Warnings for this chapter: Language, non-graphic sex, werewolf transformation scene.
“We need to talk.”
Hannibal didn’t have time to respond before General Morrison was moving back inside his tent. He knew he needed to find B.A. so they could go after Face and Murdock but Russ’ brisk order didn’t give him an option for refusal.
“Sit down.” Morrison pointed at a chair before taking a seat himself. “Hannibal, we’ve known each other for a very long time and I would like to think you would come to me if there was trouble with any of your boys.”
“Of course.” Hannibal had hoped things wouldn’t come to this, but Face hadn’t been careful in the least and he knew what Russ was going to say next.
“Good, then there’s no reason for me to beat around the bush here. Agent Lynch came to me today with some distressing information. Seems the S.D.A. has reason to believe Lt. Peck may have been bitten by the werewolf from the Afghanistan containment.”
Morrison held up a hand to stop any questions. “They’re out there looking for your boy, Hannibal. Lynch wasn’t stupid enough to tell me where they thought he was but if you have any clue, you need to find him before they do.”
Hannibal didn’t need to hear anymore to know he was being dismissed. “Thank you, Russ.” He left the tent and went in search of B.A., not getting far before the mechanic found him.
“I’ve been looking all over for you, Boss. Ray was running off at the mouth earlier ‘bout something we got going on in Karma. We ain’t got nothing out there. Didn’t telling him that, though.”
“Karma? Isn’t that where they recently cleaned out that huge bunker?”
“Yeah, but what’s that got…Hannibal, please tell me that ain’t where…” B.A. ran a hand frustratedly over his mohawk.
The Colonel looked at his watch. “No time. We need to leave now if we want to make it out there before moon rise.”
April 28 – 1 hour to moon rise
“I’m really disappointed you didn’t carry me over the threshold, Faceman.” Murdock snickered as he stepped into the dim entryway of the building. They’d ditched the jeep at an abandoned outpost three miles back and risked the trip on foot rather than have the vehicle parked like a bulls-eye outside the lone structure in the desert.
Face didn’t respond, just rolled his eyes as he went to clear the other room. He came back and stopped in the doorway to watch Murdock, who sat on top of the chest-style freezer using the lamp to make shadow puppets against the wall.
The ride from base had been too quiet except for the occasional jostle of limbs against door or dash as Murdock’s jittery movements intensified. By the time they’d left the jeep and started walking, the pilot had stripped down to his undershirt and started intensely scratching along the bite-shaped, violent scar.
“Murdock, you gotta stop.” Face pulled the pilot’s hand away, exposing the red welts up and down his arm but Murdock just shrugged as he started whistling something that sounded too much for Face’s comfort like ‘Werewolves of London.’
Face shook his head, his stomach giving a heave and he cursed the food he’d choked down before they left.
“We need to move this thing.” Face tapped the freezer.
“What’d Ray say they found in here anyway?” Murdock hopped off and helped Face move the machine to reveal a trapdoor.
“Pretty stocked with food, a shit ton of ammo and weapons, satellite phones. Everything your friendly underground insurgent hideout could need.”
As Murdock held the lamp to light the stairs, Face went down first, Glock at the ready. After making sure the entire area was empty, Face re-holstered his pistol and walked over to where Murdock stood while running a hand over the heavy iron door.
It had been a stroke of luck when Face heard Ray talking about the bunker his unit had found a couple months before. Face got all the details and checked it out at the first chance he was able to get away. The isolation coupled with the reinforced door of the room where the weapons were previously held and Face knew he’d found the right place.
“So this is where the magic’s gonna happen?” Murdock pulled the door open, setting the lamp down as he entered the small room. “Well, it’s no Walthamstow, but it’ll do.”
Murdock gave him a grin and Face tried to ignore the bile that rose up as he cleared his throat. “I was reading and Naughton said…”
Murdock groaned loudly, “Face, no more Dr. Werewolf. I can’t take it. It’s enough to drive someone to silver.”
The pilot’s tone was flippant but Face grabbed his arm hard. “Don’t fucking say that.”
“It’s just a joke. I’m not…” Murdock snapped with irritation that quickly softened into understanding and Face knew the pilot felt the tremors that radiated from his hand.
Face couldn’t listen anymore, couldn’t stand to see that tender look on Murdock’s face so he lunged forward, crushing their mouths together. Face clutched at the pilot with anxious, pleading hands for what felt like a lifetime before Murdock answered, hauling Face hard against him with matching desperation. Everything narrowed down to the slick slide of tongue and sharp bite of teeth as hands roughly snatched and pulled to gain access to warm bare flesh.
Face held Murdock tight as he pushed them down onto the makeshift padding of their discarded clothes, dragging his mouth over exposed skin as Murdock’s hand moved across his cheek and tried to get him to look up, but Face didn’t dare or he knew he’d lose what little control on the panic he had left. Instead he resumed his path, the heady taste of Murdock putting distance between himself and the tight feeling in his chest.
Mouth against a hipbone, Face laved the red mark his teeth made when the pilot reached down and grabbed his hand in a vise-like grip. It was uncomfortable but he needed the anchor surely as much as Murdock as they moved together almost chaotically.
Heated gasps and cries the only sound that filled the room, their mingled scent blocking out the once musty staleness in the air around them. Their rhythm was frantic as if together, they could out race the moon and what it held.
“Temp.” Murdock choked out with a sob, his hold becoming painful as he squeezed their entwined fingers. And as Murdock arched up beneath him the only thing Face could do was shatter apart with his own release.
Before Face could shift, arms wrapped around him, pulling his weight heavily onto Murdock’s slighter frame. He knew the clock was ticking but the lazy patterns traced over his skin and a tune not wolf related being hummed lowly into his ear kept him stationary.
Face was dangerously close to dozing but when Murdock’s body went rigid, he snapped to full attentiveness and looked into his lover’s terrified face.
“Get up,” Murdock ordered, barely above a whisper.
Face felt his heart begin to pound in his chest and though he knew movement was vital, he instead pressed his mouth against the unresponsive one below. “I love you, I love you.”
“Get off me!” Murdock growled and Face shouted as nails dragged burning lines over his shoulder blades.
The searing pain set him in motion and he grabbed for his clothes and holster as Murdock tried to stand but fell onto all fours with a scream that echoed around the room loud enough to cause Face to cover his ears.
The screams, unlike anything Face had ever heard, continued as he tumbled backwards to safety, all the while not taking his eyes off Murdock, exposed by the lamp like in some grotesque spotlight.
Dense fur had started to sprout all over Murdock’s writhing, changing body. His back undulated; muscles and bones broke and grew, shifting into new positions while his screams and the sounds of stretching, tearing flesh, a soundtrack to the visual horror.
Face stood transfixed against the metal door, heat radiating through his bare skin, watching as facial bones dislocated with snapping sounds he was sure he’d hear as well as see in nightmares for the rest of his life. Murdock clawed at the floor, leaving deep gouges as jaws popped and extended, making room for deadly, razor sharp teeth.
“Jesus Christ.” The exclamation had Murdock’s head whipping around in Face’s direction as his screams became a more animalistic howl. Face flung the door open and made it out just as the beast charged.
‘Oh, you fucker, hold.’ Face leaned into the shuddering door and he could barely hear his own thoughts over the snarls and howls that accompanied the bodily bangs against the metal. It was so loud that he had a moment of confusion when the door stilled and the noises from inside the room stopped.
Face could still hear ragged breathing as he grabbed the extra lamp and shined it through the door’s opening. The beast, Murdock, hunched on all fours but once the light was noticed, it stood straight. It was taller, slightly bulkier than the pilot and covered in thick fur the exact color of Murdock’s hair.
“Hey, buddy you’re ok.”
At his voice the beast tilted its head and large, clawed hands flexed. Its short muzzle inhaled deeply before it barreled forward causing Face to leap back as it pressed its snout through the small window, sniffing the air intently.
Piercing green eyes, so familiar, yet not, tracked Face’s movements as he slipped on his clothes and started pacing back and forth.
“We’re good. Just stay here till morning, easy enough.” He propped a chair along the wall facing the door and started to sit when the beast’s head jerked towards the bunker entrance.
When it started to growl, deep and angry Face slipped his pistol out of the holster, unthinkingly ‘Shhing’ as he started up the stairs. Not that it made any difference, as soon as he opened the door, howls began to echo from below.
“Fuck.” Face muttered, making his way out into the upstairs and quickly doing another sweep of the building.
The howls tapered off as he started towards the outside door and that’s when he heard footfalls. Face cocked and pointed his pistol as the door started to open.
“Don’t fucking move.” He ordered before a bright light had him throwing his hand up to shield his eyes.
“Stand down, kid.”
“Hannibal?” Face blinked rapidly as the light shifted away. “What the hell are you doing here?”
“Could ask you the same thing. Where’s Murdock?” B.A.’s voice came from behind Hannibal and the lack of ‘fool’ or ‘crazy’ set Face on alert and he moved in front of the bunker door.
“Why didn’t you come to me?” Face heard the disappointment and was glad the light was turned against the opposite wall making the Colonel’s expression almost unreadable.
“It’s under control.” Face said tightly, watching his teammates.
“No, Face it’s not. You’re careless. The S.D.A. is on the way. What made you think they wouldn’t be monitoring the situation? You didn’t. You didn’t think at all.”
“What the hell was I supposed to do, Hannibal? What would have been your big plan to take care of this?” Face felt himself lose the slim grasp on his panic as the howls started up again. “Should I just have let them take him? Goddamn it, it’s Murdock.”
“Get outta my way, fool.” B.A. stepped forward, shoving Face aside as he took off down the stairs. Once he made it into the bunker B.A. looked around, pulling up short as a clawed hand struck out of the door’s window.
Face shouted after the mechanic, rushing to put himself between his teammates and the room, “Get away. Get away from him!”
“Face, stop. We’re trying to help.” Hannibal turned to B.A. “Give me the tranquilizer.”
“Tranquilizer? No. No. I’ll do it.” Face held his hand out and tried to ignore the look of concern Hannibal gave him.
“Give me the goddamned thing, Boss. We don’t have time, remember?” Face took the tranq gun and stepped close to the door not caring about the danger. “Murdock.”
The beast stopped pacing the room and slammed itself against the door, causing Hannibal and B.A to instinctively reach for their weapons.
Face whipped around as the beast started to growl. “What the hell are you doing? It’s Murdock. It’s still Murdock.”
He turned back to the door’s window, swiping a hand across his face to remove the wet evidence of his distress as hot, damp breath suddenly chuffed against his cheek.
“I love you. I’m gonna take care of you, I promise.” Face soothingly murmured as green eyes bore into him.
He started to lift the gun when a loud bang came from the building above and the bunker door was flung open.