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This page last viewed: 2017-09-21 and has been viewed 1956 times
A Beautiful Lie
Summary: Face gets talked into helping Amy out. Inspired by the film The Wedding Date.
Disclaimer: I don't own the A Team and I've not made a penny from this; I just do it for the jazz!
"Okay, a quick stop before we get back on the road," Hannibal said, turning in his seat to look back at the team. BA pulled the van into a gas station, the first one they'd seen in a while. They'd been on the road a couple of hours now. This was a good opportunity to stretch their legs and get some refreshments.
An attendant approached the van, pointing to the gas pump.
"Yeah, fill it up, man," BA said, getting out of the van, stretching his arms up above his head, letting out a groan.
Face pulled the side door open as Amy shoved her notebook into her bag. She'd been busily writing up her notes on the Watkins brothers and her story for Barlow Creek. The story had turned out to be much more than a little town honouring their war heroes.
Amy picked up the heavy bag and followed Murdock out of the van. Face slid the side door shut.
"You were quiet back there," said Face, smiling at her.
"I got a bigger story than I bargained for," she replied. "I think I'll go to the restroom first." She pointed towards a sign she'd spotted. Face nodded and followed Murdock into the gas station's little store to buy their snacks.
When Amy arrived back at the van, she found Face already sitting in his seat reading a newspaper he'd bought in the store. Murdock was outside, hands in his pockets, singing or talking, or doing whatever he did. She smiled at him. She knew Hannibal and BA were still inside the store, paying for the fuel and getting their own refreshments, but she decided she'd get back to writing up her notes.
She climbed past Face into the back of the van.
"What's this?" Murdock picked a card up off the van floor, as he followed Amy.
Amy's eyes widened, but before she could snatch it out of his hand, he'd opened it to read it.
"A wedding invitation," Murdock said turning to Amy with an eyebrow raised. He sat down opposite Face.
"Murdock, please give me that." She tried reaching for it, but he raised his arm up so she couldn't grab the card.
"To Amy Allen and guest."
"Yeah, but I'm probably going to cancel."
"Why? Aren't weddings suppose to be fun? All that free food and drink. Great place to get a date." He was playfully grinning at her.
Amy rolled her eyes. "I just have a mountain of work waiting for me back at the office. Hanging out with you guys means my paperwork builds up. It doesn't get done on it's own." She frowned. "In fact, I have more work, because now I have a bigger story than planned to write up." She hoped she sounded convincing. She was trying to convince herself, not only Murdock, that she was too busy to go to this wedding. She glanced at Face; he seemed engrossed in his newspaper, and wasn't paying any attention to them. Amy leaned in closer and lowered her voice as she spoke quickly to Murdock. "And I'm just not sure I can face going on my own."
"Oh." Murdock's smile dropped. "You don't have an 'and guest' do you?"
Amy shook her head. "No, no, I'm too busy with work!"
Amy let out a sigh. "It's complicated. I am busy. But I just don't know if I can handle the 'why is a pretty girl like you still single,' speeches," she said tiredly, and snatched the wedding invitation from an unsuspecting Murdock. She lowered her voice again. "I don't exactly get to date much, with work and tagging along with you four, but I can't admit that, can I?"
"I'd go with you, Chica, but I doubt I'll get time out of the VA," Murdock winked.
"Murdock, that's sweet, but it's not really a case..."
"Face will do it, won't ya?" Murdock interrupted her, nudging Face.
"What?" Face looked up from behind the paper, frowning at Murdock.
"I said, you'd go with Amy."
"Huh? Go with Amy where?"
"Murdock," Amy spoke over him, pulling at his arm and shaking her head.
"This wedding. Pretend to be her boyfriend. So she doesn't get all those awkward and annoying questions, you know, like 'why aren't you married yet? You're working too hard at that office.' " Amy laughed at Murdock's high-pitched speech, his attempt at convincing Face. "'You need to find yourself a good man, not working night and day in that office.' " Murdock sounded exactly like an old lady by the end.
"But, er, Murdock, I'm not really sure..." Face stammered.
"Face, honestly, don't listen to Murdock. You really don't have to. I'll just say I'm not going. That things have come up at the office. That's what I was going to do, anyway." Amy nodded at him. "Murdock's just…"
"Go on, Faceman," Murdock cut in. "You'll charm the socks off the wedding guests." He grinned at Face.
"I don't know, Murdock." Face looked from Murdock to Amy, then back to Murdock, frowning. "When is it?"
"This weekend. I'm supposed to fly out Thursday."
"This weekend?" Face said, sounding surprised, fiddling with his tie. Amy nodded. "Fly?"
"It's in New York. That's where I went to college."
"Okay, that's fine, really, I suppose." Face frowned, scratching his head. "I had to find a new place to stay by this weekend, anyway. The apartment I was looking after…"
Murdock nudged Amy and they both rolled their eyes at Face.
"Yeah, right," Murdock mumbled over Face, interrupting him.
"The owners are back this weekend," Face insisted. "So I can't go back there now. I did have this little condo all lined up."
"So, you'll do it?" Murdock asked.
"Er," Face hesitated, once again glancing at Amy, then Murdock.
"All you got to do is pretend to be her boyfriend."
"Boyfriend?" Amy and Face said in unison, both glaring at Murdock.
"Well, if you want to avoid those awkward questions, Chica," Murdock said, eyebrow raised, ignoring the looks he was given. "Go on, Faceman, help out a lady in distress."
"Murdock, I'm not in distress!"
"Er, yeah, yes, okay, I'll do it." Face nodded.
"What? Really?" Amy said, surprised. Although, he still hadn't sounded sure. Amy definitely thought Face looked nervous. But Murdock grinned at her.
Face shrugged his shoulders. "So, who's getting married?"
"A second cousin of mine, but she's also an old college friend," Amy replied.
"Family?" Face sounded worried, his eyes widened. "Ah, maybe this isn't a good idea. Are your parents going?"
Amy giggled and shook her head. "No, you'll be okay, Face. None of my close family can make it."
"Ah, okay." Face ran his hand through his hair.
"Face, I'll pay for everything. You won't have to worry about a thing. You will be doing me a huge favour. I can't thank you enough already."
"Yeah, yeah," Face replied, noticing Hannibal and BA walking towards the van. He slid the van door shut and buried himself behind his newspaper, mumbling, "Why do I get the feeling I might regret this?"
"Face, you're just gonna be sweet-talking a few old ladies for a weekend; how hard can it be?" Murdock winked at Amy, and she nervously smiled as Hannibal and BA got in the van.
She pulled out her notebook. She had a lot of work to do - expenses to fill in, a story to write, flights to book and only three days to do it in.
"Everyone ready to move on?"
Amy waited just inside the main entrance at LAX, where she'd agreed to meet Face. She watched the taxis and cars stopping outside, unloading people and their luggage - but no Face. She looked at her watch again.
She'd been early, way too early and it was only five minutes past the time they'd agreed to meet. Face was never late. If he was late, he usually had a good excuse.
Or was he just good at making up an excuse?
Glancing at her watch again, she sighed. Of course the hands wouldn't have moved much. And it wasn't going to make Face arrive any quicker.
Would he just not show up? No, that wasn't Face. He'd be here.
What if he'd hooked up with a girl? A pretty girl. Would he do that to her?
Then a sickening feeling washed over her. What if Lynch was on his tail and he couldn't get here? Couldn't risk showing up, meeting her. Would he be okay? Did he need her help? She laughed that thought off, shaking her head; as if he'd need her help. So what about this damn wedding, then? She'd already confirmed she was going. Well, she'd done that some time ago. Could she cancel at the last minute, like she'd originally been planning?
Amy nervously observed another taxicab pull in. She breathed out with relief. A handsome man dressed in a beige three-piece suit emerged from the vehicle. Amy's heart beat that bit faster. Nerves; had to be nerves. But he looked good, she had to hand it to him. Who was she kidding? He always looked good. She was allowed to think that; she was human after all. He wasn't called Face without reason.
She watched the cabdriver get out and open the trunk, lifting out a small suitcase. Face shook the man's hand and she saw him pay him.
Does Hannibal even know we're going away together, on our own? Oh for Christ sake, it's totally innocent. Murdock knows. He's the one who suggested it!
He walked towards her, smiling. His smile. But it still didn't ease her nerves, the butterflies in her stomach. Three nights away with him, only him. Not the rest of the team. Would they pull it off? Would her friends and family believe them?
"Sorry, kid, got stuck in traffic, accident on the damn freeway."
"Oh, that's okay." She shrugged her shoulders, trying to relax herself. "Shall we check in?" Amy grabbed her case, and started to wheel it behind her.
"Here, let me." Face took it from her, then frowned as he felt the weight. His eyes widened as he glanced at her. "We're going for the weekend, right? Not the week?"
"I know, I know. I just couldn't think what to pack, and decided to pack for every eventuality."
Face rolled his eyes and pulled her case, carrying his own; a much smaller case she noticed.
They arrived at the check in desk and Amy got the tickets out of her purse, along with her ID. Face handed his over to the assistant, smiling, as usual. He doesn't even try to flirt; it just comes naturally, Amy thought, watching the assistant give him a smile back, definitely blushing, all fingers and thumbs. Amy found herself exasperated by the flustered woman. This wasn't going to work. No one is going to believe I'm with him, that he's my boyfriend, she thought. Especially if he flirts with every pretty girl we meet. In a minute, he'll ask her for her number, I can lay money on it.
But he didn't.
Gently he took her arm and spoke, "Amy, honey, why don't you go get us some coffee?" He looked at her, deadly serious and then a wink.
She frowned, puzzled. "Yeah, sure." And headed off towards the closest café. Now he's going to get her number.
Amy returned with two hot takeout cups of coffee. Her mind full of questions to ask Face. Maybe they needed to run through some do's and don'ts. Maybe he needed some reminders. He was sitting on a chair, close to where they'd checked in, patiently waiting for her. She never got to ask those questions, he had a smile on him as big as a Cheshire cat.
"How'd you like to fly to New York First Class?"
"What?" Amy's mouth fell open. "How'd you do that?"
He put his arm around her, she watched him glance at the pretty girl at the check-in desk, who smiled back. "I told her I had special plans for you, and this was just the start of it."
"Don't panic. I haven't done anything illegal, but if you've got a gift, kid, you've got to use it," he said, winking at her. "I made out that we're going away the weekend, which we are," he raised an eyebrow, "but I'm going to propose. A surprise. You don't have a clue. Asked if she'd make our weekend that bit more special by upgrading us."
"And she did?"
"Of course she did." He gave his irresistible smile.
"Just like that?"
"Just like that."
Amy shook her head. "Boy, you're really something, aren't you?"
"Ah, well, I did what any man would do." But his smile was much more confident than his modest words.
The seat belt sign had been turned off. The stewardess was making her rounds with the drinks. Face had insisted upon champagne for the two of them. Maybe he was taking his 'role' seriously. He'd been the perfect gentleman so far, and he didn't even need to convince anyone yet.
"So, what shall I call you?" Amy asked, putting down her glass on the little table in front of her. So much more room than coach. She felt a twinge of guilt that she hadn't just paid to go first class in the beginning, but her bank balance just wouldn't have allowed it.
"Huh?" Face looked at her as he sipped his drink.
She tucked her long brown hair behind her ears and turned to face him. "Well, I can't introduce you as Templeton Peck," she lowered her voice. "Some of my friends and family read my articles. 'Face' is out of the question, as well. So, what name should I use?"
Face nodded, putting down his champagne glass and reached into his pocket. He handed his wallet to Amy. She looked at him, frowning with confusion.
"Pick one. Choose a name you are comfortable with and that's who I'll be."
Amy pulled out the numerous business cards, thumbing through them, tucking them out of sight as the stewardess passed them. Face gave the stewardess one of his smiles. He's doing it again, Amy thought. She glanced back at the cards, concentrating on them. There had to be at least ten cards.
"Lance Ryans, Colton Larousse." Amy slowly read through the different names, keeping her voice low, shaking her head. "Jamie Kreibel, Talent Agent." She rolled her eyes, continuing to flick through the cards. She leant forward, reaching for her glass, and took a sip. She started to laugh but coughed, nearly choking on the champagne, unable to contain herself.
"Are you alright?" Face took the glass from her and placed it on the little table.
Amy nodded. Her eyes watered. Once she was able to talk again she chuckled, "Coffin Salesman? Geez, where'd you make this stuff up?" She tapped her chest with her hand, to clear her throat.
"Shhhh…" Face waved at her to keep it down.
"Sorry." Realising she'd been rather loud, she lowered her voice. "You just ask it, we've got the casket!" She giggled again, unable to contain herself.
"Ah, that one is actually real."
"What? Some company has that as their slogan, geez," Amy shook her head as Face smiled.
"Honestly, Face. When are you ever going to need that business card?" she giggled. "Okay, this is more you. Real estate." Once she'd looked through all the cards, she started, one by one, to put the cards back into the wallet. "I don't know, Face, they all seem so… false. What about the one you used to get on this plane? Samuel Twyford." That's the name he'd given her, when she'd booked the flights.
"Yes, that's the one," he pointed to the identification behind the plastic window in his wallet. "Sam Twyford."
"Samuel James Twyford." Amy curled her lip, as she found the business card to match the identification. "Tractor sales?"
"I need to have these things handy." He took the wallet from her and put the last of the business cards back in it. "You know Hannibal, always coming up with these far out plans and unusual requests."
"We'll go with Sam Twyford. I think I can handle calling you Sam. Samuel if you're naughty." She winked and he chuckled.
"Sam it is then."
"But you're not a tractor salesman."
"Amy, are you saying you wouldn't date a tractor salesman?"
Ignoring the comment, with a stern look in her eye, she continued, "Work for the paper or something. So it's realistic how I met you. It's not as if I get time to go out and meet someone from anywhere else."
Face ignored the cynical tone she'd taken. "Another reporter?"
"You could be in Advertising, working in one of the offices."
Face nodded. "How'd we meet?"
Amy shrugged her shoulders. "The cafeteria?"
"Ah, yes, I can see it now. I spotted you over the mashed potatoes and it was love at first sight."
Amy playfully pushed his arm.
"Okay, how about we met on someone's farewell bash. Bill Jackson left a couple of months ago. He retired. We could use that."
Face winked. "Okay, we met at Bill Jackson's retirement party."
Amy reached for her purse, getting out a notebook. "Do you need me to make notes about this?"
"Kid, it's all up here." Face tapped at his temple. "Trust me."
She put the notebook back in her bag, glancing at Face. He was watching her. This was definitely going to be an interesting weekend. They'd rarely spent any time on their own together; usually the others were close at hand. Usually all he did was tease her. She felt he never had much to say to her, unless he had to. Butterflies again. Would she be okay with Face for a whole weekend? Would they get on, or hate each other after this?
"So what does your father do?"
"What?" Amy turned to him, frowning.
"And your mother? Where do they live?" Face asked, as the stewardess arrived with their in-flight meal. Amy smiled at the stewardess as she placed trays on her table and then on Face's.
"Why do you want to know about my family?" Amy looked up from her miniature food, returning her attention to Face.
"Well, have I met them or not? We need to decide." He raised an eyebrow.
"Oh, God. I didn't think of that." Amy sighed, resting her head back on her chair. Maybe he is taking this seriously. She turned back, meeting his gaze. He was waiting, patiently. She shook her head. "Is it easier if you haven't met them?"
"Probably. Not really a lie then, is it?"
Amy nodded, preferring to keep this fabrication to a minimum.
"But I might need some background about your family. I mean, it's not like you wouldn't have talked to me about them."
Amy rolled her eyes. Face really was paying attention to the little details she hadn't even thought of. "Okay, I'll fill you in."
Their taxi pulled up outside the Carrington Hotel. Five stars. As they got out of their cab, the doorman greeted them and called for a porter. Face held out his hand, to gesture Amy to go first, playing the perfect gentleman. Nothing unusual there though, Face usually was a gentleman around the ladies, even Amy. They walked through the large revolving glass doors, following the porter and their luggage into the hotel with its tall ceilings, grand architecture and large sculptures.
Amy's stomach churned. This is it. We now need to start pretending. Lying. As she walked across the lobby, towards the reception desk, she glanced around, trying to see if there was anyone she'd recognise. There wasn't. Her heart felt a little lighter.
"Miss Allen. Part of the Stone's wedding party," she said, reaching the reception desk.
"I'm sorry, Miss Allen. Your room isn't quite ready yet. Please accept our apologies, we had some problems this morning and housekeeping is just catching up," the pretty receptionist said with a professional smile, looking up from her computer screen. "Why don't you go through," she pointed, "to our lounge and have a complimentary drink? I'll arrange for your luggage to be taken to your room once it is ready." The receptionist ushered for a bellboy to secure their luggage. "If there is anything else you may need, please see our concierge, who will be more than happy to help you."
Amy slowly nodded, mumbling a thank you. Her nerves were getting the better of her.
Face frowned at Amy. "Thank you," he said to the receptionist and took Amy's arm to lead her through to the lounge.
"No, Face." Amy put her arm across him to stop him entering the room. "I can't do it."
"Of course you can do it."
"No, I can't. This is ridiculous. I can't do it. No one will believe it," Amy replied, trying to keep her voice low. "Let's just get back on a plane to LA."
"Are you saying I'm not a good con artist?"
She shook her head. "Face, I don't doubt you can charm the spots off cheetahs," Amy nervously fiddled with an earring and looked him in the eye. Her voice lowered. "I just don't think they'll believe I'm dating a guy like you."
Face chuckled and wrapped his arm firmly around her waist to pull her closer. "Of course they will."
"It's a big lie we are trying to pull off, and just so I can save face," Amy whispered, very aware of how close she was to him, and feeling very awkward. Probably for effect if anyone did spot them, she thought. Boy, he's good. She nervously put her arm around his waist. "I can't believe Murdock talked me into this."
"Look, at first I wasn't too sure about this either, but Murdock's right. We can pull this off. Hey, it might even be fun."
"But it's foolish," Amy replied. "More on my part than anything. I'm lying to my friends and family."
"Amy, I'm in it for the long con."
"The long con?"
"Yeah. Look we can discuss the details later." Face loosened his grip around her waist.
"The beauty of this con is we're not doing anything illegal," Face said with a smile. Amy rolled her eyes. "And you never know - it might give us some material we can work with. We can use this to practise our roles."
Amy quietly chuckled. "You mean ditch the brother/sister angle?"
"Well the brother/sister angle isn't always appropriate."
Amy's smile dropped and she looked him in the eye, nerves returning. "Face, I'm still really not sure about this."
She could see Face was about to argue, but he caught something out of the corner of his eye, and pulled Amy a little closer, whispering into her ear. "Too late, kid."
"Amy! Honey, so glad you could make it. Was the flight all right?" An older woman, in her early fifties, grabbed Amy and gave her a hug, kissing her cheek when she released her. "And this must be your handsome boyfriend you haven't told us enough about."
"Oh, I am so sorry about Aunt Grace." Amy sighed as Face opened the door to their room, holding it so that Amy could enter the room first. "She's really just a friend of the family; somewhere along the way she became an 'aunt'."
Grace had been their first encounter with 'family', and Amy had been surprised how well Face had just fallen into his role. He'd kept his arm around her, giving her a gentle squeeze. Grace had been impressed, beaming away at him, occasionally cupping his cheek. How embarrassing! Was Face even used to family encounters with his usual array of girlfriends? She doubted it.
"Oh, she was fun."
Face followed her in and walked around the large luxurious room, taking in its rich colours and lavish décor. The luggage had already been delivered, as promised by the receptionist.
"Did you say the bride's father paid for the hotel room?" Face raised an eyebrow. "You're going to have to introduce me to more of your rich friends some day." Face looked around the large room, acquainting himself with every detail, and finding the mini-bar.
"Actually, they're kind of family, remember?"
"So you've got a rich family, and didn't think to tell us," he teased. He pulled a small bottle from the bar and offered it to Amy, who shook her head. He put the bottle back.
"Not on my side of the family. Susan's father is a rich man, yes. But I won't be seeing any of his money. Susan's mother is my mother's cousin, only making us second cousins." She frowned at him. "And don't think you're going to go around conning him out of some of it either. Please promise me that, Face." Her eyes fixed on him sternly.
"Amy, honey, the only con I'm going to run is the one about you and me." Face put his arm around her. "And besides, is that what you think of me? I don't steal money."
"No, you 'borrow' it," Amy replied sarcastically.
"Amy! I just sometimes get backers for ventures and they get a good turnaround, usually."
Amy rolled her eyes. "Face, please, no ideas."
"You didn't even have to say anything. I wouldn't dream of it."
As Amy removed her jacket, she glanced at the bed and frowned. She hadn't thought about sleeping arrangements.
"Look, I'm sorry about the double bed." Amy pointed to the large four poster bed. It was huge - a California King. "I didn't think about it, when I confirmed. You can take it; I'll have the chaise lounge," pointing to the long couch that sat in front of the window.
"Kid, you can take the bed. I'll sleep on the couch."
"No, I insist. I dragged you out here. It's the least I can do."
Face chuckled. "I've slept in much worse places than a couch in a five star hotel. Usually I only moan about the sleeping arrangements because otherwise Hannibal would always have us sleeping in the van or under the stars. Occasionally, it is nice to get a bed."
Amy smiled and started to lift her bag.
"Here, let me help you." Face took hold of the bag and lifted it onto the case stand beside the closet.
"Face, you can drop the act now."
"What?" He looked at her frowning.
"Being so nice. We're on our own."
"Don't you like me being nice?"
"It's not that I don't like it. It just feels like you're working on me, like you want me to do something, a con."
"Well we are, aren't we?" he laughed.
"You know what I mean. You usually treat me like one of the guys, and I accept that. I like that. This just feels like you are after something." She raised an eyebrow.
"Can't I be nice to you for a change?"
Amy shrugged her shoulders. Face was always a perfect gentleman, opening doors, that kind of thing, but he always teased her, never quite treated her in a way he'd treat one of his girlfriends or even the female clients. It was hard to put her finger on it, but he didn't treat her any different than Murdock, Hannibal or BA. He didn't give her special treatment; which she was more than happy with.
"Amy, if I was like this with you, with Hannibal around, or Murdock or BA for that matter, what do you think they'd be thinking, huh? Knowing my reputation?" He tilted his head, raising an eyebrow. "They'd be putting two and two together and making five."
"True," Amy smirked. "Didn't I hear Hannibal once say something about a ten-mile run with a full pack?"
"Twenty! A twenty-mile run with a full pack. You're cute, Kid, but you're not worth it."
Amy chuckled. "Oh, as if I'd let you! I don't want to get kicked off the team, remember? Works both ways, Face."
"I know." Face nodded. "I just have to watch how I am around you; otherwise they'd jump to conclusions. Let me be nice to you, for a change. You're a good friend, Amy. I wouldn't do anything to ruin that." He winked at her. "I promise, I'm not up to anything."
Amy nodded. "Okay, okay. Well, if you don't mind, after I've finished unpacking, I'm going to get in the shower as we are going out tonight. You're going out with the boys." Face looked at her with surprise. "Sorry," she cringed, "I'm going out with the girls."
"You don't need to apologise. It'll be good to meet the groom and the best man."
Amy's expression dropped, and she busied herself, continuing to unpack her case. "Yeah, yeah, it will."
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