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This page last viewed: 2017-10-17 and has been viewed 1042 times

Ti Amo

by Rita Ractliffe

Rated: NC-17
Archive: Yes
Summary:  Hannibal splits with Maggie to save her further grief down the
line.  Timetable after Nightmare.

Warnings:  Not much, some angst, terrible car wreck.(Sorry, the stunt work
took over here.)

Disclaimer: I don't own them, just live with them. I do not make any money at
this. I actually lose a lot. Any resemblance between the Characters portrayed
and real life is coincidental, but some instances are based on actual Special
Forces and POW experiences relayed to me by acquaintances who were POWs and
ACTUAL A-Teams, who Cannell does not own -- the U.S. Army does!

     TI AMO
     By Rita Ractliffe

God how I loved you so...
My heart just won't let go..
Day after day, I'm still holding on
Even though you're gone...

Ti amo --
Wasn't I good to you?
I did all that I could do
To make you want to be here with
     me, I thought you loved me...

I can't believe you could just turn and leave
Did it so easily...
You pulled my world out from under me...
Look what you've done to me!
How could you end it this way --
After the love that we made?
God! how I wish you had stayed...

Can't you see love, I just want you back...
   Ti amo... God, how I love you so...

I think it was there in your eyes...
Guess it was there in your sighs...
Guess it was there in your lies...
I was blind and couldn't face it...

Song - Laura Branigan
Original Words - Giancarlo Bigazzi & Umberto
Tozzi; English lyrics - Dianne Warren

     Driving furiously down the highway, Maggie numbly recalled the memory of
Hannibal's leaving earlier, less than a half hour ago... of his walking away
from her, from them and everything they'd been.  It had become an impasse'...
he'd gotten the idea in his mind and neither of them really had any more
reserves left to call on to fight over it anymore.  The whole situation had
finally become intolerable.  She still loved him with all her being and the
thought of being without him was tearing her apart.  But the reality of being
with him and his moods anymore was almost as bad.  Her tolerance, her
resilience had finally unraveled.
     He'd come up for a visit as was his wont, bringing just himself - with no
promises or illusions.  He'd never tried to install the hope that they could
ever lead a 'normal' life.  Hannibal was nothing if not pragmatic.  For a
couple of days, their lovemaking had been as intense as ever, filling both of
them with deep satisfaction yet leaving a void - an unfathomable longing.
When he announced he was leaving, that there was no future for them, it had
been too much.  He'd nearly died in 'Nam more than a year earlier on an
abortive secret mission of "honor".  She'd been there afterwards to help him,
to give him the will to live after he'd lost it from excruciating torture of
body ... and spirit.  After the doctors had done their best to mend and
repair him, she'd stayed beside him, along with the Team, and kept him from
going under during the horrendous recuperation.  They'd nearly lost him then,
and not just to the physical problems... his mind had been warped in ways
none of them could have ever imagined possible.  Hannibal, the rock... the
sturdy one they all fed off of, consciously or not -- Hannibal - the
strongest one of all - had been utterly devastated.  With mountains of
patience and fortitude, they'd stood beside him, helping, encouraging,
keeping - FORCING - him to remain alive and stay with them (whether he wanted
to or not, which at times had seemed a real possibility after enduring things
he had never imagined).

     And when, at last, he'd broken through the wall of pain and frustration
to emerge victorious, the bond between them had grown incredibly strong,
tempered by the flames they'd endured together.  The past year or so had been
sheer bliss.  Hannibal had regained his humanity with additional nuances and
shadings he'd never allowed himself previously.  It had been perfect... a
dream come true... perfect.

     ...Too perfect... the words strangled in her throat now as she remembered
watching him walk away, so straight, so rigid.  The tears, so long repressed,
finally began to flow, seeming without end.  She'd wept then too, but
silently, clenching her fists, digging her nails ruthlessly into her palms
until they bled.  She would not use cheap tricks to make him turn around,
come back.  He had to want to.  She'd prayed with all her heart that Hannibal
would turn around and come back of his own accord. //DAMN honor!  Damn all of
it!//  Her heart was breaking into a million pieces and she couldn't even
break down and practice the usual female wiles to change his mind.  Because,
if she did and if - somehow - he should relent and come back... could she
ever be sure of the feeling?  Did he really place her above all that he held
sacred? or was she such a distraction that he couldn't think straight?  She
couldn't do that to him... and have him remain the man - the knight in
shining armor - she'd grown to love and... respect as she had no other.

     Maggie shook her head in frustration, now, at the turbulent memory.
She'd watched him, in slow motion ballet, go to his car, open the door, and
then stop for a long moment.  She could see the debate going on inside him -
whether to turn around or not -indulge in one last look - and then she saw
him square his shoulders, straighten his back, and then for the briefest of
seconds, bow his head. Then resolutely, he bent down and slid into the seat,
never once glancing back.  He'd driven away in a furious burst of dust and
speed, leaving Maggie behind, alone - a solitary figure on the porch, totally

     *   *   *

     Hannibal had agonized over the decision.  But once having made it, he
followed through with the ruthless directness that was his nature.  Maggie
had not understood, nor had he really expected her to, that the decision was
in her best behalf.  He'd known that he didn't dare turn around; had Maggie
seen his face at that moment, it might have sent her over her own fragile
edge.  He kept his facial muscles taut, desperately trying to retain his
control til the very end -- the end to all the dreams he'd dared to allow
himself over the past several years.  He didn't dare look back, knowing that
one more sight of her distraught face would undo everything he'd been able to
bring himself to accomplish.  There was no future here... not for her... not
the kind of future he wanted for her - she deserved.  Was it to be her lot to
stand by helpless and watch him shot down like a mad dog by some trigger
happy bounty hunter or Army brat?  The thought had been with him a lot lately
- too much - he couldn't shake it... just a sense of his own impending doom.
He couldn't drag Maggie into that... he couldn't allow the love they'd shared
so intensely to end that way.  She had enough grief just with him showing up
periodically at the surgery in various stages of disrepair, oftentimes with
some zealous hunter on his trail.  It was too much to ask of anyone.  He'd
slid down into the small seat, dislodging the seat belt, which fell to the
side unused.

     The love she'd given him held no demands to it, no messy ties.  It had
been a mutual choice by two responsible people... //Responsible, hell.  He
had no right to involve another person in his crazed life... and certainly
not a woman!//  Breaking the interminable moment, Hannibal had reached for
the dash, inserted the key and brought the motor to life under his hands...
//as his own life had been brought back so many times under Maggie's capable
and loving hands//  The thought jarred him.  He felt his eyes grow moist.
//No, dammit, Smith, not now... at least get out of town.  Don't break
here.//  Did HE have the right to make this kind of decision which affected
both their lives so irrevocably?  He felt he did although her tear-stained
face contorting when he told her almost caused him to stop  - she couldn't
comprehend why he was doing this to her - to them.  Maggie had done
everything but fall to her knees and beg, and she was just about to that
point when he left.

     Savagely, Smith slammed the car into gear and spun out of the driveway.
//Not Maggie's fault.  How to make her understand?  She'd never done anything
to be faulted for.//  It was him and his damnable situation.  He'd held out a
faint hope for awhile that Stockwell would actually keep his promise and give
them the pardons he had so casually dangled in front of them.  But Hannibal
had finally accepted that it was not to be and he was pawn to the devil's
advocate.  His life promised nothing more than what it had already been.  Not
much to offer someone you loved.

     If breaking up devastated her so, what would his death do to her?  No, he
couldn't do that.  Her current grief would pass; she'd find someone else.
She was strong now -- he'd at least been able to give her that much.

     Strangling the steering wheel with a death grip for nearly a half hour,
he'd driven through the lush forested mountains, seeing none of it.  He had
kept some control over the careening car, although his attention was
obviously not on the road ahead of him.  Hitting a pothole in the road, he
was jarred back to reality - his brain's frantic messages finally getting
through -- too late to avoid the logging truck pulling out in front of him
from a side road.  It was too late for anything to save him.  He slammed on
the brakes with all his strength, and the small car slewed all over the road,
finally colliding with the massive behemoth and caromed off it.  It was
tossed aside like so much featherweight garbage, and died an agonizing
mechanical death, rolling over and over, tossing the human inside about like
a rag doll.  The twisted heap of grinding metal finally came to rest beside
the highway, on its side, wheels spinning lazily.  The driver of the large
semi leaped out to see if there were any survivors.  Expecting the worst,
nevertheless he made the attempt.  When he saw the first licks of hungry
flames, he was spurred into heroic effort.  Somehow, and he could never
explain it, he was able to pull out the limp body inside the small car,
barely clearing the car before it exploded into a shimmering fireball.
Gently laying the unconscious figure beside his own truck, he clambered up
inside to call for help on his CB.



Ti Amo by Rita Ractliffe



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