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Title: Descent

Descent

by Face's New Flame

 

Rating: NC-17

Warnings: slash; a different pre-breakdown view of HM.

Summary: back story for F/M

Author's note: inspired by 'Leisure' which is a bit obscure so I've quoted

it here at the start of part one.

 

******************

 

 

Part 1

 

'You look a younger more beautiful version of death

But I'm scared to hold you close or smell your breath

Now your body's facing east and your heart is west

And you can call me leisure and I can call you rest

 

We can't stop thinking that we should have guessed

We should've held you closer to our chest

Cos our shoulders were put there for that test

Now you can call me leisure and I can call you rest

 

Well you certainly jumped the red at treasure chest

Your joyride didn't fell bad enough to confess

Till you placed the lemming on this family crest

And you can call me leisure

The donor of poor measure

The scalpel of all pleasure

I'll call you rest

 

It's what we thought god gave us shoulders for

Not to shrug in self pity or to ignore

Instead the helpless ration chances to the poor

We can pick your weightless body up from the floor

We can pick your weightless body up from the floor

 

All the minutes all the hours that you caressed

Have been taken to a place that you thought best

If it's heaven or hell you're still well blessed

And I shall get my own back when I call you rest'

 

###

 

There were a lot of rumours about Captain H M Murdock, and the young

Lieutenant Peck privately believed most of them to be true.

 

He supposed he was a little jealous. The airman worked hard, played hard,

drank hard, said what he thought and acted accordingly. It seemed he had no

fear of anything, least of all reprimand. According to the latest figures,

Murdock had now been up for seventeen official reprimands with no actual

repercussions. Peck had number twenty-one in the sweepstake for the warning

that would progress to court martial. Talent, and a shortage of replacements

of the same calibre, seemed to be his perpetual get-out-of-jail-free card.

 

Ability still counted in some areas of the military, then. That was good to

know.

 

Despite, or more probably because of, his reputation as a trouble maker,

every night the captain found ready company, surrounded in the officer's

mess by new transfers, old drunks, and the usual suspects. Lieutenant Peck,

however, wasn't sure. He watched from a distance, maybe nursing a beer,

nothing stronger. Not the whisky that Murdock knocked back like it was

water. A man en route to self-destruction.

 

Gambling, too. Later, when the mess cleared some, Murdock would take the

well worn deck of cards from his top pocket, stick a cigar in his mouth, and

demand, 'Who's in, muchachos?' He'd seen Murdock lose close on three hundred

dollars on one hand and not blink; never seen him win it back, but he always

paid his debts. Where did his money come from?

 

Templeton, he sent some, what he could afford, back to the orphanage, put

some by for when he got home - because, damn it, he *was* going home - and

spent a little on luxuries to make his life more comfortable. The call to

the front could come at any time.

 

Who was better prepared, he wondered, him or Murdock?

 

###

 

He didn't really get to study Murdock close up until they were both drafted

into Colonel Smith's unit. He was different, here, with the man they now

called 'Hannibal.'

 

Hannibal didn't care how they acted, any of them, as long as the job got

done. He'd also taken on a surly guy, drill sergeant, miserable swine,

Barracus by name, but god, he was a fantastic mechanic, and you sure were

glad he was on your side in a fight.

 

Maybe it calmed HM down some; nothing to rebel against.

 

He was still dangerous, though. There was still that manic glint, and

sometimes when you caught him off guard, he'd start at you, and you couldn't

tell if he was going to fly at you, or stalk off. Mostly he'd think on it,

and smile, maybe laugh for no reason at all.

 

They played cards; gin, now, not poker, and for the good watches, not money.

Although Face - they'd started calling him Face, just like he'd been called

in high school, it was kind of nice - Face couldn't figure it, he'd be

beaten into taking every night shift, and yet just when he was going out,

Murdock'd knock on the door, or stick his head round the tent flap, or tap

on Face's survival bag, depending on where the hell they were on any given

night, and tell him it was ok, Murdock would do it after all. He'd have

insomnia, or have dozed off by mistake during the day, or have some other

excuse.

 

Face couldn't understand it. Murdock had won fair and square.

 

###

 

He got a little nervous, the nights he had to bunk up with HM. Well, all the

rumours...

 

He'd have anything, that's what they'd said. Even taking that with a pinch

of salt it would commute to any *one*.

 

Face just couldn't read him, not like he could read women. With them, it was

obvious, whether they found him attractive, or if he was wasting his time.

But with Murdock...

 

He was dangerous, he knew that. Not that Face believed he would be

physically hurt, or made to do anything he didn't want to. But... bad

behaviour is always appealing. Recklessness is appealing.

 

He wasn't going to let himself want him. It was that simple. Still, he found

it difficult to sleep until he heard HM fall into a pattern of deep

breathing. Even then, he would lie awake, watch him, try and work out what

went on in his head. What happened in his dreams that made him grunt or cry

out or hit the air with tight clenched fists or..

 

.. or murmur softly.

 

He did *not* want attention of that kind, from any man. Let alone *that*

man.

 

 

Part 2

 

He didn't think about those nights any more, not if he could avoid it. There

was no point; all the maybes and might-have-beens and questions that could

never be answered. Sometimes, though, he was forced into recollection.

 

Like now. Now, lying underneath Murdock's bed in the VA. Staring at the box

which always lay there, some kind of dark wood, inlaid with lighter coloured

diamond shapes around the edges, the whole thing about six inches cubed. The

box that was always under the bed, and always closed, and Face never looked

in it.

 

Except for today. Today, it was open. He tried not to look; to focus on HM's

conversation with the orderly at the door. But it was impossible.

 

Well of course Murdock was going to be.. well, he just would.

 

Rubbers. That was what Murdock kept in the box. A ripped packet lay on the

floor; Face thanked some unknown presence that the contents were nowhere to

be seen. Murdock was still talking; he slipped the two halves of the wrapper

into his pocket and silently closed the lid, praying the hinges wouldn't

squeak. He was lucky.

 

So now, when Murdock checked later, it would look like there had been

nothing to see.

 

Face wasn't sure *what* he was feeling, but decided it might be anger. If

anyone was taking advantage of ..

 

What was he, his father? Hardly. And it looked, from his preparations, like

Murdock knew exactly what he was doing. He wasn't exactly the timid virgin.

 

So, he was back in action. Interesting.

 

###

 

Search and rescue mission; they'd done must be close on a dozen of them by

now. More nights in the jungle. And why? Last time he'd gone home, a week's

leave, it was hardly a hero's welcome. Protestors had been waiting at the

airport.

 

Getting people out. That was their main focus, had been since the beginning.

It sat ok with him, with Hannibal too. It wasn't how you won a war, but at

least he was sure it made a difference. It made a difference to the ones

they brought home, to their families. He was one of the lucky ones, doing

something that he knew in his heart was worthwhile.

 

Face bedded down in the back of the jeep. Better get some sleep while he had

the chance. Hannibal had taken BA out on a scout trip, Murdock was on watch.

All quiet, just the noise of the animals, which he'd long since learnt to

ignore. He closed his eyes and let the darkness in.

 

###

 

Out. Got the man, got the team, got out alive. Just a job, but it didn't

feel like just a job. Too close for comfort, the bullets flying, soldiers

snapping at their heels all the way out, barely enough fuel to make it to

the decoy turn off. Closest yet. Even Hannibal was quiet; he'd felt it. Most

times he'd smile, we got away with it team, good work. Not this time; he was

thinking, reassessing.

 

Time to get out for good?

 

###

 

Base camp.

 

Alone.

 

With.

 

Murdock.

 

Murdock sitting on the bunk opposite, silent, looking at him. Face could

feel it; he could reach and grasp huge hot handfuls of the atmosphere

between them.

 

Murdock finally forcing Face to look at him. Murdock smiling, lop sided.

Murdock's eyes.

 

It wasn't that he couldn't refuse. He.. after all this time, of course he

trusted Murdock.

 

Murdock, leaning forward and saying, 'Wanna play?'

 

Face's eyes traveled to Murdock's top pocket. No cards.

 

Did he want to play?

 

 

Part 3

 

He came, like a teenager, at the first touch. A firm hand on his groin,

through his pants, and he pushed into it, and that was it.

 

Murdock just smiled. 'Mind if I take a bit longer?'

 

No. Not at all.

 

###

 

Murdock's hands on him; working their way down his shirt, twisting the

fabric at each button until it flew off, fingertips exploring the newly

exposed skin. No lips; no kisses. Face was grateful. Just hands. Almost

medical investigation, then. Impersonal. Detached.

 

Murdock reached the lowest button, pulling the thin cotton free of Face's

khakis. He looked straight into Face's eyes as the thread snapped, the last

closure severed, his hand sliding across the flat of Face's stomach, short

nails dragging through the soft hairs.

 

'Tell me to stop,' Murdock breathed.

 

Face closed his eyes and fell back onto the thin mattress.

 

Surrender.

 

###

 

Naked, now. Exposed.  Burning up in the heat of the night.

 

A hand between his legs; a mouth butterflying across his chest.

 

A sharp pain as teeth closed around his nipple; an intense sweetness as a

finger rimmed his anus, and he heard himself moan. Then reversed, a gentle

lapping and the searing pleasure of cool breath over his chest, even as the

finger slid further inside him, stabbing, sharp, but he could take it; he

wanted to take it.

 

(be taken)

 

Duller, now, after the first initial burst. Murdock's mouth working up his

neck, sucking, teeth dragging, and the finger inside him moving, the pain

ebbing away, enjoying the new sensation, this feeling full, this feeling

alive, this feeling, feeling, feeling...

 

*God yes!* this feeling, and he moaned again, breathless, this wasn't how he

thought it would be, this wasn't pain, this was fiery, intense, this was

incredible, this was..

 

Murdock had stopped moving. Face opened his eyes to a big grin. 'Good, huh?'

 

He nodded.

 

'More?'

 

He pushed himself further on to Murdock's hand. Yes. Of course. More.

 

More, more, more.

 

###

 

Arms wrapped tightly around his waist, a chest pushing into his back, a

heart beating as fiercely as his own, pounding through his spine. He thought

he would pass out from the pain as Murdock slid into him, but he still

wanted it. Just to feel, to feel *anything*, was enough.

 

Then, as he relaxed, as Murdock moved within him, it all slid away. Time,

place, space, until all that was left was motion.

 

(emotion?)

 

He couldn't even find the strength to force his eyes apart, but that was ok,

the soft drawl in his ear was telling him it was ok. And then Murdock

reached down and enclosed his cock in a tight fist. He opened his eyes long

enough to watch, but it wasn't him, he was watching someone else, another man,

another man pumping into that hand.

 

Then there was a moment of nothing, then fire, heat, pure white and glowing;

then nothing.

 

###

 

He woke up alone.

 

###

 

Another mission, no planning time. Their last, on the right side of the law.

If he had known...

 

Hannibal was vague, trying not to use the word 'breakdown.'

 

Now, he would never be able to find out.

 

 

Part 4

 

Of course he romanticised it. He knew he was doing it; it had been so long

ago, no one could have hoped to get the details right. He'd been younger;

still a boy, really. Neither of them had seen much of the world. School, the

army, and that was about it. Similar, really. And Murdock's mom had passed

on when he was just a kid...

 

If Face had been asked to list all the girls, let alone what he did with

them, he wouldn't have stood a chance. Not even for money. It was normal,

though, wasn't it, to remember an unusual experience, a unique experience,

in detail. Even if some of the details blurred as time went on. Maybe, by

remembering it as near perfection, it made Face's acquiescence less...

 

Wrong.

 

He focused, tried to find the truth behind his memories.

 

He hadn't held Murdock's head fast by his hair, like he remembered

sometimes; he'd had such short hair, shorn almost bald. It had only grown

long... afterwards. Face's, too, had been clippered in tight against his

skull. Yes; Murdock had shorter hair, lower on his forehead, still as dark.

 

(like velvet when he ran his head along the inside of my thigh)

 

Afterwards, Murdock hadn't kissed him, hard and deep, like Face wanted to

remember. No. Face had been glad, at the beginning, he remembered that

clearly. They hadn't kissed.

 

(just a soft brushing of lips against my cheek before I fell asleep)

 

He hadn't stirred in the night to find his new lover by his side, hadn't

roused him to wakefulness.

 

(because he was already awake, looking at me, waiting for me, watching over

me. And that time, waking up with him, I knew I wanted him, for sure. I

didn't just lie there. I took him)

 

Face focused on the negatives. Waking up alone. Waking up with a sticky

wetness oozing out of him. The subsequent visit to the clap clinic, as it

was lovingly referred to. Just to check. An all clear, but he had to be

sure. Murdock had a reputation...

 

(unfounded. I saw his records just after he moved in to the VA. Ok, be

picky. *Acquired* his records. He couldn't have given me anything)

 

Logic said Murdock's breakdown couldn't be Face's fault. It was more complex

than that. It hadn't been Murdock's first time, he was too certain, too

experienced. It was just sex.

 

(to him)

 

No one had a breakdown over a quick fumble.

 

(I have to stop trying to think of it like that. It isn't true. I just wish

it was. No I don't. Yes I do)

 

He didn't mean anything to Murdock. Anyway, it was so long ago now, what did

it matter?

 

It was just the timing.

 

(I always said I could drive the ladies crazy. Just a chromosome out, heh?)

 

Logic said it was nothing to do with Face. Maybe it was catholic guilt

ingrained deep down in his soul. Maybe it was inflated self importance.

Maybe it was just the timing.

 

Maybe he should stop thinking about it, get out from under the bed, and get

shifting before the MPs, who imminent arrival the orderly had announced,

showed up.

 

As he opened the window, he noticed Murdock check something under the bed,

then relax a little.

 

He'd done the right thing.

 

###

 

Face took the long way home. A drive would clear his head.

 

After that night, it had been a long time before Face had dated again. Close

on two years.

 

It hadn't seemed as if HM was going to get any better. After a few months,

he'd started to recognise people. He knew who Face was, eventually, or at

least that he was a soldier of some kind. Face even kept the same shorn

haircut, until Murdock recognised said his name, unprompted, ten visits in a

row. Ten seemed a good number. Ten was usually how many Hail Mary's Face

had got for stealing apples.

 

Then he started to grow his hair out, making sure he visited every week, so

Murdock would see him changing, and keep on remembering him. It was damned

hard, getting in. Murdock wasn't allowed a telephone at that stage - Face

guessed in case he did something stupid with the cord. It was a pretty

sparse room, none of the luxuries Murdock was allowed now. No electrical

points, for one thing. Recessed lighting, so access to bulbs or anything he

could turn into a weapon, against himself or anyone else. Even the door

handle was only on the outside.

 

Scamming his way in to the VA now was a piece of cake compared to the

techniques he'd used a decade ago - catering suppliers, laundry.. He'd

almost talked Hannibal into making a tender for the clothing supply

contract, so they had a reason to be on the grounds every once in a while.

 

So, Murdock remembered who they all were. BA first - Face figured he was the

most distinctive, appearance wise anyway. Then Hannibal. Then, finally,

about four months after,

 

(seven months two weeks and four days after he was first admitted)

 

he remembered who Face was.

 

No. He remembered Face's name. Anything else... no sign.

 

Face had waited. No pressure. But no flicker, nothing. He waited. And he

waited. And he wondered how much longer he should put his life on hold; and

if that in itself was a pressure Murdock didn't need.

 

(because it didn't mean the same to him)

 

And so, guilt ridden, confused, he had accepted a dinner invitation.

 

That first time, he'd lasted as far as ordering, before he feigned sickness

and left.

 

The next time, he's eaten a little of his appetiser. Then the entree, and

the time after that, coffee.

 

Then coffee at his place.

 

Then, eventually, breakfast.

 

And, after a while,

 

(I remember when it was. It was the third of July, 1975. Because I realised,

the next day, when I was visiting)

 

he stopped thinking about Murdock, and started thinking about Face. Which

had to have been best for both of them.

 

Face checked his watch. Damn. He'd been driving for over two hours.

 

 

Part 5

 

Murdock waited until Face was well out of sight before ducking down to check

under the bed. Nothing. Definitely nothing. Just dust bunnies. Maybe he

should let the cleaner in more often...

 

No evidence, although he'd been sure.. he must have been mistaken. He was,

quite often. Still, that was something, then.

 

He didn't know why it bothered him, that Face shouldn't know he... he'd

started.. he'd..

 

Damn it, he was a grown man. If he wanted to take a woman to his bed, he

would. He'd every right to. He just didn't want a song and dance about it.

What, Face was going to get jealous? Face, who was the team Lethario,

Casanova, and lots of other foreign sounding words that basically all meant

he got plenty. Murdock didn't get many chances to meet girls. Not many girls

liked loons, and any time he went out, there were always bullets and near

death situations and stuff which seemed to somewhat spoil the romantic mood.

Murdock's ruin the moment masterclass.. first, find an ugly mudsucka with an

Uzi...

 

She'd been there for one shift, covering for Maria, whose youngest kid was

sick. An attractive blonde from the agency. Joy. He liked the name straight

away; liked her smile, too, and the twinkle in her eye, and the way her

dress barely covered the bits it was designed too.

 

Strange girl, though. Something peculiar in her manner. In the way she

looked at him.

 

It figured. Who'd want to get in the sack with a mental patient? Who normal,

anyways.

 

Gift horses and counting teeth and all, though. Murdock wasn't too sure what

had gotten into him, just agreeing like that. Not that he'd had a chance to

say 'yes'. Not that he'd had a chance to say anything, in fact, he was still

pretty startled by the whole thing. He felt.. 'pounced'.

 

It had been a long time, but he'd remembered what to do all right. He just

wasn't sure why he'd done it, he'd been fine without for so long, and in his

mind, there was dating, and romance, and a nice girl he had to court and

everything.

 

He'd done casual before now. He'd done a *lot* of casual, and he'd decided

he wasn't going to do any more of it. Must have been something they were

putting in the milk. Or, most likely, something they'd forgotten to put in

the milk. Still, it had been the longest time... it was nice to know he was

still capable.

 

His stash had been out of date, but, as if by magic, Joy had arrived

prepared. They'd fooled around some, on the night shift. Fooled around a

lot. A hell of a lot.

 

She *wanted* to. It had been her idea. She was one of those modern,

liberated women he kept reading about. He hadn't been taking advantage; if

anything, it was the other way round. Actually he wasn't too sure how sane

*she* was, never mind him... but *she* made the moves, *she* locked the

door... and it had felt good, so damned good, just to be wanted again, to be

moving, talking, acting, thinking like a *man* again.

 

So why did he feel so damned guilty?

 

He remembered more than Face thought he did. He remembered how Face had

looked at him, sometimes, when they had both been younger. Before they knew

each other. Before his.. before he moved in here. When he'd had thick, short

hair, and a leaner, firmer body, and the irresistible arrogance of youth.

When he'd made everyone think he didn't give a damn by the simple act of

believing it himself. When he'd flown by instinct alone, not like he did

now, silently, motionlessly making the dozens of checks every second,

babbling all the time as he did, so no one would notice how nervous he was.

 

He remembered a night with Face begging him, Face needing him, Face wanting

him. And sometimes, he willed Face to remember it too, but he didn't. It was

a special memory to Murdock, but maybe to Face it was just one more in a

long string of nights. Face had seemed so relaxed, letting Murdock

experiment on him. He must have realised it was Murdock's first time, but he

didn't say anything, just went with it. He must have seen clean through

Murdock's act. 'Tell me to stop,' he'd said. A line from a film. But Face

hadn't laughed; he'd laid back and welcomed it.

 

Maybe Murdock remembered too much. Remembered things that hadn't even

happened. Damned Joy, stirring up all those things he'd managed not to think

about. Damn crazy nurse.

 

He had to be a little insane, to appear a little insane, just to fly, he had

to fly. He didn't *really* want to be mad. What was she doing, messing with

his mind?

 

If Murdock couldn't fly, what was he? What would he do? Who would want him?

He needed to pull the bravado out of his bag of tricks, bravado and

insanity.

 

He wasn't crazy. He could turn it on and off like a tap. Back to how he used

to be, when silence, and rolling eyes, and a whisky bottle half full of cold

tea built his reputation and made him popular. Crazy on top, sane

underneath. Just the last couple of years it had started coming together

again. Hannibal saw it best. Hannibal smiled at him and indulged him when he

knew he was faking it.

 

But... if what they were looking for, if what the doctors was looking for,

was *ordinary*... if he was like *regular people*...

 

He checked his watch. Maria would be on duty soon. He'd have to remember and

ask how her son was, see if his croup was any better. She was a good mom, a

proud mom, always talking about the family, the kids, the grandchildren. Her

oldest was twenty-two, with three sons; her youngest, the one who wasn't

doing so well, ten months. Seemed like she was always pregnant, Maria.

Holidays he was quite jealous of her, all those young 'uns running around,

noise and laughter. He'd always missed feeling part of a family, even in the

heart of his own.

 

She was his favourite nurse; big, mock-stern, but full of hugs. Kinda mumsy

towards all the patients, although she must have been ages with Murdock, or

thereabouts. If she'd been baking at the weekend, which she usually had,

she'd bring in cakes or cookies, and every year, without fail, even if she

was on maternity leave, she'd ice a cake for Murdock's birthday.

 

Come to think of it, she might be the only person who'd been here longer

than Murdock. Except she got paid to be in here.

 

 

TBC

 


Descent by Face's New Flame

 

 


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