Author Note: Another wing!fic, delivered on the request of and dedicated to happychica, who helpfully let some of my plot bunnies out of their hutches and kindly added more to the fold while I wasn't looking. This is one such bunny, going to a loving home on fanfiction :-)
A couple of Marvel comic references in here, but nothing major.
Out of the Blue
"Shit," is the first word that comes into Face's head as he looks in the mirror. He's just woken up and he wonders whether what he's seeing is just the last vestiges of a REM dream, rubbing his eyes free of any sleep before looking again. No still there. Shit. There's a pause, as he tries to think of something more productive and refined to say, but he just stands there, gaping like a fish out of water, till his mind finds the right neurons to connect to get him to swear again. It doesn't help him, not in the slightest, but for the moment it makes him feel better about the whole situation, and it's a lot less painful than kicking or hitting something. He should be making a smart-ass comment, which usually disguises any fear he might have about the whole situation, but he can't con himself into believing something when the evidence refuting it is staring back at him in the full length mirror before him, evidence that doesn't change when he moves, turning to the side left and right before he realises he just can't get away from it.
Shit. And there is nothing more he can think, not when he's focused on the fact that there are some big-ass wings sticking out wide from his back. That, the last time he checked before he turned in last night, definitely weren't there. He's sure he wouldn't have missed them. They are pretty obvious.
With trembling fingers, he reaches over his shoulders, feels the texture of the soft down of the feathers as they connect with the pads of his fingertips, rubbing them as he becomes more emboldened, adding the knowledge of their feel to his brain. He pulls at one, experimentally, and a jolt of pain shocks through ligaments that before this morning Face had never had to worry about. It's enough to make him go "Ow!", in a loud petulant voice that makes him sound like a child with a skinned knee, but to be honest, even saying 'Ow' is a lot more productive than what he's been doing for the last few minutes, which has consisted of staring, swearing and having a small freak-out in the middle of his tent. Because, let's be fair, he has just grown wings.
It's nice how life throws him these little curve balls once in a while, just to keep him on his toes.
The second step in his thought processes, once he's managed to reconcile the image in the mirror- a man who looks an awful lot like him, six-pack, tanned skin and everything, just with wings on his back (which until today, hadn't been part of the equation) – with how he knows himself to look , is to wonder how the hell these new additions got there. It's not the sort of thing that just happens, not as far as Face is aware, and he's pretty sure he'd have heard about a freak medical condition with wings being a primary symptom.
Trying to calm his nerves,- point blank ignoring the smarmy looking bastard in the mirror, wings spread out wide just to taunt him- he tries to sort it all out in his head, before he can even begin to think how in gods name he's gonna explain this to Hannibal. Imagining the look on his CO's face is not something which makes him feel any more calmer. OK, first things first. He has wings. Huge, dappled brown wings, growing out his back. The sort you find on eagles and birds of prey, just a hell of a lot bigger. OK, so far so good. Second point, they weren't there yesterday. Which means they aren't natural, that something caused them. He runs through suggestions in his mind, most of them frankly ridiculous. Alien experimentation, cosmic gamma rays, radioactive birds, an as-yet-undiscovered rare gene in his DNA that's only decided to activate now. It depresses him slightly that the only reference he has for how the hell this could have happened comes from Murdock's comic-books, the ones that Face 'borrows' (purely out of curiosity if anyone calls him up on it) when he can sneak them away. He can only remember one character with wings, but there were a couple of characters who could fly. Storm, Human Torch... technically Iron Man. It embarrasses him that he knows this. Murdock's the Marvel-geek, not him. But flying character references aren't going to help him much. Considering he's not even thinking about whether these babies can actually lift him off the ground at the moment, he's pretty much stumped.
He decides on a whim, simply to make himself feel better, to blame Murdock on this one. Because whenever something strange happens- Face finds his Nivea products all mixed together in an attempt to make 'a magic potion', or finds holes cut out of the side of his socks so a puppet can be given ears- it's usually Murdock's fault. It's probably Murdock's cooking that's caused this catastrophe - his speciality last night being pasta a la tomato sauce , with lubrication oil as a thickener. He nods decisively. OK, definitely Murdock. Because if his recipes can give Face temporary Bells Palsy, he wouldn't put it past one of the pilot's concoctions to be able to give him wings.
There's a noise outside the door, like someone's giving a small knock on the supports of the tent doorway.
"Face?" a heavy accented Spanish voice calls out "Are you in there?"
"Shit" Face thinks, and decides he really has to get out of the habit of doing that. Surely he can think of a more useful comment than a swear word? He ignores his thought for a second, more on his mind as he practically screams "Just a minute!" , scrambling around, knocking over items of sundry as he tries to find a shirt to at least try to cover the damn things sticking awkwardly out of his back. He stubs his toe on the steel frame of his bed, gives a squawk of pain and another swearword- he thinks randomly at this point that he'd be so poor if Hannibal ever set up a swear box.
"Is that you?" The voice whispers, because dammit, she's not supposed to be here- come to think of it, why the hell is she here? "Are you ok?"
"Fine!" Face calls out in a strangled voice of jocularity, feeling the pain in his toe throb. But right now he has more pressing things to worry about. Like the fact that Carmen Sanchez, the daughter of their client on a job they've just finished, is standing outside his door ( and Face's perverted mind can't help conjure up the mental image he knows is reality, seeing a woman in an indecently short skirt that only accentuates the fact that it looks like her legs only stop at the point right underneath her not inconsiderable breasts) It's the universe laughing at him, Face decides, because last night he was sure that Carmen wasn't picking up on his efforts to flirt with her when they talked over a glass of wine,but has now turned up at just the wrong time. Because he definitely can't sleep with her now, not with... recent developments.
It takes time to wrestle a shirt on- wings turn out to be a bitch to control- and it takes a few seconds of Face panic-cursing before he figures out how to fold his wings up into the alcove of his back, sliding a shirt over them just in time as Carmen Sanchez breezes into the room- 6"1 of Mediterranean tanned beauty, black hair, sultry eyes, everything Face likes in a woman. Face's daydream got it right for once, and he gulps as he tries not to stare at the fact that the skirt and low cut top she's dressed in barely constitute as clothing.
"C...Carmen," God, is he stuttering? Face has never stuttered before, but he is now, wondering how the hell he can fob her off considering how forward he was last night"Wh...what can I do for you?"
"I thought you made your... intentions very clear last night" That voice goes right through him and the extremely sexy look that goes with it, and even though his mind is telling him to keep his damn libido under wraps, his body can't help but react uncomfortably to that voice and the image before him.
"Yeah," he swallows, hoping she hasn't noticed "Well, the thing is..."
"I couldn't stop thinking about you since then," Carmen moves closer, completely breaking any rules of decorum regarding personal space "The way you spoke to me, whispered in my ear..."
Her hands move onto his shoulder, going the way of wrapping her arms round his neck and Face practically jumps out of his skin, pulling away from her- because although he doesn't mind the fact that she's getting closer (last night, he remembers he wanted her pretty close in the most physical sense possible) it's more the fact that if she moves her hands any further over his shoulders , she'll discover that instead of a plain smooth back she can dig her fingers into when the passion takes her (godammit, he can't get his libido under control) , it's more like an Icarus experiment back there.
"N...no, don't... don't do that" he objects, trying desperately to think of an excuse as to why he just did that, because she's looking at him like he's just grown another head , the same way she'd probably look if her hands had come into contact with the lumps under his shoulder blades that Face has assumed are the sockets for rotary purposes "I... I've got... sensitive skin, yes... sensitive skin. Very uncomfortable. I'd rather you didn't touch there"
"Where would you rather I touch?" Carmen's tone is silky, mischievous, and moving away from his shoulders, her hand's trail downwards, making Face give an involuntary groan "Here?" Face whimpers as she moves even further down "Or it that too... sensitive an area?"
Face gives a choked sound as his mouth tries to form words, and it takes him a second to remember that he can't possibly deal with sex now, not with his more pressing problem, an issue more pressing than the fact he is getting so turned on by what this woman is trying to do to him. Any other time, and he damns the gods that allowed this to happen to him. It's not as though women like Carmen come along often, and Face's period's of drought when it comes to female company have been getting longer since he's been on the run.
"Stop... stop!" he says it a bit more forcefully, and this time she actually pauses, just with her hand right there and it's hard for him to speak as he tries not to think about it "I.. I like you, I really do... but this isn't a good time for me"
"Any time is good for this, baby" Jesus, does this woman have no self control, but Face can only give an 'Ughhh' as a reply as her hand moves again. Her other hand seems to be moving to try and pull his shirt open, undoing the buttons halfway down before his mind focuses again on the top of his body, and the fact that if she keeps doing what she's trying to do with her hands, he'll lose all self control he has trying to keep the wings on his back folded up. The thought gives Face the incentive he needs to pull away from her.
"I'm sorry... but I just can't do this" Face is panting the words out, both from his panic and the desire that's almost painful in his body.
Carmen throws her hands up, giving an exasperated sound that makes it very clear that she's quite determined about having her way with him in this tent right at this very moment, something that yesterday, he would have given anything for, but which today is just a major pain on top of all the other problems he's dealing with . "Why not?" She looks pissed off, and Face can't blame her despite it all "Yesterday you were trying very hard to get me alone in your tent with you. Now I'm here. What's the issue?"
"Err," Face's mind goes to warp-speed, wondering what the hell a good excuse is in this situation . In truth he's never needed an excuse to get out of having sex with a beautiful woman. Usually, he's thinking of excuses how to get them into bed, not how to get them out. "I can't sleep with you... er... because..." In his panic, he speaks the first one that comes into his head, because he can't exactly tell her that it's because he has had two metre wings sprout from his back since they talked yesterday "... because I'm gay" Face regrets saying it as soon as it leaves his mouth, knowing it's just going to come back and bite him in the ass later, but it's been said aloud now and there is nothing he can do about it.
She looks shocked for a second, standing up straighter as she looks at him.
"You're gay?" Her voice is low, dangerous sounding and Face can only nod, not trusting himself to speak.
He only sees a motion blur before he feels the slap across his face, solid and painful. He swears again, (what else is new?) staggering slightly on his feet.
"You bastard!" Carmen hisses, her deep eyes blazing with anger and Face wonders how she can still look so sexy even when she's just assaulted him. She storms out the tent without another word, Face watching her go and sadly appreciating the beauty of her from behind, a beauty he now has no chance with. Damn. He rubs his face, feeling where she hit him smart. At least that was one problem taken care of, he tells himself.
And then he hears it. The laughing. Collective laughing.
His eyes narrow. Those bastards
He pulls open the door of the tent with a wrench of his arms to see Hannibal, BA and Murdock standing outside, all looking at him with a mixture of expressions. And he knows that they heard every damn word and most definitely heard the loud slap.
"Your face ok, Facey?" Murdock is the first to speak, ever the one with no inhibitions, and then BA just cracks up again, the two members of the team who wind each other up the most giggling like children at Face's misfortune.
" It's funny is it?" Face is almost shouting then, because really, he's reached the end of his tether. He's been hit, laughed at, humiliated and has grown wings, all in the space of one morning, and he just wants to go back to bed and hide his head under his pillow in the hope that when he opens his eyes again, this nightmare will be over and gone. He sees Hannibal smirking too, unlit cigar in his mouth and it's just the last straw "It's not funny Hannibal!" He starts undoing the buttons of his shirt, fumbling before he can get them open "You don't have goddamn wings sudden growing out of your back!" Secrecy be damned, Face pulls off his shirt, unfolding his wings defiantly. Granted, it gets the three of them to stop laughing, but instead of the reaction he was expecting- the whole fear and panic thing- Murdock just grins.
"We so gotta have a race now you got them, Faceman. You versus my plane. See who wins"
Face can't believe what he's hearing, and for a second wonders whether he's gone mad.
"Are you guys blind?" He asks, all vestiges of calm jumping overboard the sinking ship of his circumstances. His voice is loud and high-pitched with stress, but he doesn't give a damn, not now. "I have wings. Wings. On my back" There's still very little reaction, and he wonders how much more oblivious they could be to the fact that their colleague of nine years is suddenly a bird-man freak of nature. "Doesn't it bother you?"
"Well, under normal circumstances, it would be a bit strange, yes" Hannibal replies, as though his team members growing extra parts is just another one of those uncertainties he has to incorporate into his famed plans "But then, we think it's only temporary"
"We?" Face asks, confused and feeling a bit left out of the loop. It wouldn't be the first time he's the last to get the joke. Hannibal just grins and clicks his fingers, and if Face wasn't confused then, he is now, because he swears he sees a small burst of flame sprout up from the space above the colonel's thumb and forefinger that Hannibal uses effectively as a Zippo lighter for his cigar. It extinguishes itself even as Face watches, and he wonders whether the lubricant Murdock added to the pasta last night is making him hallucinate.
"You doing fire tricks now?" He asks, desperate for a normal, explanatory answer, but Hannibal winks
"I'm a man of many talents"
"Hey, Facey, these are actually really cool,"a southern voice says from behind him, and Face whirls round to see Murdock appreciatively eyeing his wings, wondering how the hell the pilot managed to get past him considering he was standing in the doorway of his tent.
"How...?" he starts, but Murdock's suddenly not there any more, having disappeared like he was never there with a small noise that Face's inner comic-book geekery wants to be an audible 'bamf'. Face whirls round to see him standing back next to BA again. He shakes his head , can't think of anything to say that could possibly encompass the confusion he's feeling, and senses a migraine coming on.
"Great, just great" he mutters to himself, wanting to go back to bed. He doesn't even want to know what extra abilities BA might have picked up in the night, because it seems like everyone else but him is quite enjoying having new powers to play with for a while. He catches sight of Hannibal smirking at him still, and wonders what the hell's so funny. "What?"
Hannibal takes a drag of his cigar, a light in his eyes that Face doesn't like. Hannibal can look devious as hell when he wants to.
"So," he says and Face can hear Murdock beginning to snigger , BA shushing him while trying to hold in his own laughter "You're gay. When were you going to tell us?"
Face can't speak for a moment, doing the gaping-fish impression again, and he feels a red hot fire creeping up his cheeks that smarts a lot more than Carmen's slap. "Hannibal... I... I'm not..."
"You did just strip your shirt off in front of us," That damn smile is still there, and Face doesn't know whether he wants to groan or scream "No, it's ok. We wouldn't hold it against you. Each to his own you know" He takes another drag "I always thought those rumours around HQ in Iraq had some truth"
"What?" Face squawks his answer for the second time that day, his eyes wide, worried about what the hell Hannibal might have heard because it certainly isn't true "What rumours?" And then he looks at the expression on Hannibal's face, sees Murdock's shoulders shaking with silent laughter, BA trying to school his face into something other than a massive grin and failing miserably, and knows they're just taking the piss out of him.
"I hate you all" he growls, deciding he's had enough of this for one day.
Glaring at the three of them, he turns round, yanks close the fabric that serves as a door to his tent, hearing the giggling behind him and wondering why the hell this shit always happened to him.