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One Way Romance

 

One Way Romance
by Jesse

Rating: PG
Copyright: November 7, 2003
Summary: Murdock's daughter (Jesse ) falls in love with Frankie, who of course doesn't begin to take notice until after he finds out. Takes place after the team gets their pardon.
Warnings: Death of a major character in end
Disclaimer: I do not own the A-team
Feedback: Please

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Cars exploding. Sirens blasting. Poor defenseless women running around half naked, trying to understand why their apartments were on fire.

"Sissy! Sissy, what's going on? Why is my apartment on fire?" One woman asked a tall blonde.

"I'm not sure Kat. The fireman said something about a car bomb." The blonde replied.

The girl named Kat shifted her weight and tilted her head. "Well, that doesn't make any sense. I don't have a car in my apartment."


The TV screen went blank, much to the disappointment of the men watching it.

"Hey!" One of them hollered. "We were watching that!"

A young girl about twenty-two years old took out the tape and started walking away.

A tall, dark-headed man jumped up, trying to convince her to return the tape. "You can't run off with that! We have to finish watching that!"

"Why?" She asked, obviously not amused that the men had interrupted her studying.

"Well, it's supposed to be an educational show." Answered the dark-headed man.

The young woman folded her arms, very unsympathetic to his dilemma. "It was one of my first films, when I was still learning about special effects." He was grasping at straws now, saying whatever he could to convince her to give them back the tape. "Besides, I can't remember how it ends. And the guys need to see what happens to the defenseless damsels."

"Defenseless damsels my foot!" The girl screeched. "Senseless sluts are more like it."

The man placed his hand on his chest and stepped backwards. "Senseless sluts?! I'm appalled that you could even think about calling those lovely, wonderful girls, struggling in the cruel world of modeling, just to pay off their debts, as senseless sluts!" He mocked.

"I only call it like I see it." She replied, slightly irritated at his mockery. "Who are they supposed to model for anyhow, Victoria's Secret? And what are their debts, unpaid parking tickets and credit card bills due to bad math? Or were they innocently standing on the curb in their leather miniskirt, knee-high leather boots and see-through shirts revealing their black push-up bras, completely unaware that the multiple Xs on all of the videos stores was the bad part of town?"

"Hey man, I thought you said no one else knew this story?" One man on the couch stated.

"Shut up, Murdock." The girl took her gaze away from the "director" of the film only long enough to snap at the man she called Murdock.

"Okay." Murdock said, content to watch the blank screen.

A blonde man, the third and final member of this party, was about to say something when the girl told him to shut up as well.

The "director" put his arm around the girl's shoulders and walked a couple of steps away from the group.

He leaned closer to the girl and whispered, "Jesse, come on, be a sport. You know you want to give us the tape back so we can see the senseless...uh, I mean, defenseless damsels get rescued. You know you love me too much to keep me in this suspense."

Jesse looked at him, trying not to grin. "Why should you be in suspense? You directed this...thing."

The man was stumped for a second, then smiled as he laid it on even thicker. With his poutiest face he could manage, he bent down until his eyes were level with hers. "Please? Pretty please, with chocolate chips on top?"

Jesse's grin broke free as she returned the tape to the man, who was now smiling from ear to ear.

"You know, this is getting really old." Jesse told him.

He only smiled bigger as he took the tape and stood up. "You know you enjoy it."

"Just keep it down, okay? I got finals to study for." Jesse politely asked of him.

"Yeah, yeah." He mumbled as he walked back to the group.

"They're for Physics!" She hollered, making sure he heard her.

He raised his arms to reply as he pushed the play button on the VCR. Jesse just shook her head as she went back to her books, explosions and screaming blondes in the background.


Jesse walked to the closet to get her dress shoes. Today was the anniversary. How she used to dread today, but since she found Murdock that had changed.

Jesse walked to the mirror on her dresser after she put her dress shoes on. She looked at the picture she had stuck in her mirror. It was a young lady with black hair. If you did not look closely, you could easily mistake her for Jesse. Except this girl was about sixteen years old and the wallpaper in the background screamed 1960s.

"Good morning."

Jesse turned to see Face standing in the doorway. "Murdock and B.A. are all ready in the van. You ready to go?" He asked.

Jesse nodded as she picked up her purse and walked out of her bedroom.


Jesse knelt down and placed the white calla lily at the head of the grave.

"Oh, Momma," Jesse whispered. "what am I going to do? I love Frankie so much, it's killing me not to be able to tell him. Is this how you felt about Murdock?"

Jesse smiled as she remembered her childhood. "Of course it is. I can still remember you talking about him every year. I remember the stories about when you first met him, the day you knew he was the love of your life, the day he left. You had gone to tell him about me, but the military was closing in again. You knew you had to let him go. If only you hadn't died before he came back.

"Momma, I wish you could be here. I wish you could have known Frankie, you would have liked him."

Murdock cleared his throat as he walked up to the grave.

Jesse turned her head at the sound, she had not realized he was behind her. Jesse stood up and looked at the headstone for a few seconds, then turned and walked back to the van.

Murdock was worried. He had not realized how strongly Jesse felt about Frankie. All of the guys knew she had a crush on him since the first day she met him, but this was serious. But what was more frightening was the fact that Murdock knew he had no power over this. There was no way he could protect her from the heartache he knew was coming.


"Frankie, come over here, we need to talk with you." Face was standing by the van, obviously worried about something.

"What's the problem, Faceman?" Frankie asked, concerned at the team's somber expressions. "Murdock, B.A."

Face, Murdock, and B.A. exchanged glances before Murdock finally spoke up. "Frankie, we need to talk about Jesse. She loves you."

"Of course she does, all smart women love Frankie Santana." Frankie joked.

"No, Frankie," Face said. "Murdock means, she's in love with you."

Frankie's smile faded. "What? What do you mean she's in love with me? She's just a kid. No, it's just a crush, it'll pass." Frankie stated, trying to convince himself along with the rest of the team.

"What if it doesn't?" Murdock asked.

"Yeah, sucka." B.A. stated. "We all know she's just a kid, but what if it's the real thing? We don't wanna see her get hurt. I'm warning you, fool, if you break her heart I'll break your legs."

"And the two of us will hold you down while he does." Face added, pointing at Murdock and himself.

"Easy guys, I'm not interested, okay? I mean she's a swell kid and all but... she's just a kid. There's nothing to worry about." Frankie replied.

This news was very disturbing. How could have happened? Frankie watched the rest of the team walk back into the house, wondering what he was going to do. Why did Jesse pick him? Sure they had hung out a lot, but they were just friends. Jesse had a ton of other guys her own age willing to ask her out, why couldn't she have fallen for one of them? Frankie knew he had to do something about this, but he did not know what or how. As he walked back to the house, he muttered to himself, "She's just a kid."


"No!" Jesse yelled, slinging popcorn all over the couch in the process. "Ahh, man! Come on ref, call something!" Jesse cringed as the football game on television progressed. "Chicago, you're killing me! Get with it, will ya guys? For heaven's sake, catch the ball once in a while."

Frankie walked through the front door, then stopped. He had forgotten about football season starting. Jesse always watched her Chicago Bears faithfully. By the sound of her voice, it evidently was not very good for her team.

"Yes!" Jesse yelled, as the Bears caught the ball, flinging popcorn once again. "Now go on, go, go, go. No! Crap, stupid Packers."

"Don't knock Green Bay, they're a good team." Frankie said as he walked into the living room. It had been odd talking with Jesse ever since his encounter with the rest of the team. It was even more difficult now, because he was the first one to get home. Which explained why Jesse was so open about her feeling for the game, she had been alone.

"Oh, hey. I didn't realize anyone was here." Jesse said, slightly embarrassed.

"Obviously." Frankie sat on the arm of the couch. "So who's winning?"

Jesse glared up at him with a grin. "Green Bay, who else? Chicago is a great city, but they don't have very good sports teams."

"So choose another team." Frankie suggested.

"Are you kidding? Chicago's the best football team that ever was!" Jesse protested. "Even if they never win."

Typical Jesse, Frankie thought. Challenge her team and she will defend them to the end. Frankie got up off the couch and went into the kitchen. As he was looking through the fridge, his mind turned to Jesse again. She had high standards and stuck by them. Even when stupid jocks hounded her relentlessly, she stood her ground. Jesse knew what she wanted and she was not willing to settle for less.

But I'm what she wants. Frankie thought to himself. And to be perfectly honest, there was something different about Jesse. Frankie could not put his finger on it, but he caught himself thinking about her more than usual. He was worrying about her more too. Last night he had had a dream that she was lost. He could hear her voice calling for help, but he could not find her. He was running through the school, and when he stopped he could see her sitting on the floor, crying. Someone was standing next to her. Frankie could not see his face, but he knew Jesse was in danger. Then Frankie woke up. He had actually been sitting up in his bed.

Frankie focused back on the food, then shut the fridge. He looked back at Jesse and he felt his chest tighten. He knew he did not like Jesse, not that way. So why did his heart pound every time he saw her now? Why did he have trouble breathing when she was near him? Why did he think about her so much? Why did he have so many questions without any answers?

Frankie would not admit it, but Jesse was the kind of person he had been wanting to meet for a long time. She was the kind of girl you could talk to easily, and she got along great with his family.

"Frankie, you okay?"

Jesse's voice broke through Frankie's thoughts, bringing him back to the present. "Ya, I'm fine." He lied.

"Okay," Jesse said as she grabbed her keys. "I gotta class I have to get to, I'll see you later."

Frankie went over to the window and watched her walk out to her car. As she got in and started her car, Frankie rested his head against the wall. Then, as he watched her drive off, he whispered, "Why do you have to be so damn young?"


Jake Marshall ran his fingers through his curly, golden hair. He was the star of the track team, an A student, and the most popular guy in school. Jesse could not understand it. Of all the girls in the school drooling over Jake, why would he keep hitting on her? All Jesse wanted to do was get her schooling done, get a good job, and someday have a family. Jake wanted nothing but more money. The entire school knew Jesse was not impressed by Jake's wealth, everyone except Jake that is.

"Oh, no," Jesse whispered to herself. "think of the devil."

"Hey, Jessica. How's it going?" Jake asked with that snake-like gaze and that devilish grin he always had. It always sent a shiver down Jesse's spine. Jesse put down her pencil and glared up at Jake. "It's Jesse. Not Jessica, Jesse."

"Listen, Jessica, I was thinking." Jake said.

"Assuming that's possible." Jesse muttered, as Jake ran his fingers through his hair again.

Jake continued his conversation, unaware that Jesse was not interested. "You're a fairly decent looking girl, and I'm obviously an above average looking guy. Some might even say, ruggedly handsome. Why don't you and I hook up tonight? I know a great little bar just down the street. I figured we could have a couple drinks and share a pizza. Then maybe we could go back to my place for a little...desert?"

There it was again, that snake-like gaze. Jake was so slippery he could grease the axles of an entire wagon train. Jesse was positive she was going to be sick.

"Listen, Jake," Jesse was trying to find a polite way to turn him down, again. "For the millionth and last time, I am not interested. Now, will you please leave me alone?"

Jesse packed up her books and headed for the door.

Jake hurried to block her path. That was the problem with this room. While there was plenty of tables and a small fountain on one of them, there was very little room for anyone to move, making it very easy to for someone like Jake to block his current target.

Jesse shifted the weight of her backpack, trying to be reasonable with Jake. "Jake, would you let me pass, please?"

Jake leaned onto the table, further blocking any chance of escape. "Not until you give me a kiss and say yes to my date."

Jesse grinned, sat down on the table, and brought her knees to her chin. "Not if you were the last man on earth, in a million years, or if the world was coming to an end, or any combination of the three. Now leave me alone!" Jesse hollered as she stood on top of the table and started walking across it.

"Ahh, come on, Jess. Don't be such a sour puss." Jake whined.

Jesse stopped and turned around. She could not believe Jake was still hounding her. "Jake, how often do I have to tell you I'm not interest before you'll believe me? I can't stand you. I think you're revolting. Why won't you just leave me alone?" Jesse shook her head and turned to leave. As she was turning around, Jake grabbed hold of her ankle, causing her to trip and fall. Jesse hit her head on the corner of the table and slowly slipped out of consciousness as she lay on the floor.

Jake looked at the table and there was blood on it. He looked at Jesse, then back at the table.

"She's dead." He whispered, his eyes wide with fear. "I killed her."

Jake quickly ran out of the room, bumping into Murdock as he did. Murdock watched Jake running away, unsure of why he was in such a hurry.

Murdock walked inside, then stopped suddenly when he saw Jesse lying on the floor. He knelt down beside her and placed her head in his lap. A spot of blood was on his fingertips.

"B.A.!" He yelled. He had to get her to a hospital fast, before it was too late.

His heart felt as though it was going to pound through his chest. It was so hard for him to breathe, he thought his lungs were going to burst as he continued to yell. "B.A.! Someone help me! Help!"

Jesse slowly opened her eyes. The hospital was full of noises. She hated hospitals. They always smelled of antiseptic and the rooms were always cold and harsh looking.

As the room came into focus and the noises subsided, she turned her head and started looking around. She fixed her sight on a single object. Jesse could not believe it, he was the only person in the room. She did not expect the entire gang to be there, but he was the last one she thought she would see. He was looking out the window, so his back was towards her. Her throat felt so dry she did not know if he would be able to hear her.

"Frankie?" She asked, hoarsely.

Frankie let the blinds drop down and turned around, thinking he had heard something. He was suddenly full of so much and relief when he saw Jesse had woken up.

"Jesse." Frankie said, as he walked over to her side, trying not to let his feelings show. "You're awake. Murdock and the guys have been so worried."

Jesse looked in Frankie's eyes, and her heart sank. He had not changed, he was still the same old Frankie. She thought she had seen something different in his eyes, but it was just her imagination.

Jesse pulled herself up, then closed her eyes as the room started swimming around her. As she opened her eyes again, she tried to talk around the huge lump in her throat.

"Where is everyone? How long have I been here?" Jesse asked, trying to remember something about what happened.

Frankie sat down on the edge of the bed as he tried to tell her the news. "The guys went home to shower, eat, sleep. They didn't figure you'd want to wake up to four smelly guys who hadn't shaved in..." Frankie's voice broke off, he did not want to tell her. "Except for Murdock that is. That crazy guy just had to stay here 24/7. He tried to convince the nurse to let him bring a cot in here, but she said it was against regulations so he slept in the chair."

Jesse cold tell Frankie was leaving something out. "Frankie, what else aren't you telling me? How long have I been in the hospital?"

Frankie knew he would not be able to keep it from her. "About a week. Jesse, there was a problem with Hannibal's last mission."

Jesse could tell the news was bad, very bad. "Frankie, what happened? What's going on?"

Frankie looked her in the eyes, trying to find the right words. But there were no right words for news such as this. "There was a leak and Hannibal's cover was blown. Jesse, he didn't make it back, not alive." He started to reach out and hold her, but he stopped himself. He was not supposed to feel this way.

Jesse swallowed hard, keeping her tears in check. "When is the funeral?" She asked.

"Jesse," Frankie got up and walked to the door, nervously running his hand through his hair. "We got the news about Hannibal the day after your accident. The funeral was two days ago."

Murdock walked into the room just in time to see Jesse turn her head away from Frankie. He leaned in close to Frankie and asked what had happened. Frankie looked at Murdock and said, "I told her." then walked out to leave Jesse and Murdock alone.

Jesse turned her head and faced Murdock. "Hey, Murdock." she said, sniffing.

Murdock went over to Jesse and held her hand. "I'm sorry, honey. I don't know what else to say except, I'm sorry."

A single tear fell from Jesse's eyes as Murdock gave her a hug. Despite her strong defenses and stubbornness, that one tear broke through.

"You know, I always planned on having all of you guys with me. I never thought I would lose any of you." Jesse released her hold and looked Murdock in the eyes, thankful he was there. "I love you, Dad."

Murdock was slightly stunned, but smiled as he gave Jesse another hug. "I love you too, Kiddo."

Frankie turned and started to walk away. She had finally called Murdock "Dad". While he was happy for them, he could not help but feel upset. He knew he could have Jesse for his girl if he asked her, but he also knew that Murdock needed to build his relationship with his daughter. Frankie stopped to throw away his coffee, which he had not touched. As he did, he looked back at Jesse and Murdock. He knew that, for now at least, he had to keep his distance from Jesse. He knew that if Jesse was forced to decided immediately between him and Murdock, she would choose Murdock. Frankie knew he could not live with her rejection, even though it would be the best choice she could make. She grew up without a mom most of her life. She needed a dad more than anything, and he was not going to prevent that.

 


One Way Romance by Jesse

 

 


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