Chapter 1

Colonel Decker walked into the On the Jazz office taking Hannibal by surprise.

"What can I do for you, Rod?"

"First, I would like to talk with Face...don't worry, I'm not about to say or do anything to hurt him," he added as he caught Hannibal's expression.

"Okay, he's in the back having an after-school snack. Come on, and I'll offer you a cup of coffee and maybe even a cookie or two if Face hasn't eaten them all."

Face looked up as he heard footsteps and jumped nervously to his feet when he recognized Col. Decker.

"Sit down, boy. I'm not your CO. I've come to apologize for Tony's actions that nearly got you paddled, suspended, and kicked off the Bulldogs' baseball team."

"Colonel, I tried to stay away from Tony when it became apparent that we were not to become friends."

"I know you have. I have been getting reports from Mr. Davis on Tony's behavior and especially how you two interact with each other. When he mentioned that you both were going out for the team, I nearly didn't give him my permission, but later thought that if you two were on the same team, he might fit in better. But when I learned what he did to get the position he wanted, I knew that wouldn't be the case."

"Colonel, Tony is an excellent first baseman, but..."

"He wants to be the shortstop!"

"Yes, sir!"

"Well, you won't have to worry about him any longer; he's off the team!"

Face took in that news before asking, "was that your decision or the Coach's?"

"Mine, I won't have him doing anything that puts you or any other player in jeopardy!"

"Colonel, can you give him another chance? He's got a great arm and catches everything that comes his way. He will be a loss to us; we don't have anyone that good to replace him with," pleaded Face.

"Are you sure, son?"

"Yes, sir."

"The best decision I can give is that I'll consider it. Now the second thing I need to tell you is that I'm sorry about how I treated you when you were under my command in 'Nam. If I had known just how young you actually were, I would have never put you through my toughening program...will you forgive me?"

"Yes, sir...that was in the past; how about we start a new chapter?"

"Rod, here is your cup of coffee...and Face share those cookies with Rod," Hannibal added.

"You will like these; my Aunt Abbie makes them," Face explained as he moved the plate closer to the Colonel.

"Your Aunt? I was under the impression that the team and Mrs. Baracus were the only family you have."

"This summer was filled with many things, Face going undercover, the return of his dog, and his Aunt finding him," Hannibal explained.

"His aunt is on his mother's side?"

Face nodded, "she is my Mom's older sister."

"And with Abbie came Face's correct birth certificate. Prepare yourself, Rod. Face was twelve when he was in your unit...he's now only fourteen!" Hannibal said with a smirk.

"You were twelve?" Rod couldn't believe it. "What were you thinking, boy, putting yourself in such danger?"

"I was getting away from an abusive situation, and the army was my best choice," Face explained.

Rod just shook his head. "You had a busy summer, young man."

"But the best part was that I found out who my real father is!"

Rod looked inquiring at him.

"Hannibal is my father!" Face dropped the bombshell on the Colonel.

"My mother met him just after he graduated West Point, and they dated, and Mom got pregnant with me but didn't tell Dad because she didn't want him to give up his career for her. Aunt Abbie kept the letters she corresponded with my Mom, and in one of the letters, it mentioned that she was carrying the child of her West Point graduated with the nickname of Hannibal," Face explained.

Initially, Rod was speechless before turning to Hannibal to say, "Congratulations on your son. He can sometimes be reckless, but he's a good kid." He held out his hand to Hannibal and added, "bygones be bygones, Hannibal?"

Hannibal shook his hand and repeated, "bygones be bygones, Rod!"

"Now I have a favor to ask you," Rod said as he addressed his question to Hannibal.

"Last year, you offered the use of your obstacle course to me because of Tony. I would like to take you up on it?"

"Sure, anytime!"

"Tony has been suspended for a week, and I want him running your course each day that he is out of school. He also received twelve licks. What he did was more serious than just playing an embarrassing prank on a fellow student. He tried to frame another as the culprit of the prank. He knew that Face would be punished with at least a paddling and was hoping that it would get him kicked off the team, so he got additional licks and a longer suspension," Rod explained.

"Bring your boy out Saturday, and he'll get the guided tour. When I make Face run it for punishment, he wears fatigues, and usually, when he is finished, he is covered in mud, and fatigues are easier to clean. Tony just needs to wear something easy to run in and won't matter if it gets muddy," Hannibal explained.

"We'll be here by nine...and thanks Hannibal," and with that, Decker was gone.

"Well, kid, be sure you are in bed by ten because you need to be fresh if you are to give Tony a guided tour," smirked Hannibal.

Face frowned, "when you say guide tour are you saying I have to run the course, too?"

"Yep, I want you in fatigues and carrying a pack, just like Tony will be. You two can race," beamed Hannibal.

"HANNIBAL! I didn't do anything to be punished for," he whined.

"Don't think of it as punishment, kid. Think of it as beating Tony, and if that doesn't work, then you won't have to exercise with the team the following Saturday!"

"I wanted to watch the Tonight Show tonight," he grumbled.

XXXXXXXXX

It was nine o'clock Saturday morning. Hannibal had been up by six, watering down the course, and it was nice and muddy for Face and Tony to run through. Face had a frown on his face as he looked the course over. There was mud in places where there hadn't been when he ran it the last time. It looked like Hannibal was guaranteeing that by the time they finished, they would be muddy.

"Did you have to make it so muddy, Hannibal?" whined Face. "You didn't use this much mud when you made me run it!"

Hannibal looked over his course and smiled, "I might have gotten carried away a bit, but it is too late to change it now."

They both looked up as a car pulled up in the drive. They walked to meet Rod and his son. Tony was scowling when he saw Face but wisely said nothing.

"Are you ready to get started, Tony?"

Tony only shrugged his shoulders.

"Face?"

"Not really, but let's get it over with."

Hannibal led the way to his pride and joy, his obstacle course. "Face will walk through it first so you can be acquainted with it, Tony," Hannibal explained.

"Take off, kid!"

Face carefully made his way through tunnels, tires, swinging over a muddy patch, walking over rails, over a climbing wall before swinging over another muddy patch, climbing nets up one side and down the other...ending with climbing a rope and ringing the bell at the top.

"You think you can do that, Tony?" Hannibal asked politely.

"If he can do it, I won't have any trouble," he boasted.

"Okay, here is your pack Tony," Hannibal handed a pack with rocks in it weighing twenty-five pounds while giving a lighter Face one.

Tony looked shocked at his wearing a pack, but after catching the glare his father gave him, he quickly put it on.

"Now drop and give me twenty-five pushups, and when you are finished, start the course. You will have twenty minutes to complete the course, or you get to do it again!"

Face was on the ground doing his push-ups before Tony got started and was over the first obstacle before Tony had completed his twenty-fifth push-up. Face stayed ahead for most of the course until he slipped on one of the rails and fell, allowing Tony to catch up. It was neck to neck up until Face rang his bell first and dropped to the ground, out of breath.

"Not bad, Tony, for your first attempt, but you both went over the time limit and must do the course again," ordered Hannibal.

Face pulled himself wearily to his feet and walked back to where he started...with the push-ups. Tony caught up and was ready this time.

"GO!" Shouted Hannibal and watched as the boys took off. They made quick work of the push-ups, but this time Face didn't fall and sprinted ahead. He was making good time until Tony pushed him as he passed, and Face hit the mud with a splash. Tony could have won if he hadn't stopped to laugh at Face. Face flung the mud off as he climbed out of the muddy pit. "Did you fall?" Tony asked as Face stalked up to him.

"Nope, you pushed me like this," and pushed him into a muddy pit. Then he took off running to the next obstacle in the lead. This time Face made it within the twenty minutes allowed; Tony came in a few minutes later but within the time period. Both were breathing hard and covered from their heads to the bottom of their boots in mud.

"There are two showers; I would suggest that you make good use of them. Face show Tony the shower in my suite while you use yours," Hannibal said with a smirk.

"Tony, you will find some clean clothes on the bed. Your father brought them."

Face stripped down to his shorts before entering the house; Tony was going to go in muddied until he saw the scowl on his father's face and stripped down, too. Face was waiting in the kitchen for him. "This is Hannibal's room," Face pointed to the left.

"This is just a suggestion, but hot water will help ease any muscle pains you might have," then Face moved to his room.

While the boys were showering, Rod sat down to talk. "Is this the only type of punishment you use on your kid?"

"No, when the situation calls for a more hands-on punishment Mrs. B takes care of it. Like the time he was caught smoking on school grounds, he was paddled there and paddled here by Mrs. B, "explained Hannibal and then caught Mrs. B's eye and added, "would you show Rod the means you use to keep Face in line?"

It only took Mrs. B a minute to discover that both her wooden spoon and spatula. "That scamp has taken them, Hannibal. I caught him sneaking one of your cigars the other day and warmed his backside. He was mumbling something about taking away the pain permanently."

"Let me guess; he picked that habit up in 'Nam?"

"Yep, and while we didn't like it when he smoked, we couldn't forbid him because his records listed him as older. But it was one of the things he had to stop once we learned his actual age, and since I smoke, I can't forbid or punish him for smoking, or I would feel like a hypocrite, so Mrs. B took over.

Face and Tony walked in clean, but tiredness showed on their faces. "Have a seat, boys; Mrs. B just made some chocolate chip cookies; I'm sure you can make a dent in them," Hannibal said as a plate of cookies was placed between them. A moment later, two glasses of milk appeared in front of each boy.

"Hannibal, I need to go to town. Two of my utensils have disappeared, and they need replacing. You will never know when they will be used again," Mrs. B said mysteriously, watching Face's reaction.

"Really, what utensils are missing, Mrs. B?" asked Hannibal with a straight face.

"My favorite wooden spoon and spatula. I used them often, don't I Face?" Mrs. B asked as Face sputtered; his milk had gone down the wrong way.

"You are busted, kid. Either produce the missing items or prepare to run the course until you drop," threatened Hannibal seriously.

"Aww...Hannibal, I just finished your course," Face whined, but Hannibal just glared at him until he sighed, got up, and left the table. He was gone for only a few minutes before he returned with the missing items. He handed them to Mrs. B and moved quickly away, just in case she struck.

Mrs. B waited until Face stood again and quickly smacked him with the spatula.

"OW!" Face cried as he immediately rubbed the spot where he had been hit amidst the laughter that erupted from the room. "MAMA! Why did you do that? I gave them back!"

"You shouldn't have taken them in the first place, Face, and you had to be threatened into bring them back. That earned you one smack; if you keep complaining, I may add to that sting!"

Face stopped at once but moved quickly away.

"Come on, Tony, and I'll give you a tour of the compound," Face offered as he quickly left the kitchen. Charlie was a few steps behind.

"I may have to purchase a wooden spatula for myself to use on Tony when he needs correction," Rod remarked.

"Just make sure that Tony realizes that you are doing it because you love him," Mrs. B remarked, "and that you want him to grow up to be an honorable man.

"When did you start having discipline problems with Tony?" Hannibal asked.

"After his mother died a couple of weeks before he started school here last year. Before she died, the kid was likable and easy to get to get along with. He hardly got into trouble and would rush in to help anyone in need. But now it seems that he only rushes in to get into trouble. I don't know what to do. I have threatened him with Military School if he doesn't shape up, but I don't want to send him away; I want him here with me," confessed Rod.

"How do you do it with Peck, I mean Face?"

"Well, with Face, it was a bit different. When he came into the unit, we became a family. He was the son I didn't have and a younger brother to BA and Murdock. We looked out for him long before I adopted him, so he learned that we cared through the heat of battle."

"I notice that he calls you Hannibal and not Dad!

"Well, that is only natural since he has known me as Hannibal or Colonel much longer than Dad!"