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Just The Way You Are

Just the Way You Are

By Jes Parker and Jullian Gray

 

Rated NC-17

Summary: Face tries to do something nice for Hannibal and things go terribly wrong, leaving the team to deal with the aftermath.

Warning: Hey guys, it's us…but if you want it in word, here it goes, slash, H/F, hurt, comfort, rape, language, violence, rape, I think I covered them all but there could be more, so if you're not sure - DON'T READ!

Authors' Note: "Just The Way You Are"  Words and music by Billy Joel.

 

Our Muse Bite us on the ass today … this was the result.

 

Y Just the Way You Are Y

Don't go changing, to try and please me
You never let me down before
Don't imagine you're too familiar
And I don't see you anymore
I wouldn't leave you in times of trouble
We never could have come this far
I took the good times, I'll take the bad times
I'll take you just the way you are

Don't go trying some new fashion
Don't change the color of your hair
You always have my unspoken passion
Although I might not seem to care

I don't want clever conversation
I never want to work that hard
I just want someone that I can talk to
I want you just the way you are.

I need to know that you will always be
The same old someone that I knew
What will it take till you believe in me
The way that I believe in you.
I said I love you and that's forever
And this I promise from the heart
I could not love you any better
I love you just the way you are.

 

 

 

Part 1

 

Hannibal stopped.  Right there in the middle of the street, he just stopped.  He probably would have gotten run over by that bus too, hadn't the man beside him pulled him out of the way in time.

 

"Hannibal have you lost your mind?" BA's voice thundered beside him. 

 

"Huh – wha- - " Hannibal slowly turned his head.  "What?"


"That bus.  You just stopped, nearly got your butt run over.  What the heck were you thinking?"


"Guess I wasn't."


"You got that right sucker.  You getting as bad as that crazy fool.  Pretty soon you  gonna be locked up…" The rest of BA's thoughts drifted off into nothing, although he kept talking, Hannibal had quit hearing.  Instead, he was watching his lover talk to another man.  Cock his head slightly in that sexy way that Hannibal loved.  Toss his head.  Laugh.  Blue eyes twinkled.  Lean body leaning… 

 

"HANNIBAL!"

 

"Wha?" Hannibal must have jumped a foot that time.

 

"Jeez man, pick your head up off of whatever cloud it's on, and stop dreaming about whatever you dreamin about, and try to focus on what it is we're supposed to be doin!"

 

"Doing?" Hannibal's voice was distant and distracted as he gazed at his lover and the young attractive man he was touching.  Not touching intimately, just touching; hand lingering on the forearm, but he was still touching. 

 

BA shook Hannibal's shoulder.  "Yes doing.  You, me, shopping.  You dragged me down here on a Saturday afternoon, the busiest shopping day of the friggin week to buy Faceman a ring.  REMEMBER?"

 

"Um … Oh Yeah."

 

"What are you staring at?" BA turned to follow Hannibal's eyes, but by this time, the two young men had parted company, and all BA got was a look at Face as he moved down the street. 

 

"Oh man, Hannibal!  You don't think he saw us do you?  I mean, I don't want to ruin the surprise or nuttin.  Faceman's gonna be so thrilled.  Why didn't you say somethin?"  BA was staring at Hannibal now.

 

Hannibal shook himself to regain his composure.  "Um … well because I just … " Okay so his composure wasn't quite back yet.

 

BA grinned.  "You actin like you's 18 again."

 

"I sure wish I looked 18 again," Hannibal mumbled quietly, thinking about how young and good looking that man Face was just talking to had been. 

 

"What?" BA questioned, his expression confused.


"Nothing BA." Hannibal sighed deeply.  "Come on, let's go find his ring."  He took a deep breath to try and clear his fogged brain, and set his mind upon his task.  Yes, this was going to be a great Valentines Day.  He couldn't wait to give Face the ring, and ask the young man to be his, and only his, forever.

 

~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~

 

Hannibal and BA had found the perfect ring.  Actually, BA had found it, and Hannibal gasped when BA pointed it out.  They both smiled brightly.  "That one!" they exclaimed simultaneously.

 

The storeowner smiled cheerfully.  "He must be someone special."


"Yes, he is very special." Hannibal smiled back as he turned the gold ring between his fingers, watching as the light reflected off of it.

 

~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~

 

Sitting there now, in their firelit apartment, waiting for his lover to show up, Hannibal admired the ring again.  He absolutely could not wait until Valentine's Day to see the look on his lover's face.  Lately, he got the feeling that Face didn't feel appreciated.  He hadn't meant to make him feel that way.  It was just with the new movie he was shooting, and the cases they'd been taking lately, he really hadn't had all that much time to, well … be together.  And okay, so he hadn't been spoiling him as he normally did.  But he promised all that was going to change, soon.


Hannibal took a draw off of his cigar as he watched the glow of the fire dance in the ring.  He really did want Face to be his forever.  Maybe someday they'd exchange rings and vows in a private little ceremony.  Not that it could ever be truly legal.  No, not in this Anal-retentive world.  But to them, it would be.  Hannibal sighed and tucked the ring back into its box, and hid it so that even his conniving little con artist couldn't find it … he hoped.

 

With the ring carefully tucked away, Hannibal moved outside to the balcony.  He looked out over the city and noted the flicker of lightening as it danced across the skyline.  Going to be one hell of a storm, he thought as a second flash followed the first.

 

~*~*~*~*~*~*~

 

It was late, very late, when Hannibal heard Face's key in the door.  Hannibal had been pacing.  He had been worried, and now he was pissed.  No phone call, no, "Hey Hannibal, I'm gonna be late, I'm screwing some guy …", where had that come from?  No, nothing.  Hannibal growled as soon as Face stepped through the door.


"Where have you been, Lieutenant?" his voice was low and threatening.


"Hannibal!" Face looked up in surprise.   His tie was loose around his neck, his shirt's top three buttons were undone.  His shirt was un-tucked from his pants, and he was soaking wet.  His normally neat hair was dripping with water.  He looked … sexy as hell standing there, which enraged Hannibal all the more.  Hannibal took a step closer when he smelled it.  Scotch.  He looked at his lover's face.  Face grinned up at him with that lopsided grin that only Face could manage. 

 

"You're drunk."

 

"I am not," Face argued. 


"Did you drive in this condition?"


"I'm not drunk.  Yeah, I had a few drinks, but I'm not drunk," Face's voice rose slightly as he became defensive.

 

"You can stop trying to con me, Lieutenant, I can smell you from here.  Now answer me, did you drive home in this condition?"

 

"Let me think about that and get back to you." Face smiled as he leaned back against the wall.

 

Hannibal took a deep breath to try and salvage what remaining patience he had left.  "If I go downstairs and find that your car is parked in the lot, I am going to kick your ass when I get back up here."

 

"You can try." Face's smile only widened as he stepped aside to let Hannibal pass.

 

Hannibal stared at the younger man for just a minute in disbelief before he stormed out the door.  He only made it three steps before he heard the door slam shut.

 

"God help me." Face sighed as he slid down the wall leaving a wet mark where he had leaned against it, his entire body trembling, and not just from the wet clothes, and soaked skin.  He sat that way for a few minutes, gathering his thoughts.  He could only come up with one solution, if Hannibal thought he was drunk, then so be it, he could play the drunk, and if nothing else, the alcohol would help to warm his insides.

 

Pushing himself up off the wall, he made his way over to the bar and poured himself another drink; his hands trembled so bad he had to put the glass down twice to keep from spilling it's contents.

 

With a deep sigh, he pulled off his wet tie and threw it on the bar before making his way over to the couch.   He sank down into its comfortable depths and waited for the shit to hit the fan.  He didn't have to wait long before an enraged Colonel John Smith made his way back into their apartment.

 

"Where the hell is your car, Lieutenant?" Hannibal yelled, slamming the door behind him.


"What's with the Lieutenant stuff?  What happened to baby?  Tem?  Love?" Face's blue eyes were gazing at him.   "Hell, I think I'd settle for a good old fashion Peck." Face said as he took a drink, which only made Hannibal all the angrier.

Hannibal ignored him, his blue eyes dancing dangerously.  "Where is your car?  Where have you been?  How the hell did you get home? And why in the hell are you all wet?"

 

"Do you want those answered in that order?" Face asked him, peering over the rim of his glass as he took another swig.


Hannibal took another deep breath, willing patience he did not feel.  "Let's start with your car, Face.  You know, that precious little thing you can't live without.  Where the hell is it?"


"My car?  You mean it's not in the lot?"  Face managed to look completely shocked and upset.  "Maybe someone stole it."


Hannibal closed his eyes tightly, while his fingers pinched the bridge of his nose, tightly.   "Face, no one stole your car.  Not that I know of anyway.  Now, where is it?"

 

"I don't know for sure," Face started.  "Somewhere between here," he emphasized, "and there."  He smiled as he took another drink.

 

"Damn it, Lieutenant, stop with the games," Hannibal snapped as he snatched the glass out of Face's hands before he could take another drink. "Where the hell is your car!"

 

"Give it back." Face started to rise but Hannibal easily pushed him back down.

 

"Sit down," Hannibal growled.  "Now, I'm going to ask you again, where the hell is your car?"

 

"And I already told you, I don't remember!"

 

"Then how about we start with something a little easier.  Where have you been?"

 

"I was at the bar."

 

"Obviously." Hannibal pinched the bridge of his nose again, a headache exploding behind his eyes.  "Which one?"

 

"One?  One what?"


"Which bar, Face."

 

"Ummm Dorothy's – no um … Red slippers … no, No place like home   ummm …"

 

"Toto's?" Hannibal asked, fingers still on the bridge of his nose.

 

"Yeah, Toto's." Face smiled.


"Who were you with?"

 

"With?  At Toto's?"

 

"Yes, at Toto's; who were you with?"

 

"Oh lots of people, Hannibal.  There was the bartender, and the waitress's, and the–"

 

"Concentrate here Face.  Who'd you go to the bar with?"

 

"What's with the twenty questions all the sudden?" Face demanded.

 

"You come home late, drunk, and with your car missing, and you don't think I have the right to know where the hell you've been?"

 

"You come home late all the damn time," Face snapped back.  "I don't ask you where you've been.  Hell, you've come home late every night for the past month, and have I once demanded to know where you've been, or with whom?"

 

Hannibal felt his temper rising even more.  "You know where I've been.  I've been at the studio trying-"


"You know what, whatever Hannibal," Face interrupted.  "You want to know who I've been with.  Tony.  I was with Tony."

 

"Tony who?"  Hannibal growled.


"Tony Mesino"

 

"Who is Tony Mesino?"

 

"Just a guy I know," Face responded airily. 


"Young Italian guy?  Dark hair?  Little taller then you? 

 

Face nodded.  "Yeah, that's him.  You spying on me now?"

 

"No, Face."  Hannibal was growing impatient.  Why the hell had Face been at the bar getting drunk with this guy, and what the hell had happened between them?  He tried to control his temper.  "Face, I'm only gonna ask you this once, so pay attention."


Face crossed his arms over his chest, he didn't like where this was going and it was getting hard to think as the alcohol he had just consumed began to surge through his blood and into his already fogged mind.

 

"Yes Hannyball," he managed to smile.

Hannibal rolled his eyes. "Did you and Tony have sex?"

 

Face's eyes grew wide, and for a split second Hannibal caught a glimpse of something behind them that he couldn't quite put his finger on, but as quick as it appeared, it was gone, and defensiveness took its place.


"Where the hell did that come from?"  Face tried to stand up again, but Hannibal once again shoved him back down on the sofa, harder this time.

 

"Answer my question, Lieutenant!"

 

"N-no…no…" Face stammered, his heart pounding rapidly in his chest, as he shook his head, not believing that Hannibal was asking him this.  He had been loyal to the Colonel since Viet Nam.  He had been propositioned thousands of times, but never once had he taken anyone up on his or her offer, and the Colonel knew this.  Yes, he had been forcibly taken in the camps, but Hannibal had assured him that that wasn't the same thing as sex, and thus he had never cheated on Hannibal.  He had given the Colonel everything, including his heart, and he would never betray him.   Not willingly.

 

Suddenly, anger consumed him.  How could Hannibal question his loyalty?  After everything they had been through together.  "No, I didn't sleep with him," he snarled.  "I don't appreciate you implying that I did, and I don't appreciate you manhandling me."

 

Hannibal studied Face closely for a long minute, he could see the anger in the blue-green eyes, and suddenly he felt relieved.

 

"Alright kid, where is your car?" he sighed as he tried to relax and put Face at ease.

 

"Somewhere between here, and there," Face responded again airily, reaching up and snagging the glass of Scotch out of Hannibal's hand, and swigging it back in one gulp.

 

"Damn it, Lieutenant!  Where is your car?" Hannibal roared.

 

Face put his head in his hands as everything grew fuzzy, but was relieved to have numbed the pain of the evening.  "I don't know exactly," he murmured.   

 

"Where did you see it last?  Was it the bar?  Tony's?"


Face lifted his head, and cocked it, confused.  "Tony's?  No, we didn't go to Tony's bar.  We went to Dorothy's … or the Tin Man's … or –"


"Toto's!" Hannibal exclaimed, exasperated.


"Yeah, that's it."  Face shook his head, trying to clear it.

 

"Okay, so how did you get to Toto's?" Hannibal asked, trying to keep his voice level, and as non-threatening as possible, even though he felt like strangling his young lover.

 

"Um…" Face rubbed his head, contemplating, and then looked up happily, the alcohol now fully coursing through his veins, hot and thick as it slowed down his thinking even more, muddled his thoughts, and thickened his speech.  "I drove."

 

Hannibal sighed.  "In what?"


"A car," he replied like that were the dumbest question in the world.

 

"Whose car?" Hannibal asked slowly, shaking his head, trying to keep his anger down, realizing that Face was now utterly drunk out of his mind.

 

"Umm. " Damn but he looked cute when he did that, Hannibal couldn't help but think.  "My car."

 

"You drove?"

 

"Yes"

 

"Okay, you drove to Toto's.  Did you drive Tony to Toto's?"


Face started to giggle.  "No"

 

"Where is Tony?"


"His house?"


"Is that a guess, or a for sure?"

 

"Well that's the last place I saw him."

 

Hannibal sighed, his fingers pinching the bridge of his nose again.  "Did you drive to Tony's drunk?"

 

"Ummm…" Face looked as though he didn't want to answer that.

 

"Lieutenant, did-you-drive-to-his-house-in-this-condition?" Hannibal demanded, annunciating every word.

 

"Condition?"

 

"DRUNK FACE!  DRUNK!  DID YOU DRIVE DRUNK??" Hannibal all but screamed at him.


Face shook his head frantically.  "No, I had a few drinks at the bar, but I wasn't drunk.  I had a few more at his house-" he stopped, realizing that he had said too much.

 

"So, you went back to Tony's house; for drinks?" Hannibal snarled.

 

"I-"

 

But Hannibal cut him off.  "So where is your car?"

 

Face cocked his head again, and then shrugged, he felt dizzy and the room was beginning to spin.  "I told you, I don't know for sure."

 

"Damn it, Lieutenant, where did you go after Tony's??"


"Home," he said quietly, his eyes taking on that dark expression again.

 

"Home?  Here?  You came here?  Straight here?"

 

Face wagged his head again.  He looked like a little boy.

 

"Then where is your car? And why the hell are you soaking wet?"

 

Face put on a pouty lip.  "That mean ol tree jumped out and squashed it."


"FACE!!"

 

Hannibal could not believe this.  First, his lover had been with another man at a bar.  Then he drove drunk, and now he had smashed his car.  He tried to calm down, but he was failing miserably.

 

"Let me get this straight, Lieutenant.  You got drunk, drove, smashed your car then what walked home in the rain?"

 

"I didn't smash it, the tree smashed it."

 

"Who drove the car into the tree, Face?"


"The tree jumped out in front of me."


"Tree's don't jump."

 

"This one did."


"Damnit Peck!" Hannibal was over the limit now.  He was breathing heavily.  "YOU KNOW BETTER!!  YOU DO NOT DRIVE DRUNK UNDER ANY CIRCUMSTANCES!!  IT DOESN'T MATTER WHAT THEY ARE; YOU DO NOT DRIVE DRUNK.  WE'VE HAD THIS DISCUSSION.  WE SHOULD NOT BE HAVING IT AGAIN.  WHAT IS WRONG WITH YOU?"

 

"Nothing, I…" Face droned off, realizing he didn't have an argument, and that suddenly all he wanted to do was get out of his wet clothes, lie down and forget this night had ever happened.

 

"Obviously something, Face!!  You're a fugitive.  You are wanted by every branch of the government that has ever been dreamed up.  Your wanted poster is up in every post office, police station, news station; you name it, all around the blasted country.  The last thing you need is to draw attention to yourself, get yourself arrested, or smash your damn car because you're too stupid to call a cab, or better yet, me!"

 

Face looked hurt.  Hannibal didn't care, he plowed right on.  "But most of all YOU could have KILLED someone tonight.  How would that have made you feel?  How would it have made you feel if you had killed someone, Face??  Some innocent person?  A family, Face, you could have killed an entire family!!!  DID YOU EVEN THINK ABOUT THAT??"

 

"No… I had to get…" came the whispered reply, but he wasn't allowed to finish.

 

"You're right, Face.  You didn't think.  You don't ever think!!" with that, Hannibal grabbed Face by the front of his shirt and pulled him to his feet.  "Where is your car?" he snapped as he pulled Face to look him straight in the eye.

 

"I don't remember," Face responded softly as he looked into his lover's angry blue eyes, wondering if he could ever love him again.

 

Hannibal growled.  "Where does Tony live?'

 

Face told him.

 

"Clean yourself up, and go to bed."  Without another word, Hannibal shoved Face back toward the bedroom, and then he stormed out of the apartment to fix his Lieutenant's mess.

 

Face looked back toward the apartment door, he didn't understand how this was his fault.  Hannibal was right, he shouldn't have drove home after drinking, but he hadn't been drunk when he left Tony's house.  He had just needed to get away from Tony's place… Face shuddered as he made his way into the bathroom.  How could things have gone so wrong? 

 

~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~


In the car, Hannibal put in a call to BA.  BA growled into the phone as he picked it up.

 

"Somebody had better be dead."


"Face is going to be when I get done with him."

 

BA sighed, his tone quieting.  "What'd he do this time, Hannibal?"


"Drove home drunk; smashed his car.  I'm on my way to find it.  I might need your help, that is if the police haven't found it yet and are on their way to our apartment to arrest his brain dead ass."

 

"Just tell me where," BA replied, sitting up in bed and grabbing for his pants as he made eye contact with his own lover, quietly peering at him in the dark.


"I don't know yet, I'm still looking.  Wait," Hannibal peered out the window, "My God, a tree really did jump out in front of him," he muttered to himself.

 

"What?" BA asked, confusion clearly marking his words.


"Nothing, BA.  I'm somewhere around 2715 North George Rd.  Nobody's around… yet.  It's a pretty deserted street, so maybe we can get her out of here before someone notices."


"I'll be there in ten, Hannibal."

"Thanks BA." 

 

Hannibal got out of his car to look over the damage.  Apparently, a tree really had fallen in front of the car. 

 

They were quite a bit outside of the city on a road that not a lot of people drove down.  Face's car was still in the middle of the road, and the tree was lying half on the car, half off of it.  Judging by the skid marks in the middle of the road, it looked like Face had tried to swerve at the last minute to avoid it, probably saving his life.  Hannibal was surprised that his Lieutenant hadn't been seriously hurt.  As he stood there, looking at the wrecked car, some of the anger started to edge off, and he realized for the first time that he hadn't asked Face if he was all right.  Hannibal sighed.  He was still mad that Face had done something so stupid, but at the same time he was just glad that he was alive. 

 

BA pulled up not long after and jumped out of the van.  Murdock hopped out of the passenger side and whistled lowly.  "What does Facey look like?"


Hannibal shrugged.  "Soaking wet, but he seemed to be fine.  Although he was really too drunk to get any details out of him."


"You mean you didn't ask him if he was okay?" Brown eyes narrowed with worry.

 

"I was a bit angry over the whole driving drunk thing."


"Well, yeah Hannibal, it was stupid and all, but you still ask if he's okay."


"I know, Murdock," Hannibal sighed, "I was just … " Hannibal drifted off.


"Facey's sure going to be mad when he sees his car.  Mean ol' tree jumped right out in front of him."

 

"That's what he said," Hannibal said quietly.

 

Murdock looked at his CO.  "But you didn't believe him?"


"Would you have?"

 

Murdock shook his head and laughed.  "Probably not.  Face is an … interesting drunk.

 

Hannibal nodded, but tonight had been different.  Tonight, he had been angry and defensive, not his normal happy drunk self, he thought to himself.  "Yeah he is that, but he cannot drive drunk," Hannibal added sternly


Murdock nodded.  "I agree with that.  He made a mistake.  You have ways of punishing him.  He just loves all those extra workouts.  But Hannibal, remember, it was just that, a mistake.  Just be happy he's still here for you to be mad at."

 

Hannibal nodded and gripped his Captain's shoulder, thanks in his eyes.  They hooked the car to the car dolly BA had put behind the Van, and he and Murdock headed for the warehouse to unload it.


As Hannibal climbed in his car, he paused, "Do you think you can fix it, BA?"

 

BA shook his head. "I don't know Hannibal, it's a mess," he hesitated.  "But I can try."


Hannibal smiled.  "You do that," he paused, "He loves that car," he added softly.

 

~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~

 

Hannibal crept into the bedroom he shared with Face.  Face was curled up on his side in the center of the big bed.  He wasn't dressed in normal Face attire of silk pajamas.  Instead, he wore an old pair of sweats and a sweatshirt.  For a long moment, Hannibal just watched him sleep.  And then, he bent down gently to brush a blonde lock off of his forehead.  Face moaned slightly at the light touch. As Hannibal's fingers drifted over the delicate tanned skin, he frown as he felt the knot on his lover's forehead.  Hannibal reached for the small lamp beside the bed and turned the dim light on.   Upon further inspection, he found a tender looking bruise beneath the blonde hair along with several nasty looking scrapes just above the hairline.

 

 "I'm sorry Face," he breathed into the night.  "I should have noticed earlier."

 

His stomach clenched, his chest hitched, and he struggled with his internal emotions that finding his lover injured brought. Hannibal pondered what he should do next.  Every instinct screamed at him to wake his sleeping lover and check him for further injury.  However a part of him wanted to let his sleeping lover lie.  Finally however, instinct won over, and Hannibal set about to wake Face. 

 

Sitting down gently next to his lover, he carefully took Face's wrists in one hand, while he shook Face's shoulder with the other and whispered his name.

 

"Face, come on, wake up," he whispered.  "Face," he said a little louder this time.  Finally, Face groaned and blinked his eyes slowly open.

 

"Huh?" Came the sleepy mutter.

 

Hannibal smiled.  "Time to wake up, Sleeping Beauty."

 

"What time is it, Hannibal?" Face moaned.

 

"Late – early, whichever you prefer."

 

Face looked sorrowful as he struggled to sit up with Hannibal's help.  Hannibal watched as Face climbed off the bed and headed for their bathroom.

 

"Where you going?"


"To pee – and get dressed."

 

"Dressed?  For what?"

 

"Whatever punishment you're dishing out." Face didn't bother to turn around as he spoke, just rifled through his drawer for his Army Fatigues.

 

Hannibal stood up and approached his lover.  "Face, come back to bed."

 

Face stared at him, confused.  "What, no early morning run or drills?"

 

Hannibal grinned.  "Now, I didn't say that.  But later, Face.  Right now I want to look you over, and then maybe talk if you feel up to it."

 

"If I feel up to it?" Face repeated slowly.  He cocked his head as he took in his lover.  "What'd they slip in your cigars?  You're supposed to be yelling and screaming at me, and then drag my ass out the door by my hair to do whatever half-cocked idea you've come up with."

 

Hannibal stood watching his lover with an amused smile quirking the corner of his lips. 

 

"I yelled earlier, now we can talk calmly."

 

Face seemed to consider this and finally just shrugged, wincing as he did so, and then walked towards the bathroom.  "After I pee," he mumbled, still not quite sure what Hannibal was smoking.

 

Hannibal followed him into the bathroom.  Face glanced at him out of the corner of his eye.  "What?"

 

"Nothing"

 

Face sighed.  "You gonna watch?"

 

"Why not?  It's not like I haven't seen it."

 

Face rolled his eyes.  "Whatever," he mumbled, glad that Hannibal wasn't yelling.  He really wasn't up for another round with the older man.

 

"What's up with the sweats?" Hannibal asked casually.

 

Face started to shrug, but stopped himself this time with a small groan.  "Comfortable."

 

Hannibal nodded slowly, confused, and not all convinced.  Something was up with the younger man and he hadn't a clue what.  "And the silky joby's aren't?"

 

"I was cold from being wet earlier." Face sighed as he turned to the sink to wash his hands.  Hannibal nodded accepting the answer.

 

"What's up with the shoulder?"  Hannibal met Face's eyes in the mirror.

 

He watched his lover slip easily into an innocent expression.  He shook his head. 

 

"No cons Face, strip."


"Huh?"

 

"You heard me, take off your clothes."

 

"Is this some sort of sexual game?  Cuz if it is, could we possibly postpone it 'til later, I'm kinda tired and worn out, and – "

 

Hannibal interrupted him with a glare.  "It's not sexual, and it's your own damn fault you're worn out."

 

Face was too tired to argue, and besides that, he didn't have much to argue about, unless he wanted to tell Hannibal the entire story, and that was something he really didn't want to do.  So he relented with a heavy heart.  He started with the easier task, taking his sweat pants off.   He then tried lifting his sweatshirt over his head, but it wasn't working like he had planned.  He tried to suppress the groan that rippled through him, but part of it escaped anyway.  Hannibal's face paled significantly.  I should have noticed, he thought to himself.

 

Hannibal stepped closer to Face.  "Stop, let me help," he whispered.  Face froze at the soft voice, startled at the sincerity he heard coming from his lover.  It'd been a long time since he'd heard that tone from the other man.  It felt good.  He looked up at Hannibal, just barely covering the startled look he nearly let play in his eyes.  No, he didn't want sympathy.  He had screwed up.  He should have kept his guard up; he had let Tony into his personal space.  If he had just been more careful…

 

"Face?"  Hannibal thought he caught a glimpse of something behind Face's eyes, but he couldn't be sure.   As he watched Face's eyes clear and regard him with a worried expression, he decided instead it was probably just discomfort and sorrow over the mess he'd created.

 

Hannibal reached out and gently caressed his lover's cheek, before carefully lifting the sweatshirt, gently pulling each arm from the sleeves slowly and then carefully pulled it over his head.  Face hissed in pain when his shoulder was moved.

 

Hannibal frowned at his reaction, and then sighed when he noticed Face was wearing a t-shirt under his sweatshirt. "T-shirt too, Face."

 

"Please Hannibal, I'm still cold." Face pleaded softly.  He knew if Hannibal saw the entire extent of his injuries there would be hell to pay.

 

Hannibal looked his young lover up and down, his frown growing. There was something Face was trying to hide, but was it worth the fight at this time?  "All right kid," he relented.  "You can leave it on."

 

Hannibal moved forward and pulled Face's shirt up to check his chest and stomach, and gasped when he saw the bruises already forming on Face's abdomen, chest and shoulder.

 

"God Face, why didn't you say something?"

 

Face started to shrug, old habit for him, but grimaced when the spike of pain coursed through him.  "Didn't hurt too much at the time.  Besides, I didn't deserve your sympathy."  God, he looked so miserable, Hannibal thought as he watched Face avert his gaze to the floor.

 

Hannibal gripped his chin.  "No matter what, you can always tell me when you're hurt."

 

Face only nodded, not really believing him.  It wasn't that he didn't trust Hannibal; it was just that growing up the way he did, it wasn't always okay to tell someone when he was hurt.  Sometimes you just dealt with it on your own, because you couldn't tell someone, or there was no one to tell.   And if there was, you didn't deserve their sympathy; especially not when you did something as stupid as he had tonight.  No, there was no forgiveness for such an error.  He could never forgive himself for such an error in judgment.  How could he ask Hannibal to?

 

Face was jerked out of his thoughts as a sharp pain traveled throughout his body.  He wasn't able to stop the cry that broke loose.  He quickly bit the second one back.  The pain was a good reminder.  If he had just paid more attention to what had been going on around him, how Tony had been acting toward him, none of this would have happened.  He should have seen the signs; he had seen those types of looks all his life.

 

Hannibal was looking worriedly at his Face's chest, and didn't notice the looks being displayed for him on his lover's face.  He, as carefully and gently as possible, began to run his hands over his lover's chest to feel for any broken bones.  He jumped slightly when Face cried out sharply in pain.  The cry was unabandoned, which was uncharacteristic of Face.  Hannibal quickly looked up, startled; he was taken back by the unguarded look in Face's eyes.  Face didn't normally leave his emotions on display, or let out cries without trying to bite them back.  Not awake anyhow.  He wasn't surprised however when Face quickly masked all those emotions, and clamped down on the next cry of pain.

 

Concerned, but without a word, Hannibal went back to what he was doing.  Thankfully, no ribs seemed to be broken, just deeply bruised, which would still hurt tremendously for a while, but at least they were in one piece.  His shoulder, his left one, so Hannibal was assuming Face was thrown up against the door upon impact, was dislocated and deeply bruised. 

 

"Your shoulder's dislocated kid," Hannibal said with a sigh. 

Face nodded and bit his lower lip, as Hannibal adjusted them both so that he could reset it.   "You ready?"

 

Face nodded again, not trusting his voice, and then Hannibal pushed and pulled sharply on his shoulder, but it wouldn't give.   Face groaned, and leaned against the sink.   "Ready?" Hannibal asked again.  He watched Face nod; his face completely white, and jerked his shoulder again.   He hadn't thought it was possible for his lover's face to pale anymore, but he was wrong.  Hannibal quickly caught him as he started to sink toward the floor.  His shoulder remained stubbornly out of its socket.

 

Hannibal pulled Face against his chest.  "It's been out too long babe.  The muscles are frozen up.   We're gonna have to try something else."

 

Face just nodded against Hannibal's chest, and Hannibal led him to the bed, where he laid Face down.  He then took a sheet, wrapped it around Face's shoulder as he had been taught to do long ago during the war, and stood over Face.  He met Face's eyes, and Face just nodded, and Hannibal yanked.  The shoulder sank back into the socket, as Face cried out in pain. 

 

With relief, Hannibal sank down on the bed next to his lover, who breathed heavily, his eyes closed, his face white, and sweat dampening his hairline.  Hannibal gently stroked Face's forehead, his skin cool to the touch. 

 

"You with me?" he asked after a long moment after he had watched Face slowly control his breathing.  Face nodded.  "I need to look the rest of you over."


"I'm fine, Hannibal," Face told him softly.

 

"No, you're not," he returned, just as soft.


Hannibal watched Face for another long minute before he looked Face's chest and stomach over with a well-practiced eye.  Face had scratches and bruises littering his entire torso, making it look as though he'd been in a fight, not a car accident, but nothing was broken or needed stitches.   Finally, Hannibal checked out the bump on his head and peered into each eye.  The bump itself wasn't all that bad; he'd probably whacked it on the steering wheel pretty good, which led Hannibal to his following conclusion.  Hannibal let his eyes roam up and down Face's body.  Face looked at him wearily, but decided he was too tired and too nauseous to ask what he was doing.  He knew Hannibal would tell him soon anyway, or he would ignore him for three days; either way, Face decided he wasn't going to win. 

 

Knowing the answer before he asked, but deciding he wanted to hear his Lieutenant's answer, Hannibal looked his second in command in the eye.  "Were you wearing your seatbelt?"

 

Face shifted his eyes, but gave it a second thought and directed them back at his CO.  Figuring he deserved as much punishment as Hannibal wanted to dish out, possibly more, he lied, partially.

 

"I don't remember."

 

"Damn it Face, you damn well do remember.  You're just too chicken shit to answer truthfully.  I don't know why you try pulling this shit on me.  You know I'll only double or triple your punishment, so you might as well try your hand at the truth," Hannibal paused, his irritation growing once more.  "Oh, but I forgot, conmen like you don't tell the truth, do they Face?"

 

Stung, Face couldn't answer. 

 

"So I ask you again, Face.  Were you wearing your seatbelt?"

 

"Probably not."

 

"Yes, or no, Lieutenant?" Hannibal's voice was rising.

 

Face did drift his eyes away when he answered this time.  "No," he answered softly.  He hadn't had time; all he had been thinking was to get out of Tony's house…

 

Hannibal looked at his lover squarely, and then simply stood up, stripped, and lay down on the bed, turning on his side away from Face.   "You'd better get some sleep.  You've earned yourself a workout in about two hours."

 

Face lay still, and stared at the ceiling, unable to stop the tears that suddenly brimmed his eyes, and slowly trickled down his cheeks.  He turned his head slightly, and watched Hannibal's back as it rose and fell sharply, and then slowed, until Hannibal was asleep.

 

Unable to sleep with the current of emotions flooding through him, Face pulled his sweatpants back on, and then walked into the living room, where he carefully sat himself down in front of the big glass window overlooking the city night. 

 

He lowered his head until his forehead rested gently against the window.  The cool glass felt good against his aching head.  His mind raced, his body ached, and his heart, his heart felt as though it were breaking.  His mind drifted back several weeks and began replaying.  He saw Hannibal's love slowly fade away as time went on.  His friendly touches that used to be ever so frequent disappeared.  His loving gestures that made him feel like he sat on the top of the world, vanished, leaving Face to feel as though he barely existed.  The loving arms at night were no longer there when he fell asleep, leaving Face to the point that he could barely sleep.  Instead, he lie awake, waiting for the return of his lover, who would eventually stumble in at all hours of the morning, and dive right into bed, asleep before his body ever settled.  Face's smile would fall, and the tears sometimes threatened to escape, but Face came up with some new reason each night.  A new reason for Hannibal's distant behavior.  He would remind himself that Hannibal needed his sleep.  Then, with worry coursing through him, he found himself unable to fall asleep, and sat up watching late night movies in the living room by himself until dawn broke.  He'd then make a big breakfast for Hannibal, who normally only grabbed a slice of the toast, and a glass of orange juice, and then was running out the door, telling Face that he'd have breakfast on the set, without so much as a peck on the cheek.

 

As the weeks passed, Face realized that maybe Hannibal was just falling out of love with him, and after this stunt, Face realized he might have just pushed Hannibal away for good.  The thought terrified him.  He realized that if Hannibal ever found out the truth about what really happened tonight, that Hannibal would never forgive him.

 

He hadn't meant for it to happen.  He'd tried to stop it, but Tony wouldn't stop, and the drug in his system made sure he couldn't fight, but worst of all, he had lied to Hannibal.  He'd had sex with Tony.  Whether he had wanted to or not.   At least Hannibal hadn't seen his back, or noticed the marks Tony had made when he had shoved him to the floor, and held him down...

 

~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~

 

As the sun beat through the window, Hannibal groaned and rolled over, sticking his head under the pillow.  His mind, however, was drawn to his lover and the remembrance of the events of the night before.  With a sigh, Hannibal rolled over to find an empty spot where his lover usually lay.

 

Kid must be up already, Hannibal thought to himself, wondering at the same time what sort of punishment he should come up with.  This stunt was beyond all stunts.  He put innocent people's lives at stake, and went out with another man.  He shook his head, forcing that thought to the back of his mind.  Or as far back as he could possibly shove it, which pretty much left it remaining where it was, nagging away at him.   Hannibal had more then just exercise on his mind, but the extra pain from the exercise on Face's already sore body should help remind him just how stupid his little stunt was.

 

Slipping his feet out of the bed, Hannibal made his way to the bathroom, and as he relaxed in the shower, he came up with a fitting punishment … or two.

 

~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~

 

Hannibal walked into the living room, ready to yell at Face to get moving, when he noticed the blonde asleep at the picture window, his head resting on the glass.

 

"Up and at'um, Lieutenant," Hannibal barked as he slapped Face on the back.  He had expected Face to jump, but he hadn't expected him to scream and collapse in a heap on the floor, pulling as far away from Hannibal as he could, tucking himself into the corner. 

 

"Jesus kid," he whispered. Hannibal quickly moved to kneel at his lover's side. He reached over to touch the younger man, but Face pulled out of his grip, and began to struggle.  Hannibal quickly grabbed both his wrists in his hands, holding them in his firm grip.

 

"Don't fight me, Peck," Hannibal warned softly as he moved both of Face's wrists into one hand.

 

"Please don't, it's my own fault. I was stupid; I deserve everything that happened last night.  If I hadn't been so stupid, I would have seen it coming, I would have seen what he wanted, I would have..." 

 

Face continued to struggle, but Hannibal moved so that he had the leverage he needed to keep Face from getting free. Reaching up with his free hand, Hannibal grabbed Face's jaw and forced him to look him in the eye.

 

"Peck, don't fight me," he repeated once he was sure he had Face's full attention.   Face slowly calmed down, and Hannibal relaxed slightly.  "Tem, you with me kid?"

 

Face nodded.

 

Hannibal tilted his head, not letting go.  "Name and rank."

 

Face sighed, knowing the drill.  If he woke up and tried to fight, or kill, the team didn't let up until they knew he was completely alert and not a danger to anyone. 


"First Lieutenant Templeton Peck.  Sorry Hannibal.  You startled me."

 

"I'd say.  What the hell were you rambling on about?"


Face shook his head.  "Nothing," he muttered.  "Just a dream."


Hannibal nodded.  "Well, let's get moving.  Punishment awaits."

 

Face sighed.

 

~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~

 

"Come on, Face, move!" Hannibal commanded.  "If you don't pick the pace up, and you're going to do it six more times!"

 

Face sighed, but picked up the pace on the obstacle course he was running.  Murdock was standing next to Hannibal, chewing on the knuckle of his thumb worriedly. 


"He looks bad, Hannibal, maybe this isn't such a good idea," he murmured to him.


"You want to go do it with him?" Hannibal demanded.  Murdock sighed, and turned back to watch his friend.   BA glanced at his own lover out of the corner of his eye, wondering how long he'd keep quiet for, and then turned to Hannibal, with his eyebrow raised, but didn't say anything.

 

Face finished the obstacle course, and leaned over, his hands on his knees, gasping for breath.

 

Hannibal called out to him, "You've earned yourself a five-mile run.  Get moving, Lieutenant.  I expect you back here within the next 30 minutes."

 

Face sighed again, but pushed himself into a run, and took off for their running course deep in the woods.  Murdock looked at Hannibal.  "Come on, Colonel, he's had enough.  He's hurtin."


"I'm glad you think so, you just got yourself five miles too.  Better catch up.  I expect you back when he is."

 

Without a word, Murdock took off after his best friend.  Hannibal looked at BA.  "What about you, any comments from you?"

 

BA shook his head, but his eyes were hard.  Hannibal sighed.  "What?"

 

"You mah friend, or mah CO?"

 

This time when Hannibal sighed, it was long and drawn out.  "Your friend, BA."

 

"What's the matter with you?  Why you pushin Faceman like this when he's hurtin' so bad?  I saw that car, Hannibal; he's lucky to be alive.  He's obviously injured, so what gives?"


"He's just bruised.  I looked him over.  Besides a dislocated shoulder that I reset, and some glorious bruises, he's fine."


"He's hurtin', any fool can see that."


"Well if the pain teaches him something, then it'll be worth it, won't it?  He was stupid, BA.  He could have killed somebody."

 

"Yeah, and he could have killed himself.  He knows what he did was wrong.  Faceman ain't stupid, Hannibal, I know him just as well as you do, and if he was drivin' drunk, he had a reason for it.  Did you ask him what it was?"

 

Hannibal opened his mouth to respond, but nothing came out. 

 

"That's what I thought, Hannibal.  Faceman had a reason.  You should have asked him, just like you should have asked him if he was hurt before you left him alone."  BA shook his head, his anger getting the better of him.  "You know, I wasn't gonna say anything, but you haven't treated him all that great in the past few weeks.  He's been looking like a whipped puppy for weeks now, runnin' around tryin' to please you, doing everything you ask, without argument, which we both know is not something that comes easy for him.  He's been bendin' over backwards to please you, and you haven't noticed.  You've walked all over him, and barely said anything to him that wasn't a direct order.   And now this?  I know how Faceman thinks.  He's gonna think you hate him."

 

Hannibal looked startled.  "I haven't been that bad, have I?"

 

BA just raised his eyebrows.  Hannibal's shock seemed to grow. 

 

"But, I don't hate him.  I bought him that ring.  I want to marry him.  I…" Hannibal stopped, unable to continue as the past weeks began to circle through his mind like a movie, and it was then that he saw what BA saw.  He groaned and suddenly looked as though he were going to be ill.

 

"Why didn't you say something?" Hannibal asked, his hand running through his silver hair.

 

"Would you have listened?  Besides, Murdock did.  You gave him an extra workout for interfering, remember?"

 

Hannibal moaned.  "Murdock's gonna kill me," he muttered.

 

"Well, he ain't been too happy witchew.  So, if you ain't unhappy with him, why you pushin' him so hard?  Normally, you would have found out what's gonna on in that blonde head of his, not treat him like a dog."

Hannibal sighed, looking at the ground.  He kicked his hiking boot against the dirt.  "He's been seeing some guy."

BA's eyes widened.  "What?  You crazier then the crazyman."

 

Hannibal shook his head.  "I'm not so sure BA.  I saw Face with this guy the other day while we were getting him the ring.  Then, last night, he was out with this guy again.  They got drunk together, BA."

 

"So, Face ain't allowed to have no friends no more?"

 

"I-no-that's…" Hannibal stopped.  "That's not what I said."

 

"That's exactly what you said.  Ya saw Face with some guy, he went out with him, you automatically assume they havin' an affair.  Faceman hasn't ever cheated on you.   He ain't gonna start now."

 

"I'm not so sure BA," Hannibal said with a sigh.

 

"I can't believe ya sayin' that.  You gonna hurt Face real bad if he finds out you don't trust him.  Face loves you.  He puts up with your crap.  He takes care of you.  He bends over backwards for you, and now you goin' an accusing him of cheatin on you?  You best be real certain of what you talkin' about before you go sayin' somet'in you gonna regret.  Faceman'll let you kick him.  Face'll let you hurt him; he loves you that much.  But, he won't ever be the same."

 

Hannibal sighed.  "I know BA.  I don't know what to do.  What would you do if it was Murdock?"


"If what was?"

 

"If you saw Murdock with another guy."

 

"I'd think they was friends.  Murdock wouldn't cheat on me."

 

"How do you know?"


"Cuz the crazy fool loves me."

 

"Just say you saw him with another man, you could tell the other man liked him, and you couldn't help but wonder, what would you do?"

 

"I'd tell him I saw him with the other man, and ask him who it was.  I'd tell him that the guy seemed to like him an awful lot, and see what he has to say about it, but I wouldn't go accusin' him of nothin'.  I ain't stupid.  I trust Murdock.  Murdock trusts me.  Talk to Face.  Be honest with him."

 

"Like he's always honest with me."

 

"About the important stuff he is.   Face protects himself.  It's all he knows how to do."

 

Hannibal sighed deeply and felt his jacket pockets for a cigar, before checking his watch for the time.

 

"I'll talk to him," he told BA as he lit his cigar. 

 

"Good.  Cuz if you hurt him, Ah'll kick your ass."

 

Hannibal just nodded.

 

~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~

 

"So, what gives?" Murdock asked as he caught up to Face.  It was the first time he'd been alone with Face since the accident.

 

Face shook his head. 


"Cut the con, it ain't gonna work.  You never drink-and-drive, why start yesterday?"

 

Face was silent for a few minutes while they ran.  Murdock waited.  Finally, Face stopped running, and bent over, his hands on his knees as he gulped for air.  His entire body ached and hurt and his head was spinning.

 

He finally stood up, and ran his hands through his hair.  He stopped halfway through, and clenched his hair forcefully, pulling his arms tightly against his head.  He stood like this for a long moment, and Murdock just watched him in concern.  Finally, Face sighed, dropped his hands and started running again.  Murdock followed.

 

"You know that car Hannibal wanted?" Face asked out of the blue.

 

"The Avanti?  Hell yeah, he about drooled over it the last time we saw it."

 

"I was trying to buy it for him for Valentine's Day."

 

"What?  Really?"


Face nodded.  "I tracked down the owner through a connection at the DMV.  Then, I called him up, but he didn't want to sell it, and kept hanging up on me.  But, Hannibal loves that car.  I had to get it for him.  I did another search, and came up with three others not far from us, and started tracking them down.  But, none of them were anywhere close to the one that he fell in love with.  The bodies are junk.  I don't want to buy something we have to fix up for him; I wanted that car.  It's mint.   So, finally, I went to where the guy works, and talked to him.  I offered him an obscene amount of money.  He folded.  He told me to meet him at Toto's to finalize the paperwork.  I did," Face stopped running again, his face pale, and he gasped again for air, his hands on his knees.  Murdock rubbed his back.

 

"You're really hurtin', aren't you, pal?"

"I'll be alright, Murdock," Face told him, avoiding the question. 

 

Murdock shook his head.  "So, you were at the bar.  Then what happened?" he prompted.


"Nothing.  I must have drank too much.  I didn't feel very good.  I don't remember too much," Face finished abruptly.

 

Murdock shook his head again.  "You're not telling me the whole story."

 

Face sighed, pulling himself back upright.  "It's close enough.  Besides, it doesn't matter.  I was stupid.  I thought I was more sober then I guess I was.  It was a stupid mistake."

 

"Not one that you make, Face.  I know you better then that."

 

"I just wanted to go home, Murdock.  The whole thing was a bust.  I didn't get the car.  I was pissed off.  It was just one thing after another."

 

Murdock nodded, not quite believing his friend, but let it drop for now.  "So, he wouldn't sell?"

 

"Let's just say the price was a little high."

 

Murdock froze.  "Face, he didn't…" he stopped and swallowed, "he didn't want you in return, did he?"

 

His friend's pale face and hard eyes were answer enough.  Murdock groaned.  "No wonder you wanted out of there so fast.  Damn."

 

"I was just trying to do something nice for Hannibal.  I knew how much he liked that car, and it would have been so great to see his face."  Face sighed.  "I don't think he wants me anymore, Murdock," he admitted softly, his voice lost.

 

Murdock shook his head.  "That's not true, Face.  He loves you.  I know he does.  Why, he dragged the big guy out with him the other day to get you a Valentine's present, so I know he loves you, see," Murdock pointed out.

 

Face stilled and turned his head slightly.  "Really?"

 

"Really," Murdock assured him. 

 

Face sighed, but he didn't answer.  "Come on Murdock, we better hurry, we're behind as it is."

"Forget the run, Face.  We're going back.  You're hurting too bad.  You could barely catch your breath as it was on that last half mile."

 

"Hannibal's gonna be mad."

 

"Blame it on me.  I outrank you.  Let's go."

 

Face smiled.

 

~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~

 

When the pair returned, Hannibal looked at his watch and frowned.  "There's no way you two made it five miles already."

 

"Hannibal," BA muttered under his breath.

 

Murdock stood inches from his CO, his eyes hard.  "I ordered him back.  He's hurtin' too bad.  You sure he didn't bust his ribs, cuz he can barely breathe."


Hannibal looked concerned.  "They didn't feel broken."

 

"Do you have an x-ray machine at the apartment I don't know about?" Murdock asked sarcastically.

 

Hannibal's look darkened, but BA stepped in and took Murdock by the arm, and pulled him away from Hannibal, but he looked pointedly at Hannibal.

 

Hannibal sighed.  "All right.  Murdock, BA, you're dismissed.  Remember, we meet the new clients tomorrow night, so I expect you at our apartment this evening to discuss the case.  Face, we're going home," with that, Hannibal headed for his car.  Face stood still for a moment, part of him wanting to refuse, tired of Hannibal's attitude, and hurt by his lack of caring, but the other part just wanted to lie down.  He was so tired.  The tired half won.

 

~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~

 

When Face stepped out of the shower, he was surprised to find Hannibal there, waiting with a warm towel. As Hannibal approached Face moved backwards till his back bumped the shower door. 

 

"Easy Tem," Hannibal reassured him as he wrapped the towel around Face's waist. A soft smile formed on his lips.  "I've realized a few things.  The first one being, I've been an ass.  I'm sorry doesn't begin to cut it, but I figure it's a start anyway.  So, I'm sorry.   Second, in case you've misjudged my distant behavior beyond anything more then what it was, which is my simple hard-headnesses, know that I love you, and have never stopped.

 

Face was frozen as a rush of emotions tore through him.  Hannibal handed him a comfortable outfit that he had picked out for him.  Face just stared at him, wide-eyed, and Hannibal smiled sadly, realizing by the look of disbelief on his lover's face, just how badly he had hurt him.  Hannibal gently reached out and touched Face's cheek, softly caressing it.   Then he leaned in and placed a soft kiss on his lips.


"We'll work it out," he whispered, and then he pulled away, and turned toward the door.

 

"Soup sound good for lunch?  And sandwiches?"

 

Face nodded, too stunned by the abrupt change of events to speak.  Hannibal smiled.

 

Face stood still, the clothes forgotten in his hands and stared at the door Hannibal had just left through.  Did he dare hope? 

 

~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~

 

Hannibal watched Face pick at his sandwich.  "You've got to eat more then that kid.  You're losing weight."


Face sighed, and took a small bite.   Hannibal stirred his soup, cooling it.  "Who's this Tony?" he asked trying to keep his voice casual, looking over at his lover.


Hannibal watched Face pale, but not answer.  Instead, he chose to take another bite, but chewing seemed to take a great deal of effort, swallowing even more so.  Hannibal started to wonder if Face really didn't have something to hide. "Face?"


Face sighed, and sat his sandwich down, and then wiped his face with his napkin.  "He's just a guy."

 

"Well, what kind a guy?  A friend?  An acquaintance?"

 

"An acquaintance," Face said, picking up his milk.

 

"How'd you meet him?"

 

"What's with the twenty questions?" Face asked, almost angrily.

 

Hannibal looked taken aback.  "I was just trying to take an interest in your life, Face.  Besides, what have you got to hide?"

 

"Nothing," Face said a little too quickly, and Hannibal raised his eyebrows.


"I saw you with him the other day.  Downtown, near Sam and Jake's."

 

Face paled even further, and Hannibal narrowed his eyes. 

 

"Something you want to tell me kid?"

 

Face shook his head.  "He's just a guy.  I've only talked to him a couple times."

 

"So, you went out to a bar with a guy you only talked to a couple of times, and then back to his house?" Hannibal asked suspiciously.   "You know, the guy looked awful interested in you.  Like he wanted to be more then friends."


Face stood up abruptly from the table.  "What are you getting at Hannibal?"


Hannibal watched him coolly, but his stomach was now in his throat.  "Nothing.  Why are you so defensive?"


"I'm not defensive.  I just don't know where you're going with this."

 

"I just find it interesting that you went to the bar with a guy you barely know, and got drunk with him, and then went to his house."

 

"I didn't intend to get drunk with him," Face told him, his voice even and low.

 

"What else didn't you intend to happen, Face?  Sleep with him maybe?  He give you all the attention that I wasn't?"

 

The last remaining bit of color washed out of the Lieutenant's face, and he looked as though he were going to be ill, but he held his ground.  "Is that how little you think of me?  That I would willingly cheat on you?" his voice was haunted, and his eyes betrayed as he locked his gaze with Hannibal.

 

"What else am I supposed to believe?  You're being awfully cagey about this whole thing."

 

"You're supposed to trust me."

 

Hannibal snorted.  You have to earn trust."

 

Face's eyes widened in shock.  "What is that supposed to mean?"

 

"Figure it out for yourself," Hannibal sneered, then calmly went back to his soup. 

 

Face watched him with wide, disbelieving eyes for a moment longer, before he shook his head slightly, turned on his heel, and left the apartment, clicking the door shut quietly behind him.

 

Hannibal glanced up at the lack of an outburst, figuring Face would have at least slammed the door.  He watched the door for long moments, and then glanced at Face's barely touched lunch, and then he sighed, the first ounce of doubt making itself known. 

 

"Way to go, John," he chastised himself.  "Way to go."

 

~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~

 

Late that evening, the team was gathered around the living room of Face and Hannibal's apartment discussing their newest possible clients.  Hannibal looked at Face.  "Alright, we just need to run the last clearance check on them.  You and Murdock think you can handle that?"

 

Face nodded, not a flicker of emotion crossed his face or showed in his eyes.    "No problem."  He got to his feet, and headed for the door, Murdock on his heels.  When the two had left, BA and Hannibal finished going over last minute details before BA raised his eyebrows.

 

"So?"

 

"So, what?"

 

"How'd it go?  Did you talk to him?"

 

Hannibal sighed.  "Yeah, I talked to him."

 

BA quirked his head.  "And you realized you were being stupid, right?"

 

Hannibal shook his head.  "No, just the opposite.  I realized I'm probably right.  He got all defensive over this Tony guy, blew up at me, and left."

 

"What?" BA asked, surprised. 

 

"He was guarded about the whole thing, BA.  Said he barely knew this guy, only saw him a couple times, but yet they went to the bar together, and Face got drunk with him?  It just doesn't make sense, he's hiding something."

 

"Hannibal, you didn't accuse him of having an affair, did you?" BA asked, a pit of fear in his stomach.

 

"Not exactly."

 

"Aww Hannibal, what'd you do?"

 

"Alright, so maybe I did.  But, damn it BA, he's hiding something!"

 

"You fool.  Of course he's hiding something.  Murdock talked to Face.  Tony's the owner of that damn car you like so much.  Face was trying to buy it from him.  For you," he ground out.  "But the guy wanted a price higher then Face was willing to pay.  He wanted Face.  Face ditched him at that bar and left.  Which is why he drove home."

 

Hannibal paled.  "But-he didn't say anything."


"Why would he?  He was trying to make it a surprise for you.  I cannot believe you accused him of cheating on you."

 

Hannibal rubbed his face, ashamed of what he had done; sick.  He'd treated his lover so unfairly, but then something BA said, clicked.  "Wait a minute, you said he left Tony at the bar?"


"That's what crazyman said."

 

Hannibal shook his head.  "Face said the last place he'd seen Tony was at his home.  That's what he told me when I was trying to figure out where his car was."  Hannibal slapped his leg.  "Damn it, see, he's lying!"

 

BA shook his head.  "Hannibal, I don't think he's lying about this.  Maybe he just got confused.  He was drunk after all."


"That's how I found his car.  I drove toward Tony's house.  Not the bar."

 

BA rubbed his jaw.  "Well, maybe he meant he went to Tony's after they met at the bar.  I don't know.  All I know is that you screwed this up big time.  You need to fix it."


"I need to fix it?  I'm not the one lying about where I've been.  With another man no less.  He wants to fix this, then he needs to come clean."

 

BA closed his eyes, hoping for patience that he didn't feel.  "You screwin' up Hannibal; but fine, do it your way."

 

"Thank you.  I intend to."

 

~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~

 

The front door opened thirty minutes later, and Murdock and Face reentered.  Face dropped his jacket over the back of the chair, and made his way tiredly into the living room, where BA and Hannibal sat.  Hannibal's eyes were icy and cold as they met his lover's. 


"What?" Face asked resignedly. 

 

Murdock dropped onto the couch next to BA.  He glanced at BA, his eyebrows raised in curiosity.  BA shook his head. 

 

"This is gonna get ugly," BA murmured to his lover.  "Whatever happens, we don't leave."

 

Murdock nodded his head in agreement, and turned his head to watch the fight that was about to ensue.

 

"You want to go over your story about this Tony guy one more time with me?" Hannibal asked, his tone as icy as his eyes.

 

Face sighed; slid his gaze to Murdock, and then back to Hannibal.  "Why?"

 

"Humor me.  Did you meet him at Toto's?"


Face nodded.  "I told you that."

 

"So, how did you get back to his house?"

 

"I drove," Face responded, his jaw clenched.

 

"So why'd you tell Murdock you left the bar without him?"

 

Face opened his mouth to respond, but then closed it tightly, grinding his jaw.  Hannibal waited, his eyebrow raised while Face turned to look at Murdock, his eyes narrowed.  "Did I?" he asked.

 

Murdock shrugged.  "Not exactly.  You said you just wanted to get out of there, I guess I assumed it was the bar."

 

Face nodded, turning back to Hannibal.  "Any more questions?"

 

"Yeah, why'd you go back to his house?  Why would you get so drunk with a guy you barely know?"

 

Face threw his hands in the air.  "You know, I'm done here Hannibal.  You've made it loud and clear that you don't trust me, and never have.  I get that.  You want an admission, Hannibal?  Is that what you're after?  Fine, I let him fuck me.  Now, break up with me and get it the hell over."

 

Hannibal sat stunned.  He wasn't expecting that to come out of Face's mouth.  Face just watched him, his expression completely closed, his hands on his hips, waiting for a response.

 

Murdock and BA's mouths were open; they looked at each other, Hannibal, and then at Face.

 

Hannibal seemed too stunned to even blink.  Murdock shook his head, the first to find his voice.  "Facey, what are you doing?"


"Stay out of it Murdock," Face told him, his voice level and controlled, his eyes never leaving Hannibal.  "So, what's it gonna be Colonel?"

 

Hannibal finally blinked, and then shook his head.  "Did you really have sex with him?"

 

"I said I did, didn't I?"

 

"Yes, but,"

 

"No, no buts, you pushed this Hannibal.  You were after something.  You've had it all figured out for sometime now.  You assumed that I would willingly go out and cheat on you.  I admit it Hannibal, I let another man fuck me.  A man I barely know.  You were right all along, weren't you John?  I'm just someone who can't be trusted.  Sooner or later, I'd need something more then you could give.  It's what you've thought for years.  So, now you get what you wanted.  Me out of your life.  Hell, I'll even do it for you.  Face, I never want to see you again, you lying bastard," with that, Face spun on his heel, and left the apartment, pausing long enough to swing his jacket off the back of the chair and over his shoulder on his way out. 

 

The trio sat stunned.

 

"What the hell just happened?" Murdock asked.  "What did you do?"  He turned his glare on Hannibal.

Hannibal shook his head.  "Me?  He did it."

 

"No, Colonel, he just let you believe that.  Damn you.  Why did you push him?  You are such an idiot.  You pushed him too far."

 

Hannibal was shaking his head.  "I didn't do anything," he repeated.

 

"Oh, you didn't?  Let's see, you've been ignoring him, walking all over him, hurting him, and then you accuse him of cheating on you.  He's right, Hannibal, you've been waiting for him to cheat on you since the two of you got together.  He told you what you wanted to hear.  Are you that stupid?" Murdock raged.  BA put his hand on the small of Murdock's back in a calming gesture, and slowly rubbed circles.

 

"Well, apparently I was right.  He did cheat on me." 

 

Murdock looked at BA.  "Is he not hearing anything I'm saying?"

 

BA shook his head.  "He hasn't been hearing anything but his own nonsense since this whole thing started."

 

"What's that supposed to mean?" Hannibal demanded.

 

"It means," BA responded,  "That I warned you not to push him.  I told you to talk to him, not accuse him of sleeping with this guy.  I told you this once, and I'm gonna tell you again, so listen real good.  Faceman would not cheat on you.  Has not, and will not."

 

"Did you not hear him?"

 

"I heard him Hannibal.  I heard exactly what he said.  I also know him.  Murdock's right.  He told you exactly what you wanted to hear."

 

"Are you saying I wanted to hear that he cheated on me?"

 

BA and Murdock nodded, and Hannibal deflated. 

 

"Why?"

 

"Because it's what you expected him to do," Murdock told him.  He shook his head, trying to think.  "Man Hannibal, Face was trying to do something nice for you.  Something he knew you'd love.  But the guy turned the tables on him, and decided that the obscene amount of money that Face offered wasn't enough.  He decided he wanted Face in return.   Face turned him down, which is why he…" Murdock drifted off, cocking his head in thought.  "Oh my God," he groaned, his hand flying to his mouth, his eyes widening in shock.

 

"What?" BA and Hannibal questioned him simultaneously. 

 

Murdock looked between them.  "He said 'willingly'," he told them softly.  "He said, willingly cheat on you.  Oh God, Tony raped him."

 

No one moved.  No one breathed.  They all stood completely still, staring at Murdock in shock. 

 

"It makes sense now.  That's why he's pushing you away.  He didn't want you to find out."

 

Hannibal shook his head.  "But why?" he could scarcely breathe.

 

Murdock looked at him.  "Because he was afraid you'd leave.  That you'd see it as a betrayal, and leave; that's why he left first, so you couldn't hurt him."

 

"Why would I think he betrayed me?  I told him over and over in the camps that he was not at fault.  That he hadn't cheated on me."

 

Murdock raised his eyebrows.  "You did accuse him of betraying you," Murdock pointed out.  "You've been distant, and hurtful, and what else is he supposed to think?  Damn it, we have to find him before he does something stupid," he muttered, heading for the door. 


BA followed him, glaring at Hannibal.  Hannibal mutely walked behind them, his head a roar with emotion, his body heavy with guilt.  Deep down, he knew Murdock was right.  About everything.

 

~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~

 

"All right, think, where would he go?" Hannibal said around a cigar, which he hadn't lit, but was chewing on nervously.

 

"The beach," Murdock said softly.  "Let's just hope he isn't trying to drown himself."

 

Hannibal turned around in his seat to look at the pilot, but didn't say anything.  Murdock just stared out the window, wringing his hat in his hands.

 

 

TBC

 


Just The Way You Are by Jes Parker & Jullian Gray
Just The Way You Are 2 by Jes Parker & Jullian Gray
Just The Way You Are 3 by Jes Parker & Jullian Gray

 

 


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