Gunning Down Romance
Disclaimer: Mirisch owns the Seven, I, unfortunately do not. Jina Parker, Morgaine Parker, Agent Slayer, are of my creation. "Gunning Down Romance" is done by Savage Garden. Much thanks to my wonderful beta and technical advisor, Lee, who gave much help and encouragement. Also, dedicated to my ~>sib<~ because she knows why.
The clip slid into place as the .38 Magnum was checked and loaded. The sound of the gun being cocked echoed across the open space of the warehouse. The gun was carefully placed into its holster as hands smoothed over the black leather. Morgaine stared at the portrait on the wall; she kissed the tips of her fingers and brushed them lovingly across the picture. "This is for you, Jina," she thought. She walked over to the black Harley that sat in the middle of the warehouse and started it. As it roared to life, she slipped her black Ray-Bans in place. Tires squealing, she navigated her way through the narrow and twisting alleyways to the street.
Fifteen minutes later she pulled up in front of a condo. Carefully, she got off and strolled up to the front door. She was about to ring the doorbell when she heard a noise in the garage. She walked around the side to investigate. She nearly jumped out of her skin as she heard someone behind ask, "May I help you?" Pasting a smile on her face while mentally kicking herself for allowing whomever it was to get a drop on her, she turned around to face the speaker.
"Hi." She began tentatively. "You wouldn't happen to be Agent Ezra Standish would you?" she said sweetly.
'May I inquire as to who is asking?" he replied as his eyes roamed her body. He liked the way the black leather hugged her body showing off her amazing assets. She was 5'10", and muscular, she looked as if she could easily take him out in a fistfight. Her long blond hair added a cloying sweetness to the hard, sexy image. Although it was her smile that caught him off guard. It had a come hither beckoning but also a shy insecurity.
"I- I'm sorry," she stammered. "I'd forget my head if it wasn't attached, I'm Agent Jina Slayer."
"Well then Ms. Slayer, to answer your inquiry, yes, I am Ezra Standish. Although I have to admit that I'm quite surprised to see you here."
"I called the office for directions, and they suggested that I meet up with you and follow you to work. That is if you don't mind?"
"Of course I don't mind. Although, perhaps you would prefer a ride to work." He said gesturing to the weather around them. In the few minutes they had talked it had begun to rain. "The streets are treacherous as it is, but the wet pavement will make it even more so especially on your motorcycle."
"Thank you, I wouldn't mind a ride at all, especially since I don't know the city very well and I've only been in town two days…"
"This way," Ezra said guiding her towards the elevators in the ATF Building parking garage. "Are you ready for your first day here?"
"I hope so," she said following behind him. "Damn," she said as the contents of her backpack spilled across the pavement. "Wait!" she called.
Ezra turned, walking back to where she was. "Anything the matter?"
Quick as lightning, she sank a palmed needle into his leg, injecting him with the swift acting tranquilizer. He sank bonelessly to the ground. She glanced around the garage as she grabbed his upper body and dragged him to a black Neon. She opened the rear door, hefting his body inside. "God, you're heavy," she thought climbing into the driver's seat.
"Where the hell is Ezra?" Chris growled as he stalked the hallway for the twentieth time. "It's ten thirty! Is it too much to ask him to be here at a time closer to when he's actually supposed to be here? Where is he, he's late even for him!"
Vin poked his head out of the doorway, "His car's here, so obviously he's got to be here somewhere."
Chris glared at him with the legendary Larabee stare. "Tell me something I don't know! Come to think out of it, where's Agent Slayer? She should have been here awhile ago too."
The others shrugged; they had no idea where Ezra could be. They all knew in the back of their minds that something was wrong but none wanted to voice that thought. They all knew as much as Ezra enjoyed getting a rise out of Chris, that he would not be this late without contacting any of them. Also, the missing visiting agent didn't help matters much. Not of them could help thinking that, "something was rotten in the state of Denmark."
Morgaine laughed gleefully as she dumped a bucket full of icy water on Ezra shocking him back to reality. Cautiously, he opened his eyes allowing them to adjust to the light. He focused on the image of Jina standing over him. "Where are we," he asked.
Lifting her foot, she kicked his side bruising if not breaking some of his ribs. "Shut up!" she screamed pulling her gun, and pointing it between his emerald eyes.
"Unless you want to end up dead right now, keep your mouth shut!"
Grabbing a handful of his hair, she hauled him to his feet. The realization that his wrists and ankles were shackled tightly together dawned upon him. Yanking his hair more, she pulled him across the open space of the warehouse to a flight of stairs. Not caring if he stumbled or fell, she marched up the stairs dragging him behind her.
His eyes adjusted to the dimness of the second floor. Candles and candelabras decorated the space, reminiscent of a scene straight out of Phantom of the Opera. She forced him to his knees, reached for the iron band around his neck. Putting her finger through the loop in the front of the band, she pulled him towards her. She smiled sweetly, her eyes full of warmth that quickly narrowed to slits of hard blue ice. Reaching down, she grasped a length of chain lying on the floor. She slid the open link through the loop and snapped it closed. Ezra's eyes followed the length of chain to where it connected to an I-bolt that was sunk into a cement pillar. He knew that she meant to attach that chain to him, he wanted to fight, to keep her from him but his body wouldn't obey. He knew that whatever she had injected him with was the cause.
Picking up a Polaroid, she said, "Smile!" and took a picture. "That's the before shot, now, to work on the after photo…" she said walking over to a table that was hidden in the shadows. She picked up a riding crop and smiled as she smacked it against her thigh, listening to the resounding crack that it made. She grinned as she thought she saw fear flash through Ezra's eyes.
Two days had passed since Ezra and Agent Slayer had been officially listed as missing. The Seven still had no idea as to what had happened to them or where they were. Their only clue was the black Harley in front of Ezra's condo with out of state plates. But even then, they couldn't find anything more to assist them in their search, only the name J.M. Parker who was listed as the owner of the Harley. It was almost as if the two agents had fallen off the face of the earth. Chris rubbed his eyes wearily; six hours of going over cases for any connection between Ezra and Agent Slayer were taking their toll. The phone rang loudly, jarring him more awake.
"Hello." He said into the receiver.
"Is this Agent Larabee?" the caller asked in a no nonsense tone.
"It is, who is this?"
"Special Agent Kinkade of the FBI. Agent Larabee, we have found Agent Slayer, or rather we have found her body. It was discovered early this morning outside a warehouse in Chicago."
Chris was shocked, hope for their friend's safe return plummeted and they now were back to square one. "How did she die? Are there any suspects? Was there any information that could help me locate my team member?"
"Agent Larabee, I'll be faxing over all the information we have within the hour."
"Thank you," he said half-heartedly into the phone before hanging up. "Come on Ezra, where are you?" he thought. As if Ezra himself were reading his mind, a delivery boy entered his office handing him a large manilla envelope. He opened it quickly, spilling its out its contents onto the desk. Grabbing a pair of gloves, he stared at the top photograph. Thirty-seven Polaroids of Ezra and a note addressed to him lay staring him in the face. He reached for the note, reading the blood red script. "For every day I have gone without my sister is one more beating he shall endure. And 365 lashes is enough to kill most men… I got to watch my sister die, so I extend the same to you. It would have been easy for him to stop her death, but you don't get that option!" Chris stared in horror at the pictures of Ezra; each one had a number beneath it of how many strokes of the whip he had received. Ezra was barely recognizable in the picture of the 365th stroke.
With a sinking heart he made his way to the conference room, and began posting the pictures. When he was done, he called the others in together…
Tongues of fire licked and stung Ezra's body, he knew that each fire was where the riding crop had ripped his skin. Although he couldn't determine in the dark, he knew that his whole body had to be bright red. He slipped easily between the two worlds of consciousness and unconsciousness. Every movement he made tore through him like lightning bolts of agony. If he didn't leave this place soon, he knew that he never would.
He moved his head ignoring the pain, towards the stairs as he heard someone come up them. He could barely make out the shape of them through the darkness as they made their way towards him. Suddenly, Jina's face was right in front of his smiling sweetly.
Removing her hands from behind her back, she placed a large bottle of something in front of him along with some cloths. Gently, she helped him to his feet and guided him to a pallet several feet away in the corner. She retrieved the bottle and the cloths, placing them on the unseen table nearby. Unscrewing the top or the bottle, she allowed one of the cloths to soak up some of the liquid. Delicately, she pressed the cloth against his stomach and held it there. Ezra nearly came off the pallet as the burning agony changed abruptly to repeated nuclear detonations. A scream escaped his lips before he slid back into unconsciousness. She continued her torture until all the cuts were more angry and red than before. Picking up the bottle, "I guess I shouldn't have used acetone," she thought. "I guess I'll just have to rinse it out… with salt water!"
Jina walked over to the stairs and grabbed the bucket of water she had left there. She took it to the pallet where Ezra lay. Holding the bucket above his head, she dumped it on him making sure that it washed into every cut. She giggled with glee as Ezra's eyes flew open and a scream tore from his lips. This time unconsciousness didn't take him, it left him gasping as the pain ripped through him.
He looked at Jina through pain filled eyes, "Why Jina?" he rasped.
Her eyes flashed dangerously as she backhanded him, knocking him off the pallet. "Shut up! You have no right to speak to me?" she screamed.
"Why?" he asked again blinking back tears of pain.
"You took my sister, why not?"
"Who was she?"
She undid the chain from the band around his neck, forcing him weakly down the stairs. She pushed him on the floor as she pulled back curtain separators exposing an altar. She pushed him in front of the shrine, "This is my sister; this is the one you killed. She's dead because of you!" she shrieked.
Ezra paled dramatically as he realized who her sister was. The only thing was, was that he wasn't even there when she died… One word slipped past his lips as he lost consciousness, "Morgaine…"
The six sat in silence as they pored over cases from one year ago, trying to find any of the suspects that had a sister that was killed. So far they had been unsuccessful. They all knew that Ezra's life hung in the balance the pictures had proved that. If something wasn't done soon, they knew he would be gone for good, and they would be no better off than his kidnapper, bitter, and vengeful.
Suddenly, as if a light bulb had turned on above Josiah's, "Jina!" he said aloud.
The others looked at him in confusion. "Jina who?" Chris asked.
"Remember that quiet secretary that was obsessed with Ezra?" They nodded in remembrance. "Her name was Jina Parker, she died a year ago, committed suicide if I remember correctly. Ezra was always kind and professional towards her, even when she hounded him incessantly about dating her"
"I remember," Vin drawled. "In the letter she said 'she was sorry she couldn't have Ezra,' and she 'loved him with all her heart,' and she was doing 'this for him.' I always felt sorry for her when she realized that she could never have Ezra. Poor girl."
"Yeah," Buck said. "I remember she had a sister, because I saw a picture of her on her desk and I asked Jina about her. Her sister's name was Megan… Maureen…Morgan…Morgaine! Her name was Morgaine Parker, they were fraternal twins."
"JD, see if Morgaine owns any property here in the city." Chris said. He knew that if Josiah was right than they stood a good chance of getting their friend and brother back…hopefully alive.
JD burst back into the conference room with a triumphant look on his face. "We're in luck, she owns a warehouse outside Chinatown between Dearborn and Division!"
"Let's get Ezra back!" Chris said herding everyone out the door. In the back of his mind a little voice asked, 'but in what condition…'
"Morgaine," Ezra said returning to consciousness.
"You remember what you did I see." She spit acidly.
"I had nothing to do with her death."
"You had everything to do with! She loved you. This is how you repaid her!"
Ezra could see that the madness had taken over; there was no longer a shred any of sanity or humanity, only the year of grief and revenge. He now knew that he would not leave her warehouse alive for all rational thought escaped her. She intended to end his life at all costs. Eyes narrowing, she drew her gun…
"ATF! Freeze!" Chris yelled.
She grabbed the band around Ezra's neck, struggling to pull him to his feet, and pointed the gun at his temple. She started backing towards the stairs, although the added weight made it difficult but the dementia gave her strength. "He must pay for Jina, he must!" she screamed making her way slowly up the stairs. At the top she turned the corner, disappearing from sight.
The five made their way cautiously up the stairs knowing that Vin hade her covered from his vantage point on the roof. Checking that the coast was clear, they rounded the corner only to see more stairs and an open door at the top. They climbed the stairs and carefully exited out onto the roof. Morgaine stood halfway across the roof, still holding Ezra tightly to her. As the six slowly advanced forward, she stepped backwards inching her way to the side of the roof. "Stay away!" she screamed with madness in her eyes. "He's going to hell for Jina, you can't do anything about it. Jina demands it, and so do I!"
Morgaine stopped when she reached the ledge of the roof. Glancing behind her, she smiled and fired at the six. Vin saw his chance and took it firing at her. She leaned backwards as the bullet impacted with her body, and she fell taking Ezra with her.
"Ezra!" six men screamed in unison as the two fell to their deaths. They rushed to the ledge, scanning the ground below. Morgaine lay on the ground below, they knew that she finally was with her sister.
"A little assistance please?" Ezra called from the balcony of the fire escape. They all breathed a sigh of relief that Morgaine had not taken Ezra from them, and once again he had cheated Death. They exited the roof and went to the second floor fire escape to retrieve their brother.
A week had passed since the entire ordeal. Ezra was healing quite nicely and was enjoying the time they all spent at Chris' ranch. Now, as he stood in front of the headstone, he placed the written words that he knew Jina should have heard a long time ago at the base. He turned and walked to back to the warmth and love of his friends.
"Love and other moments are just chemical reactions in your brain, in your brain. And feelings of aggression are the absence of the love drug in your veins, in your veins.
Love came quickly, cause I feel my self-esteem is caving in, it's on the brink
Love come quickly cause I can't keep this monster in, its in my skin..."
"Love and other socially acceptable emotions are morphine, they're morphine
Cleverly concealing primal urges often felt but rarely seen, rarely seen
Love I beg you, lift me up into that privileged point of view, the world of two...
Love don't leave me.
Cause I consol myself that Hallmark cards are true, I really do..."
"I'm gunning down romance it never did a thing for me but heart ache and misery, Ain't nothing but a tragedy
I'm gunning down romance it never did a thing for me but heart ache and misery, Ain't nothing but a tragedy
Love don't leave me, take these broken wings, I'm gonna take these broken wings and learn fly, and learn fly to away"
"I'm gunning romance... and learn to fly away
I'm gunning down romance...
I'm gonna take these broken wings...
I'm gonna take these broken wings...
And learn to fly and learn to fly away
I'm gunning down romance, and learn to fly away, I'm gunning down romance, I'm gunning down romance..."
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