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‘Why

Take Care

By Jullian Gray

 

Rating R

Summary:  Hannibal has fallen ill; Face is lost with worry and guilt.

Warning: H/F slash, angst, language, mention of suicide 

Special Thanks to Shee for making this readable

 

++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

 

 

'Why?' Face had asked himself that question a thousand times over the last three days.

 

'Why hadn't Hannibal gone to the doctor?'

 

'Why hadn't he insisted that Hannibal go to the doctor?'

 

'Why had he left his lover alone for two days when he knew he was sick?'

 

'Why had Hannibal insist that he go to that stupid seminar out of town?'

 

'Why hadn't he called home?'

 

'Why weren't BA and Murdock back from Chicago yet?"

 

'Why, why, why?'

 

But as much as he wanted to know why, the what's scared him more.

 

'What if Hannibal didn't improve?'

 

'What if Hannibal didn't recover?'

 

'What would he do without the other man in his life?'

 

"You got to get better, Hannibal?" Face whispered to the older man who was heavily sedated in the hospital bed. He could feel the tears stinging his eyes as he once again thought about Hannibal dying. "Please John." Face laid his head down on Hannibal's hospital bed and wept.

 

***

 

It had started out as a simple cough that wouldn't go away, a few days later the cough became more and more persistent. Hannibal then started to feel run down and began to run a fever. Face had tried again and again to get him to go to the doctor, but the Colonel insisted that he would be fine with some rest.

 

Then there had been the seminar on accounting and investing that Face had signed up for over a month ago. Face had tried to cancel, but Hannibal had shoved him out the door insisting that Face go to it. Promising him that he would be fine, and if he needed Face he would call him. Face had gone, but his heart wasn't really into it, he just couldn't concentrate on what the speakers were saying so after the second day Face packed his things and when home.

 

Face had hurried home, driving straight through the night stopping only to refill the vette and go to the bathroom. He pushed himself, and the car harder than he should have, but he had an uncontrollable desire to get back. He had to make sure Hannibal was okay, and he wasn't going to believe it until he saw the older man with his own eyes. When he finally got home at three am he went straight to the master bedroom and that is where he found Hannibal. Lying in the bed covered in sweat his breathing labored, a horrible rattling sound coming out with each breath.

 

Pneumonia the doctors had told Face, how could something as simple as a virus, a little bacteria take down the man he loved. It just wasn't possible. Hannibal was stronger than that, over the years he had survived being, shot, beaten, and stabbed. How could pneumonia stop him, how could something like this destroy the man he loved. No, he wouldn't think about it, he couldn't think about it. Hannibal was all he had, without his lover he would be lost. 

 

The doctors guaranteed Face that Hannibal was improving, but he couldn't see it. Face had no way to tell since the doctors kept Hannibal doped up so he could rest. The times Hannibal was awake he was so out of it that Face couldn't talk to him. Instead he would reassure the Colonel he was there by holding his hand and try to get him to eat.  

 

It was now midnight the start of Face's forth day by Hannibal's bedside and he could feel himself sinking farther and farther into despair; his own body, and needs completely forgotten as he focused entirely on his sick partner.

 

***

 

Hannibal opened his eyes and looked around the room, slowly his brain began to make its way through the haze of medication and focus on what was going on around him. As he looked around the room his eyes caught a flash of gold. Looking down he smiled when he noticed Face's head was lying next to his hand. Reaching out he touched the blonde mane with the tips of his fingers. As soon as he was touched Face's head popped up, to look at him.

 

Hannibal frowned as he looked at his lover. The young man's eyes were puffy and red as if he had been crying. The delicate skin under his eyes was heavily bruised from lack of sleep, his cheeks and chin was covered in stubble.

 

"John." Face quickly moved to take the older man's hand. "Do you need anything? Something to drink?"

 

Hannibal nodded, but his eyes continued to look Face over. The kid was pale, too pale and his appearance. Hannibal closed his eyes for a second and thought back, he didn't remember much about the day Face found him, but he did remember the suit. It was the same one Face was wearing now, except then it had been immaculately pressed. Now it was a wrinkled mess. He watched as Face poured water from a pitcher into a glass and noted how bad his hands were shaking.

 

Face helped him sit enough where he could take a few swallows of water before laying back down. Just the simple act left him tired and weak, but there were a few things he had to know.

 

"Eat?" he whispered.

 

Face looked at him for a second then smiled. "The cafeteria is closed, but I can find you something."

 

Before Face could move Hannibal managed to touch Face's wrist stopping him in his tracks.

 

"Not… me… you?" Hannibal wheezed.

 

"Me, I'm fine Hannibal, I ate a little while ago." Face took Hannibal's hand in his own. "You know you scared the hell…"

 

Face stopped when Hannibal squeezed his hand hard. Even though the Colonel was as weak as a kitten he still had one hell of a grip.

 

"Lying…to me…Lieutenant." Hannibal swallowed as he tried to catch his breath.

 

"Okay it was earlier this morning…" Face started again, but stopped as Hannibal squeezed his hand again.

 

"Truth."

 

Face looked down into Hannibal's blue eyes then turned to look away, he didn't know why he tried to con the older man. When it came to John 'Hannibal' Smith he just couldn't pull it off.

 

"Tem?" Hannibal could feel himself tiring, but he fought against his body and the drugs. He had to get his point across before Face ended up in a coma beside him due to low blood sugar.

 

"I don't remember." Face sighed. "Don't worry, you go back to sleep and I'll go grab something alright."

 

Hannibal wanted to argue, he wanted to demand that Face go home right now, to get something to eat then go to bed. But he couldn't, his body was just too exhausted to put up a fight. Instead of commanding Face to go home, he fell back asleep; part of him was hoping Face would do what he said he was going to do. But the practical side of his brain knew that when he opened his eyes again Face would be right where he was now, his own needs forgotten.

 

"Mr. Peck, can I get you anything?" Face jumped slightly as the nurse entered Hannibal's room. She smiled brightly at him as she handed Face a cup of coffee. Face smiled back as he accepted it, though his stomach was churning at the thought of drinking another cup of the overly sweetened brew. It seemed that no matter what shift they were on all the nurses insisted on putting sugar in his coffee.

 

"Thanks, I was wondering…" Face was about to ask if she could have some breakfast brought up to the room when Hannibal began to stir. Any thought that Face might have had about food quickly went out the door.

 

"Good morning Mr. Smith, how are you feeling today?" The nurse moved past Face to pop a thermometer into the Colonel's mouth before he could answer. As the nurse took his temperature and blood pressure he glanced over at Face.

 

Hannibal didn't know how but his lover looked even worse now than he did last night. The red was gone but the dark circles were even more prominent, to put it nicely Face looked like death warmed over.

 

"Well your temperature has gone down, but your blood pressure seems to be a little elevated." The nurse wrote several quick notes down on her chart. "Now, why don't you just relax an orderly will be in here in just a minute to take you to have some tests done." With that she went out the door leaving the two men alone.

 

"How you feeling John?" Face moved to Hannibal's bedside taking his lover's hand in his.

 

"Better…than…you look. Tem…did you…"

 

Before he could finish an orderly came into the room.

 

"Morning Mr. Smith time to have a chest x-ray, we need to see how well that stuff is clearing up." With Face's help they transferred Hannibal out of the bed and onto a gurney.

 

"We'll see you in an about an hour." The orderly told Face as he wheeled the Colonel out of the room.

 

Face thought about going and getting something to eat while Hannibal was gone, but he just felt too tired to move. Instead he sat back in the chair he had occupied for the last four days and looked out the window.

 

Hannibal came back from x-ray an hour later, as soon as he was transferred to the bed he drifted straight off to sleep, exhausted for the short trip.

 

When Hannibal woke it was late evening, as he looked around the room he was greeted by two new sets of eyes.

 

"When did you two get here?" Hannibal whispered, not because he wanted to but because his voice wasn't any stronger.

 

"Bout half an hour ago." BA looked up at the clock on the wall.

 

"Face?" Hannibal asked hoping that maybe his lover had gone home to get some sleep, now that the rest team was here.

 

Instead he looked down when Murdock pointed to the bed just below his right hand; just like last night Face's head was buried in his arm laying only inches from his fingertips.

 

"How long has he been asleep?"

 

"About five minutes." Murdock looked up at Hannibal then down at his best friend. "He doesn't look good."

 

"He needs to go home."

 

"Done tried," BA huffed. "Fool won't leave your side."

 

Hannibal nodded knowing what had to be done, even if his lover wasn't going to like it.

 

"Get him out of here."

 

"He won't go." BA sighed.

 

"Not a request Sergeant, it's an order.

 

"You sure about that Hannibal?" BA looked down at Face then up at his leader. Both he and Murdock had tried to get Face to go home when they had arrived, but their young friend refused. "Going to take bodily force to get him out of here."

 

"Take him home." Hannibal repeated.

 

"He is run down." Murdock agreed as he looked at his best friend. Run down now that was an understatement, Face looked more like run over. "Still he ain't going to be happy."

 

Hannibal nodded as he looked down at Face. He realized what he was about to do; he was about to cause a big scene right here in the hospital. He knew that Face wouldn't leave under his own free will and that BA and Murdock were going to have a fight on their hands, but that didn't matter right now. What mattered to him was the health of the man he loved, the young man who was more or less passed out beside his bed.

 

"Whatever it takes." Hannibal turned to look at BA.

 

"When do you want me to take him home?"

 

"Now."

 

BA nodded as he rose to walk over to Face, he was about to reach down and grab the younger man's shoulder, but Hannibal quickly stopped him by raising his hand. Even though Face was exhausted he could still be dangerous if he was startled awake. Reaching out Hannibal stroked Face's hair with his fingers, instantly Face's head shot up.

 

"Easy kid." Hannibal smiled.

 

"Hannibal, do you need anything, are you comfortable, you need me to get a nurse."

 

Hannibal held up his hand to quiet him. "I'm fine."

 

"Are you sure, you need something to drink?"

 

"BA, is going to take you home." Hannibal cut straight to the chase.

 

Face looked at Hannibal as if he had grown two heads. "No, I won't leave you."

 

"Not asking you, I'm telling you."

 

"I won't leave." Face's jaw tightened in defiance.

 

"Then I'm ordering you."

 

"Hannibal you ca…"

 

"He'll be alright Facey, I'll stay with him while you go home and rest, promise I won't leave his side."  Murdock held up his fingers in a Boy Scout salute.

 

"You don't understand he needs me…"

 

"Come here." Hannibal motioned for Face to move closer to him. Face immediately did as he was told and moved to the top of the bed so he was right beside his lover.

 

"Down here." Hannibal extended his hands as Face moved closer. Reaching up he put his hands behind Face's neck and pulled the younger man down to him so that they were only an inch apart.

 

"Go home, eat, get a good nights sleep, I'll see you tomorrow."

 

"Hannibal, I won't leave you."

 

"I love you kid, but you are going home." Hannibal pulled Face down the rest of the way to gently kiss him; then motioned to BA. "Now."

 

"Come on Face, Colonel done laid down law. Let's go." BA grabbed a hold of Face's arm and pulled him away from the bed. BA was surprised when the smaller man twisted his body and slipped out of his grip, before he knew it Face was back at Hannibal's bedside.

 

"No John, please." Face begged Hannibal as he grabbed a hold of Hannibal's hand. "Please don't make me leave, don't send me away."

 

Hannibal looked up at his lover; he felt his heart break as he saw the pain and desperation in his partner's eyes. He wanted to give in and let Face stay, but when he saw how frail and worn down he looked, Hannibal gathered his strength. Reaching out he touched his lover's face.

 

"I'm not sending you away Tem, I want you with me always, but you need rest."

 

Face looked down at the older man, he wanted to stay, he needed to stay; he had to make sure that Hannibal was safe. It was his fault that his lover was in the hospital, if he had just insisted that he go to the doctor, if he hadn't gone to that damn seminar, if he…

 

"Tem," Hannibal touched Face's cheek. "I'll feel better if you rest."

 

"I could sleep in the chair. I promise to…"

 

"At home Tem, for me."

 

Hannibal watched as Face's resolve crumbled at his last two words. "I'll be back in the morning."

 

Pulling Face forward again he kissed him gently.

 

"BA, don't let him back here till tomorrow evening."

 

"No." Face shook his head.

 

"BA."

 

"On it, Colonel." BA growled as he grabbed Face around the waist. Face tried to twist around again but this time BA was ready for him, he moved his right arm to pin Face's upper body to his chest.

 

"We're going home little bro. Colonel's done gave the order."

 

"No, Hannibal, you can't make me stay away that long. Please John!" Face begged.

 

"Go home Tem, I'll see you in the evening."

 

Realizing that he wasn't going to win Face began to get mad. "Let go of me BA! Damn you let go of me!"  Face continued to struggle as BA tried to remove him from the room.

 

"Lieutenant Peck, that's enough!" though the voice was weak it still held authority. Face instantly stilled in the big man's arms.

 

"You will do as you were ordered Lieutenant, do I make myself understood."

 

"John, please?" Face turned to look at Hannibal, hurt and betrayal etched into his handsome face.

 

"Yes or no Lieutenant?"

 

Hannibal watched as Face closed his eyes and shook his head yes.

 

"Not good enough Lieutenant, I want an answer."

 

Face opened his eyes, Hannibal watched as a tear rolled down his lover's cheek before he dropped his head. "Yes sir."

 

"Take him home, Sergeant."

 

"Come on man, be tomorrow night before you know it." BA let go of Face's waist and moved his arm to the younger man's shoulders, gently guiding him toward the door.

 

Murdock rose as they crossed the room toward him. "Don't worry Muchacho, I won't leave him for a minute, and I promise to call if anything changes, okay?" Murdock expected some type of response and was shocked when Face walked by him without saying a word. "Face?"

 

"He'll be alright Murdock, just give him some time to calm down." Hannibal spoke softly. The pilot turned to look at the man in the bed, and noticed how tired the Colonel was looking.

 

"You need anything Hannibal?"

 

"Just to know he's okay." Hannibal sighed as he closed his eyes.

 

***

 

A slight smile formed on BA's face as he watched Face climb into bed.

 

"You sure you don't want noth'n to eat before you go to sleep?"

 

"I'll eat when I get up, just want to lay down right now." Face sighed as his tired body rested on the soft mattress.

 

"I'll be on the sofa if you need me little bro."

 

"Thanks BA." Face flashed the big man a grin as he turned off the light.

 

"Anytime man." BA's smile widened as he closed the bedroom door.

 

Face waited an hour before he slid out of the bed; he quickly dressed in a pair of jeans and a t-shirt before sliding out of his bedroom. Despite his fatigue Face easy slipped past BA who was watching TV on the sofa. Once he made it to the garage Face took Hannibal's spare keys out of his pocket before climbing into his lover's Cadillac. Pushing the garage door opener Face waited while the door slowly rose. As soon as it was up far enough he cranked the engine over then shot out of the garage.

 

BA looked up when he heard a rumbling sound coming from the garage. 'He wouldn't.' he thought as he climbed off the couch and headed toward the garage, he opened the door just in time to watch Hannibal's car shoot down the driveway.

 

"I'm going to kick your butt when I get my hands on you." BA growled as he hit the button to close the door before running toward the front door and his van.

 

Face ran across the parking lot he was almost at the hospital entrance when the black GMC van slid to a stop in front of him blocking his path. Face started to sprint around the van, but BA was faster, he grabbed Face by the back of his shirt and jerked the smaller man backwards.

 

"Get off me!" Face screamed as he shoved against BA forcing the bigger man back.

 

"Calm down man!" BA managed to stop Face's forward momentum but the younger man still kept struggling to break free. "I don't want to hurt you."

 

"I'm not the one who's going to get hurt! Face snarled as he twisted his body free. "Now leave me the fuck alone!"

 

BA felt his own anger growing, he knew Face was upset about Hannibal, but there was no reason for him to be acting this out of control. When suddenly it hit him, Hannibal had warned him that Face suffered from low blood sugar, and some of the signs Face's sugar was dropping dangerously low were extreme aggression, hostility and violent mood swings.

 

 He quickly reached out and snagged Face's arm. "Face listen, I'm going to take ya back home, you going to eat something, then you going to sleep." BA tightened his grip as Face began to struggle even harder.

 

"Let go!" Face tried to take a swing at the big man, but BA was ready for him. He grabbed Face's wrist and twisted it around behind the smaller man's back, using his body weight he slammed Face against the side of the van, he pressed his body close to Face's body effectively preventing the younger man from kicking him. "Damn you!" Face struggled against BA "I won't leave him!"

 

"Shut up and listen to me." BA snarled in Face's ear. "You acting like a damn fool."

 

When Face tried to break free of his grip BA shoved his arm farther up his back causing Face to hiss in pain.

 

"You listen to me and you listen good! The Colonel worries about you, and if he sees you in that room tonight, he'll get upset cause you with him instead of rest'n, and I ain't going to have it!" BA pulled Face off the van as he began to shove him toward the passenger's side of the van.  "Now get your butt in the van." With that BA opened the door and shoved Face inside before slamming it shut.

 

***

 

"What do you want to eat?" BA glanced over at Face as he pulled into a drive thru at Belly Busters.

 

"I'm not eating anything from here."

 

"Man, it's after midnight, this is the only place that is open."

 

"And I'm not eating here!"

 

"Look man…"

 

"No you look!" Face snapped. "It's officially Friday, I'm catholic, there isn't a damn thing I can eat here, so you might as well keep on driving, because I'm not going eat any of the greasy crap they sell!"

 

BA stared at Face for a minute not believing what the blonde had just said to him. Face had always been very reserved when he spoke to him, sure they'd had fights and arguments over the years, but Face had never been like this. 'His blood sugar is low, aint his fault, he can't help it, he'll be alright once he eats, just get his sugar up.' BA took a deep breath to calm himself down, after all it wouldn't do any good to punch him in the mouth.

 

"I'll fix you a sandwich when we get to your place."

 

"What the fuck ever." Face muttered as he turned to look out the window.

 

"I know you're worried about Hannibal, but the fool will watch out for him."

 

"Yeah, that's comforting," Face snorted still not bothering to look at BA "half the time he can't even take care of himself."  

 

BA thought about trying to get Face to talk again, but after looking at his aggressive body language he decided to leave the blonde alone. The second the van stopped at the beach house, Face jumped out, slamming door behind him. He had the front door open and was halfway to the bar before BA even had a chance to get out of the van. By the time BA found the younger man, Face was on his second shot of bourbon.

 

"You don't need to be drink'n that stuff."

 

"And I don't need a mother." Face growled as he poured another, slammed it back, as he reached for the bottle.

 

"Then stop acting like a baby!" BA stomped over to Face, and grabbed the bottle. "Go get in the shower while I fix you a sandwich."

 

Face glared at the big man for a minute before shaking his head. "Whatever."

 

"You got ten minutes before I come looking for you." BA warned, before heading to the kitchen. He wasn't sure but he thought he heard Face say 'Fuck you' as he went up the stairs.

 

Face striped out of his clothes as he marched across the bedroom toward the master bathroom. He didn't appreciate the way that BA was treating him, not one damn bit; he was a grown man for Christ sake, he didn't need a baby sitter, he was more than capable of taking care of himself.

 

As Face stood in the shower with the water streaming over his body, his mind began to think about his lover. He knew that Murdock was with Hannibal and that the older man's heath was improving; with any luck he would be home with him in the next few days, but what if he hadn't come home when he had… Suddenly a vision flashed into his mind he could see Hannibal in their bed coughing and gasping for air, suffocating on the fluid as it built up in his lungs.

 

Face began to shake as the image filled his mind, he could have lost him, Hannibal could have died; Face's legs gave out from under him as the weight of this knowledge crashed down on him. Face made no attempted to stop his sudden decent as he fell to the tile floor. 

 

What would he do without Hannibal, the older man was his life; he lived and breathed to be with his Colonel, to feel his strong arms around him, to see the sparkle in the bright blue eyes, to know that he was loved and possessed the ability to love someone back. If Hannibal left him he would once again be alone in a world that was hell bent to destroy him. The conman pulled his legs up to his chest, before wrapping his arms around them, he buried his face in his knees as the first sob escaped. His mind was so full of heart crushing despair that he didn't notice the water had turned cold or when the bathroom door opened.

 

BA hadn't planed on allowing Face to spend forty-five minutes in the bathroom, but it had taken him a lot longer to find something that the other man could eat. For someone who had diet restrictions on a certain day of the week Face sure as hell didn't keep much in the house to accommodate for that day. Though he guessed that the two men most likely ate out on Friday nights. He looked at the now cooling bowl of vegetarian vegetable soup and the peanut butter sandwich, well it was better than nothing, which was what Face had mostly been eating for the last few days. BA glanced over at the kitchen clock again before shaking his head. Fifty minutes was more than enough time for a quick shower and a change of clothes. BA was tired of the game, he knew Face hurt and was afraid something would happen to Hannibal, but enough was enough. He stormed up the stairs to the master bedroom telling the younger man exactly what he was going to do to him if he didn't find him dressed and ready to eat. BA's anger increased when he opened the bedroom door and heard the shower still running in the bathroom. He stormed over to the master bathroom; as he swung the door open and began to read Face the riot act.

 

"I've had about enough tonight, I don't care what you want, you goin…" Words, which quickly died, on his lips when he saw his friend huddled down in the middle of the shower stall, moving swiftly for a man his size, BA opened the door and turned off the now cold water.

 

"Face?" BA reached out and gently squeezed the younger man's shoulder; he noted how cold Face's skin was to his touch. "Face?" he called out again and was grateful when the blonde looked up at him, or at least he was until he was the lost look in his friend's eyes. 

 

"What's wrong, you hurt?"

 

Face looked up at him for a minute before he shook his head no.

 

"Then what's the matter?"

 

The blonde swallowed hard several times before finally opening his mouth.

"Icouldhavelosthim." The words came out in one strangled sob as Face dropped his head back to his knees. For a second BA could only look at the smaller man, completely surprise by guilt and pain he heard in Face's words.

 

"Ahhh man." BA pulled Face into his arms; he could feel the smaller man shake as sobs racked his body. "He's going to be alright, Face, doctor's done said so."

 

"He's… my… life." Face gasp between breaths.

 

"I know, little bro, I know." Having no other words to say BA rocked Face in his arms until the sobs subsided. Once Face seemed to get himself a little more under control, BA decided it was time for action. He pulled Face to his feet and led him out of the bathroom, grabbing two towels as they moved past the towel rack, he wrapped one around Face's narrow waist before taking the second to dry off the younger man's cold skin.

 

"I can do that." Face protested weakly.

 

"Shut up fool, you lucky to be standing upright." BA growled, but the soft smile seemed to make the words less harsh. When he was finished he led Face to the bed, pulling back the blankets he pushed Face down onto the bed, then covered him back up. "I'll be back up here in a minute, don't you fall asleep." 

 

As soon as BA left the room Face curled into a tight ball, despite BA thorough drying he still felt cold, as if all the warmth had been sucked out from his body. Once again he began to shake as he thought about a life without his lover, never again feeling the older man's strong arms around him as he spooned in behind him at night.

 

"Done told you he's going to be fine now quit!" BA's angry voice cut through his despair. Face jumped slightly when he felt BA grab his shoulders and pull him into a sitting position. "Now you goin' to eat, then you going to sleep." BA commanded as he set a tray down in his lap.

 

"I'm not hungry right now. Maybe…" Face tried to push the tray back but BA grabbed his wrist in a vice like grip.

 

"You got two choices, you either eat on your own or I'll force it down yu' throat. One way or the other that food is going inside you!"

 

Face was shocked by BA's sudden mood change, the big man had always had a temper; hell he had been on the receiving end of it more than once, but this. 'No.' Face corrected himself, he deserved this, he had been a complete ass to the other man earlier and he should be thankful that BA hadn't pounded him into the ground when he had thrown a punch at him.

 

"I'm sorry, BA." Face picked up the mug containing the soup, though it was everything he could do to hold onto it with his trembling hands. "I just can't get over almost losing him."

 

"You ain't got noth'n to be sorry for." BA's large hands covered Face's smaller ones as he helped the blonde raise the cup to his lips. He watched Face take several swallows before he allowed the smaller man to lower the mug and set it on the tray.

 

 "I know how you feel." BA took a deep breath before he continued. "There were times in the camp when they would bring you back that I was afraid you wouldn't make it. I felt so helpless." BA lowered his head. "Should have been able to protect you."

 

"BA, that was different you couldn't have done anything."

 

"And neither could you, Face, how was you going to protect Hannibal from an illness?"

 

"You don't understand, I love him…if I were to lose him..."

 

"No you don't understand!" BA's head shot up as he stared at Face, anger in his eyes. "I know exactly how you feel, I've almost lost you more than…" BA stopped when he realized what he had let slip out, quickly he turned away so he wouldn't have to look at his friend's shocked and disgusted face.

 

"BA?" Face called out softly, when he got no response he touched the big man's shoulder. "I'm sorry, I never meant…" This got a response but not the one he expected, instead of turning to face him BA grabbed his hand in a crushing grip. 

 

"Don't need you're pity." He growled still not looking at Face.

 

"BA, let go, you're hurting me." Face stated calmly and was relieved when the big man let go of him. "BA, look at me."

 

Slowly BA turned to look at Face, though instead of the anger and disgust he expected to see, he saw understanding and compassion. "I'm sorry if I gave you …"

 

BA held up his hand to stop Face from talking "You never lead me on, I knew you loved the Colonel from the moment you laid eyes on him." BA smiled briefly. "Never seen someone so head over heals in love in my entire life. I knew I never stood a chance with you."

 

"You're right I have loved Hannibal since the beginning." Reaching out Face placed his hand on BA's cheek. "But I could have loved you just as easy."

 

BA took Face's wrist pulling his hand away from his cheek "Don't con me man, I ain't nothing to look at, hell I ain't nothing but a big dumb mud sucker."

 

"No, you are a very beautiful man," Face smiled as he placed his other hand on BA's cheek. "I could have very easily fallen for you if I hadn't found John. You have a lot of the same qualities."

 

"Face…"

 

"No BA, you are both smart, caring, kind, companionate and you both make me feel safe when you're near me."

 

"You ain't just saying that?" BA stared into Face's eyes.

 

"No, I'm not just saying that." Sitting up a little straighter Face pulled BA forward and kissed him gently on the cheek, before moving his mouth to his ear. "And you are both a major pain in my ass." Before he could pull back he found himself wrapped in a bear hug, he could feel the rumble in BA's chest as he laughed.

 

"Love you, Faceman." BA hugged Face tightly one last time before releasing him. "But you still going to eat."

 

Face looked at BA for a long moment then smiled as he picked the sandwich up. "No meat?"

 

"Peanut butter."

 

"Good enough."

 

BA watched as Face buried himself under the blankets and closed his eyes, he couldn't understand how Face could still be so calm around him, but it made his heart soar knowing that he hadn't lost his friendship with the younger man.

 

As he stood to leave Face rolled over to look at him. "Would you stay with me?" Face swallowed hard. "I…I don't… want to be alone."

 

"Sure man." BA moved started to pull up a chair when he noticed Face had scooted over on the bed. "Face, I don't know…"

 

"Please?" the despair in Face's eyes was enough to break BA's resolve. Taking off his boots BA laid down on top of the covers beside Face. He was pleasantly surprised when Face scooted right up next to him.

 

"Hang on little brother." BA sat up forcing Face to back away.

 

"I'm sorry, I'm asking too much from you." Face started to turn away, but BA stopped him with a gentle hand on his shoulder.

 

"Ain't that, just want to take these off so you'll be more comfortable." BA pulled off the three gold chains he was wearing and placed them on the nightstand beside the bed. With his hand he pulled Face back down so the blonde head was now resting on his chest. 

 

"Thank you." Face whispered his voice thick with sleep.

 

"Anything for you Face," reaching out with his left hand he stroked the now sleeping man's hair. "Anything for you."

 

***

 

BA smiled as he watched Face shuffle into the kitchen still half asleep, the younger man was barefoot, he wore a pair of baggy gray sweat pants and a faded Michigan state T-shirt; his hair was sticking out in several different directions.

 

"Morning Faceman."

 

"Mmm." Was the only answer he got as Face made his way over to the coffee pot; noting it was empty he moved over to the toaster, finding it also empty Face sighed before moving back to the coffee maker. God he missed Hannibal, the older man always had the coffee made, and bread in the toaster for him every morning when he came down.

 

"Hannibal said you weren't a morning person." BA snickered as he watched Face fill the coffee maker with water and fresh grounds, before turning it on.

 

"How you want your eggs."

 

"Don't want any." Face mumbled as he moved to pull a bag of bread out of the breadbox.

 

"You going to eat somethin'"

 

Face didn't say a word he just held up the bread as he moved over to the toaster and stuck it in.

 

"You going to eat more than that."

 

"Don't eat much in the morning, makes me sick."

 

"That's bull, Momma always said breakfast was the most important meal of the day."

 

"Then go fix breakfast for her."  Face mumbled as he moved to get a plate and coffee cup out of the cupboard, before moving back to the coffee maker, Face poured himself a cup; grimacing at the strength of the black liquid.

 

"Face…"

"Look BA, I've been eating the same thing for the last twelve years, I don't plan on changing now."

 

BA was about to protest farther when Face's toast popped up, the younger man grabbed the toast out of the toaster, tossed them on his plate then turned his back to the big man as he sat at the table.

 

"How does Hannibal put up with you in the morning." BA shook his head as he moved to sit across from Face.

 

"He reads his paper and leaves me alone." Face flashed him an annoyed look as he bit into the toast.

 

"Fair enough, you need me to help you out with anything around the place?"

 

"Yeah you can drive me back to the hospital as soon as I get dressed."

 

"Ain't happen'n man, Colonel said he didn't want to see you until tonight and I ain't taken you back till then."

 

"Oh come on BA," Face glared at the other man. "I've slept and I've eaten, what else do you want."

 

"You still look like crap, come on Face it's 7:30 in the morning how long have you really slept." Before Face could answer BA held up his hand. "Have you looked at yourself in the mirror this morning? Your eyes are blood shot, with circles so dark they might as well be blacked, you ain't going back to the hospital until you get some more rest and that is all I'm goin' to say about it."

 

Face narrowed his eyes as he looked over at the big man across from him. "Are you threatening me?"

 

"No I'm promising you, you try and sneak out of this house and I'll sit on your skinny butt."

 

Face continued to glare at BA for another minute, but eventually dropped his gaze to his coffee cup. "Fine."

 

"Thought you'd see it my way."  BA grinned as he watched Face roll his eyes.

 

***

 

After breakfast Face went back up stairs on the pretense of going back to bed, only to return a few minutes later to flop down on the couch.

 

"Thought you was going to bed."

 

"Can't sleep." Face rubbed his tired eyes.

 

"You shut your eyes for two minutes you'd fall sound asleep."

 

Face didn't say anything for a minute he just looked out the window at the ocean.

 

"I'm afraid."

 

"fraid of what."

 

"Being alone…"

 

"You ain't alone, I'm right here."

 

"That's not it." Face sighed; then fell silent for a moment as he looked down to study his hands before speaking. "I don't want to live without him."

 

If Face had been watching he would have noticed the angry that was building on the big man's face and would have been prepared for the sudden jolt he received when BA snatched him off the couch and shook him like a rag doll.

 

"Don't you say that!" BA snarled in his face. "Don't you even think like that!"

 

"BA, let go of me…"

 

"No! You promise me you won't do noth'n stupid!"

 

"I can't." Face looked down at the ground only to have his head snap back up when BA grabbed him by the jaw.

 

"Damn you Face, promise me or I'll  break your skinny …"

 

"Let him go Sergeant!" the voice was weak, but still held power and authority.

 

"John." Face gasp going completely still, then began to struggle even harder to get out of BA's grip.

 

BA turned around to find a very tired and pale Hannibal standing in the door. "I said let him go!"

 

BA automatically let go of the Face when his commander ordered him.

 

As soon as he was free Face ran over to his lover who was now leaning against Murdock for support.

 

"What are you doing home?"

 

"That the type of greeting I get for saving your butt?" Hannibal raised an eyebrow as he transferred his weight from Murdock to Face.

 

"I love you John," Face smiled at Hannibal before kissing him gently on the lips. "Now what are you doing here?"

 

"He checked himself out against the doctor's advice." Murdock frowned at the older man.

 

"Look I'm fine just a little weak."

 

"Hannibal you shouldn't have…"

 

Hannibal held up his hand to silence Face. "We both know I can rest better here than in a hospital."

 

Face studied his lover for a minute, taking in his tired and worn face. "Let's get you up to bed."

 

"First I want to know why BA thought it was necessary to try and kill you." Hannibal turned a cold eye to the big man.

 

"We were just having a really strong debate over…"

 

"Shut up Face, I didn't ask you." Hannibal interrupted as he continued to glare at BA while he allowed Face to move him to the couch so he could sit down.

 

"It's between me and Face."

 

"If it concerns him it concerns me."

 

"I was worried about his health."

 

"You thought it would improve if you shook the daylight out of him?"

 

"Man, I don't want to talk about this right now…"

 

"Tough shit!"  Hannibal snapped.

 

"Hannibal it was nothing…"

 

"Not another word Face."

 

"John, please your still sick…"

 

"Enough, Tem!" Hannibal warned his voice rising despite his raw throat. When Face dropped his head he reached over to squeeze the younger man's hand. Taking a deep breath he calmed himself. "BA, what's going on?"

 

BA looked over at Hannibal then Face before deciding on what to say. "Face said a few things that worried me. I was afraid he might hurt himself if something might happen to you. I wanted him to promise that he wouldn't do anything stupid."

 

Hannibal nodded before turning his attention to Face, who seemed to have developed a great fascination with the tops of his bare feet. Reaching out Hannibal gently lifted the younger man's face by the chin. "That true kid?"

 

Face nodded his head yes, as he pulled away to lower it again. "Can't live without you." He whispered.

 

"Tem," Hannibal pulled the smaller man to him hugging him tight. "I love you so much."

 

Murdock and BA watched as Hannibal whispered something into Face's ear, causing a sob to escape his lips as he latched on to their leader as if his life depended on it. The two stayed this way for several minutes before Hannibal whispered something else before lowering them both down on the oversized couch. Reaching over the back of the sofa he pulled the decorative blanket down around the two of them. 

 

"You two are more than welcome to stay, but keep the noise down."

 

Murdock looked over at BA then shrugged as he took a seat in a recliner and turned on the TV, keeping the volume down low. BA looked at the couple on the couch, Hannibal he noticed was still looking at him; however Face was already asleep in the older man's arms.

 

"You need something Sergeant?"

 

"What did you say to him?" BA shook his head "figured you would have torn him a new one for thinking the way he does."

 

Hannibal shrugged. "I can't say anything when I feel the exact same way; he's my life."  With that he pulled Face closer to his body spooning himself protectively around the smaller man before laying his head down, resting it on top of the blonde's then closed his eyes and immediately fell asleep.

 

BA sat and watched the two sleeping men for several more minutes, still not believing what he had just heard.

 

"Guess we need to make sure we keep them both safe huh." BA turned to look over at Murdock who was staring at him with tears in his eyes.

 

"Yeah, going to have to take care of both the fools."

 

 

End

 


Take Care by Jullian Gray

 

 


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