"Oh man - a hot tub?" Murdock practically danced across the living room toward the wide-open patio doors.
Face just laughed. "You'd think you'd never seen one before, Murdock. It's not exactly a novelty, y'know."
"It is for me, Face. The ones at the VA aren't exactly for recreational use."
Murdock climbed the steps, staring down at the bubbling water below, grinning like a Cheshire cat. Face watched, his amusement tempered when it seemed Murdock was still favoring his shoulder. Shaking off the nightmarish thoughts, he grabbed two beers and headed out to the deck. Murdock was still standing on the steps, seemingly hypnotized by the swirling in the tub.
"Well, what are you waiting for?"
Murdock looked around at Face, eyebrows raised, questioning. Face laughed.
"If you'd look somewhere besides the tub, you'd see it's totally private here." Face waved a beer bottle at the high fence on two sides, the ocean far below on the third. "Totally."
Murdock stepped back down to the deck. He took a beer from Face and glanced around, still hesitant. Face shook his head, smiling softly. Setting his own beer on the table, he pulled off his shirt, dropped it carelessly on the chair, and stepped closer to Murdock, speaking softly.
He moved over to the hot tub, stepped casually out of his jeans and hoisted himself up the steps, sliding slowly into the hot, churning water. For a moment he let himself simmer in the delicious heat that wrapped around his naked body, then turned and looked at Murdock, who was still holding his beer, fully dressed.
He almost laughed aloud at the way clothing flew across the deck, then sobered as Murdock climbed the steps once more, waiting for just a moment at the edge, giving Face full benefit of the view. Then Murdock was in the water, and Face watched as Murdock felt the relaxing heat before he moved closer. One hand moved gently across the only recently healed scar on Murdock's shoulder, and he knew Murdock saw the flicker of remaining emotion as he did.
"It's okay, Face. Really."
Face smiled softly.
"It is now."