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This page last viewed: 2017-11-15 and has been viewed 2987 times
Summary: Adopted plotbunny from SoulInLondon. Takes place after "The Beast from the Belly of Boeing." What was Hannibal going to say to Face when the plane was going down? "Face, if we crash..."
Rating: PG-13 for later chapters (not the first one)
Warnings: Some tension among the members of the team in later chapters, some slash, yelling...maybe a little language.
Chapter One-If We Crash
"Face, if we crash "
Hed heard it before and hopefully, hed hear it again. The first time the first time had been in Nam.
The VC were firing at the chopper, they had gotten a hold of anti-air equipment somewhere, and Murdock was trying his best to get the damaged Huey and the team out of there. Ray had been shot the day before in the leg, and was delirious in the back of the chopper, BA looking after him, and despite earlier protests completely trusting that crazy to fly the team home and get them out of there in one piece, while Hannibal and Face laid down cover fire.
Face could still remember the hissing noise and the sudden lurch of the chopper, Murdock swearing loudly, looking for a place, anyplace other than the trees and water, to put the vehicle down. He remembered the gloved hand coming down on his shoulder, making him jump, his fire went wild, and over the loud roar of the fire that was bursting from the engines Face made out Hannibals words. "Face, if we crash "
And as usual, Hannibals word was as good as gold and the chopper came down in a ball of fire before the colonel even got to finish his sentence. Hed been so busy, pulling Murdock out of the wreckage, trying to pull BA away from Rays unconscious body as VC bullets whizzed by them, trying to convince the sergeant to pick up the comatose man and run, completely trusting Hannibal to hold off enemy fire, that he never thought about what Hannibal was going to say, he had been so intent on surviving, he hadnt remembered until three days later, when sitting next to Murdock in the infirmary, the entire scene had flashed before his eyes, and he wondered what Hannibal had meant. If we crash
It hadnt been the last time he heard it either.
"Weve got a mission. Were flying over Hanoi, we need to assess how many prisoners are being held there, as well as the amount of supplies coming through there."
"Aww, Hannibal, thats a death mission!" Face had meant it, it wasnt just whining, hed gotten more and more sure that someone was trying to get rid of their team and wasnt being very successful.
Hannibal had turned on Face then, his blue eyes were unreadable, and even though BA, Ray, and Murdock were all there, Face knew that the next comment was for him only. "Face, if we crash "
Hed been cut off by an air strike. Face and Murdock had ended up huddled under the same bed together, holding onto each other shamelessly, waiting for the sirens to stop, the explosions to leave, the screams of the dying and the scared to fade, and Face had once again forgotten the colonels words until the chopper had been shot down three days later while flying over Hanoi, and Face had been left to wonder, after theyd all been separated, what Hannibal had meant to say. He never thought hed get the chance to ask, but developed a new game. Every time he came back from being tortured, being thrown alone in a cell, his friends out of reach, hed speculate what Hannibal would have said and would fall asleep with Hannibals words echoing in his head.
One day he woke up in a hospital bed with Murdock screaming next to him, and Face didnt think about Hannibals words again.
Hannibals words had an uncanny way of coming true, almost like he prophesized things before hand, or maybe he was just lucky. Though if they were going to crash every time Hannibal said the words if we crash, Face might be tempted to tape his mouth shut whenever they got into any vehicle, be it car, boat, or plane, but that would mean hed never know what Hannibal was going to say.
Tossing in bed, unable to sleep, he reached out and picked up the phone, his hand hovering over the numbers before dropping the phone back on its receiver, and sitting up in bed. His head hurt, this last mission had taken a toll on all of them. BA would probably need sleeping pills for weeks either way, he was avoiding him. He valued his life too much to get in the way of an angry BA who had just recently gone cataleptic on a crashing plane. It would be a bad idea. And then theyd gotten captured. As usual, Hannibals prophetic words had come true and Face had thought he was having déjà vu when Hannibal turned towards him and said, "Face, if we crash " BA had cut him off, and Face was left with that empty sentence and a knowledge, that, as usual when Hannibal said something along those lines, they crashed.
It was really rather unsurprising. Sighing, Face sat up a little straighter in bed and pinched the bridge of his nose. He was working on a headache, all this thinking, no sleep, and getting caught by the bad guys not to mention BA he reached for the phone again, but stopped just before he touched it, instead pulling his knees up to his chin and wrapping his arms around them like a little kid.
Face couldnt help but snort, thinking very suddenly just how glad he was that Hannibal had never let the words, "Face, if we die " leave his mouth.
What would Hannibal have to say, anyway? "Face, if we die were as good as dead." Or maybe, "Face, if we die Im sorry kid, Ill miss your cigars." Or even, "Face, if we die, remember, I always meant to get you and Murdock a dog." Yeah, right.
A plane rumbled overhead, who would want to fly at three in the morning, Face had no idea. "Face if we crash " Hed thought about that one a lot. Hannibal had said that one enough that he probably didnt even remember what the ending was supposed to be, but Face still couldnt help but wonder what Hannibal would have said that first time in Nam, and if it would have changed from then until now. He figured then it would have been, "Face if we crash, Ill owe you one for all those cigars that are going down with us." And now "Face, if we crash, Ill buy you a new suit." Of course, Hannibal never said that, so there was no way he was getting a new suit out of the colonel.
Determined to do it, determined to see it through this time, Face snatched up the phone and began to dial but changed the number he was dialing half-way through.
"Youre up early."
"Woody Woodpecker is on alllllllll night Facey, cant miss it youre up late. Cant sleep?"
"Just thinking of all the ways BA is going to kill me once he gets over this."
"I was flying Face, hes gonna kill me first. Anyway, you should sleep so you can be refreshed to run from the angry mudsucker, maybe if you lead him on a good chase hell forget why hes chasing you."
"Yeah maybe "
"Thats not why you called at three in the morning, Face." Of course Murdock could see right through him.
"I guess not." He stood up, carrying the phone and its cord over to the closet and pulling out clothes he wasnt going to get to sleep, his mind was going full force. "I cant sleep and I figured youd be up. I saw the Woody Woodpecker marathon was on last night." Thats right Face, lie to your best friend.
"Youre lying, Facey, lying like a man in his grave. Whats bothering you?"
If he told Murdock theyd all think that he should be the one in the VA, not the pilot. "I was just thinking."
"About?" Murdock wheedled. He could hear bed springs squeak on the other line, Murdock was settling himself in.
"Has has someone ever said something to you and you arent sure what they meant " Face managed to get jeans on one handed, he didnt feel like getting dressed up at 3 in the morning, and started fishing around for a t-shirt.
"Sure. Happens all the time. If its bothering you, why dont you just ask them what they meant?"
Face moved the phone away from his ear for a second to pull the shirt over his head, before responding. "What if youre what if youre afraid to find out what theyll say?"
And he was afraid. Afraid that it was going to change him in some way, and he didnt want to change. He was comfortable with the way things were, change could be bad, change could mean that Hannibal didnt trust him, that the team would get rid of him that "Youve got to do it anyway, Face, or youll regret not knowing the rest of your life.
Regret not knowing. Murdock had once again proved himself to be the most sane of the team. "Face? You okay?"
"Yeah thanks. Id better go, Murdock, have fun watching Woody."
"Sure thing, Facey. You need me you know where to find me."
When Face hung up Murdock was left with the flashing screen and a memory of Ray Brenner, who had looked at Murdock that last mission, right before they took off, and he had asked Murdock to promise him but what he was supposed to promise had been cut off and now Murdock would never know what Ray had needed so desperately. That was regret.
How Face ended up outside of Hannibals apartment he didnt know. What possessed him to walk up the stairs, to knock on the door at 3:30 in the morning he didnt know. Hannibal had been awake. Like he knew. Hannibal always knew.
He handed Face a mug of coffee, offered a seat, and sat down across from his lieutenant. "Whats bothering you kid?"
"I Ive been thinking." It wasnt even him that was speaking. Some other creature had possessed him, was saying the words he had tried to say for years. "I was wondering back in nam, and today, and so many other times .Hannibal if we crash "
Hannibal knelt in front of him. "What are you asking, kid? If were gonna crash again? Because I can guarantee that. Were gonna crash, its inevitable for us."
Face looked at Hannibal. Maybe thats what he was going to say. "Face, if we crash, its inevitable." No. Hannibal didnt understand what he was asking.
"I " Face put his cup down, and met Hannibals gaze. He had to do this or he was going to regret it. "The first time, it was in Nam." Hannibals brow furrowed. He wasnt following. "You looked at me, and said, Face, if we crash Hannibal what were you going to say?"
"Honestly," said Face. Whether the truth would hurt or not.
"I dont know, Face. Things were different then. It was probably something reassuring. You were only what 17?"
"That doesnt make a difference, Hannibal." Face stood, heading for the door. He shouldnt have asked. Things had changed.
"But I know what Id say now, Face."
He turned, slowly, looking at Hannibal. "What what would you say?"
But all thoughts of what Hannibal would say were swept away at Hannibals touch on his shoulder, one arm drawing him close, the other holding his head, pushing back the hair that fell over his forehead, carding his fingers through it. Things had changed.
Things had been changing for a long time now, and Face had tried to ignore it at first, but he knew he couldnt ignore it now, not when Hannibals lips were so soft and gentle against his skin, working across his forehead, not when his arms were so strong, holding him off the ground, promising him that he wouldnt have to be alone anymore
He pushed Hannibal away, and fled to the door, hand on the knob, turning, "Face!"
"It it wont work, Hannibal. Not between us. Not with the team, and the missions, and if one of us gets hurt, the other would no " He turned and looked at Hannibal, willing the tears not to fall, but he had to say no, this was bad "Its a formula for pain, Hannibal. Crash and burn, and one of us wont get up from this crash. No. I wont do it." He had the door open, he was halfway out, but a hand on his shoulder, reminiscent of that day in Nam so long ago stopped him.
He could feel Hannibals breath by his ear, even if he couldnt see the man. "Face, if we crash itll have been worth it just to have known you. And after tonight Face, if we crash, itll have been worth it, just to know that I was given the chance, to love you."
BA was out, the knockout juice working like a charm. Another mission, another scam, another happy pilot singing from the cockpit at the top of his lungs. Face smiled slightly, Murdock was completely off key, but Face hadnt seen him this happy in awhile. He heard footsteps in the isle, and turned to face the silver-haired colonel and his grin faded. "Hey, Hannibal?"
"Yeah, kid?" Hannibal knelt down in the isle, so that he was level with Face.
"Hannibal, if we crash Never mind."
"I was just going to say if we crash, thank you. Thank you, for giving me the chance to love you."
"If we crash I promise Ill catch you."
"Then you better catch me, Hannibal, because Im crashing pretty hard." Murdocks music drowned out any further noise, but when he peeked back from the cockpit his grin split from ear to ear at the sight of one lieutenant sound asleep head cradled by the shoulder of his commanding officer. Thats when he noticed the low fuel light. They really should tape Hannibals mouth shut.
"Hey, Colonel!!! Were goin down!"
To Be Continued .
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