Face stormed into his 'borrowed' apartment and threw the offending bag down on the sofa, muttering "Fucking stupid..." under his breath and kicking the door shut behind him. It was only two thirty in the afternoon, but he needed a beer, badly, and almost as soon as one of those little cans of heaven was in his hands it was empty and being thrown across the room to join the hated bag on the sofa as he grabbed another can and turned to head for the balcony. He paused, one hand on the still open fridge door, then shrugged and with a quiet, "Sod it," grabbed the rest of the beer from the shelf, a bag of Sweet Chilli Kettle Chips from the cupboard and stalked out into the cool winter sunshine.
He threw himself down into one of the chairs and kicked his feet up onto the middle rail of the balcony, pushing the reclining seat backwards until he could only see blue sky above him, but could still drink his beer without choking.
He'd had a fucking terrible day. Terrible. And the worse thing was that none of the crap that had happened today was going to go away. Never. Never ever ever and he hated that. Just when things were going so well, but wasn't that just the way of his life? Wait until he was just starting to get somewhere, for something to make some sense for him and then rip it all apart?
This time it had been Hannibal. Twenty one years of pussy footing around each other, of heated looks and even more heated touches, and suddenly it was all laid out in front of him for the taking. Hannibal had been told by whatever bad guy they were dealing with at the time (after four years of doing this shit, they all seemed to blend together) that he was dead. Not the first time the boss had been told that lie, and probably not the last time either, but apparently this time it had been quite convincing.
Face could see how it would be as well, the bastards had run his car, a sweet little imported MG he'd only had two months, off the side of Highway 1, turning it into a crumpled fireball at the edge of the waves. He'd only just managed to jump clear at the last second, breaking a wrist in the fall, but the home movie that the thugs had made to try and break Hannibal down hadn't shown that bit.
Of course their evil plan hadn't worked at all. When he saw the footage of the crash Hannibal hadn't broken down at all, he'd broken free and smashed a few heads in just in time for Murdock and BA to arrive with the firepower and by the time Face had managed to scrounge a lift back into town, Hannibal was back at the warehouse and Murdock and BA had driven out to look at the crash site. Face had wandered in, hot, dirty, tired, his face pinched in pain and his arm tucked over his chest, muttered a quick, "Hey boss," and got a beer from the mini cooler. He hadn't known what had hit him, had only just swallowed his mouthful of beer as Hannibal crushed him up against the wall, his arm mercifully out of the way, kissing him with a desperate passion. Face hadn't even had to think before kissing back, his one good arm reaching round to pull the boss flush against him.
"I'm sorry," Hannibal had said eventually, panting slightly as they rested, foreheads touching, "I just swore to myself that if for any miracle you had wriggled out of that car wreck, I wasn't going to waste another second of my time with you."
Face had smiled, ignoring the throbbing in his wrist that was building to a screaming crescendo and pulled that beloved mouth down to his again, not wanting to talk, just wanting to kiss in the way he'd fantasised about for over twenty years. And do all the other things he'd fantasised about as well, obviously.
And they had, but the boss had insisted on getting Face's wrist strapped up first which was probably a good thing as Face was starting to think he might just pass out from the pain, and then call BA's mobile, and Face had felt really guilty as he'd just wanted to neck some more, and hearing Murdock's sobs of relief as BA relayed the news of his escape brought everything back into sharp focus for him. But eventually, Hannibal had driven him to his little house up in the hills which they hadn't left again for another ten days, and life was looking really good.
So good, that the boss had actually asked Face to move in with him, gave some ridiculous cock and bull story about how it was 'safer' and 'more economically prudent' and shit like that and Face had just laughed and said, "Yeah, right boss! How about you just like having my ass on call twenty four-seven?" and then the boss had tackled him onto the bed and hadn't let up until Face had said yes.
And that, predictably, was about when the shit had hit the fan. The next morning Face had had another one of those stupid crippling headaches and decided to visit the docs to get some stronger pain relief, but the doc had refused to just write him out another prescription and instead sent him off to see a specialist. So Face had stalled, not knowing what he was suddenly getting into, not wanting to saddle the boss with whatever it was going on in his head, he'd put the brakes on a bit, pulled back, moved back into his poky studio apartment. And now he had his answers. Stupid, irreversible answers that just confirmed what he'd dreaded all along and he wondered what future he and Hannibal had together now, whether the boss would still want him the way things were going...
In a fit of temper he threw another empty beer can across the room before reaching down and snagging yet another from its plastic neck and relishing the angry spit of gas as he yanked it open.
The Sun had dipped down below the tops of the distant hills, and every drop of beer in the apartment was long gone before Face moved off the balcony and stumbled back into the darkening interior to finally examine the contents of that most despised bag. He noticed his phone laid on the sofa cushion next to the innocuous looking white polythene bag and vaguely registered the '8 missed calls' message on its screen. But the draw of the bag was too strong, and slowly Face's fingers crept out to touch it, feeling the smooth cool texture against his fingers and frowned. Well, he'd left it all afternoon, it obviously wasn't going to go anywhere, he supposed he'd better just man up and get it over with; the doc did say that the sooner he started, the quicker his headaches would stop.
He took a deep breath and tried not to notice the way his hands were shaking as he slipped his fingers inside the bag...
Hannibal paced to the window and back again, swinging his mobile between finger and thumb as he tried to rationalise the fear mounting within him. He hadn't heard anything from Face since last night, and he liked the boys to check in with him every day, even if they weren't on a job, even if they didn't have anything particular on. Even if Face had decided he just didn't want to do this thing with Hannibal anymore...
Sighing as he looked out of the window at the darkening sky, Hannibal thought of the twenty years of sexual tension that had just exploded out of him as he realised that the kid hadn't died in that car crash at all. The team had a 'no body, no death' rule, and so Hannibal had tried to keep his panic in check, but he'd seen the damn film of the wreck, and it had looked... convincing. So when Face just wandered in off the streets, filthy and beaten up and in a foul temper, all Hannibal's legendary control simply evaporated. Twenty years... hell of a long time to want someone even half as much as he had wanted Face, wanted him from the very first moment he'd set eyes on him as a wide eyed and mouthy eighteen year old, so he supposed he could be excused his eventual slip.
And then it seems that it wasn't such a bad move after all as Face just kissed him right back and Hannibal had found himself wishing that he hadn't wasted so much time worrying about DADT and being the kid's CO and the age gap and whether the kid was interested in him 'that way' or not, and got with the program a lot sooner.
So, for a while, a few weeks at least, everything had been great. Better than great, it had been bloody incredible, the happiest that Hannibal had been in his whole life. Ever. And then suddenly it wasn't. Hannibal knew damn well what had brought their wonderful honeymoon period to a rather abrupt end – his stupid offer that Face move in with him. It was too soon, he gets that now, should have realised that Face would run a mile the second something even approaching commitment was mentioned. Should have realised that it would make him sound like a desperate, needy old man, trying to snare his much younger lover into a long term relationship... Hannibal felt the shame burn at his cheeks. He should have just been content with whatever Face was willing to offer him and not been so damned greedy.
Nothing had been the same since that night. Well, actually no, not that night, everything had seemed okay that night, Face had actually said yes, made Hannibal the happiest man alive and they had had some damn hot sex out on the decking. It was the next morning when it had all gone to shit. Face had looked dreadful, pale and drawn, and had just slipped out with his shades on before he'd even had a cup of coffee and that had been that. They hadn't made love since. Two and a half weeks of excuses and disappearing acts and switched off mobiles and they hadn't even kissed. Not once.
Hannibal couldn't blame Face for getting cold feet, for realising that spending the rest of his life with some broken down old ex-military guy was not at the top of his list of priorities, but hell, would it hurt the kid too much to just come out and say it instead of this appalling silence? Hannibal looked around his empty, silent house, and could see the empty, silent bed through the open bedroom door and he suddenly decided he'd had enough. If Face wanted out, then that was fine, but he was going to have to come out and say it, as Hannibal had had enough of just not knowing. He grabbed his car keys and stormed out of the house.
In twenty minutes he was there, standing outside the door to Face's studio suddenly feeling very nervous. Maybe he would be better off just not knowing? Maybe he should turn around and walk back to his car and forget the whole thing. God, he was pathetic, this whole thing was pathetic. He steeled himself and knocked.
For five whole minutes he stood there, waiting with breath held in tight, for that door to open, but nothing happened. No movement, no sound. Hannibal sighed and reached into his pocket for the key, letting himself in and closing the door quietly behind him.
At first he thought Face wasn't in, and then he noticed the recliner on the balcony, Face's long legs stretched out in jeans with bare feet and his heart did that really irritating twitch it always had to do whenever it saw Face. He took another step in and more of that long lean body he loved so much came into view. A dark t-shirt, maybe black or navy, hard to tell in the single balcony down lighter, pulled up just enough to show a tempting inch of hard, flat stomach, and a book, A Farewell to Arms, Hannibal's copy of A Farewell to Arms, bent backwards against its own spine resting on his chest.
Hannibal ignored the blatant mistreatment of his book for the chance of drinking in his fill of the glorious sight before him for possibly the last time, and took another silent step closer. He knew what he would see, six o'clock shadow on that beautifully sculptured jaw, impossibly long lashes fanned out across soft, tanned skin, irresistibly messy overly long hair, mussed up just the right way to be adorable and... glasses...?
He froze and looked again, yes, they were most certainly glasses. Thin ,wire framed reading glasses, framing his boy's sleeping eyes. Nothing flashy, just almost rectangular, clear glass... but quite possibly the damn sexiest things he'd seen the kid wearing in a hell of a long time. He took another step in, unconsciously licking his lips as he did so and felt that blossoming heat in his pants that announced the arrival of his hard on, and just stared. They somehow made Face look eighteen again, an innocent who knew far too much about the ways of the world, but Hannibal knew he was far from innocent, knew the things he could do in bed with his tongue and his words and his body, and that hard on just got harder.
He leaned in, wanting to see Face head on, wanting to see how those damn glasses transformed him into something even more intense, vulnerable but just so damn sexy, intellectual but still so very physical. Hannibal's heart was racing now and his hand was sliding to the front of his very tented combats, just needing to rub, just a little, and wanting nothing more than for Face to wake up, open his eyes so that Hannibal could see the final prize, those beautiful blue orbs edged by the thin metal frames... oh, god, just like that...
For a few seconds neither man moved as they both processed what they were seeing, then suddenly Face sat bolt upright, wrenching the glasses off his face and Hannibal whipped his hand off his crotch, jumping back to avoid being head-butted in the nose.
"Jesus Christ, boss!" Face complained at the exact same second that Hannibal stammered out, "Sorry, kid, sorry!"
They both stopped, Face had one hand on his heaving chest, the other holding the glasses out of sight down the side of the chair while Hannibal leaned back against the balcony railing, twisting his hips to try and make his persistent hard on less obvious than he knew it was.
"I'm sorry kid," he repeated, knowing his voice was down in the bottom timbre it had when he was incredibly turned on, "I didn't mean to scare you."
"No?" Face sat back and looked at him curiously, chest still heaving, "You almost finished me off, boss! What the fuck you doing sneaking up on me like that?"
Hannibal was glad of the dark as it hid his blush. How the hell could he even begin to answer that question? Oh, I was just fantasising about you in your glasses and thought I'd have a good ogle while you were asleep and couldn't tell me to get lost, and oh, yeah! I was just about to have a wank actually! Shame you woke up when you did!
No. He couldn't say that, so instead he blurted out, "When did you get the glasses?"
Face's reaction was unexpected. He seemed to crumple up like a child whose balloon was popped and he turned away, swinging his legs over the edge of the recliner so that he was sitting facing the balcony railings, head in his hands, glasses hanging from his finger tips by an arm.
"Oh, god..." he muttered to the floor, "I'm sorry boss..."
Hannibal was stunned into silence; the last thing he had expected was a comment like that. "Face? What..."
"I know!" Face whirled to his feet again, eyes wide and damp, chin tilting defiantly, cutting Hannibal off with his anger, "You don't need to tell me! I know I should have told you! I know it makes me a liability to the team, I know you need to know all our weaknesses so that you can plan around them! I know all that damn it! I just... I just couldn't tell you! Alright?"
"Stop!" Face held his hand up, glasses dangling right in front of Hannibal's eyes and the boss had no choice but to stop, swallowing heavily around the lump in his throat which seemed to be swelling in direct proportion to the lump in his trousers... "You don't have to tell me," Face almost whispered, "I know it's over, you and me," a single tear slipped from his eye and rolled silently down his cheek as Hannibal looked on in appalled silence, "the team," he shook his head, "I know I've let you down, boss."
Face dropped his head into his hand, the arm of his glasses still gripped between his fingers and Hannibal took a step back in, incredulity tainting his voice, "You think," he shook his head and tried again, "Face, you think I don't want you, either in my life or in the team, just because you need reading glasses?" It was so ridiculous he couldn't suppress a burst of laughter.
"It's not fucking funny!" Face exploded, the hurt unmistakable in his eyes, "I'm not get any younger Hannibal! I'm fucking forty this year! How many more years can I be your 'kid' for? How many more years can I rely on my looks and my charm to get us what we need? How much longer will you want me, when I start going bald and spreading around the middle and I need glasses all the fucking time and-"
"Hey, hey, hey..." Hannibal soothed, stepping right in and taking Face in his arms. He was torn in two, split between wanting to yell for joy and punch the air in celebration of the fact that Face did still want him, and needing to sit and sob as his beautiful, talented, sensitive boy was this upset over a simple pair of glasses... "Face, kid, you are over thinking this..." Face's fingers were tight in the back of Hannibal's shirt, the arm of those damn glasses sticking right into his shoulder blade. "You are upset 'cause you are forty this year? Hell, I was nearly forty first time I even saw you! And you want to know how long you'll be my kid for? Jesus, Face, as long as you want, as long as you'll have me, forever if I have my way. And you think you only get us what we need 'cause you are the short side of middle aged?" He squeezed Face a little closer to him, "You get us what we need 'cause you can charm the worms out of the ground kid, it's nothing to do with your age or your looks, and everything to do with you. You are a beautiful person Temp, and that's all there is to it."
Face pulled back and turned his tear stained features to the boss, the desire to believe etched all over them. Hannibal's eyes fell to the glasses still clutched in Face's fingers, now just brushing the front of the boss' shirt. He took them and turned them gently in his fingers, marvelling at their lightness and just knowing they must have cost Face a small fortune, "And if you have to wear these all the time," he took a deep breath and fixed Face's eyes with his own, allowing his voice to slip down into that growl that he knew drove Face wild, "Well, we might just have to spend a little more time in bed, that's all, because, quite frankly, I have never seen anything as fucking sexy as you in these," he slid them on, framing Face's incredulous eyes with the dark grey metal, and feeling his cock fill out in response.
They were silent for a moment while Face processed all this, before he looked at Hannibal right in the eye and whispered, "You honestly don't think I look like a dork?"
Hannibal smiled at him, "You? Never. I just think you look beautiful. And distinguished," Face gave him a watery smile, "A little bookish maybe. But incredibly sexy."
Still that frown, "Really?"
Hannibal reached up and gently took one of Face's hands, guiding it down until it rested on the not inconsiderable bulge in the front of Hannibal's cargos, "Really," he growled.
At last it seemed that Face was convinced, and Hannibal's favourite smile, the totally lascivious one, slowly spread across the kid's face, "Well then," his own voice had dropped into the bedroom zone as well, "Maybe we should retire somewhere a little more cosy and get naked?" his talented fingers were still massaging Hannibal's cock through the frustrating cotton barrier and Hannibal couldn't stop the moan that slid out at those words.
"Good idea," he whispered, letting Face pull him towards the doors, "But I don't think we will get one hundred percent naked tonight..." Face gave him a sharp glance, "the glasses stay on, kid."
A slight widening of the eyes was the only indication Hannibal had that Face was surprised, but that was quickly wiped away with the return of the sinfully salacious smile, "Whatever you say, boss," Face whispered as he led the way to the bed.