Title: Convalescence
Fandom: The A-Team
Characters: The whole Team; Hannibal-centric
Word Count: 500
Rating: PG
Summary: Two weeks after their escape from Chao's prison camp, Hannibal thinks about his slowly-healing Team.
Author's Notes: I am still a Textual Poacher.


Just because they've escaped doesn't mean they're free yet.

One of the doctors said that, yesterday, when he thought Hannibal couldn't hear him; and Hannibal, leaning hard on the wall to keep the weight off his injured leg, quickly saw the truth of it.

That he managed to get his boys out of Chao's prison camp alive is a miracle; the whole hospital is abuzz with it. Hannibal can feel the eyes watching him as he hobbles around the corridors, trying to strengthen what the Cong bullet shattered.

But it isn't those eyes he's concerned with, consumed with. It's their eyes, his unit's eyes, the eyes of those broken men that came out of the camp with him.

Just because they've escaped doesn't mean they're free yet.

BA came through the best of all of them, physically; he held the rest of them up through the camp, and when Hannibal took the bullet BA half-carried him the rest of the way out. But carrying the others has taken its toll. BA looks exhausted, weary beyond words, worn down into a soft-spoken politeness that worries Hannibal more than angry shouting would.

Face is painfully thin; his eyes seem too large in his hollow face. The brief smile he flashes at Hannibal when the Colonel passes seems hollow, too; Hannibal wonders if his second-in-command will ever lose that echoing, wounded look.

Murdock won't talk to anyone – at least, not to anyone that the rest of them can see. His eyes look straight past Hannibal, to someone named Billy who may or may not have ever existed but who is certainly non-existent now. The pilot's hands move aimlessly across control panels in the air. The doctors are calling it shock, for now, and predicting that it will wear off; but Hannibal wonders just how far back from that journey into himself Murdock will ever come.

They have been here two weeks. Hannibal knows it hasn't been long enough for them to even start recovering; he knows they'll need time before Murdock's vacancy and Face's hollowness and BA's weariness and his own wounded leg are really healed. But he cannot help wishing that he could do something – anything – to speed that healing.

In the camp Hannibal was the one they all looked to – for direction, for hope, for escape. And though they're here, now, in a hospital, where he is as powerless as the rest of them, it isn't the doctors that his men look at for help.

It's him, still; even now that he's no longer the only one they have to turn to. BA still gives him that weary look and Face still turns those hollow eyes to him, and even Murdock looks at Hannibal (on the rare occasions when he looks at anything) with a wordless sort of pleading.

They look at him with their broken places; they ask him without speaking to make those broken places whole.

He doesn't have the words to tell them that he doesn't know how.

-End-