by Twig

Disclaimer: Honestly, if I had the boys, you would never see them again. So, I guess, in a way, you should be glad they're not mine. Yep. I repeat. They do not belong to me.
Author's Note: This is a gift to my wonderful beta-reader and friend, Judy S. There's no special reason for it. I just felt like giving her something 'cause she's such a cool person.
Second Note: Despite the fact that this piece sounds kinda like the ATF version of A Few Cards Short of a Full Deck, it's not. I'm not bitter when I wrote this. I wouldn't say I'm happy either. No, that's not a bad thing. Honest. I can't write when I'm happy. I can only write when I'm either depressed or acting like I'm high on something. This piece is a product of the latter.

Loose cannon. Wild card. Maverick. The bastard with no regard to others. The SoB who didn't care about anyone but himself.

What it all boils down to, I guess, is that I'm unreliable. Nice word for my condition, considering all the other more colourful ways of describing my personality. Is it really that bad to care for your own personal health? I wouldn't think so. Hospitals are so... sterile.

Still, I think a hospital trip may be in the future for me. Or maybe the morgue. Both cold. Both sterile. Both unbelievable annoying. Who wants to be stuck in a closed, confined space for an indefinite amount of time? It's taxing on my patience, and I have so little to begin with.

Patience. Just another virtue I seem to lack. Oh, sometimes I appear as if I have truck-load of the stuff, but in reality, I don't. I give a good pretense, don't I? Everything is a facade for me, which adds to my unreliability.

Oh that Standish, never around when he's needed. There's a raid going down on 4th and Sinclair, and he's not there! How's that arms smuggler going to feel? Left out, of course. Betrayed? Oh definitely. Arms smuggler plus feelings of betrayal equals hostility and gunfire. Larabee's gonna be pissed.

'Where's that ****ing *** ** * *****?! Doesn't that ****ing ******* know when to ****ing show up?'

Oh, that's funny! I can see that glare in his eyes. The Larabee Death Glare. Guaranteed to turn you into a smoking grease spot in two seconds flat or your money back.

Hysterical. Absolutely fucking hysterical.

Oh, my poor carpet. And I just got it cleaned. It's gonna cost me a fortune to clean it again.

I wonder how Larabee and the rest of them are doing? Shooting or negotiating? Perhaps explaining why I'm not there.

Where is he?

He's never there.

Goddammit, he ran out again.

Yeah, I always run out. When I can't handle it, I run out. At least that's what Mother taught me. When the going gets tough, the tough get going. Heh. That's kinda funny.

Just ol' unreliable me. You can't depend on me. Of course not. I run out. I betray you. As soon as you turn your back, I have a gun pointed at you. Who the fuck cares who the hell you are? All that matters is me. Me. Me. Me.


So what if there's a raid down on 4th and I'm not there. So what if someone gets killed because I'm not there. So what?

I don't give a damn.

Well... I do give a damn about this carpet. Damn.

I'm goddamn unreliable. It's your fucking fault that you didn't see it coming. I'm the bastard who ran out. I'm the SoB who didn't show up for the briefing. Got all of those excuses. I have a bunch of them written on little slips of paper, then I dump them in a hat, and I pull one out in the morning when I'm sipping my Irish Creme coffee, smiling at the clock ticking precious seconds away.

Ah, there's nothing like a good cup of Irish Creme coffee.

I look at the clock, the seconds ticking by.

Wonder who's dead by now.

Look into my eyes, precious, and watch as your heart gets broken.

Shake my hand, Sir, and turn around and say goodbye to your freedom.

Hand me that gun and I'll put a bullet through your heart.

You can't trust someone like me. Not even my own Mother trusts me. You have to be on your guard always. Never let it down lest I betray you. Don't come near my heart because you'll find nothing there. Nothing.

My carpet.... It's so hard to get blood stains out.

I swear if the ATF doesn't pay for it, I'll quit.

That's funny too.

I'll quit.

Is that a threat? Yeah, Mr. Larabee. I'll quit.


Not because quitting is for losers. Hell, I know I'm a loser. I know I'm unreliable. I know what kind of a man I am. It's just quitting.... Well, that's not quite so fantastic as being suspended, possibly jailed, for causing the death of (insert name here) because of my absence at the raid down on 4th.

Tick. Tock. Tick. Tock. Who's gonna be the one to bite the bullet?

Bam. Bam. Bang. Thud. Gasp. Goodbye.


Awww... my carpet... Not even my carpet can rely on me.

Oh, Ezra, oh, Ezra, you're supposed to keep me clean, not drip blood all over me.

Ow... that hurt. I shouldn't laugh, but it's so goddamn funny.

It's not funny, Ezra. Look at me. I'm all red. Red clashes with blue, you know that!

Ow. Ow.... ow.

What do you think, carpet? I'm wearing a blue suit. I'm clashing.

I don't give a shit about you, Standish. I have a larger surface area than you do.

Oh that's a good one, carpet. Good one.

See. Not even my carpet can depend on me. I'm making it clash! What a crime! Well, maybe not as big as a crime as to cause the death of (insert name here), but hey, I'm sure there's fashion hell somewhere.

You know, if Vin dies, he would go to fashion hell.


4th and Sinclair. I can still make it. If I get up. Walk over to the door. Get down the stairs. Get into my car. Drive it. And voila. I'm at the raid.

You're not bleeding all over me, Standish!

Dammit! Red does not clash with black, little Jaggy-jag-jag. Black goes with everything you know.

Oh man.... I'm going out of my mind.

I guess I have it coming. I deserve it. No matter where I go after this, I will deserve all my suffering. You can depend on me. You can trust me. All fucking lies. Both ways. You can't rely on me, and I can't rely on you. No. Not after thirty-two years of erecting walls and electric fences. Not after falling over and over again upon my knees, screaming in agony as my soul pour out of me, staining the ground. No. Too late. Too little, too late.

I give. I lose. Simple as that. I am a cliff, and you're not gonna get a foothold upon me. Fall, bastard. I'll watch you fall and break into pieces. And I'll laugh cause you fuckers deserve it.

I don't wanna hurt anymore. Just please. Let me be.

I am so unreliable that I can't even trust myself. Not anymore. I see myself in the mirror in the morning and I hate me. I hate what I've become. I hate every inch of my being, but I can't die. I can't go down that path because I don't have the strength for it. I don't want to deal. I don't want to look into their eyes and see pity, or anger, or hatred. I just want it to end.

There's no caring. No love. It's a fucking illusion created by Hallmark to create a larger profit margin. No home. No warmth. No dinners by the fireplace, smiles and hugs, and presents, and little trinkets of happiness and joy.

You can't depend on love, just like you can't depend on me.

No. Friendship and love... fail you. They fail. They fail miserable when I'm stupid enough to think they might hold me up. And you're stupid too if you think you can rely on friendship and love.

What do you think, carpet?

You're bleeding all over me, you jerk.

Good answer.

I can hear a loud thud. Or a bang. It can be both. I can't tell the difference. Everything's kinda blurry now. Crash, bang, or something. It's probably in a different order than I think.


I agree with that.


Yeah. That's my name.


Okay. I get the point.

"Call an ambulance."

Gee, can't be any more creative can you?

I gasp when I see a pair of stormy green eyes before me. Larabee.



I can't say anything.

But I can't be relied on, can't you see, Chris? You can't even trust me to give you a response.

"I knew something had to have happened to you."

No shit.

"How do you feel?" JD. I can almost laugh.

"Like I've been shot," I finally say.

Why are they here? Probably to finish me off, I guess. Get rid of that weakest link.

Larabee stares at me. "I knew, when you didn't show up."

"Knew what?"

"I knew you had to be in trouble."

"Why?" I whisper.

Something about the way he's staring at me. No anger. No hate. No... There's care. There's fear. Fear for my life.

"Because I knew you wouldn't run out on us."

I laugh. I gasp in pain and the world brightens a little.

I moan. No. The world's fading.

"Ezra! You're staying right here, Ezra. You hear me?"

You can't just go and ruin my self-pity fest, Chris! God, have a little respect!

"Ezra!" Chris shakes me hard.

I gasp and my eyes open wide.

"You're staying right here," he orders

I nod.

Chris smiles. Something that strikes me hard. "I know I can rely on you."

Yeah, Chris. You can rely on me. Always.

On to: Hello, My Dear

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