Mind Games II
Title: Mind Games
Warnings: Violence, sexual suggestions, non consensual stuff.
Disclaimer: A-team not owned by me!
Hannibal was enjoying his afternoon cigar as he waited patiently for Murdock to spring Face from the VA. He chuckled to himself, hopefully spending time in Murdock's shoes, would deflate his lieutenant's ego a notch.
BA looked at Hannibal when he heard him chuckle, he scowled, thinking that spending six hours in the VA was harsh even for Face's behavior. "Hannibal, think Face is going to be angry with us for leaving him in there for so long?"
Hannibal laughed, "BA, he's only been in there for the afternoon. He'll be okay." Hannibal was about to add more, when he saw Murdock crossing the street. He sat up in the passenger seat and threw out what was left of his cigar. His mood slightly sobering, when he didn't see Face. He barley gave Murdock time to get in the van before he asked, "Where's Face?"
Murdock hesitated a moment before answering, "He's not there, apparently they discovered he wasn't me on the way here and immediately brought him to Meadows, the downtown hospital."
Hannibal sighed and lit another cigar, "Well BA, lets go and get him before he gets really angry."
BA scowled at Hannibal and carefully pulled the black van into traffic. Murdock sat back and watched the city go by, he was starting to feel a little uneasy about the whole situation.
Face slowly opened his eyes, and as the roof of the van he was in swirled above him, he wished he had kept his eyes closed. He swallowed a few times trying to quell the queasiness he was feeling, the heat in the van and the way it rocked back and forth did not help his nausea. He lifted his head slightly, looking down his body, he was lying on a trolley with thick leather straps crossing his body, holding him securely. He dropped his head and sighed heavily, he tried to remember how he got in this predicament in the first place. He closed his eyes and tried to get past the fog that surrounded his mind, he remembered being transferred to Meadows, downtown. He remembered waiting in a small room with only a bed. Remembered two men enter his room and approach him, after that things became totally fuzzy. He sighed as he realized that the men must have injected him with something. Looking around the interior of the van, he tried to pick up some clues as to where he was headed. He suddenly heard the driver laugh, and had a sudden memory of lying on a hard cold floor. Someone was putting his arms in a straight jacket, he was too weak to struggle. Then a face, looming above him and a harsh voice say, "You're friends will never find you where your going!" Then the same hideous laughter that he was hearing now. He felt a moment of panic as he felt the van stop. He heard the doors open and he closed his eyes, pretending to be still asleep. This seemed to be the best plan until he could figure out where the hell he was. He felt his trolley being pulled out of the van, and wheeled across the pavement. It was cold out and he felt the mist in the air. He wasn't sure how long he was unconscious, but he figured he must have traveled north. It was defiantly too cold to be still in LA. As they wheeled him inside, he felt the trolley stop, and heard footsteps move away. He waited a moment, to be sure he was alone before he opened his eyes and looked around. It appeared he was in another hospital, this one though seemed very different from the one Murdock lived in. It was cold and harsh, thick bars in the windows, an air of complete misery. He closed his eyes when he heard footsteps approach, he tried not to tense up as the men approached him. He gasped in pain, when one of the men slapped him hard across the face, his eyes immediately flew open in surprise.
"Ah good, you're finally awake. Nice to see you again Lieutenant Peck."
Face looked up into the face that had spoken, he didn't recognize either the voice or the face. He stared dumbly at the man trying to figure out how this man knew him.
"Don't remember me do you? Let me refresh your memory, Nam, 1970, I was dishonorably discharged thanks to your precious Colonel Smith. I was sent home in disgrace and thanks to my father, all I could get was this stinking job taking care of the pathetic." He smiled at Face and grabbed a handful of hair, bringing his face close to Face's, "Now I will have my revenge, not on Smith I'm afraid, but I'll have to be satisfied on taking it out on someone who is very close to him."
Face's eyes lit up as he finally remembered the man, "Colonel Nick Watkins. You were discharged because you disobeyed orders and butchered innocent people. Some of your own men included!"
Watkins smiled, "That was never proven Lieutenant. However it was very lucky for me to have a few friends working at Meadows, they recognized you and called me immediately." He paused to make sure Face was still paying attention, "You see, they admitted you as a killer and had you transferred to my high security hospital. I could have had you turned over to the military, and I still may, but not until we have some fun first."
Face remained quiet suddenly feeling tired. He knew that it was only a matter of time before Hannibal figured out what had happened and would find him. He closed his eyes and heard Watkins order the other two men, "Take him down to the punishment row, lock him in." Face felt a gentle slap on his cheek and heard Watkins whisper, "Sleep tight Peck."
Hannibal, BA and Murdock were waiting patiently for Dr. Richter to get off the phone. When they didn't find Face at Meadows, the panic began to set in. Murdock knew Hannibal was feeling guilty, if they had arrived to get Face sooner, they may have prevented this whole disaster. Murdock looked up when he heard the doc hang up the phone.
Dr. Richter sighed, not like giving these men the news he had found out. He looked into Murdock's eyes and saw the real fear he was feeling. "My friend at Meadows confirmed that Face came in yesterday, he was immediately transferred to a high security prison up north. It would seem that someone mislabeled him a murderer and had him transferred."
Murdock jumped out of his chair, "A murderer! How could they do that doc?'
Richter sighed and held up his hands in frustration, "I honestly don't know Murdock."
Hannibal, who remained quiet, finally spoke, "Doc, where is the hospital, and who runs it?"
Richter looked down at the notes he had taken, "The hospital is outside San Francisco and, lets see, oh a Nick Watkins runs it." Richter looked up to see Hannibal staring at him, suddenly he felt anxious, "Does this mean anything to you?"
Hannibal thought for a moment, before replying, "I don't know yet." He looked over at Murdock thinking hard before he suggested his next thought. Coming to a decision, he said, "Doc, can you get Murdock on the inside? Since this is a high security hospital, we'll need someone on the inside."
Dr. Richter looked at Hannibal as though he were crazy. "Murdock can't go there! This is a hospital full of criminals, it would undo all the work we achieved in the last ten years!"
Murdock met Richter's wide eyes, "If there is a chance that I can get Face out of there, I'll do what I have to doc." Seeing that the doctor was not wavering, he pleaded, "Please doc, we have to get Face, and I'm going to help, one way or the other!"
Richter sighed, "Okay, I don't like it but I can work up some transfer papers for an alias and have you transferred today. You will be there by tonight,"
Murdock nodded firmly, "Thanks doc." He followed Hannibal and BA out of the office while the doctor began to draw up false transfer papers.
Hannibal walked out to the van in silence, he couldn't shake the feeling of how careless he had been with one of his team members, his family. He got into the passenger seat and turned to Murdock, "Captain, BA is going to fix you up with a homing device. We'll be there before you and will set up camp. Find Face and be ready to break out of there." Hannibal looked Murdock in the eyes, "Are you sure you can do this Murdock?"
Murdock shook his head vigorously, "Yeah, no problem!" He met Hannibal's direct look and gave him a confident smile, before waving goodbye and headed back inside the VA.
Face woke to the sound of someone screaming it startled him and he tried to sit up. It was then, he realized he was still strapped on the damn trolley. It was totally dark, he couldn't see two inches in front of him. He sighed and tried to move his arms, after a few moments, he gave up. Face was suddenly blinded as the lights came on instantly in his room. He winced and turned his head to the side, trying to avoid the harsh light. He heard footsteps and a key was being placed in the door. He blinked several times, trying to adjust his eyes, he focused them to see a guard open the door, followed by Watkins.
"Good morning Peck. Did you sleep well?"
Face wanted so much to punch the smile off Watkins face, but considering his current position, he settled for a smart reply. " Well it's not the Ritz!" Face gave Watkins his most friendly smile, hoping he was irritating him.
Watkins smiled, "I'll see what I can do about that, but first we must start out first therapy session!" he motioned to the guard to remove the straps.
Unfortunately for Face, the guard removed the strap across his waist first. He quickly produced a pair of handcuffs and secured Face's hands. Next he unlocked the straps that bound his legs, and placing leg shackles on his ankles. Face was pulled to his feet, he looked at Watkins, "I think I'll pass on the therapy for today, thanks anyway."
Watkins leered at Face, Peck's smart mouth was annoying him. "I don't think so Peck." He turned and walked out, hearing Peck's shackles clank together as he was shoved. He led them to his special section of the hospital, none of the state authorities knew it existed. He walked down the hall, hearing the other patients who knew where they were headed, begin to scream. He smiled, everyone was scared of his secret place, and now Peck would lose his smart attitude.
Face began to feel nervous, the other patients shrieked in fear when they saw Watkins. They walked into his office, and for a moment Face felt relieved, it appeared to be just a regular office. His relief was short lived when he saw the guard roll the area rug aside and saw the trap door. He instinctively took a step back, and saw that Watkins was enjoying his apprehension. He was suddenly shoved towards the trapdoor and lost his balance, ending up in a heap. Before he could protect himself, Face saw the guard place his foot on his side, shoving him down the steps. He couldn't keep his balance and ended up sliding down the wooden steps, coming to a rest at the bottom.
Watkins followed the guard down the steps, closing the door behind him. He waited until Face was pulled to his feet and led the way down the dark hall to a small room. Pulling out his keys, he unlocked the door and switched on the light. He turned to the guard, "Rick, strip him, then strap him down, and make it tight."
Face struggled as best he could, when he saw the metal table in the center of the room. He knew exactly what his therapy was going to be, and decided he wanted no part of it. It didn't take Rick long, before Face found himself naked and strapped to the table. Like last night, there were three leather straps securing him, only this time there was a strap across his forehead. Breathing heavily from his short struggle, Face glared at Watkins.
Watkins was satisfied, Peck no longer had the smug expression on his face. He knew exactly what was in store for him. He proceeded to tape the electrodes onto Peck's body, enjoying himself immensely. He had harbored a deep hatred for Smith, and now he was going to take care of it. He wished the man lying on the table was Smith, but he had to be satisfied with Peck. Besides, he knew how close Smith was to his men, so this would be just as sweet. After placing the last electrode to Peck's body, he stepped back to make sure they were located in the places to cause the most pain.
As Face felt the electrodes being taped to his body, he broke out in a cold sweat. He could feel Watkin's hands taping the electrodes on his neck, moving lower to tape four more to his chest and abdomen. He couldn't move his head and when he felt hands spreading his legs, he felt sheer panic, a moment later, he felt the hands taping the electrodes to his inner thigh. "Hey, don't you think your getting a little personal?"
Watkins reached for the mouth guard, it was really a leather strap to keep the victim from biting his tongue through. He was glad he had it today, maybe it would shut Peck up. As he strapped it in place, he whispered, "Oh Lieutenant, I plan on getting a whole lot more personal."
With the strap in his mouth, Face couldn't comment, a moment later he felt the surge go through him. His body arched against the straps, his scream muffled by the strap. It seemed like an eternity before the pain stopped. It was only momentary, before Face could focus, the pain ripped through his body again, in the distance he could hear Watkins laughing.
Murdock sat outside an office, like Richter had promised he was transferred and now he was waiting to be admitted. His hands were handcuffed and two guards were waiting with him He remembered what his alias was, Donovan Welsh, a man convicted of robbing a chain of gas stations with a G I Joe walkie-talkie. He was waiting impatiently for Watkins to admit him, he wanted to go and find Face. He hoped he had made it early enough to make it for dinner that was his best bet in finding Face. His thoughts were interrupted when Watkins walked through the door. Murdock remained quiet, watching as the men sat behind his desk reviewing his file.
"Mr. Welsh, your file says that you have a tendency to act out in violent ways."
Murdock remained quiet, he didn't know that Richter had stated that, he figured that was the only way he could get him in here. All the patients in this hospital had a violent nature. Murdock continued to stare at the man, he just wanted to go and find Face, let him know the team was here.
Watkins sighed, he had more interesting matters to attend to than the mundane daily activities of running this hospital. He threw the file on the desk, "Bill assign this joker a room and get him the proper attire."
Murdock rose from the chair, and followed Bill through the halls of the hospital. He watched three guards' escort five men into the communal bathroom. He shivered, he had heard stories from some of his friends at the VA about places like this. The guard shoved him and he was forced to keep pace with him. As he went by the rooms, he strained his neck for any sighs of Face. At the end of the hall, the guard stopped and unlocked a door, Murdock could see one small mat lying on the floor. Nothing else was in the room, no blankets, no chairs, nothing. Murdock whistled, "Man! This place is dismal!" He felt the guard unlock his hands and shove him inside, locking the door behind him. Murdock strained his neck looking out the small window that was on his door. He looked as far as he could see, to the right and to the left, no signs of anyone. His lights went out and he slumped on his mat, wondering when dinner would be.
BA and Hannibal pulled up to the small hotel, outside San Francisco. They were in a small town called, Bethany, and the hospital was only three miles away. Hannibal opened the door to the small room they had rented, seeing BA monitoring the homing device Murdock was carrying. "How's it going BA?"
The sergeant scowled, "The crazy fool is in." He hesitated a moment, wondering if he should voice his concerns. Finally he turned to Hannibal, "I wish we hadn't let that crazy fool go in, it's bad enough to know that Face is in there."
Hannibal sighed, "I don't like it either BA, but we needed someone on the inside to help us get Face out of there."
"How do you plan on doing that Hannibal? We should have never let those guys take Face in the first place!"
Hannibal was getting angry, "I know damit!" He regretted the angry words as soon as they left his mouth. He grabbed his coat and muttered, "I'm going to find out all I can about that hospital, keep monitoring Murdock."
As the hotel door slammed shut, BA shook his head. He didn't like this, with Hannibal feeling the way he was, it was too easy to let their guard down. He was determined not to let that happen, he would have to try and talk with Hannibal when he returned.
Face was still strapped to the metal table, some time ago Watkins had been called away. He blinked his eyes, his head pounding from the shocks that had racked his body. His arms and legs twitched uncontrollably, he closed his eyes shamefully, and he had lost control of his own body and was still lying in the mess. He thought of his friends, he wondered if Murdock had ever gone through something like this in the hospital he lived in. God, he hoped not. He heard the door creak open and feet on the wooden stairs, he opened his eyes in time to see Watkins walk over to him with his trusty guard. The strap and his weakened condition prevented him speaking.
Watkins grinned as he saw Peck's limbs still twitch, "Oh my Bill, it would seem Peck made a mess. Why don't you take him upstairs and get him cleaned up."
"Right away, sir." Bill moved over and began to undo the straps on Face, dragging him to a sitting position. He looked back at his boss, "Sir, I don't think he can walk yet, could you send Ted down to help?"
Face heard Watkins laugh and say, "I'll send him down to help you Bill!" before he turned and went upstairs. Face was left alone with the guard, if he could have gotten his arms and legs to work, now would have been the best time to try and escape. But as it was, he could barely see through the surging pain in his head. It wasn't long before Face felt himself being dragged up the stairs, he wondered what was going to happen next. It wasn't long before Face figured out what was going to happen, he was dragged into a communal shower, and the other men were ushered out. His breath was knocked from him as the two guards tossed him to the hard tile floor. As he fought to catch his breath, he saw them pull out a long hose. To Face, it appeared to be a fire hose, he shivered and tried to crawl away. He could hear the guards laugh and turn the water on. Face instinctively curled up into a fetal position, trying to protect his head and vulnerable groin. He gasped as the water hit him, it felt like someone was taking a bat and was beating him. The water was so powerful, he began to slide on the tile. After a few minutes, he was crying out in pain, his back felt like it was being crushed. He was gasping for breath, and choking on the water that had managed to hit his face. Finally, just as Face thought he would lose consciousness, the men turned off the water. One of them pulled him to his feet and roughly dried him off. A thin gown was thrust into his hands and Face tried to put it on. Trying to control his shaking hands, Face finally managed to get the gown on. His legs felt like jelly, but he forced them to carry him. He overheard Bill say they were taking him to his room, and he wanted nothing more than to collapse. He gritted his teeth as they escorted him down the hall, finally stopping, he entered his room and was relieved the two guards were leaving him alone. Through sheer determination, he refused to collapse until they were gone. As the guards moved off, Face looked through the small window in his door, a door just like his was across the hall. As Face collapsed, he thought to himself, ŽThat guy looks just like Murdock.' That was his last coherent though, as blackness descended upon him.
Murdock stood there for a moment in shock, Face didn't even recognize him. When the guards moved off down the hall, he began to pound on the glass window, trying to get Face's attention. After several minutes of frantic pounding, he gave up. He stumbled backwards and fell to the ground, his mind kept replaying the scene of Face staggering towards his room and then collapsing. Murdock was scared, he knew what type of treatments could go on in a hospital like this, and was scared that they had been done to Face. He wanted to call out to his friend, but knew if he did, then Watkins would figure out that Murdock was here to help Face. As it was, he was lucky that he had never met the man back in Nam. He shut his mind to the horrible images of what had happened to Face, and concentrated on thinking of a way out of here for both of them. He knew his best chance to talk with Face would be at dinner, then they could work on a plan together. He knew Hannibal and BA were working on the outside, so it was just a matter of time before they would get their chance. He closed his eyes, and thought to himself, ŽYou better hurry Hannibal!'
BA looked up as Hannibal came through the door. "How did it go, did you find anything?"
Hannibal sighed and threw his coat on the chair, "Yeah, there are guards patrolling the perimeter, I counted six. I want to go back late tonight, survey the area and see if we can come up with a breach in layout."
BA nodded, "Okay, are we going to move in tonight?"
Hannibal hesitated, "No, we need to be careful. I want to make sure of everything before I make a move."
BA jumped up from his chair, "Hannibal we have to get them out of there! God only knows what is going on in there, they could be hurt!"
Hannibal had lost his temper, "Damnit! Don't you think I know that! Don't you think I've been thinking that since Face was taken!" His voice softened, "I should have stopped it, I shouldn't have let them take him."
BA lost his defiant stance, his voice softening, "I know Hannibal, I.." he paused trying to think of the right words, " This ain't your fault man, we all stood by and did nothing. It's just I have this feeling, and I don't like it. We need to get them out of there!"
Hannibal sighed and placed his arm around BA's shoulders, "I know BA, I know. But I need to make sure the plan will work. Being dead won't help them at all."
BA nodded and sat back down, he had no patience and waiting like this was going to drive him as mad as Murdock.
Face found himself lying on the floor, shivering from the cold. He looked at the small cot, hoping there would be a blanket, but there was nothing. Too tired to crawl over to it, he just laid his head down on the floor again. He stared at the wall, reliving the horrible events that happened since he was brought here. The pain from the shocks had diminished, but the pain of the water hitting his body had not. It felt as though someone had taken a bat and beat every inch of him. Especially his lower back, he assumed that was where the force of the water had hit him most often. He sat up slightly and examined his legs and arms, they were black with bruises. Lying back down, he sighed and imagined his back was the same way. He wondered if Hannibal had figured out where he was yet. He closed his eyes in pain, he remembered how awful he had treated his friends, no his family, and wondered if they were even going to bother to come for him at all. A single tear escaped, and rolled down his cheek, he felt so alone here. He roughly wiped it away, now he was being stupid, of coarse they would come, they were his family. He thought of Murdock, if they treated his friend like this at the VA, there was no way that Face was going to allow Murdock to go back there. He suddenly sat up, grimacing as his body protested. Murdock! He remembered seeing someone through the window that looked like Murdock! As fast as he could, he went to the door, looking through the small glass window. He saw only the other patients' door, he shoulders sagged in frustration, maybe he was losing his mind. He leaned his forehead against the cool glass, he truly was alone. He was unaware of the tears sliding down his face, and after several minutes, he heard the faint sound of tapping, he looked up and saw the smiling face of Murdock. He simply stared, trying to figure out if it was an illusion, when he saw Murdock lift his hand and placed it on the window, as though he was reaching out to him. Face slowly lifted his hand and mimicked Murdock, it took a moment for his brain to figure out what his heart was telling him, that he was not alone, that his family was here and would help him. He slowly smiled at Murdock, seeing his best friend do the same.
Watkins lead Bill and Rick down the hall leading to Face's room, he stood aside as they unlocked the door. He walked in and closed the door behind him, smiling as he saw Peck crawl to the furthest corner. Deliberately, he pulled out a long hypodermic needle, slowly inserting it into a bottle of clear liquid. He drew out the right amount of dosage and motioned to the two guards. He watched, somewhat amazed, as Peck struggled with the guards. After today's shock therapy and the session in the shower, he figured the fight would have left Peck by now. He sighed mentally, he would have to do it all over again tomorrow.
As the guards reached out for him, Face thought his heart was going to explode in his chest. He had no idea what they were going to do next, but knew he didn't want any part of it. As the guards got closer, he kicked out at them and jumped to his feet. He ignored the pain in his back, desperately trying to escape. All too soon he found himself lying facedown, with the guard's knee in his back. His arms were pulled behind his back, being securely held. The other guard was sitting on his legs, preventing him from kicking out. Afraid of the drug, he continued to struggle, he needed to be alert, and feared what could happen if he wasn't. He cried out as the guard holding his arms, pushed into his back, and finally lied still, his strength deserting him. He saw Watkins kneel beside him, and reach for his arm so he could administer the drug. Face winced as he felt the needle puncture his skin, breathing heavily, all he could do was glare at Watkins.
Watkins put the needle away, laughing at the defiant look Peck was giving him. He sat back and admired his work, Peck's body was littered in deep blue bruises. He grabbed a handful of hair, leaning down to whisper in Peck's ear, before the drug took effect. " Don't worry Peck, this is just to get you through dinner, we don't want you bothering any of the other patients."
Face felt his limbs go slack, and there was nothing he could do about it. He tried to find his mouth and issue a sharp retort, however nothing came out. Face felt the guards roll him over, and the faces of the three men swam in front of him. He blinked several times to try and clear his head, he was unsuccessful.
Watkins looked down at Face with a smug grin on his face, turning to Rick, he ordered, "Get him in the standard dress. Then bring him down to the mess hall." He turned and left his men to their work. He had things to do around this hospital, he would see Peck tomorrow. After all, with the amount of barbiturates he had given Peck, he would be no fun for the rest of the evening. As he left Peck's room, he saw Welsh staring out his small window. He met the man's eyes and suddenly felt that he had seen the man before. He watched as Welsh turned and dissappered into his room. Watkins decided that he would have to do a little checking into Mr. Welsh's background. Hearing one of the nurse's shout at one of the other patients, he sighed and headed off to help her.
Murdock quickly sat down, afraid that he had somehow tipped off Watkins. He started banging his head against the padded wall, he thought of what they had done to Face. He had seen the three men enter his room and couldn't help himself but stare out the window. He had to be careful, Watkins could not know the association he had with Face. He slowly stood, carefully going to his door. He looked out and saw Watkins walking down the hall. He strained his eyes into Face's room, he saw one of the guards' move across the window, then he was out of sight. He started to bite his lip, the fear of what was happening to Face eating his soul.
Face blinked and tried to see the guards clearly. Instead of two guards, Face saw several, they wavered before his eyes, their voices hollow. He felt their hands grab him and pull him to the cot. He was lifted and left lying on his sore back, one of the guards reaching for his gown. Face tried desperately to orient himself, he couldn't see or hear clearly, but he could feel them. He felt the gown being pulled over his head, he was left naked lying on the cot. His mind was functioning enough, to realize the dangerous situation he was in. He prayed that they would just dress him and get out. He felt someone lift one of his legs, then he could feel the shorts being slid up his legs. He closed his eyes, trying to move his arms, his eyes flew open when he felt a hand running up his thigh. He tried to move, scream something, but he felt the hand gently rubbing his thigh, getting closer to his groin. He closed his eyes in despair, his mind screaming, ŽGod! This can't be happening to me!' Yet he knew it was, and he powerless to stop it. The hand continued its progress and squeezed his genitals, moving down across his hip. Opening his eyes he saw the man kneel on the cot, opening his pants. Face watched horrified, the other guard stood by his head, running his hands across his chest. Face felt the man spread his legs, he closed his eyes and shut his mind, closing himself off from this nightmare.
Rick was breathing heavily, he ran his hands all over the body beneath him, squeezing his genitals roughly, smiling at the groan of pain it elicited. He unzipped his pants and looked to Bill, he said huskily, "I won't be long, then you can have him."
Bill smiled and watched his friend. His head jerked up as he heard the ear-piercing scream from across the hall. He walked over to the door as the screaming continued and saw that Welsh was screaming and banging his head against the door. "Shit! Rick, come on he's going crazy in there!"
Rick groaned zipping his pants closed and ruefully ran out the door. After several minutes, they and several other guards had finally managed to subdue Murdock. Watkins had come down to see what the fuss was about, and saw that Peck still wasn't dressed. Losing his patience, he shouted, "get him dressed!" Pointing at Murdock, he continued, "Put him in a jacket!"
Rick ordered the other guards to place a jacket on Murdock, while he and Bill went back to finish dressing Peck. Rick picked up the baggy pants, "We better get him dressed, Watkins is pissed."
Bill nodded his head in agreement, "Until later." As they finally got Face dressed, they enjoyed feeling the smooth skin.
Murdock's head was pounding, the only way he could think of to help Face was to pound his head against his window. The guards had come rushing, but he wondered what had gone on in that room. He didn't fail to notice that the two guards that came from Face's room were excited. He lowered his head to rest against his knees. If they had raped Face, he knew it would kill his friend. He walked over to the small window, knowing that Face was alone, he silently urged Face to do the same. He needed to see his friend, to know he was going to be okay. How long he stood there, urging Face, he wasn't sure. He heard the guards opening the doors in his hall, the patients shuffling out. Murdock stood back and waited for them to unlock his door.
Bill entered Welsh's, looking the man over carefully. "Do you think you can control yourself, or do we need to keep the jacket on?"
Murdock gave him his most sincere smile, "Of coarse I can control myself!" His grin widening, he continued, "I'd cross my heart, but my hands are tied up at the moment."
Bill shook his head in disgust, and proceeded to remove the jacket.
Once in the hall, it took every ounce of self-control Murdock had not to run over and look in Face's window. He followed the other patients to the main mess hall, praying that Face would be there.
BA parked the black van three blocks away from the hospital. He followed Hannibal to the back of the van, opening the doors. He handed Hannibal a pair if night vision goggles and took a pair for himself. Silently he followed Hannibal through the trees to the back of the hospital, crouching down behind the hedge that lined the fence.
Hannibal handed the two-way transmitter to BA, "I'm going to take the north side, I want you to take the left." He placed his arm on BA's shoulder, "Remember, we are observing tonight. I want to know the times and the amount of guards on duty at all times. Keep your eyes open, look for a weak spot."
BA nodded and moved silently through the trees and bushes, he hated waiting and knew that tonight was going to be a long night of waiting.
Murdock was sitting at a small table with two other patients, when he saw Face being wheeled in by an orderly. They pushed him to a table and placed a tray of food in front of him, Murdock watched, as Face gave no reaction. Looking at Face, Murdock realized they must have given him some sort of drug, he appeared to be totally lifeless. Murdock ran his eyes over the form of his best friend, noticing the bruises on his arms, below the sleeve of his T-shirt. He glanced around, noticing that there were only a few guards, and they appeared to be in a heavy conversation. Causally, he rose from his table, grabbing his tray of food and walked over to where Face sat. He sat beside his friend and began to eat, hoping that no one noticed. After several minutes, Murdock whispered, "Face, can you hear me?"
Face heard Murdock's whisper, but it took several minutes to get his brain to work properly. Finally he managed a hoarse whisper, "Murdock."
Upon hearing his name, Murdock felt like weeping. He had been so afraid that the bastards had destroyed Face. Murdock reached out and placed his hand on Face's wrist, squeezing it to let him know he was there. What he wanted to do was simply hold him in his arms and not let them have another chance at him. He picked up his fork and began to eat, keeping his eyes on the guards.
The simple feel of Murdock's hand resting on his wrist brought great joy and sadness to Face. He collected his thoughts and managed to whisper to him, "You÷ you shouldn't be here Murdock. It's too dangerous."
Murdock swallowed the lump in his throat, "I'm here for you Faceman, We all are, BA and Hannibal are right outside, only a matter of time." Murdock saw the tears slid down Face's cheeks, he heard the broken whispered words, "I hope they hurry, I÷.I can't take much more of this." Murdock couldn't find the words that were needed to comfort Face, he simply held his wrist a moment longer, only pulling it away when he saw the guard come towards them.
Bill saw that Peck had not eaten any of his meal, deciding he would have some fun, he approached the man. "Eat your meal Peck."
Face sat and stared at the tray of food, he tried to move his hand to lift the fork. It shook so badly he was unable to grasp the utensil.
Bill laughed and picked up a handful of rice, holding the back of Peck's head, he shoved the rice into his mouth. "I said Eat!"
Face began to tremble, he could feel the hand tangled in his hair, holding his head still. As he felt the rice forced into his mouth, he tried to push the hands away. He could hear the man laughing, and began to choke as he felt more food being shoved into his mouth. He began to panic when he couldn't draw in enough air, coughing and gagging.
Murdock couldn't watch any longer, he grabbed the guard's hand stopping him. "Please, stop. I'll feed him." He hesitated, he knew he was supposed to act indifferent, but he couldn't sit by and watch them choke Face. He tried out his best scamming smile, "I used to do it at my old hospital. I really don't mind."
Bill hesitated, he was having fun with Peck, but knew if he killed him, Watkins would kill him, so he shook his head in agreement. "Okay, but make sure he eats all of it."
Murdock shook his head vigorously, "Yes, I will." He quickly sat beside Face and patted him on the back. He waited until the guard moved off, before looking at Face closely. Murdock watched as Face lifted his head and looked at him, he grinned when Face gave him a small smile of thanks. Murdock picked up the napkin and gently wiped the food off his face. Picking up the fork, he encouraged his friend to eat, "Come on Face, I need you to eat this for me."
Face grimaced at the thought of eating, his stomach still not feeling right. "Murdock I can't."
Murdock was determined, "You have to Face, please for me!"
Face sighed and allowed Murdock to feed him small bites. After several minutes of silence, Face held Murdock's eyes, "Murdock, do they do this to you at the VA?"
Murdock pushed another mouthful in before answering, "No Face, it's okay where I live."
Face shook his head, "Hannibal should have come here not you Murdock."
Murdock pretended outrage, "Oh, what's that supposed to mean?" He softened his words with a huge grin.
Face stared at him, "It means that if they do to you what they have done to me, you'll never get out of the VA."
Murdock froze, staring at Face. He watched as Face met his stare, before turning his head away. Murdock could see the pain and humiliation his friend tried to hide. He reached out and forced Face to meet his gaze. "What did they do to you?"
Face couldn't answer, he pulled his head away, looking down at the tray of food. He closed his eyes as the vivid memory returned of the hands roaming his body, and the rough way they had groped him. He shook his head violently and tried to push himself away. He saw Bill walking towards him and looked back at Murdock, "Stay away from me Murdock, If they find out your with me, they'll hurt you too."
Murdock was stunned, never had Face tried to run from him, his anger at what his friend had been through, superceded any rational thought. He saw all the color drain from Face's face as Bill bent over him and whispered in his ear. He watched as Face gripped the sides of the wheel chair and began to tremble. He became outraged and leaped from his chair, charging towards Bill. He knocked him off his feet and in a blind rage, began to hit him wherever he could reach.
Face watched horrified, in his drugged and confused state, he shouted, "Murdock NO!" Before he realized his mistake, Watkins and several other guards pulled Murdock off Bill. He sat by helpless as they roughly restrained Murdock.
As soon as Watkins heard Peck shout, it all clicked into place. Murdock was the teams' pilot in Nam. That was where he remembered seeing the man before. It made sense, there was no way that Smith would allow his lieutenant to suffer, and he must be planning on a way to get him out. Now though, he was aware of what was going on, and expected it. This was perfect, it was only a matter of time before he had the whole team! As he looked at the two pathetic men, he smiled, "Bill clear out this mess hall." He pointed to Face and Murdock, "leave these two. I have a special idea."
Face felt like dying, not only did he manage to get himself in this predicament, but also because of his carelessness, he dragged Murdock down with him. He looked up and met Murdock's eyes, expecting to find anger. What he saw in his friend's eyes, made him feel worse. Murdock gave him a warm smile, his eyes displaying his concern for Face.
Murdock watched Face's eyes meet his own, trying to give him some encouragement, he smiled at him. He was dismayed as Face looked away. Murdock began to get scared, never had Face looked away from him in shame, Face never had anything to be ashamed of to Murdock. Now that his cover was blown, he moved forward and bent down next to Face. He looked around and noticed the guards moving the other patients out, taking his opportunity, he whispered, "Hey Face, it's going to be okay." He watched as Face shook his head, and barely heard him as he whispered, "No, I'm sorry." He didn't have time to reassure Face, Watkins and the two guards were moving towards them again.
Watkins was full of smiles, he now had two of Smith's men. "Well Peck, it seems you have a friend, a Mr. Murdock I believe. You were their pilot back in Nam, right?" He waited for a response, not surprised when he didn't receive one. He continued, "Not going to answer, okay. I hope you enjoy your stay as much as Peck here has." He turned to Bill and Rick, "Take them to the cellar, lock them in one of the rooms down there."
Face felt himself being pulled to his feet, the drug was wearing off, but he still had a hard time moving his arms and legs. He stumbled and fell, hitting his head on the wheelchair as he went down. He heard Murdock curse and felt gentle hands helping him to his feet. He managed, with Murdock's help to walk out of the mess hall.
Murdock was shoved down the hallway, heading for Watkins office. He could feel Face struggling to stay upright, and gave him whispered words of encouragement. He didn't know where they were headed, but he was sure he didn't want to go there. Although his cover had been blown, he felt relieved, at least now he would be with Face. He watched as one of the guards opened a trap door, then he was roughly shoved towards it. It took all his strength to keep Face upright as they maneuvered themselves down the flight of steps. Cold shivers went down his spine as he glanced around the dark cellar. He saw several closed doors, and didn't like to imagine what had gone on in those rooms behind closed doors. They were led down a narrow hall and pushed inside a small dark room. From what Murdock could make out, the room was entirely concrete, no windows or any furniture at all, only a small light in the ceiling which was controlled from outside the door. Murdock carefully lowered Face and let him rest against the wall, he stood between him and the three men.
Watkins walked inside the room, watching as Murdock took a protective stance over Peck. Turning he deliberately locked the door behind him, before moving over to where Murdock and Peck were. He motioned foe Bill and Rick to hold Murdock, once he saw him restrained he bent down and looked at Peck. "So Peck, did you tell Murdock here what fun you've been having?"
Face simply stared at Watkins, the feeling in his arms and legs was returning. He waited though, he didn't want the other men to realize the drug was wearing off.
Not getting a response from Peck, Watkins chuckled, "The drug must still be working." He turned and looked Murdock over. He stared at Murdock for several seconds before speaking, finally he looked at Bill, "Let's take him down to our therapy room, I'm sure he'll enjoy it as much as Peck did."
Murdock tensed, he had an idea of what this meant, and couldn't hide the fear that coursed through him. He was shocked when he heard Face scream and saw him tackle Watkins, dragging him to the hard concrete ground. Rick and Bill were also momentarily shocked as they watched Face pound on Watkins, getting out all his anger and frustration. After a few moments they snapped out of it, and Bill let Murdock go, to pull Face off Watkins. Murdock would have liked to help his friend, however Rick maintained a tight grip on him. He watched helplessly as Bill pulled Face to his feet and held him, as they waited for Watkins to rise to his feet. Murdock was confused as he watched Watkins leave the room, only to return a few moments later with two pairs of handcuffs and leg restraints.
Face felt Watkins restrain his feet and hands, he knew the man was livid, but he didn't care. He thought he had achieved what he set out to do, bring the heat back to himself. He couldn't stand by and do nothing to help Murdock. There was no way Face wanted Murdock to have to go through it. He didn't want to go through it either, but at the moment, he couldn't think of anything else to do.
Watkins was livid, Peck was going to pay for his disobedience. Unlocking the door, he led them to the Žtherapy room,' there he could release some of his anger. Once inside, he removed Peck's cuffs and leg restraints, ordering, Bill, "Get him on the table." He turned away getting the electrodes ready and setting the machine. Unlike last time, his anger didn't allow him time to enjoy the anticipation of the moment. He wanted to see Peck suffer, and suffer now.
As Murdock watched Face get strapped down to the table, he struggled with the guard holding him. Even with his cuffs and leg restraints on, he managed to put up quite a fight.
Watkins watched as Murdock fought with Rick, finally having enough, he walked over and met his eyes. "If you want what Peck is going to get, keep it up! When I'm done with him, you'll be next!"
Face heard the menacing words towards Murdock, and before Bill was able to strap his head to the table, he lifted it and held Murdock's eyes, "Please Murdock, stop! It'll be okay." He saw Murdock shaking his head frantically, the tears beginning to well in his brown eyes. He pleaded, "Please,÷ Do it for me!"
Murdock froze, and watched helplessly as Face's head was pushed against the hard table and strapped down. He winced as he saw Bill place a leather strap in Face's mouth. He could see Face begin to tremble, and closed his eyes.
Face stared at the ceiling, picking a spot to concentrate on. He hated for Murdock to see him like this, but at least it was he and not his best friend. He knew that Murdock was wishing it were him, that thought brought Face much needed comfort. He felt the cold electrodes being placed against his chest and thighs, at least this time, they had left his shorts on. He heard the slight hum of the machine warming up, and braced himself for what came next.
Watkins enjoyed watching Peck as the current ran through him, his face contorted in pain. Finally though, Peck had lost consciousness, and he was disappointed. Sighing, he turned off the machine, "Get him off the table." He looked at Murdock and laughed out loud when he saw the man rocking against the wall, tears running down his face. He patted the table, "Hop up!"
As Murdock heard those words, he pulled his eyes from Face's prone form lying on the hard cold floor. He jerked away when Rick moved to pull off his shirt, he struggled with the two guards, and they all stopped as they heard a soft beeping noise and looked at Watkins.
Watkins looked at his watch and turned off the damn alarm. "Shit!" Moving over to Bill, he said quietly, "Lock them up, I've got a dinner appointment." He looked at Bill closely, knowing what activities he and Rick enjoyed. "Lock them up for the night, I want you two upstairs. I am not taking any chances with these two."
Bill nodded his head, and moved to grab Face off the floor. He grasped the discarded clothing and dragged Peck back to the room at the other end of the cellar. He waited for Rick to shove Murdock in and securely locked the door, turning off the light as he and Rick followed Watkins back upstairs.
Murdock waited for them to release him from his cuffs and leg restraints, and close the door before rushing to Face's side. The lights were immediately turned off, and he was unable to see anything. He sat in the floor, pulling Face into his arms, holding onto him tightly. As he felt Face jerk, he squeezed him, trying to ease his suffering, checking Face's pulse, he was worried over how fast it beat. Murdock ran his hands gently through Face's hair, leaning in close to whisper, "Hang on Face, Hannibal and BA are going to get us out of here." He paused, his emotions over taking him, "Please Face,÷please hang on." He rested his cheek against Face's, closing his eyes.
Bill and Rick sat in Watkins office, listening to the man rant. "I can't believe I forgot about this dinner, of all the nights!" He continued to pace around his office, trying to look presentable. He turned and faced Bill and Rick, "I mean it, I don't want you two messing with them, I'll be back tomorrow morning, we can continue our fun then."
Bill rose from a chair, stuffing his hands in his pocket feeling the key that held Peck and Murdock. He met Watkins stare evenly, and answered, "Yeah, okay. But when you're through, Rick and I want our chance."
Watkins nodded, and walked out the door.
Bill watched him go, no longer able to hide his smirk. He looked at Rick, "We'll give him an hour, then we'll go finish what we started."
A huge grin broke out on Rick's face, "I can't wait!"
Murdock felt the spastic jerks in Face's body slow, as the effects of the shock wore off. Face though, was shivering from the cool dampness of the cellar. Without disturbing Face, Murdock blindly reached around him and finally found Face's clothes. He gently eased Face down, feeling down his legs to his feet. Lifting one foot he was about to slid the pants on, when suddenly all the wind was knocked from him. He gasped clutching his stomach as Face kicked him again. Murdock reached out and tried to grasp Face, it was so dark he couldn't see and ended up grabbing him around the waist. He could hear the panic in his friend's voice as he screamed, "Get the hell off me!" Murdock held on to him tightly as he continued to struggle. Murdock tried to sooth him, "Easy Face! It's me, Murdock!" He continued to whisper to Face, trying to break through to him. Finally, Face stopped struggling. Murdock couldn't see, but he could hear Face's harsh breathing. Murdock gently pulled Face in his arms, "It's okay buddy, it's me. It's just me."
Face felt himself pulled closer to Murdock, as he felt Murdock's arms wrap around him, he groaned softly. He heard Murdock whisper reassuringly, and for the moment he savored the feeling of being safe. After a few minutes, Face pulled back. "I'm sorry Murdock, didn't mean to go to pieces on you."
Murdock whispered, "It's okay Face." He still held Face's shirt in his hands and asked, "Your cold, let me help you get dressed."
Face didn't answer, he remained still and as he felt Murdock slid his shirt on, when he felt Murdock gently pull his pants on, he forced himself not to pull away. Finally he leaned against the cold wall, resting his aching body.
They both sat in the darkness, finally Face asked, "Hey, you say BA and Hannibal are out there?"
Murdock rubbed his eyes, "Yeah, their figuring a way to get us out, it won't be much longer now."
Face sighed and whispered, "Good."
Murdock gently rested his arm across Face's shoulders, he still could feel Face shivering and remembered the bruises that covered his body. He made a decision, and knew Face was going to argue, but was determined, "Face, next time Watkins comes for us, don't antagonize him like last time, let me take the heat."
Face shook his head in a fiercely, "NO!" He heard Murdock try to interrupt and Face continued, "NO! I won't, I remember last time you had shock therapy. Do you remember, when Richter was gone for three months, it set you back two years!" Face lowered his voice and placed a hand on Murdock, finding his cheek and turning his face to his own, "I won't let that happen to you."
Murdock was stunned, he knew the tone in Face's voice and knew he couldn't convince him, but he had to try, "I can do it Face." He paused before adding, "For you, I can do it."
Face leaned his head against the wall, closing his eyes, "I don't want you to."
Murdock didn't reply, he heard the weariness in Face's voice and let the subject drop. He thought to himself, ŽI will do what I have to Face, you can be angry with me later.'
Hannibal glanced at the guards patrolling the area, he was now agreeing with BA. He wanted to go in there tonight, he was having an uneasy feeling and wanted his two men out. He crawled to get a closer look and felt his foot scrape against something. Looking down, his face broke out into a huge grin, below his foot was a grate to the sewer system. He moved into the thick bushes and brought up his radio, "BA, I'm on the north side, directly parallel to the main entrance. Come here, I've got a plan."
Rick walked into Watkins office, "All patients are secure." He watched as Bill nodded and moved over to Watkins desk, reaching behind it and producing a baseball bat. Rick smiled and opened the door that led to the cellar.
Murdock heard the key being placed in the door, and was blinded as the lights were turned on. He felt Face tense, and could hear his own heart beating in his chest as Bill and Rick walked through. Murdock pulled Face to his feet and dragged him to the furthest corner, standing in front of him protectively.
Bill took in the scene and laughed out loud, "Trying to protect him? Come here Peck."
Face felt Murdock grasp his arm, he saw the bat in the guards hands and had an idea of what would happen if he refused. He pulled his arm away, and stepped towards the guards. He heard Murdock shout, "NO!" and saw him run towards the guards. He watched in horror, as the guard swung the bat, he cried out to warn Murdock. Murdock saw the bat at the last second, and managed to turn as the bat hit him in the back. Face ran over and kneeled beside Murdock, frantically checking to see if he was breathing. He shoulders sagged in relief as he realized his friend was just dazed. He heard Murdock groan and squeezed his shoulder in support. He stood slowly as the two guards approached him, backing away slowly. His back hit the far wall, and he suddenly realized there was no where to go.
Bill smiled as he saw the defeat and fear in Peck's eyes, "Now we are going to finish what we started earlier." He looked at Rick and motioned for him to grab Peck. He watched as Rick struggled with Peck, and decided that Peck needed to be weakened. Gripping the bat tightly, he hit Peck in the stomach and sides, hearing the ribs snap. After a few quick hits, Peck lie gasping on the floor, clutching his side. He pulled him up and had Rick hold him, he violently pulled off his shirt and pants. He smiled as he took in Face, an idea suddenly formed in hid mind. "Rick, the old shower still down here?"
Rick held onto Face, enjoying the feel of him. "Yeah, why?"
Bill smiled and pulled out the cuffs, "Here lock them up, we'll take this to the shower, that way no mess to clean for Watkins."
Rick grinned, and immediately locked Peck's hands, then moved over and locked Murdock's hands. "Okay we're ready." Rick pushed Peck out the door, while Bill pulled a dazed Murdock to his feet. Soon they found themselves inside the shower. At one time, this lavatory was the main one for the patients, now it was a forgotten place. No one knew that this part of the hospital even existed, except Watkins and his few trusted colleagues. Rick cuffed Murdock to an old pipe in the huge shower, and watched as Bill moved in on Peck.
Face clutched his ribs, as Bill moved in on him. He saw Murdock come out of his daze and he now struggled against the cuff. Face was distracted a moment as he saw Rick move in on him from the side, he cried out and collapsed as Bill struck him in the leg with the bat. Face cried out again as he felt Rick climb on his back and pin him to the floor. He tried to throw Rick off him, and felt the bat strike him on the lower back. He clenched his teeth as he felt Bill pull his shorts off him, he continued to struggle and managed to kick Bill. He heard a soft angry curse, then his vision exploded in bright spots. He heard Murdock screaming, and watched in a dazed fog as Bill struck Murdock with the bat to shut him up. Face blinked his eyes, trying to clear his vision, and met Murdock's eyes, he saw the pure shock and terror in them. He felt a hand tangle in his hair, forcing his head against the floor. He still managed to hold Murdock's horrified stare, his strength deserting him. Face felt hands on his legs, spreading them, he managed to turn his head away. As the reality of the situation sank in, he couldn't look at Murdock any longer. He heard Murdock scream at him, "Face look at me! Look at me! Your not alone!" Face refused, he couldn't bear to look at Murdock now. Face felt an incredible burning pain erupt inside him, he began to scream as the pain intensified. Even through his own screams, he heard Murdock pleading with him to look at him.
Murdock continued to scream at Face, especially after Face had stopped screaming. He heard Face's screams weaken, and soon all he could hear from him was his weak gasps of pain. Murdock tried in vain to get Face to look at him, the only comfort he was able to offer him at the moment. He wanted Face to know he wasn't alone, that Murdock was here for him. He wished he could get free and kill the bastards, but that was impossible. He watched helplessly as Bill stood, laughing at Face, and moved over and took Rick's place on Face's back. He saw Rick move behind Face, rubbing his hands along Face's thighs. Murdock began to sob, pleading with them to stop. With tears in his eyes, he watched as Rick raped Face. Face no longer reacting, his body lie passive underneath Rick's. After what seemed like an eternity, Rick moved away. Murdock looked at the two men with pure hatred in his eyes, he wished he could get his hands on them.
Bill looked at Murdock and chuckled, ignoring him to check on Peck. He leaned down and noticed the man's eyes were open, but were unfocused. He slapped his cheek, and received no reaction. He looked over Peck's body, it was covered in bruises, and he heard the faint gasping of breath. Running his hands over Peck's side, he felt at least two broken ribs. He moved his hands down his leg, and noticed that Peck's lower leg was swollen and had a deep dark bruise on it. Blood was also seeping out of him, and staining the floor underneath him. He saw the deep bruises on peck's lower back and buttocks, he sighed heavily, realizing they may have gone too far.
Rick moved over beside Bill, "What's up? What do you want to do with them now?"
Bill glanced at him and then back at peck's prone body, "I think we need to let it be for awhile, if we kill him Watkins will definitely kill us!"
Rick ran his hand through Peck's hair, "Yeah, I think your right." He glanced around and saw the amount of blood, "I think we should leave them hear, at least till he stops bleeding."
Bill nodded and rose, walking over to Murdock, laughing at the tears that ran down his face. Grabbing the front of his shirt, he pulled him close, "If you say one thing to Watkins, I will personally kill your friend. Understand?"
Murdock nodded in agreement, not because he intended to agree, at the moment he just wanted them to leave so he could talk to Face. In a voice thick with emotion, he pleaded, "Can you release me from the pipe, please. I÷ He needs help."
Bill laughed, ignoring him, and walked out the door, closing it behind Rick. The only sound left in the room was the sound of Face's gasps.
BA crouched beside Hannibal, "Man. You want to go down there?" BA looked at the grate, which covered the hospital's sewer system.
Hannibal grinned, "Yep! Help me lift the lid."
It took only minutes before Hannibal and BA had the lid off and were climbing down the hole. Once inside, Hannibal pulled out a small flashlight and moved down the dark tunnel.
BA winced as they moved in the shallow water, "Man Hannibal, I say we should have gone through the front door."
Hannibal smiled, but remained silent. He had no idea where the tunnel would place them, he hoped it would be somewhere where they could sneak inside and get to Face and Murdock.
Murdock had been trying to reach Face for some time stubbornly Face wouldn't answer. Eventually he gave up, he leaned against the wall, staring at Face. He wasn't sure if Face could hear him or not, he wasn't sure if he should be relieved the gasping had stopped or scared shitless that Face had stopped breathing. He sniffed and tried to control his voice, "Face÷.. Please, if you can hear me,÷.show me a sign, something so I know your alive."
Face was still staring at the wall, the pain hadn't diminished and he felt his own blood running down his leg. He heard Murdock, could hear the pain in his voice, but he couldn't move. He knew he should answer his friend, ease his worries, but he couldn't. The only thing he felt was the pain and the shame, all other feelings were void.
Murdock wasn't sure how long he watched Face lie motionless, he wished he could see his face. All he could see was the back of him, he looked away as he saw the amount of blood on the floor. Murdock suddenly heard a voice it was a whisper. He strained his ears, afraid that Rick and Bill were coming back. His heart lifted as he realized it was coming from below him, he could hear two voices below the drain of the shower. He listened carefully, praying that it was Hannibal and BA, a moment later his prayers were answered. He laughed in sheer exuberance as he heard BA mutter, "Man Hannibal, we almost there?"
He excitably started to whisper to them, cautious not to yell to loudly, "Hannibal! BA! We're here, we're here!"
He heard footsteps and saw the large drain by Face being moved slightly, he could here BA grunting as he tried to lift the heavy drain cover.
Hannibal silently urged BA to hurry, he heard the desperate tone in Murdock's voice and worried what had caused it. "Hang on captain, we're almost through."
Murdock now had tears of joy in his eyes, he looked over at Face, and saw that there was still no movement. "Hurry BA, Face is hurt."
Hearing those words, BA gave one grunt and managed to push the cover aside, immediately climbing up into the room, Hannibal right behind him.
Hannibal moved towards Murdock, seeing him handcuffed to a pipe. He stopped in his tracks when he saw Face lying on his side, his heart skipping a beat as he noticed that Face was naked. He met Murdock's eyes and saw the fear, pulling himself together he knelt down next to Face checking his pulse.
BA was also momentarily stunned, when he saw Hannibal kneel down beside Face he moved over and checked Murdock. In his anger, BA simply ripped the pipe off the wall, freeing Murdock's hand.
Hannibal felt sick, he saw the blood and deep bruises on Face's lower back. Carefully, he supported Face and rolled him over, he was amazed to see his eyes open. He whispered, "Face?" he received no answer. Murdock had knelt down beside them, Hannibal met his eyes and whispered, "What did they do to him?"
Murdock lowered his eyes and shook his head, the words refusing to leave his mouth. He turned as he heard BA start smashing his fist into the concrete walls.
BA didn't feel any pain, only rage consumed his soul. He continued to smash what he could get his hands on, when he heard Hannibal shout at him. "BA Stop!" BA continued until he felt someone pull on his shoulder, swinging madly, he held up his fist to smash whom it was that touched him. He looked into Murdock's brown tear filled eyes, "Please BA stop!" BA paused seeing the pain written in Murdock's face, looking past him at Hannibal, he saw the pain reflected there as well. BA saw that Hannibal was holding Face tightly in his arms, running his hands through his hair, whispering soothing words in Face's ear.
BA wiped his own eyes and grabbed Face's discarded clothes, and walked over to Hannibal. "I'll take him Hannibal."
Hannibal looked into BA's eyes and nodded, he let go as BA gently lifted Face into his arms. Hannibal went to Murdock, who still seemed dazed and gently guided him by the elbow and followed BA.
They finally made their way to the van, Hannibal opening the sliding doors so BA could lie Face gently inside. He guided Murdock inside and followed slamming the door behind him. Hannibal immediately went to the back and grabbed a blanket, covering Face.
BA sat behind the wheel, his anger still simmering, but he knew now he had to get Face and Murdock out of here. With one last glance back at the hospital, he swore revenge. Starting the van, he gently drove away. After several miles of silence, he looked in the rearview mirror, "Where to Hannibal?"
Hannibal paused in his brief examination, "Bad Rock." Turning his attention back to Face. He gently wiped a damp rag across his cheeks, "Face, can you hear me?" Hannibal held his breath as he saw Face blink, his eyes slowly focusing on Hannibal's. Hannibal smiled warmly, relief washing over his features, he whispered, "Face?" He paused, burying his emotions, "Face it's over, we got you out."
Face heard the whispered words, feeling someone grasp his hand, he turned his head and saw Murdock sitting beside him. He was confused, the last thing he remembered was lying on the cold floor. He didn't remember Hannibal or BA coming for them. He began to tremble as he thought about what happened in the shower, his stomach and ribs beginning to ache. He felt the cool cloth caress his cheek, a sudden feeling of nausea washed over him. The feeling was the same as the guard's hands caressing his body. With as much strength as he could gather, he pushed Hannibal's hand away, rolling away from Murdock and Hannibal and began to retch violently.
Hannibal held onto his shoulders, gently rubbing the back of his neck, trying to offer comfort. He felt the tenseness in Face's body, he whispered, "Easy Face, we're taking you to Maggie's."
Finally Face began to get control of himself, feeling Hannibal's hands soothing him, he shivered and moved away. He crawled away and sat up shakily, stopping both Murdock and Hannibal as they tried to help him. He held up his hand, "Please÷leave me alone."
Murdock tried to hide the pain in his eyes, not knowing how to deal with the situation he turned to Hannibal.
Hannibal moved slightly away, pulling Murdock with him, not wanting Face to feel threatened. Quietly he said, "Face please, don't shut us out. Let us help you."
Face wrapped the blanket around him more securely, avoiding his friends eyes, he whispered, "I know, I ÷I'm okay, just want to rest." He gave them a weak smile and carefully laid down closing his eyes. It was a few moments before he felt a gentle hand caress his forehead and face. Pretending to be asleep, he remained still, finally hearing Hannibal move to the front of the van. The sounds and images of what happened in the shower invaded his mind, gritting his teeth, he covered his ears with his hands, trying to block the hated memories. Finally exhaustion claimed him, and he fell into a fitful sleep.
Murdock watched helplessly as Face sleep, he saw Face try and hide the pain he was feeling. He moved to the front of the van, careful not to wake Face.
Hannibal and BA remained quiet, each in their own thoughts. Hannibal couldn't help feeling responsible, he should have never allowed Face to go with the orderlies from the VA in the first place. BA's thoughts were very similar, he grimaced as he remembered how they had all laughed at the mistake. When the orderlies mistook Face for Murdock, BA never realized how much Face would be hurt. He didn't want to speak his fears allowed, knowing both Hannibal and Murdock were worried sick, but he wondered if Face would ever be the same. He tightened his grip on the wheel, not for the first time tonight, he vowed revenge on the men that had done this to his family.
They finally pulled in the drive of Maggie Sullivan's house, the sun just beginning to rise. Hannibal had called her an hour earlier, and now saw her open the door and rush out to meet them. He gave her a pensive smile and moved to open the sliding door.
BA immediately pushed past Hannibal to gently lift Face out of the van, heading inside. Maggie followed BA, quickly showing him where to put Face. After he had gently laid Face down, she ushered all three men out of the room, closing the door. Turning back to Face she began her examination, surprised to see Face's eyes open. She smiled warmly, pushing his hair from his face, "Hi Face. I don't want you to worry about a thing, you're safe now." Pulling the blanket aside, she noticed the deep bruises covering his body. It hurt her just to look at them, she couldn't imagine what Face felt, running her hands down his body, she found three broken ribs. He sucked in his breath as her hands touched him, groaning softly. Knowing she had to examine him thoroughly, she grasped his hand and asked, "Face let me give you something for the pain, it will just make you sleep. Okay?"
Face closed his eyes, nodding his head in agreement, he really didn't want to be awake through this. He felt the small prick of the needle and was grateful as Maggie sat carefully on the bed gently soothing him as she waited for the sedation to take effect before continuing her exam. As the sedation finally took effect and his eyes closed, he mentally made a note to thank her for her kindness.
Maggie walked out of the examining room, quietly closing the door behind her. She looked up into three very concerned faces. Taking a deep breath, she told them what she had found. "He will make a full recovery, the most serious injury is the broken ribs, three in all. No internal injures. His heart and lungs appear to be functioning properly. He suffered severe bruising in the abdomen area as well as the back. The most sever are located on his lower back." She sat down, and took another breath as she reigned in her emotions, wiping the tears that burned in her eyes, she continued softly, "I did a thorough exam, there was no internal damage done during the rape. There was extensive bruising and some slight tearing, but nothing that won't heal in time."
As BA heard the words, he angrily drove his fist through the nearest wall. He felt a hand on his shoulder and turned furiously and met Hannibal's eyes.
"BA! Calm down, this won't help Face!"
BA stared at him, anger and defiance written clearly on his features, "Calm down? Calm down? How the hell do you expect me to calm down? We did this! We sat and laughed as they dragged him out of that hotel room! I swear Hannibal I'm going to kill every one of them!" He threw Hannibal's arm off him and stormed for the front door, Murdock blocked his way. BA Growled, "Get out of my way fool!"
Refusing to move, Murdock met BA's angry stare. Trying to hold his emotions together, he screamed back at BA, "You are not leaving!" Murdock moved as BA tried to go around him, he finally lost control and clenched his fist, striking BA as hard as he could, only startling him.
BA growled and grabbed Murdock by the front of his shirt, his anger and frustration aching for release, he wanted to pound Murdock to the ground.
Maggie watched horrified, she glanced at Hannibal and realized he was not going to be of any help. He simply stared at BA and Murdock, his face covered in pain. Her emotions finally got to her, and she was pissed. Stepping in-between the two men, she shouted, "Stop it! You can both leave if this is how you are going to act!" Taking a deep breath, she continued in a more calm voice, "Listen, all of you. Face is going to need each of you to help him through this. I said there was no lasting physical harm, what they did to him certainly is going to leave psychological damage. You need to be there for him. For him! That means when he wakes, be there! Not out bashing in heads, that will have to wait." She was glad she had their attention, she paused to collect her thoughts, obviously she was the only person thinking clearly. She continued, speaking her stray thoughts, "I have a friend, he owns a cabin on Independence Lake, in the Tahoe National Forrest." An idea forming in her mind, she ran to her office pulling out an atlas. She pointed to the small lake, "It's about eight hours away, if I ask I'm sure he will let you use it. All I have to do is ask." She thought it was a wonderful idea and held her breath for Hannibal's answer.
Hannibal stared at map, it was a good idea, and they could rest there for weeks without the threat of the military. He looked at BA and Murdock, knowing everyone's emotions were riding high. He came to a decision, "Can this friend be trusted?"
Maggie nodded, "Yes, he is a friend of the family, if I call him and explain the situation, I'm sure he won't mind. He isn't even using the cabin right now, not with all the snow in the area."
Hannibal turned to Murdock and BA, "What do you think?"
Murdock took a deep breath, "Yeah, Maggie's right, we need to take Face away, somewhere to forget."
When Hannibal met BA's eyes, he simply nodded. All he really wanted to do was go back and reek his revenge. But at the moment he knew everyone was right, so he reluctantly agreed and grabbed the map to study it. He walked silently out to the van and started to figure out the best way to get there. As he stared at the map, not seeing it at all, his mind kept replaying the horrible images of Face in that hospital. And when they carried him out, the way he didn't respond to them, even though BA knew he was conscious, ate at BA. Suddenly overwhelmed with grief and anger, he started to pound on the steering wheel, trying to let out his frustration. After several minutes he stopped, realizing it wasn't helping, he buried his face in his hands and began to cry.
Hannibal watched Maggie make the call to her friend, he turned away as she began to explain the situation. He sat next to Murdock, squeezing his shoulders in support, "How are you doing Murdock?"
Murdock shrugged his shoulders, "Not good Hannibal."
Hannibal sighed, trying to find the words that would erase the pain. "Murdock, Maggie's right, we need to be there for Face." He paused trying to marshal his thoughts, "Face is in a lot of pain, both mentally as well as physically. I think getting him away from here will be the best thing for him, us as well."
He glanced at Murdock, his words not making a difference in the other man at all, desperate he whispered, "Please Murdock, try and be strong, I know it's hard, but try for Face. He needs us to be there for him, for us to be strong! You're his best friend, and you were there with him." His voice barely above a whisper, "He needs you the most. Please try."
Murdock slowly turned his head and met Hannibal's eyes, seeing the tears bright in his eyes. Pulling his scattered thoughts together he took a deep breath, "Yes÷I can do it, for Face."
Hannibal squeezed his shoulder, pulling him close into a warm embrace. "Thank you Murdock. Thank you."
Murdock held onto Hannibal, he felt as well as heard the shaking sobs escape Hannibal. Finally he couldn't hold his emotions any longer, he cried with Hannibal. He sobbed brokenly, "God Hannibal÷.I ÷I couldn't stop it!" He felt Hannibal's arms tighten, "After..it was over..I begged him to look at me. He ÷he wouldn't. I think they destroyed him."
Hannibal held him as Murdock's words became muffled, he continued to hold him as Murdock relived the nightmare. Finally the words stopped, Murdock pulled away wiping his tears, and Hannibal wiped his own away.
Murdock sat up, suddenly a determined look came into his eyes, "I can do this, I want to see Face well." He reached out and grasped Hannibal's hand, "We can all do this!" He squeezed it determinedly and rose from the couch. He quietly walked into the room where Face was sleeping. Sitting quietly in a nearby chair, he held Face's hand, gently rubbing his arm. He looked up at Hannibal who had followed him into the room, quietly he whispered, "It's going to be hard for him Hannibal."
Hannibal sat on the side of the bed, careful not to disturb Face, he also reached out to touch Face, gently lying his hand on the sleeping face, "I know Murdock, but we've been in hard spots before. We'll pull him out, like we always do for each other."
BA had came into the house, and found the others in Face's room. He sat down next to Murdock, the three of them remained in the room watching Face sleep for the remainder of the night. Each lost in their own thoughts, but finding comfort in watching Face rest comfortably.
As the first rays of light shone through the window, Face blinked trying to move away from the light. He groaned as his sore ribs protested, remembering in detail how the events that caused him so much pain, he raised his hand to cover his eyes. The images closing in on him, his thoughts were interrupted by Hannibal's soft voice calling his name. "Face?" He moved his hand and turned his head to see Hannibal staring at him, the worry clearly written on the older man's face. He swallowed pushing the memories down where they couldn't hurt him and answered Hannibal. "Yeah."
Hannibal heard the roughness in Face's voice and immediately reached for the glass of water on the nightstand. He gently lifted Face's head and held the glass as Face drank. When Face finished, he placed the glass down, and gently asked, "How do you feel?"
Face immediately replied, "Okay." Face briefly met Hannibal's eyes, looking away quickly, not wanting to see the pity he knew he would find there. Trying to prove that he felt all right, he carefully tried to sit up, feeling Hannibal's hands on him, easing him back down. He felt his anger rise, and tried to push his hands away, "Hannibal! Stop! I feel fine!"
Hannibal sat back down, letting Face have his way for the moment. He knew Face was lying, but at the moment he couldn't call Face on it. An uncomfortable silence descended around them, finally Hannibal broke it, knowing Face wouldn't. "Face, I want to take you away, to a cabin on a lake. We'll all go, it will be great, a chance to rest and relax." Hannibal waited a moment for a reply from Face, when he didn't receive one, he continued, "Please Face, I would like to know what you think."
Face stared at the pattern on the blanket, a black rage building inside. He could still hear the guards in the shower, still hear his own screams echoing of the shower walls. He met Hannibal's questioning eyes, "You want to know what I think? I'll tell you, I want to go home!" Sitting up further in the bed, he ignored the pain in his ribs as he began to shout at Hannibal, "I want to go home and forget about this entire week! But you didn't think about what I wanted! Did you?"
Hannibal stared at Face, noticing that Face refused to meet his eyes, he noticed the flushed face and the clenched jaw. He reached for Face's hand, and pulled his own hand back when he saw Face flinch and move his hand. Hannibal sighed and tried to break through to Face, "I think÷"
Face interrupted him, "I don't care what you thought. I want to go home."
Hannibal tried again, "Face it isn't safe there, it won't be long, just enough time for you to heal."
Tired and defeated, Face laid back down closing his eyes, ignoring the pain, he rolled over, turning his back to Hannibal, "Please leave me alone."
Hearing the choked words Hannibal whispered fiercely, "Face, talk to me!"
Face whispered angrily, "For Christ's sake, leave me alone!"
Hannibal's shoulders sank in defeat, he pulled the blanket over Face. As he rested his hand on Face's shoulder, he saw Face tense at his touch. He patted the shoulder gently, and whispered, "I'll leave, Face." He hesitated a moment, before continuing, "We'll leave in a few hours, and we're right outside if you need anything, okay?" Not expecting an answer, he quietly walked out of the room.
As Face heard the door shut, he opened his eyes. He felt ashamed at his behavior towards Hannibal, but he really didn't want to spend god knows how long recuperating in a cabin. If they brought him there, he would never escape the visions that haunted him.
Murdock and BA watched as Hannibal came into the kitchen, the look on their colonel's face told them everything. Murdock stared at the table, the grief evident on his face.
Maggie rose from the table, "Is he awake?" She watched Hannibal nod, "I want to examine him, before you go." She quietly left the room.
Hannibal sat heavily at the table, not knowing what to say to BA or Murdock.
BA didn't wait for Hannibal, "He doesn't want to go, does he?"
Hannibal shook his head, he sighed heavily, "No. He doesn't want to go." He paused a moment, "But I think once we get there and after some time, he'll come around."
Murdock remained quiet, he wasn't sure Hannibal was right, after all he saw what had happened. He hoped he was wrong, but he wasn't sure Face would come around.
Several hours later, Murdock was spreading blankets out in the back of the van, trying to make a comfortable bed for Face. He looked at BA, who sat in the front seat reading the map, "Know where you're going big guy?" He heard BA growl at him, and he managed a small chuckle. He sobered immediately as he saw Face gingerly walk out of the house.
Hannibal was frustrated, "Face please, let me get BA, you're still sore."
Face turned dark eyes on Hannibal and spoke venomously, "I am not crippled Hannibal, I can walk to the van on my own."
Hannibal stopped and watched as Face moved painfully to the van, feeling a hand on his arm, he looked down at Maggie,
"Give him time, Hannibal. He'll come to realize how much he needs you all. Right now, he's feeling angry, so much anger that we can't even begin to understand. But look in his eyes Hannibal, you can see the fear and desperation. He's pushing you all away to see if you'll go."
Hannibal thought about what she said as he watched Murdock help Face into the van. "He can push all he likes, we're not going anywhere."
Maggie smiled, "I know, just make sure he knows that."
Hannibal nodded and bent down giving her a warm kiss and hug, whispering sincerely, "Thank you Mags."
She returned his embrace, "You're very welcome, call me and let me know how you all are doing."
Hannibal smiled and moved off towards the van. As BA drove off, he leaned out the window and waved goodbye. He sat back in the seat, pulling out a cigar, glancing back at Face he noticed he was asleep, or at least pretending to be. He lit his cigar, thinking about Maggie's word of advice. He smiled as he realized she was right, Face could push, but they would push right back. Feeling a sense of determination fill him, he enjoyed the ride and his cigar.
Face stared out the window, feeling Murdock's eyes on him. He knew his friends were worried, but at the moment he couldn't do anything to ease their worries. His mind was filled with the images from the hospital. Every time he closed his eyes, he saw the guards hurting him. He could feel their hands as they took advantage of his helplessness. He was startled when he felt a hand on his arm, he winced instinctively and pulled away.
Murdock retrieved his hand slowly, he tried to meet Face's eyes but his friend turned his head to stare out the window. Quietly, Murdock asked, "Face, it's time for your pain medication." He held out two pills, hoping Face would take them. A moment later he was disappointed as he watched Face shake his head. Murdock sighed and tried again, "Face the pills will help with the pain." He was amazed as Face turned burning eyes to meet his, he barely heard Face as he angrily whispered, "I don't want them!" Murdock met Face's eyes pleadingly, he wanted so much to help, but knew he couldn't. Murdock sat back still watching Face, he tried to reach his friend once more, "Can I get you anything? Are you hungry?"
Face moved his eyes to look out the window, answering quietly, "No." He heard Murdock whisper, "Okay. If you need anything let us know, okay?" All Face could do was nod his head in acknowledgment. Hearing Murdock settle himself back in his seat an intense feeling of shame washed over him. He knew he was hurting his best friend, but his intense feeling of anger and pain prevented him from stopping. His entire soul was consumed with a black rage, and it seemed compounded by going to this cabin. He knew his every move, every breath would be scrutinized. Clenching his teeth he realized that his friends wouldn't give him a moments peace to try and forget the last horrifying week. He didn't want his feelings dissected, his thoughts analyzed, his actions monitored. He sighed and tried to lie down, his broken ribs protesting. He immediately felt Murdock's hands on him, easing him down to the floor of the van. He tried to push his hands away, and met Murdock's eyes. He was startled to see the usually happy brown eyes filled with unshed tears. He could barely hear Murdock as he whispered, "Please Face don't shut me out." He heard the pain in Murdock's voice. He closed his eyes, and instead of pushing Murdock away from him, he squeezed his hand. He knew it wasn't much, but at the moment it was all he could give. He felt a shaky hand brush his hair off his forehead. Still holding Murdock's hand, he carefully rolled onto his side, feeling Murdock lie down beside him.
Murdock was ecstatic, he was so afraid Face would push him away. Watching Face close his eyes and roll over, Murdock hesitantly laid down beside him. He was encouraged when Face didn't let go of his hand, he gently placed his other arm around Face, hoping he wouldn't feel threatened. After several minutes, he felt Face's hand go limp, and realized that he had finally managed to go to sleep. Murdock remained where he was, happy to be lying beside Face, hopefully reassuring him by his presence.
Hannibal looked in the back of the van, seeing both Murdock and Face asleep. He sighed in relief, he looked at BA, "Pull over in the next town, we're going to need supplies."
BA never took his eyes from the road, "How long are we going to be up here Hannibal?"
Hannibal inhaled on his cigar, "As long as it takes for this team to heal." He hesitated a moment, "I think it will take some time BA, I don't want to rush this." He looked back at his sleeping men, "They both need the rest, and I'm going to make sure they get it."
BA scowled, "I think Face needs a real doctor Hannibal, we've never dealt with this kind of thing before."
Annoyed with BA's words, Hannibal spat out quietly, "Who do we take him to BA? You think he's going to want to try another hospital?"
BA remained quiet, he knew from past experience that when a situation got out of control, and Hannibal was angry, it was best not to say anything.
Hannibal immediately regretted the angry words, "I'm sorry BA. It's just÷"
BA interrupted him, "Yeah I know Hannibal I want to kill them too!"
Hannibal nodded and threw his cigar out the window, "I feel responsible BA, I watched him being dragged off and didn't do a damn thing to help him. I never thought he would be hurt like this."
BA glanced at Hannibal hearing a sadness in his voice he never heard before. He didn't comment further, not knowing any words to ease Hannibal's pain. Face was the one who was good with words, but he knew Face was wrapped up in his own pain. He sighed and concentrated on the road, looking for the next town. He planned on getting a lot of supplies, it was going to be awhile before this team was up and running again.
Hannibal breathed a sigh of relief as BA carefully maneuvered the van into the drive of the small cabin. For the last hour the snow had been falling heavily and he wondered if they would ever arrive. He stepped out of the van and into the snow, he grinned, it had been years since he had seen so much. Looking around, he discovered the scenery was beautiful, the fresh fallen snow made everything pure. He heard the rear door open and immediately moved to help Murdock with Face. He saw Face wince as he stepped down from the van, avoiding his outstretched hand. He held his breath as he watched Face look around. He grinned broadly, "Well, what do you think?"
Face met Hannibal's eyes, "Like I said this morning, I want to go home." Before he registered the hurt in Hannibal's eyes he carefully moved away heading for the front door. Slowly he made his way inside, finding a chair and easing his sore body into it. He watched as Murdock and BA wrestled with the supplies, he noticed at the amount of gear they were bringing in and asked, "How long are we staying here?"
Hannibal came through the front door, stomping his feet to rid the snow, "We're staying for awhile Face, we all need the break. I thought it would be a nice rest for us all."
Face felt his anger rise, "You thought it would be nice? I don't want to be here! I want to go home!"
Hannibal sighed and walked up to Face, "I know Face, please give it a chance. All we want to do is help. Let us try."
Face looked away, sighing in defeat. He felt Hannibal place his hand on his shoulder and lean over him, hearing the whispered words, "That's all I ask Face, give it a chance." He felt Hannibal squeeze his shoulder before helping BA with the gear.
Several hours later, Face wondered around the small cabin, from the windows in the kitchen, he saw the lake. The snow covered the ice, and it all looked so peaceful. Face laughed bitterly to himself, the atmosphere in the cabin was anything but peaceful. He wondered around aimlessly and his three friends walked on needles around him. So lost in his thoughts, Hannibal's voice startled him.
"It sure is beautiful." Hannibal turned and met Face's eyes, hoping the younger man wasn't still angry with him.
Face met Hannibal's eyes briefly, before turning back to look out the window. He answered quietly, "yeah."
Hannibal enjoyed the view a moment longer, before turning towards Face. "I know you want to go home, I hope you give this a chance, give us a chance as well. We all know your hurting Face, believe it we're hurting too." He watched Face a moment, the younger man's expression remained impassive. He sighed and moved off, allowing him to think his words over. He hoped he would stop sulking about being here and open up to them. Deciding to see how Murdock was, he walked out of the kitchen.
Face remained staring out the window, Hannibal's words echoing in his mind. Deep down he knew Hannibal was right, but he couldn't bring himself to explain what he was feeling, not when he wasn't sure himself. He wanted time alone, to forget, but he realized that Hannibal was not going to allow that. He knew Hannibal was trying to help, and he also knew he couldn't open up to the others, as they wanted him to do. So he decided he could at least be civil, maybe things would get back to normal. He sighed, suddenly feeling exhausted, he walked into the living room to find the others. He watched as BA and Hannibal brought some bags into a bedroom, following them. He sat on one of the twin beds that were in the room, "Is this where I'm sleeping?"
At the tone of Face's voice, Hannibal smiled to himself, he could tell his lieutenant was trying to accept the situation. "Yeah, there's two bedrooms. BA and I are bunking in the one right next door." He hesitated, hoping he read Face's mood correctly. "I thought that you wouldn't mind bunking with Murdock?" He held his breath, waiting for Face to answer.
Face heard the uneasiness in Hannibal's voice, feeling guilty over the way he had been treating his friends, he answered quietly. "Yeah, it's okay Hannibal." He carefully lay down, his ribs and lower back protesting. Closing his eyes, he tried taking a deep breath to control the pain, wincing as a sharp pain traveled along his broken ribs.
Hannibal watched as Face laid down, immediately noticing the pain Face tried to hide. Hannibal sat carefully on the edge of the bed, waiting for Face to acknowledge his presence, when he saw Face's eyes open, he asked gently, "Face do you want anything for the pain?"
Face hesitated, not wanting to rely on a sedative to get him through this, but realizing it might help him sleep without the nightmares. In a whispered voice, he answered, "Yeah." Taking the small pill from Hannibal, he tried to sit up, feeling Hannibal's arms supporting him. Hannibal held a glass to his lips, and he managed to swallow the pill. As Hannibal carefully lowered him back onto the bed, Face met his eyes, forcing himself not to look away, he whispered, "Thanks Hannibal." He hoped Hannibal understood the words he could not speak at the moment. He was relieved when he saw Hannibal smile warmly at him, he gave a brief smile back before closing his eyes and drifting off to sleep.
Hannibal remained sitting on the bed for a few moments, simply staring at Face. A part of him was relieved that Face seemed to accept the fact that Hannibal was not going to leave him alone. But as he watched Face return his smile, a bit reluctantly, he noticed it never reached his eyes, they were still filled with a deep hurt. A hurt that Hannibal may never ease. He felt BA place a hand on his shoulder, and met his eyes, what he saw there he knew must be in his own eyes, a burning anger. Silently walking out the door, he decided to leave it open in case Face had a nightmare.
Face was lying in bed listening to Murdock's soft snores. They had been here for more than a week, and Face still felt empty. He wasn't sure empty was the right word, he didn't know exactly what he felt. All he knew was he didn't seem to care about anything. He couldn't sleep, even though he was exhausted, and when he tried to eat, a feeling of nauseous passed through him. He realized he was worrying everyone, but sometimes he didn't care. He would catch himself shouting at them, and then see the pain in their eyes. Hearing Murdock roll over in his sleep, Face glanced over at him. How many times this week did he manage to hurt him with his cold words. He knew it was more often then he was willing to admit to. Especially Murdock, who had been there with him, screamed for him to look at him, trying to let Face know he wasn't' alone. And when they were in the basement, locked away in that dark room, how Murdock begged him not to antagonize the guards, so he could take the punishment. He stared at the ceiling, he knew they all wanted to help, but the constant watching over him was beginning to drive him crazy. They watched his every move, from what he ate, to when he slept. And even though he was healing physically, every time he went outside, he always had a babysitter. He glanced out the small window in their room noticing the snow falling gently, and the full moon reflecting off the icicles on the window. He thought it was the most beautiful sight he had ever seen. Quietly he rose from his bed and walked to the window. Looking out, he could see the moon reflecting of the lake, the moon so bright he had no difficulty seeing it through the trees that surrounded it. He glanced back at Murdock, an idea forming in his mind, seeing Murdock sleeping peacefully, he quietly slipped out the door. He headed for the small kitchen, putting on his boots and heavy coat. Pausing briefly, he checked the thickness of his pants, he was wearing a pair of sweat pants, and decided they would do. After all it was almost sunrise and he wasn't going to be out long, just long enough to enjoy the sunrise. He knew he would have to be back before the others noticed he was missing. As he started out the door, he spotted Hannibal's cigars, smiling he grabbed two and quietly closed the door behind him.
He made his way through the snow, his boots making a soft crunching sound. He came upon the lake a few minutes later, and stood mesmerized at the sight in front of him, the snow was gently covering the ice on the lake, the moon reflecting off the smooth surface. As he stepped from the tree line, a bitter cold wind whipped around him, causing him to step back into the protection the trees provided. He sat underneath a huge pine tree, the only spot that the snow had not yet reached. Leaning back, he rested against the tree, pausing as a dull pain rippled along his broken ribs. He sighed and wondered if they would ever heal. Smoking one of Hannibal's cigars, he looked at the lake thoughtfully, wishing he could erase the last week. He took another drag on the cigar, ŽI have to figure out a way to put this behind me!' Even as the words floated across his mind, he knew it was going to be impossible. ŽI have to try! I can't go on living with the fear!' He froze as he realized what he was really afraid of, working with the team and having this happen again. Tears came to eyes as he realized that he was afraid, and being afraid would get himself, or worse, one of his family, killed. He was managing to live with what happened to him, but if it happened to one of the others because he was scared, he knew in his heart he couldn't live with that. As the tears rolled down his face, he tried to think of what to do. There was no way he could get over his fear, he still heard his own screams, both during the day and at night. Feel their hands on his body, feel them spreading his legs. He groaned aloud, forcing himself not to remember. Furiously he wiped his tears away, the cold air stinging his cheeks. Abruptly he stood, trying to run away from the hated memories, he sprinted towards the lake. Panting heavily, he continued to run, not aware that he had run onto the smooth surface of the frozen lake. The voices followed him, he could hear Murdock screaming at him, and worse yet, he could here the other two men. He sank to his knees, his lungs burning on the frigid air. As the voices grew more intense, he squeezed his head, hoping they would stop. He never realized how far he had run onto the ice, or that his pants and hair were becoming damp from the snow still falling.
Murdock woke as he smelled the coffee brewing from the kitchen. He smiled as he heard Hannibal and BA talking softly. Today they were all going to go into town, it was the first time since they had been here that Face would actually leave the small house. He rolled over to face his friend, sitting up immediately when he saw the bed empty. Throwing back the covers, he went into the kitchen to see if he was with Hannibal and BA. He walked into the kitchen, seeing that Hannibal and BA were seated at the small kitchen table enjoying their coffee. Panic began to grow deep in Murdock's heart, "Hannibal where's Face?"
Hannibal looked up from his coffee, "What do you mean where's Face? Isn't he in his room?"
Murdock shook his head frantically, "No!"
BA immediately pushed his chair back, and ran over to the small rack that held all their coats, "His coat is gone!"
Hannibal jumped up from the table, grabbing his coat he glanced out the kitchen window, the snow was falling more heavily then when he and BA had first woke. "BA take the front, look for tracks, check to see if the van is there. Murdock and I will be by the lake."
Murdock was running out the door behind Hannibal, he was in such a rush, he had to zip his coat as he ran towards the lake. His heart was beating wildly, the snow was falling heavily, making it very difficult to see. Murdock emerged from the trees right behind Hannibal, they strained their eyes looking for Face. Murdock began to get really scared, there was no sign of him.
Hannibal searched the ground, looking for footprints. The wind had picked up, the snow blowing around them. Hannibal realized the blowing snow would have erased any sign of Face. Frustrated he screamed for Face, he turned in all directions shouting Face's name. Suddenly he stopped a flash of red catching his eye. Straining his eyes, he could barely see through the blowing snow, but he could make out the image of Face in the middle of the lake. He gripped Murdock's arm, "There! On the lake!" He immediately began to run towards the hunched figure, Murdock right behind him. As they approached, Hannibal could see that Face was soaking wet, his body trembling. He slowed down, and sank to his knees, crawling over to where Face was. Softly he called for him, "Face? Face can you hear me?"
Face heard Hannibal's soft voice, for a moment he thought he was dreaming. He looked up and through the blowing snow and saw two blurry images crawling towards him. He was confused, he looked around, trying to remember where he was. As the blurry images crawled closer, a sudden feeling of fear washed over him, instinctively he tried to crawl away.
Murdock saw the sudden fear and confusion in Face's eyes, he whispered soothingly, "Face. It's all right. It's me and Hannibal."
Hannibal watched as Face blinked, still seeing the confusion in his eyes, he pulled off his hat, hoping it would help Face recognize him. Gently, Hannibal reached for him, "Face give me your hand." He held his breath, hoping Face would reach out and take his hand. Face was still far enough away, that Hannibal couldn't reach him. His heart ached as he saw how confused and wet Face was. His face pale and his lips blue. He knew he had to get him back inside, he urged Face to accept his hand, "Please Face, it's cold. Let's go inside."
The desperation in Hannibal's voice finally penetrated the fog in Face's mind, trembling violently, he shifted on the ice, trying to move closer to Hannibal and Murdock. "Hann÷Hannibal? Mmurdock?"
Murdock heard Face's teeth chattering as he mumbled their names. His heart sank as he realized how long Face had been out here. He silently cursed himself for not realizing Face had left their room. If he had known, this would have never had happened. Anxious to touch Face, Murdock crawled over to him. He realized his mistake as soon as he heard the ice crack beneath him.
Hannibal heard the sickening sound at the same time as Murdock. "Shit!" He paused as the sound stopped, they were close together now, and their combined weight had cracked the ice around them. Hannibal carefully grabbed Murdock's arm, "Murdock move away slowly and head towards the shore. I'll bring Face."
Murdock nodded, and inched his way away from Hannibal and Face. He froze a few times, as he heard the ice cracking beneath him. Finally he made his way back, and turned to BA running up to him.
He answered the question in BA's eyes before he could ask, "We found him, on the ice. Hannibal is bringing him back now." They both turned back to the lake, straining their eyes to see through the blinding snow. Murdock shivered, the storm was really picking up, he hoped Hannibal could get Face back soon.
Hannibal remained frozen, trying not to put too much pressure on the ice. He watched as Murdock carefully crawled away, disappearing in the blowing snow. He gave Murdock enough time he hoped to crawl back to shore. Gently he wrapped his arm around Face, trying to break through to him. "Face, can you move?"
Face was so cold and confused, he didn't understand the last thing he remembered was smoking Hannibal's cigar. How he ended up so wet and cold, he didn't understand. He nodded his head at Hannibal's question, his lips no longer able to form words. He let Hannibal help him as they slowly moved off towards shore.
Hannibal was worried, the ice below his knees was cracking at their every move. He was scared that the ice wouldn't be able to withstand their combined weight. Encouraging Face, he whispered through clenched teeth, "Come on Face, we have to get off this lake. Try to help me." Hannibal felt Face try, but saw his legs keep sliding out from underneath him. He saw Face was tiring, he was nearly dragging Face behind him. "Come on Face, almost there."
Face struggled, he couldn't seem to get his arms and legs under control. He looked up, the snow was blowing in all directions and he couldn't see the shore. He felt Hannibal tugging on his coat, and could hear him shouting at him to move. He forced his hands and knees to obey, and continued to follow Hannibal slowly.
Hannibal froze as he heard the ice crack beneath him, this time he felt the ice shake. He didn't have any time to adjust as the ice finally gave way and sent both Face and himself into the icy water. His breath was knocked from his lungs as the water devoured him. He tried to hang onto Face but he couldn't keep a strong enough hold on him. As the water swallowed them, he felt Face slip out of his grasp. He surfaced a moment later choking up the water. Instinctively he reached for the side of the broken ice, desperately trying to get his breath back. He turned and tried to find Face, realizing he was still under the water. Panic set in, frantically he started to scream, "Face! Face!" He turned towards the shoreline, hoping Murdock would hear him. "Murdock! Murdock! Help!" Immediately he dove beneath the water, praying he would find Face.
Murdock stood on the shore with BA. He paced back and forth along the side of the lake. He strained his eyes looking through the blowing snow. He turned towards BA, "I'm going to go back, they should have been here by÷" He stopped talking and whipped his head towards the lake as he barely heard Hannibal's cry of help. Before he had a chance to move, BA started for the ice. He grabbed his arm, stopping him, "BA the ice is too weak for both of us, come on from the side."
BA nodded and ran along the shore, he ran for about fifty yards before he felt as though it was safe. Stepping onto the ice, he carefully made his way towards the center.
Murdock crawled frantically towards the center of the lake. Finally in the distance, he saw the hole in the ice. What turned his heart to ice was, he didn't see either Face or Hannibal. As he approached the small hole, he saw Hannibal's head emerge from the cold water. He could see Hannibal gasping for air, he shouted to the older man, "Where's Face?"
Hannibal gripped the edge of the ice, his body shutting down from the effect of the cold water. He trembled as he tried to answer Murdock, "Uuunnder the the wa..water."
Murdock was in shock, he saw BA crawling to the hole on his right, he fought down the rising panic. "BA pull Hannibal out!"
Hannibal shouted, "Nno! Ffind Fface!"
BA ignored him and grabbed his hand, carefully pulling Hannibal out of the water. He pulled him away from the edge, ignoring his shouts.
Once Hannibal was clear, Murdock didn't hesitate, he slipped into the water ignoring it's paralyzing cold. He took a huge breath and dove beneath the ice searching for Face. The cold water burned his eyes, but he forced himself to continue, finally he saw the bright flash of red from Face's coat. Reaching out with his hand, he grabbed onto it and kicked his frozen legs, forcing them to the surface.
Hannibal shivered and was on the verge of breaking down when he saw Murdock emerge from the water. When he realized that Murdock had a hold of Face's coat, he forced the panic down, and started issuing orders. "BA pull them out!" he immediately slid away, giving BA room to work.
BA saw that Murdock had a firm grip on the edge and reached out for Face. He grabbed onto Face's arm, and as he pulled him out of the water, he saw how pale he was. Once BA had him clear of the hole, he turned back towards Murdock reaching his hand out towards him. It was only moments and Murdock was pulled free.
Hannibal crawled over to where Face was lying on the ice, he felt for a pulse and was horrified when he couldn't feel one. Hearing the ice cracking he cursed and began to drag Face towards the shore. This time he didn't bother to be careful, he ignored his own pain and hurriedly got them off the lake. As he finally reached the shore, he collapsed, dragging Face onto solid ground. He immediately closed his mouth over Face's, desperately trying to bring some life back to him. He didn't pause as BA knelt beside them and began compressions on Face's chest.
Murdock collapsed beside Face's head, he heard Hannibal breathing life into Face's body. Both BA and Hannibal worked in unison, Murdock couldn't hold the panic any longer. Tears slid down his face, mixing with the cold water. He watched helplessly as BA and Hannibal worked frantically on Face. Suddenly he saw Face's chest rise and he watched as Hannibal turned his head while Face vomited up the water he had swallowed. He watched as BA lifted Face into his arms, carrying him towards the cabin. He was too far in shock to offer his help. He felt Hannibal pull on his arm, lifting him to his feet, "Come on Murdock, let's go inside." He held onto Hannibal walking through the snow towards the warmth of the cabin.
BA carried Face into his bedroom, gently lying him on the floor and began to pull his wet cloths off. He removed the soaked coat and boots, frowning as he removed the soaked sweat pants. Face should have known better than to go out in this kind of weather wearing the thin pants. Once he had removed all the soaking cloths, he gently lifted him and placed him onto the bed, covering him with a huge thick downy filled comforter. He checked Face's breathing and was relieved to feel the soft breath on his cheek. Quickly he stripped off his own coat and boots before running towards the bathroom. As he was running the warm bath water, he saw Hannibal walk into the bedroom with Murdock.
While BA took over Face's care, Hannibal had a chance to get out of his soaking clothes. Now he helped Murdock do the same, once they were both in dry clothes, he sat on the side of Face's bed. Leaning over Face he listened to his soft breathing. He lifted the heavy blanket, touching Face's chest. He was frightened at how cold Face was, and how the slim figure trembled violently. He heard BA come through the door, he looked up, "Is the bath water ready?" He watched as BA nodded. He continued, "it's not too hot is it? We have to raise his body temperature slowly."
BA crossed the room, "No Hannibal it's fine." He gently lifted Face off the bed, knowing that Murdock and Hannibal would follow.
Murdock followed BA into the bathroom, helping BA as he lowered Face into the warm water. He kneeled down beside the tub, taking a washcloth and gently applied the warm water over Face's cold skin.
He heard Face's gasp as he was lowered, even though he was still unconscious his body still protested the dramatic change.
Hannibal stumbled into the bathroom, simply watching BA and Murdock take care of Face. He tried to rid himself of the desperate feeling he felt as Face slipped from his grasp. He closed his eyes as he remembered when he was searching the cold water. Shaking himself, he forced his mind to focus on the current situation. He sat on the toilet and simply watched, his gaze sliding over Face, noticing that his lips weren't quite as blue. As Murdock leaned Face forward to run the warm water over his back, Hannibal saw the bruises that decorated his lower back. Even though they were fading, they still looked painful. It was too much, Hannibal bolted from the small bathroom, afraid his emotions would over take him.
Murdock looked at BA confused, BA lifted his shoulders in question, and Murdock knew he was just as confused as he was. Right now though, he didn't have time to worry, he continued to wash Face in the warm water. After several minutes, He glanced at BA, "BA could you find a thermometer, I want to check his temperature."
BA nodded and went in search of the first aid kit. Passing the kitchen he saw Hannibal staring out the window, he didn't know what was going through the older man's mind. Walking back into the bathroom, he handed Murdock the thermometer.
Murdock smiled his thanks, and placed the thermometer in Face's armpit, holding Face's arm down over it. Several moments later, he checked the reading, he sighed, "Its still way below normal."
BA grabbed some towels and handed them to Murdock, "Dry him off as I pull him out."
Murdock held the towel, drying Face off as BA gently lifted him out of the water. He winced as he rubbed the bruised ribs, hoping that when BA preformed CPR, he didn't reinjure them.
BA gently laid Face down on his bed, covering him back up. He smiled as Murdock lay beside him, pulling Face close to him. BA went over to Murdock's bed and pulled off his comforter, covering both of them. He noticed that Murdock had managed a small smile before he closed his eyes and went to sleep. BA knew that as long as Murdock could hold onto Face, he would be okay. He frowned as he remembered Hannibal, he was uncharacteristically quiet, and he walked out to find him.
Hannibal stared out the window, it seemed like the last few weeks everything was out of his control. He wondered if he was capable of protecting his own men. Tears came to his eyes as he remembered what Face had been through. He felt someone place a hand on his shoulder, and heard BA's quiet voice, "You okay Hannibal?" Unable to form any words, he shook his head no. He tried to suppress his tears, hating BA to see his weakness. Fortunately BA simply held his shoulder and provided quiet support. Finally he got control of himself and turned to face BA.
BA saw the pain in Hannibal's eyes and realized that he was still in shock. He guided him to the small table and sat him down. BA poured both of them a cup of coffee and placed Hannibal's in front of him, waiting for him to talk.
Hannibal stared at the coffee, his hands trembled at he gripped the cup tightly. After a few minutes, he began to talk. "I feel so responsible BA. I let Face down big time." He looked up as BA started to interrupt, "No let me finish." He stared into his cup, trying to think of the right words, "I can't help but feel this way. If I hadn't let them take him, this would never have happened. Then after, when he told me all he wanted was to go home, I ignored him. I thought that if he let us help, we could. I thought if he was with us, he would feel safe." He shook his head in pain, "He almost died because I thought it would be best for him to be here. God, I've been such an idiot, how can I expect to understand the pain he's feeling."
BA remained quiet, thinking of what he could say to ease Hannibal's pain. "Hannibal, you know as well as I do that we could have never left Face alone. Deep down, he doesn't want that. He's hurting and the best place for him is with us. For fifteen years, that's the way its been." He continued as he saw that Hannibal was actually listening, "You think Face would want you sitting out here blaming yourself?"
Hannibal sighed, "No, I know your right, but it really hurts this time."
BA nodded, "We'll get through it, just like the camps. All we can do is be there when he decides to stop fighting us and let us help him."
Hannibal nodded in agreement, he smiled as he looked at BA, "Careful BA, your getting good at this kind of thing." Hannibal laughed out loud as he saw BA actually blush, it was the first time he laughed in two weeks, and it felt good.
Face tried to roll over, his movements restricted by someone's arms. For a moment panic settled around his heart. Then he realized he was in his room, and the arms had to belong to Murdock. He relaxed as he felt Murdock's arms tighten. He stared out the window, watching the snow fall gracefully. He tried to remember how he got here, he sighed and gave up, his family must have brought him back from the lake. He began to tremble slightly as he realized he would have to explain why he was outside to begin with. He wasn't sure he was going to be able to, at first he just wanted to be alone, then, the memories of what happened to him took over. He didn't know how he ended up on the lake, all he remembered was Hannibal trying to get him off the frozen lake. That thought scared him, suppose these memories haunted him forever, and he continued to black out? How could he expect the others to rely on him, to trust him again? His thoughts were interrupted when he heard Murdock whisper, "Face? You okay?" He nodded and closed his eyes, not ready yet to answer Murdock's questions. He suddenly felt very vulnerable and needed time to get himself under control. Unfortunately he felt Murdock sit up, Face felt the brown eyes boring through the back of his head.
Murdock reached out and gently touched his shoulder, trying to feel the temperature of his skin. He saw Face flinch and try to move away. "Face it's me, Murdock."
A sudden burst of anger washed through Face, he was angry because he needed time, time to hide the pain he was carrying and Murdock wasn't giving him that. Angrily he pushed Murdock's hand away, "Goddamnit! Leave me alone!" He scrambled from the bed, trying desperately to get away from Murdock. He froze as he saw Hannibal and BA blocking the door. He stared at them for a moment before grabbing his jeans and walked towards the door. In a voice filled with rage, he whispered, "I'm leaving."
Hannibal met Face's angry stare, not knowing what set him off, but definitely not letting him leave. "No. No you're not."
Face stared at him for a moment, then over his shoulder to BA. They both wore the grim face of determination, he turned and looked at Murdock, he wore the same look of determination as the others. Frustrated he threw his jeans on the bed, "What the hell do you want from me?"
Hannibal walked in the room, keeping a safe distance from Face. "We want to know what happened on the lake Face. We want to help."
Face began to panic, he looked at each one of his friends, and there was no way out of the room. Slowly he backed away, afraid to tell them that he didn't remember running onto that lake. Afraid to tell them all he could hear was his own screams, haunting him, chasing him onto the lake. Afraid that the screams in his head would never fade, always be with him. He watched, terrified as Murdock slowly approached him. He began to tremble as Murdock got closer, when he felt Murdock's arms wrap around him gently, he collapsed, not able to keep the pain hidden.
Murdock held onto Face as he felt his legs give out from under him. He held on as he heard the heart wrenching sobs tear through Face's body. He found himself sitting on the floor, holding Face in his arms, the younger man no longer pushing him away, but desperately holding on. With tears in his own eyes, he saw Hannibal and BA crouch beside him, trying to provide comfort to Face. All Murdock could do was hold him, his throat to filled with emotion to offer any words of comfort.
Hannibal's eyes were also filled with tears, he felt BA's arm go around him for support. He rubbed Face's back trying to sooth him. The sobs that tore through his body tore at his heart. He whispered, "Shh Face, we're here. Let us help." He leaned in and rested his head on Face's shoulder, "Please Face." He couldn't continue as he felt Face shift away from Murdock and pull him into a tight embrace. He strained his ears as Face incoherently whispered, "Hann..Hannibal÷ssoorry." he held on tighter, "Shh Face, you have nothing to be sorry for." He shook him gently to empathize his words. Fiercely he added, "Nothing! Don't ever apologize for this again!" Hannibal felt Murdock's arm's go around him from one side and BA's from the other. They simply held onto each other while Face cried out his pain, realizing it was the first time since this nightmare took place.
Finally Face began to get control of himself, the sobs easing. He still held onto Hannibal tightly, feeling Murdock and BA holding onto him as well. He suddenly realized he had to share with them, they deserved that much. He carefully pulled away, clearing his throat. "I'm sorry." He held up his hand to stop Hannibal's immediate reply to his apology, "Please let me finish." He sat back against the wall, and looked at each of his friends, he gave them a tremulous smile. Taking a deep breath, he continued softly, "I'm afraid. Afraid that something like this could happen again. That I'll be hurt that way, and worse that one of you guys could be hurt that way." Ashamed he lowered his eyes as he continued, "Also I'm afraid that I'll never forget. At the lake, I couldn't stop the screams in my head, no matter how hard I tried." He looked up and met Hannibal's eyes expecting to see disappointment, he gathered courage as he saw a deep compassion and understanding. Quietly he whispered, "What if they never stop, and I hear them on a job." His voice trembled as he finished and he lowered his gaze, "One of you could be killed because of me." He held his breath as he waited for one of them to speak, to show how disappointed they were. He was surprised when he heard Hannibal whisper quietly, "Listen to me Face. We'll take this nice and slow, no rush. Take as long as you need." Hannibal reached out and lifted Face's chin, so he could look into his eyes, "Please don't shut us out anymore. Let us help you."
Face felt the sting of tears in his eyes again, in a trembling voice, he whispered, "Okay." He gave them a tentative smile and wiped his tears away. He felt emotionally drained and suddenly he was feeling exhausted.
Hannibal smiled and saw the exhaustion in Face's eyes. Face was still far too pale and Hannibal realized that the emotional breakdown had exhausted him. Keeping his hand on Face's shoulder, he slowly rose to his feet, they could talk more later. It was obvious that Face needed to sleep. "BA can you put him in bed?"
Feeling embarrassed, Face protested, "Hannibal I can make it to my own bed!" To prove his point, he tried to stand, his knees buckling immediately.
Hannibal grinned, " BA put him to bed!" He stepped aside and watched as BA easily lifted Face and carried him to the bed, pulling the covers over him. Hannibal walked over next to the bed, and in his best commander tone, he ordered, "You don't leave this house again unless one of us goes with you, understand?"
Face sighed, closing his eyes, he whispered, "Yeah. I get it."
Hannibal smiled, "Good. We'll be right out side if you need anything." He received a slight nod of acknowledgement, and realized Face was almost asleep. He bent over Face, tucking the blanket around him and felt his shoulder, relieved that his skin temperature was rising. Watching Face sleep peacefully, he whispered, "Rest easy Face, we're here." Hannibal straightened up and followed BA out of the room.
Murdock remained standing by the bed, simply starring at his sleeping friend. He wanted so much to climb in next to him, but was hesitant. He didn't know if Face would mind, realizing that Face needed them, but also realizing he needed space. The last thing Murdock wanted was to smother him, make him feel like he had to get up early and leave the house so he could be alone to think. Murdock understood the importance of being by one's self, to get your thoughts together. Realizing this however, did not help the current situation, he still very much wanted to be with Face. The memories of the lake, very vivid in his mind, and he felt like he needed to hang onto Face to keep him from slipping from his grasp again.
Face heard Hannibal walk out of the room, he also knew Murdock was still in the room with him. He waited for Murdock to climb into bed with him, and after a few minutes was surprised when he didn't. He forced his eyes open and looked over his shoulder. Through a sleepy haze he saw Murdock starring at him, a deep confusion in the brown eyes. Face smiled to himself, throwing back the blanket in an invitation, he murmured sleepily, "Are you coming to bed or not?"
That was all Murdock needed, quickly he climbed into bed, and pulled the covers over them both. He whispered happily, "Goodnight Face." He chuckled quietly at the incoherent reply.
Several hours later, Face staggered out of his room, wiping the sleep from his face. He walked towards the kitchen where he heard Hannibal and BA talking, he had left Murdock snoring in his bed. Pouring himself a cup of coffee, he sat down at the table.
Hannibal chuckled at Face's state, wearing an old pair of shorts, and his hair totally messed, Face hardly looked like the team's resident lady-killer.
Face heard the small chuckle, and looked at Hannibal questioningly, "Something funny?"
Hannibal, still chuckling, shook his head, "No, no. I was just laughing at something BA was telling me."
BA scowled, "The only thing I was telling you is, we need more supplies!"
Face didn't believe Hannibal, but latched onto what BA was saying, "More supplies?"
BA nodded, "Yeah. I need to go into town and get some more food."
Face looked at both BA and Hannibal, an idea forming, "I can go do that for you, just write down what we need." He held his breath waiting for Hannibal to answer, he desperately wanted to get out of the cabin for awhile.
BA felt for Face, he could see how much Face wanted to go, and BA thought it was a good idea. "It might do him some good Hannibal, different scenery."
Hannibal waited a moment, collecting his thoughts, "I'm sorry Face, not yet. Maybe next week."
Face tried again, "Please Hannibal, I'm tired of being cooped up in this cabin!" Before Hannibal could answer, he continued, "I'll take Murdock, I just want to get out for a while."
Murdock stood in the door and could hear the desperate tone in Face's voice. He sat down next to Face, and teased him, "What do you say Hannibal? I'll take good care of him!"
Face frowned and elbowed him in the ribs, "Damn, I'm not a baby!"
Annoyed that Murdock and BA were not agreeing with him, Hannibal angrily replied, "Look six hours ago, you were at the bottom of the lake! I think you need more rest!"
Face lowered his head in disappointment, he wasn't angry, not after everything his friends had done for him. He smiled at Hannibal, and tried to lift the sudden tension, "Soon though?"
Hannibal felt his anger wash away, seeing Face smile, with the hopeful look in his eyes, Hannibal returned the smile, "Yeah, soon."
Murdock slapped the table, quickly jumping out of his chair, "I'm going with BA!" He quickly ran out of the kitchen and slammed his bedroom door.
Face and Hannibal laughed out loud as they watched BA scowl and shake his head at Murdock's nonsense. Face rose from the table, still chuckling, "I'm headed for the shower."
Hannibal watched as Face left the room, he turned back to BA, "That sounded nice."
BA nodded his head in agreement, it was the first time in weeks that they had actually heard Face laugh. It made the trip into town with Murdock seem less annoying. He smiled warmly at Hannibal, "It sure did."
Face stepped out of the shower wrapping a towel around his waist. He wiped the mirror down so he could see his lower back, he frowned as he still could see the bruising. Tenderly he touched them, Žnot too bad,' he thought to himself. They were fading more everyday. He quickly got dressed, not wanting to dwell too long on how he had received them. Once he was dressed, he went to find Hannibal. Walking into the living room, he found Hannibal talking quietly on the phone, after a few moments, Face realized he was talking with Richter. Quietly, Face sat on the couch, waiting for Hannibal to finish.
Hannibal hung up the phone and turned to walk out of the room. He was startled when he saw Face sitting on the couch, "Shit Face, you scared the hell out of me." He noticed immediately how pale Face was. Cautiously, Hannibal sat beside him on the couch asking quietly, "What's the matter."
Face stared at the roaring fire in the fireplace, watching the flames dance. He asked Hannibal, "That was Richter?"
Hannibal reached out and grasped his hand, knowing this conversation was going to happen, "Yeah, There were a few loose ends to clean up. I was calling to make sure they were." Hannibal squeezed Face's hand tighter, "It's all over Face. Richter called the state board of psychiatric care they investigated Watkins hospital. After all that we told them to look for, he's in jail as well as the two guards. It's over, they won't hurt you again." Hannibal turned Face's head, so Face could see the truth in his eyes, "It's over!"
Face nodded, and repeated Hannibal's words, "It's over." He saw Hannibal nod enthusiastically, and repeated them again. "It's over." He began to laugh quietly, "It's really over!"
Hannibal laughed with him, pulling him close, "Yes! Yes!" He sat like that for several minutes, enjoying the fact that the men who caused so much heartache were being punished. Finally as Face sat up, Hannibal stood and walked over to the small bar, pouring two glasses of whiskey.
Face accepted his glass and smiled his thanks. He sipped it slowly watching the fire once again.
Hannibal sat back down beside Face, also sipping on his drink. For the last few weeks, Hannibal's heart was filled with guilt. Now he was alone with Face and wanted to try and apologize for this entire mess. Unsure how to start, Hannibal blurted it out, "Face, I'm sorry." As he met Face's eyes, he realized Face was confused, he tried again. "I'm sorry that when the guards from the VA snatched you, I didn't stop them." He saw that Face was about to interrupt, "No let me finish." He paused looking into his glass collecting his thoughts. "I feel responsible that you were hurt this badly, I never thought that you would be hurt. I÷I thought we could get you out in a few hours." He stood up angrily, pacing the floor. "It was a challenge, piece of cake getting you out. I never dreamed that you would be hurt!" Suddenly Hannibal threw his glass in the fire, the alcohol sending the flames soaring higher. In a choked voice, he continued, "Then I drag you up here, against your will, and you almost die." He lowered his head and whispered, "I'm so sorry Face."
Face sat on the couch stunned, he suddenly realized he wasn't the only one suffering for the last few weeks. He stood and walked over to Hannibal. Gently he turned the older man around, facing him. He spoke to him in a quiet steady voice, "Hannibal, you did get me out. You saved my life, as you've done for the last fifteen years. And as for bringing me here, I hate to admit it Hannibal, but I wouldn't have survived if I was left on my own."
Hannibal met Face's intense eyes, "I was too late at the hospital."
Face shook his head, "No! You got there just in time, they would have killed me and started in on Murdock. I'm thankful you and BA got there when you did."
Hannibal simply stared at Face, he was amazed at the amount of strength Face was showing. He reached out and pulled Face to him, squeezing him hard. In Face's ear, he whispered, "I'm proud of you Face!"
Face smiled into Hannibal's shoulder, "You taught me how to survive a long time ago Hannibal, I haven't forgotten that."
Hannibal released Face and gripped his shoulder, "Thanks Face."
Face looked at him questioningly, "You okay?"
Hannibal smiled, "Yeah, I am."
Face nodded and poured Hannibal another glass of whiskey. Handing him the glass, he asked, "So Colonel, when can I get out of here for awhile?"
Hannibal accepted the glass and started laughing, "One track mind Face!"
Several days later, Face had his wish, they took him to a small bar in the center of town. Hannibal watched as Murdock and Face argued over the pool table. Murdock arguing furiously over the eight ball, he could see Face start to laugh. Hannibal reveled in watching their fun.
Face tried to stop laughing, Murdock still arguing that the eight ball had a different personality than the other balls. Face leaned over the side of the table, trying to sink the six.
Murdock leaned closer to Face, hoping to mess his shot, he whispered, "Easy Face, they are balls after all."
Exasperated, Face mumbled, "Murdock, please!" Before he could make an attempt to hit the ball, another unfriendly voice boomed in his ear, "Well that's a nice view." And before Face could react, he felt someone slid along his backside. A sudden wave of fear and anger washed over him, and before he knew it he found himself in a knock down brawl.
Hannibal and BA had witnessed the whole scene, they were instantly on their feet helping Face and Murdock. It was several minutes later when Hannibal saw that two of the goons had Face pined down and was pummeling his healing ribs. Before he could get to him and help Face out, Hannibal saw BA pull one of them off. He grinned and focused his attention on the goon in front of him.
Murdock heard the sirens in the distance, he quickly ran over to Hannibal shouting, "Time to go!" He then turned and went to where Face was pounding on the guy who had started the fight. He was amazed at the ferocity in which Face was hitting the man. Murdock pulled on his shoulder, shouting, "Face! Let's go!" He forcefully pulled Face off of the man and guided him out the door. BA had started the van and was shouting at them to get in. Seconds later Murdock felt the van speeding out of the parking lot of the bar.
Hannibal crawled into the back of the van to check on Face and Murdock. BA appeared to be okay, and he only suffered a black eye and sore knuckles. He was shocked when he saw Face, the younger man was hunched over holding his ribs and Hannibal could hear his ragged breathing. "Face! You okay?"
Face looked up at Hannibal, he started laughing hysterically, "I feel great Hannibal!"
Hannibal was appalled by what he saw, Face's right eye was swollen shut, and he had a cut above the eye, which streamed blood down his face. His nose and mouth were also bleeding, and Hannibal was confused as to why Face was laughing. Worriedly he asked, "Face did you get hit in the head? Let me check."
Face stopped him, "No really Hannibal. I'm fine. I wasn't afraid!"
Hannibal stared at him amazed, and felt Murdock kneel beside him. He reached out and grasped Face's hand, squeezing it in support. He saw and felt Murdock's hand covering them both. He met Face's eyes and nodded his head in understanding.
BA parked the van outside the cabin, opening the door for Hannibal, Murdock and Face. Hannibal supported Face as he limped towards the house. Murdock followed, holding his arm tightly to his side.
Once inside, Hannibal led them both to the kitchen. He looked up at BA as he came in, "BA could you find some rags, and ice?" A few moments later, he accepted the rags from BA and handed one to Face, "Hold this against the cut, we need to stop the bleeding." As soon as Face obeyed, he turned and examined Murdock. He was relieved that his hand appeared strained and not broken, and only suffered a deep bruise on his cheek. Hannibal placed some ice in a rag and held it to Face's eye. He looked Face over and started to laugh, "Damn Face, pick on someone your own size."
Face laughed and immediately winced, "Stop Hannibal, don't make me laugh!"
Murdock came to Face's defense, "Besides Hannibal, that guy deserved it."
Face nodded in agreement, "He sure did."
Hannibal sighed and removed the rag against Face's forehead, seeing the bleeding had stopped. He took a small bandage from BA and covered the wound. He looked at Face appraisingly, "How's the ribs, and I want a honest answer."
Face smiled, "Their sore, but other than that their okay."
Hannibal stood, "Okay." He started to pace the small kitchen. He knew the police had been called out to the bar and it wouldn't be long before they would track them here.
Face, knowing Hannibal for so long, understood immediately what Hannibal was thinking. "Hannibal lets go home." He saw Hannibal turn and look at him, Face glanced at Murdock who was watching him intently. He understood their hesitancy and tried to express his feelings, "I mean it, lets go home. You said when we got here that we were staying as long as it takes. And I realized tonight that it's over for me. I'm ready to get back with my life."
Hannibal looked at Murdock, hoping he could read Face's words and let him know if it was true. He smiled as he saw Murdock meet his eyes and nod his head. He clapped his hands together, ordering, "Lets pack up BA!" He saw Face and Murdock rise out of their chairs, "No, you two rest."
Face looked at him hopefully, "You mean we're going home?"
Hannibal grinned, "Nope, we're going back to Maggie's, I want her to check you two over." He laughed as he watched Face groan, letting his head sink to the table. Walking out of the kitchen, he clapped Face on the back, "Cheer up Lieutenant!"
Face heard Hannibal walk out the door, he lifted his head and looked at Murdock, "What did I do to deserve this?"
Murdock chuckled at him, "A long tome ago, you became part of the A-Team!"
Face dropped his head against the table, hearing Murdock laughing at him. He muttered, "Why me?"