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Goodbye Too Soon

Goodbye Too Soon
by Cabaret

Rating: NC17
Summery: Murdock is diagnosed HIV positive.
Warnings: Slash (nothing graphic), MAJOR CHARACTER DEATH, angst, bad language.
Disclaimer: The A Team are not mine, they belong to others and I gain nothing
from this, save for a release.
Author's Note: This fic is not intended to offend anyone, if offence has been
caused, then please accept my deepest apologies. I'm still learning and trying
to get this right.
Archive: Yes Please, with a comment card.
Comments: Yes Please! (Still Learning!)

*****************************

Part 1

Face crept along the VA hallways, the night was so still, he hated these
nights. Nights that choked him from the cleaning chemicals that brushed the VA
floors, starched linen and polished metal that rusted in the stifling air. It
was always so much harder to slip in and out on these quiet nights, but he had
to see Murdock. It had been six long weeks of hell stuck in a Siberia with
Hannibal and BA on a long-range security mission. Murdock had opted to stay
behind, he was almost at out patient status, and a six-week disappearance would
not have helped the situation. So they had promised their faithfulness and
resigned to spend the six weeks alone. No contact, save for an occasional
friendly phone call that was usually wired through Hannibal's voice, and it was
just to check in so he knew the Team were still alive. Face had endured a
private hell over the six weeks, he wondered how Murdock had coped, if he had
missed him, if he had spent the same sleepless nights as Face had, just longing
to be held.

Face opened the door, checked behind him and crept through. He couldn't help
it, he had to take a moment, it had been too long, too long since he'd watched
his lover sleeping. And he did sleep well, tonight it was the half in half out
of the bed pose, Face had missed his peculiar sleeping positions that often
ended with him cramped in a corner or with Murdock splayed across him. Murdock
lay with his right arm and leg over his body and dangling off his bed leaving
his back exposed. Face crossed over and sat down behind him, he ran his hand
across his shoulders and down his right arm turned him over and watched as the
moon shone a growing smile across Murdock's features. Face leaned down and
touched his lips with his own. Murdock didn't move, Face nudged him with his
nose a little; Murdock remained still with determined slow breaths. Face
cleared his throat softly. Murdock stifled a giggle.

"Give up?" Face whispered.

Murdock moved and turned Face over, he held the back of his head and gave him a
long lingering kiss, then drew back and smiled.

"How come you always win?"

"I'm the one that's pinned here ya know." Face giggled.

"Well thank Lordy for that!"

"What?"

"I was wondering if I had the right guy here, now I know it's you."

"Oi!" Face lightly hit Murdock in the shoulder, Murdock rolled over in mock
pain. Face sat up, "Drama queen." He grinned. "C'mon, get dressed, we're goin'
out."

"You can't buy me off with a night on the town." Murdock sulked, sneezed then
returned to his sulky mode.

"No, but I can start with dinner. And bless you by the way."

"Can I get fries with that?"

"I guess."

"How bout a coke?"

"If you must."

"And what about dessert?"

"Ohhhh, repeatedly."

"Then I guess I'm bought." Murdock sat up and coughed.

"You are surely not still ill?" Face drew himself close, and felt Murdock's
face. "You've got a fever."

"Guess you gimme fever.... Fever! Awww in the morning fever all thro-ugh the...."
Murdock finished his song with more spluttered coughing.

"Is this the same thing you had before?"

"No.... I-a shock that and this came back." Murdock lied. Face would worry and
Murdock didn't need that right now, he just wanted to enjoy the night. Just one
more night, then he'd finally find out what was so wrong with him, then he
could get on with his life. He pushed the wait away, this was not the time to
speculate about a stubborn flu bug.

"You're OK, right?"

"Fine...... Just gotta blow ma nose every five seconds." Murdock grinned, "Pass the
tissues?"

Murdock got a T-shirt and a pair of pants slung at his head.

"Blow you're nose on them and get goin, I got reservations."

"Welcome back Face." Murdock sighed to himself, grinned and got dressed. As he
pulled up his belt, Face tugged on it and pulled Murdock towards him, then drew
him in for another kiss. Murdock fell into Face, his body was shingles in the
bronzed arms of his lover. He hated to admit it, but he had given up, Face had
won.

"And the reservations?" Murdock whispered.

"Can wait." Face smiled as he pushed Murdock onto the bed. "I can't."

"Give up then?"

"Nope, just getting to half time." Face grinned as he ran his hands up and
under Murdock's T-shirt. "How long till you get outta here?"

"Should be a week now.... Then you'll have to give up." Murdock wasn't really
sure what they were dancing around here, they'd been playing this game for two
years now, always baiting each other around who would submit first, what they
were submitting was a mystery though, as it was all discovered territory, but
they both craved the territory more with each touch and each thought of the
other that lingered in their heads and drove them into each other's arms at
every stolen moment. Murdock had just assumed it was another language for I
love you. Which for both of them would be too big a step just now.

"Oh I think I can accommodate you."

"Well that's great, cos I got no where to stay."

"Give up then?"

"Shurrup and fuck me." Murdock giggled.

"Well, if you put it like that....." Face unbuckled Murdock's belt, then paused.
"They feeding you here?"

"Fa-ce!"

Face frowned a little, but continued.

The dinner was never eaten, and the restaurant was left two guests less that
night, as Face's name was struck off the list, he lay in bliss with his arms
wrapped protectively around the only man that really knew him, and accepted him.


Face had parted reluctantly before breakfast was served, the image of the
breakfasts he would serve Murdock each morning when he got out toyed with his
mind. Murdock hadn't eaten any breakfast that morning, the morning blurred
until he found himself sitting nervously in the Doctor's office. A random nurse
from the VA sat beside him and gave him a reassuring smile that seemed full of
mixed shadows and rotting gums. Murdock checked himself, he couldn't let them
break through again, he was so close, almost there. He wouldn't let Face down,
he would prove to him that he could be sane, sane enough for the world beyond
the padded walls. Just sane enough to be with him and forget the past, no
matter how deep he had to bury it, he would. He knew he was supposed to be
working through the war, but he had been doing that for ten years now, and he
was tired of it, he just wanted to be out there again, into the world and away
from the constant reminders of the humidity that clutched him every night.
Then the doctor delivered the news. Murdock's world stopped, he felt the tiny
bead of sweat threaten to fall, but he wouldn't, not again. He laughed at
first, no other emotion wanted to surface, and after all, it had to be a joke,
it just wasn't possible. Then the realisation gauged him as he realised he was
alone in his laughter and showing the surfacing insanity. He pushed it back
down, buried it deep, and tried to filter the information he had just been told.


"No, see, there must be some mistake, you must have made a mistake, I mean......
It's just not possible, how..." Murdock couldn't quite grasp the news, so opted
to remain, until he had heard it for real.

"I'm sorry Mr Murdock, but the test result was positive, it's a risk you take
with the life style you lead, but it's..."

"What?" Murdock cut the doctor off, he couldn't believe the words he was
hearing, he glanced at the nurse. "What's he talking about? What is the
lifestyle I lead exactly?" Murdock's eyes burrowed into the nurses, he wouldn't
let her glance him towards the doctor to let her out of this one.

"We, we had to give him all the relevant information."

"Which would be?"

"You know...." The nurse prompted.

"That you're a homosexual." The doctor finalised.

"Wha....? How did you....?"

"Well....... the whole hospital knows.... It's no secret... I mean, we had to...."

"I don't believe this..... I just..... look Doc, can we take the test again, I mean
there must be some mistake here, look, I've only ever had one partner, and I've
never been unfaithful, and how the fuck did you guys know anyway?" Murdock's
mind was racing, he wasn't sure what he was more upset about right now, he felt
betrayed from all sides. That was the word that kept ringing through his head,
he just wasn't sure who owned it yet.

"The test is conclusive Mr Murdock, you are HIV positive. You have AIDs. Now
there's many treatments that will delay the symptoms and.... Mr Murdock?" The
doctor glanced to the nurse. "Is he even listening to me?" The doctor turned
his full attention to the nurse as Murdock really didn't seem to be in the room
right now.

"Aren't I supposed to know that I was being tested for this?" Murdock asked
softly as he felt a wave of numbness fall over his body.

"Dr..."

"He signed for me huh? Was it not worth the bother to tell me? How much else is
there in that file of mine?"

"Mr Murdock." The Nurse said in a warning tone.

"Sorry," Murdock said quickly as to show sincerity. "How's this gonna affect my
release?"

"We need to discuss treatments, do some more tests, there's more to discuss
here then your out patient status."

"Can we leave it doc? I mean for now anyway." Murdock turned on his pleading
eyes, they had worked before with doctor's, but this one seemed to be a real
hard egg to crack. "I need to... I just gotta sort this out for myself."

The doctor looked at the nurse.

"Perhaps we could make another appointment." She said.

"You know I'm a very busy man, it's not like he's the only patient here." The
doctor began. Murdock wondered if he was still in the room, he'd never been
quite this kind of victim before, and he knew exactly what made him so.

"Tell you what, why don't you have a think on it and send me a prescription in
the post, I wouldn't want another fag taking up your time." Murdock stood up
and walked out. He didn't have to be there anyway, recent history had just
proved that.

"We'll-a make another appointment doctor, I'm sorry for that, he's always been
a bit...." The nurse gestured with her hand.

"Yes they often are."

"Look he is trying doctor."

"Make an appointment at the desk." The doctor waved out the nurse out without
looking up.


"Sorry." Murdock didn't look up, he wasn't sure why he was apologizing, but the
ice had to be broken somehow.

"Well, you have an appointment for tomorrow, please be a little more civil then
Mr Murdock."

Murdock sighed, he couldn't believe this was happening, he just wanted to go
home. He wanted to know where home was for a start, then he wanted to know
exactly who had betrayed him and in what way, then he wanted to figure out how
long he had to..... he just needed to find out.

"Can we go?" Murdock looked up, but not to her eyes.

"After you." She smiled.

A smile? Was she even in there? That doctor had just shot him and spat on the
bullet. Murdock slung his hands in his pockets and marched out stubbornly and
unwilling to play the victim here, not just yet anyway.


"I want another doctor." Murdock announced to Dr Richter.

"Yes I was told there was an air of hostility between you two." Dr Richter
hadn't been looking forward to the confrontation he knew he'd have to face with
Murdock, but if he could just make him see, it was really all for the best.

"I take it you know then?"

"The diagnosis? Yes I've been told."

"Does this change anything? For next week I mean." Murdock was tired, he didn't
want to figure this all out just now, he could do it when he was out, and away
from back stabbing bastards like the man he though he could trust.

"Well it does complicate matters, you might want to delay moving out, while we
work through this."

"What's there to work through? We work through this by me dying, that's how
this fucking thing works through. Look nothing's changed, I'm fine, well, up
here I mean. But I want another doctor."

"Why?"

"I don't like him."

"You didn't like me at first, he's a very good doctor, give him a chance."

Murdock didn't like either doctor very much at the moment. He wanted to get
away from all of them right now, he was so sick of doctors, he thought he was
finally breaking the tie with them. He longed for a moment's peace, the day was
whirling and he just needed a bit of down time to sort it all out, then he
could face it, face, Face. He pushed his lover from his mind, he'd promised he
wouldn't think about that part just yet.

"Now why don't you tell me what's really on your mind Murdock?" Dr Richter said.

"Apart from the obvious death sentence you mean?"

"If you would have stayed with your doctor today, you would have learned it's
not such a death sentence now a days."

"Oh yeah, it's much like cancer huh? I mean take two pills and it all goes
away, or does a mallet to the head do just as well?"

"Murdock please, what's wrong? Something else is bugging you."

Murdock sat down, he hated being the book here, he wondered at what point he
had become so transparent. But, since he brought the subject up,

"How long have you known?"

"About what?"

"You tell me." Murdock knew this game, he was closing the book. Dr Richer saw
that look, and sat forward.

"About Face? We're not blind Murdock, how long's it been, a year? You can't
hide something like that, for that long."

"Guess we did, it's been two." Murdock said quietly.

"Have there been any others? Before Face?"

"Why did you tell that doctor?"

"He asked, it was on the form, they need all the information."

"It was personal!" Murdock shouted as he stood up.

"How many men have you slept with? You need to contact them. Tell them."

"Just Face." Murdock sat down again and couldn't quite look at Dr Richter.

"Then...."

"I know, I know, but nobody said he was perfect." Murdock shrugged. "Just
mine."

"You need to tell him, he needs to know."

"I will, I just need some time, and a new doctor."

"Give him one more chance huh? I'm delaying your outpatient status for two
months. There's more work to be done here Murdock. We'll talk again tomorrow."

Murdock shrugged again and walked out of the office. If Dr Richter was so damn
good, then why had he not realised that he'd never been in that room at all?


Part 2

 

Had the whole world gone mad? Murdock lay on his bed considering his options.
He'd never had so many leading to the same conclusion. He'd always accepted
death, sudden death, but this was different. This was painful and slow, this
was everything he'd fought against, he felt like all freedom had been taken
away and he was running a wheel that was worn down to the rim. His life just
couldn't fit into his sense of reality right now. Murdock coughed as he felt
his lungs heave into his ribs.

"Oh don't you start as well." He gasped. He wanted to burst out laughing, laugh
until he choked, then maybe he could speed all this up. He had spent the whole
day lying, to the people around him and to himself. He wanted to cry, but
somehow the laughter just couldn't be kept inside, and still his lungs ached.
He wanted to run away, or just run, anything to make his lungs reach the
explosion they longed for. He wanted to hurt himself, just to see if he still
could feel. No one else seemed to think so. He was just the town faggot,
promoted from the town crazy. Murdock's coughing pulled him into a spasm as he
collapsed onto the floor. His stomach knotted as his body convulsed. He felt
the muscles in his body rip as he lost control.

"Oh Shit Murdock...." He gasped. "Pull yourself together." Well at least he'd
managed to hurt himself, but the urge to laugh was gone, in fact all urges had
gone. His coughing ceased and he felt the horizon equalize. He remained on the
floor, looking at the detail of his dresser leg, the wood was ingrained with a
dirty and darkened varnish. He didn't want to move, he had stabilized now and
moving would just make it all start again. He was not really feeling now, that
was good, he was content just staring at the details of this wood in front of
him.


He wasn't sure how long he'd been there, he concluded that he must've drifted
off at some point, the sleep wasn't remembered, but it was somewhere he wanted
to be again. But the hand gently shaking him was quite insistent. He opened his
eyes to see Face looking over him with a look he hadn't seen in a long time.

"Hey." Face said softly. "What happened? You ok baby?"

Murdock wanted to spit at him, he felt the bile of hate rise in him. But
somehow swallowed hard wishing his dream had lasted.

"Sure."

"What happened?"

"Nothing."

"Then why are you biting your lip?"

"Faceman, I'm fine, I'll but fine, besides, sleeping on the floor is very
healthy, I'm doing tile therapy."

"You doing sleeping next to vomit therapy too? Don't lie to me Murdock, I
though we got past all that."

"So did I."

"What?"

"I'm sorry, I'm just grouchy. I think it's these new meds they got me on."

"You're not on any meds here, and you never took them anyway. Murdock, what's
goin on? Are you really ready to leave next week? I mean, is this all delaying
tactics? I'll wait for you, however long it takes. Do you need more time?"

"Facey, I don't like bein ill, you know that. This ain't a good time for me,
it's been ten years, ya know? I just need a week. I'll be outta here soon
enough."

Face kissed Murdock's forehead, and held his head into his chest. He felt
guilty for pushing Murdock, but for two years they'd been sneaking around, in
and out of the VA, around the team, away from the society he loved so much. He
was sick of it. But it would all change, and he knew Murdock would love it all,
just as soon as he got him away from the VA.


Murdock cringed in the embrace, he wanted to gouge that pretty face that has
smiled as he'd pulled the trigger, the injection of death that was slowly
taking prisoner his body.

"This is all gonna end soon baby, I promise." Face whispered. Murdock closed
his eyes and begged to himself that he could trust Face, just trust that he
could take it away. Make it all just fly away. He wanted to hear any lie that
would take the confusion away. Anything to feel how he'd felt before. But the
cringe stayed upon his face, he just couldn't move it, couldn't step away from
the daggers that clawed his back in Face's hands. He could fake the voice, but
somehow, the look was so much harder to cover in his former security of Face's
arms. Face drew back and Murdock snapped to a look of tranquility, surprised
that he still had that last survival instinct.

"So you want to go out? I managed to get those dinner reservations again, and
this time I promise dessert won't take over the main course." A cheeky grin
crossed over his face.

"No point Facey, I can't keep anything down at the moment, let alone go down."

"Well I'll stay with you then, or can you come out for the night?"

"I can't risk it, not this close to leavin for good."

"I guess we'll clean this up then?"

"Gimme the week huh? I'm not really up to much."

"You were last night, besides, I'm not asking you to, just wanna be with you.
You know when you get out BA an Hannibal will be fussin all over you. I ain't
gonna get a look in."

"So come out then, couldn't be that bad."

"After you my love." Face shifted uncomfortably.

"What could be so bad Face? Why all the hiding huh? Is it so wrong, what we're
doing?"

"I been there. And it is bad, vicious out there, nothin's refined when you come
out."

"You did? You never said."

"You never asked."


Would that have made the difference? Murdock played the scene that could have
saved his life.

'Face have you cheated on me?'

'Yes I have old chap, and by the way if you sleep with me now, you'll be dead
in a year.'

'Really? How's that?'

'I slept with a poof that had the germ, he was a good ride, but he doesn't keep
running back like you do.'

'Well, do you mind if we just end it?'

'No not at all, I'll miss you, but there'll always be another poor sucker to
kill off.'

Well, better late then never.


"I'm asking now." Murdock said as he tried not to give away the tell tale sign
of lip biting.

"It's not a big deal really."

'Liar.' Murdock thought.

"It was before we got together."

'Liar.' Murdock's mind screamed.

"I was seeing a guy who showed me the scene, but nothing happened, the scene
was nasty, outside was worse, it was like being marked with the plague."

'LIAR!'

"I'd never want Hannibal and BA to look at us that way, or anyone else to treat
you like that. Understand?"

'NO!' "Sure, whatever, right?" 'I don't understand, you fucked me over, you
fucked me over!' Murdock's mind was spiting venomous hate now. His hands were
shaking now, as he tried to maintain any remnence of control.

"I just wanna protect you from all that, you're worth more then them, more then
that, and more to me."

'LIAR LIAR LIAR!!'

"Hey, what's up?" Face touched Murdock's face and smoothed his hand down to the
back of his head. "Man, your glands are really up, your shaking, have you seen
that doctor yet?"

"Face, get out."

"What?" Face drew back in surprise.

"I'm gonna be sick again, just go. Gimme the week."

Face looked crushed. He was bearing his soul to a bolted door. Murdock dashed
for the sink and threw up. Face stood behind him feeling trampled and useless,
was this yet another rejection lining up for the kill? His instinct told him
yes, and to run away from it, but it wasn't Murdock hugging that sink and
shunning him away, something had changed.

Murdock ran the water over his face, then looked up and into the mirror, he
caught Face's look. Satisfaction swam through him, 'The Stones' were wrong, it
was easily got, just hard to maintain. A thin smile crossed Murdock's face.

"It's just a lil bug." He said with an air of patronising knowledge. "You're
not afraid of a lil bug are you? Look, just gimme a week, if they catch you
here, they'll delay it, and nothing's stopping me from getting out there. Not
even a lil bug."

Face shuddered a little, he'd heard that voice before, seen that look before.
Murdock was back in that mode that got him through 'Nam, and it scarred Face to
see his gaunt features so full of determination. It was a scar he'd never been
able to lift from himself. Face wondered when Murdock had got to be so thin,
he'd never noticed it before, but then, he hadn't been around for a while. The
fear of betrayal coursed through him. What was driving Murdock on like this? It
was a big step, but Face had never imagined that it was this big for him. He
regretted pushing Murdock, how had he gone from the playful and passionate
lover of last night to this?

"So I can't see you?"

"It's just a week Faceman, Geez! We just spent six weeks apart, what's one more
week? Y'all gotta keep your distance or you'll fuck it up for me. 'Sides, I
wouldn't wantcha getting ill too now would I?" The look of satisfaction had
returned to Murdock's features. But Face was determined not to run just yet. He
approached Murdock and wrapped his arms around him, but Murdock's body remained
ridged.

"I don't care about that, you take your time, an call me when you need me."
Face whispered and began kissing Murdock's cheek gently working his way down
his neck. Murdock couldn't help himself, no matter how much hurt there was,
Face could still move him, he knew the right buttons and knew how to play him.
Murdock felt his body melt as he turned and closed his eyes. For the briefest
of moments, it all went away again, the horizon was stable and he was flying
clear. He didn't want Face to go, anything but, he pulled Face's expensive
jacket toward him and felt his hands tantalising his shivering body. But he had
to push him away, he'd learnt one thing in his ten years here, what was real
and what was not, and this wasn't.


Face left the hospital feeling a little more reassured, then gagged in the
parking lot and made a mental note that romance was not a dish best served
after throwing up.

 

 

Part 3

 

Murdock sat through his humiliation the next day. Face was right on some level,
he was marked and this doctor was determined to let him know it. But he finally
left, a smaller man with a cocktail of pills, and returned to his room at the
home he though was his base of stability and security for so many years. He
took out the small bag he'd packed the night before, and casually left the VA.
It wasn't hard, he would have done it the night before, but Face was there,
watching in the car park. A mix of choking security had haunted him all night
as he'd tried to sleep, with only his hate to comfort him, he'd somehow got
through it and was ready to leave it all behind now.

He knew where he had to go, San Francisco. The Team had few connections there
and he'd be harder to find. He would still be marked, and marked for the rest
of whatever life he could salvage, but people in San Francisco could get lost
just as easily as people in LA. They'd made a life of being lost in LA, he knew
he could do it now on his own in San Francisco. Murdock sat on the Greyhound
bus gazing at the rushing road. He wished he could be gazing at the sky, but if
he'd flown, the Team would have picked him up straight away, they'd be
expecting that. The road glazed over and entered his sleep. Murdock was too
tired to think anymore, too tired to hate, or miss the love he'd pushed away.
So he slept, telling himself he'd deal with it tomorrow


One month later, Murdock was still waiting for tomorrow. He sat at the bar that
was down the street from his apartment with a good friend he had been
reacquainted with, Tequila. It wasn't such a good friend, more a weekend
visitor, but it was Friday afternoon and it seemed as close to the weekend as
it was going to get. He hated his apartment, he was convinced that ghosts were
etched into the walls, ghosts that pointed him out and whispered 'you're next
Muchacho.' He wondered how he'd wound up with Spanish ghosts, and as he didn't
much feel like improving his Spanish recently, he opted to spend as much time
out of the apartment as possible. Then there was the job, or rather jobs.
Murdock had never considered just how many ass holes there were in the world
until he stepped out into it. He seemed to have developed a tattoo on his
forehead that read 'AIDs Fag', as was now the case. He had continued to lose
weight, although in fairness to his body it had stabilized over the last week
and a half. But still he had this cold, two and a half months of hocking up a
lung or two every night was becoming quite boring. He had considered striking a
bargain with God, less time for taking away this cold, although every time the
cold lifted a little something else would come along. Which made Murdock quite
comfortable with the devil he knew. He'd been to two different doctors, both of
which just didn't seem interested in the fact that he was dying, and seemed
more interested in prescribing cocktails that made him feel worse and didn't
really seem to work anyway, then lecturing him on his lifestyle choice, which
was non active since..... Yeah, he missed Face. Life was getting monotonous, but
no matter how routined or how depressed he felt he couldn't let himself slip
into thinking about Face. But no matter how much his lungs hurt at night, it
was nothing compared to how much he ached from the mental anguish of his heart
ripping through his chest as he longed to be held one more time by the only man
that could make sense of all of this.


Murdock looked deep into the bottle of Tequila, the liquid swirled as he shook
the window of his sleep, which had become his time of tranquility.

"Hey Ed." A young man minced into the bar, and dumped a box on the bar. "Flyers
as requested, posters'll be here tomorrow, now how bout a drinkie?"

"They know you drink on the job Mikee?" Ed asked.

"They gotta get me half cut just to do the job! Course they know."

Ed giggled and poured up a drink, a gin and tonic with a lime and straw.
Murdock glanced at the man, he was about 5'6" with bright red wavy hair, skinny
and pale, wearing a white ripped crop top with "Star" etched across it in blue
glitter, a denim jacket with no sleeves, and a pair of very tight jeans.

"Chug a lug Mikee, you are goin back this afternoon? Right? I ain't havin' a
repeat of last week."

"Oh but that bar was born to be danced upon Eddy boy." Mikee began flaying his
arms about in a dancing queen fashion, then jumped up onto the bar, crossed his
legs and touched his knees with his finger tips. "Give us a kiss sweetie."

"Gerroff my bar Mikee." Ed chuckled and looked in the box. "Hey these are good."

"What can I say, I was feeling inspired, bout 12 inches of inspiration last
night."

"Mikee, please! I don't need that image in my head when I go pick up my wife
tonight."

"It should inspire you lover boy."

Ed snorted, he was about 50 and images of 12 inches didn't really need to be
fresh in his mind at this point in his life.

"You taking business from Queers now?" A man asked from a table across the bar.
He was sitting with another man drinking a pitcher of beer.

"Yeah, hand those flyers out you'll give your customers his AIDs." The other
man said.

"You should have them fumigated, he's infecting us by being here."

"Why don'tcha fuck off faggot, go find some kids to molest and pass your germs
onto."

"Don'tcha ever wonder why AIDs was invented, it was to kill off all you fucking
faggots."

"Oh well then you'd better clear outta here boys, before you go gay on us. Or
even worse get the germ." Mikee walked up and breathed purposefully on the two
men. Who immediately sprang up and grabbed Mikee by the shirt. "Oh, now you
done it, feel like a hard shaft up the ass? Got 10 inches here that's just
aching for a tight squeeze. I love popping cherries, you can be my chicken."
Mikee pouted a kiss at the man holding him.

"I'm gonna teach you some real pain faggot." The man drew back his fist, Mikee
struggled to get away but was held back by the second man.

"Put him down boys, he's done you no harm." Ed shouted as he rushed around the
bar, but the fist was stopped by another man.

Murdock stood with the man's fist in his hand, drew back his other fist and
punched him, he ducked as Mikee was thrown to the side. The quiet bar room
erupted into a ball of fists and anger. Murdock was in his element, finally
able to release some of his anger, he was pounding the second unconscious man
when he heard a shotgun click. He stopped and slowly turned his head.

"There a problem here?" He spat.

"Yeah, you buddy, we don't usually beat our customers to a pulp." Ed said
calmly.

"Oh c'mon Ed, he was defending my honour, my knight in shining armour." Mikee
batted his eyes, then got up.

"And you don't help much Mikee, you know you shouldn't wind them up."

"Oh please Ed! They were way outta whack there."

"He's right about that one." Murdock said as he stumbled to a chair and held
his head, blood was seeping out and covered his already bloodied hand. "Shit."
He mumbled.

"Anyway, it's about time someone informed those pea brain fuck heads."

"Oh they were right alright, just don't need to be reminded of it." Murdock
began coughing and stumbling into a nearby chair, he then passed out, his frame
slumped in the chair that cradled his features.

"Somehow the knight's just lost his appeal." Mikee sighed.

"He one of yours?"

"Probably, he's got the hips for it."

"You reckon he's...." Ed trailed off.

"Looks pretty rough, you got any tissues?"

"Sure." Ed disappeared and re-emerged a moment later with a toilet roll.

"Plastic bag?"

Ed produced a bag, and Mikee cleaned up the wound then neatly wrapped up all
evidence in the bag. Murdock came round and stared at Mikee, then quickly
pushed him back.

"What the fuck are you doing?"

"Cleaning you up before you bleed all over the floor, figured it was the least
I could do, thanks by the way."

"Get off me!" Murdock yelled. "You dunno what you're doing!"

"Mikee, get him outta here, these two are commin round, I'll take care of these
guys, and leave the posters till Monday huh? No rush."

"Or rather, they'll be waiting." Mikee said quietly.

"It's your own fault Mikee, just get goin, I can't lose my business over this."

"I know, I know, I'm sorry Ed, look clean this up with bleach, use gloves and
throw away everything afterwards ok?"

"Yeah yeah, sure, I'll see ya Monday." Ed waved them off.


Mikee and Murdock staggered out of the bar.

"Well this is a turn up for a Friday afternoon, what's your name buddy?"

"Howell."

"Just Howell? Or is there screaming thrown in too?"

"Look, thanks for cleaning me up, but I think you should get yourself checked
out, I've uh.... I'm......" Murdock couldn't quite finish the sentence. He hadn't
really admitted it to himself, he'd dredged up everything to admit it to his
doctors, and that had left him with a slap in the face. He'd resigned himself
to accept no more slaps and welcome the final kick.

"Oh damn! And here was me thinking I'd seen the last of hospitals, why ever
would I need to go there? My check up ain't till Monday. Besides, don'tcha
wanna know my name?"

"Look, Mikee? This is serious, leggo of me and go get your blood tested. I
gotta go." Murdock blushed and made to walk away, but Mikee pulled him back.

"What the fuck is your problem mate?"

"I got no problem if you just let go o' me and lemme go on my way."

"And if I don't? You gonna pound me into the ground too? Look you're cute
sweetie, but you ain't worth smashin up this face."

"Oh I've seen better to pound, don't worry, you ain't worth it."

"Wanna coffee?" Mikee suggested as he let go of Murdock to try a different
tactic.

"No, just leave me go huh?" Murdock relaxed and the hate fell from him.

"Well, I do, c'mon, I could get into trouble on the way and might need you,
please?"

Murdock shrugged and followed, he could feel the hurt returning and didn't want
to be alone, besides he had to get this guy in for tests, he wasn't about to
condemn him for just being in the way.

"And by the way, I am." Mikee casually said.

"What?"

"Worth it." A grin spread across his face as he chuckled.

"Any room for you in there? You look a bit cramped there next to your ego an
all."

"That's exactly what I said to Jeff last night, now he was cramped. He he heh."

"Are you always so.... Descriptive?"

"What's life without details? You gotta make the most of it."


TBC

 


Goodbye Too Soon by Cabaret
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