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Going Back

Author:  Jes Parker



WARNINGS: SLASH (nothing graphic – in fact, there's no onscreen sex whatsoever, just a kiss or two.); reference to rape; violence; language; war memories; death, destruction, and mayhem. 


SUMMARY:  The past comes back to haunt Face, and takes him back to days he'd rather forget.

COMMENTS:  Love them!

DISCLAIMER:  If I owned them, you would have seen this happen during the series on TV.  As it is, they have to live in my mind, along with my friend, Pete, and his cat, Tom. 

This story is dedicated to my friend Shee, who fell in love with this story, and pushed me to finish it… it probably wouldn't be here today, if she hadn't.  Thanks Shee!


Many Thanks to Shee and Jullian for stumbling through my errors, and offering me help and suggestions along the way!  You're the greatest!! 


All readers please remember...this is fannon and not Cannon.  I was not in Vietnam, so I do not know the names and exact locations of any POW camps.  To make it easier for Hannibal to know the exact place, I gave one a popular name I've read from fannon.   There will also probably be things that probably wouldn't or couldn't happen in real life; I just hope you remember this is a fictional piece.  It's for entertainment purposes only.  If you don't like it, then please don't read it. 



Going Back

© Jes Parker, 2005


The sun was beginning to rise, alighting the arriving blue sky with brilliant blue's and pinks, and in the distance Murdock could just make out an area to land the plane he had 'borrowed.'  He hoped that this mission would be quick and that he would have his friend back soon. 


Damn you Hannibal, he swore softly to himself.  If it hadn't been for him, he would not be going at this rescue alone.  He hoped that Face was still alive and that he could hang on until he got there for him.  As he unloaded the plane and set out to find his friend, his mind wandered back to his earlier conversation with Hannibal. 




"But Hannibal, he's in trouble.  I can feel it."


"Look Captain," Hannibal began, visibly furious.  "The Lieutenant's a big boy.  He can take care of himself.  Besides, he got himself into this mess," he couldn't help but add.


"Hannibal, you're not being fair.  He asked us to help him, but you said he was being immature and that he'd have to go by himself.  What is your problem?"


"CAPTAIN," Hannibal rose his voice. "That'll be enough."


"No, Colonel, I don't think it is.  You've been madder then Billy when he's got worms.  What did Face do?"


Hannibal sighed and shook his head.  "Why don't you ask him that question?"


"Well, gee I would, but do you see him around here anywhere so I can?  He's been missin' for a week now.  We've got to do something!"


"Then you'll have to do it yourself; because I'm not going." 


With that, Hannibal had stormed off without another word.  Murdock thought about asking BA for help, but he was in Chicago helping out his momma, who'd been sick. 


So, he packed his things, left Hannibal a note, and borrowed a plane.  Now he was back in Vietnam.  He was scared and alone and he wished that his friends were with him, but he knew somewhere deep down that Face needed him.  He felt guilty for not going with him in the first place. 


Murdock shook his head to try and clear it.  He knew he had to stay focused in order to get his best friend back.  He had enough information to track Face to this part of Vietnam.  Face had left a week ago trying to find a woman whom he'd met during the war.  She had written him a letter, in which saying that their daughter needed his help.  She told him how she regretted not ever telling him about her, but hadn't thought there was any other way. 


Hannibal had completely lost it, and Murdock was a little lost as to why he was as angry as he had been.  He had yelled and screamed, and then when he was through yelling and screaming, he ranted and raved.  He told Face how immature he was, that he should have protected himself against an unwanted pregnancy if he was going to, in Hannibal's words, 'whore around.'  And then he said something that had paled Face completely, the hurt and shock registering in those expressive blue eyes, leaving a searing hole straight to his heart. 


"Oh, but I forgot," he'd sneered harshly, his eyes penetrating with cold and hate.  "That's all you are.  A whore."


Murdock remembered watching, with his jaw hanging low, as his friend's face had drained of all color at the acrid words.  But yet Face had silently sat by and let his CO tear him up and down and berate him with his cruel rage. And then, when Hannibal finally stood silently, glaring at Face, daring him to speak, to defend himself, Face hadn't.  Instead he begged them for their help.  


Hannibal had told him harshly that he'd gotten himself into this mess and that he would have to find a way out of it.  Hannibal refused to drag his team back to the war zone and drudge up old memories for a mistake that Face had made all those years ago.  They hadn't heard from Face since. 


Murdock climbed up over a hill and peered down on the city below.  "Well, it's now or never," he encouraged himself.  He made his way down to the small city and found the address that he had jotted down.  He knocked on the door and after a minute, he heard footsteps shuffling to answer it. 


"Can I help you?" the woman asked, her English broken, after she had accessed Murdock for a hesitant moment. 

"Oh good, you speak English," Murdock smiled warmly.  "I'm looking for a friend of mine.  He came over here looking for a woman by the name of Suin Lee." 


The woman's eyes flashed with fright and she tried to close the door, but Murdock intercepted it with his foot. "Please you've got to help me," he let his brown eyes do his pleading.


The woman looked around nervously and then opened the door just enough for Murdock to step in.  She quickly closed the door behind them.  "You are looking for Lieutenant Peck." It wasn't a question.  She couldn't meet Murdock's eyes, so she kept them on the wall beside him.


"Yes, how did you know?" Murdock asked.


"I am Suin Lee."


"Where is Fa - Lieutenant Peck?" Murdock asked quietly, a feeling of terror beginning to wash over him.


Suin Lee sighed and sat down nervously.  "I don't know."


"What?  What do you mean you don't know?  He came over here to help you and your daughter."  Murdock felt his blood pressure rising.


Suin Lee sighed again.  "I have not a daughter."


"WHAT?" Murdock tried to contain the fear and confusion that he felt rush through his blood as he directed his gaze on the small woman in front of him.


He watched Suin Lee close her eyes and sigh.  "It was trap."


"WHAT?" he shrieked again.  "Who? Where? When? How?"  The panic was full-fledged now.


"Some men, they come to me, ask me my help.  They know about my … relation with Lieutenant during war. They threaten my family if I no help them.  They say all I need do was get Lieutenant here, then my family be fine," she offered in the best English she knew how.  Murdock heard the sorrow in her tone and from the look on her face Murdock could see she was genuinely sorry.  He did not blame her … too much.  He remembered all too often back during the war how these people, the innocents who got involved somehow with servicemen, would be used as pawns for others malicious deeds.


"Do you know who?  Did you see Lieutenant Peck?  Do you know why they want him?"  Murdock was feeling dizzy with all the questions running through his mind.


"No, I not know who.  I see Lieutenant only few second before they come and take him away. And for why, I not know. They say something about a," she paused, straining to remember the English word, "payback."


Murdock swore under his breath.  He was angry.  Angry that Hannibal had let him walk into this trap alone, and he was angry with himself that he had not disobeyed Hannibal a week ago and come with Face.  He had felt uneasy when Face had received the letter, but had put it off to the fact that Face had a child out there somewhere who didn't know who her father was.  He had thought Face would have been more careful then that, especially after his own childhood.


"Do you know where they are?" he finally allowed himself to ask, once he had his anger under control. 


Suin Lee didn't answer.  Instead she shifted uneasily, watching him with terrified eyes.


"Please?  I need to find him," he paused, his eyes shining brightly, swallowing past the lump in his throat.  Please?" he let his emotions show in his voice as he pleaded with her for any answer she may offer.


"Do you know Hanoi Hotel?"


Murdock felt his heart sink.  He had to reach out for the table to steady himself.


"Oh no," he breathed. "Not again, oh Face." He felt the world fade out and rush back, in almost the same second.  Fear had now fully clenched its cold fist around his heart and squeezed with all the strength it could possibly muster.


Murdock weakly nodded his appreciation toward the young woman and made his way silently outside.  "Aw Face, please be okay," he muttered to himself.  He found a bar, and a payphone, and put in a collect call to Hannibal.  He leaned his head against his arm, which was resting on the wooden wall holding the phone.  He squeezed his eyes tight in terror.


"Murdock, what's up?" he heard Hannibal on the other end after he'd accepted the charges.


"Hannibal, Face's in big trouble," he spared no time for civilities.


There was silence at the other end.  Finally Hannibal spoke.  "What kind of trouble?" his voice sounded shaky.  Murdock thought it ought.


"I'm not sure yet.  This whole thing was a setup.  He's been grabbed, I don't know by who, but … I do know where he is."


"Where?" Hannibal's voice was now beyond shaky, and on the edge of panic.


Murdock took a deep breath before answering.  "Hanoi Hotel."


A long silence followed, Murdock was almost afraid that he had lost the connection when he finally heard the Colonel's guilt ridden voice.  "Stay there Captain.  We're on our way."


"No can do Colonel.  I'm going in for him."


"Murdock that's a suicide mission.  Wait for us."  There was no mistaking the order from his Colonel, but Murdock was beyond waiting and obeying orders at this point.


"Hannibal, if it weren't for your waiting, Face may not be in this mess right now.  But now he's stuck back in a living nightmare and I'm going to be there for him.  You know where to find me," with that Murdock hung up.




"What's wrong Hannibal?" BA asked as Hannibal quietly hung up the phone.  He'd watched his colonel's face drain of color and had stood by nervously waiting to hear the worst.


"It's Face.  The whole thing was a setup and he's been captured.  Murdock's going in for him, alone."  Hannibal had felt as though someone had driven a truck into his gut.


"What'd ya leave out Hannibal?"  BA read between the lines and waited for his Colonel to fill him in.


Hannibal sighed and turned his sad eyes to meet those of his Sergeant.  "He's at the Hanoi Hotel."


"WHAT??  Hannibal?  Why?"  BA stood rigid with shock in the living room.


"I don't know BA.  I don't know," he moaned softly.


"We'll get 'im out Hannibal," BA assured him, his tone full of hope that Hannibal wished he could believe.


"I hope so," Hannibal's voice was full of guilt; BA studied him, wondering why.

"Why won't the crazy man wait?  He never disobeyed ya before."


"He's mad that I wouldn't go over with Face in the first place.  And then when he didn't call in, Murdock asked me to go with him to find him, but I refused," Hannibal finally admitted with shame, his heart clenching at the turmoil he must have put Face through.


"Why Hannibal?" BA's tone was not accusing, just curious.


"It's a long story BA."


"Well, we got a long plane ride and you gonna need somethin' to keep my mind off flyin'.  You can tell me then."




The closer Murdock came to his destination, the worse the flashbacks were becoming.  He tried to keep the memories out of his head.  He knew that he needed to be in one mind when he found Face.  Yet, keeping the memories at bay was proving difficult, almost too difficult.  He thought about Face and wondered what kind of condition he would be in when he found him, if he were alive at all.  He shook his head of that thought.  No, Face could be nothing but alive!  He tried to think of the reasoning behind this whole ambush.  Why would somebody go to all this trouble?  And who? 


Murdock crept along in the brush as he let his mind wander.  He finally made his way to the outskirts of the camp.  He was surprised to not find any guards surrounding it, like there had always been during the war. 


That can only mean they don't plan on an attack, Murdock thought to himself.  He hoped that his observation was correct.  He got to the ridge where he was able to overlook the camp.  He gasped as he got his first look at it in fifteen years.  The memories pooled back in his head.  He felt sick, his head swam, his vision faded in and out, and cold sweat appeared all over his body.  He tried his best to wash the memories out of his head.  He needed to find Face.  It was then he got his first look at the guards. 


"What the hell?" he whispered to himself.  "They're Americans.  Oh God Face, what have you gotten yourself into?"  He looked around to see if he could spot Face.  He finally found what he was looking for.  Face was in the center of the camp, dressed in green Army fatigues.  On his feet were Army-issue boots.  If the Army's got him, why don't they have him back in the states in prison? Murdock could only wonder to himself.  Sure enough though, as he looked closer, the guards were definitely American Soldiers. 


Face was kneeling on the orange dirt ground with his hands locked behind his head.  He held his head up to look his attacker in the eye.  Murdock felt a surge of pride at the stance his friend maintained, despite the bruising on his face and the pain he must be in, not to mention the fear he must be feeling.  Seeing the bruising on his friend's face made him wonder what the rest of his body looked like. 


Murdock started to look around to try and form a plan for their escape.  His eyes drifted to a chopper not far from the barracks on the far right side of camp.  "How perfect," he whispered to no one but himself. 


His eyes were brought back to Face as he heard the guards shouting and the distinct sound of flesh striking flesh.  Face remained still however, never lowering his gaze.  He was then roughly jerked to his feet, and dragged to a hut not far from where he had been kneeling. 


Murdock continued to watch the door long after it had been shut.  He could hear the distant sound of a cane making contact with skin, but he never heard Face scream.  That didn't come as a surprise to Murdock.  Face had always taken punishment silently.  Murdock looked around for more guards. 


"Damn!" he swore to himself.  "How am I gonna pull this off by myself?"  Murdock observed the ten guards thoughtfully.  Then he checked the clip on his gun, wondering if he should just go in the front door shooting, or surrender and wait for Hannibal to come and rescue them.  He didn't want to get himself killed, but he wanted to at least be with Face, to offer some comfort to him. 


In the end, he finally ruled out both of those ideas, knowing that if they didn't need him in the equation, that they would just remove him, and he wouldn't be much help to Face dead.  Murdock sighed and wondered how he should make his move.  Eventually the canning stopped and Murdock could hear the guards yelling.  He watched the door to the hut with stony eyes.  Eyes much more sane then years of doctors had declared him.  Soon it was opened and Face was dragged out.  Murdock could not tell if he was conscious or not, but his eyes were definitely closed. 


The guards dragged Face back to the center of the camp and shoved him in what they called 'the box' during the war, which was exactly that, a small, 4x4, metal box.  After locking it, he was then left to deal with the increasing heat by himself.  Murdock felt panic rise up in him, of most all the punishments; Face hated the box the most.  Small spaces terrified him.  Murdock remembered many nights holding Face after he had been released from the box.   Murdock shuddered with the memory and turned his attention to the guards.  He was surprised to see most of them get into vehicles and leave.  Only a few stayed behind to watch over their prisoner. 


Murdock kept an eye on the guards for a little longer, only years of training kept him from rushing down to free his friend.  The soldier in him told him to wait and watch; to see what move they would make next.  After several more minutes of watching, the guards seemed to get uncomfortably warm, and moved to a hut a distance from where Face was locked in the small box.


"Oh this is too easy," Murdock muttered to himself, a small smile playing at the corner of his lips.  He crept down to where Face was being confined, and carefully made his way over to him.  He slowly opened the door.  "Face?  Face?" Murdock whispered.  "Can you hear me?"  Face was curled in the fetal position, sweating profusely from the suffocating heat inside the box.


Murdock watched Face slowly lift his head off his chest and look around.  "M-Murdock?" he whispered in a scratchy, disbelieving voice.


"Yeah pal, it's me.  I'm right here.  Give me a minute and I'll have you free.  You think you can walk to that chopper over there by those barracks?" 

Murdock could see Face try and pick his head up to look in the direction that he had mentioned.  He noted that he was having trouble lifting his head and focusing. "Yeah I think so," came the scratchy reply.


Murdock already had his knife in hand and slashed the ropes binding Face's hands behind his back.  It was then that he saw the blood streaming down, and staining his left hand.  "You okay Face?" Murdock whispered.


"I'll be better once we got out of here," Face whispered back, crawling through the small space of the door.


Murdock helped Face to his feet, and they carefully made their way to the chopper.  "Gee, I sure hope they left the keys in this baby," Murdock joked as they approached the helicopter. 


Suddenly, gunfire broke the silence of the afternoon.   Face and Murdock dove into the chopper with Murdock returning fire.  Before the guards could reach them, Murdock had the bird running and was lifting them into the air.  Face and Murdock could hear the metallic sound of bullets ricocheting off of the helicopter.


Murdock looked over at Face, who had his eyes closed and a pained expression across his face.  "Face?" Murdock asked with concern.  His attention was pulled to the sound of more bullets spraying the chopper.  His eyes glanced at his gages.  "Uh-Oh!"


"Uh-Oh what?" Face demanded through clenched teeth.


"We've been hit and we're going down."

"Can you get us away from here?" Face asked, panicked, his eyes pleading with Murdock. 


"I'm tryin," was all that Murdock responded. 

Face watched in fear as Murdock fought for control of the bird.  He looked below them and watched the Hanoi Hotel fade out of sight.  Face fought the tears he felt stinging his eyes. 


It wasn't long before the motor cut out.  "Murdock?" Face whispered, eyes locked on his friend's profile.


"Uh - Ladies and Gentlemen if you'd please return your trays to the upright position and fasten your seatbelts, we're going to take her down now."  Murdock heard Face groan.


Murdock looked below him for a spot to try and bring the chopper down.  All he could see was the top of trees.  "Oh no," he whispered, more to himself then to Face.  He felt the helicopter falling, and fought with the controls to keep it level.  The ground was coming up faster and faster.  He felt the chopper as it took out the tops of the trees and then drop to the forest below.  Then everything went black.




Murdock opened his eyes and tried to look around him.  His head ached as he tried to figure out where he was.  Slowly the memories came back to him and he looked around in fear for Face. 


Face was next to him, unconscious with blood streaming down his face.  He seemed to be pinned between the seat and the console.  His head was resting against the back of his seat, slightly at an angle.  Both the side window and the windshield in front of him were broken.  From the new cuts on Face's head, Murdock assumed he must have taken the windows out with his head.  Murdock's eyes moved to Face's chest to see if it rose.  When it didn't, Murdock panicked and reached out his hand to search for a pulse on his friend's limp wrist, which was hanging next to his seat.  He was relieved to find a pulse.  It was weak, but at least his heart was beating.  He then reached over to place his hand on Face's chest.  He felt it slowly rise with the intake of breath.  He sighed with relief. 


Murdock began searching his own body for injuries.  Apart from being sore, bruised and scratched, he found that he was basically intact.  Face's side of the helicopter had taken most of the impact.  Murdock immediately felt guilty, but shook the feelings from the surface of his mind. He could feel guilty later.  Right now he had to get Face to safety. 


Murdock looked over to Face's door and saw that it was mangled and up against a tree.  He would have to pull Face out his side.  He moved so that he could better access his friend's injuries.  He first checked his neck for damage so that he knew if he could pull Face from the wreckage safely.  He was relieved to find that his neck seemed to be okay.  He reached his hand around to Face's back to check his spinal cord.  Without the luxury of x-rays, it was the best he could do.  After he was pretty sure that Face's spine was in one piece, Murdock started to try and figure out a way to remove Face from what was left of the chopper.  He was worried that Face hadn't regained conscious yet.  He again checked for a pulse by placing his fingers against the side of his neck.  Murdock's eyes flashed concerned when he felt that his pulse had slowed considerably since last checking it.  He reached to Face's eyes, and carefully pulled an eyelid up to check the dilation of his pupil.  Then he did the same to the other eye.  He sighed; at least his pupils seemed to be reacting equally. Murdock ran his hands along both Faces' legs as best as he could.  He decided that they weren't broken and started to begin to pry Face out from his wedged position.  After much effort, he managed to pull Face free and drag him through his side of the chopper and out the door.  As he laid Face on the ground, Face's eyes slowly fluttered open. 


"Ahhhh," he groaned.  "Murdock?" he questioned as he saw his friend coming into focus.  "Murdock?" he asked again, unable to believe what he was seeing.


"It's okay Face.  You're safe now."


Slowly Face began to remember his rescue.  "Thank you," he whispered softly, appreciation full in his voice.


Murdock smiled and looked down at Face.  "I'm going to finish checking you for injuries, and then we have to try and get away from here."


"I'm okay," Face lied.


Murdock ignored him and slipped Face's arms from the army jacket.  "You know," Murdock remarked as he worked.  "I always did think you looked rather sexy in fatigues," he smiled into Face's eyes.  "Any uniform for that matter."


Face returned the smile, yet there was confusion behind the blue eyes.  "Why'd you come?" he asked seriously.


"I should have come in the first place." Murdock stated, looking him in the eye as he paused from his task of getting Face out of his jacket.


Face did not answer, but grimaced as Murdock pulled his arms free. 


Murdock saw the blood soaking his left arm.  He pulled Face out of his shirt and gasped.


"Oh Face," he groaned. 


Face's upper body was marred with bruises, welts, and cuts from various punishments.  On his left shoulder/chest area was a ripped piece of bloodied material.  Murdock pulled it away and groaned.  A gunshot wound lay deep in his upper chest, shoulder area, which was obviously becoming infected, but the bleeding at least was slow. 


"Is the bullet still in there?" Murdock's concerned eyes searched Face's for an answer.


"Yeah," Face groaned honestly.  "But can we please get out of here.  They're going to come after us." 


"Face that bullet has to come out. When did you get shot?"


Face sighed. "Early this morning, late last night.  I don't remember.  It was dark."  Face met Murdock's gaze.  "I pissed them off."  He smiled.


"Yeah, I can see that." Murdock shook his head.  "We're going to have a long talk, but first you're right, we have to get out of here.  But as soon as we find a place to hide, that bullet's coming out." Murdock went back to the chopper and retrieved the backpack he'd come in with.  He pulled out some gauze and wrapped Face's shoulder the best he could.  Then he placed gauze on the deep wound that was bleeding on his forehead and taped it down.  After that, he helped Face put his shirt back on.  He noticed that Face was shaking in the heat. 




"Just a bit cold," Face answered quickly.


"It's 90 degrees." Concern burned in his eyes as Murdock helped Face back into his coat. He reached into the bag and pulled out a 9mm, racked it, readying a bullet into the chamber, and handed it to Face.  Face snapped the safety off with his thumb, and looked to Murdock, who was reloading his own gun.  Murdock met his gaze.  He leaned forward and gently put his hand on the back of Face's neck and kissed him softly, his heart picking up speed as his reason for living responded to the kiss.


"I'm sorry I didn't come with you baby."  He could see the hurt in Face's eyes in the second before he was able to mask it.  He knew Face would never admit that he'd been hurt by his actions.  Murdock wished they were anywhere but here right now.  He wanted to take Face into his arms and figure out what the hell had happened to him, and what he had done to get himself into this mess in the first place.  He carefully wiped the tear from Face's cheek.  "Let's go," he whispered.


Murdock left Hannibal a coded message inside the chopper in hopes that they would stumble upon it.  Then they set out, carefully covering their tracks as they tread through the jungle of the once war-zone, turned nightmare for both men.




"How ya doing Face?" Murdock questioned after they'd been walking for quite awhile.  He noticed that Face was getting slower and stumbling more often. His face dripped with sweat, and he looked quite pale.  He hated making Face move like this, but he knew if they stayed near the crashed chopper, they would soon be found and captured.  He pulled his arm tighter around Face, holding him close to his side.  "Face?" he asked, worried.


"I'm   a  l  r  i  g  h  t," Face dragged out in huffs.  "T-Tired," he leaned more on Murdock.  "Be alright."


Murdock felt his friend's neck for a pulse.  It was slow compared to what it should be.  Face offered him a small smile to prove he was okay.  It wasn't convincing, yet Murdock smiled, his eyes, however, were sad.  If only I'da come, he couldn't help but think to himself.




BA and Hannibal had landed safely and were almost to the outskirts of the Hanoi Hotel.  Hannibal had been uncharacteristically quiet during their long journey.  He was guilt ridden over Face being in this mess.  He could only imagine the hell that Face was going through right now.  Had gone through.  He hoped that Murdock had gotten to him and that they were both safe, but he had an uneasy feeling that they were both in danger.  He just prayed that they were both still alive. As they approached the Hanoi Hotel, they could see that the whole camp was in an uproar. 


"Murdock's definitely been here," Hannibal remarked to BA.


"Hannibal, those'r American Soldiers.  What the-?" he didn't bother to finish the question, he didn't have to.


"I don't know BA," he paused shaking his head. "What the heck has Face gotten himself into?" Hannibal questioned no one in particular.


"They're not here anymore Hannibal.  Those guards are looking for someone."


"You're right BA, let's see if we can get closer and hear what's going on."


Hannibal and BA made their way closer to the guards.  They were able to overhear a conversation between some of them. 


"I've called in the rest of the troops.  They should be here soon," one of them was saying.  "I've got all the men that were left, out searching for them.  I know that we hit the chopper, it had to of gone down." 


The other man was livid.  "I can't believe you let him escape.  You're totally incompetent.  How hard was it to watch a man that was in the condition Lieutenant Peck was in?"

"But sir, we didn't know that anyone was coming after him."


"How stupid can you get?  He's a part of the A-Team.  I was surprised when only he showed up at Suin Lee's.  You didn't really think that they wouldn't be that far behind, did you?"


"No, but Lieutenant Peck said that they weren't coming."


"And you believed him?" the head guard was incredulous.


"Well, he had a good story," the other guard defended.



Hannibal couldn't help but grin over the exchange.  Only Face and Murdock could get someone so riled up.   "Let's go BA," he whispered.


"Where to Hannibal?"


"We gotta find that chopper before they do."


BA nodded and followed Hannibal out of the brush.




"Hey Face, this looks like a good place to hide for awhile," Murdock announced cheerfully.  They'd come across a covering of trees and brush, which they'd stumbled upon by accident.  It was barely visible unless you looked for it.  Murdock heard Face sigh as he eased him to the ground to sit by a tree.  He took off his pack and kneeled in front of him.  "Okay Face, let's have a look."  Face tried to pull his coat tighter around him, but Murdock had him out of it in a matter of seconds. 


"Don't fight me Face.  Let me help you."  Face sighed and closed his eyes, leaning his head against the tree in defeat.  He was too tired to argue, and in way too much pain to deny that he needed help.


Murdock eyed him carefully, seeing the flicker of pain cross his friend's face, and then helped him out of his shirt.  The gauze had bled through, soaking the once pristine white.  He ran his hands down his sides.  He heard Face gasp as his fingers ran over the broken ribs beneath the too thin skin. "What did they do to you?"  Murdock moaned as he took in the damage.


Face didn't answer.  He didn't even open his eyes.  His chest rose and fell sharply however as he sucked in a shuddering breath.


Murdock removed the gauze from Face's shoulder and inspected the wound.  Then he opened up the pack, pulled out the medical kit, and removed an analgesic, which he injected in and near the wound.  Then he reached for the scalpel.  "Alright Face, I'm going to try and get the bullet out now," he warned him as he put the tip of the blade against the infected wound, and glanced at his friend's face, which was pale and pinched. The dark bruises and red cuts stood out vividly against his unnaturally white complexion, and the dark baggy rings and sunken eyes were bold and defining.  Murdock wondered when the last time he ate or drank had been.  From the looks of the ribs practically protruding from his chest, and his hollow cheeks, he doubted anytime in the last few days.  He shook his head sadly. 


"Ready Face?"  Face nodded one quick nod, before clenching his teeth tightly against the agony he knew was to come.  The analgesic would help some, but Face knew from experience that it wasn't enough to take all the pain away.  It was a just small supply that they carried in their medical kits for quick stitching.


Murdock began cutting at the wound.  As soon as he had made the first slit, pus drained around the scalpel and blood flowed down his own hand.  He felt Face's body tense under him, and a quick glance at his best friend's face showed him trying not to yelp in pain.  Face groaned as the red-hot agony poured through his abused body.  His chest throbbed, his arm burned.  Sweat began to break out along his forehead, and his eyes clenched tightly in their blackened sockets, darkened from days of sleep deprivation, starvation, dehydration, and torture.  And then his body finally, blessedly, went limp. 


Murdock knew the moment he had passed out, and was grateful for it.  As much as he hated to inflict more pain on his friend and lover then he was already in, he knew he had no other choice.  If he didn't remove the bullet and clean the wound, the infection would only continue to grow.  As it was, it was already coursing through his body at full speed, threatening his life. 


It didn't take long for Murdock to find the bullet and remove it.  More pus followed. 


"Aw Face," Murdock muttered. 


He cleaned the wound the best that he could, and then began the slow process of stitching it back up.  He left a small part of it open; adding a small tube to drain the infection still trapped inside the wound. Then, he covered it with clean gauze and taped it down firmly.  He looked at his friend, quickly took his pulse and put his hand to his forehead.  Face was burning up.  Murdock sighed and pushed sweaty blonde locks back from his loves eyes.  "Hurry up guys," he quietly urged Hannibal and BA. 


Murdock set out to clean and patch the cuts on his lover's face.  He had one really big gash on the top of his forehead, running into his hairline and another smaller one closer to the side, hidden in his blonde hair, which was soaked with his own blood.  They both required stitches.  He had several small cuts, bruises and scratches along his face, head and neck.  Murdock cleaned them the best that he could, and finally pulled a shot of antibiotics from the kit, and injected Face with it.  Murdock studied his friend.  He was glad that Hannibal insisted that they still carry field packs as they had in the war.  The field packs contained everything that was needed in an emergency such as this one.


Face still hadn't regained consciousness, and Murdock began to worry.  He searched for his penlight and pulled each eyelid up.  Murdock sighed again.  Face's reaction seemed a bit slow.  Five minutes later, he watched as Face's eyes flicked slowly open, and he looked around in panic; then slowly began to relax as he remembered that Murdock was here with him.


Murdock pulled Face to lean against him.  He helped him put his shirt back on, and then he wrapped his arms around him tightly.  He rocked him for a couple of minutes in silence, just relishing in the fact that he was still alive and breathing.  He then reached around and pulled a water bottle out of his pack.  He held it to Face's dry, parched lips.  Face pulled back slightly, moaning and shaking his head. 


"Come on baby, you need to drink," he urged him.  Face slowly sipped some water from the bottle.  "Atta boy," Murdock coaxed him.  He then took a sip himself, and put the bottle back inside his bag and helped Face put on his coat.  The weather had begun to cool in the evening hours, and Face still shivered and shook against him.  He got into his own leather jacket, and then pulled Face back closer to his body.


"So what do these guys want with you Face?"


Face didn't answer, only tensed.  This didn't faze Murdock; he was used to the uncooperative side of his friend and lover.  "Face, I can't help you if I don't know what's going on," he reasoned.


Face sighed as deeply as broken ribs and possible pneumonia would let him.  "Revenge… they want revenge."


"Revenge?  For what?  What did you do?" Murdock turned Face so that he could look into his eyes.  When Face refused to meet his questioning gaze, Murdock gently, but firmly, took his chin and guided his face to his own.  "Look at me Face," he demanded quietly.  "What did you do?  Why are American Soldiers trying to kill you?"


Face laughed slightly.  "You act as though that's something new.  I've been wanted by the military for 15 years, remember?"


"Face, that isn't what I meant, and you know it.  If it was just the military, then you'd be back in the states in a full scale prison like Fort Bragg, not the Hanoi Hotel."


Face shifted uncomfortably.  "Well, I…" Face sighed and fell silent with lack of an answer.  After a moment's contemplation, he continued.  "Do you remember back in 'Nam a guy by the name of Joe Winston and his B-team?"


Murdock looked thoughtful for a minute as he considered this question and then slowly he remembered.  "The Colonel?  He had a thing for you if I remember correctly."


"Uh – yeah, that's him." 


"So what would he want revenge for?" Murdock asked carefully, worried as he remembered the leering eyes of the Colonel whenever he looked at Face.


"Well…" Face looked up into Murdock's concerned brown eyes.  "As you said, he had a thing for me."


Murdock felt a little uneasy, but nodded for Face to continue.


"He kept trying to get me to sleep with him.  I told him that I wasn't interested, but he insisted that he could change my mind.  He started to harass me when I wouldn't give in to him.  I'd reported him once, when I figured it was just harmless harassment, and he was put on probation.  After that, he threatened me if I ever reported him again."


"Yeah, but you don't ever worry about threats Face," Murdock pointed out, a new anger coursing through him for the man who had upset his friend all those years ago.


"It wasn't a threat against me Murdock.  It was a threat against you." Face fiddled with his jacket sleeve, and carefully met Murdock's eyes to appraise his reaction.


Murdock looked shocked and angered. "What?" he asked slowly.


"He told me that if I ever reported him again, that he would take it out on you.  He said that he knew that I didn't care about threats against myself, but was sure that I would care about my best friend.  What was I supposed to do?" Face's eyes pleaded with him to understand.


"You should have said something."


"I couldn't Murdock.  You were mad at me at the time, and I didn't want you to think that it was some stupid ploy for your attention, and I definitely didn't want you feeling sorry for me."


"What?" Murdock had totally lost the conversation.


"Remember when you thought I'd had sex with Sara?"


"Oh… yeah," he paused.  "I'm sorry Face; I should have never doubted you."


"No, its okay, it's not important anymore," Face assured him.


"So what happened after that?" Murdock squeezed Face's hand that rested in his own warm palm, and he rubbed his back soothingly with his other.


"Well, Joe kept harassing me, and it just kept getting worse.  He'd try to convince me to sleep with him, and when I wouldn't, he'd end up hitting me, and then we'd end up fighting."


"That's when you kept getting thrown in the brig for fighting?" Murdock began to piece the time frame together as he saw the bigger picture of the past.




"And Joe didn't get in trouble because he was a higher ranking officer, and you didn't say anything to defend yourself."


"Something like that."


"Then what happened?"


"I wasn't paying attention one evening, and he grabbed me as I was walking out of the barracks, and dragged me into the woods.  He," Face swallowed.  "He'd had enough of trying to convince me, so … he … just … had sex with me."


Murdock felt his heart speed up as it leapt into his throat and his anger rose.  "He raped you?"


"I thought it would just end there. He'd gotten what he wanted.  But, he couldn't get enough after that.  I would fight Murdock, honestly I would.  I just couldn't stop it," Face begged him through his tears to understand.


"I know baby. I know," Murdock tried to console him. He asked the question that still ate at him. "So why does he want revenge upon you?  If anything, you should want it against him."


Face looked uncomfortable before he helped Murdock understand.  He didn't want to rehash all of this, but he knew now that one way or the other, Murdock, along with the rest of the team, would probably eventually find out.  He was in way too deep now, and Joe would stop at nothing to extract his revenge.


"After awhile he started bringing his team into it.  They would make a game out of it.  They would drag me out into the woods, and set me loose. Then, they would hunt me," Face began to shake as he relived the horrible events.  "One day, Joe's brother, Steve, caught me.  Just as Joe approached from behind us, I knocked Steve to the ground," Face's eyes were lost in the memory.  "He was dead Murdock," Face whispered. 


"Face," Murdock breathed.  "It was self defense."


"I went to General Nickson, and reported what had happened.  I didn't know what else to do.  I didn't want Joe trying to turn it all around on me, although he did try.  Joe was sent to another camp to be imprisoned, but before he left, he vowed his revenge.  The whole thing was kept hushed. They didn't want it getting out, and obviously, neither did I.  I never told anyone." Face couldn't look at Murdock.  His face burned with shame.


Murdock sat in a shocked silence for long moments as he struggled to comprehend the full weight of Face's story.  He then pulled Face into his lap, and rocked him gently.  "I'm so sorry," he kept repeating into his hair. 


The minutes ticked away, before he mustered the courage to ask another question, his lips pressed into the top of Face's head. "What happened after he ambushed you here?" 


Face stilled before he answered Murdock, his voice low.  "Revenge Murdock."


Murdock closed his eyes, fear and devastation coursing through him.  "Did he rape you?" he whispered, his tone deadly serious.


"Murdock …"


"Did he?" Murdock demanded evenly.


Face could only nod.  Murdock became even more enraged then he already was.  He squeezed his eyes shut, and rocked back and forth with Face, his mind plotting the many things he could do to the Colonel.


After a long silence, it was Face who finally broke it.  "What are we gonna do Murdock?"


"We're going to get out of here.  We've got to make it to the plane that I've got stashed.  Hopefully Hannibal and BA will find us in the next little bit, they should have found the chopper by now."


Face pulled his head off of Murdock's chest in surprise.  "What?  They're here?"


"Of course they're here. You don't think they wouldn't come for you, do you?"


Face shrugged painfully.  "I know Hannibal's awfully mad."


"Why's he so mad Face?"


Face sighed and went back to playing with his jacket sleeve.  "Because of Suin Lee."


Murdock had to think for a moment.  "Suin Lee?  The woman who had you ambushed?"

"Yeah, that's her," Face replied half-heartedly.


"He's mad because he thought you got her pregnant?" Murdock started with the obvious.




"Why?  Besides the fact that he figured you should have prevented it?  I've never seen him so angry with you before."


"It wasn't that Murdock," Face stopped and paused, considering.  "He was in love with her," he finally sighed.


"WHAT?  You slept with a woman Hannibal was in love with?"

"I didn't know Murdock.  I swear.  I didn't find out until later.  But he wouldn't believe me.  He said that I did it on purpose, and that he would never, and could never, forgive me."


"Oh Face."


"I know that he was upset.  I know he felt betrayed.  But I wouldn't have slept with her if I'd of known," Face's voice held the conviction of his words.  He sighed remorsefully.  "He was even madder when he found out it was a one night stand."


"I can imagine."  Murdock shook his head. "You never tried explaining it to him?"


"He never wanted to talk about it, and after the war, I just wanted to forget everything.  I just always hoped that he knew the truth, and could love me anyway.  I guess I was wrong."


"Face, if he didn't love you, then he wouldn't be here now."


"Murdock, I saw his eyes, he still felt betrayed after all these years.  I don't think he's ever forgiven me.  For all I know, he's here because you're here.  Heck, I don't know.  Maybe you shouldn't have come either."

"Face," Murdock wasn't sure he liked the tone of his lover's voice. 


"I just don't want you to get hurt Murdock.  And I never wanted to drag you back to all this."


Murdock smiled gently.  "I'm only sorry I didn't come when you asked."


Face had closed his eyes.  Murdock could tell he was falling asleep.  Murdock held him close and listened to the wind, hoping Hannibal and BA would find them soon.  He knew that Face was badly injured and needed out of there as soon as possible.  He only hoped he could hang on that long.



Murdock heard a noise in the underbrush.  He quietly slid Face off of him, and crept to the edge of the brush.  He watched silently as two men came into view.  He aimed his gun, but sighed with relief when he saw that it was Hannibal and BA.


"Hannibal," Murdock breathed.  "Am I glad to see you guys."

Hannibal and BA hurried over to Murdock.  "Where's Face?"
Hannibal demanded, his eyes full of concern and guilt.


"Over here." Murdock led the way.  Hannibal reached Face's side, and was immediately on his knees next to him, pulling his black gloves off his hands, and looking over the unconscious Lieutenant.


"Report Captain," Hannibal commanded, not taking his eyes off of Face.


Murdock easily slipped into the role of a soldier as he delivered his report. "Found him at the camp.  He was on his knees in front of American Guards.  They were yelling at him and beating him.  He was caned before I could get to him.  Then he was dragged to the box, where I got him out when the guards turned their backs.  We managed to get to the chopper, but it was shot down.  We were both knocked unconscious.  I'm fine; he took out the windows with his head.  Those were the only new injuries I could find.  He has at least three broken ribs, and a gunshot wound to the chest.  I removed the bullet, but he's got an infection, and is burning up.  I've given him a shot of antibiotics.  He's got multiple injuries from various punishments, his breathing's weak, pupils sluggish, and heart rate is slow.  We're running out of time.  We have to get him out of here."


Hannibal's heart fell as he listened to Murdock report Face's injuries, and what he had witnessed.   What he must have gone through all this time by himself, he thought to himself, watching his Lieutenant with concerned eyes.  "Has he been conscious enough to tell you what happened?"


Murdock nodded his head, making eye contact with his commanding officer.


"Yeah and?" Hannibal demanded impatiently.

"I really think he should tell you


"I want to know now Captain.  Does he have a daughter?"


Murdock's eye flared with rage.  "No, Hannibal he doesn't.  The whole thing was a setup.  And in case you're wondering, Face didn't know you were in love with her!" Murdock shot bitterly, not caring that he was speaking to his CO.

Hannibal's eyes fell as he listened to Murdock's rant.  "Is he upset?" he inquired quietly.


"He thinks you hate him, Hannibal."


Hannibal sighed.  "I don't hate him."  He shook his head, defeated.  "I love him with all that I am.  I thought he knew that," he whispered, and then took a deep breath to regroup his thoughts.  "What do American Soldiers want with Face?"


Murdock sighed.  He knew that Hannibal wouldn't back off until he knew what was going on.  He also knew it wasn't his place to tell Hannibal the sordid details. Luckily he was saved from the dirty task of having to decide what to do, when they heard Face moan from the forest floor, and he dropped to his knees next to him. 

"Face, can you hear me?"
Hannibal asked, cupping his Lieutenant's face in his hands.  They watched as Face struggled to focus. 


"Hannibal?" he moaned in surprise.

"Yeah, it's me kid,"
Hannibal assured him softly, moving Face into a sitting position so that he was leaning against his chest.  Hannibal kissed his head gently.


"Face, Hannibal wants to know what's going on," Murdock spoke slowly to make sure Face understood what he was asking of him.  Murdock watched while Face hesitated, and then nodded for him to go ahead.  He sighed and looked at Hannibal, making eye contact.  He could feel BA's eyes resting on him as well.


"Remember Colonel Winston?" Murdock started in basically the same fashion as Face had.


"Joe?" Hannibal eyes lit up in surprise.


"Yeah, him," Murdock's voice showed his disdain.


"Didn't he have a thing for Face?"


"Too much of a thing.  Apparently he raped Face, and Face didn't tell us."

"WHAT? Face?"
Hannibal turned to Face, and watched him shake his head mournfully.  Hannibal sighed.  He would have to get those answers later.   He turned back to his Captain as he continued.


"Not only that, he dragged his unit into it.  They hunted Face.  Face killed Winston's brother in self-defense.  Winston wants revenge," Murdock finished, watching Hannibal for his reaction.


Hannibal held Face tightly within his arms.  He could feel him shaking slightly, and could feel the heat pouring off of him.  He leaned his head down so that his cheek was resting against Face's fevered temple. 


"Why didn't you tell me?" he whispered in agony.  Face could only shake his head.  He had no words to offer as an explanation.  He didn't really know why he hadn't told them.  Just that he didn't want to bother them.  Didn't want to have to relive it.  Didn't want anyone to know his shame.  Hannibal closed his eyes briefly, pain welling up inside him, wrapping its unrelenting fingers tightly around his heart.  These men would pay for what they did to Face.


"Okay we can sort the rest of this out later.  Let's get out of here."  Hannibal let the commander in him take over as he looked at each of his men, who nodded their agreement. 

"I've got a plane stashed, we just have to get to it," Murdock reported. Hannibal nodded and looked at BA for his consent.  It didn't really matter, one way or the other, he was getting onto that plane. 

"The things I do for you Faceman," was all that he muttered, although his tone failed to hold his usual gruffness to back up his words. 
Hannibal couldn't help but smile.  As much as BA hated to fly, there wasn't anything he could deny Face.


BA moved to pick Face up, Face began to protest, but one look from a scowling BA, silenced him.  Murdock took point, with Hannibal bringing up the rear. 


As they walked, BA could feel the shaking within Face increase, and the fever continue to climb.  Thankfully Face had slipped off into a merciful darkness along their trek.  After over an hour of walking, Hannibal ordered his men to rest.  They helped BA make Face comfortable, and Hannibal quickly accessed his condition.  His findings weren't encouraging.  Murdock held a bottle of water to Face's lips as Hannibal coaxed him to drink it.  Finally, they started off again. 


Thirty some minutes later, BA felt Face relax even more then he already was in his unconscious state.  He felt his own heart skip a beat as panic set in on what this could only mean.  He ground to a halt, and laid Face gently on the ground.  Hannibal was immediately beside them, taking Face's pulse.  He swore when he couldn't find one.  He immediately began breathing for Face, while BA did compressions.  He could feel Murdock's eyes boring into them as he watched them breath life into his best friend's lifeless body.  It didn't take long for them to stimulate Face's heart back into action and to coax his uncooperative lungs to draw in fresh air.  Hannibal looked up into the teary eyes of their pilot, who was suffering in his own accord, as were they all. 


"He's going to be okay Murdock.  I won't let him be anything but," he promised.   He watched Murdock nod and release Face's hand, which he had been holding tightly, willing Face to live.  BA picked Face up again, cradling him against his broad chest with much more care then one would think possible, and they made their way as quickly as they could to where Murdock had stashed the plane.

Hannibal and Murdock set about uncovering the plane as BA carried Face inside.  He never blinked.  Hannibal and Murdock found him a few moments later kneeling next to Face on the floor of the plane, holding his hand, and talking soothingly to him.  Murdock knelt down on the opposite side of BA, and smiled gratefully at him, before he quickly kissed Face's forehead, and stroked the blonde head, pushing the damp strands away from his eyes. 


"You hold on Faceguy.  I'll have us somewhere safe real soon.  You be good for the big guy and Hannibal."  He got to his feet, and turned for the cockpit.  Hannibal's soft, questioning voice at his back stopped him in his tracks.


"Did they rape him?"

Murdock knew
Hannibal was referring to the present, and his eyes closed with a deep sigh, as the pain flared again in his chest.  He turned his head slightly, so he could see Hannibal's expression, and then he nodded. 


Hannibal's eyes slowly closed, as the full implication of this mess hit him squarely in the chest.  He'd known, upon hearing Murdock's explanation of the events that it was a likely possibility, but he kept hoping, beyond hope, they'd been in time.  Now the pain was nearly overwhelming, shooting cold tendrils of fear and anger coursing through his blood, and down his spine.

When his eyes opened, they locked with Murdock's.  "They will pay," he promised.


Murdock nodded once.  "I know."  And with that he was in the pilot's seat, warming the bird up.


Hannibal quickly gathered the things they would need, and settled next to Face.  Together they got Face out of the Army Fatigues.  Hannibal could hear BA growling at all the marks covering their Lieutenant's body.  He felt his own heart sink as well.  His eyes traveled to the drain Murdock had left in, and to the reddish yellowish liquid that flowed from it.


Hannibal first injected Face with another antibiotic, and then checked and cleaned all of the injuries.  Finally, he soothed cloths of water over Face's body as BA took his temperature, which was a battle in itself, since Face kept pushing the thermometer out of his mouth.  Finally BA gave up and stuck it under his arm.  Face struggled a bit at being confined, but between Hannibal and BA's soothing, he finally calmed and allowed them to attend to him.


BA's eyes widened at the final reading of the thermometer.  He silently handed it to Hannibal, who cursed at the 105-degree reading.  Hannibal chewed his lip thoughtfully as he watched his fever tormented Lieutenant, then his eyes drifted to the window and the clouds floating past.  He thought of his promise to Murdock, BA, and himself, and then gathered Face in his arms and held him close.




"Come on fool, are we there yet?" BA boomed in Murdock's ear.  Murdock jumped slightly before taking his eyes from the sky to take in the big guy's expression.

"About forty-five more minutes.  Is Face okay?" the concern overwhelmed his voice.


BA sighed and shook his head.  "His fever is climbing and Hannibal's afraid he's slipped into a coma." Just as the words left his mouth, they both heard Hannibal hollering for help. Without a second thought, Murdock engaged the automatic pilot and was on BA's heels to their friends.  What they saw ground them both to a halt. 


Face was moving in sharp, rigid movements on the floor of the plane, his body in a rage from a seizure.  Hannibal was trying, without much luck, to pry open the young man's mouth.  Murdock instantly spotted the problem, Face was turning blue, and blood was trickling from the corners of his lips.  Murdock knew in a seizure that some people stopped breathing or swallowed their tongues.  Apparently Face had clamped down on his, and wasn't letting go.  Murdock dropped instantly to his knees and spoke calmly to Face as he worked with Hannibal to release his jaw.  Murdock reached far back toward his ears, and squeezed firmly.  Hannibal pushed up on his throat, under his chin.  Finally, working together, they pulled his mouth open, and held it as the seizure ran its course. 


It lasted only minutes, but seemed much longer to the three men battling to save the precious life of their friend. When his body finally slowed and calmed, Face briefly opened his eyes, made no sign of recognition, and slipped back into his deep sleep.  Murdock sighed and stroked the blonde head. 

"Please hold on Face," he whispered.  "I need you."




The runway appeared just off the blue ocean and Murdock eased the aircraft down onto the paved strip.  As they stepped from the plane, the intense Hawaiian sun greeted them, along with the ambulance Murdock had requested before landing.  To hell with the Military, Face's life was much more important.  They'd broken out before; they could do it again.




Sometimes the most precious things in life don't become aware to you until you nearly lose them.  Hannibal wondered if that hadn't held true with his and Face's relationship.  He'd always loved Face, he knew.  But had he admitted it to himself?  Better yet, had he admitted it to the one person who meant more to him then his own life?  Without Face, his next breath meant nothing.  Tomorrow was just a day without meaning.  Life had no definition, and his heart would never feel again.  He knew this was the way Murdock felt about their young con man, he'd shown it often enough.  Told Face something basically similar.  Loved him unconditionally, and proved time and time again that Face was his world.  That he would always stand behind him 100%.  Hannibal wondered if Face really knew how Hannibal himself felt about the man who'd stolen his heart so many years ago.


Had he ever told him how the sun sparkled in his chameleon blue eyes?  Or how it danced in his blonde hair?  That the feel of it beneath his fingers was like fine silk, woven by the most delicate hands?  How, when Face thought no one was watching, he let himself go, became carefree and innocent, like a child meeting the ocean for the first time?  Hannibal knew he loved Face.  But did Face know he loved him?


Murdock had said, in their time waiting for Face to wake up, that Face doubted Hannibal had ever gotten over what he considered the ultimate betrayal.  Why hadn't Hannibal ever told him that Suin Lee meant nothing compared to the blonde, fast talking, Lieutenant who weaseled his way into his command?  Why hadn't he ever taken the time to reassure him?  To let him know that he was the wind in his sail, and the sun on his darkest day?  That without him the world would cease to spin as it did today?


As if all this wasn't bad enough, there was the letter from Suin Lee.  He let past events control his emotions.  Events that didn't even matter anymore.  Yet, he hadn't been able to control the feelings of betrayal and rage that resurfaced after all those years.  It was so fresh, as though it had just happened.  Hannibal realized, in that instant, that neither of them had dealt with those emotions, and he realized now how detrimental it was that they hadn't.


And now, Hannibal sat in the hospital on one of the most gorgeous islands in the South Pacific, waiting for Face to wake up.  Waiting for Face to decide that life was worth living. To beat the odds once again, so that Hannibal could make up for all the time he had wasted, say all the words he'd meant to say, show all the feelings he had just hoped Face knew.  He realized now, as he watched the machine breathe for Face, that Face didn't know.  That Face doubted.  Face gave of himself willingly in everything they did.  In the field, in their friendship, and in the bed they shared with Murdock.  But did he know how much he was cherished?  How much he was needed?


Lord knows Murdock had told him often enough that he needed to open up more to Face.  That Face needed proof of his love.  Hannibal had always argued, stating that that was what he was showing him when making love to him.  Murdock always shook his head sadly.  Hannibal now realized that Face really did need the words.  He needed to know that he was loved, and sex was not enough.  He slowly began to understand that until Murdock and Hannibal had shown Face that sex could be about love, Face had only known it to be about control, and pain.  How simple it seemed now, that Face couldn't always associate their love making for what it really was.  Love.  Face needed the assurance of words to go along with it.


Hannibal could see Murdock's enraged eyes as they argued over the welfare of their shared lover.  "He deserves more Hannibal."


"Then give it to him," Hannibal would always shoot back. 


Why did it take this long for Hannibal to see what, in all those arguments, Murdock had so plainly spelled out for him? 


Hannibal shook his head and sighed.  He couldn't live in a past full of regrets, although he knew that if Face didn't make it that is exactly what he would do.  He could only hope and pray that Face would beat this.  And when he did awake, he would spend the rest of his days making sure Face knew exactly where he stood in his life. 




"Man, I don't remember the sunset being this magnificent over here," Face remarked as he leaned back against Hannibal's chest; Hannibal's loving arms around him.  Murdock's head rested in Face's lap, and BA sat next to the blonde lieutenant as the sun dipped even with the horizon, quickly receding to awake the other side of the world.


Hannibal smiled into the darkening night.  "It's been awhile since we've been over here, hasn't it?" he questioned.  His team just nodded. 


It'd been three weeks since Face had been released from the hospital, five since they had rescued him from hell.  Oddly enough, Face's attending doctor, had been an old friend of the teams' during the war.  He had never believed the stories he had heard about the team.  The thought that they'd betrayed their own country, the country they'd sacrificed their own lives for, had never crossed his mind.  When he had heard the stories, he was full of horror that anyone could believe such a thing about the three men that had been so loyal and had sacrificed so much for a country they simply believed in.  Doctor Adams had done everything in his power to protect the identity of his old friends, while trying to save their youngest life.


Face had stayed in his coma for three full days, awakening slightly on the fourth, and was alert and responsive by the sixth.  Mathew Adams had assured the team that his coma, although frightening, was just what his body had needed to begin to heal.  His injuries were astonishing to all treating him, and all watching him be treated.  The good news, in time, he would heal, physically, and eventually, mentally. 

Five weeks after the events, Face was on the road to a physical recovery.  His lack of conversation about what had happened to him while back in
Vietnam, was proof that his mental recovery was still somewhere down the road.  The team had tried coaxing him into talking, but hadn't wanted to push it.  Tonight however, they refused to let it go.  Face needed to talk, for his own recovery, as well as theirs.  Not to mention, Hannibal had received word from a friend that Colonel Winston was enraged Face had slipped through his fingers.  Winston was using the Military, which somehow, despite everything, he was still apart of, to his advantage in finding Face.  And when he did, he vowed Face would pay. 


 Hannibal knew the only way to keep Face safe, was to get to Winston and his team first.  What he would do when he found them though, was completely beyond him. 


Hannibal led his team back to their hotel, and after they were all relaxed in the living room of their penthouse suite, he turned to his Lieutenant, who was seated between himself and Murdock on the large sofa.  BA sat in a chair beside them, his brown eyes full of concern and worry.


Face took in each expression with hooded eyes, and then sat back against the couch with a sigh.  "Shoulda known this was a setup," he remarked as he closed his eyes. 


Hannibal sighed, and watched Murdock place his back against the arm of the sofa and draw his legs up, eyes never leaving his best friend's face. 


"Tell us what happened Face," Hannibal urged gently. 


Face sighed again and sat forward, his elbows on his knees and his face in his hands.  He rubbed his scalp tiredly and then stood up, striding over to the large window overlooking the ocean.  His back to the team, his shoulders heaved before he began.


"The second I opened the door to Suin Lee's, I knew I wasn't there because I'd allegedly fathered her child," he paused, his blue gaze still on the moonlit ocean.  "I didn't know you were in love with her Hannibal, and I am so sorry," he practically whispered


Hannibal closed his eyes and wiped at his face with his hands.  Murdock's gaze slid over to his Colonel's before resting it again on his lover's back. 

"I never even got the chance to open my mouth before ten men in Army fatigues came in and knocked me to the ground.  Winston stood in front of me and explained how he'd waited a long time to extract his revenge, and how he had the perfect way of make my life a living hell, again."


Three pairs of eyes watched the man's back as he stared out the window at the ocean twenty-three stories below.  Each of them full of their own sorrows, their own regrets, and their own pain for the man they loved. 


Face stuffed his hands in his pockets as he continued.  "They dragged me back to the camp and…" he sighed as he paused.  "I'm sure each of you knows what that did to me, I'm sure it did pretty much the same to you when you were forced to see it again.  Winston said he wanted me to suffer for what I did to his brother.  I explained to him that it was his own fault his brother was dead, not mine.  He didn't like that too much.  The days that followed were endless, pretty much filled with the same hell we lived the first time in the camps.  Then Murdock was there," he ended.


Hannibal sighed and rubbed his head.  "That's a pretty vague explanation Face."


Face shrugged, not turning.  "What more do you want?"


Hannibal and Murdock exchanged a look, and Murdock shook his head.  Hannibal sighed silently, but nodded his understanding of Murdock's silent request not to push for details yet.  "Did Winston ever tell you why he wasn't discharged after he was released from prison?"


Face did turn finally, and leaned his hip against the wall.  "When we were found guilty, his conviction was appealed, and he was released," he answered monotonously. 


Hannibal's eyes widened and Murdock started.  BA's fist began to work at the arms of the chair he was squeezing. 




"Apparently, my word wasn't worth very much anymore, and the proof amazingly disappeared."


"What proof?"  Murdock wanted to know.


Face sighed and crossed his arms against his chest.  "The DNA sample they took from me after I confessed I'd murdered his brother."


"You didn't murder him Face," Hannibal told him softly, while Murdock closed his eyes.  "It was self defense."


Face just shrugged.  "Whatever, either way, I killed him, and unless I wanted to go up the creek for his murder, I had to come clean.  So I did. I told General Nickson everything; I mean what choice did I have? They didn't need much more evidence then what was already on my body.  I wanted to keep it as quiet as possible, Nickson agreed.  I thought that would be the end of it."


"Why'd he wait so long to come after you?  It's been 15 years."


"Apparently it took a couple years for him to get out of prison.  Then a couple more years to look innocent and do everything that was asked of him.  A few more years after that to put together enough men that would follow him to hell and back, and then he had to find a way to get me away from you.  As luck would have it, one of his men was stationed with us in 'Nam.  He remembered our falling out over Suin Lee.  They figured it'd be their best bet at separating us. They threatened Suin Lee and her family, and she was more then willing to cooperate.  Her family for some American Soldier she barely remembered?  Wasn't much of a trade."


The room was silent for a moment when Face finished speaking.  No one knew what to say.  'I'm sorry' didn't really seem all that powerful.  Finally Hannibal cleared his voice.


"So, to get Winston back where he belongs, all we have to do is use the DNA evidence Adams found on you, and contact General Nickson," Hannibal's mind was whirling for a plan to lock the sadistic bastard back up. 

"Not hardly," Face snorted.  "Nickson wants our heads just as badly as every other member of our military.  He had his chance to defend me when Winston's sentence was overturned, and he didn't.  Besides, can you imagine the field day the press would have with that information if it got out?  I refuse to have any of it on the front page of the newspaper or lead story on the evening news.  Let it be," his tone left no room for argument and
Hannibal was at a loss at how to persuade him otherwise.  He didn't want Face to suffer any more then he already had, but at the same time, he couldn't just let Winston walk either.


"So, you're just going to let him go?  Give him the chance to do this again?"


Their Lieutenant's eyes were like ice as he gazed at Hannibal evenly.  "I never said that."


Hannibal's stomach clenched.  "What do you have in mind Face?" he wasn't sure he wanted to know.


"I'm not going to kill him in cold blood, if that's what you're asking.  I had my chance back in hell.  Had my arm around his throat and was so damn close to twisting… he deserved it, but at the last second, I dropped him.  That's when they shot me."


"What stopped you Face?" Murdock wanted to know.


Face shrugged.  "Death wasn't good enough."


Silence hung throughout the hotel room and Hannibal finally nodded.  "You're right Face, it's not.  And you're not a cold blooded killer," he reminded his lover gently.

Face cocked his head.  "Aren't I?  I seem to remember quite a few Vietnamese soldiers fall from bullets from my gun.  I can still remember their eyes as I took them out.  Or the men I dropped with my bare hands, the sound their neck made as it snapped."


"That was war Face," Hannibal said patiently, eyes full of emotion long buried.


"What about the men I sniped from afar?  The one's who weren't expecting it?  Just standing guard where they'd been ordered as I laid 200 yards away and ended their life?"


Hannibal swallowed.  Of all of them, Face had been the one with the best shot.  His accuracy, even now, amazed them all. Therefore it had been Face, ordered to be the sniper, even against his wishes.  He could kill in the war, when his life and the life of those around him, depended on it.  However, to stand undetected and take out someone who never even knew it was coming, didn't settle well with Face.  Oh he did it, and did it well, but he never liked it.


"You were just doing what you'd been ordered to do.  What I ordered you to do," Hannibal objected, trying to steer Face away from the destructive path his memories were taking him.  "And you haven't killed since," he told him softly. 


Face laughed a hollow, non-humorous sounding laugh.  "Hadn't killed since," he corrected.  "Until five weeks ago."


Hannibal's eyes closed, Murdock's and BA's widened.  "What're you saying Face?" it was Murdock who asked the question on the tip of all their tongues.


"Winston deserved much more then death could bring, and had I killed him, I'da followed within seconds, not to say that thought hadn't crossed my mind; it was an out." Face shrugged.  "But I never hesitated to take out every guard I could get my hands on.  It took them the better part of two days and five guards to learn."


An identical shiver ran up each of the three men's spines, eyes glued to their Lieutenant's.  Finally Hannibal spoke.  "You were defending yourself Face.  Doing what you'd been trained to do.  What any of us would have done."


Face just nodded, his expression closed.  Hannibal studied him, his mind a whirl.  Finally, Face sat down on the couch, between Murdock and Hannibal.  He allowed Murdock to take his hand and squeeze it.


"Winston's a traitor.  Sold intelligence during the war.  We prove it; he'll go away for a very long time.  Longer then what he did to me could have bought him."


Hannibal cocked his head and Murdock rose his eyebrows.  "Whatcha talkin' about fool?" BA demanded. 


Face sighed, and turned to him.  "Murdock's Heuy getting shot down, and our being stranded for three days, wasn't just bad luck.  He was pissed off at me for turning him down, so he thought he'd show me what he was capable of."


Hannibal was shaking his head.  "You knew it wasn't an accident and you let him walk?" he demanded, infuriated.


Face shook his head furiously, eyes wide with fear.  "No!" he insisted.  "He'd hinted he had something to do with it, but I couldn't prove it, and he never flat out admitted to it.  It wasn't until I was at the camp that I figured it all out.  About a dozen Vietnamese soldiers came into the camp one afternoon.  I overheard them talking about how they let him use the camp because they owed him for all the Intel during the war.  I called Winston on it later, and that's when he admitted he'd sold intelligence, and that our being shot down was his doing.  He'd planned on using it against me, so that I'd fear him and give in.  But our government was already suspicious of the attack because they'd known every move we had made before we'd ever made it. He couldn't afford admitting it to me and having me rat him out.  I swear if I'd had any proof, I would have come to you Hannibal."


Hannibal was watching him with solemn eyes.  Finally, he nodded.  "I know you would have Face.  I just wish you would have come to me about everything else.  I could have helped you, and I feel so damn bad that I didn't; that I couldn't.  That you had to go through it and that I didn't notice."


"Hannibal, I didn't let you notice," Face told him softly.


Hannibal just sighed, his chest rising and falling, and then he smiled sadly.  "This just reminds me how good a con artist you really are."


"And makes us wonder how many other times you've managed to con us," Murdock added from his other side.


Face didn't meet either of their eyes.




The moonlight filtered in through the bedroom window, casting an orange-yellow glow over the occupants of the large bed.   Face lay curled in the middle, strong arms around him from either side.  His forehead wrinkled in his sleep, and he twisted sharply.  A low groan escaped from his lips and he twisted again.  Concerned, two pairs of eyes, one brown, one blue, opened at the same second.  They looked at each other and then at Face, between them.


Face twisted in the sheets, groaning again, louder this time.  Sweat soaked his body and his eyes were tight.  To his right, Murdock stroked his back and soothed him quietly.


"It's okay Facey.  Shh, we're here.  Its okay baby," he soothed gently.  Hannibal lay facing his lover, their faces inches apart.  He cupped the beloved face in his hand and waited for blue eyes to open and focus. 


When they did, Face focused on Hannibal, and relaxed visibly, relaxing in the warm embrace of his lovers. 


"You back with us now kid?" Hannibal inquired softly, the nickname slipping out easily.  Face nodded and shuddered.  Murdock pulled him tightly against his own chest.  Face leaned into the touch.  Hannibal looked him over.


"Wanna talk about it?"


"Same ol', same ol'," Face muttered softly.  Hannibal and Murdock both nodded, not needing words to understand. 


Left to think about the nightmare without prompting from his lovers, who just watched him in concern, Face finally sighed.


"I can't get the feel of their hands out of my mind," he whispered.  "Every time I close my eyes, their hands are all over me and then-" he broke off in a choked whisper.  "Then they're in me and they're hurting me.  I look around for you, but you're not there.  I can't find you."


"But we're with you now," Hannibal pointed out softly.  "We're right here; you're safe," he assured him, as he reached out to stroke Face's cheek?


Face nodded against his chest, and feeling safe and secure, he drifted back to sleep, undisturbed.




"Alright, men.  You know your assignments, we meet back here in three hours, and then we can get on our way," Hannibal instructed as he grinned at his team. 


Face and Murdock both rolled their eyes while BA growled. "I told ya Hannibal, I ain't gittin on no airplane."


Hannibal smiled patiently.  "This is why Face and Murdock are in charge of finding us a nice big boat to get us back to the states."


"Yer lyin!" he shouted, advancing on the man.  "That's what you always say, and yet I always wake up on an airplane with a headache the size of Mongolia.  I ain't flyin' Hannibal!"


"Now, now BA.  If you don't want to fly, just ask Murdock and Face real nicely if they'll find us a boat.  I'm sure they won't mind."


BA growled, his lip curving up menacingly, but he turned toward Face and Murdock, who stood watching him with worried eyes.  BA looked between them and then back over his shoulder at Hannibal, a smile coming to his eyes.  When he turned back around, he walked up to Face.  Face swallowed, hard.


"You'll find me a boat, won't ya Facey?" he asked nicely, a smile on his lips, his eyes twinkling.  Face swallowed again and Murdock looked at his lover worriedly. 


"Um – yeah, sure BA," Face replied, pulling himself together. 


BA turned, putting his arm around Face's shoulders and pulling him against his own side.  "I know ya will." He glared at Hannibal, and then at Murdock.  "Because if you don't, I'll break yer legs."


Face swallowed again.  "Why's it always my legs?" he wanted to know.

"Because everyone knows the best way to hurt Hannibal and the crazy fool, is by hurtin' you," BA replied.  "Right?" His eyebrow lifted as he challenged Murdock and Hannibal.  Hannibal and Murdock could only nod.


"It's not nice to threaten someone that was near death a month and a half ago," Murdock argued quietly. 


"He gets me a boat, I won't haf' ta break his legs, will I?"  His arm still around Face's shoulders, he squeezed and looked at the conman.  "Now, can I trust ya?"

"Yeah, sure BA.  No problem," Face said hoarsely as BA put pressure on his throat. 


"Good!" BA nodded and let Face go.  "See ya in three hours."  He pats Face on the shoulder and then walked away from the harbor, where they were standing, and down the boardwalk.  Face and Murdock both glared at Hannibal. 


Hannibal smiled sheepishly.  "See you in three hours," he said weakly as he followed BA.  Face and Murdock both shook their heads.




"Uh – Facey, that's a boat," Murdock said as he looked down at the water and the large yacht swaying gently in her berth. 


Face nodded with smile.  "Yeah, I know.  BA said no planes.  That leaves only one other way to get off this island.  And there she is," Face pointed out, holding his arm out toward the yacht.


Murdock looked at him with sharp brown eyes.  "Since when do you worry about BA bustin' your legs? It's not like he's ever broken your legs before."


"But he has given me more black eyes then I can remember, after waking up on a plane," Face argued.


"Least they heal faster then broken legs."


Face just smiled as he walked down toward the dock where the yacht was berthed.  "I owe him this much Murdock.  From what I hear, he got on a plane, twice," he emphasized, 'to save my sorry ass.  So if he wants to take a boat back home, I'm more then willing."


Murdock sighed as he understood.  "Your ass ain't sorry Facey.  Actually it's a real nice ass."  Face just laughed.  "Okay, we take this ship back to California.  But what happens when Hannibal and BA get information saying Winston's anywhere but California.  How we gonna get there then?"


Face sighed.  "We'll cross that bridge when we get there.  Besides, ten to one Winston's in LA waiting."


Murdock paled with the words.  Face glanced over him and reached over, putting his arm around his waist as they walked.  "Don't worry about it Murdock.  We know he's out there now.  We'll get him," he assured him.  Murdock could only nod and hope Face was right.




"A yacht Face?" Hannibal repeated, looking his subordinate up and down and then looking at the yacht before him quizzically.  Face nodded and BA smiled broadly.  He slapped Face on the back.


"I knew you'd come through Face," he said happily as he bound on board to check her over.  Murdock followed him, leaving Face and Hannibal alone.


"What gives Lieutenant?  Thought we were going to fly back?"


Face shrugged.  "BA didn't want to."


Hannibal glared at him.  "Since when's that stopped us before?" he demanded. 


"It hasn't, which is exactly why it should this time.  We always force him to fly, and he hates it.  Why can't we this once, do it his way?  Especially after he got on a plane without argument, twice, for me?"


Hannibal sighed and knew he'd lost the battle.  Finally, he nodded.  "I suppose you could use a couple more weeks to mend, and it'll give us a chance to talk," he added, stepping closer to his Lieutenant and putting his hands on his waist.  "Really talk."


Face swallowed, closed his eyes and finally nodded.  Hannibal kissed him on the forehead.


"We got a Captain?"

"Yeah, he's on board, probably getting murdered by our Sergeant," Face replied.


Hannibal rolled his eyes.  "I mean one who will float this boat."


"Oh, she'll float on her own Colonel, at least I would hope.  But, yes we have a Captain.  Captain Dave.  And a cook."


"How'd you pull this one off Face?"


"You don't want to know."


"Oh sure I do."


"No, Colonel, really, you don't want to know," Murdock insisted from where he sat on the deck of the large yacht, swinging his bare feet over the edge.  "Trust me!"


Hannibal looked up at him and then back to his Lieutenant, who was glaring at Murdock.  "Murdock!" he hissed.


"Definitely a story we'll save for sea.  Okay men, let's go!" he ordered.  He watched Face step onto the yacht and smiled slightly, shaking his head.  He could only wonder what Face had done this time.




The yacht sailed smoothly over the crisp blue-green ocean.  The sun was dipping across the late afternoon sky and the wind was blowing softly. 


Hannibal watched golden-blonde locks sweep across the handsome face he loved so much, and the tanned hand come up and brush the locks back, away from his eyes.  The intent blue eyes watched the ocean, his lover's blue eyes, watched him. 


Hannibal and Face sat alone on the deck of the yacht, watching the ocean as it slid past.  Murdock and BA had retreated below, giving Hannibal the time he needed with Face to try and make amends for a heart he had crushed all those years before, and again more recently when he had refused to help Face, when he had so unselfishly begged for it.


Hannibal took a deep breath and let it out slowly, inhaling the salty sea spray. 

"I'm sorry Face," he finally said softly.


His Lieutenant's head came around, and he looked at Hannibal with honest confusion. 


"I'm sorry I hurt you.  I should have went with you when you asked me too, and words will never describe the agony I feel for letting you down."


Face shook his head.  "You didn't let me down Hannibal.  I knew why you said no.  I can't blame you for feeling hurt. But believe me Hannibal; I didn't know at the time that you were in love with her.  I would never have hurt you that way."


Hannibal nodded.  "I know kid.  I know you wouldn't have.  I was hurt and angry at first, but I had a lot of time to get over it and realize that you were more important to me then a woman who met my fancy that week.  Yeah, I thought I loved her.  But I know I love you."


Face's eyes widened a fraction and Hannibal watched it happen.  He smiled as his fingers reached out to push the blonde lock back that was blowing in the blue eyes he adored so much. 

"I know I haven't said it enough Face, but I've learned my lesson.  I love you."


Face smiled, a genuine, eyes sparkling and full of honest happiness, smile.  "I love you Hannibal," he whispered and Hannibal met his lips in a gentle kiss full of promise.


As he pulled away, he cupped Face's cheek in his hand gently.  "I'm sorry for letting you down.  It won't happen again." 


Face smiled and allowed himself to be drawn against the broad chest and kissed until nothing else mattered.





Going Back by Jes Parker
Going Back 2 by Jes Parker



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