New A-Slash Archive Entry


Happy XMas (War Is Over)

by Corky

Title: Happy XMas (War Is Over)

By: Corky

Rating: PG

Genre: Holiday, friendship, family

Warning: Slash lightly implied

Pairing: Face/Murdock

Verse: Series (pre-series, actually)

Review Requests: General stuff...not picky on this

Review level: UP TO 2 (like I said...I'm not picky on this one)

Summary: A letter to Santa is entrusted to Face and leaves the man writing a letter of his own for the first time since his childhood. (song-inspired story. Lyrics at the end)


Somewhere in the Pacific Northwest - December 1973

"Face, ya gotta take this with you. Please? Ya gotta make sure the big man gets it. This is important, Faceman. Please?"

Who could say no to such a heartfelt plea? Especially as it had been one of the first real things the pilot had said since being relocated to the VA in Westwood. At least, the first real thing he'd said that made sense too. Come to think of it, it was difficult to say no to Murdock period.

So, he took the letter encased in a homemade envelope, half a dozen stamps slopped across the front and the childish scrawls of "Important!", "Rush!", "Top Secret!", "Open ASAP!" scattered over it, written in green and red crayons at that. In the middle of the envelope, carefully printed out so each letter was clearly visible and the address was as straight as could be, was what made the conman groan and roll his eyes. `To: Mr. St. Nicholas and/or Santa Claus. C/o Christmas Miracles Inc. North Pole. Earth.' It didn't surprise him that the pilot still believed (or at least, believed at the moment that he believed) in Santa, it really didn't. Face just chalked it up to yet another one of Murdock's little quirks and he'd look back on it and smile some day.

Now, as the snow fell peacefully on the trees outside, blanketing the world in a thick, white, sparkling powder, Lt. Templeton "Faceman" Peck sat at the window staring out into the nighttime, that letter of Murdock's sitting opened on his lap. Oh he knew he wasn't supposed to open it, but since he knew there was no such thing as Santa, he figured there'd be no harm in doing it. Besides, it gave him a chance to find out what new comics or toys the pilot wanted for Christmas and would allow him to acquire them and get them sent. He'd also planned to respond to the letter, give the poor Captain a little holiday cheer at having his letter answered and all. Now he wished he hadn't.

Oh how he wished he could have gotten Murdock out for Christmas, or at the very least have gotten the rest of the team in to spend the holiday with the pilot, it just wasn't possible though. The cold, sterile Veteran's Mental Hospital was no place to be at Christmastime. It never occurred to him just how lonely a place like that could be when the only family you have left has to be on the run and even leave the state just to make sure they don't spend the holiday locked up in a military prison somewhere. Face's heart literally felt as if it'd been broken in half by reading that carefully written letter.

As the Lieutenant sat staring out at the twinkling lights, watching as children laughed and threw snowballs at each other as their frustrated fathers struggled with the giant balls of tangled Christmas lights, he felt his chest tightening with emotions. Family...God that was a word he'd never heard used in the same sentence as his name. Looking back down at the letter in his lap, he sniffled softly before picking it back up. The writing was so very different from the crazy scrawl on the envelope and part of him had to wonder if maybe the pilot had someone else write it for him. There were key things that told him that wasn't possible though, the main one being, the pilot would never tell anyone about his team and knowing where they were, nor would he tell anyone about the relationship he has with a certain blue-eyed orphan from LA. Still, that cursive writing, so practiced and careful, it made him realize there really was hope for his pilot after all; the man was capable of having more and more good, coherent days and the possibility of maybe getting him out wasn't so far off after all.

Dear Father Christmas,

Frohe Weihnachten! Buon Natale! Feliz Navidad! Merry Christmas! I'm writing you this because it's very important this year. I don't want anything for myself, you and the Big Guy upstairs already got me out of `Nam, got my friends out of `Nam, and gave me everything I asked for the past few years. So, I don't want anything for myself this year. Instead, I want something that's going to be the biggest and bestest present in the whole world. Peace. Simple enough, just real hard to come by, ya know? But if anyone can do it, I know it's you. I want those guys still stuck overseas to be able to come home to the families they left behind. I want those families who won't ever get their boys back for Christmas to find at least a little bit of comfort in knowing that those fellas ain't having to kill anyone else's sons any more.

Also, if it ain't too much to add, could I ask that you help bring happiness back to Faceman's life? My poor Faceguy, he's so stressed and sad these days and it breaks my heart to see my family hurtin'. Same goes for the Colonel and even BA I suppose. I just want them all to be happy this year. Things have been rough for them these past couple of years and now they even had to go out on the lam so they don't really get to celebrate Christmas this year...not that we really could in `Nam, least in `Nam we'd all be together sittin' around the All Ranks Club, kickin' back drinks, laughing and sharin' stories. And after it was all said and done, I'd get to spend at least an hour or two with my best friend alone, doin' all those things the others just wouldn't understand. I know I don't gotta tell you about that stuff, you already know since you're the one who brought me Facey. Thanks again for that, by the way! He's the best Christmas present I've ever gotten.

So if ya could, whatever you were gonna bring me this year, give it to Faceman instead, okay? All the comic books, toy planes, action figures, all that good stuff give to him. Hopefully they'll be enough to make him smile and be happy again.

Thanks Sant! You really are a saint! Give my best to the misses, elves and reindeer! Make sure you polish up Rudy's nose real good this Christmas, hear we're s'posed to have one heck of a snow this year.

Take care!

Your friend,

H.M. Murdock

Pushing himself up out of his chair, Face moved for his duffel bag. He always kept a small notebook tucked away at the bottom for those nights when he was unable to sleep and wanted to talk to Murdock but couldn't. He wouldn't call it a diary really, even though that's essentially what it was when it came right down to it. Finding it buried down at the bottom of the bag, hidden under socks and the few clean pairs of boxers he has, he pulled the beat up notebook out, tugging the pencil out of the metal binding on the side and sat down heavily on his borrowed bed. Setting Murdock's letter down next to his bent leg, he stared at his blank page for a long moment. He never wrote many letters while in Vietnam, really didn't have anyone to write home to, and honestly, he couldn't for the life of him remember the last time he wrote to or even believed in Santa. He'd always been rather cynical in that area. Now though? Well...maybe he's spent too much time with Murdock and is starting to crack up too.

Taking a quick glance back out the window, a soft smile playing on his young face, the Lieutenant gave a quiet chuckle before turning his attention back down to his paper and starting his own letter.

Dear Santa,

Pausing, he took a deep breath. How does a grown man write a letter to a fictional being? Sighing, Face gave a small huff before continuing.

It's been too many years since I last wrote you a letter. Sorry. I have to admit I feel really stupid writing you now even, but...I know if Murdock were here he'd pick on me about it and then tell me just to write what I feel and what's in my heart. He's the one who got me working on this journal, after all.

Anyways, I know I never really wrote to you asking for things but, I figured I'd give it a try now. I don't expect anything to happen since I know you're not really real, but it's worth a shot. This year for Christmas, could I ask you a favor? I know Murdock wants you to give all of his presents to me to make me happy again but, how about instead you donate them to the Angel Guardian's Orphanage in Los Angeles? I know Murdock thinks I'm not happy, but I am. Well, as happy as I can be right now. But, I'm happiest when I'm with him. So...for Christmas, I'd like to be with him. I want to be able to spend the day with him outside of the hospital. To be able to take him out and have some much needed fun, just the two of us. For Christmas I just want to be with him and make him happy. I miss seeing his smile and his eyes bright with mischief and laughter. I want his demons to let go of him and to have back my best friend. For him to be able to fly again without panicking and to go through a day without flashbacks or anxiety attacks. I want him to not have to take those medications or go through the treatments he goes through each day. I don't want him to be afraid to go to sleep anymore because he's scared the nightmares are going to be real or that he's going to wake up and find out this life isn't real and that he's still stuck back in `Nam. I want my best friend, my family, to be happy and healthy again.

That's all I want for Christmas...I just want my best friend back.

Sighing, Face stared down at the letter in his hands. He didn't know when his eyes started to mist over, but he made short work of drying them again as he sniffed and quickly scribbled his name at the bottom of the page. He still didn't know why he felt compelled to even write the letter in the first place, maybe it'd been that little quiet voice in the back of his head, the same one he'd heard only three short years before--the voice with that gentle rolling accent that could be phased in and out with the drop of a hat, the voice that would whisper to him in the night and calm his nerves when they were POWs, a voice that made him feel like what he felt inside wasn't as stupid or foolish as he always thought it was. That voice of a Huey pilot who murmured so gently one night that Face should write letters to him if the conman needed to talk and Murdock wasn't around. Thinking about it, yeah, it was definitely that voice in the back of his head telling him to write that letter.

Oh if BA found out he was starting to give into Murdock's delusions and play along with them like this, he'd never hear the end of it. Folding the letter so carefully, he tucked it safe and sound back into the homemade envelope along with Murdock's letter, tenderly resealing it with strips of tape to make sure it wouldn't reopen on its journey. God only knew where that letter was going to wind up, whose hands it was going to fall into; he just prayed it didn't wind up on Lynch's desk as an early Christmas present. Please God, if you're up there, let us have one Christmas without Lynch chasing us...just one nice Christmas. Please?

Setting the envelope down next to the window, he sighed as he turned the radio on softly, wanting to lose himself in some music for awhile and just drift off as peacefully as possible. The tune faded in through the static of the station -with the snow storm moving in and the tall trees surrounding the sleepy little town, picking up radio stations wasn't an easy task- and what he heard made him smile. Oh he knew this tune all too well. Had heard Murdock singing it softly to him at night two years before when it was first released. Closing his eyes, he let the soft smile form on his lips as he imagined those arms holding him protectively again, singing quietly into his ear while swaying them back and forth gently.

"Happy Christmas, Murdock......"

So this is Christmas and what have you done, Another year over, a new one just begun.

And so this is Christmas, I hope you have fun, The near and the dear ones, the old and the young.

A very merry Christmas and a happy New Year Let's hope it's a good one without any fears.

And so this is Christmas for weak and for strong, The rich and the poor ones, the road is so long.

And so happy Christmas for black and for white For the yellow and red ones let's stop all the fights.

A very merry Christmas and a happy New Year Let's hope it's a good one without any fear.

And so this is Christmas and what have we done Another year over, a new one just begun.

And so happy Christmas we hope you have fun The near and the dear ones, the old and the young.

A very merry Christmas and a happy New Year Let's hope it's a good one without any fear.

War is over if you want it, war is over now.

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