Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band
by Darth Stitch

DISCLAIMER: Not mine. Belongs to 2 TV gods by name of Frank Lupo and Stephen J. Cannell and is now a movie directed by Joe Carnahan. Will put the toys back when I'm done.

DISCLAIMER TO SAVE MY SOUL FROM GOING TO HELL IN A HANDBASKET: I still say this is Sushi's fault. She sicced the plot bunny on me and it's getting bigger and bigger…

WARNING: Slash. If the notion of 2 guys being sweet on each other ain't your thing, now's the time to click that handy little back button and run for it.

Again, put tongue firmly in cheek and leave canon at the door.


It was twenty years ago today,
Sgt. Pepper taught the band to play
They've been going in and out of style
But they're guaranteed to raise a smile.
So may I introduce to you
The act you've known for all these years,
Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band.
We're Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band,
We hope you will enjoy the show…

- Paul McCartney & John Lennon, "The Beatles"

It wasn't all fun and games, you know.

Hell, son, this is WAR! There's the explosions and the scent of gunpowder, smoke and sweat in the air. Dead bodies on the ground and sometimes they ain't all in one piece, if you know what I mean? People screaming and shouting and generally running around like chickens with their heads cut off. Orders being barked by the Guys in Charge - man down, get to the LZ, need evac now, get down, run around, do the funky chicken, get that funky music, flyboy. There's the blood running wild in your veins, adrenaline kicking everything into gear, all senses go go go!

Me engines can't take no more of this, Colonel!

And then, the Colonel gives me this look from those steel-blue eyes and says, "Get this bird in the air, son. Get us home."

And I just do it. Well, I have to make sure I got B.A. off to Dreamland first because the Big Guy's got this thing about flying now that he blames me for (It wasn't my fault – I told 'em to close the door!). After that, I follow orders – Colonel says jump, all I say is: "How high, sir?"

Captain Kirk's got nothin' on our Colonel Hannibal. They call me crazy but The Boss-man's just plain fuckin' bugnuts loony tunes INSANE. But he gets the job done, you know? He's got our backs, he gets us out, he's the Man with the Plan.

Sometimes, things just go all FUBAR though.

The Force wasn't with us that day or maybe it was. Don't know how Hannibal knew but he'd yelled at our LT to get down and BAM! Next thing I knew, Facey was telling me to move move move and Hannibal was on the floor of my chopper with blood all over him.

"He's alive, he's alive, he's alive," Face was almost chanting in my ear. Magic spell, you know. Say it three times and it sticks, the power of three times three. I reached out with The Force myself, willing healing energies into Hannibal. There's no way in hell our Colonel would just punch out like that.

Hey, I wasn't going to be responsible for training our LT in the ways of the Force – I ain't no Jedi Master and I ain't watching Faceman fall to the Dark Side. He and Hannibal are close and I got eyes enough to see there's still a ton of stories me and B.A. would never know, at least until the next drinking session. Losing someone you're close to like that rips out a piece of your soul and you keep bleeding until the day you die.

I should know, right? Been there, done that, spun the cotton and made the lousy T-shirt. They thought I needed the pills and the needles and the whole "let's talk it through, get into your psyche and tell me about your whacked-out childhood with the non-existent parents and the foster homes."

They didn't know that all I really needed to be better was just to be back up in the air. Give me back my wings, let me fly – I'll be fine.

Hannibal knew that. Jedi Master Qui-Gon Jinn himself pulled me back from the Dark Side of the Force and who wouldn't be grateful?

So I flew that lady like I never flew her before and we got Hannibal back to the base faster than ASAP. B.A. did a pretty good job of getting everyone else out of the way so we could get him to the doctors. And let me tell you son, the Force was with us that day because them medicine men patched Hannibal up real good.

But before we got to the happy ending of this story, we had to wait first. And Faceman wasn't looking too good while we did that. We didn't want to leave Hannibal but the docs were pretty clear that we would just be in the way. So back we went to our home away from home on the base. And we had the whole mental telepathy thing going on because without us saying a word to each other, we all went to Hannibal's tent, the same place where he'd usually lay out The Plan for the next mission for us.

B.A. clapped him on the shoulder and the look on his face says everything. Good ol' Bosco's not much for words. Face just accepts the comfort for what it is.

"Thanks, man," Face told him.

"Don't need to thank me," B.A. answered. "We're all worried about Hannibal."

So it was up to me then. "The Force is with our Jedi Master. All will be well."

B.A. snorted. "You know that whole Jedi thing just drives Hannibal up the wall, right?"

Face rolled his eyes. "That's just for show, Bosco. The whole Jedi thing just feeds Hannibal's ego. Don't encourage him, Murdock."

"Hmph. Jedi Master Hannibal is," I tell them loftily in my best Yoda impersonation. "Also Evil Mastermind hell bent on destroying Gotham City he is too. Tell Batman we will not."

"That's it," B.A. announced. "I gotta get something to fix around here or this crazy fool's gonna haul ME into the loony bin with him. Be back in 10."

B.A.'s like that. Can't sit still without having something to do and right now, asking him to sit still was worse than torture. We all knew we weren't going to get any sleep that night, at least until we had some word from the docs about Hannibal.

So it was just Face and me and the minute B.A. walked out, I saw his shoulders slump and he just buried his face in his hands.

"Blame yourself you should not," I told him, still channeling Yoda. "War this is. Death and danger always there is."

Face sighed. B.A. would be all "Shut up, fool!" and go all growly and grumpy by now but not our LT. He gets it. So he gave me this wan smile and answered, "Almost 80 missions, Murdock. That's just with our team. We've gone through a whole lot more way back when. It's the first time he's been hurt like this. And hurt bad."

"Invincible Hannibal is," I said.

"Not today."

"Get well he will. Know this I do."

"The Force tell you that, Master Yoda?"

"Always in motion is the future," I intoned. "But the Force is strong with this one. Saved you he did. Honor his sacrifice you should. Do this for any of us he would."

"Damn it!" Face finally exploded. "He shouldn't have to get hurt and nearly killed –" His voice broke. "Ah… shit."

Then, things kind of kick into high gear for me or maybe it really was The Force whispering into my ear. I was so surprised I forgot my Yoda voice.

"You love him, don't you?"

Face gave me this look. I know he got me the first time around but he has to deny it anyway. "What? What are you talking about – hey, Murdock – "

"You don't just love him, love him, like we all love him. You're in love with him," I said, even more convinced of it now. Truth's a funny business. Once you look at it in the face, it needs to be brought out. Else, you can't live with yourself. Believe me, I know that.

Face's forehead hit the table. He sighed raggedly. That was answer enough.

Aw, man, he had it and he had it bad. And there was one other thing.

"Hannibal doesn't know," I said.

"He'll never know," Face bit out. "We're going to keep it that way, right, Murdock?"

I raised my hands and this time, I used his real name. "Templeton, buddy, this is going to be deeper than the 'don't ask, don't tell' thing. More than top secret, classified and all that stuff. I promise you that."

This time, I got him to look up at me, a little bit of the Colonel's own manic gleam back in his eyes. "I know, buddy."

That made me feel good, you know? Templeton trusted me – wasn't about to betray that trust for the world.

And at that point, B.A. walked back in and he told us the good news that Hannibal was out of the woods and he was just sleeping things off. So on that day, we had a pretty happy ending for all our heroes. Hannibal got a bit grouchy with us while he was recovering but this time, he couldn't overrule our LT, not when it was his health on the line.

Now, for the most part, things didn't change. Why should it? Faceman's not the sort to do the whole brooding thing and we all know he's got a way with the ladies. Heck, he used to moan about that last girlfriend he had every time we went out drinking together – that pretty lady Captain who he'd say ate his heart up and spit it out. We still had our jobs to do and the Man With the Plan led the way for us like he always did.

But every now and then, I'd get these looks out of Face, now that I knew what I was watching for and boy was it heartbreaking to watch. Hannibal's perfectly oblivious to this - I know he cares about Face but bottom line? Unrequited love's a bitch.

Still, I figured Face shouldn't feel that hopeless. Eight or so years isn't that big of an age gap, although we've got that whole fat book of regulations and codes of conduct to think about. But I am and always will be a hopeless sucker for happy endings and if anyone deserved one, it was my buddy Lt. Templeton "Faceman" Peck.

I gotta look into getting him that happy ending. What else are buddies for?

End


End Notes: (stares in horror at the arrival of the Murdock Muse) Oh jeebus help me, how the hell did this happen? (facepalms)

I'm seriously surprised and delighted (haha) about the age difference. The movie pegs Hannibal at 43 while the other 3 are in their early to mid-30's, at least as far as the official movie website is concerned. I know the TV series had a bigger age gap between Hannibal and the guys. A younger Hannibal and a slightly older set of A-Team boys - it makes the group dynamics a little bit more interesting. Heh.

I'm so screwed, aren't I? (headdesks)