Halfway back to the hotel Frankie pulled the rental car over to a payphone and Hannibal told B.A. to bring the cops into it

Once back on the road Frankie glanced over at Hannibal. "Murdock sounded weird on the phone."

Hannibal raised an eyebrow.

Frankie grinned as he continued. "I mean weirder than normal."

"He was probably just distracted."

Frankie shrugged as he absently drummed his fingers on the top of the

steering wheel. "Maybe, but Murdock's been weirder than normal every time the topic of Face and Colleen's relationship comes up."

"He's very protective of her." Hannibal replied as they pulled into the

hotel's parking lot. "He'll come around eventually."


It was another hour before the whole team was back together. B.A. had dropped Face's kidnapper off at the local police station and had stayed briefly to answer any necessary questions. The woman's identity would be confirmed through fingerprints.

As soon as Hannibal and Frankie had gotten back to the room Hannibal had sent Frankie out again to get some food for Face. Now the group sat sharing two pizzas. The mood in the room was tense to say the very least. It had taken a lot of coaxing for Hannibal to get Face to stay and eat something instead of going out and searching for Colleen.

Hannibal turned to look at Murdock part of him understanding why he took it upon himself to stash Colleen away from the team. But another part knew fully where Face was coming from. One way or another Hannibal would make sure this family was back together again and that included Colleen.

"So Face you never did tell us how you managed to escape?" Frankie asked through a mouthful of pepperoni pizza.

Face shrugged as he tossed his plate onto the bed not having any appetite despite not having eaten very much over the last few days.

"You know the usual." Face replied not looking at anyone. "Wiggled free of the ropes knocked out the goons with a heavy book, walked out the front door."

"Did you remember who this woman was?" Murdock asked from his position by the window.

Face stood and leaned back against the wall by the bed. He was tempted not to answer the pilot's question but that would be childish and petty.

"It took me a few days." Face replied wearily as he closed his eyes. "Diane Benton. She was a blonde when I knew her back in San Diego. I met her at one of the country clubs during our early days of helping the helpless. I was also partying pretty hard at that time and drinking heavily.... so if I promised her any kind of future I don't remember doing so. We dated barely two months before I broke it off."

Murdock shook his head in amazement. "Two months and you drive a woman


"Murdock." Hannibal said warningly but it had no affect on either man.

Face opened his eyes and pushed himself away from the wall. "I didn't make her crazy, Murdock!"

"That seems to be debatable doesn't it?" Murdock shot back.

"Enough!" Hannibal shouted instantly gaining everyone's attention. "We're all tired and ready to go home but there's one thing we have to do before that happens."

"What's that?" B.A. asked as he stood. He was more than ready to move on even if it meant getting back on a plane. This trip to England hadn't been good for the team.

Hannibal stood and sat on the bed across from Murdock. "We're one short, Murdock. We have to pick up Colleen on the way back to Langley."

Murdock shook his head and backed toward the window. "Sorry, Colonel. I can't tell you where she is."

Face's eyes narrowed dangerously. "This is a brick wall, Hannibal. I've already tried this."

Hannibal gestured for him to be quiet.

"Listen fool, tell him where she is because I ain't spendin' the next month on a plane." B.A. growled interrupting whatever reply Hannibal was going to make.

Murdock ignord Baracus and looked at his commanding officer for a long

moment before moving away from the window and picking up his jacket.

"Sorry Colonel this is something I have..."

Face walked around the corner of the bed eyes blazing. "Murdock, you didn't give her a chance to decide! Give Colleen that chance."

"I'll give Stockwell my resignation." Murdock replied stiffly as he retrieved his small green duffel bag from the corner before walking toward the door.

Hannibal stood and walked toward him. "Murdock this isn't the way to solve anything!"

Murdock paused in the doorway but didn't look back as he left the room.

Out of pure frustration Face picked up the alarm clock from the nightstand and slammed it against the wall. The plastic casing splintered before falling to the carpeted floor.


Face stared out the window of the team's van as it barreled down the interstate toward Miami. Had it really been a month? A month with no contact from Colleen or Murdock?

Face closed his eyes and leaned his forehead against the window. He wanted so badly to hop out at the next turnoff and go look for Colleen on his own. But Stockwell being Stockwell had an iron grip on what was left of the team.

Even with them being two short Stockwell had continued to send them out on missions at a rapid pace. The results had not been to Stockwell's liking but Face couldn't care less. He was angry enough at Stockwell as it was. The good General could've found Murdock and Colleen with one phone call if he wanted too.

Face shook his head and slumped back into his seat. Murdock must really be furious with him to keep Colleen under wraps for this long. He didn't blame Murdock for what he was doing...not really....Murdock was right Face had put Colleen in danger since they had first met. But Face would give everything up....Stockwell, the team, the missions, his freedom...if he could just see Colleen once more. Hold her tight and tell her how sorry he was for everything. The last thing in the world Face had ever wanted to do was cause Colleen pain.



Templeton's eyes shot open and he found himself staring into Hannibal's

concerned gaze. Sheepishly Face wondered how long Hannibal had been trying to get his attention.

"Yeah, Hannibal?" Face replied wearily as he leaned forward.

"We're about an hour outside of Miami." Hannibal stated quietly. "Are you okay to go undercover..."

"We've been through this Hannibal." Face snapped. "I'll do my job."

"I know you will." Smith assured him. "But we've been doing back to back missions ever since we got back from England. These drug smugglers could be a nasty bunch....if you want to take a rest from this one...."

Frankie watched the exchange warily. Ever since Murdock and Colleen had

disappeared Face had been drifting between being angry and being depressed. A lot of the time Face was picking fights which led Frankie to believe he was trying to get kicked off the team. But Frankie knew Hannibal wasn't going to let that happen.

"I can send Frankie." Hannibal offered wishing not for the first time that Murdock would make contact.

Face's eyes narrowed dangerously. "I'll do it!"

"Okay." Hannibal replied quietly as he twisted around and reached for the road map.


Colleen Brown wondered when her life had gotten this crazy. Even when she tried to take a relaxing vacation things went to hell. At the thought of London Colleen closed her eyes and leaned back in her chair. She missed Face terribly and hoped that he was okay. Murdock had assured her that he was fine but Colleen needed to see him for herself. Every time she tried to call or make flight reservations Murdock would come up with an excuse to keep them here.

Here was San Francisco, California. Colleen had always wanted to see the bay area but not this way. She and Murdock had been staying in a facility that gave assistance to veterans and their families.

Colleen looked across the small room to see Murdock sitting on the bed

leaning his back against the wall. He was absently bouncing a ball against the ceiling. When she had first awaken in the hospital she'd been furious. What right did Henry have to make decisions about her life....about her life with Face?

Colleen had known the risks when she had first gotten involved with the team.

Colleen shook her head as she stood and walked to the small window. A month?

Had it really been that long? She had tried to get Murdock to talk about the team.... about going back but all she gotten was a wall of silence.

"Looks like the rain's stopped." Colleen commented as she looked back at Murdock. "Maybe we can go for a walk?"

"No." Murdock replied the ball continuing to bounce off the ceiling.

Colleen strode across the room and snatched the ball as she glared at

Murdock. "Are you going to stay in here the rest of your life?!"


Colleen threw the ball towards the window not caring if it smashed right through the glass. "I'm not! You have no right to keep me here, Henry!"

Murdock met her gaze. "I'm not....you can go any time you want."

"As long as I don't go back to Face." Colleen finished miserably.

"It's for your own...."

Colleen whirled around. "Don't say it's for my own good! I was happy with Face."

Murdock stood. "He....the team put you in danger."

Colleen threw up her hands. "Henry I'm an PI....that's not exactly the safest job in the world."

Murdock placed a hand on her shoulder. The last month had been one of the worst of his life. He was trying to protect so many people....trying to do things for the right reasons and it was all backfiring.

"Bonns....you're the only family I have."

Colleen shook her head tears starting to form. "That's not true, Henry, the team is your family....always has been."


"I was just trying to protect..." Murdock replied but his voice trailed off.

"I know." Colleen stated as she touched his arm. "But there are things in life that you can't protect me from."

"You really love him don't you?" Murdock asked even though he already knew the answer.

The tears flowed freely as Colleen nodded. "Yes....I love you like a brother Murdock but Face has my heart...always will."

Murdock studied his friend for a long moment before drawing her into a huge bear hug. "Okay I'll take you back on one condition."

"What's that?" Colleen asked as she pulled away slightly.

"Forgive me." Murdock replied solemnly. "I know you'll always be mad at me for getting you out of London that way but I felt I had no choice."

"I know you did what you thought was right, Henry." Colleen replied quietly the tears starting to slow. "But if things get this sticky again you have to trust that I can make my own decisions, okay?"

Murdock hesitated. "I just don't want anything to happen to you."

Colleen grinned. "How can it with you guys watching my back?"

Murdock returned her smile and nodded. "Okay....so we're okay?"

Colleen hugged him fiercely. "Yes...we're okay."

"Good." Murdock whispered before he released her. "Let's blow this pop stand and go home."

"Not a moment too soon." Colleen replied with a laugh as she started to pack up her belongings. "I was just getting used to this lovely shade of chartreuse."

Murdock cringed in mock horror. "Face'll love that color if you redecorate his apartment like that."

Colleen giggled picturing Templeton's expression to the bright colored walls.

"I might do that just to see his expression."

"Let's go home, Bonns." Murdock said a few minutes later after he had packed away his things and stood by the door.

Colleen joined him. "Are we going to call and tell them we're coming?"

Murdock grinned as he slung an arm around her shoulders. "Let's have it be a surprise."

Colleen wanted to protest desperate to hear Face's voice but she didn't want to rock the boat. Murdock wanted to go home....and those were the most beautiful words Colleen had heard in weeks. Soon she'd be back in Face's arms again. And all would be right with the world.


When the team returned to Langley two days later they found Murdock and

Colleen sitting in the living room watching an old spy movie.

Frankie did double take and rubbed his eyes. "Is this a mirage or are you guys back for good?"

Murdock grinned as he crossed the room toward the younger man and slapped him on the shoulder. "The great Murdock is back to tell your future, Franko."

B.A. snorted. "Thought I had finally gotten rid of you, fool."

Murdock's smile widened. "B.A! Big guy...come here and give me a hug."

"Not on your life."


"Don't start with me, Fool."

Face however heard none of his friend's conversation. The instant his eyes had locked with Colleen's everything else had disappeared. He closed the space between them and took her hand in his pulling her gently off the sofa.

Colleen looked as beautiful as the last time he had seen her.

Colleen touched his left cheek tenderly tears flowing. "Henry told me that you were alright but I didn't believe it....not until now...."

"I'm fine." Face assured her huskily as he drew her into an embrace resting his head on her shoulder. "God I missed you."

Colleen closed her eyes inhaling the feeling of being in his arms again. "I missed you too...I love you...."

Face met her gaze for a long intense moment before stepping back and taking her right hand in his and tugging her toward the back of the room. "Let's get out of here."

Colleen nodded and they disappeared out the back doors and onto the small patio.

"Looks like things are back to normal." Frankie commented with a wide smile as he watched Face and Colleen go outside.

Murdock nodded before he turned to Hannibal. "So what'd we miss?"

"The usual." Hannibal replied with a grin. "Come on I'll fill you in."


Face and Colleen sat in the hammock that Frankie had strung between two of the trees when they had first moved in. It was the second week in September and still fairly warm out.

Colleen rested her head against Face's chest and stared up at the early afternoon sky. Not quite believing that things were finally normal again. Well as normal as things got around here.

"I've missed this." Colleen whispered as she closed her eyes.

Face tightened his arms around her. "What?" he asked softly placing a kiss on her forehead.

"Just being in your arms like this. Seems like a lifetime ago that we were here last."

Face shifted them so they were in a semi-seated position. He reached over and cupped her chin with his hands.

"Colleen...."Face began tenderly as he met her gaze. "When I escaped and Murdock told me that you had been hurt..."

Colleen caught his hand with hers. "Doesn't matter now."

Face nodded. "Yes it does....I brought you into this mess that is our life. I was selfish and as a result you got hurt....I can't tell you how sorry I..."

Colleen leaned forward and kissed him softly breaking off his sentence. "I knew the risks." she replied softly as they broke apart.

Face gently lifted her chin with the fingers of his right hand. Suddenly everything was crystal clear to him....he didn't want to lose her ever again and there was one way to make sure that didn't happen.

Face took a deep breath before saying. "Are you willing to take those risks with me for the rest of your life?"

Colleen's eyes widened in surprise. Did he just say what she thought he did?

"Was that a proposal?" Colleen asked in a weak whisper her eyes bright with unshed tears.

Face smiled sheepishly as he got out of the hammock careful not to tip it.

"Not a very good one I know."


Templeton gently reached up and touched a finger to her lips. "Let me try this again...the proper way."

Colleen nodded unable to speak as an intense mixture of love and joy washed over her.

Face got down on one knee and took her left hand in his.

"Colleen....you've stuck by me even when I turned your life upside down. Most people would've cut and run but you didn't and I love you for that.

I know I don't have much to offer with Stockwell hanging over our heads.

We're no closer to getting a pardon than we were a year ago.

But if you can stand this craziness for a while longer I'd be honored if you agreed to become my wife."

Tears streamed freely down Colleen's face as she nodded.

"Yes." Colleen replied in a hitched whisper. "Yes I'll marry you."

"I don't have a ring yet." Face apologized as he stood and pulled her into his arms lifting her off her feet.

"Doesn't matter." Colleen replied as she wrapped her arms around his neck.

Face grinned as he kissed her.

"So you don't want one then?" Peck asked as they came up for air.

Colleen laughed as she shook her head. "I didn't say that."

"I love you." Face whispered tenderly as he set her down.

"I love you too." Colleen replied tearfully as she captured his lips with hers.