Hello! This is my first story. I would greatly appreciate constructive criticism and reviews. Thank you, and now to the story. I do not own the characters, I'm just playing with them. I do not profit from this story and all credit goes to Stephen J. Cannell.
Chapter One: Unspoken Feelings
The A-Team had just finished another stressful mission when B.A. pulled up at Hannibal's house and parked the van. It was a pitch black night and the team was about to plan another mission. But then Hannibal said, "Guys, how 'bout we take a little break from our constant missioning and take a week off?"
"That sounds great Colonel, how about we go to the Bahamas? I can scam us a private jet if you want?" replied Face.
"As fun as that sounds, I was thinking of a nice, quiet week at home with you guys if you don't mind," announced Hannibal as he glanced hopefully at his teammates.
"Well, what are we waiting for, let's get to relaxing!" replied Murdock. Soon the relieved team was in the house and ready for the week that everyone agreed was long overdue. "Alright, Face and I will take my bedroom. B.A. and Murdock, you share the guest room."
"Come on Hannibal! Why do I have to sleep with that crazy fool Murdock?" B.A. growled.
"Because he's the only one that can stand your snoring, which I'm sure tilts the Earth off its axis!" Hannibal retorted.
"Looks like we're gonna be bunk mates, buddy!" chirped Murdock.
"Murdock you better shut up before my fist does it for you!" said a very agitated B.A.
"I respect your judgment." replied Murdock.
"Good, fool!" grunted B.A.
In half an hour, B.A. and Murdock were asleep in the guest room while Hannibal and Face slept in the master bedroom. Hannibal woke up hearing soft whimpers. He turned around in his bed and saw Face was having a nightmare. Hannibal lovingly picked Face up and started rocking Face still asleep in his arms and murmuring soft, comforting words
Hannibal thought, 'Sure this may have looked odd to anyone else. But to me, Face is my son, even if he is an orphan. B.A. and Murdock are like brothers to me. But Face, well, he's special. He was the son I could never have. I have watched him grow up into a promising young man in Vietnam. In fact, I'm probably the closest thing to a father he could ever have.'
When Hannibal saw the nightmare had subsided, he laid a still sleeping Face back into his bed, pulled the covers over him, and kissed him on the head. Then Hannibal went back to sleep himself. But before he fell asleep again, a familiar song came to mind. The song was You Are My Sunshine.
'I love that song, it always seems to remind me of my fatherly love for Face. If only Face knew how much I really loved him. If only I wasn't too frightened to tell him,' Hannibal thought as he once again fell into a vault of darkness.
Morning came too soon for the exhausted team. Everyone was extremely tired except Murdock who was already happily up making breakfast for his team while loudly humming Weekend In New England by Barry Manilow. Soon the rest of the team were waiting at the table, ready to eat the breakfast Murdock was making.
"Murdock, I didn't know you liked Barry Manilow!" acknowledged Hannibal as he was mused from his thoughts. "You kidding, I'm a Fanilow!"
"What on earth is a Fanilow, fool?" asked B.A. as he wrinkled his nose.
"A Fanilow is a dedicated fan of Barry Manilow," announced Murdock.
"To slide away from the Fanilow subject, Murdock, what exactly are you making over there and will it blow up the house or poison anyone in it?" asked Hannibal nervously. "I'm just making french toast," Murdock piped up.
"Then why does it smell toxic?" asked Face.
"I just put some chocolate syrup in the mixture," Murdock explained as if it was the simplest fact known to mankind.
Faceman curiously walked over to the stove. "He's put the whole container of chocolate syrup in there!" Face practically shrieked at the horrifying image. Hannibal walked over to join Face and unexpectedly started uncontrollably laughing! Hearing Hannibal laugh forced Face to join him. Even B.A. giggled softly, which is a hard thing to get B.A. to even think about. The team stayed like this for another 30 seconds or so when the unattended frying pan suddenly decided to catch on fire! Hannibal quickly scrambled to get the fire extinguisher with Face not trailing too far behind him.
When the fire was finally put out Murdock embarrassedly said, "How about Hamburger Heaven for brunch fellas?" And the team once again fell into a fit of laughter.
In the afternoon two days later, Hannibal noticed something was slightly wrong with Face, he just didn't know what. He wanted to ask him what was wrong, but he just knew that Face would draw back into his shell if he did. Finally, Hannibal decided he needed to know. He would ask him after dinner. Once dinner was finished Hannibal asked Face to step aside with him for a moment. "Face can you tell me what's wrong? And don't deny it, because we'll both know you're lying."
"Hannibal, I'm glad you asked because I really wanted to tell someone."
Hannibal was surprised by Face's candid response. Now he knew something was seriously wrong. 'Face never acted like that. He was hardly ever open with his feelings. Must've been from his childhood. No one ever cared about his feelings so he probably decided it was best to keep them in. Face should know I care. No, he needs to know I care,' Hannibal thought. "Come on, son, tell me what's wrong. I want to help you. I care."
"Thanks, Hannibal. It all started after our last mission. When little Ole was hurt in the fire saving Murdock and B.A., everyone loved him and cared for him making sure he would be alright. That never happened to me when I was a kid. I just wish someone would've loved me like that."
Hannibal was mad that after all those foster homes Face went through, no one truly loved him. 'It's time to tell him how I truly feel,' Hannibal thought.
Chapter Two: Love so Right
"Face, come here." Hannibal enveloped Face in a loving hug.
Face was surprised to say the least by this action. He had always harbored a special love for Hannibal since he was the only father figure he ever had, but this was odd.
"Face, it's time I tell you something that's been long overdue."
"What..?" asked Face, still confused.
"I may not be able to make it official with the courts. But you are the son God sent to me. I love you more than you'll ever know. And I always will. Son, do you understand?"
Face was now sobbing on Hannibal's shoulder as Hannibal softly stroked his head and held him upright. "I think I do," Face whimpered through his frequent sobs.
"There is one more thing."
"What?" questioned Face, hardly believing what was happening.
"If you want me to be your dad I will be the happiest man in the universe. But if you don't that's okay too. We can be the way we always were and I won't mention a thing about this conversation. Then again, if you want me to be your father I promise you this. I will always be there for you. Whether you're hurt, scared, happy, sad, or anywhere in the middle. I will always love you no matter what you say or do. And lastly, I will never hurt you like your foster parents or the people at the orphanage did, at least not intentionally. I just want you to be happy."
"I love you, Dad," said Face, in lieu of confirmation.
"I love you too...Son," Hannibal said while squeezing Face tighter against him, kissing him on the forehead. Hannibal's heart was melting with love for his boy. My son finally knows I love him. I can't believe it! He loves me the same way! Hannibal thought while relishing holding Face the way it should've been from the start. Father and son stayed like this for what seemed like an eternity.
Hannibal soon realized Face had fallen asleep in his arms. Poor kid, his thoughts must've kept him awake most of the night. Hannibal picked Face up in his arms and slowly carried him to the bed making sure he wouldn't wake him up. Next, he carefully undressed his still sleeping son and put him in his pajamas. Hannibal then lowered Face into the bed and pulled the covers over him. Then wiped the hair out of his eyes and kissed him softly on the head softly singing You Are My Sunshine to his sleeping lieutenant. Soon after, Hannibal decided to fall asleep himself.
The team's week off soon ended and Hannibal had to check out a new client to see if they were hired by Decker while the rest of the team prepared their ammo at Hannibal's new house that Face had conned for him two days earlier.
"So you're tellin' us Hannibal's now your surrogate father?" questioned B.A.
"Yeah, isn't it great?"
"Face it isn't just great, it's amazing! I always felt like you two were the perfect father/son duo," gushed Murdock.
"For the first time I think I'm agreeing with the fool," admitted B.A.
"Thanks for your support guys. It really means a lot to me," said Face as he grinned bashfully.
"You're welcome, and congratulations," replied Murdock.
"I'm home!" called Hannibal from the doorway.
"Hi, Dad. Are our new clients clean?"
"Hannibal, when do we meet them?" asked Murdock.
"Right now! Come on, fellas, we got a new mission on our hands," declared Hannibal excitedly.
"Leave it to Hannibal to ruin our quiet week," muttered B.A., just loud enough so his commander could hear.
"Come on guys It'll be a piece of cake!" defended Hannibal.
"Han...uh...Dad, no need to be picky but last time you said that I broke my nose, B.A. fought to near exhaustion with Godzilla, Murdock nearly broke a few ribs, and you got out without a scratch because you were the only one who had a bullet and punch proof vest," corrected Face in a sarcastic manner.
"Come on, Son. Don't be so cynical. It doesn't go along with your preppy façade." Face's mouth fell open in astonishment at his father's comment while Hannibal walked by flashing his crazier than Murdock smile at his Lieutenant. "Come on guys, it's time to head out," said Hannibal.
The team followed Hannibal out the door with their ammo. But Face stayed in the doorway for a second. "Funny, I've never thought of myself as preppy," Face muttered to himself.
"Face, you coming?" yelled Murdock from the van.
"Yeah, I'll be right there!" called Face before he dashed to the van.
Soon, the team arrived at their client's house. Hannibal rang the doorbell and patiently waited for the answer.
"Come on in, fellas. I'm Donny, and this is my sister, Marie." said their new client.
"Hello, as you know I'm Hannibal. This is my son, Face, and my two teammates, B.A. and Murdock."
"Thank you so much for coming on such short notice. I don't know what we would do without you," uttered Marie with teary eyes.
"You're very welcome," replied Murdock.
"Can you tell us why you need our expertise?" asked Face.
"Please sit down. We'll start from the beginning. Donny and I were watching over my baby boy, Bryon, when my husband, Mitch Teeger, was out of state for work when he ran into a well-known mob boss in a game of blackjack in Chicago, Illinois. Then he decided to try his luck and cheat him. Since my husband was caught and currently being kept hostage and no money was found, Jackie Cerone, the mob boss, thinks I'm hiding the money, so he sent his men to kidnap my baby so I would pay the ransom."
"How much is the ransom?" asked Hannibal.
"$10,000,000 dollars," Donny gave a sad smile.
"Here's the plan. Face and I will work on making $10 million in counterfeit for the scam. B.A., go start the van and wait for Murdock. When he comes to the van, don't wait for us, just go to the house and start packing the essentials with him."
"Sure, Colonel," responded B.A. as he headed to the van.
"Murdock, your job is to book a flight to Chicago. And don't tell B.A."
"Alright, Colonel," replied Murdock as he hurried to the van.
"Come on Son, we have counterfeit money to make," said Hannibal as he went out the door and motioned for his boy to follow.
Face followed skeptically out the door not knowing what crazy plan his father was devising in his brilliant yet unpredictable mind. But before Face followed, he hesitated and turned to Marie, "Don't worry we'll save your baby and your husband. That's a promise," he assured her.
Marie kissed him on the cheek. "Thank you so much. You know I would've guessed Hannibal was your father before he told me. You two look a lot alike, you have the same warm heart,"
"That's funny, 'cause he adopted me."
"Five days ago, actually," answered Face as he turned to the door while Marie gazed at him with a confused face on the last comment. This made Face wonder; How many other clients thought Hannibal was my father?
Chapter Three: Officially Official
"Hannibal, I mean, Dad, how will we get there without the van? And where is there?"
"Don't worry, Kid, it's in walking distance," affirmed Hannibal as he draped his arm over Face's shoulder and started walking.
"But, where are we going?"
"You'll see." Face knew he'd get nothing else out of his stubborn father.
The duo had walked about two blocks in silence when Hannibal finally stowed enough courage and said, "You know, I was able to get a legal adoption form that we could fill out. But only if you want to." Hannibal released his son's shoulder to retrieve the form from the pocket on his jacket to show his son.
Face gasped and his eyes immediately welled up with tears.
"What's wrong, Son?" said Hannibal as he lead him to a nearby bench.
Tears were now falling rapidly down Face's cheeks as he sat down. But he was smiling. "I love you so much, Dad," said Face as he wrapped his arms around his father.
"So you want me to sign it?"
"Alright, Kid," Hannibal said with a chuckle, "I'll get my pen."
"Thank you so much."
"Son, I need you to let go of me so I can sign the paper."
"It's alright, Face."
"Son, I have one more thing to ask you."
"Now remember, only if you want to."
"Would you like to change your last name to Smith?" Hannibal questioned hopefully.
Face smiled and nodded not able to talk due to his throat choked up with joyful tears.
"Alright, here are the papers you sign," said Hannibal as he passed his boy the pen. When Face finished signing the form Hannibal confirmed, "I guess now you're officially my boy," with a smile before he hugged his son, stroking his soft, brunet hair. Hannibal soon realized his eyes were filling with tears as well as he held his son close to his heart, savoring the moment he would remember forever. The few people walking by were staring. Hannibal didn't think a thing of it. I don't care about them. All I care about now is making sure my son will finally be loved even if it means letting the tears fall where they may, including mine. My son is without a doubt worth that much to me, Hannibal thought as he surrendered and let the tears gathering trace paths down his cheeks without regretting a single thing.
Ten minutes had passed in silent embrace when Face interrupted, "Dad, shouldn't we be going to print the money?"
"Actually, I already have a guy doing it for us. He'll send it to us tomorrow morning."
"But I thought we were going to get the supplies to make the counterfeit."
"I lied. I just wanted us to be alone when I showed you the forms, Kid. Now, we have the whole day to ourselves. And after we finish packing with B.A. and Murdock, I got four Bee Gees tickets for all of us to go to the concert tonight, then tomorrow morning we can drug B.A. and fly to Chicago."
"That's amazing! What time is the concert?"
"Twenty-one hundred hours. We should start heading home so we can go out to eat before we go to see the Bee Gees."
"Then let's get going."
Hannibal then went to a nearby pay phone and called B.A. "B.A. can you pick us up at Gerard Way with Murdock?"
"Hannibal, why do I have to take that crazy fool Murdock with me wherever I go?"
"My son and I have something important to tell the two of you. So try to be there in 15 minutes."
"I'll be right there Hannibal." confirmed B.A. as they both hung up the line.
"Face, Murdock and B.A. will pick us up in 15 minutes."
"That's great! When should we tell them?"
"I was thinking in the van if you agree."
"That'll work fine."
"Sounds like a plan!" approved Hannibal in an enthusiastic tone.
B.A. came driving down Gerard Way expecting to find his teammates. What he didn't expect was to find Hannibal and Face with no counterfeit.
"Where's the money, fellas?" asked a curiosity-filled Murdock as he opened the van door.
"You better have the money or you gettin' pounded fool!" B.A barked to Hannibal.
"Now, B.A., don't worry, it'll be delivered tomorrow before we head off to Chicago."
"You better hope it does, sucka!"
"Point taken, B.A. Now let's head home," replied Hannibal. The team climbed into the van and started heading to Hannibal's current home. "As you know my son and I have something very important to tell you," said a grinning Hannibal as he winked at Face.
"And we're willing to answer any questions you might have," said Face continuing for his father.
"You know Face has told you that I now consider him as my son, but now we've made it officially legal," Hannibal added while passing the adoption form to B.A. who passed it to Murdock.
"And my name is no longer Templeton Peck but is now Templeton Smith," continued Face as he showed his form to his friends.
"Well congratulations, you two!" said Murdock.
"It's about time!" said B.A. gruffly while trying to hide his smile.
"Don't get excited just yet, boys," said Hannibal, "I haven't even told you the next part!"
"Alright, then tell us the next part," demanded an eager Murdock.
"I got tickets to see the Bee Gees tonight at 2100 hours!"
"That's great!" declared Murdock.
"Have you finished packing?" asked Hannibal.
"Yes and it's all in the van," said B.A. gesturing to the back which consisted of many luggage items.
"Good. Then I guess we can go out to dinner, my treat," said the Colonel.
The team went to a steakhouse for dinner, then the concert. It consisted of all the songs you know and love like Jive Talkin', Night Fever, and More Than a Woman. Also an encore of Stayin' Alive. Anyone could agree it was the best night ever!
Chapter Four: The Mission Begins
"Come on, Kid, wake up, Murdock has the plane ready," said Hannibal.
"It's five o'clock in the morning, Hannibal," mumbled an annoyed Face.
"You know you call me Dad, right," said Hannibal, playful despite the time.
"Yeah. You know you don't always have to wake me up this early,"
"We all have our flaws. Breakfast will be ready in 10, don't be late,"
"Whatever," Hannibal ruffled his son's hair and walked out of the guest room and went back to cooking.
"I guess I have a few minutes to close my eyes," said Face to himself.
Face woke up, surprised he had let himself fall asleep. He turned to look at the clock, "5:09! Dad's gonna kill me," Face raced out of bed and raced to get some more suitable clothes on for the plane ride and to shave.
Hannibal saw Face run into the kitchen and chuckled to himself for he had more than an inkling that his son had fallen back asleep. First and foremost, his hair was a mess. Then there was the fact that his tie was crooked and he still had some shaving cream on his face. Basically, it wouldn't take a Columbo to figure it out. Hannibal pointed to the clock next to him which read 5:15. Then he wiped at his cheek signaling where the cream was. Face realized what his father was doing so he wiped his cheek which was now a ripe shade of red and walked, embarrassed, to the table. Hannibal placed the plate in front of him and said, "You're late."
"I give up, you win."
"Murdock has him on the plane. Don't worry he's sleeping like a baby."
"What time do we take off?"
"5:30, so you might want to eat faster."
"I'm going to put the luggage in the Vette, you eat." Hannibal walked to Face's car and saw his old friend, a judge, Sam Lane, who he'd helped on a past mission. "Oh hey, Sam, what brings you here?"
"Actually I live in the house down the block. How come I've never seen you here? I always walk my dog, Admiral, down this neighborhood."
"We move around a lot, and we just got here a week ago."
"Well, how have you been doing?"
"Great! Do, you remember Face?"
"Yeah, how could I forget. Cocky, overconfident, ladies man, and always dresses to impress."
"Exactly. Well, now I've adopted him as my son. We have the forms signed and everything. But we haven't had a judge verify the adoption yet. Hey, that reminds me, Can I ask you a big favor?"
"Anything for my favorite Colonel."
"Could you legalize my son's adoption after our mission?"
"Definitely, here's my card. Call me after our mission and I'll keep everything confidential."
"Thank you so much. I'll call you soon. See you later."
Hannibal was so excited and he was dying to tell the team the good news on the plane, but he decided to surprise Face after their mission. Soon, they arrived in Chicago. Everyone was clueless about where to go except B.A., as it was his hometown. After B.A.'s tour, the team went to investigate the mob hangout where Mitch and Bryon Teeger were suspected to be held. The secret hangout was in a local subway.
They sent Face in with a wire to eavesdrop on their meeting and this is what he heard, "Mr. Cerone, what are we going to do to our captors when we get the money?"
"We exterminate Teeger and the kid, then we make the wife and brother disappear."
"But boss, he's a baby!"
"Which is exactly why we don't need him bothering us any more than he has to. Here's the plan, the wife and brother fly over here with the money, they come to where we are now at 8 pm tomorrow, they give us the money, they disappear along with Teeger and the kid. Understood?"
"Y… yes Sir," he gulped.
"I think that's all the information I need," said Face as he sneered in disgust of Mr. Cerone's plan. Then, he silently sneaked out to show the team the info he got.
Chapter Five: Hannibal's Plan
"Hi, guys! Listen to what I've got," said Face to his team.
"Let's hear it," Hannibal looked expectantly.
"Alright," said Face as he clicked play. After the recording ended, everyone was glad they came when they did or the entire family would've died.
"Wow, I guess we better get ready for tomorrow, Face and Murdock, you set up the ammo. B.A., you make sure the van is in top shape. And I will disguise myself to look as young as Donny for the money exchange tomorrow. Alright, let's go!"
It was now 4 hours until the rescue. Everyone was more than prepared for the mission as Hannibal went over his plan for what seemed like the millionth time. "Alright, let's go over the plan one more time," said Hannibal as he chewed on another cigar while disguising himself to look like Donny.
"Come on, Hannibal, we've done enough going over your fool plan!"
"B.A., this is luckily one of my safer plans. A piece of cake."
Face buried his head in his hands when he heard "A piece of cake." Everyone else groaned.
"I really mean it this time guys," said Hannibal chuckling. Then a frown appeared where the smile once was, his cigar had run out.
It was now time for the mission to begin. The team was outside the subway station waiting for the clock to strike 8. B.A. and Murdock were arguing about something silly as they always were while Hannibal and Face were outside the van smoking their cigars.
"I have an odd feeling about this, Dad."
"About what?" I actually already know the answer to that question. But when it comes to this kid it's important to talk about things and show him you care. Or he just might end up receding into his makeshift mental shell, bottling up feelings like he usually does. Maybe one day I can teach him to talk about what he feels more often and know we'll be there when he wants to. Then again he'll always be a little private. I can't argue with that. All I can do is show him my love no matter what happens and hope one day he'll learn, This is what Hannibal thought as he looked into his son's eyes imploringly for an answer.
"This all just feels," Face paused in uncertainty, searching for the right word. All he could think of was, simply, "off."
"How is that?"
"I don't know. You know the feeling when you're sure something bad will happen?"
"We went over the plan numerous times, Face. I think we will be okay. Trust me, we're more than prepared. Piece of cake, right?"
"If you say so," said Face a little drearily.
Little did they know that the next time Hannibal uttered the words 'piece of cake', it would be for an entirely opposite reason.
Chapter Six: All Gone Wrong
"Alright, fellas, it's time to go in," said Hannibal as Murdock passed him the money. Face said a silent prayer as they entered the subway station that was accented with graffiti. Face, Murdock, and B.A. would hide behind the door of the mob's secret hideout with their rifles at the ready waiting for Hannibal's signal. The signal would be, 'nice doing business with you', as they all had agreed on. Hannibal would only say this if Marie's husband and baby were handed over to them. Murdock's job was to make sure the husband and baby got out of the building safely after that while Hannibal, Face, and B.A. would teach the mob a lesson to not mess with the A-Team and hopefully put them permanently out of business by shooting their place up. Then, they would tie them up and alert the cops to their location. Lastly, they would make a clean getaway. No muss, no fuss. Right?
Hannibal walked into the room with the money. Jackie Cerone looked up with an evil glint in his eye. Hannibal knew that look. It was the, 'I can't be trusted', look that always came with the inevitable hint of cockiness that he just loved to see go away when his team would dash in and render his slimeball henchmen useless. But most certainly there was also evil in his eyes. Sadly, Hannibal could never make the evil part disappear. Anyways, Hannibal put the counterfeit on the table where Mr. Cerone sat while his goons stood behind him looking tough.
"Open it," said Cerone in a deep, husky voice.
Hannibal did as he was told and showed the money to Cerone. "It's all there," Hannibal said.
"Bring them in," said Mr. Cerone, "Don't worry, we treated your brother in law and nephew particularly well. By the way, where's your sister?"
"Look around, this is no place for a lady with all the trash and graffiti in here," said Hannibal as he thought of Amy Allen, the journalist that used to help with missions all the time. She was very eager and would sign up to play Marie in a minute. None of the team members would admit it out loud, but they all missed her.
Cerone seemed to believe his answer as Mitch and Bryon Teeger were brought into the room with Mitch's hands cuffed behind his back.
"Uncuff him please," Hannibal said.
"Uncuff him!" shouted Cerone.
"It was nice doing business with you," said Hannibal.
Immediately, B.A. and Face rushed in and held up their rifles at the unprepared guards who seemed to have loosened their grip on their 45's as the trade progressed. B.A. tossed a rifle to Hannibal as Murdock came in to take Mitch and Bryon safely to the van.
"Stand down!" said Cerone to his henchmen.
The team began to shoot up their leir while Face went over to tie up the henchmen. "Put your guns to the ground! Now!" yelled Face. The 3 lowered their weapons as told as Face kicked them away. But one of the guns was kicked close to Cerone. As Face tied up the first goon, Mr. Cerone knew he couldn't shoot Face himself because Hannibal or B.A. would see him. So he kicked the gun to the third goon. Face couldn't hear this because Hannibal and B.A. were still shooting up their hideout. The third goon slowly picked up the gun. And right after Face turned around to pay attention to the second and third goon, BANG! The room went silent as Face yelped and collapsed slowly to the ground.
B.A. shot the third goon in the head without haste and it took all of his strength to not shoot Cerone as well.
Hannibal rushed to his son and called Murdock to bring the med kit and call the cops because they were going to gauze the wound and race to Dr. Maggie Sullivan, the doctor the team always went to for help.
Face's breathing was quick and shaky. Hannibal was trying to calm him down as Murdock was pushing the gauze on his lower left abdomen. Which in return made him gasp in pain.
"I know, Kid. Just hang on." Hannibal was on the verge of tears. 'I have just gained a son, I can't lose him now. What if I never get the chance to legally adopt him. I'm so scared!' He thought.
"Hannibal, we better get goin'. The cops are comin', man," said B.A. as he heard sirens nearby.
"Alright, B.A. and I will carry him to the van. Murdock, you make sure to keep putting pressure on the wound all the way there. Let's go!"
Chapter Seven: The Long, Miserable Drive
30 Minutes Until Arrival
Hannibal, Face, and Murdock was in the back of the van. Mitch was holding Bryon in Face's regular seat. The ignition went on and the van sped along the road in the direction of Maggie Sullivan's private practice.
Face began shaking, he was going into shock. "S… so… cold," said Face in a weak whisper.
Hannibal knew he couldn't put a blanket on him because Murdock had to keep applying the gauze. So he did the next best thing, he took off his jacket and put it around Face's shoulders while he positioned Face's body on his chest and held him tight as he held the gauze and made Murdock's job to keep handing him more and to take BP every 5 minutes.
20 Minutes Until Arrival
"B.A., can you drive any faster?" pleaded Hannibal. Face had just went unconscious. Hannibal was beyond terrified now.
"I'm tryin' Hannibal," replied B.A. He wouldn't admit it but he was scared too. Face was like a little brother to him. Face would always go to him during the fights in their missions. He had now let him down... I should've caught the sucka before he shot Face… thought B.A. as he continued breaking every speed limit known to man.
Murdock also felt guilty… I should've been there… he thought as he looked at Face's pain stricken, pale face. "I feel terrible," he murmured to Billy, his imaginary dog, too quietly for anyone to hear. Face was the only person he could talk to about absolutely anything… Some way I've shown that to him… thought Murdock as he checked Face's BP again.
But out of everyone Hannibal felt the most guilty. He hadn't listened to Face when he said something felt wrong… What type of father am I to not take my own son's feelings seriously?... Hannibal thought. He had felt an urge to protect Face since the moment he met the cocky, smart alec in Vietnam. Good thing he had or Face would've been killed in the war. But now he had failed him. He was supposed to be named his father in a few days. But most of all he was the one person who loved him the most and always would. As Hannibal held Face, passed out in his arms and planted a kiss on his head he realized that fact even more. They were meant to be together from the beginning. If only he hadn't waited until a week ago to tell him that.
10 Minutes Until Arrival
"Hannibal, Face's pulse is barely readable," said Murdock, "Oh my God, it's gone!"
Hannibal immediately started to perform CPR. "Murdock, when I reach 30 compressions you do two breaths!"
"B.A. go faster!" yelled Hannibal. B.A. floored the gas. When Murdock performed the two breaths, Face began to breathe on his own again and no longer needed CPR. But he was still passed out. Hannibal then positioned himself under Face like how it was before he began CPR.
"That was close," said Murdock as he was still shaking from the adrenaline.
"Too close for ma' liking," grunted B.A. who was still flooring the gas.
5 Minutes Until Arrival
Face began to gain consciousness.
"Hi, Kid," said Hannibal while trying not to cry.
"Hur … hurts," rasped Face.
"Shhhh… Don't worry, Son. We're almost at Maggie's," comforted Hannibal as he stroked his hair while still holding the gauze to his abdomen.
"Hi, Facey!" Murdock chirped.
"H … hi," said Face weakly.
"How are you doing?" asked Murdock as he took Face's BP.
"Not so good,"
"Well, don't you worry. Maggie will patch you up good as new! Won't she, Hannibal?"
"Yep, we'll be back on missions in no time, Kid," replied Hannibal.
"O … okay," said Face. Anyone could tell he was out of it. So Hannibal and Murdock dismissed their conversation and let Face relax until they arrived. Face once again fell into unconscious.
Chapter Eight: Surgery in Room One
The team pulled into the driveway. B.A. ran out to alert Maggie on their arrival while Murdock and Hannibal carried Face into the clinic.
"Maggie, Face has been shot!" Hannibal yelled.
"Hurry let's get him in room one," said Maggie. B.A. was left in the waiting room with Mitch and Bryon Teeger while Hannibal and Murdock assisted Maggie.
"Why do you look like that, John?" asked Maggie.
"Look like what? Ohhhh, you mean the makeup," replied Hannibal,
"It was required for me to be disguised as someone else for the mission."
"I'm guessing the mission didn't go so well by the looks of Face."
"Actually we did rescue all of the captives but Face got shot while we were tying up the men," said Murdock.
"Does Face have an exit wound?" asked Maggie.
"I don't know, it all went so fast," said Hannibal. He was now visibly shaking with fear if he had done something wrong.
"Don't worry, John. Face will be okay. Now let's turn him around to see if there's a wound." When they turned Face around, they were all met with dismay, for there was no exit wound. Now they would have to surgically remove the bullet. "Hannibal, what's Face's blood type?" asked Maggie.
"B positive, same as mine."
"How do you feel about being a blood donor? Face's bleeding has stopped but he's in shock and the surgery will cause him to lose more blood."
"Let's do it!" said Hannibal.
As Maggie's friend at the private practice, Andrew, was prepping the room along with Murdock, Maggie pulled Hannibal aside to talk. "Hannibal, what's going on? I've never seen you so nervous."
"It's just … Face and I had come to an agreement on our relationship recently."
"I now consider Face as my son. Well, I always have, but now we've made it official." Hannibal pulled out the adoption forms Face and he had signed, "I was going to surprise him today that I had scheduled a court date to get the forms ratified. But now I don't know if he'll live for me to even adopt him."
"That's beautiful, John. I'm so sorry. But don't worry, you and Murdock did an excellent job of controlling the bleeding and keeping him warm. Face will be okay."
"Thanks, Maggie. I think Murdock and Andrew are done, let's get started."
"You'll be a great father."
"That means a lot from you. Just wait, one day if we get married, you'll be his mother." Then Hannibal kissed Maggie romantically.
"Woah, let's not go too fast," Maggie laughed as they walked into the now sterile room with their surgical clothing.
"Alright, John, we're going to take a pint of your blood before we begin the surgery," said Maggie.
"Please make it quick," said Hannibal... I have never told anyone this, but I am absolutely petrified of giving blood. The mere thought of me doing it makes me sick to my stomach... Then he felt the pinch of a needle… Ahhhhh! Oh my God, I'm going to die!... Then he saw the blood… Our Father, Who art in heaven. Hallowed be Thy Name…
"John, are you okay? You're looking a little green," Asked Maggie.
That's when he saw how much blood there really was… Holy f-... Then he passed out… Am I in heaven. Is this what it's like? It's really dark. It doesn't seem that pleasant. Oh my God, I'm in Hell!...
Then he heard a familiar voice, "John! John! Wake up!"
Then he felt someone else shaking him. He began to open his eyes, "H … hi,"
"Are you okay?" asked Maggie.
"You had us really scared, muchacho," said Murdock.
"I'm fine. Can you just help me up, please?" Murdock helped his commander up.
"Do I have to give more blood?" asked Hannibal nervously.
"Thankfully, no. We got just enough blood before you passed out," said Andrew.
"Thank the Lord!" replied Hannibal.
"We can start the surgery on Face now," said Maggie.
"Then let's do it," replied Murdock.
Maggie and Andrew were performing the actual surgery. Murdock would assist by handing them things while Hannibal held Face's hand as the surgery progressed.
"Alright, Murdock, I'm close to getting the bullet. I need you to hand me the tweezers," said Maggie.
"Can do," replied Murdock. Maggie was able to remove the bullet fairly easily.
"It looks like we're done. All we need to do is sterilize the area and close up the incision," said Andrew.
Hannibal smiled for the first time since the surgery had started. "Looks like you're done, Kid," Hannibal whispered. After they closed up the incision, they moved Face to the closest recovery room. That was where Hannibal would wait until his son had awaken. He was sitting in a chair reading The Art of War, how typical. Face began to stir. Hannibal placed down the book and walked over to the hospital bed his son was in. "Woah, Kid, slow down. You don't want to break the stitches," eased Hannibal. He sat down on the mattress so he was next to Face. "Hi," said Hannibal.
"Hi," replied Face groggily.
"Do you need anything?"
Chapter Nine: No One's Fault
Hannibal was worried. Face was being incredibly silent. The Colonel was silently pondering on what to do. Then he saw a tear come down his face and he swiftly wiped it away as not to show his emotions. Hannibal gently pulled Face up so they were sitting next to each other and wrapped him in a warming embrace. "What's wrong, Son?"
"I'm f … fine."
"No you aren't, Kid."
"Really, it's okay."
"Kid?" Hannibal was getting more worried because Face was certainly hiding something.
"I … I'm sorry," said Face through the frequent sniffling.
"I sh … should've been paying more attention. I compromised the mission and put the t … team in danger. It's fine if you don't want to adopt me after all."
"Oh, Kid, you didn't do anything wrong. I love you and of course I want to adopt you! Where did you get this idea in your head? Never mind about that. Just know that I love you very much and I'm proud of you."
"But, how? I ruined the whole mission."
"First of all you didn't ruin the mission," Hannibal said in a calm voice while wiping away his son's tears, "The husband and baby are perfectly safe. Cerone and his goons are all in jail right now. Second of all it was me who ruined the mission. I should've listened to you when you said something felt wrong."
"It's not. You had a job to do."
"But it caused you all this pain."
"You couldn't have known I would get shot. It's not your fault. It's Cerone's fault for kicking the gun."
"Thanks, Kid," said Hannibal as he kissed his son's cheek. A small smile on Face's features appeared. "There's that smile I love!" said Hannibal. He then began to tickle his son slightly. Face started to laugh as he playfully pushed his father off. "Oh, that's how it's gonna be, huh," Hannibal said jokingly as he wrapped an arm around his son's chest and began to tickle him more.
Face's joyful laughter filled the room as he struggled to get free to no avail. "Dad, stop! … Stop! … I can't breathe!" said Face through frequent fits of laughter.
"Alright, fine, if you must be so persistent about it." Hannibal then stopped the torturous tickling. Face collapsed on his father's chest, trying to breathe normally despite the reoccuring giggling fits.
"Hey! I got a surprise for you," Hannibal remembered. Face listened intently. "Do you remember Sam Lane?"
"Well, I came across him a few days ago. He says he'll verify the adoption."
"Really?" asked Face excitedly.
"Yes, after you're healed I'll schedule a court date."
"Okay," said Face right before he yawned.
"You look tired," commented Hannibal.
"I am kind of sleepy," said Face, fighting to keep his eyes open.
Hannibal could see this and made sure Face was comfortable as he fell asleep on his chest with his cheek against his shoulder. He fell asleep as well a few minutes later with his arms around his son.
Maggie walked into the room and saw the two sleeping. She draped a blanket over them and kissed John's cheek, "I love you, John," she then quietly left the room.
"Maggie, how is Face doing?" asked Murdock.
"He's doing just fine," replied Maggie.
"I told you, fool, the Faceman's fine!" said B.A., who was secretly worried about the same thing himself.
Chapter Ten: Adoption Day
One Month Later
"My God, Face! Could you be any slower! We have to leave." Hannibal yelled to Face who was taking forever in the bathroom.
Face swiftly opened the door, walking out saying, "Perfection takes time."
"Yeah, well we have to go," Hannibal said while almost dragging him to the van.
"There's nothing wrong with being fashionably late," Face huffed.
"Get in the van, sucka," threatened B.A.
"Alright, alright," said Face.
"Hit it, B.A.," said Hannibal as he looked for a cigar.
Face promptly passed him one, "These things are gonna kill you, Dad."
"I'll die happy," replied Hannibal, grinning through his cigar.
"Can we bring Billy, Hannibal," Murdock begged.
"I think you're gonna have to ask B.A. about that, Captain," replied Hannibal who was smiling, already knowing what would happen.
"Come on, you big mudsucker. Please, please, please!"
"No, you crazy fool! Billy ain't even real! Shut up before I put my fist where your face should be!" yelled B.A. in response.
"Don't listen to him, Billy. Facey and I know you're real. Don't we Face?"
"Sorry, Murdock, I think it's best that I stay neutral in this argument," said Face.
"Good choice," muttered B.A. under his breath.
The team soon arrived at the courthouse. They knew that Maggie and Ms. Baracus would meet them there.
"It looks like they're already inside," said Hannibal. The team began to exit the van. They went towards the door. B.A. opened it to let the others inside. Face suddenly stopped walking. Hannibal looked back at his son, he was looking down and was trembling. His breathing was very shaky. Hannibal knew something was wrong, "Guys, you head inside. My son and I will meet you in a minute."
Before Hannibal could say something Face began to talk, "I … I don't think I can do this."
"Why not?" asked Hannibal as he took Face's hands into his own.
"Every time someone said they would adopt me they eventually left. I don't want to lose you," a lone tear fell down Face's cheek. Hannibal could tell Face was still trembling when he brought him into an embrace.
Hannibal wiped away the tear and said, "Does it look like I'm leaving?" he kissed Face's cheek. He loved when he did it because it would always make his son smile.
"No," Face began to grin.
"There's that smile I love!" Hannibal ruffled his son's hair. Face laughed as his father tickled him like he would every time he smiled when he kissed him on the cheek. "Do you want to do this?" asked Hannibal.
"Yes," replied Face.
When Face began to let go Hannibal pulled him tighter against him and whispered in his ear, "I'll never leave you, Kid."
They walked into the courthouse casually. Hannibal was wearing his usual outfit while Face was wearing his best suit. Ms. Baracus and and Maggie ran over to congratulate them.
"We missed you two," said Ms. Baracus. Face gave her a hug while Hannibal went to kiss Maggie.
"You both must be very excited," said Maggie.
"We are," Hannibal and Face said in unison.
"You might want to come in. The judge is ready to start," said Murdock from the doorway.
"Are you ready?" Hannibal whispered to Face.
"I think I am," said Face confidently.
"Let's go," said Hannibal.
They all entered the courtroom. Judge Lane approached Hannibal and Face, "This won't be like a normal hearing since you're wanted from the government, but it will make the adoption perfectly legal. Hannibal, could you please hand me the papers?"
"They're right here," said Hannibal as he handed over the adoption forms.
"Thank you. Court is in session," the judge hit the gavel, "Mr. John Smith and Mr. Templeton Peck, please approach the stand." Hannibal squeezed Face's shoulder as they both went up. He kept the hold as Judge Lane began to speak. "Now, Face, Hannibal has asked me to read from 1 Corinthians 13:4-8. It says, "Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails. But where there are prophecies, they will cease; where there are tongues, they will be stilled; where there is knowledge, it will pass away." I now verify this adoption and name change! Congratulations, Mr. John and Templeton Smith!"
The room cheered as Hannibal lifted Face up and spun him around in his arms. "I love you, Dad," said Face in happy tears as he embraced his father, "I couldn't have wished for a better father than you."
"I love you, too, Kid!"
Face could see that his father was crying, "Dad, are you okay?"
"I'm fine," he said as he kissed Face's forehead.
"Court is adjourned! Thank you," said Judge Lane happily as he once again hit the gavel.
As the group exited the courthouse, Hannibal was the first to hear it, "Sirens! Everyone in the van! Maggie, Ms. Baracus, I suggest you leave before the MPs recognize you. We'll meet at the house."
As the van sped out of the courthouse, they could hear Decker yell, "THIS ISN'T OVER, SMITH!"
"Haha! I love it when a plan comes together," Hannibal chuckled. They lost Decker as the van made a number of confusing twists and turns. Ms. Baracus and Maggie were also able to successfully avoid the MPs from finding them.
Chapter Eleven: Homecoming
The team, Maggie, and Ms. Baracus all made it back to the house to celebrate.
"Come here, you!" said Hannibal playfully as he pulled his son next to him by the waist into the couch.
"Haha!" laughed Face as he leaned against Hannibal.
"We've got a surprise for you two," said Ms. Baracus.
"What is it, Mama?" asked Hannibal.
"Murdock and I baked you a cake," she said as she brought the cake in.
"Hopefully you made sure he didn't put any special ingredients in it," said Hannibal.
The icing said, "Happy gotcha day, Hannibal and Face!" "What's a gotcha day?" asked Face.
"When someone is adopted, they call it their gotcha day," explained Murdock
"Okay," Face said.
"I made sure Mama knew that both your favorite flavors are red velvet," said Murdock excitedly.
"At least the fool got somethin' right," muttered B.A.
"You didn't have to do that, Mama," said Face.
"Yes, I did. It's your special day," she replied.
"Thank you, Mama," said Hannibal.
"So, Face," said Murdock, "fathers usually call their sons by their first names,"
"Yeah, Templeton," Hannibal joked as he playfully elbowed him.
"Uhhh," Face's eyes went wide as he thought of the idea. 'Thanks a lot, Murdock,' Face thought sarcastically. "Dad, you can call me Tem, but please not Templeton," Face retorted with emphasis on 'please'.
"Alright, Tem," said Hannibal as he put his arm around his shoulder. Face soon yawned.
"Are you tired, Kid?"
"Kind of," said Face as he laid his head on his father's shoulder sleepily.
"Face is still recovering so he still gets tired sometimes. I'll be right back," Hannibal said to the group. He lead Face to the bed, "Are you okay, Tem?" asked Hannibal as he helped Face into the bed.
"I'm fine," Face mumbled as he drifted off to sleep while Hannibal lovingly stroked his hair.
He hadn't noticed he'd been in the room for more than ten minutes when Murdock came in and whispered, "Are you alright, Hannibal?"
"Oh, yeah, I'm fine. I've just been looking at these certificates. For Face's name change it says, 'Templeton John Smith'. It must've been a typo."
"No, it wasn't," said Murdock.
"How do you know that?"
"Face was talking to me a few days ago and said how he never had a middle name. He said that he wanted to use John because of you. I thought it was a great idea and said he should do it. You know, he really loves you."
"I know," said Hannibal softly as he felt his heart swell with pride as he smiled down at his sleeping son. "I love you, too, Tem," said Hannibal as he kissed Face's head and walked out of the room to join his friends.