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This page last viewed: 2017-12-01 and has been viewed 1515 times


by Monte

Rating: PG
Copyright: March 6, 2004
Type: Light Slash
Pairing: Implied Face/Murdock
Status: Complete
Summary: Face had to learn to go on with life even if Murdock is not part of it.
Warnings: More angst. Car crash. Sad song lyrics. I know I'm cruel but the plot bunnies made me do it. I was mean to Face this time.
Disclaimer: I do not own the characters, or make any money from this work of fiction. Lyrics are from the song "I Don't Wanna Live Without Your Love" by Diane Warren and Albert Hammond.
Comments: Please.
Beta read by: no one yet
Dedicated To: For Val and Franne, as part of my act of 'Val'or :-)



He'd been driving for hours. He had stopped once to grab a coffee and top off
the gas tank. Once he got past
Sacramento, the miles slipped by unnoticed. Hour
after hour, the memories captivated him. As he was passing
Redding, Face turned
on the radio. The soft beat of the rock music brought a bittersweet smile to his
face. Murdock used to love listening to rock and roll. Heart, Queen,
Chicago, Joey Scarbury, Mr. Mister. He loved them all.

Face sighed as he thought about Murdock. He had realized his love too late. They
could have spent the rest of their lives together but the fear of getting his
heart broken again was too much for Face to handle. He had broken Murdock's
heart instead by leaving.

Slowly the sun slipped down toward the horizon. Face glanced down at the fuel
gauge. He knew he would need to stop soon to refuel. He pulled off the highway
and found a small inviting looking cafe.

The waitress greeted him with a friendly smile. "My name's Melanie. What can I
get for you, love?"

"Whatever's good. Some coffee, too, please." Face let him get lost in memory as
he stared out the window. First Leslie, then Murdock. He always lost the person
he loved. He had managed to drive them both away from him.

"Here you go, love. You want some cream for your coffee?"

Face shook his head and muttered a thank you. He picked at the food, eating
slowly. He didn't have much of an appetite but he knew he should at least try to
eat. After a while he saw the waitress heading in his direction.

She eyed his half finished meal as she refilled his coffee cup. "So where you
heading, love?"

"North, for now," he answered.

She tilted her head slightly to one side as she studied him. "Well, Highway 5
goes clear up into
Canada. You look like you could use a good night's sleep
though. Tell you what. There's a place just on the other side of the
border, a town called
Phoenix. You stop at the Red Lantern and get a room. Jack
and Evie run a good, clean place. They'll treat you right."

Face smiled at the woman. "I appreciate the tip, Melanie. A good night's sleep
would be wonderful."

She gazed down at him. "You all right, love? You look like you lost your best

Face's smile faded away, "I did. I buried him."

"I'm so sorry. I know what it's like to lose someone special to you." She smiled
in understanding. She slid the bill out of her apron pocket and laid it on the

Face pulled some cash out of his wallet and left it on the table. After a quick
stop at the gas station, he was back on the highway. Shortly after dark, he
arrived at the Red Lantern. The room was small but clean and comfortable.
Weariness overtook him and he collapsed onto the bed, taking a moment to remove
his jacket before stretching out.

The darkness was less than comforting as he battled the guilt brought on by his
friend and lover's suicide. Eventually, he dozed off and began to dream. He
could see Murdock in the distance but no matter how fast he ran, he couldn't
catch up. He tried calling out but his shout seemed like a whisper in a storm.
He had to stop Murdock from dying again.

Face awoke with a start. His heart was pounding and he was bathed in a cold
sweat. He had to get some air. Face grabbed his jacket and stepped outside and
took a few deep breaths of the cool night air. He walked unsteadily over to the
'Vette and slid into the driver's seat. After his breathing and heart rate had
slowed somewhat, he took the keys out of his pocket and started the engine.

The DJ was talking about the Queen song that had just finished playing. "And now
here's one we haven't heard in a while.
Chicago's 'I Don't Wanna Live Without
Your Love'."

Face put the car in gear and left the parking lot as the song came on. It was as
if someone had told the DJ about him and Murdock. Tears began to well up as he
listened to the chorus.

I don't wanna live without your love

I don't wanna face the night alone

I could never make it through my life

If I had to make it on my own

I don't wanna find somebody else

I don't wanna find somebody new

I don't wanna live without your love

I just want to live my life with you

Between the tears and the fog that had settled, Face could hardly see the road.
He had no time to react when the semi truck blasted through the intersection
ahead of him, oblivious of the stop sign.

Metal and fiberglass slammed together in a horrific crash. The impact shook the
truck and crushed the Corvette. Immediately, the trucker applied his brakes.
Together, the truck and car slid through the intersection. Shards of glass
scattered among the twisted metal over the highway.

The truck driver ran toward the mangled remains of the car. He was shocked to
find the driver alive. "Hey, buddy! You alright in there? Are you hurt?"

It took Face a moment to realize he was the one the man was shouting to. "Uh,
yeah. I... I think I'm alright," he replied, dazed.

"Stay there. Don't try to move. I'll be right back." The trucker raced back to
the rig's cab and grabbed the CB radio's mike. "Breaker, breaker. We need a
Smokey and an ambulance at mile marker 208 on Highway 5." As soon as he got a
reply, he sprinted back to Face.

It didn't take long before the Highway Patrol and paramedics showed up. The
paramedic who was checking out Face's injuries said with wonder, "Man, you were
lucky. You walked away from an accident that should have killed you. Someone up
there must really like you."

Face turned his head to look over at the barely recognizable remains of his
beloved corvette. "Either that or he really hates me," he muttered. He couldn't
help but feel he was being punished. Because of his actions, Murdock had killed
himself. Now he had to live with the guilt and the loss for the rest of his
life. Dying would be the easy way out. "No," he thought. "If God really loved
me, Murdock would still be alive or I would be dead now."

A Bible verse from his childhood came to memory for some reason he didn't know.
"And in those days shall men seek death, and shall not find it; and shall desire
to die, and death shall flee from them." Face knew he would live until he worked
through his retribution. Perhaps if God was kind, it wouldn't take him too many
years to learn to forgive himself.



Learning To Live by Monte



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