katydidmischief: (trees)
[personal profile] katydidmischief posting in [community profile] cjs_own
disclaimer. Not mine and none of the events described here in have any basis in reality.
title. Sung in Delirium
rating. PG-13
pairing. Hannibal/Face
summary. Clearly, Face had tried to care for himself, but as per usual, had forgotten it once they had a mission to complete[.]
warnings. Illness, h/c.
notes. Written for this prompt at [livejournal.com profile] a_team_kink.

One

Face didn't realize he was injured until long after the mission had been completed, but it was just a scratch and it looked clean – what problem could it possibly give him?

He cleaned it with the open bottle of saline in their medical kit, covered in a strip of gauze, and was pleased to find that it wasn't visible beneath his shirt. After all, they possibly had another mission and he was going to need his good looks to secure them a transport with the locals if they did; he couldn't look weak, not right then, though he realized later that perhaps he should have at least told Hannibal... still, it was a scratch, one the old man didn't even notice when they curled up in bed together that night.

It wasn't a concern.

Pushed to the back of his mind, Face mostly forgot about the wound and went about his life for the next few days. He secured their next job, worked out numbers, and worked with BA to collect the gear they'd need; he cooked dinner when it was his turn, and convinced a sweet little brunette to do their laundry when Hannibal wasn't looking.

Then they packed up and set out for the mission, and he almost asked twice as they trekked into the thick rainforest terrain if anyone else was having trouble breathing: his head felt like it was wrapped in wool, his chest tight. He suddenly was hit with the idea to check his scratch, see how it was healing which he hadn't the prior day, but they had to keep to the schedule so stopping was simply not an option.

He was desperate for water by the time they stopped for the night, yet everything else had eased some. Face decided his moment of weakness on the journey was likely due to the heat after getting to sleep under the cool air of a decent fan for a few days.

I'll feel better in the morning. Body'll adjust, he thought, setting up his and Hannibal's tent automatically. I gotta get us somewhere with air-conditioners after this...

Two

The mission went off like clockwork the next night, Hannibal quite pleased with the turn out as well as the stacks of bills he was handed by the mother of the kid they'd rescued.

"All right, boys, let's break down camp and head back to civilization," Hannibal ordered when they returned to the site at dawn; he'd spent the mission listening to the silence of his team as they'd worked and now, he smiled as Murdock blathered on as he set about packing up the cookware while BA laid out empty threats.

It was only Face that he noticed was acting unusual; the kid hadn't seemed right for a few days, like he was overtired, which was odd since Hannibal knew Face had been getting sleep. More sleep than typical, actually.

His grin softened, the corners of his lips turning down, when he was brought out of his thoughts by the sight before him: Face was breaking down the tent as he wheezed and coughed. His skin was flushed, his cheeks reddened and Hannibal threw out a hand to feel at Face's forehead.

Hannibal immediately began to kick himself, because of all people, he should have noticed if Face had a fever. They slept in the same bed, for fuck's sake! Face was a goddamn octopus, crawling all over Hannibal in the night.

He grit his teeth and pushed Face down, forcing him to sit as he yelled, "Murdock! Medical kit!"

"Boss," Face said, unconsciously rubbing his chest with the heel of one hand, "I'm fine."

"Yeah, kid, picture of health."

Murdock crossed the encampment in four strides, the duffelbag filled with a myriad of half-used and unopened supplies in one hand, and BA at his side. Both looked worried and Face opened his mouth again to reassure him, only to be stopped by Hannibal yanking roughly at Face's shirt.

Whether Hannibal had gone searching for an injury as the cause of the illness or not, he found the dirtied bandage quite easily once the shirt was stripped away. Clearly, Face had tried to care for himself, but as per usual, had forgotten it once they had a mission to complete, and having not told Hannibal, the older man hadn't been able to remind Face about it.

Hannibal pulled the wet bandage away, revealing the wound.

"Aw, hell, Face," BA muttered.

Face looked down then, half-curious in his fevered haze why they were making a big deal out of his scratch. Evidently though, it had gotten infected, the edges of the wound weeping and red and swollen – which would explain why every time he'd stretched, his side had ached.

"Huh, that's not how it looked before," he said, then shrugged. "Murdock, pass me the aspirin."

Hannibal growled, "Aspirin? Aspirin? Face, you need an IV. And antibiotics."

"It's not that bad, Boss."

Even Murdock made a face at that; Hannibal didn't dignify it with a response. Instead, he turned to BA, telling him, "Reset camp. We'll move once his fever breaks."

Three

Between Murdock and Hannibal, the wound was cleaned, smeared with antibiotic cream, and redressed, and Face was stripped to his underwear with relative ease. Their tent still had to be resurrected, so the two had carefully laid Face onto Murdock's sleeping bag.

"Really, Boss," Face tried as Hannibal started rethreading the poles into the canvas, "I can..."

The coughing fit put an end to the argument before it could even begin and Hannibal continued without pause; Murdock quickly moved to help Face sit up, able to see over Face's shoulder how worried Hannibal looked.

It was nearly five years since the last time Face had been sick, but then it had been in Iraq with the Army's doctors to pump him full of the medications he needed to help his immune system fight. They'd barely gotten him back on his feet when he'd demanded to be released to his team's care, fought his way onto their next mission despite still being slightly weak and a few pounds underweight, and gotten shot.

Slowly, the coughing eased and Face let his head fall onto Murdock's shoulder, gratefully taking Hannibal's hand when the older man pushed Murdock out of the way. There was no love lost in the action – BA and Murdock are well versed in how gruff Hannibal can be when he was worried about Face, it was the same way he was when they were injured as well – and he moved quickly, helping Face to stand and walking behind him as Hannibal moved Face back to their tent.

Inside, Murdock found that Hannibal had made as comfortable a bed as he could out of their blankets and coats, remarking, "Nesting is a sign of pregnancy."

"We didn't want to say anything until we knew," Face shot back lazily. His eyes were glassy, not really focusing on what was in front of him.

Murdock glanced at Hannibal, who simply waved him away with one hand on Face's shoulder.

Four

They'd never talked about it in the past, Face and Hannibal's relationship. There wasn't any need: they all knew the nature of it, all accepted it, and if they had objections, well, in the end all that mattered was that they all had each others' backs.

Hannibal was almost grateful for that silent blessing as he took the fresh water BA had brought him. It made it possible for him to hold onto Face's hand, possible for him to strip away the underwear to press cold, damp clothes into the crease of his thighs without a double glance.

The fever, though, just refused to break and by the time the sun began to rise, casting red and pink and orange on the horizon, Face was delirious. He whispered bits of poetry, mathematical theories, and lyrics in quick succession and refused to let Hannibal more than a few feet from him.

"Face," he comforted, "I'll be back soon."

"Um, hum... Airplanes, Boss," he said with a grin, pointing skyward, "Like shooting stars."

"Lyrics again, Kid?"

He nodded, rubbing the sweat from his hair into Hannibal's pillow. "Good song. Charissa liked it... posted it on facebook," he went on, then dazed out for a moment with eyes closed and when he opened them again, he whispered, "I could really use a wish right now."

Hannibal sighed. Getting himself to his feet, he hoped Face wouldn't notice that he was trading places with Murdock who'd spent the last half an hour over the campfire mixing together ingredients into a smooth, thin soup.

"BA," Hannibal started once he'd crossed their camp and was out of Face's earshot, "I'm going to head back into the town."

Baracas didn't need to ask for what – a doctor would be best, but he knew that the first thing Hannibal was going to ferret out were equipment to combat the dehydration and whatever antibiotics he thought could help.

"If his fever breaks, head in that direction. Keep to the path – there's an abandoned shanty near the church that I'll meet you in."

"Hannibal, man," BA started, "You look like something we scraped up in Baghdad... You sure you want to do this?"

The look Smith gave him said it all.

"We'll meet you in the shanty if we can," he promised.

Five

They did their best to continue cramming fluids and aspirin down Face's throat, inordinately pleased when his temperature remained the same – they'd take small miracles where they could get them.

Hannibal was gone from dawn until dusk; BA had almost started to worry that they were going to need to break their boss out of the local jail, when Hannibal walked back into the encampment. He was panting and sweating, and he greedily drank the canteen of water BA brought him.

Wiping his mouth with the back of his hand, Hannibal undid the straps holding his pack on and carefully dropped it to the ground. "How is he?" he asked, as he tugged at the zippers.

"About the same." BA added, "That crazy fool was tryin' to convince me that Face'll sweat it out if he at some of those peppers we got from the last job. Told him he'd have to deal with you if he did."

That, at least, got a laugh from Hannibal.

Together they unpacked the supplies he'd managed to procure; with IV tubing in hand and a liter bag of saline, Hannibal crossed over to Face. He sighed at the image his lieutenant presented – damp from sweat and pale, his skin sticking up in a tent when Hannibal pinched the back of one hand.

The voice in his head was quick to point out that soon they would have no other option than to bring Face to a hospital; he did not want to think of how badly that could end, how he probably should have already done it, and forced himself to focus on the task at hand.

While they all had some level of first aid training, it was Murdock and Face who really split the job of being their field medic: Murdock would handle triage and bandaging, Face would handle the rest (if only to keep BA from attacking the other man). After four years of life as soldiers of fortune, Face had gotten pretty good at it, too, able to set up IVs with a steady hand and suture wounds cleanly – Hannibal hoped he could do the same.

"Okay, kid," he muttered, pulling Face's right arm free of the sheet he'd tangled it in. He winced at the bloodied mosquito bites he found there, fully aware that Face would be annoyed for weeks over them once he recovered.

As quickly as he could, he cleaned and inserted the catheter, got the fluids running and taped it in place. He sent Murdock back to stay with Face once that was done and returned to his pack, hesitating as he reached for the secure phone he always carried.

She'd been a valuable ally over the last few years, trying to clear their names and their reputations; it'd been a long battle to overturn their 10-year convictions and it still wasn't finished. Hannibal would serve his time for escaping from lawful custody if he had to, but he wasn't going to languish in a prison cell, miles and miles away from his teammates, for something they hadn't done.

He remained, however, always careful of the line he walked with Charissa Sosa, aware that she was protective of Face but career-oriented. A good woman with goals of her own that she wasn't going to fuck up for them; he respected her for it, but hoped that her care for Face would override her common sense in this instant.

As he started to dial, he closed his eyes and listened as Face woke, slurring his words as he sang that stupid song from earlier.

Six

Charissa had consulted two doctors with the list of symptoms she'd been given and both had given her the same response.

"They said he could be septic," she relayed, "You need to get him to a hospital."

"I take him to a hospital and he goes back to prison," Hannibal pointed out.

"You broke him out once, Hannibal – you can do it again. Besides, would it be so bad?" She knew the minute the words were out of her mouth that they were the wrong ones; she could hear him tense up on the other end, and sighed. "You've got the right antibiotics, if you really want to try to treat this, but it could destroy his kidneys."

There was silence for a moment, then Hannibal asked her, "What are the dosages?"

Seven

Face came to awareness with Hannibal leaning over him, wiping at his forehead with a washcloth. He was stripped naked, covered only in a sheet that he could tell and though he tried, he couldn't remember what had gotten him into that state.

"Face?" Hannibal called softly; he looked harried and tired, but as Face tried to answer, he felt his eyelids sliding shut.

He dreamt of heat and jungle humidity. Of Murdock and BA fretting over him, forcing him to sit up, to drink and to eat. He dreamt of an argument containing more insults than words in a southern accent and an excited Murdock, rattling off ideas in seconds, the pages of a book flipping rapidly.

And he dreamt of Hannibal, standing sentinel over him, cleaning him, and offering water – a solid presence at all times, despite sounding so very exhausted.

He wondered what that meant, but his mind was fevered and slowly, he let it go, falling into the black of unconsciousness.

Eight

"Boss?" Murdock leaned into tent, holding out clean cloths.

"He woke up for a minute," Hannibal answered. He took the cloths and set them beside him; his chest was tight with relief – things could get worse, but Face had shown some level of recovery when he'd turned clear eyes on Hannibal and recognized him.

Murdock let out a hoot, grinning and clapped Hannibal on the back. "Told you – Faceman's got too thick a skull to think he can die on your time."

Hannibal laughed, a deep throaty chuckle and resumed his work cleaning the layer of grime off Face, before letting himself give in to the desire to lay down. He'd been awake for days now, letting Murdock and BA handle the cooking and the legwork, getting water, while he handled Face, and he could use a nap if nothing else.

Just twenty minutes, he promised himself, splaying out on the camping mattress beside Face. He was asleep in seconds, and awake again all too quickly; he immediately sensed another presence and reacted instinctively.

BA held up both hands. "It's me, Hannibal. Me and that crazy ass pilot."

Hannibal nodded, rubbing the last vestiges of sleep from his eyes and asked, "There any dinner out there?"

"Murdock made soup again. Says he'll make us something better when we cross the border back into Texas," BA answered, reaching over to check the IV line. "Go eat, I'll stay with him."

The soup was decent given their dwindling supplies, a mixture of rehydrated vegetables and rehydrated beans with the last of their meat. He didn't want to think about how Murdock had managed to salvage the chicken, and instead watched as BA and Murdock teased each other in low tones next to Face.

They too looked worn out; he swore to himself when Face was mobile again, their first stop would be a decent hotel before they headed for home. It'd be tricky staying off the grid within the US, but he'd manage it for his boys. They needed some good food that they could recognize and wasn't cobbled together by their imaginative but limited pilot-slash-cook.

It would be nice, too, to get a little time away from each other. They never went too far, but when people lived in one another's pockets like they did, sometimes a break was the best thing for them all.

Future plans settled, Hannibal swallowed the last spoonful of his meal and returned to the tent. "I'm going to catch some shut-eye, BA. Wake me if he does."

"No problem," Baracas assured, glad to finally see his CO resting. The man had been running himself ragged over Face and it was time Hannibal took some care of himself; BA almost hoped that Face would sleep for another few hours.

Nine

"Well, hello there."

Face forced his eyes open, looking dazedly at Hannibal as he tried to gauge what was going on. He itched from head to toe, his chest felt sore, and when he tried to lift a hand, he realized there was an IV in his arm. "That truck. You get the number on it?" he asked in a hoarse voice, trying to sound upbeat.

Hannibal grinned. "Oh, I think it was an airplane."

That confused Face – they hadn't been planning anything with planes, had they? He cocked his head to the side. "What?"

Hannibal only laughed heartily in reply.
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