by brooklinegirl (witchbaby)
I don't know, I don't know, I don't know.
Something's missing. Something's wrong, really wrong, fundamentally wrong, and I can't for the life of me figure out what the hell that might be.
I want something, I need something, and it's something I'm just not getting. My eyes keep skewing out of focus, as my mind tries to see what's not there off in the corner. I have to drag myself back, and when I do, I feel drained, distraught, and not entirely me. A piece is missing and I don't know where to go look for it. I feel like I'm blind and that piece is continually dancing away just out of reach. And that even if I ever managed to catch it, I'd fuck it up. Not know what the hell to do with it, and so end up destroying it. So sometimes, when I think it's right there, just around the corner, maybe even waiting for me to catch it, I'll close my eyes and then turn and walk away quick.
I don't know why.
I'm so empty inside, but sometimes it just doesn't seem worth the risk. It just doesn't seem worth it.
That's how it used to be. For so very long, that's how it used to be. I don't ever want to go back to that.
I watch him, sometimes, when I'm pretty sure he's not paying any attention. He gets so wrapped up in his thoughts, I think the van could crash and he wouldn't even notice. I wonder what it is he's thinking. He makes things more complicated than they need to be sometimes.
Shouldn't be this hard.
It just shouldn't.
All you need is love. Right? Circles and spirals and it was supposed to be easy once you found it.
But it's not. They lied. The movies lied, the stories lied, Prince Charming lied. No magic spell for a broken heart, not hardly.
Some of it seems easy. The falling part. Once you let go, let yourself fall, it's easy enough to keep falling headlong in. Actually, there's no stopping it. Guess that's when it gets hard. When you're falling whether you wanted to or not. Like Alice down the rabbit hole, looking for a handhold, but everything just races by you and there's no, no, no stopping it.
I can't decide whether I hate it or love it. Makes you feel, at least. You feel more when you're hurting than you do at any other time. Except if you're falling in love. That's the melting, burning feeling that consumes you and you revel in the flame. It doesn't last, it's a temporary fire, but while it's got you, you're grinning through the flames.
It's hard. It's really hard. I love him so much, I can feel it physically, sometimes. In my heart. I want to spell it out, spill it out, tell him over and over again how very much I love him. But that's not the way to do it with Face. Nope. There are a lot of rules in the world of Templeton Peck. Sometimes we connect just like snap and we're everything there is to be. Everything. So long as we're together, it's all we need.
And sometimes. . .well, sometimes it's harder than that. Sometimes it's really, really hard. Sometimes. . .
Sometimes I think it'd be easier to just walk away. Too much work. You know? How sometimes it comes easy, and sometimes it comes hard, and the good times are so good, so high, so very much. You think you can live on the memory of those times forever and ever. Not fair that the smallest little hurt seems to be able to erase all that.
Why do the bad times scar so bad? How can one day, one hour, one minute of hurt cancel out weeks of unbelievable happiness?
I love him so much.
I know I could never walk away, not really. I know that I don't even want to. Not really. But when we fight. . .well, Face has a way with words. It's stunning, how words can hurt. It's dangerous, when we fight. We're too good at it. Easy to get carried away. Guess that's the way it is with us. Extremes, always. But hey, I keep telling myself (in the immortal words of Arlo Guthrie), you can't have a light without a dark to stick it in. Take the good with the bad, and you get a sort of balance if you're lucky.
I know I love him. And he loves me. Maybe that's why we can hurt each other so skillfully, why we're so good at it. We know each other so well, maybe too well. We know all the weak spots, even the ones that are really well hidden. Don't know what it is about that dark place in my heart (and his) that make us decide to exploit those spots, but sometimes. . .sometimes we do.
We're good at that. But we're good at the loving part of it, too. Face is tremendous at loving. The physical part, oh yes. The emotional part, once he decides to give, once he lets the walls fall. . .well, it would just blow you away.
I find it amusing, the way Hannibal looks at us sometimes, this measuring expression, slightly perplexed. Like he kind of doesn't recognize us. Or, at least, doesn't recognize this side of us. This side of Face, especially. Me, I'm an open kind of guy. Expect the unexpected with me, you know? But Face. Face is a different story. Hannibal knows that. Knows how it is with Face. All those rules, the rules of Facey's little world, that he broke to be with me.
Hannibal'll sit there, smoking his cigar, blowing the smoke out the window, and I'll catch him studying us in the rearview mirror. We're good, usually; don't get too mushy in front of them, and we try to never fight in front of them. Don't want them to be uncomfortable with the whole thing. Still, he watches us closely. I don't think it's entirely the commander side of him, looking for trouble. I think sometimes, he sees that look in my Facey's eyes, and it makes him wonder.
BA is another story. He just kind of accepted the whole thing, no questions asked. Think maybe he knew what we needed before we did. He's like that, sometimes. Knows more than he says. I like that about the big guy. He watches out for, but not over us. Not too much. Lets us make our mistakes, hopes we'll learn from them. Sometimes slaps us upside the head explaining stuff we're too blind and just too stubborn to see for ourselves. We need that, sometimes.
As for me, I try to watch out for Face, too. He'll do anything, anything at all, to keep me safe and happy. But he is just plain bad at taking care of himself. Makes me anxious, sometimes. . .that maybe he's staying just to keep from hurting me.
Don't want him to hurt himself in order to not hurt me. What's that line, about loving something and setting it free? I'm trying hard not to close myself around Face, keep him safe inside and away from all hurts. I know he has to live his life, I know that. And for the most part, I get to be the center of his life. His center. I like that. I can do that. I'm good at it.
Sometimes, though, he gets caught up with stuff. Ideas in his head, and he wanders a little. Maybe loses focus a little. I'm not talking about cheating or anything, no sir. I don't think Face could walk anymore than I could. We passed the point of no return a while back. I just mean that he gets caught up with stuff and I've gotta realize that I'm not the end-all and be-all here, and that's okay. Sometimes. I know he always comes back to me, from whatever place he wanders to in his head.
I think I know that.
So I stay, too. Worth it to stay. I don't want to ever go back to the before time. The not-having. Loving hurts, sometimes. Hurts a lot, and you don't know if you'll survive it if it keeps on going, don't know how you're surviving it even now. But you do. You survive and you find yourself reveling in it and it's worth it.
It's so goddamn worth it, it's not even funny.
I love him. God, I just love him so much. I watch him go back and forth between reading his comic book out loud (complete with screen descriptions and sound effects, harassing the hell out of BA), and making eyes at me behind the comic. How the hell does he balance all that? It's beyond me. My strengths lie elsewhere.
I lie, I cheat, I steal. . .I get caught by Murdock's eyes, drawing me in from behind the comic. He's laughing, and he's mouthing something. I watch his lips, finally make it out. "Want you to want me."
Oh, baby. I do.
He's grinning wildly. Draws a slow tongue across his lips, deliberately obvious and teasing and I break into laughter as he turns back to the comic and starts to fairly act out the next panel for the edification of us all.
I love watching him, his emotions so clear across his face. All the time, but especially when he's alone with us. Even more so when he's alone with me. I think. I can read him well. I'm good at that. Chameleon-reactions, sometimes, getting a feel for what people expect and give it back to them. With Murdock, though, it's easy. I get a read from him, and sometimes intend to feed him a story. . .but instead end up feeding him the truth. I can't help it, it just comes out, real easy. I have the hardest time lying to him, that I finally stopped even trying, really.
How utterly weird is that?
I meet Hannibal's eyes in the rear-view and give him a grin. He chews on his cigar for a second before smiling back. Always weighing. Always judging. Gets tiring sometimes, not being entirely trusted. But hey, I guess he's a commander first, friend second, right?
Murdock kicks my ankle, getting my attention without interrupting his dialogue from the comic. He grins at me, merciless in his teasing. I give him a smile back. He makes it so easy to love him. I get scared, so scared, sometimes, that I'm going to mess this up. We hurt each other, sometimes, though, and I'm not sure why. What is it about human nature that lets out the words you don't want to say? It happens. Not often, but it does happen. Makes me tense, makes me watch his eyes more closely than ever, looking for that closing off I'm expecting to see. Give me some warning, before you walk away, will you, baby?
But he hasn't walked away yet, has he? And really, what more can I ask for? Life is all about walking a thin line. We're always balancing, testing, wondering. Some things you know for sure. Some things are easy to know. I know I love him. I know that for sure, even when I'm hurting him. Even when he's hurting me. We don't mean to, but it happens. Human nature, I guess, for whatever that's worth.
I love him and I don't want him to leave.
That part's easy.
But the knowing that he's here for good. . .well, sometimes that's hard to fathom. Everyone leaves. I've been left, well, let's just say too much. And lord knows I've left enough times myself. Left behind so many girls it would make your head spin. Don't think I'll be the one doing the leaving this time, though.
That's what scares me. No pre-emptive breakup. I can't do it, can't bring myself to even consider it.
I guess I look lost again, because Murdock has stopped reading the comic book, is actually sitting quietly, much to BA's relief. He's looking at me, with that too-serious expression on his face, like a little kid grown old too soon. His voice is pitched low as he says, "Hey, there, pretty boy."
I meet his eyes. . .how can I not? When he looks at me like that, I *want* to get lost, get lost in those brown depths. He holds my gaze. He's good at that, knowing when I'm in danger of wandering too far in my head. Knows when to bring me back. Knows *how* to bring me back. I like that. Sometimes I need that line.
The safety. Need him to draw me back. It's not that I'm in danger of walking away. It's that I'm in danger of falling. I don't know where or how, but it's there, always. The edge.
I look down, because Murdock has hold of my hand. Don't know when that happened, but I hold on tight. Look back up at him and smile, and it's a real smile (he gets those more than anyone else does). He squeezes my hand and winks. And I'm okay again.
That's all it takes. How amazing is that? See, he fixes me, when I don't even know that I'm broken. No one else can do that. So even though it's hard, even though it seems impossible sometimes, we make it work, and work well. Hell, we're soldiers. Impossible missions are our specialty.
He holds my hand for the rest of the ride, and I don't even care about the glances we get from Hannibal. Let him measure all he wants.
I bet we turn out fine.
"If you're afraid of the dark, remember the night rainbow." -Cooper Edens
witchbaby's A-Team stories