Summary: a woman deals with her feelings about the A-Teams execution. And is shocked to learn of the unspeakable.
Warnings: F-bomb has been dropped. Ummm supposed character deaths…. Emotional
Disclaimer: I don't own the boys I just write about them.
Copyright: Characters have been made up by yours truly. Except characters from the A-Team. `Long as I Can See the Light by John Fogarty of CCR, Quote by Sidney Rochelle and In My Heart by Anonymous
"After all these years I can still remember the feelings and emotions that ran through me. I t was as if life had thrown a knife into my heart and soul." ---Sidney Rochelle (Poetry Unlimited)
In My Heart
I thought of you with love today.
But that is nothing new.
I thought about you yesterday.
And days before that too.
I think of you in silence.
I often speak your name.
Now all I have is memories.
And your picture in a frame.
Your memory is my keepsake.
With which I'll never part.
God has you in his keeping.
I have you in my heart.
Love Never Dies
I ran into the plush bedroom and flopped on my bed, burying my face in the pillows. I gasped for air as choking sobs escaped my throat. Why? Why did this have to happen? These men were innocent. HE was innocent. A man who endured hardships in the course of his life. A man who had been dealt the wrong hand in life's' game, was now gone forever.
Tried and killed by their own country for a crime they didn't commit. I remember the look in his eyes during the trial. Full of fear and sadness. He looked at me and smiled. A smile that could melt you in a blink of an eye. A silent thank you came from his lips. Tears spilled over my eyes.
I tried desperately to see them. To see HIM. "NO VISITORS!" Was what they told me. I told them I was HIS fiancé. " I don't care if you're The Pope. No one gets in too see the A-Team." Heartless bastard! I stomped away. Mad at the world. They loved their country and they'd never betray it. They were honest soldiers. Playing the Soldiers of Fortune part was to prove a point. To prove they were innocent. And to stay clear from capture by the Military Police.
Still crying, I looked over at my dresser. In an oak frame, was a picture of the two of us in Hawaii. He in his black tuxedo and I in a lavender evening gown. How prestigious we looked. I got off the bed, picked up the picture and ran my fingers over the cold glass. Remembering.
"Maryn, there are some things you need to know about me."
"Things my brother already told me?"
"What exactly did Murdock tell you?"
"That you're a smooth talking ladies man. Gets-what-you-want pretty boy by conning people."
"WHAT? He said that?"
"No. Not in so many words. That's just MY perspective."
"Oh." A look of disappointment crossed his face.
"By the expression on your face I can see my statement bothered you. I may see all those things, but I SEE the real Faceman. One who's caring, scared, fearful at times. And one who puts others before himself. You have more credit than you give yourself."
"Am I missing something? I don't even know the real ME?"
"Because you hide behind a mask. You put on many `faces' to cover how you REALLY feel."
He looked at the ground as he leaned against the railing of the deck. Running a hand through his thick, blonde hair. "I….I don't know what to say. I mean…."
"Don't say anything. I like you for who you are, and NOT what you pretend to be. You've done nothing but treat me the way I want to be treated. Even though sometimes it's a little TOO much. Before I found out HM was my brother, I was scared. Scared I would be lonely and have no love in my life. Like you, I didn't have a family or anyone who cared for me. I felt I was worthless, and I'd be nothing but a female bastard. Until I found HM. There are so many years with him I need to catch up on. But that's beside the point. I guess what I'm trying to say is Temp, you don't have to worry about being lonely, scared or however you feel anymore."
"How can you say that?"
"I'm saying that because I want to be in your life. I want to BE with you Templeton Peck. Somewhere down this trip I fell in love with you. I've already talked to HM, and of course, he was a bit skeptical. He's afraid you might hurt me. Knowing your track record with women. But I reassured him, if you DON'T love me in THAT way, I'd get over it and move on."
"That's just it Maryn. I DID fall in love with you. I was too scared to say anything. I didn't know how I could love just one woman. But I do. And I didn't know if Murdock or the others would take me seriously. But I think this relationship is good for me. Good for us. Together." He pulled Maryn close and kissed her.
I threw the picture against the wall and watched it shatter into tiny slivers. Almost as though it was in slow motion. Screaming, I fell to my knees and rocked back and forth. Wrapping my arms around myself. I felt cold and empty. The three men I loved were taken away from me. HE was taken away from me.
"IT ISN'T FAIR!" I ranted. "IT JUST ISN'T FAIR!"
The continuing tears that fell from my eyes blurred my vision. It seemed as though a part of me had been torn in two. Everything was numb. If they, if HE wasn't in my life there was NO reason to live. YES! Yes there was. My brother. HM would never forgive me. I needed him. And I needed him more than ever. And I knew he would need me. I took a few minutes to regain some composure and went downstairs. Picking up the telephone and dialing HM's number, I waited for him to answer. The loud ringing echoed in my ears making them hurt. After five rings his machine clicked on so I hung up. I grabbed my satchel, the keys to the vette and headed out the door.
I couldn't believe all the media, which surrounded the VA. Camera crews and reporters. Police trying to hold them back from storming the building. Fighting through the growing crowd, I saw a familiar face. Amy Allen. I hadn't seen her since she left for Jakarta. If anyone knew anything, it would be her.
"AMY!" I yelled.
"MARYN! OH MY GOD!" We embraced each other.
"When did you get back from Jakarta?"
"A couple of days after I heard about the guys capture. The news traveled around the world like a wild fire. Were you at the trial?"
"Yes! Bunch of DAMNED liars. They knew the A-Team was innocent. You could tell there were things that weren't very clear. I wanted to smack the hell out of Josh Curtis. He promised them he could clear their names, but he flat out lied on the stand. And the next day, he was killed."
"Yeah I heard about that. I tried my hardest to get in there."
"Well you didn't miss much. Except when HM and some grease ball named Frankie came in with another supposed witness. I think he was a general…. Ummm Quiette. He told HM and Frankie it was a setup. But as soon as he got in the courtroom, he changed his story. They even tried to put Morrison's death on HM."
"WHAT? How did the guys react?"
"Well you know Hannibal. He stood up and said HE killed Morrison. Then Face said he helped him do it. And BA went along with them. Like a chain reaction."
"There was rumor they put Murdock on the stand."
"Ohhhhhh yeah. THAT was interesting. He put on one hell of a show. I glanced over at Hannibal and he was trying not to laugh. As was I. But how could you NOT. He was so animated."
"Animated. That's Murdock."
"Speaking of, have you been in to see him?"
"He isn't here."
"What do you MEAN he isn't here? Where is he?" I asked.
"I don't know. I went in and talked to the station nurse and she said he wasn't here. I went to his room to see if I could find anything leading to where he might have gone. I was going to call you when I got back to my hotel to see if he checked in with you."
"Oh GOD Amy. What if he REALLY went off the deep end this time? Knowing his country killed his best friends…. Dear God!"
"Shhhh Maryn. Its OK. We'll find him." She held me as I cried on her shoulder. Amy was one of my best friends and I needed her.
"Come on. Let's get you out of here before anyone gets downwind your Murdock's sister."
We got to our apartment. No MY apartment. And an eerie feeling crawled up my spine. I would no longer see his sparkling blue eyes look at me as I came through the door.
"I don't know HOW he does it." Amy said.
I shot her a hurtful look and the tears welled up in my eyes.
"OH Rynnie. I'm sorry. I wasn't thinking.'
I nodded my head and started sobbing again. "WHY AMY? WHY?"
She hugged me and rubbed my back. " I don't know."
"He….He was such a good person. T….to be put to death by his own…own country."
"I know. It's amazing how a country they loved could cheat them out of their lives." She spoke in a low comforting voice. Like HE used to.
"I….I don't feel so well."
"Maybe you should lie down for a while. It will make you feel better."
She followed me to the bedroom and helped me into bed. When she closed the door I cried myself to sleep.
When I woke up everything was cloudy and my stomach hurt. I wiped the sleepies out of my eyes and saw the sun come streaming in through the window. My eyes burned and felt puffy. When I looked up I saw two big brown eyes look at me with a warm smile.
"HM! OH GOD! HM!" I threw myself onto him and started crying. AGAIN. Making my eyes feel only worse.
"Hey! It's ok Muchacha. I'm here now." He rocked me back and forth and sang to me as I calmed down. I pulled away from him and punched him in the arm.
"Ouch! What was that for?"
"Where were you? I went to the VA and you weren't there. I thought something happened to you. Or you went…went…"
"Been there done that sis."
"This is not the time to joke HM. Now where were you?"
"I….I had to take care of some things."
"Well you could have called. I was worried sick about you."
"I know, Aimster told me. I was gonna call ya. But I got caught up in somethin' and I HAD to stick with my un…. I had to stick to it."
"How are you holding up?" I asked.
He couldn't look me in the eye. I knew he was lying to me. But I didn't press the issue.
"Ya know Amy and I were worried about ya too. Slept through three days."
"I did? Really?"
"Yuppers. But I think the question is how are YOU holdin' up?"
"I don't know. I'll let you know as soon as this day is over. Its hard knowing I won't ever wake up next to Face again. We were supposed to be married in six months. Have a big family. Growing old together."
"Ryn, love never dies."
"WELL MINE DID! HE WAS PUT IN FRONT OF A FUCKING FIRING SQUAD HM!" I jumped out of bed and went over to where the picture smashed against the wall and started picking up the pieces of glass. I felt a horrible stinging sensation and looked down, only to find myself grinding my hand into the slivers instead of picking them up. Seeing the blood trickle down my hand, I felt strong, protective arms wrap around me. I screamed and sobbed.
Amy came through the door and HM asked her to get some wash clothes and bandages.
"Don't do this Rynnie."
"I keep….keep asking myself why?"
"There's no explanation."
"I keep thinking this is all a bad dream. And when I wake up, I'll see…see Temp's beautiful eyes staring me down, smelling Hannibal cigars. Even you and BA taunting each other. Waiting for him to throttle you at any moment."
He said nothing.
"And I know screaming and crying won't bring them back. As much as I wish it could."
Amy came back with bandages and a wash cloth and handed them to my brother. "Guys, I'm going to the supermarket. I'll be back in a few."
"Ok. Thanks Amy. ." I said. She hugged me and left the room.
"I got somethin' to tell ya."
"What? More BAD news.
"NO. It's not bad news at all. I've been released from the VA. And I'm now sane."
"Yeah I got my papers and everything. It says that I am 100% SANE."
"Were you ever insane to begin with?"
"That's for me to know and YOU never to find out. I…. I wanna ask ya somethin'?"
"I've gotta leave town and I wondered if ya wanted to come with me."
"Leave town? Why?"
"I ah….gotta job in Washington DC. You could live with me and I would take care of ya. I KNOW Face would want that. To keep ya safe."
"Yeah. But sometimes I'd hafta leave on short notice and be gone for a couple days."
"When do we leave?"
"Tonight if ya want."
"YES! Tonight. I want to get out of here. Everything in this apartment reminds me of him."
"Okie Dokie. Pack only what ya need. I'll provide the rest. I've gotta place already."
"But it's only been a few days. How could you have done all this, plus having the guys on your mind?"
Still on his knees, he took his blue baseball cap off and wrung it in his hands. He was acting strange. Not that it was different from any other time, but there was something definitely confusing about the situation. Again I didn't press.
"I….I had to move fast. Oh my…. Your hand…. I forgot." NOW I KNEW there was something wrong. He completely changed the subject and fixed my hand.
"There ya go. Good as new. When in doubt let ole Doc Murdock take charge."
I giggled and he helped me off the floor. "I'll go pack." I said.
"Ya need any help?"
"No. I'll be fine. What about the vette?"
"I'll take of it."
"Ok…What about Amy? She just got back from Jakarta. I haven't had much time to spend with her."
"Already taken care of." He said as I watched him walk out the door.
I stared at the door after HM left. He knew something. And he wasn't going to share it with me. Was it about the trial? The execution? The deaths of his best friends finally hitting him? I couldn't put my finger on it. He would tell me when he was ready to talk about it. I hoped it would be soon. If HM really WAS crazy, all those stored up emotions would take its toll. All the progress that he had made would be worth nothing. I don't think I could handle THAT on top of the executions.
I went to the window and looked out at the thriving city. Seeing the ocean's coast in a distance. Face loved the beach. He loved to listen to the waves crash on the shore. The wind whipping through his almost perfect hair. The only time he wasn't worried about the hairs on his head being frazzled in every which way. It gave him a sense of peace.
The long walks we would take at night. Holding hands and looking out into the ocean, seeing the moon's light reflecting off the water. He proposed to me on a night like that. It was perfect.
"It's so beautiful tonight. Look at the moon's light. It makes the ocean look illuminated."
"Yes I know. Its even a more beautiful night the way I see it."
"Oh yeah? And just how do you figure that Temp?"
"I've got the ocean and the beach. And…. I've got you. You put two and two together and voila. A beautiful night."
"Aww come on."
"No I'm serious. Maryn, there's something I've been wanting to ask you. I've been putting it off because I wanted this to be special."
"Every night I'm with you is special."
Face reached into his inside pocket of his jacket and pulled out a black square box. "I love you Ryn." He got down on one knee opening the box. He took her left hand and his. " I want you to be my wife. Will you marry me?"
She put her free hand over her mouth and tears welled up into her green eyes. "YES! Yes I WILL marry you."
"Rynnie? Rynnie? You ok?"
"OH! Yeah I'm fine. Just remembering." I said. HM gathered me in his arms and hugged me.
"What were ya thinkin' about? Or do I even have to ask?"
"I was thinking about the night Temp proposed to me."
"Yeah I `member that. You both came runnin' into the beach house that he scammed to tell us the good news. Hannibal was so proud that ya asked him to give ya away. The Big Guy and I were to be the best men. But we all know who the best really was." He tried to joke.
"Hannibal was like a father to me HM. I know at first he wasn't happy that I tagged along with the team, but he eventually softened up."
"Yeah the Colonel wasn't all about showin' his feelin's, but he loved ya like you were his own. Just like he did Facey."
"Well…I think I've wasted enough time remembering. So let me get packed."
Amy had walked through the door as I pulled away from my brother.
"Am I interrupting anything?"
"No Amy." I said.
"Murdock told me you are going with him to Washington DC."
"Yes. I need to get away from here. Everything I look at reminds me of Face. I think this would do me some good. Besides I get to live with my big brother." I cracked a tiny smile.
"Where will you go Amy? Are you going to try and get your job back at the Courier?"
"Well actually, Murdock asked me to stay here and live in the apartment."
"Yeah. He didn't like the idea that someone he didn't know was going to live here so he asked me and I accepted."
"That's great!" I said.
"She promised me she'd keep up the place while we're gone. And maybe time, you can come back and take it over."
"I don't know about that HM. We'll see. I think its going to be a long time before I can come back to live here."
"Well you know you are welcome to stay here anytime you like. And you have the number. If you ever want to get away, PLEASE come and stay with me."
"I will. No you two go catch up while I pack my things."
"Yeah yeah. I know."
When they left the room, I packed my things and looked around for the last time. I tried to convince myself, that if this was the hardest thing in life I had to go through, I could get through anything. It'll hurt for a while, but having HM around, I think I'll do just fine.
It was a long flight, but we didn't have to worry about passengers or pilots. The only pilot we needed was HM. He wouldn't tell me how he got the plane. He said it was courtesy of his `new' boss and I should take his word for it.
The flight was smooth but silent. It was the routine we went through I would miss the most. BA strapped to his seat after being subjected to his knockout juice. Hannibal grinning from ear to ear after the completion of a job. Face complaining about a con almost gone wrong or one of the Colonel's plans that never worked out the way it was supposed to. It used to make me laugh.
I followed my brother into his apartment. It was spacious and comfortable looking. It was a lot different than his room at the VA. Although I spied some arcade games in the corner. Pac-Man and Missile Command. I smiled and shook my head.
"So how do ya like our new pad?"
"I like it a lot. But I noticed you couldn't do without the video games."
"Aww come on sis." He whined. YOU know as well as I do that you'll be playin' them too."
"I don't know what you're talking about." I played the innocent.
"Sure ya do. Want anything to eat or drink?"
"No. I'm tired actually. I think I need a little nap. Which room is mine?"
"If you vould follow me madam, I vill show you."
I giggled and followed him.
"Here we are."
"HM this is beautiful. It reminds me of…of…"
"You can tell me. I'm your big brother."
"It reminds me of Face. I told him I wanted to do a sea shore motif because it made me think of him. WAIT…I ONLY told him. How did YOU know?"
"I ah…um…He told me just before um…well ya know."
"Let me tuck ya in and I'll wake ya in a few for dinner."
"Ok sounds good." He tucked me in and kissed my forehead.
"I love you Rynnie. Sleep tight don't let the bed bugs bite."
"I love you too HM." I closed my eyes and went to sleep.
Everything was smoky. I tried to see ahead of me, but visibility was zero. I heard familiar voices and followed them. I saw figures tied to tall posts and I started running. I didn't like where this was leading. The smoke was starting to clear. There, standing in front of me was Hannibal, Face, and BA. The Firing Squad was about to fire. I heard another voice. This time it was bellowing and commanding."
"NOOOOOOOOOOOO" I screamed and ran towards them. It seemed as though I was running forever. Then I heard it.
Loud and piercing gunfire rang through my ears as I screamed again. I saw the men drop to the ground bleeding.
"OH GOD NO!" It had been done. The members of the firing squad were pointing their fingers and laughing at me.
"You're too late. The A-Team has FINALLY been eliminated. Those men were a disgrace to themselves and this country."
"YOU BASTARD! HOW COULD YOU SAY THAT? YOU DID'NT EVEN KNOW THEM!"
"I know enough. Shouting at me won't bring them back." He turned around and started walking away.
"DON'T you turn your back on me. I want to know WHY? WHY was the A-Team set up? You KNOW they're innocent."
The man turned around and I put my hand over my mouth. "DECKER? What the?"
"So, Murdock WAS part of The A-Team? I knew he was lying the whole time. How does it feel to know your brother was involved with these dangerous men?"
"Dangerous? Those men weren't dangerous. If anyone was dangerous it was YOU Decker. Oh yes! I heard all about your little stunts in Viet…HEY! Where the hell did he go?"
I looked over to see Temp's hand extended out to me. Expressions of pain twisted upon his face. I could see the puddle of blood forming around him. If he was alive there was chance the others were alive. I ran over to BA and felt for his pulse. Nothing. I went over to the Colonel. Nothing. The tears welled up in my eyes as I approached Face.
"Temp. It's going to be ok. I will get you out of here." I said as I kneeled down and gathered him in my arms.
"No. Too…too late for me."
"It's not. I can get you out of here. Please."
"I love…love you Ryn. Love never dies."
I watched his eyes roll into the back of his head and his body go limp.
"NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO! FAAAAAAACE! WHY? WHYYYYYYY? PLEASE DON'T LEAVE ME! I LOVE YOU!
"Maryn! Rynnie! Wake up!"
I sat up in a cold sweat and my face was wet with tears. I saw my brother look at me with concern in his eyes. Jumping into his lap, I cried.
"S'ok sis. I'm here. I was just a dream."
"Oh God HM. I was…was there. I saw them get shot. B..BA and Hannibal were gone. But Face…he was still alive. He said love…love never dies and that he loved me."
I looked at my brother and saw sadness in his brown eyes. Almost as if he wanted to tell me something. Like he was keeping some secret. He would never keep secrets from me. I'm his sister, he tells me everything. But this time, I could see it in his eyes. I KNEW there was something he wasn't telling me.
"Wh…what's the matter HM? You have this look in your eyes as if you not telling me something. PLEASE tell me." I finally said after I had wiped my eyes.
"Nothin's the matter. I guess I ah…just miss the guys ya know?"
"Yes I know. I miss them too."
"Ya gotta promise me somethin' Muchacha."
"Ok. What's the promise?"
He grabbed my shoulders and looked into my eyes "Ya gotta promise me that you'll never give up on the love ya have for Facey."
"What? I don't…don't understand."
"I know ya don't, but please just promise."
"Ok I promise."
"Goodie. NOW time to get outta that bed and get some food in your hungry little tummy."
"OK be there in a few minutes. I want to wash up."
He smiled and went out of the room. Something about that promise burned at my soul. He was serious. Maybe all the pressure WAS building up again. Should I call Doctor Richter? He would know what to do. DAMN IT! HM was declared sane. He wouldn't be able to help him. Richter thought my brother wasn't crazy to begin with. He thought the craziness was a cover. For he had known somehow, HM was the inside man for the A-Team. If the guys were in trouble, he pulled them out. After so many disappearances from VA, who would be stupid enough NOT to know? What is the definition of stupid? Look it up and you will see Colonel Decker and Colonel Lynch's names bold and highlighted. I chuckled to myself.
"Hey Rynnie? What's takin' ya so long? My tummy is talkin' to me."
"What's it saying?" I yelled.
"Its sayin', "If Rynnie doesn't hurry up, I'm gonna eat ALL her food."
"All right I'm coming."
One thing about my brother, he can make me laugh when I needed it. And I DID need it. I rubbed my eyes. They were itchy and they hurt. It seems as though all I want to do is cry. It hurts when you lose someone you love. But to lose them the way I have is disturbing. It's not everyday your loved ones are tried and put to death, in front of a firing squad, but your OWN country. I should become an anarchist. No, I don't think HM would take to that well. After all this country has done to him and HIS friends, he is as patriotic as they come.
"Rynnie WHAT are you doin'?"
"Ok Ok I'm coming."
I finally crawled out of bed and went out to eat my dinner. I never did get to wash up.
HM had to leave for a couple of days. It's not the same around here without him. It's not the same without the others. I figured it would take some time before I got over their deaths, but not THIS long. A month had already passed by. There isn't a day that goes by I don't think about them. About HIM. Oh how I wish I could forget. But the dreams and memories are still there to remind me. As my promise to HM.
Before he left, he took me to a Vietnam War Memorial. They call it The Wall. It was the most beautiful monument I have ever seen. The names of the men who fought and died are on that wall. It was peaceful yet emotional. The muffled sounds of sobs and murmurs could be heard from other bystanders. It was the first time I saw my brother cry. He put his hand on select, engraved names, and said silent prayers. I came up behind him and wrapped my arms around his waist. He turned around and cried as I held him. He told me the names he touched were other pilots like him that were shot down. Other Vets consoled him by putting a hand on his shoulder as they nodded. Their faces were tear stained and somber looking. You could see the haunting memories and demons of war clouded in their eyes. A hell no one should have to go through.
As dusk approached, we watched others as they lit candles and prayed to the Lord this kind of war would never happen again. Shadows from the trees and The Wall itself cast eerie silhouettes upon the ground. I felt as though the presence of the deceased were among us. Watching over us as we grieve for their loss.
As HM and I left the memorial, we heard a song playing in the courtyard across the way. A song that felt right. I remembered it. Creedence Clearwater Rival sang it I believe.
Put a candle in the window, 'cause I feel I've got to move.
Though I'm going, going, I'll be coming home soon,
'Long as I can see the light.
Pack my bag and let's get movin', 'cause I'm bound to drift a while.
When I'm gone, gone, you don't have to worry long,
'Long as I can see the light.
Guess I've got that old trav'lin' bone, 'cause this feelin' won't leave me alone.
But I won't, won't be losin' my way, no, no
'Long as I can see the light.
Yeah! Yeah! Yeah! Oh, Yeah!
Put a candle in the window, 'cause I feel I've got to move.
Though I'm going, going, I'll be coming home soon,
Long as I can see the light.
Long as I can see the light.
Long as I can see the light.
Long as I can see the light.
Long as I can see the light.
We stayed until the end of the song played. I looked over at HM and saw the tears trickle down his face once again. "You'll never know how much this song means to me Muchacha." Was what he said to me. I hugged him and we were on our way.
I heard someone coming through the door. I walked into the living room and saw HM. Running over to him, I planted a kiss on his cheek and he picked me off the ground in a hug.
"HEY! Put me down." I giggled.
"I missed ya so much sis. How was everything while I was gone?"
"Lonely but fine. Oh my God! Where did you get that black eye from?"
"Oh I um…It's funny actually. I wasn't watchin' where I was goin' and I got into a fight with a door. And it won."
"I can see that. I can also see that you're tired. Why don't you go get some sleep and we'll talk when you wake up."
"Nah, I'm fine really. `Sides I wanna spend some time with my lil sis since she missed me so much."
"Yes I did." It was odd. I smelled familiar cologne on his clothes. Then, it HIT me. "HM, why do you smell like Face's cologne?"
"Huh? I do?"
"Yes you do."
"Oh I found a bottle of it in my room at the VA before I left. And I been usin' it ever since."
"That's funny because this is the first time I've smelled it on you."
"I don't put a lot on. Not like Facey did."
He wouldn't look me in the eyes. WHY? What was going on? Why is he acting so strange? Was it because he missed Temp and the others? Well I guess if I'm going to ask, now would be the perfect time.
"Why can't you look me in the face when you talk about Temp or the other guys?"
"I don't know what you're talkin' about."
"I think you DO. Every time you talk about them, you can't look at me. Is there something you're not telling me?"
"No Ryn. I'm not keepin' anything from ya. What makes ya think that?"
"Well you can't look at me, and you've been acting strange for the last month. You're so edgy lately. Is it because of your job?"
"YES ok. It's `cause of my job. There are ya happy?"
He walked past me into his room and slammed the door. I stared after him in awe. Maybe I was pressing too much. I hate fighting with my brother. So I went over to the Pac-Man game and started playing. It always makes me feel better.
I played for half an hour until the ghosts ate all my Pac-Men. I wanted to make sure HM was all right, so I walked over to his door and quietly opened it. He was lying on his bed with his hands behind his head.
"Hey." I said.
"Can I talk to ya for sec?"
"Are you sure you want to? You seemed pretty angry with me."
"Yeah. Come on in."
I came in and sat on the edge of his bed.
"Look, I'm sorry if I got under your skin. I didn't mean to."
"It's ok. You're my brother and we live together. We aren't always going to get along. Sibling rivalry. Ever hear of it?"
He chuckled. "Not til I met YOU. I love ya so much Maryn. I hope ya see that."
"I KNOW you love me. And I love you. I shouldn't be questioning you when you come home from you job or the way you've been acting. I just worry about you."
"I know ya do. And ya have every right to question me. It's only fair. But my job is classified. I can't tell ya about it."
"I understand and I'm sorry."
"I'll forgive ya on one condition."
"Uh oh. What's the condition?"
"Ya have to forgive ME."
"Only if I have to." I punched his arm and laughed.
"How `bout a game of Missile Command?"
It's been 6 months and everything is wonderful. Life is getting easier. I don't think about the executions so much. But I still have the same dream over and over again. HM got home from another assignment yesterday and has been sleeping ever since. It reminds me when he used to go on missions with the guys. How tired and cranky they always were. The ringing of the telephone startled me.
There was a click and the line went dead. It was strange. I didn't think anyone had this number besides Amy. It was probably a wrong number. But it started ringing again.
"I'd like to speak with HM Murdock please."
"May I ask who's calling?"
This was really strange. I shook my head and went into his room.
"Someone's on the phone for you?"
"Tell who ever it is that I'm dead and they're to send flowers."
"HM! That's NOT funny."
"All right, I'm up. I'll take it in here."
"OK." I walked out into the living room and waited for him to pick up the phone.
"I got it." I heard him yell.
There was something familiar about the voice on the other end. I couldn't place it. There was A LOT of things I couldn't place. Out of curiosity, I went to HM's room and leaned my ear against the cracked open door. I NEVER invaded his privacy. But as the saying goes, curiosity killed the cat. I could hear him talking quietly only making out a few words.
"No…No…No! I WON'T do it…If Stockwell finds out, he'll crucify us man."
Stockwell. Must be the name of his boss.
"But don't ya realize if we go through this meeting, it could jeopardize the pardons?'
Pardons? What the hell is he talking about?
" I know ya do. So do I. But it's too risky…I don't… No I……FINE we'll go through this, but its your ass."
HM slammed the phone down on its base and paced the room. I shouldn't have listened to his conversation. He would never do that to me. I saw him coming towards the door, quick stepped it to the kitchen and acted busy.
"Oh hiya. What's up? You look…flustered."
"Just a little. I need ya to do me a favor."
"Would…. Damn it….. Could ya go down to the market on the corner to grab some munchies?"
"Ah yeah. But we HAVE munchies."
"Yeah but I need some rocky road ice cream to calm me down. It's…its work."
"Sure big brother. Anything you want, your little sis gets."
I grabbed my windbreaker and satchel and headed to the market.
He watched her leave the apartment and made his move. Making sure no one was watching or following him. He knew he was risking a lot to see her. He owed Murdock his life for this chance. The pilot was upset with him and he knew it. But he couldn't get the green-eyed brunette out of his head. He loved her too much for HM to keep lying to her. Before he could knock on the door, it abruptly opened and he was pulled forcefully pulled inside.
"Geez! What was that about?"
"You know damn well what's its about Facey. If Hannibal or Stockwell gets down wind of this…"
"I know I know. Don't remind me."
"Were you followed?"
"What? Come on! Was I followed? You think I'm nuts Murdock?"
"No I am, but that's besides the point. Do ya have any idea what this is gonna do to her?"
"I realize that. But I love her. I thought I could just forget. But…but I can't. We were supposed to be married by now. Vacationing in the Caribbean, sucking on Mai Tais."
"You really DO love her don't ya?"
"More than you'll ever know buddy."
"You have no idea what she went through after she heard of the `executions'. I hated seein' her like that. Upset all the time."
"I can only imagine. How is she now?"
"She's doin' real good. Until she sees YOU."
"Murdock, you KNOW why I have to do this. I STILL want her. Even if I have to sacrifice my pardon or my life…. Again."
"Oh that's just great Lieutenant. What are ya gonna do, spend the rest of your life with her on the lam again?"
"If I have to, yes."
"If ya do, ya know it will be shoot to kill."
"It won't be if no one knows."
"Right. But you're not thinkin' here chief. Stockwell has connections EVERYWHERE. He WILL find you."
Face shifted uncomfortably. "What if I take her back to Stockwell and DEMAND she stay with us. Give him an ultimatum like he did to us."
"He's not gonna for it."
"She won't get in the way. She'll be with us Murdock. And you know damn well that Stockwell will have her under surveillance."
"I don't like this Face. I don't want my lil sister anywhere NEAR Stockwell. He could hold her over heads if we don't cooperate."
"Listen Murdock, if Stockwell doesn't approve of this even after I push him into it, I PROMISE you I'll let her go."
"Ok it's a deal. What's Hannibal and the Big Guy gonna do when they find out?"
"Well they'll be mad at me for bringing her to Stockwell's. But they miss her. Especially Hannibal. He has a picture of him and her on his nightstand. And BA broke out the gold Necklace she bought for him."
"Ya mean he's actually wearin' it?"
"Yup. Hasn't taken it off since."
"If ANYTHING happens to her Face, you're gonna feel the wrath of Murdock. And you're gonna find out how howlin' mad I can be."
"Whoa there. The birds are flying away and the fire rays are coming out of your eyes. Everything will be fine. Don't you remember hearing Hannibal saying I could con the pope out of his holiness?"
"Yeah lots of times."
"There you go. It's all a matter of ……"
They heard someone coming through the door.
"She's here Facey."
I kept thinking about the conversation HM was having on the phone. His job seems to be stressing him out. I hope he doesn't over do it. I walked through the door.
I dropped the brown paper bag with the ice cream in it. A blonde haired man with sparkling blue eyes turned around and stared at me. I must be seeing things. I had to be.
"You can't be real. You were…were executed. I saw the coverage, the body bags. HM?" The tears welled up in my eyes. I was frozen. It seemed as though time had stopped.
"He's real Rynnie. Face is alive. So is the Colonel and BA."
He was walking towards me. But I still couldn't move. He reached for me and finally I ran into his arms sobbing.
"Oh Temp. I missed…. Missed you so much."
He kissed me and ran his fingers through my hair. "I've missed you more. I had to see you again. I know it was hard for Murdock to keep lying to you about us being dead."
"That's why he made me promise. And his strange behavior every time your names came up."
I clung on to him like a child clings to a mother. "I don't want to let you go." I said my voice cracking.
"Ok so what was the promise?" Temp asked.
"I made her promise not to give up the love she had for ya."
I pulled away from him. "And I haven't. There hasn't been anyone else." I thought about you every day. Every night. It was really hard for me in the beginning."
"I know it was darling. But I had no control over that."
"How did you pull it off?"
"Well, you remember Frankie?"
"Yes. How could I forget him? He was annoying as hell. NOT to mention that he set you guys up."
"Right. Murdock and Frankie came to the island and switched the live rounds for the rifles with blanks. We swallowed a pill to slow our respiratory system down to almost nil. Stockwell, the guy who set all this up, in the mean time arranged for our bodies to be picked up by his agents. And NOW, we here and very much alive."
"I'm…I'm so confused." My head was spinning. I wasn't sure how much I could take. Hannibal, BA and FACE alive? After all this time of grieving for them.
"See Rynnie the job I got, really isn't a job at all."
"Well WHAT do you call it?"
"Suicide missions." Face and HM said at the same time.
"Stockwell came to us with a proposal. We go on a number of missions for him, and he will give us a FULL Presidential Pardon."
"All of you?"
"All of us sis."
"Wow! I mean…this is very…too much to take in one shot."
I saw Temp look at my brother with silent, pleading eyes.
"Well, I think I'll just go and take the rest of my nap. YOU guys behave yourselves."
"Come on Murdock. You know me."
"Yeah I do oh great Facial One. That's what I'm afraid of."
"Get!" I said to HM. I noticed that mischievous smile he flashed him. I missed that. I missed him.
He took my hand and led me over to the sofa. He pulled me into a passionate kiss. The fire I had for him still burned through my veins. He touch was electrifying. I broke away from his kiss and touched his face.
"Damn it Temp." I said in a near whisper.
"What is it?"
"Why didn't you contact me or try to send some kind of word that you were alive. It would have been so much easier for me to deal with."
"I couldn't. No one was to know we were alive. If the Military Police or government found out we were still alive, there would be a shoot to kill bounty on all of our heads. Including Frankie because he helped pull off the con."
"So is this visit a one time thing?"
"NO! I am breaking the rules already. Why not go a step further. I'm going to take you to Stockwell. If he approves fine, if not, we'll be on the run again. I love you too much to be away from you. Can you handle that?"
I had to think long and hard about this. I remember what it was like for the guys to be on the run. Couldn't stay in one place for too long in fear of Lynch, Decker or the local authorities catching up to them. I DID love him. And I wanted to be with him. But I don't know if I could be on the run for the rest of my life. It could possibly mean no contact with my brother.
"Face, I don't know about this. I'd have to think about it. I don't want to be the reason for you to lose your pardon or the others' pardons. And I need my brother in my life right now. We have to make up time for the time we lost. Can you see what I'm saying?"
"Yes. Yes I can. Maybe we could go to Stockwell and if he disapproves, then he disapproves. I'll stay away until I get my pardon. Then we can be together. If you can wait for me."
"Temp, I can wait for you if this doesn't pan out. I love you with all my heart."
"I love you too." He kissed me again.
"I see you still have your engagement ring on."
"Oh my God. Yes I do. To tell you the truth, I forgot I had it on my finger."
"It's ok. With everything you've been through these past months I could see why. Maryn, please forgive me. I never wanted any of this to happen. I never wanted to hurt you."
"Listen to me. None of this was your fault. You have to know that. None of you asked for this."
"No we didn't. All we did was serve our country in a trying time and look where it got us."
"Exactly. If anyone has been hurt, its you guys."
"Everything all right in here?"
Some nap I thought.
"Yeah buddy. Everything is fine."
"HM, Temp is going to this Stockwell person to tell him about us."
"No No! I don't think that's such a good idea. Face, do ya even realize that you could put Rynnie in danger? Or Stockwell may hold her over our heads? We've already been through this."
"Murdock, I love your sister. And I am going to do what it takes to be with her. If I have to wait until I get my pardon then I will. She already agreed to wait for me."
I knew my brother wasn't happy. He put his hands in the pockets of his khakis and blew out a long breath.
"Hey. I'll be fine. No need to worry about me HM."
"Maryn, you have no idea what Stockwell's like. He's manipulative and can get any information he wants and needs. So yes there's reason to be worried about ya. You're my lil sis, and if anything happened to ya, I don't know what I'd do."
"I want to see Hannibal and BA."
"Aww Ryn. See Facey I told ya this was a bad idea."
"Damn it HM. I am a big girl now. I can take care of myself. And if you're that worried, then you can come with us."
"Yeah, that's a great idea." He rolled his eyes.
"Well I hate to cut this short, but I have to get back to Langley before anyone misses me."
"I'm going with you."
I saw my brother throw his hands up and nod his head.
"Ok. But we'll all go."
"OK let me grab some things and we'll be on our way."
The scenery in Langley was beautiful. Its rolling, green hills were serene and majestic. It wasn't long that we pulled up before a house that was heavily guarded by men in expensive suits. I started to get a terrible feeling that Face and I were doing the wrong thing. The car door opened and I climbed out. The sun was hot and bright. I could feel the guards' eyes on me as I walked up to the front door. My knees got weak and I started sweating. Not knowing what the reactions of the Colonel and BA might be.
I could feel the cool air from inside the house as I followed last behind my brother. In the corner of the room, I saw Frankie shooting billiards. He stopped and gave me a puzzling look. I smiled uneasily and turned back to Temp grabbing his hand.
"Um HANNIBAL…. I think you better come in here and take a look at this." Frankie bellowed.
My heart was racing. It wasn't everyday I saw the men I loved come back from the dead.
"What is it Frankie?"
He looked over at us in awe. I could tell he wasn't comfortable with this situation.
I walked over to him and embraced the silver haired man. I could hear myself choking back the lump that was forming in my throat.
"It's good to see ya Kid."
"Hey man what's goin' on?"
"BA!" I said.
He came over to join in the embrace. The men I loved were safe and WITH me. Something I'd never dreamed of happening after the executions.
Tears of joy welled up in our eyes as Face and HM completed the circle. I felt bad for Frankie. He wasn't part of the team nor had he won brownie points with any of us. So being the sucker I am, I broke out of the embrace and went over to him.
"Frankie its good to see you again." I said as I hugged him kissed his cheek.
"This is all fine and dandy, but could someone please tell me what the hell is going on here? Lieutenant, I think that someone should be you."
"Hannibal please try and understand. For once in my life things were coming together. And to have it taken away in heart beat was killing me. Not to mention putting Ryn through hell all these months."
"Face, you shouldn't have brought her here. THAT was bad judgement."
"Yeah man. The General ain't gonna like this."
"I tried to tell him Colonel."
"I'm sure you did Murdock."
"Uh oh. And I guess I don't have to tell you who just pulled up the drive do I?" Frankie said.
"This could ruin any chance of a pardon for us Lieutenant."
"I know Hannibal. Let me handle this."
My skin crawled as man in a dark suit and yellow tinted aviator glasses came into the room. I could feel the room getting colder and grow darker. I could only assume he was Stockwell.
"What is the meaning of this meeting gentleman? And who is this woman?"
"Let me explain."
"By all means Lieutenant Peck."
"This WOMAN is Maryn Murdock. She is HM's sister."
"Which I had already known. Get to the point."
I saw HM's face run crimson with anger.
"You see, this was…IS my fiancé. And I refuse to live here without her. We have done everything you asked of us in the last six, going on seven months. And I think you owe us MORE than just a pardon General."
"Every time you put a mission in our hands, we put our lives on the line."
"I do believe that was the agreement."
"I love her Stockwell. And if it means I throw out my pardon, then so be it. Nothing means more to me in this world than Maryn. And if it means giving up my freedom, that's fine with me. LOVE always prevails."
"Very emotional Peck. But what do you want from me?"
"I want her AND Murdock to live here in Langley with us. Having them under FULL protection. I want to have a life, well a semi life, with the woman I love."
"I expected this to happen. But not this quickly. All I have to do is make a phone call and….."
"DAMN IT Stockwell listen before you go and ruin our cover. I didn't want to go through life questioning the what ifs. Maryn and this team are all I have. And I'll be damned if some delusional General will stop me."
"Ah, but you didn't let me finish Lieutenant. But since you interrupted what I was about to say…no go."
"You betta finish what ya started sucka." BA said and raised his fist.
A nervous look came upon the general's face, as he took off his glasses. "All I have to do is make a phone call, and then she and Captain Murdock are in. BUT…"
"I don't like the sound of that." Temp said.
"There will be certain conditions and terms they must follow. AND there will be an ample amount of missions added."
"Now wait a minute Stockwell, I think we've had our share of missions. Having the privilege of Murdock and his sister live with us should be a gift or reward, so to speak. Considering we almost DID get ourselves killed on this last charade you sent us on."
I saw Hannibal light his cigar. Something I had missed. Although I didn't miss the smell.
"I think I would like to hear what Miss Murdock has to say."
Me? Why did he want to hear from me? I gulped and took a breath. "General Stockwell, I'm not sure what to say or how to convince you to change your mind about this situation. But you have no idea what I went through. Thinking I lost the men I loved and NOW, I have a second chance with them. A second chance at love with Face. In a way, I owe everything I have to you for keeping them alive. But if you need something more than just my word, I'll give or do anything it takes.
"Rynnie NO! You don't owe him nothin'."
"Your sister is very noble and loyal Captain Murdock. Maybe you should take some lessons from her."
"HM! Stop it! I love you and the guys. Like Face, I am WILLING to do whatever it takes to be with you."
"Normally I am not soft shelled Miss Murdock. But for some unknown explanation, I'm in a considerably good mood. I expect nothing in return. Only your word that you will do things…. MY WAY."
"Colonel Smith, you and your men are still alive. Something I didn't expect with the difficult missions I have assigned to you. So consider this a reward for your services. Good day gentleman."
We watched the general walk out of the room. The guys seemed to be confused by the looks on their faces.
"Temp what's with the confused looks on your faces?" I decided to ask.
"Ah, Stockwell just doesn't GIVE us rewards."
"Yeah. Is he on drugs? Because if he is, I know this great rehabilitation center in LA."
"I think he needs more than a rehabilitation center Frankie." Hannibal said.
"Well Muchachos, I guess we'll be your roomies till ole Stockwell cuts us loose."
"Aww Hannibal. That's means I'm stuck with this fool again."
"BA YOU know ya love me. I can see it in those big chocolate eyes of yours."
"Ya don't see nothin' cause you crazy."
"Well I guess some things haven't changed." I said as I laughed.
"Nice work Lieutenant. Don't EVER do it again."
"Well I ah…Ryn can I borrow you for minute?"
Face took my hand and led me out a glass sliding door. There were beautiful rose gardens and trees accenting the yard. A swimming pool and barbecue area was catty corner to us.
"Maryn." Temp swung me around and picked me off the ground. "I knew this would work. I just knew it."
"Sure you did. You were getting ready to run as soon as Stockwell came into the room."
"I haven't the faintest clue what you're talking about."
"Yes you do. Did you think I wouldn't notice the nervousness in your voice?"
"Maybe I was a little nervous."
I shook my head no.
"Ok ok! I was A LOT nervous."
"That's not even the issue anymore Temp. The issue now is us."
"Yes I know. We could pick up where we left off."
I turned away from him. I didn't want him to see me cry. The last time I had seen Face was the last day of the trial. He had such a vacant look in his eyes when the verdict of execution was announced. There was no sparkle, no emotion. But now, the sparkle and the mischievous look were back.
"Maryn, are you all right?"
"Y..Yes." He turned me to face him.
"If there is something wrong please tell me."
"Its just all so much to take in at one time. One minute I was grieving for you and now…I'm ecstatic to have you back in my life."
"I can only imagine how you feel. But I promise you, things will be different. They may not always go the way WE want them too, but they will eventually work themselves out. Kinda like Hannibal's plans."
I had to laugh at his statement towards Hannibal's plans. I myself thought the same thing at one time.
"Hey Faceman, Hannibal wants you and Maryn for a minute."
"Why's that Frankie?" Face asked as he rolled his eyes.
"Because we are cracking open a nice bottle of bubbly to celebrate."
"Ok we'll be there in a minute. And it better not be that cheap imitation wine Stockwell provides for us."
"Yeah yeah yeah."
"You go ahead. I'll be there in a minute."
"OK see you in a few."
"I love you."
"And I love you."
I watched him go through the glass sliding door. Everything seemed back to the way it was. But how could I tell? It was the first time I'd seen him since the trial. If it hadn't been for my brother, I'm not so sure I could have gotten through this traumatic experience. And if it hadn't been for him, I would have given up completely. I think if I had to give advice on love, this is what I'd say. Love can come in different scenarios, whether it is good or bad. Love is strength and weakness. If you have no love, you have no life. But I've come to learn, in life OR death, love never dies.
~* Fin *~