*TITLE: No Breakfast For Me Today *
*AUTHOR: Hannurdock *
*RATING: PG-13 *
*WARNINGS: Eating Disorders only. One of my cousins has suffered with Anorexia, and a few friends in the past. They were pale, always sick and very, very thin. So thin you could have put your two thumbs and middle fingers around their waist. Its horrific and true, men are less susceptible, but it doesn't mean that they are completely safe. Someone as fashion conscious and good looking as Face, I could definately see having a problem as urgent as this in my strange imagination!!! *
*STORY TYPE: Third Person *
*CATEGORY: Angst, Drama *
*LENGTH: One-off *
*DISCLAIMER: The characters are property of Cannell and company
Face sat over the toilet, bringing two fingers into the back of his throat - forcing himself to be repeatedly sick. Finally, shaken, he sat down and composed himself.
His mouth tasted awful. Forcing himself to his feet, Face studied his reflection in the bathroom mirror - shocked at what he saw.
He stood naked, his bones jutting from his tight skin like a skeleton. Only, Face did not see a skeleton in front of him. Face was shocked becuase all he could see was fat, his body was covered in layers of fat. Feeling terribly ill again, Face threw up. Crying softly becuase his stomach was bringing up acid and hurting the back of his mouth, Face sobbed helplessly - he had never felt so alone.
Hannibal pounded on the bathroom door. Face had been in there for almost half an hour, as usual. "Lieutenant, other people need to use the bathroom. You can't keep hogging it to yourself".
The door opened and Face walked out as pale as death, fully clothed. "I am sick, okay?".
Hannibal felt the tone of reproach in Face's voice, and immediately felt guilty. "Your excused. Go get some breakfast, you look awful".
Face smiled weakly and rather ironically, and wandered down the stairs shakily, and walked through the living room, into the kitchen. Murdock was cooking breakfast, his usual cocktail of fatty foods Face detested. Face felt his stomach churn, as he sat next to BA.
"You okay man? You don't look too good" BA said, a hint of concern visible through the scowl.
"I don't feel like breakfast" Face complained, looking at the fried eggs Murdock was making.
Murdock turned around hurt. "Oh, thank you. I slave every day to make you guys a cooked breakfast. And that's the thanks I get?".
Face felt guilty. "I'm so sorry Murdock. I've been terribly sick this morning. I don't feel like breakfast at all".
Murdock immediately changed his expression from one of hurt to one of concern. "How you feeling then?"
"Like my stomach has exploded" Face said bluntly. Murdock sighed and turned away to continue cooking breakfast.
Hannibal arrived at the breakfast table. "Well, no clients needing our help this week. Looks like we'll be holed up here for a while".
Face groaned aloud before realising he had done it, three pairs of concerned eyes immediately turned to him. Without a word, Face rose and left the breakfast table.
"What's up with Face?" Hannibal asked.
"He was feeling sick" BA explained.
"I know. He said he'd been sick though" Hannibal said worriedly.
"Its probably a bug" BA said.
Hannibal nodded, and accepted this as an answer. However, he had a terrible gut feeling Face was hiding something from them.
Face lay, shaking and alone, throwing up in the toilet. He could still smell the fried bacon and eggs, and each time he did he felt nausia overwhelm him.
The firm hands on his shoulders startled him for a moment, until he realised it was Hannibal standing over him, concerned. As he continued to vomit, he felt assured he would not collapse. Shaken and disoriented he vaguely heard Hannibal's urgent request for Murdock to phone for an ambulance immediately.
Face lay back, almost falling into Hannibal's arms, and felt himself lifted.
"Jesus, Face. You weigh nothing. What the fuck are you doing to yourself?" Hannibal asked, carrying Face over to the bedroom. Once inside the room, Hannibal stripped Face's clothes off to replace his day clothes with some light pyjamas.
He cried out in horror at the sight which befell his eyes. Naked, Face looked like a wraithe, a body of skin and bones, no strength, no muscle tone, only bones jutting out as if they would split the skin and jump out of the body on their own accord at any moment.
Murdock entered the room, and paled visibly at the terrible sight. "Facey, what the hell have you done to yourself?".
Face looked at them all weakly. "How big am I?".
Hannibal reached down and shook Face gently by the shoulders. "Face! Your not big! Your too thin. You have nothing left! What the hell have you done?".
Face looked so miserable, Hannibal released him. The sound of the ambulance echoed through the building and Hannibal looked sternly at Face. "You are going to hospital, where Doctors can diagnose what I think I know you have".
Face looked perplexed. "What do I have, Hannibal?".
"Anorexia" Hannibal explained, almost choking as he said the word.
Face was reluctant to get in the ambulance and go to hospital, but Hannibal practically carried him to the ambulance - and Face was too weak to protest strongely. Hannibal rode with Face to the Hospital, whilst Murdock and BA followed closely in the van.
Upon reaching the Hospital, Face was examined by a doctor thoroughly. Hannibal hated himself for forcing Face to the hospital. Face hated doctors, and distrusted the medical establishment. The doctor came back, walking agonisingly slowly. The diagnosis was as Hannibal expected, even as he hated listening to what he already knew.
"How long has he been suffering?" The doctor asked. "He won't give any information over".
"A while, I think. Must have taken some time to get that bony. He has lost all his muscle tone. Weeks, months, I can't be certain. All I know is he's driving himself into an early grave and there is nothing I can do about it" Hannibal sighed.
"Its a psychological illness. I would recommend him seeing a psyciatrist. We'll feed him here for a while, intravenously if necessary. If he refuses to go and get help, he'll be here a lot".
Murdock's eyes shone as he heard the word psyciatrist. "I know someone who can help. He's brilliant with people, and has extra incentives for people he helps - such as trips to hawaii, all the standard stuff".
"Richter? That's a good idea, he knows our situation. Has he dealt with anything like this before, Murdock?" Hannibal asked.
Murdock shook his head unsure, but his eyes sparkled, loyal and bright "I'd trust Richter with any of the team. He'll know how to handle it".
And so, it came to pass that a week later, Face was dragged into Richter's posh little office at the VA, kicking and screaming.
Face was burning with hurt and anger. Not only had he been force fed for the past week, but now the team were forcing him to visit Richter. His luck couldn't get much worse, and he forced himself not to believe he was seriously ill.
Richter smiled as Face threw a tantrum, and wouldn't sit down until BA forced him down. It took little effort on BA's part, as Face was very weak.
"Shut yer yap, and listen to the doctor" BA ordered, his hand turning into a fist.
"Up yours, BA" Face shouted, refusing to give in.
BA turned away, and did the 'OK' sign at Hannibal "Subject seated sir"
"Fucking hell, this is like interrogation" Face grumbled. He refused to look at Richter.
"Face? I would prefer you to look at me, if you can" Richter said softly, watching the uncomfortable young man.
"If I can" Face groaned, his face turning ashen. He had been force fed by Hannibal this morning, and the food churned in his stomach, wanting to come back up. However, he turned and looked Richter straight on.
Richter smiled, using reverse psycology had worked. He had played on Face's mental strength, which was very high. By saying 'if you can', Face felt obliged to prove a point that he could look Richter straight on.
"Want to tell me what your doing here, Lieutenant?" Richter asked, his tone as soft but in a very stern voice,the surprising formality of rank pulled Face to attention.
"They say I'm sick" Face murmered, his mind still swimming in the confusion of this military doctor pulling rank with him. What rank? This man wasn't a Colonel. Face found the light at the end of the tunnel, and looked at Richter with wary eyes.
"Physically sick, or mentally sick?" Richter asked.
Face flashed Richter a dazzling smile. Richter didn't fall for it, he fell silent for a while, studying Face for a moment.
Then he got up, and walked over to a cupboard. He smirked at Face. "I have something that will make you laugh"
Face looked at the smirk, and smiled naturally without thinking. He watched as Richter pulled something quite tall out of the cupboard, and kept it hidden behind his back. Richter signalled to Hannibal, who indicated for Face to get up and follow the doctor to a mirror.
Face looked grimly at his own reflection staring back at him. "That's it?"
Richter shook his head, trying not to laugh. "I think you've made a mistake son"
Richter held up the object next to Face, and Peck burst into laughter upon seeing it. "A fucking fake skeleton? What is this?"
Richter shrugged, an easy gesture, putting Face at ease. "Lift up your shirt Face ..."
Face lifted his shirt. He looked at the ribs poking through the tight skin, and then at the skeleton. "What?"
Richter seemed to think for a moment, and then he drew back. "To me, there isn't much difference. What do you think Face?"
Face looked at the fake skeleton, and at his own tight skin. Still he couldn't make the connection.
"I don't get it" Face finally said, going back to his seat instinctively, all rebellion replaced by curiosity. As much as his brain was telling him different, something struck a deep chord of truth.
Richter fumbled in his drawer for some crayons. Face began to laugh again.
Richter smiled, and passed a black crayon to Face. "Draw yourself, Face. I want to see what YOU think you look like"
Face smirked, and proceded to draw something which resembled the Good Year blimp. Richter burst out laughing, and Face looked up angrily. "What!???"
"Face, can't you see?" Richter finally said.
"See what?" Face asked, becoming infuriated.
"See this" Richter delved into his magic drawer once again, and fished out a photograph of Face, healthy and happy, smiling. "This is healthy".
Richter pointed to Hannibal, who pulled out a recent photograph of Face, all skin and bones. Face shuddered as he compared the two photographs, his mind finally making the connection. He looked frightened at Richter, who smiled easily at the young man. It was finally going in.
"What the fuck have I done" Face murmered, his mind refusing to believe the happy smiling healthy man in the one photo was anything related to the ancient relic in the second.
Face felt his stomach churn. "What the fuck have I done ....?"
"You've made yourself very ill" Richter said simply. The simple truth struck the vital chord deep inside Face, the answer he'd been looking for. He looked terrified at Hannibal, then BA and finally Murdock.
"I'm sorry" Face stammered. Hannibal put a reassuring arm on Face's shoulder.
"What can I do?" Face asked, looking directly at Richter.
"Eat properly. Might be hard, your body is unbalanced. But if you keep at it, have a breakfast, lunch and supper daily, you'll be back to your old self in no time".
Inspired by the simple truth, coupled with Richter's obvious experience with these matters, Face resolved his decision there and then. Richter smiled, knowing he had been successful.
Two months later, Face sat in a restaurant, accompanied with a young woman. She was prettty, and lively, and slightly overweight. Face looked at her, in love.
"Face, you always take me to such lavish restaurants" Clare said, finishing her desert, and looking at the handsome man before her. "Better stop though, I don't want to put on too much weight"
Face looked at her, and for once smiled genuinly, without the flash. "It won't harm you, kiddo. You look perfect to me".
Clare smiled, blushing steadily with the compliament. "I think you are too, Templeton"
Face winked. "Of course! Shall we retire to the hotel?"
Clare nodded, the lust rising in her expression "My thoughts exactly"
Face took Clare's arms, leading her out of the restaurant. Along the way they stopped at a nightclub, and finally got back a little later than intended. "Its getting late, Tempelton. Its half twelve" Clare said, looking at her watch as they reached the hotel.
Face whistled in amazement. "Half twelve. The next day already"
The receptionist leaned over the counter. "Would you like breakfast in your room, sir?"
Clare laughed "After what I've just eaten!!"
Face smiled, feeling full and happy. He smiled luxuriously, thinking of the four course meal they had just devoured. "I guess Clare is right. Thanks for asking, but no breakfast for me today".
Dedicated to those who have suffered with an eating disorder.
May you see soon the error of your ways before it is too late. By the way, my cousin has put on weight at last!
She's now six stone.