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This page last viewed: 2017-08-15 and has been viewed 1746 times
Summery: Murdock loses his sight and must convince B.A. that he holds no blame.
***I don't own them. They belong to S. J. Cannall. What a cool guy.***
Author's note: Is mine the only computer that has the link to make comment cards? That must be why nobody writes them. Yeah. Sure. That explains it.
Murdock blinked once. Twice. He felt pain all over his body—particularly his head and chest. The room was pitch black so he called out to his friends.
"Would somebody mind turning the lights on please? I'm awake!"
"Murdock?" Face asked joyfully. "You're awake?"
"Didn't I say that? I'm—oh! I'm in pain. Turn on the lights and bring me some medicine."
There was silence, then Face asked, "You want me to turn on the lights?"
"Yes! Is there a problem?"
More silence. "Murdock, the lights are already on."
All the blood drained from Murdock's face. "What do you mean 'they're on'? If the lights are on but I see darkness, then…I can't see." His voice cracked as he said the last word. "What happened?"
A door slammed. Murdock heard Hannibal sigh, stand up, an walk out. "What's going on?" he demanded.
This time, Face sighed. "You've been out for a couple of days. Maggie's been taking care of you. You and B.A. got into an accident in the van. He—"
"Is B.A. hurt?" Murdock asked, honestly scared.
"No, B.A.'s fine. You're the one who got hurt. And B.A. blames himself. It's not like he could even control the van when the grenade when off in front of you guys. You got thrown and hit your head against the windshield and your chest against the dashboard. We were really worried, buddy, but you pulled through."
"I didn't pull through all the way, Faceman."
They were silent. The entire room seemed still. It was even worse for Murdock who felt very alone behind his eyes. Maggie broke the quiet.
"Good morning, H.M. How are you feeling?"
Murdock turned his head in her general direction. "I feel yucky. My chest hurts, my head hurts, and I can't see. That last part is what is most yucky."
"I know, Murdock," she said sympathetically as she patted his head. Murdock, Face, and B.A. were all like sons to her, but especially Murdock. With his gentle, innocent spirit, she couldn't help having a special affinity for him.
Face watched and Murdock felt as Maggie looked into his eyes. Her touch was soft. She lightly touched his head, feeling the bumps and the dressing she had wrapped over him. Her hands moved down to his bare chest that had tight bandages around it. Even a light push caused Murdock's face to contort in pain.
"So what can you tell me, doc?" Murdock asked with pseudo-cheerfulness.
"There are no injuries to your eyes," she began. "Rather, I think the injury to your head caused your blindness. It could be a temporary problem—disappear in a few hours. It might need surgery to correct it or it might…you might be blind for the rest of your life. I won't know until we've done a couple tests.
"Then, there's a 66% chance that Murdock will see again?" Face asked hopefully.
Maggie turned around and smiled sadly. "I'm afraid not, Face. At the moment, I couldn't even being to give H.M.'s chances of seeing again. It's all in the Lord's hands."
As she stepped out the door, Murdock called out, "Maggie, can I have something to make the pain go away?"
"Sure, Murdock, let me get something."
Maggie set her bag down and pulled out a syringe and bottle of medicine. "Morphine," she whispered to Face. "It'll take the pain away and knock him out good. But I think he could use the sleep."
Peck nodded, happy that Maggie could take such good care of his best friend. After a few minutes, the drug started to take effect and Murdock breathed easier. Maggie left after affectionately squeezing Murdock's shoulder.
"Faceyman?" Murdock slurred. His eyes were drooping and he was quickly succumbing to the morphine.
"Whatdya need, Murdock?"
"Would you tell B.A. to stop acting like an ugly mudsucka? Tell him he's being stupid and I'll beat him up if he doesn't stop blaming himself. Will you tell…?" Murdock fell asleep in mid-sentence.
Maggie stood in the doorway of her living room when Face approached. She was watching Hannibal argue with B.A. over where to placer blame for Murdock. When Face glanced at Maggie, she walked to Hannibal and led him away.
"Only person I know who can command Hannibal," Face laughed as he sauntered into the room. "I'm telling you, B.A., he's got it hard for her."
"Wha'd'you want, Face?" B.A. demanded angrily.
Face held his hands up in surrender. "Don't get defensive B.A., I come in peace. Actually I come with a message from Murdock."
"Wha' is it?" There was a hint of trepidation to his voice. He was honestly scared of what Murdock had said.
Peck smiled and sat down. "Murdock said I should tell you to 'stop being an ugly mudsucka' and he'll 'beat you up if you don't stop blaming yourself!' "
B.A. didn't say anything for a long while, but a tiny smile appeared on his face. "Y'know, sometimes I think that lil crazyman idnt' as crazy as those head doctors keep sayin'."
"Oh, he's crazy," Face retorted.
B.A. began to walk out of the room. "I'll be workin' on d' van. You can tell Hannibal dat if he wants to talk to me, not to."
Face leaned back on the sofa. "When did I become the little messenger boy?"
Murdock slept soundly—like a little boy who knew his parents were in the next room. B.A. stood in front of the bed and stared at his friend. After a few minutes, he moved to the chair Face had occupied for the previous two days.
"Y'know, man, you really crazy. You crazier 'n I thought if you think you're gonna kick my butt.
"Man, I know I'm not technically responsible for the crash. It ain't like I threw the grenade myself. But I shoulda been able to dodge that. I'm a good driver—better'n you, dats fo' sho'. But instead of movin' out the way, I slammed on the brakes. I shouldn't a slammed on them brakes, crazyman. You had just got back in the van from shootin' out the window…ya didn't have ya seatbelt on.
"It all happened so fast. I stopped. You hit the window. Then I just sat there, starin' at ya. I shoulda helped ya, but I just couldn't believe I'd cause ya to get hurt. I still can't believe it."
B.A. sighed. His teeth clenched so hard it hurt. "It's my job to protect you guys. God knows ya can't take care'a yaself, crazyman. I mean, sure ya can fly a plane and ya can shoot a gun—but you're so…so…"
"Childlike?" Face suggested from the doorway. He wasn't smiling at all but his eyes were soft and understanding. "Murdock is very childlike; he's trusting, innocent, and, well, goofy sometimes. Just like a kid."
B.A. glared at Face. "I thought I said to be left alone."
"And when was the last time I took orders from you? Besides, B.A., you might think you're the protector, but we all know Hannibal deals out the counseling around here."
"How much of the conversation you hear?"
Face sat down. "Most of it. I was coming to check on Murdock; I thought you were gonna be working on the van. Don't you suppose Murdock would be angry if he knew how you fell about him?"
"What're you talkin' 'bout, Face?"
"You don't think Murdock can protect himself. He was one of the best pilots in the entire army. He did his fair share of fighting, y'know."
"Ya don't understand, Face. I feel that way about you and Hannibal, too. Murdock's m' li'l, you're m' li'l brother…but Murdock is littler. Why am I explainin' this to you?"
Face smiled. "Because you want to. You want to get this off your chest."
"It's my fault and that's all there is to it. Now get off my back!"
"Would you stop acting like a baby?" Face yelled. "Everyone agrees that you're not to blame. You're so damn stubborn!"
"Whaz goin' on?" Murdock asked groggily. His eyes fluttered open. "What're you two arguin' about?"
"We ain't arguin' 'bout nothing. Go back to sleep."
Murdock heard B.A.'s heavy steps heading towards the door. "Faceman, would you leave B.A. and me alone, please?"
"There was a pause, but then Face patted Murdock's leg and left the room. Murdock turned his big brown eyes, albeit useless, at B.A. "Y'know, I heard what you and Face said to each other. I heard what you said before Face came, too. What do I have to do to make you believe I ain't angry with you? Why are you such a big baby?"
There was total silence except for the sound of B.A.'s heavy, angry breathing. Murdock waited. His face was calmer than usual.
"Ain't you angry that you can't see? How're you gonna fly a plane if you're blind? Ain't you upset about that?"
Murdock swallowed hard. The thought of never flying again formed a painful lump in his throat. "Of course that upsets me! I love to fly! But that doesn't upset me near as much as you. B.A., you're my friend," Murdock said shyly. "What upset me is watching you…er…knowing that you're upset. Why are you so angry with yourself? I'm not angry with you."
B.A. hit Maggie's table angrily. "Man, after everything I say to you—how ya's crazy and how I'm gonna beat you up, how can you not be angry?"
Murdock shrugged. "I know you don't mean it…you don't mean it do you?"
Murdock licked his lips meditatively. "You wouldn't happen to feel so bad because you hate flying and you were driving a car when I was blinded and I'm a pilot. You don't think I think you did this on purpose, do you?" Murdock asked. When B.A. didn't respond, H.M. shook his head furiously. "No! I don't think that! Big Guy, you're my friend. You would never hurt me on purpose."
"You really ain't angry wit' me?"
"No. No, no, no, no, no. Now do you feel better?"
"Yeah, I guess."
"Good," Murdock sighed. "Because I feel awful. Would you go tell Maggie that the morphine is wearing off?"
B.A. headed out of the door. "Great," Murdock overheard him say. "Like the foo' needs drugs."
When Maggie entered the room, B.A. who was paying her little attention followed her. When she bent down to tie her shoe, B.A. didn't stop walking. He walked right into her, toppled over, and fell on Murdock. Hard.
"Oh, no," he whispered.
When B.A. pushed himself off the bed, he was horrified to find Murdock again unconscious. Only with the imprint of three of B.A.'s rings on his forehead. He stepped aside and let Maggie through to see her newly re-injured patient.
B.A. sat in the chair next to Murdock's bed. Face sat on the other side of the bed. Maggie and Hannibal were in the living room, talking.
"I know H.M. gets on your nerves sometimes, B.A., but body slamming him? I mean, really! You're more than twice his size!"
"Foo', I kill you if you don't shut-up."
"Aw, c'mon, B.A., I'm only joking with you. I'm trying to lighten the mood. You're not much help. Besides, Murdock's gonna be fine—Maggie said so herself. It'll just take him a little longer to get better is all."
B.A. sat broodishly in his chair. "I hurt him twice, man. That ain't nothin' to joke 'bout."
"You hurt him twice? I don't know about the second time, but Murdock said you didn't hurt him the first time. I know—I listened in. What? I was curious," Face defended when B.A. shot him a dirty look.
B.A. shook his head sadly, but Face felt that his words had given his friend some comfort.
Slowly, Murdock felt consciousness rising within him. It was a painful, unhappy consciousness. He moaned softly.
"Murdock?" Face and B.A. said simultaneously.
"Nrghfzn? Wha'?" Murdock tried to force his eyes to crack open. They didn't want to.
Both Face and B.A. had moved so they were standing directly over H.M. They held their breaths in anticipation. Face laid a gentle hand on Murdock's shoulder. "Are you…okay?"
Murdock's eyes peeked out from behind their lids. His face wrinkled and he pushed himself against his pillow. "Why are you guys so close to me?" he asked nervously.
Face jumped back. "How did you know we were close to you?"
"Well, heck, I saw ya right…there…oh my gosh. I saw you! I can see!" Murdock yelled excitedly. "B.A., you beautiful mudsucka, you musta fixed my head so I can see again!"
In his joy, B.A. grabbed H. M, in a hug and squeezed tightly. "Air!" Murdock gasped. "I can't breathe! B.A.—I need air!"
"Hey, Maggie, Hannibal—guess who can see!" Face yelled out the door.
*this is the end of the fic. you can write your comment card now.*
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