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Chaos fic: The Grass is Always Greener

June 29th, 2011 (04:21 pm)
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Title:  The Grass is Always Greener

Disclaimer:  Not mine.

A/N:  Written for the challenge over at chaosfanfic .  The prompt was to write a fic set in Greenland.  Since I know nothing about Greenland except what wikipedia told me, I apologize in advance for any inaccuracies (but hey!  I almost wrote something fluffy!).  Thanks to moogsthewriter  for the quick read through and agreeing to let me pay her back for her continuing and overwhelming kindness on an installment plan :)

Summary:  Rick discovers the real beauty of Greenland.


“But it’s not even very green,” Rick says, not quite in protest, but in general confusion. 

Billy, seated next to him in the car, squints out over the landscape, which stretches out in front of them, vast and gray.  “This is an arctic climate,” he says, shrugging one shoulder.  “What did you expect?”

Rick shrugs.  “It’s called Greenland,” he says.  “I just thought it would be, you know, green.”

Billy nods in commiseration.  “A common misconception,” he says.  “It goes to show you that you should never take a name at face value.”

This is a reasonable answer, but somehow it’s still disappointing.  Rick would be more disappointed if he hadn’t lost the feeling in his thighs and toes an hour ago.  “It’s just so cold,” he comments.

Again, Billy nods.

Rick looks at him, genuinely curious.  “That doesn’t bother you?”

“The cold or the misnomer?”

Rick shrugs.  “Either.”

“The value in a name is all perception, anyhow.  You know, it’s said that when the first Scandinavians landed here centuries ago, they called it Greenland in hopes of attracting people to settle here,” he says.  Then he nods sagely.  “And you should invest in a pair of long underwear.  Strapping, Latin lad like yourself--you need all the help you can get in these colder climates.”

Rick frowns.  “Did it work?”

“My nether regions are perfectly fine right now,” Billy confirms.  “I’d offer to let you feel, but I’m not sure we’ve reached that level yet, so you’ll just have to take my word on it.”

The image is unsettling.  Rick shakes his head.  “No, I mean, about the Scandinavians.  Did they really name it Greenland in order to make people want to live here?”

“Aye,” Billy confirms.

Rick looks back over the stretch of landscape in front of them.  They’ve been sitting in the car for nearly two hours with nothing to do but watch the horizon of the ice field in hopes that Michael and Casey will be back soon.  It hasn’t been a very exciting wait, despite Billy’s persistent attempts to keep the conversation rousing.

Thoughtfully, he cocks his head.  “So what did they think would happen once people got here?”

Billy seems to consider that.  “Oh, I don’t know,” he says.  “Maybe he thought they’d come to appreciate its certain pristine charm.  It does have a calming effect on the soul.”

“I think that’s just the early onset of hypothermia.” Rick says.

“Ah, such negativity,” Billy says, swatting at the air.  “You’ve been spending entirely too much time around Casey.”

“No, I’ve been spending entirely too much time sitting in a Jeep with the heat off in the freezing cold,” Rick amends.

“But look at it,” Billy says, gesturing out at the ice spread before them.  “It’s a singular site that very few people in the world will ever have the privilege of seeing.  This is the largest national park in the entire world and yet still one of most untouched paradises.”

“Paradise is a warm beach,” Rick mutters, rubbing his hands together as the cold leeches through his gloves.

“Paradise is what you make it,” Billy tells him purposefully.  “You’d do well to remember that.  The name Greenland is not so much a literal description as it is a hopeful promise for those that dare come to visit its vast and unexplored shores.”

Rick shakes his head.  “You do remember that we’re here to catch a human trafficker, right?”

“Exactly!” Billy says.  “And why would a human trafficker with all the money in the world choose to come to Greenland if he thought there were other viable options?”

“Privacy,” Rick suggests.

“And privilege,” Billy says, accenting his point by stabbing at the air.  “The grass is always greener on the other side of the fence.”

Rick looks back over the snow and ice.  “No, I’m pretty sure the grass is never greener here,” he says.  “If only because I haven’t seen grass since we got here.”

“Rubbish,” Billy says, skulking a little in his seat.  “You know, you keep this up and you’re going to be as bad as Casey.”

“Casey is a good operative.”

“Casey is a perpetually miserable man who seeks to rain pessimism on any and all situations,” he says.  “We already have one downer on the team; we certainly don’t need another.”

Rick takes this to heart; at least, he tries.  It’s not easy with the growing numbness in his arms.  “I just thought it’d be a little greener,” he says.  “And, you know, less cold.”

“The only thing cold is the hardness of your jaded heart,” Billy says with a shake of his head.

Rick just looks at him.  “Do you really believe that?”

Billy nods, quite seriously.  “I do.”

“How?” Rick says, almost demanding now.  “How can you possibly see something redeeming in Greenland?”

A smile spreads over Billy’s face as he nods out at the expanse.  “That,” he says.

Rick turns to look and sees a pair of snowmobiles on the horizon.  Even from a distance, Rick can recognize the riders.  Casey’s bulky down coat is easily distinguished and Michael’s red stocking cap stands out like a red smear against a white canvas. 

It’s also easy to see the man tied behind Michael, bound and miserable.  “They got him,” Rick says, realizing slowly that the mission is basically complete.

“See?” Billy says, a little jubilant now.  “That’s why the greener pastures in Greenland don’t have to be green; they just have to be ripe for a job well done.”

Rick watches as they pull up, the starting of adrenaline warming up his legs and arms once again.

“So let me ask you now?” Billy asks, more than slightly smug.  “Is that green enough for you?”

Rick can only breathe, his disbelief a small puff of air in front of him, as he nods his head in helpless agreement.


Posted by: lukadreaming (lukadreaming)
Posted at: June 29th, 2011 09:30 pm (UTC)

Excellent dialogue! The nether regions exchange was priceless!

Posted by: do i dare or do i dare? (faye_dartmouth)
Posted at: June 30th, 2011 08:25 pm (UTC)
chaos team 2

Any talk of Billy's nether regions seems sort of priceless to me :)


Posted by: Evil Insane Monkey (eviinsanemonkey)
Posted at: June 29th, 2011 09:43 pm (UTC)

this is cute :D

Posted by: do i dare or do i dare? (faye_dartmouth)
Posted at: June 30th, 2011 08:26 pm (UTC)
billy content

Thank you :)

Posted by: sidura (sidura)
Posted at: June 29th, 2011 10:51 pm (UTC)

really cute, think you should do a lot more with Rick and his misconceptions of around the world and Billy and his non US eye of it.

Posted by: do i dare or do i dare? (faye_dartmouth)
Posted at: June 30th, 2011 08:27 pm (UTC)

I do enjoy the Rick/Billy mentor dynamic, so we'll see ;)


Posted by: blackdog_lz (blackdog_lz)
Posted at: June 30th, 2011 04:38 pm (UTC)

I just love how Billy his teaching Rick the hang of the world :)

Posted by: do i dare or do i dare? (faye_dartmouth)
Posted at: June 30th, 2011 09:30 pm (UTC)
billy earnest

The Rick/Billy teaching moments are really some of the best :) Thanks!

Posted by: nietie (nietie)
Posted at: June 30th, 2011 05:32 pm (UTC)

Awesome dialogue!
ROFL at “I’d offer to let you feel, but I’m not sure we’ve reached that level yet, so you’ll just have to take my word on it.”

Posted by: do i dare or do i dare? (faye_dartmouth)
Posted at: June 30th, 2011 09:30 pm (UTC)
billy content

Thank you :)

Posted by: smokeygirl19 (smokeygirl19)
Posted at: June 30th, 2011 08:59 pm (UTC)

This was a nice little short story! Captured the characters well, and I love Billy's admonition to Rick about becoming like Casey! Very nice!

Posted by: do i dare or do i dare? (faye_dartmouth)
Posted at: June 30th, 2011 09:31 pm (UTC)
chaos team 2

It's actually surprisingly difficult for me to keep any story under 1000 words, so this was quite the challenge :)


Posted by: smokeygirl19 (smokeygirl19)
Posted at: June 30th, 2011 09:47 pm (UTC)

I have the same problem! I'm still editing mine....hopefully, I'll finish tonight. It is quite a challenge to find a small plot line and conclude it in so few words...it's good practice, I think, especially for me.

Posted by: do i dare or do i dare? (faye_dartmouth)
Posted at: June 30th, 2011 09:49 pm (UTC)
chaos team 2

That's why mine was mostly devoid of plot :) If I tried to write an actual plot, there's no way I could have hit the word count. Even then, I was still pushing it.

I look forward to reading yours!

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