Of Songs and Love
Title: Of Songs and Love
Verse: Series (sometime between seasons four and five)
Notes: The bit of 6'2"-175-13 is similar to when Face lists off the sizes of girls. Except in this case it's height, weight, shoe size. ^_^
"Hannibal! Why do I have to take him out? I am in the middle of closing a picture deal that's bound to make us all rich. The producer's a real knockout and I'm pretty sure the only English word she knows, is `yes'." Face smirked as he raised his eyebrows and rocked back on his feet a little bit.
Hannibal looked up from getting his glass of water and shook his head sadly. He knew what kind of scam the conman was trying to run, and it wasn't going to work. If anything, the flirt was actually hitting on the producer's wife, which would only end in Face running for his life. Turning the water off and leaning against the counter, the older Colonel slowly took a sip before answering.
"Because, he's your best friend and you promised him that you'd take him out as a belated half-birthday present. Now Face, you don't want to go back on your word, do you? Besides, it's not good to keep Murdock locked up in the VA for extended periods like this; it's bad for his recovery. Before we know it, he'll slip back into a state of mania and we'll have to wait another three years before he's well enough to come out on missions again."
God how Face hated it when Hannibal talked in that matter-of-fact like way. While the Lieutenant could con anything from anyone, the Colonel had the uncanny ability to make anything sound rational. Want to build a tank using only Popsicle sticks, wire and some old bicycle tires? Hannibal could make it sound like a good idea and somehow even make it work. Of course, he did have a point (didn't he always?). Face had promised Murdock they'd go out and spend some time together, just two buddies hanging out and enjoying the fresh air. Did it really have to be that day though?
Groaning and running a hand through his hair, Face sighed heavily as he glanced down at his watch. Quarter the three. If he left right that minute, he could get Murdock, take him out for a few hours and still be able to make it back in time for a dinner date at least. That was, of course, if he could convince the pilot that the amusement parks were strictly out of the question and instead a couple of drinks at the coffeehouse down the street would be a much better idea.
"Alright, alright...I'll go. But next time you or BA get to take him out!"
Snatching his keys off the counter and his dress jacket off the hook by the door, Face stormed out of the house and headed for his car. There was another reason he hadn't been keen on taking the man out even though he'd promised he would. Call it paranoia or an overactive imagination, but something kept telling the man that Murdock had begun acting really weird (more so than usual). There were times when Face would feel as if someone were watching him, he'd look and see Murdock's eyes quickly dart in another direction. The pilot would stick unusually close to him and once or twice he swore he felt those long lean fingers purposely brush over the back of his hand or across the small of his back.
Giving a small shiver and shaking his head, Face got in the Vette, fired her up and peeled off down the street.
Murdock frowned as he checked his watch again. Faceman was late; he was never late. Well, unless he was getting caught up in romancing whatever blond bombshell he'd managed to hang off his arm that time. Face wouldn't do that though, not when he promised to take his best friend out for some belated half-birthday fun. Murdock had even gotten a day pass cleared with Richter for it. No one was going to chase him down the drive or across the street, no scams had to be pulled, he was free and clear for one full day.
And one full day was about as long as he felt like he'd been sitting there waiting. He had to admit, the sunshine did feel good all nice and warm against his face, but the fact that the sun was now starting to head for the lower end of the sky (when it was just about to reach the highest part when he got outside to begin with) was making him a bit nervous. What if something had happened? Car accident. Capture. Alien abduction! Scenarios -both believable and absurd--ran through his overactive mind. He'd have no way of knowing if Face were lying dead in an alley somewhere because of a scam gone bad! There were so many things that he'd never gotten to say! So many things he still wanted to convince the conman to do!
A lump was forming in his throat, tightening his muscles and making it hard for him to breathe, when the sounds of that perfectly tuned machine pulled into the lot and found a place to park. Leaping to his feet, Murdock ran for the car, barely giving Face time to even get out. Yanking him into his arms, the pilot buried his nose in the man's shirt, his eyes clamping shut as he held him close. The fears and worries were slowly trickling away, replaced by that warm sensation he got in his chest whenever the Lieutenant was near.
"Uh, Murdock? What are you...is everything...what..."
Pulling back, worried brown eyes met with confused blues. God those blues were beautiful though; even when they were filled with confusion they were the most beautiful blue he'd ever seen. Gulping hard, he slowly released the man from his arms and took a step back.
"I was worried `bout'cha, Face. I mean, I'd been sittin' here since eleven o'clock waiting for you to get here. I even missed lunch, and we were gonna have chocolate pudding today, too."
"Uh-huh...well, uh, I'm sorry I kept you waiting and worrying. Was in the middle of an important business deal when Hannibal reminded me what time it was," and what day and what he'd promised and forced him out of the house in order to keep that promise...
Murdock's shoulders dropped slightly, the light fading from his eyes just a bit as he stuffed his hands in his khakis pockets and looked to his feet. Face had forgotten and the pilot knew it.
"Oh. Look Facey, we don't have to go out and do anything if you've got something important to do. It's alright. I've still got some cake stashed in my room I can munch on and I think there might even be a Range Rider marathon on tonight so...if you've got something else you--"
"What? No, well...I do actually need to call it an early night so, I'll make sure you're back in time for your Range Rider marathon, okay?"
Again the shoulders dropped just a bit more, his head ducking. Nodding, he made his way around to the passenger side of the car and slid in--using the door for a change instead of climbing and leaving his Converse footprints on the red custom interior. Slipping down lower in his seat, the pilot readjusted his hat and jacket, smoothing out some of the wrinkles that would no doubt drive the conman bonkers if he saw them.
He watched out of the corner of his eyes as Face quickly scanned the parking lot, obviously waiting for an MP to jump out and grab him, or maybe even for a way to get out of taking his friend out. Finding nothing, he slide back in behind the wheel and started the engine once more. Murdock watched as that perfectly manicured hand reached for the gearshift. His own fingers itched to reach out and trace the hills and valleys of those knuckles, to run over the soft underside of the man's wrist and feel that pulse beat.
Pressing his lips together, his dark eyes quickly turned to look back out the front window as those blues turned to look at him. He'd tried making and keeping eye contact before, to try and convey everything he'd been thinking and feeling without ever saying a word, but all it had succeeded in doing was earning him a funny look and questions if he was feeling alright. Oh how he wanted to say the words, but fear stole them before they could even be formed.
Face wasn't interested in him, and who could blame him. For one thing he was lacking a couple bumps on his chest and had a couple extra pieces below the waist that kept him from being the right type for him. Plus, there was still the whole "crazy" thing that was going against him. Still, the Captain had held onto his hope. There were still things his friend did that made him wonder if the man was actually just a closet case who was too afraid of ridicule and shame to admit he was at least bisexual. After all, there was that purple fur coat incident--complete with white silk scarf and hat--a couple years back; the fire house inspector who was clearly far too effeminate acting; a priest who acted just a bit too light in his loafers when picking Murdock to "help" with the "deceased" in order to bust out of the VA; the way he would so sweetly say "et cetera, et cetera, et cetera," and wave his hand about when explaining something. Not to mention, the man was just far too into his looks and had, on a number of occasions, worn things that were better suited for the female gender...or closet gays, whichever.
"Okay, so, since we're on a bit of a time constraint, I was thinking we could go to that little coffee shop down the street? They have some nice little sandwiches we could munch on. How's that sound?"
The charming smile and fake cheery voice did little to help make the pilot feel any better. If anything, the words settled like bricks in the pit of his stomach, weighing him down against his seat even more as his eyes scanned the scenery. He should have just stayed in bed, at least on his bed he could lay back and watch the ceiling tiles shift and rearrange themselves.
Sarcasm dripped from the Texan's mouth, the words coming out thick with his usually suppressed accent. He could feel his friend's eyes shift to look at him; he always could though, there was just something about those eyes that made every nerve stand on end and beg to be noticed whenever those crystal blues landed on him. His own eyes closed, fighting back the water that tried to spring free from between the lashes. Boy was he glad he was such an inconvenience to his own best friend that the "boy's day out" they'd planned was diminished to nothing more than crappy sandwiches and cheap nasty coffee.
He could tell Face wanted to say something, to ask what was wrong, but knew that the man wouldn't. Though, of any of the guys, Face was always the one who would get Murdock to talk, to explain what was going on in that troubled mind of his. He'd always been there to fight away the monsters and pull the pilot back to reality when flashbacks and night terrors would try to sweep him away. That had always been another hint to Murdock that maybe there was a chance with the man. They'd been together for so long already, had been through so much and still the younger man always made sure the sometimes-crazy pilot got the best care in the world. No one was ever unkind to him at Westwood, and still Face would sneak in every now and then to make sure things were going well and he wasn't back on any unnecessary medicines (Murdock hated the medicines--even cough syrup).
Pulling up to the little shop, a sigh escaped Murdock's lips as he climbed out of the car and straightened his jacket again. The place wasn't very packed; despite the fact the chalkboard sign out front boasted "Live Band Today!" The music that drifted out of the open front door was typical coffeehouse music, soft and mellow, which always confused the pilot since coffee was known to make people hyper--not mellow.
Thinking nothing more of it, he followed Face in and over to a table, a table picked -no doubt--because it was closest to the door and had the payphone in sight. Slipping into his seat, Murdock rested his elbow on the tiny table, chin going to rest on the heel of his hand. He had a pretty good view of the band from where he was sitting, and they really weren't half bad for being a small group. A single guitar player, a keyboard, and a poor kid sitting in the back using what looked like a toy drum set that was it. They all seemed to be taking turns singing and sharing the so called "lime light".
"So, what would you like? Mocha latte? Uh, espresso? Cappuccino?"
Face paused and blinked a couple of times. "Cherry...cola?"
"Cherry cola, extra cherry. Ham sandwich, no mayo, extra cheese."
His voice was distant and uninterested as his eyes stayed locked on the band, toes gently tapping along with the beat. Again those blue eyes stared at him, piercing through him and tearing his heart to shreds. Why couldn't he just get the courage to tell him? To finally step out and say the words he'd wanted to say since the first day they met. Because you're setting yourself up for heartache and a broken friendship, that's why.
Slowly the figure dressed in navy blue nodded and turned for the counter. Maybe by not telling Face was only hurting their friendship to begin with? There had been a time when they could tell each other anything, a time when Face would tell him all about his latest conquest with some bimbo and Murdock would boast about the things he could with any given aircraft. In the years since returning from the war, and from the edge of insanity, that had changed. Rarely would they talk about things like that. Anymore it was whatever persona the Captain would make up that day to play with. Though, generally the conman would smile and join in on the act--even if for nothing more than to aggravate the hell out of BA.
Eyes drifting from the band to the counter, he felt another sigh escape him. Lean in, reach out and brush hair behind her ear, pat her hand, flirt. No matter where Face went he had to hit on anything with two long legs and a C-cup or better. 32-18-28, it might as well be the man's combination lock number. Why couldn't 6'2"-175-13 be the right number combo? Blond hair, gorgeous blue eyes, of course any guy would spring a tent for that kind of girl, but what about the brunettes with dark brown eyes?
Turning his attention back to the band, Murdock lifted his head enough to clap when the song finished before looking back up as Face came carefully walking back, a small platter with an even smaller cup sitting on it in one hand and a tall glass of dark sparkling cherry flavored cola in the other. Slowly the conman set their drinks down before moving to slide into the chair across from his friend, a light pink lipstick mark on his left cheek and a bright but forced smile on his lips. There wasn't a doubt in Murdock's mind the Face had conned the poor girl behind the counter into giving him their drinks free of charge. Hell, he probably could have even convinced her she needed to pay him for the drinks and sandwiches.
"Alright Murdock, are you going to tell me what's been going on with you lately, or are you just going to mope around? What? Did Billy go missing or get hit or something?"
"No...no, Billy's fine in fact, he's curled up in the backseat of the Vette right now."
"Well, so long as he doesn't drool over the interior...or chew anything up. I just had it cleaned." There was that joking, playful, quality to Face's voice that let Murdock know the man was just trying to play along--to be helpful, maybe even attempt to get him to smile? Still, there was truth in what Face had said, and Murdock knew that too. That car was practically the conman's baby and he treated it better than one too.
Shaking his head and taking a sip of his soda, he frowned a bit. Cola. Just straight up cola. Another disappointment. Scrunching his nose and nudging the glass away, he exhaled softly as he leaned back and slouched against the front window.
"So? Are you going to tell me or not?"
"Nothin', Face...it's nothin'."
He tried to smile, to make even himself believe the words that had just come from his mouth, but the corners faltered just a bit too much, his eyes too dim. Looking across the table and finally meeting his best friend's eyes, he felt his chest start to tighten and his heart start falling for his shoes. There was concern and confusion in those eyes.
"Well then what? Murdock, you've been acting really weird lately. I'm starting to worry about you. They didn't put you back on any medications they weren't supposed to, did they?"
"No, I..." Taking a deep breath, Murdock gulped hard and ducked his head. His hand moved up to rub at the back of his neck, hitting against his hat and causing the brim to bounce up and down. Any normal time he would have thought it comedic and maybe would have even purposely done it to Face a few times just to make the man smile and chuckle.
"I...Face, there's...there's something I really wanna get off my chest but, every time I try...the purple wobblies start to wobble again and the word invaders swoop down and steal the words from me before I can even try to say them."
Looking back up, he could see the confusion increase in the man's eyes. Groaning softly, Murdock shook his head again, a hand waving in front of his face as he reached for his plain old cola once more. If he even bothered trying to continue this conversation, the words would just get all sorts of twisted around and mixed, and then he'd really have the conman confused. Not to mention have his own head in a tizzy trying to figure out where to go next and how to best say that he was hopelessly in love with his best friend without actually saying those words.
"Nevermind. Forget I said anything, Faceman, really. Where's our sandwiches? I'm starving."
Face's eyes went wide as he looked at the table, then back up at the counter where the girl was busy making a few other drinks. Blushing softly, the conman shrugged as he moved to stand up, once again turning to leave the pilot by himself.
"I uh...guess she must have forgotten about them. I'll go remind her of the order and uhm...make a phone call, but then I'll be back and you're going to tell me what's bothering you."
Nodding, Murdock stared at the table, finger slowly tracing patterns on the smooth surface. I l-o-v-e y-o-u F-a-c-e...I l-o-v-e y-o-u F-a-c-e...Again and again his fingers traced those words, the closest he'd ever come to actually saying them, and Face was no where around him to see.
Casting a glance towards the counter, Murdock's heart twisted into knots as he watched the counter girl giggle and blush before leaning over to leave another light pink lipstick mark over the top of the first one. Face had never ordered the sandwiches the first time, who was he trying to kid? If the girl had forgotten about them, she would have looked apologetic. She looked ecstatic that he had come up to flirt with her again.
Murdock watched as Face smiled a smile reserved for his scams, patted the girls hand and made his way towards the payphone. Gulping, he sat there for a moment, listening as the band finished up another song before he moved to stand up. Wetting his lips and hoping his words wouldn't fail him again, he soon found his feet carrying him towards the band, a friendly smile playing on his face.
"Hey fellas, you guys sound real good. Could I ask you a favor though?"
"Okay so, you'll be ready by six then?"
Face smiled as he leaned against the wall by the payphone, receiver to his ear and back to the table area. A woman's voice, thick with accent, giggled and replied on the other end. Her response brought an even bigger smile to the man's face. Oh he loved woman who only knew how to say yes.
"Good, good. Wear something nice, okay? I'm going to treat you to the best seafood dinner you've ever had. Shrimp, calamari, oysters, caviar, lobster..."
Another response that brought the smile back and a chuckle to escape his lips. This was almost too easy. It really should be illegal the way he leads people on and flirts just to get what he wants...oh wait, it was, except it usually went under the alias of extortion.
His fingers toyed with the phone cord as his hips absently began to sway to the sounds of the new song playing--new voice singing, too. It was a nice voice though. A smooth sounding baritone, a little shaky at times and the song seemed to be a bit out of their range, maybe a little nervous? Must have been their first time singing in front of an audience. Though, to say those six customers and two wait staff counted as an audience was being a bit generous. There was something very familiar about it though, both the song and the voice singing it.
Turning his head to look over his shoulder, Face's smile grew as he glanced at the now empty table by the window. Nodding and still grinning, he moved to look back at the phone before stopping. His eyes wide, he quickly spun back around. Empty. The table was empty except for the two drinks and now two sandwiches.
"Uh, Ulla I'm going to have to call you back...uhm...yeah...bye..."
He didn't wait for a reply (though he knew it would only be gibberish and `Yes'). Hanging up the phone, he quickly moved back towards their table, eyes frantically scanning the room. How could he have lost Murdock? Sure the man was known to occasionally get distracted by something and go to look at it, but, he only had his back to him for a couple of minutes! How could he...
That voice again. He knew that voice. It...it couldn't have been.
Slowly, very slowly, he turned towards the band. Only the keyboardist and guitarist were playing. There, standing in front of them, eyes closed and hands fidgeting with the cuffs of his jacket stood the source of that voice.
"And when my love for life is running dry, you come and pour yourself on me. If a man could be two places at one time, I'd be with you. Tomorrow and today. Beside you all the way."
Slowly those dark eyes opened, sparkling with what could only be held back tears. Face's eyes locked with those. His head told him to run out the door, run and don't stop running until he was miles away. His feet, however, turned and moved closer to the little make-shift stage. His heart was racing a mile a minute as the lyrics continued to fall from Murdock's lips, their eyes never faltering from each others.
"If the world should stop revolving, spinning slowly down to die. I'd spend the end with you, and when the world was through. Then one by one the stars would all go out. Then you and I would simply fly away..."
Murdock's eyes finally fell shut once more as that final sweet note hung suspended in the air around them. Face had known that Murdock could sing, he'd heard him do impersonations of Sinatra a hundred times, but this was something completely different. This was something straight from the heart, something that meant so much to the pilot that the tears he'd been hiding had finally escaped and trickled gently down his cheek.
The song coming to a close and the musicians leading their little audience in a round of applauds for their impromptu guest singer; Face felt a lump form in his own throat. What he'd been suspecting was true. He could feel his heart nearly leaping out of his chest cavity as his feet brought him closer to the stage yet. He waited as Murdock turned to thank the band, politely declining another song to sing with them.
Taking a step back, he watched every move the pilot made to come down off that stage and cautiously approach him. There was hesitance in his steps, fear in those gorgeous brown eyes as he worried his bottom lip. Face had to admit he wasn't quite sure what to make of the song, if Murdock was even singing it to or about him at all! Maybe there was someone else there who the pilot would sing that sweetly to? It was unlikely, especially as the pilot moved to stand just inches from him, his hands once again shoved into his pockets and eyes slightly downcast.
His heart nearly went into orbit at that slightly dejected look on the Captain's face. Had he really given off any signs that would cause the pilot to be afraid of what might happen if he confessed his love? Hadn't he returned those stares that lasted just a bit too long? Had been there, holding him close, carding his fingers through that silky soft brown hair and telling him everything was going to be ok? Wasn't he the one who took care of the man when he was injured? True, he hadn't exactly come right out and said the words either but, still!
Gulping a bit, Face reached a hand out. Gently laying it down on the pilot's arm, he gave a small nod towards the door, not yet trusting his voice to speak as he moved to head out again. Silently he led Murdock back out to the Vette. Neither willing to say a word as they climbed back in, Murdock slouched low in his set and pulled his ball cap down over his eyes, not wanting Face to see how humiliated he is. Starting the car, Face sat for a long moment, debating his next move. He could pretend the whole thing never happened, take Murdock back to the VA and leave to get ready for his date with Ulla, or...
Putting the car into drive, the Lieutenant turned them around and started off in the opposite direction of the hospital. The beach was only a couple of miles away, and they both enjoyed spending time at the beach. For Face, it helped to clear the mind and brought him a kind of peace nothing else ever had. He only hoped that the sounds of the surf could help to wrap his mind around all the things he wanted to say--things that needed to be said.
In his mind he was already putting words together, praying that when they reached their destination he'd still be able to have them come out right and make sense. This was a sensitive subject, one that could go either really well or really poorly just by one single word said out of place. Murdock seemed to be under enough emotional stress as it was; he didn't want to make it any worse.
Finding his usual spot empty, Face pulled the car into a parking space and pocketed the keys. Reaching out, he gently tapped Murdock's arm and motioned for him to follow. Normally the conman wouldn't allow anyone to know of his secret little getaway, the only place he could truly call his very own. He didn't that the beach wasn't technically his, nor was this little stretch of sand leading to a small cove--to him, it was his and his alone.
Making sure Murdock was in fact following him, he carefully made his way down the path and out onto the sand. Beach goers weren't out in mass numbers yet, which always made the conman smile. He didn't exactly enjoy the sounds of people talking and intruding on his quiet, thoughtful times. Turning his attention out to the waves, he waited by an outcropping of rocks for his friend to catch up. His own hands tucked into his pockets, he let his eyes close as a gentle ocean breeze brushed over his face and through his hair. Someday, someday he'd have a house by the beach.
Opening his eyes as he felt Murdock move closer, he let a small smile fall over his lips.
"C'mon buddy, let's take a walk."
Turning, the pair started off down the sand, neither saying a word, just walking and listening to the sounds of the waves rushing to shore, licking at the soles of their shoes. The air was fresh and clean there. No smog, no pollution, just the sweet scent of sand and salt water.
In his head, Face knew what all he wanted to say and how he wanted to say it. He waited though. Instead, he spent just a few quiet moments staring in front of him. The sun was behind them, sinking ever lower in the sky. They wouldn't be able to spend much time at the cove before it would be covered in the high tide again, but it would at least be enough time to do what needed to be done. In front of them, their shadows moved and bounced as they walked, converging into one larger shadow. It was funny to think about, but the sight of the two shadows leaning into one another to form one made his heart seem to glow.
"Ya know, Murdock, I think we need to have a talk." He started, his voice soft and gentle, unguarded even. It was the tone of voice he held on reserve for when he was relaxed and letting his defenses fall.
Putting a hand up to stop him, Face shook his head as he moved to sit on a large moss covered rock. Plenty of space for the two of them to sit, shoulder against shoulder, just as they'd done hundreds of times before. Comfortable closeness, and now Face understood why it was so comfortable.
"Let me rephrase that. I'll talk, you listen for now, okay?"
Nodding mutely, Murdock moved to carefully sit on the edge of the rock, afraid to sit any closer. Frowning a bit, the Lieutenant let him sit there, though did lean forward so he could be a bit closer to his friend's face. Looking out over the water, his fingers absently went to picking at the moss.
"You know what my favorite song used to be? That old Associations song, `Never My Love'. Remember that one?" A soft smile fell over his lips, a look of lost love hidden in his blue eyes. He saw Murdock's head bob in a slight nod. Of course the pilot remembered the song, he was practically his own portable jukebox.
"That song always made me think of Leslie whenever I heard it. It was our song. It had been playing in the little caf I'd been working at the day she walked in the doors. I always figured that song was a sign, ya know? That we were always going to be together. After Leslie left, I couldn't stand to hear it. I had made it years before I ever heard it again. And you know something? I was actually able to listen all the way through it and enjoy it again because, it no longer held any sort of emotions for me anymore. At least, not strong enough to matter."
Still picking at the moss, he let his eyes trail over the man seated next to him. His shoulders were hunched, his head hanging low. For once in his life, the pilot was motionless. Frowning, Face took a deep breath before continuing.
"You wanna know why that song holds no more strong emotions for me anymore?"
A half-hearted shoulder shrug was all he got in reply.
"Because I'd found a new favorite song. One that I don't hear nearly enough and wish that I did because I love hearing it. `Night and Day'...Sinatra." He paused, watching out of the corner of his eyes as that ball cap clad head raised and slowly turned to look at him.
"The first time I heard that song, was December 7th, 1970--my twentieth birthday. I was out walking, drinking myself stupid. I wandered all over camp and finally started for the landing strip. I was determined I was going to get into one of those birds and fly myself back to the States. I made it all the way out there, tripping and stumbling and I'm sure making way too much noise. And there you were. Practically living out of your helicopter. You said that the tents made you claustrophobic, remember?" Face couldn't help but chuckle as he remembered that particular conversation, and given the way the pilot's shoulders bounced slightly, neither could he.
"Anyways, I made it out to the helicopters, stumbled up to the closest one and threw open the door. You were lounging in the cockpit, feet kicked up, chomping on another pack of Juicy-Fruit, Superman comic in your lap and singing `Night and Day' as you read it. You weren't even the least bit startled when I threw open the door. You just smiled that damn lopsided grin at me and continued crooning. It was only after you finished singing that you pull me into the cockpit with you and convince me deserting probably wasn't any better than staying in the jungle."
"Yeah...then you threw up all over my control board and I had to carry your sorry butt back to your tent."
Heh, funny, Face didn't remember that part of the evening. Shaking his head, he smiled as he continued talking though, leaning just a bit so his arm was against Murdock's.
"The next time I heard that song, you were pulling our asses out of a firestorm. It was crackling and popping, but I heard your voice coming in over the walkie-talkie. For the longest time I wasn't sure if I liked that song because I'd heard it on two of the biggest days of my life at the time, or because of who was singing it. It wasn't until I heard it sung by Frank a few years later that I realized something."
Murdock's dark eyes lifted, his Adam's apple bobbing as he gulped and stared Face in the eyes. He could see the slight hope rekindling in the man's eyes, a certain twinkle returning where it'd once gone out. How could he ever have resisted those soulful eyes? How could anyone resist them? So much emotion was held in those eyes. There was no way for the pilot to hide his feelings; his chocolate browns gave him away every time. And right that moment, they were the most beautiful they'd ever been--sad, but beautiful.
"It had been the singer that made that song so special to me. Sure, Frank did a good job with it, but I know of someone who can sing it to the moon and back. Someone who can put all their heart and soul into it and put the ol' Chairman of the Board to shame."
Finally sitting shoulder to shoulder, Face turned his head, finding that it was only inches from Murdock's. The hope was still in the pilot's eyes, hiding among the confusion and bits of doubt. What was it going to take to make that doubt go away? He watched as Murdock's tongue peeked out, just enough to wet his lips.
"Facey...what...what are you tryin' to say?"
Such hesitance in that voice, so quiet and unsure of himself. It broke the conman's heart to hear his friend's voice sound so timid. Reaching a hand out, he gently laid it flat against that warm, soft cheek. The faintest amount of stubble tickled his palm, but it wasn't unpleasant. In fact, it was invigorating. He could actually feel Murdock's breathing become more staggered, his own heart starting to race.
"What I'm trying to say Murdock," Face took a breath to collect his thoughts and rearrange them so they made sense. Leaning in a bit closer, he let his eyes finally stay locked on the pilot's, pulling him in and wrapping him in warmth. "Is that song always makes me think of you. No matter where I am or what I'm doing, I hear that song and I can't keep the stupid grin from spreading across my face. And I don't know how many times I've wished that just once, you'd sing it to me."
Murdock's breath caught in his chest, Face could feel it. Leaning in a bit more, he gently took that ratty old cap off. Using one hand, Face reached up and tenderly brushed the thin strands forward, covering the receding the pilot tried so hard to keep hidden.
He watched as Murdock gulped again. Closing his eyes, Face moved his head just a bit closer, pressing his forehead gently against Murdock's. He'd never thought in a million years he'd be admitting everything that he was, but there was a need so powerful in him to let Murdock know he had nothing to be afraid of that he just had to get it all out. It was all true too. The women he romanced, they didn't mean a thing to him. They would come in and out of his life so much that he'd no longer come to enjoy them. That man sitting next to him though, the one who would forever faintly smell of Juicy-Fruit and fuel, he was the only constant in his life. The only thing he knew for sure he could count on no matter what and would be for him when he needed him the most. Maybe that was why he'd found himself falling head over heels in love with him throughout the years.
"Whether near to me or far, makes no matter darling where you are, I think of you. Day and night, night and day. Why is it so, that this longing for you follows, wherever I go? In the roaring traffic boom, or in the silence of my lonely room, I think of you..."
His eyes opening, Face felt the smile spread across his lips at the sound of that sweet smooth voice faintly singing beneath his breath. Pulling back just a bit, he let their eyes meet, the fear and doubt gone from Murdock's but still a bit of uncertainty was there. Determined to make that disappear too, Face leaned the rest of the way in. Their lips pressed together in a warm, sweet kiss. It was not at all unpleasant, just strange feeling that stubble press against his chin. A small groan escaped his lips as he felt Murdock's hand hesitantly reach up, brushing over his shoulder, fingertips just grazing the skin on his neck before settling in the soft, thick sandy-blond hair.
There was no demanding, no pressure for the kiss to go any deeper than it was. More of a test. Testing the waters to make sure it was something that the both of them wanted. When he heard the contented whimper come from Murdock, he let the kiss trail off, unable to hold it with the smirk that was starting to form once again. Gently he nudged his nose against the other.
"We uh...we'd better get back to the car before we get washed out to sea."
Murdock nodded his eyes now devoid of any fear or doubt. The twinkle having finally returned to those gorgeous brown eyes. Standing, he held his hand out for Face's, a small smirk of his own tugging at the corners of his mouth.
"Yeah, probably a good idea. You're gonna be late for your date."
"Hm? Oh, the Range Rider marathon, you mean? You're right, I completely forgot about that. We'd better stop off and pick up some pretzels and sodas for this grand event, shouldn't we?" Face questioned, taking Murdock's hand in his and stepping away from the rock they'd been sitting on. He could see the flash of confusion cross over the pilot's face, which admittedly brought a smile to his own.
"What about that big business thing you were working on?"
Squeezing the Captain's hand, Face smiled up at him as he led the way back to the car, waves now washing up and soaking the cuffs of their pants. There were more important things in life than trying to get with a woman who didn't speak a lick of English, and he happened to be walking right next to the most important one of all.
"It wasn't all that important. Besides, you have that whole day pass and I promised you a day of just the two of us, right? We're also going to have some things to discus if we hope to make a go of anything here between us." A half smile tugging at his mouth, Face moved to slip his arm around the pilot's waist. There would always be the meaningless flirting, they both knew that, and telling Hannibal and BA was certainly out. They would find a way to make things work though. After all the fear and distress Face and just seen his pilot go through that day alone, there was no way he was going to let this potential relationship be just a flash in the pan.
Pausing at the car, Face turned to wrap his arms around the Captain, moving in to stand close and take in the scent that was so uniquely Murdock. Staring up into those eyes, Face leaned in to press another tender kiss to the man's lips. It certainly wasn't going to be easy keeping up a relationship with a man, even more difficult with one whose current address was a psychiatric hospital, but then what in their lives had been easy? Like anything else in his life, Face would have to work hard to get the things he wanted. Though, something told him it wouldn't be too hard to keep that pilot happy.
Please post a comment on this story.