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Disclaimer: I don't own the A-Team. I'm just borrowing them. I promise that I'll give them back when I'm done.
Summary: In "Jesse's Last Mission", Face learned that Hannibal was his father and a woman named Jesse Hogan was his mother. In this story, The A-Team not only has to deal with trails of what life has in store for them but figure out how to live as free men. As for the people that love them, well they are going to learn that you can give the guys their pardons but you can't force them to live your way. They will always do things in there own very unique way.
Spoiler: In a book written by Charles Health, one of the Team's first missions, the guys were hired by Lynch's daughter, Kathleen, to save Lynch's butt. He wasn't happy about it, that is for sure. The part about Kathleen coming back later to talk to Face comes from me, along with the idea they had a daughter together. The name of the book is...The A-Team 6: Operation Desert Sun: The Untold Story
Author's Note: Not all medical facts in this story are true but they are close. Also, since Jesse is in politics, I'm going to use this to add interest to the story but not one time am I going to mention if she is a Dem or a Rep. I'll also make up names of people to fill in offices. I make it a rule never to bring up my political beliefs or religion in a story. I might hit at it from time to time but mostly I keep my personal views to myself. It keeps everyone happy!
'Grandfather? Grandpa? No, they don't work,' Hannibal thought to himself as he sat on the edge of the bed. The whole morning was off; he wasn't used to meeting granddaughters for the first time. He knew sooner or later Leigh and Drake would have kids, but that was down the road. It never dawned on him that Face would become a father. The guy couldn't even say the word 'commitment' without hyperventilating.
Jesse Hogan was at her dressing table, getting ready. She could see Hannibal's reflection and knew that he was worked up about something. She had idea what it was and that knowledge was entertaining to her. She loved the idea that she was going to be a grandmother. It was just another part of knowing that her son was alive.
Jesse turned in her seat and looked at Hannibal. "Don't you think you should get ready?"
"Huh?" Hannibal said, the sound of Jesse's voice bring him out of his thoughts.
"Get ready to leave? We are going to have to be leaving soon," Jesse told him, trying hard not to smile.
"Sure," Hannibal said, getting up and walking to the closet.
"By the way, did check on your son lately? He has been having trouble waking up," Jesse said.
"I'll do it after I get dressed," Hannibal said, finally shaking the dreadful feeling he had about meeting his granddaughter for the first time.
Instead, Hannibal's thoughts turned to Face and his medical problems. Face was still suffering from the after-effects of a severe concussion and the doctor was afraid he might be for a long time to come. There were times when he showed no sign of having any trouble, but then there were the other times... Face suffered from double vision, or massive headaches that sent him upstairs to a dark room. One could never tell how he was going to be from one moment to the next. This caused a lot problems for Hannibal especially, for he was now taking care of things Face normally did.
Hannibal was starting to realize how much he had taken advantage of Face over the years. He hadn't thought about money issues. He hadn't even realized how much money they had until now. He knew what they worth and how much each one had. He also knew how much insurance cost them for the van, his car, Face's 'vette, and medical. Because Face just couldn't focus on anything for any length of time; Hannibal was now in charge of it all. And he didn't think he liked it.
After getting dressed, Hannibal walked across the hall to Face's room and wasn't surprised to find him fast asleep. Hannibal stood there watching Face sleep for a long moment, thinking about what Doctor Zinn had told them. Face's latest concussion had caused Face to suffer from a condition called PSC, a specific set of disorders caused by traumatic brain injury, aka concussion. Meaning, Face got hit in the head once too often. What worried Hannibal it could lead to what doctors call TBI. A brain subjected to such violent forces can bleed, swell, and occasionally, it might even shut down. Just thinking about it rattled Hannibal. He had never thought all the times Face got hit in the head over the years could cause permanent damage. If he had known that, he would not have taken all those other concussions so lightly.
Right now, Hannibal had a more immediate problem. He needed to wake Face up, but shaking him was a dangerous thing to do considering Face's military training. The least that could happen to Hannibal was getting hit in the mouth by a swinging fist. And the worst? Well, he didn't want to think about the worst. He decided to do the next best thing. Hannibal walked to the bathroom and filled a glass of water. Standing over Face, he slowly splashed a few drops on the younger man's face. One blue eye opened, looking up at Hannibal, who stood there with a shit-eating grin on his face.
"Do you want to get up or do I dump the entire glass?"
Face sat up slowly, glowering at Hannibal. "You wouldn't?"
"Want to find out?" Hannibal asked, putting the glass down and heading out the room. Face was slowly sliding back into bed when he heard Hannibal say, "Go back to bed and I'll be up with a bucket of ice!"
Face threw the covers off and got up. He wanted to go back to bed, but his daughter was coming today so he forced himself to get ready, no matter how badly his head hurt or how sick he felt.
Downstairs, the twins sat at the breakfast table with long faces. "What's wrong?" Hannibal asked, as he poured himself a cup of hot coffee.
"They want to come along," Jesse informed him.
"Sorry, but BA took the panels off the van yesterday, and your brother's 'vette and my coupe are not made for more than two people. That leaves us with your mother's car and that only has room for five," Hannibal said, regretfully.
Hannibal started to realize that the coupe and 'vette were not were not made for people with families and, like it or not, that was exactly what he had, a family. Either he or Face were going to have to get a new car, and he could bet that he was going to be the one giving in. Well, he could keep the coupe in storage and take it out when Jesse wanted to spend time alone. It was just not going to fit into everyday life.
A half hour later, Hannibal, Jesse and Face left the twins with Mrs. B. before they went on to the airport. Face sat in back with his sunglasses on, leaning his head back. Both Hannibal and Jesse knew then that he wasn't feeling well.
"How's the head?" Hannibal asked.
"It's there," Face replied, sharply. "I'll be fine when Casey lands."
'No, you'll pretend to be fine,' Hannibal thought to himself, as he took the interstate turnoff toward the airport.
"Murdock and BA coming over later today?" Face asked.
"Everyone should be coming over later," Jesse answered.
"Joy! Joy!" Face said, not sounding too enthused about the possibility of spending time with his family.
"Problem?" Hannibal asked, eyeing Face in the rearview mirror.
"No, no problem," Face lied.
"Nathan, if you don't feel well today, you can lie down and rest. I'm quite sure no one will mind," Jesse told her son.
Face shook his head. "No, thanks. I'm fine."
When Jesse first started to call him Nathan, he wasn't quite sure how to take it. Now, he was used to her calling him by that name. It was being mothered all the time that he wasn't used to. He saw Mrs. B. do it to BA. He also knew that time and again it bothered BA. Face was learning it was just part of the package of being someone's son. The trouble was, he wasn't used to being someone's son. In fact, he wasn't used to having a family other than the guys. It was just something that he was slowly starting to accept.
The airport was packed with people and patrol officers. Hannibal and Face both paid close attention to the security guards.
"Will you two stop?" Jesse told them finally.
"What?" Hannibal asked her.
"You are acting like a pair of long-tailed cats in a room full of rocking chairs," Jesse said.
"A pair of what?" Face asked, confused.
"I mean, stop watching the guards. You're not wanted men any more," Jesse said, gripping Face's hand.
"Sorry, old habit," Face said, kissing the tips of her fingers.
Face noticed for the first time that Jesse's hands weren't as thin or as cold as they had been when he first met her. Now that he thought about it, she was also gaining weight and had more color in her face.
"You know," Face said, smiling down at his mother, "I can tell you're starting to feel better."
"I noticed too," Jesse said, feeling at least ten years younger then she had a few months ago.
Face paced in front of the gate, waiting and watching as people filed past him.
"Where is she?" Jesse asked, only a step behind him.
"She'll be here," Hannibal said, trying not to smile. Mother and son looked a lot alike at that moment. They were moving together like it was strange dance. Suddenly, Face's body tensed and Hannibal knew that Casey was there. He looked towards the gate and saw a small girl with long blond hair and a t-shirt that read, 'Hug me, I'm Cute!' on it. He knew right then that this was his granddaughter. He also realized it did not matter what she called him.
"Daddy," Casey yelled, dropping her bag on the ground and rushing to Face.
Face bent over and lifted Casey high in the air, swinging her around. "You grew on me again," Face said, playing their normal game.
"I'm a year older," Casey said, giving Face a big hug.
"Yes, you are," he laughed, hugging her tight.
Jesse and Hannibal stood side by side, watching father and daughter together. They both noticed that the pair did look exactly like a father and daughter. Casey not only had her father's hair and mouth, but she had her father's expressions. It was almost frightening, seeing them together like that. Just then, Hannibal saw Kathy. She was as lovely as she had been the first time he met her. She walked up, holding both her carry-on and her daughter's. She put the bags down and gave Hannibal a hug. "Hi, Hannibal."
"Hi, doll," Hannibal said. He looked over where father and daughter were still chatting together. "So, you hooked up with him?"
"A night of weakness," Kathleen said and she looked towards Jesse. "You must be Senator Hogan."
"Call me Jesse," Jesse said, offering her hand to Kathleen.
"You call me Kathy," Kathleen said.
Face walked up with Casey hanging on his back. "Mommy, you should feel the knot on Daddy's head."
"I can imagine," Kathleen said, smiling at Face. "You still can't stay out of trouble."
"Afraid not," Face said, leaning in to give Kathleen a kiss.
What Face didn't know was that kiss grabbed his mother's attention, for she had a passion in life. She loved playing matchmaker. She had a near perfect record dealing with other people's lives. Rod and Kate were perfect together. Myra and Robert would never know they loved each other if it wasn't for Jesse. Then there were the latest triumphs - Murdock and Angie, BA and Jessica. They didn't know they needed each other until they met. Now, Jesse saw someone perfect for her son. They weren't strangers and they did have a child together. It was clear to Jesse that they were meant for each other, even if they didn't know it. She knew her son would be a hard sell to the idea, but then again, Robert wasn't a pushover, either.
Hannibal was eyeing Jesse. "Don't think about it," he warned her.
"Think what?" Jesse asked him.
"You know what," Hannibal snapped.
Jesse just smiled at him and turned her attention to Casey. "I think I will," Jesse said, reading the girl's t-shirt and giving her a big hug. "I'm your grandmother and the sour puss over there is your grandfather," Jesse said, titling her head in Hannibal's direction.
Hannibal's frowned vanished and he approached Casey. "Hi," he said.
"Hi," Casey replied. She was unsure how to act around them, for she never had grandparents before. She didn't even know what to call them.
"Well, let's go," Face said, taking his daughter by the hand and heading off to the baggage claim.
On the way home, Casey warmed up to Hannibal and Jesse. It was then that they realized the child loved to talk. Now Hannibal really understood when Face had told him that Casey's nickname was Chatter Box. She wasn't making a pest of herself. She just wanted to know everything there was to know about everyone around her. The only time Casey was really quiet was when she saw the house for the first time.
"Wow," Casey said, her blue eyes opening wide. "This place is bigger then one of your scammed penthouses."
"Scammed? She knows that you scam things?" Hannibal asked.
Face nodded, "Yeah, I even taught her how to double deal and pick a lock," Face said, smiling.
"That reminds me," Kathleen said, eyeing Face, "we have to talk later."
"Uh oh," Casey said, wincing. Face just smiled at Kathleen, but she glared back. As for Jesse and Hannibal, they sat in front, laughing.
Ms. B. was waiting for them by the door when they walked inside. She smiled at Casey and said, "Well, you do look like your father."
"Thank you," Casey said, leaning on Face's hand.
"Come on, I'll show you to your room," Mrs. B., said taking the small bag from Casey. This left the larger bags for Hannibal to carry up, as at that moment, Face suddenly didn't feel very well.
He walked into the kitchen and sat down with his head resting on the counter. "You okay?" Jesse asked.
"Yeah, but I bet Hannibal thinks I'm faking it," Face said, trying to keep his vision clear.
"Well, don't worry about him right now," Jesse said, opening one of the bottles the doctor had prescribed for Face and handed him two pills. "Take them."
Face did as he was told, waiting for the spinning to stop. "I got out of the car too fast," Face admitted. Jesse nodded and stood there beside him as he rested his head on the counter.
Face was still like that when Hannibal joined them downstairs. At first, he was going to jump Face for dumping things on him until he saw what was going on. He looked at Jesse and mouthed, "He okay?"
Jesse just smiled and shrugged.
"I'm fine," Face said, raising his head. "I just have double vision right now, so would you please stop hovering?" The pair smiled at him but they did back off. Face walked outside and lie down on a chaise lounge to rest.
Later that morning, Hannibal was by the pool working on fixing up several tables before the party for Jesse. Casey came running out and before he could stop the girl, she ran to her father and leaped right on him. Hannibal stood watching, shocked. Face didn't react like he normally did. He just wrapped his arms around Casey and held her close. This wasn't the Face he knew. Face wasn't the type that one woke up rudely. It was a dangerous thing to do.
Hannibal walked over, looked down at Face and asked, "What just happened?"
"Huh? Oh, she does this to me all the time," Face said, not understanding what Hannibal was getting at.
"Face, you almost kill us when we wake you up. She jumped you and you didn't do one thing! Why?" Hannibal asked.
Face smiled at Hannibal as he gave his daughter a hug. "Let's just say Chatter Box here is special."
Hannibal just scowled at him. "Next time I'm dumping the bucket of ice on you," Hannibal muttered and walked away.
"What's his problem?" Casey asked.
"Nothing," Face said, laughing. He hated to tell them this, but Casey wasn't the only one that could wake him up without getting hurt. Women in general could do it; but then, they woke him up quite differently than the guys did.
Leigh and Drake showed up a bit later, and soon Casey was enjoying herself in the pool with Drake. Hannibal watched as Leigh sat alone, looking at the water. He decided it was time to help his daughter deal with her fears. He walked up and sat down beside her. "How are you doing?"
"Okay," Leigh said.
"Don't want to go in?" Hannibal asked.
"No," Leigh said.
"What to learn?"
Hannibal thought for a moment. "You know, if you ask Murdock, the one thing you have to do to fly a MiG is to learn how to survive in the open water."
"I don't plan to be shot down," Leigh said.
Hannibal laughed at this. "I bet a lot men didn't want to be shot down, but it does happen. So, how about I teach you?"
Leigh sighed and looked at dreaded water. She hated it. She knew she had to learn to swim, but she was scared to try. "Okay," she said finally. "But no splashing me!"
"Deal," Hannibal said and they walked to water together.
Jesse was sitting by Face with a shocked look on her face. "I don't believe it. Robert couldn't even get her to do that."
"Now, all he has to do is get BA on an airplane with Murdock," Face said, smiling.
"Scooter, you don't like planes? Since when?" Mrs. B. asked, as she and BA walked up.
"For a while now," BA said, laughing sheepishly.
"He told me that he flew all the time," Mrs. B. replied.
Face laughed at this. "He did, did he?"
"Yes, he did."
Face just laughed even harder. "Well, let's just say he's stretching the truth. BA only gets on a plane if we knock him out."
"You knock him out?" Jesse asked.
"Afraid so. It is only way he will fly with Murdock," Face said, smiling as the two women looked at him suspiciously and BA just glowered at him. Just then Kathleen showed up, saving Face from digging himself deeper into a hole.
She sat down next to him, looking at her daughter playing with Drake. "She is happy to be with you here."
"I'm happy to have her here," Face said. "And I'm hoping to see her more often."
"I always said you could when you worked out your trouble. You can have her all summer and over Christmas break to make up for all that lost time," Kathleen said.
"I'd like that," Face said.
Jesse was listening. "Do you have family in New York?"
"No, it is just me and my daughter. I'm the head neurosurgeon at Mercy Hospital in New York."
"You're a doctor," Jesse said, trying to hide the pleased smile on her face when she found out Kathleen had no family in New York.
"Yes, I work very long hours. Casey spends more time with her Nanny then me," Kathleen said, regretfully.
"So, you probably don't have much time for a social life, do you?" Jesse asked.
"Mother," Face said, not liking the direction the questions were going.
"It is okay, Temp. She is just wondering. No, I don't date very much. The little time I get off, I spend with Casey. She is my life and the best thing that has ever happened to me."
"She is a sweetheart," Jesse said, and she moved to more neutral ground. She had the answers she wanted. Now, she would work on directing her son and Kathleen in the direction she wanted them.
It was late and everyone was gathered around the fire pit, listening to soft music and talking quietly among themselves. It was then that Roger Hogan stood up and called for everyone's attention.
"Quiet, please," Roger said, looking around at his family and friends.
"Some of you already know this, but to a few of you this will be rather sudden. I have spent a good part of my life in the Army. I don't think I remember what is like not to put this uniform on in the morning - but I'm about to find out. As of three o'clock yesterday, my request for retirement was accepted. The people at the Pentagon are no longer going to have trouble figuring out which Hogan they want to talk to. There is only going to be one there; I'll be on the golf course."
Everyone laughed as Jesse stood up and hugged her brother. "You sneak! You kept this from me," she said.
"Yeah, I did and I did it for one reason. I didn't know if you were going to be around to see it happen. So, I just kept it under wraps. They are going to be throwing a party for me at the end of the week. I want you and your family there," Roger said, looking over at the A-Team. "All of you. I think it is time some warhorses accepted the fact that you're not criminals."
"It could be a very interesting evening," Hannibal told Roger.
"Oh, I'm counting on it," Roger said, smiling impishly. He then turned to Rod.
"This was going to announced tomorrow, but I figured this is a better place to tell you. Rod, very soon you will be sporting a star on your shoulder and from what I hear, you get a new office in the Pentagon."
Kate hugged her husband, who was a bit stunned at that moment; he never thought he would ever make general, not after what his career had gone through. Hannibal stood up, walked over to Rod and held out his hand. "Congratulations, old friend," Hannibal said.
"Thanks, but this should be your star, not mine," Rod told Hannibal.
"I don't want it. I like my life just as it is," Hannibal said, smiling.
Tonight was his retirement party at the base, and the A-Team felt like they were about to walk into lion's den. This wasn't a place most of them wanted to be most special Face. He was pacing the floor of his bedroom trying to figure out away of staying home. He had felt really good to day but he could always relapse. The trouble was, he didn't think anyone was going to buy the headache excuse. They were very good at figure out when he was coping out and when he was actually sick.
"Not dressed yet?" Hannibal asked, walking into Face's bedroom.
"No, and I'm not doing this. These men hunted us. Why the hell would I want to spend any time with them?" Face snapped.
"I don't like idea myself, but I'm not hiding from the military any more. So, get dressed - we're leaving in an hour," Hannibal ordered. Face glared at him. He had this bad feeling something was going to happen tonight and he would regret not staying home. Reluctantly, he got dressed.
That evening, everyone gathered together outside the convention hall. They were waiting for BA and Jessica to arrive and there were a few bets going between them as to what BA would be wearing.
"I ordered a tux for him," Jesse said.
Face just laughed. "He will probably have part of it on," he said, remembering the last time he tried to get BA into a tux.
Jesse looked at her son not understanding what he was talking about. She didn't get a chance to question him further, for BA and Jessica pulled up in the van. The men's jaws dropped, for there was BA, dressed in a tux. It wasn't cut or maimed in any way. In fact, BA looked rather nice.
The three men stood there, mouths still open, as Jessica and BA walked up. Jesse gave Jessica a hug and said, "I see it fit." She looked at her son and Hannibal, puzzlement on her face. She didn't understand why they were so shocked. BA dressed up nicely.
The women walked on ahead and the men stood there looking at BA.
"Okay, that is enough." BA said.
"Why?" Face asked.
"My mother," BA said, figuring that was answer enough.
"She forced you into the tux?" Hannibal asked, walking around him with a sly smile on his face.
"No, sucker, she used black pride and said that I owed Ms. Jesse for clearing my name," BA said, frowning.
Murdock and Face started to choke on their laughter. Hannibal hit both of them on the shoulder just to get them to stop, but he was starting to chuckle himself, and finally the three of them were just flat out laughing. BA looked walked off, growling.
Mrs. B. was spending her time looking after not only Leigh, Drake and Casey, but she also had Rod and Kate's kids. Rod's sixteen-year-old son, Kyle, was there as well. Unfortunately, Leigh and Kyle hated each other.
"Jerk," Leigh muttered, opening the door to see Kyle standing alongside his father and step-mother.
"Hi, worm," Kyle said.
Kate shook her head. "I thought you two had gotten over this already," she said.
"No fighting," Decker warned his son.
"Yes, sir," Kyle said, mockingly saluting.
"You want to learn how to do that for real?" Rod threatened.
Kyle ran a hand through his long dark hair, thinking of the buzz cut he would end up with, and decided to change his tune. The teen walked into the game room and was shocked to see the pool table. "Where did this come from?"
"We had it in the pool house," Drake said. "But Mrs. B. lives there now, so it was moved in here."
"Cool," Kyle said.
"You three behave now," Kate said to the kids.
"Yes, mom," Shawn and Ivy called out.
"Kyle, you, too," Decker warned his son.
"I will," Kyle said, picking out a pool cue.
As the Decker and Kate walked out, he looked behind them at the kids. "I wonder where the guns are?"
"Locked in my room. It was the one thing they didn't move," Mrs. B. said.
"Good, then keep them out of the pool house," Decker said to Mrs. B. It wasn't that he didn't trust most of the kids. It was Kyle he didn't trust. The kid just found trouble and if he learned weapons were here, there would be trouble and he knew it. He was very grateful the team didn't mess around with their gear.
"I plan on it," she said and she went back into the house and joined the kids. She had pizza delivered, with lots of soda and chips on hand, plus several movies to keep any teen busy for the night.
Strangely enough, things were moving rather smoothly at the retirement party. The guys were behaving themselves. BA was nice, Murdock was normal and Face, despite his misgivings, was enjoying himself. He was working the room like he was born to it, but then again, he had been. He has just been taken from it.
Jesse was sipping wine and talking to a friend of hers from the Senate when Hannibal walked up. "Where did you go to?"
"Making sure the guys are behaving," Hannibal said, kissing her.
"Well, our son is having fun," Jesse said, looking over where Face and Kathleen were talking to several other young couples.
"Yes, he is," Hannibal said, smiling.
"How is your son feeling?" Josephine asked.
"He is fine," Jesse said, and she introduced Hannibal to her friend, Josephine Heath.
"How do you do?" Hannibal said, kissing the woman's hand. He figured if his son could lay on the charm, he could. Besides, it would do their business good if they made the right connections.
Outside the center, a car pulled up and two figures got out - Colonel Lynch and his new wife, Rebecca. Lynch was acting as his CO's representative, as the man had come down with a sudden illness. The CO really hadn't thought about who would be at this party; if he had, he might not have sent Lynch in his place.
"Now, remember, these people can help rebuild my career. Let's be nice," Lynch told his wife.
"Don't worry, my dear, I know how to play the game," Rebecca said, wrapping her arm through his.
"Oh, I know you do," Lynch said, smiling. He had married Rebecca for one reason, because she was beautiful. She has long legs, long red hair and very full lips. She was a knockout. He was hoping that her presence in his life would turn his luck around.
They walked into the party together and were soon surrounded by people. Lynch didn't see the Team at first, but very soon he started picking them out. He spotted Murdock and BA with Jessica and Angie first. Then it was Hannibal surrounded by Jesse and other senators. The sight of them fitting so easily into the world he had to fight to get into made his blood boil. Then he saw them. Kathleen, his own daughter, hanging onto Templeton Peck. Now, Lynch knew about Casey, at least of her existence. He had never met her. It didn't take him long to start putting things together. Face had just leaned over and kissed Kathleen when Lynch stormed up.
"Peck, get your hands off my daughter," Lynch ordered.
"Daddy?" Kathleen said, shocked to see her father standing there.
"Colonel Lynch?" Face hadn't expected him to be at this party.
"It's me, all right," Lynch said and he hit Face hard. Face didn't have time to react. Lynch's fist connected with his jaw and Face fell back, landing on the on the ground, hard.
"Get up!" Lynch ordered.
But Face couldn't get up; he was out cold. A small pool of blood slowly appeared under his head. Kathleen saw the blood and screamed Face's name, bringing the party to a dead stop.
"Daddy, what have you done?" Kathleen gasped, as she dropped to her knees to look after Face.
People were crowded around, gaping at the sight and it took a bit of shoving from BA and Hannibal to get through.
"What is--" Hannibal stopped short as he looked down at Face lying on the ground, bleeding from the back of the head. He turned to look at Lynch, eyes blazing with rage. "You bastard!" Hannibal hissed, and he hit Lynch right in the gut.
Lynch didn't have time to react, still shocked that he had hurt Face that badly. It was totally unexpected. But the moment Hannibal hit him, Lynch's defense mode kicked in. He struck back and the fight was on.
People were stepping quickly out of the way to give the men more room. Jesse
pushed her way through, saw the blood coming from her son's head and panicked. She would have lost all control if not for Kate at her side, holding her up.
Meanwhile, Decker was trying to pull Hannibal and Lynch apart, but it wasn't
easy. Hannibal was past anger; he was ready to kill. Decker had shoved his way into the ground and with a bit of force. He finally managed to get between the pair.
"Smith, have you lost your mind?" Lynch yelled.
Decker shot him a look, for the more Lynch talked, the madder Hannibal became and the harder it was to keep him off the man.
"Crane," Decker yelled, "get him out of here!" Crane and another man pulled Lynch out of the room while Robert and Decker worked to keep Hannibal at bay.
Kathleen in the mean time was having her own troubles dealing with Face. She reached over and pulled Murdock down next to her, placing his hand on the table cloth that she had been using to stop the bleeding. "Don't let up," she told him.
Murdock nodded his head and said, "Come on, Face, you can beat this." He looked over at BA, who was kneeling next to him. They both looked scared and worried.
The medics soon arrived and Kathleen told them what to do. They helped her get Face stable enough to move, then, with BA and Murdock's help, they put Face on a gurney and headed out.
By this time, Hannibal had calmed down, in part because the person he wanted kill wasn't around to provoke his anger. Now he was more worried about Face's condition than trying to kill Lynch. He moved to Jesse's side and watched as Face was pushed past them. Jesse wanted go with him, but there was no room for her. Instead, she and Hannibal went in the van together, following closely behind the ambulance.
"He should have stayed home," Jesse cried, rocking back and forth in the van.
"Jess, this isn't going to help," Hannibal told her.
"And fighting did!" Jesse snapped.
"Jess," Kate said, in a warning tone.
Jesse nodded, took several deep breaths and said, "I'm sorry."
"I know," Hannibal said, and he watched the ambulance ahead, glad to see it racing through the city streets. It meant Face was still alive and fighting.
Behind the van, Murdock was driving Jesse's car with Angie beside him. He was muttering under his breath and Angie was worried about him. She knew about the strong bond between Face and Murdock, and she was afraid this might make Murdock slip backwards.
"Murdock?" Angie asked.
"Huh?" Murdock said, as if realizing Angie was there for the first time.
"I wondered if are you okay?" Angie asked again.
"I'm okay," he said, gripping her hand. "I was just saying a pray Face taught
me," Murdock admitted.
"Oh," Angie said, relieved to hear this.
While everyone else was rushing to the hospital, Decker was trying to deal with Lynch. Lynch was in small room off the main ball room. Rebecca, his wife, was with him, trying to tend to his injuries, but Lynch was in no mood for her mothering.
"Get off," he told her, just as Decker walked into the room.
"Still haven't cooled off?" Decker asked, as he walked in, closing the door behind him.
"Well, if it isn't the newly appointed General Roderick Decker," Lynch said, not bothering to salute.
Decker shook his head. "You are still an asshole. I should have let John kill you. I still might if Nathan dies."
"Who's Nathan?" Lynch asked.
"You know him as Templeton Peck," Decker said.
"That's Peck's real name?"
"Yes, it's his real name, and I called him 'Son' for the first five years of his life. I know his mother very well and Jesse fought very hard to get him back. You just might have just destroyed that with your one punch. I don't know what the high brass will do to you, but if I have anything to do with it, you will no longer wear that uniform. In fact, I will work very hard to put you behind bars."
"That a threat?" Lynch asked.
"No, a promise. You're going down on this one and I'm going to make sure of it," Decker said, his eyes blazing with rage.
"I don't believe it. You, of all people, defending the A-Team? They are
criminals!" Lynch yelled.
"Their names were cleared. I saw the papers myself. You're just to stupid to let go of the past." Decker yelled. Lynch had nothing to say after that; he just sat back in his seat and fumed. The A-Team had done it to him again. They had just destroyed his life, and this time he might be out of the army for good. It was all their fault.
Eighteen hours later, Jesse, Hannibal and the others were still waiting for news on Face's condition. All they knew was that he was in surgery and the doctors would get word to them as soon as possible.
Jesse was using Hannibal's shoulder as a pillow. She was fast asleep, as was everyone around her - everyone but Hannibal. He was wide awake, thinking about what in hell he was going to do if he lost Face. Face was his son, his second in command, his right arm. He depended on him to keep things going. Irreplaceable. None of his team were, for they were more than a team. They were a family. They moved as one and if one was hurt, they all hurt. He looked over at BA and Murdock. BA was still in his tux but the jacket and vest were long gone. Murdock was using BA's leg as pillow and the jacket was over the man's shoulders. This sight alone told Hannibal how they were feeling. They were pulling close; that is what happened when one of them was hurt. They pulled closer and protected each other until things got better. But would things get better this time, or was it too late?
Kathleen Lynch stood outside the waiting room, trying to gather her thoughts before going in to face the others. She was wearing surgical greens and the blood on them belonged to Face. She was tired and worn out. She knew she wouldn't sleep for at least another eight hours. She still had a lot to do and that was just as Doctor Lynch. She also had to go to her daughter and try to explain to her about Daddy's condition. It wasn't going to be easy.
Kathleen took several deep breaths, then turned the corner and walked into the room. The moment she entered, people who had been scattered about were suddenly awake and grouping together. She walked to where Jesse sat beside Hannibal. She kneeled down and looked at both of them.
"The good news is, he is alive."
"The bad news?" Hannibal asked, his voice cracking a bit under the tension.
"Temp slipped into a coma about an hour ago. I don't know how long it will last. It could be hours, days, weeks - maybe years. We don't know the extent of the damage to his brain just yet and won't know until he wakes up. We will learn more then but until that happens. All we can do for him is pray."
Jesse leaned her head against Hannibal's shoulder and started to cry; Murdock stormed out of the room with Angie close behind him; the others just stood there in shock and disbelief at what they had just heard. Hannibal looked at Kathleen and asked, "Is there still a chance he will die?"
"At this moment, yes. He is only alive now because of the way he fell. If he had struck his head differently..." She stopped there, taking several deep breaths before going on. "I can't promise much, but I will do everything in my power to keep him alive."
"We believe you," BA said, reaching over and giving her a hug.
"When can we see him?" Jesse asked.
Kathleen sighed, "Not right now. We still have him in the recovery room. We are waiting for him to get a bit stronger before we move him to ICU. Then you can see him for fifteen minutes every hour. I will come for you the moment you can see him," she promised.
"Thanks," Hannibal said.
Kathleen stood up and started to walk away. She stopped for a moment and looked back. "I'm sorry for what...my father...has done. I am very ashamed to have his name and I would do anything to change what happened." She hurried out of the room, no longer able to stop the tears.
At Jesse's house, Casey, Leigh and Drake all sat in front of TV, although not watching what was on. They jumped the moment the phone rang. Robert Hogan hurried to answer it.
"Yes? Hi, Jess. No, the kids are fine. How is Nathan? Yes. I see. Okay, keep in touch and don't worry about things here. Myra and I have everything under control." He hung up the phone and turned to find the others watching him.
"Well?" Leigh asked her uncle.
Robert sighed and he reached a hand to Casey. He pulled the girl close and said,
"That your was your grandmother. You mother just talked to them and she said that your father has slipped into a deep sleep. They don't know when he will wake up."
Casey stood there, tears streaming down her cheeks. "He will wake up, right?" she asked, in a choking voice.
"We don't know," Robert said, and he picked the child up and held her in his arms. Leigh and Drake pulled close as well. They were crying just as hard as
Casey was at that moment.
Roger had heard everything and turned to go tell the others. He felt helpless and had no idea how to make things better. One thing he did know - he wanted to hurt Lynch as badly as Lynch had hurt this family.
It felt like a lifetime to Jesse and Hannibal before they were finally allowed to see their son and when they did, neither was ready for what they saw. They found Face laying in bed, his head covered with a massive bandage. He was connected to all kinds of machines that did just about everything for him, including breathe.
Jesse gripped Hannibal's hand tightly as she fought back the tears. He patted her shoulder and they slowly moved to two chairs that were placed nearby. He helped her settle herself and they sat together, watching and listening.
It was beeps and hissing sounds that told them Face was alive for now. Jesse rubbed a thin finger over Face's hand. She was almost afraid to touch him for fear she might do more damage, he looked so frail.
She finally looked at Hannibal and asked, "Has he ever talked about being on a machine?" Jesse asked.
Hannibal looked at her, puzzled, at first not understanding what she was getting at. Then it dawned on him. "We made a pact. If one of us were injured so seriously that only a machine would keep him alive, then the team wouldn't fight it; we'd just let him go. I just never thought I would have to do it. I always thought we could survive anything."
"Well, right now, they do give him a chance," Jesse said.
"I know and I'm going on that. We won't worry about the other unless we have to," Hannibal said, trying hard not think about what could happen.
If Face did die, how would they go on as The A-Team? Each one filled a gap the others couldn't. Together they made a "whole"; if you took one away, could the others survive? He didn't want to find out. He wanted Face to wake up just as he had been, so things could go on just as they had. He knew it was selfish. He wasn't thinking about his son's needs; he was thinking of his own. He didn't want to face the world without him. Damn it, a son should bury his father, not the other way around.
Over the next days, no one left for more then a few hours. Even the kids showed up and stuck around the hospital; they didn't want to be too far if things went wrong.
Kathleen kept saying that Face was getting better, but they couldn't see it.
Even as they were able to slowly turn off the machines, he just lay on the bed, not moving. He started to breathe on his own again; that was a milestone on its own but it didn't mean they were out of the woods yet. No one would be happy until Face finally woke up.
It was in the afternoon of the third day when some very familiar faces walked
into the hospital waiting room. Amy, Maggie and Father Magill had decided to fly to DC to be close to Face. At the time, Hannibal didn't realize the trouble he was in for.
"Mo," Hannibal said, getting up and hugging Maggie.
"Hi, Hannibal," Maggie said, returning the big hug.
Jesse sat on the other side of the room, watching very closely. She knew about Maggie, but she never counted on meeting her. To Jesse, Maggie was everything she wasn't. She had hair, for one thing; she also had a nice body and she was few years younger. It was enough to send Jesse's jealous side running wild.
"How is Face?" Amy asked.
"Kathleen says he is getting stronger, but I can't see it. He's still in a coma," Hannibal told the new arrivals.
"May I see him?" Father Magill asked.
"I think they would make an exception for you," Hannibal said.
"I'll find Kathleen and ask," Kate Decker said.
"I'll go with you," Father Magill said, and together the pair left the room.
Hannibal introduced Maggie and Amy to the others in the room. Amy was shocked to learn that Face had a daughter. She couldn't see the conman as a father. In fact, she had trouble seeing him with anyone who had any semblance of an IQ.
Father Magill walked into Face's room and sat down next to the bed. The old priest then pulled out his rosary and started to pray. Kathleen watched him for a long time. When the old man was done, he turned and looked at her. "Tell me, my dear, how are you feeling about all of this?"
"You mean about what my father has done?" Kathleen asked. Father Magill nodded and Kathleen sighed. "I don't know. I love my father because he is my father, but I don't know if I can ever forgive him."
Father nodded, "Don't hate him, my dear; pity him. He has no idea what he is throwing away by holding onto his hate. He could have a wonder life with you and your little Casey, but sadly, he can't see past his own hate to have it."
Kathleen laughed. "I love you, you know that?"
"Yes, I do. And I know in your own way, you love Templeton here, or you would never have done what you did over the years."
Kathleen brushed a stray hair out of Face's eyes, as she said, "He has done so much for me over the last few years, I just can't turn my back on him now."
"Well, Kathleen, he would have never done those things if he didn't care about you," Father Magill said.
"He cared about Casey," Kathleen said.
Father smiled, "He cared about you as well. He called me every day until you called about the results on your finals."
Kathleen was shocked. She didn't realize that Face had actually cared if she became a doctor or not. She had always assumed that he cared for Casey's sake, not hers. Father Magill quietly stepped out, leaving Kathleen alone with Face.
Hannibal was standing by the window, looking out at the city, when Maggie walked up to him. "How are you doing?"
"I'm fine," Hannibal said, turning around and leaning against the window.
"Your lying, John. You're scared and I can't blame you. I would be, too," she said, walking up and wrapping her arms around him.
Hannibal kissed her on the cheek and said, "Never could fool you, Mo. You're right. I'm scared. I don't know what I'll do if I lose him. I depend on Face. I got used to him being there when I needed him."
"I know, but remember he's strong. He can get through this," Maggie said.
"I hope so," Hannibal said.
Hannibal didn't realize it but he was being watched by Jesse. She knew she had no real hold on Hannibal except for the kids. The trouble was seeing him with Maggie made her very jealous. It was a feeling she hadn't had in along time and she didn't know how deal with it.
After her talk with Father Magill, Kathleen left the hospital. She knew she had to see her father. It was time for her stop running from him. Colonel Lynch was being held in the brig at Camp David. It took her a bit of talking, but finally she was allowed to see him.
Kathleen sat at table playing with a Kleenex when he was showed into the room, wearing an orange jumpsuit. The scowl on his face grew darker when he saw Kathleen at the table.
"What are you doing here?" he demanded.
"I came to see my father." Kathleen said.
"Why bother seeing me now? You haven't bothered to contact me in years," Lynch said, his voice laced with hatred.
Kathleen shook her head. "You still think it is all about you? You can't imagine anyone having a life that doesn't center around you."
"Here we go again! Poor little Kathy getting on her soap box. Tell me, dear daughter, what lost cause are you fighting for this time?"
"I would tell you, but you won't let anyone help you, and if they do, you still treat them like dirt. You proved that after that A-Team saved you in Kefiristan!" Kathleen snapped. "They saved your life and you can't even say thank you."
"They made a fool out of me! I was laughed at for months after that. And what do you do? You shack up with one of them, and I know it wasn't the first time. I still don't believe you weren't that Mrs. Peck that was checked in at that hotel in Saigon."
Kathleen wanted to slap him. "You would love me to say yes, because it would prove that I'm the slut you think I am. Well, Daddy dearest, you are wrong.
Templeton was gentlemen then and he is now. That is, if he lives!"
Lynch hid his shock. He wasn't about to let his daughter know that he never planned on killing Face. "It don't matter if Peck dies. He isn't worth losing sleep over."
"You had better start worrying, because I'm not joking. He could die at any moment and then I would have to look at my daughter and tell her that her grandfather killed her father. I was hoping you could get to know Casey, but you've proved that is impossible."
"Casey? Where did you get a name like that?" Lynch asked.
"We combined Face and Kathy. It was Face's idea. He didn't care if Casey last name was going to be Lynch, but he wanted her to have part of something that belonged to him. But I'm going to make sure my daughter doesn't have to live with your name any longer than necessary. I don't care if it's Peck, Smith or Hogan, but it will not be Lynch. Not any more," Kathleen said, getting to her feet. "This was a mistake. I don't know what I was thinking. I guess I was hoping my father was human enough to feel guilty about hurting another human being, but I was wrong. But then, I'm usually wrong when it comes to you." Kathleen said, and she walked out of the room.
Kathleen didn't start crying until the door closed, and then she cried all the way down the hall. She didn't hear him call her name until Captain Steven Crane grabbed her arm.
"Kathy?" he said. "You okay?"
Kathleen fought to gain control. Finally she nodded her head. "Yes, I'm fine."
"You saw your father?" Crane said, wrapping a loving arm around the young woman and taking her into a small office near by. He eased her into a chair and handed her his handkerchief.
"Thank you," she said, wiping at her tears.
"No problem," he said, smiling at her. "Tell me what happened."
Crane and Kathleen grew up in the same world. They were Army brats and their
fathers served on the same bases from time to time. Steven and Kathleen even
went to the prom together in high school.
"He acted the same as always. I guess I did as well, but he makes me so angry. He never once said a kind word to me or cared about what I felt. I always had to do things his way. It was never what I wanted. Steven, I have tried and tried to be the daughter that he wanted, but I can't do that. I'm not Miss Perfect!"
"Thank God. Who would want to be perfect?" Crane said, smiling at Kathleen.
Kathleen smiled back. "He thinks he is."
Crane cleared his throat. "Honey, you father is far from being perfect. In fact, if he thinks he is, he is crazier than Captain Murdock."
Kathleen started to laugh. "You could always find a way to make me feel better."
"I try. How is Peck?"
"Getting better, I think, but there is still a chance he could die. I tried to tell my father that, but he acted like it didn't matter. Please tell me you're not as cold as he is and that you realize there's a human life on the line?"
"You think everyone in the military is like your father, don't you?"
"Sometimes. Yes," she said.
"Well, we're not. Yes, have I killed in war, but that doesn't mean I hate the people I fought. I wish we lived in a perfect world but sadly, we don't. But there are soldiers like me that are willing to give it their all, and people like you who hold up their signs crying out for justice."
"At least you understand me; that's more than he does," Kathleen said, sadly.
Steven leaned forward and raised Kathleen's head up so she was looking at him. "Honey, this might sound harsh, but I'm only saying it because I love you. If you ever want to be truly happy, forget the jerk. He isn't going to do anything but cause you pain and misery. He is just one of those kind of people."
"I know and you're right. It's time I stop worrying about him and worry about my family. Temp is part of it. We might not be married, but he's still Casey's father. She loves him dearly and it will hurt her terribly if we lose him. I'm going to do everything in my power to keep him alive. I'm not doing it for my father. I'm doing it for me and my little girl."
At that moment, Casey, Drake and Leigh were hiding near the ICU's security door. Casey wasn't taking no for an answer. She wanted to see her father and nothing was going to stop her.
"We could get into trouble," Leigh said, being the voice of reason.
"So, we will get a lecture. I'm going see my Daddy!" Casey said.
"Don't worry, Leigh, we're not going to get caught," Drake said to his twin.
Leigh sighed. She knew it was useless to fight them.
The door opened and two nurses walked out. They were talking to each other, not paying attention to what was around them. The moment the women passed, the three young people sneaked through the door before it closed.
The nursing staff was busy, so they didn't see the kids at all.
"What's Face's room number?" Drake asked.
"418," Leigh said.
"It has to be this way then," Casey said, and she headed off to the left.
It didn't take the kids long to find Face's room, one of several small cubicles near the nursing station. The lights were off in the room and the only noise was the beeping of the monitors.
Casey, Leigh and Drake entered the room slowly. The three kids were shocked at what they saw. They weren't at all prepared for how bad Face looked. He was pale against the whiteness of his bed coverings. Casey sat down on the edge of the bed and gently lifted Face's hand, careful not to pull on the IV that was sticking out of his hand. "Daddy, its Chatter Box. I want you to know that I'm here and that I love you."
"We're here, too," Drake and Leigh said, stepping closer to the bed.
The kids huddled close together, watching as Face lay there resting. They didn't know what to say to him. They had never dealt with anything like this before and they were still trying to make sense of it.
They hadn't been there long with a nurse came in to check on Face. "What are you three doing here?" she snapped at the kids. "Out!"
"No, I'm not leaving my Daddy," Casey said, defiantly.
"Yes, you are," the nurse said, reaching for the little girl.
Then she stopped. They all stopped, for at that moment, Face's fingers slowly
wrapped around his daughter's hand.
"Daddy?" Casey said.
The nurse moved around the kids and started to check the monitors. After a few moments, she said, "I'll be right back; don't touch anything!" Then she was gone.
Casey was smiling broadly. She leaned in close and gave her father a kiss on the cheek. "I knew you would wake up. I just knew it."
The others didn't believe her, but she knew deep in her heart that her father smiled at that very moment.
An hour later, Face's family and friends were packed into the small waiting room, anxious for news on Face's condition. The news had spread like wildfire about what happened with Casey and the kids. Not one person in the grouped cared that they had broken the rules. All they were thinking about was the possibility that Face could be waking up.
It was then that Kathleen entered the room with a big smile on her face. "He's waking up."
"Yes!" Casey said, jumping up and down with joy. "I knew it."
Kathleen smiled at her daughter. "I'm having Temp moved to a more private room. The kids can see him there and someone can be with him all the time. It will help him come out of this faster. I want you to talk to him and tell him that we need him."
"We will do that," Jesse said. "When can we start?"
Kathleen smiled, "In a bit. We getting him moved now. I'll send someone for
"Thanks. I'm very grateful that they let you take Face's case," Hannibal told
Kathleen smiled, "So am I." She didn't tell him, but she found out the hospital had another reason for letting her take charge. They didn't have enough neurologists on staff. They were trying to sweet talk her into changing hospitals. She was really thinking hard about it. It would mean a cut in pay because the VA was run by the government, but the work fit the reasons she became a doctor. Then there was Casey. She had a family here that loved her. She would also be closer to her father, something she had always wanted. It might be best for all of them.
Father Magill had gone back to LA, but Amy and Maggie remained; they didn't feel like leaving just yet. They were staying a local hotel, mainly because they just didn't fit in at General Robert Hogan's home. It was just a bit more high class either one of them could take. It was early morning, and Amy and Maggie were having breakfast before heading to the hospital. Amy was deep in thought; she hadn't said much that morning.
"What's wrong?" Maggie asked.
"Nothing is wrong. In fact, I might have a job lined up. I have been thinking about the trouble of moving across the country. Then there is finding an apartment in this city..."
Maggie was smiling. "You wouldn't want a roommate, would you?"
"You? What about your practice in Black Rock? I thought you loved it there?"
"I do, and I'm not leaving the people of Black Rock without a doctor. I ran into an old friend of mine, at the VA. He wants to retire, but not completely. He always felt this urge to be a country doctor. We were talking and I started to realize that I'm getting bored; I need more challenges in life. So, we did some talking together and I'm taking over his practice and he is going to take mine. This means selling my house and then I'll also have to move my things across country."
"Well, then, I have a roommate! And we can help each other pack," Amy said, smiling.
"That's a deal," Maggie said, thinking of Hannibal. He was the main reason she was moving. She couldn't get him out of her mind and she would never be able to able to live with herself until she learned if there was anything there on his side. She wouldn't learn it back in LA. She was taking a risk in moving to DC, in the hopes that he cared about her as much as she cared about him.
One person who would not be smiling at their deal would be Jesse. She was hoping the woman would leave - and soon. She hadn't spoken to Hannibal about any of it. She kept putting it off, thinking Maggie would go away and things would go back to normal. She hadn't forgotten about the scene she observed at the hospital.
Jesse was talking about other things that morning, like Kathleen's news about moving to DC. "Did Kathleen tell you when she plans on moving?"
"No, she is waiting Face to get better before making anything final. She has asked about the twins' school," Hannibal answered, as he sipped his morning coffee.
"I'll make some calls. I know they have long waiting list, but I know a few people there. I'm sure I can get my granddaughter in."
"Our granddaughter," Hannibal corrected.
"Our granddaughter," Jesse said, smiling. "Speaking of 'Our Granddaughter', where is she?"
"While you were upstairs taking a shower, Kathy decided to take her on a tour of the city museums, to get her away from the hospital for a while. Casey talked the twins into spending the day with them," Hannibal said. He really didn't care what they did today. He was glad Kathleen and the kids weren't going to go to the hospital. Over the last few weeks, the hospital had become second home to all of them. They were getting worn down. He has seen it on all their faces, including his own. Face was still out of it. He did show some signs now and then that he was coming around, but progress was slow. Kathleen had warned them it was going to be that way. It was time they started taking shifts in looking after Face. He would never be alone, but it wasn't wise for all of them to camp out at the hospital. It was time to put some sort of normalcy into their lives, at least for the kids' sakes.
"Leigh and Drake went to the museums?" Jesse said. Shocked. "John, they get sick when the school is planning on going."
Hannibal laughed. "I think Casey has her father's way of talking people into anything."
"She must," Jesse said, shaking her head.
Murdock and Angie were spending the morning sitting beside Face's bedside. Murdock was telling Face about the things that had been going on in his life lately.
"Face, I finally have everything the way I want it at my new apartment. It isn't as grand as one of your penthouses, but I think it is nice. I asked my landlord and he said I can have a dog! It has to be a small one, but at least it's a dog. I don't know if I'm going to name it Billy or not. I'm not sure on that. Angie and I are going down to the pound later today to see what we can find. Oh, Hannibal said it was okay for me to drive the 'vette until you get better. I hope it is okay. I promise I'm going to make sure I take real good care of it. I even found a place near my apartment that does detailing. I think I can work it into my budget to get it done at last once a month..."
Face was in a dark place; he felt lost, confused. He thought he heard someone talking to him that he knew, but he just couldn't figure out what the person was saying. He tried going toward the voice to get a better idea who was talking but he found himself moving the other way. He went down deeper into the darkness. The voice grew fainter...
"Murdock, are you sure he hears you?" Angie asked.
"I'm sure," Murdock said, smiling down at his friend. "He might not remember what I said when he wakes up, but he does hear me."
"I read somewhere that people don't hear you," Angie said.
"Doctor's aren't always right, Angie. They don't know my friend, either. I do, and he does hear me. He will also wake up. I don't know when, but I'm willing to wait. I know he would do it for me, so I'm very glad to do it for him."
Kathleen, Casey, Drake, and Leigh were having lunch near the Pentagon at a local open café. It was nice to get the kids out of the hospital for a while. They needed time just to be kids before summer vanished completely and they would go back to school. She was bit worried about how Casey was going to adjust to a new school. She got along well with the twins, but they weren't in her grade. It would be all new to her, and to add to the stress, it wasn't likely that Face would be awake by then. He was getting better, but the progress was slow. It could be a while yet before Face finally opened his eyes.
The kids were chatting about the new Bon Jovi concert that was coming in a few weeks. Kathleen had a feeling they were plotting on getting to go. She couldn't help but smile at this. She took off without telling anyone and went Woodstock in '69. It was the best time of her life. Then again, she would never tell her daughter about it, at least not until she was a mother herself. It would be a lot safer.
They were halfway through their meal when Kathleen spotted Captain Crane walking down the street. He spotted her as well. He waved and walked up to join them.
"Nice to see you out - and not in hospital greens," Crane said, smiling.
"I almost forgot what the sun looked like," Kathleen admitted. "You at lunch?"
"I was just going to get a hot dog," Crane said.
"Fillers. Sit and eat something with us. That way I know you will have at least one good meal," Kathleen said, smiling at him. She liked Crane. In school, they had dated a few times, much to her father's dismay. Now, he wasn't a bigot per se; he just had this thing about his daughter dating anyone outside her race. She, on the other hand, had always pushed hot issues like that. It was just who she was. In fact, Kathleen even balked at the idea of Political Correctness. She thought it was a copout. It was okay to listen to people's other view points. It challenged people and got them to think. It was the best way to confront hate; at least that was her opinion.
"You twisted my arm," Crane said, as he took a seat beside Kathleen.
Casey sat there, glaring coldly at Steven, and her looks didn't go unnoticed. Steven decided to try to figure out her problem. "You look mad at her world. What's wrong?" Steven asked her.
"You were one of them that tried to hunt down my father," Casey said.
"Casey," Kathleen said, embarrassed about her daughter's bluntness.
"Its okay, Kathy. She's right. I was part of the group that hunted down the A-Team. It was my job," Steven said, calmly.
"Your job sucked," Casey snapped.
"That is enough," her mother warned. "You will be nice to Steven. Is that understood?"
"Yes, ma'am," Casey said, her expression changing, but her eyes did not soften. She still looked at Steven with distrust and hate.
A bit later on, Kathleen and Steven were talking quietly together while the kids went to check out a group of street performers nearby. Leigh leaned in close to Casey and said, "We have to get rid of him if you want your parents together. I know that look."
"Yeah, I have seen it too often," Drake said, joining the conversation.
"I know. Mommy is acting funny," Casey said, turning back to glare at the couple.
"She's flirting, and you can bet he will ask her for a date," Leigh said.
"Well, don't worry. We can get rid of him. We got rid of our mother's boyfriends all the time," Drake said, smiling impishly. If anyone in the family would have seen it, they would swear the kid was on the Jazz; that smile matched his father's to a T.
Murdock and Angie left the hospital after Amy arrived to take over her shift. Murdock was driving the 'vette and the top was down. Angie couldn't help but notice that the longer Murdock was in the 'vette, the more he tried to dress like Face. She liked him dressed up so she didn't say much about the change in his wardrobe.
Angie noticed that Murdock took a right as they pulled out of the VA going away from Jesse's house. "Where are we going?" she asked.
"To ASPCA, remember? I'm going to adopt a pet," Murdock said, smiling.
"You meant that back at the hospital, didn't you?" she asked.
"Yeah. I hope you like dogs. I love dogs. I always wanted a dog. I was never allowed one and now I can have one," Murdock said, smiling brightly as he broke into "How much is that Doggie in the window?".
Angie laughed. "You can have whatever you want."
The longer she was with Murdock, the more she loved him. She liked his personality quirks. It made him fun to be around. He was also a very loving person, and he listened to people. He wasn't stuck on himself, like most guys she had dated over the years. He also understood her feelings on things and never pushed when she said no. It was nice to finally find someone like him.
Jesse had just hung up the phone after getting Casey signed up in school when Mrs. B. walked in. "Jesse, there is a Senator Charles Davis here to see you."
"Please, Mrs. B. send him in," Jesse said, quickly smoothing over her suit before the man entered her office. "Charlie," Jesse said, getting to her feet and walking over to give the man a big hug. "Mrs. B., could you please bring us two cups of tea?"
"Sure, Jesse," Mrs. B. said, as she walked off to get the tea.
Jesse showed Charles to a chair and sat down across from him. She asked, "Tell me, how are things going on Capital Hill?" Jesse asked.
"A bit dull without you around," Charles said. "I miss our arguments."
"I bet," Jesse laughed.
"Okay, I don't miss all of them, but you did make things very interesting around there. That is why I'm here. I heard you were thinking about getting back in the game before you son's accident. I'm here to find out if you are still serious about it," Charles said.
"If the offer is right," Jesse said, keeping her facial expressions under control. Charles and she were in the same party but that didn't mean they always agreed. She was wondering what kind of offer he had in store for her.
"Well, as you know, we're gearing up for the presidential election this year and we were wondering if you would mind helping out in the campaign."
"I'd be glad to," Jesse said.
"That's good to know. If things work out for us, there might be a new job in your future."
"Meaning?" Jesse asked.
"How does Secretary of State sound to you?"
Jesse went to her throat. "You are joking?"
"No, I'm not, Jesse. You're perfect for the job. You have the background and the connections to pull this off. If we get in, I'm very sure you will be the next Secretary of State."
While Jesse was hearing her big news, Hannibal was in Angie's office, trying to figure out how to do Face's job. He had always joked about taking over the finances from Face, but he would never have actually done it. It wasn't that he couldn't; he just didn't like it. He pawned the job off to Face for that reason. Now, he found himself trying to figure everything out. He thought about everything Face did for them. He took care of Murdock's bank accounts, made sure BA had money and kept the van insured. He even did things for Hannibal. He also took care of the stocks, the shares of companies they owned, and all the other investments. It was bit overwhelming and he really wasn't looking forward to figuring it all out.
At that moment, Hannibal was trying to figure why Face had ordered new titles for the cars and why he had his title for his car. It was a puzzle that he was trying to solve when the phone rang.
"Saved by the bell," Hannibal said to himself as he picked up the phone. He was hoping it wasn't for Jesse. He needed a break. "Hello?"
"Jonathan Smith, don't you know how to use a phone? You been a free man for over four mouths now and you haven't called us. I don't understand why you didn't contact us."
"Lilly?" Hannibal said, breaking into this conversation.
"Oh, you remember my name. That's nice."
"Lilly, I realize you're upset with me, but I do have good reason for not calling. I have a bit of a personal problem back here. My son's in the hospital, in a coma."
Lily Jones gasped. "I'm sorry, John," she said in a more loving voice. The voice he remembered.
"Its okay, Lily. I should have called anyway. How is Al?"
"He's right here," Lilly said, handing the phone over to her husband.
"Hey, old buddy. Lily just told me. We are both sorry to hear about your son."
"Yeah, well, so am I," Hannibal said, trying to remain claim. "How are things back at the ranch? Jesse told me what she did to my brother. I bet old Jordan didn't take it too well."
"No, especially when he lost the mountain. He's still trying to get that back, but at the moment he can't do anything," Al said.
"If things get too hot with him, call me. I would love to have a brother to brother conversation with the asshole," Hannibal said.
"I bet. The last time you two talked and there weren't bars between you, you broke his jaw and arm."
"He started it," Hannibal said, smiling.
"Yeah, I know but it was at your mother's funeral. People here are still talking about that fight."
"They need lives."
"Yeah, well, there isn't much to do around here but talk. So, tell me what happened to Drake?"
"It isn't Drake that got hurt. It's Nathan," Hannibal said.
"Oh, that son?" Al said.
"Yeah, that son," Hannibal said, and he filled Al on what was going on.
"Ah, and Lynch is still breathing? You're slipping, old buddy. The John I knew would have shot him."
"I didn't have a gun on me."
"Well, I'll send you one of your grandfather's. The one he always kept hidden under his coat sleeve. It should be perfect to sneak into a jail cell."
"Thanks, but is there a Jones left out there ready to break me out of that same jail cell?" Hannibal asked. They loved to joke about their grandfathers' pasts. It was something they both had in common.
"Yeah, sure there is, but don't tell my wife. She would kill me," Al said, laughing.
Hannibal shoved back the papers he was working on and leaned back in the chair. He spent a long time on the phone, getting caught up with Al and the people back at home. He missed home. He decided then that one day, he would take Face back there and show him around the places that had meant so much to him as a boy.
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