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Before It All
Rating: PG-13 (Death of a minor character, Angst)
Note: This is a prequel to my fic "After All". Thanks to Cathy for beta reading this for me when she would rather be in bed.
quiet in the jungle, and that was something that never made them
happy. Sitting by a rice paddy, Face listened for the sound of the
chopper. All he heard was the sound of Hannibal breathing, which was
often the only comfort he had here in Vietnam.
'If I was anywhere else, this would be so peaceful' Face thought softly
to himself, cringing as he heard the sound of machine gun fire in the
distance. 'How long has it been, since Murdock dropped us off?' he
wondered. He turned to look at Hannibal only to have the older man
shake his head.
"No words" Hannibal mouthed. Face closed his eyes and licked the rain
off his lips. He could never picture Hannibal as anyone other then the
man he wanted his father to be. The first time Hannibal had called him
Kid and put his arm around his should, Face had felt like he was home.
Then Hannibal had introduced him to BA, Billy and Murdock, and Face knew
he had found brothers.
"Every family needs quiet time…" Face began softly only to have a big
black hand gently cover his mouth. The anger of the scowling face was
betrayed by the fear in BA's eyes. Sometimes, when Face would wake up
at night and forget where he was, BA would tell him stories about his
mamma and how once the war was done he would bring Face to see her. His
voice, full of childhood stories, would lull Face to sleep.
In the distance, Face could hear the sound of helicopters. The whirr of
the blades mixed with the noise from the gunners machine guns. Billy
and Murdock would be up there, searching for them.
Billy and Murdock. Murdock and Billy. Face couldn't think about them
as separate entities. Sometime he thought they caused more trouble then
anything else. Always getting into fights. Face smiled through the
rain, remembering when Billy took a chunk out of someone in a bar. The
two of them had ended up in a local holding cell until Hannibal had paid
off the guards. Rumor had it, Billy had growled at the guards the
entire time. 'Maybe I'll make a friend like that,' Face thought
Looking up through the rain, Face could barely make out the shape of the
helicopter. The sound of the blades seemed vaguely hypnotic to Face as
he watched chopper settle down 10 feet away. Feeling a hand tap him on
the shoulder, Face began the mad dash towards his escape. Instantly,
the gunfire began to follow him.
"Keep your eyes on the chopper, keep your eyes on the chopper" Hannibal
yelled. Face did what he was told. He could barely see Murdock's blue
cap through the dust, but that became Face's beacon. Hurling himself
into the chopper, Face felt hands pull him towards the safest spot
possible. Hannibal jumped in, barely a second behind Face. Shuffling
past them, Hannibal made his way to the front as Murdock lifted off.
"Where's Billy?" Face hollered at BA. The older man looked shaken.
"Don't worry little brother, we're getting out of here." Face was
confused. 'He must have heard me wrong'
"Where. Is. Billy?" Face asked, enunciating his words. BA shook his
head and put it down into his hands. A huge shudder ran through the big
man's body. For the first time, Face looked at the blanket in front of
him. His mouth went dry. He would recognize the form it followed until
the day he died. Slowly, he began to reach for the fabric.
"Don't do it Kid." Hannibal said softly. "There was nothing Murdock
could do for him, and that was 30 minutes ago"
Face looked towards to cockpit, then back at the body on the floor. 'I
don't know what to feel' he thought to himself as his body started to
"Kid, you need to be strong, ok?" Face didn't look at Hannibal; he just
listened to the sound of his breath. "Murdock is going to need us now,
you have to be strong."
Face nodded. 'Murdock will need a friend' his inner voice told him.
He looked at the blanket on the floor and noticed the dog tags sticking
out. Reaching over, he pulled them off the fallen soldier's head.
Sometimes, Face wished time would end.
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