He'd only been turned away from the table in the breakroom where he'd left his precious venti Americano for mere moments when he heard it happen. First the sounds of someone – or more than one someone entering the breakroom – followed by a boisterous greeting from JD. It was after that that disaster struck. The next sound he heard was a splat followed by a quickly indrawn breath, a soft uh oh, and the scurrying of feet as someone left the room.
Taking a deep breath and letting it out slowly, Ezra turned to see what calamity JD had caused, hoping against hope that it wasn't the one he thought it was. Unfortunately, his fears were soon realized when he saw the cup on the floor by JD's feet with a brown puddle surrounding it.
"Geez, Ezra, I'm sorry," JD quickly said. "Don't worry. I'll clean it up." He grabbed the roll of paper towels from over the sink and got on the floor to wipe up the mess.
Ezra squeezed his eyes closed, took another deep breath, and let it out slowly as he counted to ten. "That's all well and good that you'll clean it up but what do you propose I do?" he asked as calmly as he could.
JD glanced up from his cleanup work, swallowing quickly when he saw the almost murderous look in Ezra's eyes. He gestured to the coffee machine on the counter. "That's fresh brewed."
Ezra also looked toward the coffee maker then quickly back to JD. "That?" he asked as he jabbed a finger in the direction of the coffee maker. "You're suggesting that I drink that...that...that...swill?"
Weakly nodding his head, JD hurried his cleanup efforts wanting to get as far away from Ezra as possible.
"Son," Ezra began patiently but with a touch indignation in his voice. "That is not the Americano you so boisterously deposited on the floor. That vile concoction is more like dishwater that a handful of dirt has been thrown into to give it some color." As he spoke, he took slow, measured steps in JD's direction as the anger in his voice grew. "I am here at this ungodly hour because I have a briefing with the judge in twenty minutes. After that, I have to report to the target range to once more prove my prowess with weapons because some bureaucrat seems to think we must forget how to use them and need to prove we still remember. And you expect me to do that drinking a concoction I wouldn't offer to the worst condemned criminal? Is that really what you're suggesting?"
Faced with the menace that was formerly his teammate, JD could do no more than gape at him. Out of the corner of his eye, he saw Buck come into the breakroom and fought not to let out a sigh of relief. At least if Ezra were to kill him, there'd be a witness.
"Hey, Hoss," Buck said as he cautiously approached Ezra and pushed a cup into his hand. "You know JD didn't mean no harm. Why don't you take this and go on to your desk?"
Ezra looked at Buck suspiciously then took a cautious sniff of the cup. He smiled blissfully then took a sip. "You, my dear Mr. Wilmington, are a lifesaver," he said contentedly. He leaned down and picked up the empty cup that was by JD's knee and smiled at him. "No harm done, JD. It was only an accident." He deposited the empty cup in the trash on his way out of the break room.
JD gaped at the sudden transformation. "What the heck?" he asked once Ezra had left.
"Vin saw it happen," Buck explained. "He called down to me since he knew I'd gone to get some breakfast from the Starbucks downstairs. Luckily, Ezra's a regular there so they knew exactly what he gets. I got it up here as fast as I could. I was afraid he'd shoot you before I got back."
JD got up from the floor and threw the soggy paper towels in the trash. "I don't mean that. I mean what was that all about with Ezra. I really did think he was going to hit me or something."
Buck shook his head slight and threw a companionable arm around JD's shoulders. "Kid, I thought by now you'd already figured out what the most dangerous drinking game was." At JD's confused look, Buck explained, "It's how long Ezra can go without coffee."