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The Conman and the Pilot
by Hayley May


Rating: PG-13
Summary: Sequel to "Mechanical Genius" and "More Than Words". Third and last in series. Just what was Hannibal doing while BA was confronting Face and Murdock?
Warning: slash and mention of rape, nothing explicit.


Part Three of Trilogy


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

Their voices are low, but I can just make about make out the words. Cigar in hand, I stop and listen. It's not often that BA takes it upon himself to confront another member of the team and if he does it's over something important and I have a feeling I know what this is about. Face had lied about Amanda Carter. He doesn't usually lie to the Team, exaggerate maybe, but not tell all-out lies, but when he does, we all know about it, we just don't let on that we know. Most of the time the kid has his reasons, usually he's trying to protect us or someone else, so we just let it go, everything usually becoming clear in the end. Every so often though,
someone will confront him about it. Looks like it's BA this time. Probably for the best. It will come as a surprise, catch Face off guard more than if it were me or Murdock. Face is more likely to let something slip with BA then with anyone else.


No, BA!"

Face's tone sounds angry, but it's an out of control guarded kind of anger. The kid's about to make his slip, this is where he'll lose it.

"They made him do it. They were going to kill us both. They made him do it. He had no choice!"

Face's voice is beginning to tail off. He's just realised what he's said, what he's just revealed.

"He had no choice."

BA seems lost for words, his voice grave with anger as he finally forces out a, "Who?"

Shit. So it had happened then. I had wondered at the time, hoped my instincts had been wrong. Neither had said much when the guards had brought them back, but they hadn't acted that much different, so I had just hoped. Maybe I should have forced the issue more. I asked Face afterwards, when we were out of the camp, he had just shook his head. Some things shouldn't be talked about.

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

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

And then there are some things that should not be ignored.

I've heard enough. Face will now go to his room and stare out of the window. BA will probably go and find Murdock, ask him a few questions. So that just leaves Frankie. Frankie's a good kid, but he's not a soldier, there are some things he doesn't need to know about and this is one of them.

I silently make my way down the stairs. Murdock's on the couch staring at nothing. Looks like he does remember.

"Hey Johnny, you think BA's fixed that car yet?"

"I don't know, but I'm going out for some stuff. You coming?"

There was no way the kid was going to say no. He's so bored he'd watch paint dry. He'll do anything to get out of this zoo.

"Yah sure, what we going to get?"

"Just a few groceries and stuff.
You want anything, Murdock?"

The pilot blinks quickly when he hears his name as if he's drawing himself out of a dream or something.

"Arh, no thanks, Colonel, but you better pick up some milk for the big guy."

I nod.

"Good idea. Come on Frankie."

He called me Colonel. He must have been lost in his memories. He doesn't usually refer to ranks unless I do first. Something's troubling him deeply and I can probably figure out what. That was enough reason to get Frankie out of that place and quickly.

We take one of the cars Stockwell's left us to use. We don't need the van today and anyway, I don't want us to be spotted. I'm just thankful that we no longer have those Abels following our every move.

I drive. Frankie keeps chatting about something, I'm not really paying enough attention, but my answers seem to satisfy him. Truth is, I'm thinking about Murdock and Face and that camp in particular. Face became possessive of Murdock after that camp and then his breakdown, almost took it upon himself to bare the brunt of the work. Guilt I think. Face has always had a problem with guilt. What ever happened, they both feel a certain amount of culpability. They need to talk to each other, it's been left too long.

"Is Murdock alright? He seemed a little, you know, out of it."

That's a little of an understatement I feel. I don't think Murdock has ever been alright.

"Yeah, he just needs to sort a few things out in his head. He'll be back to his manic self again soon."

Or at least I hoped he would be. The answer seemed to satisfy Frankie and parking we went to pick up the food. Conversation continued onto more trivial matters; the big match on Monday, the party next Friday, blonds or brunettes. I don't mind. I'd like to keep it there.

Half way back to the house a thought suddenly occurs to me. Turning, I change our direction.

"Hey, where are we going?"

"Murdock's apartment."

"What for?"

"To pick up some stuff."

I have a feeling Murdock will need them. I think he keeps a change of clothing at the house, but I want to be sure. Parking, I led Frankie up, pulling a key from my pocket.

"Hey, does Murdock know you have that?"

I just grin. No, Murdock doesn't *know* I have a key, but I'm sure he suspects, it's just never been mentioned. It's one of those things you come to expect, like the fact Face always has a cigar on him. Just in case. We live our lives on 'just in cases'.

I head for the bedroom, grabbing a small holdall as I go. It's easy to find stuff at Murdock's place; everything's generally neat and tidy. It may not coincide with everyone's ideas of normal, but there is a distinct pattern. Shoes on the wardrobe shelves, underwear in the bottom draw, T-shirts in the top, bathroom supplies in the middle. Yep, certainly different but orderly. I grab a few spare neatly folded T-shirts and a pair of khakis, putting them in the holdall along with some underwear and socks. I figure he'll be fine with the shoes he has, so that just leaves his bathroom stuff; razor, shampoo, deodorant, aftershave. Anything else? Oh yes, toothbrush and paste. That should be it, anything else we can provide, or he can make do.

Leaving, I deflect Frankie's questions and we drive back to the house. Hopefully enough time has passed. We've been gone for over an hour.

Face and Murdock are nowhere to be seen when we walk in. That's good. BA's just come back downstairs with that look on his face that says that things are getting sorted. That's good as well.

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

Leave it to Frankie to ask the obvious.

"Talking," BA growls, "don't bother them."

Talking's good. Those two need to talk. Need to do more than talk, but that'll probably follow.

Taking the groceries out, I start to pack them away. Frankie's wandered off somewhere.

"Cool man, you fixed the car."

Hopefully that's not the only thing BA's helped to fix this evening.

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

Pulling out a new cigar I just grin. Sometimes I wonder exactly the same thing myself.

"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?"

BA growls but it's only for show. It's quite funny seeing BA embarrassed. For a man who tries to portray such a tough exterior, he can become quite bashful at times. Lighting the cigar, I just grin further and move to rest a hand on his shoulder. Our eyes meet for a moment, but we don't say anything. In truth, there is nothing that needs to be said. BA's expression says it all. So Murdock and Face were finally confronting the truth and themselves. It's about time too. They've danced around each other quite enough. I just guess now there's only one thing that needs to be said.

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

He smiles slightly and nods which makes me think that everything will be okay. Frankie seems to be in a world of his own playing with that car. Have to make sure he doesn't do anything stupid which might break it again. Unsurprisingly, Murdock and Face don't make an appearance. Good thing I went and got that stuff then.

Hours later, I decided to make sure they're still alive and haven't killed each other while we were down here. Face's room's quiet, probably means they're asleep.

Quietly I open the door and stick my head in. They're asleep all right, spooned together none the less. I know I'm smiling but I can't help it. They certainly look comfortable and content like that. About time too, this has been a long time in coming. They need each other, probably more than each of them realise. They're yin and yang, they balance each other perfectly. If one is out of sorts, then they both are.

Moving in, I place the holdall on the chair where they'll be able to find it. It's getting late. Walking to the window, I gently shut the curtain before noticing that the sheet covering them is falling off. Face is going to get very cold if it continues to slip. It's been years since I've tucked my boys in, but I can't resist it.

Pulling the sheet back up, I glance at them briefly, marvelling at how young they both look while they're in dreamland. All the barriers appear to have fallen away.

Turning, I walk away, let them sleep.

"Don't we get a bedtime story as well?"

That's Murdock. It seems my boys aren't quite as asleep as I had hoped.

"What story do you want?" I ask softly, rising to the challenge.

"How about the one about the conman and the pilot."

Sounds like Murdock isn't the only one pretending to be asleep then.

"Well..." I begin, pretending to think. "Once upon a time there was a handsome young conman and a crazy but excellent pilot." I pause watching the smiles start to spread across their faces although their eyes are still closed.

"Go on."

"Well, they met and became friends. But then an evil dragon came and separated them, threatening to rip the two friends apart forever. However, just when it looked as if the dragon was going to win, they worked together and slew the beast. It was then that the conman and the pilot realised that they needed each other and if they worked together then nothing would be able to get between them again. Their friendship continued to grow and one day they realised that they deeply loved each other and would not be able to live without the other one. Once they talked they realised that the feelings were mutual and took the last step in their relationship." I stop, still grinning.

"So what happened to them?"

"What do you think happened to them, Murdock?"

There was a pause and for a moment I wondered if he was actually going to reply. Then he does.

"I think they lived happily ever after."

My grin grew.

"I think so too," I agree.

Again, for a moment nothing happens, so I turn to walk out of the room.

"You know, I like that story."

Leave it to Face to get the last word in.

"Good," I throw back.

I can almost hear the smile in his voice as he finally whispers, "Good night,

"Good night, Face. Good night, Murdock."

"Good night,

I can hear the happiness and contentment in their voices, in the rustling of the sheets as they snuggle closer together. I grin to myself before leaving the room, the door closing with a gentle click behind me.