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The Venom Within
Summary: Face needs to blow off some steam, but gets picked up by Decker instead.
Author's note: I wanted to send out my sincere thanks to my beta's: Shadowwalker, Ali, and Eve. This story would not have turned out the way it did if it weren't for their contributions and thoughts.
Face was pissed. His body screamed it; shoulders tight, chest puffed out, even his butt was clenched. And not a goddamn thing he could do about it, with his hands cuffed behind his back as Decker strode so triumphantly in front of him.
It was bad enough being caught by Decker; it was worse being caught by Decker because he was too busy pulling off any clothing that his floozy of the night still had on. Face stood there, glaring, shirt half untucked, only the two middle buttons still keeping it together, and more than a little frustrated.
Decker hadn't bothered with any of the formalities this time. No "Stop!" "Freeze!" "Hands in the air!" A squad of MP's had simply barged into the room. One had belted him across the jaw as Face had tried to pull away from the girl. The second he was on the floor, he was dog piled with military hands pushing him into the carpet, pulling his wrists behind his back and clasping them together with cool metal cuffs. Others groped his body for weapons. He hadn't had any on him; hadn't had the chance to get to any of them either.
Perhaps that would change.
The MP's weren't big on common courtesy. They pulled him up and swung him around to face Decker so forcefully he had lost his balance and fallen right back to his knees. He had stayed there for a second and took a deep breath to reign in his anger at being manhandled. Face had felt more hands grabbing at him, beginning to pull him back up. They had stopped though; he wanted to think that it was because he was radiating hostility. The safe bet was on Decker giving the okay to leave their prisoner disheveled and on his knees in front of him.
The thought made Face even angrier. His clenched fists were already causing the cuffs to bind into his wrists. He didn't care; in fact, it felt good.
He took another deep breath and slowly stood up. His eyes locked on Decker's. Both showed sheer determination, Face's flashed anger as he recognized the triumph in Decker's.
"Get him out of here," Decker ordered.
Face stood his ground as an MP pulled on his arm, a split second later he was forced to break eye contact as another one shoved him towards the door in a combined effort to get him out of the condo.
Decker was taking no chances this time. No less than five guards hustled him into the back seat of the waiting car, where instead of simply closing the door on him, he was ordered to lean forward. Face had resisted the urge not to cooperate with the guards, instead opting to comply with their orders very slowly. As he leaned forward his cuffs were attached to another chain that came out of the seat.
They pressed him back and shackled his ankles the same way. The chain linking his legs together ran through a metal loop built into the floor of the car. Nothing short of bolt cutters were going to get him out of this.
As Face tested the new setup, he found the chain holding the cuffs allowed for very little movement. He had grown accustomed to being able to lean forward and roll his shoulders to loosen up the muscles during these car rides, but he'd have to figure something else out now. The shackles didn't allow him to fully extend both of his legs now. Extending one leg pulled the other in the opposite direction. The short leash made Face want to kick the seat in front of him.
Face got as comfortable as he was going to and tried to force himself to relax. He closed his eyes in an attempt to ignore the situation. His eyes opened again as the colonel climbed into the front passenger seat and looked back at him.
"Worried I'm gonna escape?" Face tried to sound light hearted and nonchalant but his bad mood crept in and he couldn't keep the dark sneer out of his voice.
Decker smirked. "Not anymore, Lieutenant. Not anymore." Face followed Decker's gaze to the back passenger seat as the door opened and a soldier Face hadn't seen before invaded the seat.
"Lieutenant, this is sergeant Stellens. He's going to be making sure you don't make a premature departure from our company." Decker introduced somewhat more proudly than necessary.
"Seriously." Face chuckled as he looked at a man who sat only slightly taller than Face himself. The man had quiet confidence about him and looked as though he kept himself in shape. "You've had an entire squad dedicated to that for years and here we are doing it again today."
"Sergeant Stellens has an extensive history in advanced fighting techniques, far beyond your training," Decker ground out as he turned towards the front of the car. "Let's move," he ordered.
Face took one last look at Stellens, stood by his initial read on the guy and settled in for what promised to be a long and uncomfortable ride. He focused on getting control of his anger. He had two days of a 'piece of cake' mission and bad guys with no morals still pissing him off.
Face had never considered handcuffs a useful instrument when on him, however, right now he doubted his own ability to control his temper. While he had never objected to punching an MP, the general consensus had been that those altercations led to escape attempts, not anger management.
That kind of anger was dangerous; it made people apprehensive and kept them on guard. He needed to gain Decker's pity. Decker wasn't dumb enough to ever trust him, but Face would bet money that Decker was pompous enough to believe that he had crushed his drive to escape.
Face lay on his bunk, staring up at the ceiling, thinking back over the past couple days.
They had taken a case, much like any other: small town family being harassed by some scum-balls who were making it difficult to earn an honest living. The case was supposed to be pretty simple… a piece of cake one might say.
Everything was supposed to take two days plus one extra for the wrap up. However, it had taken a bad turn at the end. The town slime had gotten the drop on Face and the wife as they were unloading her car. The gang's plan was to draw out the team by sending them a tape of Face and Linda getting beaten. Early on Face had taken advantage of an opening and it resulted in little more than him getting beaten and tied up.
Which meant he couldn't do anything when they started smacking Linda around for information. Face had given the team up in a heartbeat once they took the gag out of his mouth.
In the end they had succeeded in drawing the rest of the team out alright. It had ended with BA pulling Face off of one guy. Four of them went to jail. One went to the hospital.
After that Hannibal had insisted on driving back to LA. Face knew it was damage control; Hannibal wanted to keep tabs on them until they cooled down. Even when they got back to LA Hannibal had warned Face off a drunken brawl.
Hannibal knew Face didn't get angry all that often, choosing, instead of violence, sarcastic remarks and intricate scams. However, white-hot anger was another monster all together. When you added alcohol to the equation Face got stupid and that meant dangerous.
Face had heeded his colonel's warning this time. Mostly because he'd had two days to realize that his anger would wane, but military prison would not. Instead he picked up a beautiful wild lady and an expensive bottle of tequila.
All of which brought him right back to military custody.
All said and done, if he was going to spend the night in a jail he would have opted for the fight.
Face had tried to get a better read on Stellens on the ride over. He'd shift as best he could to try stave off the stiffness setting into his shoulders. More and more frequently he would shift, and every time Stellens became rigid and ready to act without fail. Face had been hoping that he would eventually let his guard down, but he wasn't having any luck proving that theory.
Face had endured a highly invasive strip search once they got to the local jail. It had taken every ounce of self-control he could muster to remain 'cooperative'. The prevailing thought being that he could either cooperate or Decker's goons could force him to cooperate.
Decker had hauled out the military greens, 'PRISONER' stenciled across the back shoulders, with so much pride that Face gritted his teeth and fought the urge to throw them back.
Decker had continued his pattern of 'restraints on' except when absolutely necessary. The Commander did not seem happy with the inconvenience of an unexpected high-risk prisoner behind his walls, but Decker had assured him that it would only be for a few hours while he refueled the vehicles, made the rest of the transport arrangements, and his men got some rest.
In the end the commander hadn't made any promises, but had agreed to keep Face as isolated as possible.
Hours later Face found himself bored and leaning against the cell bars, his arms dangling through them. He watched as a couple of guards escorted two prisoners down the corridor; surprised when they stopped at his cell.
"Lieutenant, meet Andrews and Dorne." The guard nodded his head to each man. "Turn around, Lieutenant, put your hands behind your back." The guard sounded inconvenienced by the whole production.
Face was unimpressed, but pushed himself off the bars and did as he was instructed anyway. The guard tested the cuffs to make sure they weren't coming off. "Go sit on the bunk," he ordered, satisfied with the restraints.
Face complied, more intent on sizing up his two new cellmates than listening to the guard.
"Hey!" Face looked back up to the guard, "I said cross your ankles."
Face crossed his ankles. "I'm house broken too."
"Good, maybe you can help these guys figure that one out."
Face couldn't help a smirk at the comment but quickly replaced it with a hard stare.
Face got up when instructed and reversed the process to get let out of the cuffs.
"You boys be good." The second guard finally spoke up with a sneer as they turned and left
Face sighed as he turned back to the cell to find that one of the new meatheads had taken it upon himself to start the pissing contest early by laying down on Face's bunk.
Face took a step forward. "You sure you want to do this?" His muscles ached with the anticipation of a fight, but not giving the guy an opportunity to take in his military get up and change his mind wouldn't sit too well the next morning.
"You're kidding right?" Andrews said as he got off the bunk. he puffed himself out as much as his 6' 230 lb frame would allow and moved towards Face. He had medium length stringy hair that was going from black to grey. The guy looked like he was pushing 50, chances were he was actually in his late 30's. Despite his added weight, it looked more proportionate than just belly fat.
Dorne would fit the same police description except he had a scar down his right cheek. His hair was light brown, but could have easily been blond if it were washed on a regular basis.
Face knew he could take these guys one on one no problem, but if they double teamed him, he might be in trouble. There wasn't much room to work in this cell, but even then the guards would be there to break things up. Perhaps even before he really wanted them there.
Face stood still, seemingly contemplating the situation as Andrews slowly drew closer, squaring up with Face as he continued baiting.
Once Andrews was close enough Face leaned back, pivoting at the waist, his spine rigid, he smashed his forehead forward into the guy's nose. He was surprised that even though the guy's nose had opened up with blood, he hadn't so much as taken a step backwards. Instead he barreled towards Face.
The wind was knocked out of Face as his opponent's shoulder rammed into his gut. He couldn't do anything but wrap his arms around the guy's back to keep his balance as he was shoved into the wall.
He could hear the place erupt with cheers at a fight in their midst. Face had to get rid of this guy quick; Dorne was already off the bed and gauging when to join in. Against the wall Face didn't have too many choices. He let his legs drop from under him slamming his butt and Andrews face onto the concrete floor.
Face smiled to himself as he felt Andrews go limp on top of his legs. He shoved Andrews off him, keeping a close eye on Dorne, who was now headed his way.
Face was still getting up when Dorne grabbed his shirt and slammed him into the wall. Face grabbed Dorne's shirt in turn, partially to keep his balance as his feet finally got pulled out from under Andrews and secondly so that he could hang onto Dorne when he brought his knee into his gut.
Face kept Dorne from doubling over and swung him around until his back was shoved into the bars just opposite from where Andrews.
Face released the front of Dorne's shirt and pulled back with his right arm. He threw his whole upper body into the punch - which came to an abrupt stop as a hand grabbed his elbow from behind. Face didn't have time to react; instead his right knee buckled out from under him from the force of a well-placed kick.
While Andrews pulled Face's right arm up behind his back, Dorne grabbed a handful of hair and began pulling him up.
Face fought back a grimace as he was pulled upwards; now would be an excellent time for Decker to show up. He looked over to the barred door and saw no one, but he heard the clamor of running feet down the corridor; and none too soon.
Face waited until Dorne let go of his hair and came at him with his whole body thrown into a punch. At the last second Face kicked his leg out. He slammed the bottom of his foot into Dorne's knee and felt it crunch under the force for the blow. Dorne dropped to the ground clutching his knee.
Andrews was quicker to react than Face had expected, kicking his knee out from under him again. Face tried to catch himself but Andrews held onto his arm, wrenching it further up his back. He spun Face around, letting go of his arm, and landing his boot in Face's stomach.
Face fell backwards, no air left in his lungs. He fought the urge to roll onto his side, not wanting to give up his back. Instead he brought his arms up as a flurry of fists began to rain down on him.
Face heard the shouting for them to break it up, as expected. However, contrary to Face's initial plans, this guy seemed to have no intentions of complying with the guards' orders.
Face absorbed the blows as he struggled to get his back against the bars. Face's head slammed against the bars with the punches and he kicked out; sweeping his opponents left leg out from under him.
Face heard someone yelling for keys as he pushed himself off the floor and hurled himself into Andrews as he was getting back up.
They shoved each other around the cell until Face tripped over Dorne. Face landed with his back against the bunk. He shoved his attacker back and rolled towards the front of the cell, getting out from under- and more importantly- free of Andrews, if only long enough to gauge this guy's resolve to continue the fight.
It didn't take long. Face squared up, taking advantage of his opponent's apparent fatigue; the guy was bent over, breathing hard; it looked like he was trying to lift anvils instead of fists. Face came at him with a right jab, but at the last moment opened his fist and grabbed the back of Andrew's head instead. Face forced Andrews head down into his rising knee.
Face had barely gotten his balance back when he was grabbed from behind. He swung his elbow upwards and back, hoping to catch the guy's head; an arm looped around his bicep and forced him towards the bunk again. Face buried his other elbow into the guys gut and turned around, bringing his knee up into this guy's head.
Suddenly a powerful arm looped around his throat from behind and pulled him upwards. Face grabbed at the forearm, tried to land some elbows, anything to get out of the choke. Face felt himself weakening. He caught sight of a uniform splayed out on the floor, blood flowing from the officer's head. There were several other uniforms now in the cell.
Face struggled; he could feel his arms lowering despite his best efforts. Black was beginning to flood around his vision and his legs began to buckle under him.
Decker stood on the outside of the cell and watched as Peck went limp in Stellen's hold. Peck's face was red, veins had begun to show; the lieutenant's strain against the hold was obvious. Stellens lowered Peck to the ground where he lie, limp and unconscious.
The sergeant pulled Peck's hands behind him and cuffed his wrists together even as the lieutenant's body twitched with the aftermath of the chokehold.
It didn't last long; Face woke with a start, the cuffs biting into his wrists as he tried to swing his arms around. It slowly came back to him- the fight, the chokehold, the last minute realization that he had injured a guard. That would go over well with the rest of the staff.
Decker didn't give him any time to gather his bearings. He and Stellens pulled Face up to his feet. Face swayed at being upright but managed to get his legs stable before they herded him out of the cell.
Decker swung Face around and shoved the lieutenant's back into the bars on the outside of the cell.
"What the fuck-"
"Shut it, Lieutenant," Decker ground, "Sergeant, go find another guard to help escort him to the infirmary. We'll wait here."
Face lay on the infirmary bed, his left hand shackled to the railing. He'd been dozing for the past couple of hours between being poked, prodded, and occasionally goaded. The fight hadn't exactly gone as planned, but it had placated his recent desire to brawl.
From what the doctor said, he'd gotten six stitches in the back of his head, a broken nose, lost a cap off one of his molars, and of course had a multitude of bruises from being slammed into every immovable object known to man.
All in all, he'd fared pretty well considering his backup plan had locked themselves out of the cell in what was being described as an 'extra security effort'; only the commander had a key to his cell.
Face hadn't heard anything about the status of the guard, or the other two prisoners. He couldn't find it in himself to care either. The fight had simmered his need to punch the next thing available, but that may have been because his knuckles were all busted up.
Decker had left a guard posted outside his room. Chances were it was the colonel's new all-star. Face had an ever-increasing level of abhorrence for the sergeant.
Face pulled out the would-be lock pick and smiled. Everything had been quiet for a while. Who would have thought self-induced vomiting would be a skill so valuable? Face had picked it up as a kid; it was a great way to get out of doing undesirable things like chores, eating vegetables, bible study. He had vomited a lot as a child.
During the exam earlier Face had suddenly become 'ill', and there was nothing like the smell of secondhand alcohol and bile to make the guards close the door on him. Face had made quick work of taking the toilet roll holder apart. He removed the spring, put everything back together and continued a couple more rounds of vomiting while he secured the spring in the one place they had no reason to examine- between his inner thigh and genitals.
Face quickly worked on the spring, breaking it into the right size and beginning shaping the tip. It didn't take him long even with one hand shackled. He silently slipped out of the bed, and disposed of the rest of the spring and the lock pick. If he got caught he wouldn't get a second chance, and he couldn't afford for Decker to know where it came from.
Face grabbed the fire extinguisher off the wall and slipped back into the bed. "Hey!" he yelled towards the door. "Hey guard!"
The door opened and Stellens entered. Face did his best to appear weakened by the yelling. "I've gotta use the john."
Stellens came closer.
Face deployed the fire extinguisher and jumped off the bed. Stellens was too startled to grab his gun, instead shielding his eyes from the white cloud emitted from the extinguisher.
Face made quick work of disarming Stellens. He cocked the gun slowly, savoring each clank the revolver made as he pulled the hammer back. He enjoyed watching Stellens stiffen at the sound.
Stellens slowly turned around to face him. Face caught a quick glance at the door from Stellens.
"Don't." Face released his white-knuckle grip on the revolver and took a deep breath. He'd have time to deal with Stellens at a later date as long as he got out of here now.
Stellens radiated a very controlled hostility as he followed Face's instructions. Face took advantage of returning the rough handling, and overly tight handcuffs. He briefly thought about asking Stellens for directions out of here, but Face had dropped that thought with one glance towards the sergeant.
By the time Face took a deep breath and opened the door, he knew Stellens was not someone he wanted to be locked in a room with any time soon. He took a quick look around the hallway, and headed to the left to find his way out.
The uniform didn't fit that well and the gun belt was pulling on his hips as he walked. He made a conscious effort to resist the urge to adjust the uniform constantly. He instead focused on finding a way out of the building and not drawing attention to the ill fitting clothing.
Decker marched down the corridor towards the infirmary with the commander. Neither man was in a good mood. Decker had reassured the commander that Lieutenant Peck would be spending some quality time in the punishment block as soon as he got to Bragg.
If the commander had his way, Peck's transport would be delayed for the next couple of months while he took care of the punishment himself.
Face heard the voices drawing near and looked for a quick exit. He took a right down the next hallway just as Decker and the Commander rounded the corner.
Decker missed a step at the sight of the figure.
"How many men you got?" the Commander asked suspiciously.
"One down here, and he's posted outside Peck's room." Decker drew his gun. "Where's that hallway go?"
Face swore under his breath as it became apparent that he had no place to go. No doors were open, no vents readily available, and footsteps that were now running were growing very loud.
Face punched the wall in frustration just before the two figures rounded the corner.
"Don't move, Lieutenant," The commander ordered, drawing a bead on the prisoner.
Face laced his hands behind his head and followed the commander's orders without hesitation. He'd pushed things too far for the time being and the commander was an unknown.
The commander grabbed Face's hands and shoved him against the wall, kicking Face's feet apart.
Decker holstered his weapon after the commander disarmed the lieutenant. He took a step closer, surprised that the rough treatment met no resistance from Peck.
He watched as Peck winced when his arms were pulled down behind his back and the handcuffs were snapped into place a bit tighter than need be.
Face ignored the verbal berating and threats as he kept his body limp. The commander flipped him around, grabbing the front of his shirt in his fists and slamming his back into the wall. Face braced himself for what was coming.
"Hold it!" Decker barked as the situation escalated. Normally he wouldn't mind seeing the lieutenant get a bit roughed up, especially considering recent events, but Peck was restrained, offering no resistance, already injured, and more importantly, Decker needed to find out about Stellens.
"Where's my sergeant?"
Face didn't take his eyes off of the commander, who still had him pressed tightly against the wall. "The hospital bed."
"Let's go." Decker looped his arm under Peck's elbow and grabbed the back of the lieutenant's collar, forcing him to walk slightly in front of him.
Face muffled a groan and fought the cuffs for a split second. Decker wasn't having any of it; he slammed Peck's torso into the wall and wrenched the lieutenant's arms a bit further upwards.
"I'd keep your mouth shut if I were you. Given the present situation tight handcuffs are the least of your worries. Got it?"
"Yeah." Face said into the wall.
"What was that?"
… "Yes, Sir."
Decker marched Peck back to the infirmary room he had just escaped.
Face kept his mouth shut as Decker pushed him into the wall again, this time letting go of Face's collar. The commander stood guard while Decker checked on Stellens.
Face had taped Stellens mouth and handcuffed both hands behind his back and through the bed rails so the sergeant had no chance of alerting anyone. Face relaxed against the wall and watched Stellens closely.
Stellens looked as though he had spent his time struggling against the cuffs; his wrists were red with sharp imprints around them. His nostrils were flared with his struggle with a taped mouth and large veins had begun to show themselves down his forehead and arms.
Decker released Stellens and the sergeant jumped off the bed and made a bee-line for the lieutenant. Face pushed himself away from the wall turning towards Stellens just in time to have a fist buried in his stomach.
Face doubled over, all the air gone from his lungs. He tried to use the wall to stay on his feet, but wound up on the floor anyway. He didn't try to get back up, but lie on the ground, curled up and gasping for breath.
The next couple hours were a blur for Face. He endured another highly invasive strip search when he wouldn't give up the lock pick. Of course they found nothing on him. He had kept his mouth shut the entire time except for the occasional 'yes sir' 'no sir' and ended up in a solitary cell until Decker could get all the new paperwork taken care of.
The cell had four walls. End of story. Face curled up in the corner farthest away from the door, glad to be away from the hostile guards. He couldn't blame them too much. He'd seen time and time again what the team did when one of them was beaten up. He knew Decker wouldn't let it go too far, but his body was already aching from the fight earlier.
Face wondered what Hannibal was doing. The colonel would know by now that Face was in trouble. He'd missed the last two check in times, and Hannibal had been adamant about keeping tabs on him these past few days. Even Face had conceded that Hannibal was right to do so.
All for nothing. And now he had no grounds for arguing against even more stringent measures next time something like this happened.
Eventually Face resigned himself to the situation he'd created with Hannibal and with Decker, if only for the time being and slowly drifted off to sleep.
Loud clanging of the door being opened woke Face with a start. He groaned as the movement didn't agree with his stiff body.
Decker walked in and tossed a new uniform next to Face; they had stripped him of Stellens' uniform and up till this point hadn't replaced it. Face had just been glad that they had given him his boxers back. "You buy these in bulk?" Face questioned as he pushed himself up off the floor.
Decker let the comment slide and Face could feel him watching his every slow movement. Face willed his body to move faster, but sleeping on the concrete floor had amplified every ache and pain his body could find. His knuckles were bruised and scabbed over; he could feel the puffiness of his nose and tenderness setting in under his eyes as the bruising came through down his cheekbone. His ribs screamed at him in the same way.
Decker didn't rush him through dressing. Face couldn't help but hang his head at Decker's reserved sympathy.
Stellens marched behind him and snapped the cuffs back into place. Face bit the inside of his lip to keep from expressing the pain that shot through his wrists.
Face remained indifferent throughout the whole process of Stellens chaining him back into the car. He offered no resistance, and didn't bait the sergeant. Stellens for his part took advantage of the opportunity to get Face back for recent transgressions and to not too subtly let him know that his life in the free world had come to an end.
Face fell into a defeated sleep in the car. Snide comments wouldn't get him anywhere and he once again had no way out of being chained into the car. Every time he woke up and caught a glimpse of the clock he got more anxious and all he could do was look around for a sign that Hannibal was coming to the rescue. He'd yet to spot anything.
Murdock sighed. You wouldn't think that a military convoy would be hard to spot from the air, but it was proving to be more of a challenge than they had anticipated. The trees were blocking out his view of the road and the quick gaps that appeared didn't offer much more than a glimpse.
"Mother Goose, this is Bo Peep," Murdock called into the radio mic as he finally spotted the convoy. He pulled the chopper up to ensure he didn't tip Decker off.
"Bo Peep, go ahead," came Hannibal's voice.
"I've found the Wolf three miles north of the 212 junction."
"Alright, Bo Peep, commence Operation Black Tear in ten."
Murdock smiled and began to circle his target. "Mama Bear you copy that?" he heard Hannibal asking BA in the headset.
Face watched Decker growing more anxious as time passed. Two hours to the base and counting. The colonel had decided to take a rural route instead of traveling through the city. It didn't appear that Decker had taken into consideration the tree line blocking out the sun. Face smirked. Happy hunting, Hannibal.
Face was throttled out of his doze as the car fishtailed to a sudden stop. "Are you trying to break my wrists?" he demanded as he inched his way back into the seat.
A loud 'crack' echoed around the car and it became dark with a thick black substance running down the windows. Stellens stiffened even further; Face stayed still as he watched his guard glance from him to Decker, and then to the outside he could no longer see.
"Son of a bitch-" Decker swore as he made eye contact with Peck through the rearview mirror and slammed the car into park.
Face kept a smile off his face as he heard gunfire erupt all around them. He watched as Decker and Stellens pulled out their sidearms and open the vehicle doors. Face's smile broke through as his escorts were covered in tar as soon as the doors cracked open.
Face could hear Hannibal yelling orders as the gunfire died down. Decker and Stellens were ordered away from the car and Face sat impatiently waiting for Hannibal to get him out.
The car door opened with a jerk and Hannibal appeared, stalling for a second as he took in Face's battered appearance. Face ignored it, ready to be done with the entire ordeal. "Decker has the keys."
"I know." Hannibal dangled them in front of Face before he went to work on the shackles and then his second's wrists.
As soon as Face got out of the car, he pushed past Hannibal with a glare, strode over to Stellens and buried his fist in the sergeant's stomach. Face grabbed the front of Stellens' shirt in both fists to keep him from completely doubling over. He shoved the sergeant's back against the side of one of the sedans and pulled his fist back.
"Lieutenant," barked Hannibal as he grabbed Face's wrist from behind and shoved his way between Face and the sergeant. He shoved Face back a couple more steps, this time towards BA.
Face locked eyes with Hannibal for a moment as the anger pumped through his blood again. Face finally took a deep breath and broke eye contact.
"BA, let's tie these guys up." Hannibal ordered.
Face headed towards the van without further comment or incident. By the time Hannibal and BA returned to the van he had his shoulder holster in place and an icepack on his fist.
BA hit the gas, leaving the MP's in a cloud of dust.
Hannibal swung around in his chair. Face could see him evaluating every bruise, and waited for him to demand a report. A long, slow minute passed, while B.A. took them through a maze of turnoffs and switchbacks.
"You done now Lieutenant?"
Face could see BA's eyes dancing between the road and watching him through the mirror. He took a moment and looked at nothing in particular; he felt a calmness rush back into him even as the rest of the van was tense. "Yeah."
"Good." Hannibal chomped down on the cigar. "Then we'll deal with this later," he said as he faced forward again. "Let's go get Murdock."
Two weeks later
Face sat on bench in the warehouse. This one had an area that had been converted into a gym of sorts- punching bag, floor mats, some weights. Nothing elaborate. He wiped the sweat from his brow and felt more stream down again.
"That's it right?" he asked BA ask he pulled off the boxing gloves.
"That's what Hannibal said."
Face felt BA's gaze on him. He had spent the last two weeks with BA working him out. Hannibal seemed to think that getting Face to hit a canvas bag and spar with BA would be a good alternative to a real life brawl. Face had to grin at that thought.
BA knew the simple truth. "Next time Hannibal's not going to be so understanding, man."
Face nodded. "I know, BA." He stared at the boxing gloves for a beat. "But, punching a bag," he shrugged, "I don't know." BA didn't say anything but nodded his understanding. Face smiled. "Besides BA, like I told Hannibal, I was looking for a wild night, not a fight, this time."
BA growled his disapproval of Face's indiscretion. "Next time Hannibal might just let Decker have you for a while."
"No he won't." Face got up and put the gloves away. "He might punch me himself, but he wouldn't let Decker have that notch." Face looked back at BA who seemed to be getting frustrated with him. He smiled. "Don't worry - lesson learned," he conceded. "Just don't tell Hannibal."
Face smiled as BA shook his head.
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