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Title: "How Do I Say I Love You?"

Rating: PG

Author: Casper

Copyright: © 2003 Isabel Florence/(Casper)

Type: Light Slash/Romance/Sap

Pairing: Face/Murdock

Status: Complete (Slightly revised from the original posting).

Chronology: 1983

Summary: Face musing one night about his feelings for Murdock, thinking about how hard he finds it to say the words, "I Love You." Murdock reflecting about nearly losing Face the day before and thinking about his love for Face. Face and Murdock alternating POV.

Warnings: Light Slash. Consensual male/male facial touching and kissing. A lot of Sap and Romance. Some Angst. Main character hurt/injury (not too bad and it's relevant to the advent of the story). References to past, off stage violence (not graphic). Mild profanity.

Disclaimer: I do not own the A-Team characters, and am making no profit from this story, which is a work of fan fiction only. The A-Team characters solely belong to Universal, Frank Lupo and Stephen J. Cannell, and I thank them for their existence.

Thanks & Acknowledgements: I swear; this fan fiction has gone through more drafts than the Magna Carta. Therefore, I deeply thank Witchbaby, Sharon Price, Val Thomas, Strangebird, Pam, Goldfox and Monte for Beta reading this fiction, and for all your valuable comments, advice and suggestions. Thank you all. :o)

Featured End Song: "Love Changes Everything". Vocals performed by British singer/actor Michael Crawford from the Andrew Lloyd Webber musical, "Aspects of Love."

Comments?: Yes, Sure. :o)









*~*~* PART ONE *~*~*


"I love you."


Three simple words on the face of it, but oh, God, so hard to say, so very, very hard to say. Even when you mean them, and feel them with every atom of your being, they're still so damn hard to say.


Easier to show, to express by deeds and action, than to vocalize.


Easier to hope the other person gets your drift through what you do for them and with them. Through the way you look at them and all those little things you do, without the need to say the words, 'cause the words, oh, the words are so damn hard to say.


At least for me.


I wish...


But you know what they say about wishes and horses...


It's not that I don't try. I do. Sometimes I even manage it.




But not lately.


It's easier to hide behind a charming smile and bantering words than to vocalize the deeper feelings.


Easier to say, "Me too," or "You too," or "I feel the same."


Anything but the actual words.


Maybe there's a part of me afraid to give that little bit more. Afraid to give, in case someday the words, and the love, are thrown back in my face, as they have been before. Enough times for the barricades to be more than firmly fortified.


But he chips away, patiently; sure that one-day the walls will come tumbling down.


Like water over rock.


Stripping away my defenses, ever so slowly baring my soul.


He doesn't seem to be afraid that I'll turn and run from us. I've a track record, after all. The words commitment and relationship alone have, in the past, been enough to see me back-pedalling faster than the other person could take a second breath, let alone move to stop me.


But that was then.


This is now.


That was countless, often nameless women, whose names I never bothered to memorize, whose bodies fulfilled my physical needs, if rarely the spiritual and psychological ones.


This is Murdock.


And this time I want to stay.


Need to stay.


Long to stay.


Not since Leslie have I felt this way for another human being. Such love. Such deep intensity of love. Like he fills my entire universe.


But still I can't say the words.


What if someday he leaves me?


After all, she did.


After all, they all have, over time.


He stirs beside me. Warm against my side.


We haven't made love tonight; my injuries prevent that. It still hurts to breathe. Cracked ribs will do that to you. And let's not forget the concussion, which is sending interesting ripples of nausea through me, accompanied by a pounding headache. Only the thought of waking him is keeping me quiet. Feeding me strength.


I woke up a little earlier in our bed, wondering which truck had hit me. Then, remembering the events of yesterday, had trembled at how close I'd come to losing him.


Too close.


Oh dear God.




Today and all my, all our, tomorrows would have been shattered if yesterday...


But then, yesterday I'd acted, without hesitation, stepping between Murdock and the goons using him as a punching bag, willing to take the heat off him, almost unconsciously willing to die for him.


Giving him the time and space to catch his breath.


Giving BA and Hannibal time to get to us before we both went down.


More actions proving my love, my commitment, even my fear of losing him.


My last sight of him had been the shocked horror in his eyes, as whatever the bastards were using for a weapon crashed into the side of my head, tipping me into darkness.


My first sight of him when I woke hours later, as my fuzzy vision focused on his face, had been his worried and fearful, relief-tinged eyes.


"I love you, Faceguy," he'd whispered softly, his words a caress.


"I know," I'd replied, smiling thinly, as consciousness had slipped away again.


Now here I lay, wide awake, in pain, but glad to be alive. Reveling in the warmth of his body curled next to mine, and wondering, ever wondering, why I find it so damn hard to say the words.


Those three little words which mean so much.


I love you.


Rolling to prop myself up on one elbow, pushing down the pain the move causes my ribs, I gaze down into his well-loved face. The moonlight from the enormous floor-to-ceiling windows - a bonus in the penthouse suite - is dancing across his peaceful countenance, making him look serene in the ethereal light.


In spite of his thinning hair and lanky build, he's a handsome, attractive man.


His eyes are the most expressive I've ever seen in a man or a woman. Every emotion he feels lives vibrantly in those eyes, making his face an open book for anyone to read. Sometimes when he locks his eyes with mine, the warmth of their brown depths boring into me, I feel as if I'm falling into a bottomless well. It's all I can do sometimes to tear my eyes and self away from their mesmerizing intensity.


Sometimes I don't.


Sometimes I can't.


Sometimes I let myself just fall right in.


It's his smile, though, that really transforms him. He has one of the most beautiful smiles I've ever had the pleasure of experiencing. It lights up his entire face and sets fire to his eyes.


Blinding in its intensity.


Breathtaking in its beauty.


I'd do anything to be blessed by that smile. Have done anything. Everything, really.


It's like a reward.


Like the warmth of sunshine on a bitterly cold winter day. I think I'd go to hell and back, if it meant Murdock's smile were to be my reward.


In fact I have, I will, and I do.


All of the above.


But still I can't say the words.


Now softly, my touch feather-light, I draw my fingers down his face, from temple to cheek.


Does he know how much I love him?


How could he if I rarely say the words?


Sometimes he looks at me expectantly, and I wonder, is he waiting for the words? Is he wondering, 'Does he love me? Truly love me?' Is he regretting our partnership? Is he longing for more than I seem to be capable of giving him?


Or... does he know how much I love him? Know the sweet ache in my heart every time I look at him, the near-agony of love every time he touches me, how willing I am to sacrifice everything I am, everything I could be, or might want to be, for him?


Does he know?


I hope so.


But then again, maybe I hope he doesn't, because then wouldn't he know too much?


His face is shining in the moonlight, inviting. Carefully leaning over him, suppressing a groan of pain at the movement of my tortured ribs, I brush my lips lightly across his, barely touching them, just needing to feel closer for a moment.


The warmth and tenderness in my heart is so strong it's nearly overwhelming, taking my breath away with it, momentarily chasing away the pain of injured ribs and pounding head.


Caressing his cheek with my fingers, I kiss him again, a little more firmly.


Drawing back, I let myself bask in the tilt of his lips as he smiles in his sleep.


"I love you," I whisper after a bit, knowing he can't hear me, saying the words anyway. "I hope you know that. I hope you know."


Unable to take the pain to my battered body any longer, I quietly ease back onto the bed, trembling a little, breathing shallowly, waiting for the pain to subside again.


Maybe someday, I'll be able to say those words to him while he's awake.


Fingers brush lightly against mine, as he repositions himself beside me. Suddenly, warm brown eyes are peering down into my own, dark in the moonlit room. As always, stealing my breath away.


"I know," he murmurs simply, a smile tugging at the corners of his mouth.


"You know what?" I ask hesitantly. Surely he didn't hear me a moment ago?


"Facey, I just know!" His smile is warmer now, his hand caressing my hair. "You don't have to say the words, Faceguy. I know all the answers. It's okay."


Have I talked about his voice yet? It's as warm as his eyes, nearly as warm as his smile. There's something soothing about it. His uncanny gift with mimicry gives him the ability to change the tones of his voice as he sees the need, even with me. But it's his Texan drawl I love the best. The warmth and life in it warm my soul.


He's speaking naturally to me now, his drawl soft and warm; the love evident in his words, in his actions, in his moonlit, glittering eyes.


Do I deserve this, deserve him, really?


He's crazy, but it's a good crazy, and I love him.


Reaching up, I touch his cheek with my fingertips.


"I love you," I breathe. Finally saying the words, barely making a sound in the room.


"I know," he murmurs gently, his smile blinding, taking my breath away with it.


Then, capturing my lips, he steals my heart and soul with a kiss.


And now...


Nothing in the world will ever be the same.



*~*~* PART TWO *~*~*


I've never seen anyone with as many contradictions as the Faceman.


He's physically beautiful, with a supremely confident, strong belief in his own abilities, sometimes kind, occasionally considerate, often a pushover and he genuinely cares. Not just about all of us, his closest friends, but also about the people whose causes we regularly adopt. It's not simply about the money, or the Jazz, although those are a part of it, of course. No matter how convinced he might be of that, it often goes much deeper than those aspects. He might hide it successfully most of the time, but he does care, I can vouch for that.


He has a good heart, a golden heart, which he hides under layers of sham.


But not from me.


He can't hide from me.


He's also a brilliant conman. Face can get anything out of anyone. He could convince an Eskimo to buy ice blocks from him, and then accept being thanked for the unique privilege. He's that good.


On the other hand, he can also be one of the most insecure, vulnerable, sensitive, nervous, self-conscious people you can get.


Like a little boy lost.


He can be unsure, craving praise and reinforcement, occasionally self-centered, proud and vain, even, and easy to manipulate by those who know how. Just ask Hannibal; he does it all the time to Face. Guess we all do, from time to time, including me. Facey just makes it so darn easy, at times.


Sometimes I get a nearly devilish kick out of baiting him, just to see that exasperated, frustrated body language, and hear the words: 'What the heck are you doing, Murdock?' All coupled with a glint of tried, wearing-thin patience, and an undercurrent of strong affection in those gorgeous blue-green eyes.


Other times I just love it when he plays along with my flights of fancy. The light of amusement in his eyes at BA's obvious annoyance, to put it mildly, at my role-playing and fantasies. He'll talk with me for hours about my slightly invisible dog Billy, or patiently rehearse with me the scams and cons we've prearranged together.


God, I love him for that. For accepting me, just the way I am. No pressure, no strings, no demands to change.


And I know he loves me.


He rarely says the words, but I know.


I've always known.


Yesterday, we came close to losing him.


I came close to losing him.


It was one of those times when one of Hannibal's plans almost turned tragic. Lucky for me, lucky for Face, lucky for all of us, the thugs were incompetent, or he'd be gone.




For a while there yesterday, as he lay, for oh so damn frighteningly long, so very still and quiet, face pasty pale against the dark silk sheets, it almost seemed like he was.


Gone, that is.


Lost to us.


To me.


Yesterday wasn't really his fault. The thugs had me pinned.


Three of them.


Big fellas.


Really, really big.


My body still aches from the blows they got in before Face stepped in between me an' them.


When he saw me pinned and taking a beating, Face had come running from the thick of the rest of the fight, leaving Hannibal and BA to deal with the other men.


He'd shouted at the men, distracting their attention.


Long enough for me to kick my way free.


Long enough for them to turn their attention on to him.


Long enough for them to take to him with their baseball bats.


Long enough for him to crumple limply to the ground, to my absolute horror, blood streaming across his face, staining the dust under his head where the bat had whacked him.


It had all happened so fast.


Too damn fast.


BA and Hannibal had come running at my urgent, shaken shouts. We'd made short shrift of the thugs, then picked Face up and brought him back to his latest scammed apartment: a penthouse suite at the top of a flashy apartment block in LA.


I've yet to work out how he does it. You know, scam these amazing places. As Amy has often said, the well just never seems to run dry for Face. Or, at least, it hasn't yet.


We'd patched and bound his wounds, made sure the head injury was superficial, or at least didn't require a hospitalization we couldn't afford to risk, and waited for him to return to us.


And waited.


And waited.


It'd been hours later. Enough time for me to have moved beyond scared and right on into terrified.


Then he'd finally woken up, to my staggering relief, and I'd told him I love him.


'Cause I do.


Lightly kissing him now, his lips sweet under mine, the relief to have him alive is intense. Breaking it off, I touch his face again. "You scared me yesterday, muchacho. Really scared me. Don't do that again. Okay?"


His beautiful eyes glint in the half-shadows of the room, his breath quick and shallow, pain-filled.


"I scared you? You were the one being roughed up by those goons. They just transferred their attention, is all." His voice nearly has that aggrieved tone he gets when he feels put upon. It's a front, of course, something that hides what's really going on in there. But I love the challenge of getting past the barriers.


Sighing, I let my fingers caress his cheek. "Just listen to me, Facey. Those guys, they coulda killed you yesterday. Then what would I do? Hmmm? You have to promise me. Never again. Don't risk yourself like that again. Please, muchacho. Promise to bring along back-up next time you try'n save me."


Shaking his head negatively, he reaches up to take my softly caressing hand in one of his, almost tentatively interlacing his fingers with mine. A soft smile lifting his lips, lightening his stunning eyes.


"Can't promise you that, Murdock. Any more than you can promise me. All I can do is try. No promises. Just try. And yeah, I'll try to drag along back-up next time you get into hot water. All right?" His voice is softer now, not quite pleading.


It's enough. It's more than he can give. More than any of us can guarantee anyway, with the military forever on our tails.


Absently I trail the fingers of my other hand over his ribs without thinking, frowning at his slight, quickly smothered hiss of pain.


Leaning in, I kiss him lightly on the brow. "Sorry, Facey. Force of habit!"


His smile is dazzling in the moonlight, his face flushed with pain and discomfort, his eyes bright.


His eyes are like the ocean. Sometimes deeply blue-green, sparking like a tropical sea. At other times dark and stormy, like a hurricane-tossed ocean. Then there are times when they are like a clear blue sky, which goes on forever, leaving me longing to soar within them.


Now they are nearly luminescent in the moonlight, the corners crinkling with his soft smile.


"It's okay," he murmurs softly. "The pain is already getting better."


Not that I completely believe him. More likely he's forcing it into that area he puts things he doesn't want to deal with immediately.


Moving a hand to gently caress one of his shoulders, I lock my eyes with his once again. "You gotta relax, Facey. You need to rest. Settle down now, we can talk more tomorrow."


Hesitating, he gazes up at me, uncertain. Then he smiles, a shy smile, and once again delicately touches my face with his fingers.


"I love you," he whispers, louder this time than before, a look of wonder on his face. "I love you," he repeats again, more strongly. "Forever and always, HM. I love you." The wonder is in his voice now, making the tones of it even softer.


"Ditto." I manage to breathe into his mouth, as I kiss him once more, gently, tenderly.


I know.


Of course I know.


I've always known.


He doesn't have to say the words.


I know he loves me. Just as I do him.


The words are all around us, in everything we do or say.


In every gesture.


In every breath we take, in every move we make, they are there.


The feeling and meaning of them.


The truth of them.


The vibrant life of them.


After all, that's all we need.


All we'll ever need.


Just to know.


Love, love changes everything
Hands and faces, earth and sky
Love, love changes everything
How you live and how you die
Love can make the summer fly
Or a night seem like a lifetime
Yes, love, love changes everything
How I tremble at your name
Nothing in the world will ever be the same


Love, love changes everything
Days are longer, words mean more
Love, love changes everything
Pain is deeper than before
Love will turn your world around
And that world will last forever
Yes, love, love changes everything
Brings you glory, brings you shame
Nothing in the world will ever be the same


Off into the world we go
Planning futures shaping years
Love burst in and suddenly
All our wisdom disappears
Love makes fools of everyone
All the rules we make are broken
Yes, love, love changes everything
Live or perish in its flame
Love will never, never let you be the same


© Andrew Lloyd Webber - "Aspects Of Love"


Finis… :o)


Written By: Casper


First Posted: February 2003


Revised: July 2003

Other Titles In This Trilogy:

How Do I Say I Love You? by Casper



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