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Chaos fic: Famous Last Words

December 19th, 2011 (09:45 am)
Tags: ,

feeling: pleased

Title: Famous Last Words

Disclaimer: Not mine.

Warning: Deathfic

A/N: It seems counterintuitive to offer a deathfic for Christmas but anyone who knows sophie_deangirl will understand :) Beta provided by the fantastic moogsthewriter.

Summary: It’s like it never happened most of the time. But in Rick’s dreams, it’s still the same.


Rick hits his knees hard. The impact is jarring and he’s momentarily blinded as the bag comes off his head.

Squinting up, he realizes he’s in a large room. He’s not sure where exactly; he’d been knocked out on the streets of Kabul, and when he’d woken, they’d been in transit.

So he’s not sure where and he’s not sure who, but he’s guessing they’re radicals, maybe affiliated with a branch of the Haqqani. Whoever they are, they’re pissed.

And well armed.

Next to him, there’s a grunt, and he turns in time to see Billy on his knees, the bag being pulled off his head, too.

Somehow, it is comforting to know that he’s not going to go through this alone.

“Tell me who you are,” one of the men says, stepping closer. He’s wearing a variety of guns, most displayed prominently.

Rick flinches, his hands still tied tight behind him. He doesn’t dare speak.

“Your silence will not help you,” he says.

Billy sighs a little, rolling his eyes. “And am I suppose to believe that our talking will?” he asks.

The sarcasm is not well-received. Before Rick can blink, the man lashes out, hitting him hard across the face. His vision blackens and he tastes blood but before he falls over, he’s hauled upright and kept on his knees by one of the men behind him.

Billy’s face is tight. “I know how fond you blokes are of physical torture,” he says. “But it won’t get you what you want.”

The man follows up and hits Rick in the gut this time, so hard that the air leaves him in a harsh whoosh. He’s yanked back up by his head, and he’s still trying to breathe, red faced, as Billy continues.

“You’re not hearing me; we won’t talk,” Billy says, voice hitching with exasperation now. He’s pushing this and pushing it hard. “You may as well just get it over with and kill one of us now.”

The man smirks. He saunters from Rick to Billy, pulling a pistol from his pants. Then, he holds it up and obliges.


It’s over by the time Rick realizes what happened. The gunshot is so sudden and Rick flinches, ready for pain.

It doesn’t come.

Instead, a body hits the ground and Billy’s dead.


Rick can’t breathe.

The man hasn’t hit him, but he can’t breathe.

“I have little patience for superfluous people,” the man says, holstering his weapon again.

Rick doesn’t understand. Billy’s not superfluous. Billy is smart and talented and good. He’s a spy and a damn good one and he’s Rick’s friend.

But he’s also lying on the ground, body twisted awkwardly with his hands still bound. His legs are tangled in front of him, bent and folded. His shirt is stained red, right around the heart.

His mouth is still open, as if to speak. His eyes are wide but unseeing.

There were no last words; Billy didn’t even get to blink.

He’s just dead.

“Take him away,” the man orders, and the captors behind Rick start to drag him back, pulling him away.

Rick struggles, but weakly. As he tries to find his footing, he sees the man walk over to Billy, nudging him with his foot. His face is twisted in a smile, kicking at Billy’s limp body again before he turns and walks away, leaving Billy where he fell.

That’s the last thing Rick sees, Billy discarded and abused, before the hood goes over his head and he’s dragged away.


They take the hood off when he’s in his cell. They untie his hands and leave him there.

In the corner, Rick curls up and doesn’t move and tries not to blink.

He can’t help it when he does, and when he thinks about how Billy never will, he starts to cry.


They torture him.

He’s dragged from his cell into another room. He’s tied to a chair and they beat him. They hang him from the ceiling and cut into his skin. They inject him with drugs that make his eyes swim in his head but it doesn’t matter.

They spit on him, mock him, rip his hair.

They say, “Talk or we’ll kill you. We’ll kill you like we killed your friend.”

And Rick’s heart hardens; his stomach clenches. He sneers and shakes his head because they don’t understand that killing Billy is the one thing that guarantees he’ll never talk.

He’d talk to save Billy’s life.

Now that Billy’s gone, they can all go to Hell and Rick will gladly lead the way.


His defiance is steadfast; it doesn’t waver.

But, when he’s alone in his cell, it’s hard. Sometimes, he can hear Billy. He says, “At least we’re not surrounded by wild dogs.”

Rick eats alone and sort of wishes that he was.


The days are long; the nights are long. He stares at the ceiling and recites portions of the CIA codes. He remembers his cover story and fleshes out the backstory.

He thinks of Michael and Casey. He thinks of Billy.

Billy still talks to him now. “Don’t despair, son,” he says in the stillness of the cell. “From where I’m sat, you’ve still got a bright future with the Agency.”

And Rick falls asleep smiling.


He wakes up screaming.

Because in the dark, he dreams. He dreams of the bullet that killed Billy, lodging in his heart and killing him instantly. He dreams of Billy’s body jerking, falling back limply. He’s like a broken toy on the ground, sightless eyes open at nothing.

“You may as well get it over with and just kill one of us now,” he says.

And the man with the gun does.

He always does.


This is a new reality. Over time, Rick accepts it and lets the rest go. There is no future; there is no past. There’s just now: a horrible, lonely existence.

Billy is still here with him, sometimes. Michael and Casey aren’t. He sometimes forgets the look of Michael’s glasses as he reads a file. He sometimes forgets Casey’s exasperated sigh when they’re called into Higgins’ office.

But he doesn’t forget Billy. Doesn’t forget his badly colored socks or his smile. Doesn’t forget the pep talks about heroes’ work and the lessons on pursuit driving.

Sometimes, he forgets himself. He forgets his mother and he forgets Adele.

But he never forgets Billy.

He thinks maybe that should worry him.

“Only if we fail,” Billy tells him, again and again, his voice ringing in Rick’s ears. “Only if we fail.”


The beatings get more violent, exasperated; they’re getting tired of him.

Rick bleeds and the blood looks surreal. He tells himself it’s good Billy’s not here; it would make Billy squeamish. A true phobia.

“That and chins,” Billy reminds him.

Then he looks at his captor’s chin, tilts his head, and thinks maybe he understands that, too.


Rick doesn’t think about being rescued.

It doesn’t make sense to him. He’s not sure what life there is beyond this.

What life there is without Billy.

“Naysayer!” Billy curses him.

None of it makes any sense.


He wakes to gunfire.

The sound startles him and his heart is in his throat. Seized with panic, he looks around, expecting to see Billy sprawled on the ground, bleeding and dead.

“You may as well just get it over with and kill us now,” Billy suggests.

By the time he realizes it’s not Billy’s murder, the door is open.

Michael is standing there, Casey pressed up close behind.

“Martinez,” Michael says. “You ready?”


They drag Rick out, helping him along because his own legs hardly work.

“You’re here,” Rick says, because he really can’t believe it.

“Of course we are,” Casey says. “You don’t think we’d leave you here forever, do you?”

“That’s what teams do,” Billy reminds him, earnest and unflagging, despite all circumstances.

Rick blinks, trying to understand.

Then, Michael asks, “Where’s Billy?”


They stop cold.

Rick swallows hard and remembers. “He’s dead,” he says again.

Casey shakes his head, disbelief clearly setting in.

Michael seems barely composed. “Are you sure?”

Rick blinks, sees Billy’s mouth open as if to speak words that don’t come. Sees the bullet hole.

And he’s very, very sure.


The plan was to leave quickly, get the hell out.

The plan changes.

“We go through, take as many out as we can,” Michael says decisively.

Casey checks his ammo. “We kill them all,” he says.

Rick sucks in a breath and straightens. “I need a gun.”

They exchange a wary look.

Billy says, “You’ll often find us looking for new and clever ways not to get shot at.”

Rick shakes his head, adamant. Things are different now. Playing it safe doesn’t matter now. It may never matter again. “Give me a gun.”

“Martinez,” Michael begins.

Rick’s eyes turn cold, his face set. “They executed Billy,” he says. “They did it right in front of me and treated him like he was nothing. I plan on making that right, with or without you.” His eyes are burning, his chest so tight it might explode. “Now give me a gun.”


Things are hazy after that. They charge through the compound and Rick doesn’t look twice to see what he’s firing at. If it moves, he shoots it. He doesn’t look to see if they die with their eyes open, waiting to take their next breath like Billy.

When it’s done, Michael and Casey pull him toward the exit.

“We have to go,” Casey says, voice rushed.

“The Pakistani army is on the way,” Michael explains, “and if they catch us here…”

Rick pulls short, shakes his head. “We have to go back.”

Casey yanks harder.

Rick resists. “We have to get Billy,” he says.

It’s not the answer they’re expecting, and it visibly makes Michael bow with stress. “Rick—“

Rick shakes his head again, refusing to listen. “He deserves better than this,” he says. “To be left here, alone. Anonymous.” The idea of it makes Rick shudder.

Michael and Casey exchange a worried look.

“One gets me to Jamaica, the other gets me home,” Billy tells him, the simplest hopes coloring his intonation. “Either way, I’m happy.”

It’s not so much to ask for.

Rick steadies himself, more sure about this than anything. “We have to bring him home.”


The find the bodies in the basement. One wall is lined with makeshift caskets. The stench is almost unbearable, although Rick detects the hint of crude embalming fumes in the air.

None of the boxes are labeled. It takes some work to go through the caskets, but they all know when they’ve found the right one.

It’s been a month since Billy died, so it’s not pretty. He’s hardly recognizable, but they all still know.

“The story told to his family was that he was likely eaten by wolves,” Billy says and he’s resigned to this, matter of fact.

Mustering his strength, Rick hefts the casket up on one end and Casey takes the other. Gun drawn, Michael leads them out and they all go home together.


Rick sleeps most of the way home. He’s been treated and released from the hospital, and back in the States, he doesn’t move from his couch from where Michael leaves him the night before.

He blinks, looking around his bland apartment. It looks foreign to him, the plain walls too safe to be familiar.

The food in his cupboards is all spoiled, and the coffee he makes tastes like ash. His work clothes don’t really fit him, but he gets dressed and goes in anyway.

“Sorry, buddy,” Billy soothes in the silence. “This may sting a wee bit.”

Billy’s right, of course. Then, Billy usually is.

Because somewhere, in a morgue, a medical examiner is going over Billy’s remains, but for Rick, it’s back to life as usual.


At work, no one expects to see him. Higgins fumbles with the debriefing. After a few question, the man frowns, pressing his lips together.

“You know, we don’t have to do this now,” he says. “You could take some time off.”

It’s said carefully; it’s a suggestion, but not.

Rick sits stiffly in the chair. Next to him, Billy whispers, “When you’re old and feeble, you’ll look back on these as happy days.”

He doubts that, but it seems like better than nothing.

Rick shakes his head. “No,” he says. “No, sir, I think I’d like to do this now.”


It’s Michael who tells him that Billy won’t be returned to Scotland.

“But it’s his homeland!” Rick insists, feeling too flabbergasted to be appropriately angry.

Michael looks helpless; he’s not happy about this either. “And he’s still technically deported.”

Rick’s jaw works. “But he’s dead.”

“I tried, Martinez,” Michael says. “Fay tried. Even Higgins. There’s too much red tape.”

“Billy deserves better,” Rick says, and his chest hurts with the words.

“He’ll get full honors here,” Michael offers.

“Those sons of bitches didn’t want him anyway,” Casey says.

“And that’s their loss,” Michael adds.

Billy shrugs. “I got decommissioned for a wee bit of boyish recklessness.”

Somehow, to Rick, it seems like all their loss.


There are plenty of people at the funeral, but no one from outside work. It’s a full-on formal affair. Higgins delivers a moving eulogy.

When it’s over, Rick stands by the grave and listens. This time, Billy doesn’t say anything.

In his head, he hears Casey say, “When he stops making noise, which is kind of a sign in itself.”

A sign, Rick thinks. But as he stands at Billy’s grave, where he’s gone and buried, he’s not sure of what.


Afterward, Adele takes him home. They order in and she snuggles close to him in bed.

“Let’s go away,” she says.

Rick snorts humorlessly. “We have work.”

“We have vacation days,” she counters. She looks up at him, intent. “Come on, it’ll be fun.”

He looks at her; he sees her. He loves her, he thinks. He may love her.

“Men like you and I, we aren’t destined for the happily ever after,” Billy says knowingly. “If you have it, don’t squander it.”

Part of him wants to say yes.

Still, he has to say no.


Rick goes to work the next day, and there are men in the hallway. They’re sitting in front of the memorial wall, tools in hand. Rick stops, watching.

They cut precisely and carefully and soon the shape of a star appears.

“That’s right, I forget,” Billy says, gathering a breath. He leans close, raising an eyebrow. “You’re barely out of nappies.”

That used to be true, anyway. It doesn’t feel that way anymore.

When they’re done, Rick’s still standing there. All the stars are the same, but he still knows which one is Billy’s.


Back at work, Rick tries to focus. Tries to get in touch with assets and go over intel.

When he looks up, Michael is reading, glasses low on his nose. Casey is bent over his computer intently.

Billy’s desk is empty. The files are still sitting askew on top.

Billy shakes his head. “New guy is screwing up again,” he bemoans.

Rick looks back at his work, eyes burning so badly he can’t even see.


He has to see an Agency psychologist.

The woman is motherly and perfunctory, insisting that Rick talk about what happened.

“I saw Billy die,” he says flatly. “They killed him and now he’s gone. I’m still here.”

The woman listens, intently. Rick shifts uncomfortably.

Billy says, “Once this thing kicks off, there’s no turning back.”

Rick knows this, even as he regards the woman coolly; he’s learned it the hard way.


He tries to live like he did before. He goes to work; he comes home. He eats cereal and reads a paper every morning.

When Adele comes over, she leans in close and says, “I’m worried about you.”

She wants him to stop what he’s doing, to take a break. She wants him to get help, to deal with what happened.

Rick thinks she could be right but she’s also wrong. Rick doesn’t know how it gets better; doesn’t know how he ever comes back from this.

He doesn’t know anything at all.

“Don’t look at them,” Billy advises. “It’s not their call, or mine; it’s yours.”

It’s his to make right or screw up as he will.

And he goes to bed alone.


At work, he ignores Blanke in the hallways. He eats lunch in the break room. He plots ways to kill people with Casey and goes over assets with Michael.

It’s normal. After a while, the bruises on his face fade and people stop looking at him like he’s a hand grenade with the pin pulled.

It’s like it never happened most of the time.

But in his dreams, it’s still the same.

Billy says, “Just get over it with and kill one of us now.”

And every night, someone pulls the trigger and Billy’s bleeding, eyes open to the ceiling.


The psychologist tells him that he has Post Traumatic Stress. She says he blames himself and doesn’t know how to let go. She says this will continue to wear at him, likely depriving him of sleep and putting him at risk for clinical depression. She recommends extended therapy and a break from work.

She’s probably right, too. Rick still sees Billy’s dead body on the floor when he closes his eyes. Some days, he wakes up and screams into his pillow until his throat is raw. On weekends, he sits alone in his apartment and drinks himself into oblivion. He can sit at his desk, he can do his job, but he feels like he’s the one who’s been left to die on the floor, left to rot in a basement, anonymous and abused.

But Billy says, “You can do this. If memory serves, I’ve seen you go head-to-head with a bloody armored vehicle.”

So Rick smiles. Rick lies. Rick tells the psychologist everything she needs to hear and threatens Michael and sweet talks Adele until he gets cleared for field work.


The first mission is a mess. Michael is stiff in the field and Casey is overzealous. Rick hasn’t taken the time to notice, but they’re not the men they used to be. They’re both grieving, even if Rick’s been too preoccupied to see it.

It makes them sloppy. They’re not a well-oiled machine anymore. Something critical is missing and they all know what but none of them know how to fix it.

As it is, they nearly blow the entire mission for their sloppiness, and Rick thinks he may die more than once.

“Only a fool would walk knowingly into a potential fire fight unafraid,” Billy reminds him.

But that’s the thing. Rick’s not afraid. Not anymore. Not when he has nothing left to lose.


When it’s over, they collapse together at the airport, waiting for their flight home.

“Well,” Michael says, huffing painfully. “That could have gone better.”

Casey glares at him. “You think?”

There’s something about it; something hard to place. The mission was a disaster, but they got it done. Rick’s still not sure how, but they’re still standing. They’re still alive.

That simple truth matters, even more than the rest.

And Rick’s not sure why. Rick’s not sure of anything. All of them walked in there, ready to be killed, and here they are. Tired and hurting and alive.

Rick can’t help it; he laughs.

Pretty soon, they’re all laughing -- hysterical and breathless to the point it hurts -- right there in the terminal.

And Billy joins in, slamming his hands on his desk and pointing right at Rick, eyes bright and alive. “Oh, I like this guy!”


Time passes. Missions come and missions go. Then Higgins calls them in.

“I’m looking into hiring a fourth member to the ODS,” he says, cautious and careful.

The man is trying to be polite; he’s trying to be sensitive. Michael flinches but doesn’t protest; Casey frowns but says nothing.

Even Billy throws his hands up. “What do you want, a bloody shrine? Life goes on, man.”

But Rick doesn’t want to hear it; won’t.

And when he storms out of the office, he can’t.


Adele finds him in his office. He knows Michael and Casey have asked her to talk to him; they mean well, but it doesn’t matter.

“He wouldn’t want this,” she says softly, hand on his arm.

She’s right, of course. Billy wouldn’t want him to dwell, wouldn’t want him to be so miserable on his account.

“This is the role I was born to play,” Billy says with due conviction.

Rick shakes his head, looks her in the eye. He feels cold when he says, “Yeah. But Billy also wouldn’t want to be dead.”


After Adele leaves, Casey finds his way back. He acts like nothing is different, but it is.

“It’s not a replacement,” he says to Rick.

“Yeah?” Rick asks.

“You can’t replace Billy,” Casey says.

Billy straightens, beaming and triumphant. “Finally! One for the boards!”

Rick shifts in his seat. “So what is it?

Casey quirks an eyebrow. “Backup,” he says. “So we don’t have to go through this again.”


Michael comes in later. At first, he doesn’t say anything. He just sits down and he sighs. Leaning forward, he rubs his fingers to the bridge of his nose before looking hard at Rick.

“We’re better with four,” he says finally.

“You went three years without Simms,” Rick points out.

Michael smiles half-heartedly. “But we’ve been better since you came.”

“Billy still died,” Rick reminds him.

“Yeah,” Michael says, more than a little sad. “But the months we were together were the best we ever had.”

“There you have it: a dollop of praise,” Billy says and he’s smiling in earnest now. “The common cure for insanity.”

Rick swallows. “So why do we want a new guy?”

“We don’t,” Michael says, and he’s tired and weary. He looks older now, bowed but not quite broken. “But sometimes we don’t know what’s best for us.”


They leave him alone after that. For a while, Rick sits in his chair and stares at the wall.

Then, he gets up and goes to Billy’s desk. He lingers for a moment before he sits down in the chair.

He remembers his first day, remembers Billy lounging there. He remembers Billy getting up to make the introductions.

“Billy Collins, born and bruised in North Edinburgh,” he says, and he’s proud and eager and alive.

And Rick leans forward and cries.


Later, Michael and Casey come back together. They gather their things then pause, watching him.

“You okay?” Michael asks.

“Fear has a very important purpose,” Billy says, brushing at Rick’s shoulder. “It reminds us that we’re vulnerable, fragile even.”

Rick swallows, blinking dry, red eyes. He’s never been more vulnerable, never felt so fragile. “No,” he admits.

Michael smiles. “Yeah,” he says. “Welcome to the club.”


They end up at Michael’s house. After a few drinks, Rick says, “Billy asked them to shoot him.”

This doesn’t surprise Michael or Casey. They don’t look up, though, focused on their drinks.

Rick takes another sip and it burns down his throat. “He just told them to get it over with in that way of his,” he says. He suppresses a shudder, looking hollowly at his hands. “And then they did.”

There’s a silence. It stretches for a moment before Michael says, “They would have killed one of you anyway.”

“I know,” Rick says, because he does know. He’s been over this in his head, more times than he can count. He dreams it, breathes it, lives it. He nods, steeling himself against the image of Billy laid out on the floor, dead. “And Billy knew it, too.”

This time, he looks up, wills Michael and Casey to meet his gaze.

“That’s why he said it,” Rick continues. “He wanted to piss them off; wanted to be the one they shot.”

Michael doesn’t blink and Casey doesn’t move.

“He saved my life,” Rick says, his voice wavering precariously. He’s known it all along, but it sounds different to say it.

Casey presses his lips together, swirling his drink. “Sounds like Billy,” he says. “Heroic to the end.”

“I know,” Rick says, remembering. “I just didn’t expect it to end like that. It was so fast. He was dead before he hit the ground.”

Michael looks weary, but he nods. “That’s how it is in the real world,” he says. “There usually isn’t time for second thoughts or second chances. No one knew that better than Billy.”

Rick shakes his head, his throat constricting. “But it wasn’t for anything,” he says, because he’s been over the mission and the outcome. It was a bust, all of it. No intel gained, no assets won. “He died for nothing.”

“Don’t be stupid,” Casey snaps. “He died for you.”

It makes Rick stop, his heart stuttering.

“Billy valued that more than anything,” Michael adds. “This team, it was everything he had.”

Billy says, “I’ve been careful to keep my heart in a box.” Somehow, he’s apologizing.

And Rick doesn’t know what to say.


They break out a bottle of Scotch.

“You know,” Michael says, his words loose. “First mission with Billy, I thought he was going to get us all killed.”

Rick frowns. “How’s that?”

“We were in Tajikistan,” Michael says. “Trying to break up a terrorist cell.”

“And the boss had this daughter,” Casey interjects. When he’s drunk, he’s more deadpanned than usual. “Young, beautiful, with no taste whatsoever.”

“She was all over him,” Michael says. “Kept trying to jump in bed with him.”

“Which was awkward,” Casey adds. “Since we were all sharing a bed.”

Rick can’t help it; he laughs. He laughs and he laughs and he laughs until his stomach hurts and tears are running down his face.

“Why are you telling me this?” he asks.

“Because,” Michael says, collecting a breath to control his own giggles. “It’s not about how Billy died.”

“Nope,” Casey agrees, picking up the bottle to pour another round. “It’s about how he lived.”

“Six glorious years!” Billy exclaims, his enthusiasm reverberating in Rick’s chest.

And Rick thinks he knows what Billy’s talking about.


That night, Rick falls asleep and dreams of Billy. But where there was death, now there’s life.

Billy’s not dead on the floor anymore; he’s not discarded in a anonymous pine box.

He’s reading a poem, voice lilting and eyes bright.

He’s singing a song, strumming on a guitar and making it up as he goes.

He’s laughing, pounding his desk and grinning.

He’s telling stories, words so vivid Rick can practically see them.

Rick listens; he hears all the words, the things Billy’s been trying to tell him from the beginning. The lessons, the good and bad; everything.

And morning is long in coming.


A few weeks later, Higgins hires a new operative. She’s young and inexperienced but ready to learn.

Michael and Casey treat her poorly; they trick her and manipulate her and leave her wide-eyed and confused. It’s their way, Rick sees; protecting themselves and slowly letting go while always holding on.

Rick drives her home, shakes his head and consoles her.

She looks at him, a little desperate. “They hate me.”

“They don’t hate you,” Rick assures her.

“They certainly don’t want me here,” she says.

“Maybe,” Rick concedes.

“So why are you being so nice to me, then?” she asks, a little cautious.

Rick looks at her. He sees himself somehow. He’s saying, “It was my first day.”

And Billy says, “I’m not ruling out a second date.”

It hurts – it hurts a lot, more than Rick knows how to admit or deal with – but Rick smiles. He has to smile. “Someone did it for me,” he says. He remembers. He knows. “And this is the best way I know of paying it back.”


Posted by: sophie_deangirl (sophie_deangirl)
Posted at: December 21st, 2011 05:20 pm (UTC)
OMG! *sopping up tears!

Thank you SO, SO, SO MUCH for this. It's a lovely Christmas gift! I giggled at your intro, yes, it is the perfect gift for someone like me! I am seriously sobbing right now! I think what was so poignant about this story was how even though you killed Billy outright which was abrupt, jarring and shocking, you had his voice throughout, quoting all of his best lines on the show so in a way, you had the "death scene dialogue" filtering through each moment and scene yet doing double duty with providing comfort as well with his words. I could run amok doing fave parts, but I know that I have limited characters here so I'll just say that this scene had me just hopelessly in tears and you killed me with the beautifully set up moment:

“That’s why he said it,” Rick continues. “He wanted to piss them off; wanted to be the one they shot.”

Michael doesn’t blink and Casey doesn’t move.

“He saved my life,” Rick says, his voice wavering precariously. He’s known it all along, but it sounds different to say it.

Casey presses his lips together, swirling his drink. “Sounds like Billy,” he says. “Heroic to the end.”

“I know,” Rick says, remembering. “I just didn’t expect it to end like that. It was so fast. He was dead before he hit the ground.”

Michael looks weary, but he nods. “That’s how it is in the real world,” he says. “There usually isn’t time for second thoughts or second chances. No one knew that better than Billy.”

Rick shakes his head, his throat constricting. “But it wasn’t for anything,” he says, because he’s been over the mission and the outcome. It was a bust, all of it. No intel gained, no assets won. “He died for nothing.”

“Don’t be stupid,” Casey snaps. “He died for you.”

It makes Rick stop, his heart stuttering.

“Billy valued that more than anything,” Michael adds. “This team, it was everything he had.”

Billy says, “I’ve been careful to keep my heart in a box.” Somehow, he’s apologizing.

And Rick doesn’t know what to say.

-- I LOVE that you have Casey tell Rick to not be stupid that he understood exactly what Billy died for. It was perfect that it came from him and all the more poignant. LOVED IT SOOOOOO MUCH!

Thank you!

Posted by: do i dare or do i dare? (faye_dartmouth)
Posted at: December 22nd, 2011 01:53 pm (UTC)
Re: OMG! *sopping up tears!
CHAOS team

For some reason, when I got a death fic in my head, I kept seeing it happen quickly. Originally, in my mind, Billy kept getting shot in the head, but I couldn't quite bring myself to write that so settled for this instead. I do hope that the lack of prolonged suffering and final words was rectified by the lingering presence in Rick's head; in essence, Billy didn't get to say any last words directly to Rick but Rick pieces them together in the months to come. At least, that was the theory I was going with while writing :)

I just hope it hit the spot :) I know how much you've been pining for death fic!

Posted by: blackdog_lz (blackdog_lz)
Posted at: December 27th, 2011 10:06 am (UTC)

You just broke my heart with this story.
Billy's sudden death is more than shocking and Rick's reaction is painful to read.
I absolutely love that Rick can still see and hear Billy and the quotes you used fit perfectly and made my heart ache even more.
And yay for the team hazing the new guy and Rick taking over Billy's role of mentoring her.

Edited at 2011-12-27 10:13 am (UTC)

Posted by: do i dare or do i dare? (faye_dartmouth)
Posted at: December 28th, 2011 02:28 am (UTC)
chaos team moves

Deathfics are strange things to write, but this one got in my head and just wouldn't go away. I just kept seeing Billy die suddenly -- no goodbyes, no second chances, nothing -- and the rest just came together from there. I'm glad it turned out okay :)


Posted by: not_a_rummba (not_a_rummba)
Posted at: January 4th, 2012 10:19 am (UTC)

long time lurker de-lurking to tell you this is amazing.

this made my cry so hard. it's not over dramatized and god you how do you do it every time? you make the reader feel so hard for Rick and *bawls*

all the quotes you used for Billy were brilliant and perfect and this both breaks my heart and makes it whole again.

thank you for writing all these amazing stories and sharing them.

Posted by: do i dare or do i dare? (faye_dartmouth)
Posted at: January 18th, 2012 02:28 pm (UTC)
billy earnest

It's hard to say that I'm glad to make you cry, but I'm glad this drew out emotion. Even though Billy died early in the fic, I wanted him to be present, so the quotes were the way of doing that.

I'm glad there are people reading these still :)


Posted by: Peter Piper (whiteascocaine)
Posted at: January 17th, 2012 08:57 pm (UTC)

OMG I think I am honestly gonna cry. This was So moving and beautiful and painful and just..AHH!! Oh how I wish the show was still on. I love live LOVE the brotherly relationship depicted here in your story- in all your stories! But this one just tears at my heart and brings tears to my eyes (especially since I just So happened to be listening to the Titanic soundtrack while reading this lol). Wonderful wonderful WONDERFUL work!! Do continue to write more! You're absolutely brilliant my dear!!

Posted by: do i dare or do i dare? (faye_dartmouth)
Posted at: January 18th, 2012 02:28 pm (UTC)
chaos rick

I so wish this show was still around, too. I miss it in a terrible way. So I'm glad I'm not alone in pining for it :)


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