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Holiday Schmaltz

Holiday Schmaltz

by Reckless

Copyright: 2002

Rating:  PG-13

Warnings:  Slash (m/m, not graphic); some innuendo; a few bad words in a foreign language

Summary:  An A-Team Chanukah story.  (Yes, that's right.)  Face comes home to find Murdock in the midst of a surprising holiday celebration.

Special Thanks to Pam (for getting me to finish this) and everyone on TATW and the A-Team Story Board for their comments.

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Face groaned as he put the key into the latch.  It had been a day from hell.  Meeting with Hannibal at the set, checking the San Pedro warehouse to make sure the supplies were in order and running background on some prospective clients.  Then he had to swing by the children’s center to help BA pass a sanitation inspection.

Frankly, he was exhausted.  All he wanted to do was shower and crash.

He pushed open the door and was instantly hit by the smell of . . . something.

It smelled like food, and definitely was coming from the kitchen, but it did not smell like anything he could recognize.

Then he heard Murdock.

“Oh no,” Face groaned.  Not tonight.  He couldn’t take a night with Murdock right now.

Face knew what was coming.  Murdock was probably on some chef kick ­ probably from watching too many cooking shows on public television.  He’d force Face to eat some foul creations for which the pilot had managed to write down partial recipes.  Face shuddered as he remembered Murdock’s attempt at making escargot.  It might have worked if Murdock had remembered to take note of the fact that you needed to buy grain-fed snails and clean them properly before cooking.

“FACEY!!!”    

Face winced as Murdock skipped out of the kitchen wearing a frilly, pink apron with the words “Jewish Mamelah” on them.  The pilot threw his arms around Face in a bear hug and gave him a deep kiss.

With a coy smile, Face thought that at least there was one part of Murdock’s obsessions that never disappointed.  As always, Murdock’s kiss promised a lot more.

“You miss me, boobelah?” Murdock said, as he broke the kiss and looked at Face with soft, brown eyes.

Face smiled.  “Of course,” he said wearily.  “I’m just a little tired.  All I want to do is go to sleep.”

Murdock looked askance.  “We can’t do that.  We’ve got a celebration to make.”

With a sigh, Face begged, “Please don’t tell me you’re on another Chez Pierre kick.  I can’t take another round of tripe fondue or gateux d’liver.”

“Shush, Faceguy.  It’s not like that at all.  Come on.”  He grabbed Face’s hand and pulled him through the door to the kitchen.  The air assaulted him with a pungent odor and a hissing sound.

Face grimaced.  “It smells like Hamburger Heaven when they haven’t cleaned in a few days.”

“It’s schmaltz, Face.”  Murdock spoke in his “you-don’t-know-anything” voice.

‘Better play along, Face,’ he thought.  It might be over more quickly.  “Schmaltz?” he asked matter of factly.  “As in sickly sweet?”

“Schmaltz as in chicken fat.  For the perfect latkes, Facey.”  Murdock pointed at a pan filled with sizzling oil.  Grease spattered the entire range and surrounding countertops, making them appear as if a small downpour had swept through the kitchen.

“Oh, Murdock!” Face groaned.  “You know I’m only here for a few days.  Do you know how many times I’m going to have to clean that marble to hide that I was here?”

“Hurrumph!  Jewish mothers have cooked with schmaltz for generations.  Have you ever seen a dirty Jewish mother’s house?”

Expasperated, Face shook his head, pulled out a roll of paper towels and began sopping up the grease.  “No, Murdock.  I haven’t.  I don’t know any Jewish mothers.  Well . . . there was Rachel . . . but she wasn’t a mother then . . . So no!”

Murdock spooned a dollop of something wet and yellow into the oil.  It sizzled and the oil spattered back onto the surface Face had just wiped clean.  Triumphantly, Murdock grinned.  “You’re just trying to make me jealous, bringing up your old flames, bubee.”

Face felt a headache coming on.  A migraine.  A bad one.  He lowered his head and covered his eyes with his palm.

“Mmmhhhh . . .”  Something hot forced its way into his mouth.  Oil and grease coated his tongue as his teeth sunk into something crispy and mealy at the same time.  Swallowing, he looked into Murdock’s expectant gaze.

“Well?”

“Uh . . .”  Face paused and thought about it, but seeing Murdock’s face fall, he gave in.  “Yeah.  It’s good.”  Actually, on reflection, it was.

Murdock beamed.  “Great!  I’ve got two full platters of them heating in the oven.  And there’s sour cream on the table and applesauce to go on top.”

“Applesauce?  That was a hash brown, Murdock.”

Murdock looked askance.  “No.  It’s a latke.  A potato pancake.  Symbol of the miracle that caused the temple light to burn for eight days when there was only enough oil for one, Facey.”

“Huh?”

“Chanukah, Facey.  Don’t you know anything?  Tonight’s the first night of Chanukah.”

“So?”

“So we’re going to celebrate.”  Murdock’s smile threatened to stretch beyond the sides of his head.  “I’ve got decorations, dreidels, all sorts of special foods.  Oy will you love my brisket.  You’ll think you died and gone to heaven.”

This was not what Face needed.  On the best nights, Face could not take Murdock doing a  Barbra Streisand impression.  Tonight . . .

“Oh come on,” Murdock pleaded, his eyes begging.

Face knew he was in trouble.  He could never stand firm with Murdock when he begged like this.  “Murdock?  Couldn’t we celebrate another way?”  A shower and massage would be a good start.  “Maybe we could eat your . . . latkes in bed.”

“That’s all you want, Face, isn’t it?  Just jump in bed and let me play with your groisser potz.” Murdock pouted.  “You never want to celebrate.  This is a religious occasion.”

Face knew enough not to ask for a translation.  He figured that the term was Yiddish, a reference to a particular sex organ and not flattering.  This was a losing battle.  “Murdock . . . please . . .”

“No, Facey,” Murdock said insistently.  “It’s Chanukah and we’re going to celebrate.”

“But we’re not Jewish.”

Murdock shrugged.  “You could be.  With that guilt streak of yours, you're a natural."

The war was unwinnable.

Face sighed a long, deep, heavy sigh.  Murdock took it for it was.  Victory.

With a dancing grin, Murdock hopped up and down.  Then he clasped Face’s hands and pulled him from the kitchen into the dining room.

Face stopped dead when he saw the table.

Sour cream.  Brisket that seemed to be swimming in fatty gravy.  Something that looked like little burritos with cheese oozing out of the sides.  And at the far end of the table, Face saw a platter containing doughnuts.

“Murdock!  This’ll give me a heart attack.”

“Ha!  Biz hundert azoi ve tsvantsik.”  At Face’s questioning glance, Murdock translated, “Live til 100 like a 20 year old.”

Face stared blankly.

Murdock rolled his eyes.  “It’s tradition, Facey.  Fried and oily foods­”

“­to remind us of the light that burned for eight night,” Face said flatly.

Murdock either didn’t notice or simply chose to ignore Face’s tone.  Gleefully, Murdock said, “See!  You’re getting into the spirit already.  Let me get the latkes.”  He turned and headed back into the kitchen.

Face continued to look mournfully at the table.  Only Jewish mothers could think up a holiday that required people to eat fatty foods.

Murdock burst through the kitchen door.  Placing a tray of crispy fried brownish-yellow disks on the table, he exclaimed, “Time to fress!”

“What?” Face said instinctively, then realized he didn’t want an answer.

“Fress, Facey.  Eat.  Or more appropriately, pig out.”

“Murdock,” Face said quietly.  “Did I mention I had a headache?”

“Aw.  All you need is to eat a bisel.”  Before Face could ask ­ or more likely, refuse to ask ­ Murdock explained.  “Eat a little.  I mean look at you, you little thing.  When was the last time you ate?”  At Face’s groan, Murdock leaned in and added coyly.  “I could make it worth your while.”

That grabbed Face’s attention.  “Oh?”

Murdock stepped closer.  “There’s a lot more I can do with oil than cook.”

Suddenly, the table full of fried food looked much more attractive.

“Ess gezunterhait, Facey.”

This time Face wanted a translation.

Murdock wrapped his arms wrapping around Face’s waist and whispered.  “Eat in good health.”

Face chuckled.  “Who’s layering on the schmaltz now?”

Murdock’s hands slipped a little lower, causing Face to jump.  “All in good time, my little boychick.  All in good time.”

The End


Holiday Schmaltz by Reckless

 

 


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