Change of Face
Title: Change of Face
Verse: TV / post-show (1996. Face = 46yo; Murdock = 48yo)
Summary: Inspired by the song "Independent Love Song" by Scarlet. Face had always been the charmer. Wining and dining the ladies to get things the team need/want. Character study on what happens when he realizes he's sick of that life and that the only one he wants has always quietly watched from the sidelines.
Crystal and candlelight, romantic strolls on the beach, flirtatious smiles and suggestive glances, fingers brushing locks of hair ever so gently behind beautiful ears. That's what Templeton Peck's life had always been like. Ever since he could remember. In the orphanage he would chase the girls to get a kiss while in the back of his mind he always felt as if he wasn't fully interested. It was the way the girls reacted that fueled his desire to chase them.
He was the prettiest, pretty-boy around. Even in school he had the girls swooning over his sweet smiles and beautiful blue eyes. A new girlfriend every week from the age of eight onward. Never did he "date" the same girl twice, nor spend more than seven days exactly with them. There were just too many girls to get through to spend too much time with just one. He'd even take the time to charm and win over the girls who wouldn't normally find themselves to be the most beautiful or attractive. It was just the way he was in school.
Of course in college there had been Leslie, the only girl he could picture settling down with some day. Though he was reminded the hard way of why he never let himself get too involved. Don't get involved, don't fall in love, don't get your heart broken when it's over.
From that moment on, he resigned himself back to the wining and dining, use `em and lose `em, approach. That's really all women were becoming to him; a means to get what he wants. In `Nam he'd pick a nurse to flirt with and maybe get a few moments alone in a supply closet so that he could scam whatever it was the Colonel wanted that day, or charm a local girl for some fresh rice and possibly even a kiss behind a hut. Charm them, get what you need, and get out. Plenty of fish in the sea, had become the Lieutenant's mantra and motto.
It was during `Nam though that he met the one person to shatter the ice surrounding his heart. The only person to weasel their way into the comfiest place inside him, nestle in all nice and warm; with their goofy lopsided grin, dark chocolate brown eyes -that always shown with a spark of excitement and adventure. Tall, lanky, awkward, thin brown hair that -when not covered by a khaki green ball cap or flight helmet--stuck up in all directions. A pilot. Not exactly beautiful or the most handsome, certainly wouldn't win any beauty contests, but the man radiated with an inner beauty Face had never seen.
What startled the Lieutenant more was how easily he took to the Captain. The day they met in the Landing Zone it hit him like lightning. He'd always suspected there was a bit of him that secretly enjoyed being closer to good looking guys than it did being close to good looking women. `Nam just wasn't the place to test that theory. He'd continue to charm the girls, the pilot always smirking in the back of his mind's eye.
True the pair, a lowly Lieutenant and an older Captain, would go wandering carefully together, but still his reputation as a womanizer had to be kept right there in front. Still, he'd find as time went on they were spending more of their free time together and getting to know each other. Face found himself confiding in Murdock, telling him things he'd never told anyone else before. Murdock, in turn, would fill him in on a few secrets of his own. The place in which the goofy Texan had wiggled his way into the younger man's heart grew more with each day. Warmer and warmer with each smile and in-side joke shared between the two of them.
Before the war was through--as through as it got for Face, Hannibal and BA--the two had shared more than just their secrets. The opened their souls up to the other, letting themselves get lost in the caresses, the heat of the moment. They shared kisses, beds, and themselves.
They both knew the score though, both well aware that gays simply were not tolerated in a man's army, or in society in general. In the States, Face found himself easily slipping back into his role as head scam artist and romancer. The feelings he held for his pilot were forced to be buried deep inside. Maybe someday it'd be acceptable for them to be together, but until that day, they'd have to settle with being as close to each other as possible during missions, maybe the occasional day trip to the beach, some place hidden where they could be alone and rekindle that little flame inside them.
Murdock never complained though, never showed any signs of jealousy towards the women his lover romanced. It was just the way of the world. He'd sit silently on the sidelines, watching carefully for anything that may lead him to believe the Lieutenant would want an out from their hidden relationship. Of course the pilot had a few flings himself; he had to in order to keep suspicion from rising within the team. He even had liked a couple--Kelly especially, he'd always hold her in a special place in his heart. Still, none of them could take the place of that blond-haired, blue-eyed Lieutenant, just as no one would ever take the place of the pilot in Face's heart.
The years ticked on, mission after mission, one false romance after another. To see the way Murdock would busy himself and find something else to do each time Face would take another girl out on a seducing date was becoming harder for the conman to stand. The man deserved sainthood for the way he pretended it didn't bother him. By all rights, they had been together for nearly twenty-seven years, which was half their lives and longer than most marriages. Still, it was too risky to out themselves.
It was becoming a bit more acceptable to come out of the closet in the 90's, certainly, they just couldn't bring themselves to stand before Hannibal and BA, hand-in-hand, and confess that they'd been sleeping together and loving each other since 1970. There was no way in judging what the old Colonel and angry mudsucker would say or do. So the act carried on.
The crystal sparkled in the flickering candlelight, soft music played in the background--the sounds of a woman confessing her love to someone unknown, admitting that her love song was so unlike the rest of the love songs out there. Clothes scattered across the floor, Victoria's Secrets no longer so secret. Soft curves in all the right places, milky white skin and beautiful shimmering red hair waited on the bed; red silk sheets pooling around her naked body as she watched Face through hooded eyes.
He stood at her bedside, eyeing her up and down and not ashamed to admit that she certainly was the most realistic plastic job he'd ever seen done. So young and probably quite beautiful all on her own under all that silicone and hair dye. His fine Italian silk shirt hung open as his dress slacks were partly undone. He was more than ready to climb into that bed and seal the deal that would get them the yacht they required, but something was keeping him from moving any closer. A smile in his mind's eye, a soft, Southern voice murmuring in his ear, fingers ghosting over his skin as they made love.
Making love...it's what was keeping the conman from continuing. The visions and memories of those nights held safe and secure in the tall pilot's arms had finally snapped something inside him. These women meant nothing to him; it wasn't fair to Murdock to sleep with them, it wasn't fair to the women for Face to sleep with them just to get what he wanted. He wanted to make love, not sleep with, screw, bang or flat out fuck.
Looking to the radio, a smile spread across his lips. He wanted to be with Murdock. It didn't matter what anyone said, his days of sleeping around were over; they should have been over that frozen December night in countryside outside of Quang Tri when he and Murdock shared themselves for the first time. Fear had kept them silent for far too long.
"Uh, listen, Jessica, I'm sorry but, I need to go." The smile still on his lips, Face quickly buttoned his shirt, ignoring the fact the not all the buttons matched up with the right holes.
Shaking his head at her bewildered stare, a relieved chuckled passed over his lips as he zipped his slacks and refastened his belt. "I'm really very sorry but, you see, I haven't been completely honest with you. I'm already seeing someone. And I love them. Right this moment, they're waiting at home for me so...I better go. It's been fun, thank you, and uh...I'll have my people contact you later about that yacht."
Not giving her enough time to even form a response, Face found himself rushing out the front door and to his waiting Corvette--a car he'd had and taken care of nearly as long as he'd had Murdock. A rush of courage, determination and even joy washed through him as he leapt over the door and slid into the driver's seat, a stunt he'd gotten after the pilot for doing so many times in the past.
He didn't even remember the drive back to the house where his teammates were waiting patiently, all lounging about and spending their down time enjoying the finer things in life. Hannibal with his fresh supply of Cuban's the Lieutenant had gotten him in a shrewd business deal; BA with the very latest in electronics to tinker with; and Murdock, his gorgeous and ever patient pilot, flipping through the channels lazily.
Bursting through the door, Templeton scanned the room quickly, three startled and confused faces staring back at him. His sight locked with those gorgeous brown eyes from across the way. Murdock's thinning hair swept forward in a way that made him look even younger and more innocent than before. A Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles T-shirt on with those silly green flannel pajama pants he liked to wear just to playfully aggravate his conman (it was nice to see he wore them even when Face wasn't expected to be back until morning, though).
Zoning in on his features, Face moved like a man possessed. Breezing by BA at the living room bar and brushing by Hannibal on the most comfortable chair in the place, he stalked up to the couch, eyes never leaving eyes. This was it, there was no turning back. He watched as Murdock stumbled to stand, afraid that something had happened and he'd accidentally goofed something up somewhere that would make Face approach him like he was going to throttle him again.
Letting a smirk fall over his lips, Face's heart sped up as Murdock moved to stand behind the couch, inching his way towards the patio doors. Taking a deep breath, the Lieutenant's feet picked up the pace, carrying him up and over the couch. Arms caught around the pilot's shoulders, bodies hitting hard against each other first before hitting against the wall behind them. His eyes clamped closed, Face pressed his lips over Murdock's, engaging the startled, bewildered and slightly beguiled pilot in a kiss that rivaled any of the famous kisses throughout history.
He could feel Hannibal and BA's confused stares on the back of his neck, but he didn't care. That feeling was replaced all too quickly with a lanky body relaxing against him, a tongue emerging out to mingle with his, strong arms wrapping securely around his waist and pulling him all that much closer. The scent of musky leather, petrol (which would probably never leave the pilot for as long as he lived) and Old Spice aftershave filled his senses, spinning his head around and putting him straight into orbit.
There was going to be a lot of things to explain once they came back down for air, there could possibly even be a fight, threats, who knew what was going to happen between the team now. They'd been through so much already as a team, seen friends come and go, their freedom taken and--after far too many years--reinstated, but this...this was something entirely different. If Hannibal and BA didn't approve though, then so be it. He was tired of hiding who he was and what he truly felt. He wanted to show Murdock just how much he loved him, consequences be damned. That pilot was all he ever wanted and all he was ever going to want.
"I love you, HM," He murmured softly, his lips barely moving enough to get the words out as he leaned his head back in for another kiss, "I can't put you through this anymore. No more girls, no more crystal and candlelight, no more romancing. Just you. Just us..."
Smirking slightly and nudging his nose lightly against his lover's, Murdock chuckled softly as his hand smoothed up and down that fine, rumpled and crooked-closed Italian silk shirt. Face knew the pilot had waited to hear those words for just as long as he had longed to say them; he could tell by the way that head dipped ever-so-slightly to nestle in against the crook of his neck and breeze kisses lightly across his skin back to his lips.
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