It makes sense really. Murdock has always been kind of suggestible on those yellow pills. Once those suckers are swimming through his veins, he'll go along with pretty much anything. He once had a two hour visit with someone's senile grandfather just because the guy had called him 'Max'. It had taken a week for the staff to convince him to answer to 'Murdock' again and he's still not sure he made the right choice.
So when the guy who picks him up from the side of the road after his Best Escape Plan Ever (seriously, why has he been wasting his time digging tunnels with spoons and trying to build perfectly aerodynamic planes out of construction paper when all it apparently takes is to steal clothes from the staff locker room and walk out the front door?) assumes that he's a prostitute Murdock just goes with it.
He doesn't really know much about prostitutes though, so he's not sure how he's meant to act. Back in the town where he grew up there had been a lady at church who would apparently let you put your hand up her skirt for $5, although even at nine years old Murdock had known enough to take Joey Garrity's stories with a pinch of salt. It had been a mystery to Murdock why he would want to put his hand up anyone's skirt, let alone someone who looked so sad all the time.
Murdock doesn't think the skirt-lady is really what this guy expects from Murdock though, even if Murdock was wearing a skirt. Which he isn't. He chews on his lip and tries to concentrate enough to flick through the chaotic mess that is his brain and its filing system. Maybe there's something hidden at the back that might help.
There seem to be a lot of files missing today: blank spaces and gaps where parts of him should be. This doesn't worry him like he thinks it normally would, which probably means that the staff have worked out that he's been palming the blue pills and they've found another way to get those particular chemicals into his body. He'll have to start switching his meals with someone else again.
There are still a few things left to choose from though. Flying is still there, always there. German opera. The square root of pi to twelve decimal places. The recipe for his grandma's five alarm chilli. Early 90s romantic comedies... Hold on. Okay, that'll work. They'd watched that film just last week and had even made it to the end before Oscar started screaming about voices coming through the walls. He knows what to do.
He isn't feeling very coordinated at the moment so it takes a few tries before he's able to swing his legs up onto the dash and slide down in his seat with his best sultry look in place. His cowboy hat gets a little squashed and he's briefly fascinated by how dirty his sneakers are but he manages to refocus on the job at hand. “So what's your name?”
The john looks at him oddly. “I told you – it's Clive.”
“Really? That's my favourite name in the whole world!” This isn't true. Murdock's actual favourite name is Billy, or maybe Theophilus, but he doesn't want to make Clive feel bad for having a stupid name.
Clive looks slightly worried and confused. He's obviously new to this and doesn't know that he should be looking pleased at the nice thing Murdock just said. “My name's whatever you want it to be.”
“I thought you said your name was Murdock.”
Oh yeah, he had said that. 'Murdock' didn't sound like a very good name for a prostitute though. He would have picked a better name when he first got in the car, but he got distracted by the tiny pine tree hanging from the rear view mirror. It smelled good.
He should have ignored the staff and hung onto 'Max', that was a better name. Although at least now he doesn't have to face his grandfather's disappointment in his lifestyle at the next visit.
Clive keeps shooting looks away from the road and across at Murdock. He looks wary rather than enticed though, which isn't how it is supposed to go. Maybe Murdock's sultry look needs a little work.
He tries a little more pout and flutters his eyelashes but this just makes Clive ask if a bug has flown into his eye, which isn't really an improvement. This is turning out to be trickier than the film had made it seem.
“So,” Clive says after a while, as Murdock pretends to wipe bug out of his eye. “What are you doing in Mexico? You visiting friends or... well, you're probably not here on business are you? Heh.”
“I'm not a planner,” Murdock tosses his hair and gets distracted by how the world swings about when he does that for a while, before he remembers that he's in the middle of a conversation. “I would say I'm a kinda fly by the seat of your pants girl, you know. Moment to moment. Yeah, that's me, that's... yeah.”
Clive waits politely for a few seconds then says “So, travelling then. Nice work if you can get it. Um, listen, Murdock... I can't help but notice that you're high as a fucking kite right now. You're not going to throw up on me or anything are you?”
Murdock tries to look affronted and sultry at the same time. It makes him go a little cross-eyed.“I don't do drugs. I stopped doing drugs when I was fourteen.”
“Whatever, man. It's none of my business and I don't really care,” Clive turns the wedding band on his finger. “I'm going to pull over by those buildings up there, okay? That's far enough from the road for us to do this.”
“Sure, sugar,” Murdock examines his fingernails and wishes he had some good nail polish or a bottle of Wite-Out or something. His cuticles are pretty messed up so he chews at them a little.
They pull over into what looks like an abandoned chop shop. This is totally the sort of place where survivors of a nuclear apocalypse would make a last stand against radioactive zombies. Murdock watches the shadows suspiciously until someone taps at his shoulder and he snaps round, ready to defend his tasty brains, until he sees that it's just Clive.
“So what do you do?” Clive asks. He's looking a lot less certain about this than he had to begin with, but he still wants it pretty bad. Given a choice between Murdock and radioactive zombies, Murdock would pick himself too. “You suck? You fuck?”
“I do everything but I don't kiss on the mouth,” Murdock has to take his fingers out of his mouth to speak and he wipes them against his jeans. That feels pretty interesting so he does it a few more times. “And we'll need a rubber. I'm a safety girl.”
“Do you have a rubber? Because I don't.”
That's not in the script and Murdock frowns at this unexpected development. What would Vivian do? “That'll cost you more money.”
“Jesus. Okay, whatever. How much are we talking about?”
“$100 an hour.”
Clive laughs shortly,“I don't want an hour, I just want my dick sucked.”
“Oh,” Murdock thinks about it. This really was getting too complicated too quickly. It's a good thing that Murdock knows how to roll with the punches and think on his feet. “How long will that take?”
Clive looks at him oddly, like this isn't a perfectly reasonable question. “Uh. Ten minutes maybe?”
“Okay. So that's sixty minutes in an hour, divide by six.... A hundred divided by six... that's $16.66. We'll call it $17.” He was so good at this.
There's a pause while Clive just keeps looking at Murdock like Murdock is the one acting strange here, like he doesn't know what he's doing. He's lucky that Murdock knows to always be nice to the customer. “$17? Um, how about I just give you a twenty and you can keep the change? How does that sound?”
Murdock smiles. Sucker. Murdock would have stayed for $16.
“Okay, let's get this party started,” Clive starts undoing his belt and Murdock just watches him for a moment before remembering that he's supposed to do stuff too.
He takes off his hat uncertainly and looks down at himself. Clothes don't need to come off for blowjobs, he thinks. Which is lucky because it had been hard enough squeezing into Doctor Lam's jeans in the first place and he might break the zip if he has to try again. He wants to send them back to her with an apology note at some point. She's always been nice to him.
Okay. Focus on the task at hand. Vivian gives blowjobs all the time, how hard can it be?
Too hard to keep his balance while leaning across the seats, apparently. Stupid pills. Murdock's a professional though, so he gets out of the car and goes around to the driver's side.
It feels good to have the sun on his back, feel it baking through the thin material of Doctor Lam's shirt. Close his eyes and he can imagine he's in Texas. Tilt his face up and he can be anywhere between the earth and the sky: climbing higher, getting closer, leaving himself behind.
Clive clears his throat and Murdock opens his eyes. Oh, right.
Murdock settles between Clive's spread thighs, thin scrabble of grit biting through the knees of his jeans. Clive sits sideways in the driver's seat and watches Murdock with an expression like it's Christmas and he's not sure if his present is going to bite his dick off or not. Time to find out who's naughty and nice.
Clive has ditched his pants and shorts entirely and his thighs are pale and lightly-haired beneath Murdock's palms. He smells like he's real, like he's been driving for a long time, and Murdock inhales deeply.
He strokes his thumbs along the insides of Clive's thighs and flicks a look up at him through his lashes, making his voice low and breathy. “Baby, I'm going to treat you so nice you're never going to let me go.”
Clive swallows audibly and palms the back of Murdock's head. Murdock's glad he practised his sultry look now. Practise makes perfect.
He eyes Clive's cock for a second. It's flushed with eager blood and sits expectantly in a nest of reddish hair, a pearl of moisture leaking from the tip. Murdock has been here before, or maybe Vivian has: it's hard to tell the difference.
One long lick up the underside to start with and then a swirl with some suction behind it around the head. This isn't unfamiliar. Hot velvet skin under his tongue and he takes in as much as he can, feeling the insistent thrum of someone else's pulse against his lips.
Murdock pulls back to lick across the broad head, tracing patterns and laving his tongue over the slit, drawing out more of that bittersweet taste that he laps up greedily. He can't stay there for long though, not when he wants to know what that curling hair will feel like against his cheek or what will happen if he chases that thick vein running up the underside from root to tip.
Above him, Clive hisses and swears thickly, his fingers twisting through Murdock's hair, pressing insistently against his scalp. Murdock swallows him down and immediately bobs up again, painting his tongue across everything he can touch, nosing under Clive's cock so he can mouth at his balls and follow the seam with his tongue.
It's messy. He can feel spit drooling out the sides of his mouth and he can't seem to decide what he should do first so he jumps from one thing to another. Chasing the different tastes and textures as if they're clues that will lead him to where he needs to go. There's something he wants here, something that is making his breath grow short and saliva bloom beneath his tongue. Something he doesn't understand but is making him frantic as he searches.
He pulls back, trying to clear his head, and Clive grunts impatiently and fists his hands in Murdock's' hair, holding him in place as Clive pushes his cock past Murdock's lips. All the tension leaves Murdock in a low moan of relief and recognition. There it is. He relaxes his jaw, shivering at the ache, and lets Clive feed him his cock until it bumps up against the back of his throat. Well, colour me happy.
He stays passive under Clive's hands, blissfully floating somewhere outside of his body as Clive thrusts in punishing strokes, fucking his throat, making his eyes water and filling those empty places inside of him. Filling the parts of Murdock that have been hollowed out by white walls and chemicals and things he can't escape. Making him feel real again, making him know that he's here.
Too soon, Clive grunts and convulses. His fists tighten, forcing Murdock's face right up against his pelvis so hard that he can't breathe, can't move, can do nothing but take it. It's perfect.
It's a shock when he's suddenly released and Murdock falls back on his ass in the dirt, disorientated and squinting in the harsh sunlight. He sits there, gasping for breath, with come dribbling down his chin and his throat burning in the really good kind of way. Burning like Tequila. Like he took a shot of something he had really been needing.
Clive is breathing deeply too and he has that dark proprietary look men tend to get when you let them shoot down your throat. Murdock wipes his mouth on his wrist and grins wild and wide. “Cash works for me.”
When his twenty dollar bill is folded and tucked neatly into his sock, Murdock watches Clive get dressed and rubs at his scalp, checking for missing hair. He kind of likes the idea that Clive will have Murdock's spit all over him until he next showers. It seems fitting.
Clive catches him watching and gestures at the car. “Get in. I'll drop you off at the next town.”
Murdock rescues his hat from the floor and settles into his seat, drawing his knees up to his chest. Clive pulls back onto the road and turns the radio up loud.
The desert races by through the window and Murdock watches it go. This is further than any of his previous escape attempts have ever taken him and he's never thought about what he would do once he made it out of the hospital. He wants to be somewhere with plenty of sky and beautiful machines that will bring that sky to him. That has to be something he can have.
Not yet though.
No, now he is going to let Clive drop him off at the next town, where he will wait for them to come and take him back to the hospital. It shouldn't take long.
He could probably do pretty well by himself: get across the border, maybe find his way onto an airbase and then... and then what? End up shot or back where he started: just as alone out in the world as he is in the hospital. He could do pretty well by himself, but pretty well isn't good enough. He wants something extraordinary, which means he's going to have to go back to his tower, either until his prince comes or until Murdock learns how to rescue himself. That's okay. He has faith.
Murdock keeps his eyes on the horizon and waits for his fairytale.