Behind my smile, there's a story you would never understand.

It was long flight home. After the adrenaline of the mission and their rather precipitous encounter with Lynch, it didn't take long before the steady rumble of the plane had both Face and Amy sleeping soundly. Hannibal had spent a few minutes in the cockpit with the pilot, but when he was flying a "little beauty" like this one, Murdock tended to get a little... exuberant.

So now the colonel sat back in the cabin, watching the mountains pass below, and enjoyed the quiet. The sun was coming through his window, warming him just the way he liked. It wouldn't take much to put him to sleep, but he didn't want to waste this interlude. Wasn't often he got time to himself on these jobs. Sighing, he pulled the shade half-way down. He looked over at BA, just making sure he was still out. It would not be good if he came to halfway through the flight. Face was just in front of him, seat pushed back so he could stretch out more. Hannibal figured he had a buxom blond - or maybe brunette - waiting hopefully for his call. Man had a black book the size of an encyclopedia.

His gaze stopped on their client. Former client. He wasn't sure about the whole "member of the team" thing, but what the hell. She could definitely help out in the research department, work off the balance of her bill. He grinned as he imagined her response to that. Face could probably find a use for her in his scams, too. He thought about that for only a second before deciding he'd have to have a little talk with his lieutenant before Ms Allen got too involved with the team. Not that he was worried, but it wouldn't hurt.

He looked out the window again. Low mountains below. They'd be over the desert soon. Pretty country, actually. He smiled. "Ol' Topper". He'd had her going for a while there. She hadn't spent much time researching the team. She should've known he'd spent most of his life in - or running from - the military. But when he could see himself with a spread like he'd described, it was easy to fool others. Yeah, a ranch of his own, running cattle. Horses. Had to have horses. He'd like that. One day. If they ever cleared their names.

Would that ever happen? He kept telling the guys it would, especially when one or more of them got discouraged. When they got chased out of an apartment yet again, losing everything they had. Easy to lose that hope then. But they always believed him. Not so easy to keep himself convinced. Probably why he thought about things like cattle ranches, or a Hollywood career. Maybe even settling down with a nice lady. As long as he could think about those, keep imagining himself living a normal life, he could keep the others believing, too. If he ever lost that...

Well, hell. He'd get bored watching cows all day...