Title: Elusive Thoughts

Author: Hannurdock

Rating: PG

Summary: Hannibal on the couch. Takes place after the episode 'Semi-Friendly Persuasion'


'People's thoughts are the most elusive and the most valuable'.

Face thought I was on the couch when I started talking about this subject, but that was only becuase he doesn't like talking about deep things. Sometimes, that kid really riles me.

Then he goes on to say he wants food. And when we reach the small, cluttered diner all he eats is a small salad. He picks at it delicately, knowing full well he isn't really hungry and that we (me and the team, of course) are watching his every move.

"Thought you said you were hungry, man" BA said gruffly. Good old BA, he goes straight to the point.

"Hmmmm" Face doesn't even grace BA with a reply. He just continues to pick at his food, his mouth chomping on a piece of carrot every now and again.

"Anyway, as I was saying ... soldiers pay the price to protect precious thought" I continued, looking directly at Face.

Face sighed, and excused himself to go to the restroom. Such a quick move to get away, before being drawn into a conversation he doesn't want. How very like Face.

"Beautiful Colonel" Murdock compliamented, adding sop and sentiment to my nice phrase. I hate it when Murdock becomes condescending. "Go on Colonel ..."

"Let's wait till Face get's back" I said evilly, smirking "Its rude to continue without him".

Ten minutes passed, maybe more. Face was either taking an extremely long piss or something was wrong.

His salad was developing withdrawal symptoms, the lettuce shrivelling in the overheated diner, close to sweltering.

"Should I go check on him?" Murdock said eventually.

I shook my head. "I'll go".

I got up and walked the length of the diner to the small restroom at the back. To say the smell was enough to bring back memories of Hanoi was underexaggerating. It was foul, and I wondered how Face could take so long in that vile place. I knocked the door and entered without a word, crossing the small expanse of washbasins to the single toilet. "Face, you okay?"

I pushed open the cubicle door and glanced inside. No Face. Strange. Immediately my survival instincts have kicked in. I pull out my piece and head to a small door which connects the restroom to the back of the restaurant.

Pushing open the door quietly, I gazed outside. Face was sitting on the grass watching two small children playing, his eyes exceptionally sad.

He was completely distracted, and I did not want to interfere with his small comfort. There are very few of those to have in our business, so I kept a lookout silently for him.

"You wanna join in, Mr?" A young boy asked Face.

"No thanks - I'm not as energetic as you two" Face lied. I smiled. Not energetic? From the guy who could swim a marathon and run for England when he wanted? Yeah, right.

"Sure, we'll join in" I sheathe my piece and walk out to join Face and the two children. Face looks up at me confused.

"We'll referee" Face quickly added, throwing me a tragic look.

"Sure, kid" I sat beside him and watched the children play "You been out here all this time?"

"Yes" Face said distantly "I've been thinking"

"I thought I could smell burning" I joked "There's smoke coming from your head, too much thinking can be dangerous".

Face grinned, and relaxed. "Actually I wasn't looking at the children".

I turned and looked beyond the children and grinned. It suddenly all became clear. A brunette standing beside her fancy sports car just beyond the enclosure where the children were playing.

"Aha, typical" I laughed and got up "I'll leave you to it. I'd better go before the others think we've both been kidnapped".

Face grinned and turned towards the children once more, or more specifically to the brunette "I'll be in shortly, Colonel".

"Whenever your ready, kid" I said, and walked back inside.

People's thoughts are the most elusive, Face proved that to me. I initially thought he was in deep contemplation regarding the children playing in the enclosure, only to find he was thinking in his trousers again.

But there was no doubt about it, Face's thoughts were valuable to me. And if a brunette can cause him a few moments of happiness from the real world, then who am I to interfere?

I wandered in to rejoin Murdock and BA, and we talked some more. By the time Face rejoined us, his salad was curled up and looking very unappetising, but he looked refreshed.

"Let's hit the road" I said smiling.

And we did.