Changing Suits - Spade
by G Richmond
Story: Changing Suits
Chapter: 04. Spade
Status: Final Draft
Author: G. Richmond
Warnings: Mild slash, angst, character death
Feedback levels: UP TO LEVEL 1
Feedback requests: None
Author's notes: I'm just sorry for this chapter...
Murdock didn't recognise the female voice on the other end of the line. If he had had to guess he would have said she sounded around 40, confident and intelligent, and very upset.
"Is this Captain Murdock I'm speaking to?" She got the question out firmly without faltering, but her voice was watery and wavered as though it might break a couple times.
"Yes, Ma'am, it is." He had only just opened the door when he heard the phone going, and rushed through to answer it, shedding outdoor clothes as he went. He pulled off the warm wool hat he had been wearing, smiling at it fondly. It had been a surprise gift from the girl he was seeing; she had knitted it herself in the most atrocious assortment of colours, but he had appreciated it nonetheless and worn it with pride at the funfair they had gone to that evening.
"M-my name's Anna, Mrs. Anna Smith." She introduced herself, voice wavering even more, so much that Murdock set the hat down and stopped smiling, "I was Hannibal's wife."
Murdock leaned against the back of the couch with a small frown, "Was?" He asked. He didn't even know Hannibal had gotten married, now he was divorced?
"H-Hannibal...Hannibal died two days ago."
The woman's sob at the end of the line was drowned out by white noise in the pilot's ears. That couldn't be true. He had received a letter from the Colonel just a week ago, mostly just congratulations that Murdock had found a girl to date after 7 months. How could he be dead? That didn't make any sense, he surely would have told one of them if something was wrong.
The woman had got her voice back under control and was talking again, "It was a hit and run. He saved a little girl." She said more, but Murdock was finding it hard to concentrate. The information wasn't much comfort then, but Murdock knew it would be later on when the shock had faded. So Hannibal died a hero. He would have loved that.
"The funeral's in three days."
"I'll be there." The words were said on autopilot, because there was no other answer. She gave him an address, and Murdock frowned when he saw it was less than two hours drive away. Hannibal had been so close all this time, yet obviously so far away.
Murdock took a train, since he didn't trust himself to drive. He was still in some shock, and at times it was like he couldn't feel a thing, whilst others it was all he could do to stop from breaking down.
They met outside the church.
As Murdock climbed out of the cab and mindlessly paid, he could see that there was already a small gathering outside the open doors of the church. Frankie was already there with his fiance and young baby (they had put off the marriage since funds were difficult enough already), talking quietly to an attractive woman who looked to be in her mid-forties. Somehow, Murdock knew that was Hannibal's wife.
He approached them silently, but Frankie spotted him a short way away and excused himself. They didn't have to say a word, the anguish was written clearly on both their faces, and they embraced tightly.
"How you holding up?" Frankie asked hoarsely. He had been crying.
"Been better, you?" Murdock asked as they drew apart. His voice was low and wavered. Being there made everything so real, and he dreaded going into the church.
"Same." Frankie agreed soberly, then his attention was drawn over Murdock's shoulder, "BA's here."
BA climbed out of a cab with his mother, Mrs Baracus dabbing at her cheeks with a handkerchief. Murdock wasn't surprised to see so many people, but it was easy to forget that there was a world outside their little A-Team, and that they had touched so many lives.
BA said very little as they all embraced, giving Murdock's arm an extra squeeze that, whilst it unintentionally hurt, the pilot appreciated. It was taking all he had now to stay in check, and Frankie was having the same difficulty. They all went back over the Frankie's family, and to meet Hannibal's wife.
"You must be Murdock." She greeted him with a weak watery smile, clasping his hand in both of her's, "John spoke so fondly of you, and you, BA." She said, turning to BA and looking surprised at the big hug she was bundled into. She was a petit woman, but pretty, and full of vibrancy and confidence that was dampened in her grief. Just the kind of woman Murdock could see Hannibal finally settling down with.
"He would talk for hours about his A-Team, he loved all of you more than he'd ever tell you." She laughed softly, but the smile quickly faded, "But, you're not all here yet. Where's Face?"
The tension rose immediately, despite their best efforts. Murdock would have been lying if he said he hadn't been worried about seeing Face.
"He's just arrived." It was Mrs. Baracus who broke the news, oblivious to the tension as she continued to wipe at her cheeks.
Murdock was the last to look over, dreading what he would see. But when he finally did, it wasn't what he was expecting.
It was Face. Just plain old Templeton Peck in a smart suit and slightly-less than impeccable hair. It wasn't the monster Murdock had invented in his mind, not the big looming shadow with a pretty wife on one arm, and a child in the other. Just their Faceman, with tense shoulders and clenched fists, stopping just shy of them, but close enough so they could see the redness to his eyes.
Murdock was the first to go forward, and their eyes met as he got within arms distance. It was a silent conversation. Nothing needed to be said. Everything that had happened; the pain, the bad decisions, how did that matter any more? Hannibal was so much more important, and now he was gone. They all needed each other now more than ever before.
They fell into each other's arms and held tight, fingers fisting tight in the fabric at their backs, because the weight of loosing Hannibal was too much to bear alone.
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