. And Maude always did say that nobody would ever like him or want to be his friend.

"I promise you, Mr. Tanner, that I will recover from this loss," Ezra said. He heard Vin kick the trash can.

"Why don'tcha come outta that stall an' tell me that, then?" Vin asked.

Ezra sighed. "I shall emerge when I am ready."

"I hate it when ya git like this," said Vin. Ezra waited for a second while Vin was silent. He thought maybe the sharpshooter had given up. "I hate that I can't talk to you."

"Excuse me, Mr. Tanner?" Ezra asked.

"And the way you cut your hair."

"What's wrong with my hair?" Ezra asked, running a hand through his fine locks.

"I hate the way you smile at me," Vin continued. "I hate it when you stare."

"I do not stare," Ezra said, indignant. Had Vin noticed the looks of longing that he shot at the sharpshooter when he thought the man wasn't looking?

"I hate yer dumb designer clothes, and the way ya read my mind," Vin said.

"This is Armani!" Ezra said.

"I hate ya so much it makes me sick, it even makes me rhyme," Vin said. Ezra said nothing, because Vin's poem was rather good.

"I hate the way yer always right, I hate it when ya lie," Vin continued. Ezra felt guilty. He lied for a living. And he lied to his friends. Was it really hurting them as much as it seemed to be hurting Vin?

"I hate it when ya make me laugh, and even worse when I want to cry," Vin said. The raw emotion in his voice was eating away at Ezra. The green-eyed southerner stayed quiet. "I hate it when yer not around, and even when ya are, but mostly... mostly I hate the way I don't hate ya. Not even close, not even a little bit, not even at all."

Ezra stared at the stall door and waited. Vin had fallen silent, finished with his poem.

"I guess I'll see ya later," Vin said.

"Wait, Mr. Tanner!" Ezra called. He burst through the door of the stall and found himself face to face with Vin Tanner. The sharpshooter eyed him sadly, unsure. He had just revealed his heart to Ezra Standish and now Ezra had to make a decision.

Ezra stepped forward and kissed him on the lips (instead of on the eye or something).

"Thank you, Mr. Tanner," Ezra said.

Vin shrugged, then reached into his pocket and pulled something out. Ezra's eyes focused on it, a blueberry flavored condom. "Happy Valentine’s Day, Ez."

They had sex on the sink.

The End

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