TITLE: The Wrong Move
WARNINGS: Character Death (supposed) / Angst / Betrayal
STORY TYPE: Third Person
CATEGORY: Angst / AU / Drama
LENGTH: One-offDISCLAIMER: The characters are property of Cannell and company.
Stockwell entered the room, looking carefully at the four men watching him intently.
"Good afternoon, Gentleman" Stockwell said, as brightly as he could.
Hannibal wearily shook his head. "Good for some, I suppose".
Stockwell smiled, although inside he was feeling dismal. Since Lieutenant Tempelton Peck had been killed on a suicide mission three months ago, none of the team had treated him with any respect since.
Murdock looked away. His heart was beginning to cope with a loss so overwhelming, but his mind was torn completely. He hated the sight of Stockwell, hated his manner, and his ego. Murdock felt vulnerable, weaker than he'd ever felt in his life. He could see Face lying lifeless in the ditch clearly in his mind, as if the event had happened only yesterday, and not three months ago.
Murdock let his mind wander over the terrifying turn of events. Hannibal had called the retreat. The enemy had been overwhelming, the odds truly against them this time. Lady luck had disappeared, leaving them facing a frantic retreat.
Hannibal had taken a bullet to the right arm. Undeterred, he moved his weapon to the left arm and continued spraying the ground with bullets, covering the team's retreat.
They hadn't seen the sniper tailing them from a balcony. Only when Face went down with a shot in the back did Hannibal realise he had miscalculated his situation badly. He shouted to Peck, who had fell with a sickening thud to the ground, firing at the sniper as he did so. As usual, Face's aim was perfect, the sniper fell over the balcony with a bullet in his head. Face struggled to get to his feet, as the welcome sound of a chopper alerted the team to the fact that Murdock had arrived.
Frankie reached back, and pulled Face to his feet. Face had stumbled, his legs not co-operating, and BA had ran back then, grabbing Face with one arm and hoisting him over his left shoulder. Hannibal covered BA and Frankie, as they rushed Face to the chopper.
Bullets darted around the four men, and they finally reached the chopper. Frankie was the first to realise that Face had been shot a further two times, and his lips were blue.
"BA, he's not breathing!" Frankie said, fear in his voice.
Hannibal ran up to them. "What's that Santana?".
"Face, he aint breathing!" Frankie shot Hannibal a worried look.
"Cover us, Murdock! Santana!" Hannibal ordered as himself and BA started mouth-to-mouth. After three minutes of continuous breathing and pounding on the young man's chest, BA and Hannibal swapped places, and continued. Refusing to give up.
Finally Hannibal stopped BA from pounding Face's chest, and shook his head. "No, BA. No more. He's gone".
BA looked aghast at Hannibal "Say what? Are you gonna give up?".
Hannibal put a hand on BA's shoulder. "We have to get out of here. I'm sorry BA, we'll take him back to Langley, bury him there".
Murdock looked amazed, and shook his head. Face dead? Never! As the chopper took off, the three men in the back reliving the horror of the tragedy, Face's limp body rolled off the chopper, and landed in the soft grass.
A small thud of panic entered Hannibal's mind, and he tried to clamber out to retrieve Face's lifeless form. BA held him back.
"Don't do it man, he's gone!" BA shouted above the roar of the chopper's rotar's. Hannibal sat back, broken and closed his eyes, banging his head helplessly against the metal confines of the chopper's interior for once feeling completely helpless.
Murdock snapped back to reality with a jolt, and did look at Stockwell for a moment, feeling like he was about to tell the guy to fuck off.
"Gentleman. We have some unexpected news" Stockwell said. "According to my resources, Lieutenant Tempelton Peck was not killed. He is alive, and completely unaware of who he really is, and .....".
Hannibal sat up, open-mouthed and wide eyed. "And what Stockwell?".
Stockwell continued "....he's working for the other side".
BA prepared the van in a haze, not truly comprehending what he'd been told. Face alive? How could that be? He had been killed in front of them. Sick at heart, BA realised that it must have been the other side that had rescucitated him, fed him lies about who he was, and then turned him against his own high principles. The van now ready, BA sighed and took his place behind the wheel, determined this time to bring Face back .... alive or dead.
Hannibal prepared the weapons with Murdock. Both men were in silence, contemplating the mission before them. Stockwell had said that the mission was a basic straight in, straight out. Get Face and bring him out. Nothing more, nothing less.
Murdock was silently screming inside, his mind shattered by the unexpected news. He remembered the heartache the team had endured in the last three months, every beat of his heart had been painful. He closed his eyes, not wishing to see the painful vision in his mind of the last time they had seen Face.
Hannibal loaded the weapons carefully and assembled a selection of heavy artillary on the table before him. As each weapon was readied, Hannibal passed them to Frankie, who was putting them carefully into the van.
Frankie tried to remain calm, knowing that the team may be facing possible suicide, and didn't say a word about the discomfort he felt. He closed his eues bravely and thought of Face, the conman so bright and full of life - yet he had been extinguished like a simple flame. Frankie sighed. Having come to terms with Face's death he now had to accept the opposite - Face was alive.
Without saying a word Hannibal, Murdock and Frankie entered the van, and sat quietly. BA slammed on the accelerator, eager to leave as soon as possible.
The van stopped short of the compound. Hannibal felt sick, the memories of three months earlier assaulting him like a tidal wave. An onslaught of unpleasant memories washed over them all.
The four men prepared their own weapons, and then Hannibal took the lead. The fence was still damaged from when they had attacked the compound three months prior, and the four men wriggled under, and made their way to the heart of the compound, where a meeting was being held.
Hannibal signalled for the four men to split up. They ambushed two men on patrol, and took the clothes. Hannibal and Murdock quickly put them over their own clothes, and entered the room where the meeting was held, looking around themselves.
Murdock spotted Face first, and signalled to Hannibal. They both made their way towards the young man, careful not to raise suspician.
The meeting suddenly broke, without warning, and Murdock and Hannibal mingled with the men, keeping a wary eye on Face.
"Still the life and soul of the party" Murdock mumbled under his breath, watching Face laugh with the men easily. Suddenly, a sight made Murdock's heart leap, and he tried to get Hannibal's attention immediately. Hannibal had seen this sight also, and was fighting his way towards Face.
Face had sat behind a table, and loaded a gun, filling only two chambers out of the six. He had spun the barrel, then placed the gun on the table.
"Who is going to be the first to spin?" Face asked with a grin. Hannibal had now reached the men by the table, who were taking bets on who would be the first to die. Murdock trembled watching the scene, surely Face wasn't contemplating Russian Roulette?
The burly man next to Face spun the gun eagerly, and it stopped after a few moments, trained on a young man opposite Face. The man bravely lifted the gun to his head and pulled the trigger. A splat of blood hit Face as the man died in front of them. Face laughed.
"Some people get no luck. Means there is only one bullet left fellas". Face grinned. Another man spun the gun, and it landed on Face this time. Grinning eagerly, Face raised the gun to his head.
Murdock and Hannibal both started forward, but were too late. Face pulled the trigger, however the chamber was empty. He put the gun back down on the table. Murdock and Hannibal maneouvered around the table, until they were directly behind Face. Hannibal withdrew his weapon silently from inside his jacket, and heard the click of Murdock's safety release.
Unfortunately, Face heard the sound too, and turned - looking at Hannibal and Murdock without comprehension of who they were.
Hannibal put his weapon regretfully into Face's back "Get up and come with us. Now!". Murdock took out his weapon, and kept the other men at bay.
Face sighed, a sick and twisted smile playing on his lips. "Then kill me. I aint getting up off this chair".
Hannibal sighed, and suddenly knocked Face on the back of the head hard with his elbow. Face slumped, and Hannibal picked him up, and hoisted him over his shoulder gently, keeping his eye on the men looking at him and Murdock.
With Murdock bringing up the rear, the two men quickly left the room, and walked outside to where BA and Frankie were waiting. By this time, the men inside had gathered their weapons together, and were ready to kill the intruders, but by the time they got outside, all they could see was a trail of dust from the van, disappearing into the distance.
Face awoke a few hours later, and reached for his throbbing head, rubbing it. He had been placed on a soft bed. He looked at the four men watching him intently "What!".
Hannibal stepped forward and sat by Face's side, looking directly into his eyes "Know who I am, kid?".
Face shook his head, so Hannibal continued "I was your commanding officer in Nam, we've been on the lam together for fifeteen years. Don't you remember any of it?".
Face shook his head, bluntly answering. "My name is Daniel. I don't remember much beyond three months ago, when I had .... an accident".
"You remember nothing before that, then?" BA asked.
Face shook his head. "I remember nothing. Who the fuck are you guys anyway?".
BA felt the hurt intensely, and closed his eyes. "We've been running for fifeteen years, the three of us. Murdock over there - the mad foo' in the corner - he fly's us on missions - usually without my permission, too".
Face looked wearily over to Murdock, who offered him a goofy smile. Face ignored Murdock and turned to look at Hannibal once again, and said coldly "You can't keep me here, my guys will find me".
"We already found you, Faceman. We aint letting you go again" BA said, protectively.
Face picked up on the discomfort in BA's voice when he said the word 'again'. Coldly relentless in his icy anger, Face smiled suddenly. "Again? You've done it before? What kind of comrades are you, the cowardly sort? Ones that run from combat like frightened children .....".
Hannibal cut Face off with a sharp slap to the face, bringing him back to attention. Face continued his cold and emotionless comments, ignoring the slight pain in his face from the slap. "..... as I said, frightened children in the night. That what you are? Tell me, I really want to know".
BA felt tears rise, seeing again in his memory Face's lifeless body drop from the chopper, and stalked out of the room. Murdock and Frankie shook their heads and followed BA.
Murdock sighed. He looked at the paper, detailing Face's 'comrades' being jailed for life for countless murders and robberies. He suddenly felt overwhelming helpless, and sat away from the others, perturbed.
BA went into the men's room, and entered a cubicle, letting the tears out. Frankie just waited, standing up, motionless, feeling helpless and alone.
Hannibal looked at Face. "That what you wanted kid?".
"They fucked you up, didn't they? Turned you against us? Well, I can't see the Face I used to know at all - you are free to leave to rejoin your 'friends"'. Hannibal walked out of the room, and caught up with his upset men.
Face smiled bitterly, got dressed and left the room, the house. Gleefully, he got in a shiny white corvette without realising, and started to drive. He smiled at the thought of the damage he'd done to the four men in the room, and then realised too late he was driving into the path of a truck coming the other way ....
Hannibal and the team arrived at the hospital within the hour, after hearing the bad news. They stepped cautiously into Face's room with a doctor, and watched the machines monitor his heart and his steady breathing.
"He looks like he's okay" Hannibal said.
The doctor shook his head. "Its a coma. He probably won't come out of it, better prepare yourselves for the worst".
Hannibal sighed. They had lost Face once, and due to his angry words, Face would probably die. The four men took positions around Face, sat beside him talking to him soothingly.
Face heard the voices, as if through a long tunnel, and tried to recall to whom the voices belonged. He was still in a dense fog, unsure of his past and present, and deep in the coma. He listened intently, and began to see images, frightening images of a war.
Becoming afraid, he tried to ignore them, but the images were filling his mind. The voices belonged to the people he had fought with. Fighting with the the memories, Face started coming to. He was remembering everything.
Fighting to regain consciousness, Face heard Hannibal's voice through the fog, gently telling him to come back to consciousness, to fight. He tossed suddenly, and BA restrained his arms fearing he would hurt himself. He opened his eyes, almost painfully, and looked about himself - looking at the relieved countenances of BA, Hannibal, Murdock and Frankie.
"Hi guys ....." Face said softly, his voice dull and lifeless.
"Do you know who we are?" Hannibal asked.
"Sure. Hannibal, what happened to me?" Face asked weakly.
"I don't know, kid. We think you had amneshia, and you have been in a coma for about an hour. Your lucky, the doctor didn't hold much hope that you'd come out of it" Hannibal said.
"And the mission?" Face asked.
"The mission wasn't much of a success I'm afraid. We had to get out, so I called a retreat. You took three bullets, and we .... I ..... thought you were dead". Hannibal said unconfortably. "The chopper took off, and your body, which I thought was dead, rolled off. We couldn't reach it. Three months later, we were informed by Stockwell you were still alive and came to get you ......" Hannibal paused, unable to continue.
"Yes .....?" Face asked, feeling the worst was still to come.
".... when we got back to get you out .... you had joined them". Hannibal said.
"Ahh". Face looked as if he had been struck in the chest with a rapier. He turned his head, ashamed.
"Wasn't your fault, Facey. They fed you lies, and you couldn't remember your past" Murdock cut in.
Face raised his delicate hand for silence, looking directly at Hannibal "And?".
"And, when we found you you were playing Russian Roulette, well, sort of .....". Hannibal turned to the others.
"What do you mean, sort of? Either you play it or you don't" Face said dismally.
"You had two chambers filled instead of one" Murdock finished.
"Good God! What the hell was I trying to pull?" Face said.
Hannibal shrugged. "Dunno. Anyway, then you started going on about the bad guys being your mates, and you were going back to join them. That's when you took off, and crashed the car".
"Not my vette?" Face asked, his voice breaking.
Hannibal nodded. "Completely destroyed. No one else was injured, except you - you were in a coma. We got here about twenty minutes ago. You'd been in a coma for the past hour".
"Shit!" Face swore.
BA flexed his muscles.
"Sorry" Face apologised.
"But you remember us now, Face. Everything will be better from here on". Hannibal swore, the promise breaking through Face's misery, and cutting into his heart.
Face nodded, trying not to let the tears flow.
"Hey, muchacho - the bad guys have been put away too, Stockwell sent some of his other agents on the job - they brought 'em down" Murdock said with a grin.
Face smiled vaguely. "Thanks, Murdock. Why the hell did you guys stick with me? I'd joined the other side?".
Hannibal just nodded, remembering a time before Face had asked the same question. "We're a team, the BEST team. Because we don't let each other go".
Face nodded, feeling better, and turned away. As Hannibal, BA, Frankie and Murdock left the room, Face closed his eyes, sighing deeply. He couldn't remember joining the other side, and prayed he would never remember his treachery at all.