TITLE: A Revelation of Sorts
WARNINGS: Slash - MM, Mental Pain, Torture
STORY TYPE: Third Person
CATEGORY: Drama, Action
LENGTH: Series 'The Millennium Epic' Story No. 9DISCLAIMER: The characters are property of Cannell and company.
Part 1: Dr Richter
Dr Richter moved uncomfortably in his seat as he studied his patient. Richter was a psychologist, far removed from the reputation for action his client had.
The worst aspect was that his patient was a re-occurring one. He would temporarily achieve sanity for a while, and then drift back into his psychotic states. Almost inevitably he ended up in Richter’s care.
Richter stared at the patient in front of him, not attempting to disguise his anxiety by the patient’s return. Yet, the patient remained unconcerned and looked almost comfortable.
"Ok Murdock, tell me what’s happened over the last three years" Richter said, looking at the guy who seemed more at home in an institution than anywhere else.
Murdock smiled at the Doctor, a manic gleam in his eyes which threatened to turn into one of several psychotic disorders at any moment in time.
"Celebrated a thousand years, Doc" Murdock stated proudly. "Out in the open, with thousands of people."
Richter nodded, relaxing slightly in his seat. "The turn of the Millennium. That’s good Murdock, socialising with many people. You should do it more often, turn your attention away from the stack of video games you have"
"You kiddin’ Doc? I’ve only just got the latest Rally Championship, I aint movin’ from the screen for three weeks ..." Murdock countered. Seeing the nervous distress become apparent in the Doctor’s eyes, Murdock changed his manner slightly to appear relaxed and reasonable. The truth was, he wasn’t that at all.
"No, Murdock. Don’t close off like that. I want to know why your back in my office" Richter asked, mustering some courage.
Murdock smiled, seeing the first evidence of courage from his aged psychiatrist. "Ok, but you gotta tell me, you haven’t given away my room, have you?"
This time it was Richters turn to smile. "I had a feelin’ you weren’t gonna be away for long ....."
Murdock settled comfortably into his seat, and started to finally tell the truth. "Well Doc, its about the A-Team"
Richter nodded as Murdock continued "We’ve had some rough breaks recently, that’s all. When you’re getting on - in years, I mean - and the MP’s are getting younger and sharper, you come to the realization that you might not be able to hold off from them forever"
Richter nodded. "Well lets start with these rough breaks you’ve been having" Murdock nodded.
"We had become sloppy very sloppy, and it was only a matter of time until one of us was hurt, bad"
"It was Face, wasn’t it?" Richter asked, seeing the emotion in Murdock’s eyes. He had foresaw the entire relationship years before either Murdock or Face had envisioned the possibility.
Murdock drew in a deep breath and nodded. "Maybe its best I tell you what happened."
Part 2: The Explanation
"Face got hurt real bad in the vette. It was a really bad accident, he lost his memory for a long time." Murdock explained.
"How did that make you feel?" Richter asked, moving closer to Murdock. Murdock was visibly uncomfortable.
"Bad, real bad Doc. Just tore my heart out. He almost had his brains blown out too" Murdock sighed, trying to still his heart beating so fast. Richter noted this.
"Murdock, is there something happening between you and Face?" Richter asked, drawing a conclusion from the edge in Murdock’s voice, the uneasiness of the subject of Face.
"Maybe .... yes, well, to be honest ... something quite big" Murdock explained, the weight lifted slightly due to Richters frank question.
"Want to tell me more?" Richter asked. "When did it start?"
Murdock smiled at the memory. "His birthday, Doc. He’d been so overwhelmed that evening, and he was so tired. I looked at him sleeping in his bed, and ...." Murdock looked away, and a faint carnal blush came to his cheeks as he remembered the first kiss.
Richter tried not to smile, but Murdock’s reluctance was quite amusing. Murdock had never been reluctant before. He was usually so open and reassured. However, now a matter of the heart was threatening that self-assured manner. Murdock looked uncomfortable. "You kissed him, didn’t you?"
Murdock looked at Richter in amazement. The psychologist always saw even the darkest recesses in his heart, and a faint smile of admiration came to the pilots agitated face. He relaxed slightly and nodded his head.
"Want to tell me about it, Murdock?"
Murdock blushed slightly. "Well, it was warm, tender - and very, very soft. I had never before imagined a kiss with another man would be like that. It took my breath away a little, and excited me a lot."
Richter grinned. "A lot? You had feelings for your friend way before the kiss though, didn’t you?"
Murdock nodded. "You never cease to amaze me with your instincts. How did you know?"
Richter dismissed the comment, and returned to Murdock’s feelings, knowing too well the Pilot’s way to change the subject.
"Did you kiss him again, or maybe do more?" Richter asked.
"Yeah, we did kiss again, actually. This time when I was shot in the radio interview."
Richter’s eyes gleamed "I remember that - it sure was strange hearing you confess you were a fifth member. I have it on tape. Then there was a bulletin about the sniper who almost took you out."
Murdock nodded. "Face was with me the whole time, Doc. In the cubicle, holding me real tight. I remember his eyes really red, and he leant and kissed me. It was real sweet, like being kissed goodnight, or something. But on the lips gave it that same edge, that same emotion I’d felt on his birthday night."
Richter smiled, and thoughtfully turned away, leaving Murdock momentarily to his emotions.
"But when Face was away those three years, something really snapped in me" Murdock said, looking directly at Richter.
Richter nodded. "You thought you’d never get the chance to be with him?"
Murdock smiled sadly. "Crazy but true".
"Murdock, why are you back here?" Richter asked.
"I have a problem" Murdock said simply, staring out the window. He was not used to divulging his problems, he was more used to dealing with them himself. But he had two people now to think of, not just himself any longer.
"You can’t have sex with him" Richter guessed.
Murdock hummed in amazement. "Wow, Doc. Do you have some strange psychic powers I don’t know about?"
Richter shook his head. "No, years of practice, that’s all. And, I do know my most regular patient quite well too."
Murdock laughed lightly. He enjoyed Richters company, a release of all his turmoiled thoughts and troubled ideas.
"Why is it that I can’t do it?" Murdock asked, his attention completely on Richter, waiting for the cure, the hope, the realization.
"Murdock, have you ever told Face your past?" Richter asked.
Murdock’s eyes turned glassy, and he looked away, out of the window and concentrated on the girls walking up the road in short tops and mini skirts. He sighed deeply.
"No, never told Face. Don’t want to either." Murdock looked back at Richter, his eyes still glassy and resigned.
"Hey" Richter said gently."No-one said you had to carry it around with you forever. If Face is everything you say he is, you could tell him."
"Aint that easy, Doc. Face would never understand. He’s been through too much shit himself. I couldn’t heap my troubles on the guy too."
Richter bit his lip, deep in thought. "Maybe not all your past to start off with. Maybe just a little of the worst bits, help him to understand why?"
Murdock shook his head. "No, can’t do that, Doc. I have trouble telling myself sometimes, I can’t tell Face"
"Why, won’t he understand?" Richter asked.
Murdock became defensive. "It isn’t him, its me"
Richter nodded in agreement. "And I can tell you the only thing he wants in the world from you is your confidence in him. Give him what he wants."
Murdock looked at the floor. He hated his reluctance to talk to Face. He hated the fact that he could talk to Richter over his lover.
"Trust me" Richter said. "Bring up the subject."
Murdock looked up at the clock above Richters desk and gratefully acknowledged his session was over.
Murdock turned to leave, and heard Richter behind him. "Tell him, Murdock. Its only fair to let the other know if your carrying baggage"
Part 3: The Revelation, Part I
Face looked merrily over at Murdock, who had come in looking depressed after his talk with Doctor Richter.
"What’s wrong?" Face asked, putting his arms around Murdock, and forcing him over to the couch.
"Nothin, I’m fine" Murdock said.
Face wasn’t convinced. He looked at Murdock’s usually cheerful countenance looking so miserable and upset and knew there was a reason behind it.
"Where have you been?" Face asked softly.
"To see Richter" Murdock said bluntly.
"Is it something the matter with me? Am I the cause of this?" Face asked, unhappy because of Murdock being so upset.
Murdock shook his head. "Not you, baby. Something which goes back a long time. Richter advised me that I should talk to you about it ‘cause its ruining our sex life."
"What sex life?" Face said, chuckling. "No seriously, we decided no sex until you were ready. That’s fine, I can handle it."
"I can’t any longer" Murdock said. His eyes were red, and his lip was bleeding from having bitten it too much. "I need you for everything, its just letting go of the past, so to speak."
Face smiled, settling beside Murdock. "You want to talk to me about it? Sure, I’ll listen."
Murdock put his head against Face’s chest, listened to the heartbeat, the gentle rhythm stirring his passion. He suddenly pulled Face closer to him.
"Face, I need to tell you the reason I wasn’t able to make love to you. It may not make the slightest difference to us, but I want you to know. I want you to know its not you."
Face felt a slight fear in his heart. Murdock had always been strong and able, and to have an ominous past that was affecting their future together was hurting Face badly.
"Ok, Murdock. Whenever your ready" Face said softly, holding Murdock tightly, even more close if possible.
Murdock drew in a breath. "Face, before all this I need you to know that I love you"
Face smiled, and kissed Murdock’s forehead gently. "I love you too. You know that"
"I had always been teetering on the line, always over the top but not quite over the edge. I was quite mad back in my early teens too. I kinda lost it in Nam, but Nam wasn’t the only reason why I lost my mind." Murdock stopped, controlling his emotions.
Face shook his head, almost wishing Murdock would stop now, and allow him to hold him in silence. He loved Murdock regardless of his past.
Murdock gave a contented laugh. "You don’t even know my first name, Face"
"You’ll always be Murdock to me" Face said tenderly. "I’ve had a few names too, Murdock. There’s nothing in a name. Its only as real as the person allows it to be"
"Mine is an important name" Murdock said proudly. "My parents died, and I was orphaned when I was six. The name was the only gift I ever had from them."
Face listened attentively. "What is your real name?"
"HM Murdock. Harry Mark Murdock." Murdock winked at Face with a loopy grin. "That’s my name, always has been, always will be. Your the first person I have ever told what my initials stand for."
Face felt this was a monumental moment for Murdock and wanted to say something to mark the moment between them. "That’s ..... a very nice name"
Murdock looked up in relief. "Thanks. I knew you would say you liked it. If I had said my name was Huthberry Middleton Murdock, you would have liked it."
Face laughed. "Well, in truth I do like your real name. Its very ..... you"
Murdock laughed now, relaxed by Face’s tenderness and then turned serious. "You know when I was locked up for the first time? You know, in a straight jacket?"
Face cast his own memory back, and sighed. "When we were put in Fort Bragg for doin’ over the Hanoi Bank. That’s when you lost your marbles".
Murdock grinned. "Do you remember what MI I was put in?"
"Yeah, Dr Braith’s Mental Institution, wasn’t it?" Face asked.
Murdock nodded. "Three weeks at that institution and I was shipped mega quick to the VA. I had been sent to the wrong place, and boy did they make a mistake. I remember the nights when I thought I was in hell, those three weeks nothing but misery and pain. Richter came to my rescue, got me back where I belonged, or where I was to belong"
"My god" Face said. "What happened there ...."
Murdock sighed, and wondered how to tell Face in words that described the misery and anguish of those three weeks.
His mind wandered, and he relaxed against Face. He closed his eyes and heard the screams and the pleas, the cries for help surround him once more.
Part 4: The Revelation, Part II
"And, who is this young man then?" Doctor Braith asked, looking at Murdock. Murdock banged his head consistently against the wall, looking out the window at the passing traffic.
"His name is HM Murdock, doctor." The nurse said, handing the doctor a file.
"No family, no friends. Looks like you have no history, son" Braith leaned forward and looked at Murdock who had not acknowledged even the doctors prescence as yet.
"He was in Vietnam. Got shipped back because his unit committed a crime. There were a lot of political pressures." The nurse explained.
"Any connections that would come looking for him here?" Braith asked. The nurse shook her head.
"He’s all alone in the world, doctor." The nurse said, almost sadly.
"Perfect. Suitable as a test candidate then." Braith rubbed his hands together gleefully.
Braith and the nurse left the small padded room, left Murdock to his head banging and Murdock rocked gently. Now he was alone he had only one word on his lips. "Hannibal ..."
It was the next day Murdock was put inside a box the shape of a coffin, upright. His eyes showed through the small slit. He screamed as the doctor and the nurse made notes on his suffering. Three days and three nights Murdock felt himself weakening inside the box, there was no comfort, only pain and memories.
The darkness was crowding his panicked mind, and he vaguely noticed when Braith released him from the box, and back into his padded cell, in a straight jacket. The Murdock cried for the first time, long and hard. Until every tear was spent, and he couldn’t cry any longer.
Braith didn’t give Murdock any time to recover. The next day, the tortures were set once again in motion for four days and four nights. Murdock was strapped into a straight jacket, upside down. He moved uncomfortably in the darkness once again, his body heaving, vomit spilling onto the floor under him. He moaned in misery. Again, the only word that Murdock could say was ‘Hannibal’.
On the seventh day, Murdock found out his unit had escaped Fort Bragg. His mind barely registered the event, his brain working overtime. Planning a way to escape, dreaming of ways to escape. Thoughts on escape became his savior.
Then Richter turned up, and looked at Murdock, degraded. He looked at Braith, battling a secret turmoil of agony and desire to speak out. It was clearly visible Murdock had been brutally tortured, and his mind was on the brink of collapse.
Richter drew closer to Murdock. Murdock lashed out defensively, and Richter barely evaded the blow. Had he not been pulled back by the cigar smoking, white haired man at the last moment, then Richter was sure he would have been counting his broken teeth.
"What’s happened, Braith?" Richter asked, moving again closer to Murdock. This time, Murdock allowed Richter near, but let a soft moan escape his lips.
"Who is this man? And why is he smoking a cigar in this patients room?" Braith asked, looking to the calm and precise man before him.
"I am Doctor Smith. I’m here to observe your methods." The white haired man said. "You got a problem with my cigar?"
Braith nodded angrily, not used to having his authority questioned. The white haired man stubbed out the cigar and turned to the good looking younger man.
"Gee, you think there was a major problem here. I was just .... smoking my cigar"
Murdock smelt the cigar smoke and looked up. His muddled brain did not comprehend the figures standing before him, but he knew that smell .....
The younger man smiled at the older man. "Doesn’t look like he minds you smoking though. Look at him, just kinda lying there, not moving."
The younger man drew close to Murdock, and Murdock whimpered in slight fear. Then he heard the voice. "We’re here". A small whisper, uneasy feeling of recognition and then the truth dawned on him.
Murdock reached out blindly. "Face, Face that you?"
Braith looked at the white haired man. "What a breakthrough!! Seems like he associates your associate with someone in the past"
The white haired man shrugged. "Maybe we’d better stick around. We could perhaps, help out?"
Braith suddenly liked this white haired man, and shook his hand, to cement the deal.
Richter turned to the white haired man, and they winked at each other, before Richter walked away, leaving Murdock. The last time he would ever turn his back on Murdock again.
Part 5: Recognition or Nightmare?
The next day, Braithe walked into Murdock’s room, and the orderlies grabbed hold of him and moved him to the basement.
Murdock groaned slightly as he thought of another three days in terror would be awaiting him, he looked over and barely saw the white haired man watching this scene, and start to follow them.
Once in the basement, Murdock saw Braithe waiting for him, an evil smile on his face. "Well, Murdock. You’ve been here and lived past your first week. Most patients seek to end it around this time."
Murdock was weak and felt his legs buckling under him.
"Time to get serious. I have some great ideas for new surgery, Murdock. Only the powers that be won’t allow me to carry out experimental research which will enable more normal people to live better lives." Braithe explained.
Murdock looked in horror when he saw one of the nurses sterilising a knife and some surgical equipment.
"Of course, if this were a real operation you’d be under an anaesthetic." Braithe shook his head. Murdock struggled, trying to escape the orderlies.
"Tie him down onto the table" Braithe ordered the burly orderlies, and they brought Murdck forward strapping him to the table securely.
"Pain is the greatest gift we have" Braithe muttered philosophically as he studied the knife he intended to cut Murdock open with.
Murdock cried out as the knife was lowered and cut into his belly, making him scream out in pain. As Braithe made a presicion cut along Murdock’s belly, there was a commotion outside and the white haired man suddenly entered the room.
Braithe turned angrily to face the white haired man, and fell unconscious a moment later, after being hit.
A few of the female nurses remained, but they didn’t want to get involved, and stood back, giving the white haired man room to approach Murdock.
Hannibal grabbed a large bandage and wrapped Murdock’s bleeding belly with it. Murdock looked up, and for the first time registered the person standing above him.
"Hannibal...." He said weakly, raising his hand to the older man. Hannibal in turn, grasped Murdock’s hand tightly.
"Don’t worry kid, we’ll get you out of here." Hannibal said, trying to raise Murdock, putting his arm securely around the Captain. He didn’t see the orderly regain consciousness behind him, he only felt the darkness consume him as something hard hit his head, and heard Murdock scream as he was tied once again to the table.
Hannibal awoke a few hours later. He looked at his watch, and at the dismal padded room he had been placed in. He could hear Murdock’s cry’s of pain, and they tore at his soul.
Finally a sobbing, pale figure was shoved into the room with Hannibal, and fell to the floor unable to stand. Hannibal edged forward, and looked at the pilot, seeing the blood on his clothes, and the expression on his face was of pure pain.
"Murdock, its me, Hannibal. We’re going to get you out." Hannibal explained. Murdock looked with uncomprehending eyes on the Colonel, trying to escape the blinding pain in his belly.
Hanibal laid down the pilot, and opened the bandage on his belly to discover rough stitches and blood still seeping from the wound. He cursed loudly.
A day had passed when Braithe entered the room, and looked at Hannibal and Murdock with unspeakable evil.
"Want to tell us who you really are, Mr?" Braithe asked Hannibal, drawing closer.
Hannibal shrugged, keeping himself between Murdock and Braithe. "Hey, did anyone ever tell you that you drool? I mean look at that, its foul"
Braithe lashed out at Hannibal viciously. "Watch what your saying. If you don’t feel ready to speak, maybe David can help change your mind."
One of the orderlies walked forward with a knife, the others surrounded Hannibal and held him down securely.
David ran the butt of the knife along Hannibal’s face, and then tried to force open his mouth.
Braithe shook his head. "Go for the ear, David."
David cut Hannibal’s ear, and looked eagerly into his eyes, waiting for the inevitable reaction of pain. Hannibal looked back coldly, refusing to admit to the pain, looking directly into David’s eyes. The orderly drew back confused.
Braithe chuckled. "Looks like we have a real soldier here boys. He may know how to control his own emotions, but lets see if he can handle watching Murdock suffer."
Hannibal struggled, as he saw David approach Murdock with the knife. Murdock looked at Hannibal, his eyes misted with tears as the knife began to tear at the stitches on his belly.
He tried not to scream out in pain, feeling his commanding officers presence like a flame flickering in the dark, but he couldn’t help it. His screams accompanied the pain, and made Braithe smile.
Hannibal knelt by Murdock’s side after Braithe had left them. Murdock’s mouth was ajar and his eyes filled with fear. He saw nothing at all. Hannibal had never truly embraced one of his men before. He looked into Murdock’s eyes and decided it was about time he did. Raising Murdock slightly, Hannibal put his arms securely around the pilot. Murdock gasped and breathed against Hannibal’s chest, feeling the closeness and the tenderness of this gesture slice through the fear and pain. Murdock moaned slightly as Hannibal kissed his forehead, Hannibal holding onto Murdock more tightly.
How many days passed after that, Hannibal was not sure. Braithe left them alone for a few days, and Murdock was recovering well. Until the time came when Braithe returned.
Hannibal grabbed Murdock, swung him around to face him and embraced him tightly, his legs wound around Murdock’s. No matter how much the orderlies tried, they could seperate the two men. Murdock’s belly was protected by this firm embrace, and Hannibal held the Captain’s head securely with his right hand, with his left around Murdock’s waist.
"We could cut them off each other" An orderly said, taking out his knife.
Braithe shook his head, and walked up to Hannibal and Murdock, his eyes fixed on the calm and cold blue eyes of the Colonel. "There will be a time when you are sleeping that Murdock shall be taken from you. Then, you will never see him again. Oh, and congratulations Murdock, you’ve survived your second week."
Braithe laughed as his men and him left the room, slamming the door behind them.
Hannibal sighed deeply as he felt Murdock’s steady heart rise and fall, and hoped that Face had worked out where they were.
Part 6: The Faceman / The Feathered Earrings
The good looking, young man stepped out of the elevator, and wandered around the entire hospital, a worried look on his face.
He walked outside into the sunshine, and over to a van with a huge black man inside wearing feathered earrings and a ton of gold.
"You find Hannibal, Face?" The man asked, leaning out of the van slightly. The worried look confirmed his fears.
"Sorry, BA. Don’t know where he is. Looks like himself and Murdock have just disappeared" Face said, watching the men and women of the hospital walk around him warily.
"Can’t have disappeared man. Been here the whole time and haven’t seen them at all." BA confirmed, pointing to his perfect view of the front door.
"I really hope we find them soon" Face said suddenly. "I’ve got a real bad feeling about this one."
BA sighed, knowing that Face was doing all he could. "We’ll find them Face. At least we can guess they are probably together, that’s a good thing. Hannibal will think of a plan."
Face got inside the van and studied a map of the hospital. "I’ve been practically everywhere except the basement. Apparantly the doctor I was talking to today said it had been sealed off."
BA shrugged. "Hannibal will find a way, he always has. If we find him first, good. If not, he’ll find a way to contact us."
Hannibal had not slept in a long time. He had forgotton how long it had been since he had been able to close his eyes without fear.
Murdock had been very quiet, not talking or even attempting contact with Hannibal, and now Hannibal was becoming worried. He wondered how long Murdock could take of this, and how long he would be able to keep his eyes open.
Doctor Richter paced up and down his office, impatiently waiting for the order from the military. As the order was faxed to Richter, he dialed Braithe’s number immediately. The good looking man in the chair before him shifted uneasily.
"Yes, may I speak to Braithe?" Richter’s heart pounded, he only hoped he wasn’t too late. Braithe’s gruff voice answered into the receiver. "Yes, this is Doctor Richter from the Veterans Administration, I have an order for the immediate transferral of Captain HM Murdock to the VA.
Braithe went quiet on the line, and after a moment his shaken voice responded "This order? Where has it come from?"
Richter smiled in victory. "From the very top, Doctor Braithe. Of course, if you disobey, i’m sure the military would be pleased to come bang on your front door."
Braithe was breathing heavily on the telephone line. "He’s only been with us for two and a half weeks."
"There will be a van waiting on Sunday. I don’t want to have to call in a few favours from the top, but I will do if necessary." Richter hung up the phone, then reached for the order off the fax machine.
"Thanks doctor" Face said, rising from his chair and shaking Richter’s hand. "We owe you one." Face made a move to leave the office.
"Just make sure Murdock is here Sunday afternoon" Richter said. "Room is already made up, don’t want our new patient to be late."
Face nodded, and walked out of the door, and joined BA in the van - passing him the official order before driving off.
Hannibal hadn’t slept in four days. He watched the time pass on his watch, determined to stay awake while Murdock drifted inbetween consciousness and unconsciousness.
He heard the lock turn, and Braith entered the room, looking as pale as a sheet. "Come on boys, we’d better clean him up, get the stitching done properly and have some cover story for it."
The orderlies grabbed Murdock, and Hannibal was to weak to hold them back.
"What about this one?" David asked, holding up Hannibal by the scruff of his jacket.
"Kill him" Braithe answered.
"No!" Murdock gasped, as he suddenly snapped back to reality.
"You haven’t a say in this. Be thankful we are letting you live" Braithe dragged Murdock towards the door.
"You have no guarantee I won’t talk about this." Murdock said. Braithe stopped suddenly and looked a Murdock.
"Murdock, be careful. Your only two steps away from being killed" Braithe’s voice was low and dangerous, but Murdock continued to play the hand he’d dealt, calling Braithe’s bluff.
"All I’m saying, Braithe is that if you have a guarantee I won’t talk it’ll all work out." Murdock said.
Braithe listened intently, the very thing he feared was Murdock talking. If Murdock didn’t return on Sunday, the military would shake down the institution and find out exactly what went on.
"Hannibal is the guarantee. He lives and I give my word I won’t talk." Murdock said, standing squarely despite his belly hurting him, looking Braithe directly in the eye.
"How can I know that for sure?" Braithe asked.
"I’m a man of my word. If Hannibal dies I’ll talk. If Hannibal lives I’ll say nothing about this for the rest of my days."
Braithe looked into Murdock’s eyes, and found no hint of a lie. He nodded his head.
"Very well, see to them both." The orderlies picked Hannibal up from the floor, and left the room which Murdock would never forget for the rest of his life.
Sunday morning, Hannibal and Murdock were eating breakfast with the other patients, waiting for the van to pick them up. Murdock’s belly had been stitched up very well, and they had used an anaesthetic. Hannibal looked into Murdock’s eyes, and saw him drifting slightly - between reality and between fantasy.
"Murdock" Hannibal said softly. Murdock’s eyes locked into Hannibal’s. "We need to get this out once we’re out. Bring out the story so this place is closed down."
Murdock shook his head. "Never. I meant what I said in there Hannibal. I traded for the truth"
Hannibal looked slyly at Murdock. "Doesn’t mean I can’t talk though, right?"
Murdock grinned and looked at Hannibal. A black van with red detailing drew up outside the mental instititution and Hannibal and Murdock got up.
"Looks like this is our ride" Hannibal commented as the orderlies came over to help them to the van.
"Where the hell you suckers been? I’ve been worried sick" BA said, unable to control the slight quiver in his voice. Truth was, he’d been petrified that they had both been lying dead in a ditch somewhere.
Hannibal glanced over at Murdock who shook his head gently. "We’ve been stuck in a mental insititution, Sergeant."
"But I couldn’t find you both" Face said, wondering what secret the two men were hiding. "I was posing as a doctor and no one knew where you had disappeared to."
Hannibal shook his head and lit a cigar. "Never mind. We’re out now, and Murdock is headed to a good hospital. Where he belongs for now. By the way BA, this a new van?"
BA snarled and looked at Hannibal. A touch of pride tainted his voice. "She wasn’t working when I saw her, Colonel. She had an engine not even the best mechanic in Nam would’ave touched. Took her apart, built her up real solid."
Hannibal whistled in pride. "Not a bad job, I’m impressed."
Murdock looked outside the window of the van. He was in the front seat next to BA, he couldn’t look at the Sergeant however, and as he drifted into a dellusional state of mind, he hummed softly to a dog that wasn’t there.
Part 7: Home to the VA
Sunday afternoon. Richter watched Murdock brought in and shown to his room, and winked at Face who smiled in return. Hannibal noted the exchange between the two men but kept silent.
Murdock looked at his room, at the small television in the corner, and the video game machine. He blinked through tears in gratitude, and wondered if he would ever be able to distinguish what really happened in those three weeks from the nightmares he’d endured. Nam, the three weeks of hell and his orphanage threatened to destroy any saneness Murdock had left.
Murdock watched the dog wag its tail and he looked at it and hummed softly.
A nurse watched him talking to n empty space. "What are you doing, Murdock?"
Murdock looked at the nurse and gave her an almighty smile. "Talkin’ to my doggy Billy, maam"
The nurse smiled and shook her head. "Make sure he doesn’t sleep on the bed with you, don’t want to be hoovering dog hairs all morning."
Murdock smiled gratefully, and whistled to the imaginary dog, which scampered up to him. Murdock held onto the dog tightly, and started to sob. In truth, Murdock was hugging himself tightly.
Hannibal sat down with Richter and explained the whole story. Richter became icy white, and then reached for the phone. "Excuse me Mr Smith, I have to make a very important phone call ...."
Braithe watched the MPs arrive at the institution and read once again the title of the mornings newspaper.
‘HORROR AT BRAITH’S - BLOOD BATH AT DEATH HOSPITAL’
He took the small ladypistol out of his top desk drawer, and put the barrel of the gun against his forehead. He felt the cold metal pressed against his skull, the last thing he felt before he pulled the trigger, blowing his brains across the desk.
Murdock read the evening edition of the news. He saw that Braithe had been found dead in his office, he had killed himself with his own gun.
Murdock smiled slightly when he realised who had told the story. "Hey, Billy! Braithe’s is front page news!"
Billy whined and rubbed his back against Murdock’s leg. Murdock patted his imaginary dog and then leant over to sleep in his bed. The first easy sleep he had had in weeks.
Part 8: Reality of love
Face listened in horror to the brutal story of Murdock’s stay in Braithe’s Mental Institution.
"I never realised it had been so bad for you, Hannibal never told us ...." Face whispered.
"No, Hannibal respected the fact I didn’t want anyone to know. That included you and BA. I mean, Braithe’s was front page news, I however was protected by Richter and Hannibal who got the story out."
"God, if only I’d known." Face said, his voice breaking through emotion. Murdock held tightly to Face, feeling guilt tear him apart.
"This is the reason you didn’t want us to be close? Truth is, you’ve never let anyone really in" Face realised.
Murdock sighed deeply, Face had hit on the truth. He hadn’t wanted to be close to anyone, not even Face.
"What did you want from tonight’s revelation? What was it you needed from me?" Face asked.
Murdock drew in a sharp breath and looked directly into Face’s eyes. "I needed to surrender."
Face looked confused, so Murdock continued. "I need you to take control, force me to accept we can make love."
Face shook his head. He felt completely helpless. "We have all night, I don’t intend to force anything."
Murdock nodded vaguely, got up and walked into the bedroom without glancing behind once. He could barely recognise Face’s sure steps behind him, yet he knew he was there.
Once inside the bedroom, Murdock walked over to the window and looked out, he heard the door close. Then he drew in his breath and turned to face the Lieutenant.
Face stood there, clothed by the darkness of the room watching Murdock. He seemed in no hurry and just stood there, allowing Murdock to glance him up and down, decide on what he wanted.
Face removed his clothes slowly, tantalisingly slowly, this part of the seduction scene as important as the rest, and sat naked on the bed. He showed no urgent longing, his penis still limp and inviting, just waiting.
Murdock removed his own clothes a little shakily, and sat beside Face acknowledging with slight embarrasment his own erection. Face simply smiled, and wrapped his arms around Murdock, drawing him down onto the bed in a snug and tender embrace.
"We can stay like this all night." Face whispered. "I’ll be completely happy. Its up to you what you want."
Murdock gulped uneasily. "I want it Face, but I need a little help ...."
Face looked at Murdock’s erection and decided he really didn’t need that much help. However, Murdock was trembling with fear and emotion and Face began to doubt himself suddenly. What if he failed to satisfy Murdock?
Face ignored the sudden doubt, and began to work his fingers over Murdock’s trembling body like a masseur, exploring every crevace, every curve, every dip in Murdock’s skin. He passed an old scar and tenderly remembered the moment when Murdock was shot in the interview in a planned hit.
Face worked his way down to Murdock’s erect penis, looking at the inviting organ, drawing him closer with every quiver, whimper and moan. Murdock shook in fear as Face opened his mouth over his penis and began to gently suck.
Murdock felt the sudden warmth envelope his organ and gasped deeply, letting himself buck in pleasure, feeling the orgasm approach in waves. Face moved skillfully, keeping perfectly in tune with Murdock’s rhythmn.
As the orgasm shot through Murdock’s body, and Face felt the liquid fill his mouth Murdock cried out. It was a release, a tender eviction of a thousand demons. Face swallowed Murdock’s juice, and crawled up beside him, watching the change on Murdock’s face.
He was no longer shaking, but was looking at Face with the most hungry and passionate expression. Sweeping Face under him, Murdock savagely kissed Face’s body, pulling at the skin with his teeth, drawing moans of pleasure from his partner. Working his way downwards, he saw the erect penis and sucked hard, making Face cry out in pleasure.
"Murdock, you don’t have to ...." Face tried to explain, but it was too late. He had orgasmed, and Murdock swallowed hungrily, wanting more, feeding off Face’s desire.
Face begged Murdock to kiss him on the lips and Murdock drew close, his tongue exploring Face’s mouth as if for the first time.
"Murdock, your an animal." Face laughed, his finger tracing a line along his lovers cheek bone. "I see this is going to be a very ...... interesting ..... relationship ....."
Part 9: Almost
Face left Murdock sleeping soundly and glanced over at the clock by the bedside. Three in the morning. Face walked downstairs and picked up the telephone, quietly dialing Hannibal’s number.
"Hello ..." Hannibals sleepy voice chilled Face’s heart.
"Why didn’t you tell me what happened at Braithe’s?" Face asked, his voice full of emotion and anger.
"Look Face, this was not my decision" Hannibal said, waking slightly. "Murdock told me what he wanted."
"Bullshit. You know how close we were to breaking up becuase of this shit? You should have told me when you saw Murdock and myself getting together. Of did you still want him yourself" Face’s voice was raised, but only slightly. In his heart he feared that Hannibal still desired Murdock, as he had during Vietnam. Hannibal had claimed the cocktail of drugs had deluded his mind, and hadn’t looked at Murdock the same since he returned.
"Lieutenant, I couldn’t make that decision" Hannibal said, sweating slightly with the memories of Braithe’s.
"Hannibal, one thing I have come to realise very much from being alone with Murdock is how much he needs me. Not just as a listner or a friend or a lover. But as someone who will always be there ..." Face stopped, unsure of how to continue.
"What are you saying?" Hannibal asked, fearing the answer he knew would come.
"I’m leaving the team. And I’m taking Murdock with me." Face stated. He felt immediately better after he had said it, however Hannibal’s reaction gave him no time to think.
"What the fuck are you saying?" Hannibal demanded. "You can’t just leave the team as if it were a five-a-side football squad. We’re on the run, we have hits on us and we have a history. The four of us, together."
Face listened to Hannibal, his voice full of anger and hurt, and felt unable to console him. "I am taking him away tonight, you won’t see us again. Don’t worry, we’ll be safe. I will answer for that. We’ll go somewhere that no authorities or hit men will ever find us, remember I am well trained to disappear."
Hannibal calmed down dramatically as he realised that Face was saying goodbye. "Don’t do this, Face."
Face put down the receiver and then turned sharply when he realised he wasn’t alone. Murdock was standing before him fully clothed with a packed suitcase.
Hannibal and BA arrived at Face’s temporarily scammed house within five minutes, and searched all the rooms. They were empty.
Hannibal sat heavily on the couch and read the goodbye note signed hastily by both Face and Murdock.
"Its all my fault." Hannibal said, trying to keep his emotions under control.
"Not your fault man. You just respected Murdock’s decision, that’s all" BA said.
Hannibal looked over at BA in surprise. "You knew? I mean, about what happened at Braithe’s?"
BA nodded. "I think Face did too really, deep down. Just needed an excuse to steal Murdock away".
Hannibal laughed. "Well Sergeant, we have now lost our Lieutenant and pilot. Any suggestions?"
BA’s stern countenance broke into a smile suddenly, and he started to giggle.
"What’s up, BA?" Hannibal growled. He was in no mood for any jokes.
BA shrugged. "Looks like I aint flyin’ any more".
Part 10: and Forever
It was five years after the team had split that Hannibal spotted Face through a crowded shopping mall. Hannibal kept out of sight and watched as Face picked out his clothes.
He smiled, the brightness of his eyes dulled slightly with age. Face did not notice the colonel standing there, and Hannibal decided to walk away.
He walked away, and out of the shopping mall, away from Face without even saying hello. He knew that this was right for all of them, and he was slightly amazed that the team had stayed together as long as it did. However, a small pang of regret tugged at his heart.
"Hey, Colonel!" A bright voice startled him, and he turned sharply. Murdock sat comfortably in a black corvette, smiling at Hannibal.
"How’s it going, Captain?" Hannibal asked, looking at the familiar figure before him, yet noting the changes instantly. Murdock wasn’t hiding behind his madness any more. He had conquered it, and Hannibal felt the admiration grow as he studied the pilot.
"Not bad. Things have worked out well between me and Face. He’s inside now trying to scam us some clothes." Murdock said.
Hannibal laughed. "I know, I saw him in there."
"Didn’t you say howdy to him?" Murdock asked, studying Hannibal closely.
Hannibal shook his head. "Better this way, Murdock. Better to end it properly. The way Face wanted it to end."
Murdock smiled suddenly. "This feels so strange. I didn’t want it to end like that at all, I dreamed I’d meet you and BA again."
"BA is now a resident teacher of the daycare centre" Hannibal stated proudly, watching Murdock’s reaction. Murdock beamed.
"Great news! And you?" Murdock asked.
Hannibal thought of a suitable answer. However, since the team had split apart, he had found himself without a reason, even acting seemed trite in comparison to what the team had achieved together.
Hannibal felt the arm on his shoulder and didn’t turn at once, he knew who was standing directly behind him. Face walked in front of him and smiled happily.
"What have you been upto?" Face said.
Hannibal looked at the smiling countenances and couldn’t stand being there watching them a moment longer. He began to walk away, and Face caught up to him and turned Hannibal so they were facing each other. His eyes were bright with tears.
"You know" Face said in a hushed voice. "We have a spare room where we’re living. You could stay with us for as long as you want."
Hannibal smiled and shook Face’s hand, refusing to let the tears build in his eyes. "Thanks, Lieutenant. However, I have to go."
Hannibal turned and walked away without looking back once.