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Ezekiel’s parents leave him when he’s only five years old - he is just old enough to remember their abandonment for the rest of his life; he is a boy, with a name, and all the wrong parts (it’s only after he becomes a librarian that he is told he doesn’t have the wrong parts at all, just the wrong society that decides who he is by said parts). He never really trusts people after he goes into the system, he bounces from home to home because of his “inclination” is what his caseworker tells him. She says maybe if he just, “ Became the girl he was meant to be” that maybe someone could love him - this is the first time he steals something; he takes her car keys, starts the car, puts it in gear and then sends it rolling down the hill next to the office building straight into the ocean.

The next home Ezekiel falls into they beat him for his gender, they tell him he’s a girl and that he has to conform, they throw away his clothes and put him in a dress and call him Elizabeth, when he refuses to respond to the name they send them to “his” room and tell him if he won’t be respectful he can’t eat. He stays there for three days, eats after they go to bed and before they wake up, until he knows where they keep everything - he’s only a child after all, everyone trusts children. On the third night he sneaks about, steals their biological son Cedric's clothes, all of their money, and takes an entire backpack full of food too.

He hides on a fisherman's boat for a month before someone finds him, the fisherman’s son, Ezekiel makes him believe he’s a merman that got washed into his father’s boat and gets him to do anything he asks.

When a flyer appears for a missing child, his picture on it with a name he doesn’t own and a description that makes him feel wrong and ugly, Ezekiel moves on. He avoids being caught for over a year and when he is, he isn’t taken back to the system; no, he’s taken to the M16 unit they had to bring in to track him down; they recruit him almost as soon as they meet him, bring him in as a trainee and call him “special”.

They give him anything and everything he could want, they change his name, they start him on hormones, they buy him nice things so that he’s comfortable with who he is. They have him steal things and find people in return and he’s happy with it. Until they try to make him kill.

He’s staring down a man three times his size and he has a gun in his hands, it’s pointing at him and all he can think is God no. He kills him anyway. He’s sick for three days after that and in that time the we’re proud of you’s turn into Jesus boy grow a pair and what are you a girl and should we call you lizzy’s. He breaks down and disappears after that, drops off the face of the earth for three years until some library sends him a letter; he doesn’t know how they found him until he shows up for the interview.

The woman, Charlene, she seems to barely glance at him at first until he pointedly notes every painting in the room is fake and how, as well as they were, their forger had a very specific signature - he also adds that he knows she made them because of how she writes. Their relationship ends up complicated, they like each other well enough but Ezekiel is fierce in his ideals to share everything, to outsource and bring people in. He opens up the library to the world and Eve, his guardian - hell, his mother-, she helps him. She makes him go to school too but he elects not to hold her to that one since she’s the first person he managed to open himself up to after his MI6 team.

Jenkins is the second but no one tells him.

He meets Jenkins when he’s reforming the library itself, working in labs for dozens of people at a time, computers and tablets and technology. He’s working on the Annexes when this man shows up all moody because someone changed his work space and no he does not appreciate it. Their relationship revolves around snark and a shared interest in figuring out how something works - Ezekiel is the only person allowed in Jenkins’ lab other than Jenkins for that exact reason  for longest time until they actually become friends and then almost more.

Then Eve happens.

For one of the first times in the twelve years since Ezekiel started as the head Librarian the Serpent Brotherhood show their faces, they’re few and far between but they come as a surprise and it’s only Eve jumping to save him that keeps Ezekiel from dying. Jenkins rushes in ten seconds too late and helps Ezekiel fight them off, the younger man running high on adrenaline and rage. No one else sees him collapse at Eve’s side, knees smacking hard on the ground and just yelling out his rage  Jenkins kneels beside him carefully, his face purposely blank and he stares down at Eve, her lips covered in red and her face too pale, he reaches sideways and draws Ezekiel to him and Ezekiel comes, grips his arms and sides hard enough to bruise but he comes.

That week is hell for both of them, contacting friends and family, making preparations, Ezekiel practically does it all himself, insisting Jenkins “Just let him do this for her”. He writes her eulogy too, talks a lot about how she was practically his mother. Jenkins has to walk him away when he starts to break down again. There’s a lot of self-blame and it tears them both up.

“If I had been there sooner”

“If I had been paying more attention”

Jenkins knows when Ezekiel starts to get low, when the younger man starts to think too much. They become more then, more than they were, Jenkins thinks Eve would say something like “ Finally” or “it’s about time you got your heads out of your asses” she always knew about their inclination for each other; how if anyone badmouthed Jenkins Ezekiel was there in an instant setting them straight or how if anyone even considered asking Ezekiel why he sometimes turned around when someone called for Elizabeth Jenkins was there and practically glowering.

They really become more when they figure out that like Jenkins, Ezekiel stops aging at fifty, his hair is mostly gray and he’s got crows feet around his eyes but after a couple decades they realize he really hasn’t aged a day since his fiftieth birthday much like Jenkins did when discovering he was in fact immortal. There’s a brief moment, also like Jenkins’, when Ezekiel becomes distraught at the idea of never seeing Eve again even if he knew there was no way to tell if that would have happened if he died, anyway. Jenkins holds him like he did forty years ago and they kiss and they snark and they feel better for a while; they watch a movie and hold hands like they’re teenagers even though they’re both well older than that. They’re immortal and they may as well act as well as they please because they have forever don’t they?

When Ezekiel turns two-hundred and five, and God knows it’s been a journey, Jenkins takes him out for his birthday. It isn’t the first time and it won’t be the last but this time they go to the library. It’s been updated over the years, Ezekiel goes about once a month to check on things but him and Jenkins have worked their way into the field, away from all the desks and rooms and labs, give someone else a turn at being the head librarian. They go to the library and Ezekiel laughs, Jenkins makes jokes and puns and they snark like they always do - an old married couple is what everyone calls them even though they aren’t because Ezekiel refuses to get married until flying cars are invented (Jenkins knows it’s because he’s still scared that it’ll make him leave but he lets Ezekiel have his time - they have all the time in the world anyway). They keep laughing until Ezekiel stops because he sees why Jenkins brought him, sees the blonde hair and blue eyes and stern jaw, she’s lecturing someone because of course she is and Ezekiel is turning away as fast as he can staring at Jenkins because clearly he’s gone mad.

Jenkins tells him about how the ladies of the lake use magic and math and diving intervention to do things like keep the two of them alive and reincarnate people, all their memories intact. Ezekiel never goes up to Eve, she sees him and the years on his face and even if he looks different she knows and she comes up and starts mothering him and joking.

“You got old, Ezekiel.” She teased with this sad look in her eyes that makes him feel bad for aging until she wraps her arms around him and she whispers, “ I’m sorry I couldn’t be there to see it, I’m glad you got to though.”

Ezekiel’s birth parents left him when he was five years old, he tried to make families wherever he went but he only ever found one that would always come back to him - no matter the universe, no matter the time, no matter the way- when he wasn’t looking.