?

Log in

No account? Create an account
do i dare or do i dare? [userpic]

Chaos fic: Five Times Casey Hurt Billy (2/2)

June 23rd, 2013 (06:31 am)
annoyed

feeling: annoyed

Continued from Part One. Post split to make LJ happy.




Four.

Casey wasn’t exactly an adrenaline junkie by any classical sense of the term -- he wasn’t jumping out of airplanes just for the hell of it -- but he took a certain satisfaction in the thrill of peril. It was less about adrenaline, though, and more about taking control of an impossible situation, pitting himself against the odds and overcoming.

This was one reason why he considered his career in spywork to be absolutely a perfect fit. It was his calling in life, were he to believe in such fanciful terms. There was nothing else he could envision doing that would be as gratifying and well suited to his unique talent set.

Right now, however, Casey hated it.

It wasn’t the mission, per se. Sure, money laundering wasn’t his favorite type of crime, but it was being funneled to terrorists, and the men he was working with were particularly vile and repugnant. His cover required enough work, and the day to day grind was physical enough to keep him interested.

He was even alone. Solo deep cover work had always been his bread and butter, and though he had no plans to transfer out of the ODS (like Michael would let him, the bastard), he always relished the chance to complete such work with his team running backup. He wasn’t one to need a safety net, but it did make things easier to have a reliable team in place. He had quickly decided it was almost the best of all worlds.

Still, at this given moment, Casey hated it all the same.

Because there was Billy, wide eyed and shocked, face to face with Casey while his temporary boss stared at them both and asked, “What is this?”

This was a regular check in. With Casey deep undercover, Michael and Billy took turns establishing contact with Casey to monitor the mission. So far, it had gone flawlessly. But this time, Casey wasn’t the only one who needed a smoking break and the back alley was great because it was secluded and quiet.

Which was exactly why it was the worst place for his boss to find him with some wide eyed kid during a work day.

And Casey didn’t even have his damn cigarette out.

Billy swallowed, then laughed nervously. “Just a mistake,” he said with a horribly played accent that did little to disguise the fact that he was Scottish and foreign. “I’m just asking for directions.”

“You are very lost, my friend,” Casey’s boss said, stepping forward with his eyes narrowed. He glanced toward Casey. “Do you know him?”

For a second, the possible answers flitted through Casey’s head. He could say yes and write Billy off as a casual acquaintance, which could be plausible but would arouse suspicions since Casey was on duty. He could say Billy was a stranger, but that’d be one hell of a coincidence.

Neither option was good.

Billy laughed again. “I was looking for the square but I’m afraid I have no sense of direction,” he said. He looked at Casey with a small tilt to his head. He reached out, patting Casey’s arm. It was a small motion as Billy drew his hand away, brushing against Casey’s pocket--

He frowned, glaring at Billy, who just smiled at him, adjusting his jacket. Subtle, but meaningful.

Billy had just picked his pocket.

Billy had just given Casey an out.

“Well, if it’s all the same to you, I’ll be on my way,” Billy said.

The boss tensed, and Casey saw him reach for his gun. Casey flinched visibly, and his decision was made. “It’s not all the same to me,” he growled, reaching out to grab Billy by the arm and spinning him around.

Billy’s gaze went wide again, a look of surprise on his face. It was feigned, though. Casey told himself it had to be feigned.

Casey pursed his lips, flipping open Billy’s jacket and reaching into the inner pocket. “You’re not lost,” he snapped, pulling his wallet out.

Billy’s cheeks reddened. “That’s not what it looks like--”

Casey gave his boss a look. “He’s a pickpocket,” he sneered.

The boss chuckled. “A petty thief, then,” he mused, sounding relieved. But then his lips twisted up cruelly. “Thieves may be petty. But I do not believe that any crime is.”

Billy held his hands up. “Clearly, I picked the wrong pocket,” he said. “Surely you can’t begrudge a man his living, can you? It’s all in good fun? Taking from the rich and giving to the poor?”

“We can give you something,” the boss said.

Billy tensed, and Casey’s breath caught.

The boss nodded to Casey. “If he says he is lost and poor, let us make that a reality for him.”

Billy shook his head, starting to backpedal. It was an act, of course -- Billy had flawless acts -- but Casey was undercover. He was playing a ruthless body guard to a controlling crime family. They were lucky this wasn’t in the Middle East or Billy might be out a hand. Even so, it wasn’t a crime that would go unpunished.

It was the perfect way to keep Casey’s cover.

As long as he could follow through.

His eyes met Billy’s, and he felt himself falter. The kid had been on the ODS for four years now. He’d been a pain in the ass most of that time, but Casey had come to trust him. After Carson had died, the team had been closer than ever before. Casey had promised himself after that -- nothing bad would happen to his team ever again.

And this was Billy. Stupid grin and dumb stories; friendly, vivacious, deflecting, Billy. He was the one who had thrown together this cover story. He had known what it would entail.

Even now, Billy was holding his gaze. Even wide and scared, Billy still looked resolute, and the faintest nod told Casey he understood. Told Casey it was okay. Told Casey to do what he had to do--

For both their sakes.

Still, this was Billy. This was Billy.

“This is, how do you say?” the boss said, stepping closer and Casey saw the flash of his gun as he reached for it. “A self fulfilling prophecy?”

And Casey threw the first punch.

Billy barely had time to lift his hands, and even then, he could do nothing to deflect the blow. It hit Billy across the cheek, the force nearly spinning him as he staggered badly. Wavering, Billy tried to steady himself, but Casey followed up with another hit, catching the Scotsman across the jaw before following with a left that hit squarely on the temple.

Just like that, Billy went down.

The fight was no more than ten seconds, and calling it a fight was generous. Casey had generally beat the kid’s head in until he dropped like a rock.

To think, that was the easy part.

Stepping away, Casey stretched his fingers, feeling the skin on his knuckles shift from the open cracks. He winced, straightening his jacket with a smug look on his face. “Bet he wishes he was lost now,” he muttered.

The boss nodded down. “Check his pockets, and take anything you find. Then leave him with the trash and come back to work. We just got a call; our shipment is early.”

Casey raised his eyebrows. “That sounds promising.”

“Very,” the boss said. “Now finish up with this. He will have to seriously reconsider if his lifestyle is worth it after this.”

With that, the boss left and Casey looked down at Billy. Crumpled on the ground, the Scotsman was unmoving, blood trickling from his nose and from a cut on his cheek. His eyes were starting to swell and a red bruise was starting to show across his face.

Swallowing, Casey kneeled, quickly checking the kid for a pulse. Billy was breathing evenly, though he showed no signs of waking as Casey rifled through Billy’s pockets. He plucked out the wallet, relieved to find that the kid was smart and only had his fake ID on him and a few lousy dollars in local currency. There was nothing incriminating there.

He looked at the kid, feeling a strange mixture of pride and regret. The kid had salvaged the mission -- at his own expense. Casey had played along -- and Billy was the one who had suffered for it.

Suddenly it was Casey who was wondering if this lifestyle was worth it. All the lies; all the violence.

The collateral damage.

But this was his choice -- and it was Billy’s choice, too.

Sighing, he pocketed Billy’s wallet and stood, picking him up under the armpits. Efficiently, he dragged Billy deeper into the alley, leaving him well hidden behind the dumpster, just as requested. The smell would be horrible when he woke up, but the position was relatively well secured and hidden. As much as he hated to knock Billy senseless, he hated the idea of leaving him alone and vulnerable even more. Though the position would look like a mocking gesture, it would actually minimize any potential risks.

Standing, Casey gave Billy one last look. The kid would wake up soon; he’d be okay. The mission was still in play, and Michael would make sure that Billy got his stupid hard head looked at in case of complications.

They’d finish this mission; it’d be a win. They’d all go home.

Casey told himself as he walked away, assuring himself that everything else just had to be worth it in the end.

Five.

Casey expected certain complications in his line of work. In fact, he often favored a few unexpected wrenches in the works to keep things from getting boring. But with the ODS, it was never a few unexpected wrenches.

It was the whole damn tool box. Things never just went from bad to worse. They went from bad to worse to unsurvivable.

Even then, Casey didn’t always mind. He liked to use his survival skills; he liked to challenge his resilience, both physically and mentally. He liked risks.

But not with his teammates.

Not when Carson disappeared in an explosion or Michael broke his leg in the Congo. Not when Rick was almost outed by a bad Agency phone number.

Not when Billy was shot in a forest full of drug smugglers. No hope of immediate rescue. No access to medical equipment.

Not then.

Not then.

Casey swore vehemently, his stomach twisting painfully. “You had to get shot, didn’t you?” he hissed after dragging the Scot back through the thicket to a relatively protected location.

Billy’s chest was heaving desperately, his blue eyes unusually wide as he laid on the ground where Casey had unceremoniously dropped him. “Don’t reckon that was my intention,” he said, but the words were halted and breathless.

Casey grunted, ripping Billy’s shirt open with a swift movement that sent buttons flying. Beneath him, Billy whimpered, and Casey made short work of the other man’s undershirt with his knife until the wound was exposed.

As far as gunshot wounds went, it certainly wasn’t the worst Casey had seen. The hole was relatively small, and the blood spilling out wasn’t near as bad as it could have been.

Not that it was good. This far out, any wound was serious, and Casey wasn’t keen on the idea of dragging his Scottish ass through enemy territory. Michael and Rick would be coming, but they had at least a half hour to wait.

Maybe more.

Billy was still heaving for air, blinking rapidly as he tried to lift his head. “Is it--” He cut off, face paling visibly. His head dropped back, and he made a face of utter discomfort. “That’s a lot of blood.”

Casey rolled his eyes. “Actually, it’s not,” he muttered, gripping Billy by the shoulder. “But we need to check for an exit wound--”

Before Billy could protest, Casey rolled him and he barely had time to see that there was in fact no exit wound before Billy sucked in a breath and promptly cried out.

It was loud and unexpected, a keening noise like an injured animal. Startled, Casey almost dropped Billy, rolling him hastily on his back while the Scotsman writhed, tears streaming down his face.

“Hey!” Casey whispered fiercely. “Are you trying to get us killed?”

Billy’s body was taut, the tendons in his neck protruding as he audibly gritted his teeth together. He groaned, trying to relax before his body seemed to convulse again and he yelped helplessly despite his obvious efforts to rein it in.

Casey’s heart skipped a beat and he glanced upward, too aware of the sudden sounds in the forest. He hadn’t gotten a good head count, but there were at least a dozen men on their trail. Maybe more. Casey had had to cut a path to get Billy here, and any additional noise was simply a bad idea.

Casey was often the first person to tell Billy to shut up, but as he looked at the younger man, this time he wished he didn’t have to. Billy was on the verge of sobbing, face twisted in such obvious pain that not even Casey, who repressed all emotion, could deny a pang a sympathy.

Still. He leaned down, almost afraid to touch the other man as he said, “You need to be quiet.”

Billy trembled, biting his lip as he nodded. “I just--” he gasped, fresh tears still falling. “God, the bullet -- I think I can -- I think I can feel it, Casey.”

Casey drew a breath, letting it out slowly. If Billy could control himself, then Casey could do the same. “That’s because it’s still inside,” he confirmed.

Billy inhaled noisily, his chest moving in an exaggerated motion. “I can’t -- Casey,” he said, starting to sound a little panicked now. “Hurts to -- breathe.”

Casey frowned, and he bent over, placing his head near Billy’s chest. Under him, Billy drew a frantic breath and Casey could hear the gurgling.

He sat up abruptly, feeling grim. “Your lung is punctured.”

Billy was shaking in earnest now, sweat breaking out across his forehead as he took gulping breaths with his open mouth. “Feels worse than punctured,” he admitted in broken syllables. He shuddered and coughed, flecks of blood staining his lips. “Shredded.” His face screwed up as he lifted his chest in a plaintive attempt to breathe. “Casey--”

The word was almost a plea. Billy was effectively begging for help now.

That wasn’t Billy’s style. Billy was proud, even if he liked to hide it affably. When things were truly dire, Billy was stoic. He was only melodramatic in the face of unimportant perils.

And Billy never begged. He never sobbed openly. He was calm and collected. He never admitted to fear or panic. Casey was the one regarded as closed off, but he had nothing on Billy Collins in the regard.

In all their time together, Casey had never seen Billy like this. He’d been scared before; he’d been hurt before. But they’d never been this far out before; things had never been quite this bad. Billy had a hole in his chest and the bullet was still inside. Casey had been shot more than once, and he knew it hurt like hell. He knew that sometimes the human body could be afflicted with enough pain to make even the strongest men crumble.

Maybe it was the pain. Maybe it was the reality of their situation. Maybe it was the blood loss.

Maybe it was the fact that Billy was literally drowning in his own blood.

Billy was dying, and he knew it. It was a slow, painful and agonizing death, and the inevitability of it was crushing.

Except it wasn’t inevitable.

Not just yet.

“Okay,” Casey said, wishing like hell he had time to sterilize his knife better. “We’ll take care of this.”

Billy’s eyes widened as he craned his head to look at Casey. He shook his head. “Casey, no...”

Unscrewing the flask in his pocket, Casey doused the knife. “You need a chest tube.”

Billy’s breathing hitched, and he made a choking sound. “There’s no way--”

“There is a way,” Casey said curtly, pouring some of the alcohol on Billy’s bullet wound.

At contact, Billy cried out again, thrashing inconsolably as he jolted off the ground. In the distance, Casey heard yelling and the sound of footfalls crashing through the forest.

“Damn it, Billy,” he gritted out. “You need to shut up.

Billy bucked, though. Shaking his head, he sobbed. “Casey, please--

“Shut up,” Casey said again, trying to listen beyond the sound of Billy’s cries, for the sound of footsteps and voices.

Billy’s fists pounded at the ground, his fingers grabbing at Casey desperately. He gagged, coughing again before the pain seemed to spike and left him flailing.

This was essentially torture, Casey realized. The placement of the wound, the lack of oxygen -- and Casey had poured alcohol all over it. Billy was only semi-lucid at best, and Casey was finding new ways to inflict pain on him. It had to be done, of course, but if he cut into Billy now -- all the way into his chest cavity -- the sound of Billy’s screams would bring their assailants right to them.

Not to mention the fact that one wrong move and Casey’s knife could kill Billy instead of save him. He counted on Billy in all situations, and Casey had never appreciated that until Billy couldn’t even help himself. Billy was defenseless and vulnerable and in pain.

And Casey had to save him.

At any cost.

“Okay,” Casey said, his voice low with total determination. “I want to say that I’m sorry for what I’m about to do.”

Billy blinked wildly up at him. His eyes were clouded now. “Casey, please, I think -- I want to walk. We just need to--”

When Billy tried to lever himself up this time, Casey held him down. Billy strained against him dazedly, mouth open to scream before Casey clamped a hand over it.

“I want you to understand, if there was another way I would take it,” Casey said.

Billy shook his head in futility, his breathing fast against Casey’s hand and his cheeks wet under Casey’s touch. A high pitched whine escaped around the hand as Billy shook his head again, lips forming words that Casey couldn’t make out.

Words that didn’t matter.

“Trust me, though,” Casey told him, willing Billy to believe him. “It’s going to be worth it.”

Billy convulsed again, body jerking as his eyes screwed up and he inhaled sharply. He made a muffled yelped against Casey’s hand, and then Casey made his move, pulling his hand back his hand and staying the knife in his other hand--

And bringing his free fist to bear across Billy’s temple.

Compromised as Billy was, the Scot didn’t even see it coming. On impact, Billy went limp immediately, limbs going lax as his head stayed turned to the side in the underbrush.

Cautiously, Casey pulled away, listening for the uneven rasps of Billy’s breathing as he swallowed his doubts. This was the only feasible solution. With no anesthesia, Billy would scream and cry -- and it would only get worse. Even if Casey gave him something to bite on, it wouldn’t have been enough. Billy had been physically compromised to the point where he wouldn’t have understood what was happening. He would have screamed, and they would have been quickly located and executed.

And if Casey was going to complete risky field surgery, he needed to take Billy’s unexpected movement out of the equation.

Besides, cutting Billy while he was conscious would have been cruel. The Scotsman was already beside himself in pain. Billy would never act that way if he was in full control of his faculties. Leaving him conscious would have only exacerbated the physical agony and left Billy ripe for further mental anguish and embarrassment.

Knocking him out was a mercy. Billy would thank him later -- assuming he even remember this part at all.

That didn’t make it easier, though. Casey hadn’t shot Billy, but the welt across Billy’s cheek was his doing. One small injury to save his life -- that was worth it, Casey told himself again as he cut into the flesh on Billy’s side. Blood poured out and Billy’s chest rose more freely as Casey created an improvised chest tube that would help tide them over until help came.

Help had to come.

Casey sat back on his heels and watched as Billy breathed. Unconscious and unaware, but alive.

Alive.

If Billy lived, anything would be worth it.

And One Time Billy Hurt Casey

Casey had endured more than his share of physical pain.

As a child, he had broken his arm -- twice. Once, no one had believed him and he’d been forced to walk around with a fracture for nearly three days. When his mother finally found him crying in bed one morning, she’d taken him to the doctor. After looking at the x-rays, the man had looked at Casey in shock. “Didn’t it hurt, son?”

“Of course,” Casey had replied.

“Then why didn’t you say something?”

Casey had just shrugged. “After a while, I didn’t see the point.”

Nothing had hurt as much after that. He broke his thumb in high school but kept on playing football anyway. He’d broke his collarbone in the Army and they’d had to temporarily revoke his privileges to keep him in the barracks to heal. In the field, he’d been beaten, stabbed, shot and generally maimed.

And it had hurt, there was no doubt about it. But Casey had learned long ago that physical pain was a fleeting emotion. It either got better, or you died.

Either way, there was no point in letting it bother you. As long as Casey was in full control of his mental faculties (damn head injuries that took that from him), he’d never been bothered by pain.

Until now.

Now he was in a hospital room, surrounding by equipment. The doctors were talking about realistic hope, which was another nice way of saying the prognosis was bad.

The prognosis was very, very bad.

Only it wasn’t Casey in the bed. No, Casey wasn’t feeling any physical pain at all. It was Billy. Billy was the one who’d been stabbed three times -- twice in the stomach and once in the chest. Billy was the one who’d had his heart nicked and almost bled out before Casey could even reach inside his chest to close off the bleeder.

It was Billy who’d been transfused so much that his body was almost oversaturated with fluids. It was Billy who had survived three surgeries already. It was Billy who had lost his spleen and was suffering from sepsis. It was Billy who was fighting a dangerously high fever. It was Billy on the ventilator.

It was Billy who was hurt. It was Billy who was almost dead.

And yet, it was Casey who was in pain.

The intense agony inside of him had no identifiable wound. It surged through him, pounding through his skull with every beat of his heart. It tingled in his fingers, twined through his gut. It left him breathless and gutless. He couldn’t eat; he couldn’t sleep. He could only sit and stare at Billy’s unmoving figure, wondering what the hell had happened.

Because Billy had done it for him. The idiot had come back to help Casey finish the job. Casey had been outnumbered by five men, and he’d already been tagged once. He thought he could finish it, but when he’d turned around, he knew he was going to be too late.

Billy had lunged, throwing himself between the bad guy and Casey. He’d taken the first knife wound to the stomach, pulling Casey’s last attacker down with him as he fell. They’d tumbled and Billy had ended up on his back when the knife went in again.

The third time, the attacker had looked up, a feral smile on his face as he lifted the knife and plunged it into Billy’s chest while Casey watched.

Just because he could.

He’d been dead before he finished the cut, but it hadn’t mattered.

The damage had been done.

Casey would take the physical pain. He’d take all the broken arms. Hell, he’d give anything to be the one lying helpless in that hospital bed. Because physical pain meant nothing to Casey. Even dying didn’t scare him.

But this...

It was unbearable.

It was torture.

He inched closer, lifting Billy’s limp hand in his own and squeezing it. “I’m not worth it,” he said. He swallowed, closing his eyes. He could still see the smart-ass kid talking his way around the code word. He could still see the brash happy-go-lucky idiot sparring against him. He could see Billy taking a shot from Casey and never blaming him for it. He could see Billy saving Casey’s cover and taking the fall because that was what teammates did.

He could see Billy, writhing in pain, and waking up with only words of gratitude on his lips.

He could see Billy.

A nuisance. The rookie. A generalized pain in the ass.

His teammate.

His friend.

He opened his eyes. Billy looked horrible, drawn and gaunt after nearly two weeks in the hospital. Hope was fading and the infection raged. Casey wanted to leave; he wanted to walk out and never come back.

But Billy.

He took a breath, holding Billy’s hand fast. “I’m not worth it,” he said again, with new resolve. “But you are.”

Casey had seen him through this much. Now he’d see Billy through the rest.

No matter how much it hurt.

Comments

Posted by: sophie_deangirl (sophie_deangirl)
Posted at: June 24th, 2013 01:20 am (UTC)

LJ choked because I had WAY TOO many fave parts pasted in so to keep it simple, I LOVED this ENTIRE chapter!! I loved that Billy imperiled himself to keep Casey's deep cover, giving Casey permission, the tense field surgery to inflate Billy's lung, the anguish by Casey to have to knock Billy to do it and the clever way you had Billy "hurt" Casey, it was SO MOVING and the litany of Billy's setbacks just delighted me no end. This was a lovely story of Casey's vulnerable side and how much Billy has become such an important friend in his life.

One fave part that killed me:

He inched closer, lifting Billy’s limp hand in his own and squeezing it. “I’m not worth it,” he said. He swallowed, closing his eyes. He could still see the smart-ass kid talking his way around the code word. He could still see the brash happy-go-lucky idiot sparring against him. He could see Billy taking a shot from Casey and never blaming him for it. He could see Billy saving Casey’s cover and taking the fall because that was what teammates did.

-- *gulp

And this:


Hope was fading and the infection raged. Casey wanted to leave; he wanted to walk out and never come back.

But Billy.

He took a breath, holding Billy’s hand fast. “I’m not worth it,” he said again, with new resolve. “But you are.”

--THUD!!! Wonderful!

Posted by: do i dare or do i dare? (faye_dartmouth)
Posted at: July 24th, 2013 03:17 pm (UTC)
billy watches

Aww, your reviews really do make me happy. This fic was a bit self indulgent, but it sure was fun to write.

Thanks!

2 Read Comments