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Unabashed Spoiler Hound & Fanfic writer

Reveling in the fickle nature of fangirlishness

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Secret Identity Part 2/5
A completely, fanciful story without any logic whatsoever so fair warning to suspend your disbelief and just let your imagination take over. It came as inspiration from watching too many Man of Steel interviews.

Disclaimer: I don’t own Chaos

Chapter 2:

To call Billy’s condition as grave seemed to be grossly understating the obvious. It was one of the descriptors doctors used to quantify how serious the patient’s condition was. Stable, good, serious, critical, and grave even combined with each other like “critical, but stable “ were diabolically vague and noncommittal at best. Grave boded ill and brought to mind the image of a “one foot in the grave, might as well be both feet” qualifier that could never instill any kind of confidence or hope. Likely it was intended to bring such an image, but for the men who heard that associated with Billy’s condition, it was a painful revelation.

Adding to the anxiety was word that Michael had gone missing. It was Rick who had been given the intel as it was clear that Casey was incapable of handling any more news that negatively-affected the already "damaged" team. Rick was more concerned that Casey would finally lose any remaining grip he had on his tenuous control. Still, they were needed back at headquarters to get read in on the details and difficult as it was to accept, Billy was beyond their ability to help and they had to concentrate on the latest blow to their team. With Valdez having escaped during the sniper attack and his known reputation for vicious acts of retribution, Michael was on borrowed time.

Blanke offered to keep an eye on Billy and to report any changes. Casey's and Rick's trust of Blanke was minimal, their opinion of him as a spy was even less and was one of incredulity that he had ever made any kind of career from the work, Casey, especially, held nothing more than contempt for his lack of expertise, but they knew he was a caring person and more importantly, knowing that someone was keeping an eye on Billy gave them a way to concentrate on directing their efforts towards finding Michael. Casey couldn't multitask his 100% as well as he would like to have people believe.

Blanke entered Billy's room, a deeply concerned yet seemingly full of purpose expression etched across his cherubic features. Any of the ODS observing him at that moment would have been confused and surprised because the Blanke they knew was, at best, bumbling, at worst, completely incompetent. He examined Billy's helpless repose then paused to carefully extract a hypodermic from his right jacket pocket. He looked around him, making sure that no one was observing him. He swiftly and with surprising deftness, plunged the needle into Billy's IV line, expressing the clear fluid into the saline coursing through the tubing and into Billy's arm. Once done, he pocketed back the syringe.

He then sat down in a chair beside the bed, letting the tension in his body release into it. He glanced at the monitors and was reassured that they hadn't changed for the worse.

It was after a few minutes that Billy began to stir, his head moving from side to side, his eyes fluttering open, soft moans coming from his hoarse throat. Blanke rose up immediately to try to catch Billy's gaze.

"Billy? Can you hear me?" He asked softly so as to not garner any attention from the nursing staff just down the hall.

Billy moaned again as he tried to zero in on Blanke's voice. After a few more moments, he locked on to the slowly clearing image of Blanke hovering over him.

"Blanke?" Billy queried, still unsure of his assessment.

"Yeh, yeh, how are you feeling?" He asked.

"Like I've been hit dead-on by a lorry," Billy rasped and groaned.

Blanke smiled meekly. It was nice to hear Billy making jokes. It gave Blanke a sense of normal. If Billy was joking, teasing or quoting Shakespeare, you knew his mind was sound and his sense of humor intact.

"Do you remember what happened?" Blanke continued to gently interrogate, testing Billy's recall.

Billy paused and Blanke could see that he was trying to access his memories, filtering and sorting through them.

"Mission was buggered. Casey...compromised...Sniper..." Billy reported back, the questioning tone in his voice revealing that he wasn't 100% certain he was remembering correctly.

"Yeh," Blanke confirmed. "That's what happened. You were shot. You almost died."

"It wouldn't be the first time," Billy teased, but he noted that Blanke had paled at recollecting Billy's brush with death.

Blanke acted the hapless buffoon, an agent at the dead end of, what appeared to everyone else, a lackluster career, but Billy knew the truth of it. Not only was Blanke not a fool, but he had been at the top his game over twenty years ago. Mistakes had been made, blame cast erroneously as was often the case and Blanke had been the chosen scapegoat. Billy understood that position all too well and just as it had been done to him, Blanke's career and credibility had been destroyed, his rise in the Agency thwarted in the wake of the acts of the true culprits, rogue agents who had possessed traitorous hearts. Billy had lived it himself. Once he had discovered the circumstances behind Blanke's fall from grace, Billy took it upon himself to not let Blanke's talent and experience go to waste, to not ostracize him as he had been by the British Secret Service and by his friends. So much so that Billy had entrusted Blanke with a secret he had not revealed to anyone else, not even to Michael, Casey and Rick. And Blanke had proven himself worthy to Billy. They had become comrades in arms, hiding behind the pretense of disrespect.

"That close, aye?" Billy said.

"That close," Blanke reiterated. "I think you forget how mortal you really are."

"How bad..." Billy asked as he slowly felt his mind gaining a firmer foothold on full consciousness.

Blanke swallowed hard, obviously trying to hold back his own emotional reaction to the seriousness of Billy's injury.

"Ah, right then, that bad as well," Billy had surmised.

"You almost bled out on the way here," Blanke said seriously at first then smiled again. "Casey 'convinced' the EMT to perform a field transfusion."

Billy couldn't help a shaky smile.

"I don't envy the poor sod going head to head with our human weapon," Billy said, his voice strengthening.

"Casey nearly lost it," Blanke revealed, solemn again. "He saved your life. You're going to owe him."

"Aye, my greatest fear come true that. Knew it was inevitable someday," Billy teased with a smile. "I knew that sod had a soft spot for me. He'll no doubt become insufferable knowing his blood is now coursing through my veins and will take it upon himself to remind me of it during physically trying times."

Blanke's smile widened and he snorted a chuckle.

"Speaking of 'coursing through your veins', how are you feeling now?" Blanke asked.

"The serum?" Billy replied.

"Yes," Blanke confirmed.

"It's working," he acknowledged. "Thank you."

Blanke demurred with a nod.

Billy sensed there was something Blanke was keeping from him. He was reassured that he hadn't lost his touch at reading tells.

"Something's wrong. What is it?"

"You need to let the serum do its job. You won't be any good-" Blanke evaded.

Billy then grew agitated, his senses heightening as the serum began working on his immune system as intended, healing him quickly if not fast enough for Billy's taste.

"Tell me, Blanke," Billy insisted.

Blanke stalled a bit longer then took in a breath.

"Michael's gone dark."

Billy closed his eyes in regret rather than in physical pain.

"Bloody hell," he said in frustration. "Valdez?"

"Into the wind. The sniper -"

"Was a ruse, a diversion for Valdez to slip away unnoticed," Billy finished for him, a look of blame on his face. "I have to find Michael."

Blanke placed a concerned hand on Billy's chest to stop his progression into a sitting position.

"Rick and Casey are being read in right now. You're in no shape -"

"It will have to be enough-"

"And how exactly are you going to explain your miraculous recovery from a sniper's bullet? Do I have to remind you that you almost bled out? You're risking raising questions. I won't even go into how it will look you just walking out of the hospital."

Billy laid back in his bed, still weak, but getting stronger. He knew Blanke was right, but it didn't make the situation tolerable for him. Blanke understood better than anyone how helpless Billy felt at that moment. He'd been there more times than he'd like to remember with long gone friends of his own.

"You don't have to tell me how much you need to help Michael. I know that the longer Michael stays dark, the worse the outcome. I want to help too, but..."

Billy relaxed at Blanke's admission. Sometimes the act that Blanke employed was too convincing. It was too easy to forget that Blanke was doing the ruse to protect Billy's true identity.

"I'm sorry. I'm being a selfish git. I sometimes forget that you're playing the fool Falstaff on my account, hampered by your facade, sacrificing your credibility in the process. I know you're not that fool and want to help save Michael as much as I do."

"You don't have to apologize. You gave me a purpose again. They were going to put me out to pasture where all old spies go to die. I didn't want to end up like Corwin."

"You are a far better man than Corwin ever could aspire. I will do everything in my power to defend you from that fate. I owe you more than I can ever repay. "

Blanke just nodded, uncomfortable with the praise.

"Let the serum do its job so you can help Michael. I'll get as much intel as I can for you."

Billy extended his hand in respect and Blanke took it with equal measure in return.


The mission had been a disaster. Agents had been killed. They had been led into a trap by a duplicitous asset. It happened all too often despite all the efforts to prevent it: All the precautions had been taken; all the leads had been double checked and authenticated. It had been textbook.

Or so Billy thought.

All the tells had been confirmed. Not by Billy, but by his partner, Rhys McCollugh, a twenty year veteran who had taken Billy under his wing. To Billy's eyes, he had been the pillar of exemplary conduct, a role model who had molded Billy into the man he was. Rhys had ingrained into Billy the principles of loyalty both to Queen and Country and to one's mates.

Betrayal was the bitterest pill of all to swallow. It was worse than cyanide. If you were lucky, cyanide killed you, painfully, yes, but then it would be all over and done with.

Betrayal can be relived over and over again even when you didn't want it; in your dreams, in your waking existence, every chance it could invade your consciousness, your cells. It's pain that never ends.

Billy had been naive to believe in the system; in justice prevailing; in everyone around him playing by the same rules as he had; to trust that when things went horrifically awry, his mates would be there for him as he would have been for them; most of all, that he could trust his mentor.

It was his last mistake in MI6. It had cost him everything including his life.

Billy had died that day.

Correction. He should have died that day and almost wished he had.

He had also been reborn.

Billy had been shot five times. He had remembered the pooling blood building beneath him, the wet feeling, at first warm, then cooling quickly. He had remembered the spasmodic pain, the helpless ebb of unconsciousness.

Billy had remembered the pain in vivid blood curdling detail, pain that would even challenge the limits of Casey Malick.

And one more thing.

He had remembered who had killed him.

Billy had watched in shock and disappointment as his mentor pointed his gun at him.

"I'm truly sorry, lad. I have no choice," he'd said, looking truly solemn and full of regret.

Rhys then pressed the trigger. Five times.

After that, there was nothing but penetrating pressure, at first more stinging than painful, but it hadn't taken long for the sensation to change from stinging to piercing as the bullets ripped paths through his body.

Five pulls. Five bullets. Five hits.

Pain, gravity and the concentration he was trying to exert to focus on the man who had once been his teacher and who was now his assassin were warring for Billy's attention.

He then could no longer fight off his body's imperative need to be noticed. Blood loss was rapidly fogging his mind, blurring his vision, weakening his muscles, and gravity took advantage of all that by forcing him to drop to his knees. Fiery flashes of agony riddled throughout every part of him as he descended. He tasted the copper of his blood flooding into his mouth. Billy inwardly begged for swift unconsciousness to envelope him before the real torment overtook him.

They raced to the finish, the finish of him.

Death won the race in the end and the last thing Billy heard was his mentor, his hero, his killer yelling, "Agent down!"


Waking up was the last thing Billy had expected.

Waking up in pain was not. He had been shot five times after all. He had remembered the bullets hitting him; he had remembered collapsing to the ground, dying. So why was he alive and in pain then?

He tried looking around him, but his arms and legs were restrained to a bed. He could only move his head and gaze around his surroundings.

He saw IVs entering veins in both his arms. He shivered where exposed skin met cool air and the tremors brought waves of pain. He groaned and fisted his hands to brace against the invisible assaults.

A voice filtered through his confusion and suffering but instead of comfort, it brought rage and fury.

"Lay still there, lad. They are trying to help you."

His killer: Rhys McCullough.

"Rhys," he spat out, his voice cracking with agony and venom. "You tried...to kill me, you bastard."

"I had to, mate. I'll explain later. Right now these fellas are trying to save you and more."

Billy, his expression still carved with hate, didn't understand how Rhys could act completely reassuring when Billy was feeling the worst torture he had ever experienced.

"Save me? And what do you...mean by more?" Billy asked just before he was awash in torment that he had never felt before. "GGGGOD! WWWHAT'S...HAPPENING...TO ME?"

Billy wailed like a wounded animal, screaming and panting intermixed within his cries as his body tensed against his restraints. If he had time to think as opposed to exerting all his energy to controlling the wave after wave of pain assaulting him, he would have understood why the restraints were necessary. If they weren’t there, he would be thrashing against the onslaught, likely falling off the bed or worse, tearing the IVs in his arms out causing more damage.

"What the...bloody hell...are you doing to me?" Billy asked as he wailed again. He took another halting breath. "Is this...some kind of...new torture?"

"The pain can't be helped, I'm afraid, son -"

"D...don't call me...your son...you...betrayed me...you betrayed everything you believe in...my belief along with it...and...you SHOT me..." Billy uttered through gritted teeth and more moaning as his body continued to writhe and resist.

"I know you're angry at me now, but you'll see. I'm making it up to you. They're making you as good as new, better even. Course, there's always a price to pay -"

"Am I...your pound of...flesh, aye? Did you...bargain me for your betrayal?"

"No, no, nothing like that at all. Not everything’s Shakespearean, lad. A little Mary Shelley in this case, perhaps, but you're a test, you see? If you live through this and I know you will, you'll be making history and helping others," Rhys said excitedly then quieted, giving Billy an expression that was similar to fatherly admiration. "You're the strongest lad I've ever had the pleasure of guiding, but your principles are being wasted at MI6. You can do so much more. You just need help. A little enhancement, you see?"

"Enhancement? You've gone...completely starkers, Rhys. Whatever you think...they're doing to me, it's torture, plain and simple. You're...being fooled, old man," Billy breathed through and grunted. "They're not saving me..."

"You'll see, Billy boy. You'll get through this. I know you will. I saw the potential in ya straight away. You were made for this."

Billy turned his head away and clenched his eyes closed. He couldn't listen to Rhys anymore. It was taking too much effort to fight off the blaze of misery flooding his body. He really didn't want to hear Rhys' explanations. That was more painful. Nothing he could say could rationalize his betrayal to Billy and the way he was feeling, he didn't believe he was going to live through whatever it was they were doing to him no matter the misguided faith that Rhys purported to have in him to survive. His only fear was that it would be a long road toward final release. Torture was like that in the proper skilled hands.

Just as he thought that, he let out another glass shattering scream.


Billy startled awake. Another bad dream. They were a part of life since his "transformation". It was the best way to describe what had happened to him seven years ago. He hated to admit it, but Rhys had been right. He had survived and one could argue the blessings and curses tally of having lived through all that all they wanted, Billy could now look at it as miraculous and had come to appreciate his existence and the "enhancements" that had been the result. Rhys had known him well, knew that when all was said and done, Billy would do the right thing with what was given him.

The right thing: The principled thing.

"We can't go back, lad. I'm a traitor now. And you? Everyone thinks you're dead, that I killed you."

Billy looked at him, shock and dismay intermingled with exhaustion and a deep to the bone pain on his face.

"You've ruined me," he said, despondency edging into his voice and body as it slacked more heavily on the bed. "And to what end? What did I survive for exactly?"

Billy felt completely wrung out. Whatever torture he had endured had ended for the moment, but he barely had the strength to talk, the residual pain keeping him from unconsciousness.

"No, lad. I've given you new purpose. You'll come to see that, I know you will. It's your nature to see the good in everything. You're not tainted like I am. That's why it had to be you. You are unassailable. Only you could do this," Rhys said almost reverently. "You have the heart of a hero."

Billy closed his eyes from the memory. He had used that moniker on Rick and felt that it was properly placed, that Rick truly deserved it. Billy was a poser, an imposter, created from what he believed was a science experiment born from torture; torture that had been brought to him through someone he had trusted and whom he had considered a hero. Billy was no hero and to his mind, he never would be. He was just a deeply flawed and damaged man seeking redemption. He had more than miles to go before he could even claim any of it.


Billy was feeling much better. The serum was working its magic quickly and though he felt tired, he knew that he had healed enough. Blanke had been right. There was nothing he could do for Michael until he had recovered as fully as he could from his injury first. There would be achiness that would eventually fade, but he had learned to ignore and overcome the side effects.

He would need Blanke's help to escape and had texted him to bring the necessary tools to deceive long enough to make that escape. Waiting was as good a torture as any other for him. Billy was wired with anxiety; the need to get to Michael was electric in his nerves.

Blanke then arrived, armed with a bag.

"Did you bring the device? Time is of the essence if I am to have enough lead-time ahead of Casey and Rick. You can debrief me on the way to my storage facility."

Blanke gave him a look of incredulity.

"You're serious?"

"I've healed well enough to move. The serum will continue to work and more in concert with my immune system to heal me further. Why the hesitancy? We've done this before."

"Yes, for small periods of time where you could come back with no one the wiser, but not as a way to elude suspicion long term. Your disappearance will be hard to explain away."

Billy sighed.

"I know, but it can't be helped. Perhaps it's time I cease hiding behind my imaginary cowl and reveal all. Michael is more important. The longer Valdez has him, the chances of his survival grow dim. I cannot let that happen, Blanke. Damn it all to hell if Michael dies on my watch. I will not sacrifice any of you to protect my anonymity."

Blanke listened with profound respect. He had always felt that of the four ODS members, Billy had been the most compassionate especially to his very specific plight and he had become an unexpected ally to keeping him active and useful in the Agency, if covertly. Blanke thought that appropriate somehow. He didn’t do the work for the credit or for the glory. With the addition of Rick, the two men had become the conscience of the group. He had known Casey and Michael long before Billy or Rick had come into the picture. He had watched their rise through the Agency ranks, especially Michael. Blanke had witnessed the evolution of the ODS from the time of Higgins and Ray Bishop to the days when Carson Simms was a part of the foursome. Billy had been an unlikely import from his exile in the British Secret Service, but when Simms had been presumed killed, it had been Billy who had buoyed Casey and Michael past the dark abyss of the loss at the expense of his own grief. Billy was no longer an outsider.

Billy had seemed secretive about his past, joking about how facts dealing with his exile were sealed under Queen and Country, but when Billy had discovered more fully Blanke's painful ostracism in an after hours, away from prying eyes moment, Billy had reached out to him with sincere comradeship. He had confided his own deportation from his home government without revealing relevant details. Though he had played along with the hazing in the company of the others, he had made it clear to Blanke that he should never feel isolated, that Billy understood all too well.

Respect was not always necessary to do the work, but trust was non-negotiable especially when it came to teamwork. You were entrusting your life to someone else and even more importantly, someone else was entrusting you with their life. Once a trust was broken, everything was revoked and you couldn't build that implicit trust back. A spy without that was worse than one without a country and a spy wrongly accused was just as doomed. Blanke knew his trust had been violated and because of the betrayal of fellow agents and the lies told by them, no one would ever place their lives into Blanke’s hands again, making doing missions or any kind of productive spy work virtually impossible. Blanke thought of retiring and was at a low point when Billy had approached him.

Billy had done his due-diligence, as all good spies must when preparing for a mission only this one was purely personal.

Alan Blanke had been lurking around the Agency and the ODS since the day Billy had arrived. Michael and Casey had been treating him with their usual bastardly disregard for anyone they felt was below their stature. They had given him a cliff notes version of Blanke’s “downfall” and had often wondered why he stayed around. They had even joked that of all the people they had wished would turn, they had wished that it would be Blanke versus the recent discovery of Corwin’s bitter fall from grace. He would then be out of their hair.

Billy was a curious animal. He had to be to develop the kinds of ruses and roleplay that were his forte. Details were vital to crafting not only the exact character, but to building the foundation of trust necessary to entice an asset to their side or to capture a traitor. So using his charm, he was able to obtain Blanke’s personnel file. As he read the finer and, to Billy’s mind, more relevant aspects of what had happened to Blanke, he felt a kinship with him; a fellow proverbial spy left out in the cold, as the cliche went. He had resolved to mend fences as best as he could and to perhaps go one-step further.

Billy had a hard time convincing Blanke to have a drink with him at a local pub that Billy had called his own. It was away from the prying eyes of other agents and the Agency at large. Billy could relax there, escape there, be himself there, whatever that identity was when he had walked in. He understood Blanke’s distrust all too intimately. Who could blame him after all that he had been subjected to?

Being suspicious was practically a job requirement. It was a necessary evil for survival. Just as implicit trust was vital with your comrades in arms, so was suspicion towards just about anything and anyone else. It was the darker flipside of the work. Blanke’s knee-jerk suspicion had been forged from something far more damaging and again, Billy could relate to it.

“You’re not an easy man to share a pint with, mate,” Billy teased.

“I’m sorry.” Blanke said almost timidly and it hurt Billy to see that the level of suspicion and distrust ran much deeper than he had anticipated.

“No need to apologize. You have every right to be distrustful, after all, I am a part of the ODS and I know that we haven’t exactly nurtured an environment of comradeship. It is my aim to change that here and now.”

Blanke looked at him, doubt deeply seeded in his stare. Billy wondered if he, too, had once harbored that same, empty stare, revealing more than he had intended during his tenure as an exile. He certainly felt that isolation without a doubt.

“Why are you bothering? I don’t have anything you can use or need. Haven’t Michael and Casey ‘enlightened’ you about me?” Blanke said bitterness in his voice. “Just you associating with me could make your life a living hell with them.”

“Aye, they have proffered their prejudicial points of view, but I prefer to make my own judgments. It is an essential process I must exercise as judging from others’ views can be dangerous and foolhardy.”

Something in Blanke ticked as he stiffened with the comment. Billy sensed the tell and once again, knew it well. His words were hitting the expected responses in Blanke and like a doctor, Billy’s diagnosis was clear and more importantly, he empathized completely.

“As for what I hope to gain by this social interaction, it is just your friendship I seek.”

Blanke’s expression was a mix of shock and dismissiveness.

“Friends? Look, Billy, if this is just another way to haze me or to pass muster with Michael and Casey, then you can report back to them saying mission accomplished, all right?” Blanke said angrily and moved to leap off of his stool to exit, but Billy gently grabbed his arm to stop his forward momentum.

Billy closed his eyes and shoot his head in chastisement at his blunder. Of course Blanke would question his intentions. He had no other basis to think otherwise. Billy had played along with Michael’s and Casey’s taunts and had delivered his own scathing rebukes as well so why should Blanke believe that this overture was anything more than continued harassment?

“Far from that, Blanke. My apologies, I’ve bloody bollixed this up, haven’t I? You’re quite right to question my intentions, almost reflex in our line of work, isn’t it? But I assure you mine is an earnest offer of friendship and if you’ll hear me out, I can explain why there is no ulterior motive to my actions,” Billy requested.

When Blanke glared at Billy, he was surprised to find no deception on his face so he took a breath, calmed and repositioned himself back onto the bar stool.

“Thank you,” Billy said and he couldn’t help but be inwardly amused by Blanke’s reaction.

“To continue on honesty’s land-mined path, I must tell you that I have taken the liberty of educating myself about your circumstances. As I said, much as I respect Michael for his ability to craft a mission, he is a self-admitted paranoid bastard and I don’t always agree with his perspective. As for Casey, I would think my hesitation to take any words of his to heart would be self-explanatory.”

Instead of smiling at the humorous dig, Blanke just returned to his drink and stared into the brown liquid in the glass.

“So, what conclusions did you make? The same ones everyone else has? That I screwed up?” Blanke said, resignation and the expectation of being denigrated by yet another agent in his voice.

Billy heard it and it emboldened him to rectify the sorrow in Blanke’s voice. He knew the sound of that sorrow intimately; he’d had that resignation in his own voice; he understood the pain of betrayal by people you thought were your friends, your mentor.

“No, the conclusion I made was completely my own and what I have deduced is that you were wronged and paid the price for lesser and corrupt agents. I understand what that feels like,” Billy said, his own resignation in his voice.

Blanke picked up on it. He turned and faced Billy. He then saw it in Billy’s eyes; saw the raw honesty as well as the anguish that Blanke recognized all too well. The tension left his body. Billy sensed the breakthrough as well and knew he had found his opening.

“Through a voluntarily given, no strings attached offer of friendship, I am asking for your implicit trust. I know I have neither earned it nor do I claim that you should offer it without some proof, but the proof that I’m willing to provide requires that trust. The proverbial Catch 22, as it were. But you see, I also consider myself a pretty good judge of character, have to be to do what I do and with just a few miscalculations in my less than illustrious career...” Billy stalled for a few seconds recalling those mistakes in judgment; ones that had cost him his career, his friendships and even his life. He then shook myself back to the present mission at hand. “I’ve been rather spot on.”

Billy found his smile again, thinking of Rick and how he had spotted his hero’s heart. “I’m asking for your trust knowing that you are a man for whom I can reveal a truth that if anyone else knew it, I would be judged harshly yet again, perhaps even face something worse than deportation. I am willing to risk that, if you can suspend your judgment.”

Blanke’s initial anger and resentment dissipated and a sense of relief replaced it for the first time since he had been ostracized. It felt liberating not to have to either defend himself or as he had begun doing the last few years, resigning himself to the ridicule, just taking the abuse for the privilege of staying at the Company. Something in Billy’s tone of voice told him that he wasn’t going to jeopardize him; that he wasn’t luring him into a trap to cap off an already miserable existence. Blanke had been good at reading people in the past as well. He was beyond rusty with all of his skills, but it didn’t take a superior gift for observation to discern Billy’s sincerity. It was in the slight pleading he had heard in his voice when he had asked Blanke to suspend his judgment. It was as if he was aching to reveal whatever this secret was to him, as if by sharing it, it would unburden him. Blanke hadn’t been treated with that kind of compassion and trust in a long time and he had to admit, it made his answer easy yet for a minute, he second guessed himself and thought maybe he was surrendering it too easily, but he didn’t care.

“I can do that,” he said without a hint of uncertainty.

Billy let go of the breath he hadn’t noticed that he was holding, waiting for Blanke’s answer.

“Brilliant. Right, let’s be off then,” Billy declared, mostly feeling like he was making the right decision in revealing his secret to Blanke, but deep down, he would always fear discovery and betrayal. He thought that Blanke would probably admit to that same fear. It’s something that never completely leaves you. It’s a gaping hole that never heals over and can never be filled no matter how much good you do. That fear would always be an involuntary knee-jerk reflex for the both of them. Perhaps that made their partnership all the more fated.

TBC. Thanks for reading.

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I so love that you're pursuing this. It's a bit out there, perhaps, but you're making it work. And I think Billy has the personality to pull off a superhero getup :)

I also love that you've used Blanke. That's a fun twist!

I do hope you continue!

Glad you like my "fanciful" tale. I'm enjoying it and I like putting Blanke in a different light, as an "Alfred" type. I'm still working on the story. I have a great confrontation scene that would make you roll your eyes at how predictable it is for me to write it as I have. I have major h/c planned that will test Billy's healing capabilities more that usual. Hahaha! It's been very freeing to not have "logic restrictions".

Thanks for reviewing it.

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