Author: Reagan
Title: Alternate Destiny
Rating: PG-13, language, discussion of violence
Setting: After the first season, but before the fifth
Disclaimers: Who are we kidding? I don't own the A-Team, the characters, or concepts. Just the
story and words are mine. No harm done. Suing me is so not worth the bother.
Feedback: Cannot be encouraged enough. You can reach me at:
or post on this list.
Summery: A little introspection between teammates.

"What'cha doing?" Hannibal asked stepping out on the back porch bearing two beers.

"Nothing." Face answered staring off in the distance at the setting sun.

"Sure. That's why you're out here brooding."

Turning to raise an eyebrow, Face takes to proffered bottle from the older man. "Did I miss the
part where you gained psychic powers and are now able to know my thoughts?"

Chuckling, Hannibal sips at his own beer as he takes a seat next to the conman. "Hell kid. I can
practically see the smoke coming out of your ears. You're thinking about something, knowing
you, it's a good guess that you're out here brooding about that boy."

"Such a waste Hannibal." He replies forlornly. He swallows a mouthful for courage. "A few
different choices, decisions and that could have been me."

Snorting, "No offence kid but you're really not the muscle for a gangster type."

Face shrugged in agreement. "True, but I had a half a dozen rackets going in Vietnam. There
was always another scheme to get whatever it is I wanted or needed. A hood is a hood, and I was pretty damn close to that when we met. I honestly don't know what I would have done if I hadn't met you guys."

"You're a survivor kid." Hannibal stated attempting to lighten the somber mood of their
conversation. "You're life would certainly be different but you'd have landed on your feet just
like you always do."

"Landing with my foot on someone's throat isn't exactly the most comforting thought right now."

Raising his own eyebrow now, "Is that what you really think?"

Bitterly, "Let's face it Hannibal. I was a bastard when I met you. Sure I did my job and kept my
platoon safe, but the only thing I gave a damn about was my next con and how much I could take
my mark for before moving onto my next target. It would have been really easy when the next
scheme went sour to resolve it with a gunshot. What was one more dead body in a whole fucking
theater full? And you know had it come down to it; I could have stepped over that line and never
looked back." Laughing, "Once you start down the dark path, forever will it dominate your

Flabbergasted, "I really don't know how you want me to respond to that. We've all done
unspeakable things. You're not a cold-blooded killer."

Flippantly, "Sure I am. I just hide it under a nicer veneer these days."

"Okay, no more beer for you." Hannibal says snatching the now half empty bottle from the table.
"Why are you doing this to yourself? You're not that person, despite whatever darkness you fear
lives in you. You're certainly not going to turn into some gangster, so what's the point?"

"That stupid kid is going to spend the next twenty years of his life in prison. That could have
been me. Hell, that should have been me. As for why now, normally you're not around for my
bouts of angst."

Shocked at this new insight into a man he swore he knew completely. "Never figured you for the
self flagellating type."

Keenly, he turns to look the older man directly in the eye. "You see what I want you to see
Hannibal. Self flagellation is hardly my worst foible."

Hannibal decided he was going to have to hang around the kid when he was drinking more often.
For someone who always played it close to the vest he was being positively demonstrative with
his thoughts and emotions tonight. "What's staring at the sunset and running what ifs through
your mind going to accomplish though? Say thank god that's not me and move on. Dwelling on
it won't change anything."

"When you were a kid, did you ever pick at your scabs?"

Totally lost with the change in subject Hannibal stares in confusion. "Of course I did. I was a
typical little boy."

Face nodded, reaching down to grab an unseen beer from the ground. He takes a long swallow,
before responding. "There's nothing typical about you Colonel. But to explain, that's all we're
doing here. Picking scabs to watch myself bleed, the pain is just a bonus."

Pissed off now, "Okay that's enough. You're going to go to bed here in a few hours and wake
with a lovely hangover. Nothing will have changed. I know you're not leaving the team so what
have these introspective moments really accomplished?"

Blowing out a breath in part frustration and exasperation. "Nothing."

"Dammit!" Hannibal yelled smacking the table with his open palm. "Don't fucking sit there and
lie to me, not about this. You don't do anything without a reason. What's really going on?"
Face couldn't contain himself anymore. Chuckling, "Pushing your buttons may be one of the
most favorite things I do. Maybe I just needed some time and liquid fortification to work up my

Still, more than slightly pissed off, "Swear to god kid..."

Laughing outright, Face puts him out of his misery. "I just needed to think about it for a while to
appreciate what I've got. I wasn't lying when I said that could have been me. And if we're going
to be honest, it's not, because of you. I don't understand. I gave up trying years ago but I
assume you saw something in me I didn't. So thanks Hannibal. Thanks for saving me from that."
Smith's jaw clinched as he counted to ten. "You do realize I'm going to have to get you back for

Smirking, "I wouldn't have it any other way."

Tipping his bottle in salute, "You are worth it, kid. Don't ever doubt that." They clanked their
bottles in toast watching the rest of the sunset in silence. Though, it was a comfortable silence