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Call Me a Sinner
By Jullian Gray
Summary: Hannibal has an accident and forgets about his relationship with Face. To make matters worse, he reverts back to a time when he cannot accept his own sexuality. Will Hannibal remember who he is? If not, will Face be able to move on with his life?
Warnings: Slash - H/F, F/OC language, consensual sex, mental anguish, attempted suicide, mention of rape, and torture, you know me by now if it hurts it is in here.
Adapted from a story idea by Jes Parker
Special thanks to HannibalFan 52 for all her help with grammar, spelling, and, of course, setting me straight when I make a left turn, and of course I can't forget my dear friend Shee, love ya!
Call Me ~ Shinedown
Wrap me in a bolt of lightning,
Send me on my way still smiling.
Maybe that's the way I should go,
Straight into the mouth of the unknown.
Left the spare key on the table.
Never really thought I'd be able to say
I merely visit on the weekend.
I lost my whole life and a dear friend.
I've said it so many times
I would change my ways.
No, never mind.
God knows I've tried.
Call me a sinner, call me a saint
Tell me it's over, I'll still love you the same.
Call me your favorite, call me the worst.
Tell me it's over, I don't want you to hurt.
It's all that I can say, so I'll be on my way.
I finally put it all together,
But nothing really lasts forever.
I had to make a choice that was not mine,
I had to say goodbye for the last time.
I kept my whole life in suitcase,
Never really stayed in one place.
Maybe that's the way it should be.
You know I've led my life like a gypsy.
I've said it so many times
I would change my ways.
No, never mind.
God knows I've tried.
Call me a sinner, call me a saint.
Tell me it's over, I'll still love you the same.
Call me your favorite, call me the worst.
Tell me it's over, I don't want you to hurt.
It's all that I can say, so I'll be on my way
I'll always keep you inside.
You healed my heart and my life,
And you know I tried.
Call me a sinner, call me a saint.
Tell me it's over, I'll still love you the same.
Call me your favorite, call me the worst.
Tell me it's over, I don't want you to hurt.
It's all that I can say, so I'll be on my way.
So I'll be on my way, so I'll be on my way.
"Hannibal, I have the files you were wanting," Face called out as he walked through the front door of the house he was sharing with his lover. He had been doing research for the last few hours, trying to get all the information he could on their next potential client. Face only made it a few steps into the house before he stopped dead in his tracks as he noticed the dimmed lights and a flicker of candlelight coming from the dining room.
"Hannibal?" he called out softly, not really sure what was happening.
Setting the files down on the living room coffee table, Face moved into the dining area. Looking at the dinner table, he noticed that it was set with the best china and the wine glasses were the good crystal. Moving closer, he noticed that there was a red rose sitting on one of the plates.
Sensing, rather than hearing someone behind him, Face turned, only to be caught in a pair of strong arms and pulled into the solid chest of his lover.
"Evening, Sunshine," Hannibal whispered into Face's ear as he pulled the younger man into a tight embrace.
"What's this all about?" Face asked into his lover's shoulder as he enjoyed the feel of the older man's arms around him.
"What, no 'good to see you; how was your day?'" Hannibal laughed as he ruffled Face's hair.
Face tried to pull back from Hannibal and put his hair back into place, but Hannibal prevented him from moving.
"I thought I would do something nice for you." Hannibal whispered into his ear, as his fingers moved to smooth Face's hair back where it belonged. "You have no idea how much you mean to me." Hannibal moved to kiss Face, his tongue invading the younger man's mouth. By the time the two broke apart, Face was panting for breath.
"I think I have some idea," Face whispered as he ran his own fingers through Hannibal's silver hair. "In fact, I have a very good idea." He smiled as he attacked the Colonel's mouth with his own, his right thigh moving to nudge the bulge in his lover's slacks.
"Later, Tem," Hannibal laughed as he pushed the smaller man back from him. "Dinner first."
Hannibal smiled as he watched his lover take a bite of his salad; he had been sneaking glances at the young blonde since they had sat down to dinner. He didn't know what it was about Templeton Peck, but he couldn't keep his eyes off of him. 'You're lying to yourself old man.' Hannibal's smile widened. 'You know damn well why you have to look at him; you still can't believe that he chose you when he could have anyone he wants.'
"Huh?" Hannibal blinked as he noticed that a pair of beautiful blue-green eyes looking directly at him.
"I said you're staring." Face said quietly as he picked up his wine glass and took a drink, his own eyes never leaving the older man's face.
"Sorry, kid." Hannibal picked up his own glass. "I was just lost in thought."
"What were you thinking about?"
"Just how lucky I am." Hannibal smiled at Face.
"You got a tip on a horse." Face snickered as he thought of how much Hannibal had won and lost on the horses over the years. In fact, he was sure that this lovely impromptu dinner he was currently sharing with his lover was because of Hannibal's day at the track.
"No, how lucky I am to have you."
"That was sappy." Face blushed as he dropped his head trying to hide the red coloring his cheeks.
"Yes, but it's true." Hannibal took another drink from his own glass before he continued. "I love you, Tem, and I don't want you to ever forget that."
"I love you, too, John." Face lifted his eyes and offered Hannibal a brilliant smile that made Hannibal's heart skip a beat.
The rest of the meal was continued with light conversation, and a few 'I love yous' here and there. When they were finished with the meal, Hannibal took Face's hand and led him to the living room; filling both of their wine glasses again before he sat beside his lover. Reaching behind the younger man, he rested his arm across Face's shoulder, before pulling him close. The two continued to talk until the wine was finished; taking the wine glasses, Hannibal set them on the coffee table before settling back down next to Face.
"So, do you want to hear what I found out about our clients?"
"No," Hannibal whispered as he began to kiss Face's ears, his tongue and teeth nipping the outer edge.
"Just what do you want, John Smith?" Face squirmed as one of his lover's hands moved to stroke his hair while the other one began to rub up and down his thigh.
"You." Hannibal pulled Face into his arms so he could kiss him. As Hannibal deepened the kiss, Face moaned into his mouth.
"You have me."
"All of you." Hannibal chuckled as he opened Face's shirt then moved so he could attack the soft skin on his neck and collarbone.
"You've had all of me." Face squirmed under Hannibal's touch. "More than once," he laughed as Hannibal worked his way to the other side of Face's collarbone, nipping and sucking as he went, making sure to leave small marks. He smiled, knowing that Face would bitch about the marks in the morning, but at the same time his lover would also enjoy knowing that he had put them there.
"And I want you again," Hannibal whispered as he gently pushed Face back, unbuttoning the younger man's shirt so that his chest and flat stomach were exposed. "All of you."
Face leaned back on the couch as his older lover began to trail kisses down his chest and stomach, Hannibal's soft yet strong hands rubbing his skin. There had been times in the past that Face had teased Hannibal about always wearing the black leather gloves, but as he felt his lover's hands on his body, he came to realize how much he appreciated them.
Moving lower still, Hannibal began to dip his tongue just below Face's waist band, then nipped the soft skin, causing Face to jump.
"Please, Hannibal," Face moaned as Hannibal used his tongue to soothe the spot he had just bitten.
"Please what?" Hannibal asked as he unbuckled Face's pants and pulled them down over his lover's narrow hips. He kissed each hip bone before stripping them off the younger man's long legs, leaving his lover in nothing but his socks, which he quickly removed before working his way back up Face's body, licking, kissing, sucking, and nibbling, leaving the smallest of marks as he went. By the time he reached Face's tan inner thigh, he had to hold Face's hips to keep him still. "Please what?" Hannibal repeated.
"Please take me." Face moaned even louder as Hannibal squeezed his genitals, the younger man's erection straining against his hand.
"But I have you." Hannibal chuckled as he squeezed just a little harder, just before he took Face into his mouth.
If Face was going to say anything, the words left his mind as his lover's hot mouth closed over him, taking him deep and sucking hard on him. Face squeezed his eyes shut as Hannibal's tongue began to tease the tip of his head, exploring the hole, forcing its way into the small slit. Face thought he would explode when he felt Hannibal's talented tongue lick him from the tip to the base just before he continued to suck on him again.
Hannibal could feel Face begin to tremble as the younger man's orgasm began to build, and during their normal lovemaking route, he would have allowed Face to cum. However, tonight Hannibal had other plans. Tonight he wanted to play with Face until the younger man was begging him for mercy. Reaching into his pocket, Hannibal pulled out a silver ring.
Face threw his head back against the couch pillows as he felt his stomach tightening, the pressure begin to build in his balls. He was just about to tell Hannibal how much he loved him when he felt something cool slip around his penis before it tightened down on his testicles, preventing him from coming.
"Hannibal, please." Face moaned, knowing exactly where this night was going, and that it would be a long time before his lover allowed him to any type of release. Not that the ring would prevent him from having an orgasm; it was just going to take a lot more than a blow job to get him off.
"No," was the only answer he got before Hannibal took him back into his mouth, causing Face to moan at the sensation, and in frustration.
There was one thing that a lot of people did not know about John Smith, and that was that he had a kinky side to him. "You are an evil man, John Smith." Face moaned.
Hannibal smiled as he heard Face moan. He knew what Face must be thinking, but tonight he would be wrong. Though he did love playing with Face, tonight would be different.
"You ready to go to the bedroom?" Hannibal asked, his own voice husky with need.
"Yes," Face whispered as he moved to capture Hannibal's mouth, his hands moving to unbutton Hannibal's shirt.
Hannibal bent over and picked Face up in his arms. As he moved toward their bedroom, Face deepened the kiss while his hands moved to remove his lover's shirt. As soon as his lover put him down on the floor, Face unbuttoned his Colonel's pants. A few seconds later, Hannibal was standing naked in front of him.
"I love you, John." Face started to sink to his knees as he began to kiss his way down his lover's body.
"I love you, too," Hannibal pulled Face back to his feet, "but I have other plans tonight, so on your feet, Tem."
Guiding him over to the bed, Hannibal laid down before pulling Face down on top of him, the younger man straddling his lap.
"I want you in me, Face." Hannibal rose up slightly so he could pull his lover's mouth down to his. He kissed the younger man long and hard. "I want you to fuck me."
"Thought you didn't like me to use that word?"
"I don't like it, but that is what I want you to do to me." Hannibal reached up to pinch Face's nipples. "I want you to take me hard."
"Oh, God, John," Face moaned as he leaned forward to kiss Hannibal again.
Hannibal deepened the kiss as he ran his hands up and down Face's body; he smiled when Face broke the kiss to moan as their erections rubbed together.
"Face," Hannibal gently pushed the younger man back up, "I need you in me now."
Face nodded as he reached for the nightstand to get the lube, but stopped when Hannibal grabbed him around the waist and pulled him back.
"You need this, Sunshine?" Hannibal chuckled as he pulled a bottle of lube out from under the pillows.
"Very evil man," Face groaned as he straightened back up.
"Yes, but you love me, don't you?" Hannibal grinned, his vivid blue eyes sparkling.
"With all my heart." Face reached down to stroke his lover's silver hair. "With everything I have."
Taking Face's hands in his own, Hannibal kissed each palm before placing them on his own chest, making sure to place Face's right hand over his heart.
"Make us one, Tem."
Face closed his eyes as his heart beat faster. Just when he thought that he couldn't love Hannibal any more, his lover would say something to prove him wrong.
"Face?" Hannibal called out softly as he ran his fingers over the younger man's cheeks. "You all right, baby? Do we need to stop?"
"Love you," Face whispered as he moved his head into Hannibal's touch. "God, John, you have no idea how much I love you."
"I have a pretty good idea." Hannibal smiled as he rose up and kissed Face. "And I also know that if you don't do something soon, I'm going to explode."
"Gladly." Face moved to kneel between his lover's legs. Taking the lube from Hannibal. he began to gently prepare his lover, first sliding in one finger, then a second, scissoring and stretching him.
Soon Hannibal was moaning under Face's gentle touch as his lover's long fingers brushed his prostate.
"Stop teasing, kid; I need you in me now," Hannibal growled.
Face smiled as he removed his finger and positioned himself at this lover's entrance. Taking a deep breath, he gently pushed his way past the tight ring of muscle before sliding all the way in. Face closed his eyes and enjoyed the sensation of being sheathed deep into his lover's body. However, he could only stay like this for a few moments as his own body's need to climax overwhelmed him.
"Oh, God, John," Face moaned as he pushed deep into Hannibal, "you feel so tight!"
Face gasped as a wave of pleasure surged through his body as Hannibal tightened down on him, stimulating him further. A second later, Face was able to get his wits back, and he adjusted the angle of his thrust so that he hit Hannibal's prostate, causing his lover to moan. However, his own triumph was short-lived when Hannibal tugged on his nipples, causing him to cry out reaching down, Face took Hannibal's erection in his hands and began to stroke him as he thrust in and out of him.
It did not take long before Hannibal was moving his hips so that he was thrusting into Face's hand, also causing the Colonel to tighten down on Face's penis as he rammed in and out of him.
"Damn, I'm coming Kid!" Hannibal shouted as his anal muscles clamped down on Face as his seed erupted, coating his chest with his own fluids.
This last sensation was too much for Face to handle, and he climaxed long and hard, shooting deep inside his lover's body. The last wave of pleasure washed over him just before his eyes rolled up into the back of his head and he collapsed on top of his partner.
Face woke to the feeling of someone running a cool cloth over his forehead and fingers stroking his hair.
"I think I died and went to heaven," Face sighed as he opened his eyes to look up at his lover's worried face.
"I don't think I'll ever get used to you passing out." Hannibal shook his head as he moved the cloth to wipe down the younger man's chest.
"You should be flattered. You're the only one I've ever done it for." Face laughed, then moaned as the cloth grazed his tender nipples.
"Oh, I'm more than flattered." Hannibal put the cloth down on the nightstand as he moved to lie down next to Face, pulling the younger man into his arms. "But it still scares the hell out of me."
Face sighed as he snuggled down into his lover's arms "How long was I out of it?"
"Long enough to worry me," Hannibal whispered as he kissed Face's hair. "About ten minutes, if you want a time."
"Ten minutes?" Face thought for a moment, then turned to smile up at Hannibal. "Damn, Colonel, you're good."
"Smart-ass kid," Hannibal chuckled as he leaned down to kiss Face.
The two were quiet for several moments, and Hannibal thought that Face might have drifted off to sleep just before he heard a sleepy "I love you, John."
"I love you, too, Tem." Hannibal hugged Face tighter to his own body before falling asleep.
Three days later…
It was supposed to be easy, but then again weren't all of their missions supposed to be easy?
"Hannibal, the timers are counting down!" Face looked at his watch, "We need to get moving - NOW!!"
"Just one more minute, kid. I need to check two more crates," Hannibal answered as he pried open the lid off another shipping crate so he could look at its contents. He smiled when he saw the stash of illegal weapons. He couldn't wait to see the look on the mob boss's face when he came back to find his arsenal in ruins.
"All right, kid; let's go." Hannibal shut the lid and started to follow Face when the temptation to open the last crate got the better of him. Face had just made it to the door when he heard the first explosion go off. He turned to see his Colonel thrown into the air and landing in a crumpled heap on the ground.
"Hannibal!" he sprinted to his lover's downed body. Seeing that he was unconscious, and knowing that the other bombs would be going off in a matter of seconds, he grabbed Hannibal's jacket and began to drag him towards the door as the building began to fill with smoke.
"Hannibal? Face?" BA yelled as he ran into the smoke-filled building.
"BA, help!" Faced choked out as the smoke began to fill his lungs. BA followed the sound of Face's voice and spotted the younger man dragging their Colonel across the warehouse floor. He quickly crossed the distance between them.
"What the hell happened?"
"One of the charges went off early, and we only have a minute to get out of here before the rest go."
"Help me get him up," BA growled. With Face's help, the big man picked the Colonel up in a fireman's carry and quickly exited the building, followed closely by Face. They had just made it to the top of the hill when building blew, knocking them all to the ground.
With his ears still ringing from the blast, Face made his way over to Hannibal. He was vaguely aware of Murdock and BA kneeling on either side of him. With a trembling hand, he reached out to check his lover's pulse. Face let out a sigh of relief when he found it, beating strong beneath his fingers.
"That hard head of his has saved him again," Face sighed as he continued checking for other injuries. I'm not feeling anything broken," Face looked at his worried companions, "though he's going to have one hell of a headache when he wakes up." Face informed them as he ran his fingers over a large knot on the back of his love's head.
Looking back down at Hannibal, he rubbed his knuckles over the Colonel's sternum. "Hannibal?" Face called out softly. When he got no response, he rubbed Hannibal a little harder. "Come on, Colonel; time to get up!"
The Colonel groaned and blinked against the harsh afternoon light as he slowly opened his eyes.
"Damn, what an explosion," he said as he rubbed at his head, sitting up with Face's help. Then he looked around at his men. Something wasn't right.
Hannibal studied the pilot, his eyebrows knitting together.
"What are you doing here, Captain? Didn't I give you specific orders not to rendezvous until tomorrow at 0800?" Hannibal looked at the three men standing in front of him, all dressed in a manner that he had never seen before. "What the hell is going on?"
Face looked at Murdock and BA before he spoke.
"Hannibal, what year is this?"
"Why the hell are you asking me such a stupid question…?"
"Please, sir," Face cut him off. "What year is it?"
"1969. What the hell is going on, Lieutenant?"
"Shit," Face whispered, again exchanging a look with the other two team members.
"Damn it, Lieutenant, talk to me! What the hell is going on?"
Face sat back and shook his head, not believing what was happening, and also wondering what he had done to piss God off to let this happen to him.
"You took a hard hit to the head, Colonel, and you're a bit confused right now. It is June 17th, 1985."
Face nodded. "Kind of hard to forget, sir."
"Damn!" Hannibal shook his head, and instantly regretted it as a wave of nausea hit him hard.
"Is the war over?"
"Yes, sir." Face offered a faint smile.
"Did we win?" Hannibal asked.
Face shook his head. "Guess it depends on who you ask, Colonel."
"I was afraid of that." Hannibal sighed as he ran his hand over his tender head. "So, please tell me what the hell is going?" Hannibal asked, getting to his feet and swaying. He would have fallen over if BA and Face hadn't grabbed him.
"I don't think it is a good idea to have this discussion right now." Face looked around at the destruction they had caused.
"Probably right," Hannibal agreed as he watched the thick black smoke fill the sky. When his first step faltered, he let BA and Face lead him to the van. He flashed Face a quick smile when he noticed the concerned look in his lieutenant's eyes. "Stop worrying, kid. It takes a lot to keep this old bird down."
"Sure, Colonel." Face smiled back, though it still didn't stop the knot from growing in his stomach.
Face leaned against the door he had just closed behind him and sighed. He ran his hands over his face wearily. The doctor had just left and said that, other than a slight concussion, Hannibal hadn't suffer any serious injury, and would physically make a full recovery in a few days. He was hopeful that, with time, his memories would return, but he was careful to explain to the team that, sometimes, memories didn't return. He encouraged the team to fill Hannibal in as much as possible about his life, and try to trigger his memories.
"You okay, Muchacho?" Murdock asked quietly as he approached the younger man.
Face let his hands fall and nodded his head. "Yeah, I'll be all right."
"So, have you figured out where in the space-time continuum he is?"
"If he's in '69, the two of you aren't together yet, are you?" Murdock asked quietly, already knowing the answer.
Face shook his head. "No, we didn't get together until the following summer."
"That's what I was afraid of." Murdock shook his head. "You going to tell him?"
Face shrugged. "I don't know."
"What do you mean you don't know?"
Face leaned back so that his head thumped lightly against the wall. "I don't know how he'll react. He was doing a good job of denying his sexuality and playing the straight soldier back then. God, Murdock, he was such a tight-assed, homophobic prick back then. Remember how he reacted when he caught the two of us? I still can't believe that he didn't have us court-martialed."
Murdock grinned. "Yeah. I remember we pulled latrine duty for two months, which gave us even more opportunity to mess around. Then the big guy got in on the act." Murdock laughed.
From the living room couch, BA rolled his eyes. "Was just tryin' to save you from your foo'-brained craziness," he told him matter-of-factly. "But Ah see Ah failed."
"You love me and you know it," Murdock teased him as he sauntered over and straddled the other man's lap. "You just didn't know how much until you got so jealous after you found us in that ditch, kissing."
"Hmmph!" BA muttered, settling his arm around Murdock's waist.
"And if I remember right, you didn't waste any time joining us." Murdock grinned at him, causing BA to roll his eyes.
Murdock smiled, and then looked back at Face. "I think you should tell him."
Face sighed and settled in the opposite chair.
"I don't know. I mean, what if he reacts like he did back then? You know how he was, but we love each other…I don't know." Face rubbed his eyes, "How do I tell him? He was the one who came to me; he was the one that decided to come out of his shell…How do I…" Face stopped talking, being at a loss for words for most likely the first time in his life.
"You'll figure out a way. If anyone can find a way to tell him, it would be you." Murdock smiled.
"Yeah, Faceman; you got words for everything."
Face closed his eyes as he leaned his head back against the chair. "I don't know if I have the right words for this."
"Hey, Hannibal, how're you feeling?" Face asked the next morning as Hannibal strolled into the living room after a shower.
Hannibal nodded, taking the cup of coffee from Face with a smile, before settling down on the couch.
"I'm feeling better, thanks, Face." Hannibal studied Face for a few minutes, his eyes roaming the younger man's body. "You've grown up, kid. Hard to believe that it's been 16 years." Hannibal shook his head "You still don't look that old." Hannibal leaned back on the couch as he continued to take in his lieutenant. "How old are you now?"
Face smiled as he took a drink of his own coffee. "35."
Hannibal shook his head. "Didn't believe it then; don't believe it now. Try again."
"You really must be feeling better." Face laughed as he tried to redirect the subject away from himself. "Any memories coming back?"
Hannibal lifted an eyebrow, knowing exactly what the younger man was doing. Deciding to let Face win this one, he let the age issue drop. "Sorry, kid; not a thing."
Face nodded thoughtfully as he looked out the window.
"Where are BA and Murdock ?" Hannibal asked as he took a drink of his coffee.
"BA's apartment. Murdock usually stays there when he's not in the psych ward. I'll need to get him back soon, though, before they really have a fit."
"Psych ward? As in insane?"
Face took another drink of his coffee before sitting down in the recliner across from Hannibal. Taking a deep breath, he continued.
"Murdock had some problems after the camp, and they got worse after our court- martial."
Hannibal nodded as he thought about what he was being told.
"So he's out on a pass?"
Face shook his head.
"Not exactly. We break him out to help us on missions. After all these years, they're pretty used to it, and as long as he gets back within a couple weeks, they don't normally bitch too much."
Hannibal was nodding.
"I would think he'd rather stay with you than BA. You were always close."
"We still are, but he prefers to stay with BA." Face nodded, not going into detail. He really wasn't looking forward to this conversation.
"So who lives here? You, or me?"
Face took another drink of coffee before he cleared his throat, he took a deep breath and prepared himself for what was about to come.
"Actually, we both do."
Hannibal nodded, taking in the living room.
Face smiled as he remembered the day they had both picked it out.
"So, why don't the three of us live together? I mean, this house is large enough for the three of us to live here without tripping over each other. Why does BA have his own place?"
"We all sorta like our personal space - Murdock and BA, you and me." He looked up to see if Hannibal was putting together the pieces yet.
"Murdock and BA actually like to live together?" he chuckled. "Things really have changed, haven't they?"
Face laughed as he shook his head. "Not really all that much, Colonel." He smiled. "Murdock and BA still fight like they used to," Face took another drink of coffee, "and to be honest, I don't think that they will ever stop."
"So you want to explain to me why they live together?"
Face looked his Colonel in the eye and decided to test the waters.
Hannibal's eyes widened and his jaw fell open.
"They're what?" he asked, his voice low.
"Lovers," Face repeated. "They have been since Nam."
"Are you serious?"
Hannibal ran his hand over his face as he considered the information he had just been given, as Face held his breath as he waited to see how Hannibal would react.
"Son of a bitch! I never would have thought expected it of those two. What other changes have taken place?" He looked at his Lieutenant, noticing that the younger man seemed to be constantly looking at anything other than him.
Face took a deep breath and began to fill tell his Colonel everything that happened to them since 1969. When he was finished, he sat back and waited for Hannibal to absorb everything.
"So we help people when and where we can."
"Yes, sir." Face nodded. "And we are damn good at it."
Hannibal smiled at the younger man.
"We were the best."
"We still are Hannibal." Face raised his cup in a toast before taking another drink.
Hannibal laughed and took a drink of his own coffee before he continued asking questions.
"So, what about you, Face? What do you do when you aren't helping out the oppressed and downtrodden? You ever decide to settle down and have kids?"
Face took a deep breath; he really wasn't looking forward to this.
"I invest money for the team, and do a few things here and there. I don't have any kids, and I'm not married, but there is one special person in my life."
"How long have you been together? Do you plan on getting married?"
"We never talked about marriage," Face told him, as he looked down at his coffee. "And we've been together for 15 years."
"That's a hell of a long…" Hannibal stopped as he counted the years off in his head. "You've been together since the war? Was she in the Army, or some girl you met while we were stationed in Vietnam? Damn it, Face, I'm not condemning you, but I've warned you about the girls in the villages. I told you that they were looking for GI's to snag…"
"It's not a girl, Hannibal." Face looked up to gauge his lover's reaction.
Hannibal's eyes narrowed.
"Not you too? Damn! Was it something in the water over there?" Hannibal glared at Face. "Hell, was I in charge of an A-Team or a gay team!" His voice was rising.
Face didn't say anything as he continued to study the older man, fearing the anger he saw building in the bright blue eyes.
"Hannibal, there is something that you need to know. Something very important about our lives."
Hannibal's eyes narrowed as he studied the younger man's face, then he slammed the coffee cup down as he stood up, splashing coffee over the rim and onto the table.
"Don't say it, Lieutenant!
Face rose slowly setting down his cup on the table beside the chair.
"You and I have been lovers since the summer of 1970," he told him calmly.
"You sorry little bastard!" Hannibal roared. "How dare you…"
"Hannibal…" Face started to say.
"NO! Don't say another word. Not another word fucking word, Lieutenant! I can't believe that you of all people would say something…" He cut himself off, shook his head, and walked toward the door.
"Don't you call me that you, bastard!" Hannibal yelled as he spun around to advance on the younger man. "You hear me, faggot? Don't you ever call me by my name like you know me personally!"
"Hannibal, I'm sorry if this is upsetting you, but it's the truth. Damn it, look around! We share this house as lovers." Face took a deep breath. "I love you, John."
Face never saw the punch that knocked him to the floor, but he did feel himself being lifted up by the front of his shirt.
"You sick little prick! You fucking queer!" Hannibal put his face just a few inches from Face's now pale one. "I'm not gay, so don't you drag me into your sick fucking world. You are a fucking sinner!" he snarled. "You may like it, but I don't let other people stick things up my ass!" With that, Hannibal shoved Face down to the ground, causing him to hit his head on the floor with a sickening thud.
"I need some air," he said harshly as he yanked open the door. "I don't want to see you when I get back." Without a backwards glance, he slammed the door shut behind him.
Face lay on the floor, stunned, not knowing what to do. Hannibal had just rejected him. Not just their relationship, but him. He could feel the tears burning at the back of his eyes, but refused to let them fall. Slowly, Face climbed to his feet, staggering as the pain in the back of his head let itself be known.
Going to the master bedroom, Face packed a small overnight bag. He thought about leaving a note for Hannibal, but figured that there was no point to it. Face wasn't sure where he was going until he arrived at BA's front door.
Face raised his hand to knock, but then let it drop, his knuckles scraping the wood. "What am I doing?" he shook his head as he turned to leave. He only made it a step when the apartment door opened and a large hand descended on his shoulder.
"What's going on, little brother?" BA's voice rumbled behind him.
Face shook his head, but didn't turn around, afraid to open his mouth.
"Is it Hannibal? Has something happened?"
When Face only nodded his head again, BA turned him around, his eyes automatically going to the bruise on the younger man's jaw.
"What happened?" BA demanded as his hand moved to take Face's chin in his hands. "Did he hit you?"
"Worse." Face croaked out as he fought the tears that threatened to spill over his lower lids.
"Worse?" BA instantly became concerned his eyes searching Face's body.
"He… it's not his fault… he doesn't remember." Face began to tremble, he tried to step back and flee, but BA grabbed hold of him and pulled him to his massive chest, hugging him tight.
"I shouldn't have come…I shouldn't have…"
"Hush, Face," BA hugged him tighter as he guided Face into his apartment. "You don't need to be alone right now."
"I know he doesn't remember, but…." Face choked as he remembered the hate-filled words that beat against his carefully-built defenses.
BA pulled Face closer to him as he guided him over to the couch and forced him to sit beside him. Though they had never been a couple in the sense of having a dating relationship, BA, Murdock, and Face had fooled around, both alone and together, on several occasions. Nothing had ever gone past a kiss, a fondle, or copping a feel in the dark. It was something that helped them all cope with the horror that was going on around them; a place to feel safe in the darkness of the night.
At one time, BA had thought about trying to take their relationship to the next level, but he knew that Face was head-over-heels in love with Hannibal, and when the Colonel had finally told his young friend that he loved him, BA knew any chance he had with Face was over.
"Tell me what happened," BA insisted as he looked at his friends red-rimmed eyes.
Face took a few minutes to get himself under control before he told BA the full story. At the end, BA was clenching and unclenching his fists, but he didn't say a word until Face was finished speaking.
"So he can handle me and Murdock being gay, but not you or himself." BA growled.
"Seems that way." Face gave a humorless laugh as he ran his hands through his hair. "Though I'm not surprised. He told me that he fought his feeling for me for the longest time. Guess he's doing it again."
BA nodded as he put his arm around Face's shoulders and pulled him in close so that the younger man's head was resting on his shoulder.
"Wish I could tell you that it was going to be all right, but I can't." Leaning down, BA placed a gentle kiss to the blonde head. "But you know that I'm here for you."
Face nodded as he allowed himself to relax in the strength of BA's arms. The two were silent for some time before BA spoke.
"Do you need me to go and get Murdock out for you?"
"No," Face shook his head as he sat up. "I don't want to impose on you two. In fact, I need to go and find a hotel for the night." Face stated as he tried to stand up, only to be stopped when BA pulled him back down by the waistband of his pants.
"You ain't staying in no hotel when I got room here," BA growled.
"I don't want to imp…" Face never got to finish as a large hand covered his mouth.
"Shut up and take your stuff to the bedroom. Ain't going to tell you again. If I didn't want you here, I wouldn't have asked you to stay, got it?"
Face nodded, since he could not speak with the big man's hand over his mouth.
"Good." BA removed his hand, but moved it so that he could turn the younger man's head to look at him. "You know that I love you, Faceman. I always have and I always will." Moving forward, BA laid a gentle kiss on Face's lips. "And I hope with all my heart that Hannibal remembers his relationship with you, but if that doesn't happen, you know that you always have a home here with Murdock and me."
Face looked into BA's dark brown eyes. He could see the love that BA had for him, and his heart broke as he thought about how Hannibal, the man he loved more than life itself, had rejected him. The tears spilled out of his eyes and down his cheeks as he began to cry out his pain and anguish. BA instantly pulled Face back into his arms, holding him tight. Face wasn't sure how long he had cried. All he knew was that he was exhausted, and when BA suggested that he go get into bed, he didn't protest.
Sometime during the evening, Face felt the bed dip, and a second later, BA's strong arms slipped around him, pulling him in close. But when the bed dipped again, Face opened his eyes to see Murdock, who was getting in bed on his other side.
"You didn't think that I would let our baby be alone when he is hurting so bad, did you?" Murdock asked as he kissed Face gently on the lips, as Face stared at him with a shocked look on his face.
"BA, you shouldn't have gotten him…" Face tried to turn to look at BA, but Murdock stopped him.
"No, you're wrong, baby." Murdock stroked Face's hair out of his eyes. "I think you need us both now." With that, Murdock moved close to Face, wrapping his arms around his friend, so the younger man was nestled between him and BA. "Now quit fussing and go back to sleep."
Face sighed as he relaxed in his friends' arms. They were right; he didn't need to be alone. But tomorrow he would have to start planning for his future, a future that might not include the man he loved.
Face woke early the next morning and carefully untangled himself from his friends' arms and legs. He had to bite his lip to keep from laughing as Murdock and BA moved to wrap their arms around each other. He loved both men with all his heart, but the time that they had shared together in Vietnam was over, and he knew that he could never go back to the relationship that they once had.
Quietly, he slipped out of the room, and after leaving a quick note on the coffee table, he headed back to the house that he shared with Hannibal.
When Face opened the door to the house, he was surprised to find Hannibal waiting for him in the living room.
"I think we need to talk." Hannibal stood up as Face dropped his bag by the door. "I want to start by apologizing for hitting you, Lieutenant."
Face looked at Hannibal. He could still see the anger in the older man's body, and knew that if the wrong thing was said, things could get real ugly, very quickly; so Face also chose a safe apology.
"I understand you were upset, and I'm sorry that I provoked you."
Hannibal nodded before he continued.
"This is your house, and I know it must hold a lot of memories for you, so I'll find someplace else…"
"No." Face shook his head. "It would be better if I left."
When Hannibal tried to argue, Face held up his hand silencing him.
"Without your memory, you don't know LA like I do, so it would be easier for me to find someplace safe to stay. As for the house itself, it's owned by a fake business that I set up for the team, so you don't have to worry about the MP's finding you. I have a special account that pays the mortgage, utilities, insurance, and taxes, you won't have to worry about paying those monthly expenses." Face took a deep breath and let it out slowly. "I'll leave."
Hannibal studied Face for a moment.
"That's very noble of you, Lieutenant. I appreciate it."
Face closed his eyes as he reined in his emotions.
"Give me a little time to get my things together."
"I take it that you'll be staying with BA and Murdock."
"No." Face shook his head as he moved toward the bedroom. "They have their own lives now. I don't want to interfere."
"Awful nice of you." Hannibal smiled. "Shame you couldn't have shown me the same respect," he then added under his breath, his voice dripping with sarcasm.
"Just what is that supposed to mean?" Face asked as he turned to look at Hannibal.
"Nothing." Hannibal frowned at Face. "I didn't say a thing."
Under normal circumstances, Face would have let things drop, but he was at the end of his rope and he spun back to face the other man.
"No, it's not nothing." Face glared back at his former lover. "If you have something that you want to say to me, then say it!"
"All right, Lieutenant, I think it's strange that you worry about causing undue stress on BA and Murdock, but you don't seem to have a problem of accusing me of being a faggot."
"First off, Colonel," Face growled. "I do worry about my friends, and I hate the fact that I'm involving them in OUR personal life, but since you are also their leader, I thought you should know." Face moved toward Hannibal as he talked. "Second, I'm getting sick and tired of hearing the words 'queer' and 'faggot' coming out of your mouth."
"What? Can't handle the truth, fag?" Hannibal crossed his arms over his chest as he stared back at his Lieutenant.
"I'm not a queer or a fag." Face could feel his anger building by the second. "I am your second-in-command, your lieutenant, and when YOU asked me, I became YOUR lover." Face smiled to himself as he watched Hannibal's face turn red, the Colonel's hands dropping to his side, fists clenching and unclenching. "I will never deny that I had or have feelings for you! But let us get something clear right here and now, Colonel John Smith - you came on to me, not the other way around!"
When Hannibal raised his fist, Face moved first, getting right up into the other man's face, invading his personal space. "And let's get another thing clear, Colonel. I gave you the first punch yesterday morning, but if you hit me again, I will tear the ever-living hell out of you!"
When Hannibal just stared at him, Face backed away, though he made sure not to turn his back on the other man.
"Just give me a few days to find a place, and you can go back into your self-denial."
"You little bastard! How dare you say something like that, then walk away!" Hannibal moved toward Face.
"Look around this place, Hannibal!" Face yelled as he felt his frustration growing. "We have shared this place for five years!" Face moved to the mantel and pulled a photo off it. "Why don't you open your eyes and look at what is around you!"
Face held up the photo so that Hannibal could see it. In the picture, Hannibal and Face were standing together in a plaza, with the Roman Coliseum in the background, their arms around each other's waists. "This was taken on vacation two years ago."
Face put the photo down and picked up another one showing Hannibal and Face, once again their arms around each other on what looked to be a cruise ship, though in this on Face's head was resting on Hannibal's shoulder. "This one was last summer when we sailed to Scotland."
"Bullshit." Hannibal glared at Face. "I've always thought of you as a son, and you go and twist it…"
"What-the-hell-ever, Hannibal," Face huffed as he threw up his hands and walked out of the room. "Live in your safe little world."
Hannibal sat down in the recliner and listened to the quiet of the house. Face had left a few hours earlier, and he was now by himself. Not that it had really made any difference when Face had been there; the younger man had avoided him like the plague, always leaving the room if he walked into it.
He sat there for a few minutes before he became restless. Getting up, he began to move around, looking at photos on the wall. As he started to look at them, his confusion started to build along with his anger. Each and every one of them contained him and Face, their arms around each other. Hannibal had been sleeping in the guest room for the past several days, and now he moved to the master bedroom and started to look around. He could see that there were several photos missing from the dresser by the light coating of dust that was missing where they had sat, though there were still quite a few there. A lot contained photos of the entire team, all of them younger and in uniform; in some, they were wearing fatigues with helicopters or foreign city signs behind them, while in others they were in dress uniform.
Hannibal moved over to the bed and sat down on what he assumed to be Face's side. He noticed a spot where a photo had once sat, but was now gone. Opening the nightstand drawer, Hannibal noticed that it was completely empty. Nothing of the younger man's presence remained except the lingering smell of his cologne.
Moving over to the other side of the bed, he saw a picture frame turned face down on the nightstand. Picking it up, he noticed that it was a photo of Face. The younger man's eyes were shining and a smile light up his entire face. Hannibal smiled at the photo as his heart gave a slight jump; and he felt a hardening in his groin. Suddenly he became angry at himself. He wasn't supposed to have these types of reactions. He was straight; he loved women. Hannibal flung the photo across the room, sending it crashing into the wall, shattering the frame and glass.
"Fucking bastard!" he yelled to no one. "I know you left that there on purpose, you fucking queer!"
Taking several deep breaths, he calmed himself down before moving to open his nightstand drawer. As he looked inside, he noticed that it contained several books, and a cigar box. He opened the box expecting to find cigars; instead he found several bottles of lube, ranging from oils that turned hot when rubbed into the skin, to ones that had scents, or different tastes. Snatching the box out of the nightstand, Hannibal went into the kitchen and dumped the box into the trash.
"I'm not a faggot!" he yelled as loud as he could.
"So, he still hasn't come around?" Murdock asked quietly several nights later as they cleaned their guns at the team's warehouse. The pilot looked up at the Colonel several feet away, wiping down a gun and trying his best to ignore Face. From all outward appearances, the Colonel looked calm, collected, but knowing him as well as they did, they could tell he was still fuming.
Face shook his head as he glanced at Hannibal, then back at the firearm in his hands.
"He doesn't want to discuss it, and I'm tired of trying." Murdock looked at the bruise on Face's jaw and nodded his head in understanding.
"He doesn't even want to look at me, let alone be alone in the same room as me." Face sighed heavily as he glanced up at Murdock.
Murdock reached out to touch the younger man's arm. "I'm sorry, Face. Are you okay?"
"I will be" Face offered a faint smile "I got a great place downtown. You should see it."
"I'd love to." Murdock continued to look at Face for a few moments, his concern for his friend growing, but when he realized that Face wasn't going to say anything else he let the subject drop.
A few days later, Hannibal decided that he needed to go through his things in the house. It was obvious that he had been living there for some time. In fact, if what Face had told him was true, then the last five years of his life was in this house. With any luck, he might find something that would help him regain his memory.
It was the next day before he finally made it back around to the master bedroom. Hannibal opened the closet and began to look through the things that were stored there. He had been meaning to go through it earlier, but every time he started to look into "his" lost life, he would find things that he didn't like. Things that pointed out that he and Face had, indeed, been in an intimate relationship together.
Taking a deep breath, he began to pull down several boxes; moving them to the bed, he started to open them. The first one contained several photo albums. Flipping through the pages of the first album, he was relieved to see that they contained photos of the entire team, taken in Vietnam. However, his joy was short-lived when he opened the second one.
The entire album contained photos of Face and him; in each and every one of them the two had their arms either around each other's waist or shoulders.
Hannibal picked up the third album. When he opened the cover and looked at the first photo, his heart once again leaped into his chest as he took in the image of a very young Face dressed in nothing more than a pair of very tight swim trunks, asleep on the beach. With shaking fingers, he removed photo from the album; on the back of it in his own neat handwriting was a date and description.
"Tem, 1970, China Beach R&R"
Hannibal put the photo back in the album before turning the page. The next that caught his eye was one that showed the still-young Face dressed in fatigues, sitting on the hood of a jeep, smoking a cigarette. Again he took out the photo and looked at the back; again his own handwriting described the photo.
"Tem, 1970, Delta Base"
As he flipped through the album, he noticed that Face was slowly getting a little older and the dates were going up.
Hannibal got halfway through the album when one photo stopped him cold, his stomach tightening as he stared at it. Carefully, he took the photo out and looked at the sleeping man in it; his heart ached as he looked at the gaunt, bruised, battered, and cut face of his Lieutenant. As he examined the photo more closely, he could see that there were IV's running in and out of the younger man's too-thin arms, his chest was covered in bandages, but he noticed that he could still see Face's rib cage through pale and bruised skin.
Slowly he turned to photo around so that he could read what was written on the back, but instead of finding a name and date the whole back of the photo contained his writing. Moving closer to the lamp, he read what he had written.
"The doctors don't think he's going to make it. He's lost so much weight, and he's been beaten so badly. They don't understand how he's made it this far. I can't bring myself to think about everything else he has been though. Please, God, don't take him from me. I can't live without him."
Putting the photo back, he noticed there was several more of Face in the same hospital bed. In each and every one of them, the young man appeared to be sleeping.
He flipped to the next page, and the first photo was of Face with his eyes open. Though he was still painfully thin, there was a light in the young man's eyes and a smile on his face. He quickly pulled out the photo and read the back; though he noticed that there were stains like water drops and his handwriting was shaky.
"Thank you, God, for sparing him!"
Hannibal felt his throat tighten as he turned the photo back around to look at Face again. He didn't know what had happened to his Lieutenant, but it made his heart ache to know that he had been injured, that he hadn't been able to protect him.
Putting the photo back, he flipped through the rest of the album. As he did, he noticed the slight changes in his Lieutenant. Face was starting to fill out, his chest and shoulders getting broader, his hair darkening slightly, along with getting a bit longer.
The last photo in the album was of Face standing in front of the house he was currently staying in. On the back was written:
"Tem in front of 'Our' house, 1980."
Hannibal put the photo back, then flipped though several more pages of the album. Each and every one of them were of his Lieutenant by himself; each and every one of them contained a description written in his handwriting. But the thing that troubled Hannibal the most was that in every one of them, he had called the young man 'Tem'. Not Lieutenant; not Face; but Tem as if…
Suddenly Hannibal stopped when he came to the last two pages in the album. In each photo, Face was completely naked, either lying in the bed he was currently sitting on, or reclining in a lounge chair out by the pool.
"No, we were not this intimate. He was too young; I never would have gotten involved with someone that young." Realizing what he had said, Hannibal slammed the album shut. "I would not get involved with a man! I am not a queer!"
Closing his eyes he took a deep breath and whispered:
"I'm not gay."
Hannibal shoved the album into the box before covering it with the other albums. He carried them over to the closet and threw them into the back. Going back over to the other boxes he had gotten out, he threw them in on top of the albums, afraid to even open them. Afraid what else he might find out about himself, and the life that he had been leading with Face.
Hannibal glared at Face as he opened the door, allowing the younger man to enter the house they had once shared.
Face looked at Hannibal and instantly saw the anger in the other man's blue eyes.
"I thought I might have had someone following me, so I took some extra time to make sure the coast was clear before I came here.
"You should have called." Hannibal frowned at his Lieutenant.
"Sorry, but I was busy watching traffic." Face snapped back, not understanding why his Colonel was being so unreasonable.
"That's no excuse."
Face knew he should keep his mouth shut, but he was getting angry.
"Is there a point to all this, Colonel?" Face asked trying his best to keep his temper in check.
"Yes, I asked you to be here at a certain time, and you're late," Hannibal snapped
"By ten minutes," Face shot back. "I know you didn't ask me here to argue with you, so what is it that you need that is too important to tell me over the phone?"
"You left some of your stuff when you moved out of the house I wanted you to come and get it out." Hannibal's voice was hard and cold.
"No, I got all of my things." Face looked at the other man.
"No, you didn't." Hannibal pointed to several boxes by the front door.
Face moved over to the boxes and looked down at them; he instantly recognized Hannibal's photo albums.
"These aren't mine." He looked up at the older man. "They're yours."
"No, they are not," Hannibal growled.
"Sorry to inform you, Colonel, but those are yours." Face smiled at the other man. "I have my albums."
"Your albums?" Hannibal's eyebrows rose in question to the other man's statement. "What do you mean - your albums?"
"Yes, my albums. I have copies of all our vacation photos and most of the ones of us in 'Nam. You and I both have a few that the other doesn't, but for the most part they are the same." As for this one," Face reached into the box and pulled out the one that contained the nude photos of him in the back. "I really don't want a bunch of naked photos of myself. That was your thing."
Face watched as the Hannibal's face turned pink with embarrassment.
"Those photos are yours, not mine," he insisted.
"I have mine of you." Face smiled as he watched Hannibal's face turn a crimson red. "What, Colonel, do you think I was the only one to pose for the camera?" Face didn't think it was possible, yet Hannibal's face managed to redden even more. "I think my favorite has to be of you lying on our bed with nothing but your gloves, a cigar, and a smile."
"But, then again, when I had you handcuffed over the bar; that was really erotic…"
"I said shut the hell up!" Hannibal advanced on Face, shoving him hard. Face tripped over the box and fell to the floor, but was instantly on his feet and in the older man's face. "Touch me again, Hannibal, and I swear to God I'll make you regret it!"
The two men studied each other, the tension between them growing as each second past. Just when it looked as the two of them were about to come to blows, Face backed down.
"I'm sorry, Colonel." Face stepped back and shook his head, his eyes turning sad as he moved to pick up the boxes. "I shouldn't have provoked you. It's not your fault that you don't remember." Face opened the door and looked back at the man he loved with his entire being. "It's just you have no idea how much this hurts, how much we had together, how much I love…" Face closed his eyes and took a deep breath. "I'm sorry." With that said, Face turned and went down the sidewalk, not bothering to look back.
Hannibal watched the younger man walk down the sidewalk to his car. As Face got into the 'Vette and drove off, he couldn't understand why his heart was aching so much.
"It's been six months, Face. Do you think he's ever going to get his memory back?" Murdock asked as they finished tying up the bad guys.
"I don't know, Murdock." Face sighed. "At least he's not trying to rip my head off every time we're together."
"That is true. You think you two will ever be friends?" he questioned him, leaning up against the van, waiting for BA and Hannibal to catch up with them.
Face glanced over at Hannibal.
"We're working on it."
"Can you be content just being his friend?"
"I have to be," Face answered quietly, looking off at the setting sun in the distance, the wind blowing his hair.
"What about his dating women? Are you okay with that?"
Face rubbed his head tiredly. He could feel the pressure of a headache starting to build.
"It doesn't matter if I'm not, Murdock. That's the way it is. I have to accept that."
"What about you, Face?" The pilot studied Face, noting how tired the younger man looked. "Are you ever going to start dating again?"
"I don't know, Murdock. Right now, it just hurts too much to even consider someone else. I just keep holding out hope that he'll get better."
"But you need to accept that he might not. There is a good possibility that he might not ever recover. The doc said, the longer it is –"
"Don't you think that I know that!" Face interrupted angrily as he turned his back on the other man, refusing to allow Murdock to see his pain.
Murdock sighed, catching sight of Hannibal and BA heading their way, the Jazz twinkling in Hannibal's eyes and in the quirk of the grin at the corner of his mouth, and BA shaking his head beside him, chuckling at some joke the Colonel was making.
"Don't wait forever, Face. You need to allow yourself to be happy, too."
"I don't know if I can." Face just looked at Hannibal and sighed, then shook his head. "I'm going to get out of these wet clothes."
Murdock looked at his young friend and chuckled.
"You are a little on the soggy side." During their fight with the bad guys, Face had been thrown off a dock and into the lake.
"Yeah, laugh it up," Face mumbled as he opened the sliding door to the van. Climbing in, he reached into the back and pulled out a small bag that contained a set of clothes, peeling off his wet clothes and beginning to put on the dry ones. He had just gotten his pants on when Murdock called out to him.
"Face! I need you!" Murdock urgently called out.
Hearing the desperation in his friend's voice, Face jumped out of the van to see Murdock struggling with one of the bad guys, who had hidden a knife in his boot and managed to cut himself loose, and was now trying to stab the pilot.
Face instantly went into action, jumping on the other man's back, punching the man in the head as hard as he could. The man swung around, his knife scraping Face's side before Murdock could grab the man's arm. As Murdock struggled with the knife, Face continued to pound on the other man's body, trying to force him to let go of the weapon. The bad guy swung around and slammed his back against the side of the van, smashing Face into it. Face grunted in pain as he tried to hold onto the thug; however, when he was slammed into the vehicle the second time, his grip slackened. The bad guy was just about to slam Face into the side of the van again when he was grabbed by the throat by a very angry BA.
Hannibal pulled out his .45 and held it to the other man's head.
"Drop the knife," he said, his voice low and threatening. The thug turned to look at the cold blue eyes and instantly dropped the knife.
"You guys all right?" Hannibal called out to Murdock and Face.
"I'm all right, Colonel," Murdock replied.
When Face didn't answer, Hannibal turned to look at the younger man. His heart stopped when he saw the blonde slumped against the side of the van, blood oozing from his side.
"Face!" Hannibal ran to his downed Lieutenant's side. "Face, talk to me, kid." The Colonel's hands swiftly began to run over the blonde's body, taking in all his injuries.
Face moaned as he pushed against the Colonel's hands. "Stop!"
"How bad are you hurt?" Hannibal grabbed Face's wrists in one hand as continued his examination of his Lieutenant's body.
"Stop," Face panted. "Just…winded…."
"You're more than winded." Hannibal examined the oozing wound on Face's side.
"Here's the medical kit," Murdock announced as he handed the kit to Hannibal.
"Thanks, Captain." Hannibal took the kit and began to pull out cotton gauze. Carefully, he wiped the blood from the wound; he let out a small sigh of relief when he found that the cut was shallow and wouldn't require stitches. "Turn around," Hannibal ordered.
"Hannibal, I'm all right," Face whined.
"Do I need to make it an order?" Hannibal asked as he stared at the younger man.
Recognizing the older man's tone, Face sighed and turned around so Hannibal could see his back. As Hannibal carefully examined him, he noticed that the tan skin was already starting to bruise, but there were no open wounds. However, as he continued, something else caught his attention. Running across the younger man's back were thin white scars; as he looked closer, Hannibal noted that the scars were old. Reaching out, Hannibal ran a finger over one; this action caused Face to shudder under his touch.
"I'm not bleeding, am I?" Face asked softly, secretly enjoying the older man's hands on his body.
"No." Hannibal shook his head as he sat back and looked at the blonde. "But you're going to be sore as hell in the morning."
"Won't be the first time." Face offered a faint smile. Realizing that his words could be taken the wrong way, he quickly added "I'll just take a long soak in a hot bath when I get back to my apartment."
"It wouldn't hurt for you to take a few painkillers, either," Hannibal added as he patched up the scrap on Face's side. "When was the last time you had a tetanus shot?"
"About a month ago." Face offered a faint smile. "You always make sure we kept up our vaccinations."
Hannibal nodded as he finished bandaging the cut on Face's side before standing up.
"All done, kid."
"Thanks, Hannibal." Face accepted the Colonel's extended hand and stood on shaky feet.
"You sure you're all right?" Smith asked as he held the other man's arm until he regained his balance.
"Yeah," Face nodded as he moved back over to the van and picked up his shirt.
Hannibal moved to stand beside BA, who was making sure that all the bad guys were securely tied up. Looking back over at the van, he watched as Face began to button his shirt. He noted the slight tremble in the long fingers.
"How did Face get the scars on his back?" Hannibal asked BA softly.
BA looked over at Face and didn't speak for a moment as he got his thoughts in order, pushing down the emotions he felt whenever he thought about what had befallen his young friend.
"General Chao is what happened to him." Remembering that Hannibal had no memory of their time in the POW camp, BA elaborated. "The General seemed to take a lot of interest in Face, and enjoyed beating the hell out of him with bamboo canes." BA closed his eyes and took a deep breath. "If it hadn't been for you…" BA shook his head and stopped talking.
"If it hadn't been for me, what?"
"If it hadn't been for you, I think he would have died in that camp." BA finished. "You got him through that hell-hole, Hannibal. You, and only you, could have done that." BA took another deep breath before he continued. "I'm glad that you don't remember when we were captured and tortured, but I wish that you could remember what you two meant to each other."
Before Hannibal could say anything, BA moved away from him and over to the van. Hannibal watched as BA put his hand on Face's shoulder and asked him a question. Face offered a small smile and nodded his head.
'What did we have?' Hannibal thought. "What all have I lost with my memory?" he asked himself, then shook his head. It didn't matter; he wasn't gay.
Face took a drink of his beer and watched as the other men danced around in the bar, drinking and having fun.
"Wouldn't you have fun knowing I was at a gay bar, Colonel." Face laughed to himself. He knew that he'd had too much to drink and should stop, but he couldn't. He had found over the past couple of months that if he drank enough, then the memories of what he had lost didn't hurt as much. However, the problem was now it was taking more and more for him to forget.
"Hey, you want to dance?"
Face glanced up at the handsome, well-built black man smiling down at him. Face looked the other man up and down. The newcomer was just a little taller than he was, with a muscular build, his skin was the color of coffee with a touch of cream, and his dark brown eyes shone with a light of their own. His head was clean-shaven, but he sported a well-trimmed mustache over a set of perfect lips and bright white teeth.
"I don't think so." Face offered a faint smile, realizing that he really had no business being in the bar. It was just nice to not to be by himself or judged by someone about his lifestyle.
"I understand." The man shook his head, obviously thinking the worst of Face for turning him down.
Face reached out and touched the other man's arm before he could walk away. "Let me buy you a drink?"
The other man stared at him for a moment before his smile returned. "Sure I'd like that."
Face signaled the bartender before he turned back to the other man who, he noticed, was checking him out. "My name is Clayton Myers, but my friends call me Clay."
"Nice to meet you, Clay." Face held out his hand. "Templeton Andrews."
Just then the bartender came up to them. "Hey Clay, how are you doing tonight?"
"Doing good, George." Clay flashed as quick smile at the bartender. "Can I get a beer? And bring my friend another one."
"Can do." The bartender pulled out two beers and set them on top of the bar.
Face reached into his pocket to pull out his wallet, but Clay rested his hand over top of his.
"I got this."
"I said I would buy you a drink."
"You can dance with me later to pay me back." Clay winked at him.
"Better watch him, buddy; he's a real charmer." The bartender laughed before moving on to serve another customer. Clay laughed and shook his head before turning back to Face.
"Templeton?" Clay stared at Face, a grin pulling at the corner of his lips. "Really?
"Family name," Face smile back. "It is a little precocious, isn't it?"
"No, no." Clay shook his head. "It's sexy, like you."
Face gave a short laugh as the blush rose in his cheeks.
"I haven't seen you around here before."
"First time I've been here," Face took a drink. "I just moved into the area a few months back."
"So you're new to LA?"
"No, I've lived here all my life. I just moved into this neighborhood," Face yelled as the music suddenly became louder.
"Cool! I live just a few blocks from here, too." Clay frowned as he realized he was yelling to be heard. "Hey, you wouldn't be interested in getting out of here would you?"
Under normal circumstances, Face would have said no right off the bat, but his judgment was impaired by the beer he had consumed, and he was tired of being alone.
"I don't know…" he still hesitated, then a thought popped into his head. "What about your dance?
"Look, I know a great little coffee shop a block from here." Clay smiled as he glanced at his watch. "you can buy breakfast."
"What the hell." Face laughed as he stood up. Clay put his hand on the small of Face's back and guided him through the crowd.
Hannibal could feel the sweat soaking his body as the merciless sun shone down on him. Beside him, BA and Murdock sat quietly, staring at a hut across the camp. He was about to ask them where Face was when a scream filled the air. Murdock hugged his legs to himself and began to rock back and forth, while BA gripped the bamboo bars of the cage, shaking them as hard as he could. As a second scream ripped through the air, Hannibal realized it was Face. When he turned back to the hut, he saw several Vietnamese men smiling knowingly at him. One of them pointed at himself and then to the hut behind them. His smile widened as he said "I'm next" in heavily accented English.
Hannibal woke suddenly, his hand going out to the empty side of the bed beside him. He looked around wildly, searching for something that his mind knew was missing, but now that he was fully awake couldn't figure out what. Scrubbing his face with his hands, Hannibal got up and went to the bathroom, the nagging feeling that he should be looking for something still pulling at the back of his mind.
A few weeks later
Clay looked around the penthouse apartment that Face was currently living in, while Face fixed them each a glass of wine in the kitchen. It was his first time here, and he loved the way that the apartment was decorated in simple yet tasteful furniture. Going to the wall, he looked at the various photos hung there. As Face came out of the kitchen, he turned to smile at him, accepting the wine glass that Face handed him.
"You and your father must really be close." Clay took a sip of his wine as he nodded toward a photo of Face and Hannibal.
Face choked on his wine as he thought of all the times that he and Hannibal had been called father and son.
"No," Face answered when he managed to get his breath back. Of course, a few thumps on the back from Clay helped him. "He's not my Father, he is…" Face stopped and shook his head. "He was my partner."
"How long were you two together?"
"That's a hell of a long time."
"Yes," Face nodded, "it was."
"So what happened? He die?" Clay asked as he moved closer to Face, concern showing in his brown eyes.
"Something like that," Face sighed. When Clay gave him a strange look, Face elaborated without giving away too much detail. "He was in an accident, and he decided that it would be best to end our relationship."
"So, was he disfigured or crippled?"
"No." Face thought, 'we could have worked through that.' "No, he has some issues that he can't get past." Face looked down at his wine before he turned it up and drank it in a few quick swallows. "And, if you don't mind, I'd rather not talk about it."
"Still hurts?" Clay asked as he took Face's empty glass, setting it down before he wrapped his arms around Face, pulling him close.
Face nodded as he allowed himself to take comfort in the other man's arms.
"You have no idea," Face choked.
Clay didn't say another word; he just pulled Face closer, as one of his hands moved to rub Face's back.
"Don't say another word. I understand."
"Do you?" Face pushed back so he could look Clay in the eyes.
"Yeah, man. Just because I'm a man don't mean I can't sympathize." Clay smiled as he brushed the hair out of Face's eyes. "I know what it's like to lose someone. I mean, you aren't my first relationship."
"We have a relationship?" Face laughed. "I thought we were just friends?"
"I don't see why we can't have both," Clay stated as he pulled Face in for a gentle kiss.
"A man, Face?" Hannibal asked, not wanting to believe what his Lieutenant was telling him.
"I told you already, Hannibal, I'm bisexual. I like girls, I like guys. I don't have a preference as long as they make me happy."
Hannibal shook his head, but Murdock grinned happily.
"I'm glad, Face. It's about time you were happy. You've been so miserable. I worry about you being alone."
Face shook his head.
"Not saying it's going to be forever, Murdock. We just started seeing each other."
"But you're happy, Face," he pointed out with a smile. "It's been a while since you've been happy."
Face nodded. It had been a while. In fact, it had been nearly a year since Hannibal's accident, and he still hurt and longed for that relationship every day. Face sighed, looking out the window of the van. Murdock was right, though. It was time to move on, no matter how badly it hurt.
"So, when do we get to meet this new man?" Murdock asked as he glanced up at BA.
"Look, guys, I've only been seeing him for a few weeks. It's not like we're in to a hot and heavy relationship."
"Don't matter. Still want to meet the sucker," BA growled.
Face rolled his eyes, realizing that he wouldn't get any peace until Murdock and BA approved of his new lover.
"Soon." Face offered a slight smile, as BA scowled at him in the rear view mirror. "Real soon."
"Hey Templeton, you feel like going out tonight?" Clay asked as he moved to wrap his arms around Face's waist, before nuzzling the back of his neck.
Face smiled as he felt Clay's arms slip around him. The two had been dating for several months, and just last week each had given the other a key to his apartment.
"I'd love to, but I have a meeting tomorrow morning." Face leaned back to so that Clay could kiss him.
"I can make sure that you get home early."
"The last time you promised me that you would get me home early, I ended up stripped naked in your bed, with you asleep on top of me." Face laughed as Clay nipped the back of his neck.
"Tell me you didn't enjoy it." Clay whispered in Face's ear before nipping it again.
"No, I can't deny it," Face leaned further back giving Clay better access to his throat. "but I have to get up early tomorrow."
"So we stay here and watch movies on the couch."
Face closed his eyes as he fought the memory of lying on the couch with his head in the Colonel's lap while Hannibal played with his hair, as they watched old monster movies together. As the memory slammed into his defenses, Face felt the sudden urge to get away.
"I changed my mind. Let's go out."
Face sat at the bar, watching Clay dance with several men on the dance floor. He had wanted out of the apartment so badly, and had jumped at the chance to go out. Now that he was at the night club, Face was starting to wish he had stayed home. He finished his drink and turned around to order another, jumping when he felt a pair of hands rest on his shoulders.
"Hey, relax, baby," Clay whispered in his ear.
"Sorry." Face smiled at the other man.
"You know, I have something that would make you feel a whole lot better." The older man pulled out a pill and showed it to Face.
"Clay, I can't do drugs."
"Templeton, it's not going to hurt you."
"No, you don't understand." Face shook his head. "I'm a Vietnam vet. I have enough messed up stuff going on in my head as it is…"
"Trust me, I wouldn't give you anything that would mess you up." Clay smiled.
"What is it?"
"Something that will set you free." Clay smiled again as he pulled Face into his arms.
"Really, Clay, what was it?"
"Ecstasy." Clay nipped at Face's neck again. "And you are going to enjoy the hell out of it."
"I can't." Face stepped back.
"It's all right." Clay popped the pill in his mouth. "You don't want it, you don't have to take it. I'm not going to force you to take anything, but at least come dance with me."
"All right." Face smiled at Clay as he allowed the other man to guide him to the dance floor. Clay wrapped his arms around Face as they swayed to the beat of the music, their bodies grinding together.
As Face danced with Clay, he couldn't get over how different he was from Hannibal. While Clay was just as gentle with him as the Colonel had been, Clay didn't care if people knew he was gay. He often took Face's hand in his while they were walking down the street, and he loved to take Face out to different night clubs where they could be an open couple. But perhaps the biggest difference was that Clay loved to go out and dance, whereas Hannibal preferred quite evenings at home. Face loved every minute in the life that he had spent with Hannibal, but if he let himself be honest, he found that he loved being out and open with Clay.
Both men had been dancing for hours, and they were covered in sweat, though neither showed any sign of slowing. Clay moved to lock his mouth onto Face's, his tongue invading the blonde's.
"You know, we could go back to my place," Clay whispered in Face's ear before he began to suck on Face's jaw and neck.
"Hmm…" Face closed his eyes as he enjoyed the feel of the other man's mouth on him. The two had been dating for months, and they had yet to have sex. They had fooled around and slept naked with each other, but never gone all the way. Face just hadn't been ready, and, to his credit, Clay hadn't pushed him, either. "What would we do if we went back to your place?" Face moaned as Clay bit down on his neck.
"Anything you want, baby," Clay purred in Face's ear just before he bit the blonde's neck in another place. "Have a quiet drink, or maybe strip you down and do something nasty."
"Let's go," Face growled as he nipped at Clay's lips.
"You're late." Hannibal glared at Face as he walked through the warehouse toward his team members.
"Shh, don't yell, please." Face adjusted his sunglasses so that they covered his eyes better.
"Are you hung-over, Lieutenant?" Hannibal stood, a frown pulling at the corners of his mouth.
"No. To be hung over, I would have to have stopped drinking." Face laughed as he dropped down in a chair.
"You know we have a job…"
"No, we don't, Hannibal." Face leaned back farther in the chair. "The last four jobs that we've had, I got, since you have no idea how to even begin screening clients. You just want to get all your 'boys' together to make sure we are all right," Face laughed.
Hannibal stood up and moved so that he was standing over Face.
"Take your glasses off when you talk to me, Lieutenant," he growled.
"Hannibal, I was up late, and it's bright in here," Face started to whine.
"I said take them off," Hannibal commanded. He might not remember his Lieutenant from later years, but there were things that he did remember from when the young man had first joined his unit. Things that he had hoped would never rear their ugly heads again.
"No." Face moved to sit up straight in his chair. "If you want me to take them off, you can ask me like a human being, instead of barking out orders."
BA glanced over at Murdock, who was staring back at him in complete disbelief.
Over the last few months, Face had seemed to change. He wasn't going to say that it was all for the bad, since the younger man seemed to be getting over Hannibal and moving on with his life. But there was something going on, as his mood could change from happy to violent in a matter of seconds.
"Come on, Face. Hannibal was just asking."
"No, he was just commanding." Face turned his head in Murdock's direction, but the pilot couldn't tell if he was looking at him because of the dark lenses. "Just like he always does."
Hannibal took a deep breath. He and Face had been trying their best to get along and become friends again, but there were times that he was sure Face deliberately pushed his buttons.
"Face, would you please take off your glasses and look at me."
Face turned his head back to Hannibal. He looked at the older man for a minute before he reached up to remove the sunglasses. Folding them carefully, he put them in his jacket pocket.
"Are you happy now, Colonel?"
Hannibal looked down at Face, who was staring at him with a defiant look in his eyes. Other than being a little bloodshot, they looked all right, but there was one sure way to find out if his Lieutenant had been up to anything besides a few too many cocktails. Hannibal reached in his pocket and pulled out his lighter. He flicked the plastic lighter and the flame jumped to life. Face's pupils instantly contracted.
"Happy," Face asked as he stared at the older man, "Colonel?"
"Very much so, Lieutenant," Hannibal answered he as he let the flame die before sticking the lighter back into his pocket and standing up. Though he moved back away from the younger man, he didn't take his eyes off of him.
"Couldn't even keep the lighter I gave you," Face mumbled as he returned Hannibal's stare.
"I felt it was inappropriate…" Hannibal started, but Face blew up before he could finish.
"Inappropriate?" Face stood up abruptly, causing his chair to tip over. "It's a fucking lighter, for God's sake!"
"Lieutenant, this is not the time…"
"To hell with this!" Face shook his head. "I'm out of here!"
"Where are you going, Face?" Murdock yelled as Face quickly moved across the warehouse.
"To be with someone who loves me," Face shot back just before he slammed the door behind him.
Face drove around for several hours, not really caring where he was going. Every time he thought he was over Hannibal, the other man would do or say something that would set him off. This time it was the lighter, a simple gift that he had bought the other man, nothing more than that, and yet Hannibal was now refusing to use it.
It wasn't long before he found himself in front of Clay's office building, staring at the front of the building.
"What the hell," he sighed as he got out of the car and walked across the parking lot.
Clay looked up when he heard a soft knock on his office door.
"Mr. Myer, there is someone here to see you."
"I don't remember having any appointments." Clay looked up at his secretary. "Who is it?"
"It's a Mr. Andrews, sir."
"Please show him in." Clay quickly saved the file he was working on and turned his back to the door to so he could put his file away.
"Hey, Clay," Face smiled as he walked into the office. "I was wondering if you would like to have lunch me."
"You know, I would. Just let me put this away." Clay turned back to look at Face and froze. "What's wrong, Templeton?"
"Nothing," Face tried to brighten his smile, but the other man still continued to stare at him. "Really, there is nothing wrong."
Clay continued to study Face.
"You have a fight with your ex?"
"No," Face sighed. "Not a fight. I just came to the realization that it's completely over."
"Yeah." Face nodded.
"Tell you what. Instead of lunch, what do you say I call it a day and we go do something?"
"I can't take you away from your job."
"Hey, I own the company, and if I want to call it an early day, then I can." Clay turned and picked up his sports coat. "So, what would you like to do?"
"Just lunch today." Face smiled. "I have a few things to do when I get home this afternoon. Though if you want, I'll meet you Saturday and we'll do something then."
"All right. Lunch today, and Saturday we go for a big night out."
Face looked at the last photo of Hannibal and himself before he carefully packed it along with the rest of them. It had taken him six hours, along with over a dozen beers, to get them all packed. The reason it had taken him so long wasn't because of the number of photos he had, but because as he took each one off the wall, he would think about where it was taken and how much Hannibal had loved him.
Closing the lid on the box, Face carried it to the bedroom and shoved it into the back of the closet. With the box safely stored, Face went back into the living room and went straight to the apartment's bar. However, instead of getting another beer, Face pulled out a bottle of bourbon and cracked open the top before moving to the couch. He had three days before he had to meet Clay, and he planned on being drunk for every one of those days.
The next morning, Face was working on his second bottle of bourbon, his fingers absently spinning the cylinder of his .357 loaded revolver. The only reason that he didn't have to worry about alcohol poisoning was that he had already thrown up most of the first bottle a few hours earlier, just before he had passed out. Now, as he began to feel the effects of his drinking binge wearing off, he decided it was time to start again, before the pain became too much. Face spun the cylinder with his fingers again.
It would be so easy, he thought. Just point, Face raised the gun to his temple, and squeeze. His finger toyed with the trigger.
Leaning back on the couch, Face slid the gun farther back so that it was just behind his right ear.
"I'll make a better looking corpse," he muttered as he took a large swallow of the bourbon. He was just feeling the amber liquid slide down his throat when he heard his front door open. Any other time, he would have jumped to his feet, ready to confront the intruder and defend himself if necessary, but today he didn't care. At this point in time, it could have been Colonel Decker or General Chao, and he wouldn't have cared. Right now, the only thing that kept him from killing himself was knowing what it would do to Murdock and BA.
"Hey Templeton, I thought I would surprise you and take you out to dinner." Clay's voice called out. "Templeton, you home?"
"Go away," Face groaned. He was not up to seeing anyone right now, least of all his new lover.
"Templeton, what the hell is going on?" Clay moved around the side of the couch so he could see the younger man better. He stopped dead in his tracks when he saw Face holding the gun to his head.
"Templeton," he said quietly, "drop the gun and talk to me."
"Just leave me alone." Face sighed. "I just want to be alone right now." The gun never moved from the back of his head.
"I don't think that would be a good idea." Clay moved so that he was kneeling in front of Face. "Now, give me the gun, and we'll talk about what's going on."
"I don't want to talk about it." Face stared out the window. "I don't want to feel this pain anymore," he whispered as he tightened his finger on the trigger.
The split second that the hammer was about to fall, Clay grabbed the gun and jerked it up toward the ceiling, away from Face's head, as the deafening roar filled the room and the bullet impacted the ceiling.
"What the hell were you thinking?" Clay threw the gun across the room before grabbing Face by the shoulders. "Have you lost your fucking mind!"
"I just want it to stop hurting," Face sobbed as he buried his face in his hands.
"Stop hurting!" Clay stared at Face in disbelief. "Do you have any idea what you are doing? You fool! You could have blown your fucking head off!"
"Leave me alone." Face shoved back against Clay, trying to get away.
"There is no way I am leaving you alone. Not when you're like this."
Angry that Clay wouldn't leave him to his misery, Face took a swing at the person holding him. The only thing that kept Clay from being seriously injured was the fact that Face was completely drunk. Face's blow glanced off Clay's shoulder. Instead of getting angry, Clay pulled Face into his arms, rubbing the younger man's back.
"I'm sorry." He hugged Face close to his body, keeping the blonde from struggling free. "It's going to be all right, Templeton. I'm here for you."
"No." Face shook his head. "It's never going to be all right again." Face sobbed as the emotional barriers finally broke.
A month later…
Face laughed as Clay made their waiter blush by kissing him right there in the middle of the restaurant. Once again, he remembered that there was no way Hannibal would ever do something like this, but for the first time in a long time, he didn't care.
"You know, you are something else." Face shook his head as he took a drink of his wine.
"What? Because I don't believe in being ashamed of who or what I am?" Clay asked. "I'm gay, and hiding it from people is not going to change that." When Clay watched Face turn away, he reached out and squeezed his hand. "I'm not judging you, baby. I'm talking about myself. Everyone is different." When Face turned back to look at him, he smiled. "But you have to remember there is no reason to be ashamed for what you are." With that, Clay moved forward to kiss Face again.
Two weeks later
"Hey, guys!" Face yelled out as he and Clay came walking across the park, carrying a cooler between them. Setting the cooler beside the table, Face stepped back so that Murdock could give him a hug.
"Hey, Face, where have you been?" Murdock asked as he looked over at Clay. "I mean, what has it been? A month now?"
"Been busy," Face gasped as Murdock squeezed harder. "And you're breaking my ribs."
"Let him go, fool," BA growled as he moved to stand behind the pilot. Reaching out, he pulled the pilot off of the conman. Giving Murdock a slight shove out of the way, BA moved so he could squeeze Face's shoulder. "You doing all right, little brother?"
"Not too bad." Face smiled, then turned so that Clay could be seen by his friends. "Murdock, BA, this is Clay Myers."
"Nice to meet you guys." Clay moved forward to stand beside Face, extending his hand.
"Nice to meet you, too." Murdock accepted Clay's hand and began to shake it profusely. "Very nice to meet you indeed."
After a minute, Face stepped forward and intervened.
"Uh, Murdock, would you please let go?"
"Oh, sorry!" The Captain smiled at Clay. "Got a little carried away."
"That's 'cause you a fool," BA growled at Murdock. However, his eyes were on Clay, sizing him up, judging if the other man was good enough for Face.
When Clay extended his hand, BA looked at it and growled, "You take care of him."
"I plan to." Clay turned to Face and smiled.
"So, where is Hannibal?" Face asked as he glanced at his watch. "Normally, I'm the one who is fashionably late."
"He called the van, and said he was going to be a little late. His date wasn't ready yet," Murdock informed him.
When BA snorted, Face turned to look at him.
"Is there a problem?"
"Yeah, man's going through women so fast that it puts you to shame."
"Guess he hasn't found what he's looking for," Face offered.
"He had what he needed," BA grumbled as he looked at Face, then turned his back on them.
"You have to forgive the big guy." Murdock looked over at Clay. "He has a habit of forgetting his manners."
"What manners?" Face laughed.
"So true," Murdock smiled as he shook his head.
After several minutes, Murdock was entertaining Clay with the possibilities that dolphins were actually beings from other planets who were gathering information for an invading army. Having heard this particular story on a number of different occasions, Face took the opportunity to talk to BA, who was tending to the BBQ grill.
"You're not upset with me for bringing Clay, are you?"
"No, man." BA shook his head as he looked at Face. "Glad to see you got someone."
"You don't seem happy, not like you use to be." BA looked at the grill as he spoke.
When Face didn't answer, BA looked over at him, noting that Face was staring off into the distance. The two were silent for a few moments before BA spoke again.
"So, you love this Clay guy?"
Face looked up at the sky and took a deep breath before letting it out slowly.
"I don't think I can ever truly love anyone again. I can't take the pain of being rejected."
"You know you're always welcome to join me and Murdock."
Face looked into BA's brown eyes and smiled at the love he saw reflected back at him. "I appreciate that I really do."
"But," BA added with a smile, mimicking Face from earlier in their conversation.
"That part of my life is over. I love the two of you, but I can't…" Face shrugged as he realized that he didn't need to say anything else.
BA nodded as a grin pulled at the corner of his lips.
"Shame. Kind of enjoyed having you in the middle again." BA's chuckle turned into a laugh as Face began to blush
"You are impossible," Face huffed as his cheeks darkened.
"Is this a private conversation, or can anyone join in?" Clay asked as he approached the two men, holding out a beer for Face and a carton of milk for BA.
"Might like him after all," BA muttered as he took the carton from Clay.
"He's pretty good to have around from time to time." Face smiled as he leaned into Clay's side, the other man wrapping his arm around Face's waist and pulling him in closer.
A few minutes later, a car pulled into the parking lot beside Face's 'Vette, then Hannibal emerged from the driver's-side door.
"How late are we?" Hannibal called out.
"No worse than normal," Face laughed, though he had to admit it was rare that Hannibal was ever late for anything. When the Colonel said he was going to be someplace at a certain time, he was there.
Moving to the passenger's side of the car, Hannibal opened the door and helped a large-breasted blonde out.
"Well, isn't she just cute," Murdock mumbled as he moved over to BA. "Five to one her name is Candy."
"Nope," Face shook his head. "It's Bubbles."
"You've got to be kidding me!" Murdock turned to Face in complete disbelief.
"She works at the studio and had been chasing after Hannibal for years. Guess she finally won." Face sighed as he dropped his head for a second. However, when he lifted it again, he had a perfect smile in place. "Let me guess - you wanted to make an entrance."
"You know me too well, kid." Hannibal laughed as he approached.
"That I do." Face turned his attention to the woman, who was now hanging on the Colonel's arm. "How are you doing Bubbles?"
"Just great, Tempy," she giggled at him.
Face shuddered at the name. He hated being called Temp, and the name Tempy was enough to make him puke. Deciding that he had done his part to be nice, Face turned to Clay. "Hannibal, I'd like you to meet Clay Myers; Clay, this is my CO from Vietnam, John Smith, though we call him Hannibal."
"Nice to meet you, sir." Clay moved forward and again offered his hand. He knew that Face's former lover was an older man from the photographs he had seen, but he was shocked by the strength in the other man's handshake, and the sharpness in the icy blue eyes that seemed to be able to stare directly into his soul.
"Now, that everyone here knows each other, can we eat?" BA growled.
"Ah, the team's stomach has spoken." Murdock laughed, then jumped out of the way as BA took an easy swing at him.
"Shut up, fool." BA growled as he moved toward the grill.
"That's funny," Hannibal laughed as Face finished his story. "You mean that I actually ordered you guys to do that?"
"If you hadn't, I wouldn't have told it." Face smiled, enjoying seeing the sparkle in Hannibal's blue eyes.
"And, of course, you made sure that I got what I asked for."
"You know I did."
"You were the best, kid," Hannibal smiled.
"What do you mean 'were'? I still am the best," Face answered, giving Hannibal his best indignant look.
"All right, still the best." Hannibal laughed as he reached over and gave Face's shoulders a quick squeeze.
Face sat there for a second and closed his eyes against the pain that the one brief touch caused him.
"If you'll excuse me for a second." Face got up and moved off toward a small grove of trees, making sure that the others couldn't see the emotions he was feeling.
"Excuse me, gentlemen." Clay got up from his seat and quickly followed Face.
Clay found Face leaning against a tree, looking at the sky, his blue-green eyes unfocused in thought.
"I can see why you love him." Clay smiled at Face as he placed a gentle hand on the blonde's shoulder.
"We don't have a relationship anymore." Face turned his gaze on his lover.
"Still doesn't mean that you can't love him." Clay brushed a stray blonde hair off Face's forehead. "Or that you don't want him."
"Yes, I want him," Face looked over at Hannibal, who was staring at him, a look of anger building on the older man's handsome face. Templeton Peck shook his head and dropped his gaze so that his Colonel couldn't see the pain he was feeling. "I'll always want him."
"I'm sorry, Templeton." Clay pulled him in for a tight hug and kissed him gently. "What can I do to help get him out of your mind? What can I do to help get rid of the pain?"
"Nothing." Face looked at the other man that cared so much for him. "God help me, you can't do anything." Face dropped his head and sank to the ground as the pain of his loss overcame him.
"Come here, baby." Clay pulled Face off the ground and hugged him tight to his chest. "It's going to take time, but I promise it'll get better, and I'll be there for you."
Face turned his head and saw Hannibal with his bimbo of a date, who was talking and snapping her gum. He stood beside her and pretended to help her with opening the top of a soda can, but Face could tell that he was really watching him out of the corner of his eye, a frown pulling heavily at the corners of his mouth.
Face turned his head into Clay's neck as he once again fought down his emotions. He remembered all the times that Hannibal had held him and soothed away his pain. As the first tear managed to work its way out of his eyes and soak his lover's shirt, Clay pulled him in closer.
"I'm sorry, Templeton," he whispered into Face's ear as he hugged him.
"I want to go home," Face sighed as he allowed himself to relax in Clay's arms
"All right, baby." Clay kissed Face gently before moving to wrap his arm around the other man's waist and guide him toward the car.
Hannibal watched from his seat at the picnic table as Clay wrapped his arms around Face, hugging him tight to his body before kissing him. Suddenly, Hannibal found himself jealous of the black man holding his Lieutenant, but he couldn't understand why he felt the way he did.
Hannibal turned back to his date and tried to listen to what she was telling him, but he found it impossible to think about anything except that the kid was in someone else's arms. The problem was Face wasn't a kid anymore. Sure, he would always be a "kid" to Hannibal, but the younger man had grown up. He was still thin and full of sass, but he had also filled out and become a man in his own right, not the young teen Hannibal had first encountered in Vietnam. Hannibal shook his head as if to clear it. 'It doesn't matter how good-looking he is. I'm not gay" he told himself yet again.
Hannibal turned back to the hut. He saw several Vietnamese men smiling knowingly at him. One of them pointed at himself and then to the hut behind them. His smile widened as he said "I'm next" in heavily-accented English.
He gripped the bars of the bamboo cage as rage engulfed him. He yelled at the guards that if they touched Face, he would kill them. He wanted nothing more than to kill every one of them for hurting Face. Another scream broke the silence and Hannibal called out to him at the top of his lungs.
A few seconds later, he woke realizing that he was the one screaming, and the name he had been screaming was "Tem".
"Come on, hit me again!" Face laughed as he blocked the punch Clay had thrown at him and threw one back at the other man, tapping him lightly on the shoulder. "You got to move faster than that."
"Damn, you move fast." Clay shook his head as he put his hands back up, trying to block the next punch coming at him.
The two had been sparring in the gym for over an hour, and both men were completely covered in sweat.
Clay managed to duck, and punched Face in the ribs as the he pulled back after hitting him in the chest. Face grunted in pain, but rushed the other man instead of backing off. He landed several good blows before Clay got a good one in to the side of Face's head. Despite the gloves and protective gear, Face saw a flash of stars behind his eyes. Out of training and nothing more, Face came back swinging with everything he had. Realizing that something wasn't right, Clay backed up and did his best to keep out of the younger man's reach.
"Stop it, Templeton!" Clay called out as Face came towards him. "It's Clay! Relax, man."
Face froze where he stood and looked at his lover before the anger left his face and horror filled it.
"Oh, God, I'm sorry."
Clay managed to pull off one of his gloves and began to unlace the other. Once they were off, he pulled Face into his arms.
"It's all right! No harm, no foul"
"No, you don't understand! I could have hurt you!" Face tried to pull back, but Clay wouldn't let him go. The two men stared at each other for a moment before Clay began to chuckle.
"You know, you look pretty hot when you're angry."
"Fuck you," Face laughed as the tension between them broke.
"I'd love to." Clay grinned as he leaned into Face to kiss him long and hard. "How about we go home and I make good on it?"
"Deal!" Face smiled as he kissed the other man back long and hard, not worrying about the other people around them.
Face looked at himself in the mirror and sighed. His chest and ribs were starting to bruise from the sparring match at the gym earlier. Face had to admit that Clay had one heck of a punch, and even though they had kept the sparring light, both of them were covered in bruises.
"Templeton," Clay called out softly as he opened the bathroom door. "You all right?"
Face looked up at Clay in the mirror, and nodded. "Yeah, you?"
"Going to be sore as hell in the morning." Clay offered a slight smile. "You sure have one hell of a punch."
"We really need to find a better way to keep in shape." Face smiled back at Clay in the mirror.
"This way is getting a little rough," Clay sighed as he moved up behind Face, wrapping his arms around the blonde's slim waist.
"What do you suggest?" Face asked as he moved his head to the side, allowing Clay better access as he felt the other man's breath against his ear.
"How about we try some cardio?" he whispered as he kissed the back of Face's neck, "I hear that sex is a great workout."
"Me, too." Face turned into the other man's body so that he could kiss him long and hard before breaking it off.
"What do you say we start now?" Clay asked as he attacked Face's mouth with his own.
Hannibal sat looking out the window as the moon shone on the waves. He had just woken from the same nightmare that he'd had almost every night since Face had left the house. Each time, the dream would last a little longer, and each time he would feel a desperate need to find Face, to hold him and make sure that he was safe. And though he kept telling himself that he wasn't gay, he knew that without Face around he would worry about the younger man.
The team had been vastly outnumbered when the fight started, but within a matter of minutes the odds had moved into their favor. However, they were also growing tired, and it was starting to slow.
Murdock almost had his man down; BA was still wrestling with his opponent, Hannibal had a few more good punches to go before he was through with his thug, and Face had just finished off his adversary.
Face assessed who needed his help the most and decided it was Murdock. He had just taken a few steps when a big man stepped out from behind a truck, where he had been hiding. Picking up a fallen limb, he moved up behind Face and struck him in the side of the head.
Hannibal spun around as the thug he was fighting with pivoted from his blow. His heart leaped into his throat as he watched Face take a hard blow to the head and go down like a rag doll.
Face struggled to get up when the bad guy kicked him in the stomach with enough force to flip him onto his back. Not being able to get up or defend himself, Face curled into a ball, trying his best to protect his midsection.
Hannibal instantly saw red, his anger turning into rage as he saw the man brutally attack his downed Lieutenant. Pulling his fist back, he slammed his opponent in the jaw, knocking him out cold.
Moving with incredible speed and stealth, he came up behind the big man who was kicking Face in the side without mercy. Hannibal clamped his hand on the other man's shoulder and spun him around, landing a punch to the thug's nose, smashing it flat against his face.
The goon grabbed his busted nose, giving Hannibal a chance to punch him again, knocking him flat. Dropping down on top of the big man, Hannibal grabbed him by the front of the shirt and pounded on the other man until he was unconscious.
Hannibal quickly looked over at Murdock, and noticed that BA was already moving to help him. Knowing that the other two members of his team were mopping up the thugs, Hannibal moved to where Face lay on the ground, unmoving. Dropping to his knees, Hannibal quickly scanned Face's body for injury, but the way he was laying on his side didn't allow him a very good view.
"Face," Hannibal called out as he grasped the blonde's shoulder. When he didn't get a response, he tried again, squeezing the shoulder a little harder as he spoke louder. "Come on, kid; answer me." Just like the first time he tried, Face didn't move. Being extremely careful of his neck, Hannibal gently turned Face so that he was lying on his back.
What he saw made his heart ache with a pain he never remembered feeling before. Face was bleeding profusely from a wound just at the edge of his hairline; the blood was streaming from the wound, covering half the younger man's handsome features in a red, sticky mess.
"Damn!" Hannibal cursed as he took off his jacket. Folding it, he placed it under Face's head before ripping a sleeve off his shirt. Not being anywhere near the van, he was limited on options when it came to medical supplies, but the Colonel had always been a fast thinker. Folding the sleeve in half, he covered the bleeding head wound and pressed down gently. As he applied more pressure to stop the flow, Face began to moan, and try to turn his head away.
At first, all Face could feel was a sharp, driving pain in his head, but as the minutes passed and he started to awaken from blackness, he became aware of a constant throbbing and pressure. Reaching up, he tried to push away whatever was pressing down on his head, hoping that if it was gone it would make the pain go away.
Hannibal easily grabbed Face's wrist as the younger man pushed at his hand. As he continued to hold the younger man's wrist, Face became more and more agitated.
"Let go!" Face moaned as he tried to bring his other hand up to push the Colonel's hand away from his throbbing temple.
Hannibal let go of the bandage for a second; and with great ease captured Face's other hand. Knowing he had to keep pressure on the head wound, he pulled Face's arm down, and pinned the corner of the younger man's jacket under his knee, effectively immobilizing Face's free arm. He then went back to applying pressure to the still-bleeding head wound.
"Stop!" Face struggled to get away from the pain, but his injuries had left him too weak to put up any type of real struggle. "Please stop!"
"Be still, kid," Hannibal commanded softly.
"Hannibal?" Face tried to focus his eyes on the figure kneeling over him, but there was something red clouding his vision.
"Just me." Hannibal smiled as he used his free hand to wipe the blood from Face's eyes.
Face tried to sit up, but Hannibal gently pushed him back down. "Shh, be still," he said, his hands moving to stroke the bloody hair off the young man's forehead. "I don't know how bad you're injured yet."
"I'm okay." Face closed his eyes and sighed as he felt his former lover's hands in his hair. "Just going to have a headache for a while."
"I still want to check you over." Hannibal stared down at Face. He couldn't explain what he was feeling, but he couldn't ever remember feeling this way before. Moving his knee, Hannibal freed the hand that he had pinned and placed it over the cloth on the head wound. "Keep pressure on it."
"It hurts," Face complained as he did what he was told.
"I know." Hannibal ran his finger tips over Face's cheek; when the younger man shuddered he stopped himself. "I'm sorry." Hannibal moved back away from the younger man as he realized what he was doing.
Face opened his eyes and saw the shame in the older man's eyes. He was about to tell Hannibal not to go when Murdock knelt down beside him.
"You all right, Face?
"Yeah, I'm fine." Face tried to sit up, but Hannibal moved forward to push him flat again.
"No, he's not." Hannibal glared at Face before turning to look at BA, who was coming up behind them after tying up the bad guys. "BA, can you get the van back here?"
"Sure, man; shouldn't be a problem," BA answered as he noted the tracks of other vehicles. "You be still, little brother, and I'll have you out of here in no time." BA leaned down to squeeze Face's shoulder before jogging off to get the van.
Face rolled his eyes as he started to sit up.
"Why is everyone acting like I'm…" His words stopped as he groaned and lay flat back on his back.
"Now will you listen and do what you were told?" Hannibal asked as he moved to kneel beside Face. Noting that the bandage was soaked through with blood, he tore off his other sleeve and folded it over before pressing it to Face's head.
"Sorry," Face muttered as he fought down the sudden wave of nausea that he was feeling, a battle that he was quickly loosing.
Seeing the look on the younger man's face, Hannibal grabbed Face's shoulder while cradling his neck, supporting it with his arm.
"Roll him," he ordered, and Murdock moved into action. A second later, Face began to throw up the contents of his stomach, a sure sign of the concussion from which he was suffering.
"Sorry, guys…" Face tried to apologize, but Hannibal stopped him.
"Shh." Hannibal's hands moved to Face's hair on their own, fingers brushing the bloodstained hair. "Just be still."
Face nodded his head slightly as he closed his eyes, suddenly feeling too tired to protest.
"You sure about this?" Face looked up at Hannibal as the older man set the water down beside the nightstand.
"You have a concussion, Face." Hannibal turned back to the blonde as he pulled the blankets up around his shoulders. "You don't need to be alone."
"I can call Clay. He wouldn't mind picking me up…"
"And does he know what to do if he can't get you to respond?"
"Most likely not, but I could tell him what to look for."
"Or you could just stay here." Hannibal stood up and moved to the bedroom door before turning the light off. "If you need me, just call," he said softly as he closed the door behind him.
Face looked around the room, the room that he used to share with Hannibal. He closed his eyes and took in a deep breath, taking in the older man's unique scent.
"I need you, John," he whispered to himself. "Oh, God! I still need you!"
Hannibal moved into the living room. Sitting down on the couch, he laid his head back and closed his eyes.
"How is he?" Murdock asked as he looked over at the Colonel.
"Beat all to hell," Hannibal answered, not bothering to look at the other man. "He's got so many bruises on him, I don't know where one stops and another starts."
"The bad guys do seem to like to go after Face." Murdock shook his head. 'If they only knew what they were getting themselves into, they would stand in line to fight BA.'
"Bastards have always seemed to single him out." Hannibal lifted his head to look at the bedroom door.
"What?" BA, who had been in the kitchen, came in carrying a sandwich and a glass of milk.
"I said that the bastards have always seemed to single him…" Hannibal stopped as he turned to look at BA, realizing what he had said, then turned back to look at the bedroom door.
"You're starting to remember."
Hannibal nodded, though he didn't look at the other two men.
"It seems to be coming back to me in flashes. I get pieces here and there…" Hannibal stopped and took a deep breath. "I keep having nightmares of the camp."
"That's great! It means that you might remember what you two had…"
"It doesn't mean anything!" Hannibal snapped. "And if I had feelings for him in that way, it wouldn't matter. He's in a relationship with someone else."
"Those two aren't right for each other." Murdock shook his head. "Face needs someone like you, someone who will look after him to make sure he…" Murdock stopped when he realized what he was saying.
"I know what he needs," Hannibal snapped as he left, went to the guest bedroom, and slammed the door.
"Damn! I sure put my foot in it, didn't I?"
BA moved to sit down next to the pilot.
"You're just stating facts," he sighed as he looked at the two closed bedroom doors.
Hannibal sat down on the edge of the bed and stared out the window. He was starting to experience feelings that he had never had before, or at least feelings that he couldn't ever remember having. When he had seen Face hit, he felt as though he had been hurt, and seeing the younger man bruised and battered had made him want to hold Face and reassure him that he would make everything all right. That he would protect him and keep him safe from harm.
Getting up, he moved to the window and stared out at the stars. The others had told him that he and Face were lovers, and he had tried his best to deny it, but each and every day he felt like a part of him was missing, and every night, his dreams told him that part of his soul was missing.
Was it possible that Face truly was that missing piece? Could the young man sleeping in the other room make the loneliness he was feeling go away? Hannibal shook his head. What did it matter if Face could fill the need? He wasn't gay.
Later that night, Hannibal got up to check on Face. As he looked down at the sleeping man in the bed, he hated to wake him, but he knew that Face had a concussion and had to be awakened every few hours to make sure he hadn't slipped into unconsciousness.
"Face?" He gently shook the younger man's shoulder. When he got no response, he shook him with just a little more force. "Face, I need you to wake up."
"Please, John, just five more minutes," Face moaned as he shifted onto his side, pulling the blankets up over his head.
Hannibal smiled and shook his head.
"Not happening, kid. I need to make sure you're all right. Now, sit up and talk to me for a minute."
Face moaned in frustration, but did as he was told.
"Do you know what today is?" Hannibal asked as he pulled back the bandage from Face's head, so he could look the wound over.
"Yeah, it's the day after I got run over by a tank."
Hannibal sat back to look at Face, his eyes full of concern.
"I'm just kidding." Face smiled. "If you let me sleep through the night, which I doubt, then it would be Friday, but since I know you, it's still Thursday and I've most likely been asleep for three or four hours."
"You know me," Hannibal chuckled as he taped the bandage back down. "But I promise the next time I wake you up, it'll be Friday."
"For some reason that doesn't make me feel any better," Face sighed as he sank back down into the bed. "See you in three hours?"
"In three." Hannibal nodded as he pulled the blankets back up around Face's shoulders.
When Hannibal went in to check on Face a few hours later, he noticed that Face wasn't in the bedroom. However, the living room light was on, so he went down the hall. Upon entering, he noted that Face was sitting on the couch, looking out at the ocean.
"You should be in bed, resting." Hannibal commented as he moved to stand in front of the younger man.
"I couldn't sleep."
"Face, you have a head injury. You don't need to be up on your feet…"
"I can't, I can't…" Face paused and took a deep breath. "I can't sleep in our old bed."
"Please, Hannibal, I know that you don't want to believe, but there are memories in that room that I can't deal with. Please…" Face dropped his head to hide the emotions that he had fought so hard to suppress over the last two years.
"I understand, kid." Hannibal reached out and touched Face's cheek before sliding his fingers under the younger man's chin and lifting his head. "How about you just stretch out on the couch?"
Face nodded. Not saying another word, he lay down; Hannibal moved beside him and pulled the blanket off the back, covering him. Deciding that it would be best to give Face some privacy, Hannibal went back to the guest bed room to lie down, then closed his eyes and fell asleep.
Hannibal could feel the sweat soaking his body as the merciless sun shone down on him. Beside him, BA and Murdock sat quietly, staring at a hut across the camp. He was about to ask them where Face was when a scream filled the air. Murdock hugged his legs to himself and began to rock back and forth, while BA gripped the bamboo bars of the cage, shaking them as hard as he could. As a second scream ripped through the air, Hannibal realized it was Face. When he turned back to the hut, he saw several Vietnamese men smiling knowingly at him. One of them pointed at himself and then to the hut behind them. His smile widened as he said "I'm next" in heavily accented English.
Hannibal gripped the bars of the bamboo cage as rage engulfed him. He yelled at the guards that if they touched Face, he would kill them. He wanted nothing more than to kill every one of them for hurting the man he loved.
Hannibal sat up in the bed, sweat dripping down his face. He reached over for his lover, and his heart skipped a beat when he touched the cold empty spot.
"Tem!" he called out once, and then the weight of everything came crashing down on top of him.
When Hannibal went into the living room, he found Face still asleep, his blonde bangs covering his eyes. Carefully sitting down on the edge of the couch, he brushed the hair back and studied the younger man's face.
"You don't have to wake him, Colonel. I checked on him about half an hour ago," Murdock said quietly from the doorway of the kitchen. "He's grouchy, but coherent."
"Good." Hannibal smiled, not bothering to look up as he ran his fingers through the blonde strands, his eyes studying every detail of the younger man's face. "I'm glad that you got to hear him complain instead of me."
"Hannibal, are you all right?"
"I remember." Hannibal's voice was barely audible.
"What?" Murdock asked his Colonel.
"I remember," he repeated. This time his voice strong and clear
"You remember everything?" Murdock moved closer to the Hannibal so that he could talk without waking Face.
Hannibal nodded, his eyes never leaving Face.
"It's like it was never lost." Hannibal sighed deeply as his hands continued to stroke Face's hair. "I've been having these dreams since he left, and when I would wake, I couldn't shake the feeling that he should be here. Then, after I saw him hurt yesterday…" Hannibal stopped. It hurt too much, remembering Face lying on the ground, bleeding. "I think that was the thing that pushed my memories back."
"This is great! You can tell Face and…"
"I'm not going to tell Face, and you need to keep your voice down before you wake him." Hannibal warned.
"Have you lost your mind?" Murdock hissed.
"He has a life with Clay now. It wouldn't be right for me to do that to him."
"You should still tell him. You owe him that much after all he has been through."
"I'll think about it, but don't you say one word to him."
"Don't tell who what?" Face asked, his voice groggy with sleep.
"That you might end up with a scar." Hannibal smiled softly as a pair of confused blue green eyes turned to look at him. "How are you feeling, kid?"
"Head hurts." Face tried to rub his forehead, but a gentle hand stopped him.
"Don't rub it." Hannibal spoke softly as his free hand once more stroked the fallen hair out of Face's eyes. "You'll open the wound."
Face studied the older man's face closely. There was something about the way he was looking at him, something that he hadn't seen in a long time. There was something in his touch. Something….
Hannibal watched as tears came to Face's eyes, and when he heard his name called out in that choked voice, any plans that he had of keeping his returned memory a secret from Face left in that instant. His body and mind acted on pure instinct at the sound of his name in that tone. Hannibal gathered Face up into his arms and held him tight to his chest, his hand forcing the blonde head to his shoulder before stroking it while the other rubbed Face's back.
"I'm here, baby; I'm here," Hannibal whispered softly as he soothed the man he loved.
"I've missed you so much," Face sobbed. He realized that the past two years of Hannibal denying their relationship was over. His lover was back, and they could be together again.
"I know." Hannibal kissed the blonde head resting on his shoulder. Feeling Face trembling, and knowing what a shock that he was dealing with, Hannibal decided that he needed to move him, and right now he had the perfect place in mind. "Come on, kid. Let's get you in our bed, where you belong."
"Will you stay with me?' Face asked, and Hannibal could hear the hitch in his voice.
"Always," Hannibal stood, bringing Face up with him. As soon as they were both on their feet, Hannibal picked Face up in his arms and carried him to their bedroom, closing the door behind them.
"My God, Templeton! What happened to you?" Clay asked as Face walked into his office the next morning.
"I had some problems at work yesterday." Face offered a faint smile as he sat down in the chair across from the other man.
"Jesus!" Clay moved so that he could see Face better, his fingers moving to touch the bandage on his forehead. "Are you all right?"
Face nodded as he offered a faint smile.
"A few days of sleeping in and doing nothing, and I'll be fine."
Noting the look in the blonde's eyes and the way he was acting Clay knew something was wrong. Reaching down, he took Face's hands in his own. "Tell me what's going on."
Face took a deep breath and let it out slowly.
"He wants me back."
"I take it that we are talking about your ex." Clay looked at Face, his eyes studying the other man. "And you want to go back to him, don't you?"
"I'm sorry, Clay. I love you, but…"
"You are in love with him." Clay smiled as he finished Face's words.
"Don't be." Clay touched Face's cheek. "I love you, Templeton; don't ever doubt that. And I know that we had some good times together. But you and I both know that you were never really happy."
Leaning forward, Clay kissed Face long and hard. When he broke the kiss, he looked Face in the eyes.
"Go home to him, Templeton, but you make sure that he knows the next time he lets you go, he is going to have to fight me to get you back. And I won't lose."
"You're a saint, Clay." Face rose to his feet to leave.
"Get out of here before I change my mind." Clay shoved him lightly toward his office door.
Clayton Myers watched as Templeton Andrews walked out of his life. He knew that he would miss him terribly, and it would take him a long time to get over him, but Clay knew that neither of them would ever be happy if he didn't let him go. And all he really wanted was to see Templeton happy. He just hoped that one day he would find a love like Templeton and Hannibal had.
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