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Culture Shock

Culture Shock
By: Junkfoodmonkey

Rating: PG
Summary: People may be the same all over, but they don't behave the
same all over.
Hannibal has to deal with a new experience.
Disclaimer: The A-Team doesn't belong to me, I'm not making any money
form this.




The first time Madari held his hand Hannibal was a little shocked.


Okay, Colonel, he told himself, stay calm, he's not propositioning you. It's an Arab thing.


They were walking from Madari's house on their way to dinner at the home of one of his friends. "It's this way," Madari had said, indicating a turn on the right. He took Hannibal's elbow as they turned and then he took Hannibal's right hand in his left.


Nothing odd about it, Hannibal reassured himself. Seen lots of Arab men holding hands. It's just their way. Faris probably isn't even aware he's doing it. He resisted the urge to pull away, not wanting to offend Madari. It's an honour really, he supposed, tried to accept it in that spirit. But it still felt strange.


When had he last held a man's hand? Apart from when he or they had been hurt or sick? It had to have been his mother's funeral. Walking behind the casket holding his father's hand. Before that it must have been grade school. Until the day when the idea of holding another boy's hand had suddenly flipped from being just natural to being irredeemably sissy.


They walked on, talking, but Hannibal found it hard to concentrate on the conversation. He was distracted by the strange sensation of the male hand in his own. By the size of it and the roughness of the skin. Could he ever get used to doing this, or was he too old now to change the habits of a lifetime? And that led him to wonder if Madari ever thought it strange how little his American friends touched each other, despite their closeness.


As they approached the door of his friend's house Madari seemed to suddenly notice what he was doing. His eyes widened and he pulled his hand away quickly. He seemed about to speak, but then their host came out and there was no time to talk.


Later in the evening Hannibal stepped outside for a breath of air. His head was spinning a little. He'd decided to try out his Arabic as much as possible with the other guests. This was taking a lot of concentration on his part, and, he suspected, a lot of patience and good humour on theirs. He lit a cigar, and then turned as he heard someone come out of the door behind him.


"Hannibal, you can smoke inside, if you wish," Madari said.


"Oh yeah, I know. Just getting some air. You want a cigar?"


"Thank you." Hannibal lit it for him. They stood side by side smoking. The night sky was indigo blue fading to violet at the horizon, thickly studded with stars.


"Beautiful night." Hannibal said.


"Yes." Madari agreed. "A little cold." He was quiet for a moment, then cleared his throat, said, "Hannibal, I apologise for earlier. I hope I didn't offend you."


"What, holding my hand?" Hannibal turned his head to look at Madari. "Hell, no. It was a little um - different. But I wasn't offended."


"I didn't think about what I was doing. I'm sorry. I know you are not used to that."


"Faris, it's not a problem." Hannibal reassured him. "Even an old dog like me can learn new tricks. I guess it's a compliment, shows you think of me as a close friend. I'm not going to get offended by that."


"You know I consider you a good friend."


"So let's not worry about it." He turned back to look at the sky. After a moment he spoke again.


"You probably shouldn't try it with BA though."




Culture Shock by Junkfoodmonkey



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