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Backwoods Breakdown

Backwoods Breakdown

By JD Sampson

 

Rating: NC-17 F/M Slash

Disclaimer: I'm crazy, so I have no idea what I'm doing
Warning: angst, hurt and comfort, F/M Slash
Summary: Shortly after returning from 'Nam, Face comes to terms with what he's been through and Murdock is there with his own brand of 'therapy' to help him get on with life.

 

~~~~~~~~~~~~~

 

"This is the greatest.  I mean it.  This life really suits me."  Face swung the car onto Route 160 then pushed it up to 85, then on to 100. 

 

In the passenger seat, Murdock checked the grip of his seat belt, snapping it once to engage the locking mechanism.  "Faceman, I'm kind of likin my new home at the VA and I'd like a chance to explore all the desserts on the menu."

 

"What's the matter, Murdock?  Your jets go faster than this."

 

"Yes, but they also handle better in the turns."

 

Face brought the speed down to 90.  "I can't help it.  I've got Hannibal's fever.  I'm on the jazz."

 

"And I'm with you Faceman, only a little slower."

 

"Think about it, Murdock, we're free."

 

"You're wanted by the military."

 

"Yeah, well, okay, but it's a cool kind of wanted, like Zorro."

 

"Like Bonnie and Clyde," suggested Murdock.

 

"Yeah, like…no, not like Bonnie and Clyde.  Like Robin Hood, we're knocking those capped teeth off the rich and helping out the poor.  It feels good, Murdock.  Instead of killing, we're saving lives."

 

"Life.  One life.  We pulled that kid out of Mexico.  One life."

 

"So far, but we're just getting started.  Why are you so down on this?  You looked pretty pleased when I scammed you that Lear."

 

Murdock relaxed a little, secure in his seat belt.  "I just don't want to see you get in over your head.  I saw it in 'Nam, kiddo, you pour your heart and soul into a mission and you end up bruised and battered."

 

"We're not in 'Nam anymore.  That nightmare is over.  Lieutenant. Peck is now Mr. Peck and I like it.  Hey, check it out."  He stomped on the brake and steered the car into the skid taking ten years off Murdock's life in the process.  The skid took the car right into the parking lot of full of pick-ups.

 

"Looks like a Texas Ford Dealership," said Murdock.

 

"The Cactus Flower," said Face, pointing to the sign above the door.  "Sounds like that GI bar in Saigon."

 

"The Passion Flower."

 

"Yeah, that's the one."  Face parked the car and climbed out.  He just assumed Murdock would follow, and like a loyal puppy, the pilot did.

 

 

 

The inside of the bar was dimly lit and thick with the smell of smoke, stale beer and human sweat.  There was a jukebox pouring out tunes that were at least five years behind the times and a line of burly cowboys at the bar.

 

"Want to bet they check the color of our necks before they serve us."

 

Ignoring the comment, Face chose a table and signaled the bartender for two beers.  "This reminds me of that time in the Passion Flower when Madame Lau wanted to sell Hannibal her oldest daughter.  Remember her?  Tru- truck or something?  She was the ugliest woman I've ever seen."

 

"What I remember, is the way you won her youngest daughter in a poker game."

 

"Tran…." Face sighed.  "Now there was a pair of hips that could set a motor boat to hummin."

 

"How did she compare to this set of hips?"  An overly painted woman in a tube top and slacks, worked her hips into a poor bump and grind in front of Face's face.  Her girlfriend giggled, snorted, then settled herself in the chair next to Murdock. 

 

"I'm Lulu.  That's my friend Cally.  She used to be a dancer at Barry's Bear Pit."

 

"Really?"  Face pulled out the chair to his side, but she chose to roost in his lap instead.  "Well, how nice."  He signaled the bartender for two more beers.

 

"You fellas are new around here," said Cally.

 

"Just passing through.  I'm Temp and that over there is HM Murdock."

 

"Temp?"  Cally laughed.  "I guess that means you won't be staying on permanent like."

 

"Temp, permanent.  That's very funny."

 

The bartender set four beers on the table and held out his hand for cash.

 

"Uh, Murdock, pay the man."

 

The pilot groaned, but obediently lugged out his wallet and peeled off a few dollars.  Face took a sip of the beer, revealing in the taste for one blessed moment.

 

"Aw, good old American brew.  That stuff we had in 'Nam was like napalm with a head."

 

"You guys were in 'Nam?"  Lulu squealed.  "How exciting."  She scooted closer to Murdock.

 

"It was a dirty job," said Face.  "But despite the danger, a man has to serve when he is called."

 

"That's so noble."  Cally ran her fingers through Face's hair.  "I love a man who can handle a weapon."

 

"Murdock there was a chopper pilot.  Shot down twice and wounded in the line of duty."

 

"Oh no,"  Lulu walked her long red nails up the front of Murdock's shirt.  "Poor, poor baby.  Maybe later you can show me your scars.  I love a man with scars." 

 

Murdock grabbed his beer and hid his face in the mug.

 

Cally wiggled on Face's lap as she giggled with delight.  "Do you have any scars?"

 

"Tons.  I've got this long nasty one that runs right down my thigh.  Got it while I was a POW.  This gook general thought he could make me talk if he cut me."

 

"Oh my god."  Cally gripped him even tighter.  "How horrible.  Did he torture you?  Did he, like try to pull out your finger nails or stick needles in your eyes?"

 

"No, but there are other things, worse things."

 

"Like what?"

 

"Face," Murdock said wearily.  "Can we change this topic of conversation."

 

"We're so inconsiderate," Lulu cooed.  "It must be just terrible to think about.  I'll bet you have nightmares every night."    

 

"You know, Face, we still have a long drive ahead of us.  Maybe we should drink up and get going?"

 

"Going?"  Face finished his beer and signaled for another.  "I was just starting to have fun."  He slipped his arm under Cally's legs and stood up with her in his arms.  "What say we give the dance floor a try,. Huh?"

 

"Sure."  She slapped a wet kiss on his lips, lingering long enough to lick a trace of foam left behind from the beer.

 

Lulu sighed.  "You're not as much fun as your friend."

 

"Yeah, well, I'm an escapee from a mental institution, my social skills aren't really up to his level."

 

"What ever."  She finished her beer in two gulps.

 

 

 

"You know Murdock," Face sprawled across the table to get closer to his friend.  "You hold your liquor very well."

 

"It's a little trick I learned, called drinking one for every four you down."

 

"Really.  I should try that some time."  Face slipped back to his seat, then reeled sideways to give Cally a sloppy kiss.  "You are just the prettiest little thing I've ever seen.  Did you know that?"

 

"I'll bet you say that to all the girls."

 

"No, I mean it."  He drew his fingers diagonally across his heart, then lost track and went south.  "I'd cross my heart but I can't seem to remember where I left it."  That tickled him to the point of hysterical laughter.

 

"Okay, that's a night then," Murdock stood up and peeled Lulu off his arm.  "Time to go beddie bye, Faceman."

 

"All four of us?  How kinky."

 

Lulu giggled but Cally's smile faded to pure horror.  "Oh no."

 

"Hey baby, I was only kidding,"  Face said reaching for her hand and missing by a mile.  "Just you and me sweetheart."

 

"My husband."

 

"Your husband?  You want to bring your husband along?"

 

Murdock followed Cally's eye line and saw a King Kong clone approaching the table.  "YOUR, husband, I take it."  He groaned.  "Faceman, only you….."  He never got a chance to finish.  The ape came charging at them shoving aside tables, chairs, and patrons.

 

"Cally Jo Hillsborough!  I warned you woman, if I ever caught you with another man…." Face managed to emit a small squeak, but nothing more as the ape took a handful of shirt and lifted him from the floor.  "First I'm going to pound you into dog food, then I'm going make this bitch of mine, clean up the mess."

 

"Hey!"  Murdock yelled above the din.  "My turn.  Over here." 

 

The ape turned his head toward the tall, thin man in baseball cap.  He regarded him for a second then began to laugh.  "Yeah, what do you want?"

 

Murdock pulled a 45 from his jacket and leveled it at the man. "Look, I just spent the last 48 hours dodging the Federalizes in Mexico while trying to smuggle a 16 year old boy falsely accused of drug trafficking, back into this country.  I am operating on about three hours sleep, my stomach is full of bad tamales and watered down beer and all I have really longed for since I began this odyssey three days ago, was a hot shower and a warm bed.  If you keep me from those things a minute longer, I am gonna pull this trigger and I'm not going to stop pulling until you look like a piece of Swiss cheese.  Comprende?"

 

"Yeah, hey, I don't want that kind of trouble."  He let of Face, leaving the Lieutenant to balance himself on rubbery legs.

 

"Face, go to the car."

 

"I'm going to the car."  He headed off to the left.

 

"Other way."

 

"Other way."  He headed toward the right.

 

Murdock waited for him to pass then backed toward the door.  "Give me the car keys."

 

"No way, I want to drive.  It's my car."

 

Rolling his eyes, Murdock grabbed Face by the shirt, hauled him around to the passenger side of the car and pushed him back against the vehicle.  Returning the pistol to his waist band, Murdock dipped his right hand into Face's trouser pocket.  "Where are the keys?"

 

"A little further right?"

 

"That's not your keys.":  Murdock switched to the opposite pocket.  "These are your keys."

 

"Hey, go back to the first pocket would you?  I have got a hell of a …."

 

"Face.  Get in the car."

 

 

 

 

"Is this a Hilton?  Because I make it a point of always staying at the Hilton."

 

"Face, it's Motel Hell and I don't care because you are drunk and I am beat."  Murdock slipped his arm under Face's then steered him toward the door to their room.

 

"Weren't we supposed to meet Hannibal?"

 

"Yes, we were supposed to meet Hannibal.  I'll call him as soon as I get you tucked in."  Murdock unlocked the door with his free hand then pushed it open with his foot.

 

"You're gonna tuck me in?  That's so sweet.  You know what?"  Face swung his right arm up and squeezed Murdock's cheeks.  "You are a good friend.  My best friend."

 

"Yep, that's me.  One in a million."  He deposited the younger man on the bed then went back to close and bolt the door. 

 

"You better call Hannibal.  You know how he worries."

 

"I'll call Hannibal, I know how he worries."  Murdock sat down on the right side of the worn and lumpy double bed, picked up the phone and dialed a long distance number. 

 

"Tell him, we'll be there in ten minutes.  I'm just closing my eyes for a second."  Face sprawled chest-down on the bed beside Murdock.

 

"Hannibal?"

 

"Hi Hannibal!!!"

 

"Yeah, he's smashed.  We're in a roach motel on the 160.  Why don't you go on to LA without us."

 

"No, I'm coming."  Face gave Murdock as half-hearted shove.  "Tell him I'm right as rain."

 

"He'll be out in ten minutes and if he isn't I'm gonna kill him, so either way we're not going to meet up with you tonight.  Yeah.  I'll watch out.  You guys take care, we'll see you in LA."  Murdock hung up the phone and sighed.    He gave the bathroom a longing look then wiped the thought from his mind.  Getting up, he circled to the end of the bed.

 

"Hey, what are you doing?"  Face grumbled.

 

"Stealing your boots."

 

"Aw man…I like those boots."

 

It took two tugs per side to get the boots off Face's feet.  Murdock was about to suggest he remove his shirt and jeans but Face was already emitting deep rolling snores.  Shaking his head, Murdock pulled the bedspread loose from the right side of the bed and tossed it over Face, wrapping him up like the filling in a taco.

 

"I am going to take a shower.  I'll be out in five years.  Don't wait up."

 

 

 

"Incoming!  Incoming!  Get down, down."

 

Face's yelling startled Murdock out of a deep sleep.  Two years of knee jerk reaction overrode two months of freedom so the pilot rolled into a duck and cover position while wondering where he left his chopper.

 

"Are you hit?  Are you hit?  He's hit.  Hannibal!  He's hit….Murdock."  Face swung his arms out and caught the pilot in the face with a sharp slap. 

 

"Hey, owww."  Murdock ducked the next slap, then grabbed Face's arm before he could go for a third.  "Stop, wake up.  You're dreaming.  It's just a dream."

 

"Murdock?  Murdock!" 

 

"I'm all right."  Murdock slipped off the bed long enough to snap on the light, then returned to take hold of Face once more.  "Look at me.  I'm okay."

 

Face's normally bright and sparkling blue eyes were now just reflections of sheer terror.  He was panting like a dog, barely sucking in a breath before forcing out the air and he was shivering, despite the warm temperature of the room.

 

Murdock held Face firmly by his upper arms.  "Look at me.  It's just a dream.  I'm fine.  You're fine."

 

"Where?"  he swiveled his head trying to make sense of the dim surroundings.  "Hotel?  Saigon?"

 

"Motel, Barstow.  We're back in the states.  It's over for us.  Remember?"

 

"I thought…I…"  Face's eyes clouded then began to tear.  "I saw you…I saw them.."

 

"Stop."  Murdock shook him, hard, probably too hard but he didn't want to hear it anymore than Face wanted to say it.  "Just a bad dream."

 

"Oh god."  Then the tears fell in force.  Face began to shake so hard the bed beneath them rolled like a 7 point earthquake. 

 

Murdock slid his arms around to Face's back and pulled him into his lap as best he could.  He felt the younger man trying to grab on to him, hold on, but he was shaking so violently he couldn't manage a grip.  "I've got you.  Just relax,"  Murdock ran his hand over his friend's sweat soaked hair, stroking and soothing as his own mother had done when he was a little boy and there were monsters under the bed.  "Breathe, slowly.  I've got you."

 

"Oh man, oh man, oh man, I don't feel so good.  My stomach hurts."

 

"Your stomach hurts?"  Murdock tipped his head downward to catch the eyes of the younger man in his arms.  "Look you, I don't mind sweat, blood or tears, but I'd really rather you didn't throw up on me."

 

Face laughed once, then moaned as a new pain assaulted his stomach. 

 

"Come on, let's get you into the bathroom."  Swinging to Face's side of the bed, Murdock managed to stand without losing his grip on the Lieutenant.  It was ungodly hot in the room, and even more so with Face's overly warm body pressed to his.  Murdock was only wearing a tank shirt and briefs but still he longed to turn up the air conditioning, if the room even had any.  He helped Face to his feet and started toward the bathroom.  He gave up any idea of fidgeting with the temperature controls when he found that Face could barely walk on his own.

 

"Hannibal?"

 

"Is in LA with the big guy.  We were supposed to meet them, remember?"

 

Face nodded but it was more of a convulsive shake than an affirmative response.  Murdock turned sideways to get him into the small bathroom then gently lowered him to sitting on the floor. 

 

"I don't feel so good."  Face lowered his head to the closed lid of the toilet seat.  He moaned again and then the tears were back and even heavier than before.  "How many?  How many did I kill?"

 

Murdock slipped to the floor beside him, squeezing his lanky frame into the space between his friend and the bathtub.  "Take it easy, kiddo."  He set his hand on Face's back and felt every sob as it rose from his chest.

 

"They were children.  Just children, boys, kids.  I killed them.  I killed somebody's son, a 100 somebody's sons."

 

"You were a soldier.  You did what you had to do."

 

"No!  I can see them.  All of them.  I can hear their momma's crying when the body comes home in ten pieces."

 

Murdock closed his eyes and gripped the back of Face's shirt for a moment.  He had saw them too, the boys without arms and legs.  The ones with their chest's flailed open and their faces blown away.  He saw them too and that's why he spent his days in a mental hospital where fantasy was acceptable behavior.

 

"It's not fair, cause here I am and who cares.  I don't have any family.  I don't have anyone.  Who would have noticed if I had died back there."

 

"Hey!"  Murdock grabbed Face's chin in his hand.  "What the hell are you saying?  You don't have any family?  What the hell am I?  And Hannibal and BA?"

 

"You're not my family.  I was abandoned by my family.  They didn't want me."  Face tried to pull away but Murdock would have none of it.

 

"So what you're saying here, is that I would love you more if I had your blood in my veins, is that it?  You think blood matters one little bit?  You think I could love you more if we had come from the same mother?"

 

"I just want someone to care."  Pulling free, Face slipped into a fetal position with his head in Murdock's lap.  "I just want someone to make it go away."

 

"Oh god, Face, I wish I could.  I'd take your pain inside myself if I could but you have to learn to do it.  You have to learn to let it go."  Gently, Murdock ran his hand through Face's hair, again and again, like waves lapping at the ocean.  Turning his hand, he stroked the backs of his fingers over the other man's jaw-line, which was now covered with half a day's stubble.  He was happy to hear Face's breathing slow to match the rhythm of the strokes.  "I care, Face.  I care so much it hurts."

 

"It hurts," Face echoed.

 

"I got you.  You're not alone.  You're never gonna be alone again.  I promise and I always keep my promises, don't I, kid?" Without lifting his head, Face sent his hand searching for Murdock's. The pilot caught hold and brought Face's hand to his own cheek.  "I'm right here.  I've got you."

 

"I'm sorry," Face said, the words coming out as a stutter.

 

"Sorry for what?'

 

"Crying all over you."

 

"No problemo.  Give me a couple of more months with my new shrink and I'll be crying all over you."  Murdock stroked his hand through Face's hair once more.  "You're a mess.  Hang on a second."  He pushed Face up to sitting then awkwardly got to his feet.  Face leaned back against the wall, pressing his hot and sticky face against the cool tile.  Murdock watched him for a second, waiting to see if the calm would remain.  So far, so good.  He reached into the shower and turned on the water keeping it at the cool side of room temperature.  Stooping down on his heels he unbuttoned Face's shirt.  "Take this off.  Your pants too.  You need a shower."

 

Face nodded.  Docile once more he let Murdock peel the shirt from his arms and undo the snap and zipper on his jeans. 

 

"How's your stomach?"

 

"Better.  Did I have a lot to drink?"

 

"Does BA wear gold?"

 

"That much, huh?  I don't really remember."

 

Murdock grabbed the bottom of each pant leg and tugged.  The movement caused Face to slid down the wall as his butt went out from underneath him.  "You could help a little."

 

"That's what you think."  Face kicked his legs free of the jeans then pulled off his own briefs.  There was no modesty among soldiers.  Communal showers, outdoor toilets and humid temperatures saw to that. 

 

Murdock pulled Face to his feet, then maneuvered him into the tub and beneath the shower's spray.  "Can you stand up on your own?"

 

"For how long?"

 

Murdock rolled his eyes.  "God you're a nuisance."

 

"Nuisance, two minutes ago you loved me like a brother."  Face wavered, his hands searched for something to grab on to but there was nothing in the confines of the shower.  "Murdock?"

 

"I'm right here."  Murdock said as he climbed into the shower behind him.  He had stripped out of his own clothes and was glad to be rid of them.  He was hot and tired which made the cool water feel that much better against his skin. 

 

The young Lieutenant tipped is head back allowing the water to hit him in the face and flow down into his hair.  The position was disorienting.  He began to sway but Murdock's strong hands caught him once more.  Good old Murdock, he was always there when you needed him.  Just like…..no, don't want to go there……just like in the camp.  Face dropped his forehead to meet the wall beneath the showerhead.  Lifting his hands he felt the walls of the shower, hard walls but cool, not like the box.  During the day the metal walls of the box heated up to a temperature that could fry eggs, or a careless soldier for that matter.  During the day it sucked the water from your body leaving a man unable to speak or cry.  Murdock was there when he came out of the box.  He was there in a bamboo cage that wasn't fit to hold dogs let alone humans.  He had poured water over Face's cracked lips and soothed the burns with packs made of mud.  And when he reached the point where panic overrode the need for sleep, Murdock told him stories, fairy tales, kid's stories, Aladdin's Lamp and Peter Pan.

 

"You used to tell me stories," Face said turning to meet Murdock's gaze.  "You used to tell me fairy tales to help me fall asleep." Face ran his hands up his cheeks and into his own hair.  He dug the heels of his hands into his eyes then closed his fingers and pulled until it hurt just to remind himself that he was still alive.  "I also remember the game."

 

"Face, let it go."  Murdock grabbed the younger man's forearms, gently but firmly pulling his hands away from his eyes.  "Look at me."

 

His hands dropped but his eyes were closed.  The water from the shower was hitting the top of his head and bouncing off to hit Murdock. 

 

"I remember the way they put us in that circle, all facing in toward each other, on our knees, our hands tied behind us.  Do you remember?"

 

"No, it's just a bad dream,"  He grabbed the Lieutenant's face in his hands.  "Put it away."

 

"It's not that easy.  I remember that last time, they made us play.  You and me and those guys from Charlie Company.  They were smart, those gooks, then put us across from each other, they wanted us to see each other's eyes, to see the terror." 

 

Murdock threw his arms around Face's wet and now shivering body, drawing him close to his chest.  "We survived, that's all you need to remember.  The troops came and took us out of there."

 

Face was shaking his head.  "Duck, duck, duck, goose.  Just like the kids play….like one of your fairy stories, except the chosen one gets his throat sliced with a machete.  His head rolled right past me, like some freakin bowling ball."

 

"Stop it."

 

"You know what.  I was more afraid of them killing you than me.  I was so afraid I was going to have to watch them slit your throat, then I'd be alone.  I wouldn't have made it all alone."  Then the tears returned with a force to rival that of the shower head.  "I'm so afraid of being alone."

 

Murdock tightened his grip on the younger man.  "Why do you think I like living at the VA?  No matter what time of day or night, there are always lights on in the hall.  You can always hear the nurses talking.  There's always somebody just a few feet away."  He dropped his head down and touched his lips to Face's blond hair.  "You're never alone, either Faceman.  I'm always with you.  Even when I'm not around, I'm with you."  He stroked Face's hair and the wet skin of his back listening for the tears to subside.  It took longer this time than before and Murdock's arms were beginning to ache from holding him so tight.  But that didn't matter.  He wouldn't let go, couldn't let go, not just for Face, but for himself.

 

"Murdock," Face lifted his head and for one instant crystal blue eyes and deep chocolate brown eyes exchanged silent signals.  Face brought his hand up to cradle the back of Murdock's head, holding his still as he kissed him.

 

Murdock pulled away.  "Face, as much as I like where you're going here, I think you're going to hate yourself in the morning."

 

"No, I hate myself right now.  It hurts so bad, Murdock.  It hurts my head to think about all of it.  I want to stop thinking but I can't.  Fill my head with fairy stories, Murdock.  Tell me about Peter Pan and Tinkerbell and magic lamps and pirate treasure.  Touch me, kiss me, hit me, ANYTHING!  Just don't let me think any more."

 

"All right.  Turn around and put your hands on the wall?"

 

"Why?"  Face asked.

 

Murdock made a face at him.  "You want to be distracted.  I can do that, just turn around."

 

Face didn't protest anymore.  He turned to face the wall with the showerhead, bracing his arms in front of him.  The water ran over his hair and rolled down his back.  Then two strong hands began to knead his shoulder muscles.  Thumbs pressed into the soft tissue on either side of his spine.  He tipped his head down to accentuate the stretch and his eyes slid closed.  Mercifully, there were no dark images just a warm kind of blackness and he heard himself moan.

 

"Like that?"

 

Face nodded.  Murdock took a step closer bringing his thighs up to touch Face's slightly bent hips.  He leaned forward, applying more pressure to the shoulder muscles, fingers working the space between the clavicle bones. 

 

"How long do you think it will be before the nightmares go away?"

 

With a deep sigh, Murdock moved his hands and dropped his chin on Face's shoulder.  "You're not suppose to be thinking about that," he whispered in the Lieutenant's ear.

 

"I can't help it.  It's still getting through."

 

"Is that so?"  Murdock moved away so suddenly Face thought he had left the shower altogether.  He started to turn and ask the question, when the pilot's hand landed on his back, urging him to stay put.  "Not going anywhere, just reaching.  Don't move."

 

The next thing Face felt was the slick sensation of a wet bar of soap.  It slid over his back and down his sides and finally over his hips and buttocks. He closed his eyes tighter, inhaling the smell of motel soap mixed with the male scent of Murdock.  The soap continued it's path over the backs of his legs and then the hard round of soap was gone and hands returned swirling over his body, rubbing the suds into his skin.  Murdock's hands slipped around to the fronts of his thighs.  He felt the pilot shift to the right, so his hand could travel further along the front of the Lieutenant's body.  Face held his breath as searching fingers neared his groin but he let it out as a frustrated sigh when the fingers withdrew without making contact.

 

Murdock laughed.  "You're such a slut, Face."

 

"Anything for a little affection, huh?"  Face was surprised to hear himself admit what was obviously the truth.  There had been a long line of women in his life, mostly one-night stands, some two hour stands!  He never wanted to see them again, never longed for commitment or promises of love.  He just needed the touching, the holding.   He had grown up so starved for affection, that now it seemed he couldn't get enough.

 

"I don't intend to be your latest one-night-stand, me compadre.  I won't sell my soul for sex."

 

"Don't knock it until you've tried it."

 

Face was suddenly whirled around and he found himself looking into Murdock's deep puppy dog eyes, but instead of the mischievous grin he expected, Face saw a look that was more like anger. 

 

"Will you listen to yourself?  You just want me to screw you so you can forget the nightmares?  Well, how about something different?  How about I make love to you, enough so you feel warm and secure and the past doesn't matter anymore?"

 

Face opened his mouth, but what could he say?  The harshness of Murdock's tone was bringing the sting back to his eyes and the meaning behind the words was making his chest hurt again.  He was too attached to the past, it was the truth.  The fear of abandonment, of disappointment, the feelings of helplessness and hopelessness, they all came from events in his past. 

 

Suddenly Murdock took hold of his Face and kissed him with a passion that he should have expected from the young pilot.  Murdock didn't do anything half-way.  He had that  kind of reckless abandon that Face could only wish for.  It seemed that the Captain didn't fear rejection or disappointment he just gave it his all and hoped for the best.

 

"Whoa," Face gasped to catch his breath.  "That was interesting."

 

"Interesting?  Enough water."  Murdock switched off the shower and slid open the door.  He climbed out and grabbed a towel, exiting the bathroom without another word.

 

Face stayed where he was, his brain rushing to catch up with the moment.  Ten minutes ago he was crying his heart out on the floor, with Murdock soothing away the tears with his gentle touch.  Five minutes ago he was on the verge of an erection and now here he was alone, wondering if it wasn't all part of his bad dream.  Feeling revived and a bit more calm, Face climbed out of the shower and left the bathroom.  He walked into the main room and stopped dead when he found it empty.  The bed covers were still tossed from his rude awakening and the air conditioner was still chugging to beat the band with no apparent effect on the temperature of the room.  He thought he was loosing his mind.  Maybe Murdock was back in LA with Hannibal.  Maybe he had died in 'Nam?  Maybe he himself was dead and this was all some devilish nightmare.

 

"You're dripping on the rug."

 

Face whirled at the sound of the deep voice.  Murdock was leaning against the wall directly beside the bathroom door.  He had a towel wrapped around his waist and his arms folded over the matted hair on his chest.  "I thought you……"

 

"Left?  You thought I left you?"

 

"Well, no, I mean you didn't really have enough time to leave….plus I didn't hear the door open or close."

 

Murdock rolled his eyes to the ceiling.  "You've made such a career out of lying, you even lie to yourself.  You thought I left."

 

"YES, I thought you left."  Face snapped.

 

Murdock sighed and shook his head.  "After everything I said, after the way I held you and kiss you, after seeing you torn up inside over the nightmares, you think I was able to just say to hell with you and walk out?"

 

"My own mother walked out on me, Murdock.  Why should I expect any different from you?"

 

"There you go again."  Pushing himself off the wall, Murdock passed Face and sat down on the bed.  "What do you really want from me, Faceman?"

 

Face swallowed hard.  "I don't know.  I thought coming home was going to make everything right.  When we were in Mexico and we were all on the jazz, I thought, this is it.  This is perfect.  But now, I feel like a drug addict between fixes."

 

"You're an adrenaline junkie.  You need the high to feel good about yourself, it's hard to feel insecure when you're on the jazz."

 

"What do you know about feeling insecure?  The famed Howlin Mad Murdock, Captain, chopper pilot, the easy going guy that everybody likes."

 

Murdock lowered his gaze and stared at the lines in his palm.  "That's just another one of my acts.  I can be the hot shot pilot or the crazy man who sees dogs where there are none or the brainiac sidekick to Ambassador Peck.  I can be all those things and more, but none of them are really me."

 

Slowly, Face sat down beside his friend.  "Who are you really, Murdock?"

 

The pilot puffed his cheeks then blew the air out through pursed lips.  "I'm just a lost little boy who likes to ride the horses and drive his digger trucks through the mud.  A little boy who still listens for his mama's voice whispering I love you when she tucks him in at night - even though he hasn't heard her voice since he was five."

 

Face slipped his arm around Murdock's hunched shoulders.   "Aww man, now you're going to get me crying all over again."

 

Murdock tipped over, laying his body across Face's lap.  The Lieutenant's skin was still wet from the shower but still his body radiated heat.  Face's arms folded around him and for a second Murdock was struck by the irony of the position.  They had switched places.  He had gone from the comforter to the comfortee and maybe it was the best thing that could have happened.  He closed his eyes and let himself drift with the slight rocking that was created by Face's breathing.  It was too wonderful a feeling, but like his friend he couldn't sustain it without 'Nam creeping in.  A crash, captured, wounded, tortured by the enemy.  Man, they really didn't like officers did they?  He had been someone else then too, James Bond, Sam Spade, Brando in on the Waterfront and when it was over, Face had held him just like this in a 2 x 4 cage that hung above the ground and twisted when the moved.

 

"Face?'

 

"Hmmm?"

 

"You were right."

 

"About what?"

 

"This time to think, thing is really crap.  I'm up for your original suggestion."

 

"My original suggestion?"

 

Murdock popped up and pushed Face back on to the bed in one fluid movement.  "That we should screw each other's brains out."

 

"Was that my original suggestion?"  Face asked somewhat timidly.

 

"Well, it was something like that…but you were incoherent at the time so….."  Murdock  swung his leg over and straddled Face's hips.  The movement caused his towel to become untucked and it fell away from the pilot's body.  "I am going to love you until you're numb."

 

Face couldn't help but smile as he gazed up into those huge brown eyes.  "You're insane."

 

"Mm hmm. 100% certifiable."    He dropped to his elbows and laid a line of kisses across Face's chest.  The younger man's skin was smooth and covered only with a light sprinkling of soft blond hair.  "You're like one of those creepy hairless cats.  A truly manly man, has thick, dark chest hair, like me.  See I haven't lost my hair, its just receded all the way to my chest."

 

"You're crackers.  Absolutely crackers."

 

"Yeah, but it's so nice to see to you smile."  He set another kiss, on the Lieutenant's lips this time but instead of wild and silly, it was warm and gentle.   Breaking the kiss, Murdock climbed off of Face and nudged him into the center of the bed.  Lying down beside him, Murdock trailed his fingers down the younger man's chest over his stomach and on to one hip.  Just being in the vicinity of his groin, made Face's cock jump to attention.  "Quite the little soldier, isn't he?"  Murdock slipped his hand between Face's thighs, blazing a path that never quite came close enough for Face.  Twice he lifted his hips and shifted his weight in hopes of making contact, but Murdock was too quick for him. 

 

"Now, now, my way or the highway and you wouldn't want me to stop now would you?"

 

"No," but it came out more like a groan than a word.

 

Murdock slid down on the bed and rose to his hands and knees.  Glancing up he saw that Face's eyes were closed and his mouth slightly open - he was waiting on the very edge.  The idea of pushing him over was too delicious to set aside.  Murdock took the other man in his mouth.  The instant his lips touched, Face gasped and jerked.  His hands reached out for something to hold on to, and with a slight adjustment of his position, Murdock was able to give him what he wanted.  With great concentration and care, Murdock worked his lips and tongue and teeth pushing Face down one hill and up the next. 

 

 

Face wasn't prepared for the fall of emotions that hit him like a gale force wind.  The sexual arousal was nothing new, he had had women by the dozen tease him in this manner.  No, it was something else, perhaps the thought that he was being aroused by a man, or that it was this man, his best friend that made it different.  He reached out his hand and was disappointed to find that he couldn't make contact but then the bed dipped with the weight of Murdock's movement and suddenly his fingers found skin.  He felt like he needed to hold on.  He felt that he would fall far and away if he didn't have his friend to cling to.  Then the roller coaster began in earnest.   He heard deep, throaty moans coming from his own lips and if he heard it right, Murdock was laughing.  Laughing!  I'll show him.  Face tried to sit up, but Murdock pushed him back with an arm across his chest.

 

"Uh uh, I'm not done with you yet.  Not even close to being done."

 

"Oh yeah?"  Face decided to execute a perfect reverse shift with a body slam but lean and lanky Murdock was able to counter him without effort.  Face ended up on his stomach with the pilot breathing down his neck.

 

"If you don't play nice, I'm going to have to get rough with you."

 

"Is that a promise?"  Face tried to toss it off as a joke but it came out sounding more like a plea.  Murdock straddled him again settling on Face's lower back.  Murdock set his palms on either side of the Lieutenant's spine but instead of administering a deep massage as Face expected, he drew his fingers together as if picking up a slender thread.  He repeated the movement across Face's back until the younger man began to shiver from the sensation.  It was like soft, wispy cobwebs caressing his skin, a sensation he wouldn't have thought to be sexually stimulating,  but it seemed to be awakening every nerve ending in his body. 

 

Murdock laid several kisses on his back and shoulders, then maneuvered himself backwards.  He used his knee to open Face's legs then settled himself on his knees between them.  He ran his hands over the younger man's buttocks, with one finger searching for a private place.  Face squirmed beneath his touch, trying to get away or trying to draw him closer, Murdock wasn't sure. 

 

"Murdock, I……"  his words faded into throaty incomprehensible sound as the pilot slipped a finger inside of him.  The wash of pleasure was so close to pain it was difficult to label.  Which ever it was, he didn't want it to stop.  Forget stop, he wanted more.  With his erection growing painful beneath him, Face pushed back on to his knees.  "Oh god, Murdock. I need…"

 

"I know just what you need."  He brought his free hand around to the front where he could surround Face's stiffened cock with his fingers.  The double stimulation was enough to leave him gasping for air.  Some how the pilot had managed to get a rhythm going with both of his busy hands sending shockwaves through the Lieutenant's body. 

 

"You want something more?"  Murdock asked, a mischievous note creeping into his voice.  "Can you handle something a little bigger?"

 

"Yes." Face gasped as he felt the pressure of his own semen rising to a boil.  "No, wait.  Stop. Stop."

 

Shocked by the Lieutenant's sudden cry, Murdock took his hands away.  "What's wrong?"

 

"Nothing, everything.  Wait."  Face sucked in a huge breath but it didn't help.  He flopped down flat on the bed, then rolled to his back, drawing himself away from Murdock.  When he was able to open his eyes again he saw a mixture of genuine concern and utter disappointment on his friend's face.

 

"That was more than you had in mind huh?  I'm stupid."  Murdock flopped down on his back beside him.

 

"No, Murdock. Listen."  With some effort, Face rolled to his side letting his hand rest on the pilot's chest.  "I was so close.  I had to stop it, I was going lose it."

 

"Well?  Wasn't that the point?  Isn't that what you wanted?"

 

Face nodded, frustrated by his inability to make his point clear.  "I never thought you could push me that far that fast.  If I let you go on, it would be over and you'd go to sleep and you wouldn't…you know…hold me anymore."  By the time he reached the last few words, his voice was barely a whisper. 

 

"God, could you be any more blond."  Murdock lifted himself up onto one elbow and locked his eyes on the other man's baby blues.  "You think I was gonna let you go after one measly little orgasm?  After you pop the cork on the champagne there's still plenty of bubbly left inside…right?"  He brought his freehand up to Face's forehead and brushed aside a length of damp hair.  "And you're forgetting one more thing."

 

"What's that?"

 

"I was hoping this was a two way street."

 

Face fell back on to his pillow and moaned.  "You're right, I'm a dope.  Spank me and make me stand in the corner."

 

"Maybe later."  Then Murdock laughed in a way that made Face's body tingle.

 

 

Murdock rolled over, reaching his arm across the bed as he did.  His hand found nothing but wrinkled sheets.  'Face?"

 

"I'm right here."

 

Murdock sat up and saw the dim form of the other man at the window.  It was nearly dawn.  A gray light was barely seeping in through the filthy glass, still Face stood there staring out at the world.

 

"You okay?"

 

Face nodded. He was dressed in his jeans but no shirt and his arms were wrapped around himself, but not for warmth.  Murdock recognized the posture.  He was losing him again.  Sliding off the bed the pilot walked to the window.  "Whatcha thinkin?"

 

"Just…..thoughts……"

 

Murdock raised his hand intending to touch the young Lieutenant's face but he stopped himself.  "Is it what we did?  Is that bothering you?"

 

"Hmmmm?"  Face turned his gaze from the window and looked at Murdock as if he was seeing him there for the first time.  "What?"

 

"Are you having second thoughts about letting me make love to you?"

 

Face's blue eyes popped open a little wider.  "Letting you?  As I recall it was more like begging you."  He lifted his hand but dropped it short of making contact as well.  "I just want you to know that……." Face sighed.  "I'm just glad you were here.  I'm sure you had better things to do than babysit me but…."  He turned away but Murdock caught his arm and pulled him back.

 

"I'll always be here for you, Faceman.  You can always count on me."

 

"I know I can."  He shook Murdock loose from his arm, then went to perch on the edge of the bed.  Murdock followed.

 

"Talk to me.  Tell me what's going on behind those baby blues."

 

Face took a deep breath and let it out slowly.  Now that the sun was rising on a new day, it was so much harder to say the words.  "Murdock, last night….a few hours ago, I guess…..you made me feel things I didn't know I could feel."

 

"Isn't that a good thing?"  Murdock asked with some cringe in his voice.

 

"It was good…terrific….amazingly terrific but it was even better when it was over."

 

"What?"

 

Face groaned.  "This isn't coming out right."  He turned and pulled one leg up on to the bed so he could look Murdock in the eye as he spoke.  "When we were finished, I was exhausted, mentally, physically, emotionally and my god, it felt good.  I closed my eyes and I felt you pull me close and for the first time in years, I felt like I was safe.  I felt like I could sleep without fearing the nightmares, cause you were there to protect me.  Hell, I haven't had that feeling since….shit Murdock, I've never had that feeling.  Growing up the way I did, and then 'Nam…no one's ever taken care of me the way you did last night and I'm not just talking about the sex.  I'm talking about the holding and the listening and all that stuff."  Face dropped his chin to his chest and sighed.

 

"Your welcome."  Murdock set a light kiss on Face's forehead.  "I love you.  In all kinds of crazy ways, I love you."

 

"What are we going to do?"

 

"We're going to drive back to LA, meet up with BA and Hannibal.  We are NOT going to tell them about last night.  Then I'm going back to the VA and you're going back to your place and in a few weeks Hannibal will be calling us and we'll all be back on the jazz."

 

"Until the military catches up with us."

 

"Ain't gonna happen on my watch."  Murdock set his fingers under Face's chin and lifted.  There were no tears in the Lieutenant's eyes but still they lacked the shine he was used to.  "What do you say?  Any champagne left in that bottle of yours?"

 

Face groaned.  "Are you kidding?  I'm worn out."  He flopped back on the bed.

 

"Oh, you're worn out."  Murdock undid the snap on Face's jeans.  "Well, if you're worn out."  He pulled down the zipper.  "Then I guess you wouldn't want to…."

 

Face gasped, arching his back off the bed.  "Okay, but I swear this is this last time."

 

"Where have I heard that song before."

 

"Murdock, bite me."

 

"Anytime."

 

 

The End.

 


Backwoods Breakdown by JD Sampson

 

 


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