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Kinks and Shrinks

Kinks and Shrinks

by Face's New Flame

 

Rating NC-17

Note: With thanks to Coke and Charon for the plot bunny they brought into the chat room with them

Summary: With Murdock, you should always expect the unexpected.

Warnings: very m/m slash, but there's some of that filthy het. smut implied too....

 

 

 

Part 1

 

Face probably should have expected it. Murdock was, after, certified.

 

It wasn't a complaint; not by any means. If anything, it was a compliment.

He had never been with such an enthusiastic, adventurous lover. Adventurous,

and at times...

 

Downright kinky.

 

About a month after they'd moved their relationship on to being physical,

Murdock had asked him if he'd ever used toys. Face had misunderstood, and

immediately launched into one of his tried and tested stories about playing

cricket with the nuns. Murdock had giggled, and explained, and Face, not

wanting to appear uptight, but really terrified, had agreed to give it a go.

 

Full of trepidation, he had agreed to let Murdock tie his wrists to the

wrought iron head board. He was forced to relax; to let someone else be in

charge. Quite a role reversal; usually, he looked after things. He looked

after money, requisitions, he was the one who looked after Murdock and Amy

the most; anytime Hannibal was out of action, Face looked after all of them.

 

So to have his movement restricted, to be unable to grab and wrestle Murdock

into wanton submission, to have no option but to accept the freely given

attentions of his lover.... it was quite a revelation. Having agreed, there

was no choice but to trust Murdock. And that was difficult. In combat, on

missions, even playing poker, he'd trust Murdock to the end. But in the

sack...

 

Bed was Face's area of expertise. He had become accustomed to setting the

pace, leading the action. He loved to give pleasure to others; he took great

pride in it, in fact. But this, this was like being given permission, at

last. Permission to receive, permission to let himself go.

 

The first time, Murdock had been very gentle with him, coaxing him to relax,

working on his tense muscles. Face had thought he would never be able to do

it, was on the verge of asking for his freedom.

 

But then Murdock started.. touching him. Touching him everywhere all at

once, and sucking Face's skin into his mouth, and pushing hard against him.

Murdock had kissed him with new-found passion, sliding his body against his

prisoner's. Perhaps, for Murdock, he needed somewhere to be in charge; one

area of his life he could control.

 

That was the thought that did it. *Murdock's in control.* And, once Face

made that mental adjustment, from carer to cared for, once he allowed himself

to experience without guilt...

 

It was amazing. Murdock was busy doing whatever he felt like at any given

time; Face was letting him, no, Face was *begging* him to. From his mouth,

the mouth that weighed and measured every word, that balanced and considered

every thought yearning to be free, came pleading, imploring, damn near

everything short of whimpering, and there was times he was closer to that

than he'd like to admit.

 

And when they were done... when Murdock gave him back the use of his arms,

and was cradling him, bringing him back down, nursing him back to sanity.

When they were done, he knew then. He was Murdock's, completely. He belonged to him.

 

He would do anything he wanted.

 

###

 

He didn't understand himself, sometimes. Or maybe he understood himself too

well. Damn it.

 

He cared for Murdock; damn, he was pretty sure he loved him. Not like a

brother; love, loved him. Maybe that was it, maybe that was what he was

scared of. He'd been avoiding it for years. Commitment.

 

Face got up out of Rhonda's bed, and kissed her still closed eyes. She

barely stirred.

 

He left a note on her pillow. 'Call you later. Thanks for a great night.' No

signature; that would be an admission that it was actually him and not, for

example, his evil twin brother, leaving her apartment.

 

He headed for home, and a hot shower, to wash away the guilt.

 

 

Part 2

 

Face had suddenly begun to love watching TV in bed. He wasn't convinced they

needed the distraction at first, but he had been persuaded.

 

Murdock was saying something, something part of Face's brain recognised as

being important, but he just couldn't seem to concentrate. To be fair, all

his other senses were subject to a barrage of assault.

 

His eyes were fully occupied with the video they were watching. The video of

him and Murdock. Him and Murdock and a very resilient mattress, judging by

the damage it was taking. Him and Murdock and not many clothes, growing less

by the minute. God, but Murdock was beautiful; it was a joy to see him in

action, see all the muscles working, see the huge, stupid grin on his

glowing face. All of the things Face never got a chance to see. Murdock

overwhelmed him; he always had to close his eyes to hold on to the last

remnants of lucidity. Lucidity, and sometimes, sanity.

 

Murdock had tricked him into this, the first time; the camera had been

hidden behind the drapes. He would never have agreed to it. It was just so..

tacky. God, watching porn together.... *making* porn together...

 

But then, later, when they'd been lying in bed, and Murdock had slipped the

tape in, and pressed play...

 

He'd meant to get angry, had a whole load of outrage stored up and ready to

go. But while he was working out how to express it, how to let Murdock know

it was never, ever, so long as he lived, going to happen again...and he was

destroying the tape.. and... and.. and... and while he was considering that,

he found himself losing the train of thought.

 

Then, as he was watching his lover on screen, arousing him, moving all over

him, treating him like the most delicate, precious object; as he watched

himself surrendering to lust... Then, Murdock had gone down on him, and his

anger dissolved between Murdock's lips.

 

So now, his eyes were very busy. His sense of touch was engaged, his hand on

Murdock's stiff cock, Murdock's agile fingers gripping his own firmly. His

tongue was running over Murdock's shoulder, and he breathed in the heady

scent of pure unadulterated sex.

 

So what Murdock was saying took a while to penetrate. Especially as HM was

breathing it into his ear, sending another wave of sensation through his

body.

 

'I know where you were last night.'

 

Face heard the words this time, but they didn't register. He forced his eyes

away from the screen for a moment to locate Murdock's adams apple, and

closed his mouth around it.

 

Then spoken, not a whisper. The hand on his erection gripped very tightly

indeed, and stopped moving.

 

'I know where you were last night.'

 

'Wh.. wha.. what?' No, he must have heard wrong. He transferred his

attentions to Murdock's earlobe, sucking hard and long.

 

Hmm. Murdock *ought* to be panting at that. He usually did.

 

'D'you hear me Face?'

 

Face felt a fight coming on. He removed himself from Murdock, all except his

cock which was held prisoner by Murdock's motionless fist. 'I hear you.'

 

'Wanna tell me about it?'

 

Not really. Do you have some broken glass I can walk over instead?

 

Trouble was, he didn't know what Murdock wanted to hear. Firstly, there was

the possibility that Murdock *didn't* actually know. Then, if he did, how

bothered would he be? They hadn't discussed it, monogamy. And there were

rumours about Murdock's activities in the decade of free love... Given his

specialist interests in the sexual arena, Face guessed most of the rumours

were true.

 

Ah damn. Who was he kidding? He'd stuffed up, he knew it even as he was

accepting Rhonda's invitation, he knew it long before coffee, long before

bed. Long before now.

 

Murdock was too important to cheat on. But now, it was too late to take it

back.

 

Face realised he still hadn't replied; that Murdock was staring him down.

'Want to let go of that for me?' Murdock's smile, as he removed his hand,

was malevolent.

 

Nothing to do but come clean. 'I'm sorry. I.. I don't know why I did it. I

wish I did. Murdock, you know I.. I.. you know how I feel about you.'

 

'I think I do, yes. Which is why I'm gonna give you one more chance.' Face

felt some of the tension leave his body, then return immediately as Murdock

completed the sentence, '... on one condition.'

 

###

 

Face gripped Murdock's hand tightly as they walked into the office block.

Murdock took charge; there was no way Face could get any of the words out.

Face watched as his lover smiled sweetly at the pretty brunette behind the

reception desk. 'We're here to see Dr. Marriot. The relationship counselling

suite?'

 

 

Part 3

 

File note:-

Transcript client interview, first meeting, Messrs TP & HM. Doctor in

attendance Ms R Marriot.

Interview commenced 13.05.

 

RM: Hi, nice to meet you.

 

HM: Thanks for seeing us so quickly, doc. 'preciate it.

 

RM: No problem. I had a cancellation, and your own therapist, Mr ...

Wiesman?, thought it would be best to see you as quickly as possible. Before

I begin, can I ask, is he aware of the nature of your relationship? He was

rather vague on the telephone.

 

HM: No, not yet. And I'd appreciate if you didn't say anything, just yet. If

that's ok.

 

RM: Well, perhaps we could talk about that at the end, when you've decided

if you would like to come back and see me again. So, how are you both

feeling?

 

HM: I'm fine. I mean, I go to group every week anyway, so I guess I'm used

to this. You're gonna ask some questions, right?

 

RM: If you would find that helpful. If not, just talk about whatever you

would like to. And how are you about this, Mr. Peck?

 

TP: Umm.. fine, I guess.

 

RM: There's really nothing to be embarrassed about. We do see a lot of same

gender couples, you know. So please, do talk freely. You won't offend me.

 

HM: He's a little shy.

 

RM: That's ok. You just come in when you're ready. So, you've decided to

give counseling a try. How can I help?

 

HM: I don't know really. Where should I start?

 

RM: Wherever you like. Maybe you could tell me what you see as the

difficulties that brought you here?

 

HM: Well, yes. I guess. I mean.. you know. I love him and all. And he loves

me. So it isn't that.

 

RM: Would you say that's correct, Mr. Peck?

 

TP: Mmhmm.

 

HM: I guess what the problem is, is.. well there's maybe a couple of things.

I guess the first is, well, we're pretty intense, y'know? I mean, we don't

live together or anything, but when we do see each other, it's like, y'know,

va va voom, fireworks all the way.

 

RM: Could you clarify that for me?

 

HM: Well, y'know. We're both pretty physical.

 

RM: And are you both comfortable with that?

 

HM: Oh, boy, yeah.

 

RM: Mr. Peck?

 

TP: Umm, yes, sure.

 

RM: C'mon Face, stop starin' at yer shoes. The nice lady's gonna help us.

 

TP: Sorry. Sorry, Ma'am. Yes, I'm very happy with our... with the... I'm

fine with that.

 

RM: That's great. You said there were a couple of issues for you though?

 

HM: Well, yes. I guess the main thing is, Temp here, he can't keep it in

his...

 

TP: Murdock!

 

HM: Well hell, if you don't want to tell her, I'm gonna have to.

 

RM: Mr. Peck? In your own time.

 

TP: Ah.. well.. ah.. mm...ah.. I guess you could say I have some commitment

problems.

 

HM: He can't keep it in his pants.

 

RM: Mr. Peck? Mr. Peck, I would strongly recommend that you stay until the end of the session. Mr. Peck?

 

HM: I guess that's that, then.

 

RM: We still have a half hour. You're welcome to stay on your own, Mr.

Murdock.

 

HM: I guess I'd better make sure he's ok. Can I call you later?

 

RM: Of course. I'm sorry this didn't work out the way you hoped for.

Sometimes it helps to keep trying.

 

HM: Thanks doc. Call you later.

 

Interview terminated 13.20.

 

 

Part 4

 

Face had gone by the time Murdock got outside. He didn't mind; the walk back

to the VA would give him some thinking time. He always thought better when

he was doing something; when he lay down in silence, all kinds of other

thoughts filled his head, all memories, mostly unwelcome. Not as many now as

there used to be, but he had to work hard at it. That was why his room was

stuffed with distractions; music, video games, things to fill up the

emptiness.

 

Maybe that was it. Maybe he was asking too much, looking for Face to take

that role. Maybe he was too much, too soon.

 

But hell... how long had they been friends? Couldn't Face talk to him, tell

him how he was feeling?

 

No, maybe he couldn't. Murdock was so used to talking, it came easily to him

now. But when he looked back...

 

When they went to help Lesley, it had taken Face forever to explain why;

even then, they'd only got half the story. He'd paid them, *paid* them,

rather than say how he really felt. As for commitment, Murdock still had the

tape of that fake wedding. Face'd been whiter 'n a bridal gown, sick looking

too. And it wasn't anything like for real.

 

And here was Murdock, who had known him for so long, expecting him to change overnight. The magic power of Murdock was going to make him talkative, open and happy to settle down, just like that. And all that ultimatum bullshit - come see a shrink or we're through. Just sprung on him. Sprung on him with blackmail material playing in the background, when he was so wound up he

didn't know what he was saying. I know you're finding all this a bit weird,

Face, so c'mon, let's have a giggle and make you tell a total stranger all

about it. 'Cos I love you. He'd been an evil bastard, and enjoyed being able

to do it.

 

Prove you love me. A very childish game.

 

Not that he forgave Face. Bunking up with some chiquita first chance he got.

Well, maybe not first chance. And he had known Rhonda a while now; knew her

from before. And they hadn't said they were exclusive; Murdock'd just kind

of assumed that's how it would be.

 

So Face wasn't perfect. Murdock knew how that felt; he knew all about guilt,

too. Feeling he'd let everyone down by winding up in the nut house. Still

felt it; felt bad that he was too damn scared to get out. Face had plenty to

be scared about too, right now. What if it just didn't work out? What if

there was no one, nothing to blame it on, it was just that after all this

time, they didn't know each other as well as they thought, that they'd made

a huge mistake. No escape routes from this one; best they could hope for was

not to hate each other, maybe, once it'd all died down, stay friends.

 

Worst? Worst, they'd hate each other. They'd split the team. They'd ruin

each others lives. Shit, though, Murdock had thought all that through before

they'd even begun.

 

Had Face?

 

More guilt then; more guilt at getting him drunk and guiding him down the

path they'd both been so carefully avoiding. He'd decided to force the

issue, his weapons being scotch and chinese take out. Spring rolls, finger

food...

 

And when they had....

 

When he'd finally gotten Face into bed, it had been so damned intense, so

wild, that instantly, in Murdock's mind, everything was settled. He felt

such a strong connection. When he was with Face, it was like coming home.

Everything was right; everything fit together. But was it the same for Face?

Hadn't asked, didn't like to. Murdock just knew that, in his world, they

should be together.

 

Couldn't be with him all day, every day though. Drive them both nuts.

 

Maybe he didn't know Face as well as he thought. Sure, he knew the history.

The orphan stuff, the army stuff, everything after the trial. Or he thought

he knew it. But that was all just the facts.

 

No feelings. No emotions. All kept hidden away behind that huge wall, the

wall that'd been keeping Face safe since he was a boy. And when had Murdock

bothered himself to ask? When had he shown that he actually gave a flying

fuck about anything but sex?

 

Face wasn't good with words. Well no, that wasn't strictly true. He was

great with words when he was being someone else. But maybe Murdock could

help him there. Otherwise, he'd be running around looking for what he could

never find, until he got too tired to even try any more. And then where

would they be?

 

So maybe that was a plan.

 

Murdock walked up the steps of the VA with the germ of an idea in his head.

He handed in his day pass, explained that his cousin had just dropped him

off at the driveway, and told Jane, the nurse on duty in his corridor today,

how good she was looking.

 

In his room, there was a delivery waiting; pizza, pepperoni and pineapple.

 

See? When Face wanted to, he could say everything he needed to.

 

 

Part 5

 

Face drove for hours, round and round in circles, nowhere in particular, but

definitely away from two specific places.

 

The first was his current apartment, which was stuffed to overflowing with

memories. So many memories, he couldn't work out how to get the door open,

how to force his way in past them.

 

It was the scene of their first night together. The scene of the crime. That

was a little blurry in places, but he remembered; he remembered enough. He

remembered accepting too much to drink. Because he knew what he wanted, and

he knew how difficult it would be to get there alone. He remembered how he

let Murdock guide the conversation around to women; women and then...

friendship. He remembered Murdock feeding him noodles with his hands, and

Face deliberately misaiming, deliberately lingering over the fingertips.

Dear god, he remembered licking soy sauce from Murdock's chin, and

everything after that seeming unreal, dreamlike, and yet so tangible and

real and inevitable.

 

He remembered the next morning, waking up alone, and how empty that had

felt. How sickening, even aside from his fledgling hangover. Then relief, at

realising the TV was on in the next room.

 

Then Murdock offering to cure his headache.

 

Then a night alone, and the fear, and the regret. The chant running through

his mind, forgive me father for I have sinned, it has been six months since

my last confession....

 

The same words echoing over and over, as he arrived at the second place he

was avoiding, and the place he had always know was his destination. The VA.

 

It was twilight, now. Everyone was inside, the grounds still, silent. *Like

a cemetery.* The grounds, and the building. He hated going there; death hung

over the place. So many men looking for their salvation. Broken, some on the

outside, some on the inside. So many deaths in here; so many men by their

own hand. Death walked the hallways at night. Murdock shouldn't be there,

would never be truly well there. He needed to be in a place of hope, of

support.

 

The doctors were good men, and did what they could. But people have to want

to be helped. He lost track of how many funerals Murdock had been to. He

never missed one; they were his family. However dysfunctional, however

confused, this was his home, and they were his family.

 

He watched from the road. The light went on in Murdock's room; back from

dinner. Back from seeing his temporary relatives. The bright colours from

his arcade games flickered for a while, and he could picture Murdock playing

and whooping. But ten there were the others times, when he played and was

lost in deep concentration, almost a trance. When the outside world

dissolved around him. When you had to touch him to break through the cocoon.

 

*We all have our rituals.*

 

He wanted to go to him, to explain. But he couldn't.

 

The lights in every other room went out; the corridor lights dimmed. The

night shift was on duty. Still Murdock played on.

 

Then, the last window darkened.

 

Face had nowhere left to go.

 

 

Part 6

 

'Murdock, come on in. You know the drill by now.'

 

'Yup, sure do Doc.' Murdock hopped onto the couch, and tucked his hands

behind his head. He thought he was doing a great job of being normal. When

he looked in the mirror, he looked normal. As normal as anyone else he knew,

anyway. Which was less reassuring a thought than he meant it to be.

 

'So, I see you've been out on a trip since our last meeting.'

 

'Huh?'

 

'I've got Doctor Merrion's report in. So, how about we start with that?'

 

'She did a report? She didn't say she'd do a report. What did she say? Can I

see?' Shit. No, she had mentioned that, but he'd forgotten to bring it up

again before he went haring after Face. Maybe they had to; code of ethics,

or something.

 

Doctor Weisman handed him the sheet. He was a pretty good guy; pretty open.

Murdock figured that meant he was almost there, if the doc thought he could

handle seeing his own files.

 

She'd been discrete; Murdock caught himself just before he let out a sigh of

relief. It just said Murdock had been to see her to discuss relationships

and commitment, and that he would be welcome back. No mention of Face.

 

Good. He might want to talk about it sometime, but not now. Sometimes

talking didn't make things better at all; sometimes it just ripped the same

old wounds open. And sometimes, you couldn't change a damn thing, you just

had to wait for other people to decide what was going on.

 

'So, let's talk about that, Murdock, yes? I have to say, I was surprised

when you asked for a referral. I like to think we know each other well

enough now, that you can always come to me.'

 

Murdock smiled, coyly. 'I was just thinkin', y'know? I've been a lot better

lately. Been thinking about maybe.. well, y'know, I've been in here a long

time. And I'm thinkin', kinda, 'bout what it'd be like. Bein' someplace

else.'

 

The doctor nodded, encouraging.

 

'And.. well. It's a long time since I've dated. And.. well, y'know. You and

me talked a lot about my family, and stuff. I just wanted to see someone I

didn't know. Easier, y'know? Zat ok?'

 

Murdock thought that sounded logical; sane, even. And the doctor was still

nodding, not writing anything down. He wrote a lot during the crazy stuff.

 

'Sure, Murdock. Sometimes it's easier to talk to a stranger.'

 

Murdock thought about Face. For some people, talking was never easy.

 

'So, did you find it helpful?'

 

'Guess. I think.... I think it's important to really know someone, before

you jump in. To both want the same things. So I guess I'm not in a rush.

Y'know... I mean, I'm not even out yet. She was a real nice lady. I might go

see her again. Y'know.. even when I'm better.'

 

'All right. Good. Now, the last time we spoke, you said you were

experiencing cravings for chinese food....'

 

###

 

Days passed; no Face. Murdock wondered how much longer it would take. But he knew; he just knew his Faceman would be back.

 

More days. All running into one another, all the same. Meals, laundry,

group, therapy, games, then the cycle over again, meals, laundry, group,

therapy, games, over and over and over. But he was *feeling*. He felt sad,

he felt pain, and even that feeling was reason to be grateful; for so long

there had been no feeling, just nothing, just tiredness and emptiness, and

now he was really, truly, feeling.

 

Just like regular people.

 

He thought about Face all the time, at first. Just lay on his bed, thinking,

or planned his time so carefully there was no thinking time left in it, but

Face sneaked in there anyway. One time, Murdock spent a whole day mentally

dissecting the significance of the pizza. Damn, he'd been seeing shrinks too

long.

 

And then, one day, when he came back from lunch, he was there. Sitting on

his bed. Staring at his hands.

 

Murdock leant, as casually as he could manage, against the wall. 'Hello,

stranger.'

 

'Hi.' Face's hands were apparently the most fascinating thing in the room.

He couldn't take his eyes off them. *Makes a change from shoes.*

 

'I'm sorry I took you to see that woman. I guess I just got to where I think

that's what ev'ryone does.'

 

'It's ok. I'm...,' Face looked up. Murdock's mouth was suddenly desert dry.

He didn't want an apology; he didn't want anything, except except except...

 

'I missed you, Face,' he blurted out.

 

'We need to talk.' And he saw through it, saw through Face's attempt at

calm, at reasonable, at normal.

 

Saw the raw edge beneath it. Saw the hurt. Saw the need.

 

'No,' said Murdock, sitting down next to him. 'You're not much of a talker,

Face.' And he slid his arm around Face's waist, and Face rested his head on

Murdock's shoulder.

 

'What am I, then?' he whispered.

 

Murdock's other arm completed the circle of sanctuary, of comfort, of

ownership. 'You're mine. Let's get out of here.'

 

 

Part 7

 

It was like nothing he'd ever known. What they were doing, to an observer,

to anyone not living in their one shared mind, would have looked like making

love; like sex. Like two men wrapped up in each other, around each other.

Like a physical act.

 

That was the least significant element.

 

No alcohol, no accessories. Just two old, dear friends.

 

With each kiss bestowed, a little more forgiveness. Every time their eyes

met, each holding the other captive, a little more understanding. When their

fingers intertwined, it was a symbol sign of belonging. As they held each

other, allowed themselves to be entrapped, trust grew. He was trusted; he

was wanted. Even after all.

 

Face felt like he could finally breath again; he felt whole again. There was

no urgency; no hurry. This could go on forever.

 

Each was a mirror of the other; as Face trailed a finger along Murdock's

arm, so the movement was returned, soft, sensual, laden with promise. As his

mouth opened, so Murdock's, meeting, equal, partners in something now far

beyond the physical. As he pulled his body away, shied away from

culmination, so Murdock matched him.

 

This could last forever; this night would last forever.

 

And when they succumbed, it was as equals, each imploring the other, each

craving, wanting, wanted, needing, needed.

 

Like nothing he'd ever known.

 

###

 

'Make love to me, Face.'

 

Of course.

 

###

 

He was fine, while Murdock was here. It was their own fantasy, their own

dream world. And it was different, this time. Safer. Insane, of course, but

strangely normal.

 

Three days now they'd been in bed. In bed, and curled up on the sofa, and

cooking together, and in the shower, and in bed, and in bed, and in bed. And

still he had no desire to let him go.

 

It was the thought of the drive, more than anything else. Driving Murdock

back to that building, full of people who wanted to get inside your head and

force drugs into your body. The thought of it.. of them doing those things

to his Murdock...

 

He remembered it clearly. Security hadn't been as tight, in the early days.

No spare men. More inside the hospital, than outside in the real world.

 

He remembered all the times that Murdock tried so hard to forget. The times

Murdock saw, now, as steps on the road back. But then, Murdock hadn't had to

watch, helpless.

 

He had never had to hold someone's hand while they waited for their first

shock treatment. A treatment they wouldn't use anymore, except in the most

extreme cases. Would he be home, now, if they had left him alone, if they

had talked him through it? Would he be home, if Face had known more, done

more, fought for him, tried harder? If he'd known, if he'd tried harder to

find out... but he listened to doctors, then. They were all he had to hang

on to. Sometimes believing is more important than the belief.

 

Murdock hadn't had to watch himself zoned out on tranquillisers, not knowing

or caring if it was Face or Hannibal or the boogie man sitting with him.

Hadn't talked for hours to a blank face, expressionless eyes, looking for a

reaction, any reaction, any sign of the vaguest recognition.

 

Murdock hadn't sat up with himself, rocking him back to sleep after the

nightmares and the cold sweats. Hadn't shared every dream with him.

 

Murdock hadn't taken his own punches, silently accepting the bruising and

the cracked ribs, while he fought the imaginary armies in his mind. Hadn't

held the screams inside, hadn't gripped him until the demons subsided, all

so the doctors wouldn't come running, so they wouldn't pump more

suppressants into him.

 

Murdock didn't remember how bad he had been. Face didn't want him to.

 

Face watched him sleep. Years older, but so much younger. At peace.

Regaining his hope, and perhaps some of his innocence.

 

He retrieved a pillow from the floor, and tucked it under Murdock's head

before spooning in behind him. Murdock half woke, sighed contentedly, and

laced Face's fingers. Face felt another part of himself slip away, and

become a part of them, and was glad for it.

 

He had to find a way to make it work; to hold on; to make it last. Because,

once they opened that door to the world outside, the fantasy would die.

 

###

 

'Face?'

 

'Mhmphmh.'

 

'Fa-aaaaace...' Murdock prodded his shoulder.

 

'I'm awake, I'm awake,' muttered Face, rolling himself further into the

covers. Murdock nuzzled into his nape. He almost purred.

 

'Face, wake up call. C'mon. I need to get back. They'll be giving my room

away.'

 

'Let them,' Face told the pillow. And Murdock had to drag the bedsheets off

him and threaten him with a pitcher of cold water before he'd get up.

 

###

 

Third night alone, and the old feelings were coming back. He needed Murdock;

needed to be held, needed someone to wake up with. No, not someone. He

needed Murdock there with him.

 

And yet, he couldn't say it.

 

'Come live with me and be my love,

And we will all the pleasures prove.'

 

Because when Murdock was out, out of that hellhole, when Murdock stopped

being a lab rat, when Murdock was somewhere he would be cared for, and

needed, and wanted...

 

When Murdock was whole again...

 

When Murdock was whole, he wouldn't need Face.

 

 

Part 8

 

Face was ready for questioning. He had his passport, driver's license, old

armed forces card, all made up in the name of John Murdock. The ones he used

with the nurses sometimes, when he needed to get HM a day pass.

 

He didn't need them. Dr Weisman seemed to accept that he was Murdock's

cousin. Well, why wouldn't he? The accent was, after a fashion, the same.

He'd swept his hair back off his forehead, and forced himself into cargo

pants and a t shirt. And if Murdock was, as he said, almost ready to get

out, well, a caring relative on the outside would facilitate that. John

Murdock had been working on the rigs; he didn't get into the city to visit

as often as he'd have liked. Hardly at all in the last year - he hadn't met

Dr Weisman before, had he? No, he didn't think so. But HM wrote a lot, so he

knew all the good work he'd been doing. He was talking about getting out of

the VA for the first time. That had to be a good thing, didn't it? Did the

doctor think he was ready?

 

He wanted the best for Murdock; well, wasn't that what they all wanted? But

he didn't want him to feel rushed to get out. Perhaps if they could keep

this discussion between themselves.....?

 

Amazing, how people saw what they wanted to see. What was convenient.

 

###

 

'Umm.. isn't this a little odd for you, Murdock? I mean, more than usual?'

 

''tain't a sex thing Face. Sorry, Doctor Peck, should say.'

 

'It's not? Then why....?'

 

It was and it wasn't a sex thing, in truth. Those times Face came to bust

him out, in the days before he got passes, and he was all dressed up in the

white coat, with the stethoscope, and the glasses, and looking all

intellectual and stuff. He'd always looked damned hot. Murdock'd seen Amy

eyeing him up, thought there might be something going on. Been jealous. Only

now he knew which one he was jealous of. He'd liked Amy well enough; sure

missed her. But it wasn't the same. If she was still here, and Face had

left, instead....

 

'Promise you won't hit me?'

 

'Murdock, you know I won't.'

 

'Promise you won't get mad?'

 

'No.'

 

Hmm. That wasn't the reply Face had given in Murdock's head when he planned

this out. 'Promise not to run out on me?'

 

Hesitant. 'Ohh-kaaay......'

 

'Well all right, we're still gonna be buddies then. Great!'

 

'Just cut to it, Murdock. You're scaring me.'

 

Trouble was, it had seemed like such a *great* idea when he'd thought of it,

walking back that night. And it had grown in his head, until it wasn't just

a great idea, it was the best idea. Ever. In the whole history of great

ideas, if there had been an ideas competition, it would have been the

winner.

 

So why was his stomach churning? Ok, ok, just go for it.

 

'Face, you know how you're such a good actor? No, no, don't be modest,

that's how you do so well with all those scams, we all admire you for it, so

just nod your head and take a compliment well.'

 

'Mmmm.' Suspicious.

 

'And you know how you screw up big time when it comes to actually talking

about yourself?'

 

'I do not.'

 

'Oh you do too, tell me one time you've told me anything without me

wheedlin' and naggin' you fer hours'nd hours. Go on. You can't, can you?

Right. So. You know how we're both shit scared of messing this up, this..

whatever it is, and everything going wrong?'

 

A nod. Agreement, shy, but it was progress.

 

'And I can talk about any damn thing and you can't. No, don't argue with

that one. So what I thought was...other than how damn cute you look in that

get-up, no, don't try and distract me, it won't work,' as Face warmed to the

last bit and slid his hand over Murdock's knee, squeezing gently, 'so I

figured as you're such a good actor, maybe Doctor Peck could give me a

report on Faceman's progress.'

 

'How cute, exactly?' Face's other hand snaked around Murdock's waist, even

as he side-stepped the issue.

 

'Aww c'mon Face, I'm trying to help here.' And I'm not.

 

'I know Murdock. I'm not yelling. It's just... it's difficult.'

 

'Bad idea, huh?'

 

'Pretty bad, yeah.' He planted a kiss on Murdock's forehead. 'I'll try, ok?

It's all I can say. But in my own way. I appreciate what you're doing. I

know what you're saying, I do. But.. well, I never had anyone to really

listen. You must have been the same, you were the same, when you first... '

went crazy, Murdock completed silently. 'How long did it take you to be able

to talk about things, Murdock?'

 

'Pretty long time, I guess.' All my life, until now. Murdock sighed. 'What

we gonna do Face?' There wasn't a second-best idea ever kicking about. That

had been it. Face had thoughts of his own, though.

 

'Take our time? How about we take it slow. I tell you how I'm feeling before

I do anything stupid, and you do the same.'

 

Murdock wrapped his arms around Face, holding him tight. It wasn't what he'd

hoped would happen, but it was progress. 'Sounds good to me. So, you want to

take off the lab coat now?'

 

Face assumed his husky, seductor voice. 'Don't you want to consult .. Doctor

Love?'

 

Murdock would have said yes, but for some inexplicable reason, he was near

paralytic with a fit of the giggles.

 

###

 

'You realise that could be taken in several ways, Lieutenant.'

 

'Yes, Sir.'

 

'And that what you're suggesting, if taken a certain way, would earn you a

dishonourable discharge from the Army.'

 

'Yes, Sir.'

 

Hannibal took out a cigar. 'Ok, kid. Let me set the ground rules for you.

Nice and clear, so we know where we stand. One, if this affects either of

you at work, you're both off the team. Two, if he ends up back in the VA,

you are off the team. Three, you don't tell BA. Ever. If he works it out,

well, that's up to him.'

 

'Yes, Sir.'

 

'And four, if you screw around on him again, I'll take your balls off

myself. Got it?'

 

'Got it.'

 

 

Part 9

 

'Wow Face! Cool place!'

 

'Think?' Obviously, as Murdock was almost bouncing off the walls.

 

'It's fantastic! What's in here? Aww... Space Invaders, Pacman, Pinball?

Wow, look at that TV! What's in here, cool, kitchen, this the bedroom? Hey,

that dresser's just like mine.. so's the wardrobe.. you been ripping my

stuff off? Who'd you get this place off, anyway?'

 

'You like it?'

 

'Sure I like it. It's.. it's my kinda place. Bit small for you though, ain't

it?'

 

Face shrugged. 'I like it fine. Anyway, it's not like I'll be living here.'

 

'No? Why d'ya bring me here then? Whose place is it, anyway?'

 

Stability, familiarity. Nowhere too big, or too scary. As like his room as

it could be. A place for him to be on his own, while he adjusted. Near the

hospital, close to familiar sights. A telephone, and an answering machine,

to keep in touch with the brave new world outside the door.

 

'The investments have been doing well, Murdock. And the doctor said you'd

need someplace.. well, like this. For when you got out.' The investments had

done all right, but not that well. Face had put up half the money himself.

But Murdock didn't need to know that.

 

'For me? As in, it's mine?'

 

'Your name on the deeds, Murdock.' He handed Murdock the keys. He stared at

them, blankly.

 

'Really? I mean... really?' This was as close to speechless as Murdock had

ever got. They walked through the rooms again, Murdock really looking this

time, looking at all the stuff Face had put in for him. Pictures of his

favorite birds, all the best babies to fly. All his old movies, dozens of

tapes, on the living room shelves.

 

And there. He'd almost missed it. Right by the front door, there was a dog

basket.

 

'I thought you might like to get a real Billy, one day. If you like. We

could walk him, together. So. What do you think?'

 

'We're gonna live here? Together?'

 

Face took his hand. 'Not yet. The doctor said you should try being on your

own first.' This was so difficult; so very difficult. He so wanted Murdock

to need him. More than anything. 'He said it would be hard for you, learning

to be independent again. But you know I'll be here when you want me to. You

got a phone there. You just gotta call.'

 

'Doc Weisman? You spoke to Doc Weisman? About us?'

 

Face shook his head. 'No. Not about us. He thinks I'm your cousin John.' And

he gave Murdock's hand a squeeze. And he took a deep breath. And he ignored

the panic rising up from his belly. 'But I will if you want me too.'

 

Murdock just melted into him, and this time, neither could get the words

out.

 

###

 

'You realise what you're suggesting would have got you a dishonourable

discharge from the army, captain?'

 

'Yes, Sir.'

 

Hannibal puffed on his cigar and thanked the lord he was a great actor.

 

'Ok, Murdock. Let me set the ground rules for you. Nice and clear, so we

know where we stand. One, if this affects either of you at work, you're both

off the team. Two, when you tell BA, you don't let on to Face that you have,

and you make it clear to him it was your own decision. You know how

protective he gets of you, and I don't want Face hurt. You screw that up,

and you're off the team.'

 

'Yes, Sir.'

 

'And three, if you ever fuck him over, I don't care whether you mean to or

not, I'll take your balls off myself. Got it?'

 

'Got it.'

 

Damn, thought Hannibal. I'm good.

 

###

 

They had one night together; one last night, before reality came in. Before

they both went to see Doctor Weisman. They ordered pizza, one half pepperoni

and pineapple for Murdock, one half green peppers and mushrooms for Face.

They drank cheap white wine from plastic cups, and watched an old Bogart

movie. Neither really knew which one; they were too busy christening the

couch. That night, they christened every room. A new beginning.

 

And the next day, when Face walked him back in, when Face walked in with him

to keep the appointment with Doctor Weisman, as they walked through the

grounds with everyone watching, some in shock, some smiling, he held

Murdock's hand.

 

Because Murdock needed him, and Murdock would always need him. Not because he was ill, not because he had to; but because it was Face, and because he chose to.

 

Because telling Hannibal was the hardest thing Face had ever had to do, and

from here, everything just got better.

 

Because it would never be perfect, but he wasn't perfect, and that was ok.

 

And because there were so many wonderful kinks they still had to explore

together.

 

END


Kinks and Shrinks by Face's New Flame

 

 


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