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This page last viewed: 2017-05-22 and has been viewed 2171 times
SUMMARY: When all is said, it's time to face the life and make decisions....
DISCLAIMER: I don't own the guys, I just torture them. They are property of mister S.J. Cannel and Universal. Any similarity to person living or death is coincidental. The story was written for my pure pleasure, no money was made from it.
WARNING: EXTREMELY sappy
AUTHOR'S NOTE: The story is set very close after the Vietnam, the Team is very young. I want to thank to everyone who helped this story to come to the world- especially to Charlotta and Shaytis who beta read the story and supported me with courage to send this story and then to people who helped me with the mass- Charlotta, Caz*,
Face stood in the dim light showing through the dusty windows of the old building, not even daring to breathe, watching each move of the kid standing on the other side of the room, holding gun by the head of a women.
The kid's eyes were frantically running from right to left, he was sweating and hardly breathing. Face didn't need an expert to see that the kid was addicted. And afraid.
Peck prayed for Hannibal to show up, but he knew that he couldn't count on this. He saw the finger closing dangerously around the trigger. He had to come up with something, quickly...
"C'mon kid. You know ..."
"Shut up! Stand where you are or I'll shoot her."
*Oh God, what now? You got do something, you are a conman, a green beret, you won't lose it now.* He stretched out his hand to the kid.
"Give me that gun...." he didn't get to say more. Face's eyes locked with the woman's eyes full of horror. He saw it so many times- in the eyes of soldiers in the Nam, soldiers who knew that the death was near...he was deafened for a second....her eyes died...blood exploded from her head, she fell to the ground not moving anymore then a second shot resonated in the wonderful air...
Hannibal heard the shots. His heart wrenched in fear for the members of his unit. He ran up the stairs, and with few long paces ran through the narrow passage of the old house into the only opened door. The room was a mess. On the ground were laying a woman and a boy, both death. Face was standing before the forming slab of blood, staring at their bodies motionlessly.
Murdock and BA ran into the small room.
Hannibal put arm on Face's shoulder to offer comfort and tear out Face from where ever the young lieutenant was. Through the soft fabric Hannibal felt Peck's muscles tightened as if in cramp. Colonel spun Peck. Their eyes locked. "They are dead."
Face felt the words leaving his mouth, his own voice sounded strange to him. He felt Hannibal's concerned eyes piercing into him, but Face couldn't and didn't want to allow the Colonel to see...to look through the mask. Not now, maybe later...maybe never.
He saw Murdock and B.A. enclosing the circle around him, protecting him. From what?
No, they couldn't see. Peck broke the circle.
He needed to be alone, to run away, as far as possible. A lame excuse escaped his lips and Face disappeared from there as fast as he could without running.
Murdock's eyes followed the leaving Face. He wanted to move after him when a strong hand held him back. "I need you here Captain, we need to cover all traces that we were here. The police will be here in no time. You can speak with him later."
He knew how important it was, to cover everything that could betray their presence.
They were convicts and it wasn't an easy life with military police on your tail on each corner. They had to be very careful. Their life was difficult enough. With furrowed brow he started to work promising himself that he would speak with Face later.
When they came to the van minutes later, Face was curled in his seat. His head was leaning on the window. He was pretending to be asleep, but they knew better. BA drove off.
Hannibal looked into the mirror closely observing his lieutenant. Face was a shade paler than normal and definitely wasn't sleeping. Hannibal sighed, after all those years, Face still didn't trust them and himself enough to put down the mask and show them what he really felt. Colonel seriously doubted that even Murdock would be able to get to Face right now.
In one hour they reached the house Face scammed for them. It was a small house just perfectly matching their requirements. They literally dragged themselves to the living room, sat all around the room. An awkward silence fell over them. Murdock voiced what they felt.
"I think, that this was a pretty hard month. First those robbers, then the slimeball and now this addict." They all nodded feeling the same. It was a hard month, they needed rest, they needed a little time...
"I guess we will now take our well deserved holidays. This week, no work, kids."
Murdock jumped from the sofa he was lying on. "Hannibal, you are the greatest! Face, Face did you hear that? We have holidays! Will you play with me, will you, will you???!!!" he ran excitedly to the slightly built blonde, jumping up and down around him.
"Shut up foo'! You ain't kid to play and Face is tired."
Face looked at Murdock as if he didn't hear the pilot. "Of course I will play with you H.M." Peck tried to smile, but his face was as mask not allowing him to smile one of his con-smiles. "But tomorrow, I am too tired today." He stood up and went up the stairs leaving his three friends behind wondering.
Face was sitting in his room, he knew that the Team was worried, but he couldn't say anything to comfort them, not before he found the answer himself. He felt that a confrontation with one of them would not wait very long, but he wasn't prepared for it. He didn't have an answer, he couldn't face Hannibal or Murdock or BA, any of them, not now.
He flinched when he heard soft knocking on his door, not yet, please not yet. He didn't answer, hoping that whoever it was, would go away...not that much luck. Someone went in. It was Hannibal, Face knew it without turning around.
He felt colonel's hand on the arm.
"Why are you hiding?" Oh, man if it was so easy to answer, but it never was. Nothing with the team was easy.
Their eyes met, just for a split second, then Face flinched and broke the eye contact. But he wasn't fast enough. For the first time Hannibal saw the uncovered core of Peck's soul- sorrow, doubts, shame, self loathing....
"What's up, kid?" Face knew that this question was coming, but it surprised him, it was so easy to ask it, so why was it so difficult to find the answer? He smiled ghost of his smile which never really reached his eyes. He could lie to everyone but his team, friends and more than that- the only family.
The lump in his throat grew. "I can't, I can't anymore....the lines...."
"Are we still the same? Didn't we become them? The lines between us and them aren't clear anymore. The first innocent died, who will be the next?"
"I wish I could tell you that no one would be hurt, but I can't promise it to you. We swore that we would help everyone who needs our help and protection as well as we can. We have to fight hard to not lose. It's difficult to not cross the lines making the difference between good and bad. We can rely on our best conscience- heart.
"We shoulder a great responsibility. Not only for us, but for the others. Not everyone can live this life and no one could blame you if you want to stop, but before you say the final word, think about it once again. Deep down inside you know the answer, which way is right."
Hannibal felt all was said and done. He tapped Face on the shoulder hoping that the Lieutenant would make the right choice. And he realized that he wished so that Peck would stay with the Team. But this was a decision which Face could only make himself. "Good night, Face."
The rough shaking brought him back to the consciousness from the land of dreaming. "Hannibal, Hannibal! Face, is gone..." the tone of BA's voice alone woke him fully up.
His heart wrenched. So this was Face's choice? No, it couldn't be.
"Did you find any hint of where he went, any letter or something?"
"I don't believe that Face would have left without saying goodbye. O.K. Murdock, you will contact his girlfriend, what was her name...."
"Yes, right Danielle. BA, you will look around the town in the parks, shops and places where he normally would be. Maybe he just went for a walk."
*So why don't I believe it?*
"What will you do?"
"I will ask by a good friend of mine."
The church was so small. It was full of children of very varied ages bounded together only by the fact that they lived together in the small Christian orphanage in the neighborhood. Colonel slipped in, hiding in the shadows of the small chapel. He nearly fell over a man who was bending on knees in one corner.
"Oh, I am very sor...Father Magill, God, I've been looking for you."
Father's brow furrowed in concern. "For me? Something happened? Do you need my help?"
"Has Face been here?"
"Oh, I think so, I am not sure though. Sister Margaret woke me up this morning to tell me a young man was awaiting me in the chapel and that it was urgent. He wanted to make fast sacred confession. When I got down, he was gone....do you think that Templeton would do something ...unreasonable?"
"Oh, I am not sure, father. I hope not."
Hannibal left the church acting as calm as possible. He tried to believe that maybe Murdock or BA had found Face, but he knew how slim this chance was.
After a while he came home, Murdock was sitting on the sofa. He turned his brown eyes in the most hopeful puppy-dog-eyes look...but saw that Hannibal was just as "successful" as he himself.
"BA called several minutes before you came, he didn't find Face, but he said that he would look for him further."
"The next time he calls, tell him to come back."
Murdock gazed at him. "But we can't just...."
"Tell him to come back. It's too dangerous out there, Decker must know we are here somewhere..." Murdock interrupted him impatiently, "That's why we can't stop to looking for him, he doesn't know....we can't leave him behind!"
"We don't leave him behind, he is a grown man, he can handle it alone....we have to do the worst-wait..." Hannibal saw how Murdock twitched but didn't say anything...the unspoken thought was hanging in the air accusatively clear enough...what if he left them? if they waited, they might be not able to find him anymore...
They were sitting restlessly in the living room, each in his own thoughts watching how the sun shine faded and the night slowly crept into the streets, when a telephone rang, making them jump.
Hannibal grabbed the phone:
"Yes, yes. Are you sure?...I'll be right there, do something if necessary...O.K...in twenty minutes...alone?" he hung up and smiled
mischievously at his men.
"I got a tip where Face is, but I have to go there alone..."
"Hey, how's that?"
"Yeah man, the crazy fool is right, we wanna go too, Face is our friend..."
"You will stay here and that's an order..." Both men visibly cooled down. Hannibal didn't like to pull out the ranks and orders, but if it was necessary...
Colonel left quickly walking to the old parts of the city. However it took him longer than he assumed because of two police patrols riding around. Finally he managed it and slipped fast into the small church where he was in the morning. The church was full.
Stepping in the dimly lit corner, Hannibal tried to as invisible as possible. Someone came closer to him...he flinched, but then he recognized the person.
"I am glad that you managed to come here, there was a robbery in the next street and a lot of police patrols were here. I was worried."
"Yes, I met some on the way here, luckily they didn't recognize me. Where is he?"
Father Magill just pointed in the another corner of the church where was nearly invisibly hidden slim figure of a young blonde man. Hannibal wanted to move there when Father's hand held him fairly in the place.
"Wait, this is important...I spoke with him, he made a sacred confession..."
Hannibal nodded. Slowly the colonel crept closer to see, but not to be seen. Face was kneeling and praying.
"Lamb of God, you take away the sins of the world: have mercy on us.
Lamb of God, you take away the sins of the world: have mercy on us.
Lamb of God, you take away the sins of the world: grant us peace."
Peck's head was bowed so Hannibal couldn't see the face. Colonel observed the lieutenant, listening with one ear to the mass which was almost in the background.
The priest by the altar lifted something:
"This is the Lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world. Happy are those who are called to his supper."
People started to sing. Face stirred a little and then with a slow and shaking pace he started to walk to the priest. This wasn't the first mass Hannibal had attended, but he was surprised.
Not by the mass itself, but by Face. It was a part of him which surfaced only rarely- the spiritual side.
"Amazing Grace, how sweet the sound,
That saved a wretch like me....
I once was lost but now am found,
Was blind, but now, I see...."
When Face was walking back from the priest, he wasn't singing. There was something so...there were not words Hannibal could find to describe it. He noticed tears in the lieutenant's eyes. He felt Father Magill's hand leaving his arm.
"Through many dangers, toils and snares...
we have already come.
T'was Grace that brought us safe thus far...
and Grace will lead us home."
Face's eyes lifted and met with colonel's, Face smiled...
The mass ended fast. They politely refused Father's invitation for a cup of coffee and paced fast back home, trying to avoid meeting with the police patrols. They were walking in the silence when Hannibal noticed Face, dressed only in a light jacket, was shivering from cold. Hannibal put an arm around Peck's shoulder to comfort him with the own body heat and...yes, to feel him near. Face avoided each personal physical contact since the Nam, but surprisingly he didn't back away, but huddled closer.
"You know, kid, for a while I was really afraid that you would go away..."
"Well, you were not the only one..."
"I don't know what we would do, if you went away."
Face shrugged shoulders, his tone tensed.
"Trust me, Hannibal. The life wouldn't change much. You would do the same, help people..."
Suddenly Hannibal flinched and stopped, looking the younger man deep in the eyes.
"How dare you say something like that?! Do you think that you are worth so little to us?"
Face surprised by the sudden outburst, bowed his head in silence.
"Do you really think that? What do you think Murdock would say, or BA, if you left?! Did you think about how they would have felt? Did you think about how I would have felt!?"
Seeing how startled Face was, Hannibal's voice softened. "You mean damn more to us than you want to know! We couldn't hold you here. We couldn't have forced you to work with us. The only thing we could have done was to help you to make the best decision and if you had decided to leave, we would have had to let you go. It would be the hardest thing I would have to make ever, but made from love, because there is no bigger proof of love than letting someone, who you love like your own life, go."
Hannibal hugged Face tightly. He was feeling Face's heart beat frantically against his chest.
"Without you life wouldn't be such fun...c'mon we have to go back home now, son."
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