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Title: The Kiss

The Kiss
by Charon

Rating: PG-13
Fandom: The A-Team
Style: Slash
Pairing: Face/Hannibal
Disclaimer: If they were truly mine, oh, the things I'd do with them! ;-D But, since they're not, at least I get to play in Mssr. Cannell's boy-toybox! And to him I owe my gratitude!
Warning: Slash, and you all know what that means . . . it means Male/Male sex stuff . . . ;-) Though, as the Title suggests, kissing's as far as it goes . . . for now . . .
Spoilers: None
Summary: A tense situation (or two) brings out hitherto unexplored feelings for Hannibal and Face.
Comments: Most Definitely!
Author's Notes: Drama for Face. Drama for Hannibal . . . and kissing for them both. What more can I say?

For a REALLY good description of the invention and the inventor of the Bathysphere, check out this website . . . it's really KEWL! I also used to go to a Parochial School, so please don't send me any disparaging comments about what Face says about them. Not all schools are alike, of course, but as I said, I DID attend Catholic School.






Part 1


Hannibal looked over at Face, and wondered what he'd done to get himself drugged and thrown back into the cell, and their exceptionally large guard scowled down at them as he snarled. "I got orders to shoot you if either one of you makes a peep. You got it?" He slammed the door shut, and Hannibal watched as Face's eyes fluttered.

"I . . ." He started, but Hannibal shook his head and crawled to the Lieutenant's side as best he could with his hands tied behind his back, and he lay next to the similarly tied younger man.

"Shh." Hannibal whispered. "They'll kill us if we make too much noise. But what the hell did you do to get like this?" He indicated the trussed up and drugged state Face was in, and the younger man sighed.

"Saw . . . saw something." Face whispered as he fought the drug. "Visitors. That's why . . . no noise. They . . . they had to stop . . . stop interrogating me because of them. I . . . I tried to yell, to get their attention, but they drugged me. I figured . . . figured we could escape . . ." He smiled half-heartedly. "It seemed . . . seemed to make more sense when they were beating me. S . . . sorry Hannibal."

"It's okay." Hannibal sighed and shook his head. "Can you untie me?" He asked, and knew that of all the team, only Face had the manual dexterity to be able to untie them, especially with the way they had been trussed up in the first place.

Face looked down at the floor, which melted under his gaze, and he blinked and tried to clear his head, though it continued to fuzz, and rapidly. He tried to sit up, but the floor tilted out from under him, and he fell back. "Hands . . . numb." He swallowed, and fought the heavy drag of his eyelids as they almost begged to close. "Whole body . . . heavy." His voice thickened, and Hannibal watched the struggle that Face went through as he tried desperately, and fought the drug's reality warping influence, but knew it was useless, though no less Herculean and heroic on Face's part for his efforts.

"It's okay, Face." He quietly gave permission for Face to give in to the inevitable. "Don't fight it. We'll get free later, and if we don't, then you know that B.A. and Murdock will find us."

"I . . . I'm sorry, Colonel." Face whispered, and Hannibal watched as his friend's heavy lids finally closed over his drug-dulled blue eyes. Hannibal sighed as he watched the despair that was obviously the last thing that Face felt as he fully collapsed under the influence of whatever drug they'd pumped into the younger man's system, and hatred flared in his chest. It was with shock, and no small amount of surprise that Hannibal realized that his sudden rage was almost insane, and he brought himself under control, though it was one of the hardest things he'd ever had to force himself to do . . . and for the life of him, he couldn't figure out why he'd almost gone absolutely ballistic. It wasn't like Face had never been drugged before . . . or beaten, or any of the things their captors had done to the younger man.

Hannibal sighed as he laid down next to Face, and awaited the inevitable rescue that was sure to come, at some point, from B.A. and Murdock.

The next thing Hannibal was aware of though, was that he had woken with a start, and realized that at some point as he'd watched as Face slept, he'd dozed off as well. Hannibal's well-tuned internal clock informed him that he had only slept for half an hour, and he couldn't tell if they were still under threat of being shot or not. However, he was one who generally tried to err on the side of caution, particularly when the life of one of his men was at stake, and that moment was such a time, and caution told him to keep quiet.

He wondered, though, what had woken him up, and he gazed at Face's body, he suddenly knew. He watched as Face trembled in his drugged sleep, and the trembles grew to tremors. Face only shook like that when he was going to go into a rather severe nightmare, and Hannibal knew that the influence of the drug would prevent Face from coming out of it fully.

Face whimpered, and Hannibal grimaced. He knew that those whimpers would turn into whispers, the whispers into moans, the moans into cries, and the cries into screams . . . it was just a matter of time. And then it would be those screams that would, more than likely, get them both killed. Hannibal didn't miss the irony in the fact that the one thing they'd used to keep Face quiet, was to be the one thing that was going to make him scream.

"No more." Face whispered. "Please. No." Hannibal grew desperate. With his hands and legs tied as they were, he couldn't wake Face, and if he kicked him, it'd only make the nightmare worse.

A plan formed in his mind, as they often did in desperate times, but he wasn't quite sure whether he had the courage to implement it or not. However, Face stopped merely shivering and he twitched outright . . . and uncontrollably. Hannibal knew that as tied up as he was, and having any and all movement restricted as it was, was NOT making the nightmare any better, NOR was it making the situation any easier.

"Oh, crap." Hannibal rolled over onto his stomach and closed his eyes. He couldn't believe he was about to do what he was, but desperate times, and all of that. "I hope you appreciate what I'm going to do." He snorted at the Lieutenant, and Face's only answer was a jerk and a gasp. Face's mouth opened, and Hannibal knew it was now or never, as he knew without a doubt that Face's NEXT sound was to be a scream.

Hannibal bent over and sealed his lips over Face's, to at least muffle the scream he knew was on its way . . . a literal 'kiss of life' as Hannibal thought of it, and equated it with Rescue Breathing.

However, in Face's dreams, it was obviously interpreted as something else, and the response was immediate . . . and MORE than a little surprising. His lieutenant, his friend, and his second's mouth softened under the pressure from Hannibal's mouth, and his lips parted slightly as his tongue flickered gently over Hannibal's, as if they asked permission to enter.

Hannibal knew that he should have stopped. He knew that he should have rolled back over, especially since he had so obviously changed the direction of Face's dreams. He also knew that he'd never kissed another man before, nor had he ever been of the inclination to do so . . and Face had never said anything about it either. However, Face was so far out of it that he'd never remember what he did, and obviously, if he did remember it, he'd think the kiss was just the product of the drugged out dreams one among many, that his mind kicked out that night.

So, Hannibal did what came 'naturally' for a man who wanted to be kissed. He opened his lips, and allowed Face's tongue to enter his slightly dry, and definitely nervous mouth, even as Face sighed contentedly under him. Tentatively, Hannibal met Face's tongue with his own, and Face nibbled on Hannibal's lips, as he deepened the kiss. Hannibal felt as his stubbled chin met Face's, and, rather than an unpleasant feeling, as he had expected, it was strong, and actually, somewhat reassuring. Briefly, Hannibal wondered what it'd have been like . . . what it would have felt like, if they'd both been able to shave, and share the experience while they both were awake. He inhaled sharply as he realized that the longer his mouth was on Face's . . . his tongue possessed by Face's . . . his lips teased by Face's, he was aroused, VERY aroused, by Face.

Damn, but the kid was a good kisser - even in his sleep.

Hannibal sat back slowly, so as not to startle the still asleep Lieutenant, and he smiled as Face whimpered slightly in disappointment. When it was clear that no more kiss was forthcoming, Face sighed, and his movements quieted.

It was with a sigh of relief that Hannibal knew they were safe for the moment. No more evil would haunt Face in his dreams, and there was no more fear that they'd be shot because of some noise that Face couldn't help but make. Hannibal finally fought down the effects of his arousal, then licked his lips as his mind turned away from their present danger, and back to the mind-numbing kiss he'd actually participated in . . . and had enjoyed with a fervor that quite frankly shocked him beyond words.

However, what jolted him even MORE was the fact that he realized that he definitely wanted to do THAT again, only under FAR more pleasant circumstances, and in a FAR more pleasant place. However, he also realized, and not without some worry about his sanity, that he wanted to do it again only with Face. However, how on EARTH did one tell one of the most notorious male womanizers you knew, beside yourself of course, that you lusted after him?

Hannibal shook his head sadly, and gazed down at the face of the man who slept on, completely unaware of what had occurred between the two of them, and knew, that unless you were a woman, you didn't.



Part 2



"We're going to die, Colonel." Face whispered and shivered violently as he finally acknowledged the cold, and for which Hannibal, in his turtleneck sweater and heavy black jeans had been more prepared than Face in his thin cotton shirt, and cotton suit pants. There had been a jacket that had matched, but that had been lost in the fight above water, back on the docks. Hannibal looked around the rusted, ancient, metal walls that surrounded them, the water that seeped through the time loosened seams of the ancient bathysphere they'd been thrown into, and then had the door bolted shut on them, and sighed. He knew that he was definitely out of ideas, and that he and Face had, finally, run out of luck . . . and that Face was, indeed, right.

"Sorry 'bout this, kid." He apologized, as he shined the flashlight around the interior of the bathysphere, and meant it, and Face swallowed.

"No problem." He bit his lips as the water covered his feet. "Um . . . I really hate to tell you this, but I'm kind of scared here, Colonel." He reluctantly admitted, and looked down, ashamed.

"I'm not exactly feeling too brave here myself." Hannibal told him with surprising forthrightness. "It's okay to be scared."

"Oh good." Face moved closer to Hannibal, strictly for warmth, and the older man put an arm around Face, which comforted them both immensely.

"Might as well sit down." Hannibal shrugged. "We can stand when the water gets too high."

"Fight it to the end, huh?" Face asked, and Hannibal nodded as they slid to the floor.

"Damned straight." Hannibal grinned. "Look death in the eye . . ."

"And then spit." Face smiled crookedly. "You used to tell us that back in the prison camp." He leaned into the warm comfort the older man provided, and continued. "We used to sit like this to after . . . after." He looked at Hannibal. "I remember, in the camp, you used to hold onto us, when they let you in with us. You would hold either me, Murdock, and even B.A. . . . until they made you let go. You were strong for us then, Hannibal, and you're strong for us now. We still lean on you, even if it's not physically . . ."

"I'm the Leader. That's the way it's supposed to be." Hannibal answered calmly.

"Can I ask you something?" Face shifted, and Hannibal looked down and his gaze landed directly on Face's lips, and he looked away as the memory of the kiss he'd stolen three months ago burned in his mind, then nodded. "Who do you turn to?" Face continued. "Who do you lean on when you're scared . . . if you get that way . . ."

Hannibal raised his eyebrows. "I'm human, Face. I feel the same things that everyone else does . . . I just hide it better. But to answer your question, I turn to you guys."

"We don't do very much for you then." Face shook his head, and Hannibal threw his head back and laughed.

"Maybe not in the way you mean." Hannibal said when his laughter had calmed. "But, look, Face, if I screw up, I know that more than just me will get hurt. With as reckless as I have a tendency to be, how long do you think I'd actually survive on my own? Face, despite what it seems, I'm not going to do something that will get you guys . . ." He grimaced. "Well, most of the time, I'm not going to do something, that will get you hurt, or something that will get you so deeply into something you can't get out of it, or I can't GET you out of it. When I'm scared, or nervous, or apprehensive, I think about what you guys must feel. When I'm hurt, or on the rare occasion when I think I can't go on another day, I see your faces . . ." He grinned at the younger man next to him. "No pun intended, and that urges me on. We support each other, Face, whether we say it or not, and I rely no less heavily on you guys than you do on me."

Face was quiet for a moment, and he smiled. "I'm glad, Hannibal." He finally said. "I don't think I could stand it if you were here and had to be alone. Don't take this the wrong way, but I'm kind of glad you're here with me."

"I'm glad I'm here too, Face." Hannibal shrugged, then looked down into the blue eyes that looked up at him, and he sighed, then once again thought of the kiss, and remembered how he'd wanted to do it again. He also thought about the many times since, that he'd been tempted just to throw caution to the wind, grab the younger man, and kiss him senseless . . . even though he'd very likely end up with a black eye. "Hey Face." He suddenly said, his decision made. "I'm going to do something as a dying man that I would never have done in any other circumstance, and I don't want to die without doing it . . ." Hannibal stopped, and Face waited for him to continue, but Hannibal just looked at him.

"Do what?" Face's curiosity got the better of him, and he went to pull away, but Hannibal held him tighter.

"I'm going to kiss you."

"What!?" Face was understandably startled, and Hannibal grinned at the surrealism of the situation.

"I'm going to kiss you." He repeated.

"Like what? Like goodbye or something?"


"Oh." Face blinked, and realized that was the last thing he'd ever expected to hear from Hannibal, but he supposed it was merely an extension of their father/son relationship, and if it was what Hannibal wanted . . . needed to do, then he could go along with it. "What . . . what do you want me to do?"

"Not punch me." Hannibal grinned, and Face chuckled at the sudden, and unexpected, joke.

"Punching your Superior Officer is against the rules." Face laughed nervously.

"And kissing your Junior Officer isn't exactly in the Handbook either." Hannibal laughed as well, and Face uncertainly raised his cheek. The older man smiled, placed his fingers gently under Face's chin, and tilted the head up, until their lips were even with one another. Face blinked nervously as Hannibal's mouth descended toward his own, and the lips lightly and gently touched Face's own. His tongue touched Face's lips, as if it asked permission to enter, and Face's thoughts of a father/son relationship ended right there and then. Face swallowed, and closed his eyes. They were going to die anyway. If Hannibal needed to say goodbye with a more involved kiss, then well, Face could go along with it.

Face's lips parted, then trembled, and the pressure from Hannibal's mouth increased, and Face started as Hannibal's tongue slipped between his lips. It was a strong mouth, and a strong chin, and Face needed strength at that moment, and he needed comfort. He slid his hands up Hannibal's jacket and pressed into Hannibal's arms as his mouth opened further, and his lips sealed the kiss.

Hannibal's arms snaked around Face, and held him, and Face sighed as he relaxed, almost unconsciously into the safety and comfort of the older man's arms, and the enjoyable pleasure of his mouth. Suddenly, Face felt himself as he began to be aroused, and felt too, the answering arousal from the man that held him, and his eyes snapped open. He almost injured himself as he leapt out of Hannibal's embrace and across the small, ancient, leaky bathysphere before Hannibal could stop him.

"Oops." Hannibal said as Face stared at him as if he were a deer who'd been caught in Halogen headlights.

"Oops!" Face exclaimed. "What the HELL was THAT!?"

"You were there." Hannibal answered him mildly.

"But I . . . but . . ."

"And don't even say you didn't enjoy it as much as I did." Hannibal's voice was quiet. "You participated, and responded . . . and most wonderfully too, I might add."

"I . . . I CAN'T say I didn't enjoy it." Face ran a finger over his still heated lips. "But . . . but I don't know WHY I enjoyed it. I never did before . . ." He paled and covered his mouth, then looked away from Hannibal, who raised his eyebrows at his friend.

"You've done that before?"

"Hannibal . . ." Face looked down. "Please don't ask."

"I'm sorry, Face. I didn't mean to bring up memories . . ."

"It . . . it's okay. " Face ran the tip of his finger across his lips once more. "But damn, Hannibal, you're good." Face swallowed. "I... I wanted to go on . . ."

"But you stopped."

"In . . . in my head, I stopped. My body wanted it, but my head remembered. Told me I hated it. But I didn't, Hannibal." He slid down the wall of the bathysphere, then leaned his head back. "And right now, I'm a little confused." He shook his head. "No. Scratch that. I'm a LOT confused." He pulled his legs up to his chest as the water rose over his feet and ankles.

"You're confused?" Hannibal grinned at the younger man. "Try being my age and realizing for the first time you had the hots, not only for a man, but for a kid less than half your age."

"I'm going to ignore the kid part, Hannibal, but when . . . when, exactly, did you realize you . . . you . . . er . . . wanted me?"

Hannibal shook his head, then sighed. "Do you remember, about three months or so ago, when we were in that mob guy's dungeon?"

"Yeah." Face sighed. "Although it's not exactly clear. I had a nightmare I think . . ."

"It started that way, but then it changed." Hannibal grinned, and Face nodded, as they ignored the water that crept up their legs.


"You were going to scream, and if you had, we would have been shot right then and there. I couldn't untie you or kick you, and the way we were tied I only had one option. I was only going to cover your mouth with mine and hopefully at least muffle the scream enough so they wouldn't come in and kill us. But, in your dreams, Face, I guess I became a woman, because you immediately calmed, and you kissed me."

"I kissed you! And you let me!" Face against stared at the older man, and he grinned.

"Yes, you kissed me, and if I hadn't let you, we would have been shot. but that's not the point. The point is that I'd never been kissed by a man before, Face . . ."

"You haven't!?" Face stared at Hannibal, who laughed.

"There were always these things around called women, Face, so the subject never really came up."

"Oh." Face blinked. "Of course not. You're home and public school raised. Catholic orphanages and schools can be a breeding ground for rampant sexual energy that has no place to go." Face said, but didn't elaborate, and Hannibal didn't ask. However, Face suddenly looked at Hannibal, almost shyly, from under his lashes. "Well, I hope for your first kiss, it was a good one."

"To my immense shock and surprise, it WAS." Hannibal confirmed. "But, at the time, I was too shocked at my own response to it, and I backed off. And also to my surprise, Face, I've wanted to kiss you a lot since then, but didn't know how to approach you about it. And since we're here . . ." He gestured around the small bathysphere. "All I knew was that I didn't want to go to my grave without kissing you once more. However, I also don't want to go to my grave thinking I disgusted, or frightened you, or brought up any demons you may have dancing in your head you haven't told anyone about."

"When I backed off, like I did, Hannibal, it wasn't because of you . . . of what you did." Face looked away. "You said demons, Hannibal, and I've got 'em. I never told anyone about this particular demon, but I . . . I guess if we're going to die, I can tell this. I... I won't have to worry about you hating me afterward. It . . . it explains why I am like I am . . . why I reacted the way I did."

"You don't have to . . ." Hannibal looked at the pain in Face's eyes, and he swallowed as anger at whoever put it there flooded his body.

"I want to. I . . . I guess I've kept it a secret long enough." Face smiled. "You see, Hannibal, I was in college, and I was on a scholarship . . . well, you know they don't give many college loans to orphans without co-signers. Anyway, as is often went to be in colleges, there was a problem with one of the scholarship payments and the college didn't get it . . . or so they said, and I almost had to leave college. Well, there was this one girl who said she could introduce me to someone who could help . . ."

"A Loan Shark?" Hannibal asked, but Face smiled crookedly.

"No. Worse. Her pimp." He shivered as the water slowly rose past his thighs, and he and Hannibal stood up, but Face kept his eyes lowered, unable to look his mentor in the eyes as his shame filled him. "It was only to be a few times, you know, just to make up expenses, and then it was supposed to be only with women . . ."

"You're talking about hooking!" Hannibal exclaimed, and Face nodded silently. "And . . . and you did it with men?" Hannibal stared at Face, and Face looked into the dark water that swirled around his body, and nodded, and his voice was bitter.

"I was young, good-looking, I was stupid, and by the time I realized how deep into things I was, it was too late to get out. I wanted out, Hannibal. Really, I did, but by then he said he'd hurt anyone and everyone I cared for. As a warning, he beat me up . . . and badly. When . . . when Leslie dumped me, I knew I had to get out. And there was only one place to go. One place to escape where he couldn't touch me . . ."

"Vietnam." Hannibal filled in, and Face nodded.

"And that was where I met you guys. I just wanted one place I could be me. Just be among people who wouldn't make demands I couldn't go through with. Just be with some people who would one day say, 'Templeton Peck, I'm proud of you.' But, I guess, now that you know about me, know about how stupid I was, you being proud of me is only a stupid dream. And . . . and now you'll never want to touch me, let alone kiss me again. And I can't blame you, Hannibal. Really. And it's okay . . ."

There were a million things that Hannibal wanted to say, and could have said, and they all occurred to him in the few seconds it took as he waded over to Face, and looked at him silently for a moment. Face glanced up, but, obviously devastated, ashamed and degraded, he couldn't bring himself to look into his leader's eyes. without a plan, for the first time in his life, Hannibal said the first thing that came to his mind. He reached under Faces chin once more, and gently pulled the younger man's face toward him, until their eyes met. "I'm proud of you, Lieutenant Templeton 'Faceman' Peck. You've gone through hell, not once, but several times, and have come through it all. You've faced death and spit it down more times than I need to remind you." He shook his head. "You've got to now that I care about you, how you feel, what happens to you, and since I kissed you, it's become even stronger... stronger than I ever thought any feelings I had for you, COULD be."

Face blinked and swallowed as the words he'd only ever dreamed of hearing before sounded in his ears, and the conviction with which Hannibal spoke them, let him know that Hannibal was perfectly serious, and that he had told the truth about what he felt for the younger man. "Thank you, Hannibal." Face whispered, but was interrupted as the walls around them creaked, and the seams widened, and then the walls bent slightly inward. They stood silent for a moment, and Hannibal inhaled slowly.

"Stress fractures." He announced, and cleared his throat. "Won't be too much longer now." The water rose to their chests, and they watched as the water filled the round room more quickly than it had.

"Kiss me again, Hannibal." Face suddenly spoke again, and Hannibal nodded as the water rose to just under their arms.



Part 3


Hannibal put his arms around Face, and Face stepped into Hannibal's warmth. He let Hannibal take the lead, and all but melted against the older man's body as Hannibal's hands slid gently under the edge of his shirt as it swirled in the water, and touched his skin. He shivered as Hannibal's mouth searched for, found, and then conquered any last fearful resistance he might have had, and he pressed his obviously aroused form to Hannibal's equally aroused one. They kicked off their shoes and treaded water as it rose around them, until they hit the eight foot ceiling. Face wrapped his hands around Hannibal's middle, rested his head on Hannibal's shoulders, yawned, then choked as the sea water slid down his throat. His head slid forward, and his kicking weakened, as hypothermia started to set in fully.

There were maybe a few inches of air left at the top of the sphere . . . barely room to purse their lips and pull in a quick mouthful of air. However, Hannibal never said quit, and he wouldn't allow his men to either . . . especially not the one he held. The man he held, and with a sudden, energizing shock, realized he LOVED. Loved NOT as a father, but as something more. When he realized that, he sighed, and knew that he had always loved Face, but due to Societies Norms, had covered it with the father and son associations he'd always had before.

"Don't do this to me, kid." Hannibal pleaded as he lifted Face's head from his shoulder, and looked into the dull, weary, blue eyes. "Fight, damn it! Do you hear me!? Don't you DARE let go!" He yelled, and then choked as saltwater poured into his mouth, and he spit it out.

As tired and as cold as he was, Face tried. He kicked to what was left of the surface and tried desperately for a breath, but the water closed over his mouth, and he choked on it. Suddenly, there was a jerk, and the sphere stopped moving, though, unfortunately, it didn't stop filling with water, and they felt another sudden jerk as it started moving back up. "I'm sorry, Hannibal." Face shook his head. "I can't . . ."

"Yes, you can!" Hannibal shouted, and pulled Face's flagging body from the water, and held his nose above it. "We're going up, Face! We're going to be rescued! Don't die on me, Face! Please!" However, even as he pleaded with Face, the water went over his own head, and he fought the urge to gag, though he took as deep a breath as he could with what little air was left.

"I . . . love you . . . Hannibal." Face's whisper was a mere breath in his ear, and a moment later, Face went slack in his arms, and air bubbles slowly floated past his face.

Then, there was no more air in the bathysphere to be had by either of them.

What air Hannibal had in his lungs burned, and he ached to breathe, but he knew he couldn't. He knew they were going up, though he didn't know how long it'd take for the water to be emptied. Face's only chance at life was if Hannibal clung to his own with the determination he was so famous for.

Slowly, the minutes ticked by, and with resignation, Hannibal knew his determination wasn't going to be enough. His vision tunneled, and lethargy crept into his body, and he felt his own arms as they slackened around the body of the man he loved . . . the man he'd fought death as far as he could for . . . the man who'd said he loved him.

Hannibal was, after all, only human, and certainly no Superman, and even he had to give in to the demands of his damnably weak body. The air slowly left his own lungs, and his head fell forward, onto Face's shoulder. He touched his lips to the younger man's just once more, and shivered weakly at how cold they felt.

And then he realized the very top of his head felt cold, colder than it had, and that a small bit of light had crept into the sphere through the crack around the door where the ancient seals had been broken and had let the water in. He looked up, and saw that the water had receded, just the tiniest bit, but it was enough, and it continued to recede.

The strength of adrenaline and desperation filled him, and he kicked upward. He wrapped his mouth around the place where the light came in, and sucked in lungs full of the air that came in with it. He pushed Face up against one of the rounded walls, his head back, and out of the water, and blew the air into the younger man's mouth. CPR was completely out of the question at that point, but if Hannibal could get some, ANY oxygen into Face at all, he knew he'd be able to restart Face's heart. The fact that he wouldn't be able to restart it didn't even cross the older man's mind, and he knew that he was Face's only chance, for B.A. would never have fit through the entrance to the bathysphere, and who knew how long it'd take for him and Murdock to get the bolts off and the door open.

Finally, after what seemed like a millennia, the sphere broke the surface, and the water receded faster than it had. Hannibal, though he was exhausted to the point of semi-consciousness, fought with Face's limp figure as they both collapsed to the floor of the bathysphere. As Hannibal relentlessly breathed into Face's cold mouth and pushed on the unresponsive chest, as if from a distance, he heard the grind and high-pitched whine of a drill. It dimly registered in his mind that as he worked on Face, B.A. and Murdock had cut the bolts off the door. Daylight suddenly flooded the sphere, and he looked up briefly as Murdock poked his head in, but immediately returned to his task.

Murdock paled, and quickly pulled back out of the entrance, and Hannibal knew he related what he'd seen to B.A., then he poked his head on once more. "Colonel!" Murdock called. "Do you want me to . . ."

"No time!" Hannibal hissed, then scowled. "Are you proud of him, Murdock? B.A.?" He asked, as his arms trembled with exhaustion, and his vision blurred.

"Of course, Colonel." Murdock answered, without hesitation, though his voice was puzzled.

"Yeah." B.A. confirmed, no less confidently or confused, than Murdock. "Why you askin' now for?"

"Tell him." Hannibal's voice rasped, and the others knew that his phenomenal strength and stamina had reached its limit.

"Tell him. Call him by his name!" Hannibal bent back over, and breathed into Face's mouth once more.

"Templeton Peck!" Murdock promptly called out, without questioning what he'd been told to do. "I'm proud of you! Do you hear me, muchacho!? You're my best friend, and I need you! Billy needs you, too! You're the only one who brings him dog biscuits, and neither one of us want to lose you!"

"I'm proud o' ya' too, Templeton Peck." B.A.'s voice boomed around the bathysphere. "The Team ain't complete without ya', so you just better wake up, sucka'!"

"C'mon, kid." Hannibal panted. "Don't just lay there. I'm getting tired here." His voice dropped to a whisper, and he knew he'd reached the last of his reserves. "Don't make me watch you die, Face. It's not fair. Not now."

Suddenly, Face choked, and water spurted from his mouth. Hannibal's body shook, and he rolled Face over to his side, where he vomited what must have been half a gallon of seawater.

"I spit in its Face, Hannibal." Face whispered as he smiled up at Hannibal, who collapsed onto his side.

"You sure did, kid. You sure did. Guess we both told ol' death where to go." The older man smiled, gripped Face's hand in his, and they both relaxed as unconsciousness claimed them.

Murdock slipped into the bathysphere, and one by one, he and B.A. maneuvered both men from what had been a metal ball of certain death.



Part 4



Hannibal sat in his trailer on the movie lot, beside what had been his bed and held onto the hand of the one person he'd NEVER expected to care for as much as he did, and he stroked the blond hair back from the still-pale forehead. Face's last words before he'd died - and he HAD died, there was no way that Hannibal could avoid that thought or deny that it had happened, had been 'I love you'.

Hannibal loved the man in the bed, and wanted him so badly that he could still taste the desperate, last kiss they had shared. Hannibal wondered though, with Face's past, such as it was, would he want to be with Hannibal? Would he want to be Hannibal's lover? After all, yes, Face had kissed him, but they both had thought they were to die. And yet, they were both alive. Face's breath rattled in his chest, and he coughed, frequently, but Hannibal knew by that at least, that Face was alive.

Hannibal also knew that Face should have been in a hospital, but that damned Decker wasn't far behind them . . . especially after the reports that had come from the dockworkers about the fracas that B.A. and Murdock had caused as they'd fought not only the men on the ship who'd lowered the bathysphere into the water, but also as they had fought with the ancient mechanism to get the bathysphere OUT of the water. At that point, Hannibal's little movie lot trailer was the last place of refuge the men had, where Face, and incidentally, Hannibal, could rest and recover without fear of being discovered.

Face had only woken once in three days, and that was out of a nightmare on the first night they'd installed him in the bed in the trailer. The Team had taken turns as they watched over him, but on that first night, he had screamed for Hannibal, and the older man hadn't been far from Face's side since. However, as he listened to Face's breath, and despite the fact the somewhat suspect 'doctor' he'd been forced to consult had said Face would be fine, Hannibal decided that if Face didn't wake, and soon, they were going to HAVE to risk a hospital.

That was the one part about being on the run that really sucked, Hannibal decided. Not being able to get medical help when they REALLY needed it was a very large thorn in his side, not to mention the pain it caused him in his heart as his men suffered. He bowed his head and pressed Face's hand gently to his lips, then gently kissed the long fingers that held an Uzi and played the piano with equal grace.

The fingers moved in his hand, and Hannibal started, then grinned as the black eyelashes fluttered, and ocean blue eyes opened. The most beautiful sight that Hannibal could remember seeing in his long and decidedly un-dull life, was Face's eyes as they focused on him, and the younger man smiled. Hannibal's eyes gleamed suspiciously wetly, and there was only one thing he could think of to say at that moment. "I love you." He said, then held his breath as Face's eyes widened, and the younger man's smile would have lit up half of San Francisco in a blackout.

"It . . . it was real . . . then?" He rasped. "You . . . you and . . . me?"

"If you want it to be, Face." Hannibal told him, and Face nodded weakly.

"I do, but . . ."

"But what?" Hannibal held his breath, and Face sighed.

"Can . . . can we talk . . . talk about this in a minute? I REALLY need to go . . . go to the bathroom." Hannibal laughed with relief and helped Face to stand. The man was as wobbly as a newborn colt, but to Hannibal Face was absolutely beautiful, and Hannibal knew, beyond any shadow of any doubt, he'd found what he hadn't even known he'd searched for. By the time they got Face back to the bed, the younger man was almost unconscious once more, and he coughed as Hannibal laid him back down, and covered him with a warm quilt.

"I talked to a 'pharmacist' I know." Hannibal told Face. "And he said after the drowning, you may end up with pneumonia, or at the least, bronchitis, so I managed to get hold of some antibiotics for you. And don't worry, this time I had them tested. They really ARE antibiotics." The older man handed Face a large pill, and held a glass of water. With a grimace, the younger man took the pill, sipped the water, then flopped back down on the bed as what little strength he had, waned.

"I . . . I love . . . want you, Hannibal . . . so much." Face sighed, held his arms up to the older man, and Hannibal's grin almost exploded across his face.

Hannibal leaned over and their lips met. The kiss started gently at first, as an affirmation that both men were alive and all right, but then the passion ignited. Hannibal reveled in the small gasps that Face gave out, as the older man dove into his chosen new life with vigor, but then, Face's gasps turned into a racking cough, and Hannibal sat back until it stopped.

"You okay? He asked worriedly, and once he'd caught his breath, Face nodded.

"S . . . sorry." He apologized roughly. "We'll . . . we'll get beyond kiss . . . kissing. I pro . . . promise."

"I'm looking forward to it. But give yourself time to heal. We've got plenty of time . . . Templeton." Hannibal grinned at the weak, though brilliant smile that Face gave him, then lay down beside Face and wrapped his arms around him. Face sighed contentedly, lay his head on Hannibal's chest, and closed his eyes.

"Lots . . . and lots of . . . time." Face whispered, and in a moment, was asleep. For the first time in three days, Hannibal allowed himself to relax fully, and he followed Face into a deep, dreamless sleep.

Three hours later, Murdock and B.A. entered the trailer for their shift, and as exhausted as he was, Hannibal cracked one eye. In the space of a nano-second, he thought about trying to make an explanation, decided to hell with it, and went back to sleep.

"Isn't that sweet?" Murdock gushed, and B.A. grinned.

"'Bout time." The bigger man announced, his voice low. "Ain't never seen two more blind people in my life. Thought they'd never straighten themselves out and figure out they was in love . . . REAL love that is, and not just that father and son thing."

"Think this means we can finally tell them the truth about us?" Murdock blinked and draped himself over B.A.'s shoulders. "BIG guy?"

"I don't think they ready fo' that yet." B.A. answered, then grinned.

"Hmm. But I'm ready." Murdock playfully ran a hand up and down B.A..'s arm.

"You always ready, foo'." B.A. scowled, but there wasn't any power behind it, and Murdock nodded.

"And you're glad of it too." He answered cheekily, and B.A. merely snorted at him. "But now, seeing as how those two look like they're out for the count, and since Hannibal's finally out . . . uh . . . I mean, asleep . . . that must mean that Face is recovering, so I think we should just let these two be for now. What do you think?"

"I think yo' right." B.A. nodded. "We'll come back and check on them later." He ran a bejeweled finger over Murdock's jawline, and the pilot's mouth opened slightly.

"Much later." Murdock's voice caught in his throat, and together they drew the quilt over both Face and Hannibal, then certain that all was right in the world of the A-Team, they quietly left the trailer, to their sleeping Teammates.



The Kiss by Charon



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