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This page last viewed: 2017-04-25 and has been viewed 7082 times
By Jullian Gray
Summary: After Face is seriously injured in an accident, Hannibal must help him pick up the pieces.
Warning: Slash F/H, sex, violence, language, mental anguish, homophobia
Special Thanks to Pam, Shee, Joann, and lets not forget Jes
Note: The teams have gotten their pardons. Hannibal now does consultant work at home, Face deals with the team's investment, Murdock owns his own plane and does charter work, while BA now owns a youth center.
"Hannibal, Hannibal!" Templeton Smith called out as he made his way down the beach house's winding staircase. He had bought this house four years before and invited Hannibal to move in shortly afterward. Two years later, when Hannibal proposed to him, Face added his new spouse's name to the deed.
"Yeah, kid," Hannibal answered, as he walked into the front entrance, wiping his hands on the dishtowel he had been using to dry the breakfast dishes. 'God, he's beautiful,' Hannibal thought as he looked Face up and down. His husband was currently dressed in a pair of faded blue jeans and a blue polo shirt, not a strand of his blond hair out of place.
"You know, you'll make someone a great wife someday," Face said with a laugh, noting the apron tied around Hannibal's waist.
Hannibal snapped out of his thoughts when he heard the younger man's statement. "Just for that, you've got KP for the next week."
"I was just kidding." Face grinned stepping up to the older man, running his hands up and down Hannibal's broad chest.
"Uh huh, keep talking." Hannibal raised one eyebrow as he noted the sparkle in his husband's blue-green eyes.
"Sure, Mr. Smith, everyone knows I like you in a French maid's uniform better." Face snickered and quickly tried to step back out of the Colonel's reach.
Hannibal moved with a speed that would have surprised anyone who didn't know him. He snatched Face by the upper arms, pulling the younger man to his chest.
"Your mouth is about to write a check that your cute little ass can't cash," Hannibal growled, lowering his hands to Face's buttocks, squeezing them. "And I will find a way to get paid in full." Hannibal squeezed harder, forcing the other man to lean in even closer to him.
"Is that a threat, or a promise, Colonel?" Face asked, putting his hands back on his husband's chest to steady himself.
"You know me, Lieutenant, I don't make idle threats." Leaning down, Hannibal captured Face's mouth with his own, kissing the younger man with all the passion he felt for the younger man.
"I think I'll have to try harder to get into more trouble," Face sighed as they broke apart.
"Is there something you needed me for, or were you just trying to get me aroused?" Hannibal asked, raising an eyebrow.
"I'm going into the city to pick up my dry cleaning and a few things for dinner tonight. Do you need anything?"
"I could use a few boxes of cigars, I'm down to my last box."
"But that's across town from where I'll be," Face whined, as he pushed himself out of Hannibal's grip. His playful mood was disappearing, as he thought of the drive in downtown LA traffic.
"You asked me if I needed anything," Hannibal pointed out with a grin, "and I could repay you for your time later."
"Alright, you win. I'll run by the cigar shop and pick up a couple of boxes, but you owe me," Face grumbled as he turned to leave.
"Face?" Hannibal called out softly.
"Yeah?" Face turned to look at the older man, though his mind was already planning how to get across town and back to the beach house before rush hour.
Hannibal walked up to the younger man, taking him back into his strong arms. "Be careful, kid."
"I always am." Face smiled as he allowed Hannibal to embrace him.
"You better be." Hannibal grinned as he put his hands into his Lieutenant's soft blond hair and pulled him close until their lips met.
Slowly, Hannibal forced his tongue into Face's warm mouth. The younger man moaned as Hannibal explored, then the Colonel gently broke the kiss and pulled Face into a tight embrace.
"I love you, kid," he whispered into Face's ear.
"And I love you, Hannibal, but if you don't let me go real soon, neither of us is going to get anything done today." Face laughed as he tried to wriggle out of Hannibal's grip.
"You know, it's awful damn tempting to strip you down and take you right here in the front foyer." Hannibal tightened his grip to prevent the other man from moving away.
"It's awful tempting to let you, but I need to get my dry cleaning, and I'll be back in a few hours, and then we can pick this up where we left off," Face promised, as he managed to break free of Hannibal's grip once again. "Who knows, I might not even complain about you wrinkling my clothes when you throw them on the floor."
Hannibal watched as his still smiling husband began to back toward the front door. He knew the younger man was up to something as he backed away, not turning until he had almost reached the front door.
"I'll even pick up that French maid's outfit for you," Face shouted bolting the last few steps to the door.
"You little shit!" Hannibal laughed as he ran after his lover, almost catching him before Face managed to open the front door and dart out.
Hannibal chased Face out of the door, watching as the younger man sprinted to his white corvette and climbed in. Within seconds, Face had the car in drive, waving through the open top as he drove off down the long driveway.
Hannibal smiled as he thought of the relationship that had developed between Face and himself. He had fallen in love with the young man the very first time he had seen the blond-haired Lieutenant get off the chopper that had brought in the new recruits.
Though he was in love, he had tried to keep his emotions under control when he was around the younger Lieutenant. He could tell right off that Face needed to feel wanted by someone, needed some type of security in his life.
Although their relationship wasn't all about Face's needs, Hannibal had to admit that he had felt an urge to protect the younger man. The kid had taken quite a lot of abuse in his first couple of weeks in Viet Nam from his old commander, and Hannibal planned on setting that right. Within a few months, their feelings toward each other had deepened, growing into love that consisted of mutual respect, admiration and a bond that bridged the age gap.
Hannibal sighed as he walked back into the house to finish the dishes. It was hard for him to believe that the two of them had been married for over two years now. 'Two years of marriage, twenty years as a couple, and you're still acting like a love-struck teenager.'
Hannibal laughed at himself.
Face whistled as he came out of the cigar shop, tossing three boxes of Havana's finest into the passenger seat of his car before climbing into the driver's seat. It always amazed him how easy it was to find things, that weren't supposed to be in this country, if you just had the right connections.
Face carefully pulled the 'vette back into the afternoon traffic, determined to make it to the dry cleaners and get home before the five o'clock rush hour hit. Traffic was moving along great until he got caught at a red light, just before he was to turn onto the freeway. He looked at his watch. 'Still making good time,' he thought. Might even make it back to take Hannibal up on his earlier offer, then maybe even take a quick swim in the pool before dinner.
When the light turned green, Face pulled the 'vette into the intersection. He never saw the drunk driver who ran the red light, broadsiding him, causing his car to spin around, and smash against a lamppost.
Hannibal stopped pacing to look at the clock again - nearly 8:00 pm, and he hadn't heard a word from Face. The kid should have been home hours ago, and it just wasn't like him; Face always called if he was going to be late. Hannibal had tried to call the car phone all evening, but it just rang continuously. Now, as he looked at the clock again, he began to feel the fear build in the pit of his stomach.
Hannibal had thought about calling Murdock to see if he had heard anything, but then realized how ridiculous that was. It wasn't like the old days when Face would only rely on Murdock as an outlet for his emotional problems. Now if Face had a problem, he relied on Hannibal to be there for him. Besides, the pilot was out of town on a charter, so he knew Face wasn't with the other man.
"Where the hell are you, kid?" Hannibal asked the empty living room. He paced back and forth across the room, and decided to call BA just to see if Face might have stopped by the center and lost track of time. As he reached for the phone, it rang.
"Templeton Smith, where the hell are you?" Hannibal snapped, not allowing the speaker to say anything. "Your ass is in so much trouble when you get home! You know you could have had the decency to call and tell me that you were going to be late! I've been worried sick about you…"
"Excuse me, I'm looking for a John Smith," the man on the other end of the phone interrupted him.
"Sorry, I thought you were someone else," Hannibal answered. His heart began to sink as dread built in the pit of his stomach. "I'm John Smith."
"Mr. Smith, I'm Dr. Phillips from Community General Hospital. Are you any relation to a Templeton Smith?"
'Oh, God, no,' Hannibal thought as he gripped the receiver tighter.
"Yes, is he alright?"
"Mr. Smith, we need you to come down to the hospital immediately."
"Is he alright?"
"Mr. Smith, I can't tell you anything about his condition over the phone, except to say he is in intensive care, and we need for you to come down as soon as possible."
"I'm on my way."
Hannibal hung up the phone, feeling part of himself go numb as the words 'intensive care' echoed through his brain. But another part of Hannibal's brain kicked in, the part that had made him one of the best Colonels in the United States Army. And when it kicked into command mode, it always made sure he did what needed to be done.
Quickly he picked up the phone and called BA at his downtown youth center.
"South Central Youth Center," a female voice answered.
"Helen, this is Hannibal. Is BA there?"
"Yes, Hannibal, it's good to hear from you. He's playing basketball with some of the kids. You know, some of the boys are going to be going to the youth championships. You know, if they keep…"
"Helen, I have a personal emergency, I need to talk to BA now!" Hannibal took a deep breath and forced himself to calm down. "Please."
"Of course. I'll get him for you, just a minute."
"Thank you." Hannibal paced back and forth across the living room. It felt like an eternity before BA finally picked up at the other end of the line.
"What's up, Colonel?" BA huffed, sounding out of breath as he answered the phone.
"It's Face, something happened to him. I need you to meet me down at Community General."
"What happened?" BA was suddenly alert.
"They won't tell me over the phone, only that he's in intensive care. Can you get a hold of Murdock?
"He's out of town on a charter, but I can leave a message with his service."
"Do that, I need to go!" Hannibal hung up the phone, and ran to the garage where he kept his Cadillac. As he climbed into it, he was overwhelmed by an image of Face standing beside the vehicle with a huge bow on it, that beautiful bright smile on his handsome face.
"Happy anniversary, Hannibal!" Face's voice rang in his ears.
'Pull yourself together, Smith, the kid needs you, you can't fall apart now.' Hannibal rubbed his eyes, clearing the image from his mind. He had to keep it together. He had to get to the hospital.
Face needed him.
An hour later, Hannibal pulled the Cadillac into a space near the emergency room entrance, next to BA's black GMC van. It always amazed him that, even after all these years as free men, BA insisted on keeping the team's van.
Hannibal climbed out of the car, and raced across through the hospital's emergency room doors. He'd just made it inside when he ran into BA. The look on the other man's face made Hannibal's heart jump into his throat.
"BA?" Hannibal forced himself to breath as he looked into the brown eyes.
"He's hurt real bad, Hannibal." BA looked at his friend. He wished he could prepare his friend, he wished he could take away the pain he knew that Hannibal was going to be going through in just a few moments.
'Alive, thank God he's alive,' Hannibal thought as BA's words registered in his mind. "Where is he?"
BA led Hannibal deep into the hospital, down several hallways, and past two nurses' stations. At the ICU desk, a nurse rose to stop them, but BA shot a glare that made the woman sit back down.
When they reached the back corner of the ICU unit, BA stopped in front of a room with a large glass front. He pushed the door open for his Colonel, then stepped in behind him.
What Hannibal saw overwhelmed him. Face lay on his back with tubes protruding from his chest and arms. A ventilator tube snaked from his mouth, causing his chest to rise and fall. A multitude of pins were protruding from each leg, each screwed into the metal frames that encircled both of his legs.
Monitors beeped and hummed, but what startled Hannibal the most was seeing Face's eyes taped closed, his handsome face covered in cuts and bruises, and dried blood caked in the blond hair, tinting it a red color.
"Tem!" Hannibal gasped as he started for the bed. "Oh God, kid, what happened?" He could only stare as he took in the damage to his husband's body. Suddenly, Hannibal had an overwhelming need to touch Face. Quickly, he moved to Face's side. Reaching out, he gently took the younger man's hand in his own, being careful of the IV in the back of Face's hand.
When Hannibal felt BA's hand on his shoulder, he looked up into the other man's face and saw his own pain reflected in the dark brown eyes.
"What happened to him?" Hannibal asked before turning his gaze back to his lover.
"Don't know man. They wouldn't tell me anything until you got here."
"Are you Mr. Smith?"
Hannibal and BA turned to see a man in surgical scrubs enter the room.
"I'm Dr. Phillips, we spoke on the phone."
"How is he, Doc?" Hannibal asked, his full attention on the man in the scrubs.
"I'm not going to lie to you, Mr. Smith, he's lucky to be alive. Templeton has a serious concussion, several broken ribs. His hip was dislocated, and he has multiple breaks and fractures in both legs. There is also massive bruising to several major internal organs "
"Jesus, kid." Hannibal looked down at the unconscious body of his lover. Reaching out, he began to gently stroke Face's bloodstained hair.
Dr. Phillips took a deep breath before continuing, "I'm sorry to say that there may be spinal cord damage. We won't know until the swelling goes down, but there is a possibility of paralysis from the waist down. But we'll do everything possible for your son."
"He's not my son," Hannibal stated softly, as he continued to look down at the battered face of his soul mate, his fingers running through the stained strands.
"I'm sorry, I thought you were his father. It had you listed as an emergency contact in his billfold. Are you his uncle?"
"I'm his husband," Hannibal answered, not bothering to look up as he continued to stroke Face's hair.
"Husband?" the distaste dripped from the doctor's voice.
"Yes," Hannibal answered automatically, not noticing the other man's tone, his entire focus on the younger man in the bed.
BA turned to look at the Colonel, who had not bothered to take his eyes off Face, obviously lost in his own thoughts. BA then turned his gaze back to the doctor, daring him to make any kind of rude remark. He had seen the couple take a lot of flack from outsiders over the years, and this was one time that he was going to make sure his best friend and his little brother, didn't get any grief from anybody.
"We'll give your husband the best care possible, Mr. Smith, I promise," the doctor addressed Hannibal, but continued to stare at BA. Even with BA glaring at him, the doctor still could not keep a look of disgust off his face.
"He'll be alright, Hannibal. Face will pull through this. He's strong." BA squeezed Hannibal's shoulder, trying to give as much moral support as he could.
Hannibal only nodded, refusing to take his eyes off Face for fear something else might befall him.
"How did this happen?" BA asked, turning his gaze back to the doctor.
"I believe he was broad sided who ran a traffic light. There will be an officer in later to give you more details on the accident."
"A drunk driver!" BA growled, as he looked down at Face's broken body.
Hannibal's head snapped up and he turned to glare at the doctor, his blue eyes filled with hatred, as he snarled, "Where is the son of a bitch?"
"The driver who hit your partner was transported to another hospital. I don't know which one, Mr. Smith, nor do I know his condition," the doctor replied as he came up to Face's bed to begin checking his vital signs.
"I wish he was here so I could finish him off," Hannibal stated flatly as he went back to gently stroking Face's hair back from his forehead.
"Hannibal!" BA gasped, staring wide-eyed at his commander. He had not heard this type of talk from the Colonel in a very long time.
"Mr. Smith, I can understand your feelings, but the death of another human being won't change what's happened."
"No, you don't understand, Doctor!" Hannibal snapped. "The son of a bitch who did this to him should be dead! There's no fucking reason in this day and age to get behind the wheel of a car drunk!" Hannibal glared at the doctor, blue eyes blazing.
"How many people come into this emergency room every year like Tem just because some bastard didn't have the common sense to call a cab! Can you answer me that, Doc? I can promise you this, if the son of a bitch was in this hospital, he wouldn't leave it alive!"
The doctor was shocked, not because of the threat. He had heard family members make threats many times against the people who had injured their loved ones. But this guy, he believed, was actually capable of carrying out those threats.
"Hannibal, I know you're upset, man, but to say something like…"
"God damn it, BA, look at him!" Hannibal spun on his Sergeant, venting his anger and frustration on the big man. "Look at him!" Hannibal was so angry he began to shake.
BA grabbed a hold of his friend and hugged him tight. "He'll get through this, man, we'll help him through this."
"Why BA? All those years on the run, all the shit he was put through in the camps, the crap with Stockwell. Why does God just keep throwing crap at him?" Unshed tears of frustration and rage pooled in Hannibal's eyes.
"'Cause he knows Face is strong, he knows he has family to help him make it through anything."
"It's not fair," Hannibal ground out through clenched teeth as he fought not to let the pain he was feeling overwhelm him.
"I know, man." BA pulled him closer, hugging the silver-haired man tightly, fighting back his own pain. "I know."
After several minutes, Hannibal took a deep breath before pulling himself out of BA's grip. He wiped his eyes with the back of his hand then turned to face the doctor.
"What can we expect, and what can we do to help him?"
"As you can see, we have him heavily sedated to the point that he is in a medically induced coma. I would like to keep him like that until the swelling in the spinal cord subsides, in possibly a week, maybe a little more depending on the extent of the injury. After that, we wait and see when he comes around. From there we'll need to take it one step at a time. Once the broken bones have set, we can remove the pins and halos. After that, he'll need physical therapy to help him walk again."
Hannibal nodded, his full attention already back on Face and what would need to be done for him.
"You hold on, kid. We'll make it through this, I promise. BA, I'll need for you to go by the house and pick up a couple of changes of clothes for me. And I'll need you and Murdock to move a bed into my study, since it's obvious Face won't be going up and down stairs for a while."
"No problem, Hannibal, I'll be back in a few hours to relieve you."
"I won't be leaving." Hannibal reached out to stroke Face's bruised cheek.
"Mr. Smith, that won't be necessary, I plan on keeping him in a medical coma for at least a week. He won't know that you're here."
"Maybe you didn't hear, Doctor. I said that I won't be leaving."
The doctor looked Hannibal in the face, trying his best to keep an authoritative look as he spoke to the older man.
"You know, Mr. Smith, I can make you leave."
Hannibal stared back at the doctor without blinking, his eyes narrowing.
"You can try."
The doctor and Hannibal continued their staring contest until the doctor finally looked away.
"Fine, Mr. Smith, I'll have a chair brought in. Just stay out of the staff's way."
"Thank you, Dr. Phillips," Hannibal said flatly as he turned his attention back to Face.
The doctor could say what he wanted, but Hannibal knew that Face knew he was here. He also knew if he left Face's side, the younger man would know that he was alone. And Hannibal had promised Face years ago that he would never be alone again.
Several weeks passed, and although he was improving, Face was still showing no signs of waking. The doctor had kept Face strongly sedated for two weeks, but had started to cut back on the sedatives nine days ago. Then, two days ago, they had cut the pain medication back even more than they already had, in the hope of bringing Face around. But it hadn't worked. He still lay completely unresponsive in the hospital bed.
Hannibal didn't need to be told by the doctors that the longer Face went without waking, the more likely it was that he wouldn't wake at all. Yet Face was still not responding to anything to bring him back into the conscious world.
"Face, I'm going to get a cup of coffee. I'll be right back," Hannibal said and kissed the younger man softly on the forehead after rising from his chair beside Face's bed.
Face could hear a voice as he struggled through the pain and darkness that surrounded him. Finally he managed to open his eyes, but couldn't focus them; everything was blurry, the light making them sting.
He was sure he had heard Hannibal's voice, so he tried to call out to the older man. But when he tried to speak, he found he was unable to; something was shoved down his throat. Panic began to creep in as he tried to move, only to find that searing pain shot through his legs as he tried to shift them.
His head began to pound as he tried to sit up, making him nauseous and dizzy. Suddenly he began to panic, fear cutting through his fogged brain. He did not know where he was, or who had him, but they had obviously tortured him. Which meant that he was back in the camp. 'God, no, please,' he silently begged as the pain in his body began to increase.
Monitors and alarms went off as his blood pressure and heart rate when up sharply, and Face began to struggle harder, fighting against the pain that threatened to overwhelm him. His mind tried to focus so that he could find a way to get away from his captors. Reaching up, Face tried to remove the tube that was down his throat and preventing him from drawing a deep breath.
He didn't know why he was being tortured, but he had to get away.
He had to find the team.
He had to find Hannibal.
"Mr. Smith, you need to relax, now take it easy," a nurse told him as she came in to check on the alarms. Reaching down, she laid a restraining hand on Face's arm, trying to stop him from pulling at the ventilator tube.
Face could hear the voices again, but it wasn't anyone he recognized. With all his remaining strength, he pushed the hands away, before pulling at the object lodged deep in his throat.
The young nurse fell backwards, stumbling to the floor as Face shoved her away. Quickly, she scrambled to her feet and hit the call button on the wall.
"I need help in here restraining a patient!" she yelled, then again tried to grab Face's hands, again trying to prevent him from trying to pull the tube from his throat.
Two male orderlies rushed into the room, quickly grabbing Face's arms and forcing him to lie back in the bed. He struggled as hard as he could as they forced him onto his back and placed the bed restraints over his wrists.
Face fought back with everything he had left, despite the intense pain. He whipped his body back and forth as he tried to break free. He wouldn't let them take him, not again; he belonged to Hannibal and no one else. He certainly wouldn't let them take him without a fight. He had to get back to his team, to his Colonel.
"What the hell are you doing to him?" Hannibal yelled as he walked back into the room.
"Mr. Smith, please stay outside till we get this situation under control!" the nurse called over her shoulder as she helped tighten down one of the bed restraints.
"Like hell!" Hannibal threw down his coffee as he rushed toward the bed. "Let him go!"
"Mr. Smith, I understand your concern, but this is for his own good," the nurse insisted as she tried to step between Hannibal and Face's bed.
"No, you don't understand, lady! He's been through things you can't even imagine. He was tortured for months in a POW camp; you can't tie him down! Now get those damn things off him!"
"Mr. Smith, if you would please just step out of the room…"
Hannibal had heard enough. He pushed the nurse out of the way then shoved the first orderly to one side as he began to untie Face's left wrist. "Get those off him, now!" he ordered the second orderly, who took one look at the furious silver-haired man in front of him before quickly freeing Face's right wrist.
As soon as he was loose, Face tried unsuccessfully curl up into a ball, not being able to move his legs he covered his head with his arms, trying to protect himself from blows that he knew would be coming.
"No you don't, kid." Hannibal sat down on the side of the bed, carefully pulling his husband to him as he began to rub his back. Hannibal took a deep breath as he began to whisper words of encouragement in Face's ear. "I've got you, Tem, you're safe. I've got you."
Face calmed under Hannibal's gentle touch, but then he realized he needed to talk to the older man. He needed to tell the Colonel that he wasn't sure if he had told the NVA anything about their last mission, he couldn't remember his last session with the interrogators. Reaching up, he tried to pull the tube from his mouth again, only to be stopped by a firm, yet gentle hand on his wrist.
"You need to leave it in, kid." Hannibal stroked Face's hair from his eyes. "It's there to help you breath, so you need to leave it alone," Hannibal said softly as he tried to lower Face's hands back down, only to have the younger man reach up and grab a hold of his shirt, his fingers twisting in the material.
"I've got you, Tem," Hannibal reassured him as he stroked Face's hair back from his sweaty forehead. "I'm not going to leave you. I promise, kid. I'm not going to leave you."
A few minutes later, a nurse stepped up to the bed. She looked over at Hannibal for approval to touch Face, before taking hold of his hand. Carefully, she slid a syringe into the IV catheter, injecting a strong sedative to calm Face down.
Almost instantly, Face's labored breathing evened out as he was no longer fighting against the machine, and his body relaxed in the Colonel's arms. Hannibal held onto Face for a few more minutes, before laying him back onto the bed and covering him with a blanket.
"Mr. Smith, I'm sorry about this. If we had know about his past we would…"
"Don't worry, I'll make sure from now on that he's never alone."
A week had passed since Face had awakened, and Hannibal was once again beginning to worry that maybe the younger man had locked himself away from reality by going deep into his own mind where no one could hurt him. The only things that brightened his days were BA and Murdock dropping by to relieve him for a few hours, so that he could smoke and clean up, though getting a shower was easier now that Face had been moved into a private room.
Hannibal was true to his word. No matter what, Face was never alone, and someone from the team was with him at all times.
As the afternoon dragged by on this particular day, Hannibal started talking to Face again, hoping to get some kind of response.
"Come on, kid, you need to wake up."
Hannibal gently stroked Face's hair away from his forehead, then kissed his soft lips.
"I miss you Templeton, you need to come out of this and talk to me. It's getting kind of lonely out here. You know BA is pretty good company, but he's not got much in the way of conversation," Hannibal whispered into Face's ear. "Not to mention the fact that without you to intervene, he's going to kill Murdock real soon."
Hannibal laid a gentle kiss on Face's forehead, and when he pulled back, was shocked to see a pair of blue-green eyes staring back at him.
"Hey, kid," he said, as his heart jumped into his throat, a smile slowly spreading across his lips.
"Hanabl," Face's words were slurred and weak, but it was like music to the Colonel's ears.
"Nice to see you awake again." Hannibal continued to smile as he realized how much he missed the younger man's voice.
"I know, baby, you've had a rough couple of weeks," Hannibal soothed, gently stroking Face's hair. He wanted nothing more at that moment than to reach down and hold Face in his arms.
"Tirrrredddd," Face slurred, as he blinked his eyes, fighting to keep them open.
"You just go on back to sleep, I'll talk to you later," Hannibal said, reassuring Face that he would be there when he woke.
"Dn't lettt BA killll Murdockkkk."
"I'll take care of those two. You just sleep." He smiled, realizing that his lover was worrying about his friends.
Face closed his eyes, drifting off to sleep. Hannibal let out a sigh of relief and produced a cigar to clamp between his teeth. Things were starting to look up, he thought, as he smiled down at Face.
Two days later
"Han'nbal?" The voice was so soft that if he had not been sitting right next to Face, Hannibal would have missed it.
"I'm here, Tem." Hannibal closed his book, before looking down at his husband.
What he saw was a pair of confused and pain-filled eyes scanning the room, franticly looking for him.
"Right here, kid." Hannibal gently stroked Face's cheek, getting the younger man's attention.
"Head hurts." Face turned his head so he could see his partner.
"I'll get the doc for you. Just hang on."
Hannibal reached over the bed to push the button to call the nurses' station.
"Can I help you, sir?" a voice responded over the speaker.
"Yes, could you let Dr. Phillips know that Templeton Smith is awake again and that he also needs something for pain."
"Yes, sir. I'll have someone there in just a few minutes."
"Just hang on, someone is coming." Suddenly, a thought popped in Hannibal's mind. "Face, move your toes for me."
Face looked up at Hannibal confused, but did as he was told. He winced, sucking in air as pain shot up through his legs, but he did wiggle his toes.
"Can movm hurts thogh, hap ned?"
Hannibal smiled down at Face. If he was feeling pain in his legs, and could move his toes, then he would most likely be able to walk when the time came.
"You were in an accident and you're in the hospital. The doctors have run a bunch of tests on you, you're going to be fine, but you have to take it easy. Now just try and relax."
Face slowly brought a shaky hand to his head to rub his forehead. He could feel the pain in his left temple building and slowly spreading across the rest of his head; everything was such a blur to him.
"I'll tell you everything when you get a little stronger, but right now you need to rest." Hannibal watched as Face rubbed his forehead and temple, obviously starting to fight a headache. "You getting a migraine?"
"Can'tt see, cannn'tt foccs, head hurttts," Face stuttered as he felt the pain building second by second.
Hannibal watched as Face struggled to find and pronounce each word. He could see the frustration building on the bruised face, and took one of Face's hands in one of his own, before reaching down to gently stroke Face's now sweat-dampened hair.
The kid had always been prone to headaches, but since the POW camp, they had gotten worse. Over the years, Hannibal had watched Face suffer from some of the most horrendous migraine headaches imaginable. He thought of all the times he had sat with Face in a dark room, gently rubbing the younger man's back, shoulders and neck, trying without hope to ease some of the pain.
"Close your eyes, kid," he whispered softly.
Face did as he was told without question, and Hannibal gently kissed Face's forehead before he began to rub the younger man's temples.
"That's it, now try and take a deep breath."
Face followed Hannibal's order and took in a shaky, yet fairly deep breath.
"That's good, Tem, now let it out real slow," Hannibal encouraged. "That's it, baby, you're doing good. Now, let's try it again, breathe in real slow."
Hannibal continued to talk softly while stroking Face's hair from his forehead, gently encouraging him to keep taking slow, deep, even breaths.
He looked up at the clock on the wall. It had been five minutes and there was still no nurse or doctor. After another five minutes had passed, and Hannibal was getting angry. He was just about to press the call button, when Face moaned.
"Goin' to be sick," Face groaned as nausea threatened to overwhelm him.
"Come on, kid, deep breath," Hannibal kept encouraging him, as he reached over to press the call button for the nurses' station again.
"Can I help you?"
"I need a nurse in here NOW," Hannibal growled.
"Someone will be there in just a moment, sir," the voice chirped back at him.
"Now!" Hannibal snapped.
He looked down when Face moaned and began to dry heave; having nothing in his stomach to throw up, it was all he could do.
Pain shot through Face's broken ribs, bruised abdomen and broken legs. He could hear Hannibal talking to him, telling him to relax and breath, but it was so hard. He hurt so much, and he was so tired, he just wanted to go back into the darkness and sleep.
Hannibal watched Face trying desperately to take a deep breath as his thin body was racked by dry heaves, his breathing coming out in short, ragged gasps.
As the pain in his body began to build, Face tried to curl up into a ball to try to ease it, but was stopped by all the wires and tubes that protruded from his body and the metal braces that encased his legs.
Hannibal couldn't stand to watch for another minute; he'd had enough waiting. He was just getting ready to storm up to the nurses' station, when Face grabbed hold of him.
"Donnn'ttt llleavve me."
"Face, I'm going to get you some help." Hannibal gently squeezed Face's hand.
"PPPllleaasse, Ccolonnnelll," Face begged.
'Damn.' He knew he needed to get Face help, but he couldn't leave him, not like this, not if he was at the point of begging.
"I'm not going to leave you," he reassured Face softly as he pulled the side rail down on the hospital bed.
Carefully, Hannibal sat down on the bed, pulling Face into his lap as best he could without causing the younger man any more pain. Gently, he pressed Face's head to his chest before he began to rub the sides of his husband's head.
"I've got you," Hannibal spoke softly in Face's ear as he rubbed his back. "Take it easy, Tem, come on, Lieutenant, you've got to breathe."
Face tried to do as he was told, but he hurt so much. Just breathing caused him pure agony. Tears streamed from his closed eyes, soaking Hannibal's shirt. When the next wave of pain shot through his skull, Face reached up and grabbed hold of Hannibal's shirt, clinging to the older man as if his life depended on it.
"Come on, Lieutenant, breathe," Hannibal ordered softly as he laid his hand over the top of Face's hand, gently squeezing it.
"Hurtttsss all ovvverrr."
"Help's coming, baby," Hannibal promised.
This was the sight that greeted BA when he came into the hospital room - Hannibal half in the bed holding Face tightly to his chest, while tears were streaming down his little brother's face.
"Hannibal, what's going on?"
Hannibal looked up from Face, relief spreading across his face as he saw his Sergeant.
"Thank God, get a doctor in here now!"
"Right." BA turned to leave.
"BA, turn off the overheads," Hannibal commanded, knowing the darkness would help ease a little of Face's discomfort.
BA snapped off the lights, then rushed from the room, grabbing the first person he saw with a badge that read "MD."
"Come on, sucker, let's go," BA growled as he grabbed the doctor by the scruff of the neck, pushing him down the hall toward Face's room.
"Look, sir, you've got me mistaken with someone else. I'm not working on this floor…"
"You a doctor, ain't ya?" BA snarled back.
"No buts, my brother needs you now." BA pushed the door open to Face's room, and shoved the doctor through and toward the bed. "Help him."
The doctor was about to protest again, when he saw the man in the bed crying in an older man's arms, the blood pressure and heart rate alarms ringing on the monitors. He stepped up to the bed as he began to check the machines' readouts. "When did this start?"
"This started about fifteen minutes ago when he woke up. It's to the point now he can't focus his vision, and the pain just keeps getting worse. "
"Do you know where he is hurting, sir?"
"He's had bad migraines for years, Doc, but this is something I've never seen before. It came on as soon as he woke up," Hannibal explained as he looked back down at Face.
"I need to examine him, can you get him on his back?"
"Face, I need you to lie back so the doctor can look at you," Hannibal stated softly as he tried to lean Face back onto the bed, but this movement only caused Face to tighten his grip on Hannibal's shirt.
"Don'tt leav me Hanbl," Face cried, panic rising in his voice. "Ples colnl."
"I'm not going anywhere, Tem," Hannibal responded and gently kissed Face's sweaty brow. "I promise you, I won't ever leave you, kid."
"Ain't no one going to leave you, little brother." BA walked up to the other side of the bed, putting his massive hand over the top of Face's smaller one. "Now lay back, and let the doctor look at you."
Slowly, BA pried Face's hands off Hannibal's shirt, then covered them with his own, grasping them tightly.
"BA?" Face turned his head to look at his friend.
"Yeah, I'm here, neither one of us going anywhere. We'll be right here with you." BA gently squeezed Face's hand as Hannibal reached over to take the other. With BA holding one hand, and Hannibal the other, Face allowed himself to be laid flat.
The doctor stood back watching in amazement as the two men eased the third man back on the bed. Neither one of them let go of his hands, and both encouraged him to be calm and relax. The doctor bent down, and then, after examining Face, stood up and shook his head. "I'll be back in just a few minutes. I need to get his chart before I can do anything else for him."
"Don't make me come looking for you, man," BA growled as the doctor made his way toward the door.
"I promise you, I'll be right back," the doctor called over his shoulder as he ran from the room.
"How you doing, little brother?" BA looked back down at his friend.
"I'mmm kay," Face whispered back, his voice barely audible. Tears streamed from his eyes even though they were squeezed tightly shut, and sweat plastered his hair to his head.
"You wouldn't be lying to me, would you?"
Face shook his head no, then instantly regretted it as stars flashed across his closed eyelids, causing pain to cut across his forehead. He tried to suppress a whimper, but failed miserably. He was trying his best to be strong so the others wouldn't know how bad he was suffering, but, God, he hurt. Once again, he tried to pull himself into a fetal position, only to be stopped by the wires and metal halos.
"It's alright, Face, you hurt'en, you squeeze my hand."
"Kay," Face sobbed as he tried to draw in a breath.
"Sirs," the doctor that BA had pulled in, called out as he came into the room, "I've found the problem. It seems that the last shift didn't administer his pain medication." He quickly injected a syringe into Face's IV unit. Almost instantly, Face's body began to relax and his breathing evened out as he slipped back into unconsciousness.
Hannibal watched his husband, letting out a deep breath he hadn't realized he was holding. "Thank you for helping him, Doctor ..?" he said, looking up at the doctor with gratitude in his eyes.
"Mark Collins, and you're more than welcome, sir."
"Next question is, what the hell happened?" His anger was starting to build.
"That, I can't say for sure, but as I said, it appears that the last shift failed to administer the pain medication that was prescribed to him."
"How could something like that happen?" BA stared at the doctor in disbelief.
"I know this sounds like a lame excuse, and in fact there is no excuse for this type of mistake. However, that being said, this is a very busy place, and sometimes, despite our best efforts, mistakes are made."
"You don't understand Dr. Collins. I called for a nurse twice, and no-one has shown up." Hannibal looked at his watch, not believing the amount of time that had passed since he had first called for a nurse.
"I'm sorry sir, I will do everything in my power to make sure there's a full investigation," the doctor apologized again.
"I want to take him home, Doc. When can he be moved from here?" Hannibal's mind was already made up that he could take care of Face better at home than these people could ever dream of doing.
"Mr. Smith, I wouldn't recommend that," Dr Phillips answered from the doorway. "Your partner still has a long way to go to make a full recovery. It is my opinion that he should stay here for the time being.
Hannibal looked up at the clock, then back at Dr. Phillips before he answered. "It's been over twenty minutes since I called the nurse to tell you that he was awake and in pain. Where the hell have you been?" His eyes burned with anger as he stared at the other man.
"How long has he been like this?" The anger was beginning to build in BA's voice. No one deserved to suffer the way Face had been.
"Something you must understand, Mr. Smith, your partner is not my only patient. There are other people on this floor, and in this hospital, who need my care. I am doing my best to…"
"And that is exactly why I want to take him home, Doctor, because my husband is my only concern. I will do anything and everything to keep him, and only him, comfortable and pain free! Now, I need to know what it will take to get my husband out of this place, and home where he belongs!" Hannibal growled. He was so pissed off at this minute that he wanted nothing better than to slug Dr. Phillips across his smug mouth. Though, he did get some satisfaction as he watched Dr. Phillips's face turn red.
"I'll tell you what, Smith, you know so damn much about medicine and how to help your partner, I'll sign the release forms. Take him home, but I don't want to hear another word from you! When he's crippled for life, take him to another hospital because I don't want to see any of you here! You have been nothing but a disruption to me and my staff.
"The sooner the better, pal!" Hannibal yelled at the retreating back.
"Goddamn faggots!" Dr. Phillips muttered as he left the room.
Hannibal's face flushed red as his anger rose. He started after the doctor, but BA grabbed hold of him. "Not now, man, you got to think of Face. There'll be another time and place for him."
Hannibal looked at BA as if seeing him for the first time.
"You're right, one battle at a time." Hannibal took a deep breath getting his emotions under control.
Meanwhile, Dr. Collins had been watching the whole show with his mouth hanging open. He had known Dr. Phillips for only a short time, and to be honest, he had never really liked the man, but he had never expected this type of behavior out of him. "I'm so sorry Mr. Smith, I have no idea what has gotten into my colleague."
"I know exactly what his problem is," Hannibal growled, as he looked at the closed door. "If you would, double check everything he prescribes for Templeton until we go. I would deeply appreciate it."
"Yes, sir, I can do that for you. I'll also write you out a list of things you should have on hand at your house." Dr. Collins turned to leave, then stopped, and walked over to Hannibal "I'll put my office number with his paperwork; if you should need anything, don't hesitate to call. Though, you really should consider leaving him here, Mr. Smith. I know you don't believe it, but the hospital would be the best place for your husband."
"I'm sure you feel that way, Doctor, but I have been taking care of him in both peace time, and war, for over twenty-two years. I'll make sure he gets whatever he needs."
"Hannibal, I know you're pissed off and you got every right to be, but you ain't thinking what is best for Face." BA watched as the anger began to build in Hannibal's eyes again.
"If you would just give him a few more days here with us at the hospital, so we could observe him, adjust his medications, make sure he is able to hold down liquids, and run more tests," Dr. Collins added quickly, "I will gladly take over your husband's case."
"I want to take him home tonight," Hannibal stated flatly.
"Three days, Colonel, just give the doctor three more days. Please, man, for Face's sake," BA said.
Hannibal looked at BA, then the doctor, before turning to Face. He knew that the doctor and BA were right, but it was so hard to see Face here, and not at home where he belonged.
"Three days." He sighed.
"You won't regret your decision, Mr. Smith. I promise you, I'll give him the best care I can."
"Hey Colonel, how's he doing?" Murdock asked quietly, as he entered Face's hospital room.
"He's asleep." Hannibal looked over at Face, then back at the pilot as he tiptoed in the room. "You don't have to tiptoe." Hannibal smiled.
"BA said he had a really bad headache. I didn't want to make it worse," Murdock whispered as he made his way to the other side of Face's bed. He reached out toward Face then stopped, and put his hands back in his pockets. He felt an overwhelming need to touch his friend, but the way Hannibal had been acting lately, he was almost afraid he would make the Colonel mad. Hannibal had always been protective of Face, but since the accident, he'd gotten worse. Now Hannibal was to the point of being obsessive. He became agitated if anyone got too close to the younger man.
Murdock remembered just a few days ago when Hannibal had come out of the shower, and seen him holding Face's hand, stroking his hair and whispering in his ear. The Colonel had turned red and ordered him out of the room. Granted a few minutes later he had come out and apologized, but Murdock could tell he was still upset.
Hannibal watched Murdock for a minute, then sighed. "You can touch him, Murdock. I won't bite your head off."
"You sure?" Murdock pulled his hands out of his pockets, but still didn't reach for Face.
Reaching out, Murdock took Face's hand and gently squeezed it. "Hey, Facey, how you doing? I heard you get to go home in a few days. I want to be there, Muchacho, but I have to go out of the country… I want to be with you… I really do, but I promised to go a couple of months ago… and if this works out I could …" Tears formed in Murdock's eyes as he thought about not being able to help bring Face home. "I…I don't want…to …leave Facey, but …"
Hannibal watched as Murdock fought to keep his calm. He knew how the pilot felt about Face. Quietly he got up and moved to stand behind his friend. "He'll be alright. You'll be back a couple of days after he gets home."
"I want to be there, but I promised…"
"You think so?"
"I know so." Hannibal smiled, squeezing the pilot's shoulder.
Three days later
Over the next three days, Face made slow but steady improvements. Each time he woke, Face was able to talk for a few minutes before falling back asleep, completely exhausted. Though this worried Hannibal at first, he also noted that Face was going longer and longer each time, and after the second day, he was able to eat some jello and hold it down.
At the end of the third day, Hannibal was ready to take Face home. Even though Dr. Collins begged him for a few more days, Hannibal wasn't going to wait any longer, it was time to take Face home and he wasn't going to be stopped.
"If you need anything, just call me. I'll do anything I can to help you out." Dr. Collins smiled at Hannibal and BA. The doctor looked over at the blond-haired man, who was sleeping peacefully in the hospital bed, before he continued. "In a couple of months, he'll need to have the halos and external pins removed from his legs. Just make an appointment with my office. I'll get that taken care of for you. After that, he will need physical therapy to help him get the strength back in his legs so he can walk again."
"Thanks, Doc, for everything."
"Yeah, thanks, man." BA moved to stand beside Face.
Dr. Collins extended his hand to Hannibal.
"Mr. Smith, I've been with my boyfriend, Chris, for six months, and I can only hope that if it was me lying in that bed, he would show me half the devotion that you have shown your husband."
"We're a team, man, we stick together," BA explained as he patted the doctor on the back.
Hannibal sat down on the bed beside Face. Reaching down, he took the younger man's hand in his. "It's going to be rough for a while, kid, but BA's right, we're a team."
It was eight o'clock that night when BA pulled the black GMC van in front of the beach house. BA had insisted that Face come home in the van instead of an ambulance, which was fine with Hannibal. He'd had enough of the medical profession to last him a long damn time.
"He still asleep?" BA asked as he put the van into park, after pulling up as close to the front door as the shrubs and flowerbeds would allow.
"Hasn't moved since the doc medicated him before we left the hospital." Hannibal didn't bother to look up as he stroked Face's hair.
BA nodded, as he reached up to switch the dome lights to the 'off' position, keeping the van interior dark when he opened the driver's door.
Hannibal slid the side door open so he could get Face out, but before he could get Face in his arms, he was stopped by BA.
"I've got him man." BA gently nudged Hannibal out of the way.
"BA…" Hannibal started to object but was cut off by the big man.
"Look Hannibal, you're tired." BA squeezed Hannibal's shoulder when he started to protest again. "You know you are, don't even try to deny it. Let me help, Colonel, if not for you, then for him. Last thing Faceman needs right now is for you to drop him cause you're tired."
"You're right. I'll get the front door." Hannibal sighed, his broad shoulders sagging visibly, realizing that BA was right. He was tired, probably as tired as he had been in a long, long time.
After unlocking the door, he turned to see BA cradling Face in his arms as if he were a child, being extremely careful of the IV port that was still hooked into the back Face's hand. Once inside the beach house, BA took his precious burden to Hannibal's study, being careful of the younger man's legs as he went through the doorway.
Hannibal was surprised when he entered the study; BA had not moved just any bed into the room, they had moved Hannibal and Face's bed from the master bedroom, along with the bedside tables and lamps. At the end of the bed, stood their dresser with a TV resting on top of it. The man had also moved Hannibal's desk so he could work while still keeping an eye on the occupant in the bed.
Hannibal quickly moved to pull the blankets back so BA could lay Face down. Once Face was settled in the bed, Hannibal hooked a fresh IV bag on a stand next to the bed. Carefully, he inserted the IV tubing into the port in the back of Face's hand. After he adjusted the drip, he turned his attention back to the sleeping figure in the bed. As he looked down at Face, he noticed how much weight the younger man had lost.
'He looks so damn frail,' Hannibal thought, as he covered Face with several blankets before kissing him on the forehead. Finally, knowing that his husband was settled in, and safe in their bed, Hannibal allowed himself to relax, and sat down on the edge.
"You need to get something to eat, then get some sleep, man," BA stated, as he made his way over to stand behind Hannibal.
"I'll be fine." Hannibal moved to stroke Face's hair out of his eyes.
"No, you ain't. Go get in the shower. I'll fix you something to eat, then you need to get some sleep."
"I won't leave him in here by himself." Hannibal rose to his full height, and crossed his arms over his broad chest, making a very imposing figure.
"Ain't going to be alone. I'll be with him, and you ain't going to do him no good if you're dead on your feet. Now go get in the shower. I'll stay in here till you get out."
"I ain't going to argue with you, man. You need to get a shower. Now, the sooner you leave, the sooner you get back. Now, go."
Hannibal threw up his hands in surrender. "Fine, you win, but if he starts…"
"Yeah, I know, if he starts to wake up, I'll come and get you. Now, go."
Hannibal reached out and touched Face's cheek one last time before leaving the room. With Hannibal out of the study, BA turned his attention to Face. He moved over to the bed, then carefully sat down next to the younger man.
"Colonel's the most stubborn man I've ever met. You two fit each other perfectly," BA chuckled softly to himself. "You got to get better soon, little brother. Hannibal's lost without you." BA reached over and did something he had not done in a very long time; he stroked the stray hair from Face's forehead.
BA continued to stroke Face's hair. He could understand why Hannibal constantly had his hands in it. There was just something soothing about running the silky blond strands through his fingers.
As BA looked down at the younger man, he could see why Hannibal had fallen in love with him. On the outside, Face was the most physically beautiful man he'd ever seen.
His hair was blond, his eyes were the most beautiful shade of blue-green, his body was lean, well muscled and tan, but BA knew that it was Face's inner beauty that kept the Colonel with his Lieutenant.
Face was extremely smart and cunning, but it was in his heart that laid his greatest strength. He would whine and complain about doing something if he didn't want to do it, but he would also give you the designer shirt off his back without thinking twice about it.
Though BA would never admit it to anyone, what he loved most about Face was his child-like qualities. Face could take himself so seriously sometimes, refusing to play basketball with the teens at the youth center, stating that he was in one of his best suits and didn't want to get it dirty. However, BA would then find him playing with the younger children, either sitting in the grass telling them stories, or drawing with chalk on the sidewalk outside of the center. One time, he had even seen a little girl covered in ice cream, sitting on Face's knee, her sticky fingers playing with his silk tie, while he put a band-aid on her dolly's arm.
And then there was his smile. God, he had the most beautiful smile BA had ever seen. Not the one he showed the world; no, the smile he only showed his friends when he was truly happy.
"You don't worry about nothing, little brother. I'll take care of everything. I'll make sure that Hannibal is taken care of till you get up on your feet. You just get better real soon, you hear me, Faceman?" BA asked as he stroked Face's hair.
"You're in my seat, Sergeant," Hannibal stated from the doorway.
BA turned around to look at Hannibal. The Colonel was wearing a pair of running shorts, and a towel wrapped around his shoulders. His silver hair was still damp from his shower. Obviously, he had been in a hurry to get back. BA nodded, as he stood up, moving out of the way.
"Just keeping it warm. You feel better?" BA asked, as Hannibal moved to sit down next to Face.
"A lot, thanks."
"Not a problem. I'm going to start some dinner. Be back in a few minutes."
Hannibal only nodded, his attention already back on the sleeping figure. "You going to wake up for me, kid?" Hannibal asked, as he kissed Face softly on the lips. Despite all his hopes, when he drew back, Face's eyes remained closed, his breathing still slow and even, calm. "Are you going to make me order you to wake up, Lieutenant?"
"Don't you even think about it, Colonel," BA warned from the doorway. "You let him sleep."
"I don't think he can hear me." Hannibal gently stroked Face's cheek with the back of his fingers. "They have him on some pretty strong pain meds."
"Sure he can hear you, and you know if you order him to wake up, he will," BA growled.
"He always did follow orders, unlike some people I know." Hannibal chuckled softly as he smiled at the blonde man. He could remember all the times he and Face would stand toe to toe and yell at each other about a mission. A lot of times, the kid had a valid point, and he would listen, but when push came to shove and he ordered Face to do something, the kid would do it.
"I followed all of your orders, even the dumb ones." BA scowled down at Hannibal.
"I couldn't have asked for a better team," Hannibal said, laughing softly. "A sergeant who would fight anything that moved, a crazy pilot who would fly anywhere on anything, and a seventeen-year-old lieutenant fresh out of Special Forces training."
"Faceman wasn't no seventeen." BA looked down at his Colonel, his eyes wide in disbelief.
Hannibal turned to look up at BA, a pained look in his eyes. "Sorry to say, he was, BA."
"He was just a child. What the hell was he doing over there?" BA continued to look at Hannibal, still not believing that Face had been only seventeen. Face had always acted older than a teen. Sure, BA never believed that he was the twenty- two, but seventeen…
"Wasn't it obvious by the way he acted in combat?" Hannibal sighed, as he thought about all the times Face had put himself in harm's way to save someone's life. On more than one occasion, taking a round that was meant for someone else, Hannibal himself included.
"Damn fool acted like he was trying to get himself kil…" the words died on BA's lips as he looked down at the man in the bed, remembering how reckless Face had been during combat missions.
"In the Catholic Church, it's a sin to commit suicide. However, if he'd been killed in combat, then it wouldn't have been suicide."
"That's crazy, Hannibal." BA studied the still bruised face of his friend before looking back at his Colonel.
"Put yourself in his shoes. What did he have to come home to? He had no family. His girlfriend, whom he was going to marry, had left him. He had dropped out of college." Hannibal closed his eyes for a brief moment as he also remembered the other things Face had told him about his past, all the injustices that had been forced onto Face at such a young age.
"Still, ain't no reason to want to quit living. He's got a lot to live for."
"I do now." A weak voice came from behind Hannibal's shoulder.
Hannibal quickly turned around and saw a pair of blue-green eyes staring back at him. "Hey kid, how you feeling?" Hannibal smiled at his husband when he noted that for the first time in weeks, Face seemed wake up and know what was going on around him.
"Tired, sore, hungry, thirsty, and I hurt all over. Other than that, I feel great. How about you?" Face's normally smooth voice was harsh, scratchy, and barely audible.
"I've never been better than I am right now." Hannibal's smile widened as he reached down to stroke Face's cheek.
"Then you've lived a very boring life. You should get out more often." Face tried to laugh, but it turned into a cough.
"Hey, little brother, you want something to drink?" BA moved over to lightly touch Face's arm.
"Please," Face croaked, as he swallowed hard, trying to wet his throat.
"Right back, man." BA gently squeezed Face's arm before leaving.
As BA left the room, Hannibal bent down, kissing Face firmly, allowing all his emotions to come through in that one kiss. "The next time I tell you to be careful, you better damn well listen to me, and be careful," Hannibal whispered in Face's ear, as he pulled back.
"What happened, Hannibal?" Face croaked.
"You don't remember?" Hannibal wasn't all that surprised that Face didn't know what had happened to him, and he had refused to give his husband any details while he was in the hospital for fear that it would cause him more harm.
Face slowly shook his head. "No. Everything is fuzzy."
"Try, think about the last thing you do remember, then go from there."
Face closed his eyes as he tried to focus his mind. He slowly began to remember, and could see himself coming out of the cigar shop, getting into his car and pulling into traffic.
"I remember getting your cigars, getting in the car," Face paused as he tried to focus; he could see the light turning green, pulling out into the intersection.
"Go on, kid, you're doing fine," Hannibal encouraged, surprised that Face was doing so well.
"I was at a red light, it turned green and I pulled out…" Face shook his head as he tried harder to remember past pulling out into the intersection.
"You were hit by a drunk driver, he ran the light and t-boned you. You're hurt really bad, kid." Hannibal touched Face's cheek. "And it's going to take some time before you recover completely, but you're going to be alright, kid."
Face looked up at Hannibal, not believing what he was hearing. He could remember the doctor talking about his injuries, and all the things he would have to do to be able to walk again. Suddenly, Face was scared, how was he going to get through this, how could Hannibal love him now that he was damaged goods? Face's mind began to spin as everything hit him at once.
As BA entered the study, carrying a tray of sandwiches with three bowls of soup, he noticed the look of horror that flashed across the younger man's face.
"My car?" Face asked so softly both men almost missed the question.
"Sorry, kid, it's totaled." Hannibal had also seen the look in his lover's eyes and knew that right now, Face was extremely vulnerable.
"Ahhh, Hannibal, not my car." Tears fell from Face's eyes, leaving wet trails down his cheeks as he felt everything come down on top of him.
BA shook his head in disbelief; the man had been in a medically induced coma, he was running the risk of being paralyzed for life, and yet here Face was, worrying about that damn corvette.
"I'll take care of it." Hannibal pulled Face up into a gentle embrace. "Don't worry, Tem, I'll take care of everything." Hannibal rubbed Face's back as he cradled the younger man to his chest.
Templeton Smith buried his face in his husband's chest, and allowed himself to cry out his pain and frustration. Why did it seem that every time things started to go right for him, something would try to knock him back down?
"It's going to be alright, Templeton, everything's going to be alright." Hannibal cradled Face as the sobs racked the younger man's frail body, trying to give as much comfort as he could.
BA walked up to the two men, gently laying his hand on Hannibal's shoulder. "He was almost killed. How can he be so worried about that damn car?"
Hannibal looked up at BA, his own eyes rimmed with unshed tears.
"It's not the car, BA." Hannibal held Face against his chest as he rubbed his husband's back. "What happened to him has just hit home. The car is just an excuse," Hannibal explained as he rested his cheek on the top of Face's head.
The three stayed this way for several minutes until slowly, the sobs began to subside as Face cried himself out. As he tried to pull away, Hannibal tightened his grip, not letting him move. "Relax, Tem." Hannibal gently began to rub Face's back and neck.
"I'm alright," Face replied, though he made no move to get loose from Hannibal's grip. Right now, he felt safe in the older man's arms.
"You may well be, but I don't want to let you go just yet," Hannibal whispered into Face's ear as he moved one of his hands to stroke Face's hair.
"You're going to embarrass BA." Face put his hand on Hannibal's chest as he tried to pull away from his lover's grip, but it was no use; he was too weak to even move himself back a fraction of an inch.
"I don't care. Let him go and find his own husband to hold," Hannibal said over his shoulder, winking at BA.
BA smiled at the sparkle in Hannibal's blue eyes. Hannibal held Face for another minute before he finally loosened his grip, allowing the younger man to lie back in the bed. He kissed Face softly once more on the lips, tasting the sweetness of the younger man's mouth, his blue eyes never leaving the younger man's face.
"Come on, you two can make out after I leave, but right now you both need to eat. Think you can sit up, little brother?"
Before Face could move on his own, Hannibal carefully pulled him into a sitting position, while BA slid several pillows behind him so he was now propped up in the bed. Once he was settled, BA brought the tray over to Face, placing it on his lap.
"Now both of you eat," BA commanded.
Face tried to lift the spoon from the bowl, but his hands were shaking so badly that he couldn't manage it without spilling its contents. Hannibal took the spoon from Face and was just about to start feeding him, when BA promptly took the spoon from Hannibal.
"You eat, I'll take care of Faceman."
"BA, I can take care of him." Hannibal's eyes narrowed, his protective nature coming though.
"Shut up and eat. I ain't in the mood to argue with you," BA growled at the Colonel, sensing the mood change in Hannibal.
"BA…" Face started to defend Hannibal, but was silenced by the big man's glare.
BA picked up the spoon, bringing it up to Face's lips.
"Ain't going to argue with you either, now eat," he commanded the younger man. Face opened his mouth, allowing BA to carefully spoon the broth in.
Forty minutes later, BA checked Face's IV one last time before pulling the door to the study closed, leaving both men asleep in each other's arms. Hannibal was on his back with his arm under Face's so his hand was resting on Face's stomach. Face's head was resting on Hannibal's shoulder, his arm draped over the older man's chest.
"Crazy fools," BA muttered as he went into the kitchen to clean up.
Three days later
Templeton could feel something warm and wet on the right side of this face. The warm wetness slid across his forehead, then down the left side of his face before disappearing. He tried to lift his hands to touch the wetness, but found himself unable to move them.
Face was about to open his eyes, when the wetness went over them before traveling down his nose, across his mouth and then down his neck, wrapping all the way around and making sure that the warmth touched every part of it.
"Hannibal?" Face called out as panic started to build, as he tried to focus his thoughts.
"Relax," Hannibal answered softly, as he leaned down to plant a soft kiss on his husband's lips.
Face opened his eyes to see his silver-haired husband sitting on the bed next to him, holding his wrists with one hand, and a washcloth in the other, a pan of warm water sitting beside him.
"What are you doing?"
"You're a mess, kid, I'm just trying to get you cleaned up, and maybe help you feel a little better," Hannibal explained.
Now that Face was awake, Hannibal let go of the younger man's wrists before he continued the cleaning of his husband's body. As gently as possible, he ran the cloth across Face's right collarbone and shoulder, then down his arm. Again he rinsed out the cloth, before repeating the process on the left side.
"Feels good," Face sighed as he enjoyed the feeling of the warm washcloth on his skin.
"Shhh, close you eyes." Hannibal smiled as he moved to rinse out the cloth again.
Face continued to watch Hannibal's every move as he rinsed out the washcloth. When Hannibal turned back around, he saw the blue-green eyes watching him and smiled down at Face. "You don't listen very well, do you? Close your eyes, Lieutenant, that's an order."
"If I do, will you still be there when I open them?" Face asked, suddenly feeling nervous about being helpless.
"Now where did that come from, Tem? Of course I'll still be here, now close your eyes and relax. I'm not going anywhere without you." As Hannibal spoke, he reached out, tenderly stroking Face's cheek with his fingertips.
Encouraged by Hannibal's words and the loving look in his eyes, Face did as he was told and shut his eyes. Once they were shut, Hannibal kissed the closed lids before he continued to clean the man he loved.
Face sighed softly as the warm cloth grazed his nipples. Hannibal smiled to himself as he rinsed the cloth once more before he continued down Face's chest, across his ribs and down to his stomach. Stopping again when he reached the patch of dark blond, curly hair, he almost laughed when Face groaned in disappointment.
"Shhh." Hannibal rinsed the cloth out with warm water before he began to clean Face's penis and scrotum.
Face moaned softly as the warm cloth brushed across him. Bending over, Hannibal kissed the younger man's lips, brushing them lightly with his own. He was about to sit back up, when he felt Face's arms go around his neck, pulling him back down, and forcing his mouth back to the soft lips.
"You're still too weak, kid."
"I know what I can and can't do, Mr. Smith," Face stated as he reached up and put his hands into Hannibal's silver hair in an attempt to deepen the kiss.
Carefully, Hannibal slid his tongue into Face's mouth, allowing himself to truly taste his husband for the first time in weeks. Reaching down between the blonde's thighs, he removed the washcloth and started to stroke Face with his right hand, his left gently caressing the younger man's face and upper body. He had missed touching Face so much, that he couldn't help continuing to stroke Face's genitals, enjoying the feel of the younger man's body under his hands.
Soon the sensation of Hannibal touching him was too much, and Face moaned in Hannibal's mouth as he came.
When Face was finally able to open his eyes, he found himself looking directly into a pair of bright blue ones.
"I told you I'd be here." Hannibal kissed Face on the tip of his nose.
"I love you, John Smith," Face said with a smile, as tears formed in his eyes.
"And I love you, kid." Hannibal kissed Face again on the mouth, conveying as much love as possible in this simple act, before rinsing out the washcloth so he could clean Face's stomach and his hands.
"I'm going to turn you over so I can get the back of you clean. If lying on your stomach starts to hurt you, I want to know. Do I make myself clear, Lieutenant?"
"Yes, sir," Face whispered softly as he closed his eyes.
Being extra careful of the metal braces, Hannibal gently turned Face over on his stomach. Carefully he placed the younger man's arms above his head so the IV line wouldn't become tangled.
Once again he started at the top of Face's body, and slowly worked his way down, along the back of the slender neck, across the lean shoulders, then down the spine. When he reached Face's buttocks, he stopped.
"Hannibal," Face moaned. He had been enjoying the feeling so much that it made him ache when the older man stopped.
"Shhh." Hannibal smiled as he rinsed the cloth out. This time he started cleaning Face's feet. He worked his way back up Face's long legs, carefully working around the pins that held the bones in their proper places.
When he reached the top of Face's thighs, he stopped again to rinse out the cloth.
Face was just about to protest when he felt the warm cloth slide across his buttocks then between his cheeks.
Hannibal laughed softly as Face moaned into the pillow when his finger brushed his opening. "I take it you're still feeling alright?" Hannibal asked as he finished washing Face's body.
"You're a tease, do you know that, Colonel Smith?" Face pouted.
"Oh, I could do more to you, Lieutenant, trust me," Hannibal answered as he put the washcloth back into the bowl, and continued to look down at Face. "I would love to do nothing more than make love to you right now, but you've a long way to go before we can do that." His eyes roamed over the still bruised hips, back and buttocks of his husband.
'A real long way,' Hannibal thought to himself, as he also noted the weight the younger man had lost. Face had always been lean, but he had always been fit. Now, thanks to his extended stay at the hospital, he had lost twenty pounds that he could ill afford to lose.
Leaning down, he kissed Face between the shoulder blades causing Face to shiver.
Face sighed in frustration as Hannibal got up, taking the bowl of water with him. "You could turn me back over, or at least cover me up," Face called out over his shoulder as his lover left the room. Face sighed as he laid his head back down on the pillow, remembering the feelings of Hannibal's hands on his body.
A few minutes later, Hannibal walked back into the study carrying another bowl, a pitcher of water and several thick towels. He studied the naked blond in front of him, then smiled as Face turned to look at him, curiosity filling his blue-green his eyes.
"I don't know, you look awful good spread out like that," Hannibal said with a smirk as he sat down beside the beautiful blond and gently ran his fingertips over Face's bare back, then down over the perfectly shaped buttocks, causing another shudder to run down Face's body.
"Either do something, or don't, Hannibal, but quit teasing," Face growled as he tried not to squirm under Hannibal's gentle touch.
As much as he wanted to do more, Hannibal knew that he couldn't without causing Face pain, and that was not an option. So instead, he went back to his main objective.
"You've had your fun, kid, now it's my turn." Hannibal lifted Face's head, kissing his forehead before he placed a towel under it.
"What are you doing?"
"Shhh, you talk too much." Hannibal put his finger to Face's lips to shush him.
Face was about to complain again when he felt the washcloth wet his hair. Taking a deep breath, he closed his eyes, allowing Hannibal to wash his hair without any further comment or complaint.
Hannibal lathered his fingers with the shampoo, before carefully running it through the soft blond strands. Even though the hospital staff had cleaned out most of the blood, there was still a red tint to the hair. Face sighed contently as Hannibal gently massaged his tender scalp.
"Feel good, kid?" Hannibal asked softly.
"Mmmm," was the younger man's only response.
"Just relax Tem," Hannibal whispered; then smiled when Face let out a long, deep sigh.
Hannibal couldn't put a word to it, but there was something very soothing about running his hands through the silky hair. He couldn't even begin to count the number of times he had come home at night, tired and stressed from the day. Face would simply sit down beside him on the couch, waiting for him to talk, but instead Hannibal would force the younger man to stretch out on the couch and lay his head in his lap. From there, he would run his fingers through the silky strands until the stress of the day was gone. In his own defense, Face never complained, and on most occasions, Hannibal would have to wake him.
"Hmmm," a sleepy voice answered.
"I need to move you so I can rinse your hair."
"'Kay." Face opened his eyes and tried to move, only to be stopped by a gentle hand on his shoulder.
"You let me do all the work. Just be still." Hannibal carefully slid his arms under Face's chest, pulling the younger man so that he lay sideways in the bed. Face's head was now over the bowl sitting on the floor.
"Keep your eyes closed."
With one hand carefully supporting Face's head, Hannibal poured the warm water from the pitcher over the blond hair, washing out all the shampoo.
When he was done, Hannibal wrapped a towel around Face's head, before moving him back lengthwise across the bed. Still leaving Face on his stomach, Hannibal towel dried the hair, before running his fingers through it to make sure it wouldn't tangle.
"Tem?" Hannibal called out softly.
When he got no response, he leaned forward. Face's eyes were closed, his breathing slow and even. Hannibal pulled the blankets up over his husband's naked body, before leaving him to rest.
Several hours later, Hannibal went back into the study to check on Face and found him just as he had left him, asleep on his stomach. As Hannibal studied him silently, he couldn't help but wonder how he could look so young. Sometimes he felt he had robbed the cradle when he watched the younger man sleep.
Even though Hannibal knew all the things Face had done in his life, and all the horrible things that had been done to him, he still considered him an innocent who needed to be protected from the outside world. And when he watched Face sleep, it only made those feelings stronger, and his need to protect his lover, deeper.
"Hey kid, you going to sleep all evening?" Hannibal asked as he took Face's wrists in one of his hands, before sitting down beside his husband and sliding his other hand under the blanket to rub Face's bare back.
"What time is it?" a groggy voice replied.
"Why'd you let me sleep so long?" Face turned his head so he could get a better look at his husband.
"Because you need the rest." Hannibal continued to rub Face's back. "You feel like getting out of bed for a while?"
"You mean there's life outside of this study?" Face laughed softly, as Hannibal frowned at him.
Hannibal let go of Face's wrists so he could reach out and ruffle the clean, blonde hair. "Smart ass," Hannibal chuckled. "Let's start by getting rid of this damn thing."
As gently as possible, he pulled the IV tube out of the back of Face's hand. After putting a band-aid over the puncture, he turned Face over, then pulled him to the edge of the bed.
Picking up Face's blue bathrobe from the end of the bed, he helped the younger man into it. Face pulled the robe closed, then tied it securely around his waist. As he did, he noticed Hannibal looking down at him in concern.
"What's wrong?" Face looked himself over.
"You're too thin." Hannibal reached out to touch Face's side, feeling the ribs that were just beneath the surface of his skin, being extremely careful of the still healing ones.
"I'll be fine, quit worrying." Trying to divert Hannibal's attention, Face quickly changed the subject. "You know, I'd just about kill for some underwear." Face laughed softly and was relieved when Hannibal looked up at his face.
"I could split a pair of your silk boxers at the legs, put some Velcro or snaps in them."
"You wouldn't dare!" Face's eyes widened at the thought of his clothes being ruined.
"If you really want a pair to wear that bad, I'd do it for you."
"Not a fifty-dollar pair of silk boxers, you won't." Face crossed his arms over his thin chest.
"Guess you don't want underwear that bad then, do you?" Hannibal chuckled as he watched the younger man's expression.
"Not bad enough to ruin silk, and by the way, Colonel Smith, just how do you plan on getting me into the other room?"
"Just like this." Hannibal reached down and picked Face up in his arms, cradling him to his chest.
"You're going to throw your back out, old man." Face laughed softly, as he wrapped his arms around Hannibal's neck.
"Kid, you don't weigh enough soaking wet when you're healthy to bother my back." Hannibal smiled down at the man in his arms.
"I'll remember that when you're in traction." Face rolled his eyes as his own smile spread across his lips. Face couldn't remember how many times they'd had this conversation in the past. Though Face enjoyed being in Hannibal arms, he was constantly worried that the older man would hurt himself. After all, neither of them were as young as they used to be.
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