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Eternal Flight

Eternal Flight
by: Babab


Rating: PG-13
Warnings: Main character death, but not graphic. Slash (F/M)
Summary: On a freezing cold night, with no sign of rescue, Face realises he may be about to lose the most important person in his life.

Disclaimer: Characters are not mine and no profit is being made by using them.
Copyright: 2004

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Face pulled his coat more tightly around him. It was no use. The fabric was torn and the jacket was shedding down.

"Come on, Hannibal. You've gotta find us," he whispered as he looked at the darkening sky. Another storm would soon hit them and, he glanced at his companion lying on the cold, rocky ground, he didn't know if either of them would make it. The cave was some shelter from the icy slopes of the mountain, but the temperature was already well-below freezing.

"F. . . Fa . . . Facey . . ." The weak words disappeared into a fit of hacking coughs that sapped

"Stay still, Murdock," Face urged, rushing across the cave and kneeling down beside the injured pilot. "I'm right here."

"Fa . . . Face . . ." Murdock gasped. His brown eyes stared up. They seemed vacant and listless.

"Shhhhhh, baby," Face whispered, as he wiped away some sweat from the pale face.

"Hurts, Facey."

"
I know, baby, I know." Helpless, Face gave what little comfort he could offer, pressing his lips to his life partner's forehead.

Murdock was severely injured from the crash. He might have internal bleeding. Although Face was desperate to give the taller, thinner man some warmth, he couldn't risk pressing against him.

As Face grasped Murdock's cold hand, Murdock closed his eyes.

"Hey, baby. Stay with me. Don't leave me alone again."

Murdock's release papers had been signed just a few months ago. Face had spent long years pretending nothing had ever happened; they hadn't found comfort in each other during the long, dark nights of Vietnam. He'd tried to move on, but no one could replace his crazy, passionate, wonderful Murdock.

To lose him now…

Murdock still hadn't opened his eyes. Face squeezed his hand tighter. "Baby, please. Look at me. Keep looking at me."

Murdock's eyes opened, and he managed a weak, lop-sided smile. "Always love to look at you, Facey."

"Then don't stop," Face urged. Tears came unbidden to his eyes. "Don't close your eyes." Please . . . dear God . . . "Please . . . don't close your eyes."

Murdock's eyelids started to droop, but they stopped about halfway shut. And stayed there. "Facey, I don't think . . . don't think the cavalry's coming."

Face knew the truth of the statement, but he shook his head vigorously. "Hannibal's coming. BA's with him. They'll see the chopper wreck. They'll see our tracks to the cave."

*They have to.*

Murdock shivered. "Cold, Facey."

"
I know," Face whispered. Desperately, he pulled his parka off his shoulders and wrapped it around the pilot. The freezing air whipped through the cave, chilling Face to the core. He knew he would freeze without the jacket, but it didn't matter. Without Murdock . . . without his lifemate . . .


It didn't matter.

He lay down by Murdock's side, the cold numbing him to the hard, irregular floor of the cave, and placed his hand on Murdock's cheek. Gently, ever so gently, he turned Murdock's head, so they could lie side by side, looking into each other's eyes.

"Remember your first night out of the VA?" Face whispered.

They'd taken a long walk into the woods around Langley, each silently hoping, neither daring to speak. It had been summer, the night air was still warm. Eventually, they'd sat down to rest; then lain down side by side, just as they were now; then…

Frost began to form on Murdock's eyelashes. Face leaned in and kissed Murdock's eyes, melting the tiny particles of ice. "Hey," he breathed. "Remember I sang for you that night? Right after we.."

Face smiled to himself. He'd been so damned happy; they both had. For once, he'd been the outrageous one, bursting into song in the middle of the woods. Murdock had kissed him time and time again to silence him.

Then they'd moved to their own, very special, music.

Murdock looked up. His breath was coming out in quick, but irregular, bursts of frosty air. It was clear that the air was struggling to reach his lungs. Between breaths, he gasped, "Sing to me, Facey. Sing to me as a last request."

Face swallowed hard. Don't die, Murdock. Don't leave me. Where was Hannibal? He looked at the mouth of the cave and his heart broke as he saw white flurries cutting across the sky.

He looked back at Murdock's pain-filled countenance. "Sing," Murdock breathed.

"Okay, love. For you, I'll sing forever." Face pulled Murdock close and brushed a little of his hair off his forehead. He looked into the deep brown pools and let his crisp, clear countertenor cut through the cold, winter air.

It must have been cold there in my shadow,
to never have sunlight on your face.

It was so true. Murdock had always let Face run the lead on scams and with women. *Especially with women.* For so many years, he never said anything, never told Face what he really desired.

You were content to let me shine, that's your way.
You always walked a step behind.

And Murdock was always there, supporting him. *Saving my life.* While Face asked for, expected gratitude - Murdock, all through the years - had simply been there for him. *I was so blind. Why didn't I see it?*

So I was the one with all the glory,
while you were the one with all the strength.

Murdock was so strong, had always been so strong. And now . . . Face looked down at the broken body beneath him.

Don't die, Murdock.

The pilot smiled at him like an angel. "Keep singing, Face. It doesn't hurt as much."

Face choked back tears. He knew what that meant. But he continued to sing.

A beautiful face without a name for so long.
A beautiful smile to hide the pain.

Face felt his voice cracking. He'd give anything to have just one more day; to pledge himself, to truly take Murdock's name. The tears welled, as Murdock kept smiling at him, the expression becoming more fixed, more forced.

It might have appeared to go unnoticed,
but I've got it all here in my heart.

Face's voice broke. He couldn't keep singing. "I'm such a fool. Why did I waste so much time? We could've had . . . . Why didn't I tell you?"

Murdock's hand squeezed gently. Almost silently, he whispered, "I knew, Facey."

The tears flowed freely now as Face forced out the words of the song.

I want you to know I known the truth, of course I know it.
I would be nothing without you.

In his heart, he knew it was true. He'd be nothing; literally nothing. When it ended for Murdock, it had to end for him. Together; together as they had never been in life.

Did you ever know that you're my hero,
and everything I would like to be?

Looking into the brown eyes, Face remembered the first time he had seen the pilot leap out of a chopper. Murdock had flown through a volley of enemy fire to land in a nearly overrun LZ. He had lost his door gunner, but had jumped out of the chopper with his handgun to provide cover fire as Hannibal and Face had dragged an injured BA into the Huey. Years later, Face realized he had fallen in love at that moment. But he had denied it for so long.

The cold ripped through the cave.

*It won't be long, love, before I join you.*

I can fly higher than an eagle,
for you are the wind beneath my wings.

When Murdock made love to him, there had been no boundaries; no earth, no gravity; no reality. Just the two of them, soaring on their own cloud of bliss. Time stopped. The world stopped, faded away. Murdock, his support, his inspiration; his everything. One last kiss. They had to share one last, perfect kiss.

Did you ever know that you're my hero?
You're everything I wish I could be.
I could fly higher than an eagle,
for you are the wind beneath my wings.

Face knew he had stopped singing, but the words repeated inside his head. His numbed hands fumbled for the collar of Murdock's leather jacket and he lifted the pilot's head closer. He moved his lips close to Murdock's, hoping against hope that he could breathe life into him.

The brown eyes looked up expectantly.

Their lips touched.

As the warm air passed from his mouth to Murdock's, Face felt one last rise of the pilot's chest. Somehow, Murdock managed to return his kiss, his lips pressing full and insistent against Face's; then he fell back.

Murdock smiled weakly at him. "Love you, Facey," he whispered, barely audible. "Always.. always remember…"

His eyes closed. In the freezing air, Face followed the tiny white clouds of Murdock's breath as they danced, spiraling, climbing, free. Flying; flying wherever he wanted. He followed, straining his eyes until there were only tiny white specks; beyond that, until there was nothing.

He collapsed over his lover's body, holding it tightly, barely able to comprehend.

Fly, fly, fly high against the sky,
so high I almost touch the sky.
Thank you, thank you,
thank God for you, the wind beneath my wings.

The cold would take him. It was only a matter of time. He could take the jacket from Murdock's lifeless body, but it would only postpone the inevitable.

It was only a matter of time before Face, too, flew high and touched the sky.

Only a matter of time.

 


Eternal Flight by Babab

 

 


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