Habit to Break
A-Team slash: Face x Murdock
Hard Habit to Break (song fic)
Face reflects on the relationship he'd had with Murdock and realizes just how poorly he treated the pilot.
We'd been friends for years, the majority of our lives actually. I was just a kid, not much older than twenty when I met him over in `Nam, him a good two years or so older than me and already beginning to slip from reality. We weren't exactly the best of friends right off the bat, but with time, we'd grown into our friendship. We both had a secret that we didn't want the rest of the team to know about, ya know, it was part of the whole "Don't ask, don't tell" policy the Army has.
War can make a guy do goofy things though, let me tell ya. Your best friend becomes your entire life sometimes. The whole world revolves around keeping that one other person happy and safe, getting them through all the bad and rough times. Well he was mine. We turned to each other when we needed a shoulder to cry on and a comforting embrace. I was there for him when reality ran from him and he could do nothing more than curl up in a ball and sob like a baby. He was there for me when all I wanted to do was throw myself down onto a landmine and end it all. Many nights we'd sneak off to a secure area where we could be alone and hold each other until the shelling stopped.
It was hell for me when we got separated, it really was. We'd gotten shipped off to some maximum security stockade; he got admitted to the Veterans Administration Psychiatric Hospital. I wasn't there to help him; no one was. It took years before we were finally able to make contact with him and start breaking him out. By then, our friendship had become strained and distant. It was bound to happen though, I mean, it wasn't like we'd ever actually branded ourselves as a couple or anything. He'd spend his time heckling BA and acting out in his own goofy little ways while I'd scam us a place to stay or a plane to get us where we needed to go, all the while taking my sexual frustrations out on any female who'd let me.
I didn't want them though, I wanted him.
Still, as time went on and he became more and more like his old self, our friendship seemed to come together once more. Once Stockwell got us under his grasps, Murdock had officially gotten discharged from the VA, after nearly fifteen long, painful years he was finally back where he belonged. I can still feel the tightness of his hug as he realized we hadn't been shot after all, the look of relief in his eyes as he pulled me into his arms and pressed his cheek to mine. We were back together, even if no one else but us knew it, we were.
Many nights after we all moved to Langley, we'd manage to ditch the Ables and escape to our own little worlds: a little house on the beach, a condo in DC, a cottage in the country, even camping in the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountain range. Those nights together were always filled with laughter, smiles and caresses. We'd hold each other the whole night, nuzzling gently and even making love until the morning light. It was heaven.
As with any relationship, at the start it feels as if it's never going to end, that that one person is the only person for you. That's not always the case and no matter how hard you try, you soon find yourself drifting, searching for something new and exciting. True we loved each other, we said it every day and that could have been half the problem. After awhile, it became so automatic that we never even remembered what it felt like or meant. We'd fight every night, always over the same stupid things. Sure we'd have our little fights every now and then, but every relationship had their ups and downs. It was never something I was too concerned with. He always came back to me in the end; we'd make up and things would go back to normal. At least, the norm that I had come to believe our life was. I can still hear those horrible words I shouted at him our last night together though...
"What the Hell is your problem, Faceman!? All I wanna do is have one lousy night out on the town with you!! Is that too much to ask?!"
"Yeah, ya know what, Murdock? It IS too much to ask! Alright? Why can't you just be content with the fact that I'm still here putting up with all your shit? Have you any idea how lucky you are that I'm still around? I could have left years ago, but I didn't! I'm doin' you a fuckin' favor by stickin' around! No one else is ever gonna let you do half the bullshit I let you get away with! So why don't you just stop acting like such a fuckin' baby and leave me the Hell alone?!"
I know, I know...I shouldn't have said those things and looking back on it now, I know how wrong I was to say it. He was the best thing to happen to me and I shoved him out of my life. I don't even know how things got so bad between us, but they did. That's when the fun ended and I'd find myself waking up alone in the middle of the night more and more often. It wasn't until the day I came home and found all of his things gone that I realized just how big of a mistake I'd made in treating him like he didn't matter to me anymore.
It was hard wandering our apartment without him. I never knew how empty it would feel without his model airplanes and helicopters scattered throughout the place. There were no more aviation magazines littered across the floor and tables of the living room, pages dog-eared to his favorite articles or pictures. Pictures and books were missing from the shelves, the spaces they left were sad and void. His bowls and cups -each and every one of them decorated in a cartoon character of some kind from Woody Woodpecker glasses to bowls the shapes of all four Ninja Turtles--were taken from the cabinets, leaving just my "designer" ware. Our bedroom was emptiest of all. As soon as I walked in, I felt how cold and vast it was without him there. His hangers hung vacant in the closest, the drawers of his fine oak dresser bare.
How could I have been so heartless towards him? I know I wasn't superior to him just because I enjoyed the finer things in life, but yet, I always acted as if I were. If anything, he was by far superior. He at least had grown up in a loving home with grandparents who raised him like their own son when his mother died. I was raised in an orphanage with about thirty other children and constantly looked over when Visitor's Day rolled around. So what right did I have to force my choices upon him when we moved in together? I thought I had made a fairly decent compromise with him, I'd let him have his airplanes and helicopters, and even his own set of eatery, but everything else was to be picked out by me. And he agreed! Nothing left in our apartment was his because I hadn't allowed him to pick anything out. Because of my selfishness and his selflessness, all I could do was fall to the floor and cry.
The nights without him were Hell on earth. It was like being separated that first time all over again. I'd lie in bed, clutching his pillow and wishing he were there with me again. But I knew he wasn't. He'd actually found someone else, someone who seemed like they'd take very good care of him and treat him better than I had.
I saw them together one day, walking down the street hand-in-hand. God he looked good. That old familiar sparkle was back in those gorgeous brown eyes, his rotten old blue ball cap I'd hidden away in the back of our closet years ago was right back where it belonged covering his shaggy brown hair. Back to wearing his khakis and Converses, it was like looking back at him through time. The only thing missing had been his bombers jacket. I wanted to cry when I saw them go walking by. He hadn't even noticed me, or if he had, he didn't acknowledge me. And I can't blame him. He had every right to pretend I didn't exist; I'd done it to him enough times after all.
Hannibal had told me when Murdock first moved out that time heals all wounds, and one day I'd get over him. If only he'd been right. With every passing day, it grows harder and harder not having him here with me. He's my addiction. I need him with me; I need my shoulder to cry on and my comforting embrace. I need to see him smile brightly and tell me that things were going to be alright and that he still loves me, no matter how big of a jackass I can be at times. At night, I sometimes think I feel him crawl into bed and snuggle in against me, burying his nose in the back of my neck like always. I can even hear that smooth and subtle Texan drawl in his sweet voice when he says, "Sweet dreams, Temp'ton. I love you."
I would give up all my scamming and useless womanizing if I thought I could get him back. I sometimes think it'd be easier for me to give those things up than it is for me to get over him. He was my love, my sweet, my favorite defeat. And by far, my hardest habit to break.
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