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do i dare or do i dare? [userpic]

Chaos fic/art: With All I Have 1/1

April 26th, 2012 (07:37 am)
bouncy
Tags: ,

feeling: bouncy

Title: (That’s Why I Hold) With All I Have

Disclaimer: I do not own Chaos.

A/N: lena7142 made an amazing piece of art regarding a whumped Billy and Rick, and I agreed to write her fic based on it in return. This is the result. Art and fic included below the cut. Unbeta’ed but I tried to catch any major mistakes. If you see something, let me know :)

Summary: “It’s okay,” Michael promises because it’s all he has. “It’s going to be okay.”





-o-

1. It’s gray—

The sky through the trees as Michael jogs. They’d scattered at the gunshots, but it’s safe now. Michael pads back, approaching their cottage slowly. There’s no sign of danger. He opens the door, cautious.

It’s gray—

Billy’s whitewashed face. He’s spread out on the floor, long limbs splayed, colorless hands upturned. Rick looks grim, ashen and sickly, as he cradles Billy close, eyes bleak and desperate when he looks up.

It’s gray—

Permeating, settling like death. There’s just one deviation, a smeared vivid hue on Rick’s hand, Billy vest, collecting on the floor. Not gray; red.

It’s red.

2. Rick says, “I couldn’t stop it.”

Michael’s chest clenches, his throat threatening to close. The kid’s pupils dilate with fear; his skin’s clammy, blood on his temple.

Rick looks back down, forlorn. “I can’t stop it.”

Michael steps closer, and it’s clear Rick’s trembling. He’s got one arm wrapped around Billy, the other pressed against the mess of red on the Scot’s side. His fingers are tense, knuckles white.

Shock, Michael thinks.

Rick shudders visibly, swallowing convulsively. He looks back up, like a toddler after a dream he can’t explain. “You have to stop it.”

And Michael hopes he can.

3. Billy hasn’t moved, propped up on Rick’s lap. The blood has ruined his vest, pooling on the floor and soaking his pants. Up close, Michael can see his chest moving, fast and strained. When Michael hits his knees, he realizes Billy’s awake.

Awake may be an exaggeration, but his blue eyes are vivid against his washed out complexion. His eyelids are half drawn, faraway gaze struggling to focus on Michael.

“Fancy – meeting you – here,” Billy drawls, words slow and cumbersome, each one forced through blood-flecked lips.

“It’s okay,” Michael promises because it’s all he has. “It’s going to be okay.”

4. People respond differently to trauma. Rick’s shell shocked, Billy’s affable. Michael’s just focused.

Rick gets defensive, clutching Billy tighter when Michael reaches to assess the damage. He looks steadily at the kid, his will strong enough to break Martinez’s fragile control.

Billy, by contrast, doesn’t resist, hissing in pain as Michael rips apart the blood-soaked clothing. The gunshot wound is in the right side, maybe hitting something vital, maybe not. The puckered wound is bloody, dark red gushing as Billy sucks greedily for air.

“Okay,” Michael says, fighting the urge to freeze, to worry, to panic. “We can do this.”

5. It’s not necessarily life threatening, but out here, it may as well be. They’re miles from help and their only means of transportation is an extraction that’s three hours out.

Martinez is still holding Billy, and the Scot’s looking worse. He zones out again, body going lax against the pain. Michael balls his jacket, instructing Rick to press down hard.

The bullet’s still inside, so if the blood loss doesn’t kill him, the infection will.

Michael’s so preoccupied that he has no time to draw his weapon when the door opens. It’s Casey. “So,” Malick says. “What did I miss?”

6. “It’s the only option,” Casey concludes.

“It’s crazy,” Rick argues.

“Crazy is leaving the bullet in so he succumbs to sepsis,” Casey counters.

“Field surgery without sterilized equipment or pain medication is just as bad,” Rick insists.

Michael watches Casey’s frank determination, Rick’s rightful indignation. They’re afraid of losing Billy.

Michael looks to Billy, whose eyes are open again. “And you?”

Billy wets his lips, his next breath stunted. “Do it,” he says. “I’d rather die fighting than just letting fate have its way with me.”

Michael nods, squeezing Billy’s arm. “Okay,” he says. “But you’re not dying at all.”

7. Michael’s gentle as he lays Billy on the floor. Rick arranges his legs while Casey stokes the fire. Michael strips Billy from the waist up, and Billy shivers earnestly beneath him, unmercifully conscious.

When Casey’s done sterilizing the scant equipment, he nods to Michael, who sits at Billy’s head. Rick scoots around, positioning himself over Billy’s legs.

Casey holds the now-gleaming knife. He looks only at Billy. “This will hurt.”

Billy’s eyelids flutter rapidly; he nods.

Rick looks away as Casey judges the exposed wound. Billy flinches; Michael presses down. Blood trickles; a beat passes.

Then Casey makes the cut.

8. At the first cut, Billy tenses. As Casey pulls the knife through the skin, Billy trembles, eyes wide with pain. When Casey parts the skin, Billy’s crying, and as he presses his fingers into the wound, Billy screams.

It’s all Michael can do to hold Billy in place. Rick’s nearly thrown from his perch while Casey’s face goes white, eyes narrowed in concentration.

Billy’s voice gives way to whimpers, and he sobs for reprieve. Casey digs, grimacing, and Billy’s skin goes slick with the struggle.

When Casey says, “I’ve got it,” Billy slumps in relief.

He’s not the only one.

9. Billy loses consciousness as Casey stitches. Rick covers the wound with a bandage from their meager supplies.

When they’re done, Michael cleans Billy before wrapping him in a blanket. The Scot’s face is drawn, mouth slack as he breathes noisily.

Casey is at the basin of sterilized water, washing his hands. His fingers shake but he doesn’t stop, muttering the lyrics to a song only he knows.

Rick tends their supplies but pauses. Suddenly, he moves to the door, disappearing. Through the thin walls, Michael hears retching.

Michael looks at Billy again, unwavering, daring to hope – for all of them.

10. Afterward, Michael says he knew everything would be okay. He tells it to Rick, affirms it with Casey, jokes about it with Billy. As if there was never any doubt.

In the hospital, the doctors begrudgingly credit the field surgery for saving Billy life. It’s only a few days before Billy’s awake, and things go back to normal.

It’s easy to forget the way Billy’s breathing almost stopped in the cabin. It’s easy to forget Rick’s tears, Casey’s curses, Michael’s cold fear that they wouldn’t be fast enough.

Afterward, Michael pretends like it never happened.

(And hopes it never does.)

Comments

Posted by: sophie_deangirl (sophie_deangirl)
Posted at: April 26th, 2012 03:40 pm (UTC)
THUD! Just wonderful!

You know how much I LOVED THIS! And lena7142's picture so lovely. No wonder a story was inspired by it. I only wished it was animated and we heard Billy's voice. HAHA! Just a sick puppy, that's me.

Seriously, I LOVED how you painted the situation in a short ficlet and your descriptions are stellar. I felt the anxiety and tension, of course, I enjoyed envisioning Billy's suffering, but his practical decision about not wanting to give fate the opportunity to make the decision of whether he lived or died. Fantastic all around!

Beautiful collaboration!


Fave Parts:


It’s gray—

Billy’s whitewashed face. He’s spread out on the floor, long limbs splayed, colorless hands upturned. Rick looks grim, ashen and sickly, as he cradles Billy close, eyes bleak and desperate when he looks up.

It’s gray—

Permeating, settling like death. There’s just one deviation, a smeared vivid hue on Rick’s hand, Billy vest, collecting on the floor. Not gray; red.

It’s red.

2. Rick says, “I couldn’t stop it.”

Michael’s chest clenches, his throat threatening to close. The kid’s pupils dilate with fear; his skin’s clammy, blood on his temple.

Rick looks back down, forlorn. “I can’t stop it.”

-- LOVED this moment. Poor Rick! He's so desperate!


3. Billy hasn’t moved, propped up on Rick’s lap. The blood has ruined his vest, pooling on the floor and soaking his pants. Up close, Michael can see his chest moving, fast and strained. When Michael hits his knees, he realizes Billy’s awake.

Awake may be an exaggeration, but his blue eyes are vivid against his washed out complexion. His eyelids are half drawn, faraway gaze struggling to focus on Michael.

“Fancy – meeting you – here,” Billy drawls, words slow and cumbersome, each one forced through blood-flecked lips.

“It’s okay,” Michael promises because it’s all he has. “It’s going to be okay.”

4. People respond differently to trauma. Rick’s shell shocked, Billy’s affable. Michael’s just focused.

-- I LOVE Billy's humorous bravado. It's so like him!


Billy, by contrast, doesn’t resist, hissing in pain as Michael rips apart the blood-soaked clothing. The gunshot wound is in the right side, maybe hitting something vital, maybe not. The puckered wound is bloody, dark red gushing as Billy sucks greedily for air.


“Crazy is leaving the bullet in so he succumbs to sepsis,” Casey counters.

“Field surgery without sterilized equipment or pain medication is just as bad,” Rick insists.

Michael watches Casey’s frank determination, Rick’s rightful indignation. They’re afraid of losing Billy.

Michael looks to Billy, whose eyes are open again. “And you?”

Billy wets his lips, his next breath stunted. “Do it,” he says. “I’d rather die fighting than just letting fate have its way with me.”


-- The way you write Casey is just THE BEST and totally is on target. I love his practical assessment and there's a heroic "here I come to save the day" nature of the moment, that you feel relief that Casey is there to express what no one wants to address and has the skills to make it happen,

AWESOME!

Posted by: Flute (sgflutegirl)
Posted at: April 26th, 2012 06:46 pm (UTC)
Heroes - Ouch

Loved this!

Posted by: do i dare or do i dare? (faye_dartmouth)
Posted at: April 30th, 2012 08:39 pm (UTC)
billy likes

Thanks!

Posted by: blackdog_lz (blackdog_lz)
Posted at: April 27th, 2012 07:53 am (UTC)
Coffee

Whump at its finest :) And even more visceral than normal because of the awesome art accompanying the story.
Loved it

Posted by: do i dare or do i dare? (faye_dartmouth)
Posted at: April 30th, 2012 08:40 pm (UTC)
billy guitar

Whump is an amazing thing, isn't it? And the art! I still look at it and get very happy!

Also, I've been meaning to email and see how things are. Feeling better? Any new job options? Fic??

I hope all is well.

Thanks!

Posted by: kristen_mara (kristen_mara)
Posted at: April 27th, 2012 10:23 am (UTC)
Pensive


Wow, that's fantastic art and looks just like them!

Great to have an illustration, though the story is evocative too - the colours and everyone's determination, and Billy not wanting fate to choose for him...

Posted by: do i dare or do i dare? (faye_dartmouth)
Posted at: April 30th, 2012 08:40 pm (UTC)
billy considers

I was so blown away by the art. Hopefully she'll draw another one to help keep the Chaos love alive.

Thanks!

Posted by: Lena7142 (lena7142)
Posted at: April 30th, 2012 06:41 pm (UTC)
<3

So, you know I love this. But I have to say it again. The structure, the angst, the tension... not to mention how you took my little color snafu and turned it into a terrific device for framing the opening segment.

We will definitely have to do another writing/arting combo at some point in time!

Posted by: do i dare or do i dare? (faye_dartmouth)
Posted at: April 30th, 2012 08:41 pm (UTC)
Re: <3
billy art

Your art makes this. Plain and simple. I so want you to make more and I will write you fic FOREVER.

Thanks :)

Posted by: smokeygirl19 (smokeygirl19)
Posted at: May 27th, 2012 09:42 pm (UTC)

Fantastic art by lena7142 and wonderful story by faye_dartmouth! Loved the story, and the way men handle these things was well captured!

Posted by: do i dare or do i dare? (faye_dartmouth)
Posted at: May 28th, 2012 04:22 am (UTC)
billy knows

The art really does make everything work :) Thanks!

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