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Goin’ Down-Chapter 2

Goin' Down Chapter 2 - Crash and Burn

by Ocean-Born-Mary

A/N: Chapter two is set when Amy is still around…how about right before she left.

He didn’t know why he’d done it. He knew the Lieutenant was a fragile human being. He understood that…but sometimes he didn’t remember it. Sometimes things just came out of his mouth that he didn’t mean, and it was twice as hard to fix the problem once he aggravated it…though this time, he wasn’t sure if he was going to be able to fix it.

Face had been jumpy the entire time. He’d been beating around the bush the all week, and wouldn’t come out and say what was bothering him. He hadn’t let anyone near him, didn’t want to be touched, had locked himself in the bedroom at one point, and had insisted on sharing a room with Murdock instead of the one that he’d begun sharing with Hannibal. Hannibal had gotten mad, and instead of asking what was wrong…he’d yelled at the kid. But that hadn’t been the worst of it.

I should have asked…I should have pushed…but he was so stubborn…By the time he’d come to Hannibal to talk, Hannibal was well past the talking stage, and had walked out on him. He didn’t think about the fact that the entire week before they went to Colorado for the job that Face had been calling him, saying he needed to talk, and he’d pushed him away, telling him he’d see him soon, but he needed to finish filming. He didn’t think that something could possibly be wrong. And when he’d walked out onto the front porch and found Face in Amy’s arms the last night there…he’d blown up.

"Hannibal…it isn’t what you think…"

"Isn’t what I…Isn’t what I…GET OUT of here Lieutenant!! Find your own way back to LA, but get the hell out of my sight!"

Amy had sat there on the porch swing quietly the entire time. She didn’t interrupt to ask what Face had meant when he screamed, "You promised to catch me!"

Hannibal couldn’t stand to have that promise flung back at him…not when his lieutenant was out there in the arms of a woman… "Not this time. You can crash and burn for all I care. Now get out." He watched as Face jumped the railing and disappeared into the night. Murdock had had to pack up his clothes and bring them, they hadn’t seen hide nor hair of the lieutenant since then…or, at least he hadn’t.

He’d just gotten off the phone with Amy. She made him listen to her, insisted that he give her a chance to explain. He hadn’t expected the explanation that was given…and with it…with it came a lot of guilt. He picked up the telephone and called the ‘vette. It rang off the hook, but no one picked up. Sighing, he dialed the VA.

"Face?"

"Captain."

"Oh, hi Colonel. What can I do for you?"

"I was actually calling to see if you knew where Face was…"

"Why, you got a job?"

"No. I wanted… to apologize."

"Sorry…I haven’t heard from him. I sent Billy to go find him and bring him home…but…well, Face is real good at hiding."

"Thanks, Captain. Let me know if you hear from him…all right?"

"Sure thing, Colonel. Umm…Hannibal?"

"Yeah?"

"Maybe…maybe you should check the beach."

"Is he there, Murdock?"

"If he asks…I didn’t tell you. He’s supposed to check in with me in the next half-hour, though…he’s not doin’ too good."

"Thanks, Murdock. I better go bring him home."

"You better be careful."

"And why’s that?"

"The big ugly mudsucker is with him."

"Then I’ll be on guard. Thanks. Tell Billy he’s a good dog."

"Oh, I will, I will."

 


He’d tried. He’d called Hannibal every night for a week. But Hannibal was busy…couldn’t see him. And then…he hadn’t wanted to tell him when they were on the mission, and he’d been afraid that maybe, maybe the Colonel was mad at him. That was why he’d been tiptoeing around…and he was right, when he tried to broach the subject, Hannibal had left. Walked out.

He’d promised to be there. Said that if they crashed, that he’d catch him…but this time Hannibal’s words hadn’t come true...and he could only hope that the ones about him crashing and burning weren’t true either. That was what had hurt the most. He had needed Hannibal, needed him, and Hannibal had pushed him away…and then hadn’t even given him a chance to explain himself when he’d found him on the porch with Amy.

Amy had known something was wrong, something was bothering him. So, when she had finally found him alone on the porch…she’d cornered him and done what he had wished Hannibal would have done, and forced him to talk.

"What’s wrong, Face?"

"What makes you think something is wrong?"

"You’ve been jumpy all week, you look like a whipped puppy. You won’t even let anyone touch you. And first you avoid Hannibal like the plague, and then you go in to see him and he walks out, and now you are on the front porch…alone."

"So? What’s your point Amy?" Sometimes she could be so pushy. He just wanted to be left alone, so maybe for five seconds he didn’t have to remember that he was a lia…

"My point is something is wrong with you. And normally I wouldn’t pry, but when it starts affecting the team…"

"Look, now you said it. You’re right on track. Now just come out and say it. Templeton Peck, you are a liability to this team."

"I never said that."

"But you were thinking it." He realized that his eyes stung and he turned away from her so she wouldn’t see.

"No I wasn’t."

"Hannibal is."

"No he’s not. I’ve never seen someone more head over heals for someone else. He’d do anything to make you happy."

"He got over it. He saw the truth for what it is."

"Oh, and what is that?"

"A washed up ex-Special Forces veteran that will have to be looked after and coddled every step of the way; that they’ll have to go out of their way for to make sure he’s okay."

When he had finally explained what was going on, Amy had hugged him, telling him that he was wrong…but it was she that was proven wrong ten seconds later when Hannibal walked out on the front porch. In the dim light he saw Hannibal’s expression darken, and, afraid, rushed to explain. "Hannibal…it isn’t what you think…"

"Isn’t what I…Isn’t what I…GET OUT of here Lieutenant!! Find your own way back to LA, but get the hell out of my sight!"

The tears were back again, he’d be hard pressed to keep them from falling, but he wasn’t going to let Hannibal know that he was upset, that he was winning. He was so tired, he didn’t want to fight, he wanted Hannibal to hold him, kiss away the pain, but Hannibal hadn’t held him for almost two weeks now…something must be going wrong…they were going to crash. "You promised to catch me!" It was a last ditch attempt, a desperate measure. He didn’t know what he hoped to get by flinging Hannibal’s words back at him…perhaps fulfillment, as what happened with so many other words that came from Hannibal. But this time, he was to be sorely disappointed.

"Not this time. You can crash and burn for all I care. Now get out." The look on his lover’s face was enough to send the Lieutenant over the edge, and before the tears could finally fall he jumped over the railing and started running as fast as he could towards town. He’d scammed a car…well, it was kinda like a car…it looked like one, even if it didn’t run very well, and drove straight back to LA that night, gathering all his stuff from the apartment he was at and immediately finding a new place. He didn’t want Hannibal to feel obligated to find him. Not when he was such a burden. Hannibal had done the right thing in getting rid of him.

He cried himself the sleep that night and every night since then, and wished that the burning part of the crash wasn’t so damn painful.

"Hey ‘lil brother, you okay?"

BA had taken everything in stride, and had tried to convince Face that he was wrong, that the colonel still loved him and would see the error of his ways soon. At the same time, he was hoping that he’d get the chance to talk some sense into Hannibal for hurting Face so bad when he needed him. Right now the lieutenant was lying on a blanket by the ocean, basking in the sunlight…but despite the sunny day he looked pale, his features drawn, and he was shaking, but anyone who didn’t know him wouldn’t notice. "I’m okay…just a little tired."

And it was true. He was exhausted. He hadn’t figured out the best way to regulate it yet, and either way, he was left tired, wrung out, and having to go to the bathroom almost every five minutes. "That’s okay, you close your eyes, I’ll go get you a smoothie." And thirsty. Very thirsty.

"I promised I’d call Murdock. I don’t want to worry him."

"Then I’ll get the smoothie, you go call the crazy foo’."

"Thanks, BA."

"You better be here when I get back, I know where you live."

"Is that a threat?"

"No. It’s the truth."

Face managed a smile and plodded off towards the car. He wasn’t looking to see where he was going and watched his feet the whole way up the boardwalk, counting the cracks between the planks. So he wasn’t surprised that he ran into someone, and he felt two hands steady him. "Thanks," he muttered without looking up.

"Hey, kid."

Face cringed. "Umm…hi." He studied his feet even closer, there was a scuff on the right corner of his left shoe and…

Hannibal reached out a gloved finger to lift his lieutenant’s chin. "Face. We’ve got to talk."

Anger chased away the exhaustion. "I tried to talk, Hannibal. Don’t you remember? You were filming some monster from the deep movie." He didn’t flinch when Hannibal reached up to brush the hair out of his face, he was too angry to back down now.

"I know. I should have listened a little closer…I should have been there. Is that what you want to hear? God, kid, I’m sorry."

"Don’t…don’t lie to me." Tiredness was replacing anger again, he just wanted Hannibal to leave, to stop dangling the carrot and just tell him he was off the team. He couldn’t deal with this and accepted his first instinct: to run. So he turned and walked away, but that gloved hand on his shoulder stopped him like it had so many times before, the gentle squeeze so familiar that he almost leaned back into the touch… "Damn it, Hannibal!" he whirled. "Stop teasing and just say it. I’m off the team, I’m a liability!"

"Off the…what…is that what you’re so worked up about? Kid, you couldn’t pay me to kick you off the team."

"Hannibal, be reasonable. I’m a liability. You’ll never know when it’ll kick in, when I’ll need you guys to go out of the way for me, we could be in the middle of a fight and…and…"

"You have diabetes, Face. Diabetes. So, sometimes you may need to stop and get something to eat, but we’ll figure it out. It can be controlled. You keep a healthy lifestyle, you are well on your way. And you don’t have to do it alone. Remember, I’m going to catch you. You aren’t a liability. You are an important part of this team, and I wouldn’t want this team any other way." Face had wrapped his arms around himself and was crying, tears running down his face and falling into the sand, trying to create a barrier between him and the colonel. Hannibal stepped forward and wrapped him in a hug, kissing the top of his head as Face let go, sobbing, and flung his arms around Hannibal’s neck. "I love you, Templeton Peck. And anyway…if you’re a liability and think you’re going to go sideways…what would Murdock be?"

"Certifiably nuts, jus’ like you two! You got more crazy fool love than the crazy foo’!"

"BA…" said Face, pulling away and wiping his face on his sleeve. "I…thought…"

"Smoothie," grunted BA and it was followed something that sounded suspiciously like ‘get a room’ before adding, "You did apologize, ‘annibal, right? ‘Cause if you didn’t, and if you hurt my ‘lil brother agin…then I’ll hurt you."

"He apologized…and thanks for the smoothie…I…I’ve got to call Murdock…"

"I’ll call him. Crazy fool…" BA went towards the ‘vette leaving Hannibal and Face standing there with a smoothie.

"Let’s get you back down to the beach, kid. You look tired. You gonna be okay?"

"Yeah. I’ll be fine, now. I’ll be just fine."

 


His phone was ringing. Face rolled over and picked it up. It was only 8 pm, but his blood sugar had been low, and between that and the beach, Face had gone straight home and gone to bed. "’ello…"

"Hey, kid. Sorry, did I wake you up?"

"It’s okay…" He sat up and rubbed his eyes. "What’s up?"

"I’ve been thinking…"

"Surprise, surprise. When aren’t you thinking?" He didn’t know if he wanted to talk about what had happened today and had a sinking feeling that that was where this conversation was headed.

"Only when it comes to you I don’t seem to think."

"Yeah," Face said quietly. "If they called the heart a brain it would be able to think…but it can’t. It just feels."

"And breaks."

"Yeah." He didn’t want to deal with this right now. He wanted to go back to sleep…

"Face…I’m sorry."

"I know, you said that already. Is there another reason you called, Hannibal?"

"I want you to move in with me. Tonight."

"What…Hannibal…that’s a recipe for trouble…"

"I’ve thought about it, and I think it’s for the best."

"What happens if we crash?"

"Face, if we crash…"

"Yeah?"

"I swear…it’ll hurt like hell, but we’ll pick up the pieces and fix it. Rebuild it. Will you let me rebuild it?"

Face reached to the nightstand for his watch. "Hold on, John, I’ll be over in a few minutes. We’ll rebuild it…together."

To be continued.


Goin' Down by Ocean-Born-Mary
Goin' Down 2 by Ocean-Born-Mary
Goin' Down 3 by Ocean-Born-Mary

 

 


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