I own the A-Team. I created them when I was...lessee...nineteen eighty two...carry the one...yep, I would have been at least a few weeks old ;) Unfortunately my baby burblings were overheard and mailed via carrier pigeon to America, where they were taken and turned into the hit show we all know and love.

Well, I can dream, can't I? But seriously, I don't own the A-Team and all songs are copyright their respective artists.


4th October

Time was a strange thing, Hannibal thought wearily as he rested his forehead against the cool glass of the van's window. On a purely academic level, you knew that it was the same, that twenty four hours was twenty four hours no matter what happened.

On a personal level, he'd found that the passing of time was completely different; a day could pass in a flash or drag on forever.

Six weeks. They'd been looking for Face for six weeks now. Hannibal had ordered BA to stay in LA just in case the lieutenant showed up there, and he and Murdock had taken the van. The sergeant had been less than happy about this, but Hannibal had shut him up by pointing out that a) someone had to keep an eye on the home turf; b) that someone couldn't very well be Murdock; c) it couldn't be Hannibal either since sending BA and Murdock out to search together was just asking for trouble and d) he was in charge, dammit, so stop whining and get to it, sergeant! He and Murdock had split up a week ago; Murdock to stay behind with Tawnia and Hannibal to take the van and keep searching for Face.

Where are you, kid?

Hannibal closed his eyes. He hadn't slept at all last night, having had to make rather a hasty exit when Decker and his MPs had shown up, and it had taken every ounce of cunning Hannibal possessed to shake him off.

Even with his usual optimism, the colonel had to admit that searching for Face was like searching for a needle in a haystack the size of the moon. There was no guarantee he was even in the US anymore; for all Hannibal knew, Face could have hopped on the next flight to Brazil and be sunning himself on the beach right now.

Except he's not. Hannibal knew the lieutenant well enough to know that Face was in too much of a turmoil to think about a vacation. He'd go to ground somewhere, lick his wounds and try to get his head straight.

Which was likely to be a problem, Hannibal thought bitterly, since the things Face had suddenly been forced to deal with prior to the last six weeks were enough to drive anyone crazier than Murdock, and in the lieutenant's case, Hannibal was already semi-convinced that they had.

That was what was bothering him. It wasn't unusual for the Team to take off on little trips in between jobs, but Face had been in too much of a state to think about a vacation. Hannibal didn't want to force his company on the lieutenant, but neither could he abandon the search until he knew for sure that Face was alright.

Exactly. I'll leave him alone if that's what he wants, but I have to see him, set my mind at rest.

Even so, he knew it wasn't that simple. He couldn't get their last conversation out of his mind...if you could call two men hurling accusations back and forth a conversation.

He picked up the phone and dialled a number. It was picked up on the second ring.

"Speak ta me, caller! Thrill and excite me with your calls, your offers to install new windows and your complete inability to understand the words take a hint, you Cro-Magnum moron!"

"Murdock? It's Hannibal. Any sign of Face?"

"Aw, jeez, colonel! How many times you gonna keep doin' this?"

"Murdock!"

"No, Hannibal, I ain't seen him." There was no friendly insanity in Murdock's voice; it was terse, weary. "This area is a Face-free zone, it is all quiet on the Facial front, Faceman is conspicuous by his absence...just pick whichever one means somethin' to you!"

"He's more likely to go to you than me." Hannibal's own voice held a definite edge; he wasn't used to sarcasm from Murdock.

"Frankly, colonel, after your little stunt, I can't believe he'd go to any of us! I also can't believe you're yappin' at me instead of looking for him, so get off the line an' start searching!"

The line went dead and Hannibal sighed and replaced the receiver. Murdock did have a point; it was the fourth time he'd rung the pilot in the last hour.

He also knew that Murdock's temporary attack of sanity wasn't just down to Face's disappearance; even six weeks on, the pilot was still seriously pissed at Hannibal himself for driving the lieutenant away in the first place.

Well, fine, although the colonel was sure that Murdock couldn't say anything to or about him that Hannibal hadn't already said to himself.

Maybe he should have let the pilot take the van. Murdock had always been closer to Face than the rest of the Team, and despite the captain's words, Hannibal was still convinced that if Face went to anyone for help, it would be Murdock.

The phone rang suddenly and Hannibal jumped, almost dropped his cigar, then snatched it up.

"Lou's delivery." Even in his worried state, he wasn't about to break cover.

He listened, went very white and then said quietly, "Who is this?"

Whoever it was, they didn't want it known; the dial tone buzzed in Hannibal's ear and the colonel slowly replaced the receiver, then sat there staring at his cigar as though he'd never seen one before, the mysterious caller's words echoing over and over in his mind.

Then he picked up the phone again and dialled Murdock.

"Captain."

"Hannibal! For the last time—"

"Get out, captain. Get out of that apartment, get a car or a chopper and get moving. We're going to Chicago."

"Chicago?" Murdock's voice squeaked on the second syllable. "As in Chicago, Illinois?"

"Yeah, Chicago, Illinois; do you know another Chicago? Apartment block on the corner of River Avenue. Number fifty three. I don't have time to pick you up; you'll have to get there yourself." He delivered the instructions in a monotone, and Murdock was quick to notice this.

"Everythin' okay, colonel?"

Hannibal closed his eyes, gripping the phone so tightly his knuckles turned white.

"Don't ask questions, captain. Just meet me there."

Murdock was silent for a few seconds. "Shouldn't we at least call BA?"

"No, he's too far away. We have to get to Chicago right now." Hannibal swallowed hard, then forced out the rest of the words. "It's Face. He's dying."


Okay, I know it's short, but c'mon...you know I like to try and leave you hanging ;) More will be along very soon and if you read this, please review!