Series: This is part of a slight-AU series I'm doing in which Face and Hannibal have been monogamous lovers since they met in Vietnam. I'm working on the story of that first time, but this popped into my head while watching the ep that aired Sunday on TVland.

Note: There is a "het moment" in this ep - Face trying to save a relationship with an aerobics instructor named Rhonda. Consider that AUed out of the picture. I may do several of these little episode-inspired snips and PWPs, but unless I say a "het moment" in the show that goes beyond flirting happens, it doesn't.

Soft Words In The Night

by Anne Higgins (

Finally. Face managed a weary smile as one of the attendants led Murdock back to his room. Yet another of H.M. Murdock's escapes smoothed over by Templeton Peck, conman extrodinaire. Well, he had to admit any conman with half a brain could have pulled it off. Which was a very good thing as he was tired, stiff and generally off his game.

Feeling around ten times his age, he made his way out of the VA Hospital and back to B.A. Baracus' van. Hannibal Smith didn't even look at him as he climbed in, then dropped into his usual seat. Great. Just great.

B.A. steered the van into the mild, late-evening traffic. "You okay, Face?"

Perhaps the utter silence in the van was grating or maybe he was still strung out from almost being executed, but the sound of the big man's voice made him jump. Embarrassed, yet grateful he hadn't yelped, his mouth twisted into a rueful smile even though no one was looking to see it. "A little tired."

"Yeah, bed will feel real good tonight."

Face murmured his agreement, then the heavy silence returned. Desperate to break it, yet muffling the sound of his sigh to keep from doing so, he stared at the back of the silver-haired head in front of him. He wanted to reach out to Hannibal, to curl up in his lap and hold while being held. Unfortunately, the timing would have made it very awkward.

He should have gone to Hannibal on the plane and damn the consequences. Easy to say, but they'd been surrounded by the 'enemy' -- the general they'd rescued and the crew of the transport. Hannibal had always been adamant about keeping their relationship a secret from the military. When they'd been in the service, it had been good sense. Once they were on the run it had become even more important no one outside of the team know how much they meant to each other. Strange how something Face considered a major source of his strength could also be such a huge potential weakness.

He understood. Even agreed, but it had been scant comfort during the long flight back from Borneo. Face might not have been able to stand it if General Ludlum hadn't questioned Hannibal for hours about the team's situation. His lover's deep voice had soothed Face enough to get some sleep, but Hannibal hadn't had the same comfort and he'd needed it.

Secrets always had their price, and they were paying for this one now. Twice he opened his mouth to speak, but knew it had been too long. They would work it out, but they didn't need an audience. Not even B.A.

Face almost wept for joy when the van pulled into the driveway of the beach house he and Hannibal currently called home. Be time to move again soon, but he'd be sorry to see the last of this place.

Hannibal certainly seemed glad to see it. He was out of the van almost before it had come to a stop, then disappeared inside without so much as a backward glance.

With a heavy sigh, Face climbed out and managed a smile for his teammate. "Thanks, B.A."

A nod answered him, then B.A. growled, "You'd best take care of Hannibal."

Another smile. "I always do."

He started toward the house, then, "Faceman."


"Tell him he'd best take care of you, too."

"He always does." Face watched until the van disappeared from sight before making his way up the front walk. The single chime of the clock on the mantle tolling one in the morning greeted him, but not Hannibal. The man was obviously intent on brooding and had no intention of making this easy. Damn.

Face didn't bother with checking the house. He knew Hannibal very well and when they were near water, brooding inside wasn't his style. Through the front room, out the patio door and down to the beach - Face tracked his lover as easily as if he'd seen Hannibal leave.

He found him where he expected to - standing a few feet away from the waterline, staring out into the horizon at nothing in particular. The light of the near full moon helped create an aura of isolation around the man that caused Face to shudder. Getting a grip on himself, he stepped forward determined to put an end to this nonsense. "Hannibal," he whispered softly.

Nothing. Face frowned, more at himself than his lover. Tired, hungry and about as stale as the air on the plane, he wasn't at his best, but it didn't quite excuse being such an idiot.

In this mood the Colonel would never respond to someone coming to him to offer absolution for his sins. But Face was Hannibal's weakness, and he knew how to exploit it.

Tonight all he had to do was allow himself to react a little. He'd almost been killed, but for almost a day he'd pretended like it had been no big thing. He let an echo of the terror he'd experienced when the firing squad took aim reach his voice. "Hannibal?" The same name, but his tone now made it drip with need instead of understanding and the desire to comfort.

Of course it worked. Strong arms encircled him and a coiled tension he hadn't even noticed within him shuddered its release. Face had needed this more than he'd even thought, and he'd been all but desperate for Hannibal's embrace during the flight home.

An answering tremor passed through Hannibal, and his breath was a warm gust against Face's ear. "Oh, God, Tem."

"I'm okay," he whispered back. "I'm okay." Unfortunately, he almost hadn't been. With equal parts determination, luck and skill, Murdock and Amy had followed the rest of the A-Team to Borneo. They'd saved Face at the all too literal last second. Saved him from a firing squad and the lethal fallout of one of Hannibal's plans gone wrong. Which was what this was all about.

Like every member of the A-Team, Face had multiple skills. He was an excellent shot, a good scout and was in charge of what he liked to call 'field acquisitions.' He was also the one who ... understood.

A good conman was an observant one, so he'd always noticed things. Especially behavior. He knew the buttons to push and the ones to avoid. Nothing beyond a direct order from Hannibal had a better chance of cooling one of B.A's rages than Face's glib tongue or the proper charming smile. He knew when Murdock needed someone to humor his delusions or tell him to knock it off and could have told Murdock's doctors almost to the second when Billy the Invisible Dog had gone from an eccentric coping mechanism to a real pet.

Most important of all, he knew what lay underneath Hannibal's brilliance and grand displays of confidence - a tremendous ego and more luck than any man should have the right to. Not a pretty sight when it all crashed and burned.

"It wasn't your fault," Face whispered into the nearest ear. "You had no way of knowing they'd take me instead of you."

The arms around him tightened. "Didn't I? I pissed him off, Tem. Made him want to hurt me instead of just kill me. Didn't figure him as someone smart enough to think the best way to do it was shoot you."

"You're not suggesting he knew?" The idea was absurd. They'd had years to perfect hiding how they felt. No crackpot guerilla leader who'd seen them together for less than two minutes would have figured it out.

Hannibal shook his head. "You're the youngest, the one I was most likely to feel protective of."

Oh. Yeah. Accustomed to assuming an almost nurturing role with Murdock and B.A., Face sometimes forgot there was a reason Hannibal called him 'kid.' "Okay, so it was a calculated risk that backfired a little. But it's like Amy says, Hannibal. 'Your plans never work right; they just work.'"

Too true for anyone to miss the humor of it, Hannibal's face twitched with a brief smile. "You and B.A. didn't even want to go on this mission."

To Face this point was far more to the heart of the matter than the randomness of how a puffed up rebel had chosen someone to put in front of a firing squad. He hadn't wanted to go. It had seemed like an all around bad idea.

The government had offered them no more than an 'escape' and an hour's head start should they survive the mission. Refusing would have meant prison, but Face had liked the odds of escaping yet another one of those versus the odds of surviving the Borneo operation. "No, I didn't, but I never served under Ludlum." Hannibal's stint under the man's command had ended before Face had joined the team.

"What's that have to do with it?"

Face considered taking offense. "Oh, please. Do you think for one minute I thought you wanted to take the deal because it was worth anything?"

"I didn't?"

Offense gave way to amused affection. "It isn't in your nature to leave someone behind when you can do something about it." He smiled. "And it isn't in mine to let you go alone."

Hannibal stared at him. "You said you didn't want to go."

"I like to bitch and moan," he told him with a shrug. "You know that. But have I ever failed to follow you?"

A scowl answered him. "I don't want you doing that because you love me."

"I don't. I follow you because I believe in you."

"Why do I feel like I should be saying I don't deserve you?"

"Because you're a very wise man."

Hannibal grinned. "And you, my beautiful lieutenant, are one hell of a manipulator."

Face could feign innocence with appalling ease, but he opted to do a comic version. "Me?" It made Hannibal laugh.

"Yes, you." A kiss smacked loudly against the tip of his nose. "I wanted to feel guilty and sorry for myself until at least sunrise."

Face shook his head. "Tough. I want a shower, food and a long hard fuck before bed. Not necessarily in that order."

"Glad to hear it," Hannibal murmured, his lips zeroing in on Face's mouth. Their tongues danced, and they all but tried to devour each other's lips as they clutched one another with bruising force. Face had no conscious memory of his shirt being removed or of getting rid of Hannibal's, but suddenly the hot skin of his lover's torso pressed against his own bare flesh. He cried out, all but coming in his jeans.

Wanting the comfort of their bed beneath him before his legs gave out and they ended up sprawled in the sand, he stepped back enough for air to move between them. Now all he needed to do was find the will to move.

Hannibal found it first, his arms shifting, his torso bending as if. ...

Oh, no, not again. With a soft laugh of delight, Face slipped out of Hannibal's arms. His lover was slightly larger and taller than Face, making it a simple matter for Hannibal to toss Face over his shoulder and haul him off to bed. But that wasn't the sort of lift and carry Hannibal had been trying to do.

"Tem," Hannibal growled, reaching for him again.

Face danced out of reach, backpedaling toward the house on his own power. The last time Hannibal had swept him up in what he always thought of as the classic Gone-with-the-Wind carry, his silver-haired Rhett Butler had thrown his back out for the better part of a pain-filled week. "No way. I want you in me, not in traction."

Hannibal sighed. "So much for romance." Striking quickly, he grabbed Face's arm, then yanked him up and over his shoulder. "Happy now?"

"Deliriously. Now, get me to the bed," he purred, pressing his jean-clad erection against Hannibal's chest.

Muttering all the way about pushy brats, Hannibal obeyed, but surprised Face by easing him gently down onto the mattress instead of dumping him off his perch.

His touch slow and caressing, Hannibal slipped off the rest of Face's clothes. Not about affirming life, then. This was about love and the joy at not having lost each other. Which meant. ...

Face bit back a groan as Hannibal guided him onto his side, then spooned up behind him, confirming his suspicions. Not this, not now, he couldn't take it. He couldn't. But none of his protests were given voice. Face was year's beyond needing any major preparation before entry, but Hannibal took his time, his fingers teasing and caressing as if Face were the most delicate of virgins.

"Hannibal, please!"

A nip to his ear, then the tormenting fingers shifted to his hips and a deliciously long, thick column of flesh slipped inside him. Oh, yesss. The press of Hannibal's balls against his backside made Face squirm with pleasure, but a hand on his hip stopped any further movement. He didn't know whether to scream in frustration or joy. He hated/adored it when Hannibal did this to him. At least it was easier to take now that Face was on the far side of 30, and he did know Hannibal needed to hold him, to be a part of him for a while. Careful not to do anything to push either of them over the edge, Face snuggled backwards, pressing himself as tightly as he could to the man holding him.

Lips brushed against his hair. "I love you, Tem."

Face smiled. On one of their more recent missions, Hannibal had announced to the team and the bad guy he was taunting it was wise to offer an 'I love you' every day. Everyone had laughed, even Face, but he'd almost blushed, too. It was a rare day indeed when Hannibal didn't say the words at least once. "I love you, too." Every minute of every day for 15 years and counting.

All Face had to do was not move. Easier said than done with Hannibal nuzzling him, caressing him, licking his neck, mouthing his hair. Oh, God. He shuddered, he groaned, he fought not to toss his head and bash Hannibal in the nose. Finally he began to squirm, whimpering in his need for completion.

Hannibal chuckled, then began to thrust, his mouth feasting on Face's neck, while his hands launched an assault on sensitive nipples. Too much when he was too hungry for it. Face came with a scream, then murmured his contentment as a wonderful lethargy spread through his limbs while Hannibal's seed flowed into him. Safe, home, warm, loved. It seemed the most natural thing in the world to drift off.

"I thought you wanted a shower and something to eat."

"Mmm, later. Want to sleep with you first."

Hannibal eased him over, cuddling them up chest-to-chest. "Sounds like a plan."

Face was too content to mutter the obvious about plans and coming together. Instead he snuggled even closer and let himself slip into dreams, unconcerned about whether or not they turned into nightmares of war or firing squads. For if they did, Hannibal would make it all right. He always did. And if it were Hannibal who moaned in the night, Face would be there for him. He always was.

The End