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One Last Lie
Part 10 in the 'A Beautiful Lie' Series
Summary: Part 10 in the 'A Beautiful Lie' Series with Face and Amy - Amy has to confront Face about her decision to leave and Face needs to say goodbye.
N.b. Chapter 1 is set just after Part 9 in the A Beautiful Lie Series (after ‘The White Ballot’ episode and before ‘The Maltese Cow’ episode). Chapter 2 & 3 after ‘The Maltese Cow’. Chapter 4 after ‘In Plane Sight.’
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
'People so seldom say I love and then it's either too late or love goes. So when I tell you I love you, it doesn't mean I know you'll never go, only that I wish you didn't have to.'
After a quick glance over her shoulder, Amy walked into Dee’s Diner. Face had suggested that they meet there, and it felt familiar, bringing back old memories, as the bell jingled above the door. She loved the step back in time, with its nineteen-fifty’s theme and the Wurlitzer jukebox in the corner currently playing Elvis Presley. For a moment it calmed her, then she remembered why she was here.
Paranoid that Decker was following her every move she’d taken the whole day to run menial errands to get her to this diner. She felt sure she hadn’t been tailed, but she still felt nervous.
She couldn’t live like this, constantly looking over her shoulder, worrying whether she would lead Decker right to the team.
And how was Face going to react?
After her meeting with Hannibal, she’d persisted in trying to reach Face. Finally, on the following day, he’d picked up the phone. Unfortunately, their conversation had been short; he was busy, and he couldn’t meet Amy until the next day. That had meant she had to chew things over for a couple of days until he could see her today.
She looked around the diner and saw Face sitting at the same table they’d sat at, what must be three months ago now. Where did the time go? Did he still dine here occasionally... alone?
“Hi, thanks for meeting me,” she said, as she approached the table. He stood and helped her out of her jacket. As she took her seat, she glanced out the window, then around the diner. Decker hadn’t followed her. But her hands were shaking – was it Decker or the fact that she was within close proximity of Face? Both. She hid her hands under the table, but he’d seen.
“Are you okay?” He frowned at her anxious state, sitting down next to her.
“No, not really.”
“Do you want something to eat?”
Amy shook her head. The last thing on her mind was food. She felt sick. She’d rehearsed her conversations with Face in her mind over the past couple of days, trying to decide what she was going to say to him.
“No, I don’t think I can eat right now. Looking over my shoulder every five minutes is turning me into a nervous wreck – I’ve lost my appetite.” That wasn’t too far from the truth. “It’s okay when I know I’m not meeting any of you. But I’m just afraid that the one time I do, Decker will have followed me.”
“Amy,” Face took her hand, “don’t worry so much -”
“Face, I’m pretty sure he’s watching my apartment. Next he’ll have MPs following me around LA. Who’s to say he hasn’t already tapped my phone?” She looked out of the window. No MPs. Just passing traffic. Relax. “It’s why I need to speak to you.”
She took a deep breath, about to speak when Dee appeared, refilling Face’s cup and pouring one for Amy. She looked pleased to see her, giving Amy a wink.
Once Dee had left the table, Face spoke. “Look, the other night... I shouldn’t have left like I did.” He moved closer to her in the booth, so that his leg touched hers.
Amy relished the touch but she had to stay focussed. She couldn’t be put off by what she had to do.
“And I’m sorry for not answering your calls,” he continued. “I’ve been a jerk.”
“No you weren’t. I was awful. I’m so sorry if I hurt you.”
He shook his head. “Once I’d calmed down, I realised that all you see is me with a different woman every week, and you wanted to know if you were the next one. And I reacted like -”
“Face, I’m sorry, too, okay.” She swallowed. Yes, that’s exactly what she’d thought. She sipped her coffee, finding it hard to keep eye contact with him. “I...you’re not... uh... I just wasn’t sure how to ask. And I wanted to be... special.”
“You are.” He reached out and touched her hair.
She looked into her coffee cup. There was that ache in her chest again, and it spread inside her every minute. He was being honest with her, but how long would it last once he knew she was leaving? Would he put up his barriers? She sucked in a breath to calm her nerves. Face had taken her hand, rubbing his thumb over the back of it. He was staring at her, patiently, waiting for her to speak. She could easily kiss him, and forget everything. And remember how good it was making love to him only a few nights ago... She gave herself a mental shake. She knew she had to be strong.
“Face, the next morning, when I got into work, I walked into Decker arguing with my boss.”
“So, you’re not kidding about Decker turning the heat up.”
“No, I am not.” She took that deep breath she needed and swallowed. “It’s about that morning. Why I need to speak with you.” She couldn’t meet his eye, even if she wanted to. Her throat tightened. Get a grip, Amy. Get a grip. But here Face was, being the most understanding, patient... loving... and she was going to have to end it. Everything she had wanted with him, and it had to stop. She didn’t realise the effect he’d have on her, seeing him again. That longing returning. “Eldridge has been covering my ass for so long, but now even he’s worried he can’t keep Decker at bay any longer. He’s offered me a job. A promotion.”
Face frowned, and asked warily, “So... does it mean you’re not covering our stories anymore?”
She shook her head. “I won’t be covering any stories, I’m leaving.”
“You’re leaving the team?”
“Yes,” she whispered.
“So that means...” he stroked her cheek, smiling, “uh... we can -”
“No, Face.” She looked him in the eye, then glanced away. This was all so hard. “We can’t. The position is international correspondent - in Jakarta.”
“Oh.” Face didn’t let go of her hand, he just continued smoothing it. “When do you leave?”
“It looks like I’ve got about six weeks – enough time to pack up my furniture, rent my apartment. Then there’s papers, visas to be organised.”
“You don’t sound very excited about going. Maybe you could take a different job... but still be in LA.”
“No! This is a great career opportunity.”
“Of course.” He scowled. “Jakarta just seems extreme. What about New York, Washington?”
She shook her head. “Face, I’ll miss the team. I’ll miss you, of course. But I’ve got to take it. Decker -”
“Fine.” He sounded more pissed than he probably wanted to let on.
For a moment he didn’t say anything, which tore the black, painful hole in her chest wider.
“So, you have six weeks until you leave?”
“About that, yes.”
He took a deep breath. “What if we, you know, made the most of that time, together?” He moved closer. Dangerously close. His arm rested behind her on the back of the booth. Their faces inches apart. If she kissed him now, Amy would just give in and go on the run... right now. But how long would that last? And to spend the next six weeks with him, would just make it harder for her to leave.
It would break her heart. And his.
“If this is all the time I’m allowed to have, then I’ll take it.” He brushed her cheek.
She shook her head, then looked him in the eye. He hadn’t taken his eyes off her. “Face, I don’t think that would be a very good idea…. Do you? Um, Decker for one….” She shifted slightly, trying to edge away from him.
“But we just…. The other night - that can’t be our last….”
Amy starred at him. Fighting the pain in her chest, the tears that wanted to fall.
Be cruel to be kind. There is no future with Face.
She patted his hand and laughed, she hated how fake it sounded. “Come on, Face. I’m doing you a favour! You don’t really want a relationship with me,” she said, trying to make this sound light. A joke. A very bad joke. “How long would it last? Really? A month at the most, till the next girl would take your fancy?”
“That’s not fair,” he said, his voice low, snatching his hand away. “There are no other women, not now I want you.” His jaw clenched. He stared at her silently. She swallowed.
Okay, that went down like a lead balloon.
“And Decker,” she said swiftly, trying to strengthen her argument. “I’ll be putting you in danger. And I don’t think I can live life on the run, like you guys do. It’s best that I leave - for everyone.” Silence. She grabbed his hand and squeezed it. “This way I leave us as friends.”
“Amy?” His hand was back holding hers.
He sat silent for a moment, staring at her as she desperately tried to hold her composure, tried not to let her tears fall.
“Does the rest of team – Hannibal - know about your great opportunity?” Face said, sarcasm lacing his words. Cold. He leaned back into the chair, taking his hand from hers. He’d moved so far away, yet he sat right beside her. Her heart sank. The last thing she wanted to do was hurt him. But they had to let go. Was she treating him the same way Leslie had?
No. She was facing him right now, wasn’t she?
But she was still breaking his heart. Just like Leslie.
“No,” she lied, shaking her head. “I wanted to speak to you first.”
Then, not trusting herself to hold the tears in, she got up, grabbing her coat and bag.
If she’d walked any faster, she would have been running.
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