"Captain Bellybuster - Missing Scene"

By KiraJenLove

Rated K

DISCLAIMER: I do not own The Greatest American Hero, nor any of its characters. No profit is being made by their use. This fanfic is strictly for fun. The conversations in italics are quoted directly from the episodes "Captain Bellybuster" and "Saturday Night on Sunset Blvd", respectively.

SUMMARY: Carlisle makes a realization that you and I have probably already made.

"Let me give you a little piece of advice, if you don't mind it," Carlisle offered to Bill Maxwell in his usual condescending manner, "I would PRODUCE this guy in the red tights, and I would be prepared to PROVE to the psychiatric review board that he FLIES, and lifts trucks and stuff! 'Cause if you don't, Bill, I've got a terrible feeling you're gonna find yourself in a padded room with a bunch of crayons."

"There's a perfectly reasonable and rational explanation for all this stuff, sir," Bill countered. "Obviously, maybe I'm just a little thin on the details right now…"

"Bill, are those your current cases?"

"Oh yeah, you said you wanted to - "

" - relieve you of ALL extra responsibilities so you can devote your FULL time and attention to finding this clown in the tights! Who FLIES!"

"Very decent of you, sir."

"Least I could do. Good hunting, soldier."

After Bill left, Carlisle was left to ponder this bizarre turn of events. There it was, on the front page of the Daily Galaxy - an alleged photo of a man flying through the sky - facing away from the camera. The article had gone on to say that Bill Maxwell was attempting to "censor" the photographer, and that the FBI was "hiding" this "secret weapon". This was all news to Carlisle, and he didn't appreciate it. He didn't like being blindsided with news like this. A guy in red tights! Who FLIES! Who does he think he's kidding? The Daily Galaxy was not known to be a well-respected paper. More like something you'd see in the checkout line at the local grocery store. The photo was obviously faked. Why would Bill Maxwell try to "censor" a false story? It didn't make any sense. Implicating the FBI made it even worse, and brought shame to the organization.

Carlisle sat in his chair and tried to clear his mind, but it was impossible. A nagging thought in the back of his mind kept pestering him. A guy in a red suit…..why did that seem so familiar to him? He seemed to recall a rather harrowing event some time ago that involved a guy in a red suit. The incident even led to him needing to take a lie detector test, during which he was desperately, almost violently trying to explain the test results, but they wouldn't listen to him. They thought he was crazy!

Carlisle sat back and tried to recall the incident. He remembered that this nut with curly blond hair in what appeared to be a red supersuit crashed through the door of the office. He did so much damage! Out in the hallway as well! It took two days to clean that mess up. He pulled his gun, then he remembered the young man sliding over the counter and walking directly toward him, as if with a purpose in mind. The conversation that followed began to coalesce in his mind:

"Who are you?"

"I'm looking for the case file you're working on."

"Just like that? You kick in the door, you want a Top-Secret security file?"

"Just like that. Is that it there?"

Carlisle fired his weapon, and he couldn't believe what he witnessed next! The bullet bounced off the man's chest, ricocheted around the room, knocking a picture of J. Edgar Hoover askew, to come to a rest on the floor between his feet. Carlisle was dumbstruck. He looked slowly back up at the young man.

"I was through with it anyway."

"Thought so."

And then Carlisle witnessed something he would never forget - the man ran and crashed through the window - out the freakin' window! And he FLEW! This was no suicide! The jerk was actually FLYING!

This realization finally began to hit Carlisle as he began to put two and two together. Of course! It MUST be the same guy! I KNOW I wasn't crazy when I saw him! And I SAW him! The bullet bounced off his chest! He FLEW! I know what I saw!

And as this realization dawned on him, other realizations began to appear as well, as the young man's face, and especially that unusual hair came into sharper focus. I've SEEN this guy before! Bill has brought him into the Bullpen a few times! I'm SURE of it! But he wasn't wearing the suit! I'm SURE it's the same guy!

Carlisle hurried over to a file cabinet to pull Maxwell's record. He found it and pulled it out. Hmmmm, he read. Known associates…Pamela Davidson, attorney…Ralph Hinckley, schoolteacher…Whitney High School. That's GOT to be him!

"Mr. Hinckley," said Carlisle smugly, "You and I are going to have a little chat."

Ralph had just come home from a trying day at school. He loosened his tie and set his briefcase down on the sofa, then started toward the kitchen to search for a snack. Suddenly, he heard a knock at the door. He rolled his eyes. "Come in, Bill!" he called, irritated. When there was no answer, Ralph strode impatiently to the door and opened it. He was certainly not expecting the visitor on the other side.

"Oh, Mr. Carlisle!" he said. "I'm sorry, but Bill's not here."

"Oh, that's alright, Mr. Hinckley," Carlisle responded with his usual Cheshire grin, "I wasn't looking for him. I actually came to speak with you."

"With me?" he asked. Ralph thought that maybe Carlisle needed some information for some case Bill was working on, and thought Ralph might have some details. What info did Carlisle think he could get from him? "Please, come in," Ralph said.

Carlisle entered the house, strode slowly into the living room and turned to face Ralph. Best to get right to the point. "I know who you are, Mr. Hinckley," he stated accusingly, that sly smile never leaving his face.

Ralph was somewhat taken aback, and looked at him quizzically. "Excuse me?"

"You're the guy in the red tights, aren't you? The guy who flies? And stops bullets with his chest? Don't you dare deny it!" He pointed a finger at Ralph.

Suddenly, Ralph's heart was in his throat. What do I say to this guy? He's asking me point blank! How am I supposed to come up with a scenario off the top of my head? One that he'd believe? Carlisle is a sharp cookie - he'd know right away if I was lying…what do I do? The questions swam in his head. Should I tell him the truth? I really wish Bill was here…

Carlisle continued. "You're the guy who crashed into my office and demanded a case file I was holding! Do you remember that? I shot you in the chest, and the bullet bounced off! I was there, I know it happened! And then you flew out the window!" Carlisle's cold blue eyes were starting to look half-crazed.

Ralph stepped a few paces away from Carlisle with his hands on his hips, his head down, trying to think of a solution. Finally, it came to him that he really had no choice. He slowly turned around to face Carlisle.

"Mr. Carlisle -"

"AGENT Carlisle…"

"Er…agent Carlisle…for the sake of your sanity and your own best interest, I would highly advise you to forget what you saw that day." He thought he'd take his cue from Bill - it was the line he always used on criminals who got an eyeful of what the magic jammies could do.

Suddenly, Carlisle whipped out his semiautomatic and aimed it at Ralph. Ralph's eyes grew wide as he took a few steps back in fear. "Now Mr. Carlisle, there's no need for…"

"I could shoot you now," he threatened, that crazy look still in his eyes.

Ralph suddenly looked defeated. "Yes," he said. "Yes, you could shoot me now. I'm not wearing the suit. I would die, and you would leave my son without a father, my wife without a husband, and my students without a teacher, and you would go to prison for murdering an innocent man. Do you really want to do that?"

Carlisle's look faded, as he slowly put the gun back in his holster. So, the guy was not impervious without the suit. Just a normal guy.

"So, these powers, they are in the suit? It isn't you?"

"No, it's not me. I'm just a regular guy. I was given the suit, and it only works on me." Ralph looked down and took a breath. "I'm the reason why Agent Maxwell has a 98% kill ratio. I'm his'secret weapon'."

Carlisle's eyebrows raised. Now things are beginning to make sense! "Who gave it to you?"

"You wouldn't believe me if I told you."

"Try me." That wicked grin returned.

HALF AN HOUR LATER…

Carlisle sat there with his mouth agape, his blue eyes staring at Ralph in disbelief. He wasn't quite sure how to process all this. It was obvious that the suit was real – Ralph even donned it and gave him a demonstration. But aliens? What other explanation worked? As far as he knew, this suit was of a technology that was far, far beyond any human capability – and it was real, it was right here in front of his face. This was a serious paradigm shift that he was going to have to deal with.

Ralph looked at Carlisle expectantly. "Well, agent Carlisle," he began, "Now that you know, what are you going to do?" He looked hopefully at the agent, with a tinge of fear. The last thing they wanted was for news of this to get out. Bill was not going to be happy about this – not one iota. He continued. "It is extremely important that this information remains secure – no one else must know about this suit."

Carlisle seemed to be lost in thought. "You and agent Maxwell will continue as you have before. Somehow you have managed to keep this suit a secret even from me for the past 2 years. Keep doing what you are doing, and have Bill write up his reports just as he has been doing, and I will no longer question him about how he gets such a high kill ratio. I will not investigate his explanations." As he stood up to leave, he patted Ralph once on the back. "Just keep up the good work. I'll speak to Agent Maxwell later."

"Thank you, sir," Ralph replied, as he showed Carlisle to the door. "You have no idea how much this means to us." Carlisle nodded, shook Ralph's hand, and left, leaving a rather shaken Ralph to deal with what just occurred, wondering if he had done the right thing. "No," he said to himself, "Bill's not going to like this at all..."

THE END