TITLE: One Lucky Grunt
WARNINGS: Violence / Injury
STORY TYPE: Third Person
CATEGORY: Angst / Hurt & Comfort
LENGTH: One-offDISCLAIMER: The characters are property of Cannell and company.
Face felt the sting hit his shoulder, and fell to the floor quickly as the room was showered with bullets. He looked at his arm, seeing the blood seep from the wound, and closed his hand over it, applying pressure to stop the bleeding.
The whole mission had gone horribly wrong from the start. Hannibal had decided he wanted to take on the underworld's most vicious criminal Dr Allan King, known for his torturing techniques and vicious ways of killing his prey. Face lay behind a sofa, hearing the chopper outside - the man inside reloading and spraying the room with more bullets. The mission was supposed to be easy, not a problem, but the rest of the team had been found out earlier on, and of course King soon made the connection with Peck, and his current alius for his scam, Mr James Hobbey.
The high rise apartment, where Face was hiding was a luxurious complex owned by Dr King himself. The whole scam Face designed had taken a turn for the worse when King recognised his photograph from the news reports, and guessing he was a member of the notorious A-Team had ordered his chopper to pay a surprise visit on Peck. Of course, the team were no-where near to aid him.
The chopper hovered by the room, awaiting signs of life. Face had been totally unprepared for the shower of bullets previously, and was extremely lucky he'd only been hit once. Unfortunately, his right shoulder was hit, and he struggled with his left to load his weapon, gasping at the pain in his shoulder, and trying to concentrate.
If Hannibal could see him now, Peck thought grimly. He clenched his right hand into a fist, and held the gun ready with his left. The chopper remained, hovering near the window, and Peck leaned out firing a volley of bullets into the aircraft suddenly, frightening the pilot so much he nearly lost control.
Cursing, the gunman retaliated, hitting Face in the left arm. Face cursed his bad luck as he struggled to hold the weapon securely, but his fingers would not close around the weapon. He looked around himself for a possible escape route, but the door was too far away, they'd nail him long before his fingers closed around the door knob. If he could open the doorknob at all, the pain was so intense.
Face thought quickly, all the training and experience from Nam quickly filling him with a cold resolve. If he didn't make a move soon, he would be too weak and would fall unconscious. Face knew enough about his wounds to realise he was bleeding badly, and if he didn't get help, could soon die. He forced himself to close his fingers around the weapon bravely, ignoring the pain.
Gathering his strength and willpower, Face fired again at the helicopter, further alarming the pilot who swung the chopper round to gain control again. Face made a run for the door, pulling the knob with slippery fingers drenched in blood. Face began to sweat as he heard further gunshots behind him, but made it to the lift just as Dr King and his thugs rounded a corner, and ran at him. The elevator closed sharply before King could reach Peck and he swore angrily, and ordered his men down the stairs after the fleeing Lieutenant.
Face leant against the elevator, feeling the weapon slip from his hands and fall onto the ground. He knew he was too weak to lift it up again, and decided to concentrate on getting out of the building instead of picking up the gun from the floor. Breathing shallowly, Face reached the basement car park, and staggered out - hearing voices from the stairwell. King was close, and Face had to clear his thoughts, he had to think. Blood was seeping from his shoulder and arm wounds, and his vision was frighteningly unclear.
Peck swallowed nervously, his lips parched as he reached the first car. As luck would happen, the car had not been locked and Peck got inside and breathed relief. Closing the door, Face saw the trail of blood, and knew it would not take King long to find him. Face had hot-wired many vehicles before, but not any under such terrible circumstances. His military training again helped to focus his mind, and the engine began to purr, as Face floored the accelerator and used his last strength to turn the steering wheel. The pain was so intense, Face cried out as the car sped out into the road, the chopper following close behind.
Face felt his vision fading, he was losing consciousness. He glanced around himself and spotted a car phone, again luck was on his side. However, lifting the phone would be the hard part, especially as he needed to keep one hand controlling the steering wheel. Face reached out with his right hand, and fumbled for the phone, shakily dialing BA's van phone.
"Face, that you? How's it going?" The familiar voice of the Colonel spurring him on, giving him strength.
"I've been found out, they made the connection once you guys had been discovered" Face explained horsely, the vehicle evading the spray of bullets fom the chopper more from luck than from Face's driving.
"What's happening, kid? Are you being chased?" Hannibal asked.
"Yes, and I've been shot twice" Face explained, feeling as if he wanted to pull over and go to sleep, be damned with the chopper following. Face felt so overwhelmingly tired.
"Where are you hit, Face?" Hannibal said, the authority in his voice immediately bringing Face to attention.
In my right shoulder and in my left arm" Face said, his face paling as he struggled to hold both the phone and the steering wheel.
"Where are you?" Hannibal asked.
"Freeway 75, just going under the over-pass now."
"Are you driving?"
"Right. Do exactly as I tell you. Don't worry about the chopper following you, head down the road leading to Breaker Pass, and we'll meet you at the fall back spot, the warehouse".
"But I can't lead them to you there" Face gasped, the phone slipped from his grasp and fell at his feet. Face again thought to himself for a moment. Hannibal always had a plan, if he didn't follow orders he would most probably die. And, following Hannibal's orders always saved the team's lives.
Face swerved the car, being glad of two hands holding the wheel again, and headed down the side road seeing the sign for Breaker Pass ahead. His body was sweating terribly, and he desperately held onto the steering wheel, hearing the chopper behind him vaguely, as if through a long tunnel. The car was swerving to each side, as if the occupant was drunk, and he saw the warehouse vaguely up ahead. It looked deserted.
For a moment, a terrible thought flooded Face's mind, that Hannibal had given him false directions to slow King down. Then he saw the chopper rise from behind the warehouse and head towards them.
"Murdock" Face sighed with relief, as a bullet hit the tyre of his car. The vehicle flipped over twice and came to rest the right way up, Face sat unconscious behind the wheel.
Murdock had no time to lose, and let loose with a sharp volley of bullets, catching the chopper off guard before they had a chance to fire at Face again. The chopper turned and fired at Murdock, however Murdock was skillful at evading enemy fire, and retaliated instantly, catching one of the rotars. Had the chopper been any higher, then it would have exploded. As it happened, it came to an ungraceful landing near to Face's wrecked vehicle.
Hannibal and BA ran out, firing at the downed chopper while Murdock circled threateningly overhead. Reaching the damaged vehicle, Hannibal pulled the unconscious Lieutenant from the twisted metal, and dragged him away.
BA kept a watchful eye on the two men who had fired upon Face in the chopper, ordering them to raise their hands in the air.
Hannibal looked at Face. "He's in bad shape, BA. We need to stop this bleeding now or he'll die".
Murdock landed beside the other chopper, and quickly ran over to Hannibal. "What can I do?".
"Take Face to hospital, immediately. Seargeant, tie up those men and get over here". Hannibal and Murdock gently lifted Face and took him over to the chopper. Murdock immediately started the rotars turning, and as they gathered speed BA joined them.
The journey was in silence, all three men feeling guilty about leaving Face to deal with King's wrath. Murdock landed in the car park of one of the larger hospitals, and the team dismounted the chopper, Hannibal and BA carrying Face inside while Murdock ran on ahead to get a doctor.
"What happened? "The doctor asked when he saw Peck in horror.
"This man has been shot twice" Hannibal said, helping BA place Peck on a gurney. The doctor signalled for two nurses.
"Thank you, we'll take it from here".
Hannibal watched helplessly as Face was taken away, into an operating room.
Hannibal listened to the news report on the radio. Dr King had been arrested following some evidence Hannibal had deliberately left for the police, and his men were facing a prison sentance too. It did little to lighten his mood. Three hours since Face had been taken inside, and no news as yet.
BA was pacing the floor, looking helpless as he stared towards the operating room, unable to help his friend inside.
Murdock sat with his head in his hands, chanting Face's name repeatedly.
Hannibal looked nervously as the operating room door opened, and Face was wheeled out. The doctor walked towards them relieved.
"Your friend is going to be alright. He needed blood urgently, we've taken the bullet's out and cleaned and stitched the wounds".
Hannibal sighed gratefully, watching BA and Murdock's reactions to the news. "Thank god".
"It was touch and go, but he's strong. Wouldn't stop fighting" The doctor smiled, seeing the look of pride cross Hannibal's face and replace the fretful expression.
"Of course, can we see him?" Hannibal asked.
"He'll be unconscious for a while, but there's no reason why you can't".
Hannibal signalled for BA and Murdock to follow him, the doctor looked peturbed. "Maybe just one of you for now ..."
"We all going in there sucker!" BA snarled, pushing the doctor to one side so Murdock could pass by.
Face lay, surrounded by machines monitoring his heart on a hospital bed as Hannibal, BA and Murdock quietly entered the room.
Hannibal sat on the bed, while BA drew up a chair close to Face's other side. Murdock stood watching Face's peaceful expresssion.
Hannibal took Face's limp hand and held it tenderly within both of his. "Face? Can you hear us kid. You made it".
The constant bleep of machinery, and the rise and fall of Face's chest were the only noises in the room. Hannibal smiled. "Well done, it was good work. We'll stay in this room till you wake up".
Hannibal looked across at BA and Murdock who nodded. They weren't going anywhere. Face was too vulnerable to leave alone.
Face awoke roughly, and felt his hand pressed warmly between something warm. He opened his eyes and saw Hannibal watching him intently, his hands closed over Face's.
"Welcome back. You really slept, kid".
"Face looked around the room vaguely, at BA and Murdock. He cleared his throat so he could speak clearly "Did you get King?".
Hannibal nodded. "The evidence has put him away for a long time, along with his men. They'll be behind bars for years, and that's not the alcoholic sort either".
Face smiled, and tried not to laugh at Hannibal's small joke. But, he suddenly found it very amusing and laughed out loud, then winced as his shoulder began to ache.
"Guess I could have played that one a little better" Peck confessed.
Hannibal shook his head "It was just bad luck. No-one could have predicted that happening. Just take it as an experience".
Face nodded, and his gaze fell on Murdock "I'd never felt more relieved than when I saw you in that chopper coming towards me".
Murdock smiled, and saluted "Pleasure, Faceyman. Just don't go around driving like a madman again, okay?".
Face grinned. "You can count on that".
Hannibal grinned at the others, and watched as Face settled and closed his eyes to sleep. "We'll take him out of here tomorrow morning".
BA and Murdock nodded their agreement.
As Face began a restless night of sleep, the team watched over him. As morning light descended upon the weary group, Hannibal looked out of the window and sighed.
He thought back to Nam, of the time he had almost lost Face in the prison camp. Only Face's extremely strong will had saved him back then. Just like his willpower had saved him with this recent incident.
"Face, your one lucky grunt" Hannibal smiled, tenderly looking at the sleeping man. "One lucky grunt" he reaffirmed, clutching the limp hand ever tighter to his heart.