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A White Lie

Part 2 In The 'A Beautiful Lie' Series

A White Lie
by Billy

Summary: Amy tries to help Face as he comes to terms with his past. Set just after The Only Church In Town. Sequel to A Beautiful Lie

Ratings: PG-13

Disclaimer: I don't own the A Team and I've not made a penny from this; I just do it for the jazz!

Copyright: May 2008

Words: 6,168

~~~

Chapter 1

Amy closed her journal, tucked it into her bag and sat up on the lounge chair she'd been sunbathing on. Okay, so it was going to take a lot longer by boat to get back to LA, but she needed the holiday, and this 'boat', as BA had put it, turned out to be a cruise liner. Not the most luxurious, but it would do. It was on its way back up the South American coast, stopping next at Mexico then Los Angeles.

Trying to explain her absence to Eldridge was interesting, but he'd bought it. And bought the idea she was taking a vacation. As long as her office promptly received the story of the outlaws hiding at the Santa Maria's orphanage, and the A-Team coming to its rescue, her editor would be happy.

Once they'd got to the port, BA admitted, that the trading of the car hadn't quite covered the bill. It had been more like a deposit. As Face had insisted he be considered as the client, as he'd dragged them down to Ecuador, BA figured he could pay the rest. Face had instantly complained, and there had been some irate words swapped between Face and BA, but Face had quickly conceded, reluctantly agreeing. BA looked surprised at the lack of battle but Face seemed too wrapped up in his own world to want to argue the fact. Wanted the easy way out, by the looks of it. Arguing with BA was like head butting a brick wall at times. And maybe Face had resigned himself to the fact, as if his heart wasn't in it to scam a plane. So Amy had insisted she'd pay her own way, and produced her credit card. It hadn't seemed right to make Face pay, especially as she'd convinced herself she needed a vacation.

"Murdock, where's Face?" Amy asked, joining him at the rail where he was watching the ocean.

"He's there," Murdock replied, pointing.

Amy nodded, spotting Face a deck below further along the ship, leaning against a rail looking out to the ocean around them. Since the ship had left port three days ago, Face had put some distance between himself and the rest of the team. He wasn't his flamboyant confident self, not flirting with any pretty girl that gave him attention. No, he certainly didn't seem himself, and didn't seem to be getting any better either. His facade had been fading. He was hurting. Thinking too much about Leslie. Dwelling on the past, maybe?

After they'd left the orphanage, Face saying his good-byes to Leslie, she'd noticed how quiet he'd been on the way to the port. Amy had chosen to leave him, wait for an opportunity before trying to talk to him. Since then she'd watched him, not mentioning it to the guys, although she knew they too had noticed Face's behaviour. She hoped now might be the right time. It seemed none of the guys were going to try to talk to him. Men and their ways. And maybe, with their weekend away nearly a month ago, he might be receptive to her. On a boat this size, it was easier for them to have space from the rest of the team. So, would he let her in?

"I might try to talk to him, see if I can get him to open up."

"Do you think he will? Face likes to keep things close to the vest."

"I don't know, maybe. He started telling me about Leslie," Amy replied. "Look, do me a favour. Make sure Hannibal or BA doesn't come looking for us. And don't you, either."

Murdock raised an eyebrow.

"If he does start to open up, I don't want him to then clam up because of one of you interrupting us."

"I don't know, Amy. Maybe I should go talk to him?" Murdock stood away from the rail, as if ready to walk off.

"No, no, I think it's best if I do. This isn't something guys talk about. And he started opening up on the plane down here. Just try to give me an hour or so, okay? We'll meet you guys at dinner."

Murdock frowned, glancing at Face below. Finally he nodded. "Okay, okay, you could be right. A little heart to heart, huh?"

"Thanks, Murdock." Amy gently patted his arm and left him, heading towards Face on the outer deck below.

As Amy approached, she watched two pretty girls in swimsuits pass by him. One was certainly offering him an invite, but he just smiled at her and then went back to leaning against the rail. Boy, he has got it bad. Any other day, he'd have been following that blonde bombshell. The woman had looked a little disappointed to Amy, but had waved a hopeful goodbye to him all the same.

"Well, Face, I never thought I'd see that," Amy teased as she got closer to him. "She was practically offering herself to you on a plate."

"Ah, her? Nah," Face waved it off. "Besides, I doubt I'd make great company at the moment."

Amy nodded. "Look, you can tell me to go away, but I thought you might want to talk." He glanced at her as she stood next to him, so she gave him a smile. He gave a weak smile back, and then went back to staring out at the ocean, in his own world. She leaned on the rail, looking out towards the ocean, too.

"Did you get to say goodbye to Leslie?"

No answer.

"Did you get to say everything you wanted to say?"

"Amy, you've got your story. What more is there to say?" Face snapped bitterly, glancing at her coldly. "I'm not giving you any more information about Leslie and me."

"Face!" Amy said, astounded, her eyes wide. "I didn't come here to get more details for the story." Her tone was sharp as she met his eyes. "I have to go back to my editor with a story. You have to understand that. But I'm not going to mention a thing about your relationship with Leslie. I won't even mention her name. If I have to use a name, it will be as Sister Teresa. There won't even be a hint that you were romantically involved with this woman. I've already penned it as just another case for the A-Team, another call for help, nothing more."

Amy angrily turned away from him. That hurt, really hurt. He doesn't trust me, she thought.

When she turned back to look at him, he was staring at her.

"Is that what you think of me? I'm your friend." She placed a hand on his arm, trying to reassure him and then removed it. It reminded her of his physical strength; she hadn't felt his touch for a few weeks now. "You can trust me."

"I'm sorry," he said, looking down into the water below. "I shouldn't have said that. I know you won't write anything like that." She could see the tension in his face. His unhappiness. He was finding it hard to hide behind his usual charm and persona.

"You helped me a few weeks back at the wedding, with Jeremy and everything. I don't know what I would have done without you. I want to return the favour." She moved in closer, her voice low. She placed her hand back on his arm. "Let me in, Face. Talk to me."

Still silence from him, so she decided to continue.

"It hurts doesn't it? Having faced her again. The past being brought back up, reminding you. Bringing the pain to the surface again."

Face nodded. Still not catching her eye.

"She's a very courageous woman. She's everything you said she was. I can see why you loved her."

He still wouldn't look at her, just stared out at the ocean.

"Why didn't you tell me the truth in New York? I asked if you'd ever loved before, and you'd said no."

"I'd put it behind me, long ago, to forget it all."

"But all that stuff you said, I just thought... But you were actually talking from experience." She still held her hand on his arm, gently rubbing it. Unable to tear herself away, touching him, but unable to be braver, to try to hug him. "At least you know the truth. She didn't really run off with another man."

"And what good does that do me now? It's too late!" he snapped. She quickly removed her hand from his tensed arm as he turned to face her. He ran a hand through his hair, his expression remaining tense, scowling.

She tried meeting his eye, searching for answers. Too late for what? Then she realised. Had he joined the army to escape his pain, and now a fugitive on the run, there was nothing he could change about that?

"Face, you're a good man. You do a lot of good things. You should be proud of yourself." She realised, they were standing closer now, both had edged forward, towards one another, but neither touching.

She turned so that her back leaned against the rail. She felt the sun's warmth on her face and could feel the presence of Face next to her. Face still watched the ocean, but this way he could glance at her, catch her eye, as she intended. But out of the corner of her eye, she spied Murdock, still on the deck above, watching them. She glared at him, making sure he knew she wasn't happy. Damn him. Face spots him and it's all over. She'd never get him to open up. She kept her anger in check and took Face's arm.

"Shall we go for a walk?"

"Er, yeah, sure," Face replied, hesitantly walking with her.

She hoped she was helping. He seemed to at least be allowing her to stay with him. She hated the thought of him hurting. Geez, Amy, get a grip, she told herself. This is Face; he'll be over this in another day or so.

As they walked to the back of the ship, away from Murdock's prying eyes, past bathers and meanders like themselves, Face slowly started to relax in Amy's company. At first, Amy was doing most of the talking, but they were soon chatting and laughing, about nothing really. BA waking from his drugged state to find them all on top of him. Murdock in his habit. The silly things that somehow the team seemed to get away with.

"Has Courtney asked about that date with Murdock?" Face asked, chuckling.

Amy pinched him. "No, luckily. You know that guy she was dragging around the dance floor at the end?"

Face raised an eyebrow.

"Yeah, well, she hooked up with him. She's still seeing him. So you're off the hook." She nudged him. Face laughed again. "But if it ends, we might need Murdock."

"What about us? What have you told them?"

Amy glanced away, out to sea.

"Amy?"

"I haven't said anything. I can't bring myself to end it. I'll only get sympathy that I don't deserve. And I can't quite think how I want to end the lie. So I try not to say much, and if asked, I give a very quick answer and change the subject." When it came to the crunch, then she'd deal with that lie, but for the time being, while she was getting away with it, she liked her friends and family believing she was happy with Sam.

Face nodded.

They stood silently for a while, watching the wake of the ship, the white surf creating a large V behind them. It was noisier with the water breaking, and windier, but there were fewer people about, giving them more privacy. Amy knew Face needed this privacy, this solace place.

"You know, that weekend... the wedding, and everything." Amy leaned heavily against the rail. "I know it was all one big lie, but I..." dare she say it? "I miss it. We had fun."

He leaned too, placing his hand next to hers, so that it was touching hers. So subtle, as if not even meant. She missed his touch. She missed a lot of things about that weekend. It seemed so long ago now. But she at least thought they'd become closer friends.

"I've missed you," she whispered softly, not able to meet his eye. Part of her hoped that he didn't hear her confession.

Face smiled, gently brushing her hair off of her face. "I've missed it, too," he said softly. He brought his forehead to hers, their noses almost touching.

Her heart pounded inside of her chest. She closed her eyes for a moment. She so desperately wanted to feel his kiss, but knew it shouldn't, mustn't happen. She wanted friendship because that's what he wanted, too. He needs to know he can trust me. Start becoming needy, he'll run so far, friends will be the farthest thing from his mind.

"I said we'd meet the others for dinner. Are you ready to go?" she asked, reluctantly pulling away from his hold.

He nodded and they made their way to the dining hall.

~~~


Chapter 2

"Hey, where you off to?" Murdock said, watching Face check his hair in the mirror and straighten his shirt.

"I met this beautiful blonde, April; said I'd take a moonlit stroll with her." Face winked. "Don't wait up."

Murdock rolled his eyes, lying down on his bed, mumbling something about "how does he do it?"

Face ignored his mutterings and continued attending to his appearance, which was more for Murdock's benefit than anything. At least he gets the cabin to himself, Face thought. He can't actually complain. The cabin wasn't exactly the largest room they'd ever shared.

"Well, it's good to see you back to your old self. I was getting worried about you, Faceman."

Face nervously smiled. Talking to Amy today, well, she'd talked more than some sense into him. But he could never confess that. Just sharing that small window of time with her had... helped.

Tonight he needed out of this cabin. He couldn't stand another night staring at the ceiling waiting for sleep that wouldn't come. Just Leslie's face. Going over old conversations, old feelings. The past. The last couple of nights had been restless. Tonight he wanted...

"Some day, Faceman, you really are going to have to teach me that trick."

"What trick?" Face frowned with confusion, mentally shaking himself out of his reverie.

"Oh, the how to pull a hot date, wherever we are and however bad we look?" He tugged at his t-shirt. They were all lacking on clothes having packed for a couple of days, and ended up being stuck on a boat for nearly a week.

"Murdock, it's not that hard. We're on a ship, full of pretty young girls on vacation." Face smirked. "But I promise to put it in my book."

Murdock smiled and nodded back as Face walked out of the tiny cabin and into the narrow corridor.

His heart quickened. Guilt more than anything. He was about to do something, if allowed, that technically wasn't right. He'd done it before, but well, this time was different. It felt different. This time he was doing the asking, opening himself up. Would it make him look... weak? Would she ask questions? No, that's why, for tonight, she was perfect.

One last time, he promised himself; they won't do it again. He just wanted, needed this. But would Hannibal understand his need? Did the team need to know? No, they wouldn't understand. And it won't affect the team.

He started to walk along the corridor. He knew where he wanted to go, and he needed to get there fast and unseen by...

"Face! Little late isn't it?" Hannibal said, walking around the corner.

"Promised a moonlit stroll with a pretty blonde. You know me, Hannibal. Like to help a damsel in distress."

"Face, wait," Hannibal said, hesitantly, giving a concerned frown.

"What?" Face felt his heart pound inside his chest. Don't stop me, I need this. He almost sighed with relief when he watched Hannibal shake his head.

"Nothing. Have fun, Lieutenant." Hannibal chuckled and carried on walking towards his cabin, calling out, "I suppose we are on a vacation."

Relaxing, Face glanced over his shoulder; the corridor was clear. He walked around the corner and down the next corridor, quickly finding the cabin number he was looking for.

But what if she refused him? Damn, he hadn't thought of that. And using the old 'Faceman' charm wouldn't be appropriate. It would imply something else. Something that... no, no, he didn't want that.

But he won't know if he doesn't ask. He just didn't want her to feel like she had to do it out of... obligation.

He gave the corridor another glance before knocking.

"Who is it?"

"Face."

A moment later, although it felt like an age, she opened the door, and he quickly stepped inside, not waiting for the invitation. He'd go if she didn't want him there, but he just didn't need to be standing out in the corridor. Only when he got into the cabin did he realise she was wearing only a bed sheet.

He couldn't look her in the eye. Shit, was he doing the right thing, opening himself up like this?

~~~

The knock at the door gave Amy a start.

"Who is it?" she said, closing her journal, placing it in a little cubbyhole near her bed.

"Face," was the answer from behind the door. Shit. She had her underwear and pyjamas hand washed and hung in the little excuse for a bathroom. She hurriedly wrapped one of the bed sheets around her and shuffled to the door. As she opened it, Face stepped in. Obviously he didn't want to be seen as he closed the door quickly. He looked nervous, a hand sweeping through his hair, barely any eye contact.

"Face?" she questioned, pulling the sheets tighter around her.

"Er," he hesitated, nervously glancing at her. "Sorry. Look, you can tell me to go away but..."

"What is it?" She searched his eyes, they wouldn't always meet hers. Had something happened? This had to be urgent for him to be calling upon her this late at night.

"Er... Oh boy," he hesitated again, not his usual confident self. "This is going to sound crazy."

"Try me." She tried not to sound impatient, but she was concerned. She was standing in this small cabin with only a bed sheet wrapped around her, with Face right there. If she wasn't blushing with embarrassment she'd be surprised. The tiny room was warm enough as it was. Whatever it was, she wanted him to spit it out. His behaviour was making her worry.

"I, I," he paced in the limited space that he had; she watched his hand go through his hair. It either showed his nerves or his confidence; this time it was nerves, she was certain of it. Then his gaze met hers, "I," then he paced again, finally meeting her eye. "I didn't want to sleep alone tonight."

"Oh." Amy blushed. Now it's definitely hot in here. With no makeup, her cheeks were probably shining pink.

"Sleep," Face stuttered, "I just want to sleep, here, with you, not you know..."

"Ah." She nodded and glanced over at her bed, the sheets pulled back from where she'd been sitting on it, then back at Face. "Er, it's not really as large as the bed at the..." she'd got the state room, but the bed really was a poor excuse for a double bed. It would sleep two, very closely, with not much room for mobility and it lay against the wall, in the corner of the cabin, making it look, feel, even smaller.

"You're right. It was a stupid idea. I'll go back to my cabin."

"No, wait. Face." She grabbed his arm, stopping him from turning the door handle. Her other hand clutched at the sheet. "I don't mind. If you want to stay, then stay. Really."

He stopped, met her eye and nodded.

"You're sure?"

"Yes, I'm sure. I was just finishing up some notes in my journal, then I was going to bed. I'll just go put something on." He smirked, giving her a look up and down, as if he'd just noticed. She playfully scowled at him, that would have been the first thing he'd noticed, and she knew it. "Get yourself into bed, I'll be out in a minute."

"Ah, yeah, yeah," he replied, still sounding nervous. He stood there, as if waiting for her to get in the bathroom before he'd get undressed. She realised it had taken him a lot of courage to be here, to ask.

Grabbing a small bag that was on the floor she hurried into the tiny excuse for a bathroom and rummaged through the bag. Shit. She didn't have any clothes that would be comfortable enough for bed and her pyjamas were still too damp, as she tested all the garments hanging in the bathroom.

It was no use, she actually didn't have anything to wear, apart from the sheet. She decided to wrap it around her a couple of times to give her more cover. She'd just have to sleep wrapped in this all night.

She walked out of the bathroom to find Face already laying in bed, under the bed sheets that remained. His clothes neatly piled out of the way, at the foot of the bed.

Amy hesitated, edging towards the bed, "I, I don't actually have anything to wear. I've kind of did some washing tonight and well, the clothes I have for tomorrow, aren't really what I want to wear in bed. I think I might have to hit my credit card tomorrow in the ship's boutiques. Probably pay through the roof, but I don't seem to have enough clothes to last me a week."

"Yeah, I know what you mean," Face agreed, this his expression sobered. "Look, Amy, if you don't want to do this..."

"I'm fine with it, honest." She tried to give him a reassuring smile and hide her nerves. How did she tell him she wasn't doing this out of obligation, but because she wanted to?

He pulled back the sheets for Amy to get into bed. He wore only his boxer shorts. Her heart started to beat faster again, as he laid out his arm as she got into the bed, laying herself beside him. This felt different. Last time, they'd been forced to share a room, share a bed. And only on the last night had they truly slept together. This was different. He'd purposely knocked on her door.

Keeping hold of the one sheet that was wrapped around her, she rested her head on his shoulder. His arm came around to hold her, while the other found one of her hands to hold. He linked his fingers through hers and let out a deep sigh.

She was lying naked, only a sheet separated them. This really looked more than it was. Didn't it? And if Hannibal knocked on that door, she was screwed, Amy thought.

"What did you tell Murdock?" she whispered. She tried to relax her body, conscious she was tense, nervous, laying next to him again. The heat of his body next to hers.

"That I was taking a moonlit stroll with that blonde."

Amy smiled. Finally she spoke again, breaking the silence. "I managed to get my story over to Eldridge today. It's in my journal, if you want to read it."

He rubbed the back of her hand with his thumb. "Nah, I'm sure it's fine." He let go of her hand, reached up to the lamp on the wall above their heads, and pulled the cord. The lamp went out, putting the cabin into complete darkness. She felt his hand hold hers again, linking fingers. After a while, Amy's eyes adjusted with the trickle of light from the corridor, leaking in through the gaps in the door, allowing her to see around the cabin, and Face.

Letting her breathing fall in time with his, she felt comforted in Face's hold, though this was for him, this time. Not her. But she knew she'd missed it. A tiny part of her had longed for it again and couldn't help wonder if it was really happening. And he'd come to her for comfort, not the blonde. That was a good thing, right?

~~~

Chapter 3

Face let out a sleepy groan, coming to his senses. He smiled, knowing a woman was wrapped in his arms. He pulled her in tighter, stroked a hand down her back. The woman sleepily sighed to his touch. Then the realisation hit him - Amy. He stopped, jerking his hand from her body, like she was fire and he'd just got burned.
He didn't regret one minute being here, but he knew he had to leave. Gently he slid out the arm that lay beneath her. He sat up and watched her for a moment, sleeping peacefully. The sheet she'd been wearing had slipped down revealing most of her back. Bare, beautiful, sexy... He could just lay back down, and stroke, kiss... Stop thinking like that, Face, you'll get yourself into trouble. She trusts you. She lets you come into her bed with no expectations, no promises. And she lets you leave, nothing said. Don't screw this up. She's a friend.

He slipped back the sheets and slowly slid down to the end, his back against the wall. As he hurried to get dressed he kept glancing at her, especially if she sighed or moved the slightest bit. He wasn't sure if he still wanted to be here when she awoke. Part of him thought it better, safer, if he wasn't.

About to leave, his belongings gathered, no evidence remaining, he walked over to the bed. He gently brushed her hair off her face. As she turned with the touch, he quickly removed his hand, afraid he'd awakened her and made his way for the door. A quick glance at Amy, then one out into the corridor before walking out of the cabin, quietly closing the door behind him.

He quickly strode away from her cabin, wanting distance between them. Hoping any guilt he was carrying he was hiding; not that he had anything to be guilty about. But would Hannibal understand?

Nothing happened. We just slept. No. Hannibal wouldn't understand. Probably wouldn't believe him either.

In his wanderings, Face decided he wouldn't go back to his cabin yet. Too early, yet late enough he could have breakfast. Yeah, he'd go get some breakfast. Start of a new day and he was already burying Leslie back deep into his heart. But it felt better, less painful, now he knew the truth about her. And knew where she was in the world. Safe. It gave him some resolution.

~~~

Amy sighed as she stretched, suddenly realising she had the bed to herself. Self-consciously she pulled the sheets up around her, as a precaution, but looking around, she saw Face was gone. All evidence that he'd been in the room removed.

It almost felt unreal; a dream. But she felt the pillow next to her. Still flattened where his head had laid. She lay there. Thinking. Why did he leave? Was he afraid it would be awkward? Or afraid that something could happen, if they awoke in each other's arms? Or maybe to look more realistic, that he'd been with the blonde like he'd said, he needed to go back to his cabin?

But that meant they were...

Of course they had to hide this. Hannibal wouldn't understand. Who's to say if he'd approve, but he certainly wouldn't let her stay on the team. Although she hated the thought of keeping something from Hannibal, at the same time this was Face's privacy too. Nothing happened between them. There's nothing to tell. She was comforting a friend. Returning a favour. That's all.

Hopefully it had worked.

~~~

 

Amy made her way over to the table where Hannibal, BA and Murdock were already seated and digging into their breakfast.

"Where's Face?" she asked, hoping it sounded totally natural to ask the question. Which it did - stop being so damn paranoid. She sat down between Murdock and BA, opposite Hannibal.

"Hot date with a blonde," Murdock replied, finishing his mouthful. He picked up his coffee cup and took a sip. "Probably back at the cabin actually catching up on some sleep, if you know..."

"Murdock!" Amy held her hand up to stop him. "I know exactly what you mean."

"What about you, kid. Did you sleep well?" Hannibal said, looking up at her.

"Yeah, yeah, why?" He knows. He knows.

"Don't look so worried, kid. Just those rooms are hot and stuffy..."

"Oh." Amy sighed, instantly relaxing. "Ah, yes, the cabin is pretty hot, but I was fine. Managed to get my story over to my editor, so at least I can relax and make the most of the rest of this boat trip. I want to go to the store later though, see what they've got in clothes. I think I need a slightly bigger wardrobe."

Hannibal chuckled. "Women! Even in the middle of the ocean, they need to shop."

Amy smiled. "So what are you guys up to today?"

"There's a games room. I'm going beat BA here, at a game of table tennis." Murdock grinned.

"Like to see you try, sucker." BA growled playfully.

Amy watched Hannibal shake his head. "What about you, Hannibal? What are you going to do to unwind? We all might as well make the most of this week off."

"Can you recommend a good book?" His eyes flickered with the jazz as he grinned at her. Amy rolled her eyes. That man would never relax.

~~~

After breakfast, Amy let the guys go off. The games room, wherever that was on the ship, was just about to get very noisy. She wondered how long it would take BA to start growling at Murdock, balls thrown or bats snapped.

She'd grabbed some coffee, telling all of them she was going to find Face, make sure he was okay. So she wasn't hiding anything there. Completely normal. Hannibal would accept she'd look for Face. He'd seen how she'd talked to him on the plane. Nothing to worry about. She really needed to lose the paranoia.

She found the cabin. It was just along the next corridor from her own, buried in the depths of the ship.

She hesitated. Face had... shown a different side to him last night. Something most of his women probably never see. Was she doing the right thing coming here? Only one way to find out. She wanted him to know things were good between them.

She knocked and shortly after, she heard a reply.

"It's open."

"Mind if I come in?" Amy asked, opening the door, and poking her head in. She held out the two cups of coffee. Face was laying on his bed, hands behind his head. His hair damp, combed back, as if he'd just showered.

"Er... yeah, sure." Face finally nodded and sat up as she entered the cabin. Was he tired? Had he slept badly last night? If so, she hadn't noticed. She'd been so tired she'd slept like a log, despite her nerves with Face in her bed.

She handed him the coffee cup and sat on the bed opposite. All neatly made, and a stuffed teddy sat on the pillow at the top of the bed. She subtly smirked. Where'd Murdock find that?

"The guys have gone to the games room. Murdock's challenged BA to a game of table tennis." She was rambling and she knew it. She took a deep breath. "Thought I'd see how you were... You did sleep okay last night?"

"Yeah, yeah. You?"

"Yes, fine. I was just worried when you weren't there this morning."

"I woke early, and thought maybe it was best if I left..."

She nodded. "Will you be knocking tonight?" She nervously giggled, trying to make a joke of it. "Just so I know. To make sure I'm appropriately dressed this time." She hoped her embarrassment was hidden but she realised she was looking at the floor a lot. Red carpet, swirled patterns. Not much eye contact between the two of them. Had to change that.

"No, no, er... I don't think that would be a good idea. Do you?"

"Hannibal?" She looked him in the eye, raising an eyebrow.

"Well, you know that twenty-mile hike I was talking about?"

"Yeah, well and I don't want to get kicked off the team," Amy joked.

Face anxiously chuckled. "I left early because I didn't want to disturb you. I decided to just head over to the restaurant for breakfast. Thought that would be best."

"Probably right."

"They wouldn't understand, Amy."

"I know."

"Look how easily they accepted me going off with some blonde." He ran a finger around his collar, like he was hot. "They'd just think..."

She nodded, watching Face comb his hand through his hair and sigh. He looked up, met her gaze.

"They're already starting to bounce off the walls with boredom. Murdock had covered the whole ship by the end of the first day. BA's fingers must be getting twitchy by now, with nothing to fix, make, grease or clean. If he goes missing, we'll know where he'll be, the God damn engine room!" Amy giggled as Face spoke, an aggrieved edge to his tone. "He'll be wishing by the end of this boat trip, that we'd knocked him out and dragged him on a damn plane. And Hannibal!" Face's eyes widened, "Hannibal..."

Amy laughed loudly now, placing the plastic lid back on her coffee, afraid of spilling it. Face smirked, watching her laugh.

"Face, it's not your fault. BA was the one who insisted he wanted to travel by boat."

Face calmed his voice. "They just don't know how to relax. They won't be able to grab a chair and read a book or something, like you and I can do." He drank his coffee and nodded. "Good coffee by the way."

He was right; the three of them would start getting bored soon, once they'd done everything there was on this boat to entertain them. They weren't the sort of guys to laze around. That wasn't their kind of relaxing. Blowing things up, that's how they relaxed. God, she hoped that didn't happen.

There was silence for a moment, as they both drank their coffee, each in their own thoughts.

"So, you're okay?" Amy asked, hesitantly, looking up over her cup as she drank.

Face nodded, his hand brushing through his hair. "Yeah, I'm good."

"And we're okay?"

"Of course we're okay. What would make you say that?"

"I, just, well..." Amy shook her head, waved it off. Of course they're good. They hadn't done anything. "Okay, well I better leave you to it." As Amy stood up, so did Face. "They think you're catching up on your sleep," she laughed.

"Well, thanks to you, I slept just fine."

She smiled. He sounded genuine. It was hard with Face, to work out his lies between his truths. But that sounded true. Made her feel good, helpful, maybe even just a little tiny bit special to him. Was she? He had knocked on her door last night.

"Face, you know you can come to me, whenever you want to. About anything. I'll just listen or sit in silence if I have to." He wasn't exactly great at opening up, and preferred less questions; maybe that's why he'd come to her last night. She knew not to ask too many questions. "But I'm there for you, you know that, right?"

"Amy, this can't happen again."

"I know, I know. But if you want to talk or you need company. I wasn't talking about, you know... sharing a bed."

He gently pulled her into a hug, his hands holding the back of her arms, his cheek against hers. She rested her hands on his chest and closed her eyes. Savouring his touch, his scent. Still the same cologne. He still wears it.

"Yeah, I know that," Face whispered in her ear. She felt his warm breath on her neck. If he tried to kiss her now, would she stop him?

As he sighed, he let go of her and gave her a reassuring smile. She smiled back.

"Okay, I'll leave you to catch up on your sleep." She playfully grinned. "Or at least let them think that." He winked at her as she placed a hand on the door handle.

"Thanks for the coffee, kid."

"No problem." She gently placed her hand on his cheek, and then snatched it away. "Okay, I have a credit card to abuse."

~end~


A White Lie by Billy

 

 


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