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Title: The Test of Friendship

Test of Friendship

by Susie and Red

 

Rated: PG

Warning: Main character death...with recurring role. Swearing, and lots of angst... Some m/m love in future parts.

Disclaimer: We don't own the guys but we sure like to play with them...

Comments: yes, please

Summary: After the Death of a character Face begins seeing things when he wears a certain object. Don't want to give too much away here.

Copyright: 2001

 

 

♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦

 

Part 1

 

It was raining hard that day. But it didn't matter to Templeton Peck. His whole world had shattered three days ago. He sat there at the cemetery numbness penetrating through his body as he watches the coffin of his best friend being lower into the ground. He watches as his Colonel and friend lead a small gun salute in honor of their friend. He stared at him as he presented him the flag from the coffin and salutes him. Templeton Peck slowly rose and numbly returns the salute. As his Colonel steps back, Templeton thought back to that day. The day his world ended.

 

 

*Flashback*

 

HM Murdock lay on the sand with his best friend Templeton Peck or Face. They had both just returned to LA after the team had been given full pardons. They were now free men no longer on the run. Face with the money he had saved had brought a beach house where he was staying and Murdock had decided to visit. Face smiled down at Murdock as he lay on the sand.

 

"Hey Faceman, penny for your thought."

 

"It's nothing Murdock I was just thinking about the fact that we are now free. I didn't think Stockwell would lived up to his promise."

 

 Murdock sat up and gazed at Face. "You know I was beginning to wonder about that myself. But then out of the blue he gives you your pardons. Then practically throws you out of the house."

 

 Face laughed and threw sand at Murdock who suddenly jumped up and tackled Face into the sand. Both men started laughing neither one noticing the pair of eyes watching them.

 

"Come on Murdock we promised Hannibal to see his comeback as the Aquamaniac."

 

 "Face do we have to? I'm hungry. How about something to eat first?"

 

 "I could run up to the house and get something."

 

"Oh I was hoping for on of those cheesy chili dogs."

 

 "Murdock those things are messy."

 

"Please Facey. I want one real bad. I mean the taste just won't leave my mouth. It like I will die if I don't get one."

 

"Murdock you won't die if you don't get a cheesy chili dog."

 

 "What Face? I can't hear you. I think I am fading away. I need that cheesy chilidog. Say good bye to Hannibal and the mud sucker for me. Tell them I died with honor."

 

 "Okay, okay knock it off. I'll get you your cheesy chilidog. But you own me Murdock big time." Face headed toward the hot dog stand. He brought Murdock his disgusting cheesy chilidogs. Face hated those things. They were messy and always dripped down his hands and they were hot. Face could not understand how Murdock's stomach didn't dissolved after eating one of those. He started back when suddenly a girl ran into him causing him to drop the cheesy chilidogs in the sand.

 

"Oh my. I am sorry. I didn't see you," she exclaimed. Face smiled at her.

 

 "Hey that okay I can always buy two more."

 

 "No I will buy them for you. I insist after all it is my fault that you lost those." Face except her offer and she bought him two more and they enjoy a cup of coffee together.

 

"Thank you for letting me treat you Face, maybe I'll see you around."

 

 "You can count on it Misty. I will be around."

 

 Face headed back to where Murdock was waiting. As he approached, he noticed that Murdock had turned over on his stomach probably because the sun had been shining in his eyes. Face walked up to him.

 

"Hey Murdock wake up. I got you your cheesy yucky chilidogs."

 

 Face waited for Murdock to roll over and sit up. But he didn't.

 

"Murdock? Faces asked as he knelt down beside him and turn him over. All Face saw was a pair of dead eyes staring at him.

 

"MURDOCKKKKKKKKKKKKKK!" He screamed.

 

 

*Present*

 

Face realized that he had screamed out loud and Hannibal was at his side in an instant. Face stared at him then crumbled into his arms and bawled like a baby. Hannibal held his friend tight.

 

"Come on Face let it out you hadn't cried since it happened come on son let it out."

 

BA stood away and just watched. He didn't know what to say. Two days later the teams was at Murdock's apartment. They were packing up Murdock's snuff to give to the Goodwill as Murdock request in his will Face sat on the bed clutching the jacket. The jacket had been given to him at Murdock's request. Face slowly got up and walks out of the room. Hannibal and BA just watch.

 

 "Is he going to be all right, Hannibal?"

 

Hannibal sighed. "I don't know BA. I hope so. It's been two days since the funeral and Face hasn't eaten or spoken a word. Let's give him time."

 

BA nodded his head. Face sat in his car staring intensely at the jacket. "Why Murdock? Why did you make me go after those stupid chilidogs. If I had been there I might had been able to stop what happened."

 

 Face slammed his fist on the steering wheel to calm down .He was so angry inside. This was so unfair to finally get their pardons only to loose his best friend. He held the jacket closer hoping to smell Murdock scent on it but he got nothing. Suddenly a cold breeze came up and Face felt chilly so he put the jacket on.

 

 "Hey Faceman long time no see."

           

Face jumped as the familiar voice drifted over to him from the back seat. Startled, he lifted his eyes to the rearview mirror but saw no one there. "I must really be losing it." He muttered feeling his heart beat slow back down to its normal rhythm. The imaginary voice seemed so real, to clear. He could almost hear the giggle coming from thin air.

 

He zipped up the jacket folded his arms across his chest and closed his eyes picturing Murdock's face. The way his laugh lines crinkled as he was amused or the way his goofy grin would appear whenever he had pissed of BA one to many times. Despite himself, Face smiled at the memories. Memories were all he had now, bittersweet memories. 

 

"Calling Faceman, come in Faceman."

 

Face smiled as the familiar drawl invaded his thoughts. He could hear the twinkle in the voice as it giggled at him. So clear, so close.

 

"Come on Faceman, you can do it."

 

Face opened his eyes and frowned. That voice, had he imagined it? He looked around him in confused agitation. How dare someone mock his grief buy trying to imitate his best friend's voice! "Who are you?" He called out in anger at the unknown perpetrator. He tried to see out of the windshield but raindrops made viewing impossible.

 

"Whoa, Muchacho, calm down, it's only me." A deep melancholy drawl echoed so close that he felt the warmth of a voice next to his ear.

           

Face jumped at the voice and nearly leaped out of the corvette. His unconscious mind reached for the gun that he no longer needed to carry since his pardon. But since Murdock's death, those long three days ago; he had begun to carry it around again. He wanted the son of a bitch who had killed Murdock. Wanted him badly, so badly that he could feel his rage boil turning his blood into molasses.

 

"Who's there?" He called out again casting his vision out in all directions drawing his weapon closer, holding it at the ready.

 

"You gonna use that on your best buddy?"

 

Face whipped around in his seat and glanced at the back seat. Empty. "Who are you? Why are you doing this?" He screamed out in anguish. Tears burned behind his eyes, but he refused to allow them to fall at that moment in time. Plenty of time for that later in the privacy of his own home.

 

"Facey?"

 

Face raised the weapon and pointed it at the back seat towards the voice. He must really be losing it. There was nobody there.

 

"Facey?"

                       

"Damn it!" Face screamed covering his ears. "Stop it! Leave me alone!"

 

"No can do, buddy."

 

Face opened his eyes slowly at first then widened in alarm at the pair of eyes staring back at him.

 

"It can't be." Face muttered staring in horror at the figure sitting comfortably in the back seat. The figured grinned that all to familiar lopsided grin at him that made his stomach turn. "You're dead. I saw…"

 

"I know, Faceman. I am dead." Murdock leaned forward reaching out to comfort the shaken man before him. "And, I'm so sorry you had to find me like that."

 

Face closed his eyes against the image. "You're dead…you're dead." He chanted unable to believe his own eyes. "You can't be here."

 

The Murdock image grinned reaching out to push back the damp fallen fringe off the blonde man's forehead. He frowned as his hand passed right through. "Um…Facey?"

 

"Yeah?" Face automatically replied.

 

"Are you okay?"

 

"No I'm not. You're dead. I've lost my best friend, and now I'm hallucinating. Does that sound like I'm all right to you?"

 

"Well, at least you're talking to me. Man, I've been trying to get your attention since day one." Murdock said leaning his arms against the back of Face's seat. He leaned forward laying his chin on his arms looking up into Face's eyes. "You look great in my jacket."

 

"It's a little big." Face replied pulling the jacket a little snugger around him. "But, it's warm. I can see why you wore it all of the time." He grinned at the thought. "And to think that I used to get onto you about wearing it." He looked up back into his best friend's eyes. "Are you really here? Or do I get you're old room at the VA."

 

"I'm here Face. I haven't left you. I promised you once that I would never leave you alone, and I am keeping that promise until you are ready."

 

"Ready?" Face shivered. "Ready for what?"

 

"To let me go."

 

"I can't do that, Murdock, you've meant the world to me…I…I don't think that I can ever let you go." Tears began to cloud his vision…and Murdock began to fade. "Murdock? Wait! Don't go!" Face screamed reaching out to the vanishing figure. "Murdock?!?"

 

The passenger side door opened and Hannibal looked in concern etched deeply into his lined face. Face glanced between him and the empty back seat. His tears freely falling.

 

"Are you okay, Kid?" Hannibal asked getting inside of the car.

 

"No, sir." Face shook his head and began sobbing heavily.

 

Hannibal reached out and gathered the broken man into his arms.

 

 

Part 2

 

Hannibal drove from the cemetery to Face's Malibu home. The long winding drive in the rain kept Hannibal's attention on the slick road before him. Beside him, quiet sobs were heard above the pattering of rain. Face hadn't been able to calm himself down. Usually he was able to hide behind a façade of  masks and barriers, but not this time, this time it was harder to pull that curtain, that drapery of camouflage that he tends to hide behind far too much. Hannibal reached over and gently took Face's hand in his, letting him know that he was there for him. Face hiccupped softly and squeeze the hand once before releasing it, embarrassed by the gentle reminder. Hannibal risked a quick smile in his direction before turning his attention back to the road leaving Face alone with his torments again.

 

Once he had parked Face's vette in the garage, Hannibal led him through the plush living area into the master suite. Inside he removed Murdock's jacket from the broken man and ordered him to lie down. Obediently Face slipped between the silk sheets, too tired to argue or to change into his pajamas so, fully dressed, he quickly fell into a deep troubled sleep.

 

Hannibal started to place Murdock's jacket onto the bed frame when he stopped. The jacket that he knew so well. He held the familiar jacket close to his chest as a pain of loss ripped through his chest. He had missed seeing his friends, had put it off for far to long. Now, there would never be another chance to talk to Murdock. Maybe not a chance for Face as well, at least not for a while. He had been too broken, too shattered. It will be a long time for his pain to heal, as it will for himself and for BA.

 

"Why you of all people?" He thought angrily, clenching tightly to the leather coat like it was a lifejacket, holding onto his lucidity in the ocean of abandoned rationality. "Why did this have to happen to you? Who did you ever hurt to be treated like that? To be so ruthlessly murdered. Who could have done that to you?"

 

He hugged the jacket to his chest remembering the last time that he and Murdock had talked. It had been three weeks ago yesterday. He had been in Bad Rock with Maggie when Murdock called wanting to get everyone together for a weekend away in the mountains.

 

"To catch up on old times. Hannibal, Just for old times sake. Whadaya say?" The Familiar voice drawled through the telephone line. "Get you, me, Faceman and the big ugly Mudsuka together once again. Out in the woods just us four. It would be fun. Whadaya say, you in?"

 

"Sorry Captain," He had said, "Sounds like fun but, I couldn't get away just now. How about some other time, Okay?" he had replied and that was it. He could hear Murdock grin and say that it was fine, that they could do it some other time. No argument, no complaining, those things just weren't Murdock's way. Agreeable, as always, to the end.

 

To the end.

 

That was it, the last time he had heard that wonderful voice. There will never be any more  communications with him ever again. No more personas to play along with. No more goofy grins or opera ditties that he loved to sing. Songs that he sang so beautifully even Face was clearly impressed. Now that voice was silenced, forever. A powerful force grabbed at his heart and he bent over from the memories. The loss brought forth an emotional groan as he held onto the jacket with his life. They should have gotten together, should have gone away, spoken to each other, tried to say goodbye. But it was over, no more Murdock, no more of his crazy, humorous antics, no more silly songs and no more Billy.

 

 

Slowly, ever so slowly, with tears streaming down his face, he carefully draped the jacket over the bed frame and reached out to touch his last link to Murdock. Hannibal gently swept a tousled lock of hair back from his forehead.

 

"You need a haircut Kid." He muttered smiling through his tears. Face moaned and twisted away from the gentle caress. A look of sadness fell across his face as whatever dream he was in took control. Hannibal sighed and carefully closed the door behind him as he left. He let the tears fall unhindered as he leaned his forehead against the cool wood of the door.

 

"We will find the Bastard who did this." He pledged as he clenched his hands into fists resisting the urge to pound on something or someone. Anger filled his body as the tears rolled down his cheeks. "I promise you, Murdock, he will not get away with this."

 

He didn't notice the slight flutter of the drapes as he passed by or the soft moan of anguish from them.

 

"I know you will." Murdock thought sadly watching his friend's tortured form walk across the hall to the

guestroom. "I know you will."

 

*****

 

 Murdock stared down at Face who was now in a fit full sleep. "Oh, Face, I am so sorry I left you the way I did, but I am here now, and I like I promise, I will be here as long as you need me. "Face clung to the pillow in his sleep. Murdock sat by his bed and watched him. "I love you Face."

 

 He kept on driving. He didn't know where he was going and he didn't care. He just had to get away. BA Baracus had faced death so many times but this time it had been personal and it hurt so badly. He had been working at the garage when Hannibal called him on the phone.

 

"Hello?"

 

 "BA this is Hannibal. You had better come to Face's house. He needs us."

 

BA could tell something was wrong. "Hey, man, what wrong?"

 

"BA. Please just come. I don't want to discuss this over the phone."

 

 BA drove to Face's beach house. When he got there, police were all around. He made his way past them and came into the house. He stopped at the sight he saw. Both men were on the couch. Hannibal was holding on to Face who was in shock. Face kept repeating over and over again. "Why, Hannibal?"

 

 BA hurried over to them. "What happened to Faceman? Did that crazy fool do anything to him?"

 

 Suddenly, Face got up and pushed BA up against the wall "He not a fool stop calling him that. He is a better man then any of us. Do you here me BA?" He clenched his hand into a fist. "If you ever call him a fool again, I will break every bone in your body." Face released BA and walked away. BA stared at him then at Hannibal.

 

 "What wrong Hannibal and where Murdock?"

 

 Hannibal got off of the couch and placed his hand on BA.

 

"He was murdered."

 

 BA shook his head. The word still echoed in his mind. He was murdered. He remembered what he had done. He ran out of the house and he screamed at the top of his lungs ripping his shirt and clawing at his chest. He barely remembered Hannibal trying his best to comfort him. But BA would not be comforted, he had cried so hard. He suddenly pulled away from Hannibal and went after Face.

 

 "Why didn't you protect him?"

 

 Face stared at him. "Why do you care? He gone. No one to get on your nerves any more."

 

 The minute the words came out Face regretted it. "Oh, God! BA, I am so sorry. I didn't mean it."

 

 BA nodded at Face. "It's okay."

 

 Hannibal looked at his men. "Face, can you show us where it happened?

 

 Face shook his head. "I can't Hannibal, please don't ask me too."

 

Hannibal nodded his head. He then asked one of the policemen to show him, leaving BA to watch Face.

 

**********

 

 BA drove all night, by morning he found himself in front of Face's beach house. He didn't remembered driving this way. He parked the van and climbed the stairs. He knocked on the door, and soon Hannibal came to the door.

 

"Hi, BA, come on in."

 

"How is Face?"

 

 "Tired, confused, devastated, take your pick. I don't know what to do BA. I feel so helpless. I had lost many of my men, in Vietnam but this hurts more."

 

"I know man. Murdock's death was senseless and it wasn't fair. Whoever killed him was a coward. He shot him in the back of the head."

 

 Hannibal started to reply when Face came into the kitchen.

 

"Good morning gentlemen. Isn't a beautiful morning?"

 

Hannibal and BA stared at Face. He was very badly dressed, not in his normal way. His pants were slightly twisted so that it looked very uncomfortable. His shirt was on inside out, from what they could see of it and his shirttail was hanging loose. But the one thing they stared at the most was the jacket. The only piece of clothing Face had on neatly.

 

"Good morning, Face," replied Hannibal.

 

"Hey guys did you stay over all night?"

 

"No man, I just got here."

 

 Face smiled. "I really think that was nice of you, but it not necessary."

 

Hannibal walked over to Face. "Kid, I really don't think you should be alone right now."

 

 Face smiled at Hannibal and BA. "But I am not alone, Murdock is here."

 

BA suddenly lost it and grabbed Face. "Stop it! Murdock is dead! He gone!"

 

Face suddenly found inner strength and stuck BA who fell back. "Don't you ever touch this jacket again! Do you understand me?"

 

Murdock gently placed his arms around Face. "It all right, Facey, calm down. BA can't see me."

 

 "Hold me, Murdock, please hold me," cried Face.

 

 "I am Muchacho. I am."

 

 Hannibal stared at Face. He needed help or they were going to lose him too.

 

 

Part 3

 

Hannibal stared intensely at Face. "Hey Face, why don't you take a shower? I think you could used one."

 

Face nodded his head. "I guess a shower would be a good idea. I'll go do that now." Face headed into the bathroom when Hannibal called him back.

 

"Hey Face give me the jacket. You can't wear it in the shower."

 

 Face hesitated for a moment pulling the jacket tighter.

 

"Face, Hannibal's right you can't take it in the shower."

 

"But if I take it off you will leave."

 

"Face, I won't leave, I will be here. I promise."

 

 Hannibal knew that Face wasn't speaking to him. "Face, I'm sure Murdock will stay."

 

"You don't believed Murdock is here do you Hannibal?"

 

"Face, I believe that you believe he is here."

 

 "Hannibal, he is here." Face took off the jacket and gave it to Hannibal. "Here. Put this on and you will see him."

 

 Hannibal just stared at the jacket. "Face?"

 

 "Hannibal, please, just put it on." Hannibal took the jacket and he put it on.

 

"Well?" Face asked.

 

"Well what? It's a little tight."

 

 "Do you see Murdock?"

 

"Face, all I see is you."

 

"That's impossible. You are wearing the jacket. Why can't you see him?"

 

 "Because I think this jacket has nothing to do with you seeing Murdock. I think you blame yourself and that's why you are seeing him."

 

 Face glared at Hannibal. "I don't care what you say. I can see him. I am going to take my shower please take care of that jacket for me."

 

 "Sure kid I will."

 

 Murdock watched as Face went to take a shower and Hannibal places the jacket on the back of the couch. The jacket fell into the box lying on the seat of the couch. Murdock tried to get it out but he couldn't touch it. This made no sense. He could touch Face but not the jacket. Suddenly there was a knock on the door Hannibal went to answer it.

 

"Hi I'm from the Goodwill. I was told to pick up some stuff."

 

 Hannibal nodded his head. "Come on in the box is in the living room on the couch."

 

"Thanks." The girl walked in and saw the box. She picked it up. "Thanks a lot."

 

 Hannibal waves at her because he was on the phone. The girl nodded her head and left. When she got out, she got into the truck.

 

 "Hey, Angel, look at this jacket."

 

The other girl looked at the jacket. "Too old. We wouldn't get a buck fifty out of it. Ditch it."

 

 Misty shook her head. "I kind of like It." She replied as she put in on.

 

 Murdock didn't know what to do. Without the jacket, Face could not see him, and the jacket was gone. He listened to the water running. What was going to happen now?

 

*************

 

The water stopped and a few minutes later Face emerged clean and dressed. His hair was still damp from the shower, but clean and combed. He looked around for the jacket and not seeing it approached Hannibal. "Where's my jacket?"

 

"It over on the couch." Hannibal pointed.

 

Face frowned, he didn't see it there but he went to go check anyway. The couch sat empty. A shiver went down his spine as he stared at the empty space. He remembered that there had been box there before and now it was gone as well. Realization flooded over him at the meaning of the missing box. "Oh No! Hannibal?!?" Face screamed out falling to the floor. "Where is my jacket? What did you do?"

 

"It's there on the couch, Face…" Hannibal said moving over to the sofa. He stopped when he saw the empty sofa as well. "Well it was there. That's where I left it." He turned to BA. "Did you move it?"

 

"Naw, not me." BA answered joining the other two.

 

"Where's the box!" Face screamed in pain and anger.

 

"Two girls from the Goodwill came for it."

 

"You gave it to Goodwill?" Face couldn't believe his ears. "How could you."

 

"I didn't give it to anybody, Lieutenant. Calm down. It must have fell into the box by accident. I'll give them a call and get it back."

 

Face slumped down onto the offending sofa. He felt the depression cascading down on him like a fast running waterfall. One he couldn't swim away from. The water, crushing him, slamming him hard against the rocks. He felt helpless. Without that jacket, there is no Murdock and without Murdock, there was no Face.

 

"Its Okay, Faceman." BA sat down next to the anguished man and draped his massive arm around Face's shoulder. It was awkward but he was trying to console him as best as he could. "We'll get crazyman's jacket back for you."

 

"I see. Thank you." Hannibal replaced the receiver back onto the hook and turned towards the men. "Well, the box hasn't gotten there yet." He said returning to stand before the two. "But, they said that they would keep an eye out for it."

 

"I need that jacket." Face moaned rocking back and forward, holding onto his stomach as if in pain. "I need that jacket."

 

Hannibal and BA glanced worriedly at each other. A silent agreement passed between them. BA stood to his feet and gathered his keys from the hall table. "I'll be back." He said walking to the door. "I'm gonna go find those girls." And with that he slammed the door behind him and bolted to his van.

 

Hannibal gathered the broken man into his arms trying to comfort him. It was so strange how Face had taken to that jacket. It was like an attached limb now. A lifeless limb that hung useless, but a limb none the less. Its usefulness long forgotten but, still there. Just in case it may someday be needed again. That was the jacket in a nutshell. Once a part of Murdock, now dead, again, like Murdock but he'd be damned it that jacket was useless. As long as it was around, Face felt that Murdock was around, and to Hannibal, that was close enough.

 

"Come on Kid." He said standing and pulling a protesting Face to his feet as well. "Let's go out to the beach and get some sun. You're looking mighty pale."

 

"Don't want to." Face whined trying to remove his arm from Hannibal's grip.

 

Hannibal tugged harder forcing the man to stand. "Doesn't matter if you want to or not, you're going out there. Sitting around here all day is doing nothing for your attitude or you appearance. You haven't done anything since Murdock's death. That's not like you."

 

Face blanched at Hannibal's words, turning him a new shade of white.

 

He looked around hoping to see Murdock nearby, but except for them, the room was dejectedly empty. Tears formed behind his eyes as he thought of Murdock. Without the jacket, there was no Murdock. He had to get that jacket back. He just had to. Living without Murdock was not a life worth living. He felt a soft flutter in his head and looked around. 'Murdock?' He whispered.

 

BA drove around the neighborhood looking for the Goodwill truck. It had to be somewhere nearby. He drove aimlessly keeping an eye out for the truck but his mind was somewhere else on another problem. He was worried about Face very worried. After Murdock had died, The conman had not been the same.

 

BA had known that the two friends were close, but he never looked to earnestly as to just how close they really were. There were telltale signs that they were more that just mere friends however, he figured that that wasn't any of his business. What they did in their own time was their business, or used to be their business.

 

He remembered a time where he almost caught them in the act or close to doing the act. It was years ago, after a particular disastrous mission where Murdock had been shot. He shuddered at the thought. Shot. It was only a matter of time before destiny took him that way. He had a bullet with his name on it. It just took several bullets a few times to claim that life. Murdock had been recuperating at Face's place when BA drove up unannounced. He grinned at the memory. He had just opened the door and walked in. There was a scurry of movement, a few quiet curses and Murdock and Face's head popped up over the top of the couch.

 

"Don't you ever knock?" Face complained getting to his feet smoothing down his shirt in the process. Murdock grinning maniacally beside him.

 

"If you would answer you damned phone I wouldn't have to." BA had said entering the room. Murdock's head ducked down again to return with his baseball hat. "Hannibal's been trying to get you two all day. Wanted to know if crazyman's ready to get back to the VA."

 

Murdock sighed gaining his feet. "I guess I had better." He said gathering his jacket and slipping into it.

 

"You sure?" Face asked hopefully.

 

"Yeah. Don't want them giving away my room to somebody else." He had grinned slipping his hands into his khaki's pockets. BA saw the disappointment on Face's face, but Murdock only grinned and slapped his arm around the blond man's shoulder. "Hey, don't fret Muchacho, besides those frowns don't look to nice on your features Facey."

                       

Face glanced sheepishly up at Murdock before sighing heavily and forcing a grin. "Fine." He relented, pushing the pilot away and walking to the doorway. "But if anybody's going to take you back it's going to be me." He grabbed the vette's keys and walked out of the door without looking back. BA and Murdock exchanged looks. The dark eyed pilot shrugged his shoulders and followed. BA shook his head made sure he locked up and left in the van.

 

Now, many years later, here he was, still in the same van. He shook his head at the turn of events that has taken place within the last week.

 

A broken man down at the beach house. A good man dead and buried. Now a hunt for Murdock's leather jacket. The familiar leather jacket that Faceman can't seem to live without. Face was hurting. BA knew that he had better find that jacket or else Faceman might be lost to them all. He shook his head at the thought. He needed Face. Hannibal needed Face. They couldn't lose him as well as Murdock. He had to find that truck.

 

 

Part 4

 

David Summers strolled quietly up the beach. The hot morning sun reaching its peak. Its heat blazing down on top of his baseball cap. It was later than normal for his morning jog so he strolled instead, watching the beachcombers gathering for a busy day of sunbathing.

 

He wondered up past the refreshment stand onto the nearest private beach. That beach belonged to the infamous Templeton Peck. A man of incredible self-confidence and the most composed man he had ever had the pleasure to have met. Templeton Peck. A man's man to be sure. Member of  'The' famous A-Team, now, no longer wanted by the government. The four former fugitives had moved on and went their separate ways, all except for Templeton Peck and HM Murdock. Templeton had decided to stake up residence in Malibu, not far from his own little home off the beachfront. He had found this cozy little beach house and moved in. Murdock was a constant visitor there always around somewhere. They were firmly determined to stay together after so many years of being on the run.

 

The first time he had seen them together he knew that they were the best of friends and, of course, lovers, had to be. They didn't flaunt it in public mind you but they didn't try to hide it too hard either. Not that anybody would have minded, homosexuality and even bi-sexuality was second nature to a lot of people living here. However, he had noticed that whenever the other two other members of the team were around they cooled it off somewhat. His guess was that they either didn't want the others to know about their affair or that the others weren't comfortable with it. Either way, they kept it in check at those times.

 

 He had further learned that all of the former A-Team members lived in LA or nearby, never too far away from the others.

 

"A nice little family indeed." He thought as he walked on eyes staring ahead.

 

He had also found, to his dismay, that wherever one went the other wasn't far behind. Always doing things together, swimming, eating, exercising, everything, together. He was happy to learn that both Templeton and Murdock were fitness freaks. 16 years of hard, dangerous living made them that way. Caution and discipline evoked by all their military existence provided their determination to stay in shape. Even in the early onset of middle age, they were just as fit as any twenty-year-old was. Both men liked to jog and, not unlike him, enjoyed their own morning runs along the beach shore.

 

That is how he came to meet Templeton and Murdock early one Saturday morning three weeks ago. He left his cozy little home and came to the beach to do his early morning running. Halfway up the beach he noticed two other men galloping toward him. They were pacing each other, each one huffing and puffing. Sweat stains on the front of their matching blue sweat suits. Murdock in his blue baseball cap turned backwards and Templeton's hair uncovered but soaked with sweat. They hadn't noticed him as they got closer. It wasn't until David stumbled and fell face first onto the sand when Templeton stopped and quickly went to assist him.

 

"You okay?" He asked helping him up. He was barely puffing after running on the beach.

 

"Yes. Thank you, just tripped over something." He mumbled looking up into the bluest set of eyes, he had ever seen.

 

"Okay then…" Templeton smiled and started to turn away.

 

"You're new here aren't you?" David said suddenly.

 

Templeton turned back smiling even more. "Yes we are, moved here just the other day." He made the introductions quickly, gesturing for the dark eyed man to come over. "I'm Templeton Peck and this is HM Murdock."

 

"Nice to meet you. I'm David Summers." He extended his hand out and shook both the men's hands. "Pleasure to meet two more running freaks."

 

"Have to run…keeps the blood circulating." Murdock managed through heavy breathing from his jog. "Don't want to stagnate."

 

Templeton laughed gently at that and patted his friend on the back. "When you've caught you breath we'll be off again."

 

Murdock shook his head and with another grin suddenly stopped with all the heavy puffing. "Hey. Don't worry about me. I can run with the best of the pack." All of the tiredness in his eyes vanished instantly the play-acting gone in a rush.

 

Templeton shook his head at the fakery and chuckled. "Should have known, you faker you. Trying to make me look good aren't you."

 

Murdock grinned mischievously and took a step back. "Com'on Faceman, we still have two miles to go."

 

Templeton nodded said goodbye and they were off again. Like two graceful cats, running up the beach towards the boardwalk. He watched them go before turning back towards his own home. His mind dwelling on those blue, blue eyes.

 

When he got back to his house Misty was already up preparing breakfast.

 

"You're back early, Dad." She smiled setting the places at the table.

 

David stopped in his tracks, memory forgotten, when he saw two figures out on the private beach, Hannibal Smith and Templeton. The older man sat quietly watching as the other man stared, stared out over the vast waters, probably deep into his own mental anguish and precious memories.

 

David approached quietly, nodded at Hannibal and sat down next to Templeton. "How are you doing buddy?" He asked placing an arm around his shoulder.

 

"Not so good, Dave." Templeton shook his head slowly never taking his eyes of the rolling waves.

 

David nodded in understanding. Ever since Murdock's death, Templeton had become a zombie. He wasn't quite the same man now. His blue eyes now empty and hollow. His own life snuffed out just like his lover's.

 

David shook his head at that thought. He never realized how much they loved each other.

 

 

***************

 

BA Baracus pulled up in front of the beach house. He had been looking for the Goodwill truck all morning without success. As he gets out of the van he picks up the package he brought and walks inside the house. He did not see anyone in the house so he went out onto the deck and saw them down on the beach. He went down the stairs and walked towards them. Hannibal turned to see BA coming. He looked at him but BA shook his head. BA sat down beside Face.

 

"Hey little brother."

 

 Face stared out at the ocean. "Did you find the truck?"

 

 "I am sorry man I tried. But I did get you this. Now it not the same as Murdock's because it's brand new, but after we get a tiger painted on it. It will be just as great."

 

 BA handed Face the jacket. Face stared at it. Hannibal and BA both held their breaths.

 

"Thanks BA." Face picked up the jacket and walked up to the house.

 

BA smiled at Hannibal, but Hannibal only watched as Face walked up the stairs into the house.

 

 David walked back down the beach to his house. He had to find some way to get Templeton to need him, to come to him, not Smith or Baracus. Templeton needed him. They were destined to be together. When David walked into his house, his daughter and her best friend were there. He did a double take when he saw what his daughter was wearing.

 

"Where did you get that jacket?"

 

Misty smiled at him. "From the goodwill truck."

 

"I want it. I want it and I want it now."

 

 Angel, Misty friend steps up to David. "Why do you want it?"

 

"This jacket belong to Murdock and for some unknown reasons is very important to Templeton. If I gave this jacket back to him I would have him for my very own."

 

 "Hum." replied Angel. "The jacket is mine. Misty is only wearing it, you can have it for a hundred thousand dollars."

 

 Misty dropped her mouth. Her father would never pay that much for a worthless jacket.

 

 David only took out his checkbook and wrote out the amount giving it to Angel.

 

 "Now please give me the jacket."

 

 Angel took the check and gave the jacket to David.

 

 "Nice to do business with you."

 

Face sat down on the couch looking at the new jacket discard on the floor. BA and Hannibal did not understand. They saw he was sad about Murdock, yes he was, but the jacket was the connection.

 

He shook his head and left the house starting down to the ocean. He had nothing left, Murdock was gone and so was the jacket. Face looked out over the waves. He took a deep breath and started walking out into the ocean.

 

 Murdock had been with Face trying to get him to notice him but it was no use.

 

 "Face listen to me this is not the way. If you kill yourself, we will not be together. Please Face listen to me."

 

 But Face could not hear Murdock he kept right on walking into the ocean. Then suddenly David grabbed him and pulled a fighting Face out of the water.

 

 "Let me go! I want to be with Murdock."

 

David placed the jacket around Face and suddenly Face could see Murdock staring at him.

 

 "I love you," he said.

 

 "I love you too baby," replied David as he kissed his Templeton.

 

 

Part 5

 

Face's eyes widen at David actions. David was pushing his tongue into his mouth. Face pulled away from him.

 

 "W... w...w... what the hell do you think you are doing?" Face asked in anger.

 

David pulled Face in closer. "Don't fight it Tem. I am here for you. I know you love me I heard you say so."

 

 He began kissing Face again running his hand down his pants. "Oh, you feel so good Tem."

 

Face's eyes now blazed with so much malignity. The next thing David knew he was on the ground with Face raining blow after blow on him. He covered his face to protect himself. He could hear Face's voice and could feel the pain.

 

"No one calls me Tem! Only Murdock! No one touches me! Only Murdock! I don't love you! I only love Murdock!"

 

 "Face! Face! Face! Calm down," cried Murdock. But Face did not hear him because of the rage in his heart. David tried to get away but the blows kept coming.

 

"Face! Stop it! You're going to kill him." Murdock begged.

 

Suddenly Face was thrown to the ground. He jumped up and attacked the person who threw him.

 

 "Face, stop it! It's me, Hannibal!" Hannibal shook Face to get his attention. Face blinked at Hannibal and then looked past him to David who now lay still on the ground.

 

 "He kissed me and touched me. No one does that to me. No one!"

 

 Hannibal looked over to BA. "Is he all right BA?"

 

 BA tried to check on him but David slowly waved him away. "I am all right. Just leave me be." He got up and stared at Face.

 

 "You are crazy! I am going to sue you for damages Peck!"

 

 Hannibal looked at the man. "My boy said you touch him. I'd think again if I were you Mr. Summers."

 

 "It is his word against mine, Mr. Smith and I am a very important person around here. You take my advice, he needs help." At that, David Summers hobbled away.

 

 Face glared at him then turned to Murdock. "I am going back to the house. Are you coming?"

 

"We will be there in a few minutes Face," replied Hannibal.

 

 "I WASN"T TALKING TO YOU DAMN IT! I WAS TALKING TO MURDOCK!"

 

Hannibal, BA and Murdock stared at Face. Hannibal shook his head. "BA give me the keys to the van. BA, with no argument gave Hannibal the keys. Hannibal then grabbed Face and pulled him into the van.

 

 "Hey, what's going on?"

 

"You need help Face. Help that BA and I can't give you." said Hannibal.

 

 "I don't need help. I just need Murdock."

 

 "Murdock is dead kid! He is dead!"

 

 "I know Hannibal! But he is still with me!"

 

 "I know that kid," Hannibal replied calming down. He pointed to his heart. "Murdock will always be in here, Face, he knows you will always remember him. But he is gone, Face and acting like he is here just means you need professional help."

 

 "But Hannibal he is here. He is sitting right here, right beside me. Why can't you see him?" Face could feel the tears coming. He could also feel Murdock hold him.

 

Face suddenly turned to stare at Hannibal. "You don't care about Murdock. He was murdered a week ago and you have not even tried to find out who did it. Why?"

 

 Hannibal shook his head. "I've been too worried about you, Face. The police are investigating it."

 

"Since when have we asked for help from the police?"

 

 "Since we no longer do what we did."

 

"Well, it's about time we did."

 

"Face, I will make a deal with you. If you talk to these people, I am taking you to. I promise we will find out who murdered Murdock."

 

 Face turned towards Murdock. Murdock looked at him.

 

"It's up to you Face. But Hannibal is worried about you."

 

 Face stared back at Hannibal. Hannibal held his breath waiting for Face's answered

 

"Fine, Hannibal. Let's just get this over with."

 

Face slumped in defeat leaning against the warmth of his lover that no one else could see.

 

"You are here aren't you?" He whispered. "Not my imagination?"

 

"I am here, Facey, for as long as you need me."

 

"I will always need you HM, always."

 

"Then I will be here, Muchacho, I promise."

 

 Murdock reached out and caressed the blond man's cheek lovingly.

 

Hannibal heard Face's quiet one-sided conversation with, which he knew, could be only his imaginary Murdock. He sighed silently holding back the anger. He promised Face that they will find the murderer, but where would he start? Who would want Murdock dead? Out of the way?

           

"Face?"

 

Face tore his unseeing eyes from the passing scenery. Looking up, he turned his attention to Hannibal.

 

"Yeah?"

 

"How much do you know about this David Summers?"

 

"David?" Face's eyes narrowed in anger at the man's name. The hateful kiss still burning on his lips and memory. He shuddered outwardly and wrapped his arms tightly around himself. He felt Murdock's arms go around him in a tight embrace. Tears formed behind his bright eyes and he glanced back at his true love filled with both shame and embarrassment.

 

Murdock smiled, silently saying that everything was fine, that they were fine.

 

Face drew himself back from the brink of despair again, cursing his own weakness.

 

OK. This isn't working. I need to concentrate now.

 

Face chided himself and sat up straighter smoothing down his wayward blond hair. Taking a deep breath to compose himself he pulled out a comb and pulled down the sun visor running the comb through his hair.

 

"What does he do for a living?"

 

Hannibal smiled inwardly as Face tried to compose himself pulling the visor down and smoothing his hair out in the mirror. Trying to get his appearance straightened out.

 

When he was satisfied that he now looked composed, back together, Face replaced the visor tucked the comb back in his pocket then turned his attention back to his CO trying to remember what he had learned over the last few months.

 

"Well,"  Face started. "He's a life insurance salesman first off. He works with State Security and Health Life Insurance Company down on Sun Coast Boulevard."

 

Hannibal chuckled at that. "A  life insurance salesman?"

 

"Uh, yeah, Murdock and I even bought a policy from him."

 

"A big policy?"

 

Face nodded turning away from the questioning look.

 

"Pretty big."

 

Hannibal nodded in understanding. "Any clauses against murder?"

 

Face shook his head not wanting to think about that just yet.

 

"Summer's was your agent?"

 

Face nodded.

 

"Did you know he was in love with you?"

 

Face shook his head in disbelief. "I had no idea. He knew Murdock and I were together. He seemed at ease with that. I can't believe he.." He let the words trail off.

 

Hannibal reached out and gently gave the man a pat, not knowing that his hand passed right through Murdock's own arm still wrapped tightly around his lover.

 

Murdock watched the hand pass through his and sighed. He knew what Hannibal was thinking. In a way he could always read Hannibal, was always able to see what was going on in his thoughts most of the time. Except for when he was on the jazz. Then no one could read his devious thoughts.

 

But this time, he knew, definitely, and he agreed.

 

"OK. Something I don't get then." Hannibal said turning the corner onto Silverstar Rd.

 

"What?" Face asked. He watched the familiar scenery pass by. He knew this way, knew where Hannibal was taking him now. He took this way a lot when he went to break Murdock out of the VA.

 

"Why did Summer's say that he was an important person around here. I mean a typical insurance agent can't have much clout."

 

Face shook his head. "I have no idea. Um Hannibal?"

 

"Yeah kid?"

 

"The VA?"

 

"Dr. Richter."

 

"Oh. Okay."

 

 

*************

 

Meanwhile, elsewhere.

 

David Summer stood before Alvin Coronado stating his case as best he could.

 

"I've been good to you Mr. Coronado," He stammered at the big man. "I have never asked anything of you. I just ask that you consider my problem."

           

Coronado frowned staring down the smaller man. He didn't like it when his employees used his connections with the family for their own problems. But as Summer's had said, he has been good to him, very, very good.

 

"Very well, David, I will look into this."

 

"Thank you. Mr. Coronado."

 

"Meet me at my house tonight." Coronado leered.

 

David gulped looking down at his feet.

 

"Yes sir." He stammered and backed out of the door.

 

 

Part 6

 

Face sat quietly in the overtly large office, his glance wavering between Dr. Richter and Hannibal as they conversed quietly, about him he could safely assume. He looked fearfully at Murdock, who hovered over him smiling sweetly and whispering soothing words.

 

"It's gonna be all right baby." Murdock cooed. "Don't worry your pretty little head over any of this. They only want to help you."

 

"Yes, I know." Face whispered in agreement, leaning closer to feel the warmth of his lover's strong arms. "But, I don't want them to help me, Murdock, I don't want you to leave." Face looked up fearfully into the other's deep warm eyes. "Please, promise me you won't leave me!"

 

"I've already promised that, Muchacho, for as long as you need me I will be around." Murdock sighed deeply, letting his loving glance linger on Face's scared blue eyes. Bringing up a finger, he traced the worry lines across the man's forehead. Concentrating, he succeeded in lifting and pushing a stray strand of hair from Face's eyes.

 

At a distance, Hannibal watched the invisible finger move the blonde lock. His heart almost skidded to a stop as he watched in disbelief as the lock was pushed up and swept off to the side. A chill ran through him as he watched Face look up at something, smiling softly.

 

"Oh, God!"

 

Richter looked up at the exclamation and followed Hannibal's gaze to Face. He saw the happy look on Face's face but didn't see what Hannibal did.

 

"What is it?" He asked.

 

"Murdock?"

 

Face looked over when Hannibal spoke Murdock's name, confusion entered his muddled thoughts. Beside him, Murdock chuckled lightly.

 

"I think he is beginning to believe, Facey." Murdock grinned and pointed to the wide-eyed man now striding over to them.

 

"Is he here?" Hannibal demanded, his face white as a ghost. "Tell me, is he here?"

 

Face looked between his lover and his commanding officer, not understanding what had just happened. He slowly nodded and looked back into Murdock's very pleased expression.

 

"Murdock?" Hannibal's voice cracked as he felt the tears form behind his eyes and his hands start to shake uncontrollably.

 

"Hannibal?" Face leapt forward and took the older man by the arms. "What's wrong." He asked, confusion rattling his brain as he tried to understand what was happening. Seeing Hannibal coming unglued like this unnerved him greatly. He glanced back at Dr. Richter who was still sitting at his desk. Watching and waiting.

 

"He's really here." Hannibal whispered, staring at the spot where Face had been staring at earlier. He couldn't see anything there but he knew, he * knew * that Murdock was there.

 

Face gasped audibly and looked back to the sofa as he noticed that Murdock had fallen onto the couch face first. Face suddenly lurched forward, then stopped himself from laughing out loud as Murdock regained some composure and sat down properly.

 

"You see him?" Face asked turning back to Hannibal. His eyes widened in disbelief.

 

Hannibal shook his head no and Face's face fell.

 

"But I know he is here." Hannibal grinned, wiping the tears away from his cheeks. His hands trembled more slowly now as he looked back to the empty space. "How have you been Captain." He asked softly, taking an unsteady step towards the space beside the couch.

 

"I've been better." Murdock answered automatically, watching as Hannibal moved closer, concern over his actions worrying him a bit.

 

"Um....Hannibal?" Face giggled nervously and indicated to where Murdock was sitting, watching his CO try to find him. "He says that he's been better."

 

Hannibal grinned, not in the least embarrassed at finding himself talking to a wall. He turned to look at the invisible specter...." I bet that's the damned truth. But its good to have you back.... Captain." He smiled as the tears dissipated back to the dam that held them in check.

 

Face and Murdock exchanged grins.

 

"Umm.... Hannibal." Came Richter's voice from his desk where he had been silently watching the unexpected exchanges. "I don't think that you should be encouraging these delusions. Mr. Peck needs serious counseling here. Losing a member of your team is bad enough but losing the one you love is torture. I can help him back into reality."

 

"No, I don't think you can. At least not right now." Hannibal disagreed with a shake of his white hair. "As for reality, we could all use a break from that every once in a while."

 

Later, back in the van, Hannibal turned to Face. "I'm sorry for doubting you, Face, but now I believe you do see him." He looked around the van. "He still here?"

 

Face nodded and gestured to his best friend and lover. Murdock reclined in his normal spot, his eyes watching both men.

 

"Why do you believe me now?" Face asked curiously.

 

"Let's just say that I witnessed the unexpected." Hannibal replied as he turned the key in the ignition and headed back to the beach house.

 

Murdock sighed happily as he closed his eyes, letting his energy conserve as much as he could. It was getting more difficult, now, to sustain the familiar image. He could feel his energy slipping every second. Soon his visible energy would be extinguished and even his precious jacket would not help Face to see him.

 

He had to get Face to accept his death before that happened. To get Face to let go and allow him move on to his reward. Murdock smiled as Hannibal glanced between his seemingly empty seat and back to Face. Smiling like the cat that ate the canary. *Don't know what changed your mind, Hannibal, but thanks.* He sighed and Face glanced back at him with a worried expression, which he responded with a grin and a wink. Face grinned back and turned his attention back to the road ahead.

 

As long as Face needed him, he would find a way to be there, no matter what. Reward or no reward, Face needed him and that was all that mattered to him. Murdock watched Face in quiet contemplation. I will never leave you, my love, as long as you need me.

 

When they arrived back at the beach house BA was waiting. "How was the session?"

 

"It was not necessary," replied Hannibal as he walk in. "Face is not crazy. He can see Murdock."

 

BA grabbed Hannibal. "Hey, sucker, we are trying to help him, not encourage him."

 

Hannibal twisted himself away from BA. "Murdock is here. I saw the proof at Richter's office and if you were not so damn stubborn in not believing what you can't see, you would know that too."

 

BA looked towards Face as he sat, talking to himself. Hannibal went over to sit by him.

 

"Face? Does Murdock have any idea who killed him?"

 

Face shook his head. "Hannibal, I wish you could see him."

 

Hannibal nodded his head. "I think you see him because you bought him that jacket. Maybe if I wear something that connected me to Murdock I will see him."

 

 "Maybe you should wear Murdock's cap. You've worn it on a couple of your plans." BA interjected suddenly.

 

Hannibal looked up at the big man. "BA that's a great idea. Face, where is the cap?"

 

"In his room. I'll go and get it." Face went into the room to get the cap. Suddenly there was a knock on the door.

 

"I'll get it," replied BA.

 

Face began looking for the cap. Murdock had so many. He pick one up. "Is this it?"

 

Murdock shook his head. "I don't know. They all look alike. We need the one Hannibal was wearing in Texas."

 

"I know Murdock, I know."

 

Murdock pointed to three of them. "One of those are it, Face."

 

"Which one?"

 

Murdock shook his head. "Don't know."

 

Face gathered them all up. "I guess Hannibal will have to try all three." Face had started out to the living room when he heard a familiar feminine voice.

 

"It would seen that Mr. Summers has connections. Mob connections. He knows of one Alvin Coronado."

 

 "Alvin Coronado? That scum from Chicago?"

 

"The one and the same, Hannibal. Oh, there is more. I think you will find this interesting. It would seem that Summers has a thing for men with blond hair and blue eyes. Take a look at these pictures."

 

Hannibal studied the graphic pictures. He saw Summers with a lot of men.

 

"Thanks, Amy. BA, I think we need to pay Summers a visit."

 

Amy looked. "Do you think Summers killed Murdock?"

 

Hannibal looked at her. "I don't know, but if he did he will pay."

 

Murdock watched as Face grabbed the door frame, trying to steady himself. Face clenched his fist. "Face, are you all right?"

 

"That son of a bitch. He killed Murdock."

 

"Face, are you there? Face, looked at me."

 

Face turned and looked at Murdock. Murdock stared at him. Face had that look in his eyes. The look that told him Face was not there.

 

 "Face, please don't do this. Please."

 

Face walked out of the room and out the front door. Murdock hurried after him. Face kept walking towards Summers house, checking his gun as he walked. Murdock got in front of him.

 

"Let Hannibal handle this Face. I know what you are planning to do. You can't do this. Two wrongs don't make a right."

 

Face said nothing. He just shrugged off the jacket and let it fall to the ground. Murdock stared at his discarded jacket before running to catch up with Face.

 

"Face, please. Come back to me! Face, please." Murdock cried in vain. But Face paid no attention. Murdock was lost, he didn't know what to do. Finally, he decided to go and get Hannibal. He knew one of his caps had to work. Face was beyond his help now.

 

Face stood in front of Summers house and knocked on he door. He heard movement in the house and soon the door opened. Face stood there for a minute, staring at Summers, all the blood rushing up to his head. Everything seemed to stand still as Face heard the gun go off. He then dropped the gun and passed out on the ground.

 

Murdock entered the house and gave Hannibal a shove into the bedroom. Hannibal felt the shove and nodded. "Okay, Murdock, I'll go into the bedroom."

 

Hannibal went in first with BA and Amy behind him. He saw the three caps on the bed and picked one up.

 

"This was the one I used in Texas." He placed it on his head and stared. There was Murdock.

 

"You can see me. Good! We've got to go, Face is in trouble."

 

 

Part 7

 

Hannibal stared at Murdock. "Where is he, Murdock?"

 

"He's heading to Summer's home." Murdock's face became blank. "Oh no!"

 

Murdock touched Hannibal and they both vanished, leaving behind a very confused BA.

 

BA Baracus had no idea what was going on but he was going to find out and hurried out the door.

 

Hannibal and Murdock reappeared near the discarded jacket.

 

"Hannibal, please pick it up. Face will need it." Hannibal nodded and picked it up.

 

Murdock then led them to Summer's house. When they arrived, police were all around and Face was sitting on the sofa. Hannibal pushed his way in.

 

"Hey, you can't go in there." one of the policemen said. Hannibal ignored him and walked right on in. He went right up to Face.

 

"Kid, you all right?"

 

Face stared at him for a moment. "I am no longer a kid." He paused for a moment. "I killed a man." He looked up at Hannibal. "Now Murdock can rest in peace, his murderer is dead."

 

Hannibal gave Face the jacket. Face just looked at it, then gave it back to Hannibal. "I can't wear this any more. I killed a man."

 

The detective shook his head. "I have to take you down to the station."

 

Face said nothing as he stood up. Murdock tried in vain for Face to see him. "Please, Face put on my jacket."

 

Face looked at Hannibal. "Hannibal, take care of BA. He's all you have now. I'm sorry."

 

Hannibal watched as they took Face away. Murdock, now desperate, somehow grabbed the jacket from Hannibal and threw it on Face.

 

"Face, please look at me."

 

Face just shook his head. "Murdock, please, I can't face you right now."

 

The policeman stared and replied. "Who's he talking to? Hey where'd that jacket come from?"

 

The detective shook his head. "I don't know."

 

Murdock turned to Hannibal. "Colonel, please do something."

 

"I will. Face, I'll get a good lawyer for you."

 

Face said nothing as they led him away but Murdock got in the car with him. "I promised I would never leave you, Face, and I won't."

 

At the police station, Detective Howard and his partner, Detective Johnson, was questioning Face.

 

"Mr. Peck, you have confessed to killing a man."

 

"I know."

 

"Do you know what you are saying?" Detective Howard asked.

 

"Yes, I do."

 

"Face, please wait for the lawyer." Murdock begged.

 

"No, Murdock, I did this and I am ready to face my punishment."

 

The two detectives stared at each other. "Murdock? I thought he was dead."

 

"He was murdered almost a month ago." His partner answered.

 

Johnson nodded his head. "I know. Looks like Peck figured out Summer's did it, too."

 

Howard nodded. "There's been rumors of Peck talking to himself on the beach and other places. I think his mind was lost over the death of his friend. I think maybe Doctor Emma March should talk to him."

 

Johnson turned to Face. "You've confessed to a serious crime. Are you willing to put that on paper?"

 

"Gentlemen. How dare you speak to my client without me being present."

 

They all turned to look at a young man who had just walked in. "I am here on the behalf of Mr. Peck. My name is Keith Quinn and my client will sign nothing until I talk to him."

 

Face looked at him. "I don't want you here. I'm ready to take my punishment. Please go."

 

"Mr. Peck, please think about what you are doing."

 

Face looked sadly at him. "I know what I'm doing and I wave my rights to a lawyer."

 

Murdock was stung. "Face, what are you doing?"

 

Face smiled. "Don't worry, Murdock, everything will be fine."

 

They all stared at Peck talking to thin air.

 

Howard looked at Johnson. "Go set up an appointment with Doctor March."

 

Johnson nodded his head and left. Howard looked at Quinn. "You can stay if you want."

 

Quinn nodded. "I will stay." Quinn took a seat across from Peck and opened his briefcase.

 

"Mr. Peck, I assure you that I will help in any way possible. Now if there is any case of misunderstood questions or any possible misinterpretations?"

 

"There is none, Mr. Quinn." Peck interrupted, leaning forward and placing both hands palm down on the table.

 

"I am guilty of cold blooded murder."

 

"Now, with talk like that you are not going to get far, Mr. Peck."

 

"As I said, I don't want any counseling."

 

"Well, you have it whether you want it or not." Quinn replied, snapping the case closed and getting to his feet. "I have been hired to get you out of here and, whether you like it or not, that is what I intend on doing."

 

Face sat back in his chair and looked up at the man before him. He could feel Murdock's presence behind him but he refused to turn around to acknowledge him.

 

"Look, I have the right to refuse counsel and I'm refusing it."

 

Quinn picked up his case and walked towards the closed door of the interrogation room. Before stepping through he turned back to look at the broken man sitting at the rather sparse table.

      

"I suggest that you reconsider your predicament. If you are deliberately looking for the death sentence, which I assure you is a very real fact at this time, then I can't help you. But . . .!"  He stopped and looked at the two-way mirror lining the far side of the wall.

 

"Think about it. What will you gain if you die? Will that make your lover come back? Will that make your friends happy? Think about it, Mr. Peck. Think about what your death will mean to others." With that said Quinn turned and walked out of the room, leaving Peck to look after him in amazement.

 

Murdock sat quietly watching as Quinn and Face conversed. Was that it? Was that what Face was trying to do? The death sentence. Now that was wrong. He couldn't allow that to happen. He moved silently across the floor to stand behind the man he loved.

 

"Face?"

 

Face jumped as he felt the ghostly hand on his shoulder.

 

"Go away Murdock."

 

"No."

 

Face rose from the chair and turned his back to the mirror, trying to ignore the ghost of the man standing next to him.

 

"I don't want this, I don't want you to be here."

 

"Well if that's what you want then why do you have on my jacket? You must want me here."

 

Face looked down at the bomber jacket and nodded. It was true. Somehow, he was still in the jacket. The jacket he could have sworn he tossed into the street. Maybe it was an unconscious act that he put it back on, wanting Murdock there for comfort but not wanting him to see his own anguish.

 

"I'm so sorry, Murdock." He said, hanging his head in shame.

 

"I let my heart rule my head. I've committed cold blooded murder."

 

"Did you?"

 

Murdock ran his hand over his lover's cheek, feeling the heat emitting from his hot forehead.

 

"What's the matter, Facey? You don't look to good."

 

Murdock leaned forward noticing for the first time the glassy look in Face's eyes.

 

"Face?"

 

"Humm?" Face responded quietly.

 

"You okay?"

 

"I'm fine."

 

"I don't think so, Muchacho."

 

Face turned and glared at the mirror.

 

"Come on, you rat bastards! Come and lock me away. I deserve it."

 

"Face!"

 

Murdock yelled as Face suddenly lurched forward, trying to sweep the ghostly figure away.

 

Face ran to the mirror, screaming at the top of his voice.

 

"Come on! What the Hell are you waiting for? Let's move it!"

 

"Face!"

 

Murdock yelled again. Concentrating hard, he took the blonde man's arm and swung him around to face him.

 

"Why are you doing this?"

 

"To be with you!"

 

Face nearly cried out in frustration, his voice cracking as his emotions drained his already tired body.

 

"I can't"

 

He stopped and slid down the mirror to sit on the floor, tears sliding down his face.

 

"I can't do this anymore."

 

"Do what?"

 

"Live without you." Came the painful words that tore part of Murdock's heart from his chest.

 

"Oh, Baby."

 

Murdock knelt before the man he loved and took his face in his hands.

 

"Baby, think about this, think about the guys. How would you feel losing two of the most important people in your lives for that last 20 years. Think about how they will feel. They love you almost as much as I do. Don't do this to them and don't do this for me. I won't allow it."

 

"I'm sorry HM. I just don't want to live now."

 

Murdock sighed and moved to sit next to him against the mirror.

 

"I know how you must be hurting right now, Tem, but it will fade in time. You have to give it a chance."

 

Face shook his head sadly. "Nothing to do now, HM, I've committed murder, and now I have to pay the price."

 

"At least agree to counseling." Murdock begged taking Face's hand in his.

 

"Let Quinn represent you. Please, Face, don't go without a fight. I don't want you to join me yet. You have too much living to do."

 

Face looked up into the dark pleading eyes of his true love. The loving, sad eyes that made him shake in his boots every time they were together, either in bed or on a mission. The same dark eyes that stared up at him, lifeless, that day on the beach. Dead eyes, cold and unseeing. He shivered at the image.

 

"Face?"

 

Face refocused his gaze to that of his lover.

 

"Please?"

 

Face sighed deeply and leaned his head back against the mirror in defeat.

 

"Fine, Murdock, you win. I'll talk to Quinn."

 

Murdock grinned happily. "I always win, Tem. Always."

 

The detectives in the next room shook their heads as they listened to the one sided conversation.

 

"Guy's a nut case for sure." Det. Howard said sadly shaking his head. "Probably end up at the VA psyche ward."

 

"By the looks of things, I have to agree."

 

Det. Johnson moved to the observation room's door.

 

"Well, you heard the man. Let's go get him."

 

***************

 

*Elsewhere*

 

"Where is he?" Al Coronado entered the room to see the tall, scrawny man standing next to his desk.

 

"He is in custody at this time, sir."

 

"How could you guys let this happen." Coronado screamed at the men surrounding him.

 

"Boss, how could we have known that!"

 

"Fools. You were supposed to keep your eyes on him, follow him around, find out things. And you let him go to Summer's home? I should kill you all."

 

The men looked around in anguish and fear.

 

"Sir?" the voice came from the man standing next to him.

 

"What is it?"

 

"I have it under control."

 

Coronado leaned back and looked up at the man in question.

 

"Oh, you do, do you? And how it that?"

 

"I have volunteered to represent him."

 

Coronado raised his eyebrow at the man before him and smiled evilly.

 

"Well now, Mr. Quinn, it looks like we have our break after all. Now what do you have in mind?"

 

 

TBC

 


Test of Friendship 1-7 by Susie & Red
Test of Friendship 8 by Susie & Red
Test of Friendship 9 by Susie & Red
Test of Friendship 10 by Susie & Red

 

 


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