DISCLAIMER: I do not own any of the characters. "The Magnificent Seven" belong to MGM and Trilogy Entertainment. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, I’d be a happy woman if Vin belonged to me.....but no such luck. I have not made any profit out of writing this, so please don’t sue me. It would not be worth your while.
"Brains Vs Brawn”
Response to the Vin Fan Fic and Discussion Group challenge – The Bet… and because I promised Ezra I ‘d write it. (g)
The girls on list know what I mean.(Dec 2007)
Green eyes showed impassive indifference.
Blue eyes narrowed. He moved. The action was countered and he ended up sprawled on the mat again.
Vin climbed to his feet, sweeping his shoulder-length hair from his eyes. The sweat shirt he was wearing was drenched from exertion.
Ezra, despite also having worked-out, didn’t appear to be perspiring. His hair sat perfectly in place and his sweatshirt looked like it had been ironed and just put on.
Vin took up his position across from his colleague and nodded he was ready. He took a step to the right, ducked low, spun and… ended up hitting the mat on his back, a gush of air forced from his lungs.
Ezra raised an eyebrow.
Vin snorted, rolled to his feet and moved back to his position. “Again,” he insisted.
Ezra nodded, his arms hanging by his sides in a relaxed fashion which was infuriating.
Tanner’s left hand flashed, Ezra trapped it between his palms, twisted and with a yelp, Vin went down again. This time he flopped onto his back and stared up at his friend.
Ezra smiled. “You’re still leaving yourself open, my friend.” He offered his hand and pulled his colleague to his feet.
“You’re good, Ezra.”
“I am more than ‘good’, Vin,” Ezra declared without any element of bragging. It was a fact. “First of all, I have a natural talent for martial arts… just as you have one for sharpshooting. Second, I have been doing this since I was four. Step father number two, I believe it was, was a world champion and remained my instructor long after he and my mother split. Now, this time, I want you to make your first move and freeze.”
Vin nodded. He shifted his weight, tensed and stepped toward his training partner, going in low.
“Freeze,” Ezra instructed. He lifted his elbow so it came to rest against Vin’s left cheek. “If I hit you with enough force I have the ability shatter your cheekbone and even knock you out.” Ezra reached for his friend’s elbow and raised it. “There. Now I do not have access to this vulnerable opening. Try it again.”
Vin straightened and repeated the move, following his companion’s instruction. Ezra countered, lifting his elbow, but it connected with Vin’s arm.
Vin stepped back.
“Once you are in close, do as much damage as possible. Go for the weak points we discussed,” Ezra instructed. “Go.”
Vin darted in, Ezra countered, but was blocked. Vin used the heel of hand and Ezra went down. Both men smiled broadly.
“Yes!” Vin cried spontaneously, his young face lighting with satisfaction.
Ezra chuckled, allowing his friend to pull him to his feet. It was times like this he remembered Vin was only a few years older than J.D. “You are a fast learner, but you have a long way to go.”
“You reckon?” Vin grabbed Ezra’s arm, blocked Ezra’s counter-attack as instructed and swept Ezra’ legs out from under him. Ezra gracefully landed on the mat, swivelled, hooked his leg around Vin’s knees and before Vin knew it, he was face first into the mat.
From beneath the curtain of hair, Ezra heard a muttered. “Damn.”
Vin rolled onto his back.
Ezra winked. “The pupil is yet to surpass the teacher.”
“You aren’t beating that boy are you?” Josiah demanded jovially as he entered the gymnasium.
Vin pulled himself up onto his elbows. “This boy is getting his ass kicked.”
Josiah grinned and started unbuttoning his shirt, the silent challenge issued.
“Brains against brawn,” Ezra whispered to Vin.
“I heard that,” Josiah boomed, tossing his shirt aside, his massive chiselled chest exposed or all to see.
Vin smirked, allowed Ezra to pull him up and then took a seat on a weight’s bench out of the way.
Standish and Sanchez faced each other. Vin noticed a distinct change in Ezra’s stance. Josiah was clearly deemed a far more credible opponent… which was okay. Both had been taking the time to teach him hand to hand combat. During the war, Nathan had instructed him in the use of a knife and he’d mastered it, but a knife meant no second chances for the enemy. The war was over and while Em7’s work was often of the type a silent and efficient knife was both acceptable and required, he still needed to learn to take a man down without causing maximum damage. Josiah and Ezra used totally different styles, but both were very accomplished at hand to hand combat. Vin knew he was no slouch, but these two completely out-classed him.
“First one to go down and stay down for a count of two,” Josiah declared.
“I accept your challenge,” Ezra responded, his eyes flashing at the prospect of a worthy opponent.
Vin watched in admiration. Ezra was swift and agile and very well trained in a dozen forms of martial arts. Josiah counted with strength and training in boxing and wrestling.
They were evenly matched.
Vin glanced up as Buck and J.D. wandered into the gym. The newcomers paused, watching as Josiah and Ezra traded blows.
“How long have they been at it?”
“Sixteen minutes. First one down,” Vin added, explaining the terms of the clash.
J.D. sat down next to Vin. Buck pursed his lips. “Twenty dollars on Josiah.”
Ezra’s eyes snapped to his friend. Buck winked. Josiah used the opening to launch a fist the size of a bowling ball. Ezra leapt straight up in the air, somersaulted over the top of the bigger man and kicked out, hitting him in the middle of the back. Josiah stumbled forward, but regained his footing, spinning back to face his companion.
“Wow!” J.D. cried. “Ez, that was incredible. I’m betting on you.”
“Thank you, Mr. Dunne. I have always thought you an astute young man.”
Buck snorted and left the room, returning a few moments later with Nathan and some nuked popcorn from the microwave. He passed it around to the others, all watching the spectacle with interest and admiration.
“So, who are you betting will end the fight?” Buck asked Nathan as fists flew in the middle of the mat.
“Difficult to say,” Nathan murmured, watching Ezra flip backwards.
“Come on, Nathan. Get off the fence. Lay your bet.”
Both Josiah and Ezra paused and glared at the medic.
Nathan shrugged. “They’re both good.”
Sanchez and Standish returned to their ‘fight’ – Josiah throwing boxing punches and blocking as Ezra used every trick in the martial art’s book… and a few that weren’t.
“They’re tiring,” Buck commented grinning and digging the last few kernels from the bag. “So, Vin, you haven’t placed your bet. Who do you think will end the fight?”
The sound of the elevator arriving echoed from the doghouse. Vin smiled. “Oh, that’s easy. I’m betting on Larabee.”
Moments later, Chris marched into the room. “What the hell… we have twenty minutes to get to the official dinner! All of you hit the showers. NOW.”
Vin grinned. “Pay up, Bucklin!”
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© Dec 2007 Aussie Lass. : This relates only to the creative property in this story. The distinctive way the story unfolds, the specific dialogue and unique situations are mine. I acknowledge that some of the characters and settings belong to the owners of "The Magnificent Seven" and I thank them sincerely for turning a blind eye so I can borrow them. (g) No infrigement of copyright was intended and no profit has been made from this story... so, please don't sue me. It wouldn't be worth your while.