„Good, Colonel Smith, just sign here and there and again here."
The nurse said putting the various release papers on the counter in front of the young colonel. He was a handsome man, his hair already starting to go grey, probably a bit prematurely, but it still was fitting him very well, which certainly the nurse agreed to. She kept trying to hide a flirty smile, while the man on the other side of the counter was signing the papers she had handed him.
"I do hope your shoulder is already doing fine again, colonel?" she finally asked.
The man in front of her shooting her a bit of a charismatic smile,
He said with a wink that nearly made a giggle escape the nurse. Oh, she would be perfect for Face, Hannibal thought.
The nurse finally gave a little nod, before repeating,
Hannibal just smiled again. He wasn't yet used to his new title. Colonel. And how had he earned it? With a bullet in his shoulder. Well, least they finally let him go again, he thought they never would. Hannibal hated to leave his boys all alone. Not that they couldn't fend for themselves, but still, Hannibal felt responsible for his hand picked team.
"Dani, have you seen Mr. Murdock."
A man's voice returned Hannibal from his momentary musings. His gaze going to meet another, this one male, nurse who had stepped up to them. He looked quite displeased, if not to say slightly in panic, while the female nurse, Dani, merely shook her head in a sympathetic way.
"No, I haven't seen him all day, Bradley. Maybe look up at the roof? You know he likes to go up there."
Dani suggested, Bradley heaving a sigh.
"I already looked there. But I guess I should again. Dr. Flowers will be so mad. Mr. Murdock actually was supposed to go back to the US today and now he's gone again. Seriously, this man is worse than a pack of three-year-olds."
Bradley gave a frustrated sigh, before turning and rushing off again.
"What's the matter?"
Hannibal asked, having grown fairly curious. Nurse Dani just giving a little wave of her hand, like it was nothing.
"Mr. Murdock is a patient of our psychic ward. He's been staying here since a couple of weeks to recover, before he can go back home. He just keeps wandering off. But he always returns."
Dani told the colonel.
"Recover from what?"
Hannibal asked again, one brow cocking slightly.
This time Nurse Dani heaved a sigh.
"Oh, the poor fellow was captured and tortured after a crash in the jungle. It must have been terrible to leave him in such a state and I heard he was one of the best pilots they had. And at this young age, even. It's a shame."
"Is that so? And he's really doing that bad?"
Hannibal kept inquiring, his interest was raised.
"Well, he's having his light moments for sure, but he's also having these paranoid delusions on a periodic, but very random level. He's just utterly unpredictable. Not that he's dangerous, but you never know what'll happen next."
Nurse Dani told.
A grin starting to grow on Hannibal's face.
Was all he said pulling out a cigar, yet, this made an unexpected temper rise within the nurse, when she sternly said,
"Oh. Oh, no, sir, smoking is not permitted here!"
Hannibal giving a bit of a disappointed breath, yet putting the cigar back into his pocket.
He just said, the nurse answering with the sudden reappearance of her girly smile.
"So, I'll be right back, Co . . . Hannibal."
Nurse Dani informed Hannibal, after having given the papers a quick, checking glance.
"Okay, doll. I'll be here."
Hannibal merely returned, watching the nurse turn with yet another smile, which he returned somewhat half heartedly with one of his own, before she finally turned to actually leave to get his release done. Was about time. This hospital and the boredom were about to drive him nuts.
Heaving yet another breath Hannibal took a look around the hall. This was such a depressing place. No surprise the people who were forced to stay here would start imagining things. Sure, he wouldn't deny the war took a real toll on some, physically and mentally, but still, being locked into a place like this sure didn't help either. Least, this was what Hannibal thought. These men were still soldiers after all.
His musings were again interrupted, when he all of the sudden felt someone bump into him, making him turn around. Just to find a young man standing in front of him, looking up at him through big, confused eyes.
He still appeared fairly young, almost like he just had grown out of adolescence.
A long pause followed of the two of them just looking at each other, until Hannibal finally said,
"It's no problem at all; you don't have eyes on the back of your head, have you? Have you?" The young man asked, his head tilting slightly, like he actually meant the question.
"No. I haven't."
Hannibal returned after another short pause, followed by actually leaning down and showing the back of his head to the young man in front of him, whenever he continued staring at him.
"No. No. You haven't. That's good. That's good, you know. Because imagine you'd start seeing badly with the eyes on the back of your head. You'd have to wear glasses. This'd be so unhandy."
The other rambled, while searching Hannibal's hair almost like a monkey grooming another. It just made Hannibal smile.
"Captain Murdock, I assume?"
He said and he was right, for the young man's eyes grew big in surprise.
"Colonel John Smith. Call me Hannibal, though."
And Hannibal actually wouldn't have thought Murdock's eyes could have grown even bigger, but they did.
"Colonel." He whispered in pure awe.
Hannibal just cocking a brow slightly, while a wide grin appeared on Murdock's face,
"Are you my new colonel? Dr. Flowers said he'd take me to my new colonel. He said I shouldn't let him wait. But I had to tell Marty. He's always growing so sentimental, I tell you. I think I should've waited for Nurse Bradley, but Marty said I should better go look for you. How lucky, ain't it? Now I found you."
Murdock rambled, just to suddenly stop when Hannibal placed a hand on his shoulder.
"So, I heard you're a damn good pilot, son?" he asked.
"Yes, yes, sir. The best, sir! Ask Marty! He always says I'm the best there is!"
Murdock returned with an enthusiastic nod.
"Now listen closely, we need a pilot in my team. It's a special team for special missions, just as special as their members. Would you like to join my team? Do you think you could do it?"
Hannibal asked in a solemn tone.
Murdock looking at him for a long moment again, just to whisper, in a tone that came straight from the very depths of his heart,
"Yes, sir. Nothing I'd want more."
Hannibal just grinned.
"Good." He said.
"Oh, there he is Dr. Flowers."
Nurse Dani's voice returned, accompanied by a doctor, who looked greatly relieved to find Murdock standing with Hannibal.
"There you are. You really scared us. Why do you keep wandering off like that?"
Dr. Flowers came rushing over, Murdock just looking at him in a most innocent way.
"Marty said I better should go look for the colonel, so I won't let him wait, just like you said. And look, I found him." He smiled.
Dr. Flowers heaving a sigh, turning to Hannibal,
"I'm sorry if he harassed you, sir. He's one of our patients, he . . ." he began in an apologizing tone, yet Hannibal interrupted him.
"No, not at all, doc. I think I more likely gotta thank you, you found me just the right man."
Hannibal grinned, while Dr. Flowers expression grew confused.
"What?" he shook his head, "You want to . . .? Colonel, listen, this man is mentally ill! You can't just take him with you! He's unstable. He . . ."
"I think he looks just fine."
Hannibal smirked, shooting Murdock a glance.
"Are these his papers? Yes? Is this one a release form? Good." Hannibal then said, without any hesitation snatching the papers out of Dr. Flowers' hands, followed by grabbing himself a paper from behind the counter, signing it and stuffing it into the papers, before handing them back to the doctor.
"You're officially released now, Captain."
He grinned at Murdock, who gave a cry of joy, to which Hannibal merely chuckled, before turning to Nurse Dani.
"Are these mine? Thank you." He said, taking his own forms, before motioning for Murdock to get going.
Dr. Flowers just staring with shock for another moment, before calling after Hannibal,
"You can't do that! You'll get into trouble for this!"
"I hope so."
Hannibal just called over his shoulder, pulling out his cigar again and lighting it, while chuckling to himself.
"Where are we going now, Colonel?"
Murdock soon asked with the enthusiasm of a child picked up from school and now ready to hit the playground.
"Meet the team. This is perfect. I bet they'll love you."
Hannibal grinned, blowing out a puff of smoke.
"And I bet I'll love them!"
Murdock cheered, just to add,
"Can Marty come too?"
He asked, Hannibal just shooting him a smile, placing a hand on one of his shoulders again,