These characters are not mine. I do not own them and will make no profit from them. This is written purely for entertainment.

Making It Official

Never leave a man behind. It had been years since they had first invoked that pledge to each other. But now as he laid at the bottom of the hill looking up, knowing no one knew exactly where he had fallen, knowing probably no one even knew he had fallen he was glad he was with the team. He knew he wouldn't be left behind. He hurt all over. The pain came in waves. He tried to keep focus but blood ran into his eyes, they burned and continued to water. He needed help. He needed the team. He tried to call out to them in the hopes they were near by but his voice was nothing more than a whisper. The mere attempt cost him, the pain shot through his ribs.


The price for saying that one word was yet more pain. And then the darkness came.

***** A TEAM *****

They had planed to be at the cabin for a week. Hannibal had felt the need to reconnect as a team, to relax a little and enjoy themselves. But after two days of listening to BA and Murdock bickering he had had enough. Face had been keeping to himself. He seemed the most relaxed. Face was never known for liking the great outdoors.

Templeton Peck was known for a lot of things, his love of the outdoors was not one of them. Face had spent two tours in Vietnam and upon returning to the world decided he did not need to spend more time in the woods. In fact, he considered a cheap motel as close to the great outdoors as he really ever wanted to come. Yet, here he was two days into the trip and the only one enjoying the peace and quiet of the forest. He kept to himself and truly relaxed.

Hannibal tried to relax. He had joined Face as he watched the sunset over the mountains. They had sat in silence watching a deer with her fawns. They laughed at the squirrels as they chased each other and hopped from tree limb to tree limb. He was starting to relax but...

"Aw come on BA, I just want to go swim in the lake. Why don't you come jump in the lake with me? Hannibal said I can't go out by myself. Face won't swim with me because he thinks he's coming down with a cold. Hannibal just said no. Please...Please BA ... Well ya well ya plllleeeeaaaasssseee."

"NO! For the 15th time, NO!" BA roared and scared the deer away.

***** A TEAM *****

Face looked to Hannibal, he knew Hannibal needed the rest just as much as he did. They had been working non-stop for weeks. It was supposed have to been a piece of cake, watch the daughter of a former vet they had known in Nam. But she didn't want to be watched. She had done everything to make their lives as difficult as possible; run-away, hide and lie. Typical teenager behavior but when your father has managed to upset some of the wrong people it makes you an easy target.

Face shook his head in disgust. "Sounds like the kids are at it again."

"I know. But I have a plan..." Hannibal reached for a cigar but didn't have one.

"I don't think I'm going to like this plan, am I?" Face replied as he lit a cigar for Hannibal. He was always prepared for such things.

"No, but we are a team. I think I'll go for a little walk. I'll talk to you more when I get back. Oh, and Lieutenant, inform the boys they need to stay close to the cabin, it's going to be an early morning tomorrow." Face shook his head. He had only wanted to rest. Now because of the bickering he wasn't going to get it.

"Now I know I'm not going to like this much at all."

As Hannibal walked away, Face turned his attention to the children. "BA! Murdock! I need to speak to you." His annoyance was evident as he turned on his Lieutenant mode.

Both turned to look when Face called their name. The argument came to an end as they approached. "Hey Facey! Did you change your mind about swimming?"

"No, but I think you should. Hannibal just went for a walk. You guys have done it now. He told me to let you know you are to stay around the cabin and get to bed early. It's going to be an early morning for all of us. Oh, and by the way, thanks a lot. All any of us needed was a little R&R but you just couldn't let him or any of us get the rest we need. Now we are all going to pay for it." Without waiting for either of them to say a word he turned and headed to the cabin. Without looking back he continued, "I'm going to my room. I suggest you think of doing the same. If you don't then keep quiet so I can rest. Good night!"

Face walked back to his room. His head hurt and he didn't want to have to do the workout in the morning. He hadn't felt well in days. But he hadn't told Hannibal because he didn't want to be any trouble. He had hoped the R&R would help.

***** A TEAM *****

Hannibal marked the path through the woods the team would have to take in the morning. The sun had set but the stars and moon lit the path for him. There were a few places he would have to scout out in the morning to add in additional obstacles.

"This is what we need. They can burn a little energy and then maybe we can get some rest."

As he walked back to the cabin he lit a cigar. He could feel a little of the jazz coursing through his veins. He wanted to talk this over with Face. Face didn't deserve to run the course but as a team they would all have to run it. He planned to have Face help set the additional obstacles to make it more difficult for BA and Murdock and by doing so he would then know how to get around them when it was his turn.

Face had been doing exactly what they all needed to do...relax. The stress of the last few weeks and if he wanted to be realistic the last few years was starting to take a toll on all of them. They needed to relax before they all needed adjoining rooms at the VA with Murdock.

The walk back to the cabin was easy. He'd been gone for about two hours and felt he had picked a tough enough course. He smiled as he approached the cabin and found it silent. A light was on in the room he and Face were sharing. Normally, he and BA would have bunked together but Face hadn't felt well the past couple of days and he wanted to keep an eye on him.

Face was well known for making a big show of small injuries or annoyances. True illnesses and injuries were always down played. Hannibal knew this was a result of Face's upbringing. Raised as an orphan he had played on the sympathy of the nuns and foster families with little boo boos. The problem was major illnesses or injuries were looked upon as defects and therefore un-adoptable. Those illnesses or injuries were therefore hidden.

Hannibal knocked but got no answer. Always when entering a bed room shared with Face it was practice to knock first. Between his early upbringing in multiple foster homes, the orphanage and then the POW camps, Face was easily startled when sleeping. Add to that mix Special Forces training and you had a recipe for disaster if you weren't careful. All team members knew this and it had become unspoken policy over the years to announce themselves when entering his sleeping quarters.

Lying on his side, Face looked innocent and much younger than his recorded years. Hannibal stifled a snort at the thought of Face's recorded age. How he had conned a recruit officer into believing he was 24 just showed what a good conman he had already become. Face had finally admitted to him late one night that he had been just shy of 16 when he went through boot camp. Since he was an orphan it was easy for him to fudge his age when enlisting. There was no family to contest it. After running away from his last foster home he had been living on his own. Using forged papers he had entered college at 15 and worked a regular job. Hannibal was the only member of the team to know the truth and Face wanted to keep it that way. It would serve no good for them to know. I'm suppose to be their Lieutenant. How could they ever respect me if they knew I had lied about my age and was so much younger than them. Hannibal, I need them to believe if I am to be effective. Hannibal had understood and agreed that the others needed to believe Face was 34 years old when in fact he was barely 26.

Slowly he entered the room. He turned out the lights and lay down to sleep. He could wait to talk to Face in the morning. Now, they both needed to rest.

***** A TEAM *****

0300 Hannibal awoke and got ready for the day. He'd need to get Face up shortly so the training circuit would be ready for BA and Murdock by 0500. Quietly he left the room, leaving the door cracked open so he could return without alarming Face.

Once he had the ropes, pulleys and carabineers divided into two sacks he went to wake Face.

Slowly he approached the bed. He knew he needed to grab both wrists before attempting to wake him. With nothing more than the light from the hall he could barely make out the Lieutenant's hands. Quickly he grabbed both wrist and began talking to Face. He felt Face tense at the first touch. His heart broke a little more every time this happened. How anyone could hurt a child was beyond him. But to hurt a kind soul such as Face was unforgivable.

"Wake up Face. It's just me...Hannibal. You're safe. Come on now wake up." He repeated this mantra over and over again until he could feel Face begin to relax. Once he was awake he would be able to release him. This had been the practice for years.

"Hannibal, I'm tired. Can't I sleep a little longer?" His voice was low and rough. His head was pounding and he felt a little nauseated.

"Lieutenant, you need to wake up now. I have no intentions of letting you sleep all day. We have to finish the circuit before sunrise. Now, GET UP LIEUTENANT!" He ended it with an order. Face was never much of one to pay attention to orders before he had become a member of the Team. He didn't disobey but de didn't always do it the way it was spelled out. As a member of the A-Team, he learned to do as ordered. He was allowed to express his thoughts but in the end it was whatever Hannibal said that went.

Through the fog of sleep he heard the command and came to full alertness. "Yes Sir. What is the plan?"

Hannibal smiled. He loved how Face could go from half asleep to awake and following orders in a matter of seconds. "Get ready and meet me in the kitchen in 10."

***** A TEAM *****

Exactly 10 minutes later Face walked into the kitchen and straight to the coffee pot. He was ready for the day no matter what it brought. He knew he needed to be ready. The team was counting on him. He knew that in the end he needed to be able to do his job no matter how he felt. He grabbed a few aspirin and prayed his headache would go away.

"So here's the plan..." Hannibal laid out the course and the additional obstacles he had planned. Face groaned knowing it was going to be a really long day.

With the plan set Hannibal and Face each grabbed a bag and headed out to finish the course. When they were finished they met back up at the cabin.

"Face get them up. I'll wait here." Again Face groaned. He hated being the one to wake the others but looked upon it as a necessary evil.

Slipping into full Lieutenant mode he walked down the hall. He pounded on the door. "Up and at um. We have training. MOVE IT! MOVE IT! We don't have all day. You've got 5 til you do the circuit an extra hour. MOVE IT!"

The kid could have been a great DI in the military. Hannibal smiled again thinking of the numerous times Face had done this same routine. The men always responded.

Face joined Hannibal with a cup of coffee in his hand. They knew it was going to be close but they were confident BA and Murdock would be on time.

***** A TEAM *****

A grumpy BA and a tired looking Murdock lined up with seconds to spare. Murdock hadn't even bothered to comb his hair. Face stood at attention. He was determined to set the mood. If BA and Murdock didn't shape up quick it was going to be a long trip. He didn't feel his best and wanted nothing more than to rest. His head was pounding at the same pace as his pulse. He hoped the coffee and aspirin he had snuck earlier would help.

"Alright gentlemen. You two have been at each other for the past two days. It seems you have too much energy to relax. Today you are going to burn off some of that energy. If your attitude doesn't improve you will repeat the circuit until it does. Do I make myself clear?"

"Yes Sir!" They responded as one.

"The course is laid out. It is 1.5 miles in length. You will have additional obstacles along the way. You have 30 minutes to complete the course and return back here to the cabin. If you are late we will repeat the course until you can."

"Yes Sir!" Again the responded as one voice.

"The path is marked. It is now 0515." Each member checked their watches. "I will take the lead. Lieutenant you take the rear. Leave out 5 minutes apart. Any questions? Let's get started. I will leave out at 0520."

***** A TEAM *****

Hannibal was back at the cabin at 0540. He hadn't seen anyone from the team. The course was difficult but knowing what had been laid out before him made it easier. Twelve minutes later BA entered the cabin. He made it with three minutes to spare. He looked tired. Hannibal thought maybe this was going to work. Let it work. We need the rest.

But that hope was dashed when 10 minutes later Murdock entered the cabin with Face right behind him. Face was early but Murdock was late. Everyone would have to repeat the circuit. Face looked of disgusted.

"Let's do it again. We will start again at 0600. Same intervals. Same time."

***** A TEAM *****

At 0615 Face made his way out of the cabin and started the trail again. The sun was starting to come up and he wished he could just watch the sunrise. The aspirin hadn't helped. The running and exercise only added to the pounding in his head. The nausea had increased. He wasn't sure he would be able to finish the course without puking. But he would finish the course, he was determined to not let the team down.

Murdock was having problems with the course. Face had closed in on Murdock but stayed back to observe. They weren't allowed to help each other complete the course. If Murdock couldn't do it in the approved time, they would all have to repeat it again. Face could tell that was going to be the case. He dreaded the thought.

As Murdock struggled with the ropes, Face checked his watch it was 0630. Murdock had 10 minutes to go and with a third of the course still ahead. God, it's going to be a long day. Please help him, I'm so tired.

His head was pounding. He knew he was headed for a full blown migraine but there was nothing he could do about it. As the sun rose it began to bother his eyes. The nausea was increasing. He needed his meds, darkness and sleep. The stress of the mission had started this latest cycle of migraines. He had run out of his meds before arriving at the cabin. He hadn't said anything because he didn't want to be a bother.

Now he regretted his decision. His vision blurred. He reached out to grab something to keep himself upright. He lost the battle and his balance. The darkness engulfed him.

***** A TEAM *****

Murdock had no idea Face was so close. He hadn't seen Face on the trail but he knew he was behind him. He tried again to get through the ropes course. Finally he succeeded and moved on.

He finished the course and was late again. He dreaded facing Hannibal and BA. He looked behind him. This had been the point where Face had met him before but Face wasn't in sight.

***** A TEAM *****

The cabin door opened and Hannibal checked his watch. Late again. He would give them a short break before going again. Murdock entered the cabin with his head hung low.

"Captain, what seems to be your problem?"

"Sir, I keep having problems with the second ropes course. I think I've got it now."

"Get it right. We will wait for Face but then we are going out again."

***** A TEAM *****

5 minutes.

10 minutes.

15 minutes.

Hannibal was worried. Face would never be this late from a circuit without there being a big problem. Something was wrong, seriously wrong.

BA and Murdock stood by watching as Hannibal paced. The cigar was never lit. They were all worried about Face. Neither spoke. Hannibal wasn't it the mood to hear anything from them.

"Get ready. We are going to go look for Face. Murdock grab the med kit and divide it. BA grab a pack, get extra supplies. We'll split everything. We don't know what's happened. We need to be prepared. I'll get the radios."

Quickly they gathered their supplies. "BA you start at the beginning of the course and follow the trail. Murdock you come with me we are going to run it backwards. If you find him call. We'll meet you."

Nothing more was said as Hannibal turned and headed out the door.

***** A TEAM *****

Pain. His head was foggy. He couldn't see through the pain. He blinked his eyes a few times hoping to clear his vision. When he opened them again, he squinted and looked around. It all came back to him. He had fallen. He tried to move but couldn't because of the pain.

Darkness fell and he felt no more pain.

***** A TEAM *****

Murdock stayed just behind Hannibal. Hannibal's eyes moved all around looking for any sign of Face. Hannibal knew Face hadn't felt well but hoped he hadn't been hiding something that would cause a risk to his life out here in the woods.

Slowly they made their way up the trail. When they reached the ropes course he called BA. No sign of him on the first section of the course. They were only a half a mile apart. They had to find Face.

Continuing on just a little further Hannibal noted the brush to the side of the path was disrupted. As he approached he saw a piece of Face's shirt stuck on a branch. Looking over the hill side he found Face. He wasn't moving.

"Murdock, take the radio and call BA. Give me the bag. I'm going down. Stay here until BA gets here."

Grabbing the bag and tossing the radio at Murdock, Hannibal never gave him a moment to breathe much less to say anything.

***** A TEAM *****

Face hadn't move. He was unconscious. Hannibal made his way down the hill. It was steep and he was careful. He didn't need to get hurt. He wouldn't be able to help Face if he did.

He kept one eye on Face the whole way down. He hadn't moved. Hannibal feared he hadn't been in time. Don't let him be dead.

He dropped the bag and checked Face for a pulse. He whispered a prayer of thanks as he felt the bounding pulse beneath his fingers. He quickly checked for injuries.

There was dried blood on his forehead. The laceration was just inside the hairline. He took out the bottle of water and cleaned the area. He applied the bandage and moved on. At this point he didn't find any major injuries.

Face became aware of someone near him. He tensed and felt his heart begin to race. Hannibal saw the reaction and quickly grabbed Face's wrist. "Easy there Face. It's me...Hannibal. Can you open your eyes for me?"

Face relaxed and opened his eyes. He hoped his vision would be better but it wasn't. He quickly closed his eyes. "Han..." He started to cough and wrapped his arms around his ribs. "Hur...ts."

"Easy Face. We're here to help you. Can you open your eyes for me?"

"Hurts." The thought of trying to open his eyes again made him nauseous.

"I know you hurt. Easy now, slow your breathing. I need you to look at me Face." Hannibal was beginning to wonder about a head injury. Face wasn't acting right. He was responding to his questions. "Lieutenant, I said open your eyes."

Face opened his eyes when ordered. The light made him cringe and close them again quickly. His breathing accelerated again and he knew he was going to be sick. He didn't want to vomit in front of his Colonel. But it was no use. Hannibal recognized the signs.

"Face. I'm going to turn you on your side. Tell me if I hurt you." He eased Face onto his side and held his head while he vomited. He hated to see Face hurt and sick.

Face didn't say anything. He hurt all over it didn't matter if it was Hannibal moving him or not. His headache was getting worse. The more it hurt the more nauseated he became.

When the dry heaving subsided, Hannibal rolled him onto his back. "Face." He received no reply. "Face look at me." Still not knowing what was happening, Hannibal was asking for the one thing Face could not do without getting sick.

"Can't. Hurts." Face knew he needed to explain more, he needed for Hannibal to understand. He wasn't trying to disobey, he was trying to avoid causing himself more pain. "Head...hurts. Eyes...hurt."

"Okay kid. Take it easy. Do you hurt anywhere else?" He was afraid Face had a concussion. The question now was how bad.

"R...ribs. Not broken. So... sorry." He turned his head away. He hated to be a disappointment to Hannibal. He hated the idea that this could cause him to lose the team. The more he thought about it the more stressed he became, which lead to a worsening migraine.

"I'm going to check those ribs. Take slow easy breathes. I will try not to hurt you." Running his fingers along the ribs he found no fractures. "Probably just sprained. Do you think you can sit up if I help you?"

Face simply nodded. He didn't think he could hurt any worse. As Hannibal helped ease him into a sitting position. His world began to spin again. His respirations increased. The nausea returned. He turned and dry heaved. "Can't... Head hurts."

"Face do you know where you are?" The concern was evident in his voice.

"2nd set of ropes about 20 feet ahead." Breathe slow and easy. Try to relax. Need to tell Hannibal what's going on, he's worried. He continued speaking slow and quietly. Hannibal had to strain to hear him. "Not concussed. Migraine. Making me sick."

"Are you sure? Do you know how you ended up down here at the bottom of the hill?"

"Been coming on for days. Out of meds. Couldn't see straight, got so sick, must of passed out and then fallen. Woke up here. Couldn't...couldn't get up hill. Sorry I was late. Need to sleep."

"Sleep for now. We'll get you back to the cabin. We will talk about this more when you are better."

"Sor..." He never finished as he drifted off. The sound of his own voice hurt. He needed the peace of sleep.

***** A TEAM *****

When BA finally made it down the hill Face was already out. "BA we need to get him back to the cottage. He's not going to be able to walk out of here on his own."

Without saying anything BA began to make a stretcher. Murdock sat beside Hannibal not knowing what to do. "Hannibal. How is he?"

"I don't really know. He talked to me a little before he crashed again. He said something about... Never mind. I gonna have to talk to him when this is over. He... Murdock help BA with the stretcher. We need to get him back as quickly as we can. I'd like to try to do it while he's asleep. Give me the med kit and then help BA."

"Sure thing Colonel." Leaving the med kit with Hannibal, Murdock went to see how he could help BA. He felt guilty about Face being hurt. He was certain it was his fault. If I had done it right the first time he wouldn't have been out here.

BA didn't want or need the help. He wanted to be alone. He too was convinced it was his fault Face was hurt. If I had just put up with the fool we wouldn't have had to do this course at all. All any of us needed was some rest.

When it came to guilt this team excelled. Each felt responsible if another was hurt or injured. Some how it was their fault. Even Hannibal was blaming himself for not paying closer attention. He had thought he was watching Face for signs of illness but he had missed something.

***** A TEAM *****

Once the stretcher was made they smoothly transferred Face on to it. Ever careful not to injure their friend they worked together to secure him on the stretcher.

"Ready to move him Hannibal." Carefully BA and Murdock lifted the stretcher. The way back was easy going. It only took 20 minutes to return to the cabin. Once there they took Face to his room and moved him to his bed.

***** A TEAM *****

"Okay guys. BA go get breakfast ready. Make something light for the Lieutenant. Murdock get me some wash clothes, towels and 2 pans. Fill one with warm water and the other with cool water. I don't want to hear any arguing out of either of you or you are going to be running the course every hour for the rest of the time we are here. Do I make myself clear?" Both men could tell Hannibal had been pushed to his limit. Neither wanted his wrath to come down on them

"Yes sir." Quietly they turned and began to do as ordered.

Hannibal turned his full attention to Face. He looked about the room and started making plans. He didn't know a lot about migraines but he did know some. He needed to make the room as quiet and dark as possible. He unplugged the clock to stop the ticking. Next he closed the shades and hung blankets over them to keep the outside light from invading Face's space.

Murdock brought back the items as requested and then left the room quickly. Hannibal moved the chair closer to the bed. He took most of the wash clothes and soaked them in the cool water. He placed another in the warm water, this would be used for cleaning. He began cleaning the dried blood off of Face's face. Cleaning the wound caused Face to stir. Quickly Hannibal secured his wrist.

"Face it's me... Hannibal. You're safe. It's going to be alright. I need you to open your eyes. I have the lights off and need to talk to you." He continued to talk calmly and quietly until Face became fully awake.

Face tried to relax. He still hurt all over and didn't understand how he had gotten back to the cabin. "Hannibal?"

"Yeah kid. It's me. How are you feeling? And don't tell me fine." Face could sense the tension and strain in Hannibal's voice.


"Where do you hurt? I need you to be more descriptive." It was like pulling teeth.

"Ribs hurt. Head hurts, Eyes hurt. Can I have some water, please?"

"Sure kid. Take it easy and don't drink too fast. How's your stomach?"

"Better. I just want a little water, please."

"Here kid let me help." Seeing Face's hands tremble reaching for the glass Hannibal decided he needed to help. "Easy Face, I've got it." Lifting the glass to his lips, Hannibal made certain Face only took small sips. He didn't need to get sick again. "How's that?"

"Good. Thanks." He closed his eyes again but they quickly shot back open. "How did I get here?"

Hannibal explained how they found him and got him back to the cabin. "Face, you said something about migraines. I didn't know you had migraines. Do you have something to take for them?"

"Ran out. Needed to get it refilled but didn't have time. Tried to make it through but...I'm sorry Hannibal. I'll pack my things as soon as I can." All of the old insecurities of his childhood came to the surface. Face hated to be sick. He hated the idea of showing weakness. He needed to be in control of his life what little he could control. But when he was sick he had to turn some of that control over to someone else. This had never been a good thing when he was a kid. And when he was honest with himself, being a kid wasn't really that long ago.

"Pack your things? What are you talking about, pack your things? What do you need and where can we get it?" Hannibal was angry, not at Face but at the idea of losing his friend. He didn't want Face to leave the Team.

Face ignored the first two questions and concentrated on the last one. "There's an empty bottle in my bag. I just need it refilled, darkness and quiet. I'm ...I...I thought it would go away."

"Face, how long have you been hurting?"

"Wasn't that bad until today. Just wouldn't go away." He didn't want to admit how long he had been hurt. He was afraid to disappoint Hannibal any further.

"Just rest now. I'll take care of things. Just rest and we'll talk when you're feeling better."

Face never responded. He simply closed his eyes and fell back to sleep. He was upset. He knew this would be the end for him with the team. They couldn't wait for him to recover. Sometimes it was days before he felt any relief. It hadn't been this bad in a long time. He'd been able to control it with the meds and taking a little time off after missions. But this time was different. The more he worried about it the worse the migraine became.

***** A TEAM *****

Hannibal removed Face's bag from the closet and left the room. He took it out into the living room and started looking through it. Finally he found the prescription bottle. "We need to get this prescription filled. He's not going to get any better until he gets it. Murdock, after breakfast you and BA need to go into town. Do whatever you have to but get that prescription filled."

"Sure Hannibal I'll get it. BA you about ready to go?"

"Sure fool. Let's move."

Hannibal paid little attention to them as they left. He looked back towards the bedroom door. He and his men had been to war and back and still he didn't understand Face. He had tried. But Face had always been the hardest to figure out. Just when you thought you had, he would surprise you.

He never spoke about his past. When he had admitted his true age late one night when he was wounded in Nam, Hannibal thought he was breaking through the wall. That wasn't to be, the wall was back up in the morning. The only difference in the morning was it had been reinforced.

Through the years he had mentioned a few things in private conversations, never around the other guys. When he shared information it was only on his terms. Never would he answer questions. Hannibal learned that Face remembered being abandoned by his mother, numerous beatings, and never having anything truly his own. The POW camp had only left him with more memories of beatings and having everything he owned taken away.

***** A TEAM *****

Hannibal reentered the bedroom after knocking. "Face, are you awake?"

"Yes sir."

Hannibal cringed at the response. "Murdock and BA are getting your meds. You need to eat. I have some toast for you."

"I'll try. No guarantees." Face tried to sit up in the bed. The strain on his ribs was almost unbearable. He groaned, held his breathe and tried to ride out the pain. He didn't realize Hannibal was talking to him. "y Face. Let me help."

Face felt the hand on his neck. Hannibal felt the tension increase in Face's shoulder muscles. He squeezed and released the muscles. Massaging the shoulders in hopes of giving Face some relief. It took several minutes but eventually Face relaxed.

"Thanks. Don't mean to be such a pain."

Hannibal ignored the statement. He added it to the list of what he needed to talk to Face about later. He reached over and grabbed a clean, cool, wet cloth. He applied it to the Face's neck.

"Can I lie down?"

"Sure, let me help you. How are the ribs?"

"Sore. Just sore. Can I have another cool cloth?"

Hannibal helped him lay down and then gave him another cool cloth. He put it over his eyes. "Thank you. I don't think I can eat right now. Stomach...nauseous."

"Try a few bites. You need something on your stomach." He broke off a small piece and placed it in Face's open mouth. As he chewed and swallowed Hannibal fed him more. Face managed to eat 1 piece of toast but could eat no more. "That's good Face. Try to rest, they should be back soon. I'll be here if you need anything."

No argument ensued. Face tried to fall asleep but couldn't. His head hurt to bad and he felt like the world was spinning. The nausea decreased a little after eating the toast but not enough.

***** A TEAM *****

"HANNIBAL!" Murdock bellowed as he entered the cabin.

Before the last syllable was spoken, Hannibal was in the hallway. One look from Murdock told him he had just made a big mistake. "Colonel, we have the prescription. The doc said to take it with food. He said it was real rough on your stomach if you didn't. He said you could take two to start then 1 every 4 to 6 hours."

"Captain, you will run the course again. BA you time him. Do it until you can do it in under 30 minutes. No exceptions, no excuses. DO NOT come back into this cabin yelling again. Do I make myself clear." His tone was low and filled with aggression.

"Yes sir!" He and BA responded.

***** A TEAM *****

BA and Murdock left the cabin to repeat the circuit. Hannibal prepared a sandwich for Face and headed back into the room. He knocked gently as he entered.

"Hannibal. What's wrong?" Face was attempting to sit up but couldn't. His head was pounding, spinning and he saw spots in front of his eyes. He was afraid he was going to pass out again. His arms gave out and he fell back down on the bed. A groan escaped before he could stifle it.

"Nothing's wrong. At ease Lieutenant. BA and Murdock are running the circuit. That should keep them busy for awhile. Let me help you sit up. You need to eat so you can take your meds."

Face didn't reply. He wasn't sure his stomach could handle food and he knew he couldn't sit up without falling down. He wished he'd pass out until it was over. He couldn't stand being helpless. But that was how he felt, not even able to sit up on his own. Every turn seemed a new nail in his coffin.

"Let me help Face. I won't let you fall. But you have to eat." Sliding up on the bed next to Face he gently pulled him into a sitting position. His head hung back resting on Hannibal's shoulder. He didn't have the strength to lift it up. As he had with the toast, Hannibal tore the sandwich into small bite size pieces. He knew Face hated being taken care of, he wasn't use to someone caring even after all the years on the team. "One bite at a time."

Face had always held a special place in Hannibal's heart. He was the son Hannibal never had the chance to have in the real world. He had raised the kid since he was 17 years old. He watched him grow and mature into a respectful man. They were a family built on the terrors of war. Bonded together by a common need. BA and Murdock were like little brothers to him. To them Face was their little brother. But to Hannibal Face would always be his son.

When he had finished the sandwich he took two of the pills offered him. He knew the routine. He had always been able to control the migraines with medication before now. The team had never known about them before. When they would hit he would lie about being busy for a day or two and contact them by phone, they never knew.

20 minutes after taking his medication Face was asleep.

***** A TEAM *****

Hannibal went to check on BA and Murdock, they had been gone for an hour. He found them at the 2nd ropes course. Murdock was still having problems with it. He stood back and watched as BA helped Murdock. Normally this was not what they did but today wasn't a normal day. Working together was what this had been about. He turned and went back to the cabin. He didn't know how long Face would be out but he didn't want him to be alone when he woke.

***** A TEAM *****

Another hour passed and BA and Murdock finally returned. They were dirty, tired and most thankfully quiet. Hannibal smiled inwardly.

"BA does he have it down now?"

"Yes sir. We worked on the ropes together but he has it now."

Hannibal was happy to hear BA fess up to working with Murdock. Honesty was highly regarded amongst the team. Something else Hannibal noted he would have to talk to Face about. Face needed to learn to be honest and trust the team. He needed to understand that at times everyone needs someone else.

"Get cleaned up. Dinner's cooking. We should be ready to eat at about 6. I expect you to remain quiet and keep out of our room. Face is sleeping, I want him to remain that way."

"Yes sir."

They turned and walked to the room they were sharing.

***** A TEAM *****

He knocked lightly and entered the room an hour later. Face had been asleep for 3 hours. He hated to wake Face but knew he needed to get him to eat something before taking another pill. He also knew Face needed to eat to keep his blood sugar up. Everyone knew about Face having hypoglycemia. It wasn't a big deal. He needed to eat, drink or get a snack on a regular basis.

"Hannibal?" The insecurity dripped from his mouth.

"Yeah kid. It's me. How are you feeling?" He sat on the edge of the bed and wiped the hair out of Face's face.

"Better. Not so dizzy. Can I have some water?"

Hannibal had brought soup and ice water. He helps Face to sit upright then gave him a drink. After drinking half the glass Face put it down. He couldn't put it off much longer. Hannibal was going to want an explanation.

"I brought you some soup. You need to eat before you take your next pill."

"'kay, thank you." Slowly Face ate the soup and then took his pill. He was wiped out and wanted to do noting but sleep. Hannibal had not said a word while he ate the soup. "Hannibal, I ... ah ... I ...I need to... to go. Can you...?"

"Let's get you up on the edge of the bed for a second. Do you need help?" Face nodded. Hannibal helped him sit up and when it appeared he was steady they stood up. Face felt his world begin to sway. He grabbed on tighter to Hannibal's arm. He didn't even realize he had let a soft groan escape from his lips. The edges of his world grayed but then cleared. He started to feel steady again and only then did he realize Hannibal was talking to him.

"Easy there Face. I've got you. Slow your breathing down. That's it." Hannibal waited a few moments before saying anything else. "You doing okay there kid."

"Better. Thanks. I think I'm okay now." He didn't want help to the bathroom but it didn't appear he was going to have any choice. His ribs hurt and as time went on other parts of his body began to hurt as a result of the fall. They walked together but Hannibal left him alone in the bathroom. He was thankful for that piece of dignity. When he finished he exited to find Hannibal waiting. "I'm okay. I think I'm a little dehydrated."

"Let's get you back to bed and then go from there."

Each of the men had some first aide training. Hannibal and Face had a little more advanced training. They had wanted to make sure they were able to take care of team members if needed. A supply of IV fluids and other items were kept in the van. They had learned quickly on the run to keep supplies.

Once Face was settled back in bed Hannibal left the room to get additional supplies. He returned with the advance med kit. Face had known it was coming but wasn't looking forward to it. Before he could protest Hannibal already had started.

Thermometer. BP cuff. Stethoscope to listen to lungs and BP.

"Ok Face let's get you sitting up. I want to do orthostatic BPs with you."

Face never said a word as he tried to sit up his world swayed again. Hannibal reached out a steadying hand. "You okay there?"

"Yes sir." He was thankful for the steadying hand. He wouldn't have been able to sit without it.

Hannibal repeated the blood pressure. Face watched and could tell it wasn't good. The look on Hannibal's face told him he was in trouble. When he repeated it again when standing he knew he was in big trouble. He again was dizzy and had to wait out the graying edges of reality. Unfortunately, Hannibal was able to take the blood pressure while this was going on, showing a true reading of just how orthostatic he had become.

"Okay, we need to get you lying down." Face was only too happy to comply. The nausea decreased when he was lying down. His world was steady and clearer. He was in trouble, more than he had realized. "You are only running a slight temp, just 100 degrees. We will need to keep an eye on it to make sure it's not from an infection from your fall. Your blood pressure is another story. Face, " Hannibal had to pause. He didn't want the concern he felt to come across as annoyance. "Face, you are dehydrated. You are going to need some fluids. You are not to leave this bed without assistance. I will get the IV started and then you need to take your meds. How's your head? And how are you feeling now? Before you answer that I want to remind you Lieutenant, I expect you to be honest with me." The use of his rank let Face know how serious Hannibal was in wanting an honest answer.

"Yes, sir. My head still hurts. It's a little better but not much. Everything is pretty clear when I am lying down. Other than that...I'm a little nauseated from standing up. The dizziness has subsided. I am really sorry I've disappointed you. I thought I was going to be okay. But, then they were yelling...and the course...I'm sorry Colonel. I should have told you sooner."

Hannibal didn't know what to say. He needed to think for a minute. He set up the IV and quickly got it started. A new cool cloth was applied to Face's eyes after he took his medication. Once he completed his task he addressed the situation with Face.

"Face, I can't even tell you what went through my head when you weren't right on the heals of Murdock. The longer I waited the more I worried about you. I knew you weren't feeling well. If I had known... I wouldn't have sent you out on the circuit. We could have found a different way to deal with everything. But I didn't know what was wrong. When I found you lying at the bottom of that hill I thought my heart stopped. Son, do you have any idea what you did to this old man?"

Face pulled the clothe from his face. Though it was a rhetorical question Hannibal had paused. "I'm so sorry Colonel. I've never had one this bad. I didn't know... I couldn't te...I just couldn't... I'm sorry."

"Face, you and I have a responsibility to each other. You have been with me for almost half your life now. We are family. Don't you understand? " The look on his face told Hannibal everything. The kid was confused, scared and in pain.

"I may never be able to do it legally but you are my son. The son I have always wanted. I am proud to have you as part of this team and of my family. I don't know how you feel about that but I would be proud if you would allow me to call you my son." He looked at Face and watched as the tears started to well up in his eyes and he continued to nod.

"You and I have shared a few secrets over the years. I have never told anyone what we have talked about. But you still don't trust me or the guys when it comes to the big things like your health."

"I...I..." Face looked at the floor. He didn't know what to say. It was true. He trusted these men with his life but not with his heart or his mind. It went against everything he had ever known.

Hannibal placed his hand on the side of Face's face. He tipped his head up so he could look in his eyes. "Face, we all care about you. We don't want or like to see you hurt. Let us take care of you. I will never leave you behind. I will never turn you away because you are sick or hurt. Haven't I proved that to you by now. I love you son. I would give my life to see you happy."

The lone tear fell down his face. When Hannibal wiped it away it was the last straw for Face. No one had ever called him their son. He wasn't anyone's son. But Hannibal had been there for him when he was sick, wounded, happy, and scared and all the times in between. He had stayed by his bed side when he was sick. He held him with he was too hurt to move. He clapped him on the back when he had accomplished something. And he had stood by him when he was scared, giving him strength to go on.

As Face thought about it, he decided Hannibal really was the only dad he had known. Unlike the orphanage and the foster homes. Hannibal had never hurt him.

"Son...I never thought anyone would want to call me that...son." The tears continued to flow, his eyes drooped, the meds were kicking in. He tried to stay awake but he couldn't. He fought to keep his eyes open. But it was a battle he wouldn't win.

***** A TEAM *****

Hannibal watched the innocent face before him as Face tried to decipher what had been said. The first tear. He hadn't cried when they were in the POW camps. He hadn't cried when Ray Brenner had been killed. But now he cried because of what Hannibal had said. He thought he had pushed Face away until he spoke. "Son..."

He watched as Face tried to stay awake. Sleep is what was needed now. They would have time later to talk. "Son... go to sleep. I'll be here when you wake up. Sleep now."

He wiped the hair out of Face's eyes. Face reached up and grabbed Hannibal's hand. He squeezed it and didn't let go. A small smile was on his face. A smile Hannibal hadn't seen ever before.

***** A TEAM *****

It was late and everyone was turning in for the night. Face was asleep and resting comfortably. Hannibal hadn't wanted to upset Face's sleep so he continued to sit on the edge of the bed with Face still clinging to his hand. When Murdock had come to check on them after dinner that was how he had found them.

Hannibal turned his head towards the door as Murdock entered. He signaled for Murdock to keep quiet. "He's just fallen asleep. Get me a chair please so I can try to get some sleep."

"Sure Colonel. Be right back."

BA and Murdock returned with the recliner chair from the living room. Murdock grabbed the blanket off Hannibal's bed and his pillows. Hannibal eased himself off the bed and into the recliner. "Thanks guys. Good night."

Without further conversation the two departed, a little confused but understanding.

***** A TEAM *****

When the sun came up in the morning it found a cabin full of tired men. Hannibal was still in the recliner with Face clinging to his hand. Face had slept peacefully all night. Hannibal had awoken a few times and checked to make sure Face was alright.

As the morning dawned he found Face to be fever free. Face was waking about the same time. The first sensation he felt was something in his hand. Slowly he opened his eyes and looked right into the face of John Hannibal Smith. Quickly he tried to release the hand he had held all night.

Hannibal held on to the hand. He didn't want to let go just yet. "Don't..."

Face wasn't sure to make of this. He remembered bits and pieces of conversation. He slowly started to remember a feeling, a feeling of being wanted. " called me...son?"

"Yes." Hannibal smiled.

"Did...did you mean...mean it?"


"But, I screwed up. I let myself get sick. I got myself hurt. How could you want me?" Face was confused. He had never been wanted as a child when he wasn't 'damaged'. How could he be wanted by the one person that knew the most about him.

"If you agree to be my son, I will be the proudest father on the planet. I can't imagine not having you in my life. I want to watch you continue to grow up and maybe one day you will be able to get the chance to settle down with a family. You can make me a grandpa. But even if that day never happens, I will never be more proud than if you agree to be my son. But you have to also agree to trust me. I know you trust me with your life, you've proven that for years. You are going to have to learn to trust me with your heart, to tell me when you are sick, scared or just need a moment. You have to know I will never turn you away no matter what you do, say or what happens to you. You are the son God choose for me...will you let me be the father you've never had."

"God, Hannibal I don't know how you could...I can't make promises that I don't know I can follow through on. But I promise you this...I will try. I couldn't have prayed for a father...a dad as good as you have been to me. I wanted to say so much to you last night. Please let me say it now."

Hannibal nodded in agreement and sat back waiting for Face to continue.

"When you talked to me last night I realized you have been my father for a long time now. I just didn't realize it. If you will accept me as your could I not accept you as my dad?"

"Son, you've made this old man happy. Know this, you can always come to me and talk to me. We will survive together. What do you think about tell the other two children?"

"How much do we tell them?"

"As much or as little as you want. Like I said you and I have always had secrets. We can keep them, add to them or tell them. It's up to you."

"Well, Dad..." Face had a big smile on his face. "I would like to tell you some things that I have wanted to say for years. Then maybe you and I can decide what to tell them."

"Sounds good. Tell you what. Let's get you up out of the bed so you can get cleaned up. I'll go make us some breakfast and then we can talk."

"I think I'm going to need a little help getting to the bathroom. Can I get rid of the IV?"

"Let's check your pressure and see where you stand. How are you feeling?"

"Better than I have in years. I'm happy."

"I'm glad to hear that but you know what I mean. How's the head?"

"Better. Still hurts a little but much better. Probably need to take another pill just to knock it out completely."

"Okay. Thank you for being honest with me. Hang tight and let's get some orthostatic pressures before we get moving."

It was probably the most cooperative Face had ever been. His pressures fluctuated still but not to the same degree. Hannibal wanted to infuse another bag of fluid. Face was compliant without complaint.

Hannibal hung the second bag of fluids. He then helped Face to the bathroom where he drew a bath. Face decided it would be easier to take a bath since he still had the IV bag. Hannibal agreed.

***** A TEAM *****

Hannibal had an unlit cigar in his mouth and a smile on his face. He walked into the kitchen and made a healthy breakfast tray for him and Face. BA and Murdock were no where to be found. He decided it was better to let sleeping dogs lie. If they weren't around, they couldn't argue.

Once the tray was complete with fresh fruit, milk and coffee, he returned to their room. He had just set the tray down when he heard a crash in the bathroom.

***** A TEAM *****

Face had just finished his bath and was attempting to get out of the bath tub when he slipped. He knocked the hamper over and pulled the IV out. Blood was pouring out of his wrist from the IV site. He landed half in and half out of the tub.

Hannibal was at the door pounding within seconds. "Hannibal...I can't get to the door. Let yourself in...I need help."

Hannibal let out a gasp. Face had admitted he needed help. Without saying anything further Hannibal grabbed the key from above the door and entered the bathroom. He noted the turned over hamper but more than that he noted the blood on the floor. He looked to Face and found his gasping for air.

"What happened?"

"I was... trying to... get out of... the tub... but slipped. I kno...knocked over... the hamper and ... I pulled the IV out. I'm sorry." Face could barely speak between having the wind knocked out of him and the pain in his ribs.

"Are you hurt anywhere?" He could hear BA and Murdock coming into the room. He looked to the doorway without saying a word to Face.

"No...I don't know... ribs... hard to breathe..." Looking at his wrist Face turned a shade paler. "...can't get it stop bleeding." Face turned imploring eyes to Hannibal, he had seen Hannibal look out. "Can you keep them out, please."

Hannibal turned to see BA and Murdock standing in the hall. "It's okay guys. Go get breakfast. Keep it down. Face and I will be having breakfast in our room. "

Not a word was spoken as the two turned down the hall to go back to the kitchen.

***** A TEAM *****

Once Hannibal had Face out of the tub and cleaned up he established a new IV. He checked the ribs and found a couple fractured. He wrapped Face's ribs and helped him move back to the bed. Face was in more pain than before, after wrapping the ribs his breathing improved.

Hannibal knew he needed something for the pain. He wouldn't even bother to ask. He needed to get Face to eat so he could take his medications.

"Let's eat and then we can talk later. You need to relax and let the meds work so you don't get worse."

Face ate but he had no intentions of taking his medication. He needed to do something else first.

"I need to talk to you. I'm okay. But I want to tell you about my life." For the next two hours Face poured out his heart. He told Hannibal about growing up, about the heartaches of being rejected and of joining the team. Both men had cried. Cried for the things that had been done and for the time they had lost. When he was finished they were both emotionally exhausted. "I'd like to take a nap. I better take a pill too. Thank you for listening. I have wanted to tell you this for years. I was just afraid you would reject me like everyone else had in the past."

Hannibal stood and walked over to Face who was sitting on the edge of his bed. "Come here son." Hannibal put his arms out to Face. It was the first time he was truly being allowed to comfort his son. He relished the idea. He wanted to be the father Face deserved. He wanted to do for Face what hadn't been done for him.

Face stood and nearly collapsed into Hannibal's embrace. He cried again. This time it was tears of joy. He was being hugged by his dad. "Dad...I love the sound of that...Dad."

Hannibal smiled and then lowered Face down to the bed. He gave Face his meds. This time he gave him a muscle relaxant and a pain pill. The pain pill would help with the migraine as well as the ribs. "Sleep now son. We'll talk to the others when you get up. I will be there for you and you can tell them as much or as little as you choose."

Face turned onto his side and fell asleep. Hannibal left the room and went to find the others.

***** A TEAM *****

BA and Murdock were sitting in the yard talking quietly when Hannibal approached.

"How is he doing Colonel?"

"He's doing better. He's sleeping again. He slipped in the bathroom. He pulled the IV we established last night and fractured a couple of ribs. His pressure is better and he doesn't have a fever. I'm hoping he sleeps for a few hours. He's exhausted."

"That's good. Faceman don't need any problems. He's got enough on his own."

"I agree. We've been talking all morning. When he get's up we are going to have a team meeting. There are some things we need to talk about. All I will ask of you is to come with an open mind. I'm going to go rest. I couldn't sleep very well in that chair. I'll see you in a while."

Hannibal turned back to the cabin. He didn't wait for a response since he didn't have any intention of answering questions. He entered the bed room and laid down for a quick nap. He didn't want to sleep long. But he knew he needed some sleep.

***** A TEAM *****

When Face awoke again he heard the soft snoring of Hannibal in the bed next to him. He shook his head knowing he was the cause of the sleepless night Hannibal had had. He needed to get up and didn't want to wake Hannibal. He sat up slowly and was thankful his world remained steady. He felt better. Relaxed. The headache was gone.

He stood and reached for the IV bag. He would have to take it along with him. He wasn't about to disconnect it without permission. He grabbed the bag and headed to the bathroom. He didn't see or hear anyone in the cabin. He was thankful for the peace and quiet. When he returned to the bed room, he sat in the recliner and thought of the past couple of days. He smiled as he looked towards his dad. It may not be legal but some things were stronger than the law.

***** A TEAM *****

Hannibal awoke feeling as if he were being watched. He turned to see Face in the chair. "How are you son?" He smiled and shook his head. "You know I don't know I will ever tire of hearing that...son."

"I'm much better. Almost no headache. I didn't get dizzy when I got up earlier. My bag is about empty."

"What do you say we get rid of it?"

"Sounds great to me. Didn't want to have to have it when I talk to the guys."

"Have you decided how much you are going to tell them?"

"I think I will play it by ear. I want them to know our status has changed. It could get tricky if I call you dad and they don't know who I am talking about. I just hope they don't want me calling them uncle. I couldn't do that...but I like the sound of dad."

"So do I."

"Do you think it is going to make a difference to them if I tell them...?"

"Son, you have proven yourself time and again. They could not think less of you. Just remember I am here for you." He looked to Face to see that he understood. "Are you ready?"

"As I'll ever be."

***** A TEAM *****

BA and Murdock sat on the couch. They weren't certain at all about what was going on. They secretly feared something else was wrong with Face.

"Men, the Lieutenant and I have a few things to discuss with you. Hold your questions until the end. It will make it easier for Face."

Face looked at the floor. He feared telling them the truth. How would they react to the idea they were following orders from a kid that had wanted to die...

***** A TEAM *****

"I've never been very upfront with you about my past. I kept quiet or just flat out lied. Hannibal and I have talked about this a lot over the years. I just...I... couldn't..." Shaking his head he looked to Hannibal. Hannibal reached over and placed a hand on his shoulder. He continued to look at Hannibal as he continued on. "I'm still not comfortable talking about my childhood. What I will say it was less than ideal but I don't want to talk about it. Hannibal and I have discussed it but I... I can't do that with you two at this point. Maybe sometime in the future, maybe not."

"I had been living on my own for about nine months when I joined up. I only had one semester of college and that is where I met Leslie. She was a lot older than me but she was my first love. You already know about my military history so I don't need to tell you about it. What you don't know... what I've been afraid to tell you... I had gone through boot camp and continued into Special Forces training. When I met up with all of you, I had already done a tour and was promoted. When I re-upped Hannibal found me in a pool of people to be reassigned. I didn't want to come back here, to the world. I didn't have anything to come back to. Hannibal and you gave me something I never had, someone to care for and someone who cared."

"I have spent almost half my life with you. Hannibal has known... I have been... Last night we talked, I'm probably too old to be adopted according to the courts but Hannibal asked me to be his son." He turned to look again at Hannibal. The both smiled.

"I have never had a real family. But dad asked me to become his. If you haven't guessed by now. I agreed. It may seem stupid to you for us to do this but it means a great deal to me. I always wanted a dad. When we talked about this I realized that all of the things a dad would do for his son was what Hannibal had always done for me. I don't know if you can understand that, but..." He wiped a tear from the corner of his eye before he took a deep breath and then continued. "Anyway, if you have questions we will do our best to answer them."

BA and Murdock look at each other and then at Hannibal and Face. Looking at him sitting so close to Hannibal it wasn't hard to imagine them as father and son. They both felt there was a lot more to this story but they knew better than to press.

"I don't know what to say. Bout damn time. You two have always seemed more like father and son than anything else."

Murdock reached over to shake Hannibal's hand. "Congratulations, you have a fine son there. Treat him well, or..." He looked over to BA with a smile on his face, "we'll have to kick your butt."

"Captain, that's not going to be necessary. He's been my son for a long time. We're just making it official with you two."

***** A TEAM *****

Face was moved by all that was being said. He wanted to stay and listen some more but he couldn't. He hadn't told them everything and he had no intentions of doing so at this time. He walked back to his room and quietly closed the door. He crawled back into bed. The headache wasn't bad but he wanted to stay ahead of this one. He didn't want to get sick again.

He hadn't been in bed for more than a minute when Hannibal entered the room.

"Are you alright? Headache coming back?"

"I'm ok. Just need to lie down. Little headache, don't want it to get bad. I couldn't tell them. I'm sorry, I just couldn't tell them everything. I tried. I'm sorry. I didn't want to break my promise...I just couldn't."

"Can we talk a little?"

"Sure, I was just trying to relax. I didn't think it would be so hard. I was really worried. They don't seem to mind, do they? They didn't say anything after I left... did they?"

"They didn't say anything. I don't think they care. Face, I want to know about these migraines. You've kept them hidden. How bad and how often do you have them? I want to know, to understand."

Face dropped his gaze down to the floor before answering. "I've had them since I was a kid. They have always been brought on by stress. When we were in the camps I was...well you wouldn't have been able to tell the difference between my migraines and the beatings."

Hannibal reached out and placed a hand on Face's shoulder. He wanted Face to look at him while he spoke. "Look at me son. I'm not going anywhere. I want to help. To understand and to see if there is anything I or the team can do to keep you from getting this bad again."

"Sorry," He looked up and instead of disgust he found caring. He shook is head. This was something new to him. He wasn't sure how to handle this. "If I can catch them early it's not a big deal. This one just got away from me. Between the case and running out of my prescription I just couldn't break the cluster. I should have said something but I didn't want to tell you about them. They had never gotten in the way. I didn't want to be a bother."

"From now on, you tell me. I don't care what is going on or where we are, you tell me. You are important to me and the team. Let us take care of you. Be honest with me and trust me always. I want to be there for you."

"I promise, I'll try. I guess I need to start doing that now." He looked down at the floor. But then he looked back up at Hannibal. "I need... I really need to take a pill and try to sleep some more. My ribs are...are hurting."

"Okay kid. I'll get you some water."

***** A TEAM *****

Once Face was settled, Hannibal returned to the living room. "Alright guys. If you have any more questions let me have them now."

BA looked from Hannibal to Murdock and back again. "Don't know what to say."

"Same goes for me Hannibal." Murdock thought for a moment before he asked his question. "Has he told you about his childhood?"

"Yes. But if he wants you two to know, he'll tell you himself."

"I'm just glad he's talking to you. He's the only guy I knew that came to Nam with scars and nightmares. I hope you can help. He deserves some peace and to be happy."

"That he does. He's not had a lot of that in his life. I want to make it up to him. I know I'm not his biological father but I don't think I would feel any differently if I were."

"Hannibal that man don't need anything you can't give him. You be good to him and do what you always done. That's all he needs."

"You're right BA. I guess it's like he said I've acted like a father for years. We just made it official."

THE END...For now