Someone was shouting, and it was sending extra needles of pain through B.A.'s already painful head. Unconsciousness sounded really nice, but the yelling forced him wake up. It took him a minute to realize that his eyes were open, it was just really dark. While he checked his physical injuries, B.A. came to realize Murdock was shouting in Vietnamese. He listened long enough to figure out what Murdock was yelling about and began yelling back. His reassuring words were heard, but completely ignored. Climbing to his feet sent B.A.'s head spinning, and he had to wait a moment before searching for Murdock. Fumbling hands helped him stumble forward, until they encountered the agitated man. Grabbing his shoulders B.A. forced him to stop whatever movement he had been doing in the absolute dark.
"Murdock! We are ok. We are in Kentucky." Desperate hands pulled B.A. into a bear hug. A shrill voice shouted in B.A.'s ear, overloading his brain's pain sensors.
"Earthworms are eating my electricity!" B.A. wasted a minute translating that nonsense into English.
"Murdock, we were in a cave and somebody rolled a hand-grenade at us. We ducked behind some rocks for protection, but the explosion knocked open the floor of the cave. Hannibal is coming for us, and Face won't rest until you are safe."
"Face, B.A. says you are cranberry." Face must have been the magic word, for Murdock was speaking English again and his voice came down an octave.
"Yes, Face is cranberry!" Disgusted with himself, B.A. tried again. "Face is coming."
More soothing words followed, though he probably could have just said Face repeatedly, for all the understanding he sensed from Murdock. B.A. prayed Face would get here quickly, he was the only on Murdock responded to when he got this nutty. Murdock had always been crazy, but the Vietcong had broken something in him. B.A. was being interrogated, and it was one of those things that you just did not talk about, so he never found out what Murdock had done to make their captors so angry. When B.A. had regained consciousness from his interview, Murdock had been in the hole and he was not making a sound. After about four days or a week, depending on who was telling the story, Face had snapped. He started demanding that they at least check to see if Murdock was dead and when he screamed himself hoarse, B.A. and Hannibal had taken over. Tiring of the noise, the guards responded by throwing Face down the hole with Murdock. Eventually they had been allowed to crawl out, and shortly after that Hannibal had masterminded an escape. As far as B.A. knew, that was when their physical relationship had started to get emotional.
He was startled out of his reverie by Murdock saying his name. His voice was panicky, but coherent.
"B.A., you must have blown a fuse, because it is way dark in here." Knowing it was only the eye of the insanity storm, B.A. took this opportunity to ask.
"If Face were here, instead of me, what do you think he would be doing?"
Murdock made a hysterical sobbing giggle noise. "You don't want to know B.A."
Sleeping was probably the only thing that would get rid of his headache, and he sure could not sleep with Murdock shouting like a lunatic.
"Yes I do," B.A. asserted. Murdock made that noise again and released his bear hug without moving away from B.A.'s comforting presence.
"You just want me to shut up." His voice was petulant, but his words were in Vietnamese.
"I would not have asked if I did not really want to know." B.A. tried to cajole the answer from Murdock before he slipped off into his private hell. Unseen in the void, a hand reached out and grabbed B.A.'s crotch. Surprised on every level, B.A. jumped back and Murdock started yelling again. A wild mix of every language Murdock spoke lead B.A. back to grasp Murdock's shoulders again.
"I am still here Murdock. You just startled me."
The other man's face was probably right in front of him, but Murdock shouted anyway. "Don't ever leave me, Face!"
He collapsed onto B.A.'s solid form, sobbing loudly. So slowly he might have been shrinking, Murdock collapsed to his knees and left a trail of moisture behind him. B.A. took out a handkerchief to wipe crazy-man slobber off his gold when hot hands dove into his overalls and found something more important than gold. Unsure of what to do, lest it send Murdock into a panic, B.A. hesitated just long enough that he began to respond to Murdock's skilled manhandling.
He should shove Murdock across the cave and let him panic, but that would be cruel. So if this was the only way Murdock could find comfort, B.A.'s kind nature would not deny it to him. Especially since Murdock knew what he was doing. Unable to tell how long Murdock had been down there, B.A. could defiantly tell he was straining at the seams of his overalls. Murdock slid his hands to B.A.'s hips and B.A. had to restrain himself from forcing Murdock back to that sensitive place. Bone with a layer of softness over it pressed up against him, and it was not until Murdock spoke that B.A. realized it was Murdock's face. With lips wrapping around the bulge in his pants, B.A. had to work to understand what Murdock said.
"Come out and play, B.A. I want to see if you have a Mohawk down here!" B.A. stopped his hands before they could release the buttons holding up his overalls.
"You fool, how are you going to be able to tell in the dark?" He grunted down to Murdock, and the vibrations from Murdock's laughter caused the overalls to fall to B.A.'s waist. Murdock's hands felt the shift in material and greedily pulled the muscular hips free. B.A. reacted to the sudden air by becoming fully erect and letting a small moan escape. Something ethereal brushed over the sensitive flesh, and by the time B.A. figured out it was Murdock's hair, it was entangling in B.A.'s pubic hair, and hot breath made rings around his penis. This soft rubbing continued while Murdock's hands began to massage random places, until they found their way to the rock hard butt B.A. was justifiably proud of. Grasping each cheek firmly, Murdock moved back to get a lungful of air before swallowing what B.A. presented to him. The cold of the dark air was just beginning to make his exposed flesh uncomfortable when it was replaced by the wet warmth of Murdock's mouth. Then Murdock did something with his tongue, and B.A. forgot to analyze everything he was feeling, but he would remember it for the rest of his life.
Their flashlights scanned the ground under the new opening, until they found the resting couple. Entwined in slumber and lacking the facilities to clean up after their activities, it was pretty obvious how they had spent the previous evening. Face grinned and turned to make a comment. The look of naked fury on Hannibal's face drove all other thoughts from Face's mind. Hannibal was generally an easy going guy. Weird sense of humor, but hard to make genuinely angry. What about the spent passion below could have done what the entire US military could not? A moment of puzzled contemplation, and it hit him like lightning.
"If you never told him, you can't be angry that he doesn't know!" Face almost shouted at his friend in an exasperated voice. Hannibal's anger cranked up a notch as he focused on Face. Face licked his lips, and realized that might have come out a little angrier than he had intended. Forcing himself into a reasonable tone, he tried to explain. "Most of Murdock's craziness is an effort not to let the memories in, as I am sure you know. Murdock is a visual person, what he sees directs what he does. Total darkness takes away the visual stimuli, and he has no defense against the memories. Ever since we were POW's, he goes insane without light, he get violent, starts screaming, hallucinating. It's scary, Hannibal. He dismisses talking as noise and if you simply hold him he becomes convinced he is being restrained. Hannibal, you would not believe some of the things I have tried, but intense physical stimulation is the only thing that will work. Sex, Hannibal. Not only do we have sex for love, we occasionally have it to drown out the nightmares. I have used two of my best scams to get his room at the VA near the streetlight, so he is never in the dark when completely alone."
Hannibal shot another look down the hole, and without a word began widening the opening. Face sent more reassuring words at him while they worked. The noise brought shouts of joy from Murdock below. Hastily reassembling himself, B.A. would not look directly at either man. Awake and dressed, they climbed the rope and found their way to the van with all the conversation provided by Murdock.
Face was laughing at something Murdock said, as they entered the hotel room they were sharing. Rural Kentucky did not boast many 5 star hotels, and this one was not included in that boast. The paper thin wall left little to the imagination about what was going on behind them, and people urinated with more water pressure than you got in the shower. Hannibal listened to Face and Murdock "clean up" while B.A. showered, and was very aware of the distance between the two rooms. B.A. was in the shower for a half hour, and came out dressed to visit the pool. Only someone intimately aware of his skin tones would have noticed the blush that crept over his head when he glanced at Hannibal sitting on the bed. He was reaching for the door when Hannibal's voice sounded unexpectedly close.
"B.A., are you afraid of the dark?" His voice was as neutral as if he had been asking about the weather, and when B.A. responded, his voice was equally emotionless.
"No way, fool." He turned around, and took a step back, slamming into the door. Hannibal took another step to compensate, so he was less than an inch from B.A. when he whispered.
"I think I could be." An arm on either side of that mostly shaved head, Hannibal was careful not to touch him with anything but his lips. Years of restrained passion were evident in the kiss he presented to B.A. Hannibal eventually stepped back for bit of air, and to fight the battle of the bulge in his pants. "Aren't you going to tell me it's a sin?"
B.A. ran a hand slowly over his Mohawk, and ran the other one along the same trajectory just to give himself thinking room.
"Once, sure." He shrugged carelessly." But I have decided that God is all about love. As long as the love is true, I don't think God cares how we express it."
Hannibal realized he was almost panting, and forced himself to take a deep breath. "So, if I was to through you down on that bed and fuck you from now until the rapture, you would not rip my head off?" B.A. flushed to the ends of his Mohawk.
"I did not know you were interested in men." Hannibal got the impression B.A. was trying to distract him, so he leaned in and ground his pelvis into B.A.'s hip.
"I am only interested in you." Unable to deny what he felt, B.A. signaled his acceptance by picking up Hannibal. Arriving at his destination, he put a foot on the edge of the nearest twin bed, and shoved it up against the other one. An unexpected voice called out after the noise of the moving bed.
"Take it easy on him B.A., it's been a while!" Murdock joked. Laughter bounced through the wall, and seeing Hannibal's grin made B.A. go along with it.
"Don't know what you are talking about, you crazy fool!" Unceremoniously, he dumped Hannibal on the bed, resulting in the squeaking of springs.
"Oh no! It's worse than I thought, he is actually rusty!" Face added in mock horror, allowing Murdock to observe.
"Either that, or B.A. has a mechanical dick. I wonder if it vibrates?"
B.A. shouted back over Hannibal's laughter. "One more word out of you, mudsucker and I will pull this wall down on your head!"
Sounding politely confused, Murdock responded. "So I should not ask if you need to borrow my lubricant?"
Laughing at the confused look on B.A.'s face, Hannibal rolled off the bed and dug a bottle out of his bag. He was naked in a heartbeat, but his heart missed a few beats when he saw B.A. remove his swim trunks. This unbelievable physical specimen was waiting to learn what the lubricant was for. His experiences with Murdock had been educational, but limited. Joy surged through Hannibal as he realized all he was going to get to teach his friend. Joining B.A. beside the bed, Hannibal knelt and began his first lesson.
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