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Nothing matters anymore…the cars, the money, the fancy house by the ocean…nothing mattered…

Nothing Else Matters

By Jullian Gray

 

Rated NC-17

Summary: After Face returns to the Langley compound from being shot in the restaurant he has a breakdown that leaves the team reeling with what they learn about their Lieutenant.

Warning: Slash, H/F, Language, violence, death of none major character, war, and attempted suicide. ** Special note that Tem and Peck are unique to this story and do not reflect any other story I have done before.***

 

Special Thanks to Jes; you are the best.

 

***

 

Nothing matters anymore…the cars, the money, the fancy house by the ocean…nothing mattered…

 

***

Part 1

 

 "You need anything else kid?"

 

Templeton Peck offered a faint smile when Hannibal touched his leg. "No, I'm alright go on to bed."

 

"Are you sure you want to sleep here on the couch? I'll help you up to bed, it's no problem." Hannibal offered as he stood up.

 

"No, I've had enough of lying in a bed for quite a while, the couch is fine." Though what Tem really wanted was to go up to Hannibal's room and be held, he wanted to feel safe and loved again.

 

"Alright you need anything you yell."

 

"Sure John." Tem offered another slight smile. "Good night."

 

"Night, kid." Hannibal squeezed the blonde's shoulder before heading out of the room. He stopped for just a second in the doorway to look back at Face. He wanted to go back over to the younger man and apologize for not being there for him, to hold him in the restaurant. For not being able to tell Face how he felt or take him to his bed, because of the intense scrutiny he was under with Stockwell. But he couldn't he knew the room wasn't secure and he couldn't risk their relationship being exposed. No, they had to keep going the way things were, hiding their relationship from Stockwell and pray that they would get out from under the General's thumb soon.

 

***

 

Tem sighed as he watched Hannibal rub sun tan lotion on the back of a blonde bimbo sitting in a lounger. Closing his eyes he remembered how it felt to have the strong yet soft fingers floating over his skin.

 

He knew that they couldn't let Stockwell know about their relationship if they did then the General would have more power over them, but it didn't make it any easier to watch his lover rub suntan lotion all over someone else.

 

In fact the last argument they'd had was about having all the women in the house. He knew if he went to Hannibal and apologized for his outburst that the two could salvage their relationship, but every time he felt like talking to Hannibal he would remember that he was the one who hadn't broke his promise. He had been the one who had been wronged and it was he who was owed the apology. Now as he watched his partner flirt with the blonde he decided that he'd had enough and maybe it was time to move on with his life, after all it was clear that Hannibal could care less about his feelings. That he was no longer here for him, or even cared.

 

"Hey Muchacho you need anything?" Murdock asked as he set down in a lounge chair next to Face.

 

"No I'm alright." The younger man offered a half smile as he looked up. "All I want to do is enjoy the fresh air."

 

Murdock studied Face closely; he could tell that his friend was still deeply depressed over the recent events, and the constant fights with their Colonel. There had been times over the last few weeks that he had even been worried that Face might harm himself. Now as he looked at his friend he could tell that Face was still suffering from the heartache the older man had caused him.

 

"You sure you don't need anything? It wouldn't be a problem to…"

 

"I'm fine damn it!" Peck snapped as he rose from his chair. "Would everyone just leave me the hell alone?" He yelled as he stormed back into the house.

 

"I was just asking, there is no need to take my head off!" Murdock yelled back feeling his frustration mounting.

 

"He aint doing good." BA commented as he came up to stand behind Murdock.

 

"No he's not," Murdock shook his head. "But then again can you blame him?"

 

BA turned to look back at Hannibal who now had his arms around the blonde his mouth locked onto the woman's lips.

 

***

 

Peck went into his room and slammed the door behind him. He knew that he shouldn't get pissed off at Murdock; his friend was just trying to help. But it just hurt so damn much to see the man he loved kissing someone else, so soon after the shooting.

 

He moved to his window and looked out; from his vantage point he could see Hannibal and Miss Space Cadet swapping spit. Full of anger and disgust he began to pace the room, each second his anger build more and more.

 

He just couldn't take it anymore, he knew he had to get out, his life with Hannibal spinning out of control, and so was his life with the team. Hell he thought as he paced the room, what did they need him for anyway. Stockwell took care of their traveling arrangements, hotel and transportation, and Hannibal was treating Frankie better than he treated him. Peck stopped pacing in front of his dresser, his eyes fell on a photo of the team, BA and Murdock were kneeling down in front while Hannibal had his arm wrapped around Face's shoulder, pulling him in close. Blind furry raged through blonde, he snatched the photo off the dresser and hurled it across the room and into the wall. The frame smashed into the wall sending shards of glass in every direction.

 

Opening the top dresser drawer Peck dug in the back of the drawer until his fingers found a familiar object. Pulling the object out he opened his hand to confirm that he was holding the battered silver Zippo lighter. He turned the lighter over in his hand several times enjoying the feel of it as the cool metal rolled between his fingers. The lighter was the last thing he owned from his first Special Ops team, a team that was far more dangerous and deadly than Hannibal's A-team. Unlike Hannibal's missions his past teams jobs had all been search and destroy and he was proud to say they had been the best.

 

Peck rolled the lighter around in his hand one more time before stuffing it into is pocket. Now he just needed to make a few arrangements and take care of a few loose ends before he got out of Stockwell's gilded cage.

 

Moving over to the window he noticed that BA and Murdock were now in the pool while Hannibal sat on the side with the blonde sitting next to him. Taking a deep breath the Lieutenant made up his mind, they didn't need him and he didn't need any of them.

 

***

 

"What the hell are you doing?" Hannibal asked Face when he saw the younger man sitting in the study reading a book, smoking a cigarette, and to make matters worse there was also a bottle of bourbon on the table beside him. "When did you start smoking again?"

 

Peck took a long hard draw off the smoke as he continued to read his book, not bothering to look up. "As I see it Colonel, it's none of your damn business."

 

Hannibal could feel as his blood pressure rise as his face flushed with anger.

 

"Excuse me, Lieutenant?"

 

Peck lowered his book to study Hannibal his blue-green eyes were cold and hard. "I'm only going to say this once, so you better listen real close. We no longer have a relationship; you've made that very clear to me over the past few weeks." 

 

"Listen Lieutenant, I have done no such…" Hannibal started but Peck cut him off.

 

"That's another thing," Peck snubbed out the smoke as he stood up to walk over to Hannibal. "I'm no longer in the US Army, I haven't been since I was court marshaled in 1972 and if that isn't enough for you I feel my service to my country ended when I was put in front of a firing squad and shot."  Reaching into his pocket Peck pulled out another cigarette, his other hand going into his pocket to pull out his lighter once the cigarette was lit he continued. "So as I see it, I'm no longer under your command and haven't been for a long damn time. Consider all my years of working with you charity, cause it's over."

 

Peck started to walk past Hannibal but the Colonel grabbed him by the arm. As Peck looked at him, Hannibal noticed the change in his young lover instantly. Gone was the easy going man that he had known for so long, in his place was the cold blooded soldier and killer who had first joined his unit in Viet Nam.

 

"You have two seconds to get your hands off of me before I hurt you." Peck warned his voice flat and devoid of emotion.

 

Hannibal let go as he continued to stare at the younger man, Peck had been extremely dangerous when he had joined his team and it had taken years of training to get him not to kill as a first response. Hannibal had never found out exactly what his Lieutenant's original assignments had been, but he knew it involved going deep behind enemy lines and destroying enemy personnel, a lot of times with no one but himself to rely on.

 

Hannibal let go of the younger man's arm. "Face…"

 

"I'm not him anymore." Peck looked at Hannibal "You let him die on that damn restaurant floor." With that the blonde turned and left the room.

 

Hannibal could only watch Peck go; he didn't know what to say or what to do.

 

***

 

BA watched as Face sat on the couch in the living room reading the LA Times. As he studied the younger man he noticed the changes that had started to take place over the last few weeks. His friend was now cold and distant towards everyone, he didn't speak unless spoken to and when he did answer a question it was direct and to the point. But what unnerved BA more than anything were Face's eyes, now they were always cold and full of anger.

 

"Are you going to stare at me all evening or ask me a question?" Peck asked as he snapped the paper closed so he could stare at the big man.

 

BA looked over his shoulder as Hannibal came up behind him, and he could honestly say that he was glad that the other man was there.

 

As soon as Peck saw Hannibal he reached into his pocket and pulled out a cigarette. A second later it was lit and the lighter back in his jeans. "I'm waiting."

 

"We were going to go to that Italian joint Murdock works at, thought you might want to join us for a pizza." BA asked, however as soon as the words left his mouth he regretted saying them as he watched Peck's eyes narrow.

 

Peck stood up and walled over to BA and Hannibal, he studied them for a minute before shaking his head, and then laughed. To BA it wasn't a pleasant sound, it sounded like it hurt Face as much as it hurt him to hear it.

 

"Do I look like someone who would want to eat pizza?" Peck stopped laughing as his rage increase. "And while you're at it, tell me why in the hell I would ever want to step foot in that God forsaken restaurant again!"

 

"Man, I just thought that you might want to see Murdock and be with your friends."

 

A wicked smile crossed Peck's lips just before the dry humorless laugh escaped once more. "I don't have any friends."  With that said Peck walked past BA and Hannibal.

 

Not believing Peck could say such a thing Hannibal went after him, he grabbed the younger man by the shoulder and spun him around. He never saw the fist, as it connected with is jaw knocking him to the ground.

 

"I warned you once old man," Peck moved to stand over him. "Don't touch me." With that the blonde turned and walked off.

 

BA started to go after Peck but Hannibal stopped him. "Let him go BA."

 

"He hit you." BA shook his head in disbelief. "He can't get away with that."

 

"Leave him alone right now," Hannibal climbed to his feet with BA's help. "He's not himself."

 

"That's a hell of an understatement." BA growled.

 

"Come on I want to talk to Murdock, and see if he has any ideas. If I have to I'll talk to Stockwell in the morning and see if we can't get him some help."

 

"You think Stockwell will help?"

 

"It's either that or we leave here and find some place that can help Face."

 

"You think Face will go?"

 

"No, but then again I'm not going to give him a choice." Hannibal rubbed his soar jaw.

 

***

 

Peck listened to the Hannibal and BA talk about getting Face back and that was something that just wasn't going to happen. Face was weak and allowed others to walk all over him, he allowed himself to be hurt and used, and Peck was determined never to let that happen again.

 

***

 

It was late when Hannibal, BA, and Frankie returned to the house. BA and Frankie went straight to bed but Hannibal wanted to check on Face, he'd had the strange feeling all night at the restaurant that Face was in trouble and he wasn't going to be happy until he checked in on the blonde.

 

Quietly he opened the door to Face's room, when he looked in his blood ran cold. Reaching over he turned on the light and looked around still not believing what he was seeing. The normally immaculate room looked as if a bomb had gone off in it.

 

There wasn't a piece of furniture that wasn't broken. All of Face's suits were shredded to pieces and strung about the room. As Hannibal walked further into the room broken glass crunched under his feet, looking down he noticed the photo that Face kept on his dresser. Carefully he picked up the picture out of the broken glass. His heart ached when he noticed that Face had torn his own image out of the photo, leaving only BA, Murdock, and himself.

 

Hannibal continued across the bedroom to Face's bathroom almost afraid what he might find inside. Slowly he pushed the door open and let out a sigh of relief when he didn't find Face in the room; however the amount of destruction was just as bad. The medicine cabinet was ripped off the wall and had been used to smash the mirror into tiny pieces. Opening the broken cabinet Hannibal noted that Face's medication was missing. Hannibal's eyes moved back to the wall where the medicine cabinet had been he noticed a pair of scissors jammed into the plaster. Looking down into the sink he noticed a large amount of blonde hair along with several drops of blood.

 

"Peck, what have you done?" Hannibal whispered as he closed his eyes to fight back the nausea he was feeling. Hannibal continued to look around the room still not believing that Face was capable of this kind of violence, when the young man's words slammed into him.  "I'm not him anymore. You let him die on that damn restaurant floor."

 

Hannibal spun around and threw up in the toilet as he realized what his pride had cost him. He stood bent over the toilet for several minutes composing himself before going to BA's room. Hannibal knocked softly on the door as he opened it. As soon as he stepped through BA was instantly alert.

 

"BA, I need you to let me in the van, I forgot something in it." Hannibal motioned over to the lamp he knew was bugged.

 

BA looked at Hannibal as he got out of the bed, he could tell the second his friend walked through the door that something was wrong by his pale completion.

 

"You forget Face's dinner?" BA asked giving Hannibal a clue that he knew what the problem was.

 

"Yeah, I left it on the seat." Hannibal thanked God that BA was so good at reading him during times like these.

 

"Yeah, I'll go unlock it, let me get my pants."

 

BA quickly got dressed and the two headed for the garage, the moment they were in the van and the door was shut BA turned to Hannibal.

 

"What's going on?"

 

"Face is gone."

 

"You sure he ain't just walking around on the grounds somewhere?" BA motioned out the front window to the Vette, which was sitting in its normal spot.

 

"No." Hannibal closed his eyes. "He's gone." Hannibal pinched the bridge of his nose as he tried to think of how to explain to BA what Face's real problem was.

 

"Don't beat around the bush, just tell me." BA growled as he realized Hannibal was hiding something.

 

"Face has multiple personalities."

 

BA looked at Hannibal then nodded. "You mean Lieutenant Peck is back."

 

Hannibal's jaw dropped as BA spoke. "You ain't the only one who watched him over the years. I remember how he was when you first brought him onto the team. He was high strung and ready to fight anything that moved, he was dangerous. Then you two hooked up and almost overnight he's a different person, but every now and then when he got in trouble you'd see his old self come through." BA shook his head as he remembered Face's fit of anger earlier. "I knew the other personality was back when he hit you. Face would never hit you."

 

Hannibal nodded as he unconsciously rubbed his sore jaw. It was true Face had never laid a hand on him in anger. The two had been up in each other's face yelling at the top of their lungs before, but Face had never hit him, just as he had never hit Face. However Hannibal always felt that Face backed down not because he felt he was wrong, but because he felt he would lose control and do something he would regret. He also knew that this was one of the reasons that the younger man tried his best not to get into physical altercations if he could help it. It wasn't that he was afraid he would be hurt it was because Face was afraid he would kill someone.

 

BA was right about one thing, but he was wrong about another; Face had more than two personalities, there were three. There was a third that was Hannibal's other lover; the third was Tem, a young man who wanted nothing more than to be loved and protected, who trusted him with out question. Tem was the one he wrapped his body around and held in his arms at night, and he had let his pride hurt that innocent soul.

 

Hannibal closed his eyes as he felt the pain well up in his heart crushing him. He was just about to scream in frustration when he felt a strong hand squeeze his shoulder.

 

"Don't worry man we'll get him back."

 

Hannibal offered a faint smile, he hoped to God they would find Peck before it was too late, because he knew that he wouldn't be able to live without Face or Tem.

 

***

 

Peck leaned back in the booth as he felt his prey run his hand up his tight jeans, under normal circumstances he would have just picked someone out in the parking lot to get what he needed, but Face had left his body injured and weak. When he had jumped the back fence at the Langley compound he realized just how bad Face had been injured that night at the restaurant.

 

 Peck signed dramatically as the older man gently squeezed his penis through his tight jeans; at least Face had kept his weight down, making him attractive. It was more than could be said for some of the members of the team.

 

Peck smiled at the older man as he ran his hands through his short dark blonde hair. The old man smiled as he leaned in to kiss the side of his neck, while his hands roamed up and down Peck's thigh. Peck allowed the older man to paw him, all the while his mind thinking of other things. Like the look on Smith's face when he found the blonde hair in the sink; Peck would have paid to see his expression.

 

Peck had expected Face to object when he had started to cut off the blonde locks, but the other man had remained quiet, shrunk back in the corner of his mind where he had crawled shortly after he had been shot and Smith had done little protect him afterwards.

 

Then Smith had allowed the women into the house, he had used the excuse that it was to help hide their secrete but Peck didn't believe it and he had let Face know all about his feelings. Peck closed his eyes and looked into his mind; yep Face was still where he had left him. Arms wrapped around his knees, head buried in them, though now Tem was sitting beside him his arms wrapped around the conman trying to offer him some comfort. 

 

As Peck gazed at the two weaker men, Tem looked up at him, giving him a hateful look. Well at least the boy wasn't crying anymore Peck thought, as he remembered the way the boy had begged him not to cut his hair. Just for pure spite he had almost shaved his head bald, but he just couldn't do it to the boy even if he was Smith's favorite. So he had told Tem that he wasn't going to do it, he had told the boy that it would mess up his plans, and in a way it would, he needed to keep himself attractive if he was going to get back to LA.

 

"You want to go back to my place?" The voice made Peck open his eye and look at the older man who was rubbing his inner thigh.

 

"I'd love to." Peck smiled, his eyes once again cold and hard.

 

***

 

 

Hannibal paced back and forth in Murdock's apartment as the pilot packed the last of his belongings.

 

"Why didn't you tell us about Face?" Murdock asked as he dragged his suitcase into the living room.

 

"Because up to this point it has never been a problem."

 

"Not a problem! How can you say that, Face has split personalities and you don't think it might not be something that we needed to know?"

 

"Look, I've always been able to handle him, I know who is who and how to respond," Hannibal shook his head. "Not to mention I haven't see Peck in years."

 

"Wait a minute." BA looked over at Hannibal. "You just said that you know how to handle him,"

 

Murdock moved to stand beside BA as he just realized what the big man was saying. "But you just said you haven't seen Peck in years." Murdock swallowed hard as fear began to build in the pit of his stomach. "How many personalities does he have?"

 

Realizing that he had tipped his hand Hannibal decided to come clean. "He has three, Face you already know, he is the one you two always see, the one that is always happy and carefree. Then there is Peck, you two met him when he first joined our unit in Viet Nam, he's the soldier, smart- ass, hard nose, and the one that's always ready to fight."

 

Hannibal closed his eyes for a moment; he didn't really want to tell the others about Tem, the young man was his secret, someone that he privately enjoyed having to himself. But he realized that if they were going to find their missing teammate the others had to know all the facts. 

 

"Then the last one is Tem, you two don't see him often." Hannibal rubbed his face with his hands as he realized how much he missed the young man. "Tem is the vulnerable one, he's just wants to be accepted and loved, he's just a scared kid…"

 

"He's the one who calls you John." BA interrupted as looked over at Hannibal.

 

"Yeah," a faint smile pulled at Hannibal's lips. "he's the one who calls me John."

 

"You selfish bastard." BA growled as he advance toward Hannibal, his fist balled. "You knew that Face was like this and you never got him help, what kind of friend and lover are you!" Grabbing Hannibal by the front of his jacket he shook his long time friend and leader. "Why didn't you get him help?"

 

"What the hell was I suppose to do BA!" Hannibal asked as he grabbed BA's wrists.

 

"You could have got him help when you first found out!" BA shook Hannibal. "They could have sent him stateside and gotten him help!

 

"He'd have killed himself if I sent him away." Hannibal blurted out.

 

"What?" Murdock moved to stand beside BA.

 

"I had a feeling that he was sick, right he was shot the first time, I was going to send him back as soon as he was fit to travel, but he told me that if I sent him away he'd kill himself. Hannibal looked at BA, blue eyes staring into brown. "I didn't believe him, so I went forward with his paperwork," Hannibal swallowed hard as memories flooded his mind. "I went to his room to tell him good bye and promise that I'd see him as soon as I could. I found him in his room with a scalpel in his hand."

 

"You mean to tell us he was going to slash his wrists?" Murdock asked not believing what he was hearing.

 

"No he had it to his throat." Hannibal answered not bothering to take his eyes off of BA. "If you look close you can see the scar just behind his left ear, it starts there and ends about three inches below his jaw. You know the one I'm talking about BA."

 

BA let go of Hannibal, he had seen the scar, in fact he had asked Face about it once, and the younger man had told him he had cut himself shaving with a straight razor.

 

"After that I knew I couldn't send him away," Hannibal finally turned to look at Murdock. "I learned to identify who was in charge and dealt with them, as time passed I saw less and less of Peck and more and more of Face and Tem." Hannibal glanced from one man to the other. "I don't expect you to understand this, but I love all three of them."

 

The three stood looking at each other for a long time not saying a word; it was Murdock who finally broke the silence. "Where should we start looking?"

 

***

 

Peck alternated from rubbing his aching head to his sore side as he cruised down the highway in his newly acquired convertible. He hadn't planned on aggregating his injured side, but the old man had put up more of a fight than he expected him to. When Peck had considered killing him, Tem had screamed so loud that at the moment of truth he hadn't been able to do it. Closing his eyes for a second he noted that the young man was once again clinging onto Face. When he was finished securing the old man, Peck had turned on the young man, deciding to shut him up, but Tem had once again ran to Face for protection. Peck knew that he could eliminate Tem without any problem, but he wanted to keep Face around, he never knew when the other man's talents might be needed.

 

Peck opened his eyes and he rubbed his head, at least Tem was quiet now. Sighing Peck concentrated on his driving, if his estimates were right he would be back in LA in another day. Once he got there he would need to set himself up with a new place and find a way to support himself.

 

 

 

Six Months Later

 

Peck sighed as he rubbed his aching head, for the past hour Tem had been screaming at him at the top of his lungs. If he had any way to get to the kid sooner he would have torn him limb to limb, but he had been busy making sure he had enough money to feed them.

 

"Shut up!" he finally snapped as he scrubbed his hands across his face, trying to ease the pain.

 

"You didn't have to hit him; Face wouldn't hurt anyone, why do you have to hurt people."

 

"Cause it's a whole lot better than being hurt!" Peck yelled at the boy. "And if your hero would do something then maybe I wouldn't have to do the things I do!"

 

 Closing his eyes Peck looked over at Face and sighed. The blonde conman had not moved since Smith had rejected him at the restaurant. He still sat huddled in a corner, legs drawn up to his chest, the blonde head resting on his knees, while his arms covered his face. As far as Peck was concerned Face might as well be dead, Smith had crushed the younger man when he had rejected him. Peck believed that the only reason Face hadn't disappeared all together was that Tem needed him to cling to when the boy felt distressed.

 

"What do you say Face why don't you scam us someplace nice to stay. Get the boy out of this flea bag hotel." Peck smiled at the conman, but like normal Face didn't move.  Sighing Peck shook his head and turned back to the boy. "He's worthless you might as well put a bullet…"

 

"Don't you touch him!" Tem screamed causing Peck to wince as pain shot through his skull. 

 

"I wouldn't dare lay a hand him; I would hate to think what the great Hannibal Smith would do to me if I hurt his boy." Peck laughed when he noticed the conman flinch.

 

"Leave him alone." Tem moved over to wrap his arms around Face's shoulder. "If you hadn't taken us from John things would be different, he would have apologized and we would be back with him. And you" The boy's voice rose as he talked. "You wouldn't be around."

 

"Dream on kid." Peck snorted as he reached into his pocket and pulled out a cigarette. "I've always been around; I've been here since the beginning. I got you through the orphanage, the foster homes, the streets, the guys in basic and at the bases." Peck took a deep draw off his cigarette. "I've gotten us through the camps and all the other people who have tried to destroy us over the years, including the shooting, and now." Peck turned his hard blue-green eyes on the younger more innocent version of himself. "Now I will get us through the great John 'Hannibal' Smith."

 

"But we didn't want to leave him." Tem looked over at the soldier.

 

Peck shook his head as he looked at the tears that began to fall down the boy's cheeks. "Little one we didn't leave him, he left us."

 

***

 

Hannibal was just about at his wits end, they had been in LA for months and there was still no sign of Face. Hannibal leaned back in his chair as he watched the sun come up over the city. Face could be anywhere out there the Los Angeles area was huge and he didn't have any idea where to start. Hell for that matter he didn't even know if Face had returned to LA the kid could be anywhere.

 

Picking up the paper Hannibal looked over the news, though his mind didn't really comprehend the words. His mind was still trying to figure out where his lover was, suddenly Hannibal stopped as his mind reeled. Was Face still his lover, after all that had happened recently, after all he had put the younger man through, would Face, or better yet could Face take him back.

 

"What the hell have I done?" Hannibal asked himself as he closed his eyes and fought back the anger, guilt and frustration.

 

Twenty minutes later Hannibal had himself under control; he opened his paper and began to read again. Though he couldn't really concentrate on it, his mind kept going back to the question of where Face would be hiding, when something occurred to him. He was looking for the wrong person, Face wasn't in control, Peck was, and Peck had a whole different set of standards then Face had.

 

Peck didn't care if the place had a heated pool or Jacuzzi; he could care less if there was valet parking or even if it was in a well to do area. All Peck cared about was if he could secure it and keep himself safe. And if Peck was the one in charge it also meant the there would be other things he would do different from Face. Face would scam or sweet-talk someone for what he needed, Peck would just take it. Grabbing the paper Hannibal turned to the crime reports, now having an idea of what he should be looking for.

 

***

 

Peck continued to rub his forehead as Tem continued to scream at him. He had told Tem that he wouldn't kill the guy and he had just knocked him out, but the young man wouldn't shut up and he was just about at his wits end.

 

As the pain lanced through his skull again he pulled the stolen car over to the side of the road.

 

"Shut the fuck up!" He yelled at the young man.

 

"I don't want to do this anymore!" Tem yelled at him. "This isn't who we are!"

 

"Well it's who I am! So unless you can get pretty boy up off his ass to run a scam or two…"

 

"He's sick… I told you he needs John…" Tem yelled back.

 

"He's dead because of Smith!" Peck roared. "Or did you forget about the restaurant already."

 

When the boy didn't say anything Peck reached into his pocket to pull out a cigarette. After lighting it and taking several deep draws he turned his attention back to Tem.

 

"We lay there dying, bleeding to death on that hard, dirty floor and what did he say?"

 

Tem said nothing.

 

"What did he say?" Peck asked again.

 

Tem dropped his head but still didn't say anything.

 

 "Answer me God damn it!" Peck roared.

 

"He said he'd seen worse accidents on the set."

 

"We were dying, breathing out our last breaths in this world and he wouldn't even touch us, not one word of kindness, not one touch…" Peck stopped when he felt his own emotions began to upset him.

 

"You miss him too." Tem whispered.

 

"No!" Peck yelled then calmed down. He took another long drag off his cigarette. "I'm just pissed that we wasted so may years of our life. We could have gone a long way if we hadn't hooked up with Smith."

 

"We would have been dead."

 

"Some of you maybe," Peck looked at the boy then Face "but not me."

 

***

 

Hannibal sighed as he looked at his watch noting that it was 3:00am and the bars would be closing soon.

 

He had been going through the newspapers for the past three weeks following the assaults that occurred around the city, and though there were quite a few several seemed to stand out. He had managed to track some of the victims down and as when they described their attacker he knew it was Peck.

 

Hannibal took another sip of his bourbon, now all they had to do was find him. Despite his better judgment Hannibal had split the team giving each an area to search. He could tell that Peck seemed to hit the same areas with some frequency; hopefully they would find him soon.

 

***

 

Murdock looked out at the seedy crowd that had gathered in the bar over the last several hours. He still couldn't believe that Face would come to a place like this. There was no style, it was nothing more than a hole in the wall for men to come and pick up other men. He had been propositioned several times already and truth be told he was kind of glad that BA was going to meet him. Taking a drink of his now hot, flat beer, he began to wonder if they would ever find Face again, and if they did how bad would he be. He knew Face had been hurting after the shooting, but true to his normal self the younger man had clamed up and not said a word to anyone.

 

Murdock berated himself for not trying to get Face to open up, he wondered now if he had tried harder if things might have been different. That maybe just maybe he could have stopped this…

 

"No." he slammed his hand down on the table causing several people to look over at him. "Roach trying to steal my beer." He glared back at them, causing most to look away shaking their heads.

 

'No' he thought this wasn't his fault this was the Colonel's fault, every damn part of it. If Hannibal had just gone to Face after he was shot, if he had said to hell with what Stockwell thought and showed Face that he cared about him. But no Hannibal had brought in the women to make the General think that the two of them weren't in a relationship with each other and Face had gotten worse and worse. Murdock gripped his beer even harder, if something happened to Face no one was going to be able to keep him from ripping the older man's head off.

 

***

 

BA looked at Murdock as he walked into the seedy bar. He had not been happy with Hannibal for splitting the team up and when he had seen the neighborhoods they were each sent to, he had been even more pissed. The only thing that made him go along with the plan was that Face was out in one of those hell holes alone and unprotected. No, BA reminded himself not Face, Peck; Hannibal had warned them that if they saw Face not to approach him. That the person they would see was not their friend and could kill them if they confronted him. BA shook his head, how could Hannibal have let this happen, why hadn't he told the team, why hadn't Hannibal told him, he could have helped, he could have talked to Face, he could have kept the younger man safe…

 

BA shook his head; blaming Hannibal wouldn't help, it wouldn't bring Face back. Glancing over at the table he took a good long look at Murdock; and if they weren't careful they might lose another.

 

***

 

Peck smiled as he slid the older man's wallet into his own pocket. This one had been an easy target; the old guy had wanted a quick blowjob in the ally behind the bar. "Well you got a whole lot more than you planned didn't you." Peck sneered as he reached into his pocket and pulled out a cigarette.

 

Closing his eyes for a moment he looked over at Tem, the boy was sitting next to Face with his head in his hands crying. Well at least he wasn't screaming his damn head off anymore, though he wasn't sure if the constant crying was any better.

 

Turning his attention back to the task at hand Peck left the alley and headed back to the apartment building he was calling home. When he heard the sob echo through his skull he decided that a few drinks at another bar might not be such a bad idea.

 

***

 

Hannibal had just paid his tab and was getting ready to leave when Peck walked through the door. When he saw the younger man he didn't know whether to laugh or cry. He was so overjoyed to have finally found him, but to see what the he had done to himself made Hannibal's heart ache. 

 

He knew that Peck had cut Face's hair, but he hadn't realized just how short it was. Even after being gone for months Peck hadn't allowed it to grow back out. Though Peck had managed to put on some of the weight Face had lost he was still too thin and pale, the younger man looked frail. However Hannibal wasn't fooled, he knew Peck was dangerous and this was just a way to put people at easy.

 

Hannibal moved back into the shadows at the end of the bar and watched as Peck ordered beer. Always in control, Hannibal thought as he watched Peck take a long slow draw off his cigarette before taking a small sip of his beer. No, no hard liquor to cloud your judgment when your safety is concerned

 

'Because we both know what might happen if you let go, Face or Tem might slip through and you can't have that can we?' Hannibal watched as Peck's eyes scanned the room, looking for both danger and opportunity. 'Always watching aren't you, always ready, you never let your guard down do you, you little bastard.'

 

Peck took another long draw off his cigarette, before he turned to laugh at some joke an older man at the bar had told him.

 

Hannibal could feel his anger grow as he watched the older man put his hand on Peck's arm, slowly moving it up until he touched Peck's cheek. A white hot rage went through him when the other man kissed Peck on the cheek, as the other man moved to kiss Peck on the mouth Peck stepped back and put his hand on the other man's chest stopping him before whispering something into his ear.

 

Hannibal fought back against his anger of seeing his lover flirting with the other man. He wanted to go over and grab the blonde…Hannibal closed his eyes. No, not blonde, not anymore, that young man was gone just like the sun streaked blonde hair, and it was his fault. 'You drove him away; you sure as hell don't have a right to judge Smith.' Hannibal rubbed his hands over his eyes.

 

 

When Hannibal opened his eyes he noticed that Peck and the older man were heading out of the bar, the older man's hand running up and down the younger man's ass. As much as he wanted to go over and drag Peck home he knew he couldn't, he would have to follow him and strike when the other man least expected it.

 

Hannibal waited for several minutes before he left the bar, long enough that Peck shouldn't see him leave but quick enough that he could safely follow. As he left the bar he quickly spotted Peck and the other man walking down the sidewalk, the older man had his hands all over the younger man's ass. Again, Hannibal could feel his anger rising as the older man slid his hand down the back of Peck' jeans. 'Finally get a taste of how it feels aren't you old man.' Hannibal berated himself as he remembered how the girls would paw at him while Face was sitting back watching.

 

 The two men went a little farther before Peck turned them into an ally; Hannibal casually walked by though his eyes were scanning for the two. He spotted the two of them at the back corner of the ally, noting that they were busy with each other Hannibal turned back around and slid into the ally and crouched down behind a dumpster. He watched as Peck allowed the other man to kiss down his neck while his hands roamed the front of his body.

 

Again Hannibal had to bite back his anger at seeing the younger man pawed by the older man. Hannibal leaned back against the wall and watch as the older man slid his hands across Peck's crotch groping him through his jeans. Hannibal didn't know how much longer he could watch as the older man began to unbutton his own pants his hands moving to Peck's shoulders to force him to kneel in front of him.

 

Hannibal couldn't take anymore he knew he was going to have one hell of a fight on his hands but he couldn't take it; Face had come too far in his life to let Peck set him back like this. Just as Hannibal was about to move from his hiding place Peck struck. He grabbed the other man by the waist and shoved him backwards; the older man lost his balance and fell to the ground, his head striking the ground with a sickening thud. Before the other man could recover Peck was on top of him beating his head against the pavement.

 

Hannibal was shocked at the viciousness of the assault, he knew that Peck was dangerous, but he forgotten just deadly he could be. Again Hannibal was about to intervene, though this time it was to save the man's life when Peck grabbed his head and screamed.

 

"Stop it!" Tem screamed as he watched as Peck continued to pound the older man's head against the pavement. "You're going to kill him stop!" Tem screamed louder.

 

"Shut up!" Peck roared back at the kid as he grabbed his head. "Damn you boy shut the fuck up!"

 

"You said you wouldn't kill anyone!" Tem screamed again. "You promised!"

 

"I didn't promise you shit!" Peck snarled as he staggered to his feet. "And if I did what would it matter." Peck stumbled past Hannibal's hiding place. "It's not like people haven't broken promises to you before."

 

"He didn't mean to," Tem began to cry. "He loves us."

 

"If he loved us he wouldn't have left us for a bunch of floosies, he wouldn't have left us to die alone on that damn restaurant floor." Peck growled as he exited the alley. "Now shut the hell up, you're giving me a headache!"

 

Hannibal slumped against the wall as the weight of Peck's words slammed into him. "What the hell have I done to him?" Quickly Hannibal moved to check on the unconscious man, finding him battered but still breathing, Hannibal went after Peck.

 

***

 

Peck stumbled up the steps to his apartment as he fought against the headache that Tem was causing by screaming and crying.  On the third try Peck managed to get his key in the lock. He finally got the door open and stumbled inside nearly falling as Tem screamed again at the top of his lungs.

 

"Shut up!" Peck roared as he grabbed his head and fell against the door. "I swear to god I'll fucking kill you if you don't shut your mouth!"

 

"I hate you!" Tem screamed again. "You took us from him and after all the things you've done he'll never want us back!"

 

"We're not going back!" Peck roared as he pushed himself off the door and made his way toward the bathroom. Reaching into the medicine cabinet he pulled out some of the pain medication he had stolen a couple of months ago to help with the pain in his side. "Now I'm going to give you one last chance to shut the hell up before I shut you up!"

 

"I want to go home!" Tem cried. "I want to be with John!"

 

"Stop it!" Peck snarled his anger boiling to the surface. "I told you it's over, he has used us for the last time! We will not be seeing him…" Peck stopped and closed his eyes so he could see the younger man. "Unless I decided to get rid of him..."

 

"NO!"

 

The force of the scream dropped Peck to his knees, the pills falling to the floor as he grabbed the side of his head.

 

"NO!"

 

Peck doubled over at the force of the second scream. "Shut up!"

 

"Don't you go near John you bastard, you stay away from him!"

 

"Enough, I'll leave him alone, alright, just shut the hell up." Peck moaned as the throbbing in his head increased. "Just shut up."

 

"Promise me you won't touch him." Tem insisted but he kept his voice low. "Swear to me you won't hurt John."

 

With trembling fingers Peck picked up the pain medication and put them in his mouth; years of experience made dry swallowing the pills easily for him.

 

"What does my promise mean to you?" He asked the boy as he stood up on shaky legs and slowly made his way into the bedroom.

 

"I hate you." The boy looked at Peck as they crossed in front of the bedroom mirror. "But you've always kept us safe."

 

Peck nodded as he fell on the bed and closed his eyes. "You know I've lied to you before."

 

"You'll keep this promise." Tem smiled at him. "I know you will."

 

"Sure." Peck sighed as he dozed off to sleep.

 

Hannibal followed Peck back to his apartment building making sure to keep far enough back that the younger man couldn't see him. Several times that he wondered if Peck wasn't going to collapse on the sidewalk, any one who didn't know him would think that the young man was drunk. But Hannibal knew better, he had seen this before and he knew that one of the young man's personalities was fighting with the other. He was the only one on the team that knew that this was real reason for most of Face's migraines. As he watched Peck stumble up the steps and try to open his door, he prayed that Face would win the internal argument as the job tonight would be a whole lot easier.

 

Tem sat next to Face as he watched Peck fall asleep after several minutes he reached over and ran fingers through Face's blonde hair. "I miss you."

 

When Face didn't respond the boy continued. "I don't want to believe him, but I think he's right, I think you really are gone." Tem laid one of his hands over Face's. "You're so cold, and you don't talk…" Tem stopped to wipe a tear off his cheek. Now wasn't the time to be weak, he had to be strong if he was going to do what needed to be done.

 

"Face, I can't do this by myself." Tem wrapped his arms around the other man. "If you would just let me know that part of you is still here with me I'll wait, but if you're gone…" Tem swallowed hard. "If you really are gone…" Tears began to fall down the young man's cheeks as his emotions came to the surface. I can't …I can't trust him to keep his word…I know he'll kill someone soon, and if he ever gets a chance he'll kill John."  Tem hugged Face tight, even thought the other man didn't move. "I'm sorry Face…please believe me…but I can't let him…I can't…I'm sorry…" Tem kissed the conman on the top of the head before he moved to take control.

 

His body was slow and sluggish and it took most of his will power to get it to move, but all to soon he found himself sitting in the bathtub with a knife in his hand. Tem would have preferred a straight razor, but then again in a little while even that wouldn't matter.

 

Hannibal listened at the apartment door, at first he could hear Peck moving about the rooms yelling at Face, but soon after the noise stopped. He waited for another hour to make sure that Peck would be asleep before he picked the lock to the apartment and slipped inside the dark dwelling. As quietly as possible he made his way through the apartment as he went through each room he noted the lack and any personal effects. The team had always traveled light, but they had always been a few personal things they kept with them. Peck's apartment had nothing personal in it; the living space was cold and sterile, just like the man who occupied it.

 

Carefully he slipped into the bedroom and noticed that the bed was unoccupied, going further into the room Hannibal saw the light on in the bathroom. Taking a deep breath he prepared himself for the fight he knew was coming. Deciding to take Peck by surprise, Hannibal slammed his foot against the door causing it to slam back against the wall. He stormed into the ready for a fight, but froze dead in his tracks by what he saw.

 

***

Tem climbed into the bathtub with the knife, he didn't want to do this. He wanted to live, he didn't want to do this, he wanted things to be the way they had been before Peck had shown up.

 

"No." he whispered as he pulled the knife blade across his left wrist. "Things can never be that way again."

 

Taking the knife in the now bloody left hand he put the tip against his right wrist and started to drag it across. "He won't let it be that way again."

 

He had almost finished pulling the knife across when the door flew open.

 

Hannibal ready for a fight with Peck was stunned for a brief second, not believing or wanting to believe what his was seeing. "Tem no!" He ran across the room and grabbed the younger man's wrists before he could react to his presence. "Drop the knife kid." Hannibal squeezed Tem's left hand.

 

"John?" Tem looked up at him his eyes wide with shock not truly comprehending what he was seeing.

 

"Drop the knife." Hannibal ordered again as he took the other bleeding wrist into his hand. He knew Tem would never hurt him, but he couldn't take the chance that Peck would take over.

 

Tem continued to stare up at him still not understanding what he was seeing, it couldn't be John; John was still in Virginia with the team. Maybe it was the drugs that Peck had taken earlier, maybe it was the blood loss, he didn't know which, but he was sure he was imagining things.

 

"Tem, drop it."

 

The sharp pain made Tem gasp and look up at the older man standing over the top of him. "I need you to let go of the knife."

 

"Knife?"

 

"Yes Tem, I need you to let go." Hannibal watched as Tem looked down at the knife in his left hand as if he was seeing it for the first time. Very slowly he opened his fingers and let it fall to the bathtub.

 

"Tem, where is Peck?"

 

Slowly the large blue-green eyes turned to look back up at him, before a sly smile spread across his lips. "He's asleep, I gave him a headache and he took some pain medicine."

 

"What type of medicine?" Hannibal asked as he reached over to grab a towel from the towel rack. He ripped it in two and used the pieces to bind they young man's wrists, he knew he would have to do more to take care of the wounds but right now he needed to stop the blood flow.

 

"I don't know what it is, he got it cause we kept having pain in our side."

 

"From when Face was shot?" Hannibal asked as he pulled Tem out of the bathtub.

 

Tem nodded as he rested his head against the older man's shoulder. He was so tired, and now John was here, now everything would be all right and he could feel safe again. All he had to do was let John take care of everything.

 

"Tem, come on kid wake up." Hannibal gently shook the younger man's shoulders. "Come on baby, I need you to talk to me."

 

"I'm tired." Tem sighed as he tried to lay his head back on Hannibal's shoulder, only to be stopped by the Colonel.

 

Hannibal looked at Tem noting the pale face and the dark circles under his eyes. Moving his hand to the back of the young man's neck, he allowed Tem to lower his head back to his shoulder. "I know," Hannibal squeezed the back of Tem's neck. Holding the young man in his arms he realized just how much he had hurt the man he loved so much. "I'm so sorry." Turning his head he placed a gentle kiss in the short dark blonde hair before he hugged Tem closer. "I am so sorry."

 

Hannibal allowed Tem to rest on his shoulder as he rubbed his back. "Tem, I need to know what is going on. Can you tell me what's been happening or do you want me to talk to Face."

 

Hannibal felt Tem become stiff and ridged in his arms and for a moment he feared that he might be holding Peck; but just a quickly the young man relaxed and a strangled sob escaped.

 

"He's dead."

 

"What do you mean?" Hannibal pulled Tem back to look at him, his heart hammering in his chest. When Tem didn't answer Hannibal shook him. "Tell me…"

 

"You're hurting me." Tem cried out as he tried to pull away, his eyes widened with fear as he tried to understand why John was angry with him.

 

"I'm sorry Tem," Realizing what he was doing Hannibal pulled the young man back to his body. He closed his eyes as he calmed himself down, knowing that if he lost control he could lose the young man completely. "What happened?"

 

Sensing that John wasn't mad at him Tem started again. "He kept closing down more and more and when…when you…you didn't come to us that night…then brought those women in…and…and…" Another sob escaped the thin frame and Hannibal hugged Tem tighter. "It hurt so much…you hurt us so much…" The sobbing became steady until he could barely make out the last words. "You…hurt…me…so…bad…I…love…you so…much and…you….hurt me…" The sobs choked off the rest of the words.

 

Hannibal continued to hold Tem, he felt so bad for what he had done to them, but the worst thing was he didn't know if he could fix it, if Face was gone then that would only leave Tem and Peck. A boy who depended on him so much he would take his own life if they couldn't be together and a man who hated him so much that all he wanted to kill him.

 

"Tem, I am sorry." Hannibal began to rub the young man's back trying to sooth him. "You have to believe me, I was wrong for denying you," Hannibal took another deep breath. "I wanted to tell Face how sorry I was for what I did, I just wanted to tell him how much I love him too. When did Face disappear?"

 

"He didn't disappear." Tem pulled back so he could look at Hannibal. "He's still here… but…but he wont talk…he won't move…I tried John…I try to get him to move…but he won't…"

 

"Shhh." Hannibal hugged Tem back to his body his heart filling with hope as he realized that Face wasn't gone. "As long as he's still here we can help him."

 

"You don't understand John, he won't move, he hasn't moved since…"

 

"Since Peck took over."

 

"When you brought that woman…" Tem sobbed again. "He just couldn't take anymore…" Tem rested his head against Hannibal's shoulder. "I'm just so tired of it all."

 

At first Hannibal didn't know what to say, hell what could he say; if he hadn't found the young man tonight he would have been dead. 'No' he couldn't think like that, it wouldn't do either of them any good right now. Later when they were all safe he would think about what his actions had done to them all.

 

Hannibal laid Tem back on the bed; he ran his fingers through the short hair. "Tem, I need to see how your wrists are."

 

"I'm alright"

 

"Kid you cut them, I need to see…"

 

"They're not bad…"

 

"Templeton…"

 

"No, you don't understand, I wasn't going to kill myself that way. I just needed to make sure if Peck woke up he couldn't fix everything."

 

Hannibal closed his eyes for a brief second before he asked the question he already knew the answer too. "Were you going to slit your throat?"

 

Tem looked away from Hannibal and the older man's heart stopped in his chest. "Yes."

 

Hannibal cupped Tem's cheek in his hand, turning the young man's head to look back at him. "I'm here now, and I'm going to take care of you" Hannibal reassured him.

 

"I'm so tired John."

 

"I know baby." Hannibal leaned over to kiss the young man on the forehead. "I want you to close your eyes and sleep; you've been through a lot"

 

"Peck will be in charge when we wake up."

 

"I know," Hannibal ran his fingers through the short hair. "But I need you to talk to Face."

 

"He won't listen to me…"

 

"Please Tem" he placed his fingers over the young man's lips. "Please just talk to him, let him know I'm here and I want to talk to him, tell him I'm sorry and I need him."

 

"I'll try."

 

"That's all I can ask." He kissed Tem gently. "Now go to sleep and rest."

 

Tem's eyes closed then opened "John?"

 

"What baby?"

 

"Be careful, Peck hates you and he wants to kill you."

 

"I will, and I understand why he's so angry." Hannibal kissed Tem again. "Now rest baby."

 

Hannibal sat next to Tem for quite a while doing nothing more than stroking the short dark blonde hair and wondering how he was going to get through not only to Face, but to Peck. Only the knowledge that Peck would be in charge when the younger man woke got him moving. With great care he unwrapped Tem's damaged wrists, though the cuts were fairly deep it didn't look like the kid had gone deep enough to do any serious damage. As Tem had put it he just wanted to keep Peck occupied while he made the one final cut.

 

Knowing the soldier Peck was Hannibal got up and went to the medicine cabinet, he quickly found the supplies he needed to stitch the skin closed and bandage the wounds. As he gathered the supplies he looked over the drugs Peck had acquired. He smiled when he noticed that there were only two, aspirin and a powerful narcotic.

 

"That boy can really cause a headache when he wants too can't he." He chuckled as he went back into the bedroom and looked at the young man passed out on the bed. He quickly cleaned and stitched the wounds closed before covering them in clean white gauze. Now he had to decide his next move, he could wait for Peck to wake and confront him here or he could call the rest of the team and they could deal with this problem together.

 

Hannibal sighed as he felt the weight of what he had done settle on his shoulders. He wanted to deal with this on his own, but he knew he couldn't. If Face had shut down the way Tem said he had then he would need the others to bring him out again, and then there was still no guarantee.

 

Looking around the dingy apartment he decided that he needed to get out of the place. Peck would not be happy when he woke and found him here and he would sure as hell let everyone know about it. Though Hannibal really doubted the neighbors would care he didn't want to take any chances.

 

As he looked at the stained wall he decided there was another reason to move, he didn't want Tem or Face in this kind of environment his boys deserved better. "Even you Peck." He sighed as he ran his hands through the too short hair.

 

Now all he had to do was get the kid out of here and some place safe. Hannibal quickly secured Peck to the bed just in case the other man woke before he got back. Hannibal left the apartment and went to a pay phone he had seen on the corner. BA picked up on the second ring.

 

"Where are you man?" BA growled in the phone. "We've been waiting for you for…"

 

"I've found him and I need you guys here as soon as possible."

 

"Where are you?" BA's anger abated as the Colonel's words sunk in.

 

As soon as Hannibal gave them the address he hung up the phone and headed back to Peck's apartment.

 

An hour later BA and Murdock arrived. As soon as Hannibal let them into the apartment the other two men made a run for the bedroom. Taking a deep breath Hannibal prepared himself for the fight.

 

When he entered the bedroom he noticed BA and Murdock were by Peck's side each of them were standing over him as if they were viewing a corpse in a funeral home. As he approached the bed BA exploded in a fit of anger.

 

"What the hell did you do to him? BA spun on Hannibal his fists opening and closing as he advanced on the older man.

 

"I didn't lay a hand on him, I found him…"

 

"You didn't have to touch him," Murdock yelled. "You knew he was sick, and you didn't get him help. What kind of partner are you to let this happen to someone you love?"

 

"Now wait a damn minute…"

 

"No Colonel, not this time!" Murdock motioned toward the man tied to the bed. "This is all your fault!"

 

"I'm not going to argue that…"

 

"It's a damn good thing, because you can't!" Murdock turned back around to look at Face; he reached down to run his fingers through the short dark hair. "Why didn't you choose me?" He whispered. "I would have taken care of you so much better than he did."

 

Hannibal bit down on his lip to stop his reply from coming out. His team was hurting bad enough with out him pointing out their own faults.

 

"We're here for him now," BA put his hand on Murdock's shoulder as he reached out to touch Peck with his other hand.

 

"What if it's too late?" Murdock looked up at BA. "What if Face is gone for good?"

 

"It's not too late." Hannibal answered as he slowly advanced toward the bed, not sure how the two men would respond to him he kept some space between them. "Peck has been in control, but I managed to talk to Tem."

 

"What about Face?"

 

"Face is having some problems right now."

 

"Cut to the chase man." BA growled when he realized that Hannibal wasn't telling them everything.

 

Knowing the two men weren't going to take this well but having no alternative Hannibal continued. "Face has closed himself off, and hasn't taken control since the night Peck took over."

 

"What do you mean closed himself off?" Murdock gave Hannibal a murderous look.

 

"According to Tem he won't do anything, he won't respond to anything or anyone."

 

"Jesus." Murdock whispered as he looked down at the man tied to the bed. "What has he done to you?"

 

"Look I know you guys have no reason to trust me on this, but you have to," Hannibal shook his head. "We need to get him out of here. We need to get Peck some place away from people, because when he wakes up and finds out we are with him he's going to be pissed and he's going to raise all kinds of hell. And the last thing we need is some neighbor to call the cops on us."

 

"How about the big guy and I take him someplace safe and you just stay the hell out of his life!" Murdock snapped as his anger boiled forward.

 

"You can't do that…" Hannibal started to protest but was cut off by the pilot

 

"Why the hell not!"

 

"Because he needs me…"

 

"To do what fuck him up more!" Murdock yelled.

 

This was the last straw, Hannibal's temper sprang forward and he let lose on the other man.  "Just what the hell were you going to do for him? You couldn't even take care of yourself after the camps! What were you going to do let him bunk with you at the VA! How the hell were you going to be there for him when you couldn't even be there for yourself?"

 

"Enough!" BA growled through clenched teeth. "This ain't doing none of us any good and I swear to all that is holy if you two don't shut up I'll take him someplace safe and leave the two of you here."

 

"If you take him away from me then you'll lose him." Hannibal stated.

 

"I don't think so, I think you're bluffing." Murdock glared at the Colonel.

 

Hannibal ignored Murdock and turned to look at BA. "You know me BA; you know I'm telling the truth about this."

 

BA looked his Colonel in the eye, he had been the other man's friend for years and thought that he knew him, but the last few months had really shaken some of his beliefs. Still as he stared into the blue eyes he knew Hannibal was telling him the truth.

 

"Give me one reason I shouldn't take him and leave you behind." He growled.

 

"Because Tem won't talk to you." Hannibal stated.

 

"So what." Murdock interrupted

 

Never taking his eyes off of BA, Hannibal answered. "If you lose Tem, then all you have left is Peck, and then you will never get Face back."

 

Murdock opened and closed his mouth several times, he wanted to argue, he wanted to scream, and yell, but he couldn't. Instead he turned to look at BA who was still staring at Hannibal.

 

The two men continued to look at each other for a few minutes before BA finally answered. "What do we need to do?"

***

 

Peck woke slowly from his drug-induced sleep, he had always hated taking any type of drug but with the headache that Tem had given him, he felt he hadn't had any choice. As he continued to wake he allowed his senses to take in what was going on around him before he opened his eyes.

 

He could hear birds singing and smell coffee brewing along with Cuban cigar smoke. Peck's eyes snapped open as he tried to swing himself off the bed; however any action he was going to make was put to an abrupt stop by the chains that secured him to the bed.

 

"I was wondering how much longer you were going to sleep." Peck turned to look at Smith who was sitting in a chair beside the bed he was secured to. "Truth be told I was getting a little worried about you."

 

Peck didn't say a word but tested his bonds again as he stared at the older man.

 

"You might as well save your strength. BA made the restraints, I don't think even he could get out of them."

 

Peck relaxed his muscles but didn't say a thing.

 

"You want something to drink?" Hannibal asked as he moved to sit on the edge of the bed.

 

Again Peck didn't say anything.

 

"Look son you can be pissed at me all you want, but you still need to keep your strength up."

 

Peck turned his head so he could look out the window to his right, but turned back to give the older man an icy glare when he felt a set of fingers card through his hair.

 

Hannibal sighed as he watched Peck turn his head away from him, he knew that this was going to be hard, but if he could just get the younger man to open up and start talking he knew he could change things "I know you hate me." Hannibal smiled when Peck turned to face him. "And I know why, I broke a promise to you and for that I'm sorry." Hannibal ran his fingers through the short hair again earning him another hate filled glare. "But you can't take it out on Tem and Face."

 

He watched as Peck's jaw tightened and his face contorted into a mask of rage.

 

"Don't try and lay a guilt trip on me old man," Peck sneered. "You killed Face not me."

 

"I didn't mean to hurt him…"

 

"To hell you didn't," Peck roared his rage coming forward as he physically pulled against the bonds that held him securely to the bed. "You denied him when he needed you most, the one thing he would never do to you! But you didn't care did you Smith!" Peck was breathing heavy as he continued to pull against his restraints. "Well you did it old man, congratulations you destroyed him, so now you never have to worry about him leaving you cause he's gone!"

 

"No." Hannibal whispered as he ran his fingers through the short hair "He's not gone, he's just hiding."

 

"Get your fucking hands off me!" Peck roared. "You have no right to touch me!"

 

"You're wrong kid, I …

 

Any response that Hannibal was going to make was cut off when the bedroom door opened and an angry Murdock came in. "Leave him alone Hannibal."

 

"Murdock you need to let me talk to the Lieutenant." Hannibal turned to look at the pilot

 

"No, I don't think so, he wants you to leave him be and I think you need to respect his wishes and leave him alone."

 

Hannibal could feel his own anger rising as he stood up and walked over to Murdock, "Can I have a word with you alone please."

 

"I was thinking I'd stay here with Face for…"

 

"Now!" Hannibal ordered as he grabbed Murdock's arm and pulled him out of the bedroom.

 

"Damn it Murdock that man in there is not Face!" Hannibal growled as soon as the bedroom door was closed. "He may look like Face he may sound like Face, but get this through you thick head he is not Face!"

 

"Okay Hannibal, let's say that you're right!" Murdock pulled free of the older man's grip. "Let's say for the first time in God knows how many years you're telling me the truth about him! Do you really think tying him down like an animal is going to make him cooperate with us to help us get Face back!"

 

"Look, I don't expect you to understand, but we can't get to Face through Peck."

 

"Gee I think I can understand why, you tied him to a bed like a fucking animal!"

 

"Because that is just about what he is!" Hannibal yelled back.  "Look Captain, you weren't with us on the missions, you have no idea in hell what Peck is capable of. By the time you got involved in his life Face was firmly in place." Hannibal pulled a cigar out of his pocket but didn't light it. "Go talk to BA he can tell you why we have him secured the way he is."

 

"I still don't like it."

 

"I know but it's for his safety as well as our own." Hannibal reached out to put his hand on the pilot's shoulder. "Please Murdock, go talk to BA about Peck, if you still think all our precautions are too much then we'll talk about it."

 

Murdock stared at Hannibal for a few minutes, he wanted to argue more, but it had been BA that had designed the restraint system not Hannibal, and if BA thought that they needed this much security to hold Peck down to the bed then just maybe there was something to it. "Alright Hannibal, but I still want to see him." Murdock pointed toward the door.

 

"That's fine Captain, just remember he's not Face."

 

Peck smiled as he listened to the two men continued their argument in the hall. Slowly he turned his aching head to look at the bonds that secured him to the bed. Looking up he noticed that his arms were secured away from his body by several restraints, the first set were just below his wrists which were bandaged with white gaze. There were a set of heavy chains that kept him from raising or lowering his wrists from the bed Just above and below his elbow was another set of padded restrains, these too were hooked to a set of heavy chain, these kept also him from raising or lowering his arm. Well he sighed his hands weren't the only thing deadly about him, though when he tried to move his legs he found he couldn't move them at all. Glancing down as best he could be noticed that he was bound not only at his ankles, but at his knees and upper thighs as well. As he looked down his body he noticed there was yet another restraint going across his midsection and chest.

 

"Bastards." He growled as he tried to pull against them again.

 

"You're not going anywhere son, sorry." Hannibal moved back into Peck's line of sight.

 

"Stop calling me that, I'm not your son."

 

"No you were my lover."

 

"Never! You loved Face and Tem, you never loved me!" Peck spat.

 

"That's not true kid," Hannibal moved over to the bed. Now that he was sure that Peck had seen how securely being held in place, he covered the smaller man up with a thick warm blanket, before sitting down bed next to him. "I saw you first remember, but we'll talk about that after you've gotten some rest." Leaning over he placed a gentle kiss on Peck's forehead before standing up to leave a now seething Peck.

 

"You can't do this to me!" Peck yelled. "I swear when I get lose I'll tear you apart."

 

"Tell Tem and Face I love them." Hannibal smiled as he turned off the light before leaving the room.

 

"Bastard, I'll kill you!" Peck screamed again as he struggled with his restraints. "I fucking hate you!"

 

Hannibal closed his eyes as he leaned against the door, even thought he knew it was Peck screaming at him it still didn't make it any easier when the voice belonged to the man he loved.

 

***

 

"I hear he's awake." BA stated as Murdock walked into the cabin's kitchen.

 

"Yeah he's wake." Murdock moved to get a coke out of the refrigerator before taking a seat at the table. He took a swallow of the cola before turning to face his long time friend. "Hannibal says I should ask you about Peck."

 

BA ran his hands over his face before he moved to sit across from Murdock. "Peck is a mean, hateful, vicious, bastard." Before Murdock could speak BA held up his hand to silence him. "And I thank God every day that he was on our team, cause without him they would have sent me home in a bag."

 

BA leaned back in his chair and closed his eyes for a brief moment, when he opened then he started his story.

 

"It was 1971, Ray had just gone back to the states and it was our first mission without him. I knew Peck was good, we'd seen him in action before, but I tell you now I got a whole new respect for him…"

 

"Where the hell is he?" Hannibal hissed as he made his way past BA to look up the trail that Peck had vanished down twenty minutes ago. "Those damn choppers will be here in fifteen minutes."

 

BA could tell that even though Hannibal sounded pissed the Colonel was also very concerned for their young Lieutenant.

 

"He'll be back man." BA tried to reassure his commander but part of him was also worried about the other man.

 

"He damn well better be." Hannibal growled as he looked at the rest of his men. "All right you guys get ready to move out as soon as those birds hit the ground I want you on them."

 

BA watched as Hannibal looked at his watch again, he could tell by the look on the older man's face he was becoming angrier and more worried by the second. His own worry forced BA into action.

 

"Colonel, why don't I go back to the trail head and see if I can find him."

 

"We only have seven minutes Sergeant." Hannibal grumbled.

 

"Yeah, like you'd leave him behind." BA snorted as he moved to the front of the trail the team had just marched down. As quietly as possible he slipped down the trail and into the jungle.

 

***

 

Murdock watched as BA leaned forward and grasp his hands, at first he wasn't sure why but then he realized it was to stop them from trembling.

 

"I only made it about fifty feet before he found me."

 

"You mean you found him."

 

"No man, he found me."

 

***

 

BA carefully picked his way through the undergrowth; he hated the jungle, all the damn bugs and the humidity. Hell Chicago was hot in the summer but it was nothing like this, you were either sweating from the heat or wet from the rain.

 

He was just about to step over a large branch in the middle of the trail when a pair of strong hands grabbed him from behind and pulled him back behind a tree. Before he could say a word he heard a voice hiss in his ear.

 

"Don't make a sound." Peck whispered. "Charlie is not twenty feet to your right, you understand me? Nod your head if you do."

 

When he nodded his head yes, the hand covering his mouth disappeared. BA turned to look over at Peck, the younger man was covered head to toe in dirt and blood, and there wasn't a single place on him that wasn't covered in grim or gore. But what made BA take notice was the hard look in the blue-green eyes, even though Peck was not looking directly at him, he could still see the anger and hatred in them.

 

"I'm going to take them out; if I fuck up make sure they don't get to the rest of the squad."

 

Before BA could protest Peck was gone.

 

***

 

BA closed his eyes as he remembered something he had long ago forced out of his mind.

 

"I don't know how he got behind them so quick or without them noticing but..."

 

***

 

 He watched the jungle where Peck had pointed, he expected to hear yelling and shooting, but instead there was just a muffled scream and a few birds took flight. The next thing he saw was Peck walking down the trail wiping his k-bar knife on his filthy pants.

 

"I need your help hiding the bodies Sergeant." He ordered as he made his way to where BA was crouched down.

 

***

"He damn near decapitated one when he slit his throat and the other" BA shuddered "I still have dreams sometimes. I'm telling you Murdock when it comes to Peck you have to listen to what Hannibal tells you. He's dangerous, and he's deadly."

 

"But how is Hannibal going to make it right when Peck hates him so much."

 

"That's something else you have to understand. Peck may be pissed at Hannibal but part of him is still a soldier and he responds to that. When we got back to the LZ Hannibal was livid…"

 

***

 

"Where the hell have you been?" Hannibal snapped as he grabbed a hold of Peck's shirt and pulled the smaller man to him so they were only inches apart.

 

"Saving your ass Colonel." Peck growled back his eyes hard and cold.

 

"Explain yourself Lieutenant!" Hannibal ordered still not releasing his subordinate.

 

 "We were being followed; I took care of the threat." Peck ground out through clinched teeth.

 

Hannibal glared at the other man for a minute. "That would be covering my real flank." Hannibal laughed suddenly and released the younger man and threw his arm over his shoulder. "Anymore of them back there?"

 

"Not that I could tell sir." Peck replied as he relaxed slightly.

 

"Good then lets get the hell out of here."

 

***

 

"I think the main thing is, Hannibal has always known how Peck is, and as hard as it is for me to understand or even believe, he loves him just as much as he loves Face."

 

"How could he love a killer like that?"

 

"Because he's kept Face and Tem alive through shit that would kill a normal man." Hannibal said from the doorway.

 

"But he's still…"

 

"The man I love." Hannibal snapped; then took a deep breath to calm himself. He could understand why Murdock was having such a hard time understanding. Face was really the only side the pilot ever saw, how could he understand? He was never with them in the heat of battle when Peck had saved all their lives, and when they were in the camps. Hannibal shuddered. Part of him was glad the pilot's sanity was too far gone to really understand everything that went on during their time there.

 

"Look I don't expect you to understand," Hannibal moved to sit down at the table; he looked over at BA as he spoke again. "Either of you, but I love each and every personality he has. Each one is special and I love each for who they are, and what they offer to make up the man our Lieutenant is."

 

"You're right I still don't understand." Murdock looked over at Hannibal. "and I don't think I ever will, because I feel if you truly loved him you would have gotten him help." Before Hannibal could say anything Murdock held up his hands. "But we can argue that some other time, right now I want to know your plan to get him back."

 

Deciding that he was no longer under a personal attack Hannibal nodded.

 

"The only way to get to Face is through Tem, Peck won't help."

 

"So how do we get to Tem?"

 

"We don't, I do."

 

"What do you mean?" BA growled as Murdock cross his arms over his chest.

 

"Tem, will only talk to me," Hannibal looked at both men. "He won't talk to either of you."

 

"How convenient." Murdock rolled his eyes. "You know I find it real funny that the big guy and me have been friends with him for years and he won't talk to us."

 

"Tem is not your friend, Face is your friend, Tem is my lover and he won't talk to you."

 

"Why don't we see about that?" Murdock stood and started toward the door, but Hannibal was up and blocking his way before he could go through it.

 

"Let me tell you now Captain! You stay the hell away from him…"

 

"You can't tell me what to do when it comes to Face!"

 

Hannibal continued as if the other man had not interrupted him. "Peck is too damn dangerous to mess with and if you scare Tem, I'll hurt you." The look in Hannibal's eyes made Murdock take a step back and BA stand up ready to intervene if they came to blows.

 

"You would, wouldn't you," Murdock glared at the older man. "You'd hit me."

 

"To protect Tem, yes." Hannibal snapped. "And it not just that! The only way to get Face back is through Tem, and if you scare that boy away we lose any chance we have of getting Face back. Now I'll ask you this Captain, is pride worth losing Face over?"

 

"My pride? Oh that's a laugh, it was your pride that got us into this whole mess! If I remember right you were the one who started this whole damn thing not to mention the secret you've kept from us for the…"

 

"Enough!" BA growled as he slammed his fist against the table causing it to jump off the floor. "I've heard enough from both of you! The more you two yell and scream at each other the harder you're making it to help get Face back. Don't you two understand this is what Peck wants? He wants us to fight with each other, Peck wants us at each other's throats, if we fight against each other then we're not fighting against him."  BA glared at the other two men.

 

Hannibal and Murdock continued to stare at each other for several more minutes before Murdock finally spoke.

 

"Fine what do I have to do?"

 

"Stay away from Peck." Hannibal ordered.

 

"Now wait…"

 

"No fool, he's right." BA interrupted. "I disagree with him about a lot of things, but Peck is a killer and you can't take any chances around him."

 

"Are you saying I can't …"

 

"Look Captain, I hate to hurt your pride, but the fact remains you are on the naive side and he knows how to manipulate people to get what he needs…"

 

"To hell with you." Murdock shot Hannibal a harsh look before turning back to look at BA.

 

"I agree with the Colonel."

 

"Then to hell with the both of you."

 

Hannibal closed his eyes and took a deep breath. "Alright Captain, how about we try something…"

 

 

TBC

 


Nothing Else Matters by Jullian Gray
Nothing Else Matters 2 by Jullian Gray

 

 


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