A/N: this is just loosely based on the song by Gloriana, which of course stared the wonderful actors and real life couple that portray these characters. I own nothing, unless my love for Tyler, Megan, Murphy, and Whitney is solely my possession, and I'm fairly sure it's not.
Whitney stared at Murphy's back as he leaned over his pack on their bed. She allowed the doorjamb to support her weight as she wrapped her arms around herself. She couldn't bear watching this, but she couldn't take her eyes off him, either. Most days, she couldn't believe he was the same boy she'd met in school. He was so different, and yet, he was still her Murphy. He was tough. He was strong. After tonight, she didn't know if she'd ever see him again. Neither of them spoke as she watched him zipping his bag up.
Murphy didn't think he could turn around and look at Whitney; he knew there'd be so much pain in her face, and he couldn't stand seeing that, knowing it was his fault. He owed so much to her. In school, he'd been on a bad path, and it had been Whitney that made him change. She hadn't asked him to, but from the first day he'd seen her face, he knew she was worth anything. He never thought a girl like Whitney would even speak to him. But she had. And here he was, about to walk out the front door into the unknown. And he was leaving her behind.
He turned, and Whitney looked him square in the eye. She had promised herself that she wouldn't cry tonight, but she could already feel the sting of tears threatening to come. Murphy looked the part of the hero in her mind, a far cry from the mohawk-sporting bully she'd thought he'd been before. But she had come to know his sensitive side, and she didn't think she could bear to even let him leave this room. How had it come to this? How was her sweet man going to go off to do such an ugly thing? Would his fear keep him alive? Would he be resorting back to the person he'd been before they'd fallen in love?
When Whitney's eyes found his, Murphy looked to the ground. He could just see her painted toenails sticking out below the hem of her long white dress. In the brief moment he saw her face though, he knew he'd been right. It was so hard to see that sweet girl in pain. She'd finally settled down, and now he was wishing he'd never made her. He was sure she'd be happier with other people... people who weren't leaving. He picked up his pack and slung it over his shoulder.
Whitney stood her ground against the door frame. They'd not been able to sleep this night, and dawn would be here soon. She was tired and terrified, and didn't know what to do. But as Murphy walked past her and headed to the front door, she fell into step behind him. She was regretting the day they'd had this talk, and she agreed that it was the best way for him. For them. But they hadn't foreseen this day. They had been naive.
Murphy but his hand on the doorknob and opened the front door. The cool autumn air rushed past him, causing Whitney's blonde hair to flutter around her face for a few moments. She was so beautiful, and he wanted to kiss her. But he knew... he knew that if he did, he wouldn't be able to let her go. And that just wouldn't do.
Pulling her sweater tighter around her arms, Whitney held back from doing the one thing she wanted to do more than anything. To throw her arms around his neck and kiss him and beg him not to go. But she knew it wouldn't do either of them any good; she knew it would only hurt more in the end. She thought for a moment, and then whispered, "Good luck."
He'd barely heard her, but he nodded. Murphy knew they were both just trying to distance themselves from the emotions of the situation. But they were acting like strangers. He took a deep, bracing breath and stepped out the door, closing it behind him. His shoulders slumped as he headed down the front path.
As soon as the door shut in her face, Whitney let out a quiet sob. She spent a moment steadying herself, then slowly began to climb the stairs to the living room... where she'd spend the next several months wondering if he was still living. Falling asleep on the couch, waking at the slightest sound, a feeling of dread pouncing on her every time the phone or the doorbell rang. She walked to the window, staring down at Murphy throwing his back in the back of his truck.
Murphy climbing into his truck and started the engine. He looked back at the house he'd spent these last few years with the girl of his dreams. It looked still. He took the parking brake off, but he couldn't work up to putting the car in drive. Instead, he gripped the wheel tightly and rested his forehead against it. They hadn't even said goodbye. The worst night of his life, and he hadn't even said goodbye to the one person he loved more than anything. No, he was just being stupid. They'd write letters. They'd say all the things it had been too hard to say tonight.
This was the worst night of Whitney's life, without doubt. Her boyfriend of five years, the man she'd grown to care for in a way she didn't even think it was possible to care, had just walked out the door and they hadn't said more than three words to each other since midnight. She'd just watched him pack up his things. Now he was about to drive off. Possibly forever.
Murphy turned his headlights on, but still, his truck stayed in park. He knew this was wrong. What was the point of being in love if you're going to be afraid of the harder parts? In that moment, Murphy made up his mind. If he was never going to see this girl again... he opened his door, leaving his key in the ignition, and ran up that walkway.
Whitney saw Murphy's door open again. She wondered if something had happened... if the fates had killed his truck to keep him here. Somehow, her mind put everything together in less than a second, and she turned away from the window, and ran down the stairs again.
The door burst open just as Murphy was reaching for the knob. Standing in front of him, Whitney looked the way he felt. He leaned in and kissed her hard, pulling her against him. He didn't care anymore that this would make it harder for him to leave. In this second, this minute, this lifetime... he just knew he had to be with her.
Pulling Murphy back inside with her, Whitney both did and didn't regret this kiss. She knew she had to let him go. She knew he had his duty to his country, and no matter how it broke both of their hearts, he'd be gone in a few minutes. Because the Murphy she'd come to know was an honest, responsible man who did what was right. But she could feel it in her heart that he'd be back, that this wasn't really goodbye, and that this was the right choice in the moment.
Murphy pulled away from Whitney now, looking down at her flushed face. "When I get home, Whitney Drummond," he told her, "I'm going to marry you."
Whitney smiled up at him. "You'd better, Murphy Bivens."
Murphy pressed his lips against Whitney's forehead, then turned and headed back out to his truck. This time he had no problem putting it in drive. He pressed briefly on the horn, not wanting to wake the neighbors at this hour, as a goodbye and see you soon.
It had been a good night after all, Whitney mused, as she stared down the street until Murphy's tail lights disappeared. Then she shut the door and headed back to their bedroom to finally get some sleep. She crawled into his side of the bed, and buried her head deep in his pillow, pulling the blankets up around her chin. She was surrounded by his smell. He'd be back in a little under a year, and she'd be his wife. Whitney quickly fell into an easy sleep, not knowing she'd seen her soulmate for the last time.