Something Better Left Unknown

Hannibal spends three hours with the Generals. They agree to Bosco being reinstated after some cajoling, but Murdock is a sticking point. They have his medical file, there's page after page of doctors notes -delusions, psychotic breaks, schizophrenia, suicidal tendencies, hallucinations. It's all there, page after page after page. The list of tried treatments is unreal but Hannibal is still fighting for it.

He refuses to back down, not after he'd seen the boy fly.

"There's no possible way we can allow this man in the field, Smith. He's nuts." He's been going round in circles, every time Hannibal thinks he's getting somewhere they look down at his file and it starts again.

"One chance," Hannibal is willing to bet they'll give him the chance, if only to prove that they're right and he's wrong. But he's not wrong, and he knows he can turn this boy, this man, into a solider again. He can do it. "Just one chance." They exchange glances, Hannibal looks to Russ for some back-up, even if it is reluctant.

"One chance can't hurt." Hannibal gets his chance.

"If he can pass the psych eval." With a stiff nod and a stiffer salute, Hannibal turns and walks out. The psych eval is Monday, he's got three days to get Murdock ready for it.

"It's easy," Hannibal is sitting on the crate of pots, watching Murdock sit stock still on the chair while Face leans on the pilots shoulders, hands dangling in front of the Captain's face. B.A is just shaking his head. "All you have to do is make them believe it."

The kid is probably Murdock's best bet at getting through this, and after Hannibal's two failed attempts at a dry run for the psych eval, Face stepped up. "So, no matter what's really there, they don't see it." The kid could con his way through an election. "Now, here's what we're gonna do."

Rather than send H.M 'Howling Mad' Murdock into that room on Monday, Face is building Murdock into someone else, talking him through every step of the con, convincing Murdock that he is sane -even if it's just for a little while. It's a long shot, and Hannibal is worried it's just going to do more damage than good. But for two days, Murdock is the spitting image of sanity, and Face is a smug little shit on Monday when the shrinks are scratching their heads and Murdock gets a nice big stamp over his medical record.

Hannibal has his team. And that night none of them have socks. Murdock's production of Romeo and Juliet is a little bit off the wall, but maybe he's just making up for lost time.

/

Face ends up in medical four weeks later, they're carefully pulling the glass out the bottom of his foot and cleaning the cuts. When they ask what happened he claims he dropped a bottle and then walked over it on his way to get a bin to clean it up. He's terrible at remembering where to put his feet, he says, completely forgot why he even wanted the bin, he claims.

Hannibal leans against the wall, cigar in his mouth watching everything carefully. B.A is keeping Murdock in their tent, away from anyone's questions while Face gets cleaned up. Hannibal helps the Lieutenant hobble back to their tent, ignoring the comments from anyone along the way. The second they step through the flap to the tent, Murdock is up like a shot.

"Oh, Facey, I'm sorry. I didn't think, I was just, and there was..." Face places a hand on Murdock's shoulder, Hannibal letting the Captain take over supporting Face as he limps towards his cot.

"It's fine, it's fine, just," there's a slight pull to Face's expression, like he's considering what to tell the Captain, "just tell Captain Ha-Khee-Tee of the Wakuma Tribe that I'm not the walking on glass type." Murdock wipes at the war paint on his cheek, shaking his head slightly.

"Captain Ha-Khee-Tee is taking a very long vacation, Facey."

/

There's nothing routine about the 'routine' blood work that the medic staff declare they need to do. Murdock is pulled in before Face or B.A, despite him being higher ranking and therefore technically after them as far as rota's go.

Just a blood work test, they say. Just to see that everything is in order, no blood disease, no drugs. It's the drugs that Murdock isn't supposed to need anymore, the ones that Face has been scamming for nine weeks. Hannibal sits in as they draw the blood from Murdock, the Captain is anxious and babbling slightly. The nurse looks just a little wary at the subject matter coming out of Murdock's mouth.

"He doesn't really like needles." Hannibal explains, getting a small whine from Murdock. In truth, Murdock is nervous, he's nervous and scared and Hannibal can see it all over the Captain's face.

The nurse draws the blood, labels the test tube and slots it among the random others. She places a small bandaid over the needle mark and gives Murdock a smile telling him he can leave. Hannibal isn't surprised at how fast Murdock is out of there and in their tent again. He sits on his cot for nearly five hours, B.A just watching, Hannibal keeping a close eye.

It's hour six when Face stumbles into the tent, a little ruffled but grinning and gives Hannibal a nod, "Sorted." Murdock doesn't stir.

Two days later and everything is declared fine, although Murdock is asked back for a booster shots. The pilot is a little surprised, "I don't get it." Hannibal claps a hand on Murdock's shoulder, giving a reassuring squeeze.

"Sometimes, it's what they're not looking for that helps." If anyone did a DNA test against Murdock's sample, it would come back Bosco Baracus, but Hannibal's confident that Face would've found a way to sweet talk the nurse around that one too.

/

Hannibal actually has to grip the frame to keep from sliding from the seat, Face is groaning something about dying in an inferno and B.A is blissfully unaware of everything. It's just as well, Hannibal isn't sure he could handle B.A's yelling along with the loud singing.

"Oh, you, pretty chitty bang-bang, pretty chitty bang-bang we love you. And our, pretty chitty bang-bang, chitty chitty bang-bang loves us too." They tilt to the side, smoke coiling all up around the side of the chopper as the warning alarms blare inside and Murdock just sings louder.

"Captain!" They're getting dangerously close to the buildings and Face sounds like he's ready to hurl.

"Chitty!" It's a jerk of the controls and Murdock pulls them upwards into a sudden climb and there's the loud noise of a crash and explosion even as Murdock twists them away from the hot zone. They make it to the compound and only to the compound before the chopper gives up and chugs it's last, not landing so much as collapsing.

Face is out of the air craft and across the sand in seconds, holding his stomach and swearing to never get in the air with Murdock again while Hannibal finally loosens his grip.

"Wasn't that fun?" Sometimes Hannibal wonders if he did the right thing.

/

Sometimes, Murdock wakes with a scream. Sometimes it's so toe curling that the nearby neighbours wake up too. Sometimes Murdock is a panting, gasping, sweating wreck with wild eyes and shaking like he's freezing. Sometimes B.A and Face nearly tumble out of the tent, B.A screaming at Face while Face screams back even louder. Neither care that they're hardly dressed, they're just all about making a scene, about drawing the attention. They'll even throw punches if they need to.

It's Hannibal that stays with Murdock, slow movements, hushed tone. It's Hannibal's hand on Murdock's shoulder, stroking softly, moving to the back of the pilots neck and gently massaging out the tension, drawing Murdock towards him slowly. It's Hannibal that Murdock leans against, hands moving to cling at shoulders, face buried against Hannibal's neck.

Sometimes that's all it takes, sometimes all Murdock needs is the reassurance that someone is there, that he's not alone. Other times, Murdock whines just that way against Hannibal's neck and the Colonel just knows, it needs to be something more.

Hannibal doesn't know what it is that Murdock dreams, doesn't know what memories it is that causes this near feverish desperation. All he knows is that sometimes, with these dreams, these memories, these nightmares, Murdock needs that something more. Murdock needs the hand to run up his spine, needs the hand in his hair, needs the lips against his, needs the body against his.

Sometimes Murdock needs Hannibal to bite his throat, sometimes Murdock needs Hannibal to stroke him to arousal and kiss his lips swollen. Sometimes Murdock just needs to give up and let Hannibal take care of him.

While Face and B.A argue and fight and brawl outside, Murdock clings to Hannibal's shoulders and gasps the Colonel's name, weeping through climax as Hannibal gives the only reassurance that Murdock will take.

Sometimes, after Face and B.A 'make up' and make another scene, Hannibal holds Murdock against his chest and promises no more nightmares. At least for now.

/

Disclaimer: The A-Team does not belong to me. They belong to themselves and their creators. No money was made from this.