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Jesse’s Last Mission

Jesse’s Last Mission?

By Leath

 

Rating: R

Disclaimer: This is just for fun. I’m not making any money off of this.

Summery: Face finds his mother and finds out that his father is Hannibal. Hannibal finds out that he is the father of twins that are now 13. This is start of a roller coaster of a story that will lead to team to finds answers to a mystery that has been left unanswered for over 30 years. 

This is a crossover story with Hogan’s Heroes but you don’t have to know the show to read the story!

 

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Chapter 1

 

Jesse Hogan sat listening to the doctor rattle on, telling her that the cancer she had fought so long was back, and this time it was taking over her entire body. She didn’t really need to listen; she had heard all of this before. Jesse looked down at her hands, seeing their thin and frail structure and realized that she wouldn’t be able again.

 

“Doctor Anderson?” Jesse said, breaking into the doctor’s speech.

 

“Yes, Jesse,” the doctor said.

 

Jesse smiled back at him and said, “Please, I know all of this. We have done it before and I’m not doing it again.”

 

“Jesse, but…” he started to say, but the woman held up a hand to quiet him.

 

“Answer me this: can you give me more than a few months of life?”

 

When he didn’t reply, she knew the answer. Nodding her head in acceptance, she went on to say, “Then I will face this my way. I only want you to give me something that keeps the pain at bay. I want to spend what little time I have left with my family. I don’t want to spend it throwing up or sleeping my life away. Can you understand that?”

 

Dr. Michael Anderson nodded his head and pulled his chair closer. “I’ll do what you ask of me, but I will not like it.”

 

“I don’t like it myself,” she said, smiling sadly. “I don’t like giving in to death, but I know it's coming. I feel it deep in my soul. I know one day I will not wake up, but that day is not now. I have something to do before that happens. I need to do it with my mind clear and my will strong.”

 

“So, you are just going to let the cancer eat you up?” he asked her.

 

“It has been eating me up. I can’t stop it. What I can do, is clear my path,” she said, smiling, and she leaned in to give the doctor a kiss on the cheek.

 

Jesse left the doctor’s office and walked around DC for a bit. She watched as the people around her went about their busy lives, and thought about her own life. She had grown up a lot from the  small town girl who had stood in the middle of her parents' house, holding her breath in a vain attempt to keep her brothers from going to war. Robert had gone first, then Roger, and lastly Andrew.

 

The news of Andrew’s death knocked her feet out from under her, but it was news of her older brother Robert’s capture and imprisonment in a German POW camp that rattled her faith in God. It was her mother's will to go in spite of the fact that any day, she could learn she had lost all three of her sons, that kept Jesse, herself, going.

 

They went on with their lives; it was the only thing they could do. She forced herself to write those empty letters to her brothers about home, school and friends. She would have told them what was in her heart but, as her mother said, those words were for homecomings. So, she kept her mouth shut and did her best to go on.

 

Robert and Roger did come home, but too late. Just days before the news of the war's end, Jesse lost her parents in a car accident. Robert took her in after there deaths. It was ironic that he might have to do the same thing for the twins, as their father was unable to, himself.

 

 

 

 

It was near the Wall that Jesse started to think of them. She stood there, remembering the two men that always had a way of being a part of her life, but never truly being with her. Jesse had first met John ‘Hannibal’ Smith at a party her brother was throwing. She was dancing with a young man with red hair when John moved between them and swept her off her feet.

 

“Sorry, Private.” Lt. John Smith said, dancing away with Jesse in his arms.

 

Jesse laughed at the young man and said, “Lieutenant, do you realize dancing with me is a dangerous thing?”

 

“I live on danger. I’m in the military,” he said, winking at her.

 

This made Jesse laugh even more. “Now that isn’t what I heard. I heard military men just take orders; they leave danger and risk taking to the fools.”

 

“You have to take some risks,” John said.

 

“I’ll accept that, sir. What is your name?”

 

“John Smith, but my friends call me 'Hannibal'.”

 

“My name is Jesse Hogan, but he calls me 'Baby Bear',” Jesse said, and she pointed to the general standing in the corner of the room, glowering in their direction.

 

“You related to him?” he asked.

 

“My brother,” Jesse replied, grinning mischievously. Jesse knew she was playing games with the poor guy but wanted to judge the kind of man she was with. If the look from her older brother was ignored, they were considered men in her book, and she dated men, not boys. The stranger did more than ignore the look; he gave the General a smart salute. He didn’t only win points with Jesse, but with her brother as well. From that point on, Jesse and John danced the night away. The world had become a very small place.

 

They had spent the next few months together. John Hannibal Smith had done what no man had ever done before or after - swept her off her feet. But John didn’t want a family. He didn’t want to be tied down. He loved his life as it was. The trouble was, Jesse was pregnant. She remembered that day like it was yesterday. The air was warm and it was days before John was to be shipped out to Korea.

 

“John, what will happen after you get home?” Jesse asked him.

 

“We will go on a trip. Maybe see the world! I’ll show you places you've only dreamed about,” John Smith said, swinging Jesse around in his arms.

 

Jesse laughed, but pressing on, she said, “What about after traveling? Don’t you want a home, a family?”

 

This got John’s attention and he pulled away. “Family?” he asked, getting worried. “Honey, I’m not a family man.”

 

“Meaning, I’m okay to have fun with, but not to marry,” she said.

 

“No, I’m not the type to marry. If I gave you that impression, then I’m sorry. I guess I should have told you that out right.”

 

“Yes, you should have. You should have told me that before last week before you talked me into your bed,” she snapped. She realized, even as they spoke, that she wasn’t going to tell him. If John Smith didn’t want her, then she didn’t need him.

 

“You're right, I should have. I’m sorry. I guess this goodbye,” John said, kissing her on the cheek before walking out. Jesse stood there, crying, wanting so badly to tell him, but her pride refused to allow it. She was going to raise their child alone if need be. She didn’t need a man like John Smith in her life.

 

 

 

 

Jesse hid the truth from her brothers. It wasn’t too hard to do as it was so early but she knew that would change. They would soon learn the truth. She was trying to figure out what to tell them when she ran into Roderick Decker, or should she say, he ran into her.

 

She was going to her brother’s office in the Pentagon when this young Lieutenant burst out of a side room and bumped right into her.

 

“Sorry,” he said, as he helped her to her feet.

 

“It's okay, soldier, but you should watch where you are going,” she said, smiling. He smiled back and then rushed on. He was pure business and it wasn’t until later that they found time to talk and get to know each other.

 

Rod and Jesse had several dates and were just starting to get close when fate stepped in. She had gone to see the doctor one morning and, walking out his office, ran right into Rod. She watched his face going from hers to the name on the door. She watched as realization crossed his face and she ran from him.

 

He caught her before she got too far. They stood close together in the hall of the medical building with people moving around them.

 

Rod looked down at her and asked, “What is going on?”

 

All she could do was cry, but ever so slowly the truth came out.

 

“Who is the father?” Rod asked.

 

She didn‘t know he knew John at the time. If she had, she would have never used his name.

 

“No one you know. He is overseas. He doesn‘t know and I can‘t tell him. The army is the only thing he wants, or that is what told me before we ended it. I can‘t force him into this. I know if my brothers find out, he will be brought home and shot.” Rod laughed at this and she hit him. “It isn’t funny. They will kill Hannibal and I can’t see him dead. I love him.”

 

‘Hold it,” Rod said, grabbing her arms. “Hannibal Smith is the father of this baby?”

 

“Yes,” Jesse said, meekly.

 

“Dear God, you’re that Jesse!”

 

“What? What are you talking about?” Jesse asked him.

 

Rod looked at her and said, “John Smith is my best friend, or was until now. You mean to tell me, he got you pregnant and left without doing the right thing by you?”

 

“No, I didn’t tell him. I don’t want him because of this baby. I want him to want me. He made it clear that marriage was not in his game plan. I will take care of this child without him. My brothers don’t know that much about the men I date. I’ll tell them that he died fighting before he learned the truth. They will believe that. I just have to wait for the right moment,” Jesse said, and she tried to walk away.

 

“You don’t have to do that,” Rod said, grabbing her arm. “I’ll marry you. I’ll be the father of this child.”

 

“Please, I’m not a fool. You don’t mean it and I’m not in the mood for games.”

 

“I don’t play games; that’s John’s style. I realize the two of us haven’t known each other that long. What I do know is this - my best friend is a fool for walking away and it's his loss. Jesse Hogan, I love you and I want you to be my wife.” Rod had gone to his knees. He was holding her hand, looking up at her with a loving expression on his face.

 

Jesse was shocked. “You mean this, don’t you?”

 

“Of course, I mean it. You’re a great woman and I know you would make a great wife. Please marry me?”

 

Jesse agreed. She knew, deep in her heart, that it wasn’t true love, but they were good together.

 

 

 

Jesse and Rod’s marriage happened fast to cover up the fact that she was pregnant. Oh, several people guessed the truth but no one dared to comment on it. They all just assumed that Rod was the father. Even John thought that and was happy for the couple. He even came home on leave to be Rod’s best man. Jesse lived in fear all through the wedding that John would learn the truth. He never did. He just assumed like the others that child she was carrying was Rod’s.

 

Jesse went into labor when Rod was overseas. It was agreed before he shipped out. If the baby happened to be a boy, they would name him Nathan after Rod’s father. Jesse agreed to it but she asked on favor. She wanted John part of the child’s life, even if she wasn’t going to tell him truth. So, Rod asked John Smith to be Nathan’s Godfather.

 

When Rod came home, Jesse learned that being a wife to Rod wasn’t as easy as being a mother to her son. She loved Nathan but life with Rod wasn’t easy. She didn’t love him. She still loved John. She tried to hide this for Rod but she knew realized it. He never commented on it and she never acted on her feelings. It didn’t help that both Rod and John was stationed together on the same base in Texas. She saw John everyday and it was hard to hide the truth. She did though not just for herself but for Rod. He loved Nathan. He treated like his own. She didn’t want to take from him not after everything he done for her. They were happy until a few mouths after Nathan’s fifth birthday. Roger was sick and she needed to go to her brother. Rod had asked John and his girl he was living with at the time to watch the boy. They wouldn’t be gone long. It was only short time. She was at her brother’s side when the phone rang and the news came. Rod had picked it up. She knew was it was bad from look on his face. He turned to Jesse and said those words that changed her life forever. John had left Nathan with his girlfriend. While he went on maneuvers in Rod’s place. He figured it would be okay. He never dreamed she would vanish with Nathan.

 

 

 

She remembered those days every moment of her life. Nathan was gone and no one could find him. She was at their home on base waiting for news on her son. Everyone was trying to be there for her but how could they? They didn’t know what it was like not knowing where your child was. Then Rod, John and of course her brothers walked. Rod was carrying a ragged little teddy bear in his hands. She saw the look on his face and she knew even before he spoke what he was going to say…

 

He looked at her and said, “I’m sorry, Jesse.”

 

“Sorry for what?” Jesse yelled. “Where is my son? John, I though you said your girlfriend could care of him?” Jesse glared at the men before with hate. She didn’t like the looks on their faces.  It told her they were giving up. She wasn’t. She couldn’t. He was alive. She knew it.

 

“Jesse, they found the car. Mary is dead and we can’t find…” John couldn’t finish. He looked over at the men behind him for help.

 

Robert walked forward his blue eyes filled with tears and his gray hair damp with rain. “Jesse, honey, there is nothing we can do. Nathan is gone.”

 

“No,” Jesse yelled picking up nearest thing and throwing it at them. “He isn’t gone. I know it. Go out and find him!”

 

“Jesse,” Rod said walking to his wife. He tried to hold her but she pulled away. She knew he was hurting as well but she didn’t care. All she wanted was her son back and they weren’t giving him to her. They were giving up.

 

“Get off me,” Jesse snapped. “You never loved him. You only used me to help your career. You married me because I was his sister!” Jesse couldn’t stop herself at that moment. She wanted to but she couldn’t. She hurt too much and she wanted too badly not to say it all. She had told the truth. John learned of his best friend’s betrayal and of her lies. Their lives ended that day with Nathan. Nothing ever was the same from that point on.

 

 

 

 

Jesse and Rod’s marriage ended that day. He went his way and she went hers. Jesse never stopped looking for Nathan. She talked to everyone she could find about her son, but it wasn’t until she was working in the Pentagon going over files of the new Viet Nam trainees that she found him. She couldn’t miss him. Nathan looked like her brother Andrew. He was exactly like him.

 

Of course, she kept a level head and did the research before jumping into anything. She learned that the young man was an orphan and he had been found around the same time her son was lost, but it was the birthmark that sold her. Nathan a mark on his right shoulder and so did this young man. Jesse also had Nathan’s fingerprints. They had done finger painting just days before he was taken from her. Jesse called a friend in the FBI and had the prints compared. She learned that Templeton Peck was indeed her son.

 

Jesse rushed to him. She couldn’t help herself. She had to get to him before he shipped out, but when she saw him, she froze. She watched from the shadows as he trained. God, he was her brother all over again, but it wasn’t Andrew that she saw in the young man, but her other brother, Robert. Yes, he had Andrew’s face, but he had that cocky smile that talked you into anything. Then she heard her mother’s voice and she knew she couldn’t tell him.

 

“Men going to war need to keep their minds on their job, not troubles at home. You tell them what you need to tell them at homecoming. You can’t tell them things that will get them killed.”

 

Jesse backed away that day. She walked away from her son, but never once let him out of her sight. She begged, pleaded and even blackmailed her way to Nam. She worked in the offices, keeping as close to her son as she could get.

 

Of course, she didn’t count on running into them! John and Rod were there, but by this time they were colonels. They weren’t any different from the young men she remembered. Yes, they were older, but so was she. She was also wiser and she saw them just as men. Oh, she felt something for them, but only one still managed to talk her off her feet. John Smith was still the charmer and she went for him all over again.

 

At first she told him off and slapped him, but the sight of him with their son slowly changed her. He treated him like any of his men, but she felt he watched over him as well. It was funny. John was now more well-known as Hannibal than John. Their son was known as 'Face'. She learned why the day they first met. He was hitting on her! She was at the NCO club, waiting for John when he walked in. He walked up right to her and sat down.

 

“Hello,” Face said, with a boyish smile.

 

Jesse looked around to see if he was talking to someone else, but she was the only woman at the bar. “Hello,” she said, wondering what was going on. She hadn’t been hit on in years, so it took her a few moments to realize what was happening. When she did, she couldn’t help but laugh.

 

“What brings you to this hell hole?” he asked, smiling.

 

Jesse smiled back and said, “The military is my life, in a way.”

 

“Army wife?” Face asked, looking for a ring.

 

“No, Army general’s sister,” Hannibal said, walking up behind the young man.

 

Face turned and looked at his commanding offer. “What?” he asked, puzzled.

 

“Face, I hate tell you this, but she's with me, and if she wasn’t, I would warn you to stay away. Jesse here has one very over-protective brother and a very nasty ex husband.” When Face didn’t get the point, Hannibal went on. “Jesse was married to Decker at one time. She is also four star General Robert Hogan’s sister.”

 

“Oh,” Face said, nodding, and he backed away very slowly.

 

Hannibal just stood there, laughing. Jesse was laughing as well. She should have told John that day but she didn’t. She kept quiet. They talked about other things that night, like their first time together, when they danced the night away.

 

 

 

 

It was the night of his last mission that John found the file. They had climbed out of bed and Jesse was in the shower. She walked out into the living room to find John reading the file.

 

“What is this?” Hannibal asked, holding the file.

 

“Nothing,” Jesse said, pulling the file away from him, but it was too late. He now knew.

 

John grabbed her arm and pulled her to him. “Tell me, Jesse. Why do you have a file on my LT?”

 

Jesse took several deep breaths before speaking. “Face is Nathan.”

 

John backed away. He couldn’t look at her. He couldn’t let himself believe what she was telling him. She went to him, but every time she touched him, he pulled away. He finally regained his self-control. He turned to face her and demanded, “How long have you known?”

 

“He is the reason I’m here. I wanted to be close to him,” Jesse finally admitted.

 

“You weren’t going to tell me, were you?” he said, accusingly.

 

“I would have, after we were home. I would have told both of you together,” Jesse said. John grabbed his coat and started for the door, but she grabbed his arm. “You can’t tell him, not yet!”

 

“Why not? Are you afraid that he will end up hating you?” John yelled.

 

“No, I’m afraid he will die! Don’t you get it? Alive and not knowing is better than dead. I didn’t tell him because he needs to keep his mind on this godforsaken war! He needs to worry about staying alive!” Jesse yelled. She turned and took several deep breaths before turning back. “After this is over and we are home, you can tell him what you want, but until then, you can’t. If he goes on this mission with his mind on what you said, he will come back dead. I know it! If that happens, I’ll never forgive you! I have waited for a long time to hold my son again. I don’t want to hold his corpse. I want to hold the man he is today and tell him that I love him.”

 

Hannibal nodded in understanding. He knew she was right. He hated it but that wasn’t going to change anything.

 

“Okay,” he said, finally. “After this mess is over with and we are back in the States, we can sit down together and tell him.”

 

Jesse walked over to John and kissed him. “Thank you. Until then, keep looking after him for me.”

 

“I will,” John promised. Jesse watched him walk out that evening, hoping against hope that he would keep his mind on his job, not the truth. She wanted him home as much as she wanted her son.

 

 

 

 

Jesse’s mind slowly drifted back to the present time. She looked at the names in front of her, relieved that John and Nathan’s names weren’t among them. They were on another list - America’s Most Wanted list! Jesse fought to save them but she was too late and no one listen to her. She never saw John or Nathan again. She never got a chance to tell her son who he was or John that he was going to be a father again.

 

Nine months after the A-Team vanished into America’s underground, Jesse gave birth to Leigh and Drake. Everyone else thought the man died in the war before knowing about them. Not even Rod knew the truth, and he was now a close friend of the family once again.

 

As Jesse walked towards the Pentagon with her mind on the job ahead, she thought of her children. She was going to see Nathan before she died, and John was going to get a chance to be a father to Leigh and Drake. If she had to stand in her brother’s office holding her breath like she did as a child, she would. For she knew the only person that could give her what she wanted and needed was her brother. She was going to get three Presidential pardons for the group known as The A-Team….

 

 

Author's Note: I thought I would tell you a few things about Hogan’s Heroes. Papa Bear is Robert Hogan’s code name in the war. Mother Goose was England and the saying "I know nothing, I see nothing and I hear nothing!" is what Shultz, a guard in the camp, used to say when he spotted Hogan and his men doing things that weren’t quite right. Carter, Newkirk, and LeBeau are the names of Hogan’s men.

 

 

 

Chapter 2

 

Jesse Hogan stood in the door way of Colonel Roderick Decker’s office, watching as he dressed down an underling. Decker glanced upwards and his expression changed from anger to joy as his eyes locked on his old friend. He dismissed the soldier, then walked towards Jesse. He was smiling as he hugged her. "What brings to sunny California, Senator?" Decker said, addressing her by title, not her name.

 

"First off, I came to tell you that my kids are mad at you. You took their friends away from them!" Jesse informed him.

 

“Sorry about that,” he laughed. “Once this job is done, I’m hoping to get back to DC. Maybe you could put a bug in the General’s ear for me on that point.”

 

“I’ll do that,” she replied smiling. Then the smile faded a bit. She looked towards his private office and said, “Can we go in there?”

 

“Sure,” Rod said. He took her by the arm and they walked into the office together. It wasn’t until they were seated that he noticed how tired and worn out Jesse looked. “What’s wrong?” he asked, getting a bit worried.

 

Jesse sighed and said, “I guess there is no good way of saying this. So, I’ll just come out with it.” She paused for a moment then said, “I’m dying, Rod. The cancer is finally going to win.”

 

Roderick Decker heart dropped. He felt like the world had just ended for him and part of it just had. He was about to lose his first real love. "I’m sorry, Jesse," he said. He moved closer to her and held her tight. She let him hold her and for a moment. She let out the pain that she was holding in. As they parted, he asked, "How long?"

 

"They don’t know. I might have a few weeks, a few months, but nothing more than a year," she replied. Jesse fought for the right words for she had no idea how to go on. It took her a few moments to pull herself together. "It is why I’m here. I need you to do something for me before this thing takes me. I need your help in mending some bridges."

 

Rod just smiled at her and said, "Honey, if you are talking about us, forget about it! That was a long time ago. Besides, weren’t you the one that introduced me to my wife?" he asked smiling.

 

She laughed at this and said, "Yes, I did and I hope you remember she is my best friend. I would hate to see her get hurt. I might be compelled to come back to haunt you if that happened.”

 

"I swear. I will always look after her," Rod said, holding his hand up in a pledge. Jesse nodded at this then sighed. Decker saw her hesitate and asked, "What is it?"

 

"I don’t know how to start. I mean, I guess, that has always been the problem. I couldn't find the right words to tell you this.”

 

"Jess, just tell me," Rod ordered.

 

Jesse nodded her head and said, "Okay. You asked for it." She paused, then went on. "I found Nathan and I need your help to see him."

 

Decker looked at her with a shocked expression on his face. "You’re joking right?" he asked finally. Jesse just shook her head. Rod stood up at this and started to pace. He walked back and forth in front of his desk for a few moments thinking. "When? Where is he? How did you find him?" Decker asked these questions in quick succession

 

Jesse leaned over opened the briefcase at her feet and pulled out a file. She handed it to him and said, "Here, read this.”

 

Decker took it and read it. In fact, he read it several more times before looking at her and  snapping. “Is this a joke? Someone is playing games with you!” He couldn’t let his mind believe what he was reading. It was impossible. It couldn’t be true!

 

Jesse just shook her head and said, “No, it isn’t a joke. I know for a fact that the man you know as Templeton Peck is our Nathan.” She looked down at her hands “I have known it for a long time now. I have tried several times to tell you but I never found the right words. I’m sorry that I have to do it this way now but time is no longer on my side. I can’t wait for this mess to work itself out. I had to do it myself. I need to see my son before I die!” She said the last part looking up at him with tears streaming down her cheeks.

 

Decker dropped down in his chair and looked at her. "You knew all this time and didn’t tell me? Why, Jess?" he asked.

 

She started to cry. "When did you want me to tell you? We didn’t say five words to each until the war was over and every time I brought John’s name up, you went into a rant. How was I going to tell you a member of the A-Team is the boy you raised? Then you take this damn job to bring them down. Did you want me to tell you then?" she asked him.

 

Rod didn’t reply. He didn’t know what he wanted to do more, hug or strangle her. His choice was to hug her. He put his arm around her and said, "Please stop crying. You know I can’t stand to see you cry! So, stop it," he ordered. He was angry at her but he knew deep in his heart she was right. When would the timing have been right? Never. The news would still have rocked his world.

 

She fought back the tears and said, "I didn’t mean for it to be this way. I wanted to bring Nathan to you. I wanted us to sit down together and talk. I know it is childish to think of it that way but for once I wanted everything to be perfect. Sadly, I guess fate had other ideas on the matter."

 

"Fate didn’t do that, honey. John did!" Decker snapped. He now had one more thing to hate Smith about. Not only did John play a part in his son’s death, but had helped destroy the boy's life by making him a criminal.

 

Jesse slugged him and said, "Oh, please. I know for fact he was used as much as Nathan was. If we would have won that damn war, they would have come home heroes just like my brother, the great papa bear! John and Robert did the same things, but in different wars. They weren’t by-the-book men but they got the job done and men came home. The difference is we lost. So, the A-Team was used to clear the board, so to speak. Well, it is time for that to end. In less then 24 for hours, you will be out of a job. You can have your job in the Pentagon. You might even make General if you work at it. All I want from you is to help me find my son. I need to see him. I also need to talk to John, as well. I never got a chance to tell him that he's a father again." Jesse said, and that last part was hardly spoken above a whisper.

 

"John Hannibal Smith is Leigh and Drake’s father?" Rod asked. He should have seen it and maybe he did. He just never wanted to admit it.

 

Jesse nodded, "And before you say it, no, he didn’t walk out on me this time. He escaped before I could tell him. I couldn’t just put an ad in the paper. So, I let everyone think their father died in the war before we could get married. It was easier."

 

“For you,” Decker hissed. “Jesse, why did you do this? Why didn’t you just say something? No, you have lie about it or keep things out. Peck is definitely your child. You are both alike. You both like to con people and say you care about them.”

 

"You pig!" Jesse yelled getting to her feet and facing him. "Who lied to his best friend? You knew John was Nathan’s father. Did you bother telling him the truth? No, you let John  believe that you were Nathan’s father as much I did ."

 

"I did it because I knew if he found out, I would lose you," Decker admitted.

 

"I know it and maybe you were right. I would have gone with him but that doesn’t mean I didn’t have feelings for you."

 

"No, but you don’t love me either," Decker said.

 

“Not the way you wanted or need me to. Why do you think I worked so hard in hooking you and Kate up? I knew she loved you the way you need to be loved. Rod, I’m sorry. I’m truly sorry for all the pain I have caused you. I know I have no right to ask this but I need to see my son before I die. Help me!”

 

Decker sighed and nodded. He thought about things for a moment then said, "I don’t know exactly where to look but you could go to the VA and talk to Murdock. They break him out every once in a while and I know he talks to them. He can help you."

 

"Thanks," Jesse said, and she leaned forward and gave him a kiss. "And your new orders will be coming in today. You will love your new job. I figured you needed new start as well. I realize your career was destroyed along with John’s after that war."

 

"Thanks," Rod was shaking his head. Jesse was still Jesse. She was still the little girl that thought the world should move with her. She always managed to get what she wanted and nothing and no one was going to stop her. He learned a long time ago just to go with it. It was easier then fighting her; besides, he would have lost anyway. Rod looked at her and said, "Thank you for not telling me about Nathan before this. I would have used it to hurt Hannibal. Part of me always hated the fact that you always truly loved him."

 

Jesse nodded and said, "I dropped the twins off at your house. You might want to go home early and play uncle for me?"

 

"I’ll do that," Rod said, nodding. He thought of something as they walked to the door. "They know about John?"

 

"They know. I told them a long time ago," Jesse admitted.

 

"At least you did something right," Decker said, and then he smiled. He realized he knew more about John’s kids than John did. He wondered how Hannibal was going to react to the news that he was a father of headstrong thirteen year old twins! Both of them exactly like their parents!

 

 

 

Chapter 3

 

As the nurse guided Jesse Hogan to Captain Murdock’s room, she couldn’t help but wonder what she was going to say to the man. She didn’t know this Murdock person. What she going to tell him? That she needed to see Hannibal to tell him that he is a father once again and she wants to see her son? Jesse didn’t think so but she knew she had to think of something and fast, as the nurse had just opened the door of Murdock’s room and showed her inside. "He is doing much better," the nurse was telling Jesse as they walked inside.

 

On the TV was the old black and white movie, Stalag 17. Murdock had been seated calmly watching the movie until the very moment the nurse had finished speaking. Murdock was immediately on his feet at attention. "Captain Murdock," Murdock said, at attention. He then went on to recite his serial number. He looked at that pair is mock disdain and said, "What are the Nazi goons thinking, that sending in a pair of women will get me to talk?"

 

“Mr. Murdock, please sit down,” the nurse to the man. “This is Senator Jesse Hogan. She is here to talk to you.”

 

"Hail, Hitler!" Murdock said, in a mocking salute.

 

Jesse smiled and turned to the nurse. "It is okay. I’ll be fine."

 

"Are you sure?" the nurse asked, eyeing Murdock.

 

"Yes," Jesse said, calmly. Nurse nodded her head and slowly backed out of the room, keeping a close on the man before her. Jesse waited until the nurse was gone before she turned to Murdock and said, "Captain, I’m with the underground. Papa Bear sent me!"

 

Now this took Murdock off guard and it took him a moment to react. "Papa Bear?" he said, puzzled.

 

"Yes, Papa Bear, the leader of the underground resistance in this area. I’m Baby Bear. I’m here to ask for your assistance. I was led to believe that you know how to reach a man named John Smith. He goes by the code name Hannibal. Mother Goose wants him to know that it is time to come out of the cold." Jesse quietly said, looking over her shoulder at the door.

 

Murdock didn’t know what to do. He stood there with a half smile on his face, nodding his head. "And you want me to deliver the message for you?" he asked.

 

"Yes. Now, I can assist you in breaking out of here if you need me to." Jesse said, smiling. She couldn’t help it. She knew her act had thrown the younger man for a loop. She hated to admit it, but she was enjoying herself.

 

"No, I don’t need your help in getting out," Murdock said, a bit off track. He didn’t know what was going on, but he was starting to think the woman in front of him was crazier then he was!

 

“That’s good. Here,” Jesse handed Murdock her card with the number of the hotel written on the back of it. “Have Hannibal contact me here. We must meet tonight. It is very important,” Jesse said, her tone getting a bit more serious.

 

"Tonight," Murdock said, still puzzled.

 

"Yes, tonight. He can pick the time and place, but we have to talk to night," Jesse said, and she quickly gave Murdock a kiss on the cheek, then turned to leave. "Oh, by the way. Remember, if they ask you anything, you know nothing, you have seen nothing," Jesse said, with a smile on her face as she left. Murdock still stood there in the middle of the room with his mouth wide open.

 

 

 

Murdock was in the van about hour later telling the team about his visitor. The only one that was laughing was Hannibal. He saw the look of pure puzzlement on Murdock’s face and laughed even harder. “What is so funny?” Face asked.

 

"A nut case is looking for you and you laugh," BA growled.

 

"Not a nut case, a Hogan," Hannibal said, slowly gaining control as he went on to explain. "Jesse Hogan is the baby sister of General Robert Hogan. Robert Hogan’s code name in World War II was Papa Bear. He ran a secret underground unit from a POW camp. It was his job to cause as much havoc for the other side as possible. He did just that and more. In fact, by the end of the war, Papa Bear was known to be the most dangerous man in all of Germany. He was just a colonel at the time, but after the war they made him General. He was helping out in the reconstruction of Germany when I did my first overseas tour. It was there that I met Jesse, Baby Bear was her nick name.”

 

"So, she isn’t crazy?" Amy asked, suddenly putting all the pieces together.

 

"Crazy like a fox maybe, but she still knew what she was doing. She was playing with Murdock," Hannibal said, and he sat back to think about the message. "Mother Goose wants me to come out of the cold? What did that mean?"

 

"What?" Murdock asked.

 

Hannibal looked at him and asked, "Are you sure that is what she said?"

 

"Yeah, exactly," Murdock replied.

 

"What does it mean?" Face asked.

 

Hannibal shook his head. "I don’t know. Mother Goose was code for England during and after the war. Why would she say that phrase to Murdock?" Hannibal picked up the van telephone and started to dial the number.

 

"What are you doing, fool?" BA demanded.

 

"I’m calling Jesse," Hannibal said, smiling.

 

"A General's sister? Don’t you think it could be a trap?" Amy asked him, shocked.

 

"No, not Jesse. She wants to talk to and I’m going to talk to her," Hannibal said. He didn’t know what Jesse wanted, but he knew that he was going to see her. The others thought he was nuts.

 

"The man is on the Jazz again," BA said, shaking his head.

 

"We are dead," Face said. He knew already that if it had been him, Hannibal would be yelling at him at that very moment for thinking about putting the team at risk. And now, here he was about to do it himself!

 

 

 

Jesse Hogan sat alone in a corner booth of an all night dinner. She sipped her coffee, trying to think about what she was going to say to Hannibal when he arrived. "Refill?" a hard gruff male voice asked.

 

Jesse put down her cup, looked up at the speaker and started to say, "Thank you." She stopped suddenly and started to laugh. The man had slicked back black hair and a massive nose, but it was the eyes that gave him away. "John, you look silly!" Jesse said, laughing.

 

Hannibal smiled back at her and said, "That bad?"

 

"Very!" Jesse said, smiling.

 

Hannibal removed the hair and pulled off the fake nose. "It wasn’t my best job," he said, grinning.

 

Jesse nodded in agreement. "Your Santa was a lot better," Jesse said, remembering the last time she had seen him dressed up in any outfit. It was on the last Christmas she spent with Nathan. John had decided to dress up as Santa. He had everyone fooled that day. Everyone, of course, but Jesse. The same thing gave him away that day as well. Jesse saw his eyes and knew right then it was him. The reason was simple for her. It was his eyes that made Jesse fall in love with him in the first place. It was the one part of him that she could pick out in a heart beat.

 

Hannibal leaned in and gave Jesse a kiss. “I could never fool you,” he said as he sat down beside her. Jesse reached for his hands and held them tight. It wasn’t until the moment she saw him that she realized how much she missed him. Jesse had always known that the reason she never remarried was the fact that she was always and ever will be in love with John Hannibal Smith. He had stolen her heart all those years ago and he would always posses it.

 

While Jesse was looking him over, he was doing the same thing. The first thing Hannibal noticed was the wrap on Jesse’s head. The other thing that caught his attention was the fact that she looked very thin and pale. His eyes grew sad and worried. “Are you okay?” he asked.

 

Jesse smiled sadly at him and slowly shook her head. "I wish this meeting would have taken place six years ago. I wouldn't look so bad," Jesse told him, sadly.

 

"Honey, you're still a knockout to me. You just look tired, that is all," Hannibal said, as he kissed the tips of her fingers. Her hands felt cold and he could feel the bones. A feeling of dread started to come over him, for something told him something was wrong with Jesse.

 

Jesse pulled her hand free from him and started to remove the wrap. John gasped at the sight of Jesse’s head with only a few strands of black hair sticking out. "Well, if you think a woman with no hair and no breast is called a knockout, you’re the first!" Jesse said, with almost no mirth. She didn’t know how else to tell him. The others had seen her slowly waste away, but this was new to John. She didn’t know any other way but to show him how bad things had gotten for her.

 

"Jess, what happened?" he asked, grabbing her hands and holding on to her for dear life.

 

Jesse looked at him sad tired eyes and said, "Cancer is what happened. Just a year after my second term in the Senate, I learned that I had cancer. First they took my breast, then they shoved these chemicals in me to kill what was left. It worked at first but sadly, it came back this time with a vengeance. John, I wish this could be different, but it isn’t. I’m dying. This thing is about to take me over and I can’t stop it."

 

Hannibal stood up and moved in beside her. He wrapped his arms around her and held her close. "Jesse, I’m sorry." Jesse’s wall of protection fell apart and she started to cry. She found that she couldn’t be the strong willed, stubborn woman around him. With Hannibal there, all she wanted was to be held and protected. She hated it. She felt like she was dumping all her troubles on him, but at this moment, she didn’t care. All she cared about was that he was holding her and she never wanted him to let go.

 

They sat there for a long time together, Hannibal holding Jesse and Jesse allowing him to comfort her. She finally pulled herself together enough to slowly open her brief case and pull out several pieces of paper. She slid them in front of Hannibal and he looked down to read them. It took his mind a moment to realize what he was reading. "This a joke?" he asked.

 

Jesse slowly shook her head and looked up with total love in her eyes. "No, it isn’t a joke. At six o’clock LA time, the President is going to announce that he has signed three pardons for the men collectively known as the A-Team. He is going to say it is because new evidence was found that maybe your conviction was a mistake."

 

"What kind of new evidence?" Hannibal snapped.

 

Jesse smiled as she pulled out another file. "Let me just say a certain senator had in her possession a copy of your last orders."

 

Hannibal’s eyes widened at this and he asked, "How?"

 

Jesse shrugged and said, "Well, after I found out about your arrest, I stuck around Saigon long enough to save the file before it was destroyed."

 

"Jesse!" Hannibal snapped. He knew full well what that place was like back then and knew the risk she had taken. "Do you know what could have happened to you?"

 

"Yes, but I wasn’t about to let anyone send my son or lover to prison without trying to do something about it," Jesse snapped at him. It was the first time since he walked in that her old fight was back. "okay," she admitted, reluctantly. "I almost didn’t make it out. I also happened to run into Rob right then and he fought his way to one of the last transports. And yes, he yelled at me as much as you want to right now for staying as long as I did. I just never told him why I stuck around. I waited until I arrived home to drop that bomb on my brothers."

 

"It didn’t change anything," Hannibal snapped coldly.

 

"No, they knew your conviction was a farce. The A-Team was the proverbial sacrificial lamb. Robert informed me as things stood then, not even this file could change that conviction. So, I kept that file. I went into politics and moved my way into the right position to use it. It wasn’t until a few days ago that I realized that my time was running out. So, I went back to my brothers and informed them that if they didn’t give me what I wanted, I was going to go to the press and tell them everything. I didn’t care what it did to my career, or anyone else's. I was going to get those pardons," Jesse said, with conviction in her voice.

 

"I bet they took that well," Hannibal said. He couldn’t believe she had pulled it off. He had never let himself believe that it would actually happen. They would always be wanted men and nothing was ever going to change. This was just a dream to him and he was going to wake up at any moment.

 

"Robert and Roger weren’t the problem. You have managed to tick off a few members of the general staff over the last thirteen years. He had to do a lot of talking to do it, but finally they saw things his way. It only took a few hours to talk the President into it. Of course, what most people don’t know is that Mayra gave him some information that will help him on the Russian issue," Jesse said, smiling.

 

"I don’t believe it. You mean Robert Hogan, that old war horse, is actually doing something for me?" Hannibal said, shocked. Robert Hogan always hated his guts. He never thought he was good enough for his baby sister and the man had gone out of his way thirty-five years ago to get him out of her life. He never thought that Robert would ever do anything that would help him out in anything.

 

Jesse smiled and said, "He did it when I told him that Face was Nathan and that you were the father of Leigh and Drake." Hannibal’s eyes grew wide at this. Jesse pulled out a stack of pictures and spread them out in front of him. "These, John, are your children. You escaped before I got a chance to tell you that I was pregnant. They were born just about nine mouths to the day from the last time we were together."

 

Hannibal picked up a picture of young boy that looked a lot like him when he was younger. He then held a picture of a girl that was a spitting image of the woman that was on his arm. "You mean these are my kids?"

 

"Yes, they will be fourteen five months from now. They know all about you. I might have lied to the members of the press and my own family, but I never lied to them. They are at the hotel at this very moment, waiting for me to bring their father to them," Jesse said, smiling.

 

"Father? Me?" Hannibal said, shaking his head.

 

"Yes, you!" Jesse said, kissing him. "A short time from now you will be the only parent they will have." Hannibal looked down at her, not realizing what she meant, but she smiled. "John, the fact that I’m dying is not a joke. Leigh and Drake will need you after I’m gone. I can’t leave them without knowing that your going to be there for them. I also want to see my son before I die. I need to talk to Nathan. I need to get to know the man he is today."

 

Hannibal nodded and he looked out towards the parking lot. "Jesse, you do know you just dropped a bomb on me."

 

"Yes, and I regret doing it. If this could have been done in a different way, I would have done it, but sadly I don’t have a lot of time to beat around the bush. The longer this takes, the less time I will have to enjoy my family all together."

 

"And Face and I are part of that picture?" Hannibal said.

 

"A big part of it," Jesse said, kissing him. "I might have wasted thirty-five years without you; I’m not wasting what time I have left. My question is, John, are you going to walk out on me again or will you stand by me to the end? And then stand by your kids and guide them into adulthood?"

 

Hannibal was quiet for a long time. He knew the answer right away, but he needed a few moments for it all to sink in. Jesse had thirteen years with the news of being a parent. It was taking a bit longer for him to take it all it. "Yes, I’ll do what you ask," Hannibal said, finally, "but you have to let me tell Face my way."

 

"Tonight?" Jesse said to him.

 

Hannibal nodded. "I’ll do it tonight and you can be there, but let me do the talking. I need it to come from me. I’m afraid if it doesn’t, he may never speak to me again."

 

Jesse agreed. "You call the shots," Jesse said. She felt her heart soar at the news that in a very short time she was actually going to be able to sit with her son and talk to him. She had waited a long time for this day to happen and now it was coming. She was scared, happy and worried all at the same moment.

 

 

Chapter 4

 

Jesse Hogan sat in a booth watching as the A-Team approached. Jesse’s heart leaped at the sight of Face. He was giving her her first real glimpse of what her brother Andrew, would have looked like if he lived past his eighteenth birthday. Jesse wanted to run up to him and hug him but she stayed put. She just plastered a warm smile on her face as one by one the team sat down. Hannibal stood near by introducing the team as they sat down. He managed to maneuver Face into the seat next to Jesse. “Jesse Hogan, I would like to introduce you to, Templeton Peck, BA Baracus, H.M. Murdock, and Miss Amy Allan.”

 

“Nice to meet you,” Jesse said to the team giving each one of them a warm smile. She saved the warmest for Face and Murdock.

 

“Same here,” Face said,  a winning smile back.

 

“What is the job, Colonel?” Amy asked him.

 

“No, job,” Hannibal said sitting down at the edge of the seat next to Face. He wanted to make sure Face didn’t bolt before he finished telling him everything. Hannibal picked up several pieces of papers off the table. He handed one to each BA and Face. The pair read the papers then looked up at Hannibal in shock.

 

“Are these a joke?” Face asked.

 

“What’s the catch?” BA growled.

 

Hannibal shrugged with a half smile on his face. “No, joke and the only catch is that I will become a father to my children.” He pulled out the pictures of the twins and spread them out on the table. “This here is Leigh and Drake.”

 

Amy picked up a picture of Drake and said, “This looks like you.”

 

“And this heartbreaker is a spitting image of her mother,” Face said, smiling at the picture of the girl with a soccer ball.

 

Hannibal nodded in agreement and replied, “They are one of the main reasons Jesse went out of her way to give us these,” Hannibal said, holding up his pardon.

 

“One of them?” Murdock asked.

 

Hannibal nodded and looked over at Jesse. Jesse smiled back at him and reached for his hand. They locked eyes for a moment then Hannibal went on. “As you already know, I met Jesse when I was stationed in Germany. What I left out was that our relationship went deeper then just friendship. In fact, if I had stood up to her brother back then she might have been Mrs. John Hannibal Smith.”

 

"John," Jesse said. She knew what he was about to say. She had long since forgiven her brother for butting into her life. She had just gotten even later on, when she hooked Robert up with is wife, Mayra.

 

“Sweetheart, I hate to tell you this, but your big brother sort of strong armed me into ending things with you.” Hannibal told her not realizing that this wasn't news to Jesse.

 

“He told me,” Jesse admitted. “It came out after Nathan’s death. I stopped talking to him for a long time afterwards. If he wasn’t my brother, I may never have forgiven him.”

 

“Nathan?” Face asked.

 

“Nathan is Jesse’s and my oldest son. He was born thirty four years ago. I didn’t know she was pregnant when I walked away from her. In fact, the next time I saw Jesse, she was married to my best friend, Roderick Decker,” Hannibal said, smiling. He already expected that name would get a reaction and he wasn’t disappointed.

 

“DECKER!” the Team yelled.

 

“Is that why that fool hates us?” BA asked.

 

“In a way,” Hannibal said, smiling at Jesse. “We seemed to have fallen in love with the same woman. He just ended up married to her,” Hannibal told them.

 

“I can’t believe Decker and you were friends; not the way he went after you,” Amy said, shocked.

“We were close friends. In fact, I was Nathan’s godfather before he vanished,” Hannibal said.

 

At some point in this story, both Murdock and BA figured out what was going on. They kept their faces as neutral as possible. They asked questions that would help guide things into the right direction.

 

 “What happened to your son?” Murdock asked.

 

Hannibal sighed and said, “Mary Jane, a woman that I was seeing back then, kidnapped him. We don’t know why. Her motive was never discovered. A manhunt for her and Nathan was called out, but when we found her, she had driven her car into a river in Texas. Nathan’s body was never found. All we found of him was a teddy bear. Rod, Robert and I went back to base to tell Jesse. Jesse didn’t buy it. She said her son was alive and she was going to find him. In fact, she saw us as traitors and struck out the only way she knew how. She dropped the bomb that Nathan was my son, and that Rod knew all along. I didn’t see Jesse again for fourteen years.”

 

“I’m sorry, Hannibal,” Amy said, thinking that was the end of the story and that Nathan was dead.

 

“Thanks, Amy but Nathan isn’t dead. I learned later on when I ran into Jesse in Nam that she found him. Mary wasn’t fighting to leave Texas. She was coming back to Texas. She had managed to make it to her parent’s home in California. She had left Nathan there with them. She was heading back to do what, I don’t know but when their daughter died. Mary’s parents were worried that they would be blamed in this. So, they took Nathan to a park and walked away from him. He was raised in an orphanage in LA.

 

Amy’s mouth dropped open. She looked from Hannibal to Face and started to put it all together. Amy wasn’t the only one that caught on. Face had as well and he felt betrayed. He glared at Hannibal with pure hate and said, “Your playing games with me aren’t you?”

 

“No, I’m not. I’ve always wanted to tell you, but I never know how. I also was very worried how you were going to react. I couldn’t risk losing you again. So, I kept quiet,” Hannibal said, softly.

 

Face shoved Hannibal out of the booth and started for the door. “Go to hell,” he hissed.

 

Jesse quickly moved from the booth and ran after him. “Rolly, don’t leave,” she begged, reaching for his arm.

 

Face stopped, turned, and looked at her with wide eyes, asking, “What did you call me?”

 

Jesse gave him a sheepish smile and said, “Rolly! You loved to roll down this hill that was in the back yard. I started to call you my Rolly Polly!”

 

Face suddenly saw himself standing on a hill. A woman, dressed in a summer dress, cheered as he rolled down the hill towards her. Tears came to his eyes and he stood there, shaking. Jesse reached out to him, but Face backed away. He didn’t want her to touch him. He stood there, looking down at his mother with every emotion one could think of running in his head. He remembered her love, but the lies kept on screaming, on and on. Jessed looked up at him with tears in her eyes and said, “I understand you are upset, but you have to hear the rest of it.”

 

“He lied to me and you lied to me! You were there in Nam and you didn’t even bother to say one word about any of this?” Face said, accusingly.

 

“Nathan, I watched my mother bury her youngest son. I already lost you once. I couldn’t do it again. I couldn’t have told you then. Hannibal didn’t tell you because I told him if you came back to me in a body bag, I would never forgive him. I never dreamed what was going to happen. And when it did, I risked everything to make sure your names were cleared,” Jesse told him.

 

Hannibal walked up, put his hand on Jesse’s shoulder, and said, “Your mother stayed in Saigon even when things started to fall a part, just to save our last orders. She almost didn’t make it out of there. She did it for you!”

 

Face looked at her in shock. “You had the file that cleared our names that long?”

 

Jesse nodded, “It didn’t matter back then what I had. They needed someone to blame and you were it. I promised myself one day that would change. I ran off office and started to fight for that day. What I never dreamed of, was that I would end up doing it near my last days,” Jesse said, tears falling down her cheeks.       

 

Hannibal hugged her as he looked up at Face. “You can hate me for the rest of your life, but don’t hate her at the end of hers. She is dying, Face, and she doesn’t have much time left.”

 

Face stood there, looking down at the woman, hoping it was joke. But something in her eyes told him it wasn’t. “You mean I found you and I’m going to lose you again?”

 

“Sadly, yes, that is what going to happen. I keep wishing it wasn’t, but that isn’t what the doctors keep on telling me,” she told him. “I have less than a year to make up for thirty years of lost time.”

 

Face shook his head slowly and moved closer to her. He pulled her into his arms and said, “I’ll be here for you to the end. He turned to Hannibal with hate in his eyes. But you… I don’t know if I’ll ever be able to forgive you for not telling me.” Hannibal knew he meant it but he didn’t care. He figured he would deal with it later. Right now, all that mattered was that Jesse had her son back.

 

 

 

 

Hour later, Jesse and the team stood in the hallway outside her hotel suite. She was trying to get the key into the lock, but her fingers weren’t cooperating. Both Face and Hannibal reached for the key and it was Face that took it. He gave her a warm smile, but his eyes had knives for Hannibal.

 

“Let me,” Face said to Jesse as he took the key. Jesse smiled and stepped aside. She quietly grabbed for John’s hand and gave it a squeeze as they waited for Face to open the door.

 

Jesse was the first inside and she was greeted by a young woman’s frantic voice. “Jesse, is that you?”

 

“It is me, Angie.”

 

A moment later, a brown haired young woman with a yellow sundress on appeared from one of the side rooms. “Oh, thank God,” she said the moment she spotted her boss. “Do you realize that your brothers are ready to call out the army after you?” Angie demanded.

 

“I told you that I didn’t know how long I would be,” Jesse said in frustration. She turned to the team and said, “This is Angie Carter. She is my personal assistant. She keeps my life on track,” Jesse informed them. She then turned to Angie and said to her, “This is John Smith, my son Nathan, and their friends, Mr. Murdock, Mr. Baracus and Miss Alan.”

 

“Hello,” Angie said to the team, then looked at Jesse. “I’m sorry for the outburst, but I worry when you are alone.”

 

“First off, I wasn’t alone. I was with John and he wouldn't have let anything happen to me,” Jesse said, winking at Hannibal.

 

“She is right. I wouldn’t have let her get hurt,” Hannibal spoke up. He couldn’t help but look around the room for the twins.

 

Jesse must have caught him, for she asked, “The kids still asleep?”

 

“Yes, they should be,” Angie told her.

 

Jesse looked at the time. “Give them a bit longer before I wake them.”

 

“Fine with me. I have no idea what I'm going to say to them anyway,” Hannibal said.

 

“Sit,” Jesse ordered. “I need to call my brothers before they blow a gasket,” Jesse told them and she walked to the phone. She was just about to dial when someone knocked at the door. “Angie, would you get that?”

 

“I’ll do it,” Face said, jumping to his feet and giving Angie won of his winning smiles.

 

“Thank you,” Angie said, smiling at him. She picked up Jesse’s briefcase and started to deal with the papers inside.

 

Face walked to the door and opened it. He got shock of his life for there stood Colonel Roderick Decker. At first he felt like bolting, but then it hit him. He wasn’t wanted any more. “Decker,” Face said trying to keep his voice level and calm.

 

“Hi,” Decker said, looking at the young man before him in a different light. He realized that Jesse was right. Face did look like her dead brother. “Can I come in?”

 

“Sure,” Face said, stepping aside to let Decker pass.

 

Decker walked into the room and smiled at Jesse. “Do you realize your brothers called five times in the last hour?”

 

“Sorry,” Jesse said, smiling.

 

Decker shook his head and glared at Hannibal. “I hope you realize staying up this late is bad for her?”

 

“She said she needed to talk tonight,” Hannibal pointed out.

 

“Not at two o’clock in the morning in some dive on the worst side of town,” Decker snapped.

 

“Boys!” Jesse voice broke in. “I don’t need this!”

 

“Fine,” Decker said, and he walked in and sat down.

 

Jesse looked at Hannibal and Decker, shaking her head. She figured it was going to take a bit for those two to starting acting like friends again. She didn’t have time to worry about them at this moment. She had two brothers to call. Jesse picked up the phone again and dialed their number. “Robert,” Jesse said the moment she heard her brother’s voice. She quickly pulled the phone away from her ear. She rolled her eyes and let him yell. She finally lowered the phone enough to say, “Will you please stop yelling?” For a moment, she listened, then put the phone to her ear. “Thank you...yes, I’m fine…No, nothing happened….Yes, they are here…No….Fine….love you, too…. See you when we get home…bye, Robert, and tell Roger to stop fretting.” Jesse then hung up the phone, shaking her head. “Brothers.”

 

Hannibal was smiling. “Let me guess, they're still overprotective of you?” he asked.

 

“Yes, I understand why they are worried. I just wish they wouldn’t hover over me,” Jesse told him. She walked to the couch and sat down next to her son. “How are you doing with this?”

 

okay,” Face said, but she knew he was lying. He hadn’t looked at his friends since they left the diner.

 

Jesse looked over at Angie and said, “Can you hand me those pictures by you?”

 

“Sure,” Angie said, handing her boss the photos.

 

Jesse opened the album and showed Face a picture. “These are my brothers!”

 

Amy was sitting by Face and she was shocked at the resemblance between Face and Andrew. “That does look like you!”

 

“Is this what convinced you  that I was your son?” Face asked.

 

“It is. The man on his right is my brother, Robert, and the other one is Roger,” Jesse told him.

 

“Both West Pointers!” Face said, suddenly feeling very insecure.

 

“Yes. Andrew joined the Navy right after the bombing of Pearl Harbor. He enjoyed being on the sea," Jesse said with a warm smile on her face.

 

“Just like Face,” BA said grinning. He knew very well that Face hated being on the open water. BA always thought Face turned a nice shade of green.

 

Face shot him a look but didn’t comment. He turned to Jesse and looked at more pictures. “Who is this?” Face asked.

 

“That is my mother, your grandmother,” Jesse said.

 

“I can see that Andrew and your mother both have same color hair,” Face said.

 

“Yes, you take after my mother. The rest of us look my father. We have dark hair and tan nicely,” Jesse teased.

 

“I don’t tan too badly,” Face said, with a smile. He was starting to feel very comfortable with Jesse.

 

Jesse smiled but it faded, replaced by a very tired look; everyone saw it. Angie stood up. “You do have several appointments today. Why don’t you go get some rest?”

 

Jesse looked at Face and gave him a kiss on the cheek. “She is right. I’m not going anywhere,” he told her.

 

okay, I do have a doctor’s appointment today,” Jesse admitted.

 

“I’ll take you,” Face offered.

 

“Are you sure?”

 

“I’m sure. You go rest and then we can spend time together later,” Face said, smiling at her.

 

“Alright,” Jesse said standing up. Face noticed that Angie helped her up. Jesse walked to where Hannibal was seated and said, “I’ll see you in a bit.”

 

“Alright,” Hannibal said, giving her a kiss. Jesse smiled at him, rubbing her hand over his cheek. She went to the other room and closed the door.

 

The moment the door was closed Face scowled,  stood up and moved as far away from the others he could get. “Face?” Hannibal spoke up. He had been waiting for this and figured. It wasn’t wise putting it off.

 

“Face?” Hannibal spoke up. He had been waiting for this and figured it wasn’t wise putting it off.

 

“What, Colonel?” Face snapped turning to face the man with pure rage. The others just looked at each other and tried to stay very low. Decker was the only one that was enjoying this. He had a half smile on his face as he watched things unfold.

 

“I know you are upset, but we should talk about it,” Hannibal told him.

 

“You had your chance to talk.” Face walked to the window and stood there fuming. “I’m only doing this for her. I don’t give a damn about you!”

 

Decker leaned forward towards Hannibal and said, “I see your son doesn’t like being lied to!”

 

“Why don’t you stay out of it,” BA snapped.

 

“Yeah, Face doesn’t need you!” Murdock said.

 

“Why don’t you all shut up,” Face said, turning around to face them. “You two knew about this. So, you are just as bad as he is,” Face said to his friends. Decker started to smile but it faded the moment Face turned on him. “And you! Look, I understand that you could have ended up raising me as your son. I’m sort of glad that didn’t happen because I would have hated being raised by a man like you!”

 

“Now, hold it,” Decker said as he started to get to his feet.

 

“Rod, sit,” Hannibal said. He knew Face was angry and looking for a fight. He figured Jesse didn't need that happening in her hotel room.

 

Face was to say something else, but two sleepy voices changed things quickly.

 

“What is going on?” Face and the others turned to see Leigh and Drake walked out of their bedrooms, rubbing their eyes.

 

“I hope we didn’t wake you,” Decker said, his voice changing the sight of the twins.

 

“No, not really,” Leigh said, and she looked at Face, then at Hannibal. “You're here!” she said, with a smile that made her look a lot like her mother.

 

“Cool!” Drake said, and he walked to his father and said, “Hi, I’m Drake.”

 

Hannibal laughed and said, “Hi.”

 

Leigh joined her twin and said, “I’m Leigh. What do we call you? Father, Dad, Pop? Or just Hannibal?”

 

“Whatever you want,” Hannibal said, not liking 'Pop' but he would deal with it for now.

 

okay,” Drake said, grinning. “Dad. That cool?”

 

“That’s cool,” Hannibal said, smiling.

 

The twins sat down on the floor beside their father. Leigh glanced over at Face and asked, “Were you fighting?” It was more a statement then a question for they had heard everything Face had been saying. They realized that he was angry and upset about all of this. What they were unsure of was if he was upset with them as well?

 

“Nothing to fight about,” Face said, and he moved back closer to the others and sat down.

 

Twins didn’t believe him, but they didn’t push it either. They just sat there in silence, waiting for someone to talk. Hannibal finally found his courage and asked, “Have you ever been to a movie studio?”

 

“No,” Drake said, with hopeful look on his face.

 

“How would you like a VIP tour?” Hannibal asked.

 

“Great! When?” Leigh asked, jumping to her feet.

 

“Today is fine with me,” Hannibal said.

 

“Let’s go get dressed,” Drake said, and the pair was off.

 

“I think you just made them very happy,” Angie said to him, laughing.

 

“I hope it will help in talking to them,” Hannibal said, grinning.

 

“Maybe you can show them one of your prize winning movies,” Face said, sarcastically.

 

“Nothing wrong with my movies,” Hannibal said.

 

“Yeah, sure. You were bound to win an Oscar!”

 

Hannibal sighed and shook his head. He knew this mood going to stay for awhile. Face wasn’t going to just forget about it. The trouble was Hannibal was going to have deal with his mouth until then.

 

 

Chapter 5

 

Over the next few days, Hannibal got to know Leigh and Drake while Face spent a lot time with Jesse. It was decided that Hannibal, Face and Murdock would go to DC. BA was going to visit his mother while Amy stayed in LA. Hannibal had been shocked that Jesse had talked Murdock’s doctor into allowing him to go with them. He asked about it and learned that Murdock’s doctor believed more of a family environment would do him good. Hannibal believed it would as well, but was shocked they did.

 

So, Jesse had arranged for the team's belongings to be shipped to her home in DC, while she, Hannibal, and the twins would take Jesse’s jet home. Face and Murdock would drive his 'vette cross country. Hannibal was hoping the drive would do Face some good. He was still mouthy and he hardly said five words to anyone but Jesse.

 

At the moment though, Murdock was dealing Face; or trying to. They were about day’s journey away from DC, and were stopping in a small road side hotel for the night. Face dropped his travel bag on the bed and walked into the bathroom without uttering a word.

 

“Billy saw a pizza place down the road a bit. You want to join?” Murdock called out hopefully.

 

“No,” Face snapped, as he walked out of the bathroom drying his hands on a towel.

 

“Okay, come on Billy,” Murdock said in a very small voice.

 

Face just growled and rolled his eyes. Murdock was to the door when Face’s conscience got to him.

 

“Hold it Murdock!”

 

Face felt even worse as Murdock turned around with hopeful eyes and asked, “Change your mind?”

 

Face sighed. “No, that isn’t want I wanted,” Murdock’s’ face dropped. Face rolled his eyes and ran his hand over hair. “Look,” he said trying to find the words to say what it was feeling without hurting the guy’s feelings any more. “I’m not mad at you but with you? Get it?” Face asked.

 

Murdock nodded, “I know,” Murdock said, and started to leave again.

 

“Murdock,” Face called out. He wanted things to be right again, but he didn’t know how to let go of his anger. He wasn’t ready to do it.

 

Murdock stopped and turned. He saw the pain in Face’s eyes and gave him a half smile. “Face, I understand. You're angry, and you have a right to be, but what you don’t get is why we lied.”

 

“What isn’t there to get? You were my friend. You of all people should have known how much finding out where I belong means to me. You were raised by your grandmother. You have no one in this world any more. I thought you knew what it was like to be alone,” Face said and he turned away from him.

 

“You had us,” Murdock closed the door and walked back into the room.

 

“It isn’t the same. Not to me,”

 

“You know when we learned the truth?” Murdock asked him.

 

“It didn’t matter,” Face said still looking at the cheap décor instead of his friend.

 

Murdock didn’t drop it. He walked to where Face was standing and moved in front of him. “Yes, it does matter,” He said. Face looked up at him and waited for him to continue. “Do you remember that first mission after you guys broke out of prison?” Murdock asked.

 

Face nodded. Nothing went right at all. They almost died there. “I remember,” Face said wondering how Murdock thought this was going to help things. All he was doing was reminding him of Hannibal’s worse screw ups!

 

“We held up in this old woman's shack for days. Your fever kept going up and one night she told us either it broke, or you weren’t going to make it. Hannibal hadn’t moved from your side the entire time. We tried to get him to rest but he refused. He was there with you that night. BA and I faked going to sleep. We figured it was your last night and we wanted to be there. Hannibal got to his knees and stared to pray. He was begging God to save you. I'd only seen him beg one time before that moment. He did it for you then as well.”

 

Face nodded. He didn’t remember that night in shack but he did remember the first time. They were in that POW camp and they were coming for him again. He couldn’t take another beating. Hannibal had known it. He went to the guards and begged for them to take him. Hannibal had put his own life on the line to save him.

 

“Face,” Murdock said, placing his hand on the guy’s shoulder, “he might have lied to you but he still cared about you. He cared before he knew the truth and after. You would be either dead or in prison if it wasn’t for Hannibal and that was before Nam ended. Don’t you think he deserves you to hear him out, at least?”

 

Face didn’t comment. Murdock figured he wouldn’t. He walked to the door again to leave.

 

“Murdock?” Face called out.

 

“Yeah?”

 

“Billy, mind me joining you?” Face asked.

 

“No, we don’t mind,” Murdock said and a true smile crossed face. The pair walked out of the hotel room and went to get pizza and beer.

 

 

 

Hannibal lay beside Jesse that night believing it was a mistake letting Face out of his sight. He was starting to think Face had decided not to show up. Hannibal looked down at Jesse who was fast asleep beside him and thought about what this would do to her now if her son walked out on her because of his stupid pig headed pride.

 

Jesse was sick and he knew it. It wasn’t just how thin she was. It was how she moved during the day. How she stopped now and then to hold on to something. It was how she felt to him in the night cold as ice and skin very dry. He knew Face taking off would destroy her. In return he was afraid he might end up destroying Face.

 

It was raining that night and Hannibal started to hear banging. He sat up to listen. It was then that he heard a soft knock. “Yeah?” he called out.

 

The door opened and Leigh walked in. “My shutter is loose again. Can you fix it?”

 

“Sure,” Hannibal said, climbing out of bed and slipping on his robe. He had learned one thing, being here with Jesse; the house was falling apart and the men in Jesse’s life hadn’t cared about it. At least, that is how Hannibal saw things. Jesse saw it as her house falling apart, just like her body. Hannibal had a list about three pages long and growing on what there was to do around here. He just added a shutter to the list.

 

Hannibal and Leigh walked down the hall to the girl’s room. The light was on, the ceiling fan rattling away. Hannibal gave his daughter a look, who just smiled at him. He shook his head as he walked to the window to open it. “Leigh, don’t your uncles do anything for your mother? They do have sons right?”

 

“Uncle Robert and Uncle Roger are always at the Pentagon working on something. Uncle Roger’s two sons are in law and they don’t live around here. James, Uncle Robert's son, joined the Air Force and is away at the moment,” Leigh said, as she sat on her bed, watching her father fight with the broken shutter.

 

“Meaning your mother is left on her own to take care of his house,” Hannibal said coolly. He was starting hate Robert and Roger more and more. The pair had hated him the moment they first met. They thought he wasn’t good enough for their sister. Now, at the time she needed the most they weren’t around to help her out.

 

“Well, Mom doesn’t ask either,” Leigh told her father.

 

“No, not that proud woman,” Hannibal said knowing this just these few days. Jesse hadn’t asked for anything. What he was doing now was because he wanted to do it.

 

“Uncle Rod used to help before he was shipped to California. Then there is Charlie.”

 

Hannibal heard something in the way Leigh said 'Charlie' and turned to look at her as he pulled down the shutter. “Who is Charlie?”

 

“He is the local beefcake or handyman, depending on your point of view. I, for one, don’t like the guy. He gives me the creeps,” Leigh said.

 

“Creeps how?” Hannibal placed the shutter next to the wall then closed the window.

 

“It isn’t what he does. It's how he looks at me. I catch him watching me while do things. I don’t like when he is here and I’m alone. I sort of lock myself in my room when that happens,” Leigh admitted.

 

“Does your mother know this?” Hannibal asked.

 

“No,” the girl said, shaking her head. “She has too much to worry about already. Charlie does help...sometimes.”

 

Hannibal nodded his head and said, “Well, we don’t need Charlie any more. The team and I can deal with what is needed around here. You don’t have to worry about locking yourself in your room,” He walked to where his daughter sat, placed a hand on her shoulder and said, “If there is anyone that bothers you like Charlie, I want you to tell me. Don’t think I’m too busy to listen to you. I won’t be, okay?”

 

Okay, and turn that fan off. I can’t stand that knocking noise any more,” the girl said, grinning.

 

Deal, and I’ll work on it tomorrow,” Hannibal said, as he mentally added two more things to his list. Before going back to bed that night, Hannibal did a once over around the house, just to make sure everything was as it had been.

 

 

 

The next morning, Jesse was at work dealing with unfinished business with the Senate and the twins were at school. Hannibal was on a ladder fixing the shutter. He turned his head the moment he heard a car coming down the drive. Hannibal was relieved to see it was the 'vette.

 

“About time,” he called out the moment Face and Murdock climbed out of the car.

 

“It was a nice drive,” Face walked to the house with a smile on his face. It had only been a week and Hannibal already looked domesticated.

 

“Wipe that smile off your face,” Hannibal said to the young man, reading his mind. “Your mother has a few things needing fixing around here. Someone has to do it and looks like I’m the only one around to do it. Until now!” He had this cocky grin on his face.

 

Face and Murdock didn’t like that smile. They knew that smile very well. Hannibal already had plans for them. “Can I go back to the VA?” Murdock asked hopefully.

 

“Forget it,” Face said. "If I have to do this, so do you!”

 

“I’ll show you around,” Hannibal said, ignoring their comments for the moment as he climbed down the ladder.

 

Face and Murdock grabbed their travel bags from the 'vette, following him into the house.

 

“What a place,” Face said. He hadn’t scammed anything this good in a while. He looked around and said, "Mother seems well off."

 

“Very,” Hannibal said.

 

“She has to be,” Face said eyeing a painting. “This here is worth at least a million alone!”

 

“Don’t start adding things up now,” Hannibal told him.

 

“I’m not,” Face said, grinning. Ok, he was, but it wasn’t for the reason Hannibal thought. He was starting to feel very out of place. He didn’t belong here. He was a con man. Jesse was a lady. She didn’t want a man like him for a son.

 

“Sure,” Murdock teased. Murdock looked down at the ground and said, “Now, Billy. You behave yourself. We don’t want Jesse throwing us out the first day.” Hannibal gave Face a look. Face just smiled at him.

 

“Murdock, you better keep Billy close. Jesse has a cat,” Hannibal said as they walked up the stairs.

 

“She is a cat lover?” Face asked.

 

“Yeah, Baby, the Cat from Hell!” Hannibal said, coldly.

 

“What’s wrong with the cat?” Murdock asked.

 

“Oh, nothing. It just thinks it belongs on the bed,” Hannibal said as he climbed the stairs. Hannibal and Baby didn’t get along because Hannibal had taken over the cat’s spot beside Jesse. The cat didn’t like it and spent most of the night telling him about it. So, tonight, Hannibal was hoping that he could keep the cat outside for the night. It was something he had been trying since he arrived but so far, he was failing.

 

As Hannibal walked up the stairs, he filled Face and Murdock in on the house and the surrounding area. Jesse’s house was a three storey home in the colonial style. The house had an attached three car garage and above it is where the master suite was located. Jesse’s bedroom was large enough for a king size bed, several dressers, a fireplace, a sitting room, a massive walk in closet and still have room for a  spacious bathroom. Face was shocked to learn that Hannibal was sharing a bedroom with Jesse. He was worried about Hannibal’s motives but then Hannibal told him it was Jesse’s idea. He started to relax. Face stood there listening as Hannibal filled them in one everything the house contained.

 

“Man, it is like we walked into a dream world,” Face said.

 

“This dream world does have a few flaws,” Hannibal said.

 

“What kind?” Murdock asked.

 

“Oh, it needs a new roof, the extra fridge is broke, the garbage disposal sounds like a BA on a bad day, and so on and so on.”

 

“Meaning she needs a man around,” Face said, smiling.

 

“Several men,” Hannibal replied with a grin.

 

“I get the point,” Face said and he was sort of glad. He didn’t want things handed to him. He liked earning or conning what he got. He just didn’t ever admit it to the others. It would destroy his reputation with them.

 

Face and Murdock found their rooms very spacious; they did have to share a bathroom, but it really didn’t matter. Both rooms had full size beds, a dresser, a small desk and a sitting area. “She thought of everything!” Face said, shaking his head.

 

“It is for out of town guests,” Hannibal said. “Jesse wanted to make sure they felt as home as possible.”

 

Face nodded at this. He opened the closet to find his clothes hanging neatly in place. “I see everything made it. Where are the weapons?” Face asked.

 

“In the garage. We need to clean out the pool house to move them in there,” Hannibal said.

 

“What is in the pool house, now?” Face asked.

 

Hannibal laughed at this. “The twins call it the ‘black hole of Calcutta!’ I was just told it housed a lifetime of junk. It seems Jesse has never gotten rid of anything. She never found the time to deal with her parents' stuff, her stuff from the time she lived with Rod or the other places she had over the years. It is all shoved into one place.”

 

Face laughed at this. “Meaning she is a pack rat!"

 

“No, just a woman that has no time for sorting anything. I figure we clean it out this weekend that is if we get the list I worked up done,” Hannibal said, and he handed each man a page from a note book.

 

Face read his over and said, “I’m not cleaning out the gutters!”

 

“Why not?” Murdock asked.

 

“Murdock, do you have any idea what kind of gunk is in those things?” Face said, wrinkling his nose just at the idea of touching wet, smelly leaves.

 

“We are all cleaning out the gutters,” Hannibal told him.

 

Face rolled his eyes and looked down at his clothes. “Fine, let me change.” Face opened the closet again to check to see if he had anything in it that didn’t cost him a fortune and which he wouldn’t mind seeing get dirty. There wasn’t much to pick from but he did finally find a part of jeans and a tee shirt that he was willing to part with.

 

Hannibal walked to Murdock’s bedroom where the pair talked. “Ok, what did you do with the sour puss that I left?” Hannibal asked.

 

Murdock smiled at Hannibal and said, “I have no idea what you are talking about.”

 

“Yes, you do! Murdock, a few days ago Face was hardly even speaking to me. Now, he is having full conversations with me. What gives?” Hannibal asked him.

 

“Oh, that,” Murdock said. “Well, let’s just say I sort of reminded him of everything you did for him, even before you knew he was your son!”

 

Hannibal patted the pilot on the back and said, “Thanks, I owe you one.”

 

“No, trouble,” Murdock said, reading over his list. “Well, we better get to work!”

 

 

 

 

The threesome was in the kitchen working when Hannibal heard the clock on the wall chime two. He slipped out from under the sink and looked at Face, “Where are the ‘vette’s keys?”

 

“On the counter over there. Why?” Face asked him.

 

“I have to pick up the twins at school and I have no idea where I’m going. I figured I'd leave early to make sure I’m not late,” Hannibal told him grinning.

 

“Why don’t you take Mother’s car?” Face asked him.

 

Hannibal snatched the keys off the counter and said, “Because Jesse’s car hasn’t been driven in over a year and it needs a tune up. Besides, the 'vette fits my style better.”

 

“You mean my style!” Face yelled after him as Hannibal vanished from sight. Face shook his head smiling. He went back to trying to figure out what was wrong with the compressor on the fridge. “Hey, Murdock, did you get that cabinet door open yet?” Face asked.

 

Murdock was standing on the counter top, trying to pry open a very stubborn cabinet door. He pulled it so hard on the last attempt that he slipped and started to fall. Face jumped to his feet and caught the pilot before he hit the ground. “Thanks, Face!” Murdock said.

 

Face just shook his head and said, “Careful the next time.”

 

Murdock nodded and he was just about to pick up the screwdriver when he heard someone in the garage. “That Hannibal?”

 

“No, it couldn’t be. I didn’t pull the 'vette inside yet,” Face said, and they walked to the garage to see what was going on. Face and Murdock walked into the garage. They moved around Jesse’s car and found a young punk snooping around their weapons.

 

“What in hell do you think you are doing?” Face called out.

 

The punk turned around quickly moving away from the cases as he did so. He was Face’s height. He had on a pair of black jeans and a white tee shirt that was just a size to small for him. He had shoulder length blond hair that was a bit too shaggy for Face’s taste. He suddenly remembered Hannibal telling him about a handy man.

 

“Charlie, right?” Face said.

 

“Yeah, who are you?” Charlie asked, trying to act tough.

 

Face smiled at this and gave Murdock a look. Murdock leaned against the hood of Jesse’s car and watched as Face walked forward.

 

“Doesn't matter who I am. What matters is what were you doing over there?” Face walked to the cases then noticed that Charlie had one of them opened. Face pulled out one of the automatic weapons giving it the once over. Charlie watched as the man handed the gun in his hand like it was a lover. Murdock noticed that Charlie's tan went slightly lighter on him.

 

“You’re her criminal son!” Charlie said.

 

Face lowered the gun just a bit and said, “Depends on your point of view!”

 

Charlie nodded and backed up. “I think I’ll be back when Jesse is around. Tell I was here!”

 

Murdock stood there laughing, “I think you scared him!”

 

“Good thing. He might remember me the next time he finds thirteen year old girl interesting to watch!” Face said, and he put the weapon back in its home and locked it up. “Come on; let’s move these to our rooms. We can keep them close until we get the pool house cleaned out.” Murdock nodded and each man grabbed a case and started into the house with them.

 

 

 

Murdock and Face had just finished moving the guns when the front door opened and in walked Angie. She didn’t see them on the stairs. She just walked into the front room that had been turned into a small office for her when Jesse became sick. Face couldn’t help but notice a fond look on Murdock’s face. He leaned over his shoulder and said, “Cute isn’t she?”

 

 Murdock nodded.

 

“Maybe I should ask her out!” Face said, grinning.

 

Murdock turned, gave Face a dirty look and said, “Angie isn’t your type!”

 

Face laughed, “Whose type is she?”

 

“Not yours!”

 

Face grinned. “I was just joking, Murdock. Why don’t you go in there and talk to her. I know you like her.”

 

“What do I say?”

 

“I don’t know. Hi, is a good start.”

 

“But Face, look at me. I’m not right for her. I’m…” Murdock’s voice trailed off.

 

“You are a great guy and if she doesn’t see that, then she isn’t right for you. Now, go!” Face ordered and he gave the man a slight shove towards the office. Murdock glanced back at him for a moment, then he headed on down the stairs towards Angie’s office.

 

 

 

 

Murdock knocked slightly on Angie’s office door and walked inside. “Hi,” he said, taking off his baseball cap and running his hand over his head.

 

Angie looked up from the file she was working on. A bright smile crossed her face, “Glad to see that you made it. Jesse will be relieved. She was starting to get a bit worried.”

 

“The drive was nice,” Murdock said, as he moved into the room and sat down in a chair across from the desk. “Um, how is Jesse?” he asked, more from a loss of what to say to the woman than anything else.

 

“Right now, she is listening to a bunch of windbags rattle on about the last bill. She is going to formally resign today. I need to start clearing out the files here and get ready for her replacement to take over.”

 

Murdock nodded and started to stand up. He figured that was Angie’s way of getting rid of him. It was then that he spotted a picture on her desk. It was of a group of men, taken in front of a run down shack of some kind. “Who is that?”

 

Angie smiled a bit. She picked the picture up and showed it to him. “This is a picture of my father and his friends in front of the barracks where they were kept during the war.” Angie pointed to the young man on the right and said, “That is my father, Andrew Carter. He was the demolition expert of the group!”

 

“So these are the heroes, I heard so much about,” Murdock said, looking at the men in the picture. They didn’t look to different then his friends did at this moment.

 

“Yes, that is them,” Angie said, and she pointed to each man telling Murdock who they were. “The man in the middle is Jesse’s brother, Robert. The one black man on his right is Kinchloe. He died about a year ago from Lou Gehrig's Disease. Next to him is Louie LeBeau, he owns several French restaurants all over the world now. The man beside my father is Newkirk. He just opened a small dinner theater in town.”

 

“What about your father? What does he do?” Murdock asked.

 

“He is teaching chemistry at the local college,” she said proudly.

 

“You sound proud of them,” Murdock said, putting the picture back down on her desk.

 

“I am, but what I’m most proud of is the bond they have. They are family to each other. After all this time, they still get together and look after each other. Jesse is like an aunt to me, and I’m closer to her then most of my blood kin. I hope my kids know that kind of a bond,” she said, giving Murdock a slight smile. She was blushing a bit. What Murdock didn’t know was that Angie never talked much about her father or her feelings about any of this to anyone. In fact, she enjoyed being in the background of Jesse’s life. Murdock was the first person that she had found easy to talk to in a long time.

 

“That bond is hard to break,” Murdock said, standing up. “I’ll let you get back to work.” he told her.

 

“OK,” she said. Murdock started for the door. Angie looked up sheepishly and said, “Hum, Mr. Murdock, there is an air show in two weeks. Jesse gave me tickets for it. Would you like to join me?”

 

Murdock turned around with a bright smile on his face. “I’d like that.”

 

“Good. It is a week from this Saturday and is starts at ten. I’ll be by here and pick you up at eight,” she told him.

 

“I’ll be ready,” Murdock said and he walked out smiling ear to ear.

 

 

 

 

Face sat facing the river, beer in hand, lost in thought. Hannibal walked up. “Taking a break?” Hannibal asked.

 

“Just a small one,” Face said, holding up the half empty beer bottle. “Where are the twins at?”

 

“Upstairs changing,” Hannibal said.

 

“Good, they can help you with the rest of that list,” Face said grinning hopefully.

 

“You’re not getting out of cleaning the gutters.”

 

“Damn,” Face cursed with a half a smile on his face.

 

Hannibal stood there watching the boats go by, debating if it was the right time to bring this up. He finally decided he couldn’t put it off forever.

 

“Face, where do we stand?”

 

“On the edge of the cliff by the river,” Face said, sarcastically.

 

“You know damn well what I mean! Where do we stand with each other,” Hannibal snapped at him in frustration.

 

Face just laughed at him and said, “Let me just say I’m still ticked off for you lying to me but I understand why you did it.”

 

“Meaning you understand no matter when you learned it I was going to be the bad guy in all of this.”

 

Face shrugged at this. “Not all the way. If it wasn’t for Jesse having cancer, I would angry at her as well but how do you get angry with someone that isn’t going to be here long?”

 

“You don’t,” Hannibal admitted. Face heard something in that and turned to look at him. Hannibal smiled and explained. “Your mother had a file that could have cleared us years ago. She didn’t use it. I understand why she didn’t. I mean the brass didn’t listen and with the state of our government at the time, I don’t think her going public would have helped matters. What I’m angry about is that her brother knew we didn’t do it even before she gave him the file. It is Robert, and men like him, that I’m truly mad at.”

 

“That isn’t a shocker. I mean our trial lasted one day and that was just to say we were guilty. They knew what the outcome was going to be even before it all started. So, no, it doesn’t surprise me. What got me was that she stuck around when things were going to hell to save us,” Face said.

 

Hannibal agreed. “I’m very grateful for what she did, but I wish she hadn't done it.”

 

“Yeah, she got have gotten killed or worse,” Face replied and drank down the last of his beer. “I met Charlie!”

 

Hannibal growled at the name. “What does the punk look like?” he asked.

 

“A punk!” Face said, grinning. “No, he's the sort of guy that acts like a teenager but is long past his teens. I caught him breaking into our gear. In fact, he busted a lock on one of the cases.”

 

“He what?” Hannibal said, looking very disgusted. He knew why BA didn’t want the guns in the van. He was going to meet his mother, and didn’t need to go with loaded van; but having the guns here was starting to be a problem. “Where are they now?” Hannibal asked.

 

“Under the beds in Murdock and I my bedrooms. We figured they would be safer.”

 

“I want the one that doesn’t lock. I’ll stick it in Jesse’s bedroom. It isn’t like I don’t trust the twins, but those guns are not toys,” Hannibal said.

 

“I have locks on them but I’ll move the case,” Face said.

 

“Good,” Hannibal said and he looked at the time. “We still have a lot to do. Let’s get moving, Lieutenant.”

 

“Well, at least you didn’t call me Nathan,” Face said grinning.

 

“I thought about it,” Hannibal said.

 

“Don’t! I’ll tell you this right now. I’ll call Jesse mother that isn’t a problem but don’t expect me to call you father and you better never call me Nathan. She is the only one allowed to do it!” Face said giving Hannibal a cold hard look.

 

Hannibal just smiled at him. He was wondering why it bothered him but he also knew. Face wasn’t the type to hurt a lady's feelings and he knew to Face, Jesse was all lady.

 

 

TBC

 


Jesse's Last Mission by Leath
Jesse's Last Mission 6-10 by Leath
Jesse's Last Mission 11-15 by Leath
Jesse's Last Mission 16-18 by Leath

 

 


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