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do i dare or do i dare? [userpic]

Chaos fic: Stockholm Syndrome (1/1)

November 7th, 2013 (08:37 pm)
discontent
Tags: , ,

feeling: discontent

Title: Stockholm Syndrome

Disclaimer: I do not own Chaos.

A/N: Random ficlet. Beta by sockie1000.

Summary: Stockholm Syndrome only works when the victim believes they have nothing left.



-o-

The first week, they beat Billy relentlessly. He's covered in bruises and his eyes are swollen shut and he can't breathe through his nose. He loses a few teeth and his shoulder is dislocated and by the end, he can't separate one pain from the next.

The second week, they leave him to rot. At first, the solitude is a welcome change and he curls up on himself and cries himself into oblivion. But as the hours turn into days, the darkness becomes ominous and Billy starts to lose track of where he begins and ends.

The third week, they don't let him sleep. They keep him hanging from the center of a bleak room, stripped naked and weak. They taunt him with food and pour water on the ground at his feet. There is no escape, no refuge, and Billy starts to wonder if he's going to survive this.

The fourth week, they tell him they know everything. They show him pictures of himself; they say that he's been abandoned. They say they've tried to negotiate for his release, but no one is interested in buying his freedom. They say he's no use to them; he's no use to anyone.

The fifth week, they move him. The journey is long and he's ushered in and out of vehicles with a bag over his head. He's traded hands several times before someone takes off the bag and shoves him to his knees. The man lifts a gun and says, "This is a kindness."

The sixth week, Billy sobs. He's locked in a row of cells with other men, just as wretched as himself. They cry in the night, but no one comes. Billy begs for another chance. He says he'll work; he'll translate. He'll do what he can. The man says he cannot see a way in which this makes sense; in which Billy will have any value at all.

The seventh week, Billy cleans floors. He scrubs until his fingers are raw and bleeding, and meticulously washes again and again until the cement glistens. The man smiles, nods to the other prisoners. "This is how you work," he says, as he gives Billy an extra piece of bread.

The eighth week, Billy cleans the walls and the bars. He mops the showers and scrubs the toilets. The man is pleased and says, "Perhaps I have underestimated you yet."

The ninth week, Billy is given new clothes. He's allowed to shower each morning and gets three full meals. He obeys every command; and when his hands are unchained, he no longers looks to run.

The tenth week, one of the inmates starts to plot. Billy hears him while he cleans, hears him talk about how he'll slit the man's throat and let him bleed. Billy tells the man, who says, "Thank you for your loyalty. It will not be forgotten." And Billy eats fresh fruit while the rest of the men dig a grave.

The eleventh week, he's allowed in the house. He cleans the entryway and polishes the fixtures. He hears the man talk in his study. "There is no greater pleasure than emasculating the enemy. He would lick my boots, and I will let him. His humiliation is worth the world."

The twelfth week, Billy stops working. He curls up in his cell and refuses to move. At first, there is concern. Then, there is indignation. "If you wish to die, then so be it." And Billy closes his eyes.

The thirteenth week, there's the sound of helicopters. There is panic and disorder, and Billy is ready and on his feet when the cells are stormed. Michael unlocks the cell and Rick grins while Casey stands guard. "About bloody time!"

"You get the intel?" Michael asks.

"You really think I went through all this for nothing?" Billy asks. "He never knew he was the mark. I heard plenty of conversations, and I can tell you where his files are."

"Good," Michael says. "You ready, then?"

Billy snorts. "You have no idea."

The fourteenth week, he sees the man one last time. He looks smaller, broken somehow. "This is how you repay my kindness?" he asks. "I was good to you!"

"I don't take pleasure in emasculation, and if you offered to lick my boots, I can't say I'd let you," Billy says. "But know this: humiliation is not a trait of the oppressed. Real humiliation is only brought by those who hold power and use it poorly."

The fifteenth week, Billy goes home. He has a week of prescribed downtime, and he can't deny that it's strange. His bed is comfortable; he can eat when he chooses and how, but nothing feels the same. He still feels the ache in his fingers from scrubbing; he still wakes up at night cold and afraid.

The sixteenth week, he goes back to work. When he arrives, there's donuts and coffee and Rick is fumbling with streamers. "Wait, this is supposed to be a surprise!" he exclaims.

Casey rolls his eyes. "He was in captivity for three months, Martinez. I don't think streamers is really what he wants."

Rick pouts. "It's the thought that counts." He glares at Michael. "You were supposed to call me."

Michael shrugs. "Oops."

Billy chuckles and goes in, snagging a donut. "The sentiment is appreciated."

"Well, it's the least we can do," Rick says. "I mean, you did suffer for months."

"All with the promise of rescue," Billy reminds him. "It went like clockwork."

"Still," Casey says. "It is rather impressive."

"We almost pulled the plug a few times," Michael confesses.

"How did you do it?" Rick asks. "How did you stay sane?"

"Stockholm Syndrome only works when the victim believes they have nothing left," he says, and he smiles, looking at his team. Because with all the lies and plans and duplicity, there was only one truth that mattered for all of them. "I always knew you'd come."

The seventeenth work is life as normal. Billy doesn’t forget, but he moves on. Sometimes he still flinches unexpectedly and feels claustrophobic in small spaces. His knees ache when it rains and his heart skips a beat when they talk about prison. But Michael nudges him and Casey rolls his eyes. Rick grins at him and everything’s okay.

This week.

And all the weeks that follow.

Comments

Posted by: sophie_deangirl (sophie_deangirl)
Posted at: November 8th, 2013 04:17 am (UTC)
Wow!

Great angle and you really had me worried there, but I knew there would be a heroic catch. Still, wow, talk about the worst undercover assignment EVER yet the perfect agent for the job!

Fave part:

"Stockholm Syndrome only works when the victim believes they have nothing left," he says, and he smiles, looking at his team. Because with all the lies and plans and duplicity, there was only one truth that mattered for all of them. "I always knew you'd come."

--Awwwwwww!!! So typical Billy!

Posted by: do i dare or do i dare? (faye_dartmouth)
Posted at: November 25th, 2013 08:06 pm (UTC)
Re: Wow!
billy considers

I was never pleased with the resolution of this one, and it always felt a little rushed, but I do like the idea behind it :) Heroic at its core :)

Thanks!

Posted by: kristen_mara (kristen_mara)
Posted at: November 8th, 2013 11:06 am (UTC)
Stephen Clouds


Billy!!!!

You are a crafty writer!

Eeek re the grave

Whew that Billy knew they were coming - and that they DID come



Posted by: do i dare or do i dare? (faye_dartmouth)
Posted at: November 25th, 2013 08:06 pm (UTC)
billy earnest

LOL, I'm sort of a crazy writer, but thank you all the same :)

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