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A Rumble Of Thunder
(purely because this is a possible "What happened after The Sound of Thunder")
Summary: I hate the ending of The Sound of Thunder. So many unanswered questions. So this is what might happened when Murdock woke up back in the States.
Warnings: Slash. Nothing graphic.
Disclaimer: The guys are sadly not mine and no money is being made.
Feedback: Yes please.
A RUMBLE OF THUNDER
It felt like he had been travelling forever. He remembered
hearing faint sounds, some he recognised, some he
didnít. Now he had no idea where he was just that for once it was peaceful and
there was virtually no pain. He lay still, his eyes tightly shut wondering what
he would find when he did finally open them. There had been pain, a lot of
pain. He remembered yelling to Face, clinging desperately to his hand, making
him promise whatever happened that he wouldnít leave him alone. Something told
him that that was a long time ago. This place must be a million miles from the
hell hole in Vietnam where he had sustained the bullet injury. He could feel
clean, fresh sheets beneath his fingers. A million miles and then some.
Face sat on the deck of the beach house and stared out to sea. The seagulls wheeled overhead but his mind was on other things. A promise he had made several lifetimes ago.
** "Weíll come home again, wonít we?"
"You think Iíd ever let anything ever happen to you? Iím going to stick to you like glue, Murdock." **
Murdock had smiled then.
Face remembered that smile. He remembered everything about that night. He even remembered Murdockís frantic lovemaking as if this would be the last time the two men would ever be one. Afterwards they had slept wrapped tightly round one another. Never losing physical contact. At one point Murdock had woken obviously from a dark, demonic dream and Face had just held him.
** "Promise me." It was a statement not a question.
"Promise you what?"
"That we can have this again."
"How can I promise you anything when we are about to head back to Vietnam?" **
Face remembered the haunted look that took hold of Murdock. So what had he done? He had promised. The words just tumbled out of his mouth. Stupid. Now he had to pick up the pieces. Explain to Murdock what went wrong. Why his friend and lover now had another sutured bullet hole and a scar that would be with him probably for the rest of his life.
A neighbour, a young girl in a skimpy shirt and jogging shorts, ran by waving and calling him by name. He didnít even hear her. His mind was thousands of miles away reliving someone elses battle and dealing yet again with a wounded comrade. Not just any comrade either. Murdock. The person dearer to him than life itself.
Murdock lay still. He could hear the seagulls now and in the distance the sound of laughter. A girlís voice calling a once familiar name. He was still wary of opening even one eye. Afraid that the reality that appeared to surround him might be anything but real. Terrified that heíd wake up and find that this was all some fantasy and heíd still be sitting in the pilotís seat of a bullet ridden chopper leaking blood. Heíd wait. Lie low. See what happened next.
The sun was setting. Face had glanced back into the bedroom on several occasions. He had even walked round the bed a few times checking on Murdock. He appeared to be sleeping undisturbed. He had watched paranoidly the slow and steady rise and fall of his companionís chest. Still breathing. Still alive. There was a breeze now and Face realised that before long it would be too cold to continue sitting outside without a jacket. He stood up and stretched wondering just how long it had been since he had last eaten. He checked his watch. It was time to call Hannibal.
The clock in the kitchen confirmed the time and he reached for the phone, rang the number and waited. He didnít have to wait long. Hannibal was waiting for the call.
Face took a deep breath. "Heís still sleeping." He paused listening to Hannibalís reply.
"Tomorrow, Colonel. As usual 10am."
"Good night, sir." He replaced the phone.
Face padded back through to the bedroom. He had avoided wearing any shoes. He wanted to keep as quiet as possible to avoid the possibility of waking Murdock. Standing silently at the bottom of the bed he watched again for the rise and fall of his loverís chest. Murdock still slept. Almost silently he reached over, grabbed a chair and sat down. It would be another half hour before dark. Once the sun had set and night had fallen he would close the doors and shut out the evening breeze. The last thing Murdock needed now was a chill. At the moment though Face wanted to make the most of the end of the day. He spent the time switching his line of vision from Murdock to the sea and the low red sun.
Murdock was more than aware now that he wasnít alone. Even though his companion had tried to remain silent, he hadnít missed the footsteps on the carpet. Had heard the voice on the phone. He knew now that he was safe. The person here was no demon, no gun-wielding enemy out to cut him down. It was Face. The only problem he had now was trying to find a way to put things right. He had so desperately wanted to get the team and Fulbright out of Vietnam in one piece. Yet things hadnít gone according to plan and Fulbright had died. The journey in the chopper was his last memory. He vaguely remembered landing and then nothing just blackness.
He opened one eye and looked at the figure at the end of the bed. Face was staring out at the setting sun. He looked haunted. Murdock was convinced that he looked a hundred years older. The old familiar smile had gone. He wanted to speak but his throat seemed dry, cracked. His only choice was to try and move. Unfortunately his legs suddenly felt that they were made of lead. The sun was almost down and the room was rapidly getting darker. Face climbed slowly to his feet and stretched. Wandering to the glass doors he pulled them shut and turned the key. He stood silently taking one last glance at the beach and then pulled the curtains switching on the small lamp on the small table that stood close by.
Murdock watched his every move. Face stood with his head bowed for several seconds.
Murdock moved a hand trying desperately to unearth it from under the bed covers. Face glanced over catching the sudden movement.
"Murdock?" He didnít move. Terrified that he hadnít seen what he thought he saw.
Murdock smiled but said nothing.
Face covered the distance from the doors to the bed in a couple of strides.
"Murdock?" He repeated and sat gently on the edge of the bed. Murdock hauled his hand out and gently laid it on his companionís thigh. The effort was exhausting. He couldnít believe how tired he still felt considering how long he must have been laying here.
Face gently pushed a stray lock of hair from Murdockís forehead. "God Iíve missed you." He whispered.
"I'm sorry." Murdock croaked.
Face frowned. "Sorry?"
Murdock managed a feeble nod. "I screwed up." He closed his eyes and the memories immediately came flooding back.
"You screwed up?" Face frowned.
Murdock seemed lost in his thoughts again.
"You screwed up?" Face repeated a little louder this time and he squeezed the hand that rested on his thigh.
"Yeah. Fulbright. Not to mention you, the Colonel and BA."
"Murdock. You got us out. You got us to safety."
Murdock opened his eyes again desperate to lose the images that were circulating in his head.
"No one 'screwed up' but me. You ever break a promise Murdock?" Face said staring at the carpet. His voice was almost a whisper and Murdock had to strain to hear him.
"Maybe. No probably." Murdock smiled.
"Was it an important promise? A life or death promise?" Face's voice was monotone and again he didn't look up afraid what he might see in his lover's eyes.
"I don't know, Face." Murdock frowned. The anguish Face was going through was only too evident from his whole demeanour.
"I ought to phone the Colonel. Tell him you are awake." Face began to pull away. Murdock clung to his leg as much as his limited strength would allow him.
"He can wait."
Face looked up then. "You think you can ever forgive me?" His eyes still had that haunted look.
"Nothin' to forgive you for."
"What about keeping you safe, bringing you back in one piece?"
"You promised me that we'd have what we had before. You're not going back on that, are you?"
Face looked away. "No."
"Face?" Murdock whispered. "Look at me. Don't turn away."
Face turned slowly.
"Come here." He gently patted the bed next to where he lay. Again the effort nearly exhausted him but he knew this was important. If Face turned away from him now then he would have lost everything. Whatever happened after that would be unimportant.
Face slowly climbed to his feet and walked round the bed. Pulling the sheets back, he slipped his shoes off and carefully lay down beside Murdock. Avoiding the bandages that Murdock still carried, he rested his head on his chest and closed his eyes. The only sound he could hear was the steady thump thump of his heart.
Murdock slowly moved an arm and wrapped it round him. Face was home. Back where he should have been and maybe now they could begin to rebuild their lives.
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