Summary: Shameless Face torture.

Warnings/ Disclaimer: I do not own the team, I just like to play with them. This is un-beated, if there are any glaring mistakes, let me know and I will fix them. It's not terribly graphic, but Face is being tortured so be warned.

Near Miss #109

"You're a stubborn one, aren't you gringo?" the 'Federally' chuckled as he smoked his cigarette.

He sat on a stack of crates in an old barn that the wind could knock over if it blew too hard. But there was no wind in this pit of a dessert. The pressing evening brought no relief from the still heat that threatened to suffocate everything it crawled over. The dirty officer, who the others called Juan, watched with amusement the still form of the man that dangled from the rafters near the center of the barn. His eyes betrayed the sadistic glee he felt in watching the blond man struggle to control his pain and breathing while he took his smoke break.

"You had such funny jokes when we started, but no words now?" the Federally taunted taking another lazy drag. He had been torturing the man for the better part of the afternoon, ever since his boss had caught him in a lie. Now the boss wanted to know what this man was doing here and why he was lying before they killed him. Juan had been given the task of interrogating the blond because he's always been so good at getting information. But after hours of beating, cutting, and burning he had yet to even get the man's real name. He was starting to get a little frustrated.

He knew the man as Thomas Kemp, an up and coming drug lord from L.A. who had come to Baja to make connections. The man had been a smooth talker, the right combination of flashy and discreet. He blended in with the tourists but could charm the criminals and had the money to back up his promises. At first his lies had seem so passible, ringing with all the right notes of truth but then one of the cartel's trusted spies had over heard him talking to another man. A man he called Colonel. That was when the lies came unraveled. Well, most of them.

Juan still needed to learn who the blond was working for. With a tired sigh, he stood and stretched before strolling over to where the man hung.

The blond was suspended by his wrists, and had been since he was dragged in here. The wrists were raw and bloody where the rope had rubbed and the hands were now swollen. Bruises covered the man's face and exposed torso along with a series of cuts made from a buck knife. Some of the cuts still bleed sluggishly. Small round burns made from cigarettes dotted the man's skin along his ribs, many of them were already forming blisters. His head was bowed and eyes were closed while he took deliberately slow and even breaths through his mouth. His skin had paled considerably over the many hours of pain and if he had been better hydrated, he would no doubt be covered in a fine sheen of sweat.

At the start of his ordeal, while he was being beaten, the man had made jokes and smart mouthed comments. As the torture progressed he had lost his sense of humor and simply started shouting both threats and curses. About an hour ago, he had simply stopped talking. Juan suspected that he was starting to break and it wouldn't be too much longer, but he was still frustrated. He had thought the 'pretty boy' would have broken hours ago and would already be dead and buried by now. Instead, it looked like he would have to miss his date that night. But it couldn't be helped, his boss wanted the information and so he would get it.

Another tired sigh escaped Juan and he casually put his cigarette out on the man's abused flesh. He smirked when he heard the man's cry of pain and watched as he tried to flinch away. "If you won't talk to me, I am going to hurt you more gringo," Juan stated mater of fact. He watched the man's face, looking for any signs of a cracking will, but there was no expression. His eyes were still closed, his jaw was set, and he appeared to be ignoring his torturer. That pissed Juan off and he glared at the man.

Moving over to the far wall of the barn, Juan pulled off a hook an old cattle prod and studied it for a moment. A dark smile formed as he discovered that it still worked. This would be the final round he had no doubt. Making his way back to his victim wordlessly, he jabbed the prod into the small of his back and held it there for a good ten seconds while the electricity sizzled.

The man screamed and jerked in his bounds with the onslaught. His face betrayed his agony and the smell of burning flesh began to mingle with the stench of stale sweat and dusty heat. Juan laughed as he pulled the prod away and allowed his victim to twitch on the line for a minute. He walked around him in a slow circle, eyes roaming for a new target. His amusement only grew when he noticed the man's blue eyes following his movements, though they never betrayed any emotion.

With out warning, Juan pressed the prod into his victim's groin and held it there, laughing. Once again screams of pain filled the barn, competing with the crackle of electricity and the sizzling of burning skin. Above it all, though, was Juan's laughter. It echoed off the walls as he pulled the prod away and bent over, barely able to contain his amusement. "Ah! It's so nice to hear your voice again, my friend! You scream so pretty!" he taunted.

There was no response from the hanging man, only ragged breaths as he fought desperately to regain control of his composure. He had paled even more and appeared to be on the verge of either passing out or vomiting. His body was twitching, bare feet flexing and toes scraping the ground, while his abused hands clenched into fists. His eyes were closed tightly as he struggled to steal himself, but he was given no time to prepare. Once again the prod was pressed into his side, and this time the poor man saw stars as he screamed his agony.

Once again, Juan's laughter mixed with the sounds of his victim's torture. "You're a tough bastard gringo!" he taunted, "but I think you will not last much longer!" He pulled the prod away and moved to press it into his victim once again, not planning to give him a moment to rest.

His plan was interrupted however with the sound of a single gunshot. It rang loud and sharp in the air, echoing a moment before the clatter of the cattle prod hitting the ground over powered it. Moments later, Juan followed, landing with a thud in the dirt never to torture another man again. Then the only sound in the structure was the gasps from the tortured man as he struggled to breath through his pain. The silence remained for a long minute, until the air had stilled and calm had returned. Only then did the shooter move.

"Face?" a gruff voiced called, the barest hint of anger and aggression edging it.

"Han…ni…bal…" came the choked reply. He was still trying to remember how to breathe.

"How ya doing kid?" the older man called as he kicked over Juan, examining the man briefly. Only when he saw the glazed expression did he finally holster his gun and give his Lieutenant his full attention.

"I'm… fi…ne…" came the mumbled and breathless reply.

Hannibal frowned, as he saw Face's injuries. There wasn't one spot on him that didn't appear to be marred in some way. His skin was dry and hot indicating dehydration. His breathing was hitched and labored. His hands were swollen, wrists bloody, and body battered. He looked like hell hanging there with blisters forming, blood drying in cracked streaks, and flies buzzing around the open wounds. "Sure you're fine kid," Hannibal mumbled before calling out, "B.A.! Murdock! In here!"

"What took ya so long?" Face asked, his breathing finally coming back under some kind of control. The pain in his body had receded from an all-consuming pulse to a throbbing ach that increased in intensity with each heartbeat.

"Sorry kid, had to convince them to tell us where they took you," Hannibal answered, his brow knitted. He was concerned about the slur in Face's voice. Behind him he heard his other two men coming in. "Captain, get the first aid kit! Sergeant, I need you to take Face's weight," he ordered, his worry making him default to his C.O. voice. But experience had proven that this was the best way to get things done quickly, no one argued when Hannibal went into colonel mode.

With in seconds B.A. was there by Face's side. He wrapped his arms around the blond's mid section with surprising gentleness even as he barked, "Man Sucka', what ya do ta yourself?" Face's answer was a groan of pain as the pressure and strain on his arms was finally relieved.

"It's going to get worse Lieutenant," Hannibal warned as he stood on a stool so he could reach the rope binding Face.

"Just get me down… please, Hannibal," Face gritted out through clenched teeth.

"Sergeant?" Hannibal called making sure B.A. was ready to catch Face. He had no doubt that as soon as he cut Face free, the young man was going to faint. The sudden return of blood flow to his arms combined with exhaustion and pain would just be too much for him.

"I got 'im," B.A. confirmed gruffly, and then, with a softer tone, added, "I got ya Faceman."

Hannibal nodded, "Alright. One… two… three…."

Whatever happened after three, Face would never remember. The moment the ropes fell away, he blacked out. The next memory he would have is being supported by Murdock while Hannibal tended to him….

"Colonel, I think Sleeping Beauty's back with us," Murdock said giving Face a goofy grin.

Hannibal looked up from the laceration he was bandaging and smiled. "Welcome back Lieutenant. How you doing?" he asked, taping the gauze in place.

Face took a moment to look around and noticed, with great relief; he was no longer in the barn. Instead he was in the back of the van, a cool wet rag on his forehead and wrists. An IV had been started and a blanket covered his legs. He had been swathed in bandages and could already feel the uncomfortable sensation of the tape and gauze pulling at his skin. Still, he had to admit that he felt a hell of a lot better. "When did I get into the van?" he asked, his voice sounding dry and scratchy.

"Not too long after you fainted," Murdock answered, his voice teasing but there was worry under it.

"I fainted?" Face asked, his voice mumbled.

"Shud up fool. Faceman aint got time for your crazy talk," B.A. barked from behind Face. The tired man rolled his eyes back to see his fellow standing watch on the back bumper.

"Hey B.A." Face said, his voice slurred.

B.A. smirked and shook his head, amused by how loopy the kid was. "Hannibal, I think the drugs are working."

"I have no doubt," came the Colonel's voice, drawing Face's attention back to him.

"Drugs?" Face asked, confused. He looked at the IV in his arm… it seemed to be just saline.

"Don't ya worry your pretty little head about it," Murdock drawled, "just go on and get some rest Facey."

"What drugs?" Face asked, frowning. He looked over to Hannibal who had just finished taping the last bandage in place.

"Pain killers. Your elbows and shoulders were dislocated, and you're a little banged up, trust me kid, you're better off with them," Hannibal said, leaning back.

Face crinkled his nose and skewed his expression. He hated painkillers, the made him loopy and slowed his reflexes. But he did trust Hannibal, and if the older man said he needed them, than he did. He just didn't have to be happy about it.

"Relax kid, I'm not going to give you a second dose unless you ask for it. I just needed to get your arms back in place," Hannibal soothed. He sounded tired and amused; a lot of the worry was being to ebb away now that he saw Face was mostly okay. Or at least okay enough to complain. He was still taking the kid to a doctor, still going to 'baby' him (at least that's what Face would call it), but the kid wasn't nearly as bad as he first feared.

"Hannibal… I don't like Mexico, and I don't think it likes me either…. Every time I come here, it tries to kill me and I didn't even sleep with anybody's wife this time…." Face slurred, starting to nod off.

Hannibal laughed. "Get some sleep kid. We'll get you back to the states and to a doctor. Then you can just worry about the military trying to kill you."

"Thanks boss…" came the reply as the conman drifted off into la la land.

"He's gonna be alright, Colonel? " Murdock asked, looking down as his best friend.

"He's fine Captain. Going to be sore and going to need some R and R, but he's fine. B.A., fell like a drive?" Hannibal called to his sergeant.

"Where we heading?" B.A. asked standing up from where he was perched.

"Bad Rock. Little town just over the California border, I know the doctor there," Hannibal instructed. "Murdock, you stay with Face. Let me know if anything changes and switch out that bag when it's finished. I want to get another litter in him."

"Yes sir, boss man," the pilot called, resettling himself in for the drive.

Hannibal stood up for a moment in the back of the van and studied the sleeping Lieutenant. He shook his head, wondering not for the first time why it always seemed to be Face who got the worst of it but still managed to crawl through relatively unscathed. The kid had to have the record for near death experiences. With a sigh, Hannibal crawled into the front seat. He was going to have to talk to Face about all these near misses; he just couldn't afford anymore white hair.

"Ready Hannibal?" B.A. asked, settled behind the wheel.

"Ready B.A." Hannibal said and leaned back into his seat, and with a lurch, they were on their way.