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Come on Baby,
Light My Fire
Disclaimer: All characters belong to Stephen J. Cannell and Universal.
Warning: Explicit m/m slash sex, language, violence.
Summary: Face and Murdock careened down Road 138 (Danh Cay Bac Duong Cuong) doing ninety, fire coming down all around them, and it really didn't look like they were gonna make it this time, not this time...
Note: Lyrics used are from "Light My Fire" and "Crystal Ship," both by the Doors.
Special note: Originally posted at the A-Slash in honor of Witchbaby's birthday.
Come On Baby, Light My Fire
careened along the empty road and jolted over a crater and Murdock's helmet
flew off and back and he reached one hand out and Face shouted, "Hold on, goddamn
The road was black smoke and fire behind them and they were going ninety, motor screaming, and it was sixty four more klicks to LZB and it really didn't look like they were gonna make it this time, not this time...
Stupid to have gone at all, but fucking nuns, kids, dogs, starving, medicine, and they couldn't fucking stop themselves, plus, hell, beautiful day in the 'Nam today, ninety seven, ninety eight percent humidity, and who wanted to lay around the LZ and bake their
nuts off anyhow?
Well, maybe it sounded a little better now...
Another shell came down, so close they could feel its heat on the backs of their necks.
Face was curled over the steering wheel, like leaning forward would make the jeep go faster. "Where the fuck are they?" he screamed, his voice disappearing back behind them with the wind that shrieked through the broken windshield.
"Just fucking drive!" Murdock screamed back, because they were everywhere and he couldn't see a goddamned thing. His eyes burned with looking and black smoke and his feet were braced against the floorboards and his hands clung to the dash and the grip beside him.
Paddies blurred into an indistinguishable brown-green smear. Face screeched around a water buffalo that had wandered (wild-eyed) out onto the road and the explosion that rattled their teeth burst it into a million red pieces, coming down on the jeep like rain,
along with the red dirt.
Face yanked the chin strap down on his helmet and wrenched the helmet off and smashed the helmet into Murdock's chest without ever taking his eyes off the road and Murdock took it and put it on, but only because they both knew a helmet didn't mean shit if one of those shells hit them. If one of those shells hit them, they were going the way of the water buffalo. It was just a statement (when they had no time for words). "I love you" in scarred green metal.
Speed, everything was speed, and Face had his foot pressed down all the way to the floor and the hot wind blew his hair straight back.
They'd been listening to the radio, but it had cut out around Phu Lac; when it came back on (halting, jittering static) Jim Morrison was singing "Light my Fire." The static kept trying to swallow his voice and Murdock leaned down and cranked up the volume
("Hold on!") and the song (...know that it would be...) cut out entirely, but then it came back on (...would be a liar...) like Jim was trying to stay with them.
"Come on baby, light my fire..." Murdock sang along at the top of his lungs. It wasn't pretty, but it was loud. "Come on baby, light my fire!" he sang. "Try to set the night on fire..."
Face grinned and howled and Murdock howled with him (fuck, they were good together!) and another explosion rocked the jeep as it screamed forward and the two of them sang, "...time to hesitate is through -- no time to wallow in the mire. Try now we can only lose -- And our love become a funeral pyre..."
Their voices were loud, loud, loud and fuck Charlie (everybody) it was just them now, them and Jim and a jeep with the side mirror duct taped on, half-falling off, but they weren't looking behind them anymore anyway.
"Try to set the night on fire..." Face drove like a demon down Danh Cay Bac Duong Cuong, and Murdock grabbed onto the seat behind Face and held fast, and they sang 'til their throats were raw. Even when the song changed on the radio and the shells (god,
finally) stopped eating up the road behind them, they kept on.
Face crashed right through the gate at LZB and the two of them were laughing (crazy) and everybody was shitting themselves trying to figure out what the fuck the fucking greenies were pulling now.
Hannibal came out, and BA and Ray, and Face couldn't say anything because he was laughing in huge gulps of air. Murdock had dropped to the ground (rolling) and grabbed onto BA's legs to anchor himself.
"What you do to mah jeep?" BA said, trying to kick Murdock off his legs and Murdock said "Duct tape and buffalo" and pressed his forehead against the big guy's bare ankle. He couldn't breathe for laughing.
Face grabbed him by his shirt (Hawaiian anti-camouflage) and pulled him up against the jeep into almost-standing. Drew himself up into (cocky, smart-ass) attention. Saluted. "Mission accomplished, Colonel," he barked.
Hannibal leaned back against the jeep, sun glinting off his pale eyes. "And what mission would that be, Lieutenant?"
Murdock began to giggle and snort, and he was leaning precariously now, against Face, who was having trouble trying not to grin.
"What you do to mah jeep?" BA asked again, and Ray started laughing, too. BA shot him a look (traitor) and grabbed Face by the collar of his flak jacket.
Face put his hands up (still laughing), submitting. "We'll clean it, BA."
"An' fix it," BA growled.
"Yes, yes, yes..." Face said placatingly, "yes, fix it, we'll fix it."
BA let Face go and Face rocked back onto his heels.
Colonel Figert shoved his way through the men who'd gathered outside the mess tent to looky loo, see what the hell, and his neck was red all the way down into his collar.
When he got to the battered jeep, the greenies were lounging back against it, staring at him with cool eyes and wise-ass smiles.
He hated them.
They'd come to his base and annexed themselves onto the side like they were their own separate country. No structure, no discipline (goddamn long-hairs), no sense of regulations or what the regular army was about.
It put him at a tactical disadvantage, to talk first, but Smith could keep up that cool smile forever. "What's going on?"
Peck watched the pilot light up a cigarette, then said, "I wouldn't send Mickey's guys down Danh Cay Bac Duong Cuong tonight, Colonel."
"Road 138. Danh Cay Cuong."
All of them were sweating. Cool poses, but all of them, even Smith, were sweating in the hot, late afternoon sun. Colonel Figert thought of the dynamite his uncle would use to blow stumps out in the deep woods back home. Old. Sweating nitro. Unstable.
Could blow at any time.
God this place was hot.
"Why not?" he said wearily. Wiped his head with a red handkerchief.
"'s way gone, Colonel Fig," the pilot said breathily. "It's, like, not there in a really big way."
"Intel..." he said.
Baracas, the big negro sergeant, growled.
Figert opened his mouth again, then closed it. Turned his back on all of them. Shoved through the crowd.
Bonner, who'd been on perimeter watch, said, "Sir, um, what about the gate, Colonel?"
Figert kept moving. "Fix it," he said.
Bonner frowned as the Colonel disappeared into the comm bunker. "Yes, sir."
BA tore the jury-rigged mirror off the side of the jeep and shoved it into Face's arms. "Fix it."
Face sighed (put upon), then smiled. "Frog owes me a favor, and he's good with..."
BA cuffed Face's arm. "You, Faceman, ah said you."
Murdock grabbed Face (before BA could) and pushed him toward the jeep. "Keep arguin' with the mudsucka an' we'll end up rebuildin' the engine with both arms broke, muchacho."
Face sighed again.
Hannibal grinned at his lieutenant's expression. The kid was good at a lot of things. Including whining. He was also reckless as hell sometimes. What the fuck had those two been up to?
Murdock refused to let Face drive (this time), took the keys to the jeep and got in the driver's seat.
Face threw up his hands dramatically, shrugged off his flak jacket and got in on the other side.
Hannibal watched Ray and BA move off toward the mess. Murdock drove off with Face, the two of them talking a mile a minute again, still amped after what happened. Whatever had happened.
At least Face was reckless with more of a purpose, now. Not that self-destructive crazy he'd had when they first got him.
Being on the team had given him something (and someone) to care about.
Murdock circled back again. Apparently taking the scenic route to the little LZB motor pool. He drove like he flew. Crazy, fucking terrifying, but never actually hitting anything.
Ray and BA were carrying coffee out of the mess, and Murdock veered over toward them. Face stood up in his seat.
"Hey, Ray!" he said. "Grab a case of beer from my supply and give to Bonny and those guys at the gate for me, will you?"
Ray scowled. "What do I look like to you, Faceman?"
"Ummm..." Murdock said.
Face smacked him. "C'mon, Ray. I'm getting us something good for dinner tonight, before we go out..."
Hannibal didn't miss the way Murdock looked at Face.
Ray nodded, and Murdock screeched off again. One hand dangling down over Face's shoulder as Face sat back down.
The two of them were taking care of each other. Steadying each other. That was good. And god knew, nothing about any of his guys was army regs, himself included.
What Face and Murdock had was dangerous, though.
He worried (about every goddamned thing), but he hadn't stopped it.
Sometimes this war seemed to be more about uncertainty than anything else. Pounding everything you ever thought was sure and true into the dirt. Making you build your own kind of meaning for all of it, if you could.
If you could.
He walked back to the hootch with BA and Ray to try and get a little sleep.
Face and Murdock were not thinking about existentialism.
Face and Murdock, nineteen and twenty-one respectively, were thinking about fucking each other's brains out on the dirt floor of the motor pool.
Face jumped out of the jeep as Murdock drove it inside the small, corrugated tin building. The building had been painted with flat black and green paint; its dull surface radiated heat.
Face shouldered the door closed anyhow, pulling the chain around and padlocking it on the inside.
He tackled Murdock as he climbed out of the jeep.
Murdock rolled with Face across the dusty floor, and their mouths hunted each other hungrily.
"Shirt," Murdock said, hands pulling at Face's jacket impatiently.
"Come on, baby," Face murmured, reaching down between them and rubbing at Murdock's crotch, "Light my fire..."
Murdock (grinning) got to his knees, took one of Face's feet in his lap, tore at the lace's of Face's boot.
Face reached down and stroked Murdock's cock again through the rough fabric of his cammies, then unbuttoned the fly.
Murdock pulled the boot off and flung it behind him, then shoved Face's cammie pants down to his ankles. He lifted his hips as Face eased his own pants down.
They found each other's mouths again. Pressed their hot, sweaty, dusty, (mostly) naked bodies together. Groaned, low in their throats, as their cocks brushed against each other.
Kissing and sweet, slick friction. Face still had one boot on, cammie pants dragging behind him, but he couldn't wait any longer. He rolled up on top of Murdock. Kissed him one more time (lips to soft lips and tongues entwined).
Murdock grabbed his ass. Pulled him even closer.
Face gazed at him, eyes bright. Blue. "Murdock, today was..."
"Fucking incredible," Murdock said. He grabbed Face and pulled his head down for another kiss.
Face pushed him down again. "I..." he said. "I don't..." His eyes were clouding as he thought.
Murdock rolled them over again. Dust covered their bodies, but it was broken by rivulets of sweat that coursed down. "Shut up an' kiss me, Facey," he said softly. Gently. "Baby we can't get much higher," he crooned quietly.
Face smiled and kissed him.
They started rubbing together in earnest, then. Cocks rubbing against the gentle roughness of soft, curled hair.
They pressed their cheeks together (anchoring themselves), breathing hard and fast.
"Oh!" Murdock cried out, eyes rolling back. Face clamped a fast hand over Murdock's mouth and Murdock moaned into his palm, long and low, spurting into the sweat-slick space between them.
Face jerked up his hips, shoving hard against Murdock's groin. His lips were pressed together tightly, and sweat poured down. His cheeks were flushed, and his knuckles were white against Murdock's back, pulling him close, hard.
He pressed his mouth against Murdock's as he came, and n that long, breathless moment of bright ecstasy, Murdock whispered "Love you" against his lips.
Murdock rolled off.
They laid there.
Lying on their backs and staring at the low ceiling.
"Where the hell am I going to get a new windshield for that goddamned jeep tonight?" Face said.
Murdock laughed. The dirt felt cool beneath his back. The air was hot. "Prob'ly a good thing we didn't say nuthin' about that baseball game."
"Do you think he'd notice if I replaced this jeep with a different one?"
"Put you through a wall an' make you fix the old one anyhow."
"Not if he couldn't find it. Coke's got jeeps sometimes, but he's way out in Da Nang."
"You worry 'bout everything, baby. Gonna get wrinkles on that pretty face o' yours."
"Not going to last that long," Face said, pulling up his pants.
Murdock's eyes darkened.
Face got up. Limped over to the other side of the damaged jeep and retrieved his boot. "I've got to go get that stuff for tonight." He shoved his foot in, tightened the laces and fixed a neat bow.
Murdock watched him. Thought of his first grade teacher, Miss York, who'd had them all take off their left shoes and put the shoes on their desks. They'd practiced shoe-tying over and over. Over and under. Pull it tight. Make a loop. Around the loop and
through the hole. There had been single dusty footprints on each of their desks when they went home.
Face touched his shoulder. "You okay?"
Murdock pulled up his pants (over their mingled cum, cool and wet on his skin). "Yeah," he said. He pulled on his t-shirt.
Face patted Murdock's arm tentatively. "That was... was that okay?"
Murdock picked up the helmet. It had fallen out of the jeep when he'd gotten out.
Murdock smiled. "Fourth of July, Facey," he said.
Face grinned. "Meet you back, okay?"
Murdock nodded. Got up off the dusty floor.
Murdock watched Face walk down toward the comm bunker. He leaned against the motor pool's hot, dusty metal door, slid down onto the dirt and lit up a cigarette. The tip glowed bright. The sun had gone down already.
BA moved around the corner of the shed.
The two men stared at each other for a long moment. Then Murdock patted the dirt beside him.
BA paused. Then sat down.
They watched men move around the camp. Small camp, LZB, on the side of a barren hill.
They could see somebody getting shelled already, forty or fifty klicks south. Their turn later. Every night. You could set your clock.
"Ain' jus' us up heah," BA said. Staring down at the buildings below them. "You two ain' careful, you gonna get zapped."
Murdock drew in smoke, then let it out. Three small puffs, three longer puffs, three small puffs.
"Ah mean dead."
Nobody said dead, here. Nobody said killed. The words were off limits.
"Maybe we're dead already, mudsucka," Murdock said. He sang softly, in a hollow voice. "Oh tell me where your freedom lies -- the streets are fields that never die. Deliver me from reasons why... You'd rather cry, I'd rather fly..."
BA was silent.
"Another flashing chance at bliss, another kiss, another kiss... the days are bright and filled with pain. Enclose me in your gentle rain..."
BA laid a heavy arm across Murdock's shoulders.
Murdock put out his cigarette in the dirt.
"Goin' with you tonight, big guy."
"I dunno," Murdock said. "I dunno. Why the fuck does the first time I... Why the fuck here? What's wrong with falling for the boy next door, gotta come to this goddamn place an'..."
BA sighed. "Jus' is."
"You're a big fucking help, y'know that?"
"Watch yo' mouth. Gonna wash it wi' soap."
Somebody had started a football game down below, between the buildings and up over them. The ball soared through the air silently.
Murdock leaned into BA's shoulder. Smiled a little. "He's so pretty an' sweet an' wild, big guy."
Murdock rested his head back. Stared up into the night. "Goin' out with you tonight."
The two of them watched the stars come out for a while, and shelling start up in a few more places along the deep valley. Watched the camp settle in.
Watched Face walk back up to them.
Face ran his hand through his hair. Looked at them. "You, uh, want something to eat?"
Murdock smiled up at him. Stood up, away from BA's arm. "What you got?"
"Steak and strawberries," Face said.
"Fix mah jeep yet?" BA hoisted himself up off the ground.
Face grinned. "Don't worry," he said.
The three of them walked down the hill together.
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