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Chaos Fic: The Forest Through the Trees (1/1)

June 10th, 2011 (03:24 pm)
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Title: The Forest Through the Trees

Disclaimer:  Not mine.

A/N:  I wrote this for eviinsanemonkey , who wrote me a Chaos ficlet based on a prompt of mine, so I figured I should return the favor.  Therefore, as requested, this ficlet is based on the prompt: Michael and Faye: when you try your best, but you don’t succeed.  Also, be warned because this is actually un-beta’ed.

Summary: No single person can be entirely successful at everything he or she attempts.


“I don’t get it,” Rick says. 

His teammates do not seem particularly bothered by his comment.  Casey doesn’t look up from his tuna sandwich while Billy stays reclined in his seat, spooning yogurt into his mouth while he watches the people coming and going.

Rick’s lunch is mostly eaten in front of him.  Casey and Billy have been trading small talk about firearms in close quarters, but Rick hasn’t had much to add.  For a while, he let his mind wander while he studied the room, noting the false backdrop of trees.  No matter how many times he contemplates it, it still seems funny to him that the CIA, which brokers lies and subterfuge, should offer such a paltry facade to its highly trained employees.

Beyond the trees, which somehow seem to move if he stares too much, there hasn’t been much to watch.  A few other tables are filled, some with pairs or trios, all of which has made for a fairly standard lunch until Michael came into the room with Faye a step behind him.

All things considered, it’s not surprising that they garnered his attention so quickly.  Especially since Rick didn’t need his spy skills to see that she is angry.  He also didn’t need his skills to see that they’ve had this conversation before.

“He’s probably considering the tree wall paper again,” Casey comments with a disapproving shake of his head.

Rick frowns, looking back at Casey and Billy.  “What?  No, I mean--”

Billy shakes his head.  “No, I’d say he’s moved past that and accepted it as part of the CIA’s attempt to appear forward thinking while still espousing the same virtues that were celebrated in the Cold War.”

Rick’s frown deepens even more.  “No, I mean, yeah that is weird, but that’s not what I’m talking about,” he says.  Then he pauses, nodding emphatically toward Michael and Faye.  “I don’t get that.”

Billy and Casey follow his line of vision.

“Ah,” Billy says.  “So you’re pondering the mystery of the reclusive Michael and the beautiful Faye.”

“It was an odd couple from the start,” Casey says with a perfunctory shake of his head.  “I tried to explain to him the perils of conventional relationships in an unconventional life.”

Billy makes a face.  “You can’t expect the heart to reason,” he says.  “Michael’s a paranoid bastard, for sure, but he’s got the soul of an idealist.  He believes in the greater good at any cost and he fights to grasp it.  He’ll take risks for strangers halfway around the globe, so you can hardly blame him for taking one with his own heart.”

Casey is not impressed.  “Yeah, and now he’s divorced and stalks all her dates while she attempts to sell his home out from under him,” he deadpans back.  “Behold the power of love.”

Billy shakes his head and glares at him.  “Just because you refuse to allow yourself to admit your passions for another human being doesn’t mean that the rest of us should be expected to live such solitary and miserable lives,” he says.  “And it was love.  If it wasn’t, they wouldn’t still be doing that.”

At this, they all turn their attention back to the pair.  Faye is throwing her hands in the air and Michael is shrugging his shoulders in what seems to be an attempt to be disarming.

“Humans are creatures of habit,” Casey defends.

“They’re also creatures of love,” Billy counters.

Rick just shakes his head.  “I still don’t get it.”

“It’s impossible to understand the illogic nature of humanity,” Casey says dryly.

“No, I mean, I don’t get how they can still love each other and not be together,” Rick says.  “And Michael never quits--at anything.  So how did he quit his own marriage?”

These aren’t probably things that Rick has a right to know, but since his team has lied to him, kidnapped him, and generally set him up as their default fall guy, he sort of figures there’s not much off limits between them.

“I don’t think it was necessarily his choice, lad,” Billy tells him with gentle admonishment.

“Besides, it’s a statistical impossibility,” Casey tells him, as a matter of fact.  “No single person can be entirely successful at everything he or she attempts.”

“And considering Michael’s impeccable record with the Agency,” Billy says with a knowing tilt of his head, “something has simply got to give.”

“Michael just made the determination early on that he could never sacrifice human lives for anything,” Casey continued.

Billy shrugs, a little sad.  “Not even his lovely and accommodating wife.”

Rick watches as Faye puts her hands on her hips and shakes her head.  Michael says something, a small smile on his face, right before she turns her back and walks away.

Michael stands there for a minute more before he exits the room as well, heading the opposite direction.

“You know, though,” Billy says.  “No matter how many times we talk about it, I still really don’t get the trees.”

Casey sighs and gathers his trash. “I have work to do.”

Billy looks perturbed and stands up to dump the remnants of his lunch as well.  “It’s a legitimate conversation,” Billy says as he follows after Casey.

Alone at the table, Rick considers the statistical improbability of always getting the job done.  He doesn’t like that thought--to think you could try your best and still not succeed--and if Michael can’t pull it off, Rick’s not sure who can.

Frowning, he gathers his own trash.  He pauses just long enough to look at the trees before he shakes his head and goes after his team.


Posted by: lukadreaming (lukadreaming)
Posted at: June 10th, 2011 08:45 pm (UTC)

Very neat cameo scene. Good dialogue as well!

Posted by: do i dare or do i dare? (faye_dartmouth)
Posted at: June 11th, 2011 10:19 pm (UTC)
stephen blue sky


Posted by: Evil Insane Monkey (eviinsanemonkey)
Posted at: June 10th, 2011 08:58 pm (UTC)

ooh, I love it :) I like how you have the other team members analyse Michael and the situation, and I always love how you write Rick <3

Thank you so much for writing this! :D

Posted by: do i dare or do i dare? (faye_dartmouth)
Posted at: June 11th, 2011 10:20 pm (UTC)
billy earnest

I hadn't given too much thought to the Michael/Fay thing, so I sort of like that the prompt made my mind go that way.

Thank you for the prompt :)

Posted by: i want to cause a ruckus (geminigrl11)
Posted at: June 10th, 2011 11:34 pm (UTC)

Aawwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwww!! In both the sad and sweet ways...

Posted by: do i dare or do i dare? (faye_dartmouth)
Posted at: June 11th, 2011 10:21 pm (UTC)
billy earnest

Sometimes men can be so frustrating for the right reasons. Women falling for any of these guys wouldn't have much hope.


Posted by: nietie (nietie)
Posted at: June 11th, 2011 05:11 pm (UTC)

Great dialogue. I can hear Rick saying “I don’t get it.” with that cute, puppy-dog look on his face *g*

Posted by: do i dare or do i dare? (faye_dartmouth)
Posted at: June 11th, 2011 10:22 pm (UTC)

I'm so glad the dialogue seemed on! And Rick really does have a classic puppy face. Thanks :)

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