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Reveling in the fickle nature of fangirlishness

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Chaos- Survival - Chapter 3/5

Summary: When you're alone, it's all about survival until help comes your way and Billy learns that help can come in many forms. Casey doesn't accept failure well and it takes Billy to convince him that he's more human than weapon.

A fanfiction written based on the characters from the cancelled TV show, Chaos. 

Disclaimer: I don't own the characters and I seek no financial gain. Just hope you enjoy the story. You don't have to be a fan of the show.


Chapter 3:

Charlotte was too upset to go with her sister, Annabelle. She had to admit that a part of her was angry at her for not protecting her from Glen Blaisdel. A stronger part of her needed to be with the one person who had trusted her outright without treating her like a hysterical little girl.

Billy had never questioned her, had believed in her and it had meant everything to her. It had given her a peace of mind that she hadn’t known for a very long time, not since her parents were still alive.

Seeing Billy hurt, bleeding, it brought those sad days back. She was still a young girl, but she had seen enough to understand pain, suffering, loss, so nothing any of the adults had said about Billy’s condition meant anything to her. They were just trying not to upset her. They didn’t give her credit for knowing exactly how bad things were, how bad Billy was injured.

Everyone, that is except for Casey.

He sidled up to her, handed her a handkerchief to wipe her tears on.

“Are you going to lie to me too?” She challenged, knowing it wasn’t fair of her to lash out, but she was feeling tired and helpless.

“I don’t lie or sugarcoat things,” Casey said bluntly but without his usual sarcastic edge. “Are you okay with that?”

Charlotte nodded, feeling like he was going to treat her as a person, not a baby.

“I’m Casey,” he introduced.

She giggled.

“Did I say something funny?”

“You’re Billy’s imaginary friend,” she said, a wide smile came to hear face as she met the person to the name Billy had used.

Casey gave her a look that was half-confusion and half-dismissive. Charlotte caught it and continued to smile. She guessed that Billy had never told Casey that.

“He was trying to keep me from getting scared. He told me that when he gets scared, he’d hear you in his head telling him things to keep him going when times were tough and it would make him try harder to make it back so that you could scold him for getting into trouble,” she happily related.

Casey straightened a bit, emotion rising perilously close to revealing itself to her. It brought a tightening to his chest that he found he was having trouble controlling and the pain there was real.

“Is Billy going to be okay?” Charlotte asked, breaking his concentration.

Casey hesitated, not because of her, but because as blunt as he was by nature, it hurt him in hidden ways that he had never revealed to anyone to think about a friend being beyond his ability to help. Billy was also a special case. He was the flipside of his coin. Though he had possessed the same iron will and survival instincts as Casey, Billy also possessed an understanding of humanity that had always eluded him.

Casey saw that talent, that touch with every asset that they had ever come across. Billy had diffused many a volatile situation with a humorous jibe. He could also confuse and confound a combatant with an encyclopedic knowledge from which he could draw the perfect reference for that person at a moment’s notice and apply it successfully in order to gain an advantage or to produce the needed response. It was usually custom-fitted to be the most effective so that whomever it was tailored for would get the reference immediately. Then there was his love for all things Shakespeare. It bordered on the mystical and Billy had often used his knowledge of the Bard to obtain the required inspiration for the moment.

These were things he knew well about Billy.

The revelation that Billy would tap into anything other than what Casey believed was already an ample reservoir of training and survival skills, seemed unnecessary hubris. To hear that he would use Casey as his mental bridge to survival was humbling and Casey wasn’t easily humbled.

“Casey?” she said.

He shook himself, realizing that he had drifted away cogitating on her last statement.

“What?” He said, rare confusion on his face.

“Do you think Billy is going to be okay?” Charlotte rephrased.

Casey looked at the innocent and longing expression on her face and suddenly felt unsure of how to answer her.

“Honestly, I don’t know,” he said, deciding to resort to his usual bluntness, but without all the harshness that came with it. “What I do know is Billy is a fighter and he’s especially that when he knows people are depending on him…to come back…”

Casey trailed off in order to swallow back more rising emotion. He then cleared his throat.

“And he knows you’re one of those people.”

“You too?” She asked.

Casey straightened again and took in a breath. This young girl knew all the ways to penetrate what he thought was his iron clad resistance to any kind of sentimentality.

“Yeh. Yeh, me too.”

“Quite an admission from the human weapon, I’d say,” Billy’s voice said in his head.

“Will you excuse me for a minute? I promise I’ll be back,” Casey said as he quickly, but not running, left Charlotte to duck into the nearest men’s room.

He checked all the stalls to make sure he was all alone then walked into one of them, locked the door, put the top cover down on the toilet seat and sat down.  He breathed deeply and repetitively trying to keep himself under control, but he felt himself losing the battle. Slowly, but surely the emotion was winning the tug of war over his control.

“You better live, you bastard,” Casey said, his voice wavering, failing at trying to sound defiant, precariously close to choking with tears.

“Cracking that stoic center of yours, am I? I’m touched,” Billy said in his head.

“I knew this would happen, that you’d get into my head someday,” Casey protested.

“Best live then so I can admire my work,” Billy said.

Casey then allowed himself to collapse under the unrelenting pressure. He could handle a lot of things, but possibly losing a friend was never something he was ever good at accepting.


Rick noticed that Charlotte was alone. Last he glimpsed her way, Casey had been with her. He walked over.

“Hey? You okay? I thought Casey was with you?”

“He was. He had to go to the bathroom. He kind of rushed in there.”

Rick scrunched his face puzzled. Casey was usually never in a rush to use the facilities. Among his many gifts of control, bowel movements were counted among them.

“Ah, well, can I join you until he comes back?”

“Sure,” she said.

Rick saw the uncertainty on her face and understood how she felt.

“It’s okay to be scared. I’m scared too,” Rick said earnestly. His face looked nervous.

“Another honest person,” Charlotte thought to herself. It seemed to her that Billy surrounded himself with honest people like himself and that was refreshing.

“Are you one of Billy’s friends?”

“Yeh. I’m kind of new to the team and he’s been helping me.”

“Casey said that Billy’s going to be okay because he knows people are depending on him,” she said. “Do you believe that?”

“Casey said that, huh?” Rick said with a smile. “Yeh, I believe that. Billy’s the best.”

Rick let his voice go wistful.

Charlotte’s expression saddened.

“What’s wrong?”

“It’s stupid,” She said.

“Come on, I bet it’s not. Tell me,” he encouraged.

“I want to help him like he helped me, but like a little girl can do anything. I’m not a doctor,” she said with a pout of frustration.

Rick understood.

“You’re not alone. I feel the same way. It’s hard to know that someone is hurting and you can’t do anything to help, especially when he’s done that for you.”

“Was Billy your imaginary friend?”

Rick gave her a “huh?” expression too and she smiled.

“Well, I don’t know about that, but when I got hurt, he not only helped me, but he never left me. He stayed by my side and told me a story about himself showing that things could always be worse to keep my mind off of my pain,” Rick related with a laugh. He then sighed. “He’s always there for you.”

Charlotte watched his face and she found herself feeling like he did. Billy had saved him and he had saved her too and they both felt equally helpless to return the favor.

“I know. I want to save him too.”

Rick thought for a moment and an idea came to mind.

“You know, they say that people who are in comas can still hear you. Maybe you can help him by telling him stories just like he did for me?”

Her face brightened, practically glowed.

“Really? Do you think they’ll let me?”

Her excitement was infectious and Rick felt his own sadness lift at helping Charlotte feel better, but also at the prospect of doing his own bit to help Billy.

“I’ll look into it.”

“Brilliant, lad. Helping our little damsel in distress, you are. Heart of hero, that’s what you are, mate. Knew it all along, yeh?”

Rick stiffened with apprehension and confusion. Where had that come from?  He turned towards the ICU glass where he could see Billy tied to all kinds of machines and though he knew he couldn’t have heard what he thought, he paused long enough to wonder and gave a shred of belief that if anyone could bridge that barrier, it would be Billy.

Rick was able to convince the hospital staff that Charlotte would be a benefit to Billy’s recovery and that it would help her as well.

Billy’s prognosis had been grim. He had been shot three times. The first bullet had caused damage as Billy moved, forcing it to travel inside of him. The doctors spoke of how miraculous it was that he had managed to survive as long as he had.

It hadn’t been to his friends and they knew Billy would never have stepped back if a child was in peril.

The other two shots that Blaisdel had managed to get off, lodged themselves in tricky positions, making the hours long surgery delicate and that much more taxing on Billy’s already compromised immune system.

The result was a comatose Billy, hooked up to machines measuring his vitals as well as providing life-sustaining measures such as antibiotics and pain medication.

It was all overwhelming for even the hardened adults who were Billy’s friends yet Charlotte had resolved herself into thinking only of helping Billy. She hoped that he would hear her talking to him and wake up. The three men of the ODS watched her positivity and saw Billy there, as if he were channeling her to remind them that he was still there with them, fighting. It was the kind of reassurance and connection Billy would provide.

She scoured her room at home, pulling out favorite storybooks and reading them aloud to him as many days as she could after school.

One day, Annabelle came to her room after hearing all of the ruckus.

“What are you doing, Charlotte?” She asked.

“I need to find some books to read to Billy.”

“Charlotte, he’s in a coma. He’s never coming back.”

“DON’T SAY THAT! I believe he will. He saved my life and I know that he knows that I’m there. I’m not leaving him. He didn’t leave me,” Charlotte said, at first her tone was stinging and accusatory then she calmed herself.

“I’m sorry –“ Annabelle said, feeling the accusation.

Charlotte stopped her search, took a breath and sighed.

“I was mad at you before, Annabelle, but I’m not anymore. Billy made me see that it wasn’t your fault and he made me see that I…I’m not a bad person like Glen said I was.”

Annabelle listened, her eyes filling with tears.

“Of course you’re not –“

“But you still let him say it,” Charlotte said, not meaning to be accusatory, just truthful like Casey always was to her. “You still didn’t protect me.”

Annabelle’s silence spoke of her admission to both truths.

“Billy didn’t even know me and yet he believed in me…I want to help him now…I’m not a helpless little girl, Annie. Please don’t stop me from helping him, okay?”

All Annabelle did was nod.

Charlotte read Billy her favorite stories and sometimes Billy’s friends would sit and listen with him.

They told her about how much he loved Shakespeare, but she didn’t know who that was. They told her they would try to read that to him and that she could listen. They admitted that they didn’t understand the words either, but they knew Billy would.

She then felt this desire to understand Shakespeare and find a way to share Billy’s love for his writing so she went to the library and asked for help. She hoped she would find kids versions that would help her understand. A helpful librarian admired her determination and helped her by telling her the plots to some of the plays so that she could at least understand the stories. Charlotte was excited and enjoyed the time she spent there learning.


A few weeks had gone by and Billy had improved enough that he had been taken off the ventilator. It was a hopeful sign that everyone clung to, but he had remained in a coma.

All the men of the ODS had been faithfully visiting and had played uncle to young Charlotte, whose heart had been won over by Billy completely.

It made Michael smile at the thought as he sat by the bed, watching, hoping for a sign that he had to admit he wasn’t sure would come, but despite his paranoid and cynical nature, having Charlotte around was like having Billy around, telling him not to give up on him yet.

“Your charms work on the young ones too,” he said teasingly. “She has a bad case of hero worship…and there’s no one more deserving.”

Michael took in a breath.

“But you have to wake up to enjoy it,” he said. “Casey told her that you’d fight if you knew people depended on you. I don’t think he’d appreciate it if you made a liar out of him especially in the eyes of a little girl. I think she’s got him wrapped around her finger. Now THAT you have to wake up to see.”

Michael paused. He tried to keep a handle on his emotions, but it was difficult.

“Charlotte isn’t the only one who’s –“

We few, we happy few, we band of brothers/ For he today that sheds his blood with me/ Shall be my brother; be he ne'er so vile/This day shall gentle his condition…”

Michael straightened and turned to search the room. No one was there.

And gentlemen in England now abed/ Shall think themselves accursed they were not here/ And hold their manhoods cheap whiles any speaks/ That fought with us...”

“Upon Saint Crispin’s day,” Michael finished.

He stared at Billy’s prone body on the bed almost willing to see Billy awake, but was disappointed to find that he wasn’t.

“Damn it, Billy, wake up,” Michael said, unsure if the lack of sleep was preying on his already taxed and fevered brain.

Michael then heard small foot steps come up to him. He then felt Charlotte place her hand into his and squeeze. He looked up into her innocent eyes and smiled. For a jaded operative like him, sentimentality was a luxury and usually sacrificed. His marriage had been a casualty yet looking at Charlotte he allowed himself to strip away his "professional" demeanor and just act as her friend.

"He will, Michael. I know he will. He's been hurt and just needs to sleep. I know he can hear us when we talk to him."

Michael took in a breath and allowed himself a silent hope, something he never would have given on his own. With the tender mercy from a little girl, he gave into her positive light, stepping out from his normal gloom and doom.

"You know, I believe he does too."

"What’s this now? Our fearless leader is admitting to a belief in an innocent child's faith in the improbable? This IS a red letter day."

Improbable not impossible. Michael knew the difference.

"Have you worked with Billy for a long time?"

Michael was a little surprised at the question, but was pleased at her fearless curiosity.

"Almost seven years."

"You know, he knew you would be coming to save us."

Michael swallowed back emotion.

"He believed it so much that he made me feel less scared."

"It's something he does really well, even for grown ups like me," Michael assured.

"I was still scared though. I hope he didn't see that because I didn't want to disappoint him."

Michael smiled yet it trembled.

"The thing about Billy is you could never disappoint him even if you tried to."

Charlotte smiled, but she detected the sadness at the fringes of his face.

“Are you okay?”

Michael was impressed by the intuitiveness of the young girl.

He envied it.

He may have the intuition needed to do the spy craft, but the kind of intuition she possessed, that Billy still possessed, was what he had longed to recover, but knew he never would. Billy would tease that all things were possible, but Michael knew that there were some things that were lost forever.

“Yeh, I’m fine. Just thinking about Billy. I’ve…” Michael paused surprised at the ease that Charlotte’s presence was infusing into him. “I’ve let him down, but he always forgives. If you learn anything from him, Charlotte, learn to forgive like he does.”

“That’s…because…there was nothing to…forgive…”

Both Michael’s and Charlotte’s eyes opened wide with shock. Michael stood up and got out of his chair. Charlotte was at his side, both of them hovering at the bed.

“Billy?” Charlotte’s voice squeaked out.

Michael was too much in shock to utter a sound, his mouth agape.

Billy upturned his head to see Michael then turned to see Charlotte.

“Billy! You’re awake!” Charlotte said, her joyful squeal giving both men a burst of positive energy.

“It would appear so, love…” Billy said, tiredly and yet the lilt that was characteristically Billy was there too.

“I’ll get the doctor,” Michael said when he felt a weak grip on his sleeve.  He looked at it and then at Billy.

The tired smile on Billy’s face nearly brought the hardened leader crumbling to his knees.

“You have never let me down, Michael. Just my being here proves that,” Billy uttered, focusing all his energies to make Michael hear him.

Michael felt the wave of emotion threatening to break his wall of control yet again. He could only nod then left to get a doctor.

“Billy, you were asleep for a long time,” she said.

He turned his attention back to her.

“Aye, that I was, lass. I feel like a fairy tale turned on its head.”


“I feel like Sleeping Beauty or Snow White. Your favorites, yes?”

Charlotte’s eyes opened wide with awe and delight.

“You heard?”

“Well, of course I did, love. You are a right brilliant storyteller.”

Charlotte stared in amazement.

“Thank you, sweetheart…for believing,” Billy said.

TO BE CONTINUED…Thanks for reading.