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The Perfect Lie
Part 9 in the 'A Beautiful Lie' Series
Summary: Part 9 in the ‘A Beautiful Lie Series’ with Face and Amy.
Posing as husband and wife, Face and Amy face their hardest test and a decision needs to be made.
Set during and after ‘The White Ballot’ episode, season 2.
Warnings: None – unless you want spoilers.
Disclaimer: I don’t own the A-Team and I’ve not made a penny from this; I just do it for the jazz!
© Billy 2010
A lie told often enough becomes the truth – Lenin
Amy sat nervously on the small plane, wondering how she’d gotten herself into this mess. When an old friend, Jim Baker, had called and told her about the dirty campaign Sheriff Dawson was running, she knew this case would interest the team. But Amy hadn’t anticipated that she and Face would be arriving together in Parkland, New Mexico posing as newlyweds.
Damn it. Since San Diego and Harper’s arrest, she’d managed to put some distance between her and the team – and Face. Amy had done everything in her power not to think about him. She’d lapsed occasionally, of course, in her quietest moments, so she’d kept those to a bare minimum. Over the last few weeks she’d gotten lost in her work, practically living in the office. The Harper stories, with the missing teenage girls, had kept her busy. Interviews with the families had been successful and she’d had the satisfaction of proving that Al Massey was murdered. And Harper going to jail meant Al hadn’t died in vain. She still missed Al dearly and his wise advice. She could do with that right now – on this plane with Face, trying to act the dutiful wife, trying not to actually enjoy it.
Face stowed the small hand luggage up above them, then took his seat next to Amy. The other couple on the plane was doing the same, preparing for take-off. Glancing at the empty seats, Amy felt some relief that there were hardly any passengers. Fewer people to pretend to.
“So.... How have you been?” he said, keeping his voice low. They hadn’t had any time to themselves till now. The team had gone on ahead, but Face hadn’t picked Amy up until today.
“Fine, thanks. Busy at work,” she replied, fiddling with the wig she was very conscious of.
Three weeks probably wasn’t long enough to dull the feelings she felt, but she had tried to put them behind her. She couldn’t let all that hard work unravel. Do not react to that smile.
“I noticed the girls’ stories in the paper.”
He’s been reading my stories. Was that to keep an eye on her? Amy nodded, trying not to let her hackles rise.
“So you did go back to San Diego then?” His question seemed calm, not angry.
Amy relaxed. She was overreacting. Maybe the time apart had done them good, allowing them both to cool down. They’d left things pretty heated after leaving Maggie’s. That was one thing she’d battled with over the past few weeks. She’d wanted to call him. Clear the air. But she’d promised herself to cut contact with him, except regarding team business. Hence, here she was on this plane....
“No, not exactly.” Amy shook her head. “Zack was adamant I wasn’t going back either, so he went to San Diego for me.” Zack wasn’t just a colleague, but a good friend too, like Al. He’d seen how reluctant Amy had been to return to San Diego, and had took it upon himself to go there for her.
“Good.” Face gave a pleased smile. “Remind me to thank Zack.”
“You two make such a beautiful couple.” A woman interrupted from across the aisle, her husband mumbling to her to be quiet. “Newlyweds, right?”
Face grinned, snapping instantly into character. “Yeah, we sure are.” He brought Amy’s hand to his lips and kissed it. Amy blushed, the butterflies resurfacing. “Joe Morgan, and this is my wife, Amy,” he said, grinning.
Everything is an act, remember. Everything you do, he’ll only think you’re acting - which you are. So stop getting self-conscious about yourself, and play the darn game.
Amy leaned across and shook the woman’s hand, smiling sweetly. The woman was delighted with Face and Amy, and made her own introductions. Face played the perfect gentleman, making small talk. That was the last said about San Diego. Amy decided she’d let the expert do his work, and just add to his lines where appropriate. Face’s occasional gentle touches on her knee or holding her hand made her nervous, yet surprisingly sent delight through her body. But he only did these small gestures when required, otherwise he’d kept his distance, letting go of her hand once the attention was off them.
How could someone be so close, yet feel so far away?
She’d really missed the guys over the recent weeks, but had hoped the longer she kept away, the more her feelings for Face would fade. The more time she had to put life into perspective. She knew Face was no good for her. Face was no good if she wanted to remain on the team – which she did.
So, she’d get over it – or at least look like she had. If Face could pretend, so could she.
Observing Face when she could, unnoticed, he seemed as nervous as her. She wanted to get her notebook and just start scribbling, do the things she did to look busy, so the silence didn’t seem so bad. She kicked herself for not remembering some reading material, or something.
Face sighed heavily, making her look at him. Although his head was against the headrest, he was gripping the arm of the seat tightly. She frowned.
“Are you alright?” she asked softly, glancing over at the couple to see if they were paying any attention, then looked him in the eye.
Face chuckled, but it sounded forced. “Yeah, yeah... Why?”
“You look tense.”
Face instantly relaxed in front of her eyes, putting on another facade. He fell silent, and Amy didn’t know what to do to pass the time, trapped on the damn plane beside him. Looking out the window soon bored her, the miniature landscape below not able to distract her thoughts as she intended. She noticed in the pocket in front of her a magazine that a previous traveller had left behind. She pulled it out and started to flick through it, hoping it would distract her enough.
“Funny how I actually feel safer, knowing Murdock’s not flying this bird,” Face whispered close to her ear, surprising her. The feeling of his breath on her neck sent tingles down her spine. A sensation she secretly cherished. “I feel fairly confident this plane will land safely.”
She froze, swallowed, and then quickly nodded in agreement with a smile. Hopefully he hadn’t noticed her reaction.
“So when did you two lovebirds get married?” The woman opposite started talking to Face again.
“Two weeks ago,” he responded, roping the woman in, telling her some elaborate tale of where they’d been for their honeymoon, how they’d met. Amy resisted rolling her eyes; instead, turning in her seat, she pretended to be interested in the conversation. She watched Face as he spoke to the woman. Here he was now, playing the perfect husband. Could he be a perfect husband?
He’d gotten pretty damn fidgety about marriage that time with Jackie Taylor, when the team helped her.
And that’s why he’d never be good for you.
Lost deep in her own thoughts, Amy didn’t quite catch Face’s conversation with the woman. His hand gently brushed her knee and sent goose bumps along her arms, making her shiver out of her reminiscence.
“You okay, honey?” Face asked, frowning, his attention distracted from the couple.
“Yeah, yeah.” She smiled as convincingly as she could, and nodded at the couple. “It’s just a little chilly on this darn plane, that’s all.”
He rubbed her arm. “I can think of a couple of things that’ll warm you up.” Face winked at the couple, who politely chuckled. Amy nudged him playfully.
“What? They know we’re newlyweds, honey.” He kissed her cheek. “Just hope there’s not too much of a fuss when we land – otherwise it’ll delay those things.”
Her cheeks flushed hot. She was no longer feeling cold – far from it. She was dismayed about how she’d reacted to Face.
Because it wasn’t real. Face was acting. Only a con. And Amy would do well to remember it.
“I think that went well, don’t you?” Face said, after paying the cab driver and watching him pull away. “Come on, let’s get checked in.”
Amy nodded. The plane had landed on schedule, and, without a hitch, Face successfully threw egg in Dawson’s face, rejecting the key to the city. Hannibal, BA and Murdock arrived at the hotel not long after Face and Amy – to her relief, because she and Face had waited awkwardly. The two of them had talked, but it had felt stilted.
Now, except for BA, who’d headed back out carrying camera equipment, they were all in the small double room next door to the one they’d booked in the name of Mr and Mrs Morgan. Hannibal smiled from ear to ear as he told Face and Amy about Dawson’s reaction.
Hannibal chuckled. “And that’s not the end of it. When he sees what we’ve got planned -”
“My head is really going to roll,” Face said, taking off his cap, and combing a hand through his hair. “Why an earth did I think this was a good idea?”
“We’re right behind you, Face. It’ll be fine,” Hannibal said, slapping Face’s back. “Okay, let’s get an early night. We’ve got a campaign to run tomorrow morning. Amy, Face, you two are next door.”
“Uh... Hannibal, is that a good idea?” Face asked, his eyes widened momentarily.
Amy scratched at her wig. All of a sudden she felt very uncomfortable. More uncomfortable than being crammed in this small room with the whole team.
BA walked through the door, dropping a duffel bag to the side, adding an emphasis to how crowded the room would be.
“Well, it’s going to be a little cramped in here with the five of us,” Hannibal said.
“I don’t mind cramped,” Amy blurted.
“I’ll sleep in the van,” BA said, shrugging.
But Hannibal continued. “And you’re supposed to be a married couple after all.”
“What if Murdock went with Face,” Amy said quickly. “Wouldn’t that be better?”
“Huh?” Murdock looked up from switching on the television.
“Yeah, that might be a better idea,” Face added quickly.
Hannibal shook his head. “No, no. If we are being watched, we don’t want anyone getting suspicious.”
“But at some point Dawson is likely to try and kill me off. I don’t think it’s a good idea if Amy stays in that room,” Face said. He glanced at her. She scowled briefly. Was Face suggesting she be treated with kid gloves - like she’d feared? Was that his only reason?
“You don’t think you can handle one of Dawson’s deputies?” Hannibal said, grinning at Face.
“No! I mean, yes! Of course I can handle his deputies.” Face frowned at Hannibal, his hands on his hips.
“Well then, that’s settled.” Hannibal looked from Face to Amy. “Amy, do you mind?”
“Uh....” Amy looked at Face, then back at Hannibal. “No, no... If that’s what you want, Hannibal. Face?” She stared back at Face. He didn’t look happy. She hoped they didn’t notice how nervous she’d become. Her nerves trembled and she quickly folded her arms in front of her, hoping that would hide any signs of shaking.
She’d shared a room with Face before. It was no big deal.
“If Amy’s okay with it, then I’m okay.” Face sighed. Amy hesitantly nodded. “I just don’t like the idea -”
“At least it’ll make it easier for us with the bathroom,” Murdock said over Face, flicking through the TV channels until he found the cartoons.
Face frowned. “I’m sure Amy knows not to take too long-”
“I was talking about you, actually,” Murdock said, grinning.
BA giggled. Face’s smiled dropped, about to argue but Hannibal chuckled, slapping him on the back.
“Maybe I should go next door on my own,” Amy said.
“No!” Face cried, louder than intended because he quickly composed himself, softening his tone. “It’s too dangerous for you to be in that room on your own.”
“He’s right, kid,” Hannibal said, nodding.
Amy rolled her eyes. “Okay, just don’t hog the bathroom, Face,” she said. With a sigh, she grabbed her bag. She guessed he was probably as anxious about this as she was. Sharing a room with Face really wasn’t what she needed, but she didn’t want to stand around and argue either. How would that look? Besides, she was itching, literally, to take this wig off and change out of these clothes.
“The camera’s set up,” BA said, handing Face the key to the room. “Remember to check the tape. Leave it on.”
“Yeah!” Murdock said, taking his attention away from the cartoons. “So we get the recording of the sheriff attempting your assassination!” Face glared at him but Amy had to chuckle.
“Come on,” she said, tugging Face’s arm, and walked out of the room. “I think we’ll be safe tonight.” Putting his cap back on, Face grabbed his own things and followed her to the room next door.
“After you,” he said, opening the door. Amy walked into the room. It was a mirror image to the room they’d just been in. The double bed was the main feature of the room, with a wardrobe beside it and a small dressing table opposite the end of the bed.
It wasn’t like they were on their own, really - the rest of the team were right next door. They could probably talk through the wall, it was so thin. And she had no doubt she’d be safe with Face, as she watched him survey the room. Yeah, just fine. She breathed deeply. It was only for a few nights. She could manage. It wasn’t as if they didn’t get along. They did. In fact they got on better when the team weren’t around.... if only they could get over this awkwardness between them. It felt like she was walking on eggshells, too frightened to talk for fear she’d give herself away. She needed to reinforce their friendship, as she certainly didn’t want to lose that. If she couldn’t have Face as her lover, she wanted his friendship. She didn’t want to imagine life without the team, let alone Face.
She put her bag under the dressing table, with no intention of unpacking. Face dropped his bag by the closet, threw his cap on the bed and, removing his tie, started to undress. He sighed heavily.
“I’m sorry, Face,” Amy said, not really sure where that was coming from. It was more the need to break the silence. “I know you don’t want this.” Amy could see him changing out the corner of her eye, so she sat at the dressing table, carefully removing her wig.
“Amy...” he said, making her glance over. He was slipping a T-shirt over his head. “It could just get dangerous.”
“You don’t have to be concerned about me... if that’s what you’re worried about.”
“Of course I’m concerned about you. You can’t handle one of Dawson’s deputies the same way I can.”
“I know what I’ve committed myself to. I know the risks.”
“What if they use you to get to me?” he said, angrily.
“You won’t let happen. Besides, like I said, I know the -”
“Amy!” He swept a hand through his hair, glaring at her, his expression stern, frustrated. “It’s not about the – I just can’t... If something were to... Oh, never mind.” He picked up a newspaper and shook it out. Changed out of his uniform, he sat in the chair by the bed and started reading the paper, as if that was the end of the conversation.
Amy stared into the mirror, silently brushing her hair. What did he mean? Was he worried about something happening to her? Would he blame himself if something did? Deciphering what Face meant sometimes exhausted her. She decided to write up some of notes on this story so far, or at least try to concentrate on it.
Eventually, sick of the silence, Amy put her pen down and turned. “Face, is everything alright?” Why she was doing this, God only knew. Face was only going to give out the information that suited him. Would she actually know if he was being honest?
He looked up from his paper. “Hmmm?”
“Are you okay?” She shrugged as she hesitantly spoke. “You know - with me?” Face frowned. “Are you still mad at me about San Diego?”
“No. No, of course not.” He put the paper down. “It’s in the past. And besides I wasn’t mad at you... really.”
“Yes, you were!”
He leaned forward, rubbing his face and breathed deeply. He glanced at her then looked away. He looked tired. “Hannibal said we should have an early night.”
Amy closed her eyes, taking in a deep breath. Like she expected – he wasn’t opening up, which frustrated her.
Hunched over the dressing table so long had made her back and shoulders ache. She stretched and, grabbing her wash things, headed wearily towards the bathroom.
Ten minutes later, makeup removed and changed into her faithful cotton pyjamas, she emerged from the bathroom and stood by the bed, hands on her hips.
“So, are we tossing a coin to who gets the bed?” she asked. She wanted to feel like an equal, and not get special privileges just because she was a woman on the team. She certainly didn’t like assuming she should take the bed, either.
“Yeah. Heads you get the bed, tails you don’t.” Face pulled a coin out of his pocket and flipped it, then held out his palm, grinning. “Would you look at that? It’s heads. You got the bed.” Amy frowned. “I’m not letting you sleep in the chair. For one, can you imagine the flack I’d get tomorrow?”
Amy smirked, then sobered. “How about tonight I take the bed, tomorrow I have the chair?”
Face shook his head. “I’ll be fine. I don’t need the bed. Take it.”
“But... uh... isn’t it more important that you get a good night’s sleep?” She stumbled to find a decent excuse.
“I’ve slept in worse.” Face grabbed his wash things and walked off into the bathroom. Amy hesitantly got into bed, turning on the bedside lamp. She felt far from comfortable. She sat, pillows supporting her, hugging her knees beneath the covers and waited.
Face came out of the bathroom, turning the lights off, so that only a bedside lamp lit the room. He went to the closet and swore under his breath. He couldn’t get to the blanket that was on the top shelf of the cabinet – well, not without disturbing the camera, which BA would have set up precisely.
Amy bit her lip. “You know.... we uh... we’ve shared a bed before. No reason why we can’t share this one.” What the hell was she suggesting?
“It was a much larger bed!”
Amy looked at the bed. Admittedly this bed wasn’t a super king. But it hadn’t been a very big bed on the cruise liner coming back from Ecuador. They’d never really spoken about that night, even though they’d shared a bed since. That night Amy hadn’t even been wearing pyjamas when Face had surprised her, knocking on her bedroom door. She’d had to wrap herself in a bed sheet, naked beneath it, with Face’s body so tortuously close to hers.
Maybe this was a bad idea, the two of them sharing a bed again. It wouldn’t help her feelings towards Face, her emotions were already fighting their way back to the surface. She had to stop thinking about Face in any other way than a friend. Damn it - look at him as a colleague.
But she couldn’t. She already wanted him to share this bed. They didn’t have to do anything in it. She just wanted the feeling of him sleeping beside her. Knowing he was there. The past few weeks she’d not gone to bed until physically exhausted and she could fight sleep no longer.... Because the same nightmare would return. Max hovering over her, the smell of his stale breath, her struggle as the needle stung her arm.
Maybe with Face there, the dream wouldn’t return.
“Does it matter how big it is? We’re only sleeping... Just friends, right?”
Face stood the other side of the bed, hands on his hips. “Are you sure?”
Hesitantly, she nodded, ignoring the alarm bells going off inside her head, and he pulled the sheets back.
“We’re supposed to be newlyweds. At least if Dawson walked in now, he’d believe it,” she said. That was her argument, and she was sticking to it.
“Newlyweds do a lot more than just sleep in bed,” Face replied. A smile crept over his face. She nervously clicked her tongue, trying to hide her blushing, and struggling to remove the image he’d just placed inside her head. Tucking herself down beneath the covers, she rolled over onto her side, her back towards him. She frowned as she noticed the closet door ajar, and inside it the camera, barely visible.
“Uh... Face?” Amy turned to look at Face. He was just about to turn off the lamp beside him. “Is that camera on?”
He looked past her shoulder, squinting through the dull light. “Yes, I think so.”
“Should we turn it off?”
“Why, you thinking of seducing me?” But Amy scowled, remaining deadly serious. Face sighed. “We’ve got to leave it on... in case,” he said, pulling the sheets around him.
Face reached over and turned off his lamp, while Amy turned onto her side. She felt movement within the sheets as Face got comfortable.
She turned onto her back, conscious he’d think she was fidgeting. Sighing, she closed her eyes. How she would love to seduce him, but would it be worth it? She wanted so much more than just one night with Face. She didn’t want to be just another notch on his bedpost. Amy pulled at the covers, and he playfully tugged them back, pulling her closer to him. Amy giggled and he chuckled. Taking a deep breath, she composed herself, knowing she needed to sleep. A long day was ahead of them.
“Good night,” she whispered, feeling the invisible wall was slowly coming down between them.
“Tomorrow, maybe it’s just best to tell the guys I slept in the chair. Okay?”
“But the camera-”
“I’ll rewind the tape in the morning,” Face replied. “Providing Dawson doesn’t show up.”
“Oh,” she said, frowning, opening her eyes, staring into darkness. “Okay.” She wanted to ask why... why it would matter.
Was there another reason why that camera was there?
Then it dawned on her. This was a test. Hannibal had set a test. He knows. He knows something’s going on. He had to, with everything that went on in San Diego – Face’s reaction to Max....
Had Hannibal forced the two of them together to see if she’d react? Did Face know this?
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