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Talking To The Colonel
Rating: NC-17, just to be safe, profanity.
Summary: Face has to tell the Colonel something.
Disclaimer: I do not own the guys.
I would like to thank everyone who reviewed my stories and left me compliments and ideas on how I could do this better. I have a lot to learn so please continue to be patient.
The black van pulled up outside of the apartment complex. For a moment Face closed his eyes, trying to ignore the compassionate stares from the two other men. His pathetic attempt to hide from reality came to an end when he felt a firm hand on his shoulder. He took a deep breath and opened his eyes, "You want us to come in with ya Face?" B.A. asked and Face cringed inwardly at the worried look in those eyes.
Looking at his friends sympathetic and in Murdock's case, unusually serious, faces he was tempted. He would have liked nothing better than to say yes, after all there was safety in numbers and you gotta stick with your unit but he knew, deep down, he knew that he couldn't. He was the lieutenant, second in command to the Colonel. He wouldn't put this off on the other guys, besides he thought bitterly, the fewer witnesses, the better.
In 'Nam he had learned that if he or one of his soldiers messed up they would be called on it, rank was no protection from screw ups. There had been a major screw up on this last mission and it was not one that could be overlooked. No this was a fucking, they had almost been killed, mistake. This mistake was what he and his commanding officer were going to discuss today. He had been trained by the best and it was time to show it, but Jesus, sweet Jesus, he did not want to have this talk.
He forced himself to smile, "No thanks guys, I think it's best if it's just me and the Colonel." B.A. nodded and gave his shoulder a reassuring squeeze, he let go and looked down at the vans steering wheel. "It could have happened to anybody, you tell him that, Face, we been through too much…" The big guy's words trailed off into an uncomfortable silence.
He nodded, yeah they had all been through too much, especially in the last couple of weeks. "Look, you guys go get some rest ok? Murdock, you want B.A. to drop you off at the hospital?" Sad, brown eyes turned to look at him. God, he hated how this had affected Murdock. He hated the whole damn thing, Face sighed and ran a hand through his hair. Murdock just looked so worried, so nervous, as if just realizing that he, hell, all of them could have died because of a goddam stupid mistake.
"You think you might need some company after you tell the Colonel?" Murdock asked, swallowing nervously, "I'd rather not go back without knowing how things went." The atmosphere in the van got so heavy that Face felt as if he couldn't breathe, or maybe that was just the beginnings of a panic attack. Great, he thought to himself, maybe I can stay at the VA with Murdock after all this is over.
"I know I'll need a drink but you and B.A. can stay at that condo I got for us last week, and I'll call when it's uh, over." Face said in what he hoped was a reassuring tone, but from the looks on their faces, neither teammate believed him. Silence fell over the three men, Face knew that he had to do this, putting it off was only going to make it worse. He took a really deep breath and still feeling slightly ill, he opened the passenger side of the door and got out.
He stood on the curb and looked back at his friends. "It'll be ok, Face guy" Murdock said and B. A. nodded so hard, his earrings jingled. Face just smiled thinly, shut the door and gave it a little pat, "I'll be seeing you guys" he said and he watched the van drive away.
He turned around and began to slowly walk toward the Colonels' apartment, his mind racing. What the hell was he going to say? He owed the man everything; he had gotten him through so much shit, the war, the camps, living on the run, Face knew he would have been dead a million times over if it hadn't been for the Colonel. The Colonel had always been fair, always did what was best for the unit. He would understand, oh sure he would rip Face a new one and maybe even hit him a couple of times, but he would understand…eventually.
This is not the end of the world, Face said to himself as he stopped outside of the front door. He stood a few moments looking carefully at the worn paint and the scratches on the brass knocker. He had a responsibility, he was an officer, he had led men into battle, and this door was not the gateway to hell, he told himself. He raised his hand and knocked, all the while praying that he would drop dead so that he would not have to talk to the Colonel.
He stopped pacing and took a deep breath trying to calm himself down. It was over, they had barely pulled it out of the shit but they had finished the mission successfully. God, he had a headache and he would really have liked a drink but that definitely was not a good decision.
He sighed, suddenly feeling old, yeah, he thought bitterly, he was an old man dealing with a FNG mistake. There was just no excuse for what had happened, they were supposed to be professionals. He should have seen what was happening, he should have stopped...then his thoughts were interrupted by a knock on his front door.
He knew who it was, who it had to be. He strode quickly to the door determined to get this out in the open, that way they could get past it, he told himself. He opened the door with a little more force than necessary and then he was looking into the eyes of his lieutenant. A jerk of his head and then they were standing face to face in his living room.
A perverse part of himself
wanted to make his second in command say the words just to twist the knife a little,
"Face, I screwed up, I let
my ego get the best of me and it almost got us all killed. I owe you and the rest of the team an
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