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do i dare or do i dare? [userpic]

Chaos fic: After the Storm (1/1)

December 20th, 2012 (07:06 am)
exanimate
Tags: ,

feeling: exanimate

Title: After the Storm

Disclaimer: I do not own Chaos.

A/N: This ficlet is pretty random. Beta provided by postfallen. Team whump.

Summary: Rick wasn’t going to leave his team to die.



-o-

Rick stands in the rain and screams. He screams until his throat is raw, until the tears are gone, until everything is washed away. The rain pounds; the lightning splits the sky. Thunder rumbles deep in his chest, taking away anything that remains.

It’s all he has.

(It’s not enough.)

-o-

When this mission began, Michael said it would be easy.

“You want to dismantle the drug network of the most dangerous kingpin in Afghanistan,” Rick reminded him.

Casey rolled his eyes; Billy smirked.

Michael shrugged. “Relatively easy, anyway.”

-o-

It’s not until later, when Rick’s standing, soaking and shivering in a hospital waiting room, that he realizes that his teammates were liars.

It’s not until he’s dry and shellshocked that he understands why.

-o-

It went wrong, of course. It was a disaster from the start. Their cover was precarious; Billy got shot. Casey was captured and Michael was on his last clip. Holding up Billy, who was slumped against him, Michael looked Rick squarely in the eyes. “You have the intel?”

Rick blinked. “Yeah, but...”

Michael shook his head, adjusting his grip on Billy, who only groans. “Then run.”

“But--”

Michael’s face was white, pinched and serious. “Run,” he said. “With that storm outside, you’ll have all the cover you need. Stay out of the hills as best you can; get this to the nearest American base and don’t look back.”

“But you’ll never get out of here with Billy and Casey--”

Michael didn’t deny it. He set his jaw, eyes still locked. “This is the easy part, Martinez,” he said. “I’m counting on you.”

-o-

Billy’s septic, the bullet in his gut a real and pressing danger. The fever’s already burning, and it leaves him prone and limp on the hospital bed. The ventilator breathes for him, one breath, another breath.

Casey’s got a nasty head wound. The gash is deep and ugly, exposing the newly cracked bone of his skull. The subsequent hematoma requires invasive measures, and he looks small in the ICU, head bandaged tightly and features drawn.

Michael’s the worst off of them all, and that’s saying something. He’s got more bullet wounds than the doctors could count, and none of the blood in him is his own. He should be dead, but he’s not.

They’re not.

-o-

Rick ran.

The humid air crackled at his back and the lightning started to sizzle. He could feel the intel, tucked into the inner pocket of his jacket. He didn’t look back. Crossed one hill, another. Just a little further.

When he crested the last hill and looked out onto the Army base, he almost cried with relief. He was so close.

But Michael and Billy and Casey.

And he was still too far away.

-o-

On the phone, Adele says he did everything he could.

“You were got the intel. You got your team.”

“Too late,” Rick says, feeling numb. He’s dry and warm, but it doesn’t matter. “It was too late.”

-o-

When he went back, no one would come with him. It wasn’t a sanctioned mission. That used to matter to him.

Some causes were self explanatory.

Some causes were worth everything.

Rick wasn’t going to leave his team to die.

-o-

Rick sleeps in Billy’s room, propped up in a chair. He shuffles through Casey’s room the next morning and is there with Michael during rounds.

It’s not much.

It’s all he has.

So Rick holds.

With all he has, Rick holds.

-o-

On the way back, it rained. When Rick got to the compound, the storm was whipping violently. He counted this to his advantage; wet and sore, the weather hid his approach. It covered the guards' screams as he snaked his way back in. The flashes of lightning illuminated the enemy enough to take them out until he found his team.

Bound and bloodied, in a hut with a mud floor.

He found his team.

-o-

"There may be too much damage."

"He may never wake up."

"We'll have to wait and see."

Outside, the sun shines, a new day.

A new hope.

Rick believes.

-o-

Rick stole a truck. It was still a dangerous, perilous escape, and there were more trucks than he could shake in pursuit. Still, he took the turns quickly, gripping the wheel, his teammates too silent in the back as the rain pounded at the windshield and the wipers struggled to keep up with the pace.

It was suicide, he knew. He'd never make it.

He'd never--

Thunder rumbled. Lightning cracked. And Rick saw the side of the mountain start to move just as he put his foot to the pedal and sped on before the road washed out, taking the trucks behind him off the side and disappearing into the dark, black night.

-o-

Rick forgets to eat. He forgets to sleep. He wanders like a zombie, keeping a routine out of desperation. He stops answering the phone. He sits next to Michael and says, "This is the easy part."

Because this has to be the easy part.

-o-

At the hospital, Rick was frantic. His nerves were gone, his self control eradicated. He was almost hysterical with the staff, crying and yelling and desperate. When they tried to take him to the waiting room, he panicked.

When they tried to call security, he ran back into the rain.

-o-

Billy wakes up; Casey comes out of his coma. Michael's going to be okay.

Rick takes turns with each of them, coaxes them back, holds their hands, talks them through the worst.

Because they counted on Rick.

Just like he counted on them.

-o-

On the flight over, Rick was restless. He jiggled his knee in the plane, going over the contingencies, reminding himself that he was a spy. This was the job he’d signed up to do.

When they landed, the sky was leaden and gray. Billy sniffed the air. “Storm’s coming,” he mused.

“Good,” Casey grunted. “Better than the heat.”

Michael sidestepped them all. “Let’s just move,” he said, leading them onward.

Rick followed and he didn’t look back.

-o-

After, everything has changed. Billy’s sickly; Casey’s still got a pounding headache. Michael is wheelchair bound, and it’ll be months before they’re in the field again. This easy mission is anything but, and Rick sees his teammates for the selfless, noble, lying bastards they are.

He won’t take their orders blindly and he won’t assume their lies are anything short of concern for him most of the time in the field. He’ll stand up, do things the hard way. He’ll lie too, if he has to, because he can’t lose his team.

He won’t.

Everything has changed but this: Rick still walks with his eyes forward, never looking back.

Comments

Posted by: sophie_deangirl (sophie_deangirl)
Posted at: December 20th, 2012 10:04 pm (UTC)
Lovely little fic!

This was exactly what I needed on a really trying week. One more day...I don't know if I'll make, but the idea of this story gave me that lovely little bit of inspired strength from our boys. Thanks for lifting a truly EXHAUSTED spirit.

Fave moment:

It went wrong, of course. It was a disaster from the start. Their cover was precarious; Billy got shot. Casey was captured and Michael was on his last clip. Holding up Billy, who was slumped against him, Michael looked Rick squarely in the eyes. “You have the intel?”

Rick blinked. “Yeah, but...”

Michael shook his head, adjusting his grip on Billy, who only groans. “Then run.”

“But--”

Michael’s face was white, pinched and serious. “Run,” he said. “With that storm outside, you’ll have all the cover you need. Stay out of the hills as best you can; get this to the nearest American base and don’t look back.”

“But you’ll never get out of here with Billy and Casey--”

Michael didn’t deny it. He set his jaw, eyes still locked. “This is the easy part, Martinez,” he said. “I’m counting on you.”

-o-

Billy’s septic, the bullet in his gut a real and pressing danger. The fever’s already burning, and it leaves him prone and limp on the hospital bed. The ventilator breathes for him, one breath, another breath.

Casey’s got a nasty head wound. The gash is deep and ugly, exposing the newly cracked bone of his skull. The subsequent hematoma requires invasive measures, and he looks small in the ICU, head bandaged tightly and features drawn.

Michael’s the worst off of them all, and that’s saying something. He’s got more bullet wounds than the doctors could count, and none of the blood in him is his own. He should be dead, but he’s not.

They’re not.

--I LOVE how you portray Michael in this moment! *THUD!

Posted by: do i dare or do i dare? (faye_dartmouth)
Posted at: March 14th, 2013 03:35 am (UTC)
Re: Lovely little fic!
billy watches

Apparently I totally missed a bunch of stuff, LOL. But thank you for commenting. I do like Michael when he's trying to take control even in the face of horrible odds.

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