Rating: R (deals with sexual abuse and violence)
Summary: Sequel to "You Lift Me Up". Spiraling into the depths of madness and then soaring to the heights of passion, two people find that they are flying with one wing.
Pairing: Murdock and Pepper
Disclaimer: I do not own the A-Team, but oh what fun if I did! Pepper, however and the other original characters belong to me which you may use if you ask permission :)
Feedback: Please, please, please!
She had been happy. Happier than any other time in her life. Murdock was wonderful, loving and caring. But, then the nightmares started. It always seemed to happen when Murdock wasn't in the room; making Pepper wonder if they even happened at all. It got to the point that she was afraid to answer the phone.
"Hello, Peaches. How's daddy's little girl?" The first time it happened, he had taken her off-guard. She hadn't heard from Fred Wallis since the confrontation with Murdock after they were 'married'. That had been weeks ago.
"What do you want, Fred?" She wasn't ready for what he had to say.
"Do you remember. . .when you were fourteen - when I took you for the first time?" She stiffened when she heard these words.
"You were so young and beautiful then. You wanted me, too. Do you remember?" Pepper shook with fear. She wanted to hang up, but she couldn't get her hands to move.
"So very soft and beautiful. You used to come into my room when your mother was away. You used to touch me. Do you remember?" This time she threw the phone down as if it were diseased.
"I can't tell Murdock. . ."
"Pepp. you remember you gotta go see the Doc today." She had to have a routine check-up so that she could renew her inhaler.
"I remember." She didn't look forward to it. She also dreaded her sessions with Dr. Richter. She was afraid that someone would discover her secret.
Before she went out the door, Murdock kissed her on the cheek. She pulled away from him; something she had been doing a lot of lately.
"I'll be back in a little bit."
Murdock noticed. He also remembered the nightmares she had the last few nights. He had done his best to try to make her feel safe by holding her. She pulled away from him. He didn't understand it. Maybe she didn't want to be with him any longer.
"You really should do something with your hair. Are they washing it? You used to be so beautiful. Do you remember, Peaches? You were a beautiful little girl and so soft. You liked to look at me naked. Do you remember?"
She woke up screaming, again. Pepper jumped out of bed and backed away.
"No, no stay away." Murdock didn't know what to do. He tried to calm her.
"Pepper, honey, it's me. Please come back to bed, sweetheart." Murdock didn't realize it, but all of his terms of endearment made things worse.
"No, don't call me that. You stop that!" She had hands over her ears and cowered in the corner. Murdock couldn't handle it.
The next day, Murdock got in touch with Hannibal. Hannibal, Face and B.A. came right out.
"Something's wrong Hannibal. She's having horrible nightmares. I don't know what to do." They could see that their friend was hurting.
Hannibal had been thinking about Pepper and Fred Wallis.
"We're going to have to put that scumbag away once and for all. Face I want you to dig deep, deeper than last time. We need to get something on this guy. Something more than a traffic ticket. You understand?" Face knew what was at stake. He knew that his friend was in love. They had talked about it many times before. Face had seen a side of Murdock that he didn't know existed.
"But Hannibal, what do I do while I wait?" Hannibal could tell that Murdock was desperate.
"Jus love her Murdock. Just love her."
During waking hours, Pepper became more difficult to handle. Murdock thought that she was actually going crazy.
"Hello, Peaches. Do you remember the first hospital we sent you to? Do you remember your friend Dr. Westin? Well, he sure remembers you. He sends his love." Then Fred gave a maniacal laugh that sent chills through Pepper. She threw the phone down and screamed.
Murdock, who had been out talking to Hannibal and the others, came running when Pepper screamed. He tried to wrap his arms around her, but she was out of control. She was screaming hysterically now. He had to keep her quiet so that the orderlies didn't hear her.
Please Peppy. You gotta talk to me. Remember when you tried to get me to talk to you?" Murdock held up his sock puppet.
"Ralph wants to talk to Ruthie. Is she there?" Pepper wanted to trust him, but she didn't know who to trust. Everyone she had ever trusted had betrayed her.
"Murdock. . .?" It was more a question than an acknowledgement of who he was. then in the next moment, she wasn't exactly sure who he was.
"I'm here honey. I'm here. Nobody's going to hurt you."
He approached slowly, carefully. He didn't want to scare her. He slowly put his arms around her. It was the first time that she had let him hold her in weeks.
He sat with her on the floor holding her for what seemed to be several hours.
Face returned to the latest scammed apartment to report what he had learned.
"Fred Wallis was under investigation by the FBI before Pepper's mom was killed." Face waited to let this piece of information sink in. Hannibal was shocked about the latest development, but not surprised.
"What was the scum being investigated for?" Hannibal agreed with B.A.'s earlier sentiment. He couldn't wait to get his hands on this guy.
"He was suspected of selling arms to certain militant groups. Also, the FBI doesn't believe that Pepper killed her mom. They want to talk to her, but 'ol Fred doesn't want that to happen. The FBI doesn't know where she is. Actually, it worked to his advantage that Pepper -uh- married Murdock. They're not looking for Patricia Murdock and since there's no marriage license..." Both Face and B.A. could tell that the wheels were turning in Hannibal's
"We're going to attack on two fronts. If we can't get him for the arms mess, we're gonna get him for the little pervert he is."
Pepper had pretty much lapsed into a catatonic state. This made it easy for Face to get them out claiming to take Pepper to a facility better suited to care for her.
Murdock lovingly packed a small bag for her including the newly gained inhaler.
They brought her into the gleaming white room. She remembered how bright it was. She had to squint to see. The only items of furniture in the room were a bed and a chair.
The two large men carried her over to the bed and tied her down. She fought the whole time, but the only response she received was a hard punch in the face.
The he came in - Dr. Westin. She could tell that he was a doctor because of the white coat. Her spirits brightened because she thought that this man would help her. She wanted to shout. She wanted to say something to let him know how desperately she wanted to get away. Her voice would not come out.
"Your stepfather tells me that you're a very bad girl. That you need discipline."
Dr. Westin began undressing her. His movements were slow and agonizing. She tried to fight, but the restraints were too tight.
When Pepper was completely naked, Dr. Westin undid his pants. Pepper's eyes went wide with fear. The horror of what he was about to do was all over her face. She turned her head so that she couldn't see him, but then she saw her stepfather looking at her through the observation window. He had a sick grin on his face.
Pepper now found her voice and the scream was ripped from her throat. Reality came whooshing back. She could feel the night air on her face and the twinkling lights of the city below her. She was dizzy from the height. She wanted to be grounded; to feel the earth under her feet.
Murdock heard the scream. They all did. They came running out to find Pepper on the balcony of the apartment.
"Oh my God!" Murdock was frozen. He didn't know what to do. He was glad to know that the guys were there.
Pepper started to climb up onto the railing.
"Uh, Pepper, hon, you need to come back inside." She heard Face's voice, the voice was familiar, but she couldn't place the owner.
"Pepper you gotta come back inside. It's Murdock. Murdock's hurt. He needs you." Murdock looked puzzled. Face signaled him to wait and be quiet.
"Murdock. . .?" Pepper asked, but she didn't move. It was as if her knowledge of Murdock was floating down to her from the sky. When it finally reached her, she understood what Face was saying to her.
"Murdock . . .?" She asked again, but this time she turned and moved slowly back into the apartment. As soon as she was inside, Murdock took her into his arms and held her. Pepper had again returned to her catatonic state.
Murdock took her in and put her back to bed. When he returned, he went straight to Hannibal.
"Hannibal, I can't take it. She's falling apart and there's nothing I can do." Murdock let his face fall into his hands.
"What do you mean she's missing? Where did she go? You were supposed to be keeping an eye on her."
The other man tried to offer an explanation.
"Well, I did notice that her husband, Mr. Murdock had some friends of his break him out every now and then. Before he got married, we thought that it was kinda funny and just turned our backs to it. He always came back. After he got married, they kept doing the same thing." Fred Wallis fell into a rage and slapped the man.
"Why didn't you tell me this before?" Wallis motioned to some other men in the room. "Get rid of him."
"Hannibal, something's wrong. She not actin' like she used to. Somethin's making her act crazy" B.A. had hardly spoken during the whole ordeal. He and Pepper had developed a sort of big brother/little sister relationship over the last few weeks.
Hannibal looked as if he were thinking about something he had never thought about before.
"What if she were being drugged?" Murdock, who had zoned out into his own private world, suddenly came back.
"Nope. I was careful not to let her take anything. I was careful. . . "
"Well, at least she's safe now. She's no longer in the hospital." Hannibal said.
I was back in the jungles of 'Nam. We were waiting to pick up Bravo Company from a routine mine sweep.
Charlie had been playing hide-and-seek lately; setting mines during the night and blowing up G.I.'s during the day. Made for a full schedule.
My L.T. was a hot shot we called Bushwacker - for obvious reason.
"H.M. what you look so serious for. This is routine. Lighten up, buddy." L.T. was always worried about me; he knew I was going crazy even then.
Then it happened. Charlie began to lay down fire which was unusual to their pattern over the last few days. We expected Bravo Company would be wanting a dustoff any minute now, so we made ready.
They came scurrying out of the bush like rats. Charlie had set a trap and he was springing it.
I saw my friend Short Timer, who was supposed to go home in three days, running for the chopper. I was glad to see that he'd made it. Then all Hell broke loose. Short Timer had stepped on a mine.
"Oh God, Oh God!" I heard myself say. I was outta the chopper in a flash. I barely heard L.T. screaming for me to come back. I had to see what I could do to help. I ran over to 'Timer. When the smoke cleared, I got a better look at him. The mine had ripped him in half. It reminded me of that scene in the Wizard of Oz where the Monkies had ripped the Scarecrow in half. His legs were over there and his body was over there.
He was still alive and flipping like a fish on land. He was looking up at me with terror-filled eyes.
"Kill me, H.M. Kill me. Come on man. I'm in pain, kill me." I wanted to help him. He was my friend. I raised the gun and shot him.
L.T. and the other guys covered my butt, but they stayed away from me after that.
I stayed away from the other inmates. They were all curious as to who I was, but I wouldn't let anyone get close. After what Dr. Westin did to me, I don't trust anyone now.
Further evidence that I'm going crazy, I keep hearing my father talking to me. Not Fred Wallis, but my real father. He's been dead for twenty-five years. I didn't want to listen to him at first, but then his voice became soothing. It counteracted the harsh, terrifying voice of Fred Wallis.
Little Voice Inside*
Father do you hear me
'Cause I know I hear you
I waited for the answers
While sitting here in my room
I danced to the rhythm
And moved by myself
No one could see through me
Or hear the words I felt
Little voice inside keeps calling
Little voice inside it cries
Little voice inside keeps calling
Little voice - oh won't you be my guide
I sometimes hear the echo
The pattern of my cry
I sometimes feel the pulling
From a sound that's deep inside
Quiet are the whispers
and silent are my eyes
No one hears but me
That little voice inside, you see
"I also found this newspaper clipping about Mrs. Wallis' death. The murder took place in March. That's three months before she showed up at the V.A." Hannibal looked interested in this last bit of information.
"So, where was she in those three months?" No one had a clue.
"It says that Pepper was at the scene. She was disoriented and incoherent when the cops questioned her."
This didn't look good. They all knew that Pepper had always said that she wasn't there.
They left for Virginia immediately. Face called in some connections and got another house.
"Face, I think you need to have a little talk with Wallis' maid. Charm her a little. Got it?" Face smiled back. He knew the drill.
Face scoped out the place first. Now that Wallis was the only one living in the house, there wasn't much activity. He watched the maid through the window. She was singing as she worked. This was going to be hard. She wasn't exactly Face's type. He rang the bell.
"Who are you and what do you want?" She reminded him of somebody.
"Uh - hello ma'am. My name is Winston Scott. I am a reporter. I'd like to talk to you about Mrs. Wallis' death." He looked nice and had a nice smile, she thought. Mr. Wallis had told her not to talk to any reporters, but nobody told Bertha Mae Washington what to do when she had a mind to do something else.
"Come on in. You want a glass of lemonade?" great she was going to talk, thought Face.
"Ol' Bertha Mae really came through. She doesn't like Wallis either. She knows about the things that went on in that house. She said that Wallis had Pepper put in Dr. Westin's Sanitarium."
Face found phony badges for himself and Hannibal. Murdock stayed with B.A. Murdock was becoming more and more withdrawn. Not as bad as Pepper, but certainly not what was considered 'normal' for him.
"Keep an eye on him, B.A.," were Hannibal's standing orders.
They were posing as FBI agents.
"We need to talk to Dr. Westin." The admitting nurse led them to Dr. Westin's office.
"Gentlemen, have a seat." He had been told that FBI agents might, eventually, come to see him. They had tried to hide her, but knew that the authorities would come eventually.
"We want to talk to you about Patricia Treemont." They didn't get a reaction from him. He had been expecting them to come.
"Yes, I am familiar with her case. She is a sick young woman." Hannibal and Face had been dreading what the good doctor had to say.
"Her parents first brought her here for treatment when she was fourteen. She was belligerent, getting into trouble at school. We think that she was distraught over her biological father's death and her mother's subsequent remarriage. She took it out on her stepfather. She accused him of molesting her. No one believed it - not even her own mother. Of course I cannot reveal any conversations that I had with the young woman. Patient/doctor privilege. All I can say is that she is very sick."
The guy did sound convincing, but that could just mean that he's good at lying. Face and Hannibal exchanged glances.
"So, what was her treatment?" Now Dr. Westin looked a little fidgity.
"She was given Haldon, an antipsychotic drug. It is a standard treatment that we use here to control psychotic behavior."
Hannibal and Face again looked at one another.
"I did some research on that Haldon stuff. It can cause death. And, even though it's considered a antipsychotic, it can cause psychotic symptoms." Face was worked up. He couldn't stand the thought that someone had deliberately doped up Pepper to make her look crazy. It was actually B.A. that tried to calm down Face.
"Calm down, Faceman. At least she outta that place." B.A. had cut right to the chase.
"Then why is she still acting so crazy?" This came from Murdock who everyone had forgotten was there. They looked at him now and were hit with this realization.
"He's right. Murdock, did Pepper bring anything with her from the V.A. besides clothes?" Murdock was still out of it.
"Come on, Murdock!" Murdock seemed to 'come back' when Hannibal yelled at him. Hannibal yelling at Murdock was a very rare thing. They all knew this.
"She's got her inhaler that she had filled right before we left. She takes it three times a day." Murdock was just rattling off information now.
"Did she have the original prescription filled there?" Murdock nodded.
"We've got to get rid of that inhaler"
At that moment, Pepper was screaming again. Murdock immediately put his hands over his ears.
"Hannibal, I can't take it anymore." Murdock was zoning out again. His face was in his hands and he was rocking back and forth.
"Oh Lord, now we have two of 'em." Face didn't mean to be unkind, but everyone was aware of the situation they had. Face knelt down to deal with Murdock while B.A. and Hannibal went in to see to Pepper. B.A. really didn't want to go in. He hated being around crazy people, but he cared for Pepper. He fought to keep the tears back. He thought of the fact that Murdock had finally found someone who would tolerate him - hell, she loved him. Who would have ever thought that it was possible. Murdock had even seemed to be getting better, and then this happens.
"Stay away, stay away." She was crying now. She didn't know who they were.
"Pepper, it's Hannibal. It's going to be all right. We found out what's making you sick." Even though Hannibal knew that she didn't understand what he was saying, he felt that he needed to say it. To offer hope.
"B.A., get the inhaler." B.A. found the pouch that Pepper kept the inhaler in.
Hannibal was holding her now. It was interesting, Hannibal thought, that she would let him hold her. But then he realized that she was confusing him with her real father.
"Oh, Daddy, you came back. You came back for me. why did you leave me, Daddy?" Hannibal just let her think that he was her dad.
"It's all right, honey. I'm not leaving."
They let Pepper sleep for a while hoping that the drug would quickly leave her system.
"So, the question of the day is, do we let Pepper talk to the FBI or not?" Hannibal thought out loud as he lit another cigar.
"Well, that's kind of premature, don't you think? We have to wait until she's not under the influence of that drug." They all agreed on this.
"We have to be careful. What if they still think she done it?" B.A. was being protective again. Hannibal and Face looked at each other again. They had both talked about the possibility that, for whatever reason, Pepper was not telling the truth.
"B.A. there's a chance that Pepper lied to us about being there that night." They were lucky that Murdock was in with Pepper. But, they were still kind of afraid of what reaction B.A. would have. They hadn't wanted to think about it. Maybe she killed he mom while being on that drug. There's no telling how many times she had been given it.
"That girl didn't kill her momma. I know that. Y'all know that, too. Her crooked stepdaddy did it."
"Mr. Wallis, we need to ask you some questions about your stepdaughter."
Wallis knew that the FBI would be paying him a visit. He had told the story so many times, he was starting to believe it himself.
"Yes. What do you want to know?" They noted that he didn't seem nervous.
"Patricia had come home to visit. Her visits always agitated her mother. She was always bullying her mother - trying to get her to do things she didn't want to do. For example, her latest thing was trying to get her mother to leave me. Patricia never has liked me. She felt that I was an intrusion between her and her mother. So, again she tried to get Catherine to leave with her. Catherine refused. Patricia fell into a rage. I could hear them arguing all the way upstairs. Patricia took the gun from the desk drawer and shot her mother. I came downstairs and found Patricia standing over Catherine's body. I immediately called the police. When they arrived, she was still standing there with the gun in her hand. It's all in the police report." The two agents were making notes of what he said. They had already read the police report, so they knew that his story coincided with that of the report.
"The police also said that you wouldn't let them question her that evening." Wallis nodded.
"I doubt if she could have told them anything worth hearing. She was babbling when they came in. She was incoherent." The agents made notes.
"It also says that when the police returned the next day to question her, you had whisked her away to an undisclosed location." Wallis had waited for them to get to this. It did look incriminating.
"I was trying to avoid scandal. It was apparent that she was crazy. I had her sent to Dr. Westin's Sanitarium to rest and get treatment."
The agents wrote down the name of the Sanitarium.
"So, it didn't occur to you that this was a principle witness in a murder investigation?" Wallis started to get angry now.
"What do you mean witness? Hell, she did it. I'm the witness. If the situation were reversed you'd have no problem with this." Oh no! He had said too much. He realized now that the agents were only baiting him; trying to get him to slip up. Well, he was through playing their little game.
"Where is she now, Mr. Wallis?" Ah, actually it was good that she had disappeared.
"I have no idea. She disappeared a couple of weeks ago."
"Here's the plan: Face, you're going to pose as an arms buyer so that we can flush out Wallis. We'll contact him and get it set up." Face nodded.
"We know that the FBI are investigating, maybe we can use that to our advantage. How're you doing, Pepper?" Pepper had made a full recovery from the medication. She was sitting very close to Murdock now. She was a little embarrassed by her behavior the last few weeks, but the team did their best to reassure her.
"I'm doing okay. My memory is still sort of cloudy. I'll remember something, but can't remember if it really happened or was part of the delusion." Murdock gave her shoulder a squeeze. "Hey, that sounds like my everyday life."
"Dr. Westin, we're from the FBI. We'd like to ask you some questions." Westin looked puzzled.
"Wait a minute, the FBI was already here." The two agents looked at each other. They knew that there weren't any other agents assigned to this case.
"Can you describe them to us?"
After getting a description of the two phony agents and verifying through the use of mug shots, the two agents got the names of Templeton Peck and John 'Hannibal' Smith - two wanted felons. They put in a call to the military police.
Face and the others had gone to set up Wallis with Murdock and Pepper scheduled to join them later. Murdock and Pepper were now alone for the first time since Pepper had returned to herself.
She wanted to talk to Murdock - to make sure that he didn't think any less of her. Murdock, sensing her uneasiness, decided to broach the subject.
"You know, I was really worried about you. I thought that I had lost you for good. I now know what you must feel like being with me."
She flew to him wanting to reassure him that she chose to be with him.
"Murdock, I love you. Crazy or not." They both smiled. He took her face in his hands and kissed her deeply.
He lifted her nightgown over her head and gazed at her beauty. He waited, not wanting to scare her. They had not been together, intimately, for several weeks - since this whole nightmare began. He now realized how badly he wanted her.
They had both been through a lot in their lives. No one would blame either one if they were crazy. But, they had found each other. Maybe now, the healing could start.
You have one wing
I have another
Seeking shelter like sister and brother
through the winter
through the summer
Like one angel we'll
Fly far away
Hold my hand and we'll make it all right
From this hell that we live in
Cross the road until the light
Comes inside and lives within
It's a long and lonesome ride
When your friends have all gone home
But the roses in your eyes
They pull me in so I don't fell alone
Sometimes I just can't help but cry
When I think of what we've become
Like a soldier lost in the night
Forgetting all where he has come from
But the mud will soon become dry
And the sun will rise again
And the shadows in our eyes
Will fade away down to lower plains
You have one wing
I have another
Seeking shelter like sister and brother
through the winter and
through the summer
Like one angel we'll fly far away
So my friends now this I say
I won't leave you hangin' on
Hold on tight and don't fly away
'Till one angel we have become
B.A. And Face waited for Wallis as a prearranged location. Wallis had fallen for the phony gun buy scam.
Hannibal had contacted the FBI anonymously and given them the tip.
Wallis approached with two of his cronies riding shotgun, literally. Face got out of the car and approached.
"You got the money?" Wallis asked. Face showed him a briefcase and gave him a bundle to show that it was real.
"What about the weapons?" Wallis went to the car and pushed the button to open the trunk. Face motioned for B.A. to go over and inspect the weapons.
"Hey, this fool is trying to rip us off. These guns are missing the firing pins."
B.A. and Face drew their weapons and started shooting. They disabled the two men with Wallis.
"Hey, wait a minute. There must be some mistake." As Wallis said this, he started backing away and eventually started running.
B.A. and Face gave a half-hearted chase. They wanted him to think he was being chased, but they didn't want to catch him.
When Wallis had gone a little ways, he ran into Hannibal.
"Hi there, I see you're having a little problem." Hannibal was cool and calm.
"Those guys are trying to kill me. You gotta help me. I'll do anything." Hannibal smiled broadly.
"You'll do anything, huh? Well, let's have a little chat about your stepdaughter, Patricia."
Hannibal took Wallis into an abandoned warehouse where Murdock and Pepper were waiting.
"You little slut. What are doing here?"
Murdock lunged for him. "I'd hold my tongue if I were you. I just wanted to kill you and get it over with. I was out voted." Wallis swallowed hard with fear.
"We have a little proposition for you. A choice, if you will. We make a little tape with you confessing to killing Pepper's mom or we turn you over to those goons and Murdock, here. think about it. You have thirty seconds."
Wallis used his thirty seconds to grovel.
"All right, all right." Hannibal turned on the tape player.
"I had Patricia kidnapped from her apartment and brought to the house. We drugged her. I shot Catherine and put the gun in Patricia's hands and waited for the police."
"What about the sexual abuse?" Hannibal asked.
"She was telling the truth. I abused her when she was fourteen. Then Dr. Westin abused her while she was in his hospital."
Hannibal smiled. "Thank you very much. Oh, by the way, here come the rest of our team." Face and B.A. walked in.
"We brought the car with the weapons in it. Here." Face tossed Hannibal a pair of handcuffs.
"I'm not even going to ask." Hannibal handcuffed Wallis to a support beam and taped the cassette player above his head on the pole.
"We'd better get outta here. the FBI and Decker could be here any minute."
They all went out to get in the van. Pepper held back.
"What's the matter?" Murdock asked.
"I'm going to stay and talk to the FBI. I don't think that tape is going to be enough."
Murdock looked as if he'd been hit in the stomach. "Where does that leave us?" He asked sadly.
"Do you think that after everything we've been through that I could ever leave you?" She reached up and stroked his face.
"I need to get this done and put it behind me. Do you understand?" He nodded.
Pepper kissed him sweetly.
"I'll be back as soon as I can, okay?" Just then, they heard sirens. B.A. pulled the van up. With one last look, Murdock jumped in the van.
For the first time in her life, Pepper was going to have to fly solo. She smiled as she thought of everything she had learned from Murdock.
"I hope this thing ends quickly. I want to get back home to my husband."
After the agents pulled up, they came over to Pepper.
"Are you Patricia Tremmont?" Pepper nodded.
"I'm agent Fox Mulder and this is my partner agent Dana Scully."
*Written by Chris Harris, Joey Elwood & Toby McKeehan
Sung by Jaci Velasquez
**Written by Steven Delopoulos and sung by Burlap to Cashmere