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Chaos - Survival - Chapter 4/5
sophie_deangirl

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.


Survival

Chapter 4:

Billy began to recover quickly after he had regained consciousness. Everyone had been renewed by the return of Billy’s jovial presence.

Charlotte still visited everyday and one day, she had even brought along her sister to visit him with her. She thanked him for saving Charlotte and apologized that he had gotten hurt. Billy, of course, absolved with a wink, a kind word and a smile. She left smiling herself, as if a weight had been lifted from her own young shoulders.

Michael had watched it all with amusement.

Annabelle left, but Charlotte wanted to stay behind.

“Your sister, Annabelle. She is as lovely as you are,” Billy complimented.

Charlotte bowed her head a little.

“I was mad at her for a long time for not doing anything, for letting Glen hurt me…”

Billy’s heart swelled with regret for this beautiful child.

“Darling, I know in my heart that if she had the strength to do anything she would have. She was just as afraid as you were. He was a monster to you both,” Billy tried to absolve.

Charlotte looked into Billy’s eyes, and she saw someone who was always ready to forgive, always willing to forgive as Michael had told her and she smiled.

“I know. Just before you woke up, Michael told me that if I learned anything from you, it would be to forgive. That night, I told Annabelle I forgave her.”

It was Billy’s turn to smile.

“You didn’t need to learn that from me, lass. You have a forgiving heart. You just had to be ready.”

“Thank you,” she said, tears flowing from her eyes. “For saving my life…mostly for believing me when no one else would.”

She wanted to hug him, but he was still mending, still, Billy didn’t need one to see how grateful she was.

“You don’t need to thank me. You needed help. I was glad I could. You’ve more than returned the favor by staying by me and reading to me.”

It was simple, unconditional and filled with honesty and Charlotte took his hand and held it up to her cheek.

Billy’s heart pounded in his chest, it was so filled with affection and protection for this sweet young girl.

She let go and looked up at him.

“I have to go see Annabelle, but I’ll be back later.”

“I’ll be waiting, lass.”

As Charlotte left, Michael was at the door, smiling.

“It seems you have a way with women, no matter what their age,” Michael teased.

“What can I say? It’s a gift.”

“So, the doctors seem to think you’ll live another day.”

“Aye, good feeling that,” Billy said. “I hear that you have been imparting some lessons of your own to our young Charlotte there.”

“Me? You must still be hallucinating,” Michael joked.

Billy gave him a comforting expression.

“I hope you know that I meant what I said despite being under the influence of emerging consciousness.”

Michael smiled then became serious.

“That’s never been in doubt, Billy.”

Billy, though, knew that Michael would always take responsibility for anything that didn’t go to plan and which had caused any of his men to get hurt. It was why he was a good leader, a leader that Billy vowed he would follow to the depths of hell and back. Though he knew Michael understood that, he would consider it his mission to make sure Michael never questioned it, especially during times like now, when it would be easier to harbor on the things that had failed rather than on the fact that Billy was alive, that he had survived.

“Then why the long face, Michael?”

Michael took in a breath and bowed his head.

“You almost died out there, Billy. The mission was almost botched.”

“Operative word being ‘almost’, no pun intended. I didn’t die, Michael. I survived and sometimes that’s all that matters, yeh? As cliché as it is, surviving means another day fighting so I consider it a gift. As for the mission, we got Blaisdel. I’ll grant you it was not exactly the way that we had planned, but I’m a results-oriented kind of guy. More satisfying for me, we saved that lovely young girl from further abuse at the hands of that animal. To hell with the rest, that alone made this mission a success.”

You saved her, Billy.”

“I’m part of a team, mate.”

Michael always admired Billy’s positive spin on the missions. If he were to admit it, he depended on it, because without that perspective, he knew he would wallow in the failures of every mission. It was one of the reasons that for every time Billy faced near-death, Michael felt that any good in him he possessed would cease to exist without him being there to remind him that it existed at all. For Michael, it was that simple.

“And what part of ‘team’ do you not understand when you bolted after Blaisdel on your own?” Casey said as he walked in the room.

“Ah, there’s our one-man army and secret weapon now. I seem to remember same-said human weapon suggesting the very same strategy.”

“Exactly, which meant it was my call, my job,” Casey declared, but there was a quaver in his voice he was trying hard to disguise. “Do I have to use my own interrogation methods to drive the point home with you?”

“Perish the thought, man. Will admitting my rash actions as inexcusable settle things between us?”

Casey found himself wavering a bit again.

“This time,” Casey paused for a second. “But I know you’ll just do it again.”

Billy detected something in his voice. There was no characteristic biting Casey sarcasm, though it was trying hard to push through. It was a small crack, undetectable to the regular human ear, but not to the trained ear of an operative, especially one who was attuned to such nuances, changes in inflection could mean life or death. In this case, mental control, Casey’s finely crafted stoic center.

“Now, if you’ll excuse me, I have a workout to accomplish,” Casey said as he turned to leave the room.

He stiffened for a split second as if in pain, but then regained his stature and left the room quickly.

Billy arched his right eyebrow and Michael noticed.

“What is it?”

“Not sure, but I fear our Casey is not himself.”

“And how can you…”

“Just a feeling I’m getting.”

“Should I be worried?” Michael asked.

“Not if I can help it,” Billy said. “Casey’s a bit like a skittish animal, yeh? You have to stalk cautiously or you risk –“

“Physical injury?”

“Well, that, of course.”

Michael smiled and patted him on the shoulder.

“If anyone can bring him out of his funk, you can,” Michael encouraged. “Besides, better you than me.”

Billy just gave him another arched eyebrow, this time pointedly for him. Michael then left the room.

“I suspect I know what’s really bothering our human weapon.”

Flashback

“Blaisdel’s made us and he’s going to go underground if we don’t do something,” Casey said.

“And how do you suggest we go about stopping him, aye?” Billy queried unable to tap into Casey’s plan other than envisioning violence and personal harm.

“Hunting him down like the dog he is, of course,” Casey said with a huff as if the answer should be obvious to Billy.

“While I whole heartedly agree in principal, you’re forgetting that Michael and Rick are still in there trying to maintain cover. If we go all guns blazing, we could jeopardize whatever credibility they’ve created.

"I DON’T forget,” Casey emphasized. “Once word of Blaisdel’s betrayal gets back to his superiors, their covers will be just as blown, that’s why I have to take him out before that happens. And what’s this ‘we’? Only one man needs to get to Blaisdel.”

“And that’s you, of course?”

“Are we really having this conversation? This is my job in case you need reminding. This is what I do.”

“And am I just window dressing here?”

“Well, in this case, yes, you are. I thought that goes without saying? I’m wasting time arguing with you about this.”

Before Billy could protest and defend himself, Casey had taken off. Billy swore under his breath as all he could do in that moment was shadow Casey towards where Blaisdel had been heading then do his best to protect him. He knew that despite Casey’s protestations of being able to accomplish taking out Blaisdel on his own, Billy couldn’t just sit idly by and wait for the next catastrophe to happen.

Casey stalked with the ease of a cat, getting closer to where they had last seen Blaisdel. Billy was close behind. They both spotted him simultaneously, but then Casey was ambushed from behind. Billy saw that he was handling his attacker just fine, but that Blaisdel was getting further away so he left Casey to handle his attacker and took off towards Blaisdel.

Casey glimpsed through punches and kicks that Billy was continuing to pursue Blaisdel. He swore and getting to Billy gave Casey that extra bit of adrenaline he needed to defeat his attacker once and for all. He then resumed chasing after both Billy and Blaisdel.

Casey hated being left behind.

He would rather plunge himself into chaos, place his fists and feet into combat rather than sit on the sidelines as he watched someone else place themselves at risk.

Casey hated undercover work.

To him, pretending to be someone else was arduous, much more work than being engaged in a grossly outnumbered hand-to-hand with maniacal militiamen just as intent on killing him as he was intent on killing them. That was the adrenaline rush he thrived on.

Casey hated leaving anyone behind.

Carson was only one among many in Casey’s storied career in the CIA where he had to walk away from someone who was either dead or captured. He always did it kicking (sometimes literally as well as figuratively) and protesting the entire way, denying his usually indisputable logic telling him that there was absolutely nothing he could do to save someone.

There was always something he could do, he would think, knowing that there were sometimes no-win situations. His favorite movie was Star Trek: The Wrath of Khan because Kirk didn’t believe in the no-win scenario either and had manipulated a computer program to make sure he would win.

Casey would always skip the ending because inevitably, like in life, you had to face a no-win scenario.

And Casey hated no-win scenarios.

Billy would try his patience with his insubordination every chance he got and sometimes, he would have to grudgingly grouse that he would have been dead if it hadn’t been for Billy’s flagrant defiance.

Casey hated putting anyone else in danger.

But like no-win scenarios, sometimes, it was unavoidable and as he heard Billy yelling his name, saw him run towards him, heard the shots, felt one hit him, then through his training, somehow knew that the other had hit Billy, he knew that this was one of those times. He felt Billy’s shove as he hit the ground; the searing pain of the bullet and the ground bearing down on it was too much for even the human weapon to withstand and his world went black.

When he woke up, getting up was agony, but his trained eyes spotted the blood trail moving away from him and he knew that Billy was in pursuit. He cursed and got his cell phone out. He left an encrypted text message for Michael then proceeded to pass out again.

Casey hated when missions went sour.

ChaosChaosChaos

Casey had been avoiding Billy.

Billy hadn’t seen him for a couple of days, but he had patience and sooner or later Casey, in his own time, would show himself. He knew why Casey was playing persona non grata with him.

Casey always thought he should only be the one to endanger his body, his life.

On that one point, Billy and Casey would always disagree and never see eye-to-eye.

Survival was more than just one man taking all the risks.

Survival was knowing that others would be there to save innocent lives when you couldn’t.

Survival was knowing that your compatriots would finish the mission when you couldn’t.

Survival was knowing that where it was humanly possible, they would find you and get you back.

Survival was acceptance and forgiveness when they couldn’t because you knew that if they could have, they would have.

Survival was having their voices in your mind when your own voice was dimming in the assault of pain and torture, leading you towards their comforting encouragement and away from resignation and surrender.

Billy understood all those things and he would never shirk from that responsibility.

He didn’t know how to do that. He would never learn how to do it.

And Casey would always blame himself when the results were far from optimum.

It was the kind of quality that Billy could relate to, but also that he would vow to never allow Casey to sink into.

ChaosChaosChaos

Michael and Rick went looking for Casey to every haunt they knew he would go like to the gym, but hadn’t found him.

It had been Charlotte who had found him two days later, staring at the hospital entrance, but not walking in.

“Casey? You, okay?”

He looked down at her worried expression and took in a breath.

“I hate hospitals,” he said honestly.

“But you’ve been inside every day when Billy was sleeping,” Charlotte observed.

Casey closed his eyes.

“I know. It doesn’t mean I don’t still hate them.”

Charlotte nodded.

“I understand,” she said. “When my parents were in an accident, I didn’t want to go in either. Everyone made me. They said that my parents would be okay, but…they weren’t.”

Casey swallowed. He felt dizzy, but managed to keep himself from passing out. He knew why it was happening, but was in denial about it.

“Then when Glen hit me, I had to go into one again. Annie made me because he’d fractured my arm grabbing me…I’ve hated them ever since.”

Casey curled his hands into fists, anger poring into his veins, his heart pounding at the thought of her being abused by that monster. Killing him didn’t seem justice enough in his eyes. It was men like that who deserved to be tortured. Not good men, like his team.

“Then Billy got hurt and I thought he’d die like my parents did. I thought I was bad luck,” Charlotte said, at first sad then she smiled. “But he didn’t and he believed in me. I don’t hate hospitals anymore.”

Such simple logic. Casey wished he could think that simply again, that positively again. He knew he never would. He knew that all he had left to him was anger and recrimination.

“I’ll go in with you, if you’d like,” she offered.

Casey felt a small hand touch his, waiting for him to grasp it. His anger dissipated and he took her hand into his.

“Let’s go then,” he said.

She giggled and it lightened his heavy heart.

They reached Billy’s room and Casey froze again.

“You go in first,” he said, feeling like a coward. “I’m sure he’ll be much happier to see you.”

“Okay,” she said with a smile as she let go and went into his room.

Michael walked up to Casey, a little perturbed.

“Where have you been?”

“I’m not on the clock, Michael,” Casey said tersely, squeezing his eyes closed in pain. “Where I go on my own time is my own business.”

Michael heard a tremor in Casey’s tone that allowed him to hold back scolding him for going MIA.

“Billy was worried about you. We all were. He seemed to think that it had something to do with him. Does it?”

“I don’t like being interrogated, Michael.”

“Does it have something to do with what happened to the both of you when you were in pursuit of Blaisdel? I never did get the full story on that.”

Casey stiffened, but his resolve slipped.

“Are you asking as my boss or –“

“I’m asking as your friend. You’ve been on edge ever since we lost Billy in the field and even now, when he’s better you –“

“SOMEONE HELP!”

A shrill young voice called out breaking their conversation and their concentration.

Casey went ramrod still, clenching every muscle, his neck tense ropes.

Michael ran over to her.

“What’s wrong?”

“I DON’T KNOW! I DON’T KNOW! Billy can’t breathe!”

A phalanx of doctors and nurses rushed into Billy’s room.

“I thought he was going to be okay?” Charlotte wept in hysteria.

Casey was riveted to the spot he was standing.

“Every actor needs the right proper exit yeh? The play’s the thing, after all.”

Casey then heard himself mouth in hushed tones.

“No, you bastard. You don’t get to leave. Not on my watch.”

ChaosChaosChaos

The doctors had determined that Billy had developed a pulmonary edema, which had caused his difficulty breathing. They gave him diuretics to remove the fluid and he was responding well. They had told everyone it had been a minor setback, that Billy would be tired, but all right for visitors if briefly.

The men encouraged Charlotte to go in, but the episode had scared her and she was afraid again.

Casey saw her trepidation and walked up to her, his hand trembling briefly as he extended it. He had been without sleep and food for a few days, immersing himself in his workouts in order to block out the voice of his conscience. He recognized the physiological effects he was experiencing of doing that to his body, he had not fully healed himself, but he was the human weapon. He would just retreat to his stoic center and regain control just like he always did without fail, but at that moment, as he shifted his concentration towards Charlotte he felt his body winning over his control no matter how hard he fought to keep that tenuous control.

Charlotte was more important.

Billy was more important.

He had to hold it together until he could get her into his room. The extent of his protective nature towards her surprised him, but he didn’t resist it.

“I’ll go in with you, if you’d like,” he said repeating her encouraging words back to her.

Rick and Michael could barely contain their snickers.

Casey didn’t even turn then said, “I can hear you, you know.”

Charlotte smiled too as she took his hand. She then noticed how weak his grip was.

They walked in together.

Michael noticed a drag in Casey’s steps that he had never seen before and his paranoid hackles were raised. Casey was struggling to walk, to keep steady on his feet. He saw the forced actions and he continued to observe. Jumping to conclusions when it came to Casey was a mistake he’d never make again after having suffered the wrath of doing that in the past. Still, he didn’t think he was imagining things this time.

Billy felt their presence. He turned his head. His nose and mouth was covered with an oxygen mask to ease his breathing. He weakly pulled the mask off so that he could talk.

Casey swallowed at seeing Billy’s gaunt and somewhat bluish-grey pallor. Despite Billy’s attempts at trying to act normal for Charlotte’s sake, just as he was doing the same for her, Casey knew that Billy was far from well. His jovial smile may have fooled her, but Casey’s senses hadn’t been so dulled that he hadn’t noticed it, but then again, he knew he was far from his precious 100% himself.

Denial was a river in Egypt and both Billy and Casey rode those rapids way too often.

“Good to see you, love…I’m so sorry I scared you before, but I promise you…I’m good now,” Billy said as he replaced the mask, feeling the need for the cool gas to soothe his throat and lungs.

Far from well at all…the both of them, what an understatement, Casey admitted only to himself. He also noted, “note to self, we’re both a couple of idiots.”

“It’s all right, Billy. I’m just glad you’re okay. I was scared, but Casey helped me,” she gave him a smile.

“Did he, now?” Billy breathed with a strained smile, tickled at the notion that Casey would be the one to provide that kind of comfort especially to a young child. “Quite the gesture, I imagine.”

“I have my moments,” Casey said, wrestling to keep conscious, but feeling unconsciousness creeping quickly into his body, spiraling quickly out of his control.

All he could do was hope that it wouldn’t hit until he left the room.

Billy noticed that he didn’t look well at all. Until now, Billy would never have attributed illness, pain (prolonged pain, anyway), or any kind of weakness to the human weapon and the fact that he could now, worried him beyond his own struggle over his own pain and weakness at that moment. If Casey had experienced any of those things, he had hidden them well, but now, it was clear, his dominance was slipping.

Billy nodded to the young girl and watched her walk out. Casey was about to turn and join her, when Billy pulled off the mask again.

“Casey? You all right there, mate?”

“I’m…I’m fine…” Casey said unconvincingly.

He closed his eyes to fend off the escalating dizziness and began to waver on his legs then he tried to pinch the bridge of his nose as if trying to stave off a headache.

“Casey?” Billy called out feebly, the effort of breathing his name out, causing his own light-headedness.

Casey then dropped to the floor unconscious. Billy, shocked by what he had seen, pressed his call button frantically.

Once more, doctors and nurses entered his room in a mad rush and Michael and Rick rushed in after them, figuring Billy had had another setback, but to their surprise, it had been Casey who was prostrate on the floor.

“Now look what you’ve done. You’ve reduced me to a heap on the floor. How am I supposed to live this down?” Billy heard Casey in his head.

Billy could only watch in abject terror as the doctors assessed Casey’s condition. His own breathing started to quicken and pain began to spread through his chest. He tried taking in breaths through his mask, but it was like sucking air through a straw.

Michael and Rick were just as flummoxed by the scene as their gaze went from Casey to Billy as they heard Billy sounding like he was choking. Michael managed to disengage his shock from one team member to pull one doctor away to point him to another.

If it hadn’t been so shocking, it would have looked like a scene from a comedy movie, doctors trying to decide whom to treat first.

Michael then rejoined Rick in helpless disbelief.

The human weapon was never unconscious unless placed here by his own will.

The human weapon never got sick.

Even when Casey was wounded, he barely registered it and took very few days to recover once treatment was initiated.

So to see him down on the floor, unconscious was a shock, yet there he was, being treated by health professionals whom he often mocked.

And Billy, he always bounced back from setbacks.

Billy never gave up and yet he was struggling this time, weakening with every battle that assailed him to engage against the latest war being waged inside his body.

Two men and a young girl, all from their varying viewpoints watched powerless as one set of doctors, nurses and orderlies got Casey onto a gurney and wheeled him away while another set tried to figure out what was causing Billy to suffocate on oxygen.

Billy felt his own weary body succumbing to the campaign as the doctors tried to assess his condition, his lungs begging for air and his body begging for rest from his own ordeal, but as his mind ebbed towards sleep, his last thoughts were of Casey’s fate.

“If I can’t give in, then you can’t, mate,” he heard his inner voice tell the encroaching vacuum in his mind.

Michael, Rick and Charlotte just continued to stand and stare helplessly, as they watched both of their friends fight for survival.


TO BE CONTINUED...



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You do such a wonderful job of playing out the angst. And I love the insights you have here of the Billy/Casey relationship. They're such an odd pair but still so undeniably well suited for each other, and I love how you show that. And now they're both hurt and not faring well -- but how can they save each other when they can't save themselves? What other angst will you put them through before finally giving them a chance to recover?

You write glorious h/c :) I'm so glad for it!

I already commented on FF.n, but I just had to say that I'm so curious where this will go next! I'm really enjoying all the angst and the interaction between the characters. It's a fantastic look into their friendship. :)


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