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do i dare or do i dare? [userpic]

Chaos fic: Five Times Rick Was the New Guy (1/1)

June 1st, 2013 (07:12 am)
morose
Tags: ,

feeling: morose

Title: Five Times Rick Was the New Guy (And One Time He Wasn’t)

Authors: faye_dartmouth and lena7142

Disclaimer: We do not own Chaos.

A/N: For ayjaydee, on her birthday. Have a great day!

Summary: And here I thought new guy was done making new guy mistakes.



1.

Rick’s been with the CIA long enough now that he feels like he’s getting used to the routine. He knows what to expect. He feels good about that.

Which is why he starts brown bagging his lunch again.

He’s been reluctant to do that since his lunch was mistaken for an explosive device his first day on the job -- being surrounded by a swarm of armed men has that sort of impact on you -- but now that he’s got a few missions under his belt, he think it’s time to risk it.

He stops by the break room, dropping off his lunch in the fridge, making sure the label is neatly facing forward.

Later, when they break for lunch, the guys are ready to go out. “You coming?” Michael asks.

“Nah,” Rick says. “I brought mine today.”

Michael raises his eyebrows. Casey snorts.

Billy tsks. “And here I thought new guy was done making new guy mistakes.”

“What?” Rick asks defensively.

“Did you at least store your lunch in a locked container?” Michael asks.

“It’s better just to booby trap it,” Casey advises. “Ink bombs are effective and dramatic, if somewhat bothersome to set up.”

Rick creases his brow. “I just left it in the break room.”

Casey rolls his eyes. Michael looks ready to go.

Billy sighs, as if taking pity on him. “You should never leave your food exposed.”

“This isn’t a mission,” Rick protests. “This is the CIA. There’s no one who’s going to get in here.”

“It’s not exterior threats you should be concerned about,” Casey says.

Rick looks exasperated. “I don’t think anyone is going to steal my yogurt.”

“Steal it, no,” Michael says.

“But poison it to keep you from performing your duties, yes,” Casey says.

“And why would they do that?” Rick asks.

“Power!” Billy says. He taps his head. “The best agents know that the way to defeat the competition is through a man’s stomach.”

Rick makes a face. “You guys are paranoid.”

Michael shrugs. “If you say so.”

“Do not expect us to worry about you if you end up spending the afternoon in the bathroom,” Casey tells him.

“Wait,” Rick says. “Who would actually do that?”

“Someone who wants your job,” Michael suggests.

“Someone who wants your position in the afternoon briefing,” Casey says.

Billy makes a face. “Or someone who simply wants to threaten the new guy into joining them for lunch at the local pub and pick up the tab.”

Rick’s eyes narrow. “You guys didn’t.”

Billy shrugs. “Hard to say, really.”

“You guys wouldn’t.

Michael is on his way out. “Your choice, Martinez.”

“Either way, it’s a win for us,” Casey says.

Billy claps him on the shoulder. “Eat up, new guy.”

Rick scowls as he watches them leave. But then he thinks about his lunch; he thinks about Billy’s long bathroom break this morning; about Michael’s supposed meeting with Fay; about Casey’s massage. They had time.

They had motive.

Plus, they’re sort of dicks.

He curses, getting to his feet. “Wait up, guys,” he calls, running after his team. They could be bluffing, but knowing them...

Rick doesn’t want to take that chance.

2.

They’re finally slogging back through the mud to where they parked the jeep. The mission is over, at last, and Rick is exhausted. Somehow, however, the others find the energy to run ahead to the car and pile in.

And start the engine.

And start to drive off.

Without him.

Rick realizes what’s happening a second too late. “Hey, wait up!” he shouts frantically. “What the hell are you doing?!”

Billy leans out the back. “Surprise survival training for the new guy!” he calls. “Good luck!”

You guys are dicks!” Rick screams.

And alone, tired and wet, Rick finds himself applying what he knows. It’s not fun, and it’s certainly not easy, but Rick is motivated by his total apoplectic rage and indignation. Every passing mile, he reminds himself of every prank they’ve pulled, every mission they’ve thrown him into without proper preparation, every everything since the moment he walked in their office door.

To think, they’re the good guys. At least the enemy would have the decency to shoot him first.

It’s dark by the time Rick gets back, and he’s dirty and exhausted. He has a blister on his heel and his body is caked with mud (and other things he doesn’t want to think about). He’s soaked through with sweat and weary down to his very bones.

The door is mercifully unlocked, and he staggers inside, the blast of air conditioning is so shocking that he almost starts to shiver.

The ODS look up from their varying positions around the room and try to stifle a collective smirk. They look cool, comfortable and dry -- Casey stretched out and relaxed, Michael flipping channels. Billy is eating ice cream.

Rick glares at them, taking a long moment to shake out his soggy sleeves, flicking mud every which direction vindictively.

“How did survival training go?” Michael asks.

“Learn anything that will help elevate you from your rookie status?” Billy says, breaking into a grin.

“Yeah. That you guys are dicks,” Rick growls as he makes for the bathroom, feeling his shoes squish as he walks.

“I’d say that’s a valuable lesson,” Casey muses, and Rick slams the door.

3.

“Your grace,” Rick says with as much flourish as he can muster. “It is my honor to be here today, to stand before you and present this gift of friendship and goodwill.”

The man glares at him.

Rick swallows uncomfortably, holding out the envelope again. He’s the only one who speaks the local dialect, and he has to convince the tribal leader to give them safe shelter tonight of they’ll be picked off by local militants. Michael entrusted this to him, and even Billy and Casey are standing back, watching him in anticipation.

It’s up to him.

Moving forward, he kneels before the designated elder, bowing his head. “Please,” he says. “I am humbled in your presence. Take pity on your worthless servant.”

He’s studied this culture. He knows the matters of honor and deference that will win his cause. He can do this.

He has to.

Bowing, he touches his head to the dirt. “I implore you. I am a worthless scoundrel. Grant me asylum, please.”

He expects a judgment, and for a second he fears he hasn’t done enough. Worried, he cranes his head, glancing up in time to see the man snicker.

Before looking toward the ODS. “What is this silliness?” he asks, speaking in accented but discernible English.

Rick frowns, sitting on his knees. “You speak...English?”

“Fluently,” the man says. “I have helped Mr. Michael many times in his travels throughout this region.” His eyes go back toward Michael. “So what is this?”

Rick turns, watching as Billy fails to hide his laughter and Casey smirks. Michael has his arms crossed smugly over his chest. “Just having fun with the new guy.”

“Ah,” the man says. “If you had told me, I would have made trials involved.”

Rick’s brow darkens. “You mean, this was a set up?”

“Only mostly,” Michael says.

“We did need to ask for shelter for the night,” Casey says.

“And you are the best one amongst us at groveling,” Billy points out.

“And generally making an idiot of yourself,” Michael says.

Rick gets to his feet, sulking. “You guys really are dicks.”

“We certainly try, Martinez,” Billy tells him. “We certainly try.”

4.

Rick looks up in wide-eyed fear as Michael finally enters the waiting room.

They've been sitting here for hours. It almost feels like years. And yet, Rick only has to close his eyes to see Billy, clutching the gunshot wound, pale and gasping as his blood wells up, red and hot. The same blood is dried and brown and crusty on Rick's clothes now, as he trembles on the edge of his seat, waiting to hear word...

"Well?" he asks, voice cracking. "Is he okay?"

Michael pauses, then looks down. His face is grim as he inhales, then looks Rick in the eye with an expression that makes his stomach grow cold. "No," Rick breathes, willing Michael not to say the next words.

"Billy's dead. He didn't make it."

Rick's head spins. He can't breathe. He can't accept it because this isn't true, even if the evidence is staining his clothes and drying under his nailbeds. Billy can't be dead, he can't--

"No!" he cries out, and somehow he's on his feet. This isn't happening, this can't be happening.

Because if it is, then it's all Rick's fault.

He pushes past Michael and sprints into the hall, stumbling desperately toward Billy's room. He needs to see him, needs proof, needs to know, even if the only thing to witness is a body under a sheet.

A body that won't be Billy. Not anymore.

Heart breaking, he slams the door open--

-- And sees Billy look up and flash a smile as his doctor scribbles something on his chart. "Hello, Martinez!" he says with a small wave.

Rick gapes.

Then promptly feels the blood rush from his head as his knees crumple.

---------

"You should have seen your face!"

"Really, you should know better than to listen to us after all this time--"

"And then you fainted! Honest to God fainted!"

Michael and Casey are in stitches. Even Billy is excessively mirthful about the whole affair.

Rick, by contrast, is unamused.

"Aw, chin up, Martinez. I'm all right! Bet you've never been so happy to see me in all your life, eh?" Billy coaxes, dreamy from morphine.

Rick only glowers at them. "You guys are dicks."

"Yeah, well, that's what you get for scaring us all in Bolivia," Casey reprimands.

“Someday, when you’re finally not the new guy, you’ll be a dick, too,” Michael tells him.

"And we're alive dicks," Billy points out.

Which Rick has to admit, as he heaves a grumpy sigh, is better than the alternative.

5.

Funny, Rick always thought it’d be more heroic than this.

Dying for his country sounded grand -- and he’d never had any qualms at the idea of such sacrifice -- but as he sits on his knees, bound, gagged and bloodied, it loses some of its glamor. The memorial services are always so stoic; the monuments are so epic.

Rick’s just had his assed kicked and been summarily set up for execution after being spotted on a surveillance run.

It wasn’t even the actual mission.

Rick is going to die for nothing.

Rick is going to die in the desert, and his body will be chopped up and thrown into a garbage sack before being left on the side of a road and picked apart by the birds.

Rick is going to die while his team lounges back at the motel, going over the protocol and prepping for the actual mission. They won’t even know something is wrong until he’s already a decomposing corpse left to bake under the hot sun.

Rick is going to die without having a chance to defend himself, without one ounce of pride. He’s doing to die with a gag in his mouth, a weeping cut on his forehead and his hands drawn taut behind his back.

Mostly, Rick’s just going to die.

He’d always thought he’d look it in the eyes when it happened.

When the man releases the safety, though, Rick closes his eyes, holds his breath--

The gun goes off.

Rick flinches, but then he realizes he’s not hit. Eyes open, he sees a flurry of motion as man after man drops to the ground and there’s only three left standing.

Blinking a few times, Rick wonders if he’s delirious. He’s too dumbfounded to even attempt making a sound as Billy rushes toward him.

“Easy, lad,” Billy cajoles, kneeling down to pull at the gag.

Rick gapes, still too stunned to speak.

Casey busily finishes disarming the men as Michael approaches, getting down and tilting Rick’s face toward him. “Looks like they clocked you,” Michael observes.

“Be sure that’s all they did,” Casey mutters, coming over with a fresh supply of guns. “Any additional damage will require extra revenge.”

Billy pulls his hands free, and Rick feels himself waver for a moment. “How did you guys get here?”

“We drove, moron,” Casey says.

“Maybe he hit his head fairly hard,” Billy suggests with a note of concern.

Michael just smiles. “We got a tip that the compound was on full alert,” he says. “When we couldn’t get you to answer your phone, we decided to come out.”

Rick furrows his brow. “You didn’t trust me?”

“You’re one guy; they’re a compound of heavily armed mercenaries,” Casey says. “Don’t be so insulted.”

“Besides,” Billy says, clasping his shoulder reassuringly. “You’re the new guy. The new guy always gets extra special attention from the team.”

“Because you don’t trust me,” Rick concludes.

“Because whether we want to admit it or not, you’re part of the team,” Michael says. He shrugs. “And we’d really prefer not to have to break in another new guy.”

Rick’s frown deepens. “Thanks?”

“Any time,” Billy says jovially, helping Rick to his feet.

“Well, not any time,” Michael says.

“And we do expect you to buy the first round when we get home,” Casey says.

Rick looks at them dazedly.

Billy jostles him, helping him step forward. “And we’ll all drink to the new guy!”

“I’ve been on the team for over a year,” Rick says, his words slurring a little as the trudge along.

“Which means you should know by now that you’ll be the new guy until someone newer comes along,” Michael tells him.

“Which is why Billy is the only one who didn’t stridently object to you being one of us,” Casey adds.

Billy pffts. “How could anyone object to wee Rick here?” he asks grandly. “Heroic and noble, and ever strong. Did you see him, unflinching in the face of peril? And with a face like that, he does fit the part better than I ever did.”

“You just pretended to be a lost puppy dog,” Michael snarks.

“Martinez actually is,” Casey says.

Rick shakes his head. “You know, even when you guys save my life, you’re still dicks.”

“I’ll take that as a thank you,” Casey says.

“You would,” Rick mutters as they limp away, and it doesn’t skip Rick’s fleeting notice that even when he stumbles, his team is always there -- when he doesn’t want them there, when they shouldn’t be there, when their own lives are at stake. No matter what, he can count on that.

Afterward, when he’s patched up and fully coherent, he finds his team slumped over, keeping watch, and he decides there are worst teammates to have than dicks and that being the new guy isn’t so bad after all.

And One Time He Wasn’t

In all of Rick’s time with the ODS, he’s never felt like more of a rookie than he does right now. Because he doesn’t know what he’s doing and he doesn’t know if he’s going to make it out alive, and he would give anything for backup right about now.

Not this time. His team won’t bail him out. They’re not right out of earshot, waiting for their moment to swoop in. They’re not going to come barrelling in with guns blazing or with ready snark to diffuse the situation.

No, this is Rick’s mission. Because someone took his team -- and Rick has every intention of getting them back.

It’s not easy. Rick has to call in every favor he has, and he’ll owe more than a few people when this is done. It’s risky and it’s bold, and Rick knows there’s every chance in the world his thrown-together cover will fall apart and he’ll end up with a bullet in his brain. There are countless things that can go wrong -- he could get ID’d, he could trip security, he may have the intel wrong all together -- but that doesn’t matter. Because Rick knows there’s one way for it to go right, and that’s all he needs.

His team has been missing for a week, taken from their motel room while Rick was getting dinner. All he’d found was a broken door and smears of blood.

That was all he’d needed.

Now, a week later, Rick has tracked them as best he can and put together a rescue plan. It’s skill and it’s resourcefulness and it’s charm -- and it’s a whole lot of luck, but as Rick enters the compound with his false ID, he knows there’s no turning back.

He comes back with his team -- or he doesn’t come back at all.

Once inside, he excuses himself from his guide and asks for the bathroom. He makes his way there, but walks right on past, taking a quick turn and pressing against the wall, ducking low to avoid the security cameras.

He makes his way through the labyrinth -- he memorized the layout beforehand -- and when he gets to the access doors to the basement, he only pauses briefly before he pulls out the security badge he bought off an asset on the street.

To his relief, it works, and Rick enters, keeping his head away from the cameras. At the security check point, he smiles at the guard before reaching to shake his hand and injecting him with a sedative instead.

The man goes down, and Rick hastily drags him off before going to the security console and stopping the feed. Then, he strips the man of his jacket and his hat before locking him in a storage room and making his way back into the corridors.

Now he goes by instinct, trusting himself to move past the offices and file rooms to what he presumes are the interrogation cells. Beyond those, there’s another guard at a door. Rick smiles as the man looks confused, but the sedative is injected before he has a chance to protest and Rick goes inside.

Beyond this door are the holding areas. He checks through the windows, skipping over those he doesn’t recognize. His heart falters to see these people -- some of them are innocent, many of them have families -- but that’s not why Rick’s here.

Then, at the next door, he stops.

It’s hard to tell -- the three figures inside are unmoving, turned away from the door. But he can see Billy’s spiky hair and Michael’s long legs and Casey’s short form -- and his heart catches in his throat as he opens the door.

He’s inside the instant it opens, rushing toward the closest body. He rolls the figure, and Michael’s eyes flutter as Rick positions him on his back. “Hey,” Rick says, trying not to sound as scared as he feels. “You okay?”

Michael looks confused for a second, then his brow creases. “Martinez?”

Rick grins. “Yeah.”

To the side, another figure moves and Casey’s harrumph is easily recognizable. “Is this our rescue?”

Rick’s grin widens. “You bet.”

Casey shifts, grunting. “I guess that’s reason enough to bother getting up,” he mutters, sitting himself up. It seems to be a trial, and Rick can see that his arm is hanging funny and that there’s a mottled bruise across his chin.

Michael’s gaze is still narrowed, though it’s noticeable that he doesn’t try to get up from the ground. He has a cut, dried with blood, on his forehead, and he seems to be guarding his leg. “You mean, you went against protocol and mounted a rescue mission without Agency authorization?”

Rick cocks his head. “How do you know it wasn’t authorized?”

“We were taken by the biggest cartel in South America,” Michael tells him. “A rescue mission would be suicide.”

Rick shrugs, helping prop Michael up a little bit. “It wasn’t so bad.”

“Don’t say that until you’ve gotten us out,” Casey snarks while he rolls Billy on his back and tries to rouse the Scotsman. “There are still plenty of opportunities for you to screw up and get us killed.”

Billy groans, his eyelids fluttering. “We going?” he murmurs, although he doesn’t sound entirely coherent. His face is livid with bruises, and his nose is swollen and there’s a dark patch of red on his shirt.

“Hopefully,” Michael says with a wince, moving his leg with his hands. “Assuming Martinez doesn’t do something stupid.”

Billy nods dreamily. Casey has him lifted, but the taller man seems to melt against him, body going slack. “You mean like getting captured, tortured and slated for execution?”

“Yes,” Michael says. He looks at Rick again. “This is something, even for you.”

“There’s stupid, and then there’s suicidally moronic,” Casey agrees.

Rick frowns, feeling put out. He almost died; he’s risked everything; he’s given up everything for his team. “You know, I can still leave you here.”

Casey rolls his eyes, and Billy seems to have passed out again already.

Michael’s face softens just slightly. “The real question is, what took you so long?”

“No kidding,” Casey adds. “Were you going to wait until you found our decapitated bodies on the road?”

“Another day and Billy would be dead from infection,” Michael says, eyes wide with mock hurt. “Do you not care about Billy?”

Rick sighs in exasperation. “I can’t believe you guys are still dicks,” he says.

This time, Michael smiles. “Yeah,” he says. “But I think if you pull this off, you won’t be the new guy anymore.”

Rick finds himself smiling as he hoists Michael to his feet. The taller man falters but Rick holds him up, waiting until Casey has Billy over his shoulders and they’re ready to go. “Well, what do you say about finding out?” Rick asks.

Michael nods, clearly exhausted. “After you.”

Supporting Michael’s weight, Casey and Billy just a step behind, Rick takes his team home.

Comments

Posted by: blackdog_lz (blackdog_lz)
Posted at: June 2nd, 2013 11:34 am (UTC)
ChaosTeam

That was absolutely hilarious.

The banter of the team was spot on and had me giggling. And hazing the new guy never gets old :)

(I'm getting behind in the reviewing, you posted so many good stories and I hadn't had the time to leave a comment yet)

Posted by: do i dare or do i dare? (faye_dartmouth)
Posted at: June 3rd, 2013 03:20 am (UTC)
chaos three musketeers

Aw, thank you! I always appreciate your thoughts.

(And I'm behind on everything. So don't worry. Have you started the job?)

Posted by: blackdog_lz (blackdog_lz)
Posted at: June 4th, 2013 07:24 pm (UTC)

Started yesterday and so far it's good :) I hope that it will stay that way.

And I'm starting to think that being behind will be my new natural state :)

Posted by: serenity_pen (serenity_pen)
Posted at: June 6th, 2013 02:32 pm (UTC)
Eric

Ha ha ha! I loved the first scenario! Very typical of them. You seem to be able to do no wrong with these guys. Great way to wrap it up too - can completely picture it. Great job as always.

Posted by: do i dare or do i dare? (faye_dartmouth)
Posted at: June 17th, 2013 08:26 pm (UTC)
chaos group

I love the balance of humor and action with these guys -- it makes for really fun fic :)

Thanks!

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