Disclaimer: This story is the product of different minds coming together to have some fun. All rights to these characters belongs to others. This is strictly for entertainment and we will make no profit.

Rating: NC-17 (If you are under 18 or don't like m/m relationships turn back now!)

Pairing: (V/E)

Authors' Notes: This is a sequel to the story Irrational Behaviour. It was suppose to be a one only but due to the demand of 'wanting to know what happened to Vin to get those injuries' well a sequel was born!

Voicing Fears - ATF
(sequel to Irrational Behaviour)

By Ladysmiths


"I can't seem to shake certain images in my head. I know we were taking him in, and I know that he wasn't above murder himself. But this isn't about him, it's about me, and I stood there and pulled the trigger, shooting an unarmed man who was tied up. He was already hurt, but the way he went limp and slumped forward in his restraints was damn final." Vin stopped the story where he always did, the rest of it being irrelevant to him.

"What happened next?" the soft voice coaxed, realising Vin's pattern and knowing it was time for the young man to continue.

"Nothin' I didn't deserve," Vin said quickly.

"That's a judgment, and it's not answering the question. You can tell me anything."

Vin took a shaky breath and leaned forward. Even though he was speaking quietly, Vin's Texas drawl sounded loud in his ears, "They jumped me. They weren't happy about missing out on seeing that guy die slowly and painfully, and they couldn't understand why I would end their fun, especially seeing as I hadn't done the same thing to every other bounty. Which I guess I did, I mean I used force if they resisted being caught, even helped tie some of 'em down. But when they'd start punching and bringing out the chains and knives, I always slipped away. It was bad enough when I saw what they did afterwards, after they'd kil.... This time one of 'em grabbed my arm and asked where I thought I was going. So I watched as they began beating, listening to the whistle of the chains as they flew through the air before whipping across the guy's chest, arms and back. The cutting started then, and when I heard the screams turn into hoarse coughs as if he couldn't get enough air into his lungs. I couldn't stand it anymore. By the time I pushed my way through and shoved some of the guys out of the way, our bounty was barely conscious. Everyone there thought I wanted a turn, but instead of torturing him, I shot him. Not before I saw the pleading in the guy's eyes though, don't know if he was begging me to untie him or kill him, or if he just wanted to be free. I knew I wouldn't be able to watch, I had an idea of what they were doin' before that day, it was just easier to run and hide, and just leave 'em to it. God, I don't know which makes me a worse person ..."

Vin realised he was rambling and cleared his thoughts before continuing, "Anyway, what happened after I shot him wasn't nearly as bad as what was happening before. It's not as if I didn't have to prove I was as tough as the others when I first joined. And they did get rowdy some nights after drinking, couldn't seem to avoid a few brawls here and there."

Vin raised his eyes, and saw the kind eyes watching him. Even though those eyes were non-judgmental, they told him that he was still dancing around the issue and silently urged him to continue.

"They jumped me. But instead of keeping it relatively fair, they all attacked at once so that I couldn't fight them off. They moved the bounty and tied me to the chair he'd been strapped to. They gave me a beating, pretty much the same as the other guy, but they stopped before getting to the knives." Vin said all this in a flat monotone, as if hoping the words would just wash past him. It didn't work, the sharpshooter still flinched involuntarily as he felt the chain lashing across his chest and back.

"You were aware there was an agent watching?"

Vin nodded, "Yeah, he couldn't make contact though."

"He obviously didn't step in when he saw what was happening to you."

"We'd work so hard, for so long. We couldn't blow cover now," Vin defended immediately, and then looked a little sheepish when he added, "I did hope he'd step in if the knives came out though."

"Is that why you're worried about the assignment tomorrow? Because you're not sure you're teammates will keep you from being hurt?"

"No," Vin blurted. "I trust them, it's me they shouldn't trust. Last time we were out on clean up duty, I almost shot one of them."

"They've forgiven you." It sounded to Vin more like a statement than a question.

"I guess." Visions of JD's shocked, pale face swam in front of Vin, and he shook his head so that they dissipated. "I forgot where I was, all I could see was them and all I could feel was the pain they could cause...I helped cause. I couldn't do it anymore, and all I could think about was stopping them. What if that happens again? What if this time I actually...."

"Has that happened lately?"

Vin shook his head, "No, and I'm pretty sure I won't tomorrow. Doesn't mean my teammates should trust me though."

"Have you spoken to any of them about this?"

Again Vin shook his head, "I've put them through enough, without hearing any more about my problems. Besides, isn't that what you're paid to do."

"But they work with you, and from what you've said they're your friends. And it's your friends' understanding and forgiveness that you're seeking."

Vin had tried sitting down and broaching the subject one night at the Saloon with all of them, but he'd lost his nerve as soon as his mouth opened. Instead, he'd stayed quiet and let Buck and JD lead the conversation into another direction. Trying to speak with them one on one had proved just as difficult, and now it just seemed easier to let them believe it was over and that he was forgetting. He was brought out of his musings when he heard the psychiatrist's next words.

"Maybe you're closer to one member, it might be easier to start there."

Ezra's perfect image swam in front of Vin's eyes. Vin had noticed the way those green eyes occasionally fell on Vin, concern and questions evident in their depths. But Vin had hurt the undercover agent the most when he'd so callously threw him aside when he'd first left town, and even after he'd returned he'd pushed Ezra away. Not wanting to place any more burden on Ezra, Vin's main priority had been to make the anxious expression on the undercover agent's face disappear. And getting lost in the warmth and comfort of each other's bodies seemed to ease the pain, Vin hoped, for both of them.

"I don't know," Vin mumbled as he got up to leave, to get out and clear his thoughts.

* * * * * * *

Ezra ate his meal quietly, staring blankly at the empty seat across the table. Vin had still been at the office going over the assignment for tomorrow for about the hundredth time. Ezra had hoped he wouldn't stay too long, and had planned on sitting Vin down to a nice dinner and finally talking to him. Although this assignment was just routine and Team 7 were only going to be at the bust as back up, Ezra could tell the sharpshooter was worried. And he knew it wasn't the task that was worrying the young man, it was the fact that he didn't trust himself and didn't think the others did either. Ezra, and the rest of Team 7, had all wanted to reassure the sharpshooter that wasn't the case. But Vin always avoided any form of understanding or forgiveness from his teammates, seemingly determined to punish himself for what he'd done when he'd been with the bounty hunters, and what he'd almost done to JD.

Ezra was aware that Vin had been seeing a psychiatrist, and he also knew that the visits were becoming more infrequent. All Vin needed now was to open up and talk about what happened with the bounty hunters, and with JD, with a friend who would understand. Ezra had been determined that tonight he would finally start breaking down the wall Vin still tried to keep in place. Every time he tried to bring the topic up, Vin would start kissing and touching him with such fervour that Ezra's body would betray him, and all the undercover agent could do was return Vin's passion.

Once they were sated and their bodies stilled, Ezra would hold Vin close to him and feel the sharpshooter relax against him. Ezra suspected that Vin's ardour came from wanting to avoid the unpleasant topic, and the undercover agent was willing to let Vin find comfort in his arms. However, Ezra himself needed to know whether that's all it was, taking comfort in a warm body. With Vin's encouragement, Ezra had been able to open up and talk about his emotions - even painful ones. Vin had also let Ezra into his life, and they'd shared a strong friendship. But this damn bounty hunters assignment had shut down the communication between them, and Ezra missed it.

Rationally, Ezra knew that Vin would never intentionally hurt him again, in fact it was obvious the sharpshooter was taking great pains to avoid ever doing that to the undercover agent again. Irrationally, Ezra wondered whether Vin would have ever started a sexual relationship with him if that assignment hadn't heightened his need for human contact, and what if any warm body would have sufficed.

Ezra sighed as he cleaned up and threw out Vin's portion of the meal. Why couldn't Vin just talk to him? Then Ezra would have a chance to prove to Vin that he was worth it as well and, that whatever happened in the past or future, Ezra would still be there for him.

* * * * * * *

Vin silently let himself into the apartment, taking in the darkened rooms and knowing that Ezra had already gone to bed. Vin had spent another couple of hours at the office after everyone had left, going through the assignment for the next day over and over in his mind. Realising he needed to talk to someone, Vin had contemplated going to Ezra's apartment straight away but rejected the idea. Ezra should have the right to complete this assignment without constantly worrying about Vin and becoming distracted. So Vin had called his psychiatrist, not really expecting the doctor to be there, however relieved to find he was.

After he'd left the doctor's office, Vin wandered aimlessly clearing his head and thinking about what had been said. He'd felt a little better talking about what had happened with the bounty hunters, but didn't feel completely free and knew he still hadn't completely let go. Eventually finding himself at his own apartment, Vin had quickly realised that the only time he ever felt remotely close to peaceful was when Ezra was beside him. Carefully sliding into the bed next to the undercover agent, Vin sighed quietly and felt the some of the tension ease out of his body.

Ezra stirred slightly, but didn't turn around. The undercover agent knew he'd actually be able to sleep now that he knew Vin was laying beside him, safe. He'd was aware of the added warmth Vin's body brought as soon as the sharpshooter had entered the room, and noted that the young man was careful not to wake him. Although he was glad it was his bed that Vin still sought to find solace, the thoughts that had plagued Ezra earlier were still running through his mind. Instead of turning around and letting Vin know he was awake and ready to talk, Ezra sighed quietly, closed his eyes and fell asleep.

* * * * * * *

Vin's eyes flew open as he reflexively sat up. Quickly taking in his surroundings and realising he was in Ezra's bed, Vin sighed and shook the remnants of his dream out of his head, he'd been sleeping better lately. Going over everything with the shrink earlier and his first real assignment in months looming, probably brought some of Vin's insecurities to the surface.

Checking to make sure he hadn't disturbed Ezra, Vin found himself gazing down into concerned emerald eyes.

"Are you...." Ezra started, but faltered as the sharpshooter placed his long fingers over his mouth.

Vin lay his head back down on the pillow facing Ezra, still tracing the slightly parted lips with his fingers. Damn, he loved touching this man, Vin thought as he let his fingers slide down the undercover agent's jaw, neck and chest. Feeling the smooth., hard lines of muscles that made up Ezra's perfectly sculptured body, Vin sighed deeply and inched his way closer as he added more pressure to his caresses.

Ezra almost lost himself in the heat Vin's fingers were igniting over his flesh, reaching up he placed his own hand over the sharpshooters, gently stilling any more movement. "Vin? Is this about the assignment in the morning? If you're worried..."

"Ezra," Vin moaned as he pressed his lips against Ezra's, immediately forcing the undercover agent's mouth open, his tongue demanding entrance into the sweet, wet cavern. The sharpshooter's hand didn't meet with any resistance as he broke away from Ezra's grip and continued his fiery trail across the undercover agent's chest, occasionally stopping to tweak the nipples into hardness.

Vin smiled into the kiss as Ezra began sucking fervently on his tongue, and the sharpshooter let his hand wander further down, passed the waistband of the undercover agent's boxer shorts, until he cupped the bulge he found there.

Breaking away from the passionate mouth, Ezra began to rock himself against the warm hand, hurriedly removing the short so that Vin could have better access to his hardening flesh. As Vin started to fondle Ezra's swollen balls, the undercover agent decided it was his turn to take possession of Vin's luscious mouth and thrust his tongue deep into the moistness, tasting every inch of the delicious cavern.

As Vin sucked Ezra's tongue further into his mouth, he wrapped his arms around the undercover agent, drawing their bodies closer together. Rolling onto this back, Vin took Ezra with him so that the undercover agent lay over him. The sharpshooter relished the warmth of the body he adored so much and immediately began writhing under the exquisite weight above him.

Again, Ezra broke the kiss as he felt Vin's cock rubbing against his own, and a growl emanated from deep in the undercover agent's throat when he felt that Vin was as hard as he was. Lifting his upper body, Ezra placed his weight on his elbows, and watched as Vin immediately arched his back so that the sharpshooter could feel as much of Ezra's now sweaty skin against his. His eyes feasting on the exposed throat, Ezra lowered his head, nuzzled his face into Vin's neck and began licking and sucking at the collar bone. At the same time, Ezra started grinding his erection against the sharpshooter's.

Vin moaned as dug his fingers into the straining muscles of Ezra's shoulders and lifted his lean body up so he could thrust into the sensations Ezra's movements were causing.

Ezra groaned into Vin's neck as he felt his release mingle with Vin's liquid heat across their bodies, and he slumped limply onto the body under him.

"Ezra," Vin whispered huskily into Ezra's ear as continued to hang on tightly to the undercover agent.

* * * * * * *

Vin strode through the door into his apartment, taking off his jacket and throwing it onto the couch. He'd done it, the bust had gone down smoothly, and Vin had managed to keep his mind on his task. The sharpshooter had to admit that there had been a couple of times when he'd felt himself drift back into the bounty hunters' camp, especially when the yelling had started, but he'd shaken it off and he certainly hadn't tried to shoot anyone. Finally, he'd been able to prove he was now okay, to his teammates as well as to himself. No longer would Vin have to sit at his desk all day going over the paperwork, he definitely felt ready to take on a more substantial assignment. The memories were fading, and he wouldn't have to burden his friends anymore, hell he doubted he needed the shrink anymore either.

Vin smiled slightly, he wouldn't be hurting his lover anymore. Over the past few weeks the sharpshooter had seen the worried, anxious and pained look to the emerald eyes and Vin couldn't help but feel guilty. Ezra was concerned about him, and although it pleased Vin to know the undercover agent cared that much, he was glad that he hadn't had to go over those memories with Ezra as he had with the shrink. Ezra already had a tendancy to pick up on Vin's emotions, and the last the sharpshooter wanted was for the undercover agent to feel as hurt and confused as Vin sometimes did. And now he wouldn't, Vin had been able to spare Ezra some pain after all.

Vin turned to face the undercover agent who'd followed him into the apartment, a bright smile lighting up his face and making his blue eyes sparkle. However, Vin was met with emerald eyes that reflected worry, anxiety and pain.

Ezra had followed Vin into the apartment watching the sharpshooter intently, in fact it seemed his eyes had been locked on Vin all day. The undercover agent had noted the agitation and distracted demeanour Vin displayed that morning as they got ready for work, the determination and concentration used during the bust, and now a sense of exaltation and freedom hovered around the sharpshooter.

Usually the sharpshooter would have become stir crazy after just a couple of days of paperwork, however weeks had passed since that horrid undercover fiasco and Vin had willingly remained on desk duty. Refusing to participate in any major, or even minor, assignment. Chris had finally insisted Vin be part of this bust, only able to persuade him after stating that Team 3 would be handling everything and that Team 7 were just there as backup. Vin's confidence in his character, ability to control his actions and in his teammates' trust had been badly shaken, especially after he'd held the gun on JD. Trying to convince the sharpshooter otherwise had been impossible, Vin wouldn't listen and stubbornly clung to his guilt. To this end, Vin had virtually treated everyone in the office as mere acquaintances, including Ezra himself. The only time Ezra was allowed to see the quick smile and easy going humour was when they were alone, and even then usually before or after sex.

Now Ezra watched as the cloud of melancholy began to fade away. There had been a few occasions earlier that afternoon when Ezra had seen the sharpshooter waiver and shake himself out of whatever memory had invaded his thoughts, and Ezra wondered whether Vin would tell him about it. He doubted it, Vin hadn't discussed anything substantial with Ezra for a long while. At first Ezra had just thought Vin needed time, and that eventually he'd open up. Surely Vin would realise that Ezra needed to know what had happened with the bounty hunters, where the bruises to the sharpshooter's chest and back had come from, why Vin had held the gun on JD and why the young man seemed unable to sleep peacefully through the night.

Although Ezra was glad that everything had gone well for Vin today, he couldn't help feeling disappointed that the sharpshooter had chosen to begin healing without Ezra's help. Ezra's mind kept going back to a time when it was Vin who had shown Ezra how much open and honest friendship could mean to a person, and the undercover agent wanted to get it in return. They were supposed to be friends, hell they were supposed to be more than friends. Becoming lovers should have enhanced their ability to show their feelings and emotions, unless a relationship was not what Vin was seeking.

"What's wrong?" Vin asked, a little disconcerted at the sombre mood Ezra was in.

Ezra snapped out of his musings, "I was just thinking about the bust and..."

"We got 'em," Vin shrugged. "What more do we need to think about?"

Ezra just stared blankly at the sharpshooter for a moment.

"Well, okay," Vin continued. "So Team 3 got 'em, but we did help a little."

Ezra tried not to grin, the old Vin was certainly coming back, "That's not what I meant." Before Vin had a chance to interrupt, Ezra hurried on, "You've been tense all day, even more so when I noticed you're concentration slip a few times this afternoon. It was as if you were fighting for control on occasion."

Vin tilted his head slightly, when had Ezra left and his shrink arrived? Now wasn't the time to talk about something so serious, now was the time to celebrate. Moving towards the undercover agent, Vin began slowly unbuttoning his shirt, "If you're gonna be watching me so closely, I guess I should give you something to look at."

Ezra's eyes lowered over the exposed skin of their own accord and his body stirred in response. Sighing, the undercover agent dragged his gaze back up to Vin's face determined not to be sidetracked, "I know it all stems from your time with the bounty hunters. The invading memories and confusion they bring on, the bruises, the sleepless nights, the walls you put in place whenever one of your friends try to help...."

Why was Ezra making a list of all his problems? And why did the undercover agent want to be burdened with all this now? Vin had come through his first bust for weeks unscathed, and thankfully so had all his teammates. He felt confident in his place in the team, he felt as though he belonged again, and he felt as though he was on the right track. Everything was going to be alright now, and he hadn't had to dump all that depressing stuff on his friends or his lover. The last thing the sharpshooter wanted was to bring Ezra down. "I'm fine," Vin whispered huskily in Ezra's ear, before brushing his lips over the undercover agent's, stopping the flow of words.

As usual, Vin was avoiding the issue in his undeniably effective way. Was this all Vin wanted from him? No relationship, no camaraderie, no.....

Ezra's thoughts were dissipating as Vin's tongue forced its way inside his mouth. Parting his lips further to accommodate the probing tongue, Ezra leaned into the kiss automatically sucking and tasting the other man as well.

Perhaps this wasn't the right time to bring up any unpleasantries. Vin was in a good mood, and Ezra should be pleased that his friend was feeling better. Vin was also excited, Ezra noticed when the undercover agent leaned into the kiss.

Vin didn't hesitate when he felt Ezra respond, deftly undoing the undercover agent's shirt and sliding it over his shoulders and letting his hands roam over the smooth, well defined back. Tugging at the material when it caught at his wrists, Ezra managed to discard the garment completely so he could wind his fingers through the long, soft, brown hair and pull the sharpshooter closer.

Ezra moaned as the ravenous mouth left his, but then that same mouth began working its way across the heating flesh of his chest - licking, sucking and biting. Vin ran his lips and tongue over every muscled line of the undercover's firm chest and stomach, nibbling and lapping at the nipples as he came to them. With Ezra's hand still softly tugging at his hair, Vin worked his way lower down the undercover agent's hard, muscled body as he slowly sank to his knees.

The undercover agent had barely noticed Vin undoing his pants and sliding down, until he felt the rough tongue run over his length, lapping at the moisture leaking from his hardening shaft. Vin's lips moved over Ezra's swollen balls, gently suckling, while his strong fingers worked the muscles of the undercover agent's legs and thighs.

Ezra's knees almost buckled when all the sensations to his body halted abruptly, and he placed a hand on the wall behind him to steady himself. Vin was back before Ezra had a chance to get his breathing under control, clutching the bottle of oil in his hand. Stumbling over the clothes pooled at his feet, Ezra turned to face the wall placing both hands against slightly textured surface. As fingers lightly trailed over his chest and stomach, reigniting the heat Vin's mouth had left there earlier, Ezra felt the slick fingers of Vin's other hand slowly work their way in and out of his hole until the undercover agent was moving in time with the intruders.

As Vin's rock, hard cock began filling his senses as well as his body, Ezra heard a light purring sound and pushed himself back wanting to take in more. Leaning over the body under him and pushing his bare chest into Ezra's back, Vin ran his hands down the undercover agent's straining arms, as he sank even deeper into Ezra. When he felt the undercover agent trying to buck against him, Vin began to move slowly, however his thrusting became harder and faster as Ezra's tight channel heated his aching flesh. As their bodies rocked together, Vin licked and kissed the undercover agent's shoulder while he reached down grabbing Ezra's throbbing erection and pumping in time with the rhythm they had set. When Vin's penis rubbed against that spot deep inside him, Ezra began writhing frantically as his cum spurted over Vin's hand. Vin was pounding into him, driving his cock deeper and deeper into the undercover agent's body. Ezra desperately held on until he felt the sharpshooter's powerful release, before sinking to floor and allowing Vin to slide out of him, feeling an immediate sense of emptiness.

After he'd recovered somewhat, Ezra grabbed his clothes and headed for the bathroom to clean up. Emerging a few moments later, Ezra noticed Vin sprawled on the couch, the sharpshooter had also thrown his clothes back on, but had left the shirt hanging open. Fighting the urge to pounce on that lean, hard body once again, Ezra made his way towards the door.

"What are you doing?" Vin asked, sitting up a little straighter.

"Leaving," Ezra answered bluntly.

"But I thought..." Vin stood and reached for Ezra's hand, "Stay."

Ezra heard the pleading tone in Vin's voice and would have liked nothing better than to fall into those arms. Extracting his hand from the sharpshooter's grip, Ezra shook his head, "I can't do this anymore."

Vin slumped into the seat, feeling as though he'd just been winded, "What?"

"Were you ever planning on telling me about the bounty hunters, where you got those bruises and all the other questions I continue to ask and you continue to ignore?"

"I didn't want to burden you," Vin stated.

"Burden me?" Ezra stared down at the sharpshooter. "The burden would be halved if you'd just share it with me. You're the one that taught me that. Vin, I need to know that you trust and care enough about me to allow me to help you."

"I don't want your help." Realising how wrong that sounded, Vin tried again, "I mean, I don't want to worry or hurt you anymore."

"Don't you think I ache everytime I see a painful memory flash over your eyes," Ezra was beginning to sound exasperated. "And the pain gets deeper when instead of letting me in, you shut me out."

"No," Vin shook his head in denial. "I've stopped shutting you out. We're together."

"For sex," Ezra blurted. "You treat me as a mere acquaintance at work or in public, not as a close, trusted friend. I'm not even sure you want any kind of relationship with me. I certainly don't feel like your lover."

"But I needed..." Vin began.

"A warm, willing body?" Ezra interrupted. "What if it had been Josiah who had taken you home from the bar the first night we were together? Would you be having this conversation with him?"

Vin stared at Ezra dumbfounded. He'd always thought of Ezra as his lover and his friend, and he definitely wouldn't have wanted to make love with anybody else. He'd already put the undercover agent through so much when he'd had to reject him due to the bounty hunters assignment, then he'd pushed him away because he hadn't thought Ezra would understand how unworthy Vin had felt. But they'd gotten over that, hadnít they? Vin had only wanted to spare Ezra any additional pain, and he'd assumed the undercover agent had realised that. It hadn't occurred to the sharpshooter that Ezra needed to help him through this, Vin had automatically resigned himself to handling the situation on his own without the aide of any of his friends. How could he have gotten it so wrong?

Ezra sighed as he quietly walked through the door, obviously Vin had nothing more to say.

* * * * * * *

The next day, Ezra sat at a table outside the coffee shop near his building, sipping his favourite coffee, when a shadow fell across the smooth surface.

"Can I join you?"

"Why?" Ezra squinted up into the familiar blue eyes.

"Well, you see a little while back I was given an undercover assignment. I had to make my friends believe I didn't want them around anymore, and I had to leave behind a new lover."

"Sounds terrible," Ezra drawled.

"It was," Vin agreed. "I'd like to tell you about it. If it's not too late."

Ezra smiled and indicated the chair opposite him.

Vin smiled and took the offered seat, ordered his own coffee, and began talking, "I can't seem to shake certain images in my head..."

fini



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15/11/00