Honor isn't about making the right choices. It's about dealing with the consequences. - Midori Koto

Murdock stepped slowly from the van, moving away from the house. He really didn't want to be around them right now.

He wandered the grounds, ignoring the handful of Ables, thinking about the last few hours. Sitting in the van while Face and Ellen talked. He hadn't watched them, not wanting to see or know how that conversation went. Returning to the van, both were quiet, somber. Face had walked Ellen to her hotel room, returning a few minutes later. He told Murdock to take the van back to Langley and he would catch a cab later.

Then he walked away.

Murdock had tried to follow, but Face was... well, Face. No running, no looking back, just disappearing as casually as if walking on the beach. Murdock drove to the house, trying to figure out what to do next.

He looked toward the house. There hadn't been time yet to explain anything to the guys. And Face hadn't really been in any state of mind for that anyway. Once again, the decision was Murdock's. Should he be the one to tell them? Would Face want him to? Or would he see it as another betrayal? Could Murdock stall them long enough for Face to come back?

What if Face didn't come back?

The thought scared the hell out of him. He had no idea what Face was thinking now, how things stood with Ellen. Was he just taking some time to sort himself out, feeling the sting of Ellen's rejection, planning his next meeting with her, or...?

Shit, shit, shit!

He rolled his shoulders and headed back to the house. Sane he may be, but right now, he needed a more rational mind.

The three men looked up, obviously expecting Face to be right behind him. BA frowned, Hannibal raised an eyebrow. Frankie, of course...

"Hey, where's Face? Hot date with Ellen?" He grinned.

"No. Uh, Hannibal, you got a minute?"

Without a word, the colonel headed for the conference room, Murdock following, ignoring the puzzled looks behind him. Inside, Hannibal wasted no time.

"So what's up with you and Face?"

Murdock shut the door carefully before explaining everything, from the moment he'd found the photo to his last view of Face. Then he waited.


Hannibal stood stoically through the recitation, trying not to show his frustration. This situation was so completely fucked up. He could not afford to have those two, especially, at odds.

"Okay, Captain. You and Face settled now?"

"I think so. I hope so." He shook his head. "I don't know - when he gets back, maybe, I - "

"Alright, alright. Don't say anything to BA or Frankie until I talk to Face. Order some pizzas and park yourselves out on the patio."

The pizza was long gone when the cab pulled up the drive. Hannibal gave Murdock a small smile as he stepped out to meet it. Face tried to give him the 'everything's fine' smile, but it was anything but.

"C'mon, kid, let's take a walk."