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san francisco: sketch one

title: San Francisco: sketch one
author: stompy sara
rated: PG-13
warning: slash (m/m), slight sexual situations, language
archive: please
disclaimer: the A-Team is copyright to Stephen J. Cannell and Top Cow Productions. No infringement intended.
comments: any and all are welcome
summary: one night in The City for our guys.
author's note: i had intended to wait to write about Face and Murdock until after i'd finished Darkness, but i needed comfort and this is what came of that need. hope you like.
© sara t. 09/27/01



Face watched Murdock sitting near the open window.

The breeze slipping in under the sash was chilly, that slight hint of winter that never quite turned into snow, but could frost your windshield, prompt you to wear a heavier coat. Face shivered, thinking of L.A. San Francisco had never really pulled him into its magic. He was made for a sunnier world. He snugged the fluffy hotel robe tighter around him, sauntered slowly to the mini-bar. Murdock turned, eyes soft and dreaming.

"Listen, Facey," he said. He pulled the sash up higher, filled the room with cold and music. Face rolled his eyes, but smiled. Faint sound of a lonely saxaphone drifting up from the corner. White noise of people walking to dinner or drinks or a show. Murdock was leaning out the window, oblivious to the cold even in nothing but a faded army-green t-shirt and flannel pajama bottoms, feet tucked under him in the big wing chair. He leaned on the sill, chin in hand, humming the melody. Face opened the bar, pulled out Bombay Sapphire and tonic water, filled two glasses with ice. He sighed, wondered at his mood. Melancholy and happiness. Murdock's light voice whispered the words to 'You Go to my Head' wistfully.

He turned again as Face handed him a glass, sipped the drink slowly, dark eyes locked with Face's. Face reached out, slid his thumb down Murdock's jaw. Felt a hand close over his heart, squeezing ever so inexorably. He sighed again, and Murdock's eyes held puzzlement.

"Why so sad, babe?" Murdock let his long fingers trail over Face's chest beneath the robe. He pulled Face closer, circled the slender waist with bare arms. Face shook his head.

"Aren't you even the tiniest bit freezing? It's only about fifty degrees out there."

"That's pretty warm for The City, Faceman. Besides, I like how it sounds. You gotta let it into the room, experience it, ya know? Look." He pulled Face over to the window, pointing. "See, there's the guy playin' the sax. He's playin' it for us, babe. I mean, if he looked up here, and saw us watchin' him, he'd nod and smile like it was just for you and me. And I could make a request, and he'd play whatever I asked for. He'd stand under the window, and I'd let a fin fall down to him, and he'd play us something that matched the night."

Face chuckled, let his fingers smooth back Murdock's hair, gazed out onto the streets. This close to the window, he could smell food from the nearby restaurants, hear two people deep in discussion on the corner their hotel room looked out over, watch couples stroll arm in arm towards Union Square and down to Market Street. The saxaphonist paused, then launched into 'Every Time We Say Goodbye.'

"Face, you sigh one more time, and I'm gonna think you're wishing you were somewhere else."

Face hugged Murdock tighter, bowed over his head. "We have to go down there eventually. I hate this sometimes."

Murdock returned the embrace, closed his eyes, took a deep breath. "You smell good, babe. Clean." Gently he pulled Face's arms away, looked up with guileless eyes as his long fingers slid the sash apart, pulled the robe open. Face's breath caught, desire a flame he felt in stomach and groin. Murdock smiled lazily.

"They can wait." He slid his hands down Face's chest again, described each rib and muscle with questing fingers, leaned forward and kissed Face's stomach. Face closed his eyes, could feel

(oh god just let this last)

his lover's lips on his side, his hip, sliding down - then back up.

"Tease," he managed, breathing heavily. The saxaphone sent wistful spirals of music up towards their room as Murdock rose from the chair, led Face to the bed, pushed him down onto it. Face watched as Murdock pulled the t-shirt over his head. Gold winked in the low light of the bedside table lamp. Face cocked his head.

"What's that?"

"Huh?" Murdock followed Face's gaze to his chest. "Oh. Yeah. Found it in your dresser drawer at the apartment. Guess you haven't worn it in a while but. . . I wanted something of yours near me for the next couple weeks."

Face got up, held the small crucifix on its thin chain in his fingers, their heads together as they examined the craftsmanship. Old gold smudged the features of the tiny Jesus, blunted the crown of thorns on the head. Murdock looked up shyly.

"You don't mind?"

Face shook his head, sliding his thumb over the crude initials on the back. "Father Maghill gave it to me when I was eight. I used to wear it every day - til I joined up, I think. I thought it was lost." Face let it go, pulled Murdock closer to him, captured the lips in a soft kiss. "You keep it with you as long as you want. I like it on you." He reached up, slid his fingers through Murdock's hair again, touched his lips to his lover's neck. "Where were we?"

"Uh. . . here, I think." Murdock stepped back, pushed the shoulders of Face's robe down, let it fall to the floor. Knelt, his hands sliding to Face's hips, pulling him forward. His eyes wicked.

"Murdock - "

The phone rang.

"Dammit." Face flung himself over the width of the bed, snatched the receiver up. "Yes?"

"You've got ten minutes to make yourself presentable, Lieutenant. She'll be down in the bar at nine-fifteen. I want us set up way before then."

Face closed his eyes. "Your timing sucks, Hannibal."

"What's the deal? Thought you and Murdock were just checking out the hotel room. Don't tell me you've already been busy at the bar, Face. Who is she?"

"No, ah, nothing like that. Just - it's been a long day and we were having a drink - "

"Work before play, kid. Hurry it up."

Face banged the receiver down, causing the injured phone to chime feebly. Murdock grinned, offered Face a half-full glass.

"One for the road?"

"Traitor." Face lunged towards the pilot, caught him up, pulled his head down and kissed him soundly. "Hannibal's working through an irritating version of the Jazz. He wants me down there already. Guess B.A.'s probably got something cooked up so they can hear everything. Better get dressed." He groaned, staggered towards the closet with exaggerated steps. Stopped, looked over his shoulder. "You okay with this?" he asked softly.

Murdock's smile was slow, sultry, his eyes unreadable in shadow. "I know you'll be thinkin' of me, hun."

That fist closing over his heart. Face prayed he could still be the charming con he'd always been, get the woman to talk. "What if. . . if I have to go with her. . .will you -"

"Faceman." Murdock pulled the t-shirt back over his head, slouched to the closet. "You've done this all before, and always came back to me, eh?" He handed Face a crisp white dress shirt.

"That was different, Murdock."

"Only here." Murdock tapped his head. "Here," hand over his heart, "it's all the same, Facey. I'll still be here when you get back."

Face dressed in silence, eyes on Murdock, who drifted back to the window. The sax was playing something slow and sad he didn't recognize. Just for a moment, he hated Hannibal, and himself.

When he let himself out of the room, Murdock was still gazing out the window, the crucifix in his fingers. Humming that lonesome tune.


Face nodded without remembering what the woman had said. Wouldn't be any trouble getting this one to talk. She seemed to have an endless supply of conversation without any prompting from him. He sipped his straight bourbon, dangerously close to drunk, trying to ignore the Colonel's insistent whisper in his ear, B.A.'s low grumble. Bad idea, this two-way ear piece. Too distracting. He had enough to contend with (what is he thinking right now?) without all this. Face automatically took the woman's hands just as she leaned towards him, confessing some drastic and earnest sentiment he didn't share. God, was the woman in love with him already? Pathetic. She drew away, catching his eyes.

"What? I'm - I'm sorry, I'm being too forward, you must think - "

Stupid, stupid, stupid Face. "No no, my dear. Please, don't be alarmed if I seem - well if we're confessing tonight - " Face leaned back, threw himself into a story of heartbreak and woe. Hell if she wasn't eating it up too.

"Way to go, kid. Wake up. Why don't you just tell her we're listening while you're at it?"

Fuck you too, Hannibal.

The piano player crossed in front of their table, back from his break. Face leaned over the table towards the woman, let her giggle into his neck while his heart ached.

(what if I can't do this anymore?)

The piano started up again. Face drew in a sharp breath. A light familiar voice drifted across the room to the table.

"You go to my head

You linger like a haunting refrain

And I find you spinning round in my brain

Like the bubbles in a glass of champagne

You go to my head. . ."

Barely breathing, Face focused slowly over the woman's shoulder to the piano. Murdock leaned there, wearing a dark blue dress shirt open slightly at the collar, the gold cross sparking in the firelight dancing near the bar. Tailored black slacks and square-toed shoes completed the picture. Only his hair, still longish at the back and curling near his ears, would not behave, and accented the wild glint in his eyes. One quixotic brow raised, crooked half-smile on, Murdock skewered Face with a mischievous wink and continued to the second verse.


Face dragged his gaze back to the woman across from him. "Ah, yes, um. . ."

"What's wrong, Lieutenant?" Hannibal's voice tinny and far away.

"That is to say. . ." Face's eyes darted to the piano again.

"Oh." Hannibal's slow laughter in his ear. "Murdock's at the piano, B.A. Singing. God, what now?"

"Fool must be crazy! We tryin' ta get somethin' goin' here!"

Face almost let fly with Shut up and let me think you guys! He stood abruptly, offered his hand with a grand flourish.

"I just wanted to know if you'd care to dance."

"Oh! Oh yes. I love this song, don't you? He sounds pretty good too. Sometimes you get these terrible singers even at a place like this and you never know. . ."

Face led her closer, closer to where Murdock lounged with one hand in his pocket, the other holding the microphone casually, his eyes half-closed, following Face as they went past.

"You go to my head

with a smile that makes my temperature rise

Like a summer with a thousand Julys

You intoxicate my soul with your eyes. . ."

. . . and it all fell away. His anxiety gone, his lover so near (that voice, those eyes just for him), Face swept the woman around and down the length of the room, knew they were catching the looks of the people seated, some approving, some critical, all envious, all oblivious. Face found Murdock's eyes again, and didn't let go, the world diminished to the contact they held across the room. The song ended, and there was light yet enthusiastic applause. Murdock laid the microphone on the bench near the pianist, tossed a five into the blue glass fluted vase serving for tips. As he went past the attractive couple, he inclined his head, gestured.

"Something to match the night."

He blew Face a kiss, skipped down the stairs to the lobby. Face watched him pull the blue cap from his pocket, settle it squarely on his head. His lover was whistling as he entered the elevator.


San Francisco: sketch one by Stompy Sara



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