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This page last viewed: 2017-08-17 and has been viewed 5719 times
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!!
please remember...this is fannon and not Cannon. I was not in
© 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
"No, Colonel, I don't think it is. You've been madder then Billy when he's got worms. What did Face do?"
"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."
he packed his things, left
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
"Oh, but I forgot," he'd sneered harshly, his eyes penetrating with cold and hate. "That's all you are. A whore."
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
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."
swore under his breath. He was
angry. Angry that
"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.
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
up?" he heard
was silence at the other end. Finally
"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."
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.
Face. The whole thing was a setup and
he's been captured. Murdock's going in
for him, alone."
"What'd ya leave out
"I don't know BA. I don't know," he moaned softly.
get 'im out
"Why won't the crazy man wait? He never disobeyed ya before."
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,"
"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.
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
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.
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.
"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.
and Hannibal had landed safely and were almost to the outskirts of the Hanoi
definitely been here,"
don't know BA," he paused shaking his head. "What the heck has Face
gotten himself into?"
"They're not here anymore
"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.
he had a good story," the other guard defended.
"HE'S A CONMAN!! HE'S A LIAR!! HE'S SUPPOSED TO CON YOU! IT'S YOUR JOB NOT TO BELIEVE HIM!"
"We gotta find that chopper before they do."
BA nodded and followed
"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.
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
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?"
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
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 '
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.
"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?"
shrugged painfully. "I know
"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
"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."
"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 and BA hurried over to Murdock. "Where's Face?"
here." Murdock led the way.
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."
Murdock nodded his head, making eye contact with his commanding officer.
"I really think he should tell you
"I want to know now Captain. Does he have a daughter?"
eye flared with rage. "No,
"He thinks you hate him, Hannibal."
sighed. He knew that
"Face, can you hear me?"
"Yeah, it's me kid,"
"Remember Colonel Winston?" Murdock started in basically the same fashion as Face had.
"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."
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
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
we can sort the rest of this out later.
Let's get out of here."
got a plane stashed, we just have to get to it," Murdock reported.
"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.
moved to pick Face up, Face began to protest, but one look from a scowling BA,
silenced him. Murdock took point, with
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,
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
"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.
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
"Did they rape him?"
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.
eyes widened at the final reading of the thermometer. He silently handed it to Hannibal, who cursed
at the 105-degree reading.
"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.
sighed and shook his head. "His
fever is climbing and
was moving in sharp, rigid movements on the floor of the plane, his body in a
rage from a seizure.
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.
the most precious things in life don't become aware to you until you nearly
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?
had said, in their time waiting for Face to wake up, that Face doubted
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
knows Murdock had told him often enough that he needed to open up more to
Face. That Face needed proof of his
"Then give it to
did it take this long for
I don't remember the sunset being this magnificent over here," Face
remarked as he leaned back against
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
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.
us what happened Face,"
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.
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
"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.
Face shrugged, not turning. "What more do you want?"
and Murdock exchanged a look, and Murdock shook his head.
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.
"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."
didn't murder him Face,"
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."
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 '
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
"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
"So, you're just going to let him go? Give him the chance to do this again?"
Lieutenant's eyes were like ice as he gazed at
"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."
hung throughout the hotel room and
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."
was war Face,"
"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?"
were just doing what you'd been ordered to do.
What I ordered you to do,"
Face laughed a hollow, non-humorous sounding laugh. "Hadn't killed since," he corrected. "Until five weeks ago."
"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."
identical shiver ran up each of the three men's spines, eyes glued to their
just nodded, his expression closed.
"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."
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."
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."
"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.
okay Facey. Shh, we're here. Its
okay baby," he soothed gently.
they did, Face focused on
back with us now kid?"
"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."
we're with you now,"
Face nodded against his chest, and feeling safe and secure, he drifted back to sleep, undisturbed.
men. You know your assignments, we meet
back here in three hours, and then we can get on our way,"
Face and Murdock both rolled their eyes while BA growled. "I told ya Hannibal, I ain't gittin on no airplane."
"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
"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."
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
"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.
turned, putting his arm around Face's shoulders and pulling him against his own
side. "I know ya
will." He glared at
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.
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
"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."
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
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.
knew you'd come through Face," he said happily as he bound on board to
check her over. Murdock followed him,
leaving Face and
"What gives Lieutenant? Thought we were going to fly back?"
Face shrugged. "BA didn't want to."
"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?"
swallowed, closed his eyes and finally nodded.
"We got a Captain?"
"Yeah, he's on board, probably getting murdered by our Sergeant," Face replied.
"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!"
"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.
"I'm sorry Face," he finally said softly.
Lieutenant's head came around, and he looked at
"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."
shook his head. "You didn't let me
eyes widened a fraction and
"I know I haven't said it enough Face, but I've learned my lesson. I love you."
a genuine, eyes sparkling and full of honest happiness, smile. "I love you
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.
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