TITLE: Team Meeting
WARNINGS: Takes place after the episode 'Family Reunion'
STORY TYPE: Third Person / Episode Spin-off
LENGTH: One-OffDISCLAIMER: The characters are property of Cannell and company.
Hannibal glared at Murdock and Face. They were sat in a small room, Face and Murdock on the couch, BA and Hannibal on the chairs. A small fire was providing little heat, but Murdock and Face didn’t look like they needed warmth. They were flustered.
"OK, out with it" Hannibal commanded, seeing no-one was going to volunteer any information. He turned his piercing glance from Murdock, then to Face, then to Murdock once again.
Face looked at the floor, not knowing what to say. In the last twenty four hours he had found a father who had died before he had discovered this, and he and Murdock had had a huge fight, which resulted in Murdock being pushed to the ground. Murdock looked away, out of the small window. He hadn’t meant to keep the truth from Face, it was a last request from Bancroft. Didn’t Face understand he could never have broken his word?
Face snapped to attention, and tried to look at Hannibal, but his emotions had taken their toll and it was all he could do to keep the tears from falling.
Hannibal felt exasperated. He looked over at BA who merely shrugged his mighty shoulders, and made a move to switch on the television. BA stopped when he saw the look in Hannibal’s eyes which implied his future wouldn’t look too good if he turned the switch. BA sighed and sat back into the chair and focused on Murdock and Face.
"Just tell the man, suckers. I’m missing my football match!" BA’s angry tone made Face start, and BA instantly regretted it when he saw Face’s sorrow. BA wasn’t an emotional man at all, but he could tell when one of the team members was suffering. That made him angry, and softened his attitudes momentarily with them.
Murdock sighed dramatically, and leaned back. He caught Hannibal’s eyes, and held the gaze evenly.
"Its something that happened recently. It involved myself and Murdock" Face at last said, reluctant to give away the details.
"You two aren’t gettin’ married are you?" BA chuckled, determined to add some light humour to the despondant voices of the two men.
Murdock smiled over at BA. "No, Billy’d be jealous".
Hannibal looked at Face, still preoccupied with his own thoughts. "Face, we’re a team. Don’t you trust us enough to tell us what happened? This is making you vulnerable, kid. We need to know so we can help you.”
Face sighed, knowing Hannibal was right. "AJ Bancroft was my father." he finally said.
Hannibal looked surprised for a moment, and then sat back in his chair and looked thoughtful.
"Bancroft’s your dad?" BA asked incredulously.
Face nodded. "Murdock found out when AJ dropped a picture of me and Ellen. AJ begged Murdock to keep silent until he had a chance to tell me himself, only he died before that happened"
Hannibal nodded. "Your upset you didn’t get to know him?"
Face didn’t reply, but Hannibal knew he had touched on the truth. He looked over at BA who shrugged his shoulders again.
Hannibal was touched by Face’s plight. It seemed all the years (and tears) of being an abandoned orphan had ended rather ironically. Reaching forward, he covered Face’s trembling hand with his own and held it firmly. Face looked up in surprise, but accepted this comforting gesture gladly, and allowed the gentle pressure against his hand as he looked at Hannibal.
"I just didn’t know how to tell you" Face said weakly. The truth dawned on Hannibal, Face was feeling guilty about his lack of trust.
"You wamt to know something kid?" Hannibal asked, clearing his throat to cover the pain of his own past. "My father died when I was fourteen. He meant the world to me, and all I have now are fading memories, but ......" Hannibal made a sweeping gesture with his free hand, including BA, Murdock and Face. "..... I do have another family now"
Face smiled. "I know I have a family, I guess I really wanted a father".
Hannibal felt a little wounded by the comment, as he had always provided a father-figure to Face in the past. He allowed the feeling of hurt to pass, grappled with his emotions before speaking again.
"You’ll always have a father Face" Hannibal held Face’s hand tighter at this point "And two annoying brothers who squabble a lot"
Face laughed, and blinked away the sudden tears.
"What you sayin’, fool" BA said. "I don’t squabble!"
"Hannibal was merely referring to the fact that you have what is commonly considered ..... a bad attitude" Murdock said, in a startlingly realistic British accent. "We are not amused!"
"I have not!!!" BA started to sit up, his fists ready, and Hannibal gestured him to sit back down with a slight smile.
"See what you mean" Face smiled, and settled more comfortably onto the couch.
"We’re your family Face, that’s what matters" Hannibal said.
Face nodded, and sighed contentedly. "So is this team meeting adjourned, Colonel?"
Hannibal shook his head. "This family talk is over"
Murdock rubbed his hands together gleefully. "Makes me feel all safe and cosy!"
Hannibal laughed, then looked over towards BA. "Now you can turn on the TV, BA"