I own nothing related to the A-Team. If I did, they would be real.
Face pressed up against the outside of the door of his latest apartment, one arm on either side of the fiery redhead that was in between himself and the door. Mandy, Sandy, Candy...he couldn't remember her name right now, but her name wasn't exactly what was on his mind. After a few minutes of her arms wrapped around him, lips locked, she broke away, obviously flustered. "I'm not a first date kind of girl," she teased as she ran a finger down his chest. She slipped a piece of paper, he assumed it was her number, in his jacket pocket before engaging him in another minute long kiss. "Call me," she whispered as she grinned and slipped out from under his arms.
Face's head met the door with a frustrating groan as he listened to the sound of her heels click down the hall to the elevator. When he was sure she was really leaving for the night, he took a deep sigh, unlocked the door, and stepped in. His mind wandered as he poured a glass of wine and glanced at the clock. Two A.M. It had been a great date...no, a fabulous date. He liked her, he realized. Really liked her, more than just a quick night together type of like. He pulled the number out of his jacket and slipped it into his wallet, it was a number he would certainly be calling soon. With an ironic smirk, he realized he hoped it was her real number. Not that he'd ever pulled that stunt before, he thought to himself. He slipped off his suit jacket and headed down the hall for a shower.
He was three steps past the bedroom when he stopped cold, the hair raising on his neck. He silently slid the gun out of the holster, turned, and inched back to the doorway. He cautiously peered around the corner and could see the faintest hint of moonlight streaming through the open window and coming to rest upon a downward-turned baseball cap on top of Murdock, who sat slumped against the wall, face buried in his arms, wedged between the bedside table and the frame of the bed.
Face sighed, holstered the weapon, and slowly walked in. He wasn't sure how long Murdock had been there, but Face had been gone from the place for almost five hours and the Captain had most certainly not been there before. Face sat down on the floor a few feet in front of his friend, close enough for Murdock to know he was there, but far enough away that he wouldn't take a surprise swing in the face.
"Murdock, it's Face. We're at my place. Can you look up at me?"
Face waited a minute. No response. He decided to try again, using Hannibal's technique.
"Captain." The firm, commanding voice almost always got a response out of Murdock. This time, nothing.
Face decided to go for broke and scooted on the wooden floor a bit closer, within range of Murdock and still directly in front of him. His voice low, he tried again. "Murdock, it's Face. Look at me." He waited again for a response, and getting none, took a risk and reached out slowly to touch the jacket.
In a flash, Murdock had Face's wrist in a death grip in his hand. His head jerked up and stared blankly directly at Face. Face tried to gently remove his wrist from Murdock's hand, but he couldn't do it without using force and risking making the situation worse for both of them.
"Murdock. This is Face. Templeton. Lieutenant Peck. Listen to my voice." As he paused to take a breath, he noticed a slight glimmer of recognition flash through Murdock's eyes, then it was gone again. "You can let go of my hand. I'm not going to hurt you. No one is going to hurt you. I won't let anyone in here."
Murdock still didn't speak, but dropped Face's wrist. He resumed his position of head down in his arms. Face sat in front of him still, waiting to see what, if anything, Murdock would do. He soon noticed his friend's shoulders shaking and his struggle to control his breathing.
"Murdock, I'm still here, I'm not leaving you, buddy. Can I sit closer?" Face's voice was a lot more steady and calm than he felt. Murdock had been doing so well for so long that none of them had witnessed this in a long time. Murdock's usual way of coping was the characters he lost himself in, just silly fun unless one knew better, but each member of the team knew better by now.
If he wouldn't have been paying close attention, Face would have missed Murdock's nearly imperceptible nod. He slowly inched closer to Murdock and mimicked his position , head down and knees up, so that they both were sitting head to head with knees touching. After no reaction from that, Face reached out his arms and embraced his friend. The nearly full body physical contact finally broke the dam as hot tears streamed off Murdock onto Face's suit pants.
"Murdock, look at me," Face was quiet but commanding.
Murdock finally raised his head to meet Face. His eyes were still blank and unfocused, seeing a memory from long ago. From the way Murdock clung onto him, Face guessed he was reliving a POW memory. For someone who so desperately needed human contact, the isolation had been almost as bad as the physical torture for the Captain. After their escape from the camp, he slept pressed up against Face for months until he could finally begin to inch himself away. Now although he had to sleep alone at the VA, he still bunked with either Face or Hannibal whenever they were together. Face doubted that part of Murdock's psyche would ever heal.
Eventually, Face worked himself around Murdock so that he was behind the pilot, against the wall, with his arms wrapped around Murdock. Murdock finally rested his head against Face's arm as the memories worked their way to the forefront in the form of wailing, sobs, and intense shaking.
"Hannibal...B.A...Faceman..." Murdock mumbled the words as he shook, curled up like a baby in Face's lap.
Face's heart shattered. He knew where Murdock was in his mind. The isolation hole. During the worst of it, they could hear him crying out for them in the hole. The desperation and pleas were something that would haunt Face forever. He held Murdock tighter, wrapping his arms and legs around him, making sure Murdock could physically feel his presence. "Murdock, we're not there anymore. It's alright now. You're not alone, the team is together, we're not there anymore. You're not alone. You're not alone," Face continued to speak words of comfort over his friend for what seemed like hours.
Whether it was the physical full body contact or the words he spoke, Face didn't know, but gradually the shaking stopped. "Murdock, the war is over, we're not there anymore," Face continued to remind him, although he knew that it would truly never be over in Murdock's mind. Face's sleeve and pants of his Armani suit were soaked with tears, but he didn't care. Murdock's sobs eventually lessened as he clung to Face with all his might. Face noticed that while Murdock's eyes were still blank and unseeing, his body seemed to be relaxing. Murdock rested his head on Face's knee as Face ran a comforting hand through his hair. After a few minutes, Murdock's eyes drifted closed.
Face waited until he was sure Murdock was truly asleep, then reached for a blanket off the bed and covered his friend. He knew that the warmth and weight of the blanket along with the human contact would go a long way towards bringing Murdock back. He leaned his head back against the wall, staring out the window above his head and watched the first streaks of the pink-orange sunrise. He breathed a deep sigh of relief that Murdock, for now, was at peace as he reached for the phone on the bedside table, pulled it down, and quietly dialed Hannibal's number.
"Hannibal, we're not flying today."