Let It Be
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: Come on down and join the par-tay! :P
WARNING: This story is part of a fan fiction series with slash elements. As in, two men being sweet on each other. So if this is not your cuppa tea, time to clicky-click on the back button and run for it.
When I find myself in times of trouble
Mother Mary comes to me
Speaking words of wisdom, let it be
And in my hour of darkness
She is standing right in front of me
Speaking words of wisdom, let it be
Let it be, let it be
Let it be, let it be
Whisper words of wisdom
Let it be
- Paul McCartney (Lennon/McCartney), "Let It Be"
The truth unfolds itself to Hannibal in bits and pieces.
It's a contrary son of a bitch, sneaking up on him at the worst possible moment, when he's still reeling from Morrison's betrayal, when he'd realized that there was the distinct possiblity that he and his men would never clear their names, never be granted that sweet vindication. That he and his team would be sentenced to a life forever on the run.
He lashes out angrily at Face, when his lieutenant asks him if he himself would ever consider doing what Morrison had just done to all of them.
I'd rather face a firing squad than betray any one of you boys!
And the hurt of that hits him like a sharp blow to his solar plexus, that Face would doubt him after all this time. But that's not really Face's question, he realizes quickly. He knows the way Face's mind works, almost as well as he knows his own and Face is leading him to consider what he should have thought of all along.
But you never saw it coming.
He knows Lynch had only been using them to get to those engraving plates. He should have known that the CIA man would not keep his word, that he'd leave them like so much garbage after their purpose was served. Self-doubt is a rare feeling for the infamous Colonel John "Hannibal" Smith. He doesn't indulge in it often – it's an emotion that can get one killed.
And in a leader, self-doubt just doesn't kill one man – it will take the lives of the men on his team and Hannibal would be damnned ten times over before he'd let that happen.
He should have simply focused on the mission at hand, come up with the payback plan against Lynch. But lingering here and there was the initial hurt that Face had actually doubted him, that the younger man had for one minute entertained the notion that Hannibal would betray him, leave him behind when Hannibal had never done so, not in all the years they had worked together. And they'd been together for far longer than the four of them had been a team.
Hannibal understands that Face didn't mean it in quite that way but the hurt is there, irrational, inexplicable, goddamn irritating and why was it so important? Why couldn't he let it go?
He's wandering around the decks of the cargo ship they're currently in now, looking for things they can use in Face's Plan against Lynch and his goons. It's Face who comes up with the plan this time and it's a damn good one. Hannibal doesn't resent him for it – sometimes a fresh perspective was exactly what was needed to arrive at a solution. So this time, Hannibal would support him, play the role assigned to him instead of pulling the strings this time around.
Hannibal makes the time to talk to B.A., who's going through his own personal crisis. He's always known that rough and tough act hid a sensitive nature and a gentle heart and in truth, that was Bosco Albert Baracus' real strength. Hannibal still couldn't forget that one of the very few times they'd managed to get B.A. flying without complaint was for the sake of a little girl who'd looked at him and knew him as the "brave knight Bosco."
It made B.A. a better man and a better soldier for it, even if Hannibal knew there were others who would disagree.
Their talk is brief – B.A. is never much for too many words but it had helped him, made him reach that critical decision and choose what was best. Hannibal is proud of him and secretly relieved that he was, finally, able to do something right out of this mess they've all landed into.
Hannibal keeps walking, his arms laden with cheap plastic talking dolls – they'd be using the voice boxes for something extra special, a little bit of flair – mind games were the best ones to play against an enemy and Face had watched him often enough at it over the years, not that Face didn't have a few tricks up his own sleeve to begin with.
I'm not the old man, Murdock. Eight years. More than eighty missions. He's always brought us all back alive.
Hannibal slips into the shadows when he hears Face and Murdock's voices. He knows better than to intervene. Murdock would look out for him, as Face had for Hannibal so many times. Murdock would know what to say, what to do.
But you never saw it coming.
Alone, he's got nothing but his self-doubt and that irrational hurt for company again and Hannibal just takes a moment to draw a deep breath. He has to shake himself out of this, he really does. He understands the reasoning behind Face's question. Morrison had been a good friend and he always thought that the man had his back, that he could trust his life with him, the most important bond between men always in the front lines.
Bonds like that shouldn't be cast aside so carelessly, not just for fucking money. That kind of trust should never be misplaced.
But he'd had six months in prison to stew over things, to consider every angle and every possiblity. He'd known that Morrison could have been that so-called mysterious "Arab" backer behind Pike and his frat boys. He'd left that scenario open and followed it to its inevitable conclusion. It hurt like hell but he considered it and thought he had planned accordingly.
Small wonder that Face would try to follow the same path and try to put Hannibal in Morrison's position.
I'm not Morrison! And that was the crux of it. Hannibal couldn't conceive of any force on this earth that would make him betray his team.
Face should have known better than that.
Face should have known Hannibal better than that.
Ridiculous, illogical – why blame the younger man for merely following Hannibal's example?
I'm not Morrison.
I'd rather face a firing squad than betray any one of you…
"I'm not goddamn Morrison!"
The words echo in the empty room, startling him. He hadn't realized that he'd spoken aloud. But he was honest enough to admit who he really wanted to say those words to. That he wanted to grab Templeton Peck and shake some sense into him, that he wouldn't betray him, wouldn't leave him behind and why was it so important that Face should be assured of that, when he should be thinking the same about B.A. and Murdock because they were his family too and he'd do the same for them…
And then, just like it happened to him sometimes, when he could tell there was a trap being set when there was no reason to suspect one or a sniper aiming at his back or that fist coming on his blind side, he just knew.
What's fucked up is loving someone and knowing that person will never love you back.
I'm not talking about Charissa. I'm talking about –
Face's words, filled with pain and regret and worse, that quiet, hopeless acceptance of things that could never be…
I love you.
Three little words, meant to be a joke, laced with a bit of affection, an acknowledgement of a long friendship
(Or perhaps something more?)
and it was so easy, surprisingly so, to say the words back, without missing a beat.
Unrequited love's a bitch.
There were so many things that suddenly made sense, so many little clues and hints that had been dropped and Hannibal had been too blind to see it.
Or maybe he didn't want to see it.
And then, almost as if on cue, Murdock saunters into the room, singing an old Beatles tune. Hannibal watches the pilot quietly for a few moments and then the words are out before he can stop them.
"How long have you known about Face, Murdock?"
Murdock goes stark white but tries to brush it off, bless him. "Hey, I've always known Facey's got some seriously good plans cookin' in him, boss-man."
Murdock is a good actor; Hannibal could give him credit for that. Trouble was, he wasn't half bad at that particular trade himself.
"I'm not talking about plans, Murdock."
Murdock frowns but nervousness flickers briefly in his eyes. "Don't rightly know what you're talking about, Colonel. I'm just a simple soul, y'know. Sometimes, you gotta lay things out for me in black n'white."
"I'm talking about a little conversation that we had on a certain beach, Captain," Hannibal answers, an edge in his voice.
"We been on lots of beaches, Colonel and had lots of little conversations," Murdock returns lightly. "You gotta make things clear, y'know? So I know the lay of the land and what you're going to do about it."
Damn. Hannibal prepares to say it out loud, that he now knows the secret Face was desperately keeping from him but something in him couldn't quite manage that. That if he did, at this crucial moment in time, things are going to change.
Hannibal doesn't know if he is ready for that.
(But things have changed already, haven't they?)
Honestly, it scares the shit out of him.
He closes his eyes and shakes his head, a low humorless laugh escaping him. And the truth also slips out, unbidden, sneaky bastard that it is. "I don't know yet, Murdock."
Hannibal feels a hand on his shoulder and he turns to regard the other man. There's compassion in those eyes and understanding.
"Then you let it be, Hannibal. You just let it lie 'cause if you can't…"
"I won't hurt him, Murdock," Hannibal interrupts him, the words a promise.
Murdock beams at him. "I know you won't, Hannibal." And then he has the audacity to wink. "It'll be all right, then."
That kind of faith can be infectious; Hannibal know s that from long experience, having it himself in spades. "Sure of that, aren't you?"
"I told you, Colonel, sir – as long as Face has got us, all of us, things'll turn out just fine."
Yeah. That was the key to the whole matter, wasn't it? Trust Murdock to see past the bullshit and into the heart of things, however loopy and twisty the path could be. Still, Hannibal couldn't help but tease the pilot a little. "The Force tell you that?"
Murdock gives him a snappy salute. "Roger, roger, Master Jedi!" And then, just because he could, he added mischievously, "Now all's I gotta do is break out the popcorn because brother, this is going to be one helluva show!"
So a certain Oblivious Colonel around here finally gets hit with the Clue By Four. THANK GOD.
Now, let's see what's he's going to do about that. :P
Face Muse: Do about what?
Me: (petpets the Face Muse) Oh, nothing. Don't you worry your cute little self about it.
Face Muse: (blinks) …
Murdock Muse: Popcorn?
B.A. Muse: Don't hog the bowl, crazy fool – pass me some of that.
Okay, so that's it for The Beatles side of this playlist. We're going to change songs up a little. (giggles)