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Vacancy (companion piece to The Next Session and the last in the Therapy Trilogy)

Author: Face's New Flame


Rating: NC-17 as slash themes discussed, but non explicit

Summary: Face ponders his midnight visit from Murdock

Warnings: see rating

Disclaimer: The character's aren't mine, but I take them out for the weekend. No money made here.

Author's note: I was feeling sad when I wrote it. I guess I should have posted this as 3 parts of the same story, but I thought it was done after each of the last two. Sorry! This really is it this time.









alternative POV to 'The Next Session' - final part of this series

by Face's New Flame




Oh god. Oh god oh god oh god.


*What* did I just do?


I mean.. it's not like I didn't see it coming. I mean, I did. It's been waiting for a long time, but just seeing him there, like that, him just turning up, him *breaking himself out*...


*What* was I thinking?


Ok, it's ok, he's back now, dropped off all safe and sound, waited until I saw him go in the door and the orderlies take him in.


I mean.... *christ*. Just turning up like that, and Becky here and all.... She's a nice girl, y'know? She deserves better than me, that's for sure. And she'll find it, I'm sure of that too.


He looked awful. So, so bad, so tired I could barely make out his eyes in those puffed up near black sockets, so dark. And he was so... so *normal*. Not HM normal. Normal like me. It was kind of disconcerting.


And I know I shouldn't have been driving, maybe a glass of wine too many to be driving, but I had to get Becky home, didn't I? And I must have gone about three thousand miles an hour across town and back, just hoping he wasn't going to do anything stupid. I left him a big glass of water and the TV remote right by his side. But when I came back in, he was just like I'd left him.


No. He was sitting in the dark. Putting all the lights out on me. I guess that's what I get for treating him like a kid. He acts it, sometimes, but he's not. He's a man.


And he didn't even wait until I was in the door, he had all these things inside him spilling out that he needed to say, about friendship, and needing friends, and what a good friend I was, and I think I knew what was coming. I'd have to be blind not to see what was coming. I kept thinking, he doesn't need this, how could I have been so stupid as to let it show?


He was so darned tired, though, I don't know what he meant to say and what he didn't. I worry about the drugs they pump into him. He can't be getting proper rest, when it's all on tranqs.


I wanted him to say it, to ask me, to tell me, whatever. But I couldn't let him.


What could I do? I ran him a bath, to try and relax him, then bundled him off to bed. Bundled him off all half naked and newly cleaned and needing to talk and needy and wanting and... and...


He was in no condition to go back to the VA, and I was in no state to get him back in without being seen. Well damn it, all right, I just didn't want to take him back. So I wanted to be able to fix him. Just because I know I can't, doesn't stop me wanting to try.


Jesus he looked rough.


It's my fault, I know it's my fault, because I know, we both know, and I keep rubbing it in his face every time I hit the sack with the girlfriend of the week. But Jesus, he's sick enough as it is without my problems piled on top of him, too. A guy can't win.


I'd offer to go in, if I thought he'd let me. To talk it all through with his doctors. I want him to get better, I really do. But I'm scared, too, that part of him getting better means him becoming independent. That they'll tell him he's better when he doesn't need me any more. And right now, that's all I've got, being needed.


But if that's what it takes, that's what I'll do. Love, of whatever kind it is, generally involves caring about someone more than you care about yourself. I just have to gear up for it. But then...


I know medical records are meant to be confidential. But it wouldn't be the first time if I turned up and there were MPs waiting. It's a bad enough risk when I go in at random, let alone if I'm going every week. Now, I've lived with getting caught every day for who knows how long, and I figure I've already handed myself in and worked out how to escape in my mind more times than I've scammed cars, which is quite a few. Lots of time to think when I'm alone and trying to sleep. And there's always a way out, you just have to find the opportunity.


So that's not about me, not really. Well, it is partly, I'd be a liar if I said I *wanted* to get caught. But mainly, it's the effect on HM, if I got caught helping him, is the thing.


I might be saying that to make myself feel better about it.


So, I couldn't sleep at all, knowing he was in the next room. Listening to him tossing and turning.


I don't sleep well on my own. So I try not to.


Poor guy, he's got enough to cope with, without me dragging him in to my pathetic love life. I just... I don't know how many years he's been in there, I lose track. I don't know if he could cope outside of it any more. And I don't know if he could cope with me. So many hollow bits inside, and I know it's not fair to ask him to fill them all up with what I haven't got myself.


Ouch. It hurts even thinking that. Some tough guy, me.


He sees inside me better than anyone, because we're the same. It's a choice; I decided to try and keep it together, he gets through it by letting little bits go every now and then. Who's to say who's right or wrong?


And he came back, and jesus I couldn't help myself, I wanted him so bad. I know, I should have found him some sleeping tablets and got him settled down, but no.


And then, he said..


He said ' Templeton.' Not Face. He wasn't talking to the Faceman. He was talking to *me*. And *everything* was in those three syllables. I'll never forget he way he said them, soft and low, so I could barely hear and yet they were coming through like crystal.


If he'd touched me then, well, I don't know, I just don't know.


So I did what I always do. I took what I thought I'd get away with. I laid down behind him and gathered him in to me and lay awake all night, listening to him breath, my arms moving with each rise and fall of his chest, and somehow, somehow I got through to morning without kissing the life out of him, so jealous that he could sleep, so desperate not to wake him.


It was hell. I wanted... I wanted...


I wanted all of him. No one knows me like Murdock. He sees everything, and he forgives everything. He's so uncomplicated. Lying there, breathing him in, being able to hold him safe beside me, anchoring him, anchoring me. I've had a hundred dreams that start that way, and he wakes up, and he turns to me and neither of us say a word, we don't need to, we've known each other forever. I brush my lips on his forehead, and he takes my head in his hands and his legs wrap around mine and...


It's crazy. I'm the crazy one.


So I lay all night, and most of the morning, cramps in my legs and an ache in my cock and my heart beating a hundred a minute all the time, just letting him get the rest he needed. Hell, if I can't sleep on my own here, in this place, how does he manage it with those bars and locks around him? So that was what I could do for him.


And he started to wake up, started shifting in his sleep. Those movements that with anyone else are the signal to prepare for a day's good loving.


I shifted away from him, gave him some space.


He looked better. That was something. There was color in his face.


But I can't. I can't in case I mess him up even more, like I mess up with everyone I see.


He's too important to take a chance on.


So, he's still there, and I'm still here, just waiting for him to get better, so I can mess him up all over again.


And now? Well, now, what I'm going to do now is get out my address book and find someone to take care of some of the hollows tonight. And, I guess, the same every night until he gets better. Maybe every night after, too.


It's a long, cold winter in L.A.




Vacancy by Face's New Flame



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