Another A-Team one-shot because I just love the movie. Not a lot of backstory to the situation, but just my dose of father/son Hannibal and Face fluff.
It's in his bloodstream, being tossed around like water in a turbulent river and the kid cranes his neck in order to roll with the waves of it all. The sweat slicked palm of his left hand comes up to rub at his throat before he digs his short nails into the flesh that feels like its being disintegrated by fire ants. For a split second, he begins to think there's actual tiny pests feeding on his skin and he goes back to working his entire hand around his throat to rid himself of them until a voice, loud, gruff, and demanding as hell gets his attention.
Something escapes his throat in a rumble with a higher pitch than he would've liked, but he quits wiping at the ants on his throat so that he can rub the ones on his face because that's what the voice told him to do. Or did it? He doesn't know for sure, but he'll be damned if they eat him alive.
"Face, damn it! Listen to me! Lieutenant!"
He wants to listen. He really does, but he makes that noise again in the back of his throat while he tears at the skin around his eye because those bastards are moving quickly, devouring every last bit of him until he's reduce to the shell of a man he once was. His other eye starts to sting a bit more and he brings up his other hand as quickly as he can and buries the base of his palm into the burning socket, but there's a quick intake of air from someone other than himself and a, "Woah, woah, woah, put that thing down, Buddy. Come on," and "Damn it, Fool. Don't wave that thing around!"
He keeps working his hands over his face, ignoring the voices in favor of the sound of tiny teeth gnawing at his flesh. He cranes his neck again, his throat vibrating with whatever sound he can't help but make and starts to rub at the side of his head with his right hand, but its not flesh that rubs against his temple. It's the cool metal of a gun barrel of the weapon he's gripping with cracking knuckles and only when he hears more shouts commanding him to stop does he retract it to notice.
It's heavy in his hands like the first time he ever held one and his heart is pounding like his temporary foster father's drunken hand on his bedroom door when he was thirteen years old. He can hear the man's ugly words of scorn and warning, smell the alcohol seeping through the cracks of the door and before he understands what's happening, exactly as he had done twelve years ago, he grips the pistol tighter despite the quivering state of his body and aims at the one thing he's never wanted to miss and knows he won't.
It's not the first time Hannibal's ever had a gun pointed at him, but it's certainly the first time Face has ever been on the other end of it.
But the Colonel's having a hard time believing it's his lieutenant looking at him down the barrel, because the weapon wavers with the tremors of an unwell hand and the kid's head bobbles around on his neck like he's trying to get water out of his ears.
"What the hell are you doing, Fool?! You're crazier than Murdock, Man," B.A. shouts as he takes a step forward to do nothing less than beat whatever sense he can into his younger comrade, but Face stumbles back quickly, eyes wild and dicey as if he's on the defensive, and turns the gun on B.A. The big guy stops suddenly, but even if he hadn't Hannibal's hand would have done it for him because the colonel reached out and grabbed him in a silent, "stand down."
"Woah now, Facey! Easy," Murdock gently supplies, although he remains standing on the other side of Hannibal.
"Quiet boys," the Colonel orders, before taking a slow step forward. As expected, the gun turns back on him and glassy blue eyes look just off to the side of Hannibal's gaze. The older man holds out his arms in a non-threatening motion before speaking calmly and gently. "Easy, Face. It's me. Hannibal."
The kid cranes his neck again, his face twisting as if he's in pain. The sound of his knuckles cracking as they tighten once more around the weapon echo in the abandoned warehouse they had finally found their kidnapped lieutenant in five days after he disappeared. Unfortunately, finding him was turning out to be the easiest part. A few discarded syringes and a few small pricks on the kid's arm told the team that Face wasn't exactly giving Murdock a run for his money on the crazy train just yet.
"No! No, no, no. I'm done! I'm not doing this anymore!" Face shouts while dangerously waving the weapon in his hand with a little less precision.
"Done with what Face?" Hannibal asks, taking a small step closer unbeknownst to the younger man.
"You're not going to do this anymore! Not to me! Not to them! I won't let you!"
There's an unmistakable liquid swimming at the corners of Face's eyes like desperate waves of water wanting to tumble over a cliff to create something for people to marvel at. He shakes his head whether to emphasize his point, or to rid the forming tears, Hannibal isn't sure, but it's all so desperate and broken and not at all his lieutenant. However, the tragedy of it is that it's everything the kid really is and Hannibal realizes there will never be a plan to remedy this.
"Nobody's going to do anything, kid," Hannibal's voice loses every ounce of gruff to the desolate recognition, and although he hadn't counted on it mattering, Face blinked suddenly, eyes clearing slightly and gaze locking on Hannibal's for the first time since they'd found him.
"How..." The kid starts to ask, but he trails off, eyes widening and darting just off to Hannibal's left while the aim of the gun follows. The Colonel turns slightly to find the target Face is so desperate to shoot, but catches sight of B.A. and Murdock sharing bewildered looks at the sight of their lieutenant aiming at thin air, instead. He lets his gaze wander back to the younger man slowly and swallows thickly before stretching out an arm.
"Listen to me, Face. You hear me?"
The kid's eyes never leave his target only visible to him, but he nods his head jerkily as if he isn't sure he should reply.
"You've been drugged. Whatever you're seeing, it's not there, okay? It's not real. We're going to help you Face, but I need you to put the gun down."
Face's expression twists like he's melting from the inside out and Hannibal moves forward because he assumes that the kid's going to comply with him, but as soon as his foot hits the ground again, Face turns the gun back on the older man.
"No! If...if it's not real...then you're not real," Face yells at him, then turns back to the dead space he keeps looking at. "Did you do this? What did you do to me?!"
"Face! No. Come on, kid. I need you to trust me. I need you...to trust me."
The lieutenant's eye never leave the invisible person he's so afraid of, but a soft "Hannibal" escapes him and the older man knows that every bit of his name that was spoken means the kid really wants to.
"You're okay, Face. The men who did this to you, we got them. Alright? They gave you something, Lieutenant, something that's making you hallucinate. Now, B.A., Murdock, and myself we're all here in the flesh and real, but we're the only ones. So whoever else you see...it's not real. So do us a favor, okay kid? Give me the weapon."
"I...I can't," Face says, head shaking once more. "He's not going to do this to me anymore...he's not going to get away with it."
The colonel can only swallow as the younger man's words strike a up a memory like a flame to a match and suddenly he remembers sitting across from Face at the army base three years after they first met, thirty-one missions completed together. The kid hadn't been sleeping, and the implications had almost turned deadly on their latest assignment. After enough prompting and force, Face had told Hannibal about a brief period with a foster father right before he had conned his way into the army a few years before he reached legal age.
"He's not, Face. He's not."
"Promise," the kid asks and blue eyes are back on Hannibal and it reminds him of the way the young man had begged him not to tell anyone he was too young to be the army.
"Swear by it," he says because there's nothing he's going to deny him. Not now, not ever if it's good for him. Not because Face has a gun pointed at him, but because Face has a gun at all. "Give me the weapon, kid. Everything's alright."
Face's eyes start glassing back over, and finally the tears slip over the edge and some part of Hannibal wants to marvel at the true appearance of his lieutenant, but the kid shakes his head as if telling him not to, because he's not supposed to know that Templeton Peck exists.
"I-I can't...I did then...and I shouldn't have! Should've pulled the trigger..he deserved it! He-"
"Face, look at me. Come on, look at me, Face. Right here," Hannibal encourages as he slowly closes the distance between them. Face's incoherent mumblings and shouts trail off as blue eyes catch sight of a much closer figure. The older man notices the flinch and how he tightens his hand around the gun, but he puts his large, calloused hand around the kid's holding the gun before the trigger can be pulled. He tries to free himself from the grip, but to no avail as Hannibal takes the weapon from him and tosses it back to B.A. for safe keeping.
"Let me go. No, no, no. Let go of me," Face pleads, pushing and pulling at the hand on his wrist, before Hannibal catches the other and then pulls him to his chest.
"Never, kid," Hannibal whispers and then he's sinking to the floor with a collapsing lieutenant that's his son in every sense of the word besides blood. Peck's got someone else's bloodstream and it's being tossed around like water in a turbulent river and the kid cranes his neck in order to roll with the waves of it all, because there's a way to drown even if you're not in water, but Hannibal's got a plan to make sure Face never does.
AN: Thanks for reading!