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mag7 fic
Title: Five Forty Five
Author: Bernadette
Rating: PG
Warnings: Bad writing ahead!
Fandom: The Magnificent Seven
Genre: Humour - my attempt at humour *shrug*
Summary: Ezra and two brothers play a game of poker.
Main Characters: Ezra and two OC's and the rest of the seven are there too.
Disclaimers: The guys are owned by CBS, MGM, Trilogy Entertainment Group, and The Mirisch Corp.
Beta: Not betaed
Notes: The May 2005 Challenge (the Number Challenge) - offered by Carole
Write a story in which a number plays a significant part. Could be a date, age, measurement, monetary amount, address, phone number, zip code, post office box number, etc... Any open AU or OW. Drama, humor, h/c, angst, your choice! Bonus points if Ezra has an important role in the story!
Spoilers: None.
Word Count: 2,471



Five Forty Five


The rumbling of conversation ran through the crowd that filled the saloon of Four Corners. An occasional bout of laughter broke through the rumble. Glasses softly clinked against each other when a group of friends toasted their success at the gambling tables earlier that evening: success due to the absence of the town's residential gambler. They had been smart enough to leave the table when Standish had finally made an appearance.

A woman's scream pierced the room and five lawmen quickly rose to their feet and searched the room for the source of the scream. They relaxed and sat back down when the scream was replaced by laughter - Molly had gotten her backside pinched.

All eyes turned to the sound of the saloon doors slamming open. Silence filled the room when the man who wore only black entered the saloon. Few men dared to speak when Chris Larabee made an entrance.

Chris glanced around the room then walked over to an already crowded table. He sat down in one of the two empty chairs; the other chair was waiting patiently for the seventh member of the group.

"Anyone going to pour me a drink?" Larabee asked his friends.

"Your arm broke?" Vin asked without looking at Larabee.

"No."

"Then you can pour your own drink," Buck said.

Chris glanced at each man in turn and asked, "Did I miss something?"

"The two men Ezra's playin' with are about to lose," Nathan informed him. "So we're too busy watchin' his back to pour you a drink."

Chris nodded and glanced over at Ezra's table. "Uh huh . . . I'm sure one of you can pour me a drink while the other four keep an eye on Ezra." Chris smiled when Buck picked up the bottle of whiskey and began to fill his shot glass. He grimaced and pushed himself away from the table when the whiskey spilled over the rim of the glass onto the table. "Buck!"

"Sorry Chris," Buck smiled, "too busy watching Ezra's back."

"What makes you think he's going to have trouble with those guys?" Chris asked as he moved to the other empty chair, leaving the wet area of the table for Ezra.

"Ain't you listenin' Chris?" JD admonished him. "We told you already . . . those guys are about to lose."

Chris raised an eyebrow at the remark and decided to ignore it. "Then I guess I'd better watch his back too."

"Well if you are," Buck said without looking away from his charge, "could you at least be quiet while you're doing it. You're making enough noise to wake the dead!"

"Excuse me?"

"I said you're making-"

"Shut up, Buck." Josiah elbowed Buck and smiled in satisfaction in the resulting grunt of pain.

"How long have they been playing?" Chris asked the group.

"Just under five hours and forty five minutes," Josiah told him. "Now if you can keep your comments to yourself . . ."

_._._._._._._._._._._._._._._._._._._._._._._


Anian Smith looked over the top of his cards at his brother Gildas, who nodded in return. Anian grimaced in disgust at his brother's body language - he had just told the professional gambler that he had a good hand.

"Gildas, when we get out of here, I'm going to put my foot so far up your ass you're going to be eating my boot!"

"Why? What in the hell did I do?" Gildas growled back at his brother.

"Gildas?" Ezra Standish ran his tongue over his bottom lip and smiled at the man who was sitting to his right. "That's an unusual name."

"What and Ezra isn't?" Gildas snapped at the gambler.

"I happen to think that Ezra is a very fetching name."

"Fetched from the bottom of a barrel if you ask me." Anian smiled at his brother.

"I didn't ask you Mr . . . ?" Ezra raised an eyebrow in question at the man on his left but it was Gildas who answered him.

"That's my brother and his name is Anian."

"Mr. Anian."

"First name is Anian, last name is Smith."

Ezra blinked and said, "Smith . . . you have unusual first names and your surname is Smith."

Anian pulled at the sleeves of his jacket. "Yeah . . . so?"

"Standish . . . Ezra Standish." Ezra smiled at the two men then threw five dollars into the center of the table. "I raise you gentlemen five dollars."

Anian looked down at the measly amount of money sitting directly in front of him. A total of five dollars and forty-five cents. His brother had even less - five dollars and twenty-five cents. Anian chewed his bottom lip and considered putting in his five dollars. He looked at his brother Gildas again, and this time his brother smiled at him.

"I fold!" Anian threw his cards down onto the table and glared at his brother.

Ezra smiled at him, "Your 'tell' is as bad as your brother's."

"What 'tell' are you talking about?"

"You, Mr. Smith, chew your bottom lip when you have a bad hand and your brother, Mr. Smith, has a way of indicating to you in some form of body language that he has a bad hand, but he is in fact trying to tell me that he has a good hand. Very poorly done, I may add."

"You may not add." Anian glared at Ezra and spoke to his brother. "Have you got a bad hand, Gildas?"

"I ain't going to tell you."

"He has a bad hand, Mr. Smith."

"Gildas, fold . . . your . . . hand."

"No."

Anian tore his eyes away from Ezra and stared at his brother. "What?"

"I . . . said . . . no."

Ezra rubbed his lip with his thumb. "You will lose, Mr. Smith."

"I already lost, Standish. I threw my hand in remember."

"I was talking to your brother." Ezra nodded to Gildas.

"I knew that."

"Of course you did."

Gildas slammed his hand down on the table to get their attention. "Let's find out shall we. I call." He picked up five dollars and carefully laid it down with the rest of the pot. Gildas was even more careful and deliberate when he put his five cards face up on the table. "Two pair, Aces high."

A glimmer of hope filled Anian's brown eyes but quickly disappeared again when Ezra spoke.

"Is that all?"

"Don't need anymore." Gildas assured the gambler.

Ezra sighed and placed his cards on the table then began to gather his winnings together. "Four of a kind, Mr. Smith."

"You cheated." Anian accused Ezra.

"Bastard!" Gildas added.

"Sir's, I take umbrage at that remark." Ezra counted out his money, making small piles of each denomination in front of him.

"Umbrage?" Gildas's confusion was written all over his face.

"Offence," Anian explained to his brother, "he takes offence at that remark."

"Oh."

Anian pointed a finger at Ezra. "Cheated, that's the only way you could have done it."

"Bastard," Gildas said.

"Wouldn't you agree, Gildas?"

"Bastard," Gildas did agree.

"Cheated us fair and square out of our money."

"Bastard."

Anian glared at his brother. "Is that all you've got to say?"

Gildas nodded. "Bastard."

Ezra's face wore an expression of pure boredom. "I could give you a few ideas, Mr. Smith-"

"Call me Gildas and he's Anian."

"Gildas it is then and you may call me Ezra. How about, 'you low-down good-for-nothing bastard' or perhaps you could try, 'cheating son-of-a-bitch'."

"Now there's no need to go insulting your mother, Ezra." Gildas told him.

"My mother taught me the game." Ezra smiled at Gildas.

"Low-down, good-for-nothing, cheating son-of-a-bitch." Anian growled at the man next to him.

"Bastard."

"Another hand perhaps." Ezra wanted to change the subject. He could only be called a cheat so many times before he lost his temper.

"What?" Anian picked up his money and held it out in front of Standish. "I've got five dollars and forty-five cents left. Gildas only has twenty-five cents left. All you have to do is bet more than we have and we're out of the game without a cent to our names."

"What about the money you have in your pocket?" Ezra casually asked.

"What?"

"You have more money in the left inside pocket of your coat." Ezra pointed an index finger towards Anian's coat.

Anian gulped and frowned at Ezra. "What makes you think I've got money in my coat?"

"You keep patting your coat pocket, it's another 'tell'," Ezra informed him. "It's a way of assuring yourself that you still have some money."

"Bastard."

"Your brother seems to enjoy voicing that particular insult."

"Use another word, Gildas."

"Sod." Gildas smiled at his brother.

"You are calling your brother a sod?" Anian snarled at Gildas.

"No! I was calling Ezra a sod."

"Then look at him when you say it!"

Gildas looked at Ezra and said, "Sod."

"Sod?" Ezra was finding it very hard to keep the smile from appearing on his face.

"It means-"

"I know what it means, Gildas. I'm just surprised that you know what it means."

"Hey, I'm not stupid you know."

"I'm sorry. I just assumed you were stupid . . . you didn't know what umbrage meant."

"Umbrage is one of those ten dollar words." Gildas protested.

"And sod isn't?"

Gildas leaned forward and smiled at Ezra. "No, sod is a five dollar and forty-five cent word, that's why I can afford to use it."

Anian burst into laughter and Ezra chuckled along with him. "Very well said, Gildas," Anian reached over and slapped his brother on the shoulder, "very well said."

"Now, how about another game?"

"Why not." Gildas shrugged and relaxed back into his chair.

"Gildas!" Anian couldn't believe his brother was prepared to lose everything to this man. "He's a cheat."

"Bastard."

"He'll take us for everything we've got."

"Bastard."

Ezra began to shuffle the cards. "What happened to sod?"

"Sod."

Ezra dealt the cards out.

"We ain't playing, Ezra." Anian pushed the cards back towards Ezra.

Ezra pushed the cards back. "I assure you, Anian that I will only bet up to the amount of five dollars and forty-five cents."

Anian frowned at the gambler and asked, "Are you going to cheat?"

No was the simple answer.

"Does that mean you were cheating before?"

"You, Sir will never know."

"Sodding bastard." Gildas smiled at Ezra. "What do you think of that one? Good huh?"

"Very good, Gildas." Ezra rolled his eyes. "Do you perhaps have five dollars and twenty cents or will you need to borrow it from your brother?"

"I don't need to borrow anything from Anian."

Ezra shuffled his five cards one handed without looking down at them. "Are we going to play or not gentlemen? You are gentlemen aren't you?"

"Our mother raised us right." Anian informed him.

"As long as she didn't raise you . . . left." Ezra laughed at his own joke.

"Ha, ha." Gildas retorted.

"We're playing." Anian picked up his cards and immediately threw two of them back down.
Ezra replaced the two cards then look at Gildas.

"I'll take one." Gildas smiled at his brother.

Neither brother noticed that Ezra hadn't picked up his cards. He didn't need to. Both brothers were already showing their 'tells'.

Anian put his five dollars and forty-five cents into the middle of the table. "I bet five dollars and forty-five cents."

"I call." Gildas searched his pockets and withdrew five dollars and twenty cents. He then added his five dollars and forty-five cents to the pot.

Ezra coughed into his hand.

"What?" Anian looked at Ezra.

"You, Anian are chewing your bottom lip and your brother is grinning like an idiot."

Anian let go of his lip. "Maybe I'm bluffing?"

"I doubt it very much." Ezra reached out and began to pick up the money from the middle of the table. He added half of it to his winnings.

"Hey!" Gildas began to protest.

"You are also bluffing, Gildas."

Gildas looked at his brother and shrugged. "I've got nothing."

Anian watched as Ezra placed all but five dollars and forty-five cents into his inside coat pocket. "Me either."

"Gentlemen, I bid you a good night." Ezra tipped his hat and gathered his cards together. It finally dawned on the brothers that Ezra hadn't even picked up his hand of cards - he had won without even looking at his hand. They watched as he stood up, smiled, and walked away.

"You cheating son-of-a-bitch."

"Bastard."

_._._._._._._._._._._._._._._._._._._._._._._


Ezra made his way to the table where his friends were and sat down. A look of disgust crossed his features when he noticed the spilt whiskey on the table.

"I do hope that isn't my drink."

"Trouble, Ezra?" Nathan asked him.

"Only if that's my drink." Ezra looked at Nathan. "That is a waste of good money."

"I'm talking about the men whose money you took."

"Won, Nathan. I won their money."

"That's what I meant." Nathan corrected himself. "Are they going to be trouble?"

"What makes you think they're going to be trouble?"

"They don't seem too happy with you," Vin said.

"Sore losers I'm afraid." Ezra took Chris's full glass and emptied it with one swallow. "You spilt my drink so I drank yours."

Chris took Buck's drink and knocked it back with one swallow then said, "We got your back, Ezra." He laid his hand on the butt of his gun.

Ezra smiled and began to count the money in his hand.

"How much did you win, Ezra?" JD was frowning at the small amount of money in his friend's hand.

Buck slapped the back of JD's head. "You don't ask a man that sort of question, JD."

"I only asked because he hasn't really got a lot after playing for just over five hours and forty-five minutes."

"It's quite alright, Buck," Ezra smiled at JD. "Five dollars and forty-five cents."

"Is that all?"

"Yes," Ezra lied."

"Looked like there was more than that on the table, Ezra." Josiah told him.

"Are you calling me a liar, Josiah?"

"Don't have to call you a liar . . . not when we already know that you are one."

Ezra stared at Josiah and saw the smile tugging at the man's lips. His green eyes then took in JD's young features. "Buck's right JD, you don't ask a man that sort of question."

"Standish!"

Ezra looked up to find the Smith brothers standing over him. "Yes?"

"Same time tomorrow?" Anian asked him.

"Of course gentlemen." Ezra nodded in return when they tipped their hats. "Oh . . . and gentlemen, please make sure you bring more than five dollars and forty-five cents to the table tomorrow. A man can't live on this amount alone."



The End






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Comments

sivanshemesh
Jun. 28th, 2009 12:41 am (UTC)
Grin.

Enough said, i hope you'll update your WIP soon... very soon?

*Hugs & Kisses*

Have a great week and keep smiling,

Sivan Shemesh
ex_egorstan
Jun. 29th, 2009 09:18 am (UTC)
Thanks!

And yes, seriously, I have to get back to 'A Murder Spree'!

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