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Chaos ficlet: Practice and Perfection

July 31st, 2011 (06:56 pm)
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Title:  Practice and Perfection

Disclaimer:  Not mine.

A/N:  eviinsanemonkey  asked for kid!Casey/preseries!Casey.  I sort of wanted to do cute, but apparently Casey objects, even as a child.  Very unbeta’ed.

Summary:  There are endless hours to fill in Casey’s life and he discovers that sometimes practice does make perfect.


When Casey is born, his mother rolls her eyes.  “Another boy,” she says, not quite in exasperation.  She just gave birth and she loves this baby, but it’s hard not to state the obvious.

Her husband peers over at the bundle in her arms, nose scrunched up.  “Are you sure?” he asks.

She nods wearily.  “Pretty damn,” she says.

“Huh,” is all his father can say.

After a moment, his mother says, “Do you think we can still call him Casey?”


Growing up, Casey is neither the fastest or the smartest.  He can hit a baseball, but never over the fence, and he can read pretty well, but he never makes the advanced track at school.

At home, everyone has their special talent.  Barry can run track; Elliot can do complex algorithms in his head.  Wendell is gifted at drawing; Darren has the makings of an orator.  Vincent is good at everything and Alan is making a career of doing absolutely nothing.

Casey tries all of it.  He flourishes at none of it.

“Being normal isn’t so bad,” his mother tells him, stroking his hair.  “Really.”


At Christmas, Casey gets a chemistry set.  “But I don’t like science,” he says.

For his birthday, he gets a tennis racket.  “But I don’t like tennis,” he protests.

No one seems to notice.  If they do, they don’t seem to care.

Casey sells his chemistry set for five dollars and buys some magazines instead.  He trades the tennis racket for a pellet gun and teachers himself how to aim.  There are endless hours to fill in his life and he discovers that sometimes practice does make perfect.


Casey practices everything.  He practices running and makes the track team.  He practices math and becomes a mathlete.  He practices singing and gets a spot with the glee club.  When he graduates from high school, he has so many activities and accomplishments to his name that they run out of space next to his yearbook photo.

“What’s it all for?” his mother asks, a little perplexed by it all.

Casey glowers a bit.  “It doesn’t have to be for anything,” he says.  “It just is.”


It takes some work to find the only career path that hasn’t been chosen by one of his brothers.  He has no strong feelings of patriotism but war still seems relevant enough.  At boot camp, he thrives under the routine and when he starts critiquing his drill instructor about how to maximize efficiency, he’s called aside.

“Who the hell are you, soldier?” the man yells at him, spittle in Casey’s face.

Casey doesn’t flinch.  “Someone who can make this a better program, sir,” he replies.

The man stares, almost surprised by his audacity.  He gives Casey extra chores and makes him do extra exercises on top of that.  Casey does all that and more.  When he hands his drill sergeant a report on the areas still lacking at he camp, this time the man accepts it.  “You’ve got some kind of guts, Malick,” he says.

“You better believe it,” Casey says.  “Sir.”


Getting recruited by the CIA is easy.

“You won’t be able to tell anyone,” he’s warned.  “Not even your family.”

Casey snorts.  “That assumes I’ve told them anything in years.”


Casey is an unconventional student.  At the Farm, his instructors say he lacks the ability to follow orders and fails to show respect for the chain of command.

They also say they’ve never seen anyone more capable and more deadly in their entire careers.


The field is Casey’s dream job.  He gets to lie, manipulate, and kill for a living.  Plus, he doesn’t have to deal with people in a real way and he gets to operate under the pressure of the moment, with plenty of leeway as to the means as long as the ends are all in order.

If time on the job makes him paranoid, it’s with reason.  Casey knows everything, from self defense to government secrets.  He devotes himself to all of it with equal vigor and masters it with the dedication of only the truly obsessed.

His superiors still hate him.  Loathe him with a passion.  Casey doesn’t care.

Because his superiors still know he’s the best damn operative they have.  Casey doesn’t care about that, either.  Being the best doesn’t mean anything.  Getting better does.


When he’s assigned to the ODS, Casey is skeptical.  He prefers to work alone, all things considered, but this order seems to be coming from the top.  And the fact is, if Casey has mastered the art of flying solo, he’s curious if he can do it in formation now.

Casey doesn’t pass up on challenges.  Ever.

When Michael meets him, he shakes Casey’s hand, saying, “You have an impressive file.  Is it all true?”

“Mostly,” Casey says.

Michael quirks his eyebrows.  “Mostly?”

“They had to leave out my most notable accomplishments,” Casey says with a shrug.  “Something about believability and national security.  I protested, but it’s still under review.”

Michael is amused, but guarded.  “You’ll need to prove that to me the hard way, I’m afraid.”

Casey just smiles and lets the coming years speak for themselves.


Posted by: Evil Insane Monkey (eviinsanemonkey)
Posted at: August 1st, 2011 12:17 am (UTC)

ooh, I love this!
Oh, Casey.

(you're up!)

Posted by: do i dare or do i dare? (faye_dartmouth)
Posted at: August 1st, 2011 12:30 am (UTC)
billy considers

It was strangely enjoyable to do his backstory :)

(the team--or certain members of your choosing--based on Oasis' Wonderwall)

Posted by: Evil Insane Monkey (eviinsanemonkey)
Posted at: August 3rd, 2011 02:04 pm (UTC)

Here you go!

Posted by: Walking Liability (asemic)
Posted at: August 1st, 2011 01:18 am (UTC)

This is fucking incredible. I always imagined him to have sisters, but his many brothers and their infuriating talents are perfect.

Posted by: do i dare or do i dare? (faye_dartmouth)
Posted at: August 2nd, 2011 12:36 pm (UTC)
chaos group

I can see Casey with sisters, too. But as I was thinking about him and the way he pursues things, I thought about him wanting to distinguish himself and brothers just seemed to work.

Thanks :)

Posted by: fara (farad)
Posted at: August 1st, 2011 01:32 am (UTC)

OOHHH - nice. And so believable. I can totally see Casey this way, proving himself but only to himself. Very well done!

Posted by: do i dare or do i dare? (faye_dartmouth)
Posted at: August 2nd, 2011 12:37 pm (UTC)
chaos team moves

I think Casey has very high mental standards and doesn't always realize how ridiculous they are to other people. It's what makes him Casey :)


Posted by: lukadreaming (lukadreaming)
Posted at: August 1st, 2011 03:26 am (UTC)

Totally plausible backstory - and immaculately written, as always!

Posted by: do i dare or do i dare? (faye_dartmouth)
Posted at: August 2nd, 2011 12:37 pm (UTC)
chaos group

Thank you!

Posted by: nietie (nietie)
Posted at: August 1st, 2011 03:52 pm (UTC)

I can so see that this is Casey's background story.

“You won’t be able to tell anyone,” he’s warned. “Not even your family.”Casey snorts. “That assumes I’ve told them anything in years.” At least he has the ODS team now. *huggles him*

Posted by: do i dare or do i dare? (faye_dartmouth)
Posted at: August 2nd, 2011 12:38 pm (UTC)
billy watches

Yeah, I like the thought that the ODS is family for each other since they can't seem to make it work with anyone else. Rick being the exception, of course. But Billy, Michael, and Casey are true misfits (and I love them all the more for it).


Posted by: Starrylizard (starrylizard)
Posted at: September 4th, 2011 04:01 am (UTC)
T - Human weapon @ work (Casey Chaos)

Yay! Casey is awesome! :D

Posted by: do i dare or do i dare? (faye_dartmouth)
Posted at: September 4th, 2011 12:36 pm (UTC)
casey general dislike

I do rather like Casey :) Thanks!

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