This page last viewed: 2017-08-15 and has been viewed 1132 times

Facing the Truth Facing the Truth
by Kara Kirk ( Murdocks_Chicka )

Rated: R (For the graphic description in the beginning)

Summary: Liz has to face the truth about her nightmares and flashbacks
with a little help from the team and Dr. Richter. Can she get through
it from the help of her friends?

Warnings: The F-bomb has been dropped a few times...first part of the
story is kinda graphic.. So if you have a really weak stomach don't read
it. Some medical talk. And If I left anything out... sorry my bad.

Copyright: Characters have been made up by yours truly. Except
characters from the A-Team.

(c) Kara "Murdy" Kirk ( Murdocks_Chicka )
 
 

                                Facing the Truth Part 1

Liz could smell the fear and horror around her. The sounds of soldiers
agonizing cries as Vietnamese guards tortured them. She saw a familiar
lanky figure hanging from a tree by his feet, while the VC finished the
whipping session of his back and legs, with a fan belt used from a
truck. The raw flesh hung in threads from the constant beating. She started
to sob while blood-curdling screams escaped his mouth.

"BASTARDS!" She yelled as they cut the ropes and let his motionless
body fall to the hard ground beneath him. Liz heard double-timed footsteps
coming towards her, and the door to the tiger cage being ripped open.
They grabbed the lieutenant by the hair and drug her over to the man
lying on the ground.

"Stand him up." One of the guards said in broken English. Their General
came striding over as if he were the king of the world. He removed his
gun from the holster and put the cold barrel of it at Lieutenant
Monroe's temple. She was ready to face death. Anything was better than this
hellhole. He pulled the trigger. Nothing but a click. He walked over to
the other grunt and stood beside him. Put the barrel to HIS head. Not
so lucky. Liz felt the warm and sticky substance of blood and gray
matter as it hit her skin.

"NOOOOOO! MURDOCK!" She fell to her knees. "YOU SON OF A BITCH! NOOOO!"

Hannibal and BA watched in horror as they saw Liz and Murdock's
lifeless body fall to the ground. The young lieutenant sat rocking back and
forth sobbing. She heard a maniacal laugh beside her. When she turned,
Liz saw Face standing with his arm around the General.

"Face, help me! PLEASE!"

"Sorry lieutenant, not this time." He walked over to the sobbing figure
and put the gun against her head.

"Temp, please don't do this."

He pulled the trigger.
 

"LIZZY....LIZZY WAKE UP! Come on darlin' wake up."

"Mur...Murdock." She jumped into his arms and clung to him as if her
life depended on it. There was a knock at the door.

"Murdock, is everything ok in there? I heard Liz scream and I can't in.
The door is locked."

"Hold on." The pilot went to get up from the bed, but Liz would not let
him go.

"No. Don't let me go...don't let me go." She pleaded.

"Face, you're gonna have to pick the lock. I'm kinda weighted down
right now."

"Ok." He said with a sigh.

H.M. held the shaking lieutenant and rocked her back and forth soothing
her with his soft voice. Face came into the room and set his lock pick
kit on the dresser.

"Nightmare?"

"Yeah Muchacho."

"Liz, are you alright?"

She looked at Face with frightened eyes. When he went to touch her, she
pulled away. "Elizabeth, I'm not going hurt you. I want to help you."

"You...you shot me."

"Huh?"

"I was dreaming of the camp again. The General killed Murdock with a
shot in the head and then..." Her voice cracked with emotion. "Then, you
had your arm around the General, took his gun and shot me. Just before
the gun went off, that's when H.M. woke me up."

"Jeez, sounds like you had a nasty one this time."

Liz just nodded her head. "Well you don't have to worry about it. It's
over Sunnie. It was just a dream."

"It was so real. The smell, the screamin' and cryin'. Almost like
I'm...back there. Look what happened when I had that flashback. I almost
shot you AND Murdock."

Neither of the men knew what to say. They ALL had their share of ghosts
and nightmares. "I mean, I feel like I'm losin' my mind."

"Lizzy, maybe you should see Doc Richter."

"I dunno. I really don't wanna talk about it."

"Come on. I can set it up for ya. Doc Richter does the ole noodle some
good. Kinda like milk."

"Uhh Murdock...that's milk does a BODY good. And how are you going to
get Liz in to see Richter. You KNOW Decker has the VA staked out."

"That's why the good Doc is comin' to us."

"Are you NUTS?"

"Yup, completely and totally Faceguy."

"I had to ask." Face said as he rolled his eyes.
 
       Facing the Truth Part 2
 

Liz came down the stairs to find the daily routine in motion. BA and
Murdock bating each other, Hannibal having his morning cigar while
reading the headline news, and Face buried into The Wall Street Journal.

"Mornin' guys." She said. "What's for breakfast?"

"Blueberry pancakes a la Murdocka, and super snappy sausages." Murdock
said in a chipper voice.

"Blueberry pancakes a la Murdocka?"

"Yeah that crazy fool tried to make himself outta toothpicks and
fruit.'

"Oh..umm..ok thanks BA."

She went over to Hannibal and kissed him on the cheek.

"Uh..what was that for Lieutenant?"

"That my dear Colonel Smith, is for not bein' on the jazz first thing
in the mornin'."

"How do you know I'm not?" He asked as he puffed on his cigar.

"Cuz ya don't have that certain spitfire in your eyes."

"Oh..I'm on vacation."

"Good." BA said.

"Where's MY kiss on the cheek?" Face whined.

Liz walked over to the 1st lieutenant and gave Hannibal an evil smile.
Acted as if she was going to kiss his cheek, but instead licked it.

"Gee...thanks Liz." He said rubbing his face with his hand.

"Well Facey, nothin' like a little tongue first thing in the mornin'."

The room was in hysterics. All but Face. "Ha Ha very funny Murdock."

"I know. Cuz I'm a funny guy"

"No you ain't. You jest a crazy guy."

The pilot stuck out his tongue at the Big Guy. "Lizzy, come here a sec.
Pretty, pretty please."

"But my blueberry pancakes a la Murdocka with get cold." She whined.

"So, I'll make ya more. Plenty of pancake batter and moi to go 'round."
Murdock took her hand and led her to the beach house's deck. The sun
was shining and the sound of the ocean waves crashing on the shore, made
a peaceful and relaxing roar through the air.

"So what's up Murdock?"

"I called Doc Richter this mornin' Dizzy Lizzy. He said he could mosey
on over this afternoon. So I said okie dokie."

"H.M. today? I thought you meant later on down the line."

"Lizzy, ya can't keep runnin' from the nightymares and the ghosties.
It's time to take control. Show 'em who's boss."

"What if this doesn't work. I've already been through this 'member?"

Yeah, but ole Richter he can really work wonders. Look what he's done
to MY brain. If it wouldn't have been for him, I'd be worse off. Lizzy
don't ya see, ya might be able to rhyme your words, just like me."

"Terrific." She said sarcastically.

"Hey, did anyone ever tell ya you're startin' to sound like Facey?"

"Yeah thanks for remindin' me."

"No problemo." Murdock said as he put his arms around Elizabeth's
waist. She leaned against the lanky pilot, and breathed in the salty air.

"Murdock, what if Richter diagnosis me as bein' crazy?"

"Well, I'm gonna tell ya the same thing I told the big angry guy."

"Yeah, and what's that?"

"We'll put in an extra bunk and you and I can watch the walls melt."

"Great. Just what I wanna see. 7 different layers of paint melting off
the wall."

"Aww come on Lizzy. It won't be that bad."

"I just want to push it all away. I...I'm scared Murdock."

"Don't be. I'll be there with ya."

"Maybe I should have been the one committed to the VA."

"NO! You listen to me." H.M. said as he turned her around and grabbed
her chin. "Don't EVER say that again. You're not looney toons.
Understand?"

"Then what am I? Jesus I feel like I am losin' a grip with reality or
somethin'. Like my nightmares and flashbacks are takin' control of me
sometimes. And I can't stop 'em. I'm startin' to wonder if BA has the
role of Crazy Fool switched around."

Murdock brushed his lips against hers. "Lizzy, I love you. And I will
do my Murdockian best to help ya out as much as I can."

"Is this a private party? Or can anyone join?"

"Hiya Faceguy!"

Face walked over to Liz and kissed her cheek. "Everything all right?"

"Yeah...just peachy." Liz said flatly.

"Man o man Muchacha, you really startin' to sound like the Facial One."

"Sorry, that's what I get for bein' part of the A-Team I guess."

"Hey Face.... Come here." Murdock whispered something into the con
man's ear and both giggled out loud.

"Liz, want to go down to the beach?" Face asked.

"Nah, not in the mood for the beach right now."

"Come on baby."

Liz couldn't say no to Murdock. Especially when he looked at her with
his brown, pleading puppy dog eyes. Always gave her a sense of guilt.
She sighed. "Alright."

"Ya wanna race?"

"Is THAT a challenge Murdock?" She asked.

"Sure sounds like it Sunnie."

"You're on. Down to the ocean's edge."

"Alright, Hold on.... HANNIBAL!" Face called.

"Oh where oh where has our good Colonel gone, oh where oh where could
he beeeeeeeee." Murdock sang.

"Right here. Whats's up guys?"

"Could you say GO for us. Liz, Murdock and I are going to race down to
the ocean."

"Yeah sure. This should be interesting."

Face, Murdock and Liz lined up side by side, grinding their bare feet
into the sand.

"On your mark, get set, GOOOO." Hannibal watched his 'children' race
down the beach. Sensations of warm feelings befalled him, as he thought
about his relationship as a whole with his team. He was the closest
thing to a father figure either of them had had. And it made him proud. Not
only as their leader, but someone they looked up to. He knew they would
do anything for him. Even as far as trade their own lives. And the
feeling was mutual. He thought about Liz, the youngest member of the team.
She had been through hell. Not that the others haven't. But she was a
woman and some of the trials and tribulations they went through he
wished to God she hadn't. Hannibal was brought out of his thoughts when he
heard Liz scream! "YES! I WON!"  H.M. came in at a close second and Face
third.

"Well...Facey...should we." He panted.

"Yeah!" They picked Liz up and carried her into the ocean.

"Hey! Put me down! Come on guys."

"What do you think Murdock, should we?"

He gave Face a nod. Both men threw Liz into a wave and giggled. When
she came up, she chased after them. "You just wait! Paybacks are a bitch
you guys!"

Hannibal watches as Liz, Murdock and Face frolicked in the water. He
shook his head and smiled.

 "Kids."
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

                        Facing the Truth Part 3
 

Lieutenant Monroe sat on her and Murdock's bed brushing her nearly dry
hair. It was only a matter of time before Richter would show up for
their session, as H.M. called it. She was scared. Telling a complete
stranger about her nightmares and flashbacks of Vietnam. But he worked with
other Vietnam Veterans, in which Liz was sure he would not be
surprised.

"Lizzy?"

"Hey Murdock."

"The Doc's here."

She sighed and stood up.

"Don't worry. Everything will be fine."

"Is the whole TEAM gonna be there?" She snapped.

"Nope, just you and me kid." He cupped her face and kissed her gently.

"Well, let's get this the hell over with."
 
 
 
 
 
 

Elizabeth and H.M. walked in the den and greeted Dr. Richter. "Doc,
this is Lieutenant Elizabeth Monroe. Lizzy, this is Doc Richter."

"Nice to meet you Elizabeth." He said as he shook her hand. "H.M. tells
me you are having problems controlling your nightmares and flashbacks."

"Yeah."

"I also understand you were in Vietnam."

"Duh." She thought. "Yeah good ole 'Nam."

"You know Elizabeth, a nightmare is a distressing dream which usually
forces disturbed emotions. Such as anger, guilt, fear and anxiety. It is
very common for Veterans of war to have such nightmares."

"What causes them?" She asked.

"There are a number of possibilities. Such as certain drugs and or
medication, physical conditions, illness and fever. Are YOU on any types of
drugs or medications?"

"God no."

"Ok. H.M. when she has her nightmares, does she thrash around, scream
or cry?"

"Yeah Doc. It's normally the first couple of hours she is asleep."

"Hmmm...night terrors. What do you dream about Elizabeth?"

She shifted uncomfortably on the couch. Not wanting to go into detail.
Murdock grabbed her hand and nodded his head. "I dream about the POW
camp in Nam mostly." She saw Dr. Richer jotting down notes on his yellow
legal pad.

"Have you had any psychotic episodes?"

"A few months back, I was havin' a flashback while I was half asleep, I
was confused and disoriented. So fired shots from a 9mm handgun. I
thought I was back.... There. I nearly killed H.M. and Templeton."

"Doc, sometimes she goes into another world or a trance like."

"Hmmm." Again he wrote things down on his legal pad. "Do you suffer
from depression, changes in your sleeping patterns, emotional numbing?"

"Well, I know I don't wanna go to sleep right away. No depression as
far as I know. And as far as emotional numbing, I would have to say yeah.
Another thing which you would probably want to know is, I had an
emotional breakdown when I got back to the states."

"Were you treated for the breakdown?"

"I went through some sessions but I quit goin'."

"I see. Do you have nightmares or flashbacks about combat or being
shot?"

"Yeah. It's like I can SMELL the blood and powder discharge from a gun.
The screamin' and cryin'. It's so real. I feel like I'm losin' my
mind."

"Lieutenant Monroe, do you mind of the Colonel comes into the room?"
Richter asked.
"No. I suppose not."

Murdock put his hand on her knee before getting up to fetch Hannibal
upon Richter's request.

"Elizabeth, it's not rare for you to have these sorts of emotions. May
I ask what your duties were in Vietnam?"

Liz took a deep breath. She actually liked the Doctor more and more.
His soft-spoken voice gave her a sense of security. "I was stationed in
Da Nang for the MASH unit. But on occasion I went out on missions with
Colonel Smith and the team."

"Missions? He asked interested.

"Yeah.... you could say that I had Special Forces training."

"Such as?"

"Military nursing, hand to hand combat, basic training, weaponry. I
even piloted. But I never flew much. Only time I ever used it was when I
was with a Murdock. And he let me take the controls. Kinda refreshin' my
memory. I could never be good as him." She laughed

"You certainly have an interesting repertoire. I've dealt with other
nurses and doctors, but I can clearly say that I never came across a
woman with your expertise. It was my understanding women didn't go on
missions. Very interesting. Most of the women Vets I counseled were either
nurses or doctors. Some were even morale officers for the sick and
wounded."

"Yeah well, I thought that too."

Murdock and Hannibal emerged through the door. The men sat beside
Elizabeth with her in the middle.

"Whats's up Doc?" Hannibal chuckled. "I've always wanted to say that.

Liz looked at the Colonel and rolled her eyes.

"Well I am going to ask some questions that might be very painful for
Lieutenant Monroe. And I thought she should have her commanding officer
and her...ahem...friend so to speak, here with her for some support.
Elizabeth I am going to ask some questions that might bring back up
terrible memories. BUT, the best way to face them is to look them straight
in the eye. Do you understand?"

"Yes." She choked out.

"Before the POW camp, did you have prior traumatic experiences in
Vietnam, besides the MASH unit?"

"There was two that I can think of. One, was a woman named...Gale
Sumter. Since the day I got to H.Q. she had me on her hit list. We got into
a couple of scraps. The last 'confrontation' was...." She gulped. "Was
she pulled on me and Murdock. I wrestled her for the gun it went
off.... I killed her."

"Lieutenant, you didn't kill her it was self defense." Hannibal
reminded her.

"And the other incident?" Richter asked.

"The other incident had to do with Gale more or less...Her lover was
killed walkin' watch point with the Colonel. And she blamed ME for his
death. I did everything I could for him. She told his.... his friend Dan,
that...that I killed him and told him he deserved to die. So he decided
to take matters into his own hands. He attacked me in the shower room
in 'Nam. Beat me up pretty bad."

"Doc, that was the guy who ALSO attacked her like 8 months ago. 'Member
my shoulder was slinged. He was the one who inflicted it. He put Lizzy
in a coma. Messed her up even worse than 'Nam."

Richter was writing intensely on his yellow legal pad. Making
notations. "How are you feeling now Elizabeth?"
 

"A little bit better I reckon. Kinda like a little weight lifted."

"Good. NOW... I know these next few questions will be hard to deal
with. But I need to know."

"OK."

"What about the POW camp? Tell me about it."

Hannibal, Murdock and Liz all shifted and exchanged nervous glances.
The Colonel and H.M. shook their heads at her to continue.

"Our chopper was shot down by the VC. We were captured a few hours
later."

"But we sure gave them a run for their money." Hannibal chimed in with
a smile.

"How did they treat you in the camp?"

"Like animals. For the first week or two we were separated from each
other. But it got worse, a lot worse."

"Separated from who?"

"Hannibal, BA, Face and Murdock."

"OK. Tell me about the separation."

"When we got to the camp, We were put in tiger cages. Not even enough
room for sardines in there. We were close together at least. We
communicated by tappin' on the bamboo, or coughin'. We even threw tiny pebbles
at each other."

"Did you go through interrogation sessions?"

Liz froze when he asked about the interrogation sessions. Everything
came back to her now. Things she didn't want to remember. The pain. The
agony. She could hear the screams and cries in the back of her mind,
trying to push forward, to face the truth.

"Lizzy...EARTH to Lizzy...Uhhhh Houston, we have a problem.
Pshhhh..pshhh." Murdock said.

The smells. The feel of the humid atmosphere. Being bound with wire
that cut through her flesh like a knife.

"Liz.... Lieutenant MONROE..."

"What? Huh?.... sorry."

"Elizabeth, where did you go just now...When I asked about the
interrogation session."

"Back to the camp."

"What happened in those sessions?"
"Doc...Do ya think you should be askin' her these questions? I mean, I
could hardly handle them."

"H.M. I have to know."

"She never told us exactly what went on in the sessions." Hannibal
said. 'But I guess we're gonna find out." He thought.

"Elizabeth? What happened in the sessions?"

"There were times they tied me up by my hands and let me hang there for
hours. When I wouldn't give them the information they wanted, they hit
me, burned me, and whipped me. They told me if I cooperated with them,
and told them what they wanted to know I could be free. Of course I had
to spit at them, and of course I paid for it."

"Did you ever have sessions with another prisoner?"

"Y...yes."

"Can you remember who it was?"

"Yes.... it was F...Face." She stammered.
 
 

                        Facing the Truth Part 4
 

"I knew it." Mrudock thought.

"It wasn't until we shared a cage that we were interrogated together. I
was on my own till then. After awhile they threw the 5 of us together."

"I see. What happened during these sessions wit h Face?"

"Uhh Doc..."

"Colonel... in order for me to determine a diagnosis I need to know
what happened. And she NEEDS to talk about it. It is very important."

Hannibal just nodded.

"Go ahead Elizabeth." Richter said.

"Things I don't wanna see ever again. But the flashbacks and the
nightmares are there to remind me."

"Go on."

"The first couple of times with Face were the usual. Ya know the
whipping and the slapping. But...but...the really bad stuff happening the
night I lost it."

"The night you lost it? Elaborate."

"One night I saw the VC bring Murdock back to his cage. He was
unconscious. I....I was hysterical. Face tried to quiet me down. So did
Hannibal although he was in the next cage. They stormed over and ripped the
door open drug me and Face to... the 'chamber' which was a shack like
buildin' they did the interrogations and some of the torturin' in. We were
pushed to the ground when we entered the chamber. They ordered us to
strip down to our under garments." She took a deep breath. Murdock put
his arm around her for security, as did the Colonel. "They tied me to a
long table which had restraints for your hands and your legs. Two guards
in the meantime were punching Temp in his stomach and face."

<Back in 'Nam>

"FACEEEE! STOP IT YOU BASTARDS!" Liz screamed at the guards.

"Shut up American."

Liz was rewarded with a whip to the face with a bamboo stick. "This
teach you lesson." Face tried to get away from the guards. "If you're
going to hit something. HIT ME. She's a woman." Face said.

"Woman is American. Gets punishment like rest of prisoners."

Out of the corner of her eye, she saw one of the guards bring out a box
full of bamboo shards sharpened at the bottom. He walked to the end of
the table where she lay. He took one out of the box, looked at it and
laughed. She felt a sharp digging pain in the shin of her leg. Liz tried
not to scream out while he inserted more into her skin. The tears
rolled down her eyes, but she made no sound.

"Liz." Face said emotionally.

"Shut up." The guard pushed Face so forcefully he stumbled to the
table.

"Hang in there Liz. Just for a little while longer."

"Stupid American talk too much. Think he should do job."

They started talking in Vietnamese and laughed maniacally. The guard
that some of the grunts called Flat Top stood Face up and handed him a
knife. "Cut."

"What?"

"Cut."

"Do it or she die now." Flat Top said as he put a gun to her head.

"Do it Temp."

He hunched over  Liz and held the knife to her skin. "NO NO NO! Stupid
American." He put his hand on the knife with Face's and cut her brazier
off. Then guided the knife to her panties. Instead of the knife cutting
the fabric it ripped it. Liz lay completely naked on the table. The con
man tried to look away, but his face was forced back to look at her and
felt his briefs being removed from his body.  He nodded at the guard as
he brought a lit cigarette to her arm. Liz screamed in pain as she felt
the cigarette smolder her skin. Peck felt a wave of nausea wash over
him, as he smelled the burning flesh and watched Flat Top grab a piece of
cloth and a large rock from underneath the table. He tossed it to the
other guard. He put the rock in the cloth and pelted Elizabeth's stomach
and legs. She cried out as a fire like pain ran threw her body. Face
let the tears protrude down his cheeks, wincing to every blow Liz took.
Flat Top put his hand up for the other guard to stop.
 

"Get on table." Flat Top said.

Peck hesitated for a moment but climbed on the table when he saw the
gun being put to her head again.

"Take her."

"NO!" Face screamed.

"I said take her."

"ALRIGHT! Liz...I..."

"Just...do...it..Temp." She said in an airy voice.

"And...you can pretty much guess...what...what happened then." She put
her head in her hands and sobbed as she rocked back and forth. Neither
Hannibal nor Murdock knew what to say. They were too shocked by what
their 2nd lieutenant had just told them.

"I'm...I'm..s..sorry I didn't tell...ya guys."

"Lizzy we know why ya did." H.M. and the Colonel hugged the shaking
figure sitting in between them.

After a few minutes had past Liz had gotten herself together. She felt
so much better to get the incident out in the open. Like the weight of
the world had been lifted off her shoulders.

"What do you think Doc?" Hannibal asked.

"Elizabeth is suffering from PTSD or Post Traumatic Stress Disorder.
Sometimes called  PVS or Post Vietnam Syndrome."

"Great! Which means I'm looney toons right?" She sniffed.

Hannibal and Murdock gave her annoyed looks.

"PTSD is NOT a mental illness. It's a reaction to extremely stressful
influences subjected in your case, after the war."

She gave a relieved sigh. "How do you treat it Doc?" The Colonel asked.

"Well, she must understand that her reactions are normal to her life
experiences and reinforce a sense of safety and comfort, as well as
trusting herself and others. She must discuss her feelings and thoughts
after and episode occurs. Sometimes what happened over in Vietnam, is
something that is almost never dealt with. If the situation is ignored, she
will never fully come to terms with her experiences. I would suggest to
YOU Elizabeth, that you do NOT medicate yourself with drugs OR alcohol.
They are depressants and could impair your judgement, as well as
increase the symptoms of PTSD."

"Lieutenant, I would like to speak to Murdock and Doc Richter, if
that's alright."

"Yeah Colonel. I'll be outside. I need some fresh air." She got up and
shook the doctor's hand. "Thanks Dr. Richter."

"My pleasure."

She walked out of the room with her head low.
 
 
 
     Facing the Truth Part 5
 

"Doc, awhile back there was an episode where Lieutenant Monroe pulled a
gun and fired shots at Murdock and Face. She thought she was firing at
the Cong guards. Is there anything you could give us if she goes into
another rage?" The Colonel said.

"Colonel is that necessary?"

"Murdock, it's just in case. That's all."

The pilot rubbed his face in his hands. He remembered being doped up
when he was first admitted to the VA. Not something he wanted Liz
subjected to.

"Hmmm..I COULD give you some Thorazine. Which is an anti-psychotic drug
sedative. It's very quick reacting. It can be injected or taken by
mouth. But for destructive episodes in this case, an injection would be
best."

"Any side effects?" Murdock asked. He remembered being on a medicine
called stellazine, which was also, an anti-psychotic drug with a calming
effect. He had heard of other VA patients getting Thorazine, but didn't
know the side effects.

"Well H.M. sometimes Thorazine can leave yellow or brownish stains on
the skin. It could cause hypo-thyroidism. But that is only for long term
usage. But it's the calming effect that you want it for correct?"

"Yeah. We might not have to use it. I just want to have it handy."

"I'll see what I can do Colonel. But...I must be going. I have another
appointment with another patient."

"Thanks Doc, for comin' on such short notice." Murdock said as he got
up.

"Not a problem H.M. Please let Elizabeth know if she needs anything or
if she just needs to talk, tell her I'd be more than happy to see her."

"Thanks Doc. Really. The kid has been through a lot. I'll show you
out." Hannibal said.
 
 
 
 
 

Liz was relieved to be out in the ocean breeze and blazing sunshine.
She loved the beach and the constant crashing of the waves as they hit
the battered shore. She decided to take a walk to the water's edge. When
she took off her sandals, Liz let the warm sand penetrate between her
toes as she slowly walked down the beach.

"Why can't I be normal?" the young lieutenant thought. "I'm not gonna
cry, not gonna cry. DAMN too late." The tears rolled down her cheeks.
"Why?" She whispered. A slight tug on her arm startled her.

"Temp!"

"Sorry! How did it go with Richter?"

"It went."

"Wanna talk about it?"

"NO!"

"Liz, don't shut me out. I want to help you."

"Yeah so does everyone else and their mothers" She snapped.

"Please. Tell me... what is the matter?"

"Ya wanna know what's wrong with me? FINE! I'm FUCKIN' crazy Face." She
sobbed. The Doc diagnosed me with PTSD."

"I know what that means Liz. It's not a mental illness. You're NOT
crazy."

"Then why do I feel like I am?"

"Because you've had traumatic experiences that you couldn't control. It
WILL get better. I promise you. Did you ahh...tell him what
happened...what happened in the camp?"

She gulped. "Yeah, Both Murdock and Hannibal were in the room."

"How did they react?"

"Well by the expressions on their faces... I would have to
say...SHOCKED."

"And Murdock was ok with it?"

"I think he took it rather well. Not the way I was thinkin' he would."

"Well that's definitely a plus. But Elizabeth, you have to talk to us.
The more you push away your fears and your feelings, the more it builds
up. And eventually it will blow up in your pretty face. I particularly
would NOT want to be anywhere around when that happens. Try to warn me
so I can get out of the country OR the state for that matter." He
smiled.

"That's the whole point Face. I am scared outta my pants. I dunno if I
can do this"

They came upon the ocean edge and sat down in the soft sand. "YES you
can. We will TRY to help you in any way that we can. But you have to
TALK to us Sunnie. Tell us your thoughts and feelings."

"Yeah! That's what Richter said." Liz sniffed.

"See! I'm not even a psychiatrist and I know what I'm talking about.
One of my many talents I suppose."

"What? The talents of bein' a good con man... oh yeah. You're good."
She cracked a smile.

"Sunnie, do you remember what we used to sing together at the Officers
Club? Used to make all the soldiers cry. I guess you could say we were
a hit."

"Yeah. How could I forget." They cleared their throats and started
singing the words to Simon and Garfunkel's Sound of Silence in perfect
harmony.

Hello darkness my old friend
 I've come to talk with you again
 Because a vision softly creeping
 Left its scenes while I WAS sleeping
 And the vision, that was planted in my brain
 Still remains
 Within the sound of silence

In restless dreams I walked alone
Narrow streets of cobblestone
'Neath a halo of a street lamp
I turned my collar to the cold and damp
When my eyes were stabbed by the flash of a neon light
That split the night
And touched the sound of silence

And in the naked light I saw
Ten thousand people maybe more
People talking without speaking
People hearing without listening
People writing SONGS that voices never share
And no one dared
Disturb the sound of silence

"Fools", said I, You do not know
Silence like a cancer grows
Hear my words that I might teach you
Take my arms that I might reach you"
But my WORDS, like silent raindrops fell
And echoed
In the wells of silence

And the people BOWED and PRAYED
To the Neon God they made
And the sign flashed out it's WARNING
In the words that it was FORMING
And the sign said, "The words from the prophets are written on the
subway walls
And tenement halls"
And whispered.... the sounds....of silence

Face pulled Liz into a warm embrace. He was taken aback by the light
fragrance of her sweet perfume. The way her soft skin felt against his
own. He thought about the incident in the mine and how he yearned to
touch her again. He pulled away and looked into her ice blue eyes. The
light reflecting on them from the sun made them sparkle like sapphires. She
was like an angel. Face pushed back a blonde curly lock from her face.
"I should have called you Angel instead of Sunnie." He finally said.

"Why's that Tempy?'

"Because you are like an Angel. You are so beautiful. I could wake up
every morning to someone like you. Those eyes. They hypnotize me."

"Yeah I'm an Angel alright. With the horns holdin' up the halo."

"Just remember who said that!"

"Terrific! Just what I need you keepin' over my head."

"Ya know, you ARE starting to sound like me."

"Is that...such a bad thing?" She asked as she moved closer to the con
man.

"I don't know. You tell me."  He said softly as he put a hand on her
face and brushed his lips against hers. Face drew her in for another
kiss. His lips touching hers as fire raced through them. He explored her
mouth with his tongue as she returned the gesture. She broke away from
him and sighed.

"Temp. It's not right."

"I know..Sunnie.. I know.

They heard their teammates in a distance from behind. How could anyone
miss the arguing of BA and Murdock?

"Shut up fool! I'm gonna make you eat that sand if ya don't quit
talkin' to it."

"Now BA, becareful what you say, or the sand will not delay, to make a
big display, only to your dismay." He chanted.

"Shuddup Murdock shuddup. HANNIBAL?"

"Knock it off Captain."

"Bu Hann.... fine. But don't come cryin' to me when the sand gnomes git
ya."

They approached the couple sitting on the sand. "How are you holding up
Liz?"

"Ok Colonel." She said as Face and Liz stood up.

"I...ahh.. was telling her she needs to talk to us Hannibal when she
feels scared."

"Mmhmm. Face is right Lieutenant. You need to speak up and let it all
out. We'll listen to and try to help."
"Thanks. I dunno what I'd do without you guys. It's just hard for me."

"Sometimes Lil Mama, it hard for all us. Seein' ya so scared and
helpless after a nightmare and flashback."

"Lizzy, wounds may heal, but the scars are there to remind us of who we
are. They might not always be a nice memory, but they're part of US.
Part of you."

"Murdock, are you going sane?" Face asked.

"I dunno. Possibly old chap." He replied in his fine British accent.

"Man's never gonna be sane. Always be a crazy fool ta me."

"I want ya to know guys, how much I love y'all. You've done more for me
than anyone has in my lifetime. You guys are the only family I have. I
was always jealous of the people who bragged or bellyached how
wonderful or not so wonderful their families were. But I've got a family ten
times greater than ANY family on this earth. We go in as a team and come
out as a team. Or we just don't come out at all. We all have our own
personalities and problems, but that's what makes us special. That's what
makes us work together as a team and a family. I would sell my soul to
the devil himself, if one or any of your lives depended on it. You mean
THAT much to me. It's like the man upstairs wanted us to be together.
And I am thankful for that. I know you'll catch me if I'm startin' to
fall."

"Lieutenant, I think the feelings are mutual." Hannibal said.

"Guys, there's a rumble in my tummy. I need some grub."

"Good thinking captain. BA's cooking tonight."

"Aww no." They grumbled.

"Somethin' the matter with my cookin' suckas?"

"Ahhh... No BA...nothing at all." Face gulped.

"Good! Let's go."

Face, Murdock and BA sprinted to the beach house, while Hannibal and
Liz lagged behind. The Colonel put his arm around the lieutenant.

"I meant everything I said Hannibal."

"I know you did. That's why EVERYTHING is going to be alright."

She smiled at the silver haired man and put her head on his broad
shoulder, as they walked back to the house.

"Thanks...DAD!"

"No Kid...thank YOU!"
 

(c) Kara Kirk ( Murdocks_Chicka ) 2000


Facing the Truth by Kara Kirk