Outside Looking In
Hannibal's thoughts a couple of weeks after Without Reservations.
Companion piece to Inside Looking Out.
was tired. Not the "I can't take
another step" tired, but the "Bone weary just want to lay down and
make the world go away" tired. It
had been a rough couple of weeks. Face
had been wounded at Villa Cucina. He had
nearly died. Then there was the wait at
the hospital. Hannibal
was tired. For the first time in 16
years, Hannibal wanted to quit.
pulled himself out of the chair in the living room and walked toward the
bedrooms. He quietly opened the door to
Face's room and leaned his head in. Face
appeared to be asleep, though his head was turning from side to side. His mouth was moving, but there was no
walked closer to Face. He put his hand
on Face's shoulder, hoping that would calm the young man down, but trying not
to wake him. Face was still mouthing
shook Face's shoulder gently. "Hey,
Face, you okay? You need something?"
his eyes, searching for the voice. He
saw Hannibal looking at him. Hannibal
spoke, "You okay? You need
his head no. "No, I'm okay. Musta been dreaming. Sorry if I bothered you. I'm going to go back to sleep now,
patted Face's shoulder. "Sure,
Kid. Just call if you need
weakly and closed his eyes. Hannibal
stayed in the room a few minutes, then turned and left as silently as he had
entered. This was the part about command
that he hated most. The waiting, the
watching. Always on the outside, looking
in. He knew that Face was hurting,
physically and emotionally. Hannibal and
the team had managed to get Face out alive, and he knew he should be thankful
for that. Face allowed Murdock to help
with his recovery. He ate whatever the
lanky captain brought him to make him better, even let Billy sleep at the foot
is his bed. He allowed BA to help him
move from the bedroom to the living room, to the bathroom, wherever he needed
to be. He even allowed Frankie to help
him with getting dressed. But as Face
fought to recover, Hannibal could
do nothing but watch.
God, he was
tired. He walked out to the deck, pulled
out a cigar. His last one. He'd have to check with Face about getting
more. Face. Hannibal
looked up. The sky was overcast, and the
wind smelled of rain. He could see Abels
along the perimeter.
lit his cigar and stepped to the deck railing.
He took in the scenery. As much
as he hated his gilded cage, he had to admit that the grounds were
beautiful. It started to rain. Hannibal
stood the collar up on his jacket, but stayed at the edge of the deck, thankful
for the rain, using it as a refuge for the emotions that had been locked inside
throughout the nightmare of the last couple of weeks. Hannibal
lost track of the time. He finally came
in, sloshing with every step.
Face was on
the couch. Murdock and Frankie were in
the kitchen. BA was standing over Face,
adjusting his cover. "How's that, Face?"
Face smiled. "Perfect,
BA. Thanks." BA smiled a rare smile. "I'll go get you something to
drink. I'll be right back." BA looked at Hannibal
and acknowledged him with a nod of his head.
Then he walked toward the kitchen.
you better change. You're going to catch
pneumonia if you stay in those wet clothes," Face scolded. His eyes locked with Hannibal's. Face knew.
Hannibal looked away. "I'm going to change out of these
clothes. I'll be back in a bit." He
turned toward the bedrooms.
Face spoke, barely above a whisper. Hannibal
turned around. "Yeah,
Face?" He avoided making eye
contact. Face had a way of disarming him
like no one else could by just looking at him.
"It's going to be okay."
Hannibal looked up at
Face. Face repeated, "We're going
to be okay." He yawned. Hannibal
knew the trip from the bedroom to the living room had probably sapped what
little energy he had.
Face. I know. Why don't you get some rest? I'm going to put on some dry
looked at Face, who was already asleep.
He turned and went to his room.
God, he was so tired.