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27 April 2011 @ 06:26 pm
Fic: Breaking Things On Broken Strings, Face/Murdock, R for now  
title: Breaking Things On Broken Strings
pairing: Face/Murdock
fandom: The A-Team '10
rating: Low R for now
warnings: Language, mental disorders.
word count: ~2020
summary:
And he knew crazy. He’d seen crazy. He was sleeping with Howlin’ Mad Murdock for Chrissakes, Peck knew crazy when he saw it.
a/n1: Having seen the movie enough times to now quote almost all 1 hour 49 minutes of it (oh yeah) I've come to the conclusion '10!Face is a little bit crazy himself. Which led to a fic in which he's... more than a little bit crazy.
a/n2: You may or may not (more likely the former) end up hating Hannibal. Sorry about that.
a/n3:
Oh, and Face is a guy this time. Jsyk.

When Lieutenant Peck had an issue with Colonel Smith’s plans, he was normally quite content to announce this to the team in a way that made them all uncomfortable for a little while. This time though, he didn’t have the opportunity to do so.

Because this plan involved himself, alone, in Norway, with his cell phone somewhere in the North Sea.

Because this plan was that the team, all four of them, should split up and have nothing to do with each other ever again.

Well, maybe Peck was being over-dramatic about the whole thing; it wasn’t ‘ever again’, per se, just until the whole man-hunt, wanted-dead-or-alive shebang died down a little (again, maybe wanted-dead-or-alive was a bit much, but that wasn’t the point here) and they wouldn’t be too conspicuous meeting up again.

God only knew where the other three were.

And that was the problem.

It wasn’t the fact he was in Norway that was getting to Peck. It wasn’t the bitter cold and the shitty motel room for the past three weeks. It wasn’t even really, completely, the fact he was isolated and alone for the first time in years.

It was the fact that he didn’t know anything about his team-mates, his friends, his family, about where they were and how they were and whether they were even alive anymore that Peck had an issue with, that was driving him crazy.

And he knew crazy. He’d seen crazy. He was sleeping with Howlin’ Mad Murdock for Chrissakes, Peck knew crazy when he saw it.

And Peck knew he was going crazy.

***

Face was a character. Everyone knew the Faceman. With his (apparently) effortless confidence, slick speech, electric eyes and equally blinding smile, he could charm the bollocks off a donkey, or so Murdock used to say lovingly, but with a sad flicker in his green eyes. Face never really noticed that flash of sorrow. But now Templeton Peck thought back, back to those uncomfortably warm nights in Iraq and the cool mornings in Germany, waking up and waiting for those eyes to open beside him, he recalled seeing it, that trace of sadness that Face, settled in his self-interest and self-importance, could never have noticed.

***

Templeton didn’t miss Face, he decided as he lit a cigarette and leaned against his van. He missed Hannibal - hence the smoking - and Bosco - hence the new motor -  and of course he missed Murdock - for which he had nothing to show except the mental knowledge that he was in love with the man - but he couldn’t miss Face. Face wasn’t exactly a part of him he... liked all that much. Not anymore, anyway. Sure, he used to, or he wouldn’t have let himself become that involved in the character so willingly, so easily, so deeply, but not now. Face was not a good part of his psyche.

It was the moment when Templeton realised that Face was a character inside him who occasionally took over and changed his entire demeanour that he realised he was definitely going crazy.

He was looking at himself in the mirror, leaning on the sink, looking into his own eyes and trying to smile, the Face smile, the fake smile. And fair enough, every smile he did at that point was fake, but the real fake smile. The one that oozed confidence, smoothness, gloss, superficiality. And he found he couldn’t do it.

“C’mon Peck,” he muttered. “Remember who you are.”

And then it came seemingly from nowhere. A voice, confident, smooth, glossy, superficial, in the back of his head.

‘That ain’t you buddy,’ it said in that slick voice that was his own and not at the same time, ‘that’s the Faceman. That’s me.’

And Templeton didn’t know what it was, what made him do it, whether it was shock or anger or fear, but he reared back from the sink and threw his fist into the glass of the mirrored cupboard so hard that all the glass fell in shards and the plaster of the wall cracked. His hand was bleeding profusely as he pulled it back, and his feet were stinging, tiny drops of blood forming along lines of cuts from the glass shards that rained down on him.

Templeton rested his head against the cracked plaster, letting his hand bleed its way into numbness, and wept at the same time Face laughed in the back of his head, and the result was his body shook even more than when he normally cried.

***

Howdy there, you’ve reached Captain… Mr Murdock, leave a message and I’ll call you back.

Beep.

Hey, Murdock, it’s me again. Sorry about this, your’s is the only number I’ve got memorised. Can’t call the others, I threw my cell into the ocean. Just… Call me back buddy, yeah? I miss you.

***

Murdock played the message a second time, and watched as Hannibal lit another cigar.

“Boss?”

Hannibal looked up, listened to Face’s voice, and exhaled his smoke. Murdock waited, and when Hannibal waved his hand, he pressed the number 3.

Message deleted.

***

“I am not crazy, I am not crazy, I am not crazy,” Templeton muttered to himself as he wrapped a bandage around his hand.

‘Why are you talking to yourself?’ Face asked smoothly. ‘That doesn’t seem so sane to me.’

“I’m not crazy,” Templeton repeated, louder, clenching his uninjured hand into a fist.

‘No,’ Face replied in a slick, amused voice, ‘but I am. And I’m dragging you with me buddy.’

Templeton leaned back against the wall and shut his eyes, breathing hard.

***

Howdy there, you’ve reached Captain… Mr Murdock, leave a message and I’ll call you back.

Beep.

Hey buddy, me again, um, again. Look, have I, uh, done something? Can you please call me back? I just want to speak to you. I really do miss you. I- I love you, you know that right? Please, call me. Um, bye. Love you. Bye.

***

“Boss…”

“Trust me, Murdock,” Hannibal answered gruffly, not even looking up from the newspaper. Murdock glanced at Bosco, who shrugged sympathetically. Hannibal looked up, and his eyes flashed. “Delete it.”

Murdock sighed, and pressed the number 3.

Message deleted.

***

For some reason, Murdock wasn’t answering his calls, or returning them. Templeton needed a way to track the cell and find out where Murdock was - if he was in trouble, Templeton needed to help. If he was ignoring him for a reason, Templeton needed to know why.

He checked out of the grotty little motel and headed further into the city of Bergen, closer to the bright lights and loud, drunken shouting. He had a plan.

***

“Hannibal knows what he’s doing, Murdock,” Bosco insisted when Murdock crept into his room in the middle of the night. The Swedish cottage they had rented for the next few months as a time share was small on décor and big on necessities, and there was enough room in the bed for Bosco to sleep and Murdock to sit next to him and worry.

Murdock didn’t really sleep much anymore.

“This ain’t helping Face, Bosco,” Murdock insisted in kind, and fingered the edge of the pillow in worry.

“We’re not supposed to call him that,” Bosco murmured. Murdock bit his lip.

“Bosco, look at me. I’m crazy, okay. It’s not hard for me to admit that ‘cause I know it’s true. I know crazy, and I know that Fa- Templeton isn’t crazy.”

Bosco looked at him for a long moment, then sighed.

“Murdock, when was the last time you slept?”

“You don’t think he’s crazy either.” It wasn’t a question, and Bosco didn’t reply.

“He’s not crazy,” he muttered to himself, all night, as Bosco snored lowly beside him.

***

“I’m totally crazy,” Templeton laughed into his drink, and the barmaid raised an eyebrow. She leaned over the bar, low cut t-shirt working to her advantage. Templeton closed his eyes and let go.

When he opened them again, he was somebody else.

“Yeah,” Face said smoothly, tapping his temple. “Really messed up in here. Which is why I’ve come to Norway.” The girl looked nonplussed. “It’s gonna kill me,” he whispered to her conspiratorially. She blinked and Face smirked into his glass. “But before I go, I’m trying to find a friend of mine. He used to live here, you see, but he’s moved again. I want him to be the last person I see before I go, you know?”

The girl nodded emphatically, eyes sad.

“Do you know anyone, anyone at all, who can trace phone numbers?” He smiled in a desperate way, and watched the somehow familiar flicker of sadness in her eyes. “Please?”

***

Templeton was lying in his new bed later that night with scrap of paper with a place and time written on it, a meeting arranged for the following day, when he was suddenly back in the bar, watching the sad flicker in the girl’s eyes, and he remembered where he’d seen it before.

Murdock, those nights and those mornings, always the last thing Face noticed and the first thing Templeton thought about. Murdock’s look of sorrow. Templeton felt a little bit sick. Had he seen it anywhere else? The boss maybe, Hannibal Smith, been a father to him since he was still a kid? Bosco? More like a brother than a friend? Did they all look at him like that? Maybe he was paranoid.

Or maybe,  if he thought hard enough, he could see it, he could see the little flicker in their eyes.

What the fuck did that look mean? Did they feel sorry for him? Did they pity him?

“What the hell?” Templeton muttered, sitting up and rubbing his head. “Pity?”

‘Maybe they’re better than you give them credit for,’ Face suggested.

“I didn’t ask you,” Templeton snapped, and then paused. “I know they’re clever, what do you mean?”

‘Sorry,’ Face drawled, ‘dealing with you as a separate entity is a new thing for me to have to deal with. They’re better than I give them credit for.’

“What are you talking about?” Templeton asked, exasperated.

‘Maybe they worked out you were crazy before you did.’

Templeton punched the wall and reached for the phone on the bedside cabinet.

***

Howdy there, you’ve reached Captain… Mr Murdock, leave a message and I’ll call you back.

Beep.

Murdock, you do know it’s me, right? It’s Face. Look, do you know if anything... weird’s going on? Anything about me? Have you heard from Hannibal or Bosco? I really need to talk to you. Please, call me back.


***

“Boss, please…”

“He called himself Face, Murdock,” Hannibal said coolly as he poured hot water into his cup. “He’s not ready yet, he needs to come to terms with himself first.”

“You’re wrong,” Murdock said. “Boss, all this is gonna do is make him suspicious. Or worried.”

Hannibal looked at him steadily. “Murdock, this is for Templeton’s own good.”

“He isn’t crazy, Hannibal,” Murdock burst out, clenching his hands into fists. “I don’t care what you say, Faceman isn’t crazy.”

“Don’t call him that!” Hannibal ordered furiously. Murdock looked away, and pressed 3.

Message deleted.
 
 
located:: the study
feeling:: pleasedpleased
screaming:: Hear Me Now - Hollywood Undead
 
 
 
(Deleted comment)
Atomic MONSTER: [gen] Bradley | And you killgee_gaskarth_x on April 28th, 2011 07:34 pm (UTC)
JAI MY DARLING. YOU ARE WONDERFUL IN EVERY WAY.
You do flatter me so bb ;____;
<333