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Chaos ficlet: Good Enough 1/1

July 8th, 2011 (10:15 am)
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Title:  Good Enough

Disclaimer:  Not mine.

A/N:  eviinsanemonkey  prompted me with Adele and Fay on a mission.  Hopefully this works :)  Thanks again to moogsthewriter  who humors me with these last minute betas.

Summary:  Adele can be difficult and annoying and tedious, but she’s also in love.

-o-

“I just don’t understand,” Adele says, shaking her head adamantly so her blond waves are bouncing.  “I mean, is he completely incapable of separating our personal relationship from our professional one?  Shouldn’t there just be some boundaries that are never crossed?”

Fay’s trying to listen, and, really, she’s trying to be sympathetic.  Adele is her colleague on this mission, and something of her superior back home.  Besides, Fay always tries to be polite with people; it just seems like the right thing to do, even when they don’t necessarily deserve it.

But there’s a reason she likes spending time alone in her office.  Field operatives get all the glory and the higher administration get all the press, but she’s perfectly happy digging through paperwork and sorting out legal channels.  Paperwork and legal channels may be tedious, this much is true, but people, on the other hand, are downright annoying.

She had thought Adele was another power-hungry female, looking for her stepping stones into the patriarchal world of American government.  Fay has always found this attitude particularly abrasive, though not uncommon at the CIA.  Most people are looking to get ahead, and Adele’s efforts are only noteworthy in their intensity. 

But apparently, in addition to these somewhat bothersome traits, Adele is also a lovestruck woman who doesn’t know how to deal with her feminine urges while maintaining her masculine aspirations.  And this is almost more than Fay wants to tolerate.

For the first bit of the mission, Fay had maintained the illusion of interest fairly well.

Now, after the plane flight, their time in the hotel, this short limo ride seems like torture.

It’s been Rick this, and Rick that, and how could Rick do this, and how should I respond to Rick in that, and after a while, Fay feels like she’s in the relationship with them.  And it’s almost more than she can stomach.

Fortunately, Fay has discovered that not much response is required of her, which doesn’t help with Fay’s sanity but certainly helps keep her from acting on her annoyance.

Adele shakes her head again, huffing incredulously.  “I mean, he actually called me and used our relationship to make mission demands,” she continues.  “As if I couldn’t be reasoned with as a person in authority over him.  Do you think that’s a bad sign?”

It takes Fay a moment to realize that Adele is asking her a question.  They’ve been in the back of a limo for nearly ten minutes now, going from the hotel to the dinner where they’ve been recruited to pose as marks in an international human trafficking set up.  It was Michael’s idea to use legitimate state department guests, since this ring only targets those who can and will ante up in a big way, and Fay hadn’t been opposed for once.

But she could really throttle Rick for suggesting that Adele be sent along as well.

And to think, she almost dated him.

Still, Fay manages a smile.  “No, of course not,” she lies.  “I think Rick is very capable of handling a relationship with one of his superiors.”

It’s a lie not because she thinks Rick actually cares if Adele is his boss.  But it’s a lie because the relationship has an inherent conflict of interest.  There’s a tenuous balance between field operatives and the home office; between the people who feel compelled by the moment and those who have to be hindered by the bigger picture.  It’s not about authority; it’s about what matters most.  Everyone in the CIA uses the assets they have, regardless of the ethical questions posed.

This helps them get the job done in the field; it leads to nothing but trouble at home.

Adele sighs, a little thoughtful.  “He thinks I’m heartless,” she says.  “I don’t think he was trying to insult me, but he thinks I’m heartless.”

Fay is inclined to agree with him.  Still, she shrugs.  “Rick’s very new at what he does,” she says.  “Plus, he’s got the ODS egging him on.  They’re all Boy Scouts in search of every merit badge available.”

Adele seems to consider that.  “So you think it’s a good idea?” she presses.  “Rick and I?”

Fay doesn’t think most relationships are a good idea, not when one person is tied to the field and the other person is tied to bureaucracy.  They’re on the same side, but they’re not quite fighting the same fights, and the loyalties are never quite the same. 

It’s a mistake she learned with Michael.  Because for as much as she and Michael loved each other, the reality of their jobs has always gotten in the way.  Love, compatibility, effort--none of it matters when someone is pushing the boundaries in the field and the other person is at home trying to redraw them.

For a second, Fay considers telling this to Adele.  She thinks about explaining why she divorced Michael, why she had given up on the idea of Rick right away.  Because it just doesn’t work.  You can have a happy personal relationship or a productive professional one, but you can’t have both.

But Adele is looking at her, eyes wide and expectant.  And Adele can be difficult and annoying and tedious, but she’s also in love.

And Fay’s bitterness abates and she can’t help but smile.  “Yeah,” she says, with a reassuring nod.  “You and Rick are very good together.”

Adele seems to brighten and then goes off on her shoes and Fay presses herself against the seat stiffly, trying not to think about how being good together is never actually good enough.

Comments

Posted by: Evil Insane Monkey (eviinsanemonkey)
Posted at: July 8th, 2011 03:25 pm (UTC)

Aw, I really like this :) I like Fay's thought process and how she looks at her relationship with Michael and Adele's relationship with Rick and the last line is so, so perfect.

(you're up)

Posted by: do i dare or do i dare? (faye_dartmouth)
Posted at: July 8th, 2011 04:53 pm (UTC)
chaos team 2

I liked the contrast of where these two women were at, so that's where my mind went :) Thanks!

(I have the hankering for something with Michael being protective of his team. Maybe?)

Posted by: Evil Insane Monkey (eviinsanemonkey)
Posted at: July 8th, 2011 05:17 pm (UTC)

(ooh, interesting...I'll see what I can do :D)

Posted by: Evil Insane Monkey (eviinsanemonkey)
Posted at: July 9th, 2011 09:46 pm (UTC)

here you go it got quite angsty...and might not be exactly what you were looking for.

Posted by: blackdog_lz (blackdog_lz)
Posted at: July 8th, 2011 05:23 pm (UTC)

Poor Fay, she definitely gets more to hear than she ever wanted to :)

Posted by: do i dare or do i dare? (faye_dartmouth)
Posted at: July 9th, 2011 12:11 pm (UTC)
billy content

I always ends up feeling kind of sorry for Fay in the show--she always seems stuck between what she wants to do and what she knows she needs to do.

Thanks :)

Posted by: fara (farad)
Posted at: July 8th, 2011 09:31 pm (UTC)
Vin profile - sharp

Oh wow - nicely done. I love your view of Faye and her reality about Michael and what went wrong with their relationship (even though, given Michael's, um, denseness about women, there might have been more than just the office-to-field issues at play) *G*

Thanks for sharing!

Posted by: do i dare or do i dare? (faye_dartmouth)
Posted at: July 9th, 2011 12:12 pm (UTC)
billy

LOL, I tend to think that she was aware of Michael's denseness from the beginning and accepted it as part of his charm. Though such things only seem charming for so long before they start to grate :)

Thanks!

Posted by: fara (farad)
Posted at: July 9th, 2011 04:21 pm (UTC)
Vin forward-half

OOOHHH - now, *that* would be a great story! Billy and Faye having a conversation about the ways in which Michael is 'romantically dense'. Especially if Faye didn't know about Michael and Billy. *g*

Or maybe, if she did, and Billy didn't know she did . . .

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