TITLE: The Dawn of Discovery
WARNINGS: Memories of Angst / Violence / Torture. Slight homoerotic content, nothing major
STORY TYPE: Third Person
CATEGORY: Drama, Memories, Angst
LENGTH: One-OffDISCLAIMER: The characters are property of Cannell and company.
Murdock rolled over, and rubbed his weary eyes. He sighed as he saw Face asleep, curled up in bed. He had the sheets over his mouth and nose, his tightly closed eyes were the only features of his face visible. He moaned and shifted in his sleep.
Murdock smiled affectionately and continued to watch Face's little quirks, amused by Face's complete oblivion to small gestures made in sleep.
He watched Face reach out with his right arm, and then pull it in rather sharply under the covers. His face suddenly became contorted, and he began to groan.
Murdock immediately threw back the covers of his own bed, and walked sleepily towards the unsettled man, sitting next to Face and gently rubbing his brow.
The effect, as Murdock had discovered many years ago, immediately quieted the man, and Face let out a soft whimper as the fingers pressed gently into his forehead, kneading his head gently as if massaging.
Suddenly, Face's eyes blearily opened his eyes, and he looked into Murdock's brown eyes. Murdock smiled gently.
"You were having another nightmare, Facey" Murdock said in hushed tones.
Face sighed. The nightmare was still fresh in his mind, threatening his more vulnerable side. He collapsed into Murdock's waiting embrace and moaned.
"Why won't you tell me what they're about?" Murdock asked softly, rocking his friend gently.
Face felt tears forming in his eyes, and brushed them away quickly "You don't want to know, Murdock"
"Why not? I want to help" Murdock smiled. "Face, what do you want?"
"I want to feel ......." Face stopped, unsure of his answer.
"Yes?" Murdock asked.
"Secure, safe. I want one night without one of those flashbacks, those nightmares" Face stopped. He was extremely vulnerable, and didn't trust his emotions.
Murdock held Face's shaking form in his arms ever more tightly "You feel safe now? You feel secure?" he whispered.
Face nodded, unable to form words. The gentle compassion of his friend amazed him.
"Then why don't you tell Dr Murdock about your nightmares too - maybe I can make them go away" Murdock crooned softly.
"You don't want to hear them" Face persisted.
"Face. Listen to me, I've gone through horrific nightmares - mainly about 'Nam. I do understand, trust me on that" Murdock continued the gentle tones, refusing to raise his voice at all. Face began to swoon under the gentle caresses and sweet whisperings. He sighed and drew away, unsure of his feelings suddenly.
"If you want to know Murdock, I'll tell you. But you won't like what you hear" Face said, a single tear falling down his cheek. Murdock swiftly brushed it away, noting Face detested people knowing his vulnerability, and then lay beside Face, drawing the younger man into his arms. Face relaxed, feeling Murdock spoon beside him, and closed his eyes reveling in the comfort and security of his friend's gentle embrace. He secretly loved it when Murdock lay beside him, his face against his own, listening to the gentle breathing, the warm breath against his forehead.
"Remember when we were captured by General Matkofl last year ......" Face began, his voice unsteady, unsure. Murdock felt a wave of strength overcome him, sheltering his friend with his warm and tender embrace.
"Yes, I remember. I came in and flew you guys out. An assignment in Russia that went .... horribly wrong ...." Murdock related gently.
"..... Yes, Murdock. He did some pretty nasty things to us in the week before you came in on that damned chopper I still hear today. I swear Murdock, I felt reborn when I heard that damned chopper" Face laughed, but the laughter was without mirth. Filled with a bitter sadness.
"What kind of things did he do to you?" Murdock asked, his eyes wide, fighting his own internal fear. Determined to be strong for Face, whatever the cost.
"He tortured us in some horrific ways to try and get us to talk. One of the things he used to do to me was to shackle me in a small place, like a box. He cut off my fingernails, and toenails. Whipped me. Burnt me with cigarette ends. Made me bleed so hard I thought I would die and be free of the pain" Face stopped, too shaken to go on.
"What is that scar on your stomach?" Murdock asked, in a hushed voice, wishing to change the subject for Face's sake. He eluded to a scar Face had had for many years.
Face lifted up his pyjamas, and felt the scar gingerly. Murdock ran his fingers also along the scar, making Face moan softly.
"I was sliced with a knife when I first joined the military. Got into a fight. I looked better than the other guy when it was finished" Face smiled, a note of pride crept into his voice "He was twice my size"
Murdock whistled "Next you'll be taking on BA"
Face shook his head, smiling "I haven't got a death wish, Murdock"
Murdock laughed easily, still maintaining his gentle pitch. He kissed Face on the forehead and closed his eyes. "Why don't you try and get some sleep, buddy. I'll stay right here, be right beside you when you next wake up"
Face sighed "I'd like that, thanks Murdock ..... for hearing me out"
Murdock suddenly whistled in surprise "Its dawn already, only a few hours till Hannibal knocks on the doors, gets us awake"
Face smiled and turned to face the wall, feeling Murdock's arms surround his stomach, feeling the pilot's body pressed against his back. "We'd better get some sleep then, Murdock"
Murdock grinned, kissed Face passionately on the back of his neck, and then closed his eyes. His dreams were not much better than Face's, but he had learned to distance himself from them. He determined he would help Face overcome his nightmares, and heard the first birds of the day sing as dawn's early light illuminated the two men sleeping soundly within each other's strong embrace.