by G Richmond
Story: Full Moon
Status: Final draft
Author: G. Richmond
Warnings: Slash (preslash)
Feedback levels: UP TO LEVEL 1
Feedback requests: None
Author's notes: A Halloween fic! I challenged myself to write a Halloween fic, then mooched around on the internet for prompts, and finally came up with this. I still have a thing for Murdock being HOWLING mad. I wont be rewriting because it was just supposed to be a bit of fun (which turned out to be a lengthy bit of fun, haha)
(Turns out I came back in time to get this up :D)
It was the day before...well, hell, it was day before a lot of things.
Firstly, it was the day before the money they had earned in their last mission was due to be wired through, so they were all currently living on fumes and wishful thoughts of a honest meal.
Secondly, it was the day before their anniversary. Not that either of them admitted to remembering, that would be too sentimental and girly. But they both did, and they both knew that there would probably be silly little tokens waiting for them at some point just to let each other know that, secretly, they had remembered, and that it was important.
Thirdly, it was the day before Halloween. That commercial holiday that children love and most adults loath for the swarms of annoying brats that haunt the hours they should be in bed.
And finally, and most importantly, it was the day before the full moon.
Hannibal, BA and Face hated full moon. Not with the vengeful, dark hate reserved for unpleasant nemeses, but with a resigned, foreboding hate of the fact that they were going to have their hands full whenever Murdock happened to be in their company on that fateful night.
The VA were really very good keeping his condition secret, and when he was under their care he had the utmost comfort on these nights; they provided for him as best they could and did very well. He always wanted to be outside on the full moon, but in the VA they kept a close watch on him the whole night, and he very rarely escaped. But when he was under the care of his friends he was very hard to keep track of, even for them. He was the sneakiest among them, and despite their hardest efforts he often managed to find his way out and they would spend half the night looking for him and praying he wasn't spotted.
Not that he was dangerous. He was still the same old Murdock in his head, but with added fur, and claws, and fangs, and a really powerful tail that seemed to constantly wag and made him seem just that little bit more approachable and dorky.
It had happened back in Vietnam, and at first the change hadn't been too severe. It was right near the end, literally a couple of days before they were going to withdraw, and Murdock had come back to camp breathing hard and covered in blood. He had been out checking the perimeter (as all of them had to do from time to time) and been attacked. It wasn't nearly as bad as it looked, just a couple of scratches actually, that happened to be in places that bled heavily, and within the hour the pilot was in high spirits again. He said he didn't get a good look at what had gone for him, just that there was a lot of fur and growling, and the rest of them supposed it must have been a wildcat he had accidentally frightened or something similar.
And nothing else was really said of it; the wounds healed and they returned to America.
The first few full moons only showed a slight changed. Murdock swore his hair was growing faster, or that his senses were sharpening, but no one paid any attention, they figured he was just making it up; he was famous for his wild stories.
Then it happened.
The VA kept it under wraps and explained to Murdock what they could, but it mostly seemed like a matter of national security. Biological weapons of some sort, at least that was what Murdock had told them that first full moon he had been with them.
And damn if that hadn't been a shock. Somehow they had managed to avoid having Murdock out on a full moon for quite a while when they started the `Soldiers of Fortune' deal, but that first time had been something. It had taken a whole night of big, brown pathetic eyes, and pitiful whining for them to decide not to do something violent to him. Murdock had of course neglected to tell them that once the moon had risen he was going to change; it was during summer and the days were long and he had made some excuse to retire early. None of them suspected a thing until BA invited himself in to Murdock's room after dark to ask him something, and found a very big shaggy wolf sleeping on the bed in Murdock's place.
Murdock told them later that he had been more shocked and scared than BA, and that even as a werewolf he would have bet his left fang that BA could have knocked him senseless.
They spent so long yelling and cursing and trying to decide what to do and where the hell Murdock was that the sun started to rise, and all three of them witnessed as all the fur moulted off the pilot and his body twisted and shrank back to its usual lanky form.
Then he was Murdock again, naked and kneeling on the floor in a nest of greyish brown fur, but Murdock nonetheless, and he slowly lifted his head with a nervous grin.
"So...I gotta explain some things."
It took a lot of getting used to, for all of them, but it took Face a whole lot longer than the other two. Hannibal was accustomed to it within that first month, and by the time the next full moon rolled around and Murdock happened to be with them again, he laid down the law ("You go outside and I'm gonna have to send BA after you. And you know he isn't going to be happy to be out of bed") and then went back making mission plans for the next day.
BA had settled into the routine a couple months later. At first he had been adamant that Murdock was going to try and eat them or something, but a couple of moons of seeing just how ridiculous a big, shaggy wolf looked when it was trying to be...well, Murdock, and he was won over. Not that he showed it, ("Damnit foo', I'm sick of your stupid fur gettin' everywhere!")
For Face it took over a year. It wasn't that he didn't trust Murdock, or that he was scared of him as a wolf. It was just...different. It felt different, Murdock seemed different. He wasn't, he was still the same crazy enthusiastic guy, regardless of what happened every month, but Face felt that there should be some difference. It was such a big thing, how could Murdock still be the same?
And the pilot picked up on it, but was too polite, and probably too embarrassed, to say anything at first. But after a year he couldn't stand it any more; Face was getting more distant and always seemed to have `plans' whenever Murdock was with them on full moon, so he had confronted Face one month, on the day before full moon just so he had no excuse to escape.
"What's up, Face?" BA and Hannibal were out, so it was just them.
"Up? Nothing, Murdock, why?" It had long gone past the time when Face was anxious at being questioned; he had settled into this new, distant role with Murdock by now and it seemed the norm.
"Things ain't the same as they used to be." The pilot looked down, looking like a sad child that expected to get told to get lost.
"How do you mean?" Face looked over at him curiously, but even to his ears he knew he sounded aloof and uninterested.
"That's what I mean." Murdock insisted, looking up again anxiously, "You don't talk like you used to. You're hardly ever around `cept when we gotta do a mission. Hannibal's been breaking me out of the VA these last times, and before that you never looked happy to see me." He looked imploringly at Face, who was watching with his usual understanding expression that meant he wasn't really expressing anything, and Murdock wilted a little before adding, "I ain't done nothing wrong, Face. You're not being fair."
After some hesitation Face finally let out a sigh and looked down, expression troubled, "I know, Murdock. I'm sorry." He admitted, "I just...I don't know. This whole wolf thing, I don't know what to think." He shook his head, "It's a big thing, Murdock, it's crazy! How can you just go on like nothing's wrong?"
The pilot blinked at him with those big eyes, before letting out a soft breath that sounded relieved, "What am I supposed to do, Face?" He asked with a shrug and a smile, "If I was gonna be dangerous then sure, I'd lock myself up and throw away the key. But I'm not; my brain don't change, I'm still the same just...furrier." He grinned, but Face still look unsure.
"But what about the thing that attacked you, don't you think that you...?" He didn't want to say that maybe Murdock would end up like that; attacking people and turning them. Murdock shook his head.
"Nah. They said that whoever that was was conditioned to be like that. Wasn't natural or anything." The pilot said it with another shrug and a smile, but Face could see he looked unhappy with it. "Don't worry Face, I haven't got an instinct to gnaw your leg off." He added with a laugh, and the conman couldn't help a small laugh as well.
"I don't know, Murdock, it's hard to get used to..." He said quietly, looking down apologetically.
Murdock regarded him for a moment before crawling over to kneel in front of Face, expression imploring as he looked up at him, "That's cos you're never around. You've always been away on full moon; you should stay tomorrow." He insisted, hands on Face's knees, and the conman looked down at him with a thoughtful expression and a sigh, "I promise I wont try and run away this time. I'll be really good so you don't gotta be scared." He added hopefully, and Face laughed softly, fondly patting Murdock's cheek.
"I was never scared of you, Murdock." Face assured him as Murdock leaned into the touch a little as he rubbed his thumb over the pilot's cheekbone, "More scared for you."
Face did stay the next night, and witnessed the change in its entirety. BA and Hannibal had left them alone since they had seen Murdock change enough times and it wasn't something they enjoyed. It was an awful thing and looked so painful; bones grew and creaked, and skin stretched tight over tensed muscles as his body changed, but the pilot was too proud to cry out and took it almost entirely in silence. It took about 5 minutes all in all, and the shaggy wolf at the end was already regaining his enthusiasm and energy and acted like it hadn't just gone through minutes of intense pain.
At first the wolf kept his distance since Face looked uncertain and overwhelmed, sat on the bed with wide eyes. But when the conman had relaxed he slowly padded over and put his large head down on Face's legs, looking up at him with big eyes. Murdock told him later that even though he didn't think like a wolf, it made a sort of sense to act a bit like one when trying to convey something. And besides, it wasn't like he could go up and shake hands or give someone a hug. He was limited to what his body could do, and wolves couldn't articulate English.
It took Face a while, but eventually he lifted a hand, curiously running it over the greyish fur on the wolf's head. Immediately his tail started wagging and that was what finally cracked the ice. Seeing a big intimidating wolf wagging its tail out of happiness was just too silly, too Murdock, and he started laughing, first out of amusement, then from relief. Murdock lifted his head, ears perked up happily before he put his large paws against Face's shoulder and licked his face. The knowledge that Murdock had just licked his face, wolf or not, only made him laugh harder despite himself even as he tried to fend the wolf off.
Face stayed with him all night, and eventually they ended up falling asleep on the bed. Even though he knew it was Murdock, it didn't feel at all strange to fall asleep with his fingers tangled in the shaggy fur on his back and nose near his shoulder. The wolf even smelled like Murdock.
It did, however, feel strange waking up in the morning next to a fully-naked pilot with his hand on his back and covered in moulted fur.
Things had progressed rapidly from there as far as their relationship went and within a few months Murdock had managed to get Face to at least consider the idea of them getting together, although the conman was reluctant to give up his womanising ways. But the pilot was persistent as always, and the day before Halloween Face finally acquiesced, mostly so Murdock would just stop asking at inappropriate times (like during a gunfight, or in front of women), and things had just continued from then on. Face wasn't really sure how it had happened, how exactly he had fallen into a relationship with the exuberant pilot, but since the pros fully outweighed the cons, he wasn't complaining.
So there they were, the day before so many things, all gathered in a diner and eating dinner (which Face was going to use his charm to get on tab), Murdock as high-spirited as ever and talking enough for all of them. Hannibal, Face and BA were all thinking about the following day, and BA was complaining over his food about having to drive through the night out to the middle of a secluded forest.
It had become apparent after the first few times that the pilot had made his escape that he didn't have enough sense not to get seen, so they needed to find somewhere safe that he could change where the odds of him getting spotted were vastly reduced. So they had pooled some of their money (much to their reluctance) and purchased a run-down shack out in the middle of a forest. It had been little more than a deserted cabin that was falling apart at the seams, but with BA's handy skills they soon had it habitable. It wasn't anything fancy, obviously no electricity or gas, but there was an open fire they could cook on, and a single bedroom that Murdock could use for privacy (and also so he didn't have to see the pitying expressions on his friends' faces when he changed).
They used it as often as they could, although there were still plenty of times when it wasn't possible to get to the cabin, and it was on those nights, when they could be in the middle of a town on a mission, that they had to be particularly vigilant. BA had proved time and again that he was very capable of tackling a large, furry werewolf to the ground and pinning him there until he stopped trying to escape.
"I don't see why we gotta go out to the cabin." Murdock finally changed the subject and sounded grumpy, "I can be good."
"Yeah, but Murdock, you wont." Face told him as he finished his meal and looked around for whoever he was going to need to scam to avoid paying.
"I will too." Murdock insisted, ignoring BA's disbelieving snort, and watching Face get up petulantly.
"We're already on our way now, Murdock." Hannibal told him, knowing Murdock knew they were going to the cabin whether he wanted to or not, "No point turning around now." He nodded at the surreptitious `okay' sign Face gave them from across the diner and pulled out a cigar from his inner pocket as he got up so they could go. "Just think of it as a holiday." He added cheerfully in response to both BA and Murdock's unhappy expressions.
"Some holiday." BA grumbled as he went out first and made his way over to the van without waiting for the others. Hannibal followed but Murdock hung back waiting for Face and blatantly watching him flirt with the woman over the counter. So obviously that the woman noticed, and after a couple uncertain looks over at him she cut the conversation short and went to serve some customers.
"Do you always have to do that?" Face complained as he finally made his way over and saw what Murdock had been doing. The pilot sniffed haughtily.
"Do what?" He asked like he didn't know what the conman was talking about.
"We were just having a friendly conversation, what's wrong with that?" Face knew the conversation was pointless, but it filled the silence at least.
"Why cant you have a friendly conversation with me? I'm amiable."
"I know, Murdock, but I can converse with you any time I like."
"So I'm boring now?" Murdock looked upset by the very idea, and Face laughed.
"Murdock, you could never be boring." He told him, briefly squeezing the pilot's hand before going ahead to get into the van.
They stayed in a motel overnight (again, Face conned it for free), and in the morning Face prayed just for 5 more minutes; it was not a day he was really looking forward to. Murdock was going to be hyperactive all day in anticipation of the night, which meant that BA was going to be even more irate than usual and Hannibal was going to have his hands full trying to get him not to hurt the pilot.
At least they were going to be away from civilisation, so they wouldn't have to worry about trick or treaters, but that was small consolation.
As Face shifted onto his back and lifted a hand to his eyes, he heard something crinkle under his pillow, and suspiciously he reached under to see what it was. His fingers closed around something with a smooth wrapper, and as he pulled it out he let out an amused breath. It was a candy-bar, his favourite kind. It was melted and disfigured now from having been slept on all night, but Face was more intrigued at how and when Murdock had got it under his pillow. It hadn't been there when they had all gone to sleep (in separate beds).
Happy Anniversary indeed.
Everyone else was already up, and as he finally left the motel room he saw Hannibal heading his way.
"Ah, I was just coming to get you up, Lieutenant." He greeted cheerfully, but Face could already hear BA and Murdock arguing in the background.
"What's going on?" He asked curiously as he straightened his shirt, jacket folded over one arm.
"Murdock doesn't want to miss Halloween." The Colonel explained as they headed to the van and saw Murdock hugging a very large pumpkin protectively to his chest whilst BA was pointing a finger at him and looking irate. Face didn't know where he had gotten the pumpkin from, and decided not to ask.
"You aint bringing that pun'kin!" BA told him angrily, "I hate pun'kin, it'll stink the whole cabin out."
"It's Halloween, BA! You've got to carve a pumpkin!" Murdock told him petulantly, letting out a yell when the Sergeant tried to wrestle the pumpkin away from him, "Hannibal, tell him!" The pilot's cry for help came too late, though, because in the struggle Murdock lost his grip, and the whole world seemed to go silent as the pumpkin slid from his grasp and hurtled towards the ground, shattering upon impact with the pavement. All four of them stood there in shock as the orange debris rocked sadly back and forth before Murdock let out an anguished cry that didn't sound wholly put-on.
"You- you-!" He stuttered for an appropriate insult, and in the uncertainty Hannibal took over.
"Alright, men, into the van, let's get going." He ushered them in, and BA went with a pleased expression, getting behind the wheel with a small grin.
Face had to push Murdock to get in the back with him, the pilot repeatedly casting the dead pumpkin a mournful look, and by the time they were in and BA started the van he had found his voice again.
"Ugly mud sucker." He muttered, but it was perfectly audible in the van. Face smiled in amusement and reached over to pat Murdock's leg consolingly, but when the pilot didn't look placated his smile faded a bit, "Just because he's a miserable spoilsport...doesn't want anyone else to have any fun." He was talking right at BA now, expression childishly hurt, and Face realised he wasn't putting it on. He doubted it was the actual pumpkin he was upset over, just the whole situation, which was understandable, and he supposed. BA must have realised this as well, because although he rolled his eyes he didn't respond.
"I'll just have fun tonight." Murdock grumbled, finally looking away to the side of the van, "Mind you don't get scratched in all the fun."
"Captain." the pilot flinched at Hannibal's warning tone. It was an unwritten rule that they didn't joke about any of them getting accidentally scratched or bitten by Murdock, they all knew what would happen if it actually happened and it was no laughing matter.
Murdock let out a frustrated huff, and shifted unhappily before turning in his chair and laying back with his head on Face's lap, never mind how uncomfortable this probably was since there was a gap between their chairs. Face blinked in surprise, looking unsure and then sighed, threading his fingers into the pilot's hair to mollify him.
He could see BA tense in the front seat, and knew that was the whole reason Murdock had done it, but he still felt bad for him. His and Murdock's relationship wasn't exactly a secret, although they had never formally told anyone, it was more of a `don't ask, don't tell' thing, although they assumed BA and Hannibal knew. Especially since whenever Murdock was feeling particularly vindictive against BA he would make a show of some sort with Face, never giving the conman much time to defend himself.
Fortunately the rest of the ride went smoothly and Murdock went back to his own seat once his back started to hurt. They got to the cabin just after midday and by that time the pilot was back to his usual vibrant self, which was a relief for all of them.
They got settled in (there were camp beds set up - 2 in the main room and two in the bedroom) before BA went to go look for firewood and Hannibal excused himself to go for a walk. He always did that, he said he enjoyed being able to smoke a cigar in the peaceful surroundings, but for some reason it seemed like that time he and BA were leaving to give Murdock and Face some time to themselves. The obviousness of it made Face feel awkward, but Murdock didn't seem to notice and sat down next to the conman as soon as the other two had left.
"How are you feeling now?" Face asked as he went though the pack with the food in it, setting out the aluminium containers next to the fireplace ready for coking once the fire was lit.
"Feeling? I feel fine, Face. Better than fine!" The pilot said cheerfully, edging closer to the conman and leaning over to nudge him lightly with his head. Face knew what he was going to say before the words even left his mouth.
"Say...you know, BA and Hannibal will probably be gone a while..." His tone was an attempt to be coy, but he was too energetic to pull it off, and Face had to try not to laugh.
"Murdock." He said in exasperation, pushing with his shoulder to try and get the captain to sit upright again, but this only encouraged him to lean more, "We don't have time for...for that."
Murdock's huff told him the pilot already knew that.
"Well, I suppose we could just-"
"Murdock, no!" The conman finally laughed, pushing with his hands to try and get him off, then let out a yelp when the pilot slid out from behind his hands and pushed him down. Despite knocking his head a little on the hard floor, Face just looked up at the pilot with a fond, chastising look, bracing his hands against Murdock's chest when he crawled over him, keeping him at a decent distance.
"Murdock..." He warned, watching the pilot suspiciously.
"What? I'm not gonna do nothing, Face." He said as though he was being silly.
"You've already done something!" Face said in amused exasperation, but stopped keeping Murdock at a distance.
"Not much." The pilot grinned as he leaned in, not at all put off by Face's warning expression, "Not yet." He added before closing the distance. The blond let out a frustrated noise, but it wasn't serious and he responded to the kiss as he wrapped his arms up around Murdock's neck.
Face didn't let Murdock take it any further than that, although it wasn't for want of trying on the pilot's part. Finally Face got tired of fending off his wandering hands and pushed him off so they could carry on getting the food and water laid out. Murdock obviously tried to protest but Face wasn't having anything of it, and eventually the pilot acquiesced, although wore a grumpy expression.
"You're usually nicer on our anniversary." He complained, and whilst Face was surprised that he had brought it up, he didn't mention it.
"Sure, but that's not the only thing that's happening today, is it?" He reminded as he sat down on one of the camp beds with a bottle of water, watching Murdock pace around restlessly. That was nothing out of the ordinary. "And I'm not starting anything we have no hopes of finishing today." He added, and Murdock tilted his head before nodding, but he didn't look happy about it.
Fortunately BA chose that time to come back, but Face let out a frustrated noise when he knocked on the door instead of coming right in. Really, what did he think they were going to be doing?
Hannibal came back just as BA was getting the fire lit, and they all settled down to start cooking dinner. It was a cheerful atmosphere, and despite the situation they all enjoyed this relaxed time they could spend just reminiscing and sharing jokes. Not that any of them would ever admit it.
As they ate, Murdock repeatedly cast furtive glances at the window. It was October so nights drew in earlier, and it wasn't long after they had finished that the pilot got up and excused himself to the bedroom. Almost immediately the air changed and the three men looked down with pensive frowns at the floor.
It wasn't until Murdock actually had to leave that it dawned on them just how hard a situation this was. They all hated how painful (emotionally and physically) it was for their pilot, and the knowledge that there was no cure, that no one was even working on one, was so unfair.
Still, the oppressive atmosphere couldn't last forever, and after a few minutes they finally relaxed again, starting up the conversation again so that Murdock wouldn't know how worried they were when he finally came back in.
It took them longer than it should have to realise that Murdock was taking more time than usual, and after sharing a look with the others, Face volunteered to go check on Murdock.
He knocked on the bedroom door before going in, his mind immediately jumped to the worst conclusions; had something gone wrong in the change, or had Murdock hurt himself? What if something else had changed? What if-?
"Oh hell, Hannibal, he got out of the window!" The reason for the pilot's absence was apparent the second he opened the door and was blasted with cool autumn air.
"What? I though they were locked." Hannibal was immediately at his side, chewing on an unlit cigar with a slightly irritated expression, and BA was cursing mildly in anger and already digging out the flashlights.
"He must have picked them before he changed." Face said as he went over, resisting an irritated noise when he saw Murdock had used his lock pick. That was like using someone else's toothbrush as far as Face was concerned.
"Well we'd better get out there and find him." Hannibal sighed, catching the light BA threw him, and Face caught the other.
"He'll probably be looking for a clearing. And he'll probably go uphill." Face reasoned. Somewhere he could see the full moon. He could just see Murdock now, sat as happy as a puppy in a clearing looking up at the moon, tongue lolling out and tail wagging and not caring at all for the trouble he was putting them through.
"Alright, spread out." Hannibal told them, "We'll meet back here in an hour if we don't find him. There's no way he can reach a town, so if we don't get him, he'll come back before dawn anyway." he could, however, get to a road where he could easily be spotted, so they needed to find him if they could.
After a nod to each other they all set off.
Face muttered to himself as he walked, grumbling between calls for Murdock. This was bad enough in summer, but it was starting to get cold at night now and the last thing any of them wanted to be doing was traipsing around at night. Murdock had a fur coat, he didn't feel the cold, but they sure as hell did.
It was after about 20 minutes that Murdock gave away his position. The clich would have made Face laugh if he hadn't been in such a sour mood.
Murdock was howling.
At least it was a true wolf howl, baleful and beautiful, but it still wasn't worth walking around in the cold. And it wasn't anywhere near him, Face could tell, so he turned back.
Heading downhill it took him less than 15 minutes to get back, and he arrived around the same time as Hannibal.
"Not near you then?" Face asked, and the Colonel shook his head.
"So that means..." Face couldn't keep the grin off. Well it served Murdock right that BA would be the one to find him.
Minutes later heavy footfalls preceded BA and Murdock, and the large man's deep grumblings could be heard before he came into view. It was curious that they only heard one set of steps, but as he came into the clearing it became apparent why. Face had the sense to stay quiet, but Hannibal let out a snort of amusement. BA had Murdock slung over one shoulder, but far from looking chastised and baleful, Murdock had his big paws braced against BA's back and was looking around happily. His tail was wagging and kept smacking the Sergeant in the face, and he was getting increasingly irate.
"Found him howlin' at the moon. Foo''s lucky I didn't break his neck, stop `im howling for good!" BA said vehemently, shrugging his shoulder to jostle Murdock, and the wolf let out a huff as best he could, squirming a little to get let down. But BA kept him where he was as Hannibal went around to look at Murdock.
"Now, Captain, you've put us through a lot of trouble tonight. I suggest you go to the bedroom and stay there and don't cause us any more problems." He was using his `I'm serious' tone, and Murdock had the sense to look chastised, lowing his head with his ears laid back, "Alright Sergeant, let him down." Hannibal told BA when he was convinced Murdock knew the deal.
Despite how, as a wolf, Murdock had a lot more muscle, BA flipped him down off his shoulder and onto his four paws like he was the same lanky pilot as always.
"Face, you go with him and make sure that window stays locked." Hannibal told him, and Face looked like he wanted to protest, but between Hannibal's no-nonsense expression and Murdock pitifully slinking back inside, he decided to do as told.
"Sure. I'll hide my tools away as well." He added so Murdock could hear as he followed him in.
"You do that."
Face shut the bedroom door behind them and went over to make sure the window was locked and secure. Murdock had gone over to the camp beds and was using his head to push them together before jumping up, looking up at Face expectantly, tail already wagging again.
"What? You think I'm going to play after you had us walking around in the cold?" Face asked him disbelievingly, and Murdock let out an insistent whine, pawing at the mattress.
"No. No way. You're in the doghouse Mister." Face told him, going over to his pack and making sure his tools of the trade were secured away before getting out a book and sitting in a chair away from the beds to read. There were electric camp lights set up around so there was plenty of light.
He proceeded to ignore Murdock, paying no attention to his shifts and whines, until finally the wolf slunk over, practically on his belly, and nosed hopefully at Face's hands. Still Face ignored him, although he found he couldn't any more when Murdock nosed under his book and put his head down on his leg. His big brown eyes were hidden, but Face had seen them so many times he could feel them through the pages of his book.
With a heavy sigh he lifted the book and looked down at the wolf with an exasperated expression, eyebrows lifted, and Murdock tentatively wagged his tail until finally Face gave in with a defeated noise and put a hand on his head, "Alright, fine. But you really shouldn't run off like that. And BA's not going to be happy with you tomorrow." He told him, but Murdock, as always, didn't seem bothered, and instead preferred to get his paws up on Face's legs and lick his cheek.
Finally Murdock managed to convince Face to get on the bed so he could pet him, and they settled down comfortably; Face holding his book with one hand and slowly running his fingers through Murdock's fur with the other. It was relaxing, and Murdock soon fell asleep, and Face found himself getting tired not long after. It had been a long day after all, and the sooner he slept the sooner Murdock would be back to his human self.
After changing for bed, Face got under the covers of his bed, and pulled a blanket over Murdock after the wolf had shifted close. Face fell asleep with his fingers curled in the fur between the wolf's shoulders and nose near his neck, and it was a comfortingly familiar position.
Dawn came before it was time to get up, and asleep Murdock didn't suffer during the change, but once human again he managed to squirm his way under Face's considerably thicker covers for warmth, and somehow they both fit in the tiny camp bed.
A knock at the door woke them up, but whoever it was knew better than to come in, and this time Face reasoned that they had a good reason not to trust what they would see if they came in.
Murdock was reluctant to wake and pressed his face down against the conman's neck to try and block out the light. He was always tired the morning after the full-moon, and Face didn't begrudge him not wanting to wake. But he had to, and he gently rubbed his back to try and bring him round.
"Murdock, there's fur everywhere, we need to get up." He said quietly with a smile, laughing at the pilot's protesting noise and waiting until he rolled back of his own volition, but still didn't look like he wanted to get up.
"'S'too early..." He mumbled, rubbing at his eyes, and Face propped himself up on one elbow, watching Murdock fondly.
"It's not that early." He told him, but reached over to pull the spare blanket over Murdock as well; the pilot had to be cold, he wasn't wearing anything under the covers.
"Is too." His heart wasn't in the argument, though, and he blew at a piece of fur that tried to find its way into his mouth. Finally he looked over at Face with a pout.
"You're all going to be mad at me for running off." He stated, and Face nodded even though he was smiling.
"Oh yeah, totally. Having us walking around in the cold looking for your furry ass. I'd be surprised if BA doesn't skin you." He agreed, grinning when Murdock pouted.
"Or I think Hannibal was talking about getting you a kennel," Face continued, laughing as Murdock tried to plant a hand on his face and push him away with a complaining noise.
"Or we could take you to the pound, let them deal with you." At that, Murdock was finally riled enough to try and get his hand over Face's mouth, and the conman laughed as he tried to fend him off. They wrestled for a minute or so before Murdock finally gave up, hand braced on the bed beside Face's shoulder and looking down at him with a pout.
"Awake now?" Face asked, and Murdock huffed but looked amused.
"I suppose." He agreed, looking placated when Face slid a hand up into his hair.
"Good, because I think I just heard BA and Hannibal go out." It was true, the cabin was suspiciously quiet outside the door. Murdock's eyebrows shot up.
"You serious?" He asked, already edging closer and grinning when Face wrapped his other arm up around his neck.
"Sure. Happy Anniversary."
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