Just An Interesting Plot Twist
When the going gets tough, the tough get going, that's
what they always say. And the not-so-tough get
"B.A.! Could use a hand over heeeeere!" Murdock cried
as the large thug lifted him off the ground and much
too easily hurled him to the side. B.A.,
unfortunately, had his own hands full at the moment
with two other large men who were giving the sergeant
a real workout. He gave a quick glance in Murdock's
direction and redoubled his efforts to take out his
adversaries, but two to one they were a little
difficult to dismiss.
Murdock hit the ground with a thud, the wind knocked
out of him and momentarily paralyzed. As he struggled
to take a breath and get back to his feet, the man who
had thrown him walked over. He looked down at the
skinny pilot with a grin that did not bode well for
Murdock's current situation.
"Told you goofballs t'keep out of our business, but
you wouldn't listen, 'n now you gotta pay," the man
insisted, rolling up his sleeves and staring down at
Murdock with a self-satisfied smirk.
"I don't suppose you take American Express, huh?"
He was quickly answered by the man yanking him up by
his jacket collar and punching him solidly in the
face. Murdock staggered back, spinning as lights
flashed behind his eyes, causing him to lose
orientation completely. He tripped on something and
fell face down onto the rocky ground. He wondered
dimly where B.A. was, and hoped the big guy would get
over here and help him soon before this goon had
finished whatever he was planning on doing. Murdock
was only good in a fight when he could invoke the
element of surprise, and right now, he didn't have
much surprise or anything else left in him.
Finally, with a strained grunt, B.A. managed to put
down the two men who had challenged him. Satisfied, he
quickly ran to Murdock's aid, but not before the thug
had gotten Murdock in a strong choke hold. He was
trying hard to crush the pilot's windpipe in his bare
hands and coming dangerously close to finishing his
job. Murdock's bulging eyes looked to B.A. pleading
for help, and building B.A.'s ire.
"Hey, sucker! Pick on someone your own size!" B.A.
hollered, clonking the thug hard on the head and
dazing him enough to get him to let go of Murdock. The
burly fighter shook off the blow and turned on B.A.,
who, though tired from the previous battle, was going
to make this man pay for roughing up Murdock.
They struggled and exchanged punches until B.A.'s rage
won out. The thug in very short order joined his two
companions in a groaning heap on the back of the
pickup truck they had driven in on. B.A. then ran
quickly over to Murdock, who was curled up in a ball
on the ground.
"Hey man, you okay?" B.A. asked with worry. As much as
he didn't show it in general, he was concerned about
the pilot's well being. Except when he was acting like
a crazy fool.
"Ugh. Did...did anyone get th'license plate on that
truck?" Murdock slurred. B.A picked up the limp body
and carried him inside the small farm house,
stretching Murdock out on the weathered old sofa in
the front room. His face was scraped up a bit, and his
right eye was starting to swell closed. Other than
that, it didn't look like there were any serious
injuries. B.A. went into the kitchen to fill a plastic
bag with some ice, then gave it to Murdock to hold
against his eye.
"Shouldn't have tried to take on that guy alone, man,"
Murdock winced at the chill of the ice against his raw
skin. "An error in judgment, I admit. But you know me,
rational thought and I don't always get along."
B.A. just shook his head and muttered, "Foo'," and
then, "Gonna make sure those guys're tied up good.
Don't want 'em gettin' away 'fore Hannibal gets a
chance t'deal with 'em."
Face and Hannibal returned with the farmhouse owners,
Sally and Billy Hulbert, about a half-hour later,
finding the thugs tied up outside and Murdock still
laid out on the sofa inside.
Face went over to check on Murdock right off, asking,
"What happened here?"
"We were outnumbered, man," B.A. supplied. "We were
workin' together on gettin' the tractor up and
runnin', didn't even see 'em come up on us. Guess
Cutter decided to move faster than we thought he
would. These guys showed up not long after you left--
they were prob'ly watchin' the road an' figured to
take us out while you guys were gone."
"Take you out and burn this place to the ground,"
Hannibal commented. "I saw the gasoline tanks in the
truck when we pulled up. We're gonna have to keep a
24-hour watch on this place now, if this is the way
they're playing." Hannibal turned his attention to his
"I'm all right, Colonel," the pilot insisted, sitting
up as best he could. "Just needed a time-out."
"Good, cause we're gonna need all our manpower this
afternoon. Well, at least we know we're getting under
his skin now."
"Colonel Smith, do you really think you can stop him?
If he's this determined, maybe we should just--" Sally
started to say.
"Give up?" Hannibal supplied. "Mrs. Hulbert, you and
your friends give into that slimeball, and soon enough
there won't be any independent farmers like yourselves
left in this country. He may be playing dirty to get
you to sell out to him, but we can play dirtier. With
the paperwork you and Face pulled out of county
records today and what we found on his office
computer, we've got enough evidence to put him behind
bars for a good, long time. But first..." Hannibal lit
up a fresh cigar and gave his Team that smile, "we're
gonna have a little fun with him."
B.A. shook his head. "Man's on the jazz."
"Come on, B.A., let's finish getting the tractor going
and find out what else we can pull together from the
equipment in the barn. It's time we made our final
push on Cutter, while we got him good and mad and
thinking stupid. Face, you've got first watch--I don't
want to be caught by surprise by any more of his
lackeys. Murdock, if you feel up for it we could use
your help outside."
"Yeah, no problem, Colonel. Just give me a few more
minutes to get myself together," Murdock answered,
starting to sit up as B.A. and Hannibal went outside.
He winced slightly at the effort.
Face sat down next to him, asking with worry, "You
sure you're okay? You should really lie down for a
while, I think. You don't look too good."
"I'm fine, Face, really. Just got the already loose
marbles knocked around a bit, that's all," Murdock
caught Face's concerned expression and smiled, albeit
somewhat weakly. Face felt a slight flush of
embarrassment as Murdock held his eyes, but then the
pilot looked away and leaned back, saying, "Really, no
big deal, I'll be okay."
"If you say so, Murdock. I guess...well, I guess I'm
on watch." Face sighed and sat up and went first to
the kitchen, to grab some supplies before heading out
to the watch point. The sun was starting to fall low
in the horizon and it would probably be very late
before it would be someone else's turn to take over.
At least watch duty was better than having to work on
one of Hannibal and B.A.'s crazy contraptions. He
didn't really have the hands or the patience--or the
clothes--for grease and dust and splinters. He left
Murdock alone in the house, with Sally gone to the
kitchen to fix dinner for the rest of them and her
husband out in the barn with B.A. and Hannibal. All in
all, a rather uneventful and typical case for the A-
Team. Time for the standard third-act plot
twist just about now, he said to himself with a smirk.
There's always something that has to happen to keep
Face had been out on watch long since the sun had gone
down. Nothing of note had happened; he had kept
himself amused by working up notes on living
arrangement scams that should last him for the next
six months. Then he started brainstorming some new
scams for getting Murdock out of the V.A. You never
could tell when Hannibal would give him that call, and
expect results ASAP. Like the Boy Scouts always say,
he liked to "be prepared."
Murdock had drawn that less-than-favorable red-eye
shift, and so a little before midnight Face quietly
re-entered the house. He made his way in the darkness
up the stairs and to the bedroom he and Murdock had
been sharing for the past few days, trying not to wake
up anyone else in the house with his movements.
With a yawn and eagerly looking forward to a few hours
bed-rest himself, Face opened the door to their room
and was greeted by the faint sound of some light music
playing. Murdock carried a small radio just about
everywhere anymore, and he had apparently left it on
before falling asleep. It was something that was not
uncommon for the pilot. Face knew, from their many
years together on the Team, that Murdock often had
trouble sleeping at night. Especially when he was
alone. He always said he needed the background noise
on when he slept to keep down the voices in his head
he didn't want to hear.
Face flicked on the bed lamp to see a little better.
Murdock was out like a light, curled up into a tight
ball, one arm under his head and the other wrapped
snugly around one of the pillows. He was turned away
from the window, and Face, despite his tiredness, sat
down on the edge of the bed, just watching him for a
while. He smiled to himself, wishing he had a camera
to get a picture of Murdock sleeping like that. He
looked so peaceful. Peaceful...
...and beautiful, Face had to admit with a strange
sense of yearning. For a moment while lost in sleep,
Face saw in Murdock the young, brash captain he'd
first met in 'Nam years ago, before the madness of war
had infected his thoughts and forced him to find
refuge in insanity. He'd been a real charmer back
then, Face remembered, the strangest mix of straight-
up polished officer and Southern wildcard. Face found
himself sitting there, thinking back to the first time
they had ever met. Colonel Smith had wanted to take
his new recruit, the trouble-making Lieutenant Peck,
out for a night of R and R and celebration before
running him on his first mission with the colonel's
"A-Team" the next day. Face had been introduced to all
of the other Team members except for one, and Smith
sought to remedy that as well that night...
"Captain Murdock, he's our pilot. He's a
little...different from what you might expect, but
he's a fine chopper pilot. Probably the best our side
has in the sky right now," Smith had explained as he
led Peck into the crowded bar packed with boisterous
off-duty officers and fawning local girls. The place
was heavy with Air Force personnel in particular, all
seemingly doing an excellent job of getting completely
and utterly wasted on the cheap alcohol being served
up amply. There were no doubt other substances getting
served up in the dingy bar from the sweet tinge of the
smoke in the air.
"Murdock? Not...H.M. Murdock? The one everybody calls
'Howling Mad'?" Face had asked with worry. He'd heard
a lot of stories about that one and didn't realize
that it was Colonel Smith's A-Team that the pilot had
been flying missions with.
"One and the same, Lieutenant. And he should be pretty
easy to find."
The colonel had fought his way through the crowd,
greeting a few other officers warmly, eyes scanning
...Until he'd spotted the party in question,
entertaining a large group of men in the back of the
bar with some sort of one-man cabaret act. Holding and
speaking into a wide-rimmed wineglass that resonated
his voice loudly like a microphone, the slender, tall
pilot was recounting the news of the day in a near-
perfect imitation of a popular radio announcer, adding
his own commentary and sound effects as appropriate.
The show held the attention of the audience completely
and many were laughing enthusiastically at his sharp
wisecracks and impressions.
A few minutes later, the production was over, for
Murdock had spotted Smith in the audience and caught
that he colonel wanted his attention. Leaving his
friends behind and grabbing an offered bottle of beer,
he'd strode quickly over to the colonel with a wry
smile. "Colonel! Wouldn't normally expect to see you
slummin' around in this neck of the third world.
"Captain, I'd like you to meet the newest member of
our unit. This here is Lieutenant Templeton Peck.
Lieutenant, Captain H.M. Murdock."
"--At your service," Murdock had finished, dismissing
the lieutenant's perfunctory salute and reaching out
to shake his hand. The pilot had a wide grin and open,
angular face, features that were at both slightly odd
and extremely handsome. A sharp contrast to Face's own
classic if boyish good looks.
His handshake was quite firm. "Nice to meet you,
Captain. I've heard...a great deal about you," Face
had said awkwardly.
"Well, now, my reputation just seems to follow me no
matter where I go, I guess," the pilot had drawled,
his Texan lilt coming out strongly. Taking a long draw
off the bottle he'd then looked Face over carefully,
his dark eyes quick and hyper-alert. "I can't say I've
ever heard of you before, Lieutenant, but if Colonel
Smith here has picked you for his Team, then I'm sure
you're a real troublemaker yourself."
Face had flushed in embarrassment; truth be known he
had gotten into trouble, with his former unit and
commanding officer--one Major Hastings. Face had
managed to scam his way into a cushy position, way far
away from the front lines. Using the skills that had
served him so well as a child, he had started to
create quite a pleasant little situation for himself
as a supply officer--until he'd gotten caught driving
certain nurses around downtown Saigon in the Cadillac
convertible that had theoretically been shipped into
the country as a gift to one of South Vietnam's
biggest politicians and U.S. supporters.
Colonel Smith had, for some reason, offered to take
the trouble-making lieutenant on into his unit as
requisition officer instead of letting the con man get
shipped back home for court martial. Said he could use
someone on his team with Peck's "larcenous tendencies"
to get what he needed. No one had put up much of a
fight over the request; Smith was a renegade and
sometimes a real troublemaker himself, but no one
could match the results he brought in with his Team.
If Smith had use for a tricky-dicky thief, no one was
going to argue too much about it.
The three officers had discussed the upcoming mission
for about an hour. Peck began to doubt how advisable
it would be to travel with Captain Murdock the
following day, seeing the extent to which he drank
himself beyond silly and into the world of the
ridiculous. Yet Smith showed little concern. The
following morning, when Murdock had appeared
unbelievably chipper and spirited while Peck had a
throbbing headache after drinking perhaps a quarter as
much as the captain, he began to wonder if there
wasn't something supernatural about the legendary
"Howling Mad" Murdock after all.
The two had become fast and easy friends, no doubt
finding kindred spirits within them despite their
differences. Face had known that Murdock had taken
upon himself to serve as a big brother to him through
the hardships he encountered for the first time now
that he was in the field. Murdock was on his second
tour already and all too familiar with what was out
there to be found in the jungles. At the same time,
Face had found that he had a certain stabilizing
affect on Murdock as well--even Colonel Smith had
remarked as much one time to Face privately. Murdock
had seemed to open up to him and ease off his wild
extremes of behavior when Peck was around.
Now, more years past than he cared to remember, Face
looked down at his sleeping friend. The years had aged
those handsome features somewhat, but in so many ways
he seemed not to have aged a day, especially when
relaxed in sleep the way he was now. There was
something magical, childlike to his face...Face
reached over to him finally, wanting to touch
Murdock's forehead, his cheeks...but, thinking better
of it at the last minute, he instead just rested a
hand lightly on the pilot's shoulder and shook him
gently. "Hey, Murdock, time to get up..." he called
softly. Murdock let out a soft groan and sigh, and
rolled himself over away from the lieutenant.
"Murdock, come on, it's time for you to take watch."
Face insisted to the pilot's back now. Past time,
actually, Face realized, as he looked at the clock
and realized how long he'd been sitting there
"No, don't wanna. Tired. Go away," Murdock complained
like a pouting child.
"Come on, sleepy head," Face insisted, pulling at the
blankets that were wrapped all around Murdock's body.
He pulled until Murdock rolled back over towards him.
The pilot grimaced and groaned again. "I feel like
shit, Face, just play the good ol' snoozebar for me
and gimme another few minutes...ooooh, my head," he
complained, putting a head up against his forehead and
Face frowned. "You okay, Murdock?" he asked seriously.
Murdock finally opened his eyes to look at Face,
propping himself up on his elbows a bit. He shrugged
and said none too confidently, "I guess."
"Lemme take a look at those bruises," Face insisted,
helping Murdock sit up completely and turning his head
to look at both cheeks in the soft light. He held
Murdock's head gently between his hands, noting the
small cuts and bruises that marred both cheeks but
were, no doubt, superficial. A dark circle was
starting to form solidly around his right eye where
he'd been punched, and his neck was marked by a few
small bruises as well.
"You think I'll live, doctor?" Murdock asked with a
"Yeah, I think you'll live, wiseguy, just don't make
yourself such a target for destruction next time
there's a brawl like that, all right? I'd like to see
you stay in one piece a little longer." Face grinned
at Murdock, who returned the smile with one of his
own. Murdock's still sleepy dark eyes met Face's,
their gazes holding in an unexpected, rare moment of
openly expressed affection. Murdock's gaze was soft
and inviting, calling to Face in a way he didn't quite
expect or understand, but at the same time he couldn't
refuse. He didn't even think about what he was doing,
or what desire was possessing him beyond an unbidden,
suppressed desire in his heart. Still holding
Murdock's head in his hands, he leaned in enough to
kiss him lightly on the lips.
After a moment he moved to pull back, realizing what
he'd just done. Murdock reached up quickly, placing
his own hand behind Face's head and responding to the
kiss with a passion that shocked Face. His toes
clenched in his shoes, his stomach did a loop, and he
let out a soft whimper before Murdock finally let him
go enough to take a deep breath.
Murdock looked at him now with a curiously mischievous
expression as sanity returned to the lieutenant's
mind. He hadn't...no...what had just gotten into him?
Into both of them?
Face dropped his trembling hands from Murdock's cheeks
and quickly got up from the bed, looking away out the
window and encouraging, "C'mon Murdock, you gotta get
on watch. And I need to get some sleep."
Face didn't hear anything for a few moments, then he
felt Murdock's warm hand on his shoulder. "Face..."
Murdock said softly, his voice comforting. "It's all
right, what just happened there, you know."
Face didn't want to accept that. He couldn't accept
that. "No. No it isn't, I mean...look, I don't want to
talk about it, okay?" Face replied angrily, shifting
so that Murdock's hand dropped away from his shoulder.
Murdock didn't say anything, he just backed off
quickly. Face immediately felt awful for the way he'd
just snapped, and turned around after a few moments to
see Murdock getting dressed quickly, his back to Face.
"Murdock, I'm sorry. I didn't mean that. Murdock,
Face reached out to Murdock and turned him around,
seeing the glistening of held-back tears in Murdock's
eyes and felt like a complete jerk. "I'm sorry, I just
overreacted. Don't cry, I hate to think I've hurt
you." Face reached up to touch Murdock's cheek again,
wiping away a single tear. "I'm just...confused.
And...scared about what I'm feeling right now. I don't
know why I did what I did before or why..." Face
swallowed, scared to admit the truth even to himself.
"Why I don't regret it."
Murdock blinked, the admission catching him by
surprise. He managed a small smile, his eyes still
glistening but no longer downcast with pain. "There's
nothin' to be scared about, Face. Nothin' at all." He
reached up to touch Face's cheek, to caress it gently
just as Face was doing to him. Face's heart was
pounding almost painfully in his chest with excitement
and fear. Murdock leaned forward to kiss him again,
and this time Face found himself melting into
Murdock's arms, losing all sense of himself and his
previous worries as Murdock kissed him with a
passionate force and need. Their bodies pressed close
together, Face felt the hardness between Murdock's
legs and the way it felt against his own suddenly
rising erection, and he felt himself going dizzy with
Murdock broke away this time, looking down at Face
questioningly now while he ran his hand through Face's
hair. "I've wanted to do that for a long time..."
Murdock admitted, his voice soft, barely above a
whisper. "God, Face, I can't even tell you how long
I've wanted to kiss you."
Face found himself lost for words. His mind was still
all abuzz and unfocused with his conflicting emotions
and desires. "I...ah...you do it real well, Murdock,"
was all he could think to say.
The pilot smiled, his eyes twinkling with mischief.
"That's not all I can do well, Face..." he promised,
leaning down again to just nuzzle Face on the side of
his neck, kissing him lightly in a line to his ear and
making Face squirm in ecstasy. "I want to make love to
you like I know you've never had it before, baby. I
promise you it'll be like nothin' you've ever had," he
whispered into Face's ear. "Tell me, you want that,
"Yes..." Face found himself moaning without even
thinking. Murdock's unabashed forwardness was exciting
him as much as his nearness did. He arched back and
sucked in his breath as his neck was tickled by the
soft stubble on Murdock's chin, the feeling of those
warm lips working their way up to his earlobe...
Then, abruptly, Murdock broke away, and sat down on
the bed to starting putting on his shoes. "But, like
you said, I've got to get on watch, and you've got to
get some sleep."
Face just stood, dazed, while Murdock went about his
business, appearing as if nothing had happened. "Uh,
yeah, I...I guess you're right," Face agreed, numb and
unable to understand how Murdock could switch gears so
Murdock grabbed his jacket and hat and headed towards
the door. But before opening it, he turned back to
Face, his expression changing once more. He held out
his hand, and after a short pause, Face came up to him
to take it. Murdock smiled, holding the hand tightly
for a moment, stroking it gently with his thumb.
"'Tomorrow night..." Murdock promised, bringing the
hand up to his lips and giving Face a meaningful look.
He kissed it lightly and said, "Once we're done with
Then he dropped the hand and turned to the door,
walking out and leaving Face still stunned and trying
to believe that what had just transpired wasn't just
some crazy dream. Face just stood there, dazed,
confused and more than a little aroused He sure wasn't
going to get to sleep right now, he knew, not the way
he was feeling.
Hoping he wouldn't disturb the sleeping people in the
Hulberts' home, he pulled out his pajamas and headed
for the bathroom, planning on one very long and very
Murdock quickly hiked up the path to the look-out
point, the slight hill above the fields where one had
a long-stretching view of the road beyond, the faint
flickers of other farm houses far out in the distance.
He was actually glad for the excuse to get out and be
alone for a few hours. He had to think, had to calm
down. Had to convince himself that what had just
happened inside the house wasn't just a fantasy of his
overstretched and sometimes very mischievous
imagination. Of course, if he hadn't had to go on
watch duty...and things had kept going the way they
had started to go...
No, no, it was better this way, he tried to convince
himself. Give Faceman time to really think about what
was going on, make sure he was ready for it. The last
thing Murdock wanted right now was for Face to reject
him because he was just unprepared. Think how you
nearly scared him off with that kiss, H.M., he told
himself. How many years of waiting nearly gone down
the tubes 'cause you couldn't control yourself?
Tomorrow would be different, he promised himself. He
wouldn't rush things, no matter how much he ached to
do so. He'd had years to plan out exactly what he
wanted to do, and how he'd do it when he never really
imagined he'd get the chance. As well as he thought he
could read Face's every thought and mood by now,
tonight had still caught him by surprise.
But he wouldn't worry about what might have brought on
Face's sudden interest in him. He just hoped it
wouldn't be gone by tomorrow night. Thoughts drifting
far away from the empty road stretched out in the
darkness in front of him, Murdock decided wearily that
tomorrow was going to be one hell of a long day.
Sleep hadn't come easily to Face even after the
shower; he must have gone over what had happened at
least fifty times before he'd finally fallen asleep,
only to be awakened by Hannibal pounding on the door
soon after sunrise. Murdock had returned to the house
for breakfast, looking very groggy until he'd gone
through close to a gallon of coffee, after which he
was wide awake and annoying B.A. at full-speed.
Nothing in his demeanor towards Face or the others
betrayed what had happened that night, leading Face to
wonder if he hadn't dreamed it after all.
As Hannibal had expected, their early rising was well-
planned, because Cutter did indeed make a second move
against them that morning, putting in a personal
appearance with about twenty of his hired guns and a
litany of threats that only made the colonel smile.
Cutter had no reason to suspect that within the barn
at the edge of the Hulberts' property was a newly
recruited "army" of local farmers armed with the A-
Team's brand of artillery--seed-shooter "guns," a
corn-cob cannon, and several cow-patty launchers that
made Cutter's planned attack a truly messy sight to
behold. By the time B.A. barreled out from behind the
barn in his steel-plated, AK-47-bearing tractor,
Cutter was literally knee-deep in shit and knew he'd
been defeated. A loud, triumphant cheer went up in the
crowd as Hannibal had announced the match was over.
"Once the IRS gets hold of these falsified records and
finds out what tricks you've been playing with the
local land surveyors, you can say good-bye to amber
waves of grain and say hello to gray bars of iron,
scum bag," Hannibal announced proudly, lighting up a
The A-Team had won again.
They all had a celebratory dinner that night, which
Sally prepared with great care and appreciation for
all that the Team had done.
"You've ow any of us can ever really thank you
for that," she declared, standing next to her husband,
eyes glistening with tears of joy.
Hannibal smiled, as did the other Team members. It was
a story they had all heard countless times before, but
they never tired of it. Hannibal said, "That's all
right, Sally, Billy. Helping people like you folk is
reward enough for us."
Normally Face would have been ready for a snappy
comeback to that, some complaint about their current
financial status, but he was too distracted. He had
just turned to look Murdock's way, catching the
pilot's smile and feeling a crazy flutter in his
stomach. Murdock in turn looked from Hannibal to Face,
meeting the lieutenant's eyes and gave him a quick
knowing wink. They both had the same thing on their
minds, it appeared, and the time was growing closer.
It took all of Face's control and a long sip on his
ice water to keep from turning bright red. He'd had
all day to contemplate the situation and found the
feelings that had been stirred the night before only
growing stronger with each passing moment. Part of him
was disturbed by what he was feeling, but the rest of
him--the part that was quickly taking the lead--could
think of nothing more than how good it had felt for
those brief moments last night, and how much he wanted
to feel that way again.
The rest of the dinner passed with what seemed like an
unbearable slowness to Face. Afterwards, the Team all
returned to their rooms for a final night's sleep at
the Hulberts' before getting back on the road to L.A.
the next morning. So far Decker had not tracked them
down to this place, so they felt it was safe to stick
around a day longer, and the farm country was a nice
change of pace from southern California.
Face found himself nervous and giddy with anticipation
as he climbed the stairs to the bedrooms, just a few
steps behind Murdock. His eyes lingered along the back
view of his friend, hovering especially on his ass,
tightly framed in those thin tan slacks he always was
wearing. Face swallowed, still unsure what had brought
on this sudden wave of feelings towards his friend. In
all the years they'd known each other, nothing like
this had even crossed his mind. He'd never considered,
never even imagined wanting to...to be intimately
involved with a man. But since last night it was
practically all he could think about, and the thought
excited him in ways he hadn't imagined possible.
Neither he nor Murdock said much of anything as they
changed into their bed clothes, Face quickly putting
on his trademark silk pajamas, Murdock just stripping
down to his shorts and an old T-shirt. They both
climbed into bed on their respective sides, Face not
looking directly at Murdock the whole time, not able
to. He just stared up at the ceiling, his heart
The silence and stillness around him finally getting
too much, he turned and found Murdock laying there
next to him, propped up on one elbow to look at him.
"Face, you okay?" Murdock asked, looking concerned.
"Yeah...yeah, Murdock," he replied, studying his
friend in the soft light. The lamp shone from behind
Murdock's head, and it made his hair glow softly, a
dark golden frame around his bruised but albeit still
desirable face. He found it difficult to look away
from those understanding eyes, remembering the way
those lips had felt against his skin...
Noting Face's preoccupation with something, Murdock
asked seriously, "Do you...are you ready to pick up
from where we left off last night? If not...if you've
thought about it some more an' you've decided no,
"I...I do, Murdock. I want to. But I'm just really..."
Face closed his eyes and sighed deeply. Then he
confessed, "Like I said, I'm really scared about
"You know I love you, Face. I'd never do anything to
"I know, Murdock."
"Then just let me show you how much I love you,"
Murdock encouraged, reaching out to stroke Face's
chest with his hand. His fingertips were like
electricity, bringing warmth to Face's body through
the thin silk. "I've imagined...dreamed...for so long,
that I might one day be able to reach out to you, show
you how much you mean to me. Thought about exactly
what I'd do if I had the chance, never thinking I
actually would," Murdock continued, his gentle voice
calming Face quickly, all the while his fingers
running slowly against the fabric of the night top.
Face looked up into Murdock's gentle eyes as his
friend went on, confessing, "I wanted to undress you
slowly, take a good couple hours if I had to, to get
you comfortable enough to trust me. Touch
Murdock worked his fingers around the top button of
Face's shirt, freeing it to expose the top of Face's
chest. Face sighed and felt his pulse quicken as
Murdock's warm fingertips touched his bare skin. "Kiss
you. Every inch of you," Murdock went on. "Bring you
to heaven 'n back, and then do it all over again from
the start. . ."
The second button was freed, letting Murdock reach in
to touch Face's nipples. Face arched up and trembled
as the sensitive skin was rubbed gently, his nipples
becoming hard instantly. "Oh God, Murdock..." he
sighed. "Why do I want you so badly right now? Why,
after all this time...I never..."
"You did, I think, you just couldn't admit it to
yourself," Murdock answered. "Don't try to understand
it, Face, just let it happen..."
The third button was in Murdock's grasp, freed, and
then the fourth. He took his time, hovering over each
button for a long time, sometimes going back up to the
top of Face's chest to start caressing it all over
again. "I want to spend the whole night making love to
you. Over and over again, baby, till you're so
exhausted you can't take it another moment."
"Is that a promise or a threat?" Face managed to ask,
as the top was finally completely freed and Murdock's
hand rubbed against his trembling stomach.
The pilot smiled at Face's question, then pushed at
Face to lie on his back. Face complied without
resistance, and Murdock shifted until he was sitting
up on top of Face. His knees held Face's thighs down
and together, and he looked down at Face, still
grinning. His eyes were sparkling and gleaming with a
look of desire that Face had never seem before.
"Both," Murdock answered Face finally, using both arms
now to run against the inside of the pajama top,
pulling it back down off Face's arms. Face arched up
enough to let Murdock pull the top completely off his
body, then laid back in aching pleasure as Murdock
stroked his chest. Face reached up at one point to
touch Murdock, but the pilot took Face's hands firmly
in his own, pulling them back down. "Later. I want you
to just relax, let me pleasure you." It was not a
position Face was used to being in--he was the one
used to always taking control. But Murdock wasn't
giving him the chance. Murdock was setting the pace,
forcing things along how he wanted it.
Murdock sat back slightly, letting his hands now drop
down lower, almost down to Face's groin. Face squirmed
and whimpered as Murdock's fingers brushed against the
tip of his burning cock, now completely hard and
aching for release. God, he'd never realized how good
this could feel, how he never could have desired this
before...or perhaps he had, but could never admit it
even to himself...
Murdock leaned forward, silencing Face's soft moans
and banishing all internal conflicts with a long kiss,
Face's arms pinned down by Murdock's. His lover's
mouth was sweet, warm...he wanted to lose himself
"Ssssh. . ." Murdock insisted as Face whimpered when
Murdock's lips released him. He ran his tongue under
Face's jaw, along his neck, then murmured softly, "We
don't want to wake up the neighbors. Mmm, but you
taste good. Good enough to eat, Face." To illustrate
his point, Murdock bit down playfully on Face's neck,
sucking the skin as Face struggled not to cry out. His
breath came heavy and ragged, his nose filled with
Murdock worked his mouth all around Face's neck, then
to both earlobes, kissing and sucking on each in turn
as Face attempted to squirm away from his friend's too
intense attention. Murdock barely let him move, would
not let him escape. The captain's wiry frame was
stronger than Face could have expected, and he
couldn't have fought him off even if he had wanted to.
Slowly, Murdock worked his way down Face's chest, this
time using his mouth to explore. He sucked and licked
at both nipples in turn, then letting his tongue trail
down to Face's quivering stomach. Face felt ready to
explode at any moment. Waves of pleasure shot through
him every time Murdock rubbed his body ever so gently
against his stiff cock. Finally, Murdock sat up again,
this time lower against Face's legs. His fingers found
the waistband of Face's pants and ran against them,
all the time smiling wickedly. He started pulling the
pants down, along with the thin pair of bikini briefs
Face wore beneath them. Within moments, Face found
himself completely naked, Murdock looking down at him
"God, Face, you are so beautiful," he commented with a
sigh, stroking Face's bare thighs appreciatively. His
hands moved slowly, up and down his legs, running up
into his inner thighs, always stopping short just
before he touched Face's engorged cock.
"Mmmm...I can't hold back any longer, Face...I just
can't do it," Murdock purred, suddenly dropping down
against Face, covering Face's stiff cock with his
mouth. Face couldn't help but buck suddenly and let
out a loud moan as Murdock sucked the burning organ
deep and hard into his mouth, his hands reaching
around to lift Face's backside up for a better grasp.
"Oh God, Murdock, oh God..." Face cried out as Murdock
squeezed and held him close, sucking him harder and
harder until the orgasm ripped through his body like a
convulsion, leaving him trembling and gasping for
breath as Murdock kept sucking at his spent cock.
Murdock finally let go, raising his head and then
lowering it against Face's stomach. "Mmm...too fast.
Too fast," he sighed, letting his fingers stroke the
quickly softening organ, running against his balls and
causing aftershocks through Face's body. "Well, next
time you'll have to let me take my time more."
"Oh God, Murdock..." Face muttered again, unable to
think of anything else to say. Murdock slid his way up
against Face, until Face could hold him in his arms,
wrap himself around Murdock's body. "Oh God you're
good," Face sighed.
"Hmm, more likely just the novelty of it all, Face,"
Murdock replied with his familiar soft drawl, running
his hand along Face's back. Face found Murdock's mouth
and kissed him, exploring it as he desired and
determined to show Murdock just how much he had
enjoyed the treatment he'd just received. His fears
and uncertainties were now forgotten, long distant
"Let me take care of you, Murdock. Let me give you
what you've given me," Face whispered, feeling his
excitement building again. He felt Murdock's cock
pressing up against his side and wanted now to feel
his body naked against him.
"If you want to, baby, you can do whatever you want,"
Murdock answered him.
Face rolled until he on top of Murdock now, Murdock
finally relinquishing control for the moment and just
looking up at Face with expectation and longing. Face
studied Murdock for a long time, sitting up on him
like that while his hands first worked the T-shirt
over the pilot's head and then explored the feeling of
his chest. He let his fingers get tangled and lost in
the thick mat of dark hair that covered Murdock's
chest and trailed down temptingly to his stomach. He
leaned down to kiss that chest, finding the stiff
nipples half hidden beneath the hairs and lingering
over them, enjoying Murdock's soft groans of
He worked his way down and all around Murdock's chest,
exploring and reveling in the sensation of making love
to a man for the first time ever. Where Murdock had
attacked him with abandon, Face went forward with slow
wonder and fascination. Every so often he let his hand
glide down between Murdock's legs, feeling the
stiffness of his erection and enjoying Murdock's sighs
of delight, slowly working up his courage to slip his
hands under the fabric of the shorts, to really feel
the hot, stiff organ.
"Oh baby, I need you so much," Murdock sighed as Face
began stroking him, sliding the shorts down and off
finally so he could fully appreciate Murdock's body.
Face found himself already hard again and burning for
release. Murdock pulled Face back down against him so
their bodies were pressed hard against each other. He
rolled Face over and got on top of him again, kissing
him and clutching at him passionately as he thrust
himself against Face. Their cocks rubbing and pressing
against each other, Murdock suddenly began to tremble
and Face felt a warm wetness between them. Face's own
excitement pulled him along into another orgasm as
well. He clutched onto Murdock's body, trembling and
shaking and not wanting it to ever end.
"Oh Face, Face..." Murdock sighed, completely
collapsing against Face. "God I love you, Face..."
Face sighed as well, feeling as though he'd found the
one thing he'd been searching for so many years. The
one thing that had been missing from his life--and it
had been right under his nose. "I love you too,
Murdock picked his head up to look at Face, all wide-
eyed and serious. "Do you really, Face? Really?" he
asked like an eager child.
"Murdock, of course I do! How can you not know that by
now?" Face asked.
"Oh, I guess I do, I know I do, I just..." Murdock
paused, reaching up to stroke Face's cheek. "Hearing
you say that...means a lot."
"Well then let me say it again, I love you, Murdock.
I don't think I realized just how much until tonight,
but I always have. You've been so much to me, all
these years, always there for me. And...hey, you're
not going to get all emotional again on me, are you?"
Face stopped himself, noticing the borderline teary
look in Murdock's eyes in the dim light.
Murdock just put his head back down on Face's chest,
betraying his emotions with a stifled sniffle. "No no
no, I'm fine Facey, just fine. You're just...you've
just made me feel so happy."
"Well, I'm feeling a little stuck right now myself. Or
rather, we're gonna be stuck together if we don't
clean up a bit."
Face got up and put on his robe, quietly leaving the
bedroom to find the bathroom. When he returned after a
few moments, he tossed Murdock the robe, and settled
down on the bed with a luxuriant sigh while he waited
for Murdock to return. He couldn't get over how
excited he was right now. Ho could barely wait for
Murdock to return, to feel those arms around him
again...to feel Murdock kiss him again. When the pilot
did return, he sat on the bed only to have Face reach
up and pull him down quickly for a long kiss.
"Mmm, Face, it seems I have created a monster here..."
Murdock teased, smiling as he ran his hand down Face's
chest, all the way down to between his legs.
"You promised to give it to me all night, are you
chickening out?" Face taunted him.
"Darlin', if you think you can handle it, you've got
it all," Murdock teased him.
Explorations continued into the wee hours of the
night, Face learning his way quickly around Murdock's
body, discovering new paths to pleasures he'd never
imagined were possible. Murdock made him do things--
made him want to do things--he wouldn't have believed
he was possible of even just earlier that day.
Finally he was completely exhausted; he'd lost track
of how much time had passed, how many times Murdock
had brought him to climax anymore. Murdock, too,
seemed to have reached his limits, if only
momentarily. Taking the limp, spent body of his friend
into his arms, he sighed contentedly and said, "Real
nice, Face, real nice. My, but you are a fast
"Hmm, well I have one hell of a teacher. Oh God,
Murdock, I don't even know where to begin..."
"Then don't, not now, at least. Just lie here with me.
You don't have to say anything." Murdock kissed the
top of Face's forehead gently, his fingers lazily
running through Face's damp hair.
"But there's so much--so much I want to tell you. So
much we need to talk about. What does this mean,
Murdock? What about the Team? What about--"
"Ssssh, not now, muchacho. Not now. Tomorrow. Time for
that tomorrow, or some other day."
"But Murdock, here I am, I love you, I mean, I'm in
love with you, and after all these years I don't even
know what you're real name is!"
Murdock groaned. "Whatever happened to maintaining a
little secrecy, a little mystery in a relationship..."
"Face, some other time. Please. Why you gotta ruin
this perfectly stupendous moment with a silly question
"It's not a silly question, it's perfectly rational,
logical question. I mean, I feel like I need something
more...more intimate to call out than your last name
when we're...having private moments like this."
Murdock smiled lightly. "I take it that means you want
to have more 'private' moments like this?"
"Absolutely, I do. I'm happier, right now, than I can
Murdock's face beamed with joy, and he leaned in to
kiss Face, showing him the extent of his own
happiness. Holding Face tightly he sighed and said,
"Me too, muchacho. Me too."
"So, are you gonna tell me, then?"
"Aw, Face, what does it take to shut you up about
It was Face's turn to smile, as he let his hand glide
down Murdock's body. "I dunno, right now I can think
of a few things that might distract me..."
Face stirred first the next morning, waking with the
approaching dawn and sunlight as he often did. There
was a momentary surprise and shock as he shifted and
felt Murdock's weight pressing against him, the
pilot's naked body draped right against his own. Then
he remembered the events of that night, and the magic
of what had happened between them, and he felt his
face flush at the memory.
It had all been...probably the most amazing night of
his life, he decided. Never had he experienced such
closeness with another person--passion and love and
pure abandon. Pure trust. Somehow it was easier to let
himself go with Murdock as it never had been with
anyone else before. His hand slid down Murdock's
smooth back, fingertips now more familiar with each
curve, the swell of every taut muscle. The circular
ridge of scar tissue in one arm from where he had been
shot a few years back...the remnants of other scars,
other battles that marked his body. Similar scars
marked his own.
They were brothers of a certain era, of a war that had
scarred them both in ways beyond physical, and
incomprehensible to anyone who had not experienced it
firsthand. The resulting years had not been kind to
either of them, although they suffered through them in
their own, different ways. Murdock had retreated into
the safety of occasional madness, though not even Face
knew how much of that madness was real and how much
was some strange defense mechanism. Face in turn dealt
with the loneliness, the emptiness in his life on the
run by reaching out for meaningless companionship with
an endless stream of beautiful women. Somehow none of
them had provided the comfort Murdock had in that one
night, someone who knew him and understood him like no
Murdock finally began to awaken, stirring under Face's
increasingly insistent touch. "Mmmm..." he sighed,
nuzzling against Face's neck. "'time is it?"
Face reached up to pick up the alarm clock and checked
the time. "Little before 6:30. Another half hour 'till
the alarm goes off. Sorry if I woke you early."
"No, s'okay, Facey. I forgot you're such an early
bird." Murdock picked up his head to look at Face with
a drowsy smile. The bruises on Murdock's face were
darkening worse now, some of the smaller bruises
turning yellowish already as they began to heal. Face
explored the skin around the bruises, checking them
out with concern. Murdock remarked, "I must be one
hell of a sight right now, huh?"
"Yeah. A beautiful one, bruises or no bruises," Face
"You're too kind, Templeton. I'm not half the sight
you are, mi compadre."
"I wouldn't bet on that, Murdock. I think you're
lovely. Those eyes...that smile...that one, right
there..." Face laughed as Murdock broke into a wide,
self-conscious grin. "This incredibly sexy, warm and
fuzzy body..." Face sighed as he let his hand roam
down the length of Murdock's smooth back, then up
against one thickly haired arm.
"...this incredibly shrinking hairline," Murdock
added, gazing upwards with obvious dismay.
"Hey, don't you know how many women find that a turn
on? So do I. They always say it's a sign of virility,
and boy..." Face sighed. "That's certainly something
you have in excess."
Murdock's smile returned, and he asked softly, "No
regrets, then? You're really okay with what's
"Absolutely, Murdock. I mean...it's not what I
expected, and I admit there are some things I need
to...think about. Get used to. I never thought I could
feel this way about a man. But then, I haven't felt
this way about a woman in years, either. Maybe never."
Face looked at Murdock fondly, then used his hands to
slide Murdock up a little closer to him so that he
could kiss him on the lips. Murdock's strong yet
yielding response warmed him, filled him with that
same sense of excitement and happiness that it had
After they broke the kiss, Face said earnestly to
Murdock, "I do love you, H.M. Murdock, even if you
won't tell me what the H.M. stands for. I can't
explain it, I don't quite understand it all and maybe
I never will. But now that I'm here, with you, I just
know I don't ever want to let you go."
"Oh, Face...I knew there was a hopeless romantic
hidden under that slick facade all these years, I just
knew it," Murdock teased, his eyes sparkling and his
face beaming with obvious delight. He shifted against
Face, letting the lieutenant feel the hard shaft of
his growing erection pressed against his own. "Do you
think we have time for..." he questioned.
Face glanced at the clock again. It was about twenty
to seven now. "Not much, but just enough, perhaps, for
a little fun."
Murdock grinned. "Well, then, we'd better not waste
The road trip back to L.A. was long, but B.A. did most
of the driving--not surprisingly, as he hated having
anyone but himself drive his precious van. And since
he'd insisted on driving instead of flying, it was
only fair, as Face had put it, that he do most of the
work. They were all tired but feeling fairly rested
overall--the assignment hadn't been too difficult, and
except for Murdock getting a bit scraped up, it had
gone surprisingly smoothly.
Face and Murdock were both dozing off in the back
seats, Hannibal noted as he glanced up from the script
he was reading and trying to learn. Filming for "The
Bride of the Aquamaniac" was scheduled to begin in
three days and he was busy making notes about what he
hoped he'd be able to change in the script.
"You guys seem awful quiet," Hannibal remarked as he
saw Face finally stir, rubbing sleepy eyes. "If this
job left you that exhausted maybe we need to get you
both back in training for a few weeks."
Face looked a little flushed before making a move to
answer, but B.A. said, "Damn foo' Murdock pro'bly kept
Faceman up all week with his snorin'. I can't stand
roomin' with 'im, can't never get decent night's
"Do not snore," Murdock insisted, surprising three
other three team members who all thought he was sound
asleep. "B.A.'s the one who sounds like a beached
whale at night."
B.A. and Murdock proceeded to go at it for a while,
leading the conversation away from Hannibal's initial
question, which he hadn't forgotten about and hadn't
stopped wondering about. So many years working with
the same three men had taught him to read their
reactions and interactions damn well, and he'd known
right from breakfast that morning that something
was...different, between Face and Murdock. No one
else would notice it, but he could. He wasn't and
couldn't be completely sure, but he thought he had a
pretty good idea about what it was. And he didn't have
a clue about what to do about it, if anything.
His gut reaction was a feeling of anger and--he had to
admit it--jealousy. There, he'd admitted it to
himself. He knew it was irrational, because despite
the feelings he knew he had for Face, he would never
act on them--especially now, but he never would have
in any case. He wasn't like that; he didn't do that
type of thing. He loved Face dearly, but he knew Face
looked to him as if he was his father--not a potential
lover. The dynamics of their relationship had evolved
differently than Face's relationship with Murdock,
even though Murdock, like he, was older and had taken
on the role of Face's guardian to an extent.
Hannibal decided that, whatever had happened or was
going on, so long as they kept it under control, he
wouldn't interfere. He wouldn't ask. And he knew he
already had all he could ever really ask for with
Maggie Sullivan. She was an amazing woman--almost as
stubborn and strong-willed (and sometimes even pig-
headed) as he was. Probably the only person who could
ever understand him so well, and give him everything
he needed to keep going, spiritually, emotionally and
physically. Face and Murdock, neither of them had
someone like that, probably couldn't find anyone that
could understand each other better than they did each
other. So if that's what they needed, well...stranger
things had happened, he supposed.
And, if it came down to it, Murdock already did have
a wedding dress, and he did look rather fetching in
"Something funny, Hannibal?" Face asked, noticing the
smile that had suddenly crossed the colonel's lips.
"Oh, just an interesting plot twist," Hannibal
replied, going back to reading his script.