Copyright disclaimer: Of cause the guys are the intellectual property of Stephen J. Cannel, but the story is mine.
Violence disclaimer: Some punches and bad words.
Political Correctness Disclaimer: pc might be lacking.
Thank yous: A big thank you goes to Jes Parker, who picked out a lot of mistakes and polished my English.Unsaid
Face watched his teammates. He watched Hannibal laying an arm around BA's shoulders and heard him saying, "C'mon BA don't be angry any more, ok? You know I luv' ya, but you're quite stubborn when it comes to flying." Hannibal smiled charmingly and the Sergeant had to smirk, waving his big ringed hand in forgiveness.
Face shook his head. He wondered why Hannibal was sometimes so ambiguous towards B.A. He remembered when Hannibal and BA went undercover into a prison. Hannibal claimed to be a hairdresser and the translator for his deaf-mute friend. He acted out really camp, making everyone believe they were a couple. Hannibal seemed to have a lot of fun in this disguise. Another time, when someone asked them indirectly if they were a gay couple, Hannibal grinned and said they were divorced and sharing household expenses. Hannibal probably knew that it would never cross BA's mind that these could be more than jokes. He probably knew that it was safe to relate these types of jokes to his Sergeant. He probably also knew that it wouldn't be safe to treat his Lieutenant this way. Face wondered why Hannibal was acting this way at all. He couldn't figure out the deeper meaning behind it. Was there a part of him that was at least bi-curious? Or was it just a sort of self-defense to make clear, that it can't be anything more than just a joke, when people think he's gay?
Face's thoughts strayed to the past, back to Vietnam. He remembered a gay couple in a unit that Hannibal had been commanding. Everyone knew about the two men. He remembered a gay couple in a unit that Hannibal had been commanding. Everyone knew about the two men, even if no one spoke about it, they all knew. Face had observed Hannibal, on many occasions dealing with them. He treated them no differently then the others, but helped to make sure they were given leave at the same time. He was probably one of those people who seemed to be quite liberal, as long as the topic of homosexuality didn't come up in his own family. The type of person who doesn't hesitate to say, that he has of course many gay friends. Maybe he was really liberal or bi-curious?
"Hey what's on your mind Facey?" Murdock's voice interrupted his thoughts.
"I have to tell him Murdock," Face said, still watching Hannibal and BA "Even though I've been certain about my feelings for quite a long time now, it feels like a burden that just gets heavier every day that it remains unsaid."
"Than you should tell him."
In the evening of the same day, Face finished three beers quickly. He thought he would need at least the courage of four beers to be able to tell the Colonel what he so badly needed to tell him.
"Never knew you're an episodic drinker." Hannibal chuckled and took a sip from his own bottle of beer, his second, if Face had counted correctly. The Lieutenant opened his fourth bottle and took a deep gulp.
"I need to talk to you, Hannibal."
Hannibal sat relaxed on Amy's couch watching Murdock, B.A. and Amy bickering in fun "Sure kid. What's up?"
"I would like to talk to you outside."
Hannibal turned his glance to him with an expression of surprise on his face. "Sounds serious…"
"Nah…" Face chuckled nervously. "I just want to talk to you in silence. The others are making far too much noise tonight."
"Ok." Hannibal rose to his feet with some reluctance and walked towards the veranda.
Amy noticed both men going outside, but before she could ask, or say anything, Murdock gave her a look that told her she should leave it.
"I have to tell you something, Hannibal," Face began.
Hannibal crossed his arms. "We were already this far, kid."
"Well, Hannibal, Colonel." Face cleared his throat. "I think, I mean, I'm pretty sure, that I'm in love with you." While Face had spoken, he hadn't looked at Hannibal, so he couldn't see Hannibal's facial expression or body language. Before he could focus on the Colonel again, he felt a hard hit on his chin. Face stumbled backwards not really knowing what was going on for a moment. Then he realized that it was Hannibal who had hit him. He couldn't do or say anything because he felt a second punch on his ribs. Face bent forward in pain. He closed his eyes. He had anticipated a lot. He had thought about the possibility that Hannibal would laugh at him, or that he would not believe it, or that he would walk away without saying anything in response, but he hadn't imagined this.
Suddenly B.A. was behind Hannibal, holding him tight with force and dragging him away from Face. "Hey Sucka, what're ya doin?"
Hannibal wrestled, trying to break free from B.A.'s grip. "Let me go Sergeant, that's an order."
"What if I don't? Will ya beat me too, foo'?"
"Please what's going on here?" Amy demanded. She stood beside Murdock, her hands stemmed into her hips. Murdock looked at Face compassionately.
"The Colonel hit the Faceman, dunno why." B.A. growled without loosening his grip on Hannibal. "Ya wanna explain Hannibal?"
"This is none of your business B.A.," Hannibal said forcefully.
Face had finally recovered from the shock. "The Colonel just gave me a very clear answer, right Hannibal?" He took a step towards Hannibal, who was still held fast in B.A.'s grip, and faced him nearly nose to nose. "That was your answer, am I right Colonel?" he said in a low voice that showed no emotions.
Hannibal tried to free himself again. "Get outta my sight kid," he growled his tone of voice dangerous.
Face walked away into the dark, and B.A. shoved Hannibal away from him. Murdock shook his head when he gazed at Hannibal, then he went after Face.
"What the hell was this, Hannibal?" Amy looked at him in disbelieve. Hannibal was still standing on the veranda looking at Amy and B.A.
"Yeah man, what's gotten into you?" B.A. asked again. "I told ya, not to beat our pretty boy ugly. If he's ugly we ain't getting no more nice hotel rooms, no more tables in expensive restaurants, no more cool equipment."
"Yeah, pretty boy he is," Hannibal snarled.
"I have never seen you like this, Hannibal," Amy stated and her eyes were saying, "Talk to me."
"C'mon man, talk to us. What happened that you would get that mad at him?" B.A. pressed.
Hannibal took a deep breath.
Meanwhile, Face and Murdock were walking through Amy's neighborhood.
"Let's get back, Facey," Murdock begged. "If we're walking around here it'll only raise suspicion. You don't wanna have the police checking our licenses do you?"
"Why not? They'll just send you back to the VA and me to Fort Bragg. That way Hannibal won't have to worry about sleeping with his ass to the wall." Face voice was dripping with sarcasm, but a tear ran down his cheek.
"He didn't mean it."
"Yeah, the first punch was spontaneous, the second one was the decision to beat me up. Without B.A. he would've have beaten me to hell and back."
"You know he could never do something like that, even if he is really angry."
"He wanted to do this for quite a long time. How often has he told me what a poor job I've done? You're the fantastic pilot and B.A. is the great mechanic, but I'm just the kid who is even too dumb to scam the right equipment. Remember Jamestown? He hit me so hard, I lost a cap."
"You know that's not true Face. And yeah, in Jamestown, he probably enjoyed his role as Amy's rescuer a bit too much, but you know him, he always goes over the top when it comes to acting."
"And now I'm not only the dumb one, but now I'm the fruitcake too," Face continued. "It's my own fault. Why the hell I told to tell the oh-so-macho Colonel about my feelings for him."
Murdock sighed. He felt sympathy for his friend and he felt guilty too, because he had suggested that Face tell Hannibal in the first place.
"Self pity won't help now muchacho. I think we should go back and talk to him, without fighting."
"I never expected him to return my feelings but I thought he would respect them. If someone like Amy would have confessed their love for him he would have answered in his utterly charming way that he can't return the feelings, but feels honored, or something like that. But he wouldn't have tried to break her nose," Face said with bitterness in his voice.