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Picking Up After You
Date: May 2001
Rating: PG with warnings
Summary: Murdock worries about Face. Angst all over the place. Ack, why can't I write anything nice and light for a change??
Disclaimer: None of these characters belong to me no matter how much I wish they did. Stephen J. Cannell and Universal are the lucky owners. I only borrow them and I have made no profit from writing this. If anyone wants to sue me, please don't! I'm terribly under-funded.
Warnings: Depression, angst, mental instability, very vague reference to suicide
Comments: Yes please!
Author's note: Thanks to ~Cath for beta reading, and to witchbaby for encouraging me to post this
How come living must be such a chore? I was okay yesterday. I think. What changed? Is anything really different, or did I just run out of strength to pretend?
You're talking to me. I hear you. Hear, but donít listen. Let it in and pass it along. Nodding, trying to look attentive. (Leave me alone. I canít concentrate right now. Got this itch in my head). Probably chewing me out for getting in a fight. Hey, the guy picked a fight with me. I wouldíve taken him out, you know it; just didnít see the other guy.
Mr. Itch, meet Mr. Headache.
Don't wanna go to sleep. If I relax I'm afraid that the itch will take over and make me do something I don't really wanna do. Something stupid. Can't do that.
You're pretty mad at me. Hands keep gesturing, punctuating every word. The van is too dark for me to see your eyes, but I feel the look in them. They're angry and hollow. They've been like that for some time now. You all right, Faceman? You all there?
I get so scared sometimes. We all fall apart now and then, (I admit, some of us slightly more spectacularly than the rest), but we get up and brush ourselves off and get on with it. You do too, but it's like you just don't care sometimes. Like you don't care about trying anymore. You just walk away from whatever brought you down this time. And I'm left to pick up the parts of you that you leave behind and I try to put you back together (getting pretty good at it, wouldn't you say, Facey?). But what if you fall apart one day, and I'm not paying enough attention, or I'm just as messed up as you are, and I miss some of the pieces while trying to put you back together? What if I've already missed some?
Got that queasy feeling in my stomach. You know, the one that says somethingís wrong, but you canít put your finger on it. Just this feeling. This feeling that you're in bad shape, Face, and it scares me to death.
Didnít sleep much last night. I just kept returning to the same mindless point in my head, like I was stuck in some loop. Little details on constant re-run, trying to spot the signs. Gets old real fast. Hibernation doesnít sound like such a bad idea right now. Curl up in some corner and just forget. I have to force myself not to give in to the idea; have to keep my feet planted on the floor, keep my arms from trying to hold myself together. Because you'd know. You'd know right away that I'm struggling, and Hannibal would have me back in the VA in no time. And I can't go back, not now; gotta keep an eye on you. Pick up the pieces.
I think you know anyway. You've known me for too long. It's hard to hide anything from you guys these days. The only one good at that is you. But not as good as you think you are, Facey. If I try real hard I see you. Not the you that you show the world. I see you. The real you.
It's too quiet. When did you stop talking, Face? You're not looking at me any more, you're staring out the window. Hollow. Have to keep my hands from fidgeting. Can't have them giving me away. Relax. Focus. Or Hannibal will see it and make me go back. Can't leave now; gotta keep watching you, Face. Gotta pick up your pieces.
I feel like a one-man clean-up crew; HM Murdock's Mental Service, at your disposal. Full service offered. Need your conscience dry-cleaned? I'm the man. Have a dent in your karma? Leave it to me. Splinters in your soul? It'll be as good as new when I'm through. A broken spirit, you say? Well, it'll cost ya a little more but I'm the best there is. I've never failed yet. I think. I hope.
It's gonna be another long night tonight, I can tell.
~ The End ~
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