The sharp ring of the telephone woke Face up. He rolled over in his bed and took a moment to try and remember where he was. The room was dark, but he could see that it was huge. There were expensive paintings on the walls. Right, he remembered. He had scammed some doctor's house while he was away for a month. It was his first night there and he was so used to waking up in different places that it took him a little while to run through locations in his mind to pinpoint his present whereabouts.
The phone rang again. Face groaned. The bed was so comfortable. The blankets were so soft, and all he wanted to do was to bury back down into their warmth. Still, it could be Hannibal. It could be an emergency. It could be that cute waitress he'd met earlier.
Sighing, he reached for the phone. The cold air raised the hair on his arm and he suppressed a shiver as he grabbed the receiver.
"Yeah, hello?" Face waited but was only met with hesitant breathing on the other end of the phone.
"Hello," Face called again, his impatience growing.
"Not…so good now," a small voice came through.
Face was instantly awake and was getting out of bed, searching for his clothes. He stumbled around in the dark as he kept the phone pressed to his ear.
"Murdock," Face started, "what's wrong?"
"Not so good," he said again.
Face grunted as he stubbed his toe on the bedside table. He switched on the lamp as he tried to ignore the irritating pain.
"Okay," he pressed on. "It's gonna be okay buddy. You're at the VA right?"
Murdock didn't reply. Face could only hear breathing once again.
Face spoke more forcefully, "Murdock, come on. Focus. Answer the question. Are you at the VA?" Face willed Murdock go give him an answer.
"Mmhmm," Murdock barely confirmed.
Face nodded as he finally located his pants. Now they were getting somewhere.
"Good. That's good buddy. Did they drug you? Is that what's going on?"
"Going through my veins right now. Not so good," Murdock mumbled.
Face figured that was about as much information as he was going to get out of his friend right now. But, it was all the information he needed.
"Listen to me. I'm on my way, all right? I'll be there real soon. We're gonna get through this," Face tried to reassure Murdock. He didn't know how much of what he was saying was getting through to the pilot.
"Amy. Bring Amy too. Want you guys," Murdock was slurring his words now.
"Yeah, yeah, sure. I'll get Amy and we'll both come see you, okay?"
Face held his breath for a few seconds before a soft "'kay" broke the silence.
"Okay. I'm gonna hang up now but I'm gonna see you in about 30 minutes. Don't worry. Just hang on pal."
When Murdock didn't say anything more, Face hung up and quickly finished dressing himself, barely remembering to grab a lab coat from the closet as he headed out the door.
Face fidgeted the whole way to Amy's apartment as he forced himself to obey the speed limits. The last thing he needed was to get pulled over. He tried not to think about what Murdock was doing. Normally, Murdock was more than capable of handling himself and he was great at manipulating the staff at the VA. But sometimes, they drugged him anyway and it made Murdock lose his grip.
'Murdock wouldn't hurt himself.' Face told himself. 'The doctors wouldn't let that happen. But the doctors are the ones that put him in this state in the first place.'
Sighing, Face focused on the road.
Finally, he pulled up to Amy's building. He jumped out of the car and sprinted all the way to her door.
"Amy," he shouted as he pounded on the door, barely giving her any time to respond. "Amy," he yelled again impatiently. "Come on, come on. Open the door Amy!"
The door opened and a wide eyed, disheveled looking Amy stood before him. She was wrapped in a flannel, plaid robe and her hair was everywhere.
"What," she demanded. "It's the middle of the night. You're gonna wake my neighbors. You're gonna get the cops called and then we're in trouble, and…" she trailed off as she took in his frantic face.
Amy felt that familiar pang of worry she always felt when the guys were in trouble, "what is it?"
"It's Murdock. He needs us."
Amy's heart froze. "What happened to him? Where is he?"
Face put his hands on her shoulders, "he's at the VA. They drugged him. I'm not sure what with but he called me and he could barely speak and he just needs us there."
Amy nodded, "give me two minutes to get dressed. She turned and headed to her bedroom, leaving Face standing at the door.
Amy grabbed the clothes she had been wearing earlier that day and quickly pulled her hair back in a ponytail before rejoining Face in the living room.
"Bring your camera," Face said.
Amy looked confused. Face clarified. "We need a way to get to him, don't we?"
Amy went for her camera but still didn't get how it was going to get them in to see Murdock. "Yeah, but what's my camera got to do with that?"
"Just trust me," Face said as he pulled a black beret out of his back pocket and placed it on her head. "Keep that on. Now let's go."
"We're here to see a Mr. HM Murdock," said Face with a thick French accent. The nurse glanced up from her magazine to look at the man and woman on the other side of the counter. Face was dressed in his lab coat with a clipboard in his hand. Amy stood behind him, the beret still on her head. Her camera was hanging around her neck.
"Um, it's a little late for visitors. What is this regarding," asked the nurse.
Face gave the woman an incredulous look. "We're here for his glamour shots, of course."
The nurse stared at him, unsure how to respond. "What did you say?"
"His glamour shots. According to my file, Mr. Murdock has been suffering from severe depression lately and over at Hazelwood, we've had a lot of success boosting self-esteem by taking pictures of patients and making posters of them to hang on their walls."
"You cannot be serious," the nurse laughed. "That's the most ridiculous thing I've ever heard in my life."
"Really nurse, I hardly think depression is anything to laugh at," Face scolded.
The nurse's smile dropped. "Well, of course not. I meant, how do glamour shots cure depression?"
Face shrugged, "studies don't lie. We usually come at night because we find that the moon really brings out the features in a person. Now, if you'll just let us back to see him." Face and Amy started to walk away.
"Just a moment. Mr. Murdock really isn't in the best shape right now," the nurse began.
Face waved her off and continued down the hall, "it's no matter nurse, I am a professional."
"Wait," the nurse called. "You'll need to fill out some paperwork first."
Face and Amy rolled their eyes at each other. Both frustrated that the nurse was keeping them from getting to Murdock.
"I'll, uh, take care of it. If you'll just allow my photographer to go on in ahead of me to get a feel of the environment," Face urged.
"Uh, sure," said the nurse, reaching for a key. "Here. It's just down the hall."
Amy snatched the key and tried not to run toward Murdock's room. When she reached his door she peaked through the window before placing the key in the lock. All the lights were on and Murdock was lying perfectly still on the bed. She couldn't tell if he was sleeping or not. She unlocked the door and quietly slipped inside, shutting it but leaving it unlocked for Face.
"Murdock," she called.
The figure on the bed didn't move or give any indication that he had heard her.
She cautiously went to his side. Taking a good look at him, she could see that his eyes were open. Open but unseeing. They were wide and constantly darting around. He was ramrod straight on the bed. All his clothes were still on, including his jacket and baseball cap. His breathing was coming out in sharp gasps.
Murdock, it's Amy. I'm here. Face is here too. He'll be with us in just a minute. Can you hear me at all?"
Dark eyes kept dancing around the room like Amy didn't exist. Amy sighed and tenderly placed a hand on his cheek. She didn't know what to do. Murdock was lost and she didn't know how to bring him back to her. She felt her eyes flood with tears and fought to keep them at bay. That wouldn't help. But, she just couldn't stand to see a man so full of life and love lay so broken and alone.
"I'll be here. You'll come out of this and I'll be here. Face told me that you needed us. Well, I need you too. You know I think about you all the time. When it's late, I think of you in here. I miss you."
Before Amy cold go on, she heard footsteps behind her. She turned to see Face in the doorway. He closed the door behind him and rushed over to Murdock.
"How is he," he asked as he leaned in to check Murdock's eyes.
"I don't think he knows I'm here," she told him, dejectedly.
"Yeah, looks like he's been drugged to the gills." Face went over to the other side of the bed and patted Murdock's shoulder.
"Got here as fast as I could Murdock," Face sighed.
"So what can we do," asked Amy.
Face looked at her, eyes full of regret. "There's nothing we can do except wait it out with him. The drugs will wear off eventually and he'll be back to bugging BA in no time." Face tried to sound light but it didn't reach his eyes.
"Can't we take him out of here?" Amy hated the place. If this is how they chose to deal with Murdock then she didn't want him anywhere near the VA.
"Amy, he's gotta stay here. This doesn't usually happen."
"Usually? Has this ever happened before?"
Face just stared down at Murdock.
"Face, I'm talking to you."
"A couple of times. Once, he told us about it about a week after it happened and the second time, he called me like he did tonight and I came and sat with him all night, just talking to him."
"Did he remember you being here," Amy asked, allowing a little bit of hope to peak through.
A shadow of a smile crossed his face, "yeah. Yeah, he knew I was here. That's the important thing."
"Right," said Amy. She slowly caressed Murdock's cheek, trying to soothe him anyway she possibly could.
"Hey buddy. We're here, just like I told you we'd be here. Just hold on," Face briefly squeezed Murdock's slack hand.
Murdock murmured something that neither of them could make out. Amy leaned in closer to Murdock's face as she struggled to make the words out.
"Can he hear us," she asked.
"No, he was like this last time. He's talking to, I don't know, something or someone in his head.
"I hate seeing him like this," she confessed.
Face immediately grew defensive, "if you can't handle it."
Amy snapped her head up, "I didn't say that! I care about him. I, I love him. I hate that he's hurting. But, I'm not leaving him. I would never abandon him."
Face backed down, feeling guilty. "I'm sorry Amy. I'm just frustrated."
"Because you care about him too. He's your best friend. I get that."
"Yeah," he whispered.
Face stared at Amy as he continued to stroke Murdock's cheek. He knew he had no right to question her feelings for Murdock. He had no right to question her loyalty to any of them. She had gone above and beyond for them before and she had always been good to Murdock. It wasn't her fault she hadn't seen the dark side of Murdock's life.
"Look, maybe we can get him out for a couple of weeks. It might be good for him to be around us, instead of doctors. He'll be able to regroup," Face offered.
"Yes, let's get him out of here," Amy agreed. "What will we tell the nurse?"
"Don't worry about that. Leave it to me. I'll take care of it in the morning, when the drugs start to wear off. I'll make sure Hannibal keeps our schedule clear for a while too. He'll understand."
They both turned their attention back to the lost man on the bed. Amy slowly slumped into a nearby chair and put her head on the bed, next to Murdock's hand.
"Not going anywhere sweetheart," she promised.
"Never," Face agreed, pulling up another chair on the other side of Murdock.
A light tremor went through Murdock as both Amy and Face took hold of each of his hands. Amy pressed a soft kiss to his palm. They would keep their vigil as long as needed. They wouldn't abandon Murdock, not ever.
As the night faded into dawn and sunlight streaked through the window, Face and Amy felt a gentle squeeze from Murdock's hands. They turned their attention to his face as he finally looked at them and started to smile.
Author's Note: This fic is loosely inspired by the Lady Antebellum song "Need You Now." Please, let me know what you think. Thanks.