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Untold Truths Part 1/2
sophie_deangirl

Inspired by faye_dartmouth's Not in the Cards. Dedicated to her and lena7142.

Warning: Character death.

Summary: Some secrets are revealed to Rick

Untold Truths

Part 1:


Rick was still in shock.

It had happened so fast - too fast.

He had known the realities.

Capture. Torture.

Death.

But he had been a romantic about them too.

Capture. He’d be saved by his friends.

Torture. He’d recover with this friends’ help.

Death...his friends would be with him, would never let him die alone or leave his body behind.


He’d had all the answers, but only for himself.

Capture. He’d find them.

Torture. He’d help them recover.

Death...He would be there for them, never let them die alone or leave their bodies behind.

But he had never considered death an option...had never thought it would happen...not to the ODS...not to his friends.

They had come through so many close calls and had lived to tell about it. Maybe he should have considered that their luck might run out someday, but it was bad luck to think that way so he hadn't.

Denial was a river in Egypt.

Reality was cold, heartless and unavoidable and Rick had been caught completely unaware when it struck.

Death happened in the Agency.

Rick just didn’t want to think about death happening to the ODS.


When he had first joined up, he was blithely excited about it. It had been something he had always wanted to do, to serve and protect his country from enemy combatants, but then on his first day he had been commandeered by the director to become a mole in the ODS. It didn't take long for Michael, Casey and Billy to manipulate his naïveté to haze him unmercifully.

He had thought about quitting then, barely freshly minted from the Farm, idealism blazing across his forehead.

But one man had told him that he had a heart of a hero and though Rick had known the “compliment” had been given with complete sarcasm and had contained no sincerity, he would learn much later that Billy had meant it, had repeated it during times of real testing in order to not only bolster, but to truly express his belief in him.

Billy had become the “purveyor of all truths” for Rick when it had come to the Agency and to the ODS. Some of those truths came veiled with humor, others were delivered with unflinching honesty. Rick had grown closer to Billy than with Michael and Casey only because Billy had been willing to give what Rick had needed whenever the teaching opportunity presented itself whether it was encouragement or confidence.

And now that voice, that intellect and humor was gone. Lost for good and Rick was having a hard time coming to terms with the silence, to the loss...to not having any more truths being told to him. He had so much more to learn and now, it had been taken away from him. He had been robbed of a teacher and a friend.

Billy had been captured, but they had rescued him.

A month later.

Billy had been tortured.

He had been near death when they had found him. Conscious, but barely, covered in blood and bruises as well as hidden injuries they couldn't inventory or address out in the field.

Billy had been airlifted to a nearby hospital with Rick refusing to let him go alone.

Billy had tried...but the wounds...

Rick clenched his eyes closed, trying to block out the memory, but he knew he would only be able to do it for a short time. He knew he would never forget completely. A part of him never wanted to forget. He knew that he would always miss those untold truths.

At least Billy had died in his arms. For anyone else, that might be the memory to erase but for Rick, sharing Billy’s last words, his last moments were what he had wanted to remember, was the memory he wanted to cling to because it would be the very last ones he would have with him.

“Hold on, hold on, Billy,” Rick said, his voice cracking with panic.

Billy groaned, gazed around, at first looking confused. When his eyes landed on Rick, he smiled, blood streaking the left corner of his mouth.

“Rick, lad...you’re looking a mite squeamish there...I’m the one who...hates the sight of blood, remember?” Billy teased.

“Rest, Billy, don’t talk,” Rick emphasized, knowing deep down that Billy would disobey him.

“Talking’s my stock and trade, mate...don’t know how to stay silent, yeh?” Billy closed his eyes and started to wheeze.

Rick clung to him, more for himself than for Billy. He was scared.

“Yeh, I’ve noticed that,” Rick smiled.

“Right, so...first, thank ya, thank all of ya...I had not the slightest doubt you’d come for me,” Billy shivered with pain.

“Of course we’d come for you,” Rick said, his voice just as shaky as Billy’s, but for different reasons.

“It makes letting you down...all the more regrettable for me.”

“What? No, no, you’re going to be fine. You’re going to be fine,” Rick repeated like a mantra, wanting to make Billy believe it, wanting to believe it himself,

“I’m afraid...I’m far from fine, lad,” Billy said as he stiffened with pain.

“Yeh, right now, but when we get to the hospital -”

“Rick, listen to me...I fear my time is short on this mortal plane...” Billy shook with pain again and even grabbed Rick’s arm for purchase against it. “I...I need you to promise me to stay a hero...more to the point, I’ll need ya to show that hero’s heart of yours...to those who will need it..."

Rick shook his head, tears streaming down his cheeks at the helplessness he felt. All he could do was listen even though he didn’t want the words to be true, he owed Billy his undivided attention. Truth be told, he needed to listen, knowing it would be the last time he’d hear Billy again.

“Michael and Casey don’t need it.”

“That’s where you’re wrong...they’ll need it more than they'll admit...to remind them to stay heroes themselves...but it’s not just them I’m thinking of....”

Billy was struggling to finish his words. Rick could almost see him willing himself to hang on until he was done, as if he could defy death until he was finished with his mission.

“I...don’t have time...to tell you the whole story...a first for everything, yeh?” Billy said smiling. “You’ll know what to do...”

“Know what to do about what?” Rick's desperation warring with frustration at needing to understand what Billy was trying to tell him.

“When you're called to duty...you’ll...know...what to do...lad...and you'll do the heroic thing...I'm certain of it...I wish I had more time...to school you...further, but death won't wait, I'm afraid,” Billy said, his breathing turning into rasps and wheezing whispers then he grabbed Rick’s hand with his bloodied one both in pain and with emphasis. “Last lesson, aye? How...to die...surrounded by your best mates...Noblest death of all...yeh? Was right all along...heart....h...heart of a hero.”

Billy exhaled a moan and his body went still. All that could be heard was the thrumming of the helicopter’s blades over their heads.

ChaosChaos Chaos

Rick's cell phone startled him from his recall. He half-heartedly reached for it and answered it.

"Hello?"

"Is this Mr. Rick Martinez?" Said a voice with an English accent. A wave of emotion hit Rick as it made him remember Billy.

"Yes, yes who is this?"

"I'm Simon Leichester, William Collins' barrister."

"Billy Collins' what?" Rick responded, confused.

"Mr. Collins appointed you the executor of his estate and I need to meet with you to discuss the details of his wishes. He left a video will."

Rick was in shock and couldn't imagined why Billy would choose him as the executor of his estate.

"Uh, yes, of course."

"Would tomorrow morning at 10 be amenable?"

Rick smiled at the thought of Billy choosing a compatriot as his lawyer.

"Yes, that will be fine."

Rick hung up and though initially the call had been both confusing, surprising and mildly amusing, the reminder that Billy was gone resurfaced in a tightened chest and his eyes refilled with tears.

The next morning Rick was in Simon Leichester's office. He was nervous. Leichester had said that Billy had left a video will and he was worried that seeing him again would send him over the edge emotionally again.

Billy's memorial had been laughably insufficient for the life he had sacrificed for not breaking under enormous pressure yet Rick knew that Billy would have found it enough, suitable. Billy had specified to be cremated, but there were no other details on how he had wanted his remains to be “handled”. Rick could guess that Billy would want to go back home, be buried with his family and even if he hadn’t asked for that, Rick would take him there anyway. He knew that Billy deserved to go back home. Now, being in Billy's lawyer's office, he would probably get his answer. Rick was certain of one thing, he would do anything that he asked of him.

Rick sat in the waiting room nervously. He was worried about how he would react to seeing Billy again. It still hurt to remember his death yet the silence of Billy’s absence was reminder enough and he almost ached to hear his voice again.

“Mr. Martinez? Mr. Leichester will see you now,” his secretary called out, offering the open door for him to pass through.

Rick took in a long breath, feeling as if he had been holding it for the entire time he had been waiting. He nodded his thanks to her, stood up and walked through.

"Thank you for coming, Mr. Martinez,” Mr. Leichester said as he extended his hand to shake Rick’s. "I'm sorry to have kept you waiting."

Leichester was a well-dressed man, wearing a pressed charcoal grey three piece suit and lavender silk tie. In many ways, he reminded him of Billy. Billy had always worn three piece suits and even suggested that their off-the-book business might be in making ties, silly as it had come off at the time, it was a fond memory that brought a smile.

“No problem, thank you for calling...it’s just...I’m confused. Why he would make me his executor?” Rick said. “I mean, we’re colleagues, friends, but...”

“It’s not my place to question Mr. Collins’ choice. He must have trusted you a great deal,” he said.

Rick swallowed hard. The thought that Billy had placed so much trust and responsibility onto him based on knowing him for such a short time was both inconceivable and yet a privilege that Rick felt he hadn’t earned.

“He expressed his desire to reveal his wishes privately to you so I’m sure you’ll find that answer soon. I’ve set up everything for you and will leave you to it. I'll just be in the next room. Retrieve me when you are finished."

Simon then left the room after turning on the DVD player.

Rick was trembling. He felt dread. He was going to see Billy again. It should have made him feel...maybe happy's not the word, but he didn't think he should be feeling dread.

Then the video started and Rick saw Billy's beaming face. The dread was gone. There was a feeling of fondness rising in Rick, seeing Billy happy made him happy and had lifted the sorrow he had been feeling since his death.

"Rick, lad, it's good to see you again!" Billy said, jovial, vibrant with life. "Well, I can't see you, but I know you, mate, and the thought that you're viewing this warms my heart as well as saddens my soul greatly because if you are seeing me now, I am dead and you are mourning my death, much too much and for far too long I fear and I mean to end that suffering right now."

Rick found Billy's insight into his nature just as honed as if he were an asset he had studied, but Rick knew that observations of details into the manner and character of people was Billy's gift. He was no different with his friends than he was with the assets. If anything, he had invested that much more into his friends, understanding the value of forging that bond.

Rick had confided things to Billy that he hadn't with the others. He had revealed parts of himself that only his family knew about him to Billy. It was a trust easily earned. Billy's razor sharp assessment from those details were keen and even in death, he spoke to Rick's vulnerabilities. He felt Billy's desire to acknowledge them and to assuage the pain Rick was feeling.

It made him smile even as more tears filled his eyes.

"By now you know that I have made you my executor. Why you? Perhaps you're asking yourself, well, it should be fairly obvious that its because of that hero's heart of yours, your noble devotion to good and selflessness because what I am about to reveal to you and the last wish I will prevail upon you to fulfill, will require a kind of self-sacrifice unlike any you have already shown.

"First things first, however. You have yet to be hardened by loss or to be consumed by the veil of darkness that shrouds all of us who do this work and so I know that my death will weigh heaviest upon you. I want you to know that I died loving the craft and have long since accepted the inevitable fate that has befallen me. I hope it came without pain, but know that's hardly realistic. What I fear is that you will take too much to heart how death took me. I want you to know that you mustn't harbor guilt or find some ridiculous reason to lay blame upon yourself. The dastardly "what ifs" that plague good men's souls can be terrible seductresses towards guilt, but I'm telling you, it's all hogwash and rubbish and I'll not have it. I was likely killed at the hands of evil. Plain and simple as that. Nothing you could have done could have saved me, nothing you did or did not do caused it to happen. Be at peace with my death. I know I am. Your hero's heart mustn't be diminished because of me. You'll be doing a disservice to my life, to how I lived if you do. Promise me that you will take my death as a renewal of your commitment to squash evil at every turn and that good shall always prevail over it. Don't compromise your belief in the patriotism for which you entered the Agency for I lived for it as well."

Rick found himself absently wiping tears from his face.

"Now, as to the disposition of my remains. A painful subject, I well understand and it grieves me to ask you to take charge of them, but my trust in you is absolute and I hope the burden I place upon you relays that trust. I know that per my instructions, the Agency has seen fit to cremate me. I hope you will respect my request though if I'm right about that compassionate soul of yours, you have already surmised that I wish be taken back to my mother country. I wish to rest for eternity next to my family in North Edinburgh. Simon will arrange for the travel and any costs and details that need to be made. I hope that you will take a moment to visit my ancestral home as all that has been imbued in me to make the man that I am, was forged there."

Rick took in a deep breath and let out a sigh.

Billy's demeanor then visibly changed. His joviality ebbed away, in its place a small smile and perhaps a look of wistfulness flitted across his face.

"Right, to the heart of things then," Billy smiled weakly, his voice soft. "You already know that I excel in hiding behind facades. It is, after all, my stock and trade. Though I have revealed more to you in the short time we have known each other, a testament to your refreshing outlook on life, I might add, there is much you don't know and what I am about to entrust to you, is not just a declaration of facts, but with its knowledge comes a responsibility that I hope you will embrace with your whole heart, but I will understand if it is too much to ask of you and you needn't feel any obligation."

Rick waited as he watched Billy pause, take a breath and rub his hands. This was a side of Billy he had never seen. He was struggling to find the right words, an act Rick thought was impossible. Billy had never struggled with a quip, a quote from Shakespeare ever available for recitation, a story or two, a factoid he learned from google, or with any words that could elicit the right response. They all rolled effortlessly threaded with charm, humor, sometimes sarcasm in his Scottish accent. Rick felt his nervousness and began to worry as well about what Billy was about to say.

"I hesitate because I fear your harsh judgment of me of what I'm about to reveal and while in our line of work, such concerns are at best superfluous and for someone like Casey, a waste of energy, I hold your opinion in high regard. I value it above all others."

Billy paused again. Rick was amazed that he was so worried about his reaction, his opinion of him. Rick believed that nothing could diminish his view of Billy.

"I fear that the right words escape me, perhaps there are none comparable to just spitting it out so best to be direct then yeh?"

Billy looked up into the camera and Rick spied tears in his eyes.

"I have a son," Billy uttered quietly and quickly, a touch of awe and reverence at the admission.

Rick was caught gobsmacked by the revelation.

Billy pulled out a small photo from his wallet and showed it to the camera.

Rick was amused at the resemblance the little boy had to his father, down to the mischievous smile.

"Little Liam is six years old as I speak now. I had already been disgraced and ousted when he was born, but lest you think that I learned of his existence as an after thought or that it had been hidden from me by his mother, neither is true. I knew of the pregnancy before I left, had been struck humbled and grateful that I could be capable of bringing such life in its perfect innocence into this harsh world. I dearly wanted nothing more than to be a devoted father. Olivia, - yes, that Olivia - and I agreed that to keep them both safe, they had to stay protected in London and I as far away from them as I could accomplish.. It cleaved my heart in twain to leave her and my child behind, but I didn't regret keeping them away from the danger that is my profession and my checkered past."

Billy gazed at the photo and his expression was unmistakably filled with love and devotion for his son. It didn't surprise Rick at all. Billy may have treated him more brotherly, but the kind of compassion and caring that he had given him was not unlike the dedication a loving father would give to his children.

"The only regret I harbor in this life of mine is that I wasn't the father I wanted to be for Liam. I was determined not to be like my own father, but I ached that I would likely never feel my son's embrace. Still, I'll not have any son of mine ever believe he was abandoned or unloved by his father so though I could not be with him, Liv and I made sure he knew his father and that he loved him.

"Now with my death, my son will never truly know me and just thinking about leaving him with that future leaves me bereft so, Rick, it is this heavy burden that which I lay at your feet and for which I humbly ask of you to undertake in my stead. To protect Liv and my son and to remind him of the father who had left him, that he wasn't a bad man and who would never have left him if it were by his choice."

Billy looked back into the camera, straight at Rick. Tears were in his eyes.

"This is my last mission to you, lad. And you may be asking why you? Why not Michael or Casey? They have known me the longest, yeh? Surely they are more qualified to tell my story to my son, but though they possess fine qualities indeed and I would entrust my life as well as the lives of Livvie and Liam to them, they would be the first to tell you that they lack the very thing that you possess in abundance and it is a valued commodity, your hero's heart which is more than heroic acts, but compassionate gestures. My son must see and learn what a hero's heart is. He must have an example to aspire and I could think of no other man I would entrust to Impart those lessons to my son."

Rick couldn't stop the tears. Billy was not only saying goodbye for the last time, but to Rick's mind, telling Billy's son the hero's heart that his father had possessed. And though the responsibility was daunting, Rick knew he had to do it, that he wanted to do it with every fiber of his being. Liam would know his hero father through Rick's admiration. Perhaps that was what Billy was counting on.

"So, young Rick this is goodbye. I want you to know that there aren't enough words to express my admiration and my every confidence that through your generous world view, life in the ODS will be all the richer. I consider that my ultimate legacy to Michael and Casey. You will not only keep them safe for those skills can be learned by any willing recruit, but you'll keep them from falling prey to the darker abyss that can sometimes slither into good men's souls. If I can claim any influence at all, it would be that I did that for them, for you. Nothing I have done for the job could measure up to protecting them and you from that darkness.

"It has been an honor, lad, to be your teacher for a time, for whatever I could impart to you and to being your grateful friend. Live well and live happily. That's how you can honor me. As you now know, life can be cruelly snatched from you just as you're beginning to live. Live and love now, mate. It's all any of us has. Today. The past and future cannot be changed. The present is the gift we must never take for granted. That is my last wish for you. My last lesson."

Billy's bright smile glowed back at Rick and then the screen went to static.

He heard the door open and he quickly wiped his tears.

"Mr. Martinez, is everything all right?"

"Yes, yes," Rick said as he cleared his throat. "Can I ask you, how long ago did Billy make this?"

"I believe it was approximately six months ago."

Rick crinkled his forehead in confusion.

"Six months? We've only worked together for just under a year. How could he trust such information and responsibility to someone he's only known..." Rick trailed off. "Did he have another will?"

"Yes, he wanted to provide for his family in case something happened to him, but he changed the executor to you -"

"Six months ago?"

"Yes, sir," Simon said. "If you have completed viewing the video, I'd like your answer."

"Answer?"

"To become the conservator of his estate and of his son."

"What? Billy didn't...Liam has a mother."

"True, but he wanted to ensure that if anything ever happened -"

"That I would take care of him."

"Mr. Collins felt very strongly about that."

Rick nodded.

"Yeh, he did," Rick said, pride filling his chest for the man he would make sure his son would be proud to know even though it would only be through him. "Yes. Yes, I'd be honored to take care of his family."


TBC


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This is so sad! And really interesting. It's definitely a twist no one has done before. I always do like the idea of Billy as a dad, and your explanation for why he has no contact with his son is really appropriate. I'll be curious to see what happens next! Will we meet little Liam? Who I imagine is just like his dad :)

I'm SO glad you liked it. I know you hate deathfics, but I had hoped the twist would make it worthwhile and I'd be forgiven. Hee! I'm finishing up the ending. Loads of angst to come and little Liam IS a chip off the old block. :)

Just had to say again how much I enjoyed this first chapter. I had a feeling it was Billy that wasn't long for this world, lol. I love the twsit of him having a son! :)

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