Rating: PG-13 for cursing and mild violence
Note: This was originally posted to the ATSB group in response to Closet
Fan's Fist Fight challenge.
"Face. Face! Lieutenant! Get back in
the van!" Hannibal
ground his teeth in frustration. Peck just kept walking down the side of the highway,
not looking back, his suitcase in one hand and his jacket thrown over his
"Just let him go," B.A. said disgustedly. "Fool'll cool off and come back."
"It's what he'll do before he cools off that worries me," Hannibal
muttered. "Someone might come by and call the police on due principal. Let
me out." B.A. stopped the van and Hannibal
hopped out, only grabbing his jacket and checking to make sure his gun was
firmly in his holster.
"See you back in L.A."
Hannibal said and
forced a grin.
B.A. began. "I ain't ever seen him this mad."
Hannibal shrugged, slid
out of the van, and shut the door. B.A. was right,
Face had never allowed himself to get this angry with the team. But he sure was
pissed now. So pissed that he had demanded to be let out,
right then, on the side of the highway, grabbed his belongings, and then told
both of them to kiss his ass on their way to hell.
"Didn't know he could curse so fluently either," Hannibal
thought, striding to catch up. "He's been holding back on us."
Catching up to Face was easy, deciding what to say or do after that was the
hard part. Hannibal
decided just to walk along beside him, not saying anything. He'd let Face have
the first word, and the last, if necessary. Face ignored him completely, just
walked steadily forward, not even pausing to switch his suitcase from one hand
An hour later they had found a town and the van. B.A. was sitting at an
outside café, eating slowly, and looking up the highway. Hannibal
just waved at him and shook his head. Seems like no one wanted to follow orders
today. Face marched past the café and into the next restaurant. Hannibal
followed and sat down at a nearby table, waving off the pretty waitress who
came over with a menu. Instead, he asked for a simple cup of coffee and some
Face ordered a salad and bottled water, and then went into the bathroom. Hannibal
sighed. You'd think an hour long walk would have cooled the lieutenant off
some, but it apparently didn't. He hadn't even flirted with the waitress. Hannibal
waited patiently for Face to come out of the bathroom. If Face really wanted to
leave the Team, he'd have no choice but to let him, but he wasn't going to let
his friend fly off in a rage.
An hour later Face had finished eating and rose. Hannibal
paid his bill and followed him out. A few yards down the street, Hannibal
saw B.A. rising from his table with a guilty look. Face stopped and sighed.
"Please, just leave me the hell alone," Face said quietly.
"Can't do it," Hannibal
said. "But if you'll come back to L.A.
in the van, I promise to let you ignore me all you want."
"No," Face said firmly and walked away. Hannibal
followed along behind and B.A. trailed them, not even pretending to keep out of
"We are going to walk all the way to L.A.,
asked, trying to sound cheerful.
"I don't know what you are going to do, Hannibal,"
Face answered, stopping at a phone booth and consulting a
ragged yellow pages. "I'm checking in at a hotel."
"Find us a good one," Hannibal
said. Face paused in his searching as if were stunned by the comment.
"You just don't care, do you?" he demanded.
"Care about what?" Hannibal
asked, lighting another cigar.
"How pissed I am at you?" Face asked, tearing out a page from the
"Oh, are you angry?" Hannibal
asked nonchalantly. "I thought all that yelling back in the van was just
practice for some scam.
He should have seen the punch coming and tried to block it, but it had been
a long day. Face's fist connected firmly with his gut and Hannibal
doubled over, gasping for breath.
"Did that help any?" he asked Face.
"You just don't get it," Face said. "You used to trust me.
You used to listen to me. Just four years ago I was leading men into battle. I had
their respect. I had your respect. Now you treat me like some two bit crook
that's just around to get you shiny guns and fancy hotel rooms."
The punch was a surprise, but the comment was a complete shock. "Wait a
second, kid," Hannibal
began. But Face held up his hand.
"I'm not a kid. I haven't been a kid since…..hell, I don't think I've ever
been a kid and certainly not after my first week in 'Nam.
And you," Face glared at Hannibal.
"You didn't used to be suicidal."
"It's just the jazz," Hannibal
protested. "That last case, it was close, but how was I to know that he
had some guys with machine guns? I mean, machine guns
Sometimes you just have to go in and take your ch…"
He didn't see the punch coming this time either.
"It's not the Jazz. It's stupidity. I didn't sign on for this, Hannibal."
Face said, rubbing his knuckles.
Hannibal pinched his
nose to stop the blood and gritted his teeth. How had this turned into him
being a punching bag? Without thinking he swung at Face's midsection. Face
neatly sidestepped it. Hell.
"See, you are getting careless," Face said. "And
stupid. I don't need this. There's plenty of
other people in the world willing to look down on me." He turned and
Hannibal let him go.
B.A. had simply stood by and watched and now looked back and forth between his
commanding officer and his other comrade. One standing there
trying to stop the bleeding and one marching away.
"Hey!" he shouted. "Stop."
Face looked back, shook his head, and kept walking. B.A. began to sprint,
catching up with Face in just a few strides. He grabbed him by the back of the
shirt collar and dragged him back to where Hannibal
"Let him go," Hannibal
said. B.A. didn't say anything, just grabbed Hannibal
by the front of the shirt with his free hand and shook him.
said. "We are drawing a crowd."
"Shut up," B.A. bellowed. "I'm sick of it. You should have
listened to Face. You nearly got us killed. And you," he paused to shake Face, "you don't have to get so bent out of shape even
if Hannibal's being
"Fuck off," Face said, trying to kick back at B.A.'s legs. Hannibal
chose to attempt to wiggle out of B.A.'s grip at the same time. It didn't work.
B.A. simply brought his hands, and both their heads, together with a resounding
crack and then dropped them. Hannibal
fought to stay conscious, but lost.
He awoke in the back seat of the van, stretched out with a melting bag of
ice on his face. He suppressed a groan.
"He needs you," B.A. was saying from the driver's seat. "So
he don't do something real stupid one day."
"He doesn't listen anymore," Face said from the passenger's seat.
"I think I might have knocked some sense into him," B.A. chuckled.
"Don't you think he ought to be up by now though?" he added worriedly.
"He's got a hard head," Face said, "Besides I wouldn't put
it past him to already be awake and just lying back there plotting his revenge."
Hannibal sat up.
"Very good, Peck. I'd forgotten…how good a second in command you
Face looked back. "Just don't forget it again," he said, not
sounding apologetic at all.
"You two want me to pull over so you can get a room," B.A.
Hannibal made his way
to the front of the van and sat in the second row. "Now, B.A., did you
have to knock are heads together?"
"Yeah, I did," B.A. said.
"I think he enjoyed it," Face said suspiciously, handing Hannibal
a cigar. "You don't think he's going to make this a habit?"
B.A. just giggled and pushed the gas pedal down all the way to the floor. Hannibal
leaned back and lit his cigar.