?

Log in

No account? Create an account
do i dare or do i dare? [userpic]

Chaos fic: To the Bone (1/1)

December 23rd, 2013 (08:15 am)
listless
Tags: , ,

feeling: listless

Title: To the Bone

Disclaimer: I do not own Chaos.

A/N: For sophie_deangirl. May your recovery be better than Billy’s :) Beta by sockie1000.

Summary: If someone declares something to be impossible, Casey is likely to prove them wrong. Mostly because he can.



-o-

Casey can do anything.

He knows that's not entirely literal. He can't breathe underwater or bend iron with his hands. But as far as most feats go, he can certainly do more than most. And he doesn't believe in letting people tell him his limitations. If someone declares something to be impossible, he's likely to prove them wrong.

Mostly because he can.

"You can't do that kind of extraction out here in the field!" Carson says, sounding a little desperate. "The bullet's all the way to the bone."

"Exactly," Casey says. "And we're still a day out. Do you really want to leave that bullet in there until Michael can get back? Do you want to explain to him why Collins is septic?"

"Have you ever done anything like this before?" Carson asks, sounding more incredulous with each passing second. He's not exactly staying cool under pressure, although being stranded in the middle of the tribal areas in a remote region of Africa with a teammate who's been shot in the leg does tend to have that effect on people.

On other people.

Not Casey. He's cool and calm and collected. He's secured their campsite, cleaned Billy's wound, made a fire, and established contact. With an extraction plan a day away, there's just one thing left to do.

"I don't need to," Casey says dully. "It's all basic anatomy. Doctors like to make you think everything is about nuance, but you go in, you get the bullet out. Flush and pack the wound. We have a fire to disinfect with. We should be stateside before the kid even knows what happened."

Carson's look is both hopeful and frustrated. He wants to fight -- hell, he pretty clearly wants to rage -- but then he looks at the kid.

Billy is laid out by the fire, tucked up in the only blankets they've managed to scavenge since the whole thing went to hell. The shot to the leg isn't fatal, but it hurt like hell, and they'd plied the kid with enough painkiller to knock him out for the better part of the next day. Casey had cleaned the wound as best he could, but with the bullet resting against the bone, he knows the chance of infection is pretty substantial.

Casey can save his life.

Casey will save his life.

"Now," Casey says, plain and in control. "Go boil some water. We're going to do this thing."

-o-

The extraction is easy. Casey removes the bullet and fishes out the bit of Billy's pants. He flushes the wound, pouring their limited antiseptic solution on it just to be safe. He packs it and settles back.

"See?" he says to Carson. "Nothing to it."

-o-

A few hours later, Carson shakes him. Casey grumbles awake. "What? Extraction's not here yet--"

Carson's face is white in the campfire. "It's Billy," he says. "There's something wrong."

-o-

Wrong is an understatement. If Carson is white, Billy is colorless. When Casey turns the kid's head toward him, he doesn't so much as flinch. His pulse is languid, his skin clammy.

When Casey unwraps the wound, he sees red.

-o-

It's bleeding.

A lot.

It's soaked through the bandage, making a muddy puddle on the sandy ground. Casey hisses and repacks it, binding it tight and holding it.

"Call Michael," he orders to Carson, who looks sick across the fire. "Tell him to come faster."

-o-

Hours pass. Casey holds the bandage taut, increasing the leverage as much as he can. He holds so tight that his knuckles go white until Billy's blood seeps through his fingers and stain them red.

-o-

When Michael comes in the morning, Billy's breathing is thin and rattled. He hasn't woken; he won't wake. His heart is slowing, and they're routed to an emergency medical facility, all covers be damned.

In the waiting room, Casey stands idly, hands limp at his sides. Michael pats him on the shoulder. "You did everything you could."

Carson looks at him.

Casey says nothing at all.

-o-

The kid is okay. The hospital transfuses him and he rebounds fast enough, not a sign of infection.

"That's lucky," Michael says.

Carson sighs. "That's one word for it."

-o-

Casey sits with Billy more than the rest. Michael seems curious, but Carson shrugs and lets it happen. As he sits next to Billy, he wonders about it. He wonders about the cost of his arrogance. He wonders if he would have been right even if Billy died. He wonders if it's worth it.

Because yes, Casey can do anything.

But maybe that's not the point.

-o-

Carson relieves him from the room. On his way out, Casey sighs. "You may have been right," he admits.

Carson grunts. "You think that's what I want?"

Casey shrugs. "Isn't that what we all want?"

Carson sits heavily. "I just want us to all come home, Malick," he says. "I'm too old for this crap. The mission isn't everything. And my reputation sure as hell isn't worth much either."

Casey looks at him; he looks at Billy.

Maybe it's the things they can't do that matter the most.

-o-

Years later, on a road in South America, Michael asks him to fix Rick's leg. It's a simple request; really, it's a practical one. Rick is bleeding out, and they're all kinds of screwed. If anyone can do this, it's Casey.

But Casey remembers Collins in Africa; he remembers a campfire and confidence. He remembers blood.

And he shakes his head.

There are some things he can't do.

And he knows enough to admit that now.

Comments

Posted by: sophie_deangirl (sophie_deangirl)
Posted at: December 24th, 2013 06:41 am (UTC)

Thanks for this great story! I giggled with appreciation that you injured Billy in the leg! And thankfully I am recovering way better than Billy did. I really enjoyed the Casey-centric angst. As always you did a great job of silencing Billy through this and yet with his deteriorating condition, wordlessly throw Casey's arrogance to the ultimate test. Also, I LOVED the tie-in to Mole and how the past event with Billy affected his perspective of Rick's injury. Nicely done.

Fave part:

Wrong is an understatement. If Carson is white, Billy is colorless. When Casey turns the kid's head toward him, he doesn't so much as flinch. His pulse is languid, his skin clammy.

When Casey unwraps the wound, he sees red.

-o-

It's bleeding.

A lot.

It's soaked through the bandage, making a muddy puddle on the sandy ground. Casey hisses and repacks it, binding it tight and holding it.

"Call Michael," he orders to Carson, who looks sick across the fire. "Tell him to come faster."

-o-

Hours pass. Casey holds the bandage taut, increasing the leverage as much as he can. He holds so tight that his knuckles go white until Billy's blood seeps through his fingers and stain them red.

-- of course I can't resist but enjoy the Billy h/c. It will always be my favorite part.

Posted by: do i dare or do i dare? (faye_dartmouth)
Posted at: January 13th, 2014 03:02 am (UTC)
billy considers

LOL, I'm glad your recovery is better than Billy's. Though given my penchant for h/c, I'd certainly hope so!

I hope you're doing well now and getting back to normal!

Thanks ;)

2 Read Comments