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Only Time Will Tell
Summary: After the A-Team is pardoned by Stockwell they decide to be
Soldiers of Fortune again. But a turn of disaster may split them apart
permanently. Will a new found love blossom from this disaster? Will the
Team make it through?
Disclaimers: I don't own the A-Team but I do like to write fiction about
The characters of Joanna Murdock Smith, the Carrigans and, the Johnsons
were created by me. Joanna is Hannibal's daughter.
Warnings: Swearing, M/M suggested Relationship, Slash, violence, turture
After the A-Team received their pardons after three years of working for Stockwell they decided to keep being Soldiers of Fortune. By time they were pardoned Joanna Murdock Smith was already 10 years old and very smart. She went on missions with them and helped the best she could. She was a pretty little girl with blondish/brown hair that when down to her waist that she normally had up in a ponytail to keep it out of her way. She wore a black skirt that went to her knees, a white cotton blouse, and ked's black sneakers most of the time.
She was born Joanna Roman but when Hannibal adopted her because he was her father he renamed her. She later added the Murdock in her name because she loved Murdock like she loved her father. She had become part of the team when her mother was killed before Hannibal could stop it. She was only 4 years old then and had no one else except her middle aged father. She had learned many things about him and the team and they soon became one happy family that was always on the run. Hannibal gave her the nickname of Cookie when she was six and a gold locket with an engraving on it. Maggie had offered to take her in and raise her but Joanna didn't want to be separated from her father. She was a very quiet child that kept to herself most of the time but she would tell her father anything and if he wasn't available than she would sometimes go to Murdock.
It had been a rough job that the team had been on and they all were a little short tempered. Hannibal had gone on "the Jazz" again and everyone knew he was going to go in the front door again because it was the only way to get in. They were trying to capture a drug lord and the guy's home was guarded so well that you couldn't get in let alone out without being seen. They got in but on the way out Hannibal had been careless and got himself shot in his shooting arm so Face had to protect Hannibal as they ran out. After they got the drug lord to the government that wanted him captured they took Hannibal to the hospital and had his arm taken care of. He had to have it in a cast for a few days.
When they got home Face and B.A started to yell at him for being irresponsible and almost getting himself killed. A huge argument erupted from it. The ending result was Face and B.A kicked him out. He went and packed his suitcase and while he was packing the suitcase Joanna came into their room and started packing hers. Hannibal looked at her and asked, "Why are you packing your things, Cookie?"
She looked at him and replied, "I am going with you, Hannibal. If you go I go and you should know that without even asking because I made that promise years ago. I will not be separated from you no matter what happens I will be there with you." Before he could say anything she gave him a look that for her meant the choice was final and there was nothing he could do about it so he nodded. She helped him finish packing because it was hard to do with one arm in a sling. They took there suitcases to the car Hannibal had gotten for his own use. He left his share of the money and took off with Joanna. When they were leaving Hannibal noticed both the Vette and the Van were gone. They found a place south of LA while the rest of the team remained in LA.
Murdock didn't know what had happened until he had come home from helping out at a local hospital. As he unlocked the door he noticed Hannibal's car was missing from the driveway of their small house. He didn't think about it really until he noticed B.A. and Face were avoiding looking at him whenever he got near them. He went up to change into his everyday clothes and passed Hannibal's room. On his way back from changing he went in it and started looking around once he noticed all of Joanna's things she had made her father that had been tacked on the wall were not there. Also Joanna's favorite teddy bear and dolly, which sat in the recliner in the room, were gone. Then Murdock looked in the closets and drawers. He saw that all of Hannibal's and Joanna's clothes, personal items, and suitcases were all gone. He ran downstairs and went up to Face. He angrily asked, "Where are Hannibal and Joanna?" When Face wouldn't look at him or answer Murdock grabbed him by the lapels of his suit jacket and pulled him to his feet. He said, "I'm only gonna ask you one more time, Face. Where are they? All their belonging are gone and their room is cleaned out."
Face could tell Murdock was very angry by the tone of his voice and the look Murdock gave him scared him. He had only seen it a few times but when Murdock got that murderous look you had better stay out of his way. He just softly replied, "They left, Murdock. They moved out."
Murdock couldn't believe what he was hearing and pushed Face back onto the couch. He asked, "Why, Face? Why did they leave? Answer me or I'll make you answer me." He looked at B.A. and noticed even B.A flinched when he saw the look Murdock gave him. He turned his attention back to Face when he hear him say something. He asked, "What did you say, Face?"
Face got off the couch and walked over to the bar to get a drink. He then replied, "I had an argument with Hannibal about how careless he is at times when we're on a mission and we both exploded at one another. I was so angry I told him to get out and not come back if he was going to be so careless. He stormed up the stairs and I got in the Vette and drove around until I could calm down. I was going to apologize to Hannibal when I got back but he was gone. B.A. had gone out for groceries and Hannibal and Joanna were gone before we got back. I didn't mean it Murdock and I never thought he would actually do it." He turned around and looked at Murdock.
Murdock just stared at him until it all sunk in. Then all of a sudden he exploded. He was yelling, "Dammit, Face! How could do that to him? For god sake's he adopted you as his son and loves you like a son! What you did was the same as stabbing him in the back! You hurt him more than you know because he adores you like he would any son of his own blood! He loves you as much as he loves Joanna and then you kick him out of the home he has lived in with us since Stockwell gave us our pardons! He's not young anymore, Face! He's 62 years old for crying out loud! What type of job is he gonna be able to find to support Joanna and himself until she's old enough to help! Being a Soldier of Fortune is what he's good at and why we all remained together after we left Stockwell and Virginia! How are we gonna find him now! I don't care what you two do but I'm gonna find him and nothin that you can do will stop me!" He packed his things together and got a taxi and decide to go to the airport. He figured Hannibal wouldn't go to far from LA. He even called Decker to see if he had heard anything from anybody. Decker had told him if he heard anything he would let him know.
Murdock had gone back home and gave everyone he could his phone number. It had been a year since Hannibal had left and Murdock was really worried about him. He remained in the house that the team had shared and gotten a regular job. B.A. had gone back to Chicago to be with his mother. Face had stayed with Murdock and gotten a job too. All they could do was wait and see what happened.
Hannibal had moved himself and Joanna into a one floor, 4 room house. It had a Bathroom, a bedroom, a living room and a kitchen. Joanna could see how hurt Hannibal was by being thrown out of their home by Face. Hannibal had started smoking cigars again. He had quite soon after they started working for Stockwell.
He had Joanna start school and he got a job working for an auto repair shop. Hannibal would go to work at about 8:00 in the morning after he dropped Joanna off at school, come pick Joanna up at 3:00 after school was out and take her to work with him until he left for the night. He would stay there until about 8:00 at night and the day ended at 5 or 6. People that would come in to have their cars repaired would look at her sitting over by where Hannibal was working doing her homework and wonder why she was there.
One day someone came over to her and asked, "What's a cute little girl like you doing here in an auto repair shop?" She looked up at the man and replied, "I'm waiting for my father to get off work so we can go home. I'm also doing my homework while I'm waiting. Now if you'll excuse me, Mr. I need to finish my homework." He asked, "Why did your father you bring you here? Couldn't he have taken you home to your mother?"
Hannibal had been watching this from the corner of his eye as he worked and finally had enough when the man asked about Joanna's mother. He walked up behind the man and point blankly told him, "Her mother died when she was 4 years old. Now if you could please leave her alone. I have work to do."
The guy asked, "And just who are you?" Hannibal coolly replied, "I am her father and I would kindly appreciate it if you left her alone when she says she wants to be left alone." The man turned around and both of them got a shocked look on their face.
Hannibal couldn't believe it. He had thought the man's voice sounded familiar but he couldn't quite place it. Now that he was looking at the man he knew the voice. He stepped back slightly and said, "Decker." The man nodded at him and replied, "Smith." Hannibal couldn't handle being caught working in a car repair shop by Decker. He turned around and leaned on the hood of the car behind him and asked quietly, "What brings you here, Colonel?"
Decker noticed that this wasn't the arrogant man who always had something smart to say. This was the same man but he had a resigned sense of defeat about him. He was also wearing a pair of greasy overalls and his hair was gray, full of dirt and flying all over the place. He was also a good 20-30 pounds heavier than the last time he saw him. He said, "I only came to get my car checked and you don't have to worry about me anymore. I retired from the army late last year. Soon after you left your team. I don't know what went on but I don't think it was your fault, was it? I didn't think so. What happen to make you pack up yourself and your daughter and leave?" He heard Hannibal sigh and reply bitterly, "It's a long story. The ending result was Face kicked me out. Joanna's with me because she wanted to be with me."
Hannibal stood up and looked at the clock. It was 6:00 in the evening so he decided to leave early for a change. He clocked out and went and got his work jacket. He asked, "Seeing that you're here do you want to get a drink or something? Maybe come over for dinner? We haven't had any company to our new house. It's small but it's comfortable." He signaled Joanna to come and she put her things in her backpack. She put the backpack on her back and ran to catch up with him. She put her head on his side and wrapped her arms around as much of his waist as she could. he put his arm around her shoulders and they walked together to the car.
Decker said, "Are you sure you want me to come over for dinner? I mean we were enemies only about five years ago."
Hannibal chuckled as he answered, "What the Hell! We can't stay enemies forever since we have no reason to now. Come on." Hannibal watched as Decker got in his car so he could follow Hannibal. Then Hannibal got in his car after Joanna put her backpack in the backseat and got in. When they got home Decker pulled in the driveway behind them.
Hannibal unlocked the door and went to get washed up and changed. He called back to Decker, "Make yourself at home, Decker. I'll be out in a few minutes." Hannibal took a quick shower and got all the grease and grime off his body and out of his hair. He was tired but it was nice to have someone else other than just him and Joanna in the house.
He wrapped a towel around his waist and looked in the mirror. In his opinion he looked old. His hair was snow white, he was 20-30 pounds overweight and his eyes were not as bright and full of life as they were a year ago before he was kicked out of the team's home. He was starting to look his age. He couldn't believe it that his birthday was coming up soon and he was going to be 63 years old.
He finished cleaning up and went to the bedroom to get dressed. He still wore the same style of clothes he had been wearing for years. He put on his boxers and socks, a pair of brown pants, an ivory shirt, and his black sneakers. He went out to the living room and found Joanna siting in his chair and Decker was sitting on the couch. She was telling him about all the jobs and ways they had helped people over the years she was with the team. She was also telling Decker about how proud she was of her father.
Decker asked, "You love him very much, don't you?" Joanna just smiled and replied, "More than anything or anyone in the world. I would do anything to help him and protect him. I'm sure he would do the same for me. In fact he has many times. A couple of times he even offered his life for mine. He is very special although he is secretive and he used to be dangerous to be around when he was on the Jazz."
Hannibal came into the parlor and asked, "Decker, is there anything that you would like? I do have some Brandy, Whiskey and Burboon." Decker said, "How about some Burboon?" Hannibal nodded and got a glass of Burboon for Decker. After he gave Decker the glass he asked, "Cookie, can you come help me with dinner?" When she nodded he walked out to the kitchen and started to make the steaks he had gotten out earlier. He had Joanna setting the table while he cooked the steaks and chopped up vegetables for a salad. He made steaks, potatoes, a salad, and put on a pot of coffee. After about a half hour dinner was ready.
Hannibal called Decker and they ate dinner in virtual silence. After they ate Hannibal got the coffee and they all moved into the living room. Hannibal went and sat in his recliner while Decker sat on the couch. Joanna came over and hopped in Hannibal's lap. After she got comfortable he put his arm around her and she leaned her head on his chest. He moved his arm in front of her for a minute so he cup his hand over lighter to light his cigar. When he put his arm around her again she lightly clutched at his shirt. She fell asleep while he was talking to Decker.
Decker told him, "She loves you very much, you know. She trusts you with her life and worships you, Smith. I hope you know how lucky you are to have someone that loves you that much to trust you like she does."
Hannibal finished his cigar and put it out in the ashtray on the small table beside his chair. He told Decker, "I do know. I know how much she loves me and I'm gonna tell you something that I've never told anyone except her. I love her and would give my life for hers. She is all I live for anymore, Decker. I know with how close I've gotten to her that it would kill me if anything happened to her. She is my life."
Decker looked at his watch and saw that it was already 11:00 in the evening. He said, "Well, I guess I should be going."
Hannibal replied, "Just give me a couple of minutes to put Cookie to bed." When Decker nodded Hannibal got up with Joanna in his arms and carried her to the bedroom. Decker had followed and Hannibal asked, "Could you pull the covers down?" Decker pulled them down and Hannibal set Joanna down gently and pulled the covers up over her. She woke up and ask, "Please don't leave me, Daddy?" Hannibal ran his fingers through her hair and moved her bangs. He told her, "I'll be back in a couple of minutes, Cookie. I'm going to go with Decker to the front porch and after he leaves I'll come back and come to bed, all right?" He watched her nod and she asked, "Promise?" Hannibal took her hand and squeezed it. He answered, "I promise." She put her head back on the pillow and closed her eyes.
They left the room and Hannibal softly closed the door only leaving it open a crack. They got to the porch and Decker asked, "Why did she get upset when you were going out of the room?" Hannibal answered quietly, "She's slept with me in my bed since she was 4 and she feels safer with me there. She's always been afraid of the dark unless I'm with her. She has always had nightmares about me dying on her whenever I tried to break her of the habit of sleeping next to me. She clings to me in her sleep because it proves to her I'm still with her and she knows that I'm gonna protect her. I stopped trying to get her to sleep in a different room because I would either wake up to her crawling into bed with me or her screams of terror. She's perfectly happy the way we are and believe it or not so am I because I feel loved, wanted and needed. I need that right now, Decker. After the kick in the gut I got from my men I need something to live for."
Decker replied, "They really hurt your feeling when they kicked you out, didn't they?" Hannibal just humorlessly chuckled and replied, "They did more than that. They broke my heart in two. It felt like a knife in my back. I should have known it would happen someday but I never expected Face would be the one to do it. I adopted him as my son and gave him my last name. Aside from Joanna they were my family, my men and my sons. I'm sorry, Decker. I must be boring you."
Decker just gently put his hands on Hannibal's shoulders and directed him to one of the chairs on the porch. He made him sit down and took the other chair and moved it so he faced Hannibal. He got his attention and told him, "Your not boring me. You know, Smith? For years I used to wonder what made you tick. Why you were so happy even when you were caught. I did notice you cared about your men more than yourself and how much your team would sacrifice for one man. I knew you were close but I never knew how close. I used to respect you even though I hated you. Now I still respect you but I'm starting to know you as a person instead of an adversary. I may actually start to like you, Smith. You are one of a kind and I hope you stay that way." He leaned back in his chair while he waited for Hannibal to sort through everything he had told him.
Hannibal was amazed that Decker actually cared enough to listen to him. He looked at Decker leaning back in the other chair and said, "Thanks, Decker." Decker actually smiled at him and instead of the smile he gave him when he had caught him many times thinking he had won this was a genuine smile of friendship. Hannibal stood up and said, "Well I guess you should get going. It's really late and you probably have things to do. Anytime you want to come over you can. Here's our number so you can call and tell us. We have an answering machine so if neither of us are here you can leave us a message so that we know you're coming. By the way you can call me John if you want."
Decker stood up and put his hand on Hannibal's shoulder again. He replied, "You can call me Rodney then. Thanks for dinner, John. I enjoyed it. I'll see you around." As he lightly squeezed Hannibal's shoulder he put his other hand under Hannibal's chin. He gently made Hannibal look him in the eye. Blue eyes that had been a crystal clear blue only a year ago but were now a dulled blue met a gray blue. He told Hannibal, "Take care of yourself, John. I don't want to loose you as a friend just when start becoming friends. Believe it or not I do actually care about your health. If you need some one to talk to you can call me. Here's my number. I'll see you around." He let go of Hannibal's shoulder and got in his car. As he drove away he knew Hannibal Smith was in the midst of a depression. He also knew he had to call Murdock and tell him he found Hannibal.
Murdock got home from work and collapsed on the couch. He was bushed and wanted to take a shower and go to bed. He had been home about five minutes when the phone rang. He answered it, "Hello, This is H.M. Murdock. Who's this?"
The caller answered, "Murdock, This is Rodney Decker and I'm sure you remember who I am now. You called me about a year ago looking for John Smith."
Murdock replied, "Yes of course. I remember now. have you found out anything?"
Decker sighed and answered, "Yes, I have. I found him. He lives about 20 miles away from where I live. Before you start asking any questions let me tell you a few things first. His daughter is with him and perfectly healthy. She is going to school here. He seems healthy but he looks like he is in a major depression. His daughter waits for him at the auto repair shop he works at until he goes home. He works from 8:00AM until 8:00PM most of the time with hardly any break. He was really hurt when you guys kicked him out."
Murdock replied, "I'm coming out there. I'll meet you the day after tomorrow and could you take me to him? That's fine. I hope I can help. Thanks for your help." He hung up the phone, ran up to his room and plopped down on his bed. He buried his head in his pillow and started to cry. He always hated to see Hannibal in pain or depressed because he loved Hannibal. It just tore Murdock apart when that happened because he didn't know what to do about it.
He cried for an hour until Face came home. He had made the decision he wasn't going to take Face with him. He would take the blame for it but he didn't want Face there with Hannibal in such a depressed state because he could depress him even more if he said the wrong thing. He started to pack his things and get ready to leave. When Face asked him where he was going he just answered him by telling him he was going away for a while. He got in his car and left.
Hannibal had gone back in the house after Decker had left and gotten a glass of Whiskey. He went and sat in his chair. He never got to finish the Whiskey because he fell asleep in the chair. He woke up to a small pair of hands shaking him by the collar of his shirt and smacking his cheeks. After a couple of minutes he realized it was Joanna. She was on her knees in his lap shaking him and screaming, "Daddy, daddy, please wake up, please. Daddy!!!!" When he realized why she was doing it he answered, "It's all right, Cookie. I just fell asleep here. I didn't mean to frighten you. Shhh, it's OK. I'm fine." He wrapped his arms around her and rubbed his right hand up and down her back soothingly.
She put her head on his chest and her little hand clutched his shirt. She was sobbing and in-between the sobs she told him, "I'm sorry, Hannibal. I had a nightmare and when I woke up you weren't in bed. I came looking for you and found you here. I tried to wake you up through calling your name but you didn't answer me. I got scared and did the only thing I could think of and started to shake you. You've never been in that sound asleep and that's why I lost it. I was afraid you were dead. Please forgive me."
Hannibal held her close to him and replied, "It's all right, Cookie. I'm not mad at you. I didn't even realize I had fallen asleep until I felt you shaking and slapping me. Next time just listen to my chest to see if I'm still breathing because you'll know I'm alive and my cheeks won't sting. If that happens again you can hop in my lap and go to sleep because if I'm breathing I will have to wake up sooner or later, right?" When he felt her nod against his chest he looked at his watch and said, "Well I guess we should go to bed, Cookie. It's 3:00 in the morning." She hopped off his lap and he stood up. He noticed she had changed into her nightgown.
They went into the bedroom and he went into the bathroom to change and wash up. When he came out she was sitting up in the bed reading one her children's novels. When she saw him she put her book on the night stand. As soon as he was in the bed and comfortable she curled up next to him. He put his arm around her and she put her head on his shoulder. She put her hand on his chest in the V of his pajama top. She had always felt safe touching his skin because it comforted her. He started to unconsciously lightly put his fingers through her hair. He soon felt her fall asleep and then he joined her in sleep.
The next morning Hannibal woke up to a pressure on his chest. When he opened his eyes he saw that sometime in the night Joanna had decided to climb up on top of his chest. He didn't mind because he knew she was comforted by how close she was to him and right now she was sound asleep with a smile on her face. After a while she started to wake up and she lifted her head. He just smiled at her and told her, "Good morning, Cookie." She blushed and started to move off of his chest and he said, "You don't have to move if you don't want to. I know you like being as close to me as you can get. Besides I kind of find it soothing myself." She smiled at him and kissed him lightly on the lips. She replied, "Thank you, Hannibal. I feel very safe here."
He started to run his fingers through her hair again while she decided to play with his hair. She asked, "Why is you hair so white, Hannibal?" He replied, "My hair started to turn gray early in my life and now it's white. It's the way I am and I'm perfectly happy with it." She realized she struck a cord and told him, "I'm sorry. I didn't mean anything by it. I was just curious. I actually like your hair white and I wouldn't want your hair any other color. It's one of the things that makes you who you are. I like you the way you are. Your my father and I love you and no matter what there's nothing that can ever change that." she continued to run her fingers through his hair for a little while and after a few minutes she got off of his chest.
He got up and after he got dressed went to start breakfast. It was a Saturday so they would both be home together. He put on coffee for himself and got a glass of apple juice for Joanna. After they ate Hannibal washed the dishes and got the morning paper. He sat in his chair and started to read it. After about an hour Joanna decided to hop in his lap. One minute he was reading the paper and the next he was folding it back up because Joanna wanted his attention. He set the paper down on the floor and held out his arms. She crawled up into his lap and put her head on his chest. He started to chuckle and asked, "That's you favorite position, Isn't it?" When she nodded against his chest he put his arm around her and put on the TV with the remote.
He had realized early on after they moved into this house that Joanna didn't care if he played with her or not. All that she wanted was to be with him and be able to spend time with him. She also wanted him in some way to show that he loved her although she already knew it. He had learned that she is very perceptive and sensitive. He kissed the top of her head and sometime while he was watching TV he fell asleep.
Joanna was watching TV with Hannibal when she noticed his breathing deepened and his chin gently fell on her head. His grip on her also loosened slightly and she could hear the soft kind of purr he normally made when he was asleep. She remembered he hadn't gotten a lot of sleep in the last couple of days. She just let him sleep because she knew he could use the rest.
Later in the day Hannibal played Gin with Joanna and he had to admit she was really good at the game. He used to play Gin with Face all the times they weren't busy or were just waiting around for something. He loved that card game so much he taught Joanna how to play the game so he would have someone to play it with. The good thing was she didn't cheat to win because she could win without cheating.
After they ate dinner Hannibal went back to his chair in the living room. When he looked up over his cupped hands while he was lighting his cigar he saw Joanna was bringing him a cup of coffee. After he lit the cigar he took the cup of coffee and put on the table next to his chair. Joanna hopped into his lap again and saw he hadn't put his cigarette lighter away.
He noticed her looking at it and smiled. He handed it to her and she told him, "I remember when I got you this lighter. I was 9 and Murdock took me out to find the perfect gift for your 60th birthday. I knew you had an old lighter and you had quite smoking cigars by then but I thought it would be a good present anyway since you used the lighter for more than just lighting cigars. I was so glad that you liked it."
Hannibal lifted her chin with his finger and replied, "How could I not like it, Cookie? It was a gift from you and that made it special. It's a gift that I will cherish until I die and then you can keep it to remember me by." He looked at the lighter. It had a heart shaped design on one side and an inscription that Joanna had the place engrave on it. The inscription said, "Hannibal, I love you more than anything in the whole world and will always be with you. Love, Cookie." He then remembered the time he had bought her the heart shaped locket for her 6th birthday. He had "Joanna, You mean everything to me and I will always love you. Hannibal" inscribed on the back of it. He put the lighter back in his pocket and continued to smoke his cigar.
Joanna kissed his cheek and said, "I meant what was on that lighter and I still do. I love you very much, daddy." Hannibal took the cigar out of his mouth and replied, "I love you too, Cookie. More than I can express." He kissed he cheek and hugged her. After he finished his cigar they went to bed. They went to sleep with his arm around her and her curled against his side with her head on his shoulder.
Murdock arrived at the meeting place with Decker late Saturday night so Decker had Murdock stay at his place for the night because it was to late to go to Hannibal's place. Murdock thanked him for his hospitality and went to bed. The next morning they went to Hannibal's house after Decker called to tell Hannibal he was coming. He didn't tell Hannibal about Murdock because he didn't want trouble yet. He at least wanted them to be face to face before the yelling started.
They drove to Hannibal's house and Murdock stood behind Decker out of Hannibal's view. Hannibal opened the door and said, "Well what brings you here, Rodney?" When Decker stepped to the side Hannibal saw Murdock. Hannibal didn't know what to say.
Murdock noticed that Hannibal was at a loss for words so he asked, "May I come in, Hannibal?" He saw Hannibal nod and step aside for him and Decker to enter. Murdock took a look at Hannibal and saw that Hannibal looked his age of almost 63, he had gained weight, his hair had gone snow white, and he looked worn down and tired. He took a seat on the couch next to Decker when Hannibal gestured for them to sit down. He saw Joanna was sitting in a chair across from him. Hannibal gave her a little shake and whispered in her ear. She looked over at him and got out of the chair and moved over to him with her hands behind her back.
Hannibal asked, "Well would anybody like something to drink? Murdock, we have ginger ale if I remember correctly, you like it don't you? I'll get you some and Rodney, Burboon, Right? I'll be right back." He went in the kitchen to get the drinks and started to feel a little lightheaded. It passed and he took the drinks into the other room. After he made sure there wasn't anything else they needed he sat down in his chair. He watched Joanna come over to him and he held out his arms to help her into his lap. When she was comfortable he put his arm around her and used his other hand to caress her head. He asked, "Well what brings you here, Murdock? I know why Rodney is here now. I'm not mad at either of you really because Rodney was only trying to help you find me and you weren't one of the ones that kicked me out. I was gone before you even came home."
Murdock just sat there not knowing what to say. He finally replied, "I'm sorry, Hannibal. I wish I had known sooner. I would have tried to do something. Face realized what he did by time I came home that night and was horrified by what he had done to you. It hit him full force after I exploded at him and reminded him of a few things. I've been looking for you for over a year. I really wish Face hadn't done that. I still haven't forgiven him myself. I..." He had to stop because he was about to break down and cry. He had to get up off the couch and run outside. He was sitting on the font porch railing when he felt a hand on his shoulder. He turned around and saw Hannibal standing there with open arms. He gladly excepted the comfort Hannibal was offering. He felt Hannibal's hand rubbing up and down his back and Hannibal was murmuring to him. Hannibal had always seen to the comfort of the team before he would worry about himself.
Hannibal let Murdock cry on his shoulder. He'd forgotten how emotional Murdock could be at times. Murdock was the quickest to get upset and the easiest to hurt. He was also the one that broke down when something went really wrong. He would hide behind his insanity. After a while Hannibal told him, "It's all right, Murdock. I'm not mad at you. I'm actually glad to see although it did kind of surprise me at first. Are you OK now?" When Murdock sniffled and nodded Hannibal replied, "All right. How about we go back inside and relieve Decker from Joanna's grasp?"
The two of them headed back in the house and went back to their seats. Murdock was starting to realize even Decker had a kind spot in his heart. After Decker left Murdock stuck around and watched Hannibal reading a book and Joanna sitting in his lap reading one of her own. He asked, "Hannibal?" when Hannibal looked up from his book Murdock continued, "I was wondering if I could have another drink?" Hannibal said, "Of Course, Murdock. Ginger ale? I'll get you one." Murdock replied, "No that's OK, Hannibal. I can get it. I just need you to tell me where it is. I don't want to disturb you or Joanna."
Hannibal chuckled and replied, "Same old Murdock. All right. It's in the fridge on the second shelf up." After Murdock got up and went to the kitchen Hannibal chuckled some more and pulled out a cigar. He had cupped his hands in front of his lighter and was lighting the cigar when Murdock came back in the room. He looked at Murdock and noticed he was shocked and upset by him smoking again. Hannibal was watching Murdock and thought it looked like the poor man was about to cry again. He took a puff on the cigar and gripped it between his teeth. He went back to reading his book. He knew Murdock would ask that question sooner or later but he would wait until he was ready. Hannibal only smoked one cigar a day now but he needed it to keep him from going into a deep depression. Joanna had accepted him smoking again but she hadn't been happy either. After he finished the cigar he asked Murdock, "Do you have a place to stay?"
Murdock had been thinking about how depressed Hannibal must have been to go back to smoking cigars. He was kind of startled when he heard Hannibal ask him a question. After a minute he realized what Hannibal had asked him and replied, "Actually I don't have anywhere to stay, Hannibal. I stayed at Decker's last night but I thought I'd get a hotel room or something. I don't want to be a bother."
Hannibal told him, "You're no bother, Murdock. You can stay here and you can even sleep in our bed. I think it's big enough for the three of us. Joanna hates to sleep without me and I know you aren't that found of strange places. So I'll be in the middle and you two can be on either side of me. At least that way Joanna can cling to me like always and you can to if you need someone to comfort you and to remind you where you are." He shook Joanna to wake her up and tell her it was time to go to bed. He showed Murdock where the bedroom was and went to the bathroom to do his every night routine. When he came out Joanna was on her side of the bed and Murdock was sitting in a chair waiting for Hannibal. Hannibal got in on his side and moved over close to Joanna.
After Hannibal turned out the light Murdock striped down to his boxers and tee-shirt. He got in beside Hannibal but stayed at a distance. After an hour he hear Hannibal's breathing slow down and he heard that slight purr Hannibal normally got when he slept. When Hannibal lived with them in LA Murdock had shared a room with him for a while until Hannibal and Joanna moved into a separate room. Murdock used to lie awake for a while at night listening to Hannibal sleep.
Murdock knew a lot of personal things about Hannibal because he had paid attention to Hannibal's likes and dislikes over the years. He had fallen for the older gray haired Colonel back in Nam. He never told anybody but it wouldn't surprise him if Face had guess because of the frantic way he had been trying to find Hannibal. Besides every person the Colonel fell in love with was a woman so Murdock figured that Hannibal wouldn't be interested in a lanky, tall, male pilot anyway. He loved Hannibal with all his heart but he figured Hannibal only loved him like a father to a son. He fell asleep soon after his thoughts started to turn fuzzy.
Hannibal woke up the next morning with Joanna clinging to his pajama top and curled up next to his body with her head on his shoulder on one side. Murdock was the same way on the other side but he soon realized one of Murdock's legs was over his. Hannibal was a little embarrassed but he figured Murdock had just done it as a nervous reaction. Hannibal felt Joanna start to move around and wake up. She just smiled at him when she saw the position he was in with Murdock. She got up and left the two of them there while she got changed. After Joanna left the room Hannibal looked at Murdock's face. He looked so peaceful in sleep and child like in nature. His thinning hair hadn't thinned hardly at all in the last year since they had last seen each other. Hannibal lightly ran his hand through Murdock's hair and got a contented sigh out of him. He started to mumble in his sleep and Hannibal tried to make it out. He thought he heard Murdock say, "Oh Hannibal, I love you so much and wish you would notice me. I'd try to make you happy and be your partner for as long as you live." Hannibal didn't exactly know what that meant but he had this funny feeling it was going to be a long week because Hannibal was going to find out somehow. After a few minutes he felt Murdock start to stir. When Murdock looked up at him he could see Murdock was blushing. He told him, "It's all right, Murdock. I was just a little surprised when I woke up. Nothin to worry about."
For the next few days Murdock slept on the couch because he refused to come to bed. One night Hannibal had just had enough of Murdock's stubbornness and picked Murdock up off the couch. He held him up by his flight jacket and angrily ask, "All right, Murdock. What the Hell is the matter with you? Ever since you woke up that first morning after you came here and found yourself half in my lap you've alienated yourself from the bed and I want to know why. You can sleep out here if you want to but I want to know why you would pick an uncomfortable couch over a comfortable bed. I told you I wasn't mad at you for the way you were sleeping. Now why have you decided to sleep on the couch?"
Murdock knew he was licked so he quietly answered, "Because I am afraid of what I'll do in my sleep." He could tell Hannibal had heard it but he was trying to run it through his head. When Hannibal let go of him and he heard Hannibal tell him to explain he kept his eyes on the floor. He continued, "When I woke up to find myself the way I was I knew I couldn't sleep in the same bed with you without worrying about what I'd do in my sleep. I would never do anything that would harm you physically but I don't know about emotionally. I was worried I'd do something unaware that I was doing it. I was afraid I would try to get you to react to me without even realizing I was doing it."
Hannibal wasn't really understanding everything Murdock was telling him but he understood some of it. He asked, "Why were you worried you would do something like that or that it would hurt me emotionally, Murdock?" He waited for Murdock to reply and finally Murdock sighed.
Murdock didn't want to tell Hannibal about his true feeling because he was afraid Hannibal would think him even stranger than he already was or would run from him but he found he had no choice. He sighed and replied, "Because I love you, Hannibal. I've been in love with you since Nam. I was smitten when I met you but I never was going to tell you because I knew you wouldn't be interested in me. You love Maggie although you're split up I can tell you still love her. I know you think I'm not only crazy but weird now but I can't help how I feel. I'll leave and get out of your life if you want me to, Colonel. I'll do whatever will make you happy. My future is in your hands."
Hannibal was shocked but he wasn't exactly worried about it. He loved Murdock to but he never thought of anything like being his lover. He didn't think of himself as a man who went for guys but if that's what Murdock wanted he was willing to try it for him because Murdock was worth the trouble. He said, "Believe it or not, Captain, but I don't think anything like that. I never thought of falling in love with another man before but I'm willing to try it. Is that what you want, Murdock? A lover's relationship with me? I don't know anything about that kind of relationship but your worth learning for. But you'll need to be patient with me until I learn because it will be all new to me. Who knows it may actually be the best thing for both of us to do. I do want you to know that I do love you, Murdock but maybe my fatherly love can turn into something more. If you're willing to try we can find out." Murdock had started to cry and Hannibal held him close to him. He rubbed Murdock's back and started to sing "You Are My Sunshine" to him.
After a few minutes Murdock calmed down and said, "You know, Hannibal? When you used to sing that song I would calm down and sometimes I would even come out of the madness. It was probably a reaction to you being near me. Please even if this relationship doesn't work promise me one thing? Please don't leave me alone without you unless it's necessary. I don't want to be separated from you again until you die. Can you do that for me?" He waited for Hannibal to answer and he finally said, "I don't know about promising right now but I will try to be with you as long as I can be, all right? Maybe things will change a couple of years but for now we'll just have to wait and see what happens. I think we'd better get to bed." He felt Murdock nod against his chest. Hannibal changed into his pajama's and Murdock stripped to his boxers and tee-shirt like usual. When Hannibal got in bed Murdock was a little hesitant but Hannibal gave him his hand. When Murdock put his head on his chest he wrapped his arm around him. This would take a little getting used to but Hannibal was determined to try for Mudock's sake. He kissed Murdock on the top of his head where his receding hairline was and told him, "Goodnight, H.M. Murdock." He then heard Murdock mumble, "Goodnight, Hannibal my love."
When Murdock woke up the next morning he felt very at ease and loved. He opened his eyes and saw that he was curled up next to Hannibal and Hannibal had his arm around him. He wished he could stay that way forever but he knew eventually he would have to get up. He felt Hannibal was starting to wake up and started to move away but Hannibal's arm tightened around him. He saw that Joanna was already up and out of the room. He was worried that Hannibal might have changed his mind about being lovers. He heard Hannibal start to talk to him and lift his chin up to look in Hannibal's eyes. Hannibal's eyes had brightened with mischief and what looked kind of like the Jazz.
Hannibal had started to wake up and felt Murdock trying to move away from him. He tightened his hold on Murdock and felt him stop moving. After a few minutes he opened his eyes and saw Murdock was uncertain about something. He lift Murdock's chin with his other hand and looked him in the eyes. Murdock was giving him those sad puppy dog eyes of his. He started to feel mischievous and he could have sworn he was going on the Jazz. He smiled at Murdock and asked, "And where you going this morning in such a hurry, Murdock?"
Murdock didn't know how to answer Hannibal but he said, "I was giving you some room, Hannibal. In case you had changed your mind about last night. I didn't want to upset you by laying the way I was if you had." He looked down and started to play around with Hannibal's pajama top buttons.
Hannibal was shocked into silence for a moment and felt Murdock's long fingers playing with his buttons on his pajama top. He gently told him, "Murdock, look at me. Please look at me, H.M." After a few minutes Murdock looked at him and met his eyes. Hannibal smiled at him and told him softly, "I didn't change my mind. I don't go back on my word, now do I? Why in the Hell would think I would anyway?"
Murdock simply replied, "I'm not a woman and I'm not pretty like a woman. I'm also not much to look at and I'm loosing my hair. I'm not all that mentally or emotionally stable. I..." He had to stop there because Hannibal had gently covered his mouth with his hand.
Hannibal lovingly told him, "You forget about all of that. I love you very much. It may not be exactly the way you want right now but that doesn't mean it might not change with time. You are an attractive man. You may not look like Face or be a woman but you still are good looking. You're worried about your hair falling out? Mine has turned snow white and when you met me in Nam it was gray. Your hair is at least the same color and besides I don't see hardly any difference with your hair since I last saw you a year ago. I don't know how it will turn out with you being a man but it may turn out all right. You may not be as emotionally and mentally stable as everyone else but you're still fairly stable. I actually kind of like you the way you are. You defiantly have cheered me up more than once when I was depressed. You and your crazy antics have kept me guessing for years and I still enjoy them. Your cheerfulness is kind of contagious like the Jazz."
Hannibal started to chuckle as he thought back on some of the crazy things Murdock had done. He was thinking about some of the other crazy stunts Mudock had pulled when he realized Murdock had propped himself up on his elbow. Hannibal looked over at him and smiled. Murdock was watching him and gently running his long fingers through Hannibal's hair. He could see the love Murdock had for him showing through his eyes.
Murdock was happy Hannibal thought of him like that and noticed he had lapsed into silence. He propped himself on his elbow and watched Hannibal while he was thinking. When Hannibal looked at him and smiled he ran his fingers gently through Hannibal's snow white hair and just looked him in the eyes and let him see the love he had for him. He could see Hannibal start to relax and sigh with contentment. Murdock wanted to show Hannibal how much he loved him but he didn't want to push the old Colonel because this was an all new subject to him. He decided to be daring and lightly kissed Hannibal on the mouth just to see how Hannibal would react. He felt Hannibal was shocked for a second and then he went along with the kiss. Murdock deepened the kiss a little and Hannibal answered him. He felt Hannibal wrap his arm around his back and gently pull him down closer.
Hannibal was actually enjoying Murdock's fingers running through his hair. He was startled when Murdock's lips touched his. After a couple of seconds he had reacted to Murdock's kiss and then he felt Murdock deepen the kiss. Hannibal acted out of instinct and pulled Murdock closer to himself. Hannibal was actually starting to like it and he felt Murdock pull away to end the kiss. He looked up at Murdock and saw he was smiling at him. He breathlessly told Murdock, "I have to admit, Murdock, you are a great kisser. I actually was starting to like it. Maybe we will work out. I'm willing to try being with you but we can't do it with Cookie in the house. We'll only be able to do it when she's not here unless 1. we get a house with more than one bedroom and 2. I can get her to sleep in her own bed, but I don't think that will happen. I might be able to get her to sleep over at her friend's house a few times."
Murdock just caressed Hannibal's cheek and replied, "I can live with that. At least I will still with you, Hannibal. I will still be beside you while we sleep even if Joanna is with us." He had moved his hand from Hannibal's cheek to his side and was caressing his side when Joanna walked into the room. Murdock immediately stopped what he was doing but either she didn't notice or she just ignored it.
Hannibal had felt Murdock stop caressing his side and opened his eyes to look at Murdock. He saw a worried expression on his face and he didn't know why. In a about a minute he knew because Joanna jumped up on the bed and accidentally hit him in the stomach. Where she got him was right below the ribs and it hurt. He rolled over toward Murdock and curled up into a protective ball with his legs up. He was holding his stomach and Joanna had crawled over to him. She was gripping his shoulder and arm with her little hands and crying, "I'm sorry, Hannibal. I didn't mean to hurt you. Are you going to be all right?" After a couple of minutes he uncurled himself some and replied, "Yeah, I'll be fine, Cookie. It just stung a little more than I would have guessed it would. I'll be all right in a couple of minutes. What did you need?" Joanna replied through sniffles, "I came in to tell you it's 11:00 and see if you were up yet. I could tell you were tired this morning so I let you and H.M. sleep in."
Hannibal rolled back over and looked at her. He saw she was still crying and he wiped the tears of her cheeks with one of his hands. He told her, "We'll be getting up real soon, Cookie. Don't worry about me. I'm fine. Now you go back out and play. We'll be there as soon as we're dressed. All right?" When he saw her nod and turn around to hop of the bed he lightly hit her on the rear and said, "See ya in a little while!" As she went out the door he noticed she was smiling and replied, "Your on the Jazz again!" and ran out the door shutting it behind her.
Murdock realized Joanna was right. Hannibal was on the Jazz and mischievous as ever. He got up and out of bed and asked, "Where do you want me to change, Hannibal? In the bathroom or here?" He watched as Hannibal looked at him and replied, "Where ever you want to, Murdock, where ever you want to." He started to change his boxers and tee-shirt while Hannibal was getting out of bed. He noticed that Hannibal hadn't looked at him while he changed out of curtesy seeing they weren't lovers yet. Although he was having a little bit more trouble trying not to look at Hannibal after he came back from the bathroom without his shirt on. he had to admit that even though Hannibal had gained weight and had a belly now he still was something to look at even at the age of 63. He looked away shyly as Hannibal caught him staring at him.
Hannibal had gotten dressed in the bathroom except for his shirt. He came out and as he was putting his pajamas away he felt some one's eyes on him. He looked over and saw Murdock turn his head. He personally didn't think he was anything really to look at anymore at his age seeing that he had gained weight, gotten a belly, his hair had gone snow white, and in some place's was beginning to show his age but he was happy that Murdock still found him attractive although he didn't know in what way. He just smiled at Murdock and finished putting his pajamas away. He then went over to the closet and was trying to figure out what shirt he was going to wear. He got an idea and asked Murdock, "Could you come here a minute, Murdock? Which shirt do you think I should wear?" He watched as Murdock walked over and looked in the closet.
Murdock looked through them and selected one. Murdock selected maroon shirt and held it out to him. Murdock quietly said, "I always liked you in maroon, Hannibal. I like you in Hawaiian shirts too." Murdock watched as Hannibal just chuckled and took the shirt off the hanger. Hannibal put it on and before he started buttoning it Murdock went over to him and wrapped his arms around Hannibal's waist under the shirt. He lightly kissed Hannibal's cheek and as he pulled away from Hannibal he moved his hands so one was on Hannibal's back and the other was resting on Hannibal's belly. Murdock told him, "I saw the look you gave me of surprise when you realized I was watching you. I want you to know I don't care that you have a belly or that your hair is snow white. I love you not just the packaging and besides because you heavier now there's more to unwrap. I like you fat or thin. You just don't think you're desirable anymore because you have a belly and your body has changed since you left, do you?" When Hannibal sighed and nodded Murdock continued, "I didn't think so. Well, you gave me a pep talk and now I'm gonna give you one. I still think you handsome and desirable even though your heavy. Besides I think it makes you kind of cuddly and cute. We're all aging, Hannibal. Some of us get thinner with age and some get fatter. I just want to be with you until you die, Hannibal. I was never happier than I am now being able to have a chance at being your lover instead of just your friend and son. You are making me feel very special and privileged to have this chance. You're all I want in life, Hannibal. Even more than my insanity. My love for you is what helped me come back to the real world even when I would loose my mind I would think of you and little by little my sanity came back."
Hannibal stood there and listened to Murdock and realized he was loved by Murdock no matter what he looked like although his charm was probably one of the first things that caught Murdock's eye. After Murdock was done talking Hannibal felt Murdock rub his hand up and down Hannibal's chest and belly. He was the brave one this time and caught Murdock off guard. He wrapped his arms around Murdock's back and kissed him passionately. While they were kissing Hannibal felt Murdock's arm go around his back and start caressing his back and sides. After they kissed they had to calm down because they were both becoming aroused. He started to button up his shirt and tuck it in his pants. After he calmed down he went out and started lunch for Joanna, Murdock and himself.
Later in the day Hannibal was sitting in his chair watching TV and Murdock came up behind him and leaned on his chair. He also had Joanna in his lap. The whole family now was in the tiny area and Hannibal was trying to watch the TV. He was thinking about how he was going to 63 in another couple of weeks. He was amazed at how fast time flied. He looked at the clock and saw that it was 9:00 at night. He said, "All right everyone time to go to bed. Joanna has school in the morning and I have to go to work." Joanna hopped off his lap and Murdock stopped leaning on the chair. Hannibal got off his chair and went to do the dishes. Joanna went to get changed for bed while Murdock followed Hannibal into the kitchen. He felt Murdock come up behind him while he was washing the dished and put his long arms around Hannibal's waist below his belly. He sighed and quietly said, "You just don't give up do you? Why don't help me with the dishes, Captain?" He felt Murdock lightly kiss his neck and then heard him say, "All right, Colonel. Dry?"
When Hannibal nodded Murdock grabbed a dish towel and started drying the dishes. He was thinking about what Joanna had told him earlier and wanting to give Hannibal a surprise party for his 63 birthday. Murdock was thinking it would cheer the old Colonel up. He was trying to think of what he could get Hannibal for his birthday. He wanted to get Hannibal something special to remember him even though he was going anywhere. He finished drying the dishes and put the towel away. He noticed Hannibal had disappeared while he was thinking. He decided to look out on the front porch and he found Hannibal there lighting a cigar. He went over to Hannibal and put a hand on the older man's shoulder. When Hannibal looked at him he asked, "Are you all right, Hannibal?"
Hannibal had gone outside while Murdock seemed to be in a daze. He wanted to smoke a cigar and get some fresh cool air. He knew Murdock would find him after a while. He felt Murdock put a hand on his shoulder and ask him a question. He answered, "Yeah, I'm fine, Murdock. I just wanted to get some fresh air and have a cigar. I didn't mean to worry you. I just wanted a few minutes to gather my thoughts."
Murdock asked, "Did I do something wrong or that you didn't like? If I did I'm sorry and I won't do it again if you tell me what I did." He thought he had accidentally pushed Hannibal to far and to fast. He didn't know what to do except he didn't want to make Hannibal unhappy with him. He sat on the railing next to Hannibal and waited for an answer.
Hannibal thought about the question for a while and answered, "No, Murdock. You didn't do anything that upset me or wrong. You should know that I usually spend time alone for a while. I've been like that for a long time. I enjoy the company of my friends but I do like to spend a little time alone every now and then. It helps to think sometimes. You can stay with me if you like. I just want to finish this cigar and then I need to go to bed. I have a long day tomorrow." He moved and sat in one of the two chairs on the porch and motioned for Murdock to sit in the other. After a few minutes he felt Murdock tentatively take hold of his hand. He squeezed Murdock's hand a little and looked over at him. He smiled telling Murdock it was all right and he didn't mind that they held hands. After he finished his cigar he kept hold of Murdock's hand and stood up. He pulled Murdock up and they went in the house hand in hand.
Murdock was happy that Hannibal had held hands with him. He followed Hannibal to the bedroom and they let go of each others hand so they could get changed. He striped to his boxers and tee-shirt again while Hannibal put on his pajamas. He waited for Hannibal to come to bed before he hopped in. Murdock noticed Hannibal didn't even bother to button his pajama top. He just put his long arm around Hannibal's waist and gently caressed Hannibal's soft skin of his belly and side until Hannibal fell asleep. He felt Hannibal's arm encircle him and tighten a little around him in sleep. He kissed Hannibal lightly on the cheek and temple. He soon joined Hannibal with his head on Hannibal's shoulder and one leg over Hannibal's leg suggestively close to the older man's scrotum.
When Hannibal woke up he felt Murdock's leg was really close to his scrotum and he didn't want to scare him because it might just be shock enough for Murdock to accidentally kick him. He gently started to caress Murdock's shoulder and arm. He then kissed Murdock's forehead and lightly shook him. After a couple of minutes Murdock sleepily looked up at Hannibal. He asked, "Could you move your leg, Murdock? I need to get up and go to work. You can go back to sleep after you move your leg." Murdock sleepily rolled over so that he could get up. He woke up Joanna and got her ready for school. Before he left the room he lightly kissed Murdock on the forehead. He left a note on the fridge door for Murdock. He dropped Joanna off at school and went to work.
Hannibal was very busy all day and didn't get hardly any breaks. By time Joanna got out of school he hadn't even had time to have lunch. He didn't bother trying to get any anyway. He took Joanna home and dropped her off with Murdock. He went back to work and stayed there until 7:00 that night.
Murdock had gotten up around 9:00 that morning and jumped in the shower. He vaguely remembered Hannibal telling him that if he needed him he'd be at work and the number was on the fridge. After a shower he had some cereal and read the newspaper. He puttered around the house until Hannibal dropped Joanna off at around 3:30 after school was out. He played Gin with her after she did her homework. Murdock was making dinner when Hannibal walked in the door at 8:00, changed his clothes and fell in his chair. He finished making dinner about a half an hour later and walked into the living room to get Hannibal. Hannibal was fast asleep in his chair. He went over and gently shook him to wake him up. He said, "Hannibal, dinner's ready. You gonna come in and eat with us?" He saw Hannibal nod and went to finish setting the table.
Hannibal had been so tired when he walked in the door that as soon as he had changed and sat in his chair he was fast asleep. The next thing he knew Murdock was shaking his arm to wake him up. He noticed Murdock was doing his chef routine again. He was dressed in his tee-shirt, pants, shoes and socks but he was also wearing an apron and a chef's hat. He just had to smile because he remembered the last time he had played a chef he was bossing everyone around and another time he got to be a bride that day too. He chuckle as he got up and went into the kitchen. During dinner Joanna asked, "Can I go and stay over Jenny's house for the next couple of nights, Hannibal? I promise to be good and listen to what they tell me to do." Hannibal replied, "All right. But be careful. I don't want to loose you.. I'll drive you there and you can call me when you decide you want to come back home whatever day it is, all right?" When she nodded they finished eating dinner in silence. After dinner Joanna got ready to go and Hannibal drove her to her friend's house.
When Hannibal got home he got out of the car and went on the front porch. He sat on the railing for a couple of minutes hoping Joanna can make it away from home after being as attached to him as she is. He got off the railing and went into the house. He sat in his chair and pulled out a cigar and was about to light it when Murdock walked into the room and looked at him like a mother hen. He put the cigar away and gestured for Murdock to have a seat. He watched as Murdock came over and grabbed his hand and pulled him out of his chair. He let Murdock lead him over to the couch and gently push him down in it.
Murdock managed to get Hannibal over to the couch and sitting in but he wasn't sure how much farther Hannibal would let him go. He sat down next to Hannibal and pulled his feet under himself and put his head on Hannibal's chest. He felt Hannibal put his arm around him and start caressing his hair. He felt now was as good a time as any and asked, "Hannibal?" He looked up and met Hannibal's once again crystal clear blue eyes. He continued, "I'm not trying to rush you, Hannibal. I was just wondering when you might be ready to be with me? I just asked because Joanna is out of the house and ...."
Hannibal thought about Murdock's question and the truth was he didn't know if he was ready or not. He figured he may as well be honest and told Murdock, "I honestly don't know when I'll be ready, Murdock." He felt Murdock readjust himself and tell him, "Well if we could try, Hannibal, I'll stop if you want us to. I'm not gonna push you into something you're not ready for if I can help it." Hannibal nodded and said, "All right, Murdock. We can try. But we take it slow just case I'm not ready, OK?" He saw Murdock nod his agreeance and the Murdock touched his lips to Hannibal's.
When Murdock's lips touched with Hannibal's there was a spark that went through them. He deepened the kiss and soon Hannibal was reacting to it. Murdock was careful not to go to fast for Hannibal and just kissed him passionately. After a few minutes he felt Hannibal running his hands up and down his back. Murdock put his hand underneath Hannibal's jacket and caressed his sides and back. He gently pushed Hannibal back on the couch and sat on top of him. He was putting his fingers through Hannibal's hair and caressing the back of his neck. He was frantically kissing Hannibal.
Hannibal told him in gasps, "I hate to interfere with this but wouldn't you like to do this in a more comfortable spot? I know I would!" Hannibal was enjoying Murdock's attention but his back hurt when he came home from work and this wasn't helping it any. He felt Murdock stop and his eyes met with Murdock's. Apparently Mudock saw something in them because he got up off the top of him and helped him up. He followed Murdock to the bedroom and took off his jacket but before he could get anything else off Murdock was kissing him again. Hannibal could feel he had a full erection and he felt Murdock's rubbing against his.
Murdock had stopped Hannibal because he wanted to undress him himself. He pulled Hannibal's shirt out of his pants and started unbuttoning it. Hannibal had started taking his clothes off too. First was his flannel shirt, then Hannibal was pulling his tee-shirt over his head. All that he was left wearing was his pants and boxer shorts. He finally finished unbuttoning Hannibal's shirt and slid his hands underneath it. He sat Hannibal on the edge of the bed and started kissing him. First his mouth, his temples, then he made his way down to Hannibal's neck. He was testing Hannibal to find out where his most erotic spots were on his body. He got a loud groan from kissing him on the temples but he got a gasp from kissing and sucking on the older man's neck. He felt Hannibal pull him against himself and he fell into the older man's lap. Hannibal started to kiss him on the mouth, temples and neck. After a little while he stood up again and pulled Hannibal up. He pushed Hannibal's shirt off his shoulders and unbuckled his belt. Hannibal unbuckled and unzipped Murdock's pants, letting them fall to the floor. Murdock stepped out of them and threw them on a chair with both his and Hannibal's clothes on it.
Hannibal was so lost in the sensations he didn't really know what was going on around him. He had to admit not only was Murdock a Hell of a kisser he was a very caring and attentive lover. He felt Murdock reach under his belly and unbuckle and unzip his pants. His pants soon joined the rest of their clothes on that chair. He noticed neither one of them had anything on but their boxers. Hannibal felt Murdock take his hand and lead him over to his side of the bed. Murdock gently pushed him down on the bed and went around the other side. As he lay there regaining his senses Murdock is laying beside him caressing him belly which he kind liked and watching him. He heard Murdock ask, "Are you all right, Hannibal?" he nodded and Murdock smiled at him. Murdock started kissing down his body. Murdock started with his temples again then moved down to his neck which obviously was his weak spot. After that he moved to the hollow of his throat and his chest. Murdock spent a good amount of time on Hannibal's nipples. Murdock had found his second weakest spot when he started to kiss and suck on Hannibal's belly. Hannibal had always been sensitive on and around his belly but now that he had gained weight and wasn't doing obstacle courses all the time he was even more sensitive there.
Murdock noticed when Hannibal had gasped when he had started kiss and sucking his belly. He'd almost forgotten about Hannibal's sensitivity in that area of his body and that's why he normally tried to avoid blows to his stomach. Most people getting hit in the stomach would hurt but with Hannibal it hurt and knocked the wind out of him and he would be gasping for breath and helpless. How funny that weak spot could also turn out to be one of his most erotic spots. Murdock wanted to make this as memorable and gentle as possible for Hannibal to try and show Hannibal how much he loves him. Murdock moved back up to kiss Hannibal and his manhood touched and rubbed against Hannibal's. He stripped the both of them of their boxers and reached a hand between them as they kissed. Hannibal came first and his semen splattered against Murdock's fury and flat belly. When Murdock felt the warmth of his lover's climax he climaxed and came against Hannibal's belly.
Hannibal felt Murdock fall limply against him and wrapped his arms around Murdock while he waited for the two of them to start breathing calmly again. Hannibal decided to close his eyes for a couple of minutes until he felt Murdock start to lightly play with his hair and stroke his temple. He heard Murdock say something and asked, "Huh?" He felt Murdock lightly kiss his lips and tell him, "I love you, Hannibal." He replied drowsily, "I love you too, Murdock." He fell fast asleep after a few minutes.
Murdock heard Hannibal's breathing slow down with sleep and kissed him lightly again. He told him, "Goodnight, Hannibal. Sleep well." He went and washed up. After he washed he brought a wash bowl of warm water and washed Hannibal because he figure Hannibal wouldn't want be stuck to him in the morning because how could he go to work that way? He took care of the wash bowl and got into bed next to Hannibal. He wrapped his arm across Hannibal's belly and put his leg over Hannibal's. He soon joined Hannibal in sleep.
When Hannibal woke up the first thing he realized was that his back hurt like hell and his muscles were stiff. He started to think when he felt a slight movement next to him. He opened his eyes and saw Murdock there naked and he was naked. All of a sudden he realized why his muscles ached. Murdock and him had made love last night. Hannibal hadn't had sex since he had broken up with Maggie about 6 years ago and he was sore from it now after so long. He felt happy and giddy and that would make up for the soreness in his muscles until it went away.
He looked at the clock and saw that it was 7:00AM. He had to get up, shower and go to work. He gently moved from under Murdock's arm and leg. He got a clean set of clothes and got into the shower. He thought of how fast he fell asleep after Murdock had gotten him to make love with him. He thought he should apologize to Murdock after work about falling asleep on him. He finished with the shower and got dressed. As he went through the bedroom he just watched Murdock sleep curled up with one of his arms up under the pillow and the other one over it. He walked over and kneeled down so he didn't have to bend down. He lightly brushed Murdock's hair away from his eyes and kissed his cheek. He hated to leave but he had to get to work. He got up and left the house to get in the car.
The day went as any normal day and on the way home he stopped off to check on Joanna at her friend's house just to make sure she was all right. She had told him she was OK but her friend's mother told him that she had woken up screaming in horror in the middle of the night for him. He somehow knew that would happen but he also knew that in the next couple of years she would need to adjust to sleeping in a bed without him. He'd be there for her if she needed him for as long as he could be. He wasn't going to live forever and now that he was involved with Murdock he would have to change a few things. All he hoped was that she didn't hate him by the time everything was changed around. He watched her as she ran over and wrapped her arms around his waist. He knelt down and asked, "Do you wanna come home tonight or do you want to stay here?" He waited for her to reply and when she did she replied, "I'll stay here, Hannibal. Sooner or later the nightmares have to stop." He hugged her tightly and replied, "All right." As he held away from him he held her chin gently in his palm and lovingly told her, "But if you change your mind call me and I'll come and get you, OK?" when she nodded he hugged her again and stood up. He walked out to the car and waved to her as he left. When he got home Murdock was sitting on the couch watching TV. Murdock looked up when he came through the door and smiled at him. He took off his jacket and hung it up on the hat rack. He went to take a shower and just stood there enjoying the water spraying on his face and chest.
Murdock had notice Hannibal was tired when he walked in the door. Murdock just let him go about doing what he had to do and continued to watch TV. After an hour Murdock decided to go check on Hannibal and see if he needed anything. He went in the bathroom and asked, "Uh Hannibal? Are you all right? Do ya need anything?" He heard a startled, "Murdock!" and then heard a thud. He went over to the shower and asked, "What happened? Did you hurt yourself, Hannibal? I didn't mean to startle you. I'm sorry." He heard a bunch of mumbled curses and figured he'd better get out of the bathroom. He went into the bedroom and curled into a ball and started to cry. He hadn't meant to cause Hannibal to hurt himself. After a few minutes the bathroom door opened.
Hannibal had been so startled by Murdock calling to him because his thoughts were elsewhere that he slipped and fell. He heard Murdock asking if he was all right and started cursing under his breath at his clumsiness. He heard Murdock run out of the bathroom and realized that Murdock probably thought he was cursing at him. He finished washing and got out of the shower. He put a towel around his waist and opened the door to the bathroom. He saw Murdock curled up in a ball on the bed and he heard sniffles. He muttered an Ah shit under his breath and went over to Mudock. He sat on the bed and put his hand on Murdock's shoulder. He quietly said, "Murdock, I'm sorry. You startled me and I lost my footing. I was cursing at myself for being so clumsy. I wasn't cursing at you. My mind was elsewhere and I was surprised when you came looking for me. I didn't realized had been in there so long. I'll be in the living room if you want to talk to me." He sighed and got dressed in his usual brown pants, ivory shirt and sneakers. He was tucking his shirt in as he went out the door. He went out to the living room and sat on the couch. After a few minutes he laid down and fell asleep there.
After about an half an hour when Murdock stopped crying and calmed down he got up off the bed to look for Hannibal. He found Hannibal laying on the couch in the living room fast asleep. He silently chuckled to himself when he looked at his lover. He looked so cute with his white hair wet from the shower and plastered to his forehead. Hannibal also had his feet up over the one arm of the couch because he was to tall to fit on the couch. One arm was over his head while the other was resting on his belly. He just smiled and went over to him. He gently put his hand on the arm on Hannibal's belly and lightly kissed him and after a few minutes Hannibal started reacting to the kiss. Murdock deepened the kiss slightly and saw Hannibal was slowly starting to wake up. When Hannibal's eyes lazily opened Murdock gave him a goofy grin. Murdock had his hand resting on Hannibal's and brought his other hand up to lightly caress Hannibal's cheek.
Hannibal slowly woke up to the feeling of Murdock kissing him and as he responded Murdock deepened the kiss. When he opened his eyes he saw Murdock with a goofy grin plastered on his face. He was happy when he felt Mudock caress his cheek and temple with one hand. He also noticed after a few minutes tha Murdock's other hand was on his which was sitting on his belly. Then he saw Murdock get this devilish glint in his eye and was laughing hard because Murdock was tickling his sides and belly. He thought he was going to pass out because he was laughing so hard. He croaked between laughs, "Stop, Murdock! Please stop!" After a few minutes of trying to escape Murdock he fell off the couch onto the floor. A shot of pain went through his back and he cried out.
Murdock was trying to tickle Hannibal into submission and saw him fall on to the floor. He stopped immediately when he heard Hannibal's scream because he knew it wasn't one of annoyance. He looked at Hannibal and gently touched his shoulder. He saw that Hannibal winced with that touch. He started to cry again and said, "Oh no, I did it again. I made you hurt yourself again. I'm the clutz. I'm sorry, Hannibal. Honestly I am. I.."
Hannibal saw Murdock was trying to get up and grabbed his arm to stop him. He pulled Murdock down to lay on his chest even though it hurt. He rubbed his hand up and down Murdock's back and told him, "It's all right, Murdock. I'll be OK in a little while. I didn't tell you but my back has been aching for a couple of days. It just hurt because of that. Don't worry about it." After a couple of minutes Murdock stopped crying and sniffled. Hannibal felt Murdock put his arms around him and rest his head on his chest. Hannibal kept his arms around Murdock and Murdock held Hannibal in an almost vice grip. After Murdock had calmed down Hannibal felt him pull away from him. Murdock gave him his hand to help him up. Hannibal took it and gasped as he was helped up off the floor. After he was standing he started to move around and some of the pain went away. Murdock followed him with an arm behind his waist in case he needed it and then got him a a drink of burboon to try and dull it a little more.
Murdock wasn't sure of what to do except help Hannibal to the kitchen table and get him a drink to try to ease the pain. He made dinner and after they ate and he did the dishes he asked, "Are ya feelin any better, Hannibal?" When Hannibal nodded he felt better but he heard Hannibal mumble something under his breath. He asked, "What was that? I'm sorry I was thinking." Murdock just watched the older man shake his head as if to say nothing and look at his watch.
Hannibal had been talking to himself about how old he was getting when he realized Murdock had heard him mumbling. He shook his head at the captain and looked at his watch. It was 10:00 in the evening and he was tired so he stood up and told Murdock, "I'm going to bed. You can come to bed whenever you're ready. I'm tired and I have a tendency now that I'm aging to get cranky when I'm tired. I don't want to put you at the receiving end of it. If you need me you can come wake me up." He watched as Murdock nodded. He went into the bed room and changed into his pajamas. He just laid there with his hands behind his head thinking because no matter how much he tried he couldn't get to sleep. After a while he heard the rustling of clothes and felt Murdock slipping in beside him trying not to disturb him. When Murdock didn't put his head on his shoulder Hannibal asked, "What's the matter, Murdock?"
Murdock had gotten into bed as silently and undisturbing as possible and curled up on the other side of the bed. He didn't curl up to Hannibal because he didn't want to hurt him any more for the day. When Hannibal had asked him what was the matter he didn't know what to say because he thought Hannibal was asleep. He answered, "I thought you were asleep so I didn't want to wake or disturb you." He heard Hannibal chuckle and reply, "I tried to go to sleep but my mind wouldn't let me. Come ╬ere, Murdock. Before you say it, you won't hurt me by curling up next to me and putting your head on my shoulder." He tentatively curled up next to Hannibal and put his head on the older man shoulder. He then gently put his arm over Hannibal's belly. He felt Hannibal readjust to accommodate him, putting his arm around him and putting a hand over his. Murdock clasped hands with Hannibal and fell asleep.
Hannibal waited until Murdock fell asleep. He didn't finally get to sleep until a good hour or so later. He was thinking about moving into another house preferably in the same school district and getting Joanna to sleep in her own room without a fight breaking out between them. Maybe with time she'll decide to sleep in her own room hopefully before or by the time she goes through her first change in life.
The rest of the week went fairly well and Joanna wanted to stay over her friend's house all week although she was terrified to be alone. Hannibal picked her up after school on Friday at her friend's house and took her home. When they walked in the door she saw Murdock and ran over to him to get him to hug her.
Hannibal watched as Murdock hugged Joanna and spun her around in a little circle and chuckled. He went back outside and sat on the porch. He got out a cigar, lit it and tried to work out a plan as to how to get Joanna to sleep in her own bed. He didn't really know how to do it without her feeling upset about it. She was his little girl and if she hated him he just couldn't bear the thought of it. He knew he would have to let her grow up sooner or later because that was the way things were. He almost wished she could be the little 5 year old that for the first time told him before she fell asleep, "I love you, Daddy." It had taken her a year not only to call him daddy but to even speak to any of the team members. He knew that when she left and got married it would tear him apart even though he would be happy for her. He would still have H.M. but he wouldn't have his daughter around to make him smile except when she came to visit him.
His thoughts were interrupted when Joanna came out and asked, "Are you all right, Hannibal?" He just looked at her and smiled. He replied, "Of course, Cookie. I'm fine. I'll be coming in a few minutes." She came over to him and asked, "Hannibal? Are you mad at me?" Ha chuckle and told her, "Now whatever gave you that idea?" She replied, "You just seem different. You have that look you get when something's bothering you. I've spent much of my time seeing through all the masked looks you give other people and I can tell when something is bothering you. You get really quiet and unintentionally ignore me or you disappear out here or in other places we've lived you just go to a quiet place where no one else is around. I know because I've followed you a few time so I knew where you were. You confuse the team but I can read your moods." He put his arm around her back and said, "You can read me like an open book can't you?" She nodded and threw her arms around his neck. He hugged her and said, "Why don't you go back in the house with Murdock? I promise I'll be in soon, OK." She nodded but added as she went in the house, "But don't stay out to long because you don't need to get ill. I'll be out in about 10 minutes if you're not back inside."
He chuckled because she reminded him of a little mother hen. She was always trying to take care of him and keep him from getting sick or hurt even if it meant she had to be the one. He finished his cigar and after sitting there a few minutes he went back inside before Joanna came back out looking for him. He entered the house to chaos and wished he hadn't entered at that particular time. Murdock and Joanna were making a cake or more like a mess. They were both covered in cake batter from head to toe. The kitchen floor was also cover in batter. Then the two of them started to tease each other and throw batter at one another. The batter was flying in every direction and all of a sudden they saw him. He noticed the evil glint in Murdock's eyes and Joanna had a look like she was on the Jazz. They started coming at him and cornered him. They both hugged him got him covered in cake batter. Murdock had batter in his hand and decided to be cute and rubbed it into Hannibal's hair. He put his hands up in defeat and said, "All right. All right. You got me. I'm covered in batter even where I don't want to be. Now everyone of us has to take a shower. Are ya happy now?" Joanna and Murdock both said rather loudly, "YES." and started to laugh real hard until they were rolling on the floor holding their stomachs. Hannibal just shook his head. He went to the bathroom while the two "hyenas" were still rolling on the floor laughing and took a shower.
After he came out he had put on his everyday clothes and looked up. He saw Mudock with that goofy grin on his face and said, "Not again! I just took a shower, Murdock!" He saw Murdock just get this disappointed look on his face and come over to him. He whispered in Hannibal's ear, "Without me?" Hannibal was shocked that Murdock would even think of that with Joanna around the house. He hissed, "You should know better, Murdock! There's an 11 year old girl in this house! Or had you forgotten?" Murdock just chuckled and replied, "I was just joking! Jeez! Can't you take a joke!" Hannibal calmed down and went out into the living room while Murdock took his shower. Then Joanna took hers and they had dinner and a cake that Murdock and Joanna had made while Hannibal was in the shower.
Hannibal laid down on the couch after dinner to watch some TV. He woke up feeling lousy and a small hand on his forehead. He opened his eyes and saw Joanna on her knees in front of him and one of her hands was on his forehead while the other was on his arm. He heard her call, "H.M., I think you might want to come here. Hannibal feels like he has a temperature. I told him not to stay outside to long. I thought he hasn't looked very well all the times I've seen him this week. He looked tired, run down, and pale. I knew there was something wrong with him." He felt Murdock come over and touch his forehead and heard him curse under his breath. He said, "He's burning up and sweating. I think we need to get him into bed. We've been through this before but he's older than he was then but the good thing is he's still strong." Murdock shook him and asked, "Hannibal, Do you think you can walk to the bedroom? Do ya think ya could try?" Hannibal nodded heavily and they helped him sit up on the couch. He made it to the bedroom with Murdock supporting most of his weight. He told Murdock quietly, "Ya know? You're strong for such a thin frame." He then mercily passed out unconscious.
Murdock knew when he had felt Hannibal's forehead and it was burning that it was going to be a while before he got any sleep. He was going to get him through this like he did the last time with the team and Joanna. He damned determined and if he could get the fever to break he would put Hannibal in the hospital if it meant saving him.
All the next week Hannibal was in and out of a delirium and he talked in it. Murdock and Joanna took turns watching over him and trying to give him water to keep him from dehydrating. When Joanna wasn't in school or sleeping she was taking care of her father. They had to unbutton his shirt and pull it out of his belt so they could rinse down his chest and belly with a cold washcloth from a washing bowl of cold water sitting on the night stand next to the bed. When the water got warm they would change it. Murdock would take care of Hannibal when Joanna couldn't.
One night Joanna was trying to cool him down by using the cold washcloth and she wiped off his forehead, temples, face, and neck and rinsed out the washcloth. She wiped the sweat off his chest and belly and soon after he started to mumble again. He was saying, "No, please don't hurt her. Don't.. I'll do anything you want, just don't hurt the girl." He calmed down for a couple of minutes and then started to say, "Cookie? Cookie? Where are you? I don't want to die alone. Please, Cookie?" She took his hand and replied, "I'm here, daddy. I'm here." He looked at her with pleading and asked, "Please don't leave me. Don't let go. Don't let me die alone.. I don't wanna die alone!" and started to cry. She kept holding his hand all night until morning. He had curled into a ball and held her hand like a life line. She had tried to soothe him by talking to him and gently stroking his temple with her finger. After a little while he calmed down and went back to sleep so to speak.
She rarely saw her father's most vulnerable side because he keeps it hidden from everyone. It normally comes through when he's unaware of it like in a delirium from being shot or having a fever. When he was like this he was like a little scared boy and needs someone to cling to. She knew he was afraid of dying alone without someone he loved there. It was funny how indestructible her father seemed all the time but when he became like this he wasn't anymore. He was someone who needed someone to care for him and love him just like everyone else. He had a very emotional side that he keeps hidden most of the time and rarely cries. The last time she had seen him cry was during the last delirium he was in from being poisoned when she was about six. When he got like this he had tons of nightmares and screamed until she managed to calm him down. She had made an oath that she would always be there for him no matter what the cost and she had meant it. She nodded off to sleep resting her head on her father's side.
Murdock woke her up and told her, "I think you might need to stay home today and get some rest before you become ill. You go ahead and lay down on the couch. I'll watch him for a few hours while you rest." She went out to the living room and fell asleep on the couch as soon as she had put her head down.
Murdock remembered the last delirium Hannibal had been in. It had been horrible but this one was worse because he was acting like a child now. Murdock didn't mind that it just meant Hannibal's mind is far away from them. Murdock held his hand and trying to make him as comfortable as possible. He would listen to Hannibal mumbling and crying and it would break the pilot's heart. One time Murdock was tired and laid down behind Hannibal's curled up body and wrapped his arm around the older man. He felt Hannibal feeling around trying to get hold of his hand and finally get hold of it. He would run his hand through his lover's hair and whisper, "It's all right, Love. I'm here and I'll be here as long as you want me to be. I just hope you get better for me to here for you and take care of you." He started to cry and buried his head in Hannibal's back. He cried himself to sleep and woke up about a half an hour later to Hannibal tossing and turning.
Murdock was beginning to really worry but luckily soon the fever broke and Hannibal didn't mumble so much because of the delirium. When Hannibal did finally wake up he asked for Joanna. Murdock went and woke her up and brought her back to the bedroom. Joanna took his hand and squeezed it. Hannibal smiled at her and fell asleep with that smile on his face. He slept for a good day and a half and when he did wake up he remembered about work. Murdock told him that he called the auto repair shop and informed them he was out with a fever and delirium. They made him stay in bed for the next few days.
Everyday Joanna would come home from school and check on him. If he was awake and sitting up she climbed onto the bed and put her head on his shoulder and ask, "How ya feelin, Hannibal?" He would smile at her and put his arm around her. He answered, "I'm feeling a lot better, Cookie. I'll be all right. Ya know I haven't been this waited on in years. I feel kind of like a king." He chuckled and Joanna replied, "That's because we love you, Daddy." Soon Hannibal was moving around again and back to work.
Soon the day of Hannibal's birthday came and Joanna and Murdock threw him a party. They decorated the house, got presents and wrapped them, and got and birthday cake that said: Happy 63rd Birthday Hannibal! while he was at work. When he came home the lights in the house were off. He thought it was a little odd but didn't think anything of it. He opened the door and went into the living room. All of a sudden the lights came on and he was covered in confetti while Murdock and Joanna yelled Happy Birthday. He didn't know what to say as they led him over to the couch and boxed him in one on each side of him.
Murdock had gotten Hannibal a new pair of his favorite black sneakers and gloves. The old pairs were getting worn out and falling a part. Joanna had gotten him a gold bracelet with his name: Hannibal Smith - engraved on it kind of like an identity bracelet. He hugged them both and kissed them on the cheeks. Hannibal thanked them and they got out the cake. They drug him over to the table in the kitchen to show him the cake they got him. He thought it was a wonderfully decorated cake. It had icing blue roses and green leaves on the top of the white icing top layer. They had put 63 candles on it and made Hannibal blow them out. He did manage to blow them all out and Joanna started cutting the cake. As she gave each of them a piece she started to giggle. Hannibal asked, "What's so funny?" she looked him right in the eye and said, "I love it when a plan comes together!" Hannibal started to laugh with her because that famous phrase of his actually fit the scene.
Murdock and Joanna even conned him into playing a game of Monopoly and it was a lot of fun. Murdock was sitting there talking and telling loving things to the dice and trying to liberate them from the board game. Hannibal managed to catch him and pin him down on the floor while Joanna pried open Murdock's fingers and stole the dice back from him. Hannibal was sitting on the pilot's stomach and holding the younger man's hands down on the floor by his head. Murdock was struggling to get up to try to steal the dice again and Hannibal remarked, "Don't try anything funny, Captain because you know the funny tricks and paybacks I can pull. I may be old but my mind is still sharp as a whip. I can still out smart you any day of the week!" Murdock stopped struggling and looked at Hannibal with this mischievous look on his face and answered, "I think that may depend on the subject, Colonel!" Murdock winked at him and he blushed. He quickly composed himself and got off of Murdock's stomach. After a while they went to bed and Hannibal was happy and content because he was loved and wanted. He fell soundly asleep.
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