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do i dare or do i dare? [userpic]

Chaos fic: Beginnings and Ends (1/1)

September 26th, 2013 (10:04 pm)
grateful
Tags: , ,

feeling: grateful

Title: Beginnings and Ends

Disclaimer: I do not own Chaos.

A/N: Written on a whim for lena7142. She also gave it a quick beta :)

Summary: I want you to know that your defiance is respectable. It is also meaningless.



-o-

This is how it ends:

Michael on his knees. His back is bowed, his hands are tied. The gag in his mouth threatens to choke him, and he can't stop the tears as someone wrenches his head back by a fistful of his hair. He's bleeding; he's hurting; he can hardly see straight.

"I want you to know," he's told. "That your defiance is respectable. It is also meaningless. We were able to hack your device. The information is ours. Thank you for your entertainment anyway."

The gun rises, and Michael knows better but he still closes his eyes and refuses to take a last breath.

He held out. Because that's what the job is. Because that's what he does. Because that's his responsibility.

They'd killed the kid first, dragged him wide-eyed and shackled. He'd shaken his head, yelled at Michael to say nothing, to tell them nothing, that he wasn't worth it -- before the bullet cut him down, right between the eyes, blood and brains on the wall behind him.

He'd gotten angry after that, made threats and pissed them off. When they dragged Billy in, they didn't make any pretenses. They tortured him first, never asking a single question, before killing him for spite.

Michael stopped talking after that. He stopped playing their game. He knew how this ended; he knew what was going to happen. He knew that giving them what they wanted was no better than holding out. They'd die either way. Breaking was just a faster way to go.

Holding out, he'd thought, would at least give him his dignity.

He never saw them kill Casey, but they brought the body in anyway. He'd been shot at least a dozen times, and they asked Michael if this was what he wanted. If this was worth it.

Nothing is worth it, because this job isn't worth anything. It's a thankless, horrible job. Not just because the pay is crap and the resources are left wanting. But because it's about good people doing bad things, it's about bad people doing worse things; it's about exploiting the shadows to salvage the last of the light.

It's about accepting losses. It's about knowing everything you have may never be enough -- and still giving it -- all of it, without question -- anyway.

This is how it ends:

There is no eulogy. There is no begging. There are no last minute reprieves.

This is how it ends:

A bullet. Four unmarked graves, and four stars on the wall.

This is how it ends.

-o-

Then, this is how it begins:

Michael flat on his back. He can't move, and everything hurts. He's hot and cold and when he blinks, the entire world shifts. He can barely breathe, every small inhalation a monumental task he's considering just giving up on. He's staring at the ceiling, wondering why it's not over yet.

"Do you have him?"

"Is he okay?"

"Michael?"

He shudders, startling as three figures bob into view. He knows them. He knows them well. Except...

He tries to say, "You're dead." It comes out as a cough.

Rick looks terrified. Billy looks sick. Casey grits his teeth and purses his lips. "I'm sorry about this," he says. "But we have no choice."

Michael shakes his head, because if anyone should apologize, it's him. Although, if this is hell, they've done a pretty damn good job. Michael can think of no greater punishment than listening to his team apologize for dying.

There's nothing he can do, though, and when he's hoisted up, the world grays out and the darkness comes.

This is how it begins:

Blinking into the blinding lights, someone grabbing his hand. "Just hold on. Just hold on."

This is how it begins:

Stiff and sore in a hospital bed. Casey's pacing by the window; Rick is passed out in a chair. Billy smiles. "About damn time."

Michael swallows thickly. "But...you're dead."

"Funny, we thought the same about you," Billy quips.

Casey comes over. "That would probably be the drugs in your system."

Rick has startled awake. "The doctors say you must have had some vivid ones with that dosage."

Michael frowns, trying to put it all together. This should be easier than it is; this is what he does, after all. But the pieces are hard to make out, and reality is fantasy, and if this is the dream, then he's pretty damn sure he's okay with that. "Did I break?" he finally asks.

"They had all the intel anyway," Rick says.

"I'm pretty sure the bastards dosed you just for fun," Casey adds.

"And it's no matter," Billy says. "This world breaks everyone. If it doesn't break you, it kills you."

Michael laughs hoarsely, tears almost burning in his eyes. He can still see them, bloodied and bullet-riddled. He sees them, dead and gone. "I'll take broken any day."

This is how it begins:

Four teammates, some broken, some not. All going home.

This is how it begins.

Comments

Posted by: sophie_deangirl (sophie_deangirl)
Posted at: September 27th, 2013 05:24 am (UTC)

Wow! You don't mess around with your "deathfics". You can't just can't kill one of the ODS, maybe two of them, but 3 of them, brutally (though I could have withstood some Billy being tortured imagery - hahaha, but then you know the kind of sick puppy I am), yet, clever you, you bring them back to life and it was all a delusion of Michael's. Clever girl, indeed. Still I enjoyed it no less. Lovely read.

Fave part:

They'd killed the kid first, dragged him wide-eyed and shackled. He'd shaken his head, yelled at Michael to say nothing, to tell them nothing, that he wasn't worth it -- before the bullet cut him down, right between the eyes, blood and brains on the wall behind him.

He'd gotten angry after that, made threats and pissed them off. When they dragged Billy in, they didn't make any pretenses. They tortured him first, never asking a single question, before killing him for spite.

-- the worst thing anyone could do to Michael, make him watch while his team is killed one by one while he watched. A true nightmare of a delusion. I love how you made Rick superhero heroic in his death. I like that Billy was tortured just wanted more detail. Hahaha!

Edited at 2013-09-27 01:22 pm (UTC)

Posted by: do i dare or do i dare? (faye_dartmouth)
Posted at: October 12th, 2013 01:18 am (UTC)
billy approves

LOL, I first wrote this and they all died but then Lena freaked out a bit so I fixed it :) The best of all worlds that way.

Thanks!

Posted by: kristen_mara (kristen_mara)
Posted at: September 28th, 2013 11:07 am (UTC)
Stephen Clouds


Well, I'm glad that was all a hallucination! It was still very scary and intense. I love the observations Michael makes and 'how it begins'


Posted by: do i dare or do i dare? (faye_dartmouth)
Posted at: October 12th, 2013 01:19 am (UTC)
billy likes

It wasn't originally a hallucination. But Lena (of all people!) talked me into fixing it.

Thanks!

Posted by: fara (farad)
Posted at: September 29th, 2013 11:22 pm (UTC)

Nicely done! Lovely way to bring it back. Love the symmetry of the lines 'This is how it ends' and 'This is how it begins'.

Posted by: do i dare or do i dare? (faye_dartmouth)
Posted at: October 12th, 2013 01:19 am (UTC)
chaos michael

I was hoping you'd like this one :) I always think of you when I write Michael.

Thanks!

Posted by: kristen_mara (kristen_mara)
Posted at: October 12th, 2013 06:00 am (UTC)
Hottie Nick/Stephen


*thud*

Well, at least I wasn't the one nagging you that time *G*

Posted by: do i dare or do i dare? (faye_dartmouth)
Posted at: October 28th, 2013 02:14 am (UTC)
billy earnest

LOL, yeah. I get no reprieves on the fix-it front!

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