Immortal 7 AU
January 22, 2014
Epilogue to 'Love and Honor.' This takes place after 'Immortal Wounds' but before 'Immortal Soul.'
Nathan sat down beside Ezra who was nursing his first cup of morning coffee. The healer picked at a spot on the table, then shifted in his chair and leaned back with a sigh.
"Something on your mind, Nathan?" Ezra asked, a bemused grin on his face.
Nathan looked up sharply, meeting the older Immortal's eyes with such intensity that Ezra blinked.
"Yeah. Yeah, I do," he said, looking around to see that the saloon was mostly empty. Nathan leaned closer. "Why didn't you keep teachin' Buck the sword when he challenged Don Paulo?"
Ezra frowned slightly. He took a sip of his coffee and set the cup down before answering, "I couldn't very well expect Buck to take me back as a teacher after you beat me so soundly."
"You let me win!" Nathan hissed.
Ezra tilted his head in a slight shrug. "I was testing your ability. You handled yourself well enough to teach Buck for that encounter."
Nathan sat up straight. "What do you mean by that? He could have been killed. If you had taught himů"
Ezra leaned forward, his voice low. "Nathan, no one could have taught Buck enough in one day for him to win against a man with Don Paulo's skills."
"You could have," Nathan insisted.
The gambler shook his head. "It takes years of practice, you know that. The only way Buck was going to win was if Lady Luck was on his side. And thankfully, his way with the ladies did not fail him with that fickle mistress that day."
Nathan stared at Ezra lost in thought. Finally he took a deep breath and slumped back into his chair. "You going to teach me? Help me keep my head 'gainst the next Immortal that wants to take it?"
Ezra grinned. "Of course, Nathan. As long as we can remain in this town as her protectors, we should be safe from the Game, as long as we are careful not to be caught unaware. That should give us a few years at least to hone your skill, and that of the others as well."
Nathan's gaze jerked back to Ezra. "You said that before, that the others should learn to sword fight. Something I need to know?"
Ezra pursed his lips, then smiled softly. "Well, it's obvious after recent events that one can never know what skills might come in handy. Better to be prepared, as Mother always says."
Nathan maintained eye contact for a moment, trying to judge the truth behind Ezra's words. In the end, he admitted defeat to himself and nodded. Ezra wasn't going to give him any more at the moment and Buck had needed the skill. Since the end of the War Between the States, swords had become more of a decoration and less of a weapon of choice, so maybe that's all Ezra meant. Maybe.
"I should be off, my shift at the jail awaits," Ezra said with a sarcastic wave of his hand as he rose from his chair. "Let me know when you would like to train and we can find a place without spectators."
"Why? I thought you wanted the others to learn, too."
"Yes," Ezra said drawing out the word thoughtfully, "but you and I will be sparring with a different goal in mind. We wouldn't want them to see us healing from cuts or returning from the dead, now would we?" he asked with a wicked grin as he spun on one boot and headed out the door.
"Return from the..." Nathan's eyes widened as he realized exactly what Ezra's training was going to entail. "Damn," he whispered, stroking thumb and forefinger along his throat as he sat alone, lost in thought.
Feedback is greatly appreaciated. JudyL