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Title: Behind Blue Eyes

Behind Blue Eyes

Author:  Mistress Lrigtar

 

Rating:  PG

Summary:  Hannibal reflects on his team after their return from the POW camp

Warning: Song fic J

Disclaimer:  They're not mine, etc.; song lyrics from The Who's Behind Blue Eyes from the album "Who's Next" released in 1971

Notes: Thanks to Liz for beta-ing

Copyright:  Original: September 24, 2004.  Re-write:  November 16, 2005

Comments:  Always welcome

 

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            No one knows what it's like

            To be the bad man

            To be the sad man

            Behind blue eyes

 

The song echoed through the base over the PA system as Colonel John "Hannibal" Smith was taking his daily tour.  It was a habit he had picked up recently, in an effort to clear his head and think about what was left of his crack commando team.  They had only returned a few weeks ago from their furlough in Hawaii that the Army had generously given them after their escape from a Vietnamese POW camp.  Hannibal laughed bitterly at the thought of the Army's supposed generosity.  What it really boiled down to was that the Army didn't want to lose the A-Team.  Too much time and effort had been placed in them, and with the hope that the war was nearing an end, the Army wanted to get its moneys worth.

 

            No one knows what it's like

            To be hated

            To be fated

            To telling only lies

 

Sure, they had all seemed relatively all right when they had been picked up by the ground patrol – well, Hannibal took pause in his thought, with the exception of Captain "Howling Mad" Murdock.  Technically he wasn't part of the team, merely their pilot of preference.  He didn't have the Special Forces training regardless of his stint with the CIA, but he fit in with Hannibal's other men so well, they all regarded him as a team member, even if the Army didn't.  As far as it was concerned, it could Section 8 the pilot and find another if need be, but it couldn't find another Special Forces unit like Hannibal's.

 

Murdock had gradually gotten it together during the furlough, but he would never be the same.  Hannibal knew the pilot was treading a thin line between fantasy and reality, and it was only a matter of time.  Who knew what might set him over the edge?  The Army realized this as well.  Hannibal had just received the paperwork this very morning informing him that Murdock would only be used for supply runs and easy flights.  There would be no more front-line work for Murdock.

 

            But my dreams

They aren't as empty

            As my conscience seems to be

I have hours, only lonely

My love it vengeance 

           That's never free

 

However, Murdock losing it in the camp didn't bother Hannibal.  While it was horrible, it was understandable.   All of his men were young – too young to even be thinking about war.  They should have been in college, but had wound up in this hellhole instead for one reason or another.  He couldn't dwell on that thought too much, especially where Murdock was concerned.  It was heart breaking, but when it was all said and done, the pilot would receive the help he needed, if it ever actually came to that.

 

            No one knows what it's like

            To feel these feelings

            Like I do

            And I blame you

 

Hannibal had done the best he could in the camps to rally his men.  He was a veteran and had already survived the Korean War, so he knew the drill and what to expect.  That was how he had survived the POW camp and gotten his men through as well – with his experience and his strength.  Hannibal didn't like to question himself, but he had to wonder if it had been enough.

 

            No one bites back as hard     

            On their anger

            None of my pain and woe

            Can show through

 

As he passed the motor pool he saw the legs of his sergeant, BA Baracus sticking out from underneath a jeep.  BA had been a rock in the camps.  Being so large, their captors had been uncertain how to deal with him.  They had dragged him off a few times to be interrogated, but eventually left him in the tiny bamboo cage, thinking that was a worse torture for such a bulky man.  BA had been there for the other men.  Since he didn't have any mechanical equipment to work on, he used his large, gentle hands to ease the tensions of the other men.  He became another of their saving graces, along with Hannibal's expertise.  BA hadn't spoken much in the camps or since.  In a way, BA had been broken as well, because he had been unable to protect his unit, as he was wont to do.  Perhaps he felt he had betrayed them in some way.  Hannibal had tried talking to him about it, but what could he say to him, especially since he was feeling very much the same.  Instead, Hannibal thought the best therapy for BA was to work quietly on repairing the vehicles in the motor pool, so he could feel useful again.

 

            But my dreams

            They aren't as empty

            As my conscious seems to be

 

            I have hours, only lonely

            My love is vengeance

            That's never free

 

Hannibal sighed and moved on.  He had one more stop to make before he returned to his office to finish up the day's paperwork and meet with Colonel Morrison.  Hannibal was not looking forward to the meeting.  Morrison had been chomping at the bit to get the A-Team back in action, and Hannibal had a feeling that was what this meeting was going to be about.  That, and the culprit taking liberties with the PA system to play the radio.  Hannibal had a pretty good idea who that was and had to smile briefly.

 

            When my fist clenches, crack it open

            Before I use it to lose my cool

            When I smile, tell me some bad news

            Before I laugh and act like a fool

 

As Hannibal approached the supply shed, the strains of music floated through the open door of the tent.  Lieutenant Peck had thrown himself back into his work when they had returned from leave.  One of the things he had done was commandeered the PA system for the express purpose of broadcasting radio shows, saying the base was depressing and the boys needed some cheering up.  Hannibal could buy that, what he couldn't buy was Face.  When he wasn't out carousing the base or nearby town, he was procuring all the things that the men on the base requested with a vengeance Hannibal had never seen before.  Face's whole demeanor from the POW camp had troubled Hannibal.  In the camp, he had never cried or complained, no matter what their captors did.  While Murdock retreated to his fantasy world, and BA kneaded aching muscles, Face joked and smiled, in an attempt to keep some form of sanity.  It was a relief to the other men, but for some reason Hannibal found it unnerving.  Perhaps because he hadn't expected his young lieutenant to be that strong.  Things had not changed with his XO since they had returned.  Hannibal had been sure that Face would drop the act once they got out of the camp, but instead he acted like their ordeal never happened.  He laughed, smiled, ran scam after scam, and charmed every female he met.  Everyone else laughed with him, and thought he was the life of the base.  Hannibal watched from the sidelines, and knew his lieutenant's eyes told a different story.

 

            If I swallow anything evil

            Put your finger down my throat

            If I shiver, please give me a blanket

            Keep me warm, let me wear your coat

 

He had reached the open door of the shed and paused to take in the scene before him.  Face sat at his desk in the far corner with his chair turned away and stared sightlessly out the window.  He was oblivious to Hannibal's presence as he listened to the song playing softly on the radio.  A shudder ran through his lieutenant's body.  Face clenched his fists and pressed them against his forehead, as if he was trying to push all his thoughts and pain back into the far corners of his mind.

 

            No one knows what it's like

            To be a bad man

            To be a sad man

            Behind blue eyes

 

The song ended and before Hannibal could move further into the room to speak to Face, his lieutenant brought his hands down with sudden force and swept the radio off the desk.  The PA system squawked loudly and then went dead.  The noise seemed to register in Face's mind and he slowly placed his head in his hands.  His shoulders shook slightly, and Hannibal realized he was crying.  The colonel retreated from the doorway before Face could realize he was there.

 

Hannibal leaned against a nearby post and drew a cigar from his breast pocket.  He could understand Face being affected by the lyrics of the song.  It was as if it was written about his lieutenant.  No one really knew what the conman felt beneath his façade; that's why he was so good at what he did.  However, Hannibal knew what Face was feeling or thinking most of the time, if he really watched him.  The sad thing was that many people didn't take the time to get to know the real Templeton Peck, and took him at face value.  And while his demeanor lately had been disconcerting, Hannibal was glad he had witnessed this private breakdown.  It meant that Face was thinking, feeling, and healing.  Hannibal realized that all of his men had different ways of dealing with the stress life dished out.  As long as they stuck together and could rely on each other, they would be fine.

 

Hannibal headed back to his office and his scheduled meeting with Morrison.  He suddenly had a good feeling about things.  The war was almost over, and then they would be able to go home and have the normal lives they had all been dreaming about.  Hannibal's only hope was that they would keep in touch with each other when it was over.

 

The End

 


Behind Blue Eyes--Rewrite by Mistress Lrigtar

 

 


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