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2

When Face awoke first the next morning, he grew instantly aware of three facts: 1. His cut hurt like hell. 2. While they slept, they had shifted positions and now they were snuggled up with her head on his shoulder, and 3. They were not alone in the cabin.

Fortunately, before he could draw his gun, Face recognized Murdock.

"Good morning Kemosabe! Looks like you slept well," welcomed the grinning pilot.

"Ya know, I actually did." Face replied groggily.

"Um, Hannibal and B.A. are about five minutes behind me. You might want to wake up our Sleeping Beauty". Murdock waggled his eyebrows in the direction of the girl on Face's shoulder.

This proved to be a moot point since their conversation was already causing her to stir. She opened her eyes, realized her position, and simultaneously became aware that Murdock was there. She jolted up. Face noted a furtive glance between Murdock and her that seemed to contain a full conversation. He also noticed that this caused an odd, unidentifiable emotion to ripple through his gut.

"Howdy, Sugarplum, did ya sleep okay?" the Captain greeted her.

"Yep I must admit I did. Exhaustion will do that for a person."

"Yeah that's an explanation."

Faceman again detected that loaded glance between his friends.

Murdock became concerned when Face didn't rise swiftly from the futon mat.

"You're hurt aren't ya, Facey?"

"He is," she answered for the Lieutenant.

Face rolled his eyes and explained about the cut on his side. The trio were discussing this as Hannibal and B.A. entered the cabin. Greetings were exchanged amongst the team.

"Ate your Wheaties this morning, Captain? You all but ran up this mountain. If I was an insecure person I'd think you wanted to ditch me and B. A." Hannibal snidely commented.

"Aw Colonel, I was just worried about my missing buddies. Ya know what nervous energy does to me."

"Yes, I guess I do, Murdock." the Colonel skeptically replied, then he demanded,"Ok what's this injury you were talking about, Face?"

Face again explained about the gash and how they had treated it last night. A quick lift of his sweatshirt showed no evidence of bleeding on the gauze. Hannibal and Face agreed not to remove the bandage since they couldn't do any more than was done last night.

"Are you sure you're up to hiking to our new base camp? It's about five miles to it then another seven to the van." asked Hannibal

Face assured him that the hike wouldn't be an issue, "Hannibal, I've done more with a lot worse." The Colonel nodded, silently remembering those times.

Since their hiking clothes were dried they decided to change back into them. All the guys cleared out of the cabin so she could go first. Soon she came out carrying the knapsacks and remaining supplies. Murdock quickly went to help her manage the pile. They sat down on the small stoop to repack the bags while Face changed.

He came out a few minutes later and playfully tossed his rolled up sweatsuit at Murdock, "Here Jeeves, kindly pack this for me too." He teased in an English accent.

Then Face looked at her, "When did you wash out my shirt? I know I saw blood on it yesterday?"

"Oh I gave it a rinse after I repacked the med kit."

"Thanks, that was sweet of you."

"No problem."