Changing Suits - Heart
by G Richmond
Story: Changing Suits
Chapter: 01. Heart
Status: Final draft
Author: G. Richmond
Warnings: Mild slash, angst
Feedback levels: UP TO LEVEL 2
Feedback requests: Grammar, story flow, characterisation
Author's notes: I didn't mean to write more angst, lol. Been listening to the song `You Don't Love Me Any More' by Tim McGraw, and that inspired a picture that inspired this story.
It was a warm afternoon, he could remember that much; the sun shining comfortably out from behind wisps of white cloud and the soft breeze keeping the temperature from getting too hot. It was the kind of afternoon for picnics with the kids and nice walks in the woods, or a lazy afternoon on the front porch watching the world go by.
"I cant do this anymore." His voice cut through the pleasant silence like a blunt knife. It wasn't like it came unexpected; things hadn't been going well for months now, and they both knew it. They had stopped spending so much time together, stopped talking for hours about nothing, until even things that had seemed so natural before, like a goodnight kiss, became forced and awkward.
But when the time finally came, it felt like someone had punched him in the chest.
"Temp'?" His voice had a waver to it as he turned his head to look at the blond. Murdock had been in the lounge, contently reading through a dog-eared magazine on aeroplanes when Face had walked in. The windows were open and the scent of wild flowers wafted in from the front garden, colouring the scene in hues that should have pre-empted something pleasant. Neither of them were much for gardening, save to go out and take their frustration out on unsuspecting weeds after they had had an argument, but dandelions and nettles weren't going to help this time.
"I'm sorry. I...I just cant." Blue eyes looked so calmly at the pilot, but his mouth tightened and his brows flickered with the emotions he was trying to hide, "You know it isn't working." He added, an edge of imploring in his voice, begging Murdock not to make this any more difficult than it was already going to be. He stayed in the doorway, watching the pilot.
There was silence, such a god-awful painful silence before Murdock finally reacted, standing up from the couch, his magazine falling forgotten on the floor. As he stood, Face took a step back, as though the keep the distance between them,
"Wh..." Murdock made a false start, struggling for words, and shook his head a bit before starting again, "What do you mean?"
Face looked down to the side with a pained expression, "You know what I mean. Please, don't make this hard."
"Don't make this-?" Murdock took a step forward, and Face took one back, "Temp'..."
Face could barely stand it. He knew it was going to be hard, but he also knew that Murdock never would have ended it, he would have had them stay together forever in the hopes that things could go back to the way they were. The way they were 6 years ago when they had still been 'Soldiers of Fortune', when they were running on excitement and adrenaline. Where breaking Murdock out of the VA made Face's day. When keeping their relationship secret was exhilarating and fun. When stolen kisses were the best part of a mission, and forgetting to lock the bedroom door was still risky business.
Before people began to forget about the A-team. Before BA and Frankie dropped out to pursue more honest living. Before Hannibal called it quits. Before they had settled down. Before they drifted apart.
Murdock still wanted to believe they were the same people, that they were meant for each other. He couldn't imagine his life without Face, couldn't conceive of being with anyone else, and wouldn't admit defeat. He still loved him.
"It's over, Murdock." Face at least did him the courtesy of looking him dead in the eye, paying witness to the pain he was causing in those deep brown eyes, "There's no point drawing it out any more." He said quieter.
"Face...Temp'...please." Murdock stepped forward again, and this time Face stayed it his ground, but drew his gaze away, looking down at the ground, "Cant we talk about this?" The pilot's voice was imploring, "We...we can fix-"
"No Murdock, we cant." Face shook his head, "It's over. It's been over for months." He looked up at the pilot, fighting to stay in check, "I've already moved out most of my stuff." He could see the shock in the pilot's eyes; he hadn't even noticed. They had been so distant he hadn't noticed Face slowly moving out. "It's easier this way." Face added quietly. He shifted as though to go toward Murdock, before changing his mind and turning to the front door.
The hands that grabbed the back of his shirt were desperate, long fingers curling in the thin fabric and holding him still, but didn't quite have the strength to pull him back,
"Please!" The word came out choked, and Face felt the pressure as Murdock put his head down between his hands against the blond's back, "Please...y-you cant."
"Murdock, I have to." Face took a deep breath, but it was shaky, and his eyes burned.
"No, you don't... we can fix this..." The pilot's voice got quieter and more pleading.
"It's not broken, Murdock." The conman lifted a hand to his face, warding off the tears that were already soaking into the carpet behind him, "It's just not the same, anymore."
"W-we can make it the same. Make it how it used to be. Please Temp', we gotta try." His words were shaky, and his grip tightened on Face's shirt like it was the only thing keeping him on his feet.
"Why not?" Murdock's voice rose as he jerked Face's shirt, shaking him a little, confused, angry and distraught.
"Because..." Face shook his head and lost the battle with his tears, hastily wiping away the ones that rolled down over his cheeks, "Because I don't love you anymore."
Murdock's reaction was delayed, but when the words finally sunk in his fingers loosened from Face's shirt. The conman stepped away hurriedly, and the pilot sank to the ground, falling on his knees and staring down at the carpet.
"Murdock..." Face was already at the door, arms pulled tight around himself, wiping his cheeks with his sleeve.
"Just go..." Murdock told him in a whisper, and Face knew then it was over. There was no going back now. All their problems, their fights, their petty arguments over silly things. All their bad times, and the times they couldn't stand to look at each other...
And the good times, and the better times. Their making up. The smiles. The laughter.
It was all over.
Because he didn't love him anymore.
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