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do i dare or do i dare? [userpic]

Chaos fic: In the Blink of an Eye

June 20th, 2013 (05:45 am)
exhausted
Tags: , ,

feeling: exhausted

Title: In the Blink of an Eye

Disclaimer: I do not own Chaos.

A/N: Written for and beta’ed by lena7142.

Summary: Casey’s always up for the impossible, and he hopes this time is no different.



-o-

It happens in the blink of an eye.

Literally.

Billy turns a corner, on his way to meet the mark, when he blinks --

And is slammed upside the head.

The impact is resounding, and he finds himself with his face smashed into the pavement. He doesn’t know what hit him; he doesn’t know who hit him. The only conscious thought he can muster is that this is bad.

This is very, very bad.

Drunkenly, he gets to his hands and knees. He almost makes it to his feet when a fist rakes him hard across the face. He pitches violently and blood fills his mouth. His vision is blurred and cloudy, and he’s still getting his bearings when he’s yanked up by his hair.

He’s bracing himself for another hit, but the fingers tighten, jerking his head back painfully and leaving him exposed. He’s still too dazed to move, and he blinks several more times until he sees the glint of a knife.

Gasping, he tries to prepare himself for the worst.

He doesn’t know what the worst is, though.

Not until the blade is pressed into his throat, biting through the tender skin and cutting deep while it’s pulled purposefully across the front.

Pain blossoms and he feels the blood, running thick and sticky down his throat and soaking his shirt. This isn’t a random attack; this is a hit.

This is an execution.

The hand releases him and he wavers for a moment before his head goes light and his body gets heavy and he collapses to the ground.

He blinks one last time, and in his fading vision, he sees his own blood pooling on the pavement around him as his life just slips away.

-o-

Casey blinks.

He looks at the picture again.

It has to be wrong; there’s something he’s missing. Because if this picture is legitimate, then their asset is working with their mark and Billy’s entire cover is screwed.

Casey blinks.

Which means...

He swears.

Which means Billy’s walking straight into a trap. Michael and Rick are too far away, which means it’s up to Casey.

So Casey runs.

-o-

With his physical discipline, Casey is capable of running extreme distances and extreme speeds. This time, he does both, navigating the back alleys Billy favors through the streets of Naples. He knows the route Billy takes to his undercover job; he knows the likely stops and when he usually hits each landmark.

At his current speed, Casey misses the small things. He’s not concerned with stealth; he’s just concerned with Billy.

He turns the corners, skirting the streets. He skids past the market and dodges about the cobblestones when he sees it out of the corner of his eye.

Blink, and he’d miss it.

But Casey doesn’t blink.

And he sees it.

It’s just a puddle on the ground, but the dark color is suspicious. Casey diverts his path, moving down the alley and around the corner when he sees the body.

When he sees Billy.

Casey blinks, hoping he’s imagining things.

But the scene is still the same.

It’s still Billy, face pale and still, body sprawled and limp, a pool of blood spreading out.

-o-

Casey’s hesitation lasts only a second, but it’s a weakness he can’t afford.

A weakness Billy can’t afford.

Steeling himself, Casey crosses the last of the distance, going to his knees while he rolls Billy on his back. The Scot’s head lolls to the side, giving Casey a clear view of the wound.

At first glance, it’s macabre. The sheer amount of blood is daunting, but when Casey looks closer, he finds reason to hope. The damage is extensive but it’s not immediately lethal. The wound isn’t shallow -- the windpipe has probably been sliced -- but somehow the carotid hasn’t been compromised.

Which means...

He presses two fingers into Billy’s bloody pulse point and feels the slowing beat.

Which means Billy’s still alive.

It’s not much, but it’s enough to work with, so Casey shrugs out of his jacket, balling it up with one hand while pulling out his phone with the other. He presses the jacket down on Billy’s throat, mindful not to compromise the already injured airway, while calling Michael with the other.

“Malick,” Michael says. “I wasn’t expecting--”

“We’ve been double crossed,” Casey says curtly. “Billy’s down.”

“Location?” Michael asks, and he’s all business but Casey can hear the strain in his voice.

“Use the GPS tracker,” Casey says. “And get an ambulance here. Now.”

Michael says something, and Casey hears Rick in the background. Michael says to him, “How bad?”

Casey looks at Billy. His face is colorless now, the skin almost translucent. He grinds his teeth together. “Bad.”

“Okay,” Michael says. “We’re on it. Just keep him alive.”

Casey grunts, but makes no other sound of acknowledgement as he lets the phone drop to the ground. Just keep him alive.

Casey’s always up for the impossible, and he hopes this time is no different.

-o-

Casey doesn’t quit.

He stays steadfast, unyielding at Billy’s side. His grip is firm, his position unmoved. When the paramedics arrive, Casey’s pants are soaked and blood slicks his fingers. He’s reluctant to give up his position, but he’s not so stupid to think he can give Billy any more than he already has.

Instead, he stands aside and lets them work, and when they load Billy up into the ambulance, he climbs in after them, daring them to stop him.

He watches Billy the entire time, eyes trained on the other operative’s slack features. Casey’s not prone to fear, but he does worry that if he’ll blink, something will go wrong.

That he’ll lose everything.

His eyes are fixed the entire journey, and he doesn’t tear his gaze away until Billy’s taken into the emergency room and Casey is left staring at nothing.

-o-

Billy blinks.

It takes more than a few efforts to clear his vision, and even when he does, the scene doesn’t make much sense. He seems to be on his back, but the ceiling above him is unfamiliar and strangely sterile.

Then he hears the noises. The distant sound of voices; the hum of equipment. A steady beeping and a consistent drip.

A hospital.

Billy blinks again, and he tries to turn his head.

Which he immediately regrets.

Pain slices through him, radiating from his throat and dissipating throughout every inch of his body. Everything feels heavy, and his mind is fuzzy. When he swallows, it feels like the worst idea ever.

“Hey, you’re awake.”

Billy winces, trying his best not to cry as he darts his eyes to the side and sees Casey. “Unfortunately,” he says, or tries to. His voice sounds wrong, and everything is garbled.

“You’re not going to want to talk much,” Casey advises. “And normally I’d say that as a matter of personal preference, but this time the doctors agree with me.”

Billy furrows his brow, taking a few breaths to steady himself. When swallows again, he’s more careful this time, working as much saliva as he can into his throat. “My cover?”

“You were sold out,” Casey tells him. “Mark tried to off you.”

Billy vaguely remembers this -- he sees the glint of the blade, his own blood spread on the ground -- and he nods very carefully. “Seems like they almost did.”

“Well, lucky for you, they didn’t go about it very smart,” Casey says.

Billy frowns. “They slit my throat,” he croaks in protest.

“Most people don’t know how to properly cut a throat,” Casey tells him pragmatically. “Let me guess, they grabbed you by the hair and pulled your head back?”

Billy feels a little sick at the memory.

Casey shakes his head. “That’s completely inefficient,” he continues. “When you expose the throat, the windpipe gets in the way. A real expert tilts the head forward and to the side to expose the carotid. Then the victim bleeds out before they even hit the ground.”

It’s probably meant to be comforting in Casey’s cold and clinical way, but Billy has to admit, it doesn’t really make him feel better. “Is that a consolation?” he rasps.

“Well, you’re alive,” Casey points out. “Their stupidity gave me time to get there.” Casey stiffens a little. “Even so, it was close.”

Billy considers this; not the idea of him almost dying, but Casey being a few minutes too late. It would have been unfortunate for him, of course, but the idea of Casey finding him like that...

Is more than he wants to consider.

Really, this whole thing is a bit much. Hits and executions; slit throats and blown covers.

“You should probably just go to sleep,” Casey says.

Billy looks at him, surprised.

Casey shrugs. “You lost almost half your blood volume,” he says. His expression softens. “A little rest is probably in order.”

Rest sounds more than appealing; it actually seems like the only plausible course of action. Billy’s hurting and he’s exhausted, and his eyelids are already heavy despite the fact that he’s only just woken up.

It’s hard to give up control, though. In the blink of an eye, Billy nearly died. He still doesn’t know why; he doesn’t know if there’s something left to salvage. He doesn’t even know what injuries he sustained and what long term damage may have been inflicted.

But Casey’s here, and Billy feels safe.

He looks at Casey sleepily. “And you’ll still be here when I wake up?”

Casey tries to look annoyed, but the corners of his mouth are twitching upward. “I really don’t have anywhere better to be.”

And Billy’s eyes slip shut and stay shut, and this time the darkness is peaceful with the promise of light on the other side.

Comments

Posted by: kristen_mara (kristen_mara)
Posted at: June 22nd, 2013 11:11 am (UTC)
Team


Awwww, Casey showing his caring side! And that's eerie and very interesting re the ineffective way to slit a throat...

LOL re the drs agreeing about Billy keeping quiet



Posted by: do i dare or do i dare? (faye_dartmouth)
Posted at: July 16th, 2013 03:58 pm (UTC)
billy thinks

Lena was the one who informed me about how to slit a throat. LOL, it's such a useful fic fact :)

Thanks!

Posted by: sophie_deangirl (sophie_deangirl)
Posted at: June 29th, 2013 05:24 pm (UTC)

Sigh! Simple to say, I never get bored with how you portray Casey, especially in his relationship with Billy. The fact that they are polar opposites except in their goal of a successful mission makes their partnership a perfect harmony in many ways.

Fave part:

He stays steadfast, unyielding at Billy’s side. His grip is firm, his position unmoved. When the paramedics arrive, Casey’s pants are soaked and blood slicks his fingers. He’s reluctant to give up his position, but he’s not so stupid to think he can give Billy any more than he already has.

Instead, he stands aside and lets them work, and when they load Billy up into the ambulance, he climbs in after them, daring them to stop him.

He watches Billy the entire time, eyes trained on the other operative’s slack features. Casey’s not prone to fear, but he does worry that if he’ll blink, something will go wrong.

That he’ll lose everything.

His eyes are fixed the entire journey, and he doesn’t tear his gaze away until Billy’s taken into the emergency room and Casey is left staring at nothing.

-- Wonderful! You captured Casey's humanity perfectly here

Posted by: do i dare or do i dare? (faye_dartmouth)
Posted at: July 16th, 2013 03:59 pm (UTC)
casey human weapon

I love Casey and Billy. They just have such a special dynamic :)

Thanks!

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