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Chaos ficlet: (Mostly) Just Another Day at the Office

July 13th, 2011 (08:16 am)
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Title:  (Mostly) Just Another Day at the Office

Disclaimer:  Not mine.

A/N:  Based on a prompt for Michael Dorset: Vampire Hunter from eviinsanemonkey .  So again, her fault, not mine :)

Summary:  Rick is introduced to another one of the ODS’ off the book cover operations.

-o-

When the team shows up at his apartment at 7 AM, Rick knows it’s probably not going to be a good day.  For one thing, the ODS is rarely punctual.  They always manage to show up on time, though Rick’s never actually sure how.  So the idea that they would all be up and at things by 7, when Rick is still enjoying his breakfast and morning paper, is a sure tip-off that something is amiss.

More than that, it’s not like the team is into social calls.  It’s true, they seem to enjoy each other’s company.  And it’s also true that sometimes they all wind up at the same bar after work, sharing a drink to help forget the stresses of the latest mission.  But his teammates, while seemingly accepting of Rick as part of the team by now, are still innately secretive, and while they have barged into his apartment at will, it’s always been on business.

At least, the ODS version of business.  Off CIA property usually means a case off CIA books, something which Rick has come to accept, but it still makes him nervous.

“What is it this time?” he asks before Casey has a chance to start going through his closet and Billy can lounge in one of his chairs.

Michael lifts an eyebrow.  “Since when did you get so cynical?” he asks.

Casey moves purposefully to the closet and gets to work; Billy saunters to a chair and settles down.  Michael stands, looking at him.

“Since you put me in a car with a Russian operative and drugged me before sending me back to terrorists unarmed,” Rick says plainly. 

Billy looks at Michael with a sympathetic nod.  “He has a point,” he says.  “You’ve been an unmitigated bastard to him these last few months.”

Michael frowns somewhat, as if this is somehow a revelation to him.  “Well, we’ve got a mission,” he continues anyway.

“And let me guess,” Rick says.  “It’s not sanctioned.”

From the closet, Casey has Rick’s suitcase in hand.  “Someone give the kid a cookie,” he mutters sarcastically.

“You remember the last time we did an unsanctioned mission, I ended up shot in South America,” Rick says.

Billy nods again.  “Another valid point,” he says.

Michael rolls his eyes.  “That wasn’t our best experience,” he agrees.  “But trust me, this one is important.”

Rick sighs.  He knows all the proper protests but he also knows that none of them will make a difference.  He won’t change their minds and they will inevitably change his.  While there’s some comfort in the pretense of his objection, it seems easier just to give in.  “What is it?”

“Human trafficking out of China,” Michael says.  “We’ve got a guy in Hong Kong whose been helping us track a suspected ring, and we think we got a lead.”

“And this isn’t sanctioned because?” Rick prompts.

“Because there are countless human trafficking rings around the world,” Billy explains.  “The CIA neither has the time nor the resources to follow up on every lead.”

“So we put out feelers of our own,” Casey says.  “Call it extra credit.”

Rick’s eyes narrow.  This sounds entirely too reasonable.  “What’s the catch?”

Michael shrugs.  “No catch.”

Rick shakes his head.  “There’s always a catch.”

Michael sighs.

Billy jumps in.  “We have a fool proof cover,” he says.  “The best one we’ve come up with in our entire six years together.”

Rick feels his uncertainty ratchet up a notch.  He’s learned from experience that the harder Billy tries to sell something, the more likely it is to be entirely questionable.

“What is it?” Rick asks, almost afraid to know.

Casey glances back at him.  “It is rather genius.”

“And entirely unique,” Billy adds.

“Okay,” Rick says, mentally going over the possibilities and coming up with nothing.  “So are you going to tell me?”

Michael looks at Billy who shrugs.  Then he looks at Casey who shakes his head and goes back to packing.

Then Michael seems to accept the inevitable.  He reaches into his pocket and pulls out a card, handing it to Rick in a perfunctory style.

Rick takes it.  Stares.  Then looks at Michael.  “You’re kidding, right?”

“It’s entirely legitimate,” Michael says.

Rick looks at it again.  Gapes.  “You can’t be serious.”

“You’d be surprised for the need,” Billy chimes in.  “Some cultures seem to struggle with the problem more than others, but all around, it’s a profession in high demand, especially for those with a success record such as Michael’s.”

Rick’s used to crazy.  He’s accepted irrational.  But this....

“Come on, Martinez,” Casey says.  “When you think about it, it’s not that much different from what we normally do.”

“We eradicate the world of evil,” Billy says grandly.  “Noble, no matter how you look at it.”

“Besides,” Michael says.  “Do you know how unlikely it is for the Chinese government to suspect someone who lists that as their occupation?”

There’s maybe a point in there somewhere but it’s all still so ridiculous that Rick’s struggling to make it compute.  “But how do you maintain it?” he asks.  “I mean, you can’t--”

His team stares at him.

Rick stutters.  “I mean, you don’t--”

They don’t blink.

“You mean you really do this?” he asks incredulously.

“It’s a front business,” Michael says, “but it has to be based on a real service.”

“And really, hunting down one type of evil is no different than hunting another,” Billy adds.

“It’s all in the execution,” Casey tells him.  “Literally.”

Rick gapes some more for lack of a more intelligent reply.

“We leave in an hour,” Michael informs him.  “You’ll be there?”

Rick’s too shocked to disagree.  Billy stands and claps him on the shoulder and Casey drops the finished suitcase on the table.

Michael smiles.  “Welcome to the team,” he says.

Rick still can’t speak and he looks at the business card again, hoping it has somehow changed.

It hasn’t.  There, in black ink, it still says the same exactly thing.  Michael Dorset: Vampire Hunter.

Later, as Rick throws his toiletries in a bag, he’s torn between thinking his team is truly insane and wondering if this means he’ll get to use a machete.  In which case, it might not be such a bad day after all.

Comments

Posted by: Evil Insane Monkey (eviinsanemonkey)
Posted at: July 13th, 2011 01:31 pm (UTC)
Chaos: Billy

omg, I can't stop laughing.
This is perfect!
Thank you for indulging my weirdness!

(you're up!)

Posted by: do i dare or do i dare? (faye_dartmouth)
Posted at: July 13th, 2011 01:45 pm (UTC)
billy earnest

I'm glad :) I was worried that I didn't get into the actual vampire hunting. Though, in my head, I keep seeing the team trying to train Rick on their alternative hunting measures.

(Okay: Billy Collins, British Secret Service)

Posted by: Evil Insane Monkey (eviinsanemonkey)
Posted at: July 13th, 2011 01:46 pm (UTC)

LOL, you should do a series of fics with the team training Rick in their alternative hunting measures...

(hmmm..I'll see what I can do)

Posted by: do i dare or do i dare? (faye_dartmouth)
Posted at: July 13th, 2011 01:48 pm (UTC)

It's an idea in the back of my mind, but we'll see if I ever get around to indulging it.

(And any pre-ODS Billy will make me rather happy. I almost requested kid!Billy, so I'm pretty open.)

Posted by: Evil Insane Monkey (eviinsanemonkey)
Posted at: July 13th, 2011 01:49 pm (UTC)

*secretly feeds the plot bunny*

(lol...it'll take some thinking, but I should be able to come up with something)

Posted by: do i dare or do i dare? (faye_dartmouth)
Posted at: July 13th, 2011 01:51 pm (UTC)

Heh. You can always request something the next time around....

(Let me know if you need something different. I was mostly trying to get my mind off asking for Billy whump--again. I seriously have a problem!)

Posted by: Evil Insane Monkey (eviinsanemonkey)
Posted at: July 13th, 2011 07:54 pm (UTC)

here you are...it may be kind of a cop-out, but it's all I could come up with.

Posted by: nietie (nietie)
Posted at: July 13th, 2011 04:11 pm (UTC)
Chaosketeers

This is brilliant! Hunting down one type of evil is no different than hunting another So true. :D

Posted by: do i dare or do i dare? (faye_dartmouth)
Posted at: July 13th, 2011 09:05 pm (UTC)
billy content

And the ODS would think that way more than most :)

Thanks!

Posted by: lukadreaming (lukadreaming)
Posted at: July 13th, 2011 04:32 pm (UTC)
Billy yay

This is brilliantly bonkers! And of course you could always do a sequel with them in China ... *bg*

Posted by: do i dare or do i dare? (faye_dartmouth)
Posted at: July 13th, 2011 09:05 pm (UTC)
chaos team 2

It was fun to write :) Maybe I'll have to pursue a sequel sometime. The idea of the team hunting supernatural creatures on the side does have a wealth of possibilities.

Thanks!

Posted by: Flute (sgflutegirl)
Posted at: July 13th, 2011 11:00 pm (UTC)
Quote - Nerds 4 ever

LOL! That's amazing!

Posted by: do i dare or do i dare? (faye_dartmouth)
Posted at: July 14th, 2011 03:42 am (UTC)
billy content

I'm glad it's not just really weird! Thank you!

Posted by: Average Girl Extraordinaire (legsi003)
Posted at: July 19th, 2011 02:03 am (UTC)

LOL! So funny! Love how serious they are about it.

Posted by: do i dare or do i dare? (faye_dartmouth)
Posted at: July 19th, 2011 02:29 am (UTC)
billy considers

I always love the show's ability to have the ridiculous be common place :)

Thanks!

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