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Chaos ficlet: Checkmate

October 14th, 2011 (08:22 am)
Tags: ,

Title: Checkmate

Disclaimer: Not mine.

A/N: I wrote fic! It probably doesn’t seem that long to anyone else, but I have certainly missed writing :) So much thanks to eviinsanemonkey who prompted with Michael and Casey play chess. Beta provided by the esteemed moogsthewriter.

Summary: There’s a reason Michael never wins at chess.



-o-

When Casey and Michael play chess, Casey always wins.

“You won’t sacrifice the right pieces,” Casey lectures as he controls the board.  “For someone with the plotting skills you possess, I would think you’d be able to see the value in putting certain pieces out there to serve the greater good.”

Michael shrugs, looking somewhat grimly at the board.  “I don’t like making sacrifices,” he says finally after moving a piece.

Casey snorts, eyeing the board calculatingly.  “Sometimes sacrifices are necessary,” Casey says.  Then he smirks, moving one last piece and looking up.  “Checkmate.”

Michael almost sighs but shrugs instead.  “That’s just not the way I look at life.”

Casey shakes his head, rolling his eyes.  “And that’s why you never win at chess.”

-o-

When the mission goes to hell, Casey’s really not surprised, but that doesn’t make it any easier to deal with.  

He’s been dragged in and out of consciousness through various measures of torture, most of which are annoyingly expected.  Still, even if his captors are torturing by rote, it’s still taking its toll.  Not that Casey’s going to talk, but he knows that it will do him in.  Sooner rather than later.

This is not a preferable outcome but Casey acknowledges that at this point there are few alternatives.  Things on this mission have been off the rails from the get-go, and when Billy and Rick had been taken out of the game via a pair of gunshots during scouting, that had been only a harbinger of things to come.  The mission was too big to abandon, but it was a four-person job, and Casey had had no backup when he’d been compromised.

Now, in enemy hands, it’s entirely up to Michael to get the much-needed intel and finish this thing.  Billy and Rick will be okay; Michael can get the information back to the right place.  By the time they can come back for Casey, it’ll be too late.

It’s too late.

Casey faces death with fortitude, even if it is a lonely way to face the hours.  He’s fading, the pain throbbing through him.  His awareness is dimming, his entire body almost void of sense except that constant of pain.  There isn’t fear, but there’s loneliness, and Casey lets himself drift while he waits for the end.

There’s a crash at the door, and Casey doesn’t look up.  He won’t give them the satisfaction.  So when a familiar hand catches his arm, he thinks perhaps he’s hallucinating.

Another hand goes to his neck, and this time Casey does look.  He has to squint, but it’s pretty clear that it’s Michael.

“You shouldn’t be here,” Casey says.

Michael grunts, moving down to the bindings on Casey’s hands.  “I’ll take that as a thank you.”

“The mission...”

“Is close enough,” Michael says.  “I improvised it a bit, but we’ll still get what we need.”

Casey frowns at him as his hands are released.  “But how?”

Michael sighs.  “I let the asset go,” he says.  “I got the latest batch of intel, which should be enough to build the case, but we’ll just have to look for a new in.”

Casey’s in pain, but his processing skills are still pretty good.  He understands that Michael changed the mission; sacrificed the ultimate end goal and took an approximation instead so he could pull Casey out alive.  “That was a stupid move,” Casey says, breath coming heavily.  “You should have left me behind.”

This time, it’s Michael who smirks even as he hoists him up to a standing position.  His arm is tight around Casey’s waist, his hand gripping Casey’s blood-stained shirt.  “I don’t like making sacrifices.”

Casey tries to hold in a gasp of pain, sucking in harshly.  “Sometimes sacrifices are necessary.”

Michael pulls him up further and shakes his head.  “That’s just not the way I look at life.”

Casey actually almost laughs--between the blood loss and his total exhaustion, it’s really almost funny--but the sound is choked.  “That’s why you lose at chess,” he remembers.

Michael smiles tightly and they take a step forward.  “But that’s why I never fail a mission.”

Comments

Posted by: Evil Insane Monkey (eviinsanemonkey)
Posted at: October 14th, 2011 01:27 pm (UTC)

aw, Casey! ♥
Love this!

(feel free to prompt :D)

Posted by: do i dare or do i dare? (faye_dartmouth)
Posted at: October 17th, 2011 12:47 pm (UTC)
CHAOS team

Thanks :)

(And how about the team: sleep deprivation)

Posted by: Evil Insane Monkey (eviinsanemonkey)
Posted at: October 17th, 2011 01:25 pm (UTC)

:)

(hee, this shall be fun!)

Posted by: do i dare or do i dare? (faye_dartmouth)
Posted at: October 20th, 2011 01:40 pm (UTC)
billy knows

(I'm glad :) It is currently a topic I have far too much experience with!)

Posted by: Evil Insane Monkey (eviinsanemonkey)
Posted at: October 24th, 2011 08:26 pm (UTC)

(here you are!

Posted by: blackdog_lz (blackdog_lz)
Posted at: October 14th, 2011 05:38 pm (UTC)
Casey and Billy

I really liked the chess analogy and that movements that work in a game don't work in real life.
And Casey thinking that the team would leave him behind to complete the mission is heart wrenching, but feels very true to his character.

(And great to see you writing again:))

Posted by: do i dare or do i dare? (faye_dartmouth)
Posted at: October 20th, 2011 01:04 pm (UTC)
billy watches

I am so pathetically behind!

Still, I'm very glad you enjoyed it, though!

(And my goal is to have your other fic beta'ed by the end of the weekend.)

Posted by: fara (farad)
Posted at: October 16th, 2011 12:16 am (UTC)
Vin over his shoulder

Brilliant! Very Michael and very very Casey! Nicely done! More, please????

Posted by: do i dare or do i dare? (faye_dartmouth)
Posted at: October 20th, 2011 01:04 pm (UTC)
billy knows

LOL, I've always got more on the mind but RL is not so cooperative right now.

Thanks!

Posted by: Cathy (huntersglenn)
Posted at: October 18th, 2011 03:59 am (UTC)
Chris/Vin

You showed so well the strengths and weaknesses that Casey and Michael have. Casey could definitely not be the kind of human weapon that he is if he wasn't willing to sacrifice important things, and Michael wouldn't be Michael if he ever found it easy to make that kind of a sacrifice.

Nicely done, and I thank you for sharing.

Posted by: do i dare or do i dare? (faye_dartmouth)
Posted at: October 20th, 2011 01:39 pm (UTC)
chaos group

I found the contrast fun to play with, so I'm glad it read well :) Thanks!

Posted by: Starrylizard (starrylizard)
Posted at: November 24th, 2011 10:17 am (UTC)

awww, lovely!

Posted by: do i dare or do i dare? (faye_dartmouth)
Posted at: December 1st, 2011 01:39 am (UTC)
chaos team moves

Thanks :)

Posted by: Lena7142 (lena7142)
Posted at: June 4th, 2012 03:11 am (UTC)
chaos

I just re-read this and had to comment. Brilliant and lovely – great insight into both characters, and a wonderful ending. <3

Posted by: do i dare or do i dare? (faye_dartmouth)
Posted at: June 6th, 2012 12:10 pm (UTC)
billy thinks

The great thing about Chaos is/was that all the characters are really fascinating. Seriously. This show should not have been cancelled.

Now I have to go angst over a year-old cancellation.

Thanks: )

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