Summary: This is a response to a prompt, so here's the prompt:
I want something to happen to Murdock, Non-con, can be written out or not, on a mission or at the hospital. Except he was on so many drugs at the moment he's pretty sure it was just another hallucination.
Face has to figure out other wise, past the babble detox, Faces reaction how he reacts and how he gets Murdock to realize HE's not a hallucination either, please.
Warnings: violence, sexual situation, language, forced drug use.
Character/Pairing: Face/Murdock (Murdock/OMC in first section)
Disclaimer: Don't own, nope, don't own any of this. All the characters belong to their respective owners and I'm just taking them out for a spin. I didn't make any profit off this fanfic.
Face sits in the dark that night. The house he scammed them is nice. Real luxurious. Exactly the kind of place he would love to be in. He doesn't enjoy himself. It's quiet in the house but he can see light come from under the bedroom door and every once in a while he hears Hannibal walk around. BA is still in the garage connected to the house.
Face just sits in the dark, at the edge of the bed and watches. He can't not watch. The unreasonable part that he tries not to listen to keeps whispering that all he has to do is look away and maybe Murdock will stop breathing or whatever he was injected with over the course of the days he'd been held captive would stop his heart or... So many ors and buts that he begins to hate whoever invented those two little words.
Murdock breathes and his heart beats. Maybe he'll wake up tomorrow and be okay. Maybe his brain won't be fried. Face is beginning to hate the word maybe too.
It's a waiting game. He'll win this one. Face looks over Murdock, starting at the black eye, down to the split lip, the bruises on his torso and the angry red, scraped raw wrists. He's tried to count the injection marks in Murdock's arms but he's lost count so many times that he's given up. He can explain all those injuries. He can identify where they came from and how they were inflicted. He doesn't understand the bruises on Murdock's hips. Every time he gets there in his mental inventory his mind decides that enough is enough.
He reaches out. Just for a touch. Just, he tells himself, to make sure that Murdock is really there. His fingertips brush over Murdock's forehead, hot and clammy to the touch but hot is better than cold. He brushes a strand of hair out of the pilot's face and almost misses it. He flinched. Murdock flinched.
Face jerks his hand back. "Hey," he starts softly.
"Too many heads," Murdock says. "Keep the clowns away."
"There are no-"
Murdock flails; one arm almost catches Face in the head. Murdock scrambles out of the bed. The sheets tangle around his legs and he falls, landing with a thud on the ground. He should be screaming but instead there is a retching sound.
Behind them, the door opens and light come pouring in. It catches Murdock's back on the other side of the bed. Face is already by Murdock's side when Hannibal sets a first foot into the room. Face reaches out to touch Murdock again, rub his back or anything, for that matter, that might help make him feel better.
Murdock smacks the hand away before it even touches skin. "No more millipedes."
Behind them, Hannibal walks into the room. He doesn't switch on the light and Face is thankful for that.
"Withdrawal," Hannibal says. Face can do little more than nod.
Yes, he sees that, Face wants to say. Thank you for stating the obvious. How the hell do we help him?
There isn't much for Murdock to throw up anyway and soon all he does is dry heaving.
"Take him to the bathroom, help him clean up. I'll take care of this."
That gets Face moving. He can do something with orders. They don't require him to think. Every time he starts thinking he ends up at the bruises on Murdock's hips but can't get through that images so it just starts the loop all over again.
Getting Murdock to the bathroom isn't easy. Any attempts to guide him are met with flailing hands and his muttering about millipedes. The tightness in his chest is back full force again and Face can't help but wonder if this is Murdock from now on. It makes him want to break something, tear the entire house up. Ruin every little luxury that would have delighted him in any other situation. It doesn't mean anything.
He has to get into the shower with Murdock. The pilot keeps complaining about tiny alligators coming out of the showerhead. At first, Face takes it as a clue that maybe a bath would be better.
It's not. The moment. Face turns the water on in the bath and the moment Murdock hears it, he backs up so quickly that he hits the tiled wall with his head.
So he ends up in the shower with Murdock and tries to help him clean up despite Murdock pushing him away and muttering to the hallucinations that found a playground in his drugged head.
"Murdock, stand still," Face says.
"Can't. The clowns are coming! My ass hurts enough already." Murdock giggles. It's a high-strung and nervous sound and Face can't come up with anything that has hurt him worse in his life.
"What's he doing?" BA asks the following morning. Face hasn't been able to get Murdock back to bed. He could have, but that would have entailed carrying and duct tape. He doesn't think that that would have gone over to well. On their next mission, he'll use the tape to make sure that Murdock won't leave his seat.
Murdock sits in a corner. He has a notepad and a pencil and is scribbling away furiously. He frowns and his mouth is set in a grimace and Face is just too tired right now to go over and figure it out.
Withdrawal can take days, Hannibal said earlier that morning before heading out. Face can use a fast forward button around now.
"Writing," Face answers instead. What else is he supposed to say?
"Murdock!" Face is instantly sorry at the way the pilot flinches, but what is he supposed to do? The notepad lies discarded on the floor and Murdock sits in a corner. There's blood on Murdock's arms and legs.
Murdock looks at him and, for the first time since that one short moment when they got the pilot out, Face is certain that Murdock actually sees him. Murdock shakes his head and goes back to scratching. Murdock's nails dig into already abused skin and scrape and doesn't stop.
Face is over by his side in three steps and catches his wrists, pulls them away even though Murdock struggles and kicks and whines.
"Itches!" Murdock complains and still tries to pull his wrists free.
"Murdock, look at me. Look at me! You're hurting yourself like this."
Murdock looks at him and shakes his head. "Not real. You and the labradoodle over there. We can sell him to a freak show. What kind of dog has three heads?"
BA ends up taping socks over Murdock's hands. Every time Face lets go he starts scratching again. Hannibal is back by then. He brought food and information about the drug lord. The man, though Face has trouble calling him that, has fled with most of his resources destroyed and without his money he has no protection.
It doesn't matter. They'll find him eventually. They're already planning for it.
Hannibal insists that they wait, though, until Murdock is at least sane enough. The kind of sane that comes with Billy and sock puppets and annoying BA. Says that Murdock should have a part in it and Face is more than inclined to agree.
That night starts the roughly same way as the previous one. Face sits in the dark, at the edge of the bed and looks at Murdock. Only a small amount of light filters in under the door. He can hear BA and Hannibal talking in the background.
Roughly, not identical. BA says that he's as far with the van as he can get at the moment and Face knows a lot more now than he did last night. He was never one to agree with platitudes like ignorance is bliss. There is a crumpled piece of paper at his feet. Thick, unsteady letters crinkle around on them like pinned caterpillars. It's barely legible. Every time Face tries to read it he can't breathe.
Facey. That's the only word of it that he wants to remember. A letter he can't read because Murdock's handwriting isn't the most legible at the best of circumstances and it sure as hell hasn't become any better now.
Murdock still thinks everything is a hallucination. Between all the crap the cold turkey withdrawal is doing to him, he's stuck in the hallucinations. He still has the socks over his hands. At the moment they don't have a better option to keep him from scratching himself bloody. The can tie him down, sure, but Face will be damned if they do that. Murdock hates that. He couldn't protect Murdock then but he can do his best now.
"Not telling. Nuh-uh. Back back!" Murdock snatches at the air in front of him.
Face tried to pretend he's just doing another sock puppet thing. It doesn't work.
"Murdock," he says. "H.M-"
Murdock kicks at him. "Go away!" the pilot snarls, suddenly angry. "Don't want you!"
Face's breath catches in his throat. If Murdock doesn't want him, he should leave. Hannibal will watch him. Hell, BA will. They can do it without upsetting Murdock.
"Want Facey. The real Face. Fakes need not apply."
Face freezes, halfway up from the bed already and he looks at Murdock. Murdock looks back and even in the small amount of light, Face can see a frustrated, confused look, but focused.
He doesn't have a plan this time around. He has no idea what he's doing when he settles down on the bed again. He shifts until he lies behind Murdock, who by now has launched into yet another complaint about how itchy he is. Face doesn't pay attention to it and instead pulls Murdock close until the pilot's back is against his chest.
Face's fingers trace over Murdock's arm. "I'm real. You're real. You're safe now. You're going to be okay," he whispers. He keeps up the touches and the whispers.
Murdock stiffens at first. "Noooo," he groans, but even that sounds uncertain and Face doesn't give up.
The light coming in under the door has long been switched off when Murdock finally speaks up again. "Face? The real Face?"
For the first time in a week, Face smiles. It doesn't matter that he's fully clothed, socks and all, in bed. "Yes, the real Face. "
It happens again the next night and the next and two weeks have gone by before Face realizes that these are apparently the new sleeping arrangements. Even when they leave the house and move on. Murdock has stopped shaking and itching and he's sleeping easier. If you can call nightmares that happen every night easier. It's not that he screams. Face wouldn't be so disturbed if it was screaming. Instead, when Murdock has the nightmares, new ones Face guesses, he's quiet and tense and only the occasional half swallowed whimper escapes.
When Face wakes him up - the nightmares keep going unless Murdock wakes up - Murdock is always disoriented, babbling about millipedes and Face has no idea where that obsession comes from and, really, doesn't think he wants to know.
It's one of these nights, three days after Face realized that these are the sleeping arrangements and two days, twenty-three hours and fifty-eight minutes since he decided that he wouldn't have it any other way (but hey, who's counting?), that Murdock asks him a simple question that leaves him groping for an answer in the depths of his mind.
"Why don't you kick me out?" Murdock asks that night.
"Eh..." Work, brain, work. No, not you, lizard brain. We're not listening to you, thank you very much.
"I mean, I wake you up every night and there's a job tomorrow and I swear the labradoodle is gone and B-" Murdock's pitch went up, his speed increased and there isn't much time, Face knows from experience, before there is a full blown panic attack. These nightmares always leave him a bit more fragile the first two hours or so.
Face still hasn't talked to Murdock about it.
It's horribly cliché and he can't believe that he's doing it, but apparently the lizard brain has had more than enough of being shut up and, really, doesn't he want to do this with the rest of his brain too?
He kisses Murdock and Murdock babbles for two more seconds before he realizes that there is a second tongue in his mouth and it's not his unless he has some snake DNA or something that suddenly decided to activate. It's infinitely more likely that the new tongue belongs to Face, seeing as how their faces are sort of smushed together and Face is almost completely on top of him, but why would Face do th- Oh.
Murdock bucks up and pushes. It's easy to forget that Murdock was a Ranger too. The pilot might be a little reality-resistant, but he went through the same training and pulls his own weight with the team. It shouldn't be much of a surprise when Face goes sprawling back and falls from the bed with a heavy thud.
"Ow," Face groans and then, "Fuck."
"I'm sorry!" Two voices blurt out in unison. Murdock's head pops over the edge of the bed and blinks down at Face. Face stares back up.
"Why're you sorry?" the pilot asks.
"Because I kissed you. Why are you?"
"'Cause I shoved you!"
They look at each other like the other is confused until Face drops back on the floor and just laughs, which just freaks Murdock out more because he's certain that BA will kill him if he broke Face's brain. Face's brain is a lovely brain and Murdock is absolutely certain that if they ever come across zombies they'll all go after Face. Best brain first and all. Not that BA's and Hannibal's brains aren't great, but sometimes Murdock wonders if Hannibal isn't secretly crazier than him and BA, well, any zombie who wants to sink his teeth into that one are two seconds away from being a heap of glorified compost.
Murdock slinks down the bed and pokes Face's head. "If I broke your brain, I want ample warning so I can rally my army of puppets in self defence."
Murdock's question only makes Face laugh harder for a while. When he finally manages to calm down, he looks at Murdock, who looks back at him so anxiously that Face almost starts laughing again. That will only end badly and Face really doesn't want Murdock running to Hannibal because he broke Face's brain.
"I'm fine," he says. "My brain is fine." So far as his brain has ever been fine, but Murdock certainly hasn't broken it any further. He means to say something more.
Face can't figure out if Murdock is happy that his brain is still the same, or disappointed because now he doesn't have a reason to rally a defence puppet army. The smile that appears after a few seconds tells Face that A) Murdock has decided to be happy and B) he will probably find an army of puppets somewhere tomorrow regardless.
That's about as far as he needs to think into the future.
"Facey?" Murdock asks, still crouched and Face still on the floor and neither of them has yet to make a move to get up.
"Why did you kiss me?"
Ah yes. That. "Because . . . uhm . . . I wanted to." He's answered similar questions before, but then with more words, better words. Words that had more than two syllables. At the moment, Face can't think of one of them because this is Murdock. Best friend, invisible dog seeing, crazy stunt flying Murdock.
And god, he wants him.
"Huh." Murdock tilts his head to the left and thinks. "This is another hallucination then? But then there should be tiny bears with gnome heads marching around. Unless this is the one with the chimera and I hope not because I don't like that one. The chimera has no voice for serenading, you know and mmphmuh?"
This, Face admits, is less to shut Murdock up or calm him down and more because he just really, really wants to kiss him again. At least this time he isn't thrown from the bed, or pushed at all. Murdock also catches on much more quickly and kisses back.
When Face pulls back, Murdock's lips are puffy and he looks slightly dazed. He imagines that he looks sort of the same. The rest of his imagination is entirely occupied by events that had best take place in a bed and- Face's thoughts come to a halt.
He's a bastard. That's what he is. Here he is, kissing his best friend, and hopefully one day so much more if that isn't happening already, and he hasn't talked to him about it. The other injuries. What happened? Face knows that if he backs down now, again, he'll never get around to it and he at least needs to try.
"Murdock, we need to talk."
The pilot visibly flinches. It's tempting to shut up, but Face makes himself go on. "About what happened when the had you, captured y-"
Murdock sticks his fingers in his ears. "Don't say it. Don't say it! I'll start singing and I won't hear you. I don't wanna talk about it."
Face swallows. "But Murdock," he tries.
"Ain't it a glorious daaaaaay? Right as a mornin' in Maaaaaay." He has his fingers in his ears and sings loud and off-key.
"Damn it Murdock." Face grabs his hands and yanks them away from his head. It's not easy.
"Don't don't don't. I don't remember it. Why would you want to make me remember it?" Those eyes. Fuck. He can never say no to those eyes especially when they look so plaintive and half accusing.
"But you're having nightmares. Every night," Face says, weakly, his momentum faltering.
"What else is new? What's the use?" Murdock shakes his head and he's biting his lips. He's shaking again. Face does the best thing that springs to mind and simply drags the other man close, crushing Murdock against him in a hug.
"That's going to bite you on the ass, you know that, right?" he whispers against Murdock's neck. Face is acutely aware of Murdock's scent and breathes it in.
Murdock snorts and Face isn't certain if it's a giggle or a muffled sob. Maybe it's a little bit of both. "Gee, Facey, after all that kissin' I kinda figured you'd keep my ass too occupied to be bitten." He doesn't sound exactly like the Murdock before Face had the absolutely brilliant – and yes, that is sarcasm right there, his brain points out none too kindly – plan to drag everything back up again, but he's close enough right now.
"There is that," Face admits. Right then, no more pushing. It's Murdock's show and he'll just have to make certain that he's there in case that it does come back to haunt Murdock later. Everything will be fine. He has Murdock, he can smell him and he's holding him close enough so he's certain that later he will still be able to smell Murdock on his skin.
Everything is going to be okay, even if it isn't, because they'll make it so.