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Title: Out too long

Out Too Long
by Cabaret

Rating: NC-17 (For angst imagery)
Summery: Someone (and it was that long ago I can't remember who, sorry) mentioned on list that it would be good to write a fic about what happened to Murdock if he stayed out of the VA for too long, this fic is about that, it's a simple anxiety attack, with symptoms of withdrawal thrown in.
Warnings: Character paranoia and possible suicide/self harming thoughts. Quite angst…. Actually full blown angst! (Sorry Murdock!)
Author's note: The text is pretty hard going, it doesn't flow as well as it should and is a bit jaggy. This is quite possibly the hardest thing I've written due to my own RL symptoms, .the fic has been completed and with me for about six months now, I still think it needs work, but am unable to do it, so am settling for just getting this fic out and away.
Jargon Note: Air-born stew actually exists, I was force fed the evil dish as a child by my father, who was a paratrooper, he claims the stew was discovered when in the army jumping out of aeroplanes, on a personal note, that's where it should have stayed! (Only kidding, it's an acquired taste, quite nice but takes some getting used to!)
Disclaimer: The A Team are not my creation, I don't own 'em I just play.
Comments: Yes please again, despite my Authour's note.

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OK I wanna go home now. No really, I've had enough, play time over, wanna go home. Back to the cushioned walls of a simulated reality. With pin on smiles and glazed eyes. A place where everyone is your friend because you don't interact. And there is no need, because doing so would crush their fragile minds….. Therefore being left with no friends. A place where talking is irrelevant, because no one has time to dip beyond their cotton line, just to confirm what another is thinking. A place where time melts away from tasks, becoming as distant as the reality you left. As non consequential as the faded photos, and the people. The people who lead you to mistrust all sight, until gauging your eyes in desperation, only to hear the lies they still whisper. The ever present noise, like rocks rolling in the dust of your brain, eroding all thought and crushing to get out, encompassing your body and all feeling in the cold, cold expanse, wishing you could finally fall to the bottom. Crack you're skull to release the scrapping. The scuttling seething fury of striving to the not knowing.

Breath a moment.

Enjoy the quiet.

Feel the space you created by killing a part of you.

Can peace be found in death?

Death to the dead to take me home. The home where I find peace to lie still.

Motionless, without interaction, feeling or inclination….. That's were I want to be. I wanna go home now please.

Murdock sat in the small cabin's living room, clasping his hands together, twisting them, linking his fingers then pulling them apart, clasping his hands together, twisting them, linking his fingers together, twisting them, pulling them apart, clasping his hands together, twisting them, twisting them, twisting them again. Sweat built the friction in his hands and the contact and motion stressed and soothed him until he was barely conscious of the action. The muscles in his arms ached and begged to be curled, his mind flashed to the feeling of relief he might experience from the simple telling motion of curling then crossing his arms up to his chest. To hold himself in from the danger of spilling out and exposing himself. But the tease of the thought set about a chain reaction, his stomach tensed and told him he might be sick, his throat contracted to falsify that statement, his chest felt exposed as though his ribs could just collapse and relieve themselves from the labouring lifting and falling of his forced stagnant breathing.

He flexed his feet and stretched his toes upward in their clammy trainers, then back down and curled them over, this reminded him that he was actually tired, no! He wasn't tired, he was awake therefore he wasn't tired. He stretched his heels forward under the table, cramping his calf muscles, he snapped back his legs and crossed them underneath the chair he was sitting on, his thighs felt as though they were being slowly gutted, he wanted to hold them, stitch them back together, confine himself in a body sized space, just so he wouldn't fall out and out of himself. Still twisting his hands under the table, still linking his fingers, twisting them, pulling them apart, making a fisted prayer gesture and holding his hands between his hollow knees, twisting again, linking his
fingers. Anything to stop his hands from shaking.


Murdock inhaled deeply and for a brief moment it all seeped away..... Then hit him in the back and worked his shoulder blades until he thought only a sledge hammer to the back could release his spine. But he couldn't get up, couldn't pace that wretched floor to relieve himself and he wasn't sure it would anyway. His mind played through what he would do if he could. He would stand up
viciously, getting away from the confinement of this wooden chair, he would walk to the window, look out without seeing anything, walk back to the chair, scowl at the chair, walk back to the window, repeat, relax, repeat, relax, repeat. No, he wouldn't relax, but he would repeat, just not relax. But repetition is good, it makes the sun rise. That's good, but not enough, he would pace up the stairs tensing his legs as he did, that would bring some relief. No it wouldn't. Oh Lord! Even if he could do what he wanted, he still
wouldn't be able to find out exactly what he did want to do. If he could scream he would, instead he took his clammy hands off duty, rubbed his eyes and starred into the black abyss of his lids, snapped away (he couldn't fall, not here) and picked up the book in front of him. He clutched the sides of the book focusing on one word only, there was no point in attempting to actually read, he couldn't and wasn't interested in what this book had to offer him anyway. The appearance, that was all he needed, the appearance, after all it was the thing that would indeed catch the conscious of the king. Oh no, not Shakespeare to boot! Murdock re-aligned his sights and burrowed his eyes on that one word, his brow neatly knitted so as not to expose himself to the conscious of the king who was now watching him intently. The king who had brought him to this state of nowhere. The king's steely blue eyes were like flames burning into Murdock's skin, always watching, always there, a comfort that was now confinement. Murdock remained still, focused on this one word, but concentrating on keeping his jittering legs immobile.

Everything would be fine, if he kept repeating that he might start to believe it, eventually. Murdock could convince himself of anything, but when there was no visible cause of terror, he struggled to convince himself that he could even breath. His chest heaved and was cut short, suddenly aware of his gasping, Murdock repositioned himself in his tomb encompassed chair. A new position, a new self. He was doing well, he had to continue to reassure himself, it was all he could muster now. All imagination seemed lost in the spinning oily fog of sludge that had become his mind. It was only supposed to have been a week, now it was a month or had it been two? Maybe it was three? He felt so restricted here, strangled from the civilisation of clean white walls. Everything was dirty here in this cabin, so pine-y in this wilderness. Murdock wanted a cigarette, more then he'd ever wanted one before, just one, just a drag, he tasted his dry mouth, it was bitter, he'd not really eaten properly, and tea left a mildewed taste, but a cigarette would change all of that, it would make all taste go away, and the hunger. He was hungry, he knew that, he just didn't
know what he was hungry for, a new taste that left no taste, something that didn't actually need to be eaten, a cigarette would taste sweet right now, but he knew it wouldn't, it would just linger like everything else around here, hang in the air until it clung to him everywhere, never leaving him, always lingering in the back, just on the left, always wanting more and always there. Murdock leaned on his hand, it was a good disguise to feel his face and make sure he could still feel, he wanted to pad his face, touch it, two different heats in a comparison, that would offer some relief, he could hide in his hands and throw the world away, cocoon himself away from the ever present crackle of radio static that broadcasted in his mind. It would be there after a brief second, but for that second, he'd live in a safety that would be longed for until the next let down of only experiencing it for a second. If he could rub his face, maybe he could rub it out and make it all go away, scratch off the surface to let this revolving dull roar out, he could do that here, there was no one to stop him, no for the first time anyway, they couldn't tell these signs and wouldn't know until it was too late, then he could release this irritation that was becoming him. Murdock put aside the hope of this happening, repetition had told him that it didn't work anyway, but it was all he could think to do, when you step on glass you hold the wound, it doesn't help but you do it anyway. When you crawl through a tunnel of glass, unable to stop, what do you hold? Murdock's mouth watered, spreading that terrible un-budging taste, he glanced at the kitchen, his arm tingled, his left always his left, that was the bad one, the one that was the door way to the overcrowding of feelings in his body. If he could just open that door way, the noise would filter out, it had to, it had to be the only solution to bring him peace, just a moment to sleep, he wanted to do that right now, but knew he couldn't, was too afraid to, was too afraid to lay down and close his eyes, he couldn't control it then, he would twist and fall open to it all. He longed for the strapping confinement, the piercing thrill of an injection, the choking pills, taken dry to stick in the throat so he could savour every part of their effects. He wanted to feel the release they offered, the lifting mellow sink that drifted his body from his mind and separated them so he could rest, find a corner that lasted for more then just one second, allowed him to be happy focusing on one ceiling of blank, focusing but vague in his thoughts because he wouldn't be there, he would be away from it all watching his body sinking low in through the bed, fading away from all and everything, becoming a part of the room, not existing, just a picture on the floor. That's where he wanted to be, fuelled up at home, listening but not regarding life drift past his room, his room, his space.

His eye cast upon a mug of stale coffee. He supposed they wouldn't notice if he took it away and cleaned it, then cleaned the table. His ribs deflated with the realisation that he had done that yesterday, he had scrubbed the legs of the damned thing until he saw his ghosts reflection in the brushed steel. But that mug was still there, a brown ring emerging on the wooden surface from beneath it's grimy sides. Now Murdock just wanted to cry. He had cleaned this place over and over and now someone had carelessly left that mug purely to antagonize him. It just sat there taunting him, flaunting it's grime in defiance. It was bad enough to be stuck here idle, without his friends mocking him too.

Why was he here? They didn't really need him, not here. They never really needed him, he was just decoration, they just humoured him. They even mocked his flying skills, BA wouldn't even go near a flight capable machine with him.... Wait, wait, stop! Murdock recognised the paranoia train his thoughts were riding on and quickly sealed the tunnel. He was being irrational, of
course they needed him, they cared for him and worried for him, they protected him. The king (Murdock firmly told Shakespeare to vacate the premises). The Colonel, (At last, some continuity) was subtlety making it blatantly obvious that he wanted to protect Murdock, by stabbing him with his eyes as he studied Murdock's gently fidgeting body. He was here because they needed him, an
unmarked pair of eyes to observe (and shop) while they laid low, low in this bear's den, hibernating, stagnating in this wilderness.

Murdock couldn't stand it anymore, so he did just that, he stood up, stood to attention, not viciously, just stood up and breathed in the stale air. Composure, focus, calm, focus.

"Just um, just gonna stretch my legs." Murdock congratulated himself on the smoothness of his voice.

Hannibal raised an eyebrow. "Thought I'd go to the shop, you want anything?"

"Murdock, it's six a.m. No where's open and the closest shop is four miles away."

"So I'll jog."

"Sit down, last time you stretched you're legs, you were gone all day and most of the night." Hannibal sighed. "We need you here and in contact with us, the heats dying down, but we still have to be careful."

"I'll be back by eight, I promise." Murdock felt the distaste in his mouth as he pleaded with Hannibal, why didn't he understand? He was going to explode in this place, if they didn't let him out. He had to get out, or he had to have a fix, he had to have something, just to stop his muscles pumping, just to stop his head pounding, just to stop him. "Look at me, I'm getting all flabby, I'm a soldier, I need to stay pumped and lean, you wouldn't deny me that would you Colonel?"

"Would, will and am Captain."

Damn it! Murdock had tried to glean sympathy from rank, but Hannibal had just fired it right back at him. Hannibal shot Murdock a cheeky confident grin, but it was more for the purposes of reassurance. Murdock wasn't accustomed to whining, so he left it there, and took that bloody cup to the kitchen.

BA was making some as semblance of breakfast and growled at Murdock's entrance. Murdock meekly left the cup in the sink and shied away. BA's concerned eyes followed his back out of the door. But he said nothing, what could he say anyway? He just didn't know how to reach him. Murdock was lost in a spin of himself, BA just couldn't find his friend in there, he knew he was there, just not within his grasp. Which made BA want to lash out, but he couldn't do that to his friend, couldn't let him down like that. But Murdock still felt the concerned looks raining down upon him, he sat back down on his prison and pulled on his T-shirt collar as though it was a tie. His whole body ached from boredom and frustration, he was suffocating in this open space and begged for the regiment of his home. He wanted to turn and snap at the silent Hannibal, telling him just to leave him alone, stop asking those silent questions, stop pampering him, stop talking about him with the guys when he wasn't in the room, stop….. Just stop it all and take him home. Home, it wasn't really a home, just a substitute army. Shit, it wasn't even that, but when you're grounded, what else is there?

"Why don't you go wake up Face?" Hannibal tried to ask as casually as possible, he was really asking, how the hell did Face sleep through all that racket you made this morning? But he knew Murdock was feeling guilty enough about getting them all up at ungodly hours on vacation time as it was, he didn't need Hannibal's thoughts on the subject too. Murdock jumped to attention, uncoiling his taught spring. At last something to do! (All be it totally insignificant.) But he could, if he was really clever, convince himself that this was a distraction to take him away from this chasms edge he was teetering on, this expanse of glistening darkness, that seemed so inviting just now. Murdock stood there blinking and unmoving, contemplating his position, the edge or the fall? He was cold, depressed, boredom fuelled with nervous anxiety and paranoia. This wasn't him, but he couldn't see himself there either, if he could, surely he wouldn't be standing there watching him drown? He wanted so desperately to fall, to leave his body behind with all of it's incompetence, to leave all emotions, memories and confusion behind and just exist, just to be, with no
past or future, just to fly.

"Mur-dock, Mur-dock, Murdock? Captain! Murdock! Hey, Murdock?" The cabin ceiling filtered into Murdock's vision, a vice like grip on his arm shaking him gently. Murdock starred blankly at Hannibal's worried Face.

"Colonel?"

"Easy Murdock."

BA and Face walked into the room, fighting off the night's wind as they closed the door.

"We're loaded up 'n ready to go Hannibal." Face announced.

"Go? Go where?" Murdock slumped himself into a half seated position.

"Home." Hannibal said quietly, a feeling of failing entering him, but the best for Murdock was now the most important thing, even if it was partly the worst.

"Now?" Murdock had to hold himself down.

"No, tomorrow, first thing."

A relief warmed Murdock, now he could relax, or begin the process of convincing himself he could begin to relax. Hannibal was looking for some clue that he was ok, he grinned, (although it did feel stretched.)

"Well I for one am glad," Murdock clapped his hands and rubbed them together. "Another month here and Ida needed professional help, BA's drivin' me nuts."

"Fool, you already driven and parked up for the night." BA wasn't about to let that one slip by. Hannibal cleared his throat.

"Uh, you been keeping count? Just how long have we been here?"

"'Bout three or four months I reckon, don't you know?"

"Murdock, it's been two and a half weeks." Hannibal said as gently as possible. Murdock blinked away in shame, feeling his throat contracting again.

"Guess I'm on doggy time."

"Well you said you'd be back by eight, it's eight now, so you know what that means….." Hannibal decided to gloss over Murdock's time lapse and lighten the mood.

"It means you're on dinner duty," Face quickly followed Hannibal's cue. "So what's on the menu?"

Murdock gathered himself up and smiled, he now had two goals to achieve, make it through the night and make a great dinner, but he faltered for just a moment as he felt the familiar cycle creep up on him again, he swallowed hard and forced a grin, he wouldn't fall again, not tonight and not here, he wouldn't let the guys down again.

"Well whatcha gonna make?" BA asked impatiently, not wanting to let Murdock be quiet for too long. Even though he often asked for it, he didn't like a quiet Murdock, it just wasn't right. Murdock steadied himself and took a refreshing breath.

"Y'all look so hungry, and being as it's our last night here, I thought I'd whip up that culinary delicacy…. Air-born stew."

The room groaned."

"Did that concoction get it's name because it's best enjoyed air-born?" Face asked, trying to hint his distaste for the dish.

"Principles of aerodynamics are based on it." Murdock said as he bounded off to the kitchen to rummage up any leftovers to assist in the making of the stew.

"Air-born stew it is then guys, least we won't have to eat for a few days." Hannibal confirmed.

"Yeah, but not by choice" Face said as he clutched his stomach, as though to prepare it for the coming onslaught.

Hannibal got up and join Murdock in the kitchen.

"You ok?"

Murdock turned and was faced with his three friends looking for a serious confirmation. How could he let them down now?

"OK? Just OK?? When have you ever known me to be just ok? Geez guys, I had given you more credit then that!" It was as good as it was going to get, tomorrow it would get better and maybe by the next day he would get back to simple solid insanity.

So where am I now? Home and everywhere, being everything at my everything, scattered, but with consequence.


The End.

One day it will all stop. One day....


Out Too Long by Cabaret

 

 


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