evening_bat: Bat in flight, silhouetted against the moon. (Default)
[personal profile] evening_bat
Title: Conquest Interrupted
Author: [personal profile] evening_bat
Rating: PG
Spoilers: none
Warnings: none
Word Count: ~6100
Prompt: So Murdock didn't seem very happy about Face trying to get with that French journalist, right? I'm sure you lovely people can make something of that. How about five times Murdock successsfully cockblocked Face - and then the first time he successfully seduced him?


Conquest Interrupted

OR

Five Times Murdock Cockblocked Face (And One Time He Seduced Him)



(ONE) Unexpected Assistance

Contrary to popular belief, Face wasn't really a glory hound.  He wasn't above appropriating what luxuries he could, for himself and his team, but he really hadn't joined up for the guts and glory of it.  Of course, he wasn't going to complain if Hannibal managed to pull off another miraculous victory just in time to get them invited to a fancy military function.  A chance to parade around in his dress uniform, smile his way through the higher ups and enjoy the kind of food he only dreamed of in the field?  Yes, please.  And if the evening presented the chance to chat up a gorgeous brunette in a killer dress?  All the better.  He was just leaning in to discuss a certain point a bit more closely when a familiar voice crowed into his ear.

“Faceman!  There you are!”  An arm slung itself over his shoulders and Face only just checked his instinctive reaction to being grabbed.  

When he turned his head right into Murdock's beaming grin, he almost wished he had thrown his crazy teammate halfway across the room.  A few months and a couple of successful missions had not been nearly enough time to become accustomed to Murdock and his eccentricities.  The fact that Face still couldn’t read him worth a damn, while Murdock just kept insinuating himself into Face’s life wasn’t helping at all.

"Hi, Murdock," he managed evenly.  "Can I do something for you?"

His glare made it clear that the answer had better be 'no'.

"Yeah, actually," Murdock said, dashing Face's hopes.

"Sorry to interrupt, ma'am," he said to the brunette, "but I need to borrow Face here for a minute.  Urgent team business."

She looked torn between alarm and amusement but waved them off with a gracious smile.  "Business before pleasure," she said regretfully.

Not if I had anything to say about it, Face muttered internally but Murdock seemed pretty intent on dragging him away.  

"The way of the world, much as I hate the necessity," he apologized as Murdock tugged on his shoulders, flashing her one last smile before giving into Murdock's insistence.

Once they were safely out of earshot, Face dug in his heels and dragged them to a halt.

"What?  What is it?" he demanded irritably.  "What was so important you had to haul me off like that?"

Murdock ignored the minor display of temper.

"You know she's married?  Right, Face?" he asked, hand tight on Face's arm, eyes unusually serious.

"Yeah, so?"  He'd seen the impressive ring on her finger after they'd gotten to talking.  "No harm in being friendly."

"Well, it's not so much that she's married," Murdock elaborated in an undertone, leaning in to deliver the final detail.  "It's who she's married to."

"So who's she married to?" Face grumbled, twitching his arm out of Murdock's grasp and stepping away from him.  "And why should I care?"

"Him," Murdock replied succinctly, with a quick flick of his fingers.

Face looked over his shoulder and the lingering resentment promptly evaporated.

"Ah, okay.  You've got a point there," he admitted.

Strutting over to the woman Murdock had just pulled him away from was General Stine, a man with whom Hannibal had been carrying on a cordially frosty hatred as long as Face had been assigned to him.  He hadn't been able to find out why Hannibal despised the general so much but the feeling seemed to be entirely mutual.  Getting caught flirting with Stine's wife wouldn't have ended prettily for anyone.

"Thanks, Murdock," he said, trying to keep the grudging note out of his voice.  "I owe you one."

Murdock shrugged.  "We're a team, aren't we?" he asked.  "We look out for each other."

Well, they were supposed to, Face acknowledged, feeling a twinge of guilt over his uncharitable thoughts earlier.  Like it or not, they were a team and weirdness aside, Murdock hadn’t done anything to let them down yet.  Quite the opposite, in fact.

As they drifted by one of the heavily-laden tables, Face saw a chance to start making it up to him.  He snagged a couple of wine glasses as they wandered past.

“To teamwork?” he offered, holding one of the glasses out to Murdock.

“Teamwork,” Murdock replied firmly as he took it, giving Face another one of those brilliant smiles as he tapped their glasses together.

It wasn’t until after they’d both taken a hefty sip that Face suddenly realized what a bad idea that probably was.

"Murdock!" he whispered, trying to mute his alarm.  "Should you really be drinking that?"

Murdock blinked and lowered the glass.  "Sure, why not?  It's free, isn't it?" he checked, suddenly worried.  "I don't think I brought my wallet," he said, patting his hip with his free hand.

“No, no.  I mean, should you be mixing alcohol with your meds?” Face asked uneasily.

“What meds?”  Murdock gave him a curious look.

“You know, your meds,” Face repeated.  “For the...”  He wriggled his fingers at his temple.

Oooooh," Murdock responded, in a tone of great enlightenment.  "Those."

"Yeah," Face replied, trying not to grit his teeth too obviously.  "Those."

"Nope!" Murdock replied cheerfully.  "I’m not taking them so you don't need to worry about it!”

Face stared at him in dawning horror.  “You’re not-?”

“Wasn’t taking them at the hospital,” Murdock explained with an offhand shrug, “so why would I be taking them now?”  

“But - you didn't - shouldn’t you -” Face spluttered, at a rare loss.

And this is what you get for trying to talk sense to a crazy man, the logical side of his brain pointed out snidely.

“Ooooo!  Look!” Murdock chirped excitedly, eyes fixed on a tray that had appeared on a nearby table.  “It is the elusive crab puff!” he declared in a French accent, abruptly abandoning his conversation with Face in favour of hors d’oeuvres.

"Murdock, wait!" Face made a hasty grab for him but his hand reached just short of Murdock's arm as he slipped away, into the crowd of uniforms and evening dress.

Face bit off a curse and fixed his expression into the pleasant mask he'd perfected years ago, aware of the eyes on him.  No point in handing the onlookers any more of a spectacle than they were already in for.  He was pretty sure the show was only just starting.

Oh well, he consoled himself as he contemplated his half-full glass, At least this isn't going to be one of those boring parties...

He permitted himself another bracing gulp, and then followed the stream of French to see what Murdock was up to now.


(TWO) Second Opinion

It really was just a graze, exactly like he'd been telling his team.  Just a bloody line in the muscle of his arm, where a lucky shot had creased him.  Hannibal had been reacting more to the close call than to the wound when he ordered Face down to the base infirmary.  He hadn’t been budged by any of Face’s objections either, so Face had finally given up and gone grumbling down the hallways.  His sulk lasted until he walked into the infirmary and spotted the pretty medic on duty.

After that, proper wound care seemed a much better idea.

"What can I do for you, Lieutenant?" the medic asked, her crisp tone at odds with the appreciative look she gave him.

"My team ran into a bit of trouble out in the field," he replied, gesturing to his bloody sleeve.  "My CO wanted me to come in and have this checked out."

"Did he now?  Well, then.  Come on in and sit down so I can take a look at you," she instructed authoritatively and Face hurried to obey.  God, he loved a woman in uniform.  

She did take the time to clean and bandage the crease in his arm but her touch lingered a bit too long to be called strictly professional.  Not that Face was complaining.

"So, will I live?" he asked, lowering his tone into a playful invitation.

"Well," she pretended to consider, leaning in for a more thorough examination, "with further attention, I think you could make a full recovery.  Despite the grievous injury."

"Grievous injury?" yelped a voice from the doorway.  "You said you were fine!"

They jerked apart at the interruption, Face whipping around to glare at Murdock as the medic hastily resumed her professional demeanor.  How Murdock's timing in the field could be so split-second perfect and so godawful everywhere else, Face would never know.

"Face?"  Murdock ignored the dirty look, voice spiralling higher with dismay and Face's irritation softened at the genuine anxiety.  Murdock had been standing right next to him when he'd nearly taken that bullet and they'd had a few panicky moments when neither of them had been entirely sure that the other was okay.

"I'm am fine, Murdock," he repeated patiently.  "Tell him, would you?" he appealed to the chagrined medic, who quickly nodded.

"He's just fine," she said firmly.  "It's barely more than a scratch."

"Well, I wouldn't go that far," Face huffed - it had stung like a bitch! - and was pleased to see Murdock relax at the familiar note of complaint.

"You'd better hope it's nothing more than a scratch," he commented as he propped his shoulder against the door.  "'Cause the colonel'll tear a strip off of you if he thinks you lied to him."

Ah, the joy of having teammates, Face sighed to himself as he watched the last of his chances with the attractive medic go up in a pathetic fizzle as she grinned.

"I'd prefer it if you guys could keep from making any extra work for me, thanks," she responded dryly.  "So how'd you like to take the lieutenant back and tell your CO that he's got a clean bill of health?"

"I'd love to!" Murdock told her brightly as Face slid off the exam table.  

"Thanks for taking such good care of me," he said to the medic as he walked past, giving her one last flirtatious smile as he joined Murdock at the door.

She shook her head at him, a faint blush rising to her cheeks.  "I'd rather not see you in here," she called after him, stressing the last two words slightly, "again any time soon, Lieutenant!"

"I'll see what I can manage," he promised as they headed out into the hallway, leaving the infirmary behind.


(THREE) Opening Night

The coffee shop was practically dripping with Christmas decorations and Face found himself brushing more glitter than snow off of his coat by the time they’d taken about three steps into the store.  Murdock didn’t seem to mind, if the strand of tinsel he’d swiped on the way in and wound around his neck was any indication.

“You and Christmas,” Face muttered fondly as Murdock started loudly humming along with the carols being played in the background.

“Mint mochas aaaaaall month long!” Murdock interrupted his serenade to reply.

Face grimaced.  He had no idea how Murdock could drink those things.  “Make mine a plain latte, would you?  I’ll go grab a table.”  Let Murdock go share his Christmas cheer with the employees working behind the busy counter, the poor things looked like they could use it.

Murdock nodded as he sashayed over to stand in line, humming again.

Finding a table wasn't an easy prospect in the popular shop.  Between the falling snow and the crush of holiday shoppers, the store was near bursting with people seeking refuge.  Spotting what seemed to be a free table over in the corner, Face picked his way carefully through the crowd.  It was only after he reached it that he caught sight of the lovely blonde already sitting there.  He stopped short but not before she noticed him and looked up from the magazine she'd been flipping through.

"Ah, sorry," he apologized.  "I thought the table was open."

"I don't think you'll have much luck there," she remarked, glancing around the busy store.  She ran a quick, appraising glance over him, then smiled warmly.  "Maybe we could share?"

“I’d love to,” Face replied, returning her smile with interest before letting a hint of regret slip into his expression, “but I’m here with a friend.”

She looked briefly disappointed, then her expression lightened into something friendly.  “The more the merrier,” she said.

“If you’re sure...” Face checked, waiting for her nod, “then that would be great.  Thanks.”

He half-turned and scanned the line until he found Murdock, bouncing in place, standing near the cash.  He waved to catch his attention and flashed a quick hand signal when Murdock looked over at him.  He got a quick thumbs up in response just as Murdock’s turn came up to order.  Face smothered a snicker at the startled look on the poor barista’s face when confronted with Murdock’s enthusiasm.  Face bet himself that she’d be smiling nearly as widely as Murdock was by the time he had his coffees.  She looked like the type who’d find his cheer infectious.

Unlike the elegant woman who’d invited them to share her table, Face observed as he took a seat, slipping out of his coat.  Her name was Laura, he learned after offering his own, and she worked with investments.  They settled into an easy conversation and Face was idly wondering if she had any plans for the weekend when Murdock came tearing over.

Face barely avoided a lapful of latte as Murdock nearly slammed into the table, babbling a mile a minute.  Good as Face usually was at untangling what Murdock was saying, he didn't have the first clue where to start with this torrent of words.

"Murdock!" he called sharply, rising from his seat and slapping a hand over Murdock's mouth.  "Breathe."

Murdock blinked at him, then obediently sucked in a breath, the small stream of air tickling Face’s hand.

"Great.  Now put the coffee down," Face ordered.

Murdock's eyes flickered down to the cups he'd evidently forgotten he was holding, then he placed them on the table with exaggerated care.

"Thank you," Face said calmly, then withdrew his hand.  "Now, what were you saying?  A bit slower this time, please."

"It's opening night, Face!" Murdock exclaimed.  

"Opening night of...?" Face asked, which was Murdock's cue to launch into an animated explanation.

It was a movie Murdock had been telling them about for months.  Face wasn't quite sure which movie it was - keeping track of Murdock's vast array of interests was nearly impossible - but he knew there was lots of flying in spaceships involved.  The girl at the cash had told Murdock that it was one of the reasons they were so busy this afternoon.  Apparently, eager moviegoers were lining up at the movie theater down the block to get seats for this evening's showings.

"There's a whole bunch of people there already and some of them are even in costume!" Murdock enthused.  "It's going to be amazing!"

Well, well, well.  This could work out after all, Face realized.  Murdock dashing off to see his movie would leave Face at loose ends.  From the sidelong looks Laura kept sending him as she followed their conversation, he was fairly certain that she'd be willing to help him find some way to fill his unexpectedly free evening.

"So can we go, Face?  Can we?  Please?"

Wait - what was that?

"We?" he repeated.  "What's this about 'we'?"

"But Face!  You've got to come!"  Murdock begged shamelessly.  "It'll be great!"

Face treated him to a deeply dubious stare.  "You want me to go and stand outside in the freezing cold, for hours, with a bunch of" geeks "science fiction fans to go see some" piece of crap "movie about spaceships and aliens?"

Murdock nodded enthusiastically, beaming at him.

"You've got to be kidding!" Face complained.  "Why do I have to go with you?  You don't need me to go watch a movie."

Murdock's face fell.  "But it won't be as much fun without you," he said simply.

Goddamn it, Face grumbled to himself as Murdock got that sad-eyed look that Face had never figured out how to say no to.

He sighed heavily.  "Well, you'd better go get some travel lids, then."

Murdock whooped in delight, snatching up the coffee cups and practically dancing back to the counter.  Face shook his head as he watched the display.  This flavour of resigned indulgence was an old friend by now.

“Maybe I’ll see you around,” he suggested to Laura, as he shrugged into his coat.  “It looks like I’m going to a movie tonight.”

She barely had time to bid him a laughing goodbye before Murdock was back, shoving a warm cup into his hand and dragging him out of the store.


(FOUR) Booty Call

When Face woke up, he wasn't sure if it was morning or evening.  After a few moments of staring blearily at the dark ceiling, he decided he didn't care.  He rolled over with a groan, muzzily debating the benefits of more sleep versus a shower.  Eventually he reached the conclusion that if he was awake enough to be bothered by how grimy he felt, then a shower was definitely in order.  

And some food would probably be a good idea, he realized as his stomach rumbled loudly.

So he would get up, get clean, get something to eat and then he could come back, drag the dirty linens off the bed and pass out for another day or two.  That sounded like a plan even Hannibal would be proud of.

I am never doing that again, he vowed as he forced himself to his feet.  Never ever.  I think that was worse than Ranger school.  Next time some general needed someone to play rabbits for his training exercises, he could just find someone else.

Face didn't care what kind of wonders they'd just done for their reputation.  He didn't care how many scores Hannibal had just settled with his team's success.  He didn't even care about the small fortune he'd made on the betting.  A week of living rough in the woods while what seemed like half of the US Army hunted them down was just not worth it.

About an hour later, feeling much more human after a decadently long shower, Face was firmly convinced that hot water and soap were marvelous things.  Toothbrushes and toothpaste were practically miraculous.  A still-open mess hall would be nearly enough to bring a man to tears.  Right now, Face could care less what was being served, so long as it was hot, cooked and plentiful.  It didn't matter to him if it was breakfast or dinner.

He hurried back to his room, mentally tallying the balance of regulation dress versus comfortable clothes he could get away with wearing when someone spoke from behind him.

"Hey there, handsome."

Face brightened at the unexpected greeting, turning to face the one person who was guaranteed to perk him up, no matter what state he was in.  

"Hi, gorgeous," he replied, loving the sound of her low chuckle.

"Wow," Charissa said, her smile twisting into a wince as she approached - not the reaction Face was used to prompting from his girlfriend.  "You do look rough."

"Well, gee.  Thanks, honey," Face retorted, stung.  "It's great to see you too."

"Oh, don't be a bitch," she told him, unfazed as ever.  "I heard all about your little expedition in the woods.  You've got a week's worth of good reasons for not looking your best," she reassured him, with a teasing pat on the cheek.

"How'd you hear about it?" he asked, catching her hand and tucking it into his own.  "I didn't think they broadcast the details of that exercise."

"I stopped in to see you earlier," she answered.  "Heard about it from Murdock."

Well, that explained it.  Murdock - the lucky bastard - hadn't been sent out into the field with the rest of the team.  He'd been named their intel contact, as close a match to his usual "eyes in the sky" role as the exercise provided, the organizers had told them.  From the smirk at least one general was wearing, Face was convinced they'd thought they were crippling the team by saddling them with an unreliable source of information.  Too bad for them that Murdock could be a truly sneaky little shit when he wanted to be and was particularly gifted at flinging wrenches into people's plans.  He hadn't gotten much more sleep than the rest of the team during that week - Face couldn't wait to hear what he'd been up to - but he'd snoozed for a few hours while waiting for them to get back.  That was all the sleep Murdock ever seemed to need.

"You should have woken me up," he commented.  Tired or not, duty kept the two of them apart far too often for Face's liking.

"I was going to," she replied, "but Murdock warned me off.  Said you needed the sleep more than you needed the attention."

Face stared at her in disbelief.  "He what?"

Charissa shrugged, a slightly bemused expression on her face.  "He was pretty determined.  I thought he was going to pull rank for a second there."

"What the hell!" Face muttered.  "I told him to keep an eye on things while I crashed, not stand guard on my door!"

"Don't take this the wrong way," Charissa said, examining him critically, "but from how you're looking now, I'd say he was probably right."

Face shook his head, putting aside his annoyance with Murdock for the moment.  He could - and would - have words with his teammate later.  Right now, he had better things to do.

"Never mind him.  You're here now.  We can get to making up for lost time," he said as he slid an arm around her waist and tugged her towards him.

"Sorry - very sorry - but no can do," she replied regretfully, twisting out of his hold.  "I'm only here to say goodbye.  We're heading out on assignment and I need to leave five minutes ago."

"What?"  Man, he hoped that sounded less pathetic outside of his head than it did inside.  "You can't be serious!"

"Completely," she said, leaning in to gift him with one smoldering kiss before she started walking away.  

"I'll catch you around!" she called over her shoulder.  "Maybe we'll have better luck next time!"

"I goddamn well hope so," Face muttered as he watched her leave, feeling a bit bereft despite the enjoyable sight.  What a shitty week.  

He hoped Murdock was enjoying himself, wherever he was, because when Face found him, he was going to kill him.


(FIVE) Dream Date

When his cell phone rang, Face almost swore aloud.  He probably would have, had his mouth not been thoroughly occupied with Terri.  Beautiful, eager Terri, who showed no interest whatsoever in the ringing of his phone.  Her enthusiasm was enough to make Face forget about that incoming call - almost.  With a frustrated groan, he pulled away.

"I have to answer that," he said breathlessly.

Terri laughed throatily.  "Let it ring," she purred.

"You have no idea how much I would like to do that," he told her, fighting the urge to lean back in, "but my boss might actually kill me if I did."

That had been a mistake Face only needed to make once.  Hannibal had been coldly furious and his disappointment stung worse than the anger.  The sincere threat to have Face's balls if he ever neglected duty that way again had been another effective brace for Face's willpower.

"I can make it worth it," Terri promised with a sultry smile.

Face caught her hand before it could slide any deeper under the waistband of his slacks.

"Hold that thought," he said, "and I promise to make it worth the wait."

She pouted, obviously unused to failing in her attempts to sway a man, but backed off.

Face breathed a sigh of mingled relief and impatience as he fumbled the phone out of his pocket.  When he saw Murdock's name on the display, he did swear out loud.  For a second, he seriously considered just pitching the still-ringing phone over his shoulder and picking up where he left off with Terri.  But it could still be team business, he reasoned, and the moment had been pretty definitively interrupted.  He might as well see what Murdock wanted.  He could always put him off if it turned out to be just another bout of crazy rambling.

Thumbing the answer button, Face put the phone to his ear.  "Hi there, Murdock," he greeted, using the pointedly patient tone that would signal Murdock that he'd interrupted something.  "What can I do for you?"

Silence hummed across the open line, only the faint sound of strained breathing filtering through.

"Murdock?" Face asked, tone sharpening with reflexive concern.

"...Face?"  Murdock's voice was a ragged whisper.

Face's hand tightened on the phone, a sudden knot of ice coiling in his stomach.  "Yeah, Murdock.  It's me," he answered.  "You okay there?"

"I don't think so," Murdock replied, voice faint and scared.

Jesus Christ, Face thought, heart clenching in sympathy.  Nights like this were one of the main reasons why the team tended to keep pretty close tabs on Murdock, even on leave.

"Hey there," he soothed.  "It's all right.  You're fine.  It'll be okay."

Murdock dragged in a shaky breath and Face could hear rustling as he moved.

Covering the receiver, he turned his head to Terri.  "Get your coat and shoes," he ordered shortly.

"What?"  She stared at him, completely taken aback by his abrupt change in attitude.

"My friend's sick," he said flatly.  "I have to get over there.  Get your stuff."

Turning away from her protest, he focused his attention on Murdock again.

"Where are you?" he asked.  Was Murdock at home?  Murdock had his own place but he didn't spend a whole lot of time there.  Had he tagged along after Hannibal the way he sometimes did?  He didn't usually stay with BA but you never really knew with Murdock.  If he was with one of their teammates, Face could use his home phone to call one of them to sit with Murdock until he got there.

"At home," Murdock replied, after a worrisome delay.  Murdock’s past was murky and it tended to tighten its grip when he slept.

“Good.  That’s good, Murdock,” Face replied, relieved.  Murdock lived less than 20 minutes away.  This time of night, Face could make it in 10.

"You just hang in there, okay?" Face commanded as he slung his coat on.  "I'm on my way over."

"Aw, Face, you don't have to do that."  Murdock sounded embarrassed.

"Shut up, Murdock," Face replied firmly.  "I'll be right there."

Murdock's answering sigh was shaky with relief and he didn't protest any further.

Terri was standing by the door, her earlier pout replaced by an unimpressed scowl.  He ignored her, automatically keeping up a light patter into the phone as he stepped into his shoes.  Taking Terri by the arm, he hustled her into the hallway, barely taking the time to lock his door behind him as he hurried towards the elevator.  The ride to the lobby seemed far longer than usual.  Face wasted no time when the doors finally slid open.

As he strode across the lobby, Face was grateful that he'd scored himself such an upscale place in town.  This building had a doorman and he could call a cab and make sure Terri got home all right.  One less delay for Face to contend with.  From the outrage on Terri's face when Face abandoned her at the front door, his chances of another date were pretty damn slim but Face would worry about it later.  Murdock was waiting for him.


(+ ONE ) Paradigm Shift

"Hey, pass the chips," Face said, nudging Murdock in the side.

Murdock just hummed absently in response, eyes fixed on the tv screen.

"Murdock," Face complained, poking him in the shoulder, "pass the chips!"

If Murdock was going to invite himself to Face's post-mission lounging party, the least he could do was pass the damn snacks.

Murdock's reply was an inarticulate mumble but he reached out with one hand, fumbling at the sheets until he snagged the edge of the bowl.

"Thank you," Face said sweetly, snatching the bowl as Murdock passed it back to him.

Chips now cradled comfortably against his chest, Face slouched against his headboard, wriggling his toes to keep the circulation going.  He didn't exactly mind Murdock using his legs as a pillow but the guy was heavier than he looked.

"What are we watching next?" he asked through a mouthful when he noticed that the movie playing on the screen was nearly finished.

"The third one," Murdock replied promptly.

"Cool," Face acknowledged.  At least Murdock had settled on a series of mindless action flicks.  "But we might need to actually get up before we start it," he added.

"We need more pretzels," Murdock agreed.  "And beer."

"I'll get the beer," Face volunteered as the credits started rolling.

"Okay!"  Murdock rolled off of Face's legs and slid to the edge of the bed.

Face watched enviously as Murdock bounced out of the room, energy levels apparently undiminished by a day of sloth.  It took Face a bit longer to extricate himself from the comfortable grasp of his bed but he managed eventually.  He padded down the hallway, hitching up his sweats with a thumb when they slipped over his hips and scratching idly at his stomach as he wandered into the kitchen.  Good thing he'd bought a few six-packs the last time he'd gone shopping.

"We should order a pizza or something!" Murdock yelled from somewhere down the hall.

"Sure," Face called back.  "Are you still dead set against anchovies?" he asked, purely to hear Murdock rant about hairy fish swimming through his bloodstream.  Murdock didn't disappoint and the resulting diatribe kept Face entertained until the pizza arrived.

Dinner acquired, they retreated to Face's room with the box and a new six-pack.  Murdock busied himself with setting up the next movie while Face reclaimed his spot on the bed, making room for Murdock when he climbed back on and staked out a place for himself next to the pizza box.  Face handed over a bottle of beer as Murdock started the movie and they settled down to watch in contented silence.

No better way to unwind after a mission, Face sighed happily, shoving the now-empty pizza box to the floor.

Well, maybe one better way, he reconsidered, but he'd have to get dressed up for that.  At least for a while.  Might be worth it, though.  Surely there was someone he could call for a bit of no-strings-attached fun?

Face was running down his mental list of names and numbers when he noticed the barely audible muttering that meant Murdock was bored with what was going on onscreen and would soon be providing his own dialogue, complete with individual voices.  Face snickered to himself and discarded his nebulous plans, leaning back against the headboard and took a sip of beer.  Who needed to go through the hassle of another pointless date when you had entertainment like this waiting at home?

He nearly dropped the bottle when his brain replayed that last thought.  

Wait, wait, wait.  What?  Had he really just thought that he'd rather pass a lazy day with Murdock than an evening enjoying the company of a beautiful, willing woman?  He glanced down at where Murdock was sprawled across his legs again and noticed that he was absently stroking Murdock's hair.  

I guess I did, Face thought numbly, mind catching on the realization that this right here, this little bit of domestic comfort, was enough to make him happy.  And what the hell did that mean?

And because things weren't already uncomfortable enough, Murdock apparently sensed something of Face's sudden confusion, as he lifted his head to look up at Face.  "You okay up there?" he asked.

Face nodded automatically.  "Fine," he answered breezily.  No world changing epiphanies going on here! he thought, half-hysterically.

Murdock's eyes narrowed and he sat up.  "You don't sound fine," he said dubiously and Face had never hated Murdock's ability to see right through him more than he did right now.

He forced himself to shrug casually.  "I don't know what you mean," he lied easily.  

"Sure you don't," Murdock replied, searching Face's expression.  "What's going on in your head?"

Face couldn't help the snort of laughter that escaped at that question, Murdock's mouth quirking into a grin as he acknowledged the turnaround.

"I - you have some sauce," Face said hastily as he noticed the streak of red at the corner of Murdock's mouth, seizing on the opportunity to divert his attention.

Murdock seemed a bit confused - as well he should, since stray pizza sauce had never triggered any sort of breakdown for Face before - but rubbed at the side of his mouth, giving Face an inquiring look afterwards.

"No, it's still - here, let me," Face offered, reaching up with a surprisingly steady hand to wipe the smear away with his thumb.  

"Thanks, Face," Murdock said, licking his lips, apparently unconcerned with the way Face's hand lingered on his cheek.

Face nearly shivered as Murdock's tongue brushed his thumb.  Well, that answered the question he'd been afraid to ask himself about to whether or not this new awareness meant that he was attracted to his teammate.

"Are you sure you're okay, Face?" Murdock asked, eyes intent and shaded with concern.  "You really do seem kind of off there."

Face shook his head slowly.  "I'm good," he assured him.  Totally confused, but good.

Murdock sat back and tipped his head to the side as he considered Face, movie playing on unnoticed behind him.

Face couldn't help but return the stare, helpless to look away now that this idea had crossed his mind.  Murdock was already such a huge part of Face's life.  Best friend, teammate, partner in crime.  The only person Face could imagine spending the day with in ratty sweats, watching bad movies.  But until now, Face had never found himself wondering what Murdock's skin would feel like under his hands or if that mouth was as talented at kissing as it was at talking.        

Okay, okay, so you're kind of hot for Murdock, Face told himself.  That's not the end of the world.  It wouldn't be the first time Face had looked twice at a man and Murdock was pretty compelling.  On the other hand, suddenly realizing he wanted no one but Murdock...that was tipping Face's worldview right on its side.

When the hell did that happen? Face wondered, a bit frantically.  And how did I not notice?

"Face?" Murdock asked, expression deepening to outright worry.

Face shook his head again.  He should think this through, let the idea sink into his head before he did anything stupid.  There was the team to consider and the best friendship Face had ever had.  But Murdock was sitting right there, close as ever, and Face didn't think he could keep this realization to himself.  Not when all of his instincts were screaming at him to do something about it.  And while Face still had trouble reading Murdock after all this time, he trusted his instincts.

So he threw caution to the wind, slid the hand on Murdock's face around to the back of his neck and drew him into a kiss.  He kept it chaste and sweet, asking a question rather than demanding an answer, then pulled back and waited for Murdock to respond.

Murdock just stared at him, eyes gone wide and shocked and for a horrible second, Face was convinced he’d just ruined everything.  Then Murdock’s lips curved into a smile that was wickedly satisfied.

“Well, finally!” he drawled.

“Finally?” Face echoed.  “What do you mean, fina - mph!”

Okay, okay, explanations can wait, Face decided as Murdock tackled him to the bed, bright eyes and roving hands promising that Face was going to be far too busy to dwell on what he'd been missing.

FIN


Originally posted here over on [livejournal.com profile] a_team_kink.

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