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Where Is The Monster

Where is the Monster A Missing Scene

By Dusty Tyree


Rating: R or NC17
Summary: Missing Scene from Where is the Monster When You Need Him?
Warnings: Slash situation M/M. No graphic sex scenes. Plenty of emotional angst. Under 18's or persons who don't like this sort of story should not read any further.
Disclaimer: The A-Team belongs to Stephen J Cannell and Universal
Television. No copyright infringement intended. Any characters you haven't heard of before, are copyrighted to me.
Comments: Would be appreciated/p>

Author's Notes: Words between // // indicate a character's thoughts. Words between * * indicate Bold Emphasis

Thanks: Thanks to Pam for reading it through, catching the glitches I missed and for suggestions. What would I do without you <g>

Copyright: (c) Dusty Tyree March 2002

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The scene upon which this story is based has always intrigued me as there seems to be a bit missing. After the bad guys have been rounded up, there is a short scene when Murdock runs up to Hannibal and asks 'how'd I do?' Hannibal claps him on the shoulder and they laugh together. Behind them, over Hannibal's shoulder, Face is guarding the baddies and he's looking over as though waiting for someone to speak... they don't as the scene ends there. Darn it!

Now what happened after that? This is my version....<g>

As I wasn't sure about the spelling of the Mexican place names, and characters, they are spelt as phonetically as I can remember.

The story starts the day after the Team have rescued the women and children of Potaterra Del a Riah.

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Where is the Monster ˝ A Missing Scene:

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It was unusually quiet in the borrowed van, thought BA Baracus as he shifted his arm into a more comfortable position. The dislocation had been put back, initially by Hannibal in the truck before their escape, then the film unit's medic had looked him over; said to rest his arm and shoulder and given him some painkillers.

As his shoulder was paining him, he'd allowed Hannibal to take over the driving for the time being and he was sitting in the front passenger seat, a reversal of their usual sitting positions in his own beloved van. He wouldn't trust Murdock with any vehicle he was in, and Face had just shrugged when Smith asked him if he wanted to drive.

It was now the day after the Team had rescued the women and children held hostage by Ramon DeTerro at his ranch, and they were on their way back to the lake for another day's filming. The location site was only a short distance from the ranch, much nearer than the village, so the film crew had taken over the big house as their headquarters. The terrorists had been driven, in their own vehicles, to the nearby town of La Perla, by the grateful Chief of Police and his deputies, who now couldn't do enough for SeĎor Peck and his friends.

Murdock moved uneasily and Baracus glanced back at him. The pilot was sulking, because BA wouldn't let him drive, but there was more to it than usual. Normally he and Face would be exchanging jokes and ganging up to tease him, but Face sat silent and uncommunicative in his seat behind B.A.

In fact, his blond friend hadn't said two words since they'd got into the van: even yesterday, apart from doing his acting role as Lake Charles, Face hadn't been as talkative as usual. He hadn't even had a smart comeback when Hannibal had teased him again about his 'redwood' acting style. The Colonel had looked a trifle perplexed when Face just shrugged and turned away to get ready for the next scene. BA had seen Hannibal start after his lieutenant, then been distracted by Murdock asking when he could do his stunts, the pilot well into his current persona of Tommy Danger, stunt man to the stars.

BA sighed, he was well used to Murdock's obsessions, but he didn't have to like them.

Now he came to think on it, none of the other three members of the Team had been acting normally, well as normally as they could, thought BA with an inward grin, which he would never allow the others to see. After all, he had his reputation to consider.

Murdock, by now, should be trying to coax Face out of his silence, his amiable nonsensical chatter usually succeeding; but the pilot wasn't even trying. Either he'd abandoned earlier attempts, or he wasn't bothered by the younger man's silence.

He glanced at his commander's profile as Smith drove through the early morning haze. Smith, feeling his gaze, looked round for a second, eyebrow raised in question, but BA merely shook his head, and Smith turned back to the road.

Smith looked tired and... and unhappy? Yes, that was it, thought the sergeant, his commander looked unhappy.

So did Face!

What was going on? Surely they hadn't had a row? They always seemed too much in love to have rows like most partners.

BA, like Murdock, was quite well aware of the intimate relationship enjoyed by their two friends, and after the initial shock of being told about it, had come to understand and actively support them.

Murdock, as usual, had gone over the top, declaring his undying affection for them both, wiping crocodile tears from his eyes, and hoped they would be together for ever and ever.

Baracus remembered how Smith had grinned and Face had blushed with embarrassment as the tall pilot had hugged him, then Smith.

So what had gone wrong?

As far as Baracus could determine, it all seemed to start from the fight to rescue the women and children from the compound. Murdock had done his great betrayal act, very well, and Smith and he had acted out the con, startling their enemies into lowering their guard. Face and himself had gone for the guards and grabbed the fallen weapons, whilst Smith had punched out the white-suited murderer and taken him for a ride on the hood of the jeep, in pursuit of the fleeing Caidy, and to distract the other guards, who were still a threat to the vulnerable prisoners.

Face had glanced round as his partner had driven past and after throwing a 'here-we-go-again' glance at Baracus, had run after the jeep, leapt aboard and started giving covering fire as Smith had driven full tilt at the wooden barn, with DeTerro screaming in fear.

After the guards had all been disarmed, Face had turned to smile at his colonel, then B.A had seen both the smile and the sparkle in Face's sea-green eyes fade into surprised rejection as Smith turned to Murdock, who'd just run up to ask how he'd done. Smith had congratulated the captain on his great 'dying' act and the two older men had laughed, Smith's gloved hand going out to grasp the pilot's leather-clad shoulder in a firm grip, then they'd moved off, still together, to speak to the locals.

Now BA remembered what had bothered him then. Smith hadn't even looked over at his lieutenant; the man who'd jumped onto the jeep to protect his commander. Smith had treated that as commonplace and so it was...and yet...and yet?

Wasn't it a trifle inconsiderate of Smith, at the very least, to not even acknowledge his second's swift action? Was the colonel, usually quite sensitive to other people's emotions - becoming blas╚ about his lover's actions? Was so used to Face supporting him, that he hadn't even noticed his lieutenant, simply walked off with Murdock, arm round the pilot's shoulder, apparently not seeing the stunned look on Peck's face. Was he, in fact, taking Peck's love and commitment for granted?

Even at the rushes of the day's filming; Smith had sat between Jerry and Murdock; with Face further along the row, sitting beside Jenny; who had flirted openly with Face all day.

BA shifted again, now even more uneasy. Even though he'd seen it happening, he hadn't really thought that anything was amiss, had assumed that all would be well, when the two men had some quiet time together. They hadn't, usually, been able to stay mad at each other for long.

Unbeknown to BA, Smith's thoughts were also upon his lieutenant, wondering what was going on in the younger man's mind. Face hadn't returned to their room last night, and when Hannibal had caught up with him at the breakfast table, Face had merely shrugged and said he'd been playing cards with members of the crew and it had been so late, he hadn't bothered to go to bed at all.

Smith hadn't believed him and cringed inwardly as he remembered his own sarcastic words. "Oh really? If you want to be an actor, Face... you can't go missing too many night's sleep, the camera shows up every little line, even on that handsome puss of yours."

Peck had flushed, then paled with anger. "Well, that shouldn't bother you any Colonel. You've made your opinion of my acting pretty clear, and very loud. No doubt you'll have a replacement standing by."

Then he'd walked off towards Jenny who'd giggled as he whispered in her ear and put her arm through his... but not before Smith had seen the sea-green eyes darken with misery and a hint of desperation.

He'd wanted to go after his lover, take him in his arms and apologise for everything and anything. He didn't know what'd he'd done wrong, but was willing to take the blame for it anyway, if it would return 'his' Face to him and make things like they were before they took this job. Nothing had been right between them since they'd arrived here. Helping a friend was all very well, but it wasn't worth losing Face over.

His pride, the fact that members of the crew were nearby, and a distraction in the shape of Murdock all combined to halt his tentative step towards the couple strolling in the sunshine, and the opportunity was lost. He would have to find time to talk to his lieutenant, however. This couldn't be allowed to drag on any further.

 

Arriving at the location site, they all exited the van and separated. Hannibal to go and talk over the day's shooting with Jerry; BA and Murdock to supervise the unloading of the equipment, and Face to find Jenny and get ready for their scene.

Jerry was nervous as usual, and Hannibal spent a few minutes calming him down.

"If you're not careful Jer, you're gonna get ulcers."

"Not gonna, already got," replied the budding director glumly, nervously turning the pages of the script.

Hannibal grinned and clapped him on the shoulder, shooing him towards his director's chair.

Murdock came bouncing up to his commander and commenced telling him a long and involved story of how he was going to set up his stunts for the film, and Hannibal allowed himself to be distracted by his pilot's obvious enthusiasm.

Murdock had been good for his morale ever since they'd arrived in the small and dusty village, and he'd come up with the initial plan to distract the gunmen intent on their destruction. They'd all worked together as usual, of course, but Murdock's enthusiastic 'dying' act had gained them the element of surprise, leading to a successful conclusion. Yesterday the pilot had been constantly at his side, even when they'd returned to the ranch; they'd eaten together in the huge kitchen turned into a mess-hall, when Face and BA hadn't shown up and it had been late when they'd said their Goodnights and gone to their separate rooms.

Smith had been surprised that Face wasn't already in bed, waiting for him, as the younger man had done since they'd arrived in Mexico. He'd expected Face to take advantage of the spacious room and much more comfortable bed than the one they'd shared briefly in the village.

He'd smoked an anxious few cigars waiting for him, hoping that he wasn't with Jenny. That girl had quite a crush on his lover, and Hannibal didn't like it at all, even though in his heart he knew that Face was just being his normal, charming self, around a pretty girl. It didn't usually bother him this much. But then, it wasn't usual for him to spend the night alone, without the comfort of his lieutenant's supple body wrapped around his own.

He'd wanted to be with Face, talk over the recent events, relive the adrenaline rush he always got from a successful job and, more than anything else, wanted to make love to his handsome lover; instead he'd spent a cold and lonely night. This had fuelled his anger the next morning, and he'd made those stupid cracks about lack of sleep marking his lover's features.

What was wrong with him? What was wrong with Face? Why were they drifting apart like this? If he were honest, he'd been on edge from the moment they'd landed, when it seemed that Face had brought them to the wrong place at the wrong time. Yet, as it transpired, it hadn't been his lieutenant's fault that the village had been taken over by DeTerro's men when Face had returned to Los Angeles after making all the arrangements.

Hannibal shook his head, only half listening to Murdock as the pilot rattled on about his own plans for the film.

What did Face mean about him having a replacement standing by? Surely it was Face who had the replacement, a petite blonde girl who was even now hanging on his every word.

His thoughts were interrupted by a call to go and have his costume fitted for the day's filming. "I'll see you later, Captain..." Then he paused. "Murdock, can I ask you something?"

"Sure Colonel," the pilot smiled eagerly. "What can I do for you?"

"Well, nothing really...I was just wondering...do you know if anything's bothering Face lately? He just doesn't seem to be himself."

Smith was looking directly at Murdock and couldn't fail to see the hard look cross his good looking features and a flash of what looked like disappointment, in the other man's dark eyes. He immediately regretted his question.

"Sorry if I'm putting you on the spot, Murdock. You and Face being so close...I just thought you might know..." he waved an aimless hand, "...something."

Murdock's smile was hard-edged, his tone cool. "Sorry, Colonel, got no idea. I haven't really spoken with Face for a couple of days. If I didn't know better, I'd say he was avoiding me..." Like you're avoiding him, his inner voice chided.

"Why would he do that? You've always been so close." Smith was surprised and it showed.

"We don't live in each other's pockets, Hannibal. Besides, you should know better than any of us what goes on in Face's head." Murdock wanted to bite his tongue out, as he heard the note of jealous recrimination in his voice. He looked away. "They're calling for you again, Colonel. I'd better go and help."

He dashed off before Smith could stop him, leaving Hannibal with plenty to think about as he climbed into the cumbersome costume of Gatorella. This little vacation jaunt was turning out to be anything but enjoyable.

Meanwhile, as Murdock helped set up the scene his thoughts were chaotic, even more so than usual. What the hell was wrong with him? He hadn't realised until now, that it was sheer, green-eyed jealousy that had been guiding his behaviour over the past few days. He was jealous of Hannibal and Face; but - was he jealous of Hannibal for having Face? Or...? The pilot's heart raced at the sudden, sure knowledge. No, he was envious of Face for having Hannibal.

He groaned. Oh Lord. What a mess.

 

Matters came to a head during that morning's filming. The monster was supposed to climb out of the lake, grab the character Sam, played by Face, squeeze him senseless, then carry off the screaming heroine.

As soon as he touched Face however, Hannibal tightened his arms around his lover's lean waist and hissed into his ear, the monster's head distorting his voice. "What's wrong Face? Why are you treating me like some dirt ball? What's got into you?"

Face struggled wildly, almost slipping out of the 'monster's grip, and Hannibal grabbed at his arms. Face gasped and he wasn't acting, Smith's grip was tight and painful.

"What's got into you, you mean?" he snapped. "You're behaving as though I was less than this mud under your feet. I don't have to put up with that Hannibal. You want a new partner, just say the word, and I'm outta your life."

He groaned in real pain as Gatorella's 'claws' bit into his bare arms. This immediately brought Smith to his senses. He'd never physically hurt Face before...it wasn't his way. He staggered back, horrified at his actions.

"Cut." shouted Jerry. "What's the matter Johnny?" he cried, rushing over to them.

"Er...sorry Jerry." Smith said, dragging off the 'head'.

"You okay Templeton?" asked Jerry, looking at the red marks on the younger man's tanned skin. Although the monster's claws were made of rubber, they were hard and pointed.

Face managed a laugh, although there was no humour in the sound. "Yes, I'm fine. Gatorella just got carried away with his own strength."

"I'm sorry, kid," Hannibal said contritely. "I didn't mean to hurt you."

There was a double meaning in his tone and Face looked at him sharply, then shrugged.

"I know," he said quietly.

"You need the Doc to take a look at your arms, Templeton?" Johnson asked worriedly.

"No...I'm fine Jerry. The skin isn't broken...just bruises, they'll fade," replied Face, wondering inwardly if his bruised heart would mend as easily.

"Let's take a break Jerry," said Hannibal.

"Okay," Jerry didn't understand what was going on, but was willing to trust his friend of many years.

"Everyone take a break," he instructed the crew and wandered off to sit in his Director's Chair and wonder why he ever thought he could make a movie.

"Can we talk, kid?" Hannibal asked quietly.

"Do we have anything to say?" asked Face bitterly.

"I hope so," replied Hannibal. "Come on, let's take a walk." He started to pull off the top half of the rubber suit just as Jenny came running up, young and pert in her bathing suit.

"Oh Face, are you okay?"

"Yes, I'm fine Jenny," said Face with a charming smile.

The young girl beamed. "Oh I'm so glad," she breathed. "I wouldn't want anything to happen to you."

"Jenny, I need to talk to Face...can you give us a minute or two?" It cost a lot for Smith to remain civil.

"Sure, see you later." She smiled coyly and turned away to run straight into Murdock, who had come up quietly to see what was going on. "Ooops," she gasped.

"Sorry Jenny," Murdock said distractedly, then hardly glancing at Face, he asked. "Hannibal, when can I set up my stunts? You did say I could do them soon."

He started to gather up the pieces of discarded pieces of monster suit, his attention focused on Smith's reply.

Face tensed as the pilot came to stand beside Hannibal, rubbing slowly at the marks on his forearms, trying to appear at ease. He looked expectantly at his Colonel, waiting for him to repeat what he'd said to Jenny about giving them a few minutes alone.

He waited in vain as Hannibal replied to the pilot's question.

"After we get the next two scenes shot, we need to get these shots in before the light changes too much."

"Aw Hannibal," began Murdock, "I'm never gonna be able to...."

"Sorry Murdock, but we need to have these shots of Gatorella carrying off the girl...and..."

Smith paused, as out of the corner of his eye he saw Face moving away, fair head held high, his shoulders stiff with tension

"Face," he called anxiously. "I thought we were going to talk?"

Face paused, then turned round. Two spots of colour highlighted his cheekbones. "So did I, Colonel, so did I...but obviously you're not so keen now, something more important has turned up." The look he threw at Murdock left no room for doubt as to why he was angry.

Murdock flushed crimson. Face had never looked at him like that before, as though he despised him. "I ...I didn't realise," he stuttered.

"Of course, you didn't," sarcasm dripped from Face's tongue. "You never even thought of coming between us, did you?"

"Face!" Hannibal's voice was shocked. "Murdock isn't to blame here."

"Oh?" A dark gold eyebrow was raised in blatant disbelief. "Who then? You? Or me, as usual?"

Smith was beginning to feel uncomfortable - and angry. "What's the matter with you, Face? Can't you be civil, even to your best friend?"

"Colonel, don't," Murdock tried to halt the flow of angry words, squirming with embarrassment.

"Best friend?" Face gave a bark of laughter. "With friends like him, who needs enemies?"

His eyes were dark with anger - and fear. He felt betrayed by the man who'd been his best friend for years, and worse, much worse than that, he was losing the man he'd give his life for, yet he couldn't stop the angry words that would drive them further apart.

"That's enough, Lieutenant," snapped Hannibal.

"Yes, Colonel, I'm very afraid that it is - more than enough." Face looked once more into the furious blue eyes of his commander, his lover, and conceded defeat. It was over. This too-brief spell of true happiness he'd felt when he was with Hannibal, when he was sure that he was loved, was history. Time to move on, try and bury the hurt in another scam, another willing woman who would temporarily ease his loneliness, as he'd done before he and Hannibal had declared their love. That's if he hadn't lost the knack of deliberately attracting women; he hadn't had much practise in that department lately. He'd been charming to Jenny, yes, but that was because he genuinely liked her and wanted to help ease her nerves over her first big movie role, romancing her had not been part of his intentions.

"Bye Colonel," he gave an ironic salute, glared again at Murdock's red face and moved away.

"Face! Lieutenant! Get back here," Hannibal gritted sharply.

"What for? So you can ignore me all over again," asked Face, still moving slowly away.

He wanted to run, but his pride wouldn't allow him to do that. He'd never run from an enemy, he certainly wasn't going to run from his erstwhile friends.

"I think you owe Murdock an apology."

That wasn't what Smith had meant to say and he cursed himself as Face turned round, and a pair of eyes, green and stormy as a winter ocean glared into his.

"Why? For telling it as it is?" Face was starting to tremble inside as the realisation sank in that he was actually going to leave his lover and his former best friend - together.

"Hannibal. No. He doesn't have to apologise to me, for anything," Murdock's voice was cracked with emotion, upset by the sudden quarrel and the knowledge that he was the cause of it.

"That's extremely big of you, Captain," sneered Peck, his anguished white face in direct contrast to his words. "I hope you think it's worth all the trouble you've gone too."

He turned to look directly into Smith's blue eyes. "I hope, some day, I'll be able to wish you both happiness together... can't now, but maybe some day." He paused, clearing his throat, a nervous gesture not lost on his companions. "'Bye Hannibal, see you around."

Turning, before he made a complete idiot of himself, Face strode away, too upset by the turmoil in his mind to hear Smith's cry of "Tem. Wait!"

The two older men stood in bewildered silence as they watched their lieutenant's slim figure disappear behind the parked jeeps.

Smith was astonished and suddenly terrified. He turned to look at Murdock, hoping that the pilot had understood what had happened, because he sure didn't.

The captain looked as stunned as he felt, but there was also something else in his dark brown eyes. A knowledge that wasn't there before, and a hint of, not exactly satisfaction, but close enough to make Smith's blood run cold.

"Murdock? What did he mean?"

The flyer jumped. He turned his head away, ashamed of his initial reaction of relief that Face was walking away. "I don't really know, Hannibal."

"I do," came another hard voice.

The two men swung round to see Baracus standing behind them, hands on his meaty hips, scowl on his face, but sympathy in his dark eyes.

"BA?" Smith's tone was surprised. "You know what Face means - meant?"

The sergeant nodded. "Yep, I think so." He glanced around, drawing his companions' attention to the interested audience they were acquiring. "A bit crowded out here..."

"Yes." Smith sounded distracted. "Give me a minute, then I'll see you back at the mess tent."

Without waiting for any reply, he strode off to have words with Jerry.

Ten minutes later he rejoined his two men who were sitting at a table in the empty mess tent. He'd been back to the canvas shelter they used as a dressing room, but there'd been no sign of Face. The clothes he'd worn that morning were still there, he obviously hadn't been back to change, so he was still in his movie outfit.

Sitting down and accepting the cup of black coffee Murdock pushed over to him, Smith looked at his sergeant. "Okay BA, let's hear it."

Baracus cleared his throat. This really wasn't to his liking at all. He was much better dealing with engines than with the emotions of his friends.

"The Faceman is jealous," he stated baldly, not knowing how else to tell it.

"What?" Smith's exclamation was explosive. "Why on earth should he be jealous?"

"You want me to tell it or not," growled Baracus.

"Er, sorry BA, but it's preposterous. I'm the one who has reason to be jealous - not that I am, of course," the Colonel added hurriedly.

"You mean that Jenny gal?" BA shook his head. "Believe it or not, Hannibal, Face is just being nice to a nervous young girl."

Murdock swallowed hard and stared down into his cup; he'd come to the same conclusion as Hannibal, that was probably why he'd subconsciously thought he'd had a chance with his commander.

"Oh!" For some strange reason Smith never even questioned why he believed that flat statement.

"Yeah." The sergeant looked across at his colonel and pilot. "Face is jealous of you two."

Smith stared in amazement. "Jealous - of Murdock and me?" He shook his head. "No BA. Murdock and I are friends, just as we are."

BA looked fixedly at the now squirming pilot. "You gonna deny it too, Murdock?"

Smith opened his mouth, then closed it again, a slight flush staining his cheeks as he remembered their conversation earlier that morning.

Murdock didn't speak, but stood up, edging away from the table.

"Stay put." The pilot heeded the warning in the sergeant's voice and stopped moving, nervous hands fiddling with the zipper on his jacket.

"Well?" Baracus was adamant that all the trouble was going to be sorted, one way or another.

"We ARE friends, BA. You know that." Murdock glanced up, then dropped his gaze to study the bare ground.

"But lately something has changed, hasn't it Murdock?"

The dark head drooped lower. "Yes," came in a faint whisper.

Smith sat back in his chair, stunned. He loved both Murdock and BA, but not in a romantic way. His whole heart and soul belonged to the blond lieutenant who'd stolen his heart many years ago, and had kept it ever since.

"I didn't do it on purpose, Hannibal," Murdock suddenly lifted his head, desperate to make Smith understand. "I didn't try and come between you and Face deliberately...honest."

Smith nodded slowly. "Of course not Murdock, I believe you, but," he turned to Baracus. "Why on earth didn't Face say something to me. He's not usually backward in the word department?"

Baracus sighed. This was going to hurt. "He thought you wanted to be with Murdock more than with him," he said at last.

"But why? I never gave him any reason to doubt me..." Smith hesitated as he saw the look Baracus threw at him. "I did?"

The sergeant nodded. "I saw it happening, but never thought it would cut him so deep."

"What happened? What did I do that would make him think I didn't want him?"

"Hannibal," BA sighed. "You started to take him for granted."

"No," denied Smith, shaking his head. "I love him, I thought we all knew that."

"You still took him for granted," Baracus said stubbornly. "Come on, Hannibal, think back. What happened when we hit that compound... after you and Murdock made that con work?"

"Why...why..." Smith chewed on the cigar he'd absently taken from his pocket. "I grabbed DeTerro, put him on the jeep and drove through the guards."

"And what did Face do?" asked BA.

"Well..." Smith glanced over at Murdock, whose face was clearing of the frown it had worn, a stricken look replacing it.

"He ran after the jeep and jumped on the back," the pilot stated steadily.

"Yes...yes he did. I heard him firing...he was covering us...then he jumped on Caidy and brought him down." Smith paused. "What about it? That's nothing unusual, Face is very good at his job."

"Yeah, real good at keeping your butt outta a sling," growled Baracus. He glared at his commander whose bewildered look was genuine. "You just don't get it, do you Hannibal?"

Smith sighed and spread his hands.

Baracus growled. "He was doing his usual job of protecting you, giving you back up while me and Murdock were dealing with some of the guards; but what happened after that?"

Smith frowned. "Well, nothing really. We went back to the village and celebrated."

Baracus snorted. "Sometimes Hannibal, I wonder if you have any brains left. You was on the Jazz as usual - didn't you see Face turn to look at you, wanting to..to..." he waved a hand, searching for the right words..."share the moment with you?"

He paused then added slowly. "Well I did - and I saw something else. I saw you..." he pointed a ringed finger at Murdock, "run up and ask if you'd done a good job - which you did," he added as Murdock flushed and started to speak. "And you..." he turned the finger on Smith. "After ignoring your second-in-command, your...your lover, who'd just risked being shot for real by covering your jazz-filled butt - you congratulate this fool and walk off with him, pally as can be, leaving Face to guard the prisoners. Without even a word, Colonel, not one word from you, or even a pat on the head. Hell," he growled. "You'd treat a dog better than that."

There was silence in the mess tent, an appalled, guilt-filled silence that was broken at length by Murdock.

"I saw him look over at us, Colonel, but I didn't realise," he paused. "No that's not strictly true. I did realise, but I didn't care." He raised tormented brown eyes to his commander. "For once it was me that you were concentrating on; me that had your attention, and I was so happy. I didn't care if Face got hurt or not." He shook his head in disgust at himself. "Later on, during the day when he was so quiet, I knew he was hurting, but I thought ...serve him right for getting us down here and into this mess." He gave a bitter laugh. "He was right, with friends like me, who needs enemies."

He looked at Hannibal again. "I was jealous Hannibal, jealous of what you had with Face? I think I've loved you for years - him too, funnily enough. Now I've hurt him, badly, and I don't know how to put it right."

"You've hurt Face?" Smith gave a hard laugh. "I'm supposed to be his life-partner, I'm supposed to protect him. I swore I loved him more than life itself," he thumped the table top with a hard fist, "and I didn't even stop to say thanks for the cover." He turned to the sergeant who was looking calmer, but still uncomfortable at hearing all these emotions being aired. "You're right BA, the Jazz does ride me too hard sometimes."

There was a short silence as the three men took on board these new revelations, then Smith looked across at Murdock, flushing a little at hearing of the other man's deep feelings for him. "I'm sorry Murdock. I didn't realise," he paused. "I'm sorry I can't return your feelings. I love Face, I'll never stop loving him."

Murdock nodded, his heart sinking at the certainty in Smith's voice, but relieved to have things out in the open now. He would have to accept the facts, and hopefully be able to repair the damage between himself and Face - if he got the chance.

Hannibal frowned as another thought struck him. "So was he really playing cards with the crew last night? Or did I drive him into someone's else's arms?"

BA snorted. "Why don't you ask him?"

"Maybe you should just trust him, Hannibal," said Murdock quietly, wondering if Face would ever trust any of them again. He was feeling shattered inside; to know that he could harbor such feelings as jealousy and total disregard for the man he'd called friend since 'Nam. He and Face had been as close as brothers, yet he'd condemned him, just like all the rest of the crew when things hadn't gone right. They were strangers - he wasn't. He'd abandoned his friend without a thought, and that would haunt him for a long time, even if Face did come back and forgive him.

Smith nodded, "Maybe I should. If I can find him," he added despondently.

"Have you checked the dressing tent?" BA asked patiently.

"Yes, his clothes are still there."

"Well, he can't fly a plane even if we had some fuel," pointed out Murdock, pulling himself with an effort, out of his self recrimination.

"I'll check the jeeps," said BA, getting to his feet. He paused then said softly. "I'm sorry that I had to tell you this Hannibal, but I don't like to see my friends hurting." He glanced at the pilot. "Any of 'em," he emphasised.

Smith patted his arm. "Good job we're all family here, or we'd all be VERY uncomfortable in the morning." He was embarrassed at baring his soul even in front of the two men he'd known for years, but he'd get over it and so would they. What he wouldn't get over was if Face didn't come back to him.

 

Face was walking along the dusty road, without any clear idea of where he was going, or what he was going to do when he got there.

In his mind, he kept going over and over the scene with Hannibal and Murdock. He knew he was right, Murdock was in love with Smith, and Hannibal? Had he fallen out of love with Face and into love with Murdock? Because Face felt certain that Hannibal had loved him, deeply, he couldn't be mistaken about that. So what had caused his Colonel's change of heart? Was it, maybe, as time passed, Smith had grown tired of his younger lover, wanted something more that Face couldn't give? Murdock was older than Face by a few years, but that couldn't be it; age, experience, or lack of it, had never been much of a problem between himself and Hannibal.

Murdock, due to his long residency at the VA, was less sophisticated than either Face, or Smith. Could that be part of the attraction? Smith did share one characteristic with his pilot, and that was the crazy, reckless streak, which was closer to Murdock's own sense of the ridiculous than either of his companions - so maybe it was a combination of reasons, instead of just one.

One thing, however, was obvious. He had lost Hannibal, and it hurt so much he wanted to crawl off somewhere dark and lick his wounds. Wounds that would never heal completely.

That terrible few hours yesterday when he'd gone racing after his colonel, knowing that as usual, he had to protect Hannibal when the Jazz was driving him too hard. After the wild ride which, he admitted to himself, he'd found exhilarating, and everything had calmed down, he'd smiled and looked round to exchange a few words with Hannibal, show his relief that his lover was safe.

Then the cold chill in his heart when Smith hadn't even looked at him, not even a quick glance. Instead he and Murdock had laughed together and moved off, Smith's arm round the pilot's shoulder, leaving Face frozen to the spot with disbelief.

That had just been the start of his misery. He hadn't seen Smith alone all through that day, and even when they'd been relaxing back at the house, watching the day's rough footage, Smith had sat between Murdock and Jerry, moving past Face's seat. True, Jenny had been sitting beside him, but that had never stopped Smith before. If he wanted to sit beside Face, he sat beside him, regardless of who else was sitting there.

Face had never felt jealous of Murdock until recently, they were, or had been, friends, and the pilot knew how much Face adored their charismatic commander. Now, though, Peck felt as though he couldn't even look at his erstwhile friend without lashing out, both verbally and physically. That unnerved him slightly as he usually didn't resort to physical violence when he was upset.

Murdock had done a good job when they'd made their bid to escape; provided the distraction they needed, but did it mean more to Hannibal than his own practical support? Face shook his head. Obviously it did, or he wouldn't be walking, by himself, along a dirt road in the back of beyond.

If it had just been this one incident, Face believed he wouldn't have felt so bad, but lately everything seemed to have gone wrong.

For starters, the villagers had gone back on their agreement; an agreement that Face had acquired legitimately, and threatened to run them off. Despite Face's protests, that he hadn't done anything to upset them, he knew that the film crew hadn't believed him; worst of all, he knew that Hannibal didn't believe him either.

Smith had consistently sniped at him in that sarcastic tone Face hated, right up until Caidy and his men turned up and told them to leave - proving that Face had been telling the truth.

Maybe if he'd been able to talk it over with Hannibal straight away, the matter could've been resolved; but they'd never had a moment to themselves, and the more time that passed, the harder it was for Face to open his mouth and ask why his lover was treating him as though he was a casual acquaintance. He'd gone to find Hannibal after the rushes, when he'd finally got rid of Jenny's clinging presence, but had found his lover and Murdock having a meal, laughing and talking with the ease of old friends - or new lovers?

They hadn't seen him and were so engrossed that Face hesitated. What he had to say to Hannibal was their own private business; and the way he was beginning to feel about Murdock, he couldn't trust himself to be civil, so he'd decided to wait for a better time.

He'd been standing outside, wondering what to do next, when a crew member had called him over to make up the numbers for a poker game, and Face had welcomed the distraction from his thoughts.

The game, which was being played in the big lounge at the back of the house, had lengthened as other people arrived to watch, and Face found himself in the centre of a growing audience as he gave the other players a lesson in how to really play poker. He'd begun to enjoy himself; here at least, no one was criticizing him; sneering at him, or expecting him to pull a rabbit out of his hat every few minutes - and - he wasn't being ignored.

The game had finished in the early hours of the morning, and he hadn't wanted to go and face Hannibal in their room and have to explain where he'd been. Hannibal wouldn't believe him anyhow, he'd thought bitterly.

So he'd let himself into BA's room, assured the sleepy sergeant that he was okay, and stretched out on the other twin bed and had a couple of hours sleep, before rising to wash and shave with the other early risers in the crew.

Face sighed, kicked an inoffensive rock out of his way and halted. What was he doing, walking out like this? He'd done his best to ensure that Jerry could make his picture, had even solved the problem of Charles Lake walking out on the movie by taking over the role himself.

He winced, as he recalled Hannibal's sarcasm about his acting; which, if he was honest with himself, had been pretty poor, but he would've got better as he became more comfortable in the role. Hell, he'd played enough parts in his time, acting in a movie should be a piece of cake.

Heaving an exasperated sigh, he reluctantly turned round and started back towards the location site.

He'd show Hannibal, Murdock and the rest of the people who didn't trust him that Templeton Peck had what it takes to fulfill his responsibilities, self imposed as they may be, he'd still show them. His heart was breaking, but so what? Nobody cared as long as Face provided everything that they wanted, and that was what he was going to do too. Stop caring.

 

Back on the set, Hannibal was trying to come to terms with recent events. He had a lot of soul searching to do. Hearing his actions described so bluntly by BA, he was appalled by his apparent disregard for his younger lover's feelings.

Thinking deeply over the last few weeks, he'd come to realise that it wasn't just this latest incident that had caused Face to doubt Smith's commitment to their love affair.

Affair! That was the crucial word. He, Hannibal Smith, who prided himself on his honesty and integrity, was treating the emotional ties between himself and Face like it was a casual affair, doomed to failure after a one-night stand - instead of the lifetime he'd promised - and meant.

He'd been so caught up in helping Jerry set up this movie deal, he'd forgotten that a successful partnership had to be worked at. In the first few weeks, with both himself and Face working flat out to make Jerry's first movie a success, they'd only been able to share the nights with each other - which had been terrific. Tired though they were, they'd still made love with tenderness and great joy, Face's warm and willing body, tender touches and deep kisses soon having Hannibal on fire with passion again and again.

Then gradually Smith, who was in his element amongst the movie people, had started spending more time with the crew. Face had still been there, of course, along with Murdock and BA, but they hadn't spent much of that time alone with each other. Yet on those increasingly rare occasions, Face had been eager and willing for Smith to make love to him, or sometimes, when Hannibal had been too tired to initiate sex, Face had just held him, tenderly soothing his weary muscles until he relaxed into sleep.

Did you ever tell him how much that was appreciated? thought Hannibal in disgust with himself. Did you ever ask if he was tired and wanted some comfort?

The answer was a chastening No. Smith had been too wrapped up in details of his dual role as movie monster star and all the minute details of costume design; he'd left all the practical details like transport and accommodation, to Face. Then he'd complained, like all the rest, when it wasn't absolutely perfect.

Worse than that, their nights together had become routine, with Hannibal taking everything that Face could give, both physically and emotionally. Yes, he'd made love with his usual passion and skill in hitting Face's physical pleasure zones, but he hadn't given the younger man the tenderness and caring he knew Face craved emotionally. More than sex, Face loved to be cared for. Taking him for granted, thought Smith with anguished regret.

"I'm so sorry Tem," he whispered to himself. "Please come back, I'll try and make it up to you."

He caught sight of Murdock as the tall figure of the pilot wandered around aimlessly. What was he going to do about the pilot's revealed feelings for him? Hannibal shook his head, he didn't know. His powerful leadership qualities didn't seem to cover this situation.

Although there was no denying he was flattered by the attentions of the two younger men, his heart belonged to Peck; Hannibal could never envisage his feelings for the lieutenant abating one iota. True, he'd failed Face in the last few days, maybe even weeks, but now he knew what he'd done, he'd make sure that it never happened again.

That's if you get the chance, an inner voice warned him.

 

An hour later he was given that chance: Templeton Peck walked back onto the set as though nothing had happened. He had washed and brushed off the evidence of his dusty walk and looked fresh and smart in cream pants, beige leather shoes and an emerald, short-sleeved shirt, the colour of which emphasized the beauty of his long-lashed eyes.

Smith's heart thudded with relieved joy and he barely restrained himself from running across and taking the slender, immaculately-clad figure into his arms in front of the whole crew.

Instead, he walked sedately across to Face and smiled at him; this stopped Face in his tracks. Obviously surprised, he cocked his head on one side and gazed steadily back at his commander, giving nothing else away.

"Face, I'm sorry," began Smith, then cursed under his breath as Jerry hurried towards them.

"Templeton," he called. "You're back, thank goodness. Johnny you ready to go for the next scene?"

"Give me a few minutes, Jerry," Smith began, but Face turned towards the producer with a charming smile.

"Yes, I'm back and raring to go. Can't wait to see this movie in the can," he said.

"Right. Good," Johnson was relieved. "Jenny is ready, and...Johnny? You going to get into costume?"

"Okay, okay," muttered Hannibal resigned to having to wait until the filming was finished for the day.

"We need to talk, Face," he said as he turned towards the makeshift dressing rooms.

"Yes, we sure do," agreed his lieutenant, in a far from friendly tone, as he followed the producer towards the lake shore.

Three frustrating hours later, two more scenes were in the can and Hannibal could get out of the stifling hot costume. As soon as they were back at the ranch house, he took a much needed shower and changed into his favourite blue denim jeans and shirt.

Going to the kitchen, he found it almost deserted except for Peck and Baracus sitting talking over the remains of a meal. Murdock was nowhere in sight, but Hannibal was determined to set things right between himself and his lover. He wasn't going to risk losing Peck for anyone, not even as good a friend as Murdock was.

Getting himself a cup of coffee, Hannibal sat down beside his two colleagues.

Two pairs of eyes stared at him; the dark brown pair were friendly; the sea-green eyes of his lieutenant were a mixture of anger and wariness.

He thinks I'm going to yell at him, was Smith's painful thought.

Before the Colonel could say a word, Baracus got up and excused himself.

Face started as though to protest, but when BA laid a hand on his arm, he subsided, gazing at Hannibal, a spark of anger still residing in his eyes.

"Tem. I just want to say, I'm very sorry - for everything," Hannibal stated simply.

Face's mouth dropped open slightly. "What?" he asked faintly.

"I've been acting like a jackass lately. I hope you'll forgive me," was the quiet reply.

The simple apology, given with such sincerity, robbed Peck of the heated words he'd been about to utter.

Hannibal reached a tentative hand across the table, fingers barely brushing those of his lieutenant. "I love you, Tem, with all my heart. I'm just sorry that I forgot to tell you that lately." He paused, fingertips edging further across his lover's long fingers, fingers which played the piano with skill and feeling; fingers which could play on his body with equal skill and even more warmth; he could feel them, even here and now, touching him, brushing teasingly across his skin; down his chest, his ribs and...lower.

Hannibal felt a spark of desire start to spread through his whole body, feeling it begin to burn a path straight to his groin. He made a tremendous effort to subdue that flame. His desire for Face had never been in question; it was his love and commitment that needed to be reinforced.

"I know I've been preoccupied with Jerry's movie lately," he chuckled a little shamefacedly. "My ego got bigger than Gatorella's head, and beating those slimeballs was exciting, but," he grasped Peck's fingers, "you are much more important to me than making a movie, helping a friend, or even becoming the next monster superstar." He felt encouraged when Face didn't pull away. He didn't return the pressure, but at least he didn't pull his hand away.

"Will you give me another chance, Tem? A chance to make it up to you? I'll try my hardest to make you happy. I promise."

He waited anxiously for Face to say something, absently stroking his thumb over the back of the hand he held in a soothing gesture he'd used many times when he'd comforted his lover.

Face was still a trifle stunned at Hannibal's reaction to his return; he'd expected to have a blazing row, where he would've told his commander that he would be leaving their apartment and striking out on his own.

Now though! He swallowed with difficulty past the growing lump in his throat. He'd wanted to hear Hannibal say those things many times over the past weeks and had been disappointed. He'd told himself not to be such an idiot; Smith had a lot of balls in the air - but Hannibal ignoring him so completely after the gun fight, and seeming to favour Murdock's actions over his own, had been the last straw and cut deeply, not only into his confidence but also in his belief that Hannibal loved him, was IN love with him.

After his walk along the dusty Mexican road, he'd convinced himself that Smith didn't care for him the way he used to do; and the best thing for Face to do would be to leave. After finishing this damn movie, he'd pack his bags and move on.

Face knew himself far too well to think that his road would be easy after that. The four of them had been together a very long time, and not only in months and years - they'd been together as a unit long before the war had ended in Vietnam. He also knew he needed the kinship he shared with the others - and most of all - he needed Hannibal's love. Not a part-time love - there only when Hannibal had the time to give him some attention; he needed Hannibal's constant and unchanging devotion, to the same measure he gave the Colonel. If he couldn't have that, he didn't want any other.

He raised his eyes to those of the man leaning across the table, stroking his hand so soothingly; his mind was calmer now, and the angry words of recrimination on his lips suddenly felt so wrong. He didn't want to leave this man he'd known for all his adult life; the man who'd nurtured him; saved his life and his sanity on more than one occasion. He loved this stubborn, reckless, jazz-loving man - with all his faults - Hannibal was his true other half, his partner for life.

"I..." his voice husky with emotion, Face cleared his throat and tried again. "I thought you didn't love me, I was going to leave," he whispered.

He paused as a look of despair leaped into the sapphire eyes gazing into his own.

"Don't leave, Tem. Please don't leave me." Smith's grip tightened on his lover's hand until Face winced. "I do love you, always have, always will."

Face heard the words and believed them. He gave a small nod and wriggled his fingers until Smith's grasp relaxed a fraction, then curled them round his partner's hand, returning the pressure.

"I believe you mean that Hannibal," he whispered.

He was suddenly pulled across the table to meet Smith's eager mouth, and was kissed with such passion that left no doubt in his mind that he was loved.

"I love you beyond life itself," said Smith, standing up and pulling the younger man with him. "If you want, we'll go home to L.A. right now."

Face was tempted, but knew it would leave a faint shadow between them, no matter how much they loved each other, honour had always been a big part of the Team's makeup. It was also one of the main reasons he loved Smith, whose integrity was almost as big a legend as he was; he wouldn't tarnish that with his own selfish reasons.

"Let's finish the movie first, then we can concentrate on each other. How's that sound?"

"That sounds just fine, Tem." He pulled the slighter man into his side and threw a long arm around his broad shoulders. "Thank you," he whispered into the nearest ear. "I'll make it up to you, I promise."

Blushing slightly, Face nevertheless felt a shiver of delight course through him as he envisaged one of the ways Hannibal meant to make it up. That was fine with him; he was just as passionate as Smith and could match the older man in almost everything he did, and had no hang-ups about sex being one of the many things they loved to do together. As long as there was true love between them, the physical side of their sometimes turbulent relationship was enhanced and became a part of them, and although sex would never be the only thing that kept them together, they both enjoyed the carnal side of each other, and hoped they always would.

As Smith turned them towards the doorway, Face couldn't help voicing his main worry. "What about Murdock?" he asked, inwardly crossing his fingers.

Smith stopped and looked squarely into the sea-green eyes that couldn't quite hide their anxiety. "I don't know, Tem," he said honestly. "I only know that I'm sorry he's unhappy, but I made my choice a long time ago. It has never changed."

He kissed the tip of the elegant nose and added. "I love YOU, Templeton with all my heart and soul. I couldn't make it in this world without you at my side. Believe me."

Face reddened under the intensity of that sapphire blue gaze and nodded. "I do," he said.

"Good. That's settled then." Smith started them on their way again. "If I can help Murdock that would be fine, he's my friend and I hope yours again too, but I won't risk losing you because of it. Remember that, Face. You're mine and I'm yours."

Face was thrilled at the possessive note in the older man's voice. It didn't bother him, in fact it made him feel as if he was treasured; he'd always craved to belong, to be loved, and in this small dusty Mexican village, he'd rediscovered his heart's desire. He loved and was loved in return. It was all he'd ever wanted.

He slid his arm round Hannibal's waist and laid his head against the broad, denim clad shoulder as they walked slowly out into the yard, oblivious to the curious eyes that followed them.

Both men were happy. The pressure of Face's arm round his waist and the welcome weight of the blond head against his shoulder, made Hannibal feel more than content. He tightened his own grip around Face's shoulders, inhaling the faint scent of sunshine and shampoo from the shining hair as he rubbed his chin against the silky thatch. So closely entwined, they could feel the beat of each other's heart; the warmth of flesh through the material of their clothes - so together it was hard to believe that anything could drive them apart and Hannibal was going to make sure that nothing like this would ever happen again. He had his life partner by his side, could feel his pulse; feel him nestle snugly under his arm - right where he belonged - where they both belonged.

 

Fini

 

 

 


Where is the Monster - A Missing Scene by Dusty Tyree

 

 


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