"Hang on, Murdock. Hang on," Face repeated over and over again. Murdock hadn't regained consciousness and Face counted that as something of a blessing. He didn't want Murdock feeling the pain. He hoped that he wasn't. Even though his friend could not respond to him, he kept talking to him. Murdock had always loved being around people. He thrived with company. Face needed Murdock to know that he wasn't alone now.
Despite his best efforts, the blood flow continued. Murdock was lying flat on the floor of the van with Face crouched beside him. He kept one hand firmly on his friend's neck and the other on his shoulder to prevent him from moving when they ran over potholes. He kept checking Murdock's pulse, needing the constant reassurance that he was still alive.
"Hang on, just hang on. We'll get you fixed up quick. BA, how far?"
"About five more minutes man. How is he," BA shouted back.
"Not good BA. We don't have any time to waste."
"You think I'm taking the scenic route," yelled BA. "You just keep him alive. I'll get us to the hospital."
The van jerked as they hit another pothole. Face tightened his grip on Murdock. The pilot's head rolled limply to the side. Face's hand was now slick with blood and he momentarily lost his hold on the wound. Gathering as much of his soaked jacket as he could, he tried again.
"BA! Do you have to hit every single bump in the road?"
BA nearly exploded, but caught himself at the last moment. Face didn't mean it. He was stressed and scared. There was no sense in making it worse by arguing. "I gotta get there fast Face."
His tone was more gentle than Face could ever remember it being. BA growled out everything, from insults to Murdock to ordering meals at a restaurant. His voice was never soft like it had just been. Face took a deep breath and looked back at Murdock. They were going to lose him. He knew it. He couldn't stop it and no matter how carefully BA drove, the Sergeant couldn't stop it either. Hannibal would never stand for Face indulging thoughts like this. Hannibal never gave up and he wouldn't let Face give up either. But, Face wasn't like Hannibal and without his leadership, he didn't know if he could keep it together.
"Hey, man you got a cover story?"
BA spoke again. Face actually hadn't. He always liked to be prepared. He was used to staying calm under pressure, but it was little different when his best friend was bleeding to death beneath his touch.
"Get to Dr. Richter. Murdock trusts him and that's good enough for me. He'll cover for us."
"And if he don't," asked BA, never taking his eyes off the road.
"Well, then at least Murdock will get the help he needs. We can worry about ourselves later. Our first priority is getting Murdock safe." Face didn't mind getting arrested if he could save Murdock in the process. Murdock had risked himself countless times for them. They could return the favor.
BA nodded, knowing that his friend couldn't see him. He was just as worried as Face was. He couldn't look back. He didn't like seeing Murdock so defeated. It wasn't right. BA was supposed to protect them and yet Murdock was now dying on his watch. He focused all his energy on getting to the hospital in time. There would be time for blame later.
Murdock's fingers twitched from time to time and Face grabbed his hand and held it still. "It's all right Murdock. I know it hurts. It's gonna be okay. You know we aren't going to let you die."
Face wondered again if Murdock could hear him when his fingers weakly curled around Face's.
He wanted to know what went wrong. Murdock and Amy should not have been in a fight at all. They were meant to be getting the plane while he, BA, and Hannibal took care of Royce and his gang. This wasn't supposed to happen. It shouldn't have happened. Face blamed Hannibal for not anticipating this outcome. He blamed Amy for not being able to stop it. He blamed Murdock for not protecting himself better. He blamed Murdock and Amy for being together. He blamed BA for not driving faster. He blamed himself for not being able to stop the bleeding. If Murdock didn't make it, he didn't know how he would be able to look any of them in the eyes again. He didn't know how he would be able to look at himself in the mirror again.
Face snapped his head down at Murdock's gagging noise. His eyes were open now, they were wide and frightened. He was gagging and gurgling and fighting against Face's grip. Face held on tighter.
"Murdock it's okay. It's me, Face. You've been hurt, but we're taking you to the hospital. Can you understand me?"
But, Murdock kept resisting. "BA, would you hurry it up? He's fighting me and he's making it worse."
No sooner had the words left his mouth did the van screech to a halt. BA jumped from the van and scrambled to the side door.
BA easily deflected Murdock's weak flailing and once again, picked him up. Face followed them, trying to keep Murdock calm.
He went in ahead and screamed, "we need help!"
Author's Note: I'm not sure about this chapter, but I wanted to write a scene with just the guys for a change. I hope it turned out okay. I'll be getting back to Hannibal and Amy in chapter three.