TITLE: Hear His Voice
STORY TYPE: Third Person
CATEGORY: Angst / Hurt & Comfort
LENGTH: One-offDISCLAIMER: The characters are property of Cannell and company.
Murdock wandered out of Face's scammed apartment, feeling lonely and withdrawn. He heard a soft noise from under the van and realised that BA was working silently in the darkness. Night always left Murdock feeling afraid and alone. It was this loneliness that moved Murdock to BA's side.
"Hey BA, what's up?" Murdock said lightly.
"Aint got no time for yer jibber jabber. Working on the van" BA said gruffly.
Murdock noticed BA had a spanner in his left hand. "You making some adjustments, muchacho?"
"Gotta work, Murdock" BA said bluntly, turning his attention to the pilot for a second. "I'll be in later"
Murdock nodded and walked away from BA, back into the scammed apartment. The interior was lavish, and artificial light made the rooms as bright as daylight. Murdock's loneliness swamped over him. He walked into the livingroom and saw Hannibal watching some television on the sofa.
"Hey muchacho, anything good on?" Murdock asked chirpily, sitting on the chair opposite Hannibal.
"Shhh, best moment is coming up now" Hannibal said abruptly, not even turning from the television set to face Murdock.
"What best moment?" Murdock asked puzzled. He watched the screen intently for a few seconds and realised the movie Hannibal was watching was The Deer Hunter. "Aww, Hannibal you've seen this before. Why don't you play table tennis with me for a while"
Hannibal nodded "Um, yeah sure Murdock. In a minute, this scene is very good"
Murdock sighed. He glanced quickly at Hannibal for a few more seconds and then retired to another room where Face was getting ready for bed.
"Hey Murdock! I'm getting undressed here!" Face said angrily, quickly putting on his silk pajamas, and sliding under the covers. For a guy that made himself out to be a ladies man, Face was shy when undressing in front of his team mates.
"Sorry muchacho. Just wanted to know if you've got a few minutes to spare. I'm on level five of the new Rally game, wanted to show you. Its cool" Murdock asked hopefully.
Face drowsily turned his face into the pillow. "Not now, Murdock ..... I'm tired, maybe tomorrow"
Murdock sighed heavily and walked out of the room, switching the light out and closing Face's bedroom door. He walked back into the livingroom where Hannibal was still watching the television.
"Hannibal, has that scene passed yet?" Murdock asked dismally.
"Hold on a sec. They are playing russian roulette. Its the best part" Hannibal mumbled, his concentration completely on the film he was watching.
"But you said the other scene was the best" Murdock moaned.
"Yeah, but it gets better from here on in" Hannibal said, dismissing Murdock with his hand. Murdock sighed again and walked out of the apartment.
The night was bitter cold. Murdock stuffed his hands into his leather bomber jacket and thought about his prediciment. No one seemed interested in him or his activities these days, his friends were so pre-occupied with their obsessions.
BA was walking in, covered with grease and Murdock stopped him with a friendly tap on the shoulder.
"Hey BA, want to go see a film tonight? Hear that Ninja Turtles movie is out today!" Murdock said enthusiastically.
"Aint got no time for Ninja Turtles. Got to re-arrange my tools" BA said grumpily, pushing past Murdock and entering the apartment.
Murdock stood for a long moment in the cold night air, contemplating his situation. He sighed again, and walked away from the apartment. He walked as fast as he could, away from his unattentive friends into the night. After a while he stopped walking, and collapsed by a small fence, his body shaking with silent sobs. The tears in his eyes felt like knives in the bitter cold. Murdock burrowed into his jacket and fell asleep.
At half twelve, Hannibal's movie ended.
"Very good film" Hannibal concluded, hitting the off button on the remote control of the television. He walked over to the mini bar, poured himself a drink. Then he remembered Murdock's request. Cursing himself for not replying to Murdock that he would be going to bed after the film, Hannibal walked into Murdock's room to find his bed empty.
Shaking his head in confusion, Hannibal walked into Face's bedroom and shook awake the startled Lieutenant.
"Have you seen Murdock?" Hannibal asked.
"Mmmmmmm, not just yet. I'll be up in ten minutes" Face yawned, his eyes half closed.
"Face, wake up. I need to know where Murdock is" Hannibal asked again.
Face sat up, angry at the intrusion of his sleep "Murdock? He came in my room earlier this evening. He asked me to play a rally game with him. I told him I was too tired. Why? What's up?"
Hannibal shook his head gravely "He's missing from his room, Face. Get dressed and meet me in the livingroom in ten minutes".
Face nodded and quickly got dressed as Hannibal went to find BA. BA was sitting with his tool box, arranging the tools in length order as Hannibal entered the room.
"Have you seen Murdock?" Hannibal asked worriedly.
"Not for a while. He was with me earlier this evening while I was fixing the van. I told him to quit jibber jabbering. Then when I came in from working on the van he asked me to go to a movie with him. Why? What's wrong? Where is the crazy foo'?"
"Meet me in the livingroom in five minutes" Hannibal said, leaving BA and walking into the livingroom. Face was already waiting for him, his eyes bright with worry.
"Where is he, Hannibal?" Face asked.
"I don't know. BA said he wanted to go see a movie, so we should check the theatres first. Failing that, we'll split up" Hannibal said.
BA walked into the livingroom with the van's keys "I'll go start the van"
Hannibal nodded. "I don't like this. It could mean we are under attack"
Murdock shifted uncomfortably in his sleep. He woke up abruply, remembering where he was. He looked around himself as he stood up shakily. He then started to walk back to the apartment. His thoughts were in turmoil. Upon reaching the apartment, Murdock opened the door with his key and walked into the livingroom. The television was off but the light was still on. Murdock switched off the light and headed to his room. On the way to his room, Murdock saw that the doors to the other team members room's were wide open. He wandered inside Face's bedroom and saw the bed empty. Panicking, Murdock checked Hannibal's bedroom next, then BA's. He was full of fear. Murdock ran out of the apartment and saw the van had disappeared. Fearing the worst, Murdock assumed they had all left him. He'd been nagging them all night for attention, and now they had left so he couldn't nag them again. Murdock had never felt like such a burden. He walked back into Face's room and curled up in the double bed, clutching the pillow to him, feeling very alone. He could still smell Face's musky scent on the pillow and he clutched it tighter to his heart, feeling completely abandoned.
BA drove to the local theatre. Ninja Turtles had been playing for the last half hour. With a little sweet talking to the ticket operator, Face and the team were allowed inside to find their missing team mate. It was a crowded theatre for such a late night showing. Most of the people were in their mid twenties and were chewing on popcorn and drinking coca cola. Hannibal, Face and BA scoured the rows systematically. Murdock was no where to be found. "He can't have just vanished" Face hissed at Hannibal.
Hannibal shrugged "Okay, he's not here. Lets get back to the house and see if he's returned". BA nodded and they walked out of the theatre and back to the van. "I've never missed Murdock so much in my life" Face moaned. Hannibal nodded. "I feel quite guilty. He came to me for some attention, and I let him down. I just hope he's alright". BA nodded "Its my fault too, Murdock came to me too, and I ignored him. I'll never call him a foo' again, I just hope we find him" Face nodded "Its true, I did the same"
Hannibal looked at his men and sighed "Right, do we all vow never to leave Murdock out again, that we'll give him the attention he needs". BA and Face nodded. BA drove the van carefully back to the apartment, whilst Hannibal and Face scoured the streets for Murdock. Still they found nothing, and by the time they reached the apartment they were beginning to panic. "Wait a minute, the light's not on" Hannibal said suddenly, pushing open the front door. The livingroom was dark and all three team members found new hope that Murdock was back in the apartment. Hannibal, BA and Face walked into Murdock's bedroom and found nothing. "Hope he hasn't gone out again" BA whispered. "I'll see if he's left a note in my room" Face said, thinking quickly.
"Check mine and BA's as well" Hannibal said. Face disappeared for a moment and then shouted Hannibal's name. Hannibal and BA darted into Face's room to see Murdock curled up in Face's double bed, wrapped around Face's pillow, tears streaking his face.
Face sat beside the curled up form and shook Murdock's shoulder gently. "Murdock? Its me Face, are you awake?" Face asked softly. Murdock murmered something inaudible, and turned away from Face, taking the pillow with him. Hannibal felt guilty when he saw Murdock in such distress lying on the bed, wrapped around Face's cushion. He walked forward and pulled away the sheets to reveal Murdock still fully dressed. "Face, BA, help me undress him and put him into bed properly" Hannibal whispered.
BA and Face nodded and began the task of undressing Murdock without waking him, which was by no means easy. He moaned a little, tried to move away from the prying hands. Finally he was stripped down to his underpants and the team gently took the cushion away from his clenched hands, plumped it up a little and placed it gently beneath his head. Hannibal wrapped the sheets around Murdock's shoulders and fussed about him a little, ensuring Murdock would be as warm as possible. "Face, would you mind taking Murdock's room tonight?" Hannibal asked softly. "Not at all" Face whispered back. The team silently left the room, and closed the door softly.
Murdock awoke early in the morning before dawn. His head ached with tiredness. He looked about himself and in dismay realised that Face hadn't returned. He got out of bed quickly, and returned to his own room, slipping beside Face and curling up to Face thinking he was a soft cushion. "Goodnight Murdock. Sweet dreams" Face whispered, putting his arm securely around Murdock's back and drawing him close. Murdock heard Face's voice and looked up into the bright blue eyes staring down at him.
He smiled and closed his eyes, reveling in the intimacy and warmth. Face heard Murdock sigh, and after a while heard faint snores from the sleeping man. Face smiled to himself. It had been a very eventful evening.
The next morning, Face disentangled himself from Murdock and showered, whistling happily. He got dressed and sat by Murdock's side, determined to stay with the pilot until he woke.
Murdock opened his eyes and looked at Face in amazement "I thought you guys had gone and left me"
Face's expression softened, and he gently touched Murdock's face with his fingers. "Why would you think that? You mean the world to us, you know. Hannibal was having kittens wondering where you were, I've never seen BA panic as much in my life and I ..... I've never felt so terrible".
Murdock nodded, smiling "I shouldn't have walked off, Face. I'm sorry"
"No apologies needed, Murdock. Now get up and get dressed. Breakfast will be ready in twenty minutes".
Murdock groaned, burrowing his head into the pillow. Face smiled and walked out of the room.
Half an hour later, Murdock walked stiffly into the dining area and sat beside Hannibal and BA who were busily devouring a plate of eggs and bacon. Face handed Murdock his plate, and the pilot ate hungrily.
After breakfast, Hannibal turned to Murdock eagerly "Want to play table tennis, Murdock?"
Murdock looked at the others who smiled reassuringly at him "You sure Hannibal?"
Hannibal nodded and walked off into the room which housed the table tennis. Murdock followed and within seconds both men were engaged in healthy competition, Hannibal getting the upper hand. After an hour, and an honourable defeat, Murdock found Face waiting for him by the rally game.
"Want to join me, Murdock? Show me level 5?" Face asked with a dazzling smile. Murdock grinned and sat beside Face.
By lunchtime, Murdock was feeling much better and had begun cracking jokes again and irritating BA. His eyes were darting healthily around his team mates and his smile had returned in full.
After lunch, BA got the keys to the van and took Murdock by the shoulder.
"Where we going?" Murdock asked worriedly.
"To the cinema. You wanted to go see Ninja Turtles" BA said gruffly, shoving Murdock before him. As the van sped off, Hannibal turned to Face.
"I think Murdock's back to his old self" Hannibal said, laughing heartily whilst lighting a cigar.
"I've never seen him so happy, so alive. Its good to see that" Face smiled, waving goodbye to a very happy Murdock.
Hannibal grinned, and clapped Face on the shoulders. "You know, I just love it ......"
"..... when a plan comes together" Face groaned.
"No, when a family comes together" Hannibal corrected. "Come on Face, bet I can whip you at table tennis"
Face immediately rose to the challenge, a warm flush flooding his cheeks "Never!"
Hannibal winked "Want to see if you can beat me?"
Face groaned and followed Hannibal. Within minutes they were playing table tennis, Hannibal again getting the upper hand.
Murdock watched the images of the Ninja Turtles jump around the screen in awe. He ate his popcorn hungrily, and BA sighed, checking his watch for the fifth time.
"Hey, imagine us as the Turtles?" Murdock whispered to BA.
"They're green foo' They aint human" BA smirked at Murdock's childish humour.
"No, listen. Hannibal would be Leonardo the leader. You would be Raphael, the one with the bad attitude ...."
"I have not!" BA interjected angrily.
"...... Face would be Donatello and I would be Howling Mad Michaelangelo!".
"Your crazy" BA said.
Murdock smiled lazily at BA "Yep! But you guys love me the way I am"
"We do, so don't forget it" BA said softly before turning back to the movie.
Murdock blinked in amazement, then turned back to watch the film. He couldn't stop the smile from playing on his lips. He had realised they all listened to him, and more importantly, they understood him.