by G Richmond
Status: Draft 1
Author: G. Richmond
Feedback levels: UP TO LEVEL 1
Feedback requests: none
Author's notes: This is a direct follow on from the episode `Steel', but only insofar as Murdock's dog persona. The title is from a Click 5 song `Goodnight' which inspire me with some of the last lines and made me want to write a story behind it.
It's not especially well written in my opinion, but since it is complete I thought I would post it. However, I've lost the will to work on it any more since I want to get on with other stories (I started this in August `10). So here it is, a bit rushed, but I hope you enjoy it for what it is
Face stared after Hannibal pleadingly, "I picked him up! I don't want him in my 'vette. What if he woofs out on me again, I'll get hair on my seat, drool on my..."
"Oh don't be absurd," Murdock interjected as though Face was being silly, "You're talking to me as if I was a dog!" He complained as he went to go get into the car, ignoring the less-than-happy look the con-man was giving him.
The growling bark the pilot let out before climbing into the passenger seat did little to ease Face's disconcertion.
Nevertheless, he knew trying to argue with Hannibal was like trying to argue with a brick wall: pointless, boring and painful, depending on how you came at it, and the VA wasn't all that far away. If he floored it all the way he could probably make it by late evening, and it would be easier to sneak Murdock back in under cover of darkness.
And Murdock wasn't always bad company really, it all depended on what delusions he had decided on that week. Although Face had to admit the new dog persona was a little grating , even if it did bring to mind some definite unwholesome thoughts regarding the pilot. Images of leashes and Murdock down on all fours made him shift uncomfortably in his seat and look for the nearest attractive women for a quick distraction. He didn't mean to get those thoughts, they just seemed to happen. Maybe the innuendo was just too obvious to be ignored. Still, it disconcerted the conman a little that he wasn't as horrified by the thoughts as he assumed he should be.
"Well, get going." Hannibal slapped a hand against the hood of the car when Face wasn't driving off, and the conman gave him a dirty look before starting the ignition and doing a U-turn in the road to take Murdock home.
It didn't take long for him to give up trying to stop Murdock standing up in the convertible or sticking his head out of the window, tongue hanging out like the dog he thought he was. It kept him quiet anyway, and he looked happy, and he did have the sense to pull his head in when they approached any police cars. And even Face had to admit that the expression on people's faces as they drove past with Murdock barking at them were hilarious.
"Aren't you getting bored by now?" Face finally asked after they had been driving for a couple hours and the pilot's enthusiasm showed no signs of ebbing.
"Of course not, Faceman. This is the pinnacle of canine freedom. You, as an unfortunate human being will never know the joys of the rush of the wind through your fur. The howling wind is my eternal companion." The emphasis on `howling' (which was expressed as an actual howl) startled a pedestrian as they flew past, so Face sounded more amused than he really was as he replied.
"Oh, I see. So you're going to be doing this all the way back to...your kennel?" He tried, pretending not to notice when Murdock turned big pitiful eyes on him.
"You're taking me back to the pound?" He asked in a truly sorrowful voice, "Please don't Face! I'm having such good fun out here, and I promise I'll be ever so ever so good." He was trying to be endearing, but pawing at Face's chest wasn't really winning him any favours as the conman tried to push him back to his own side of the car.
"Please, I'll be good! I'll play fetch and I'll protect you from bad people and I promise I wont scratch myself in public." He insisted, and was immune to the disgruntled look Face turned on him when they hit a straight and he could afford to take his eyes off the road, "Not even for a little bit? I'll be very quiet, you wont even know I'm here." Murdock added, curling up as small as he could get in the seat as though trying to be as inconspicuous as possible.
Face thought for a moment, "Alright..." He said slowly. He guessed an extra hour or so wouldn't hurt, if he could get something out of it. It was going to be a couple more hours driving anyway back to the VA anyway, "But you have to be quiet and still for the rest of the journey. Deal?" He looked to Murdock, who looked elated.
"Oh yes, you have my word as an upstanding canine, I will not disappoint you. I promise to be very-"
"Murdock..." Face warned when the pilot sounded like he was about to start not being very quiet at all, and Murdock immediately shut up. Face grinned and silently congratulated himself on having such a good idea.
Murdock was good to his word and the rest of the drive passed uneventfully, although he started to fidget unhappily as they got closer to the hospital. They were about half an hour away when he finally looked to the conman. It was dark by then, but the streetlights illuminated them.
"Hey, Faceman, don't say you lied to me." He said, voice a little edgy in suspicion.
"Would I, Murdock? Really, you think so little of me." Face complained as he took a small road off the main one, and Murdock immediately relaxed. They were heading out into a forested area, well out of the way of any houses or people.
"There, see." Face said a while later as he parked up after driving off road for as long as he could handle inflicting on his poor car. "Right in the middle of nowhere, where you can play fetch for as long as you like." He told the pilot amicably as he got out, looking amused when Murdock vaulted excitedly out of the car and ran off a little ways, "Don't go too far, it's dark, you'll get lost." Face warned him as he went to fetch some things out of the trunk.
"Not to worry, Faceman, my impeccable sense of smell will always lead me right back!" Murdock said brightly as he came bouncing back.
"Yeah, well that would be great," Face started enthusiastically, then deadpanned, "Except you're not really a dog, Murdock, and I don't want to waste half my night looking for you after you run off." He ignored Murdock's petulant expression, "Help me light a fire, at least then we'll be able to see." He pulled out a blanket from the trunk, as well as fuel and matches for getting a fire going. There were a number of other things in there as well, like rations of food and water, and even what looked like a one-man tent. Face was nothing if not prepared.
Thanks to Murdock's helpful fetching (fortunately he didn't come back carrying anything in his mouth) they soon had a small fire built up inside a ring of stones, and Face went back to the trunk to get out some food and a couple of bottles of water.
"Here." he threw a bottle to Murdock as he went back over, sitting down on the blanket and leaning against the fallen tree they had settled next to. He watched the pilot wander around, happy to just let him enjoy the freedom while it lasted, but eventually Murdock came back and sat down next to him on the blanket. Murdock was thankfully starting to look a bit tired from all the running around, and Face hoped it would be easier to convince him to go back to the VA if he was sleepy.
"Hungry?" He offered the pilot a pack of dried fruit, which he looked at but didn't take.
"Say...Face...you haven't still got any of those...you know..." he asked hopefully, and Face gave him a dubious look as the pilot leaned in eagerly.
"Any what?" He asked, leaning back.
"You know...you keep them in your pockets... please say you have some." Face jumped as Murdock invited himself into the pockets in his jacket, nearly bowling him over with his enthusiasm.
"Wait, you mean biscuits?" Face asked with a laugh, trying to push Murdock back, but the pilot wasn't so easily deterred.
"Yes! You have to have some somewhere." he insisted, reaching into the inside pockets of Face's jacket and then into the ones in his waistcoat, making the conman jump in surprise and fall back in his attempt to get away.
"Murdock! I don't have any left, you ate them all!" Face couldn't help laughing at the ridiculousness of the situation as Murdock continued to enthusiastically reach into any pockets he could find, not allowing Face to get back up, "Murdock!"
"I think you're lying, I can smell them. And a dog's sense of smell never lies." He had his head jammed into the conman's jacket as he said this, and Face was sure that all he was going to be able to smell was that fact that they had had a long hot day and he hadn't showered yet.
"Murdock! Get out of there!" He smacked the pilot's head through his hat, but he was obviously trying not to laugh, "Down boy!"
Finally Murdock gave in and sat back with a petulant expression, "My nose deceived me." he said balefully. Face sat up and tried to straighten his clothes, cheeks slightly flushed and hair a mess.
"I told you I didn't have any. If you're hungry just have some fruit." He looked relieved as Murdock finally sat back with the bag of fruit, picking at the pieces with feigned misery. Face just shook his head with amusement and sat back, uncapping his water and taking a drink as he loosened his tie and slipped it off, then unbuttoned the top couple of buttons on his shirt, enjoying the unrestricted feeling.
He let the tie rest over his leg for a while as he finished off his water, turning to watch as Murdock pretended to scratch like a dog. He was still keeping in character it seemed. With amusement Face picked up his tie and got Murdock's attention with a whistle before slipping the loop over his head. He laughed at the bewildered looked he received.
"Every dog needs a collar and leash, right?" He asked, and the way Murdock's face lit up with delight was endearing.
"Oh, Face, that's so thoughtful of you!" He said, looking down at the tie happily, picking at it a little, "I'm so glad you're beginning to accept me as my true canine self."
"I just don't want you running off and fathering a little of puppies without us knowing." Face told him, trying not to sound as amused as he really was.
"Oh Face! That's just silly." Murdock told him, but his thoughtful expression as he looked down at the tie and then out into the forest put the conman on edge.
"Murdock, don't you even think about-!" Face let out a yell as Murdock suddenly made a leap for freedom, and he only managed to grab the end of the tie by pure chance, falling flat on his back. The pilot was drawn up short with a strangled noise and fell back on Face, who let out a gasp as all the air was knocked out of his lungs.
"Why'd you do that, Face? I would have come back." He said as he got off the conman, who was moaning pitifully. Murdock didn't have a lot of room to work with as he moved, since Face still had a death grip on the tie and he ended up leaning over the conman watching him recover.
"You know, you're more effort than you're worth, sometimes." Face finally ground out once he had caught his breath, pushing himself up on one elbow to half glare are the pilot. His annoyance didn't last long, though, since Murdock was looking suitably chastised.
"Sorry, Faceman, I didn't mean to fall on you." He said sincerely, trying to draw away when Face propped himself up, but the tie kept him close and their faces ended up mere inches away from each other.
"I-" Face faltered when he realised how close they, eyes inadvertently darting to Murdock's mouth then back to meet his eyes. Less than a second later he blushed furiously when he realised what he had done and how there wasn't a chance in hell that Murdock hadn't noticed. "I...uh..." Every thought in his brain screamed at him to let go of the tie, but his fingers weren't listening.
"Uh...Faceman..." Murdock started, tone conversational but his voice was low, "You might wanna let go of that tie there before I do something crazy." He leaned in a little to release the pressure the tie was creating on the back of his neck, big brown eyes fixed to the other man's.
Face's breaths picked up a little, swallowing uncertainly. Murdock had made it all so easy. Let go of the tie or don't let go of the tie. And then, if he wanted to deny it later he could just say he had meant to let go but hadn't done it in time, or something.
"Okay..." He acknowledged, not letting go of the tie. Murdock pulled experimentally, but when he didn't get very far a small grin lit his face and he leaned back in, judging Face's reaction before closing the distance
The kiss was uncertain, chaste and ever so slightly awkward (mostly because Face had tensed up like someone had just grabbed him by the crotch), and the pilot pulled back after just a few seconds.
"Ah...sorry." Face immediately apologised in embarrassment. There he was, Mr. Stud-of-the- Year, freezing up like a nervous virgin.
"S'no problem, muchacho." Murdock immediately shrugged with a careless grin, at the end of the limits of the tie now, "Could you maybe let go of the tie now?"
Damnit, now things were going to be awkward, and how could they not be? Murdock was going to think he had read him all wrong and that Face was going to look at him different. And Face couldn't let that happen, not when he had invited the pilot to kiss him in the first place. He had known exactly what Murdock had meant when he said he would do something crazy. And now all those curious feelings he had felt when Murdock had first began with his dog character were starting to resurface.
"No, I think I want to try that again." Face told him, taking in the pilot's surprised expression for a moment before using the tie to pull him in again, meeting him halfway this time. Murdock was unresponsive for a gut-wrenching moment, and Face thought that maybe he had got it wrong. Maybe he had just been playing around, just being crazy and spontaneous. But then the pilot pushed into the kiss and Face relaxed in relief.
When the kiss deepened Face let go of the tie to wrap his arm up around Murdock's neck, keeping their mouths joined as he lay back out of the uncomfortable position propped up on one arm. Murdock was happy to lean over him, one hand braced beside the conman's chest.
Face was silently surprised at how good the kiss was, and enjoyed the differences to the many women he had been with. It was no less pleasant, but it was firmer, more sure and confident as they shared dominance. And as their tongues met he noted that Murdock tasted different to any woman, although he was willing to bet that Murdock probably tasted different to any man as well. Murdock was a rule unto himself.
Face felt the pilot move onto his lap, long legs straddling his hips, and he blushed hotly at the small encouraging groan that escaped him. He hadn't mean to sound so in to it. He felt Murdock's shoulder's jump in a small laugh, and as they finally broke for air the pilot was grinning.
"What?" Face tried to sound nonchalant, but he knew he was blushing far too hard to pull it off. He was also finding it hard to meet Murdock's eyes.
"Never knew you were a dog person, Faceman." Murdock said with a cheeky grin as he sat up, shifting back a little so he was sitting on Face's legs and not his lap. Face gave him a brief grudging look as he pushed himself up, then looked back down to the tie Murdock still had around his neck, picking at the end a little.
"I'm not." The conman said slowly, "I like cats. But I suppose you much be the exception. As usual." He added the last with an amused grin, tugging a little on the end of the tie to straighten it before sliding his hand up over the silk towards the knot. He eventually met Murdock's eyes again as he tightened his hand around the noose of the tie. The pilot was watching with a pleased, open expression, head tilted a little like he was waiting expectantly for Face to continue.
In lieu of any more speaking, Face used his hold around the tie to pull Murdock into another kiss, the pilot eagerly responding as he ran his hands over the conman's chest to his shoulders. They didn't stay there long, though, moving with all the energy and unpredictability of the man they were attached to, and Face found it hard to keep track of when Murdock's hands were or what they were doing. Before he knew it a cool breeze assaulted his chest and he broke the kiss with surprise when he realised the pilot had somehow relieved him of his jacket, waistcoat and undone his shirt, all without him realising.
"I..." He didn't know what to say, and Murdock didn't look abashed in the slightest, hands pulling at the edges of Face's shirt a little, "That's a good trick..." He murmured, shivering a little when the pilot's warm hand ran up over the center of his chest, contrasting with the cool night air.
"Not a trick," Murdock told him as he leaned back, nose touching the conman's, "Just the correct application of distraction." He nipped lightly at Face's lower lip before diving in for another kiss, and Face had to admit, he was good at distraction. The kisses came with more heat now, and were so different to anything Face had experienced before, that the strangeness of the situation never occurred to him. Murdock kissed the same way he lived, and the same way his hands moved; energetically, enthusiastically and unpredictably. Whether he was submitting or dominating, Murdock kept him guessing
Face's shirt was completely gone now, and the cold wind drew a shiver down over his spine. His own hands were moving over the pilot's torso, slipping under his coat and around to his back, but he was finding it hard to focus enough to get anything off. Not that they were undressing for any specific reason. He supposed Murdock had done it just because he could, and now Face wanted to return the favour. It was only fair.
Murdock stopped him, however after Face pushed his t-shirt up over his chest, long fingers catching around the conman's wrists. Face made a protesting noise as they broke apart, eyeing the pilot's half-grin.
"Guess we gotta head back soon, right?" Murdock asked as he shifted back, righting his clothes as he abruptly moved off the blond.
"Wh...huh?" Face watched the pilot with confusion, a small frown creasing his brow, "What are you...?" He didn't get it; things had been going fine, right? They were having fun, and Murdock had certainly had no qualms about getting Face half-naked. So what had happened?
"S'nothing personal, Faceman." Murdock told him as he moved into a kneeling position a couple feet away from the conman. It was obvious that Face was irritated and confused, and his pride was a bruised from the perceived rejection, "Just don't want you starting something you aint gonna wanna finish, is all." The pilot shrugged.
"Finish?" Face calmed a little, but a his actions were still harsh as he quickly tugged his shirt back on.
"Well, y'know...thought you were gonna hit me when I kissed you..." Murdock watched him, shifting to bring one long leg up to his chest, wrapping his arms around it, "But you didn't...just don't wanna go too quick." It was evident then that Murdock was surprised that Face had responded like he had, and obviously wary that the blond was going to suddenly realise what had happened and be horrified.
Face let out a sigh as he pulled his coat on, running a hand down over his eyes, "I..." He started, then faltered. It was only then occurring to him what really had happened. They had kissed. More than just kissed. And Face wasn't exactly sure how far he would have gone if Murdock hadn't stopped; at the time everything had seemed to be going great, and Face hadn't had any thoughts of stopping.
Murdock got to his feet quickly when he saw the frazzled expression come down over the conman's eyes, "We should get going." He said lowly, going over to kick down the small fire, looking at its embers rather than Face when he heard him climb to his feet behind him.
"S'okay Faceman." The pilot turned with a nonchalant grin that was completely forced, "Things get a little crazy sometimes. Don't really mean nothing, y'know?" He said, stepping back towards the car, only to have Face grab his wrist and pull him back.
"Murdock, it's not like that." He told the pilot, "I don't really know how it happened." He admitted with a touch of awkwardness, "But don't mind that it did." He added with sincerity, taking in Murdock's surprised expression, and how his shoulders lowered in relief.
"Really?" He asked slowly, letting out a breath when Face nodded, the conman finally letting his wrist go.
"But...you know it was just fun, right?" He added, needing Murdock to know he wasn't going to start professing his undying love for him or anything. And he certainly wasn't going to stop seeing women.
"Yeah, I know." Murdock nodded, "But... we can do it again?" Murdock added, the hope plain in his voice.
Face hesitated as he went to go pick up the blanket, but it was only for a second before finally nodding with a small laugh, "I suppose..." He straightened, looking back over at the pilot with a surer nod, "Yeah." He still had some feelings that weren't quite resolved, and he trusted Murdock to know when to keep his mouth shut, "But we need to get you back to the VA now." He added as he went and put the things back in the trunk of the car.
"Aww...Face, do I got to go?" Murdock fell back into petulance even though it had been him that had said they should go back first. Of course, now that things were going much better, he was happy to change his tune. He followed Face over to the trunk.
"Yes, it's getting late." Face laughed, giving the pilot a look when Murdock blocked his way into the driver's side, "Wha-" He was cut off when the pilot dragged him in by the lapels of his coat and kissed him soundly. It was only brief, but fortunately Face's mind had caught up by the time they broke apart and he gave Murdock a scolding look that was only cover for a grin.
"Don't get used to doing that." He warned as he ran his hands down over his coat to flatten it out, trying to act more nonchalant than he felt, "You try that in public and I'll have to hurt you." He ushered Murdock into the car, and the pilot got in without argument.
"Sure thing, Faceman, it can be our secret." He grinned, looking very happy now, and Face was relieved. It hadn't been right seeing the pilot look so downtrodden.
The drive back to the VA took about 40 minutes, and in that time Murdock had crept up from the passenger side to sit in the middle next to Face, their shoulders touching. They rode in comfortable silence, Murdock stifling yawns that made Face smile in amusement, but as they approached the hospital the pilot looked more and more unhappy.
Finally they pulled up outside the gates and Face looked to Murdock, "Can you take it from here?" He asked. This was how taking Murdock back to the VA usually worked; just drop him off out front and let him walk in. He could make up some excuse as to where he had been, or just claim not to remember, it didn't really matter. It was getting him out that was the hard part.
"I guess..." Murdock said slowly like a petulant child, leaning more against Face, "But I don't want to have to say goodbye, Face."
Face sighed, but was smiling, looking to the pilot, "Alright, how about we just say goodnight, then?" He suggested. He felt for the pilot, and he knew how much he disliked going back to the VA, but it was for the best. For a number of reasons. "I'll be coming to break you out again before you know it." He added.
Murdock nodded, looking grudgingly over at the hospital for a moment before sighing and finally climbing out of the car, stepping over Face to get out on the right side and ignoring the conman's `hey!'.
"Don't miss me too bad while I'm away." The pilot said with a half-grin as he turned back to look at Face, bracing his hands on the door of the corvette and leaning in.
"Yeah, I'll try." Face said with an amused eye roll, teasingly leaning away when Murdock bent to try and steal a kiss, but then leaning back in for a chaste kiss before the pilot could get away.
"Goodnight Face." Murdock said with a proper grin as he stepped back, finally turning to head back into the VA, and Face watched him all the way up the path, telling himself he was just making sure he got in alright.
"Yeah. Good night."
Please post a comment on this story.