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Nightmare

Nightmare

by Millady.

Rating: (PG)

Summary: Face is plagued by a recurring nightmare brought on by their execution.

 

"Ready, Aim…." "NO," screamed Face as he bolted upright in bed drenched in sweat. He looked around the room and tried to catch his breath. He looked over at the clock on the nightstand and it read 2:33AM. He moaned inwardly, when he realized he was going to go another night without sleep. He swung his legs over and sat on the edge of the bed waiting for his heart to stop racing.

This was nothing new to the Lieutenant. He had been having the same nightmare for the past week or so. Every time he lay down his dreams would always lead to the same awful ending, with him, Hannibal and BA being led in front of the same firing squad they faced only a few months before.

After he gained control of himself, he got up and walked over to the window and looked out over the moonlit grounds. He could see Stockwell’s men patrolling. He thought about leaving, running away but the fear of leaving prevented him. He also couldn’t take these nightmares anymore.

The missions Stockwell had been sending them on were wearing on him, and probably the source of his nightmares. For some reason these missions were different than the ones they had before Stockwell. These missions were for higher stakes, should they survive they get their freedom, on the other hand they had to survive them.

He knew he should talk to Hannibal, but something seemed different about him now. He seemed less concerned about the team. Logically he knew that Hannibal cared about him and the other team members, but he still got the feeling that if he left no one probably would notice or cared.

Face gave out a big sigh, ran his hands through his hair, which was still damp from sweat. He decided to go downstairs, no sense trying to sleep now. The nightmare would only return, and he couldn’t face another one tonight. Down the hall he heard the soft snoring of BA. He felt envious that the big guy could sleep so well. As he walked he wondered if the BA or Hannibal were having the same nightmare or was it just him?

He got to the kitchen and decided to make some coffee to help him stay awake. As he went about preparing the coffee he noticed his hands were still shaking and he hated the feeling of not being in control. He desperately wanted to talk to someone, but Murdock seemed like he was having a hard enough time trying to find himself a job he liked, BA and Frankie were always busy fighting and Hannibal, well Hannibal probably just didn’t care. As he waited for the coffee to brew, he sat down at the table and put his head down and fought back the tears.

Hannibal woke to the smell of coffee. He rolled over and noticed it say 5:07 AM so he got up and rubbed his face to wake up. As he staggered to the kitchen he wondered who was the early bird making coffee. He got kitchen and noticed Face with his head down on the table sound asleep.

Hannibal laughed to himself and then walked over and put his hand on Face’s shoulder. Face sat up in surprise at the feeling of being touched.

"You’re up early," said Hannibal as he walked over and got some coffee.

"Yeah I...ah couldn’t sleep," said Face, sleepily.

"Really," chuckled Hannibal. He tasted the coffee and it tasted extremely strong and almost burnt, it obviously had been sitting there a while so he dumped the contents of the pot down the sink. "How long have you been up?"

"A couple hours, why?"

"Oh nothing." Hannibal unplugged the coffee pot and started making a fresh pot. "Face you okay?"

"Yeah, I’m fine. Guess I have a slight case of insomnia."

"Well, drinking coffee won’t help," admonished Hannibal.

"Well, I figured since I was up." Face gave Hannibal a grin.

"It was a nice gesture." Hannibal set the pot to brewing and turned and took a long look at Face. He hadn’t noticed before that Face looked tired. "Is there something you’d like to talk about? I know when I can’t sleep talking about it usually helps."

Face yawned, "No Hannibal, I think maybe I’ll try laying down a bit. Maybe I can get a couple hours before the day gets started."

"Okay," said Hannibal. He was a little hurt that Face wouldn’t talk to him, but maybe whatever was bothering him had passed and this was a one-time thing. Hannibal shrugged it off and went to get the paper.

It was late morning by the time Murdock came bounding into the house, "Hey guys." Frankie and BA were playing pool and Hannibal was on the couch reading a paperback.

"Hey Murdock," said Hannibal. "What’s up?"

"Well, I thought since I had the day off I’d come over and see what’s going on."

"Nothing," said Frankie sourly.

"What’s wrong with him," asked Murdock toward Hannibal.

"I think he’s upset we haven’t had a mission in a while."

"Yeah, the longer we sit around here, the longer it will take for us to get our pardons." Frankie made a shot but missed. BA snickered and then took a shot and sunk the 8-ball causing Frankie to loose again.

"Hey where’s Face," asked Murdock.

"I think he’s in his room," said Hannibal, turning back to his book.

Murdock nodded and went up stairs to see if Face wanted to hang out. He got upstairs and tapped lightly at the door, and after a few moments waiting for Face to answer, he opened the door gently and saw Face sitting in a chair by the window. The book he was reading sprawled open on this chest and he was sound asleep. Murdock walked over silently and picked up the book, but the movement caused Face to wake up.

"Oh hey, I’m sorry. I didn’t mean to wake you."

"S’okay. What’re you doing here?"

"Was just wondering if you wanted to do something today. You sick?" Murdock gave Face a very worried look. Face had bags under his eyes and he didn’t look well, plus he was still in his pajamas and it was nearly noon.

"Oh yeah, no I’m fine. Sure, what would you like to do?"

"How about we go catch a movie? There’s this great new horror flick out that I want to see. Let’s go."

Face groaned, the last thing he wanted was to add to his already sleepless nights but he just couldn’t say no to Murdock, and maybe it would help him get his mind off his troubles.

**

Face tossed and turned, and was drenched in sweat when his nightmare woke him up. He looked and noticed that it was about 6:30 in the morning. He tried to roll over and forget about the nightmare, but it wouldn’t let him go. The moment he closed his eyes, he was back in the holding cells on Barrier Island. Face tried to talk with Hannibal but Hannibal ignored him and just kept saying he’s got a plan, but he never shared it. Face tried to talk to BA, but he only complained about his last meal.

"It’s time, Gentlemen," said an Officer.

"No," protested Face, "No I’m not ready. What about my last meal? Hannibal, Hannibal you have a plan, what’s the plan you have to tell me." Hannibal shook his head disapprovingly and left the cell.

Hannibal stopped at the officer who commanded them to leave, "Some men just don’t know how to die." Then Hannibal and the officer looked at Face and started to laugh manically.

Face turned toward BA, "BA, BA tell them we’re not ready. That we’re innocent."

BA shook his head, "It ain’t right that we didn’t have a last meal, but then our last meal was a last meal and if that was a last meal then that wasn’t a good last meal."

"BA," shouted Face.

"Come on, let’s go Lieutenant," shouted Hannibal. Face reluctantly followed Hannibal with BA pushing him from behind.

Face tried pleading with Hannibal one more time, asking him for the plan. Just as they were about to be blindfolded Hannibal turned toward Face, "Kid this is the plan."

"Ready, Aim…"

"Nnnnoooo," screamed Face. Face stared at the ceiling trying to get his breathing under control. He looked over at the clock and noticed it said it was 8 in the morning. He lay there trying not to think about what the dream meant or anything about it. He wasn’t sure how much more he could take of this. He had to do something but what, he thought. Maybe dying wasn’t such a bad thing, and maybe Hannibal was right, he just didn’t know how to die.

His thoughts were interrupted when there was a tap on the door, "Hey Face you getting up," asked Frankie.

"Yeah, in a minute."

"Well, hurry up, Stockwell’s here and he’s got another mission for us."

Face moaned, "Yeah, I’ll be there."

Face came down and he looked a little disheveled. "So good of you to join us Lieutenant. Slept well, I trust," remarked Stockwell. Face just nodded, readjusted his robe and sat down on the couch.

"I have a very easy mission for one of you," explained Stockwell.

"One of us," asked Frankie. "That’s not fair, how can we earn our pardons if we all can’t go."

"Yes, but don’t worry, all of you will get credit for it. I need someone to be a mule for me."

"A mule," questioned Frankie.

"Someone to carry things across the borders, usually the kind of things you don’t want the border guards to find," explained Murdock.

"Exactly, so who wants to volunteer," asked Stockwell.

"I will," said Face hoping to get away and maybe just run away where no one could find him.

"Actually, why don’t we send Frankie," said Hannibal. Face didn’t look like he was up for a mission and he was tired of hearing Frankie moan about being bored.

Face gave Hannibal a look which Hannibal caught and answered the question that Face had his mind, ‘why him’. "Frankie has been complaining how bored he’s been. Besides we all can enjoy a few more days rest. Some of us could use it."

Face felt himself getting angry with Hannibal, "What’s that supposed to mean?"

"Nothing," said Hannibal casually trying to lighten the tension between him and Face.

"Hey, if Face wants to go, then let him," said Frankie, he didn’t want to be the cause of a fight between the two men.

"No Frankie, you should go. It will be a learning experience for you," said Face.

"Fine it’s settled," said Stockwell. "Mr. Santana, a car will be here in a hour to take you to the airport and there an agent will explain the mission. Good day Gentlemen." He glanced at Hannibal and then Face before he left, and wondered if there was something going on that he should know about.

"Well, I guess I better get ready," said Frankie excitedly as he ran upstairs to pack. He really did want to go on this mission and was glad Hannibal volunteered him. He really wanted to prove himself to Hannibal and the guys, that he’s capable of fulfilling a mission on his own.

Face got up, "I’m going to go get dressed."

After Face left, Murdock turned toward Hannibal, "Is he all right?"

"Yeah, he’s fine," said Hannibal taking out a cigar.

"You sure, Hannibal," questioned BA. "He looks like he hasn’t been sleeping."

"He said he’s been having some trouble sleeping, but he slept late today. He’s probably getting over his insomnia and he’s just tired. Besides, I don’t know about him but I sure could use a few more days of rest."

Murdock wasn’t sure if he believed Hannibal, but since Hannibal didn’t seem concerned so he guessed he shouldn’t either. "Okay, well I need to get going, got some errands to run. Catch ya’ll later. Tell Facey I’ll call him later."

"Okay," said BA.

 

Face was sitting on the couch reading and on the verge of falling asleep when Murdock came in.

"Hey Face."

"Oh hey Murdock." Murdock sat down next to his friend. He was worried and he didn’t like the look of him.

"Whatcha reading?" He asked, taking the book from Face.

"Oh some western that Hannibal had been reading."

"You want to go out for some dinner or something," asked Murdock hoping that getting Face away from the house would help him open up.

"Um, sure I guess. Got a place in mind?"

"Yeah, I know this great Italian restaurant. Best pizza’s around. My treat."

On the drive over Face hadn’t said much of anything, even when they got to the restaurant he let Murdock do the ordering. Now Murdock knew there was something wrong, especially if Face let him order.

"You want to talk about it?"

"Talk about what?" Face looked at Murdock innocently.

"What’s been bothering you?"

"Nothing’s bothering me."

"Facey it’s me, Murdock. I know you. You look like hell, now tell me what’s going on. You and Hannibal fighting?"

"No. Nothing is going on, I just haven’t been able to get a good night’s sleep. I think it’s my mattress. It’s amazing what a difference a good mattress makes."

"Don’t bullshit me. I’ve known you for over 15 years and probably know you better than you know yourself. I’d say you were having nightmares again. You are aren’t you?"

Face looked down at the table and then took a drink of his soda.

"Have you talked to Hannibal?"

"Hannibal doesn’t care."

"What do you mean he doesn’t care? He’s Hannibal," shouted Murdock.

"Does he? I don’t know about that anymore."

"What are you talking about?"

"I don’t know…forget it I’m just tired," replied Face trying to get Murdock to change the subject.

"No, no I won’t forget it and we aren’t leaving here till you talk to me." Face gave Murdock an annoyed look. "Face, why doesn’t Hannibal care?"

"He cares, but not about me."

"How can you say that?"

"He doesn’t, I just know it. He doesn’t think…" Face trailed off and took another drink and stared at the table.

Murdock put his hand on Face’s arm. "He doesn’t think what?" Murdock was getting a little frustrated, he could see that Face was on the verge of telling him what’s on his mind but just wouldn’t.

"It’s not important. I’m just tired, I’m probably not thinking straight." Just then the pizza came and the topic of conversation turned to Murdock wanting to be a waiter and maybe him applying at this restaurant.

It was late in the evening when Murdock walked in with Face. "So, guys, how was dinner," asked Hannibal.

"Fine," said Face, yawning.

"Tired, Face," asked Hannibal who was happy to see that Face was sleeping again.

"Yeah, I think I’m going to turn in early. Thanks for dinner, Murdock." Face wandered off to bed.

"Hannibal," said Murdock seriously and taking a seat across from him. "I think there’s something wrong with Faceman. Now I tried to get him to talk to me but he wouldn’t."

"Oh, I’m sure he’s fine. He said he hasn’t been sleeping well. I’m sure once he gets a full night’s rest he’ll be himself again. Besides, he knows if he wants to talk he can always come to me."

Murdock felt he should tell him that Face didn’t see it that way, but figured that by doing so then Face would never talk to him again. Murdock nodded in agreement and got up and wished Hannibal a good night.

Face went to his room and stared out the window, he saw Murdock leave and wondered if he talked to Hannibal. He shook his head at how silly he’s been acting and he wouldn’t blame Murdock if he did. Face felt like he was losing his mind and he knew he wasn’t thinking straight.

Face went over to his dresser and pulled out some over-the-counter sleeping pills. He resisted taking them but figured he had to get a good night’s sleep. Otherwise they’d be sending him to the VA. But the fear of his nightmare even over powered the thought of being sent away.

Perhaps if he tried not to sleep, he wouldn’t have a nightmare. The idea was childish, but at that moment it didn’t really matter to him. He went over to his bookshelf and tried to find a book or a magazine that would help him stay awake. He thought about going back downstairs and get some coffee, but he’d wait till after Hannibal and the others went to bed. He told them he was going to bed and didn’t want to have to explain why he didn’t.

All evening, Hannibal wondered if maybe Murdock was right, that there really was something bothering Face. He walked past Face’s room but stopped and turned around. He decided to peek in and check on him.

He gently opened the door and saw Face struggling in his sleep. He was all twisted up in his blankets and sheets. Hannibal walked in and tried to wake Face up but he was having a hard time. "Face, wake up. You’re having a nightmare." He shook Face a few more times. Eventually Face stopped struggling and tried opening his eyes.

Hannibal sat on the bed and noticed the pile of books and magazines on the floor by his feet. "Face wake up, you’re having a nightmare."

"Hannibal," asked Face. He looked around the room confused with hooded eyes.

"It’s okay, kid. You’re safe." Face immediately fell back to sleep, he was exhausted. "Night, Face." Hannibal looked at the sleeping man. He reached over and moved a lock of hair off his forehead. He sat a few minutes making sure that he didn’t go back into another nightmare. Satisfied, Hannibal switched off the light and went to bed.

 

Hannibal was sipping coffee when BA came down. "Hannibal, is Faceman up? I want to get started on his car. He said the breaks are giving him problems again. The last time I took his car without him around he almost went through the roof."

"No, he isn’t," replied Hannibal with a far off look in his eye.

BA sat down with a big glass of milk, "Is there something wrong, Hannibal?"

"Has Face talked to you?"

"About what?"

"I think Face is having nightmare’s again and I was just wondering if he talked to you."

"Man, that poor guy. You’d think after all these years he’d be over those things. Naw he hasn’t. Should I ask him about them?"

"No, I don’t think he wants us to know. You know how he gets; he’ll talk when he’s ready."

"Okay. I hope he gets up soon; I really want to get to work on his car."

"Why don’t you just go ahead and work on it? He needs the sleep anyway."

"Yeah I think I will. If he asks, tell him I have his car."

"Okay." Hannibal smiled and took another sip of his coffee. After he was finished he went and poured a cup for Face and took it up to him.

He tapped lightly on the door and then opened it to see Face sitting on the side of the bed holding his head in his hands.

"You okay?" Face looked up slightly embarrassed and nodded yes. "Here’s some coffee for you. BA’s working on your car."

"My car," he asked as he took the cup of coffee.

"Yeah, BA said you were having problems with your breaks."

"Oh yeah," said Face absently as he sipped the coffee.

Hannibal sat down next to Face and put his hand on his shoulder, "Hey kiddo, you sure you’re okay?"

"Yeah," said Face trying to wake up. Hannibal nodded and while he wanted to question Face about these nightmares, he respected his privacy and knew when Face was ready he would come talk to him.

"Well, take it easy today. Frankie should be back today," said Hannibal looking at his watch. "Can’t wait to hear how it went. Then maybe we’ll all get an assignment."

Face just concentrated on his coffee and nodded. Hannibal patted Face on the shoulder and got up and left.

Hannibal walked into the living room and found Stockwell sitting there. "Stockwell," said Hannibal as he sat down in the chair.

"We have a problem. Mr. Santana failed to check in last night. Word has it that he’s been arrested," explained Stockwell. "I trust you and your men will want to go in and get him out?"

"Of course, I’ll get the team together. Where is he?"

"He’s in a Central American jail. He was caught at the border and they arrested him."

"I thought this was a simple assignment," commented Hannibal.

"Well, he’s young, perhaps next time you’ll let Lt. Peck go. I’m sure with him this would’ve been avoided." Stockwell stood up and just before he left, "I’ll have a plane at the airstrip waiting for you."

 

Stockwell provided them with some bedtime juice for BA. After Face and Hannibal got him strapped in Hannibal looked over toward Face and wondered briefly if he should give some to him. Face was starting to look a little ragged.

"I’m going up front to talk with Murdock," said Hannibal. "Try to get some rest."

Face gave Hannibal a dirty look but shook his head and sat down and prepared for take off.

After they landed, Hannibal had Murdock procure them some transportation. "Okay, guys, this is a simple breakout."

"So what’s the plan Hannibal," asked Face.

"First thing we need to do is get BA awake. You want to handle that?" Face looked at the plane with dread and then went to wake BA.

BA woke with a start and grabbed Face by the collar and gave him a very nasty look. "You put me on a plane! You put me on a plane!" Face didn’t say anything but let BA finish out his tantrum. BA lost a lot of his fight when Face didn’t try to con him or reason with him. "Okay, Faceman, where are we?"

"We’re in Central America and would you please let me go; you’re wrinkling my shirt? Hannibal is outside waiting to go over the plan."

Face got out of the plane followed by BA. "What’s the plan Hannibal," asked BA.

"We need to get of a couple of us on the inside. Face, we’re going to need a helicopter." Face nodded. "Face, I’m also going to need a layout for the prison. While you get that BA and I will check out the town." Hannibal looked at his watch, "we’ll meet back here in about 2 hours."

"Two hours," protested Face.

"Yeah two hours. The sooner we get Frankie out the better. We don’t want to attract too much attention."

"Don’t worry, Faceman I’ll help you," volunteered Murdock who just got back with a beat up pick up.

Hannibal and BA were sitting at the cantina waiting when Murdock and Face showed up.

"How’d it go, guys," asked Hannibal who was sipping a beer.

"Oh you should see the helicopter Facey got. Its beautiful Hannibal."

"Here are the plans," said Face, setting them down on the table.

"What was her name," asked Hannibal.

"Maria," said Murdock who elbowed Face in the ribs. "Facey sure knows how to pick them."

Face sat down, "So what’s the plan again?"

"BA and Face will get arrested and you two will locate Frankie. Murdock you’ll come flying into the courtyard here," said Hannibal pointing to the layout of the prison.

"What are you going to be doing," asked Face suspiciously.

"I’ll be posing as a prison guard, that way I can make sure you guys and Frankie are at the courtyard by 0600. Now Face, how are you and BA going to get arrested."

"I think I’ve got a plan."

 

"Follow me," said the guard. "You gringo’s think you’re so great, here talk to the other gringo. Hope you enjoy your stay, you stupid gringos." Fortunately for Face he was pushed into a cell that was next to Frankie’s. BA was pushed right behind Face into the same cell.

The guard walked away laughing. Face cringed at the laugh, it reminded him of his nightmare. He started feeling anxiety overwhelm him but he willed it to go away. "Not now", he said to himself.

"Hey guys, am I so glad to see you," said Frankie. "I didn’t think anyone would ever come to help me."

"What happened," asked Face.

"I don’t know, man. I was getting at the border right? They were asking me a bunch of questions, then the next thing I knew I was being arrested. I didn’t get no trial or nothing. They said something about drugs. They threw me in here, and then they searched my stuff. But they didn’t find the microfilm container that Stockwell had me carry." Frankie smiled proudly at his ingenuity at keeping the microfilm safe.

"Where is the film," asked BA.

"I uh…well…" He shifted awkwardly and whispered. "I well, I kinda swallowed it."

"Swallowed it," asked Face in disbelief.

"Yeah, I hope that it…ah…comes out okay," whispered Frankie. Face and BA laughed. "So what’s the plan? Where’s Hannibal and Murdock?"

"Hannibal is working on getting us out of here," explained BA. "So just hang tight and wait for Hannibal."

"Wait?"

"Wait." Said BA who gave him a ‘don’t-question-it’ look.

 

Face tried sleeping but the moment he closed his eyes, he kept hearing that guard laughing and the fear and anxiety of his reoccurring nightmare start to overwhelm him. Finally he decided to just lay there and listen to BA and Frankie snore.

"You come with me," said the guard. "It’s time."

Face looked over at the door and saw the guard standing there motioning for him to come. "Time for what?"

"It’s time," said the guard. Face looked over at BA who was sitting on the edge of his bunk. He was muttering something but he couldn’t hear it. He stood up and as he got closer to BA he heard him muttering something about his last meal.

Face started shaking, "No, this can’t be happening again."

"Come on, its time, Lieutenant," this time it was Hannibal’s voice instead of the guards. Face started to scream but he felt a hand go over his mouth. "Face, you’re having a nightmare. It’s time to go, Murdock will be here in about 15 minutes." Face looked at Hannibal with wild eyes, but then shook his head yes as he finally realized he was just having a nightmare and Hannibal was real and they were going to get out of there.

Face got up and followed Hannibal who was dressed like a guard. He had Frankie and BA with him and they all were in the courtyard. They heard the chopper blades in the distance. "Okay guys, this is it. When that chopper gets here those guards are going to start firing, so keep your heads down."

As soon as Murdock started hovering and landing, the guards in the tower started firing. As soon as he was down, the team hopped on board, even BA got on without complaint. As soon as they were at the airstrip, Hannibal ordered Murdock to go warm up the plane.

When the engines started revving BA started protesting, but his protests were short lived thanks to some of Uncle Stockwell’s knock out juice. After they were all strapped in Murdock took off. Fortunately they were able to make their get away before the local authorities were able to catch up with them.

When they were in the air, Frankie explained to Hannibal what happened and what happened with the microfilm. He looked over to Face.

"So what do you think we should do about him," asked Hannibal jokingly.

"Wait and see what happens, and he better pray it comes out okay otherwise Stockwell will go in after it," said Face to scare Frankie. Hannibal and Face laughed while Frankie clutched his stomach.

After a while, Frankie had fallen asleep and Face was staring out the window. Hannibal knew he had to talk to Face. When he went to get them, Face was in the throws of a nightmare and he almost gave them all away.

Hannibal took a seat across from Face, "Look, I know you’ve said there’s nothing wrong, but I also know you’ve been lying." Face looked at him with a bit of shock and confusion. "Face, you were in the middle of a nightmare when I went to get you guys this morning. You had one last night. How long has it been going on?" Face looked down and shook his head.

He was about to tell Hannibal not long, but his mouth betrayed him by telling the truth, "A couple weeks."

"Why didn’t you talk to me?" There was concern in Hannibal’s eyes.

"I..I thought they’d go away on their own. I didn’t think you cared anyway."

"What do you mean you didn’t think I cared? Face, I care very much about what happens with you, Murdock, BA and even Frankie. Why do you think I don’t care?"

Face looked away, "forget it, I’m just tired."

Hannibal was getting angry, "No I won’t forget it, and you aren’t going to avoid the subject. Was it something I said?"

"No"

"Was it something I did?"

"No."

"Face, I’m not going to play this game. Now you tell me why you don’t think I care about you?"

"Because you don’t. You’ve changed. Ever since we’ve started working for Stockwell you’ve been distant." Hannibal sat there and tried to digest what Face had told him. Had he changed? Had he acted like he didn’t care?

"Face I’m sorry, if you thought I didn’t. But believe me I do and I want to help you. Please talk to me, what is this nightmare?"

"I don’t want to talk about it, it’ll go away."

"No, it’s not. You’ve said it’s been going on for two weeks, it’s obviously not going to away by itself."

Face was silent then finally spoke up. "Do you think I don’t know how to die?"

Hannibal was taken back by the question. "What kind of question is that? Face, no one knows how to die, we just do. Are you afraid to die?" Face nodded, he felt ashamed. He felt his feelings overwhelm him and he tried to fight them again but this time it was a useless battle. He felt tears in his eyes and he was having a hard time seeing.

"Face a long time ago, we all accepted death…"

"I can’t, Hannibal. I can’t do it anymore. I don’t want to die. I don’t want to face another firing squad. Every night I see and hear them. I can’t sleep because I hear them firing, and I don’t want to die, I can’t do it anymore. I can’t take it anymore."

Hannibal finally realized what was causing Face’s nightmares and unfortunately there wasn’t much he could do about the past. Standing in front of the firing squad wasn’t the most pleasant experience and he had no idea it was affecting the young man so profoundly.

Hannibal got up and sat down next to Face and put his arm across his shoulder. Face hung his head in shame. "I’m so sorry Hannibal."

"There’s nothing to be sorry for. It’ll be okay." He waited for Face to calm down. "Look, Face I’m the one who should apologize. Perhaps if we didn’t take that assignment we would have never had to be put in that situation. But I can promise you this I’ll never let us be put in that situation again." Face just nodded and smiled. "Got a cigar?"

 

Stockwell was waiting for the plane when they landed. "I see you got Mr. Santana out okay. So where is the microfilm?"

BA snickered as he carried the weapons to the van. Frankie shifted nervously, "I ah, swallowed it."

"I see." Stockwell was trying to hide his smile. "I trust Colonel, you’ll see that I get my microfilm."

Hannibal light his cigar and laughed, "Yeah."

Hannibal had BA drive them to a doctor that Stockwell recommended to have Frankie checked out. As they waited for the results of x-rays, Hannibal sat near Face. Face looked exhausted and he sat there staring off into space. Hannibal felt as though he should just stay close to Face and provide comfort for him and just be there.

"Okay, guys I’m all set," said Frankie as he came out into the waiting room with the doctor.

"So, how is he," asked Hannibal greeting the Doctor.

"He should be fine. I suggest that we let nature do its work. If he experiences any pain you need to bring him back right away. I also am prescribing a very high fiber diet to help things along. I would like to see him in a couple days, hopefully he’ll have passed the small container."

Hannibal held out his hand, "Thank you, Doctor." Murdock and BA were teasing Frankie. Hannibal turned back toward the doctor, "can I talk to you for a moment in private?"

A few minutes later, Hannibal came back out, "Okay the bill’s all paid for. Let’s get going."

After they got back at the house, Frankie went into the kitchen to try to find something that had lots of fiber in it. The sooner he got that container out the better.

Face sat down on the couch and leaned back with his eyes closed. BA and Murdock gave Hannibal a worried look. He whispered to them, "He’s okay. We talked and he’s just been having nightmares. He just needs some rest. BA, why don’t you go help Frankie and Murdock and I will put Face to bed."

"Come on Facey, it’s bedtime," said Murdock.

"But its only 7:00," protested Face.

"Yeah but its time for you. You look like death warmed over, so let’s go." Murdock practically pulled Face off the couch. When they got to Face’s room, Murdock made Face put on his pajamas and then tucked him in.

Hannibal came in with a glass of water and a couple pills, "Okay, here you go, Face."

"What’s that," asked Face suspiciously.

"They will help you sleep. I had the doctor prescribe them for you."

"I don’t need them." Face tried to get out of bed, when he realized what they were planning on doing. He didn’t want to sleep. If he didn’t sleep, he wouldn’t dream — problem solved.

"Hey there, muchacho. You need sleep and they will help." Murdock tried to push Face back down and comfort him. "I’ll stay with you tonight. How about that? I won’t let anyone hurt you."

Face was tired and didn’t have the strength physically or emotionally to fight anymore. He reluctantly swallowed the pills. As he laid there waiting for them to take effect, Murdock got undressed and put on some of Face’s pajamas.

Face was just about asleep when Murdock crawled in next to him. "I don’t know about you, Facey, but I feel like I could sleep for days." But Murdock never got a response Face was already asleep.

 

BA was enjoying his breakfast when Frankie came running downstairs whooping and hollering.

"Man, what is your problem," demanded BA.

Frankie gave a big smile and held up a baggie. BA almost choked on his food. "Here it is."

"Man, get that outta here," shouted BA. Frankie smiled and ran off to call Stockwell.

Hannibal came down and then Murdock. "How’s Face?"

"He was a little restless but he didn’t wake up, so hopefully he’ll feel better."

"Good," Hannibal smiled and sat down with his coffee.

It was early afternoon when finally Face opened his eyes and for the first time since he could last remember he felt a little refreshed. "How you feeling," asked Hannibal.

Face looked around and saw Hannibal sitting in the chair near the window reading a book.

"Better."

Hannibal got up and then sat down on the edge of the bed and noticed Face still looked awfully tired, "Why don’t you take it easy today and just get some rest. I’m glad you’re feeling better."

Face nodded and smiled at his friend. "Hannibal, thank you."

"Anytime Face. Just remember I’ll always care about you and if these nightmares come back you talk to me about it okay?"

"Okay." Face yawned and fell right back to sleep, but this time he dreamt of not of firing squads, but him and the team and they were happy and free.


Nightmare by Millady