Mental

By Clarity Scifiroots

Disclaimers apply.

Fandom: The A-TeamCharacter: Murdock

Summary: From the hell of war to the path of recovery. A short drabble inspired by "Agony" by the band Eels.

Twenty-sixth day of June!fic (for, yes again, eldritchhobbit's hurt request just 'cuz I already did the unwell challenge for Murdock)

Edited July 6, 2006

War fucks with the psyche; fucks with the essence that makes a person human; fucks with a person's sense of morality. He'd seen men become monsters and monsters crack and break like fine china hitting a tiled floor. He wasn't going to let himself become those things—monstrous, inhuman, fragile. Because he couldn't go home—there was no going back to what used to be—and he couldn't become a military machine.

Somewhere along the way he expected to disappear, vanish like so many others into a burst of bloody spray. He didn't. Somehow he survived the war and didn't fade away when his duties were concluded. No, he was shuffled together with paperwork and filed into nifty forms that boxed him in. Caged like an animal, he lay strapped to a bed staring at a water stained ceiling with glazed eyes, deaf to the screams escaping his throat.

On occasion he dreamed, the only time he could catch glimpses of the life he'd once lived so very long ago. Days when mud wrestling was innocent trouble-making with the kids of the neighborhood. Back when reading the dictionary like a novel was enjoyable. Days his smile was real and not manic, contained within the normal bounds.

Even after they broke in and unstrapped him, brought him to a place with music and movies and kind nurses, he couldn't tap into the vital fount of life. His skin remained pale, sagging over an empty face that a mirror revealed to be decades older than he had any right to be. He dragged for months, turned into years.

Then one day, he saw the sun rise and felt the barest hint of warmth. That was the beginning. He still wasn't alright, but he had the hunger and desire to reopen curiosity and search the world anew. A fire burned in his belly, greedy for fuel. Finally, he reached out.

Fin

Lyrics:

Am I gonna be all right?

No I'm not gonna be all right

Nothing is all right now

Am I gonna see the sun come up?

Or am I going down?

'cause every day I'm here

All I feel is sheer

Agony

Friends tellin' me that maybe I need

Some psychiatric help

Yeah they're always so quick to tell you

Just how to get on with it

But I look into the mirror

And all I see is age, fear

And agony

If I could just remember what it was like

When I was younger

Before all the joy and happiness

Was replaced with hunger

Now all I've got to show for the seeds that didn't grow

Is agony