Title: Tabula Rasa
Word Count: 500
Rating: PG
Author's Notes: I own nothing. I am a textual poacher. Written for the fanfic100 challenge community at livejournal.


It's just after dawn on January Second, and they've been free men for eight days.

Of course, as they've spent seven of those eight days in a suite of hotel rooms in Washington, D.C., the "free men" part seems a little misleading. Pardons in hand, by now they should be making tracks across country, headed for LA. Headed for home.

Stockwell is in jail, nursing a shattered organization (and, incidentally, a broken jaw); and the Team plus Frankie have been in a holding pattern ever since the day a flock of FBI agents descended on the compound in Langley, a smugly grinning H.M. Murdock close on their heels. Since then there's been a lot of noise from lawyers and government types, assurances that an official announcement or something is in the works; but it's all moving at the speed of bureaucracy and Hannibal's getting sick of it. Freedom, so far, doesn't feel much different from Stockwell's gilded cage or their long years of running.

They stayed up late last night talking about it, Face prowling along the perimeter of the room, Murdock perched on the back of the couch, BA slouched in an armchair, Frankie gazing absently out the window at the flakes of fat snow that started falling at dusk and kept falling all night. They're all anxious to be gone, to be on with the life they're not entirely sure how to start living again; but, as they finally agreed as Midnight drew on, there are some things guaranteed to start a new life out on the wrong foot. Standing up the President is likely one of those things.

So they'll wait – for a few more days anyhow.

Hannibal is the first one awake, and he sets the coffeemaker going and pulls back the sitting-room blinds, letting in a blaze of dazzling light. The snow is still coming down, blanketing the world in a thick, featureless shroud of white. Hannibal pours a cup of coffee and leans against the windowframe, thoughts of their situation still heavy on his mind.

Murdock is the next up, and he ambles to Hannibal's side, gazing out the window with a placid expression. "Tabula rasa." He says, after a moment, turning to pursue his own cup of coffee.

"Come again?"

"Tabula," Murdock replies patiently, "Rasa. Latin. Saint Thomas Aquinas."

"Ah." Hannibal waits as Murdock dumps sugar and powdered creamer into his coffee cup, knowing that the explanation -- if there's going to be one -- will come in Murdock's own time.

At length the pilot returns to the windowside, stirring his coffee. "Tabula rasa," He says again, grinning at the unbroken white drifts outside. "Means clean slate."

"Clean slate, huh?" Hannibal gazes out the window at the unblemished snowfall, thinking about long-ago childhood mornings when new snow meant a new and unexplored world; thinking about his Team's future, about all the things they haven't been able to do for so long.

And Hannibal grins. "Tabula rasa. I like that."


The End