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Mechanical Genius
by Hayley May

Rating: R
Warning: one or two swear words, but more importantly, implied slash and rape
Summary: A rainy day in Langley leads to a confrontation and reveals the past two members of the team had tried to forget.
Disclaimer: I don't own them and I've not making any money from them either.
Comments: Thanks to Maestro for beta-ing this for me and taking time out of her busy schedule of G&F writing. :)

Part one of a Trilogy: "Mechanical Genius", "More Than Words" and "The Conman and The Pilot"


Part One of Trilogy


Frankie's asking all the questions. He's bored. We all are, but he more than the rest of us. It's been weeks since Stockwell's dropped in to give us a mission and we're all starting to go a little stir crazy. The constant rain ain't helping matters. Cabin fever's setting in, especially with Frankie. The rest of us are used to it. That's what war's like; quick bursts of the jazz between long stretches of boredom. We can cope in our own way.

Hannibal's lying stretched out on the couch smoking yet another of those filthy cigars, thinking 'bout whatever it is that puts that small smile on his face. Faceman's studying the paper, finance pages I think, probably trying to keep track of our investments. For some reason he likes it. Good for him and me. Can't stand thinking 'bout money. Does mah head in. All I care 'bout is that I have enough to live on and take care of mah mama with. Faceman's the opposite, he likes to look good, spends hours in the bathroom. Donno why, women fall for him no matter how he looks, but Face don't see it that way. Never met a contradiction quite like Face before; high self confidence, low self esteem. Gonna break him one day. I can just see it. Doesn't help he's best friends with out resident crazyman. He's here as well, pottering round the place, chatting with Frankie, throwing questions at us now and then, not fazed when he gets a less then enthusiastic response. At the moment he's watching the rain fall. Keeping Frankie away from us as well.

Then there's me. I'm tryin' to fix the remote control car Crazyman broke a few days ago. Gonna put it back together again good as new, better in fact. That's what I do. I'm the Team fixer.
Hannibal makes the plans. Face finds the stuff. Crazyman flies and jabbers. Frankie blows things up and I build whatever they want. That's how the team works.

"I was 16, beautiful girl, long black hair, wonderful legs..."

Ain't really listenin' to Frankie and Crazyman's chatter, but I always keep an ear open. You learn a lot 'bout people like that. Just 'cause I don't say much, don't mean I don't listen.

"What about you, Murdock?"

Crazyman's grin broadens, I can see him out of the corner of mah eye.



Crazyman's grin broadens further.

"She was 15, very mature, took it upon herself to help us younger ones into manhood."

"I bet. So where was you then? Back of your dad's van? Behind the bike shed?"

"Top loft of the biggest barn, hidden within the hay."

Crazy, just like Crazyman that. Have to hide a snigger at Frankman's surprise. Frankie's a city kid, like me, these country kids are a different species. Guess all they gotta do on their farms is learn 'bout the cows and chickens and the birds and the bees.

"What about you, Johnny?"

Hannibal's eyes shifts over to the pair, that strange smile he's wearing only growin'. There's a look in his eyes that says he's on the jazz.

"13, like Murdock."

Frankie's eyes widen further while Crazyman's grin only broadens.

Hannibal continues, "her name was Betsy-Elizabeth and boy she knew what she wanted." His eyes are started to get that glazed look. "Like Murdock's girl she was older than me as well, but for some reason, I was the one for her. She invited me up to her bedroom one day when her folks were out and na‘ve me of course thought nothing of it."

I almost choke. Funny thinking of
Hannibal as na‘ve.

"The next think I knew I was on the bed and she was... well, I think I'll leave it there."

Good thing too. Don't want that picture in mah head.

"What about you, Face?"

Face blinks and looks up from his paper at the sound of his name. His expression's like one who has just woken up and isn't too sure what's going on.


When did you lose your virginity?"

He shifts slightly in his seat, his hand automatically reachin' up to straighten his tie despite the fact he ain't wearing one.

"Well, uh, I was 16 I guess, and don't look so surprised Frankie, it was a Catholic Orphanage remember. Certain things were discouraged while others were, uh, banned, if you know what I mean."

The others just grin at the idea of Face getting round the rules somehow.

"So you spend the rest of your life trying to make up for it then kid?"

Face's hand's still on his collar.

Hannibal. It's not my fault they think I'm irresistible. If it wasn't for this face you wouldn't have such a successful supply officer."

"Professional thief you mean."

"I prefer the term con artist thank you very much Mr. Santana and uh, anyway, I'm not a thief, I don't steal... much, people just tend to give me things."

"Guess that's one way of looking at it, kid."

"Yeah, one way," Frankie grins. "So who was she then?"


"The girl who broke Faceman in."

Oh uh, Amanda Carter, my high school sweet heart." Face sighs slightly, running his hand through his hair.

"Was she pretty?"

"Beautiful! Dark blond hair, big blue eyes, sweet pouting lips..."

"So what happened to her, kid?"

"Oh, she dumped me for the school quarterback so she could go to the senior prom. Broke my heart at the time, but I got over it."

Silence follows for a few seconds and I almost smile since I know what they're waiting for.

"So what about you big ugly mudsucker?"

So it fell to Murdock to ask the question, thought it would.

"15 and I ain't saying no more."

It was enough for them to be satisfied and I return to mah car.
Hannibal returns to his cigar and Face picks up the paper again, though I get the impression he's not really reading it.


It's some hours before I get to speak to Face after that conversation. I don't usually go out of mah way to talk to people alone, words ain't mah thing. Faceman or Crazyman are better at it than me. They can get people to open up, but neither will help in this case. I consider mentioning my thoughts to
Hannibal, he'd be better than me, but I'm not sure he knows. Not sure I know. I'm just piecing together what I see and what I remember, like taking junk to make a tank. I hope I'm right.

I catch Face in the corridor between our bedrooms. He moves to go past me, but I catch his arm, stop him. He looks up in surprise.

"You didn't tell the truth."

His surprise turns to confusion.

"About what, BA?"

"'Bout that girl."

His eyes flicker and change at my words. His entire posture alters. He's going into conman mode.

"I don't know what you're talking about BA," he replies smoothly pulling his grasp from mine, moving once more to straighten his invisible tie.

"Yeah you do. There weren't no Amanda Carter."

He seems a little put back by that.

"Yes there was. We dated, then she dumped me for Clark James the senior quarterback."

"But you didn't do nothing with her."

"Excuse me? And how would you know?" His tone's getting defensive now.

"'Cause you told me you waited for Leslie."

Puzzlement crosses his face and I can see him racking his brain trying to figure out what he said and when.

Saigon, the spring of '70. You were drunk in the bar. Hannibal sent me to find you. I half carried you out and all you kept muttering was you wanted to get laid before yah died. You passed out. I carried you back, put yah to bed. You probably don't remember. That's why I know you lying. Why'd you lie, Face? What really happened?"

He's gone very quiet and pale as I spoke. As pale as it is for Face to go with his ever present suntan. His eyes are shifting back and forth. His hand's at his collar again. He's trying to figure a way out. I ain't gonna let him though.

"It was that camp, weren't it?" I question softly.

His eyes snap briefly to mine and despite the mask he tries to pull on, it's too late. He opens his mouth, probably to deny it, but I glare at him daring him to lie again. Nothing comes out. He shuts it again, running his hands over his face.

"You weren't supposed to find out, ever, any of you..." His quiet voice trails off and he looks away.

I dunno what to say. Although I had suspected the worst didn't mean I wanted to hear it. My fears have now been confirmed. I wanna hit something. Mama always said I liked to solve problems with mah fist. Wouldn't help in this case. What I need is words.

"What happened? Did they...?" I can't say the word.

Neither can Face. He can't say anything.


He looks at me startled. Did I say that out loud? Guess I did. Don't usually swear, even in '
Nam. Mama taught me not to, bashed it into me. Don't mean I don't think it sometimes though.

I want to hurt whoever it had been. Nobody messes with mah little bro' like that.

"Look, it's not what you think, BA."

I stare back up at him again. He's looking away, probably trapped in the memories.

"But they did...?"

"Yes... No..."

I'm confused.


He's looking at me again, but only briefly. His voice is soft.

"Let it go BA. It's not what you think."

He tries to walk away from me. He's not gonna get away from me that easily. I catch his arm again.


He spins back to me and for a moment I see anger flicker in his eyes.

"No BA! They made him do it. They were gonna kill us both. They made him do it. He had no choice!" His voice begins to die and he finishes with his voice no more than a whisper. "He had no choice."

I'm dumb struck with shock. His words are only just filtering though mah brain. Oh my God. I swallow dryly. My voice is raspy when I finally find it again.


I don't need his answer to figure it out. The guards keep dragging them both out. The pair of them, together. Faceman and Crazyman.


It explained a lot. Explained Crazyman. He weren't the same after that camp. None of us were. He began to break then.

"Did you... did you ever talk about it?"

Face shakes his head. That explained even more.

"His breakdown. I don't think he remembers. It would kill him."

Ain't that the truth. Crazyman's already suffered a lot. Don't want him to suffer even more.

Face turns away from me and moves to walk away.

"I'm sorry," I whisper not sure if he heard me.

He did. He smiles a watery conman smile, his hand threading through his hair.

"Yeah, so am I."

He goes to his room, shuts the door. I let him. He needs time to sort things out. So do I.

I wonder back downstairs. Rain's stopped. Frankie's disappeared, outside I hope. Can't see
Hannibal around neither. Crazyman's still here though. He's on the couch, just staring. Taken his cap off. He's losing his hair more now, starting to look old. We're all looking old, even Faceman. Dunno where time went.

"Is Face okay?"

Crazyman surprises me sometimes. Maybe he shouldn't. He's real smart, knows a lot. I just tease him anyway. We need each other like that. He makes life interesting, I keep him grounded. He ain't totally right in the head, not sure he ever was, but he ain't insane neither. Crazy at times, but not insane. He knows exactly what's going on around him.

"Face needs some time to think."

I pick up mah car again, spin the wheels. Crazyman's eyes follow me.

"He told you, didn't he? About the camps?"

I look up in surprise. Crazyman does remember then. There's a distant haunted look in his eyes.

"I was his first, wasn't I?"

Never, ever underestimate Crazyman.


My sentiments exactly.

"I... I wondered. No, I prayed... oh God. I tried, I tried so hard. He... I remember..."

He's trembling. Tears are forming in his eyes as well. Long time since I saw Crazyman cry. He pretends to sometimes, but this is no pretence. I touch him. He flinches. Should have thought of that.

"You ever talked to him 'bout it?"

He shakes his head. I know he hasn't. That's the problem.

"Go talk to him. You need to sort this out."

Crazyman don't say anything for a while, then he nods.

"When did you get so smart BA?"

I say nothing, just growl slightly. He smiles back. Not one of his goofy grins, a proper sincere smile. He leaves and goes upstairs to Face's room.

I go up half an hour later. They're talking, can hear their voices through the wall. Can't hear what they're saying though. Good thing too, don't wanna hear. Some things they should keep between themselves.

I go back a bit later. They're not talking no more. That's good too. Some things just can't be said with words. Crazyman been in love with Face too long. They need each other. They don't need that guilt.

I wander back downstairs. Frankie and Hannibal are back. Dunno where they've been. Picked up some food it looks like. Bought a huge carton of milk. Good thing too. Talking always makes me thirsty.

"Hey, BA, where's Face and Murdock?"

"Talking," I growl in a way that even Frankie can understand. "Don't bother them."

Nodding, Frankie just saunters over to where the remote control car sits on the table where I left it.

"Cool man, you fixed the car."

Picking it up, he places it on the ground and tests it. As predicted, the wheels spin and the car shoots forward.

"Hey man, it's even better than before. How'd you do it?"

"Kid, you've got to remember that BA here is a mechanical genius. If it's broken BA can fix it. Can't you, BA?"

I growl slightly but
Hannibal only grins, lighting yet another of those cigars before placing a hand on my shoulder. Our eyes meet for a moment, but we don't say anything. Ain't nothing to say. Behind us Frankie's playing with the car. Upstairs Face and Crazyman are slaying their demons. Down here Hannibal and I don't need no words, we're thinking the same thing.

Hannibal's grin widens further. I have a feeling I know what he's gonna say.

"You know, BA, I just love it when a plan comes together."

I smile slightly in reply and nod. My sentiments exactly.


Continued In "More Than Words"