A bad word whispered will echo a hundred miles. - Chinese Proverb

He packed his bags carefully, methodically. It was nice, not having to leave everything but his wallet and keys. Of course, there wasn't much in his wallet that couldn't be replaced in a few days. He never kept much cash, plastic cancelled with a couple of phone calls. His mechanic could make a new set of car keys in minutes. Even most of his clothes were in storage for just such occasions. He could take his time replacing whatever was lost.

But being able to move out 'normally' was nice.

He really didn't need to. He usually didn't until the real occupant was due back, or the military found him. This time...

The guys had shown up. No notice, of course. Hannibal had a potential client he needed Face to check out. No obvious red flags, but it was a rush job and Face could handle it faster than anyone. It only took him a couple hours, and when he came back with everything they needed to know, the guys were loaded for bear.

And he, of course, was the bear.

The apartment belonged to a woman. A high-priced lawyer, real professional, but her decor wasn't exactly masculine. It didn't matter to Face; he'd never intended to bring any of his ladies here. But it was comfortable, quiet, and unobtrusive. A place he could just relax in.

But apparently it mattered to Hannibal - and thus it mattered to BA and Murdock.

It took three days to handle their client's problem, and Face heard more about his "lovely" apartment than he did about the bad guys. He tried to laugh it off, then ignore it, but it wasn't easy.

Sure, he could rent a place, but he liked nice things and nice things weren't cheap. Was it really so horrible, wanting something besides the things no one else wanted, the cast-offs? Was it wrong, borrowing something no one was using? And he left them in the same condition as he found them. Usually. There were only two times he couldn't. One when the military showed up. The other when the guys decided to crash at his place.

Crash being the operative word.

He zipped up the last bag, sighing. He had a new place already lined up. One the guys would not find. He'd make sure of that. No more 'teasing'.

Maybe he'd just disappear for a while. Not long, just a few days. Long enough for the others to forget about this place. Never took long, if Face wasn't around.

Hannibal would be mad, of course. He liked to know where his guys were. But that would work to Face's advantage. When he did show up, he'd get a glare, an acerbic reminder to keep in touch, and then either business as usual or the silent treatment. Either way, none of them would even think about why he disappeared. Not a great solution, but the only one that worked. The other alternative was just not tenable.

He needed his family.