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Chaos ficlet: Picking Up Strays 1/1

July 16th, 2011 (02:55 pm)
Tags: ,

Title:  Picking Up Strays

Disclaimer:  Not mine.

A/N:  eviinsanemonkey  wanted Billy’s pets.  This covers that--sort of.  And sort of goes in its own direction.  I should note, this fic includes preseries speculation.

Summary: You never know when it’ll be you turned out and alone in need of some kind of friend.


Billy’s always had a penchant for strays.  There wasn’t an alley cat he didn’t invariably make friends with and every abandoned puppy in North Edinburgh seemed to inherently follow him home.  It drove his mother crazy, but Billy had never had the heart to turn one of the small, wayward creatures away. 

“But look at it!” Billy would protest.  “It just needs a friend.  And you told me to befriend everyone, regardless of their stature.”

His mother mumbled that wasn’t what she really meant and turned Billy and the strays out into the alley to do what they would.  Billy fed them all with table scraps and stroked their dirty fur while telling them stories of greater things.  They all stayed as long as they needed until they found their way to something better.

When he moved to London after getting a job with the government, it seemed the strays had followed him.  It drove his flatmate crazy, though Billy contended that was never a far drive.  Still, his friend pointed out that the homeless creatures likely had fleas and weren’t potty trained, and with their meager salaries, it simply wasn’t practical to support all the abandoned animals in London.

“Ah, come on, mate,” Billy cajoled, scratching a mangy puppy under the chin.  “You never know when it’ll be you turned out and alone in need of some kind of friend.”

Years later, when Billy is decommissioned and deported, he finds himself alone in America.  He doesn’t have much money and he has no friends.  After spending what little he has saved on a few months rent, he ends up living out of his car, looking for any kind of job just to scrounge some money together to buy himself some food.

One day, when he’s driving nowhere on his last tank of gas, his car breaks down on the freeway.  Cursing his bad luck, Billy gets out and starts walking.  He has nowhere to go and no money to get him anything, and by the time he makes it to civilization, he’s soaked and shivering and thoroughly depressed.

He’s standing on a street corner, wondering if it’s time to call his mother, who is embarrassed to claim him, or his former friends, who stopped talking to him, to beg for some cash.  He’s standing there, wondering if any of it makes any difference when a car pulls up in front of him.

At first, Billy thinks it’s nothing, but the window rolls down and a man looks at him in the rain.

“William Collins?” the man asks.

Billy frowns.  “Do I know you, mate?”

The man gives him an appraising look.  “No,” he says.  “But I think maybe you want to.”

Billy’s been off the job for a while, but his skills are still pretty good.  He stiffens.  “I think maybe you got the wrong bloke.”

The man offers him a small smile.  “I doubt that,” he says.  “My name is Michael Dorset.  I’m CIA.”

This confession is a surprise.  “As a CIA operative, shouldn’t you be a bit more reserved with your identity?” Billy asks.

Michael shrugs.  “Not if you’re really William Collins, former British Secret Service.”

Billy is still skeptical.

Michael rolls his eyes and settles back into his seat.  “It just looks like you may need a friend,” he says.  “And I need someone with expertise in English intelligence.  I thought we might be able to help each other out.”

This seems too good to be true, and Billy keeps himself restrained.

After a long moment, Michael shrugs again.  “If you’d rather stand there and see if hunger or pneumonia get you first, be my guest,” he says, rolling up the window.

Billy’s about to let him go, but as Michael puts the car into gear, Billy can’t help it.  At this point, he has nothing left to lose and the possibility of kindness from a stranger is better than the back of the hand from someone he used to call a mate.

Decided, Billy takes a step toward the curb.  Michael puts the brakes on and waits as Billy climbs into the heated interior.

When he’s settled, Michael is looking at him. 

Billy shrugs sheepishly.  “Sorry about the mess,” he says.  “It’s a bit wet out there.”

“I noticed,” Michael observes.

“So,” Billy says, looking cautiously around the car for some kind of tip off that something is amiss.  But it looks clean and normal and Billy’s keen judgment is completely overcome with relief to be out of the deluge.  “Is this a normal CIA recruitment tactic?”

“You mean do I usually pick up strays off the street corner?” Michael asks.  He shakes his head.  “No, you’d be the first.”

Billy can’t help but grin.  “Glad you made an exception this time,” he says.

Michael regards him curiously.  “You haven’t heard what I want yet.”

“At this point, I’m not sure it’ll matter,” Billy tells him truthfully.

Michael smirks and puts the car back into gear.  “I’m sort of counting on that.”


Posted by: Evil Insane Monkey (eviinsanemonkey)
Posted at: July 16th, 2011 08:01 pm (UTC)
Chaos: Billy

Aw. It's angsty and kind of sweet at the same time. I love it :)

(your turn!)

Posted by: do i dare or do i dare? (faye_dartmouth)
Posted at: July 16th, 2011 08:07 pm (UTC)
billy likes

I think maybe Stephen's kicked puppy look helped inspire this, too :)

(Hmmm. I keep coming back to Billy and a noose. Which, of course, can be literal or figurative.)

Posted by: Evil Insane Monkey (eviinsanemonkey)
Posted at: July 16th, 2011 08:08 pm (UTC)
PE: Stephen

Stephen's kicked puppy look just gets into your head.

(IDK why, but this prompt made me giggle...which might be a good thing)

Posted by: do i dare or do i dare? (faye_dartmouth)
Posted at: July 16th, 2011 08:12 pm (UTC)
stephen's eyes

And never leaves. Now I feel like rewatching his death scene just to dwell on it a bit. Nothing like a little masochism to make the weekend go better :)

(And LOL. There are worse responses than giggling. I tried very hard to think of something else but my brain got stuck on it.)

Posted by: Evil Insane Monkey (eviinsanemonkey)
Posted at: July 16th, 2011 08:19 pm (UTC)
PE: Nick & Stephen

That scene is just so...so well done and intense and just. gah.

(I'll try not to torture Billy too much...maybe)

Posted by: do i dare or do i dare? (faye_dartmouth)
Posted at: July 16th, 2011 08:22 pm (UTC)
stephen skeptical

Nick yelling at him to open the door and Stephen just walking backward--and the way they never break eye contact despite the fact that they've both hurt each other so much in recent episodes.

I am still so not over that.

(And LOL. I fully support torture. Actually, my backup prompt was tortured!Billy.)

Posted by: Evil Insane Monkey (eviinsanemonkey)
Posted at: July 16th, 2011 08:44 pm (UTC)
PE: Nick & Stephen

The whole time I was like "STEPHEN, STEPHEN TELL HIM YOU LOVE HIM! NOW IS THE TIME!" god that scene

I'm so not over that either...even though I did continue watching. And then had my heart torn out again because THIS SHOW OMG. Which is probably why I haven't been able to watch past season 3...

Posted by: do i dare or do i dare? (faye_dartmouth)
Posted at: July 16th, 2011 08:52 pm (UTC)
stephen broken

LOL. There was so much they wanted/needed to say and Stephen's look at the end--was just so haunted--and Nick just crumples...

I haven't watched much but I did see Nick's death on youtube and it's just like, WHY must this show DO such things? Talk about unhappy endings for characters I care about.

Posted by: Evil Insane Monkey (eviinsanemonkey)
Posted at: July 16th, 2011 08:56 pm (UTC)
PE: Stephen


Oh, yeah, Nick's death was part of it...didn't hit me as hard as Stephen's. And then I fell in love with Quinn so I was okay...still not over Stephen or Nick, but okay with the show. But I'm kind of positive they didn't bring Quinn back for the new seasons and that saddens me and no matter how much I love Alexander Siddig IDK if I want to watch the new eps.

Though I started rewatching today, so maybe when I get there I'll decide to watch.

Posted by: do i dare or do i dare? (faye_dartmouth)
Posted at: July 16th, 2011 09:00 pm (UTC)
stephen's eyes

Since I never made it past Stephen's death, I can't comment much. But I think that if Nick had survived for future seasons, I may have been able to keep watching. But without either of them--it's just too hard. I know the newer seasons are quite popular in their own right but this show was always about Stephen and Nick to me.

If you do ever get there, let me know if you think it's worth checking out :)

Posted by: Evil Insane Monkey (eviinsanemonkey)
Posted at: July 16th, 2011 09:03 pm (UTC)

I really enjoyed the season with Quinn. he wasn't Nick, but he wasn't trying to replace Nick either and the team is still the team, though a little bit broken.

I'll let you know :) I miss this show, so I'll probably at least give the later eps a try. Though a rewatch is definitely necessary first 'cause it's been a while.

Posted by: Evil Insane Monkey (eviinsanemonkey)
Posted at: July 17th, 2011 11:33 am (UTC)
Chaos: Billy

here you go

Posted by: lukadreaming (lukadreaming)
Posted at: July 16th, 2011 08:09 pm (UTC)

Oh, that's adorablet and angsty and I snivelled just a little bit!

Posted by: do i dare or do i dare? (faye_dartmouth)
Posted at: July 16th, 2011 08:57 pm (UTC)
billy watches

I don't know how anyone could leave Billy alone on a curb, but I imagine getting deported left him feeling a bit forlorn.


Posted by: fara (farad)
Posted at: July 16th, 2011 08:38 pm (UTC)

LOL- brilliant! I can totally see the two of them at that first meeting - and Michael waiting until he knows Billy can't say no. (You may, of course, take that however you wish *g*.)

Thanks for sharing!!

Posted by: do i dare or do i dare? (faye_dartmouth)
Posted at: July 16th, 2011 08:58 pm (UTC)
billy content

I sort of like this notion for how Billy joined the team--and in general, it's fun to speculate :)


Posted by: nietie (nietie)
Posted at: July 17th, 2011 11:58 am (UTC)

Awww, I love the idea of Billy becoming a stray too.

Don't worry, Michael, he'll be potty trained, but I'm not so sure about the fleas ;-)

Posted by: do i dare or do i dare? (faye_dartmouth)
Posted at: July 17th, 2011 12:20 pm (UTC)
billy watches

LOL, he'd be one stray I'd have a hard time turning away :)


Posted by: Ala (ohioala19)
Posted at: July 17th, 2011 02:27 pm (UTC)

this was perfect, kind of sad but sweet, i love the whole theme of picking up strays, and it's fun to think about how Billy got recruited

Posted by: do i dare or do i dare? (faye_dartmouth)
Posted at: July 18th, 2011 01:28 pm (UTC)
billy watches

It is definitely fun to think on how Billy got recruited (and such a shame we will never know!).

Thanks :)

Posted by: smokeygirl19 (smokeygirl19)
Posted at: July 18th, 2011 06:39 pm (UTC)

Another new take on Billy's British Secret Service days...creative and sweet, especially his love for strays. Proves karma comes around when you need it!

Posted by: do i dare or do i dare? (faye_dartmouth)
Posted at: July 19th, 2011 02:30 am (UTC)
billy guitar

I always imagine Billy to be the type to welcome others, regardless of the situation. I like to think Michael and co. extended him the same courtesy.


Posted by: Average Girl Extraordinaire (legsi003)
Posted at: July 19th, 2011 01:53 am (UTC)

Love this so much! The idea of him taking in strays, then becoming one - such a great concept. Can't shake the image of poor Billy walking down the road wet and miserable - I would defintely take him in no problem ;)

Posted by: do i dare or do i dare? (faye_dartmouth)
Posted at: July 19th, 2011 02:31 am (UTC)
billy earnest

The image of poor Billy like that makes me want to take him in, too.


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