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Between Friends

Between Friends

by Dawn

 

Rating: G

Warnings: None

Spoilers: Family Reunion!!!

Disclaimer: They don't belong to me no matter how much I wish they did. I'm just borrowing them for entertainment purposes.

Summary: Murdock and Face try to work things out after the events in Family Reunion. Hannibal and Face discuss what happens next.

 

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Murdock sat on the edge of the bed with his head in his hands contemplating recent events. Face and B.A. were at the airport with Ellen. After addressing the committee in Washington D.C. she had visited her father's burial site one final time before returning to the life she had built without him. B.A. was initially supposed to take Ellen to the airport on his own, but Face had insisted on going with them. Meanwhile Hannibal was in the kitchen finally preparing the delayed Thanksgiving dinner.

 

The past few days had been rough. Murdock couldn't help but wonder whether he and Face would ever be the friends they had been in the past. The two hadn't talked about what all had happened; they hadn't had the time to yet. Even so, Murdock wasn't sure that they would speak about what went on between the two of them.

 

He was second-guessing himself for what seemed like the hundredth time. He told Face that if A.J. had been able to tell him he was his father before his death then Face would have been thanking him. If: Such a small word with such a big meaning. A.J. didn't live long enough to tell Face. Murdock doubted that even if A.J. had lived he would have told Face anyway. A.J. had run out on Face, then Ellen, and only God knew how many others during his lifetime and Murdock knew it.

 

"I should have realized A.J. would run out again; I should have told Face," Murdock said quietly to the empty room. Murdock's thoughts were interrupted by a soft rapping on the door as it was opened.

 

"Murdock?" Murdock turned his head towards the voice, "May I come in?"

 

The pilot gave a slight nod, "Sure, Face. My room is your room." Murdock went back to the sullen position in which he had been sitting.

 

Face slowly walked in approaching his friend. The tension between the two men was becoming worse as the hours went past. Even though Murdock said no apology was needed, Face felt that he needed to apologize, if not for Murdock then for himself. He sat down on the bed next to Murdock.

 

"So, did everything going alright with dropping Ellen off at the airport?" the pilot asked.

 

"Yeah....yeah, everything went fine."

 

"I didn't expect you and B.A. to be back so soon since her flight doesn't actually leave for another hour."

 

Face let out a small sigh, "She said she wanted some time alone before getting on the plane so we just dropped her off at the curb. Ellen thanked us and then she was gone."

 

"You didn't tell her," Murdock said. It wasn't a question; it was the answer.

 

"I couldn't," Face replied in a soft voice that quickly turned bitter, "She has enough problems because of A.J. without finding out that she has a half-brother."

 

"Face...." Murdock started to say.

 

"On top of that her half-brother is a fugitive on the run from the military. I'm sure she'd love finding that out, 'Ellen, guess what? I'm related to you. Being a runaway fugitive runs in the family.' Wouldn't she be proud?" Face's tirade stopped leaving an uncomfortable silence in the room.

 

"Yes, she would," Murdock stated after a couple of minutes.

 

Face looked over at his friend, "Yes, she would what?"

 

The pilot let the hint of a smile grace his face, "Yes, she would be proud. Ellen has a terrific brother who has not only served his country, but has helped many people in his lifetime. He's helped those who have turned their backs on him in the past, those who he had left in his past, those who he had never seen before and probably will never see again, and those who have had the chance to know him as a friend and comrade. The only person that Ellen's brother has a problem with helping and trying to make happy is himself.

 

"Face, it's admirable that you want to save her from anymore hurt, but you can't hurt yourself in the process. There have been a lot of people in your life who have hurt you at some point including Hannibal and B.A. and especially myself. Sometimes you need to think about what is best for yourself, buddy," Murdock finished as he placed a hand on Face's shoulder.

 

"Murdock, I'm sorry for the past couple of days. I'm sorry for how I treated you when you told me about A.J. I know you would never intentionally do something to hurt me, but I intentionally hurt you that day. This fight was different from any other we've had so an apology is needed from me to you. In other arguments we've had, neither one of us ever meant to harm the other in any way. This time I purposely said mean things pushing you away and I am so sorry for it."

 

"I'm sorry, too, Face," Murdock started. Face began to stop him, but Murdock continued, "I should have told you. I know how much you've always wanted to find out about any family ties you have. You were always the one out of the four of us who wanted the house with the white picket fence and 2.3 kids." Face gave a bit of a snort. "Okay, make that a penthouse with a gorgeous wife, a Jaguar, and 2.3 kids," Murdock smiled. "The point is you had a chance to know your father. It's a chance you deserved and I'm sorry for taking that chance away from you."

 

"Murdock, this is the point, it wasn't your fault. You did the right thing. Now that I've had a chance to reflect on things I know you were right with the decision you made. If it had been me in your place I would have done the same thing. I trust you more than anyone else; that hasn't changed. You are the best friend a guy could ever have. I'm just sorry that our friendship was jeopardized the other day," Face paused then asked, "Are you willing to give me another shot at being your best friend?"

 

A big grin spread across the pilot's face, "Another shot? I didn't realize that we had gone a day without being best friends. Then, of course, I've also been known to have some mental problems and occasionally draw blanks on events. If I don't recall something happening then it didn't actually happen. So, if it didn't actually happen then...."

 

Face laughed, "I get the point, Murdock."

 

"So, have you told Hannibal yet?" the pilot asked his best friend.

 

"Told Hannibal what yet?" the Colonel's voice chimed.

 

Murdock and Face turned toward door in perfect sync to see him standing there. "How long have you been standing there, Colonel?" Murdock asked.

 

"Just long enough to hear you ask Face, 'Have you told Hannibal yet?'" Hannibal grinned around his cigar. "Does whatever Face has to tell me have anything to do with why the two of you have been sort of avoiding one another the past couple of days?"

 

Face looked over at Murdock, "Could I talk to Hannibal alone for a few minutes?"

 

"Sure, Facey," Murdock replied.

 

"Captain, why don't you go down and help B.A. finish getting everything set up for dinner," Hannibal stated in a suggestion, but meant it as a command.

 

"Yes, sir. Nothing more fun than spending quality time with the big angry mudsucker," Murdock said then turned to Face, "Tell him everything, muchacho. You'll feel better." Murdock exited the room.

 

"Lieutenant?"

 

"Yes, Hannibal?"

 

"Care to explain what has been going on around here the past few days? You and Murdock didn't happen to have a fight over Ellen?" Hannibal questioned.

 

"You're on the right track, Hannibal, but the fight about Ellen isn't what you're thinking," Face smiled, "Remember, Murdock has hamster girl back at home. He isn't like me or you chasing several girls at once."

 

"You have a point, kid. Now tell me what's up."

 

"Okay, but only on one condition. Once I begin speaking don't interrupt

me."

 

"Deal," Hannibal replied.

 

Face took a deep breath then began, "When we were at the restaurant the other day Murdock was helping A.J. Sometime during all that was happening A.J. Bancroft dropped a picture frame and Murdock picked it up. There were two pictures in it. One was of Ellen. The other was of a boy. Murdock recognized the boy to be me back in high school. He proceeded to ask A.J. why he was carrying a picture of me around with him. A.J. told Murdock that he is, was my father. Murdock approached him telling him that he was going to tell me, but A.J. asked Murdock to give him twenty-four hours to tell me himself. I discovered Murdock making a phone call in the van and he claimed to be calling hamster girl when he was actually calling Stockwell in an attempt to get confirmation of whether or not Bancroft's claim was true. Then everything went straight to the gutter when A.J. died. While you, B.A. and Frankie were busy setting up for the assault Murdock told me what he knew about A.J. I didn't take the news very well and took out all my anger on Murdock, at one point even knocking him to the ground. Yesterday Stockwell confirmed that Bancroft really was my father while Murdock and I were at the gravesite with Ellen."

 

Hannibal stood with a thoughtful look. He was busy processing everything Face had told him trying to figure what to ask his second in command. "Did you tell Ellen?"

 

"No."

 

"I should have known. You didn't want her thinking less of Bancroft than she already did," he paused to wait for Face's reply. When none came he continued, "Are you planning on ever telling her?"

 

"I don't know, Hannibal. I know that she has every right to know, but does she really deserve to be hurt anymore than she already has been due to A.J. Plus, I'm stilling trying to come to terms with everything."

 

Hannibal nodded, "You're scared and hurt, which is understandable. Whatever you decide is up to you. I'll stand by whatever decision you make in regard to telling Ellen. One day she may find out that you are her brother if she begins looking herself."

 

"I know, Hannibal. I'm just confused at the moment. Eventually I'd like to tell her. Who knows, maybe, just maybe we'll end up with a pardon in the future and I won't be a fugitive anymore so I can go to her without that load of baggage following me," Face answered.

 

"Now, what about you and Murdock?"

 

"We just discussed things. I think we were able to get things smoothed out. I really screwed up by getting so angry with him," Face finally rose from the bed to stand face to face with his commander, "There is no way to convey how badly I feel for taking everything out on him."

 

Hannibal grabbed the Lieutenant by his shoulders, "Face, Murdock understands. He would do anything to aid any one of us when we have a problem no matter how good or bad the situation is. Plus, your friendship means a lot to him and he would go through hell and high water before giving up on it.

 

"You're allowed to get mad, kid. Of the four of us you manage to contain your emotions the best no matter what the situation. Because of that you build up a lot of anger and when you finally do show it you let it all out at one time. Face, I know that this is a difficult time for you, but you can talk to any of us at any time and we'll listen," Face nodded in understanding. "You think you'll be okay, Lieutenant?"

 

At that moment a loud crash came from the kitchen followed by B.A.'s thundering voice, "Whatcha doing you crazy fool!?!?!?"

 

"Now, B.A., calm down. Murdock didn't mean anything by that," Frankie's voice soothed in the background.

 

"Big guy. Hey, put me down! I can't breathe," the crazy pilot's yelled.

 

Hannibal and Face looked to each other before laughing. "Well, Hannibal, I think I'll be alright. It seems the more things change the more they stay the same and there's something about that which is comforting, even if it is listening to Murdock and B.A. bickering."

 

"Come on, kid. Let's make sure our Thanksgiving meal hasn't been destroyed and save Murdock while we're at it."

 

As they exited the room Face grabbed a hold of his commander's arm, "Thanks, Hannibal."

 

The Colonel smiled at him, "Anytime, kid. Anytime."

 

 

THE END

 


Between Friends by Dawn

 

 


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