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Thoughts, Offered to the Night  

Thoughts, Offered to the Night
by stompy sara

Rated. PG

Summary: Hannibal discovers Face and Murdock are together.

Warnings: Thoughts of slash (m/m) situations. Some language.

Author's note: While this involves (sorta) the relationship starting between Murdock and Face, this is mostly Hannibal's thoughts and worries about the situation. Intersting things can happen at 2:06am, and you can't sleep. Tell me what you think...


Thoughts, Offered to the Night

Hannibal Smith stood dispassionately in the doorway.  Watched his pilot and his requisitions officer, the one lying prone in the big bed, the other slid half-sitting next to him, brushing hair tenderly away from his eyes.  Kissing his cheekbone, hand still on one side of his face.

Hannibal took a step backward, silently.  Swung the door close to shut again.

Ritually, he pulled a cigar from his shirt pocket, bit the end off while crossing the living area of the cabin.  Opened the door and out onto the creaking porch, spat the bitten piece out into crickets and unrelieved blackness.  Invisible insects did not protest, continued to serenade him as he flicked his lighter into life.  He sat on the wooden steps, staring out into witchy dark.  Old woods surrounded them here; walk around to the back, and a lake protected them with rippling watchfulness.  B.A.
helped its vigil.  Hannibal puffed, luminous rings of smoke encircling scenes from the past, unbidden, relentless as the seasons.

The past never let them go.  It tied them together, chased them from one coast to the other, taunted them with memories of their pride, their ruthless precision coupled with ingenious improvisation, traits they clung to in the jungle.  Traits that threw them into missions of mercy and desperation even eleven years later.  Men who wanted them dead now would have begged for their aid in that wasted country.  It still burned like acid in his gut when he thought of Lynch.  Saluted Hannibal during his
first commendation as the leader of the team; sneered in derision, bars between them, four years later.  Taking everything at face value.  Hannibal despised that kind of thinking.  It led straight into unforgiving walls of granite.

Thought of Face kissing Murdock's cheek.

His rings of logic were meant to cover everything.  If Hannibal stood back, as on a precipice, inner sight encompassing vast gulfs, measureless spaces, his mind could connect this situation and that disadvantage, draw the tiny bits into a whole, a design that made sense, a plan for every occasion.  Everything connected, like pencil lines on graph paper, to everything else. He smiled, shaking his head at nothing.  The lines hadn't run to this future.  Diagonal, haphazard, uncoordinated with his
connect-the-dots.  Stupid, that he hadn't foreseen this.

His mind replayed the scene, another ring of smoke rising into the points of light above him.  Hannibal was unafraid; he laid his feelings out before him, stark light of truth to view them,
only way to survive as long as he had.  There was no revulsion. Not even shock, only a mild surprise, and resignation.  No, not that - something inside him was raw, watching his men together,
sharing a moment that he could not  anticipate.  That he could not share.  The last emotion lay all by itself, away from the others.  The aching loneliness.

(Maggie - )

He kept seeing the boys he'd pulled out of the crumbling ravages of Vietnam with his inner eye, all the years still rolling back to those days, when soldiers worshipped them, and C.O's stacked
their missions up, sent their corporals out to the base to findhim and his ass-backwards team.  Remembered Murdock picking fights with the Marines who roughed up the teenage whores, tall
skinny kid with ancient eyes and nervous hands, the lop-sided grin officers shied away from.  And Peck, with the smile you would kill for, a cigar slipped into Hannibal's pocket at their every encounter, slick words for all while holding crossed fingers behind his back.  B.A. caught him sneaking filched penicillin to the tiny grandmothers who came into town for supplies.  Related to Hannibal later the tears of thankfulness in their eyes, stronger than words.  Nothing much got past B.A.

Nothing much got past Hannibal, usually.

He, John Smith, had pulled them into his fold.  Seen past the cracked veneer to the quick-witted, capable men beneath.  They were his.

Shoulda seen it.  The eyes.  Even Face couldn't hide from him. And Murdock -!  He wore his every emotion on the sleeve of his leather jacket.  Couldn't lie to save his life.  Only insanity protected him.  Only Hannibal protected him.

His men. He should know.  He should see.

Hannibal squeezed his eyes shut, observed that the darkness within was not much different from that surrounding him.  No lights to secure them from the night.  The flavor of his thoughts and beliefs the only thing that colored the blood-warm black behind his lids.  Loss was there.  He knew his men, within an inch.  Within a fraction of an inch.  He was privy to their doubts and fears, their anger, their hope.  He held everything they needed.


Hannibal knew love, with the remembering needle of hurt and want that accompanied that which is left behind.

(Maggie - )

He loved his men, fiercely, that almost animal instinct driving him, keeping him one step ahead of their pursuers.  But could he give them that intimacy he'd seen only moments ago?


Hannibal took a deep breath.  Inevitable, that they would eventually turn to each other.  Face and Murdock, Murdock and Face. Their eyes so different.  Their souls mirrored images, liquid reflections.  Hannibal smiled again.

So he couldn't see everything.  Couldn't provide all that he wanted to, for his men.  They were still his.  Belonged to him.

Now, belonged to each other.

The cigar was ground beneath one boot-heel.  Hannibal stood, tossed his thoughts as offering out into the dark.  Grinning.

Maybe not his plan.  But definitely, it had come together.

He walked back towards the welcoming rectangle of light.

Thoughts, Offered to the Night by Stompy Sara



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