No Good Deed, etc.
Hawaii was truly beautiful; a garden paradise nestled on the blue silk of the Pacific. And the fricking beauty was grating on BA’s last nerve. A mercenary gig had landed them on Guam, so a short trip to Hawaii had put a buffer of tourists between them and the US military forces stationed there. A week for things to calm down, and they’d move on. Except that five days of perfection was just too much.
The guys had taken a plane over to another island for a day trip, leaving BA to his anger. It hadn’t helped calm him down, as everywhere he went he saw happy couples and families vacationing together. Even the bus he was on now was full of families and excited little kids who wanted to see the volcano. The young boy who bounced with excitement and random lava facts made BA feel even more alone then the honeymooning couple in front of him.
The live volcano tour had seemed the perfect thing to distract BA from the flowers and birds, all done in bright, tropical colors. A barren landscape of liquid fire had a certain appeal after the nausea inducing beauty, and he got on the tour bus to Mauna Kea. They let out at a Ranger’s Station, where BA made sure his ball cap was pulled over his eyes. The Ranger gave a safety lecture and led them on a hike. Over a hill, through the plush greenery, and they were looking over a volcano. The hike ended a hundred feet from the dangerous stuff, but the little girl who clung to her daddy didn’t think that was far enough.
The place was more than BA expected: hot and smelling of sulfur. The wall of heat off the red lava kept back the crowd as the Ranger began to talk. BA wasn’t listening, as he was cursing under his breath. The damn place was entirely different than the greenery, but still pointlessly beautiful!
BA let his eyes take in the landscape, letting his mind delve into what he knew of volcanoes. It was a trick BA had learned as a child, his interest in cars keeping him from falling apart at his father’s funeral. His mother had needed him to be strong, and if he wasn’t strong, what was his purpose?
The scream pulled BA back to the crowd, and the mother looking for her errant son. He had moved to the lava streams, pushing against the heat without regard to his safety. BA moved, running to pull the boy into his arms, to safety. The rock gave under his twisting foot, plopping into the lava, but he was already carrying the boy to his mother.
She tried to smother the boy with kisses as she demanded he never did that again. Trying not to be noticed was hard to do when you went around saving kids, but BA eased away from the family as the father and daughter joined the hug. The Ranger sent the group back to the Ranger Station, but BA lagged behind.
“That was very brave.” A woman was suddenly walking beside BA, a woman as ridiculously beautiful as these islands. “Though the boy would not have been harmed.”
“I couldn’t know that.” BA huffed, and took a long step. The woman stayed beside him, but BA was looking for the jealous lover. He doubted a beauty like this would be here alone, though he didn’t remember her from the tour bus.
He looked past the face, hoping she wore a Ranger’s uniform. Hiking boots, green shorts and a floral shirt, under a very Hawaiian face; native, but didn’t work here. So how had BA missed such a memorable person on the way up? He was supposed to be aware, lest he wind up in jail again.
She let him look, watching him in return, without any need to watch where she walked. When BA was done with his assessment, she seemed to know it. “My name is Pele.”
“BA.” It sounded strange in her voice. BA wouldn’t call it an accent, but something about the pronunciation of the vowel made him notice.
“Pele’s a pretty name.”
“Thank you. Have you ever heard it before?”
“Not from here.”
“But someone of your blood has been here before.”
“What’s that supposed to mean?”
“You see my islands, and not the buildings on them.”
“Right.” BA couldn’t add more without being impolite. Why was he a magnet for crazy people? First Hannibal, who shot him, then Face, who wanted to be as crazy as Hannibal, and Lord help ‘em, Murdock.
“Diluted, hardened by the mainland, but the belief in more still runs within you.”
“Yes ma’am. Why don’t you go into the Ranger Station, get out of the heat?” BA held the door open, and she laughed before going inside. A musical laugh, beautiful of course. BA let the door close and went to a picnic table in a shady spot.
The bus would leave in a half hour, giving the tourists plenty of time to shop for souvenirs. BA didn’t really have the space for knickknacks as he ran from the law. A postcard mailed to his Momma a month after they left the island was the best he could expect. Murdock would have liked something, but BA didn’t want to shop with Pele. Though crazy could probably pick out the perfect gift for Crazy.
“Coconut water for the hero of the day.” Pele was back, having snuck up on BA again, holding out a coconut with a straw stuck in the side.
BA knew he could use some water after being around that heat, but from a coconut? He took it and sipped from the straw. It was water that tasted of coconut, surprisingly refreshing. “Thanks Pele.”
She had sat beside him while he sipped, but now she turned to face him. “Your grandfather.”
“What about him?”
“He has a history here.”
Sometimes it was easier to go along with crazy than fight it, so BA shrugged. “He was stationed at Pearl Harbor, before WWII.”
“Private Baracus, trained on radios but mostly worked as a janitor because of his skin color. During the attack, he was one of the first to start firing back. His last thoughts were of his pregnant wife.”
BA looked into her eyes, trying to see her angle in all this. She looked as sad as she sounded, no indication that she was about to ask him for money.
“What became of his son?”
“Cop in Chicago, killed in the line of duty, and his son too.”
“You are the last to carry that blood and bravery. It is always sad to see such a thing die.”
“Look lady, I don’t know what your game is or what your problem is, but I want kids. My Momma raised me not to hit ladies, but I’ve got my own ideas about that.” BA thought he saw of flash of anger in Pele’s eyes that matched his own fiery temper, but she blinked it away.
Pele stood, and leaned over to move his ball cap. A kiss on his forehead stunned him while she spoke. “Anything you go after you will achieve, at least while you are on my islands.”
She shoved the cap over his eyes and when BA got his head free, she was gone. The others were loading onto the bus, so he went to stand in line. He was very glad Pele didn’t return from wherever she went to sit beside him for the hour drive back. How much crazy was one man supposed to handle?
Scratching at the top of his foot, BA watched the Ranger station disappear behind them. Only when he felt safe from Pele did he remember he’d worn leather hiking boots. Looking down, he saw the leather uppers had been burned away from most of his right foot, the one that had pushed through the lava crust when he grabbed the kid. How could his shoe and sock have burned away, but left his foot without a mark?
How did Pele known his grandfather was Baracus, when BA hadn’t mentioned his last name? The army in the forties hadn’t been integrated, but it was still a steady paycheck. So there weren’t that many black men around, but surely there were more than just his grandfather.
Hell, he’d messed up somehow, and after the guys got back, they were going to have to leave. Kind of a shame, when a beautiful native had promised BA could do anything while on her islands. At that thought, BA reached up to rub his eyes. He was going as crazy as everybody else, believing that insane woman.
BA changed into some tourist approved shorts and sandals. He’d found a small, oddly shaped rock in his pocket, and wandered around worrying the rock between his fingers. He left a small lamp on in the hotel room, security against someone trying to lay a trap for him while he was out; that, and it kept him from bumping up against furniture in an unfamiliar place.
The guys got back in time for supper, and it was Murdock’s turn to pick the restaurant. The tiny hut he selected was actually the kitchen, and they were happy to be seated on the beach. Mismatched plastic lawn furniture didn’t look like much, and there were no exotic floor shows to distract them. Face wasn’t the only one who missed the Hula dancers, but the food put them far from even Face’s dirty little mind.
The grilled fish and vegetables keep them in blissful silence for twenty minutes after the food was gone. Murdock broke the peace, getting up to see about the recipe. They decided to wait for the irate staff to throw Murdock out before doing anything, so Face told BA what they’d seen during their tour. BA figured his story could wait until they left, but an hour later they still hadn’t heard screaming from the kitchen. Face went to look for Murdock, while Hannibal filled BA in on the goofy things Face had done and left out of his narrative.
Face returned, sat in his chair and finished the last swallow of his beer before speaking. “Murdock and this four hundred pound Hawaiian chef are arguing if poi or hummus makes a better tubed food product. This tiny old woman with a huge knife is about to slice them both like a can of spam if they don’t finish cooking the fish they’re working on.”
“So Murdock could be with his new friends for hours.” Hannibal sighed, and glanced at Face.
BA matched the sigh and looked toward the hut kitchen so he wouldn’t have to see the way Face looked back at Hannibal. “You go. I’ll wait on Murdock.”
“You sure, BA?” Hannibal asked, but Face was already on his feet.
“I’m sure, boss.”
Hannibal stood and followed Face back out to the street. BA let them go before signaling the waitress for another beer. He’d much rather stare out at the sunset on the ocean then watch Face and Hannibal have eye sex. Besides, how could he begrudge them the happiness they’d found?
It was all well and good for Pele to say he could have whatever he wanted, but the two things he wanted opposed each other. He could easily admit to wanting kids, a large family to love, as anyone who knew him could see BA loved kids. He’d wanted a little brother or sister for years, until he found out his Momma needed help granting that wish. But he couldn’t have kids without being in love with the person having the kids. And the feeling that might be love, was newer than the desire for a family. And it was directed at the wrong people for having kids with, particularly since crazy was inheritable.
“Hey BA! Are they in the bathroom or something?” Murdock shouted as he ran to the table, a plate in his hands. He stopped, only just managing to stop the contents of the plate from landing on BA.
“They went to the hotel.”
“And you waited on me? How sweet!”
“Whatever. You ready to go?”
“First you got to try this! Keali’i mahi mahi avec hummus.”
“Fish cooked in chickpeas, as Keali’i showed me.”
“Keali’i is a person?”
“Yes, the chef here.”
“Weird names in this place.” BA took a forkful of the stuff, watching the steam escape.
“If you say so, Bosco.”
That comment got a glare from BA. “And what does HM stand for?”
Murdock shrugged, and glanced at the fish. “Taste it, BA.”
BA could almost hear Pele’s musical voice again, suggesting he could get what he wanted while in Hawaii. He had always wondered about Murdock’s real name. “First you tell me what the HM stands for.”
“What? Are you blackmailing me?”
BA was met with hurt, surprised puppy dog eyes; eyes it took a strong man to resist. “Yes.”
“You won’t believe me, so just try the fish.”
BA set his fork on the plate and removed his hand.
Murdock moaned, watching his offering be ignored.
BA folded his arms against the noise, determined not to give in as he always did when Crazy was concerned. Especially Crazy armed with food that smelled of heaven.
“You know how the S in Harry S Truman didn’t stand for anything? Neither does HM. My Mom just liked the way the two letters looked together.” Murdock shrugged, and leaned into press his fish dish under BA’s nose. “Mom was a little nuts.”
Thoughts ranging from color comparisons between pots and kettles and how far apples fell from trees flashed through his mind. BA ignored them to pick up his fork. Murdock wasn’t likely to poison him with stuff found in a real kitchen, so BA ate willingly. He grinned up at Murdock and took the plate. As he ate, Murdock danced triumphantly beside him.
“So he likes it then?” A deep voice asked, getting their attention. BA stared as Murdock went over to shake the large man’s hand.
“He’s about to start licking the plate. Mahalo, Keali’i!”
“You’re welcome, cousin.”
Murdock bent down to look BA in the eye. “They’re about to close up, BA. You want to stay and help or go back to the hotel?”
“I didn’t make a mess in the kitchen, but if you did you need to clean it up.”
“But clean up’s not as fun as dirty up!”
“Go!” BA held his, sadly, empty plate out. Murdock took it and almost ran back to the kitchen.
Keali’i gave BA a gentle punch on the shoulder. “I could use the help, and he’d obviously do anything for you. Mahalo, cousin.”
Keali’i sauntered back to the kitchen, where the Murdock could be heard singing. BA got the waitress’s attention and settled up the bill. She brought him another beer with his change, and told him it was from the chef. BA added the price to her tip, and stared out at the dark ocean. For a distraction, he imagined building a model helicopter out of industrial kitchen implements. The rotors wouldn’t be a problem if they had a mixer, but what to do about the controller device?
“Ready to go, cousin?”
“Ain’t your cousin, fool.”
“Just blending in with the locals. Come on Big Kahuna, walk me back to the hotel?”
BA stood, but Murdock was walking down the beach instead of returning to the road. “Hey, hotel is five miles inland.”
“Inland? Way to blend in!” Murdock gave him a thumbs up, but went back to walking along the beach. BA jogged up to walk beside him. Murdock had some sort of built in GPS system, so he never got lost, but he didn’t have any sense of time. Left alone, he’d show up where he was supposed to, just a month early or a week late. “What’d you do today?”
“Went to the volcano.”
“Cool! Or hot, I guess. Did you bring me anything?”
“Didn’t buy you nothing. Where you gonna keep it?” Murdock’s head drooped a little, and BA remembered the rock. “Unless it’s small, crazy man.”
Murdock’s head popped up, and he took the proffered rock with a jaw breaking grin. “Lava glass shaped like the Big Island? It’s perfect!”
This was where BA crushed his feelings, even the good ones, by thinking of something else. Except, nothing came to mind. Instead of the schematics of kitchen appliance helicopter, he saw Murdock’s joyful expression. The warm feeling that came with that look spread throughout his body, and he pulled Murdock to him. Murdock’s squirming stopped when you kissed him, BA noted, but he still had more limbs than an octopus.
Murdock pulled away from the kiss to lick BA’s nose. “Last one to the hotel bottoms tonight.”
He was off and running, while a startled BA tried to figure that comment out. He was alone, but he could swear he heard a smothered laugh, and rather than dwell on that, BA took off running. He passed Murdock about two miles from the hotel, but ‘GPS in his head’ Murdock took a couple of side streets and shot out of an alley and into the hotel parking lot. As he headed for the lobby, BA went around to the side entrance nearest their room. As BA pulled his key card out of the lock and opened the door, Murdock collided with him in a flying tackle. They tumbled into the room, but BA kept his feet. Leaping over the fallen Murdock, he landed and turned to sit on one of the twin beds in the room.
“I beat you to the hotel, you beat me to the bed.” Murdock’s tone was reasonable, but he was kicking of his shoes, pulling his shirt over his head and trying to remove his shorts by squirming against the carpet. “So, we should both bottom tonight, just to be fair.”
“Very fair.” BA added, pulling his shirt over his head. “But we should talk or something.”
There was stuff he needed to say, but while he removed his shirt, HM stood. He gotten his shorts and underwear off at some point, and BA forgot what he’d been saying.
HM must have needed the invite, but he didn’t hesitate after getting it. He was on BA a second later, kissing him into the bed. BA laid back and let him, loving the way HM looked in the light from the small lamp BA had left on. The man only ever focused on flying, so to have all of his attention was intoxicating, even if he was just settling his body around BA’s larger one.
“Is there a knife in your pocket or are you just happy to see me?”
BA laughed, but had to pry his hands away from HM’s ass to take off his shorts. “Both, Crazy.”
HM stuck his ass in the air, so he could look between his legs and see BA’s cock. “Man, I’m gonna need a tub of lube to get that in!”
With a theatrical groan, HM collapsed on BA.
Concerned, BA ran a gentle hand through HM’s wild hair. “What’s the matter, man?”
HM’s sad eyes peeked up at BA, and he replied in a soft voice. “You got any lube? I haven’t carried any for years; had I thought this was possible, I would have, you know, but you always have a way of surprising me, you crazy thing!”
“I surprise you? And you think I’m crazy? Who’s the fool who doesn’t know we can do things without lube?”
“But I want you every way I can have you!”
“Like tomorrow later?”
“Yeah, and the night after, HM, if you want.”
“Oh, I want!” HM bounced up until he was on all fours, and crawled backward. When he got to BA’s thighs, he lined up their pelvises and sat. HM matched the head of his cock with BA’s, and held the shafts together.
BA fought the urge to buck his hips, forcing more contact. HM understood, and began stroking both cocks with both hands. His right hand would slide off the tips just as the left began moving upwards, creating a constant sensation that had BA clutching at the sheets in desperation. He’d never done this before, with any man, and he wasn’t sure what to do. But HM wasn’t changing his tempo or adding the stimulation BA needed, so BA reached down and wrapped a hand around them both. HM gave a surprised gasp, and came with a shudder. His hands tightened convulsively, and pushed BA into orgasm.
Even when the tremors were over, BA still felt like he was floating. The body resting on him should have made him feel tied to his body, but Crazy defied gravity.
“With you, I’ll fly like that anytime.”
BA didn’t even mean to say that out loud, but HM heard it. Without looking at BA, he dragged himself across BA so he could reach the phone. He dialed Face’s room number without looking. “Hannibal? Ask Face if I can borrow some shave stuff.”
Hannibal probably rolled his eyes, but asked Face anyway.
“Tell him it’s cause I need to smell fruity tomorrow.”
BA could understand why Face wanted to know, as HM could have borrowed the basics from BA.
No time passed for Hannibal to relate Murdock’s reply, so he was probably holding the phone where Face could hear it.
“I’ll be right there!” Excited again, Murdock hopped up to go borrow shaving stuff.
BA started to wonder why, but had to stop HM. “Crazy! Wear shorts or you’ll get us all arrested.”
The door clicked closed just as HM came back to where BA could see him. HM yanked his shorts back on, ignoring the underwear still inside. They fell out as he walked back to the door, and BA picked them up to toss with the rest of Murdock’s stuff. Wiping himself down in the bathroom, BA realized he was humming to himself.
He still wanted kids, but this desire fit in better with his lifestyle. He’d been foolish not to see that earlier, to see that as a fugitive he was better off with a lover then a pack of kids. There was no best of both worlds for him, so he would take the best of this world. The door opened and the locks clicked, so BA wrapped a towel around him and went to see what Murdock was doing. Murdock was sprawled out on the bed, wearing nothing but a mischievous smile.
“Face keeps a spare tube of lube in his shaving kit.” HM said with a shrug.
BA grinned, not caring how HM knew that, and went to join him on the bed. BA left his towel behind.
Face had scammed them jobs on a cruise ship heading for Alaska, and then Seattle. They were going for the servant’s entrance to the ship, and still found Hawaiian women handing out leis. Face flirted; something BA had always thought was an automatic thing with him. But seeing the woman hugging Murdock, BA thought maybe Face did it to get possessive sex out of Hannibal.
“HM would enjoy you being possessive.”
BA turned to see who was whispering in his ear, whose words so closely resembled his thoughts. “Pele?”
“Don’t worry, my sisters know better than to try anything with HM.”
“That’s reassuring.” BA muttered, wondering why this crazy woman was stalking him.
She pulled a lei over his head, and kissed him on the cheek. “Remember us, for the time will come when you need us.”
“Who’s your friend?” HM was standing in front of BA, his lei forgotten as he looked at Pele.
Pele laughed, and led the crowd away.
BA was left to mutter a confusing explanation, before they were called to get on the ship. After his shift in the ship’s engine room, BA found he liked being the recipient of some possessive sex.
A job as loggers in a remote part of Canada was Hannibal’s idea of laying low. Plus they needed a break, after all the close calls with the MP’s they’d had in the weeks since they left Hawaii. Face arranged a cabin for them to share, instead of two or three apartments on opposite sides of town. That was usual, as it gave half the team warning if the other half was picked up. It wouldn’t work here, as the town was too small. The cabin was far enough back that they could escape into the woods if they needed to.
BA had found a good place to park, backing into a grove of trees to hide the van from the street. This made him the last one in the cabin, but made him happy about the transportation being secure. As BA set his duffle on the chair in the room he was to share with Murdock, he considered it was time to tell Face and Hannibal that he was with Murdock. This family cabin had a master bedroom, that Hannibal and Face automatically claimed, and a kids room. Murdock would love the airplane and car decorations, but the bunk beds presented a problem.
Shaking his head, BA went to see what HM was doing in the kitchen. The kitchen wasn’t separated from the living room by a solid wall, so that limited BA’s options for messing with HM, but he was distracted by Face’s question.
“Hannibal, do they seriously expect us working a 5 am?”
“As soon as the sun’s up, we’ll be hacking away.” Hannibal said, hacking on an imaginary tree with the TV remote.
“What kind of night life can we have if we spend all night asleep?” Face complained, meaning more by night life than a beer at the local bar.
“Least you got a real bed, Face. Did you know about the bunk beds when you got this place?”
Face looked up at BA, confused. “Yeah, thought you’d like that better than sharing for a few weeks.”
“Do we get bunk beds? Is that what I heard?” Murdock emerged from the kitchen, grinning over a large mixing bowl in his hands.
“Big bunk beds, Murdock. I bet BA will even let you have the top bunk!” Face knew if he won Murdock over, he’d make BA agree.
“Sounds great!” Murdock turned back to the kitchen but stopped to shrug at BA. “Guess we’ll just have to have wall sex.”
Murdock headed back into the kitchen, leaving BA to face Hannibal’s laughter. Face looked stunned, blinking as he tried to absorb that statement. Hannibal calmed down first, and wiped at his eyes as he spoke.
“Guess that explains why you’ve been in such a good mood lately.”
“How long?” Face asked, embarrassed he’d missed this detail about his best friends.
“Since Hawaii?” Hannibal asked, saving BA from forcing his voice to work.
“That explains where my spare lube went.” Face added, still in a disbelieving voice.
“Next place, Face will get you a decent bed to share.”
Hannibal’s smirking promise got BA to reply at last. “And two bathrooms. I hate waiting on Face.”
That brought Face out of his shock. “Hey! My face is our calling card, it has to be perfect.”
“Relax Face; don’t envy the new couple their shower sex.”
“Shower sex?” Murdock was back, left hand held under a spoon full of sauce. “You got time, this needs to simmer. Taste it, BA, does it need something?”
BA tasted the sauce, sipping a mouthful from the spoon, clearly tasting oregano, tomato and Crazy’s secret spices. “No, just needs to mix.”
HM cleaned the spoon, and kissed BA. They stayed that way for while, until HM felt the need to stir his sauce. BA was plenty stirred up, but he was alone. The bathroom door was closed and the water was running, so he went to help HM simmer.
Supper had been quiet, and everything said seemed to have two meanings. By the time they decided to call it a night, an early night, BA was so wound up he couldn’t be bothered to close the door. Murdock laughed at his enthusiasm and the noise started a war. Face gasped in a theatrical way, and Murdock called back with a loud moan. By the time BA growled out his climax, it was so he could laugh at the silliness. He wasn’t sure who finished first, but knew it wasn’t him. Spent, HM didn’t bother climbing to the top bunk, covering BA like a giggling blanket.
The alarm clocks went off, far too early for anyone’s taste, and they stumbled around trying to get ready. BA pounded on the bathroom door while Murdock headed for the kitchen area. He could hear Hannibal stretching in the master bedroom, calmly waiting for his boys to get out of his way. Murdock returned to the bathroom, but instead of coffee he had a bowl of jello. BA was distracted from his pounding to ask.
“What’s in that?”
Face opened the door and looked at what Murdock was eating. He spun around to vomit in the toilet, the noise pulling Hannibal out of his room. He pushed by BA to see if Face was all right, instantly in mother hen mode.
Murdock frowned at BA. “So nobody else wants any?”
“I don’t think so, HM.” BA patted him on the shoulder, and went outside to water a tree. His bladder was bursting, and it seemed as if Face would be in the bathroom even longer than normal.
The three of them eventually make it to work, after Face convinced everyone he wasn’t dying and Hannibal convinced him he wasn’t coming to work. Races up trees to trim branches before cutting the trunk weren’t wise, but that didn’t stop them. HM and BA got up to the top, only to find Hannibal had stopped about halfway. He complained about dizziness, said he’d be fine in a minute. The foreman, who was watching, demanded he come down. Hannibal spent the rest of the day cleaning and prepping equipment, bored. HM and BA worked the trees, worried about how a bored Hannibal would erupt.
Hannibal managed to get through the day, but only because he was worried about Face. They got to the cabin to find it had been cleaned, and Face had cooked. The three of them stood in the doorway and stared, until Face saw them. He paused in setting the table, and shrugged at them.
“I went back to sleep, woke up again, and had a ton of energy.”
“Whatever, my feet are killing me and I need a pee.” HM said, and his tired voice surprised everybody. He’d kicked off his boots on the drive over, so he shuffled barefoot to the bathroom. Hannibal pulled off his boots, and BA did the same. Face gave the table an approving look, before going to the fridge.
“Who wants a beer?”
BA’s stomach rolled in a nauseated way at the thought. “We got milk?”
“Milk for the big man.” Face replied, pulling out the jug and going for a glass.
“That sounds good, kid.”
The glass slid out of Face’s hand, thunking back into the cabinet, as he turned to stare at Hannibal. BA didn’t see it, as he was staring at Hannibal too.
“I’ll have beer later. I just feel like something healthy.” As if self-conscious of their staring, Hannibal turned and hung his coat up. He reached for the cigar sticking out of his pocket, fingers closing around it.
“BA, can we have shower sex?” HM was peeking out of the bathroom door, and provided a wonderful distraction.
“Thought you was tired?”
“My feet are, but you can hold me up.”
“I’m coming.” BA was reenergized by the idea, feeding off the energy of Crazy. Stripping as he went, BA was naked before he got there, uncaring what Hannibal and Face saw. HM was aroused and waiting, one foot on the sink as he stretched his asshole. Somebody’s lube was in his hand, and BA took it. A few covering strokes, and BA looked up to see HM was in the shower stall.
BA slid into HM’s arms, and picked him up to set him on his cock. They fit together perfectly, and when BA was all the way in, HM’s legs wrapped around him. Pressing HM to the wall, BA began to thrust as HM attacked his mouth. HM’s cock was trapped between them, the friction offset by the water, so he dropped a hand to stroke. BA grabbed it, putting both of HM’s hands in one of his large hands, holding them over HM’s head. BA thought he was in control, and settled into as slow a rhythm as he could stand. Crazy had other ideas and clenched around BA. BA growled, his rhythm changing against the new friction. Soon it was wild and primal, and HM was laughing as BA finished inside of him.
“Beautiful baby, my giant warm fuzzy, I would do anything to keep you this happy.” HM was muttering as BA finished shuddering, and remembered to release HM.
“I’m happy with you.” BA managed, opening his eyes to a spent HM. BA wonder if HM had come from his words or earlier and he hadn’t notice. “Let’s get clean, don’t want the bossman to wait on his supper.”
It turned out he didn’t need to worry, as Hannibal had found something else to do with his time. When a towel wrapped BA went to pick up his clothes, Hannibal and Face were in their room. Shaking his head, BA noticed the cigar Hannibal had fingered earlier. It was still in his coat, and BA couldn’t remember the last time he’d seen Hannibal actually smoke one. Strange day, but tomorrow was bound to be better.
Tomorrow was actually worse, as Face got up before the alarms to begin vomiting. BA and HM went to pee on the trees, accepting that the bathroom was taken. The foreman kept Hannibal grounded, and he muttered and cursed as he went about his duties. A sheepish Face was at a loss to explain himself, and made them supper again.
Suspecting treachery, BA watched Face eat. He mostly ate what Hannibal forced him to eat, and just moved stuff around on his plate. He felt worse than he was letting on, and doing what he could to make it up to them. Hannibal hadn’t touched a cigar all day, and they were all drinking milk or water. BA knew something was going on, but had no idea what. No disease he had ever heard of had this range of symptoms, but he wasn’t a doctor.
BA watched them all over the next few weeks, noticing things nobody wanted noticed. Face would sneak out of bed to vomit and try to get back in before Hannibal noticed he was gone. HM seemed to hurt a lot, and he’d lay on the couch, begging BA to rub his feet. His other joints would swell, but he’d pretend they didn’t hurt. Hannibal started to be careful about how he stood up or sat down, though BA wasn’t sure why.
Face did grocery runs, so only him and BA knew for sure that they’d stopped buying beer. The supply they’d bought when they first arrived had never been drunk, so sodas and juices filled the fridge. Face was branching out in his cooking, trying healthier recipes and cooking with chicken instead of red meat. He could cook, but not with the same level of inventiveness and deliciousness as Crazy. Curious about something, BA asked Face. He’d shrugged it off as not a big deal, but Face admitted he hadn’t bought Hannibal cigars in a while.
BA hoped it was just the well water making city boy Face uncomfortable. If that was the case, than the healthy Canadian air was making them all feel like they should eat healthier or something. And really, he hadn’t been with HM all that long, so maybe he sometimes slept like he was exhausted. The times they’d shared a room or tent wasn’t the same a sharing a bed, so BA might have been imagining it. BA almost had himself convinced of that when the drug dealers attacked.
Apparently the logging was getting a little too close to their summer crop, so they decided to round up the loggers as hostages until they could harvest it. Simple, except Hannibal had been promoted to running the crane. BA was up a tree with a chainsaw, and HM knew where the company helicopter was kept. It was a short fight, but it relieved Hannibal’s boredom.
He was sitting on a log, laughing at something HM said when the foreman mentioned he’d called the RCMP. Hannibal stood to leave, and collapsed. Everyone was already confused, so it was easy for HM to convince the foreman to let him use the helicopter to get Hannibal help. After they took off, BA told the foreman where to look for his helicopter, and peeled away in the van.
BA pulled up to the cabin, jumping out to load up the gear. A grumpy but conscious Hannibal was snapping orders, so BA let himself hope Hannibal had faked the attack. HM sighed wistfully at the helicopter, waving to it as they pulled away. So much for Canada. Things would definitely start making sense once they were in the States, right?
In the States, they were joining the ranks of the overweight. Despite the healthy eating, the cigars that were only chewed on in moments of crisis, and the lack of beer, they all started to pick up weight. Hard, fleshy beer guts that hung over pants and resisted even BA’s exercise regime!
HM didn’t like to complain, he found it boring, so BA told him the massages were a way of relaxing his hands. HM allowed himself to believe that, as BA’s hands soothed the pain in his back, legs and feet. When he fell asleep helping BA relax, HM made sure to wake BA with a blow job, since morning wood gave him his daily fiber requirements. BA believed that, but mainly because he’d never been as horny as he’d been since he took up with HM.
He’d thought he’d been horny before, when he’d masturbated to the image of HM, one of BA’s pipe dreams. Once a day then, now, BA was always ready unless he was being shot at. A bit of hand to hand combat and BA would be looking for some alone time with HM; if he didn’t get it, he’d better have somebody to pound on with his fists. HM was keeping up though, and he didn’t even need alone time. All HM needed was a long tablecloth or a crowded bus, anywhere where people weren’t watching carefully; the bathroom’s they’d visited stretched across two countries.
They’d done more than have sex in them, the four of them, because their bladders had turned into thimbles. An hour trip was likely to take two, as they all needed to pee at different times. Hannibal was so frustrated when they stopped for a bathroom break, he ordered them buy sodas so they could start peeing in the van as they drove. BA had thrown a fit, as he was starting to turn the van into more than the vehicle Face had acquired. Hannibal had responded by peeing in a bottle where he sat in the passenger seat.
In a fit of rage, BA had stormed off and hid in the woods behind the rest stop. HM had tracked BA down and sucked him off without a word. Embarrassed by how quickly he was in a better mood, BA had slowly brought HM off before returning to the van.
Face was still very careful of what he ate, and even more careful of watching HM eat. HM had always had crazy taste buds, but now he ate everything in sight and often mixed them together. The boiled shrimp dipped in chocolate pudding had done a number on BA’s stomach, just watching HM eat it. Even with his restrictive diet and dependence on unsalted saltine crackers, Face still grew the same beer gut as the rest of them.
Hannibal was the one who wouldn’t talk about what was going on with him, not even to Face. But he was starting to be real careful in how he moved, slowly standing or sitting. He was the first to sneak off to a doctor, returning with a clean bill of health and a list of diet advice. The sheet was crumpled up and tossed in the trash, as the stuff they’d been eating was better than what it suggested.
When Face had snuck off for a doctor’s appointment, everyone had been relieved, as his symptoms were the most troubling. Face had been told he needed an endoscopy to see why his stomach was so delicate, but he’d managed to leave without making that appointment. Being unconscious while somebody looked around inside him wasn’t an option while on the run.
HM wouldn’t go to the doctor, as he wasn’t very trusting of men in white coats. No matter how he behaved, they tended to hold him over for psychiatric evaluations. They’d arrived in Virginia the day before, and BA had taken the opportunity to visit a free clinic. He hadn’t even bothered to take the diet sheet the doc had given him, as it would have been a waste of paper. Now he was waiting to get on a bus, much as he had done in Hawaii, to take him back to the hotel.
No Pele on this bus, but it was crowded. BA stood and held onto the strap and watched the other people getting on. A couple of gangbangers took up three seats, but BA had to let it go. He was hiding his Mohawk under a hat and his muscles under a light rain jacket to keep a low profile. He could stand, and try to convince himself that the people on the bus were used to these conditions. Until the next stop, when the old lady with a cane and her very pregnant granddaughter helped each other climb in the bus. Two steps had BA across from the gangbangers in their stupid outfits.
“Lady needs a seat.”
They looked up at him, disbelieving anyone would dare talk to them that way. One spoke, the other showed BA the gun tucked into his waistband. “It ain’t my old lady.”
BA leaned in to speak to them, man to fool. “Might be mine. You want to risk that?”
The guy who had spoken now reached for his gun, showing BA where it was. Mistake number two. BA broke his nose while grabbing the gun from the silent guy, then took the gun from the other while the first screamed in pain. Both guns disappeared into BA’s rain jacket, and the defenseless gangbangers were hauled to their feet, or a few inches higher then where their feet could touch the ground. Same thing to BA.
“Did you have something to say to these women?” BA asked in a quiet voice.
The second gang member found his voice at last. “Ma’am, I’d like for you to take my seat. We were getting off anyway.”
BA set them down, and they moved out of the way. The old lady took a seat, sliding out of the way for her granddaughter. She put a hand to the small of her back, and sat in a slow, controlled manner. She saw BA looking and offered a tired smile.
“I sit or stand too quickly and my blood pressure changes too fast. I wind up passing out; it’s so embarrassing.”
“Nothing to be embarrassed about, little Momma, you making a person, you do what you need to.”
The old woman laughed, stomping her cane in a counterpoint. “See honey, I’ve been trying to tell you the same thing for eight months.”
“Okay, I give in. The two of you are very convincing together.”
BA managed to keep up the polite talk until the ladies got off. He got off the stop after and walked the three blocks back to the hotel. He hadn’t wanted to get off before the ladies, just in case the gangbangers decided to try something. The ladies would make an easier target than BA, and joining the gangs was the easy way out, so the gangbangers did things the easy way. BA knew more about that than they did, and more about what a good Momma like his would have done if he’d tried to throw his life away on a gang.
The walk back to the hotel gave BA time to think, but the thoughts he was having were on the crazy side: insane, and completely impossible thoughts, but they stayed in his brain. Images of how Hannibal stood and sat as carefully as the young woman on the bus, who was making another person. Thinking heavily, BA walked into the hotel room without giving the signal. Hannibal jumped and turned, but his eyes rolled back and he collapsed before he could pull his gun. BA rushed to him, pulling him onto a bed.
Hannibal seemed fine, just unconscious, so BA did something crazy. Pulling Hannibal’s shirt out of his waistband, BA allowed himself to feel the beer gut on the other man. Solid, instead of wiggly and squishy, as if there was more there than flab. Resting both hands there, BA compared it to how he felt, and how HM’s lump felt. Did Face’s feel the same? Why wouldn’t it, when the other three of a four-member team had the same trouble? BA sighed, and the gut moved, thumping under BA’s hands. BA jerked backward staring with wide eyes, scaring Hannibal as he blinked back to awareness.
“You okay, BA?”
“Hannibal, man, I…” BA shook his head, he couldn’t say it. A knock on the door, the correct knock for Face, called their attention. Face entered, talking with HM about hockey, but they both stopped when they saw BA. He was as far as possible from where Hannibal lay on the bed, looking concerned. BA took a deep breath and stood at attention before speaking. “I would like to return to Hawaii.”
“Why?” HM asked first, eyes narrowed with an emotion BA didn’t recognize.
“It’s crazy, but I need to talk to somebody there.”
“I’ve got an untraceable phone. You gave it to me.” Face offered, surprised at needing to remind BA of it.
“I don’t have her phone number.” BA hoped that would be enough, but it wasn’t.
HM made a whimper of a noise, but Hannibal was standing. Slowly, with his hand on the small of his back, and that was what captured BA’s attention.
“Explain it to me, BA.” Hannibal was ordering, and BA had to respond.
“Sir, it’s a personal matter.” BA paused, unsure of how to go on. He couldn’t say the insane thing he was thinking, not even with a musical voice in the back of his head whispering he was right.
“A personal matter, when we’ve decided separating would be a bad idea?”
“What? I want you to come with me, all of you!”
“That’s good, but we still need to know what we’re getting into. Not that many places to run on an island, and all that.”
“Well, it’s hard to say, and it’s crazy. So crazy I can’t even believe I think it’s true, let alone expect you to believe me.”
“BA, you’re stalling!” Hannibal said, clearly startled.
Murdock nodded wisely before he spoke. “You don’t stall. You go for the heart of the matter. It’s kind of scary.”
“Guys, I think…” BA spun out again, unable to say it, it was too much. He was going to have to lie and count on the fact that he never lied to make it believable. “I need to talk to this woman I met there. I think, maybe, I got someone pregnant.”
Stunned silence met his confession, when BA expected yelling or laughter. It was broken by a slamming door, so BA, Face and Hannibal turned to see HM had left. BA ran after him, wishing he’d thought to talk to him first. But what he’d felt on Hannibal had been too much, too real and BA had panicked. HM wasn’t in their room (with the king size bed) or in the lobby or gym, or anywhere in the hotel. Virginia was too big to track HM down, so BA returned to their room to wait. He had questions to make up answers for, though he’d tell HM the truth when he got the chance.
Since BA was the one who wanted to go to Hawaii, it was decided that BA would have to suck it up and fly there. He protested, but gave in. He wanted to get the insane idea out of his head, the sooner the better. Besides, if he could keep it together, he could talk to HM during the trip.
HM had crawled back into the room just about dawn, after BA made his request. HM had done his best to fuck BA through the mattress, kissing BA hungrily every time he opened his mouth. BA was only human, even if he was an insane human sleeping with an even more insane person. He’d tell him at lunch, BA decided, and kissed back.
Hannibal and Face had joined them for lunch, and supper. HM had hung out with Face until Hannibal had kicked him out of their room, and HM had descended on BA with a hard on. The crazy man kept it up, until every second alone with BA was dedicated to sex. BA tried to resist, tried to say what he planned on, but too much of him found HM irresistible.
Getting on the private plane Face had acquired was hard, but BA managed it. The armrests were creaking under his hands, and BA was having trouble breathing before the engines were even turned on. He didn’t know how he was going to get through this, so BA closed his eyes and tried to think about the engine parts. The kiss had him jerking up and out of his seat, ready to fight.
“Relax darlin’ I just came to see if your tray was in the upright position.” HM was leering at him, his Texas accent heavy in his words.
No one else was around and the engines were still off, so BA relaxed a little. This might be his only chance to tell HM, so BA went for it. “I trust you; it’s just scary HM. I’m sorry…”
“It’s okay, babe. I’ll take what I can get.” HM gave him a smile, and then kissed him.
BA was thinking about getting HM to stop, so he could speak, or at least hurry up before the guys showed up. But most of him was thinking about HM’s long fingers, the ones that fit perfectly inside him or around him. Either way, none of BA was thinking about HM’s left hand, the one that jabbed a needle into his hip. BA would wake up in Hawaii before he thought again.
Secretly, BA was grateful they’d knocked him out for the trip. If he had to fly, he’d rather he was unconscious, but that didn’t mean he wouldn’t fight to make them prove he had to fly. He’d also rather be sitting down before they jabbed him, so he didn’t have to worry about landing on his head. And HM didn’t forget to catch BA after jabbing him with something, as HM liked to see BA sprawled in a tangled mass.
This time, they’d landed and had the door open before they woke BA. He’d gotten out of his seatbelts and out the door in a single movement, fighting the urge to growl, beat on people, and puke at the same time. A quick pat on the shoulder, and Hannibal was giving him directions to the hotel before leaving him alone. BA could have got a cab, as the others probably did, but he wanted to stretch his legs.
He stopped at a convenience store on his way, and growled at the questioning looks he got for his purchases. The hotel was a different one than they’d used before but built along the same lines. A place to crash for the vacationing mainland family on a budget, or sixteen college kids cramming into one room to save beer money. As such, the need for the items in his bag might have come from staying in the hotel, but it was probably the first time somebody checked in with them.
Hannibal was waiting in the lobby, chewing on an unlit cigar as he read a newspaper. BA reached for another newspaper to take to his room, and straightened with the key card in his pocket. The room number was on it, so BA went up. He tossed his duffle into the room and turned on a small lamp. HM wasn’t there, which let out the idea of talking to HM about all this craziness.
Hannibal was giving the entry knock when BA walked up to him, still holding his bag from the store. Hannibal waited until they were both inside, door locked behind them, before he sat on the bed and stared at BA. HM muted the TV, but kept flipping channels. Anger flared in BA, aimed at HM. If he wouldn’t talk to BA, then he’d just have to hear this with Face and Hannibal.
“Last time we were here, I met this woman. Crazy enough to fit in with this crowd.”
“Hey!” Face protested, but he was the only one still claiming he was sane.
“She said, I could get whatever I wanted while on her islands.”
“Her islands?” Hannibal asked, wanting to get his facts straight.
“Yeah, crazy.” BA nodded to show Hannibal he knew how that sounded. “But see, I wanted kids and HM.”
HM’s eyes flicked over to BA, but his head was still to the TV.
“Can’t have both, you know. So I gave up on the kids thing. Except I don’t think Pele did.”
“Pele?” HM asked, now fully focused on BA.
“Weird names here.” BA shrugged, not understanding why HM was looking at him like that.
“Not to be indelicate,” Hannibal started carefully. “But how did you knock Pele up while doing HM?”
“He didn’t.” HM sounded drugged, and they all turned to frown at him. “Pele knocked us up!”
Face reached over to pat HM on the leg, calming down his best friend. “Let BA tell it his way.”
Face expected BA to bring them back down to the realm of possible, and BA laughed. “He’s right.”
Face and Hannibal exchanged looks, so BA dumped his purchases on the bed between them. He’d bought every pregnancy test the shop had, so there were several tests for them to repeat the results on. HM squealed as he grabbed one and headed into the bathroom.
Face laughed. “BA, this is the best practical joke in history! We should have done this on the new recruits, but we’d have to come up with a better story. What do you think Hannibal?”
“I’d tell ‘em it was a side effect of the inoculations they gave ‘em before shipping them to Iraq.”
“Perfect! There are always rumors about those shots anyway, medical experiments and such.”
“And with BA delivering the news, in that straight face…”
“Totally believable! I’ll have to use BA in more cons.”
“Shut up!” BA snapped, his anger surprising everyone. “You think I’m a liar? I’m going crazy believing this crap and you call me a liar!”
“BA,” HM stepped out of the bathroom to grab on BA’s arm. “I peed on the stick, and the instructions said it only tells if you’re pregnant, not the sex of the baby.”
“I think that’s something the docs do.”
“Murdock, you know BA’s kidding don’t you?” Face asked, not wanting to see his friend disappointed.
“Think about it Face, about the way we’ve been feeling.”
“You think about it, Murdock. We’re guys.”
“Guys who are showing all the signs of pregnancy. When was the last time you kept down a meal?”
“I don’t know what you’re talking about.”
“Kid, we all know you’re hiding the nausea.” Hannibal butted in, frowning at Face before frowning at BA. “But that doesn’t help convince me we’re all pregnant by some Hawaiian woman.”
HM giggled. “Pele is the Hawaiian goddess of lighting, fire and volcanoes. She’s got a temper to match BA’s.”
“What?” BA asked, turning to HM. “I thought she was a crazy person who exposed us to something.”
“BA, don’t encourage HM right now.” Hannibal sighed. “Even if we buy into the mythology of Hawaii, volcanoes don’t sound very fertile to me.”
“It’s like the Greek gods, everybody’s got their own specialty.” HM nodded, but didn’t stop grinning. “You’d love Pele’s sister, Face. Kapo has a detachable, flying vagina, and is the goddess of fertility.”
Face clutched desperately at reason and sanity. “HM, why would the goddess of lightning ask her sister to grant BA’s wishes?”
“I’m the wrong person to ask. I’d grant all of BA’s wishes if I could.”
“What about that, BA?” Hannibal asked. While Face and HM looked to BA, Hannibal stood. Slowly, with his hand on the small of his back, Hannibal got to his feet so he could pace.
“Some kid on the volcano tour got too close.” BA muttered to Hannibal.
“And you pulled him back to the crowd.”
“Pele said he wouldn’t have been hurt.”
“But you couldn’t have known that, and acted heroically.”
“I guess.” BA shrugged, staring at the carpet.
“And you asked her for kids?”
“No, I didn’t ask for this! I decided kids were a bad idea, what with us being on the run!”
“So you settled for sex?” HM asked quietly, but BA didn’t hear him over his yelling.
“It’s not like I can body slam a fool while wearing an infant strapped to my chest. I’m not that stupid, and I’d never do anything to hurt a kid!”
Face looked to Hannibal, and their eyes met as they spoke together. “Mood swings.”
“Who’s got mood swings?” BA demanded, taking a step to his idiot teammates. He was stopped by a bit of plastic shoved in front of his face.
HM was beautiful when his smiles reached into his eyes like this one did. Through that smile, he called in a sing-song voice for them all to hear. “It’s positive!”
BA pulled HM to him, kissing him to share the joy. They ignored the noise from the other couple in the room.
“Hell no! This is just some stupid joke Murdock thought up.”
“I don’t know, Face.”
“You can’t believe this!”
“I don’t, but this is more than a joke.”
“For fuck’s sake, Hannibal!”
“Do what you want, I’m going to try the tests.” Grabbing several, clearly thinking he’d need the results replicated before he’d believe them, Hannibal made his way to the bathroom. A minute later, Face followed his lead, muttering under his breath as he juggled the rest of the tests.
HM pulled away from BA, and tossed the stick into a nearby trashcan without looking. “Come on, we’ve got to get all the sex in we can before the babies show up.”
BA grinned, and followed. In a crazy situation, it was good to have a crazy guide.
Breakfast the next morning was a quiet affair. Hannibal looked like he was trying to come up with a reason why convincing someone they were pregnant would be a necessary plan. Face openly ate his saltines, his eyes blaming BA for his discomfort. HM rubbed his baby bump and hummed around the food in his mouth. BA glared at any fellow diner who thought to stare at HM’s behavior. They all started at the musical laugh toward the end of their meal.
“I’m pleased by how readily you’ve accepted the impossible.”
“Pele!” It almost sounded like a curse when BA shouted the name, but she only grinned at him.
“I’ll pull up my own chair, thanks.” She winked as she said it and was soon sitting down. HM and Face scooted apart to make room for her at the corner of the table. “Remember, we’re in a public place and you don’t want to attract attention. So what’s new, boys?”
“You…” Face sounded like he had more to add, but a hand on his thigh stopped him.
“Miss, perhaps you could explain exactly what you did to us.” Hannibal said in a smooth voice, as if he thought all of this was reasonable and normal.
“Not really, since I didn’t do it.”
“Kapo did!” HM added, earning a nod from Pele.
“Exactly! When your children grow too old to believe in such things, you may tell them what you wish but I would like for them to hear the truth at least once.”
HM laughed and BA shook his head and smiled. “Lady, kids raised around HM won’t ever stop believing.”
“One cannot predict all the turns of life. Not even the greatest planners could have seen this situation coming.” Pele turned to Hannibal.
“Pele, I know this is a tremendous gift, if it isn’t a delusion of some sort. But I’ve got lots of questions besides how it happened. Questions such as how do we get them out?”
“An excellent question, sir. Which brings me to what I told BA when he left.”
Now BA was the center of their attention, and he didn’t like it. “She said the time would come when I needed her.”
“Or, more specifically, the four of you need our help to become eight. I have a place for you to rest, so gather your things and I will take you there.”
“Are we just going to follow this nutjob into a trap or something?” Face asked his team, not caring what Pele thought of his rudeness.
Pele grabbed Face’s shirt and pulled him to face her, anger in her eyes.
Face was used to anger and death threats, but he feared Pele in that instant.
“You don’t want your gift, pretty boy? I can take it back, or make you pay for it.”
“Ma’am,” Hannibal’s soft voice broke into Face’s confrontation with Pele. “Face wants this gift so bad he’s terrified it will be snatched away.”
Pele’s anger was slow to fade, and she released Face with a flick of her wrist before facing away from him. “What of you, Hannibal? Do you want this?”
“This will change things. We can’t fight colic and bad guys.”
“Avoiding the question, Colonel?” Pele asked.
Hannibal saw part of what had scared Face and swallowed. “Pele, I can’t force my men, or my lover to accept this.”
“I did not ask you that.” Pele enunciated every syllable.
“Yes, damn it! I never thought much about kids, but I know how happy they’d make Temp. So yes, I’ll figure out a way to make it work.”
“Then get your gear. I’ll wait for you here.”
HM bounced to his feet, pulling on BA’s hand. “Come on, we got people to make!”
BA stood, but waited for Hannibal and Face to do the same. When they did, he let HM pull him back to the hotel.
Hannibal walked in front of Face, letting the younger man have his space. He checked in the shiny surfaces they passed to make sure Face was keeping up. Hannibal could see the look of concentration and expected an angry Face would have a few things to say in the hotel room. Hannibal readied himself for it and tried to think of the words that would make Temp accept this.
Hannibal held the hotel room door open for Face and followed him inside. Before the door closed, Face had shoved Hannibal to the wall and was kissing him. A hungry kiss wasn’t what Hannibal was expecting, but he could roll with the punches. And he could block a few punches with the erection he was sporting by the time Face pulled back from the kiss.
The smile Face gave him showed he knew how hard Hannibal was. Face lowered himself to his knees and dug Hannibal out of his jeans. The skilled and practiced blow job taxed the strength in Hannibal’s legs, so he pressed into the wall to remain upright. When he came down off of his orgasm, Face was still sucking on him.
“Trying to kill me, kid?”
Face stood, and kissed him, sharing the taste of Hannibal before speaking. “Trying to thank you, old man.”
“For what marvel this time?”
“What you said to Pele. About doing anything to make me happy, even if it made your life really hard.”
“You’ve always made my life hard.”
“I’ve always made your dick hard, but a baby or two will make your life extra difficult; and you accept that, knowing it will make me happy. I couldn’t believe in this, but I can believe in you.”
“Temp, I love you. Making you happy comes with that.”
“Be all adult about it.” Face rolled his eyes with mocking sarcasm. “We pack, get to Pele’s place and then have months of sex.”
“Deal.” With a swat to Face’s exceptional ass, Hannibal fixed his pants. He really hoped it would be that easy.
It wasn’t that easy. Nothing ever was, but at least it was interesting. The place Pele had in mind was on a different island, a short boat ride away. It was also currently occupied by a gang of drug dealers, very concerned about using Hawaii’s climate to grow crops year round. Pele had laughed and left them with a soft remark about seeing to the crops.
After dropping the dealers off at the police station, they headed back for the house. Ten bedrooms, pool with an ocean view and a private beach, so they could agree it was worth the fight. They were just settling into their rooms when rain started. The downpour came with enough lightning and thunder to make anyone who still didn’t believe very nervous. Pele’s newest converts skipped supper and christened their new beds.
The next morning the rain had cleared, but the crops were drowning in water. BA grinned at the cleanup job Pele had done and went to find the garage. The two SUVs were ready for use, but BA still wanted to check over them. Way he figured things, he had four and a half months to use the vehicles and house so he might as make sure they worked to his specifications.
Criminals weren’t that reliable. Even though they often depended on their cars for a quick getaway, they still wouldn’t change the oil. Stupid, and deserving of an overheated engine when on the run. A grim smile, and BA got busy, losing himself in the joy of something he could control. If he had to jack the first SUV up a foot higher than normal, he could live with it. The silent way Crazy moved would be harder to live with.
“What’re you doing?” BA could tell it was HM down there, but he wasn’t cooing at the baby bump like he did last night.
“Putting headphones on the babies.” HM sounded insulted that BA had to ask.
“Mozart is supposed to make them come out smart. Besides, they don’t need to hear what I’m about to do.”
“What are you about to do?”
“That would be telling.” HM offered, but unzipped BA’s jeans at the same time.
“Least let me get out from under the SUV.” BA reached for the car, to push himself out, but HM sat across his legs. “Hey, Crazy, I can’t touch you this way.”
“I know. Somebody must have played me Mozart when I was pre.”
“Pre?” BA started to ask, but HM was in control of BA’s blood supply. BA couldn’t think, so he laid back and let HM do whatever he wanted, clutching at the engine as he came. When his hands dropped back down to his body, BA realized HM was still sitting on him. “Crazy, what was that?” “You back with me, big guy?”
“Never went anywhere.”
“After my last sneak attack blow job you promised we’d get matching earrings.”
“I did what?”
“Point is, I know how my mouth makes you agreeable, and I want you to listen.”
“Pele’s smart, and I know she’s not going to let these kids be like me. I’m so glad that they’ll be like you, I can’t even say. BA, my darling, thank you so much for this.” There was a soft kiss under the headphones, and HM moved off of BA’s legs.
By the time the blood had returned to his legs, BA knew he was alone and no more would be said of the incident. BA wondered, not for the first time, why he found Crazy so sexy.
While HM created a fantastic Thanksgiving meal out of fish lumped up to look like a turkey, Face snuck in the Christmas decorations. BA thought he had a couple thousand dollars worth of stuff, but helped him decorate the living room. HM had hollered his delight and made BA dance with him before they ate.
The next week even more decorations found their way to the house, until the whole place looked like a showcase. Just when BA was sure the place was finished, HM would convince him to do something else. BA was helping put garland on the banister when the front door opened. He knew Face and Hannibal were in the living room, and could see HM staring down at him. They ducked, reaching for weapons and waiting for the threat to present itself. Instead, they heard a musical laugh.
“No Ma’am, I assure you this isn’t a dream. You are just the lucky winner of a contest, who gets to spend six weeks in this lovely home.”
There was a soft response that BA couldn’t make out, and he edged closer to the banister, trying to look past the door.
“Well, not all to yourself, you do have to share with a few people. But they won’t try to sell you anything and I know you’ll get along well.” Pele backed through the door carrying a beat up suitcase. Behind her came a stately woman hidden behind a pile of leis.
“I’d rather share, probably get lonely in a place this big without company.”
BA knew that voice, but he still couldn’t believe it. He almost jumped over the balcony to get a better look.
“I just wish my son could have come with me.”
“Scooter?” There was a moment when they just stared at each other, and then Momma squealed.
BA took the stairs three at a time to run to her, wrapping his arms around her. With her here, breathing and hugging him back, BA realized how much he wanted her here for this. Though, he had thought he’d have months yet to figure out what to tell her.
“Pele,” Hannibal asked, having figured it was safe to hide his gun and show his face. “Is there something going on?”
Momma pulled away from where she was squashed into BA. “John, don’t pretend you don’t know who I am.”
Hannibal laughed. “Actually, I didn’t see you behind BA.”
Momma held out her hands, and Hannibal dutifully stepped forward for his hug. Face and HM had a pushing fight to see who was next, and Face won. They’d all come to love Momma after BA had introduced them, about two years after they started working together. She’d sent them all care packages after that, instead of trying to convince BA to share.
Hannibal looked to Pele. “We’re glad Momma’s here, but surprised.”
“Surprising the master planner and his A-team? That is an accomplishment.”
“Thanks for this Pele, but…” Hannibal trailed off, and gently stroked the reason for his concern. He hadn’t even thought of how to explain the kids to people, this bit about them before birth was a whole different level of weirdness.
“I thought I’d stop by, and help you explain why you are here to Mrs. Baracus.”
“My boys aren’t helping you with something?” Momma asked from where she was slowly releasing HM from his hug.
Pele laughed, and looked to BA.
“Momma, come into the living room. Have a seat and get comfy so we can talk.”
“It’s not bad is it? You don’t seem to be in trouble. Well, worse trouble than what I already know about.”
“Momma, it’s so good it’s unbelievable.” BA put an arm around Momma’s shoulders and lead her to the living room. She settled on the couch and BA sat on her right, while the others tried to look relaxed as they stood around. Momma grabbed his hand, and BA knew she was still worried about them. “Momma, this is going to sound crazy, but you’re going to be a grandmamma.”
She squealed and threw her arms around BA for a long hug. A wet kiss on the cheek and she pulled back. “Why is that crazy, Scooter?”
“What’s crazy is where the babies are coming from.”
“Babies, plural? Like you’re expecting twins?”
“Not exactly, maybe, Hannibal?”
“Don’t look at me! This is all your doing.”
The glance BA threw at Hannibal showed what he thought of being put back in the spotlight. “Momma, I didn’t get a girl pregnant. I did something nice and Pele, well, made it possible for us to get pregnant.”
“Us? As in you boys?”
“Yes.” BA pulled Momma’s hand to rest on his stomach, and she smiled.
“Some sort of medical experiment?”
“Magic, actually, and she got all four of us.”
“Magic? It that how you’ve been explaining it to the doctors?”
“The doctors you see for prenatal care!” Momma kept her voice low, but her irritation was clear. “And how are you getting the babies out without a doctor? More magic?”
“Actually,” Hannibal redeemed himself in BA’s eyes by coming to his rescue here. “We hoped Pele would have more information on that.”
“Kapo does. While we wait for her, why don’t you tell Momma who fathered the children you are mothering?”
BA rested his head in his hands, that was a whole other subject.
“The babies aren’t just little copies?”
“Clones, Momma.” HM added, doing his best to be helpful. “Kids that carry only the genetic code of one parent are clones of the parent, like opossums. Only marsupial in North America, the opossums. These baby bumps carry two sets of alleles, genetic coding from both parents, though we don’t know yet how they’ve mixed and such.”
“That’s interesting, HM honey, but who are you mixing genes with?”
At that question, HM did something BA didn’t know he could do. HM blushed, a deep red color filling his face.
“Wow.” Face said softly, staring at HM. “I didn’t know HM could get embarrassed.”
“Boys, don’t be embarrassed. I understand, more than you think.”
BA smiled at his Momma’s words, he’d always thought she was the wisest person in the universe. “Momma, there are a few things I left out of my letters and phone calls. Personal stuff I’m not sure how to talk about, even if I could have without getting thrown out of the Army. Again.”
“Scooter, Momma understands.”
“Do you? I don’t think I do.”
“Baby, I always understood. I saw what you didn’t write, only because I know you. I know where your heart lies.”
“You’re not embarrassed?”
“Bosco! You ever say anything like that again and I’ll wash your mouth out with soap. Does God make mistakes?”
“Are you a creature of God?”
“So you, and my grandbabies, are all perfect.”
A sniffle interrupted them, and all heads turned to HM. He was wiping his eyes on his sleeves. “Hormones, go about your business.”
Face walked over and wrapped HM in a hug, leaving BA and Momma to hug.
“They will be perfectly human, at least.” A second Hawaiian woman stood next to Pele, her beautiful voice full of sensuality.
“This is my sister, Kapo.” Pele said.
“So my grandbabies will be healthy?” Momma asked, pulling back from her hug with BA.
“Yes, very healthy. They grow well and will come on New Year’s Day. It’s not a day that means much to us, but it is a good time to start a new life on your calendars.”
“Do you know what I’m having?” HM asked, hand caressing his bump.
“Oh, yes. I planned that when Pele showed you to me. She thought I would only work my magic on BA, but I could see something in you all that was worth preserving.” Kapo walked to Hannibal, his eyes darting around the room when she touched his swollen skin. “For you, Hannibal, a little girl. She will have your eyes, Face’s beauty and the ability to see four steps ahead of her opponents. What she does with those gifts depends on what you teach her.”
Face broke away from HM, stepping forward to get his fortune read.
“Your son will look much like Hannibal, but with your eyes, smile and gift of gab. The only ones he won’t be able to wrap in his words are his family members, so teach him well what a family is.”
“Don’t worry about that, Kapo. Family means too much to me to ever let it go easily.” Face didn’t even try to pretend he wasn’t close to tears. This was something he’d always wanted, so he was going to do it right.
“HM, and BA. You do yourself a disservice, fearing that your children will be copies of yourselves. They won’t, not even if they were clones, but it wouldn’t be such a bad thing. HM, your daughter will have BA’s eyes and your hair, but she will also have a stunning mind and a steady hand. Where would you be, HM, if the world hadn’t proclaimed you insane at an early age? Be her anchor, not a weight holding her down.”
HM wiped his eyes on his sleeve before reaching down to rub at his daughter, a crooked smile on his face.
“I did mix the skin tones, so your children can pass for white, or black if they want. I wish I could make a world where it didn’t matter, but that is something humanity must do for itself.” Kapo spoke as she moved to sit on the coffee table and face BA. “Your son will have sparkling green eyes and a contagious laugh. You will teach him how to find his way in this world, without hurting anyone, unless they deserve it.”
Kapo stood, but BA grabbed her hand. “Kapo, Mahalo nui loa.”
“You are quite welcome, cousin.” Kapo smiled and walked away.
“Not to disturb a moment,” Pele said as she walked over to sit on the couch next to Momma. “But why don’t you tell Momma all the things you’ve done to prepare for the babies.”
Four blank faces stared at her before exchanging looks.
“Oh, lord.” Momma said in a frustrated voice. “They haven’t done anything.”
“Not even bought diapers.” Pele matched the frustrated tone. “That’s why I had to bring you in so early, Momma. Somebody has to show these guys what to do.”
Momma stood, hands on her hips. “Who’s making supper?”
“I am!” HM answered, raising his hand eagerly.
“Then get to it. Scooter, you’ll give me tour of the house, so I can set it up. Hannibal, you’re going to the store. Buy childproof locks for cabinets and electrical outlet covers for the entire house. You can put those on while I figure out what else you’ll need. Face, I need pen and paper to make a list. Let’s go!”
BA jumped up from the couch and lead Momma away. Face ran to his room to get a legal pad and a pen. Hannibal spoke for HM’s ears.
“Now I know why he laughed at his first drill sergeant.”
“Oh yeah, it’s in his permanent record. The physical stuff didn’t matter to him, which pissed off his drill sergeant. The guy gets in his face to insult him, everyone thinks BA’s going to hit him, and BA just laughed. With a Mom like that, a drill sergeants no problem.”
“I thought he did hit him.”
“Yes, but that was later and I think they guy might have taken Momma’s name in vain.”
HM nodded wisely. “That would do it.”
“I guess I’m going to the store.” Shaking his head, Hannibal went where he was instructed. He wasn’t about to argue with Momma.
Staying up on New Year’s Eve without drinking wasn’t nearly as much fun. Though, it could also have something to do with expecting children the next day, BA wasn’t sure. He just knew that nobody wanted to go to bed even though they didn’t seem interested in watching the people on TV ring in the New Year.
Momma fell asleep in the armchair, but nobody tried to wake her up or convince her to go to bed. BA and HM had the couch, a tight fit under normal circumstances. Now, nine months huge, BA leaned against one arm of the couch, HM curled around his baby bump. HM’s feet hung off the other arm, twitching as HM dreamed. Hannibal and Face leaned on each other on the love seat, looking like a thousand other nervous daddies in the waiting room. With enormous beer guts.
They were lightly dozing or pretending to sleep when Hannibal gave up. Face was curled away from him for the moment, so Hannibal stood and walked over to the large French doors. He stood there for a moment, rubbing at his back.
“Dawn.” Hannibal muttered to the door, not really expecting to be heard. His next word was considerably louder. “Shit!”
His hands slapped the glass, as he stared at the ground for a moment. Everyone else had found their feet and rushed to him. When he looked up, Hannibal saw a ring of worried faces reflected in the glass around him.
“For not having the muscles for this, it really hurts.”
The doors slid open, showing Pele and Kapo. Pele smiled as she spoke. “Come with us, to the sea, and your pain will be done.”
BA and Face took Hannibal’s arms and helped him down to the private beach. Pele lead them into the ocean, until Hannibal folded into a sitting position. The pain had him dragging BA and Face down with him, as he clenched his hands into their shoulders. The tide soaked his baggy shorts and wife beater t-shirt and went out again. Pele and Kapo knelt on either side of him. The next wave wet him from the chest down, and Kapo was holding a baby in her arms. Hannibal sagged backward as the pain left him.
BA nodded at Face to show he had Hannibal, and Face leaned forward to look at his daughter. Kapo was washing her in the ocean and singing softly. When she was satisfied that the baby was clean, she smiled and handed her to Face. She had a tiny belly button, but no umbilical cord still attached. Face noticed, but didn’t care and turned to show her to Hannibal.
“John, I’ve just met the most beautiful girl in the world.”
“Aurora, it means dawn. She’s the dawn of our new life, Aurora Temperance Peck.”
“Aurora? That’s for the best. What kind of kid is named Temperance?” Face only just got through his joke for his crying, his joy showing through. In his arms, Aurora began to cry.
“That enough swimming for now, boys. Let’s get this little lady inside.” Momma said, propelling Face and Hannibal to their feet. Inside, she showed them all how to bathe a baby, diaper and clothe it. She’d told them how, but that wasn’t the same as seeing it done. Then it was time to feed Aurora and learn to hold her. Momma grinned the entire time, thinking about how a baby could turn the world’s most skilled and talented people into butterfingered fools.
When Aurora slept, they moved into the kitchen for a quick breakfast. Face didn’t try to eat, just talked about how great it would be to finally be able to hold down a full meal after nine months. His nausea had lessened, but never completely gone away. BA was teasing him with a bit of French toast on his fork when a jab of pain bent that fork into a new shape. They got BA out to the ocean, to find Pele and Kapo waiting there.
BA wiped at his eyes as he as the receding waters left a little man in Kapo’s arms. HM leaned in, eager to see him and BA forgot about the names they’d discussed. “She’s right, HM. I’d be proud to have a mini-you.”
“But he’s both of us, don’t forget that.” HM said, wagging a finger at BA but keeping his eyes on the baby.
“Horatio Adrian Murdock.”
“Ham? Don’t be silly. Horatio Adrian Baracus.”
“Hab’s not much better.”
“We’ll call him HA, it’ll be fine.” HM said, his voice trailing away as he was handed HA.
HM cried without any attempt to hide it, as he held their son. Inside, they had to talk HM into letting go long enough for the boy to be bathed and dressed. While HM fed him, BA and Hannibal cleaned the kitchen and waited. Face paced around the first floor of the house, as if he hoped to speed up the process.
Momma was highly amused, but didn’t say anything to him. She knew it wouldn’t have done any good: you couldn’t hurry a baby or calm down the ones expecting him. Face paced until just after three, when he paused in the living room. A triumphant shout turned into a cry of pain, and he was being escorted to the ocean. Face would have run if the pain hadn’t forced him to walk.
Face leaned back against Hannibal, letting Kapo perform her ritual, and whispered to him. “Liam Sm…”
“Peck.” Hannibal interrupted, but he didn’t reach his commanding tone. “Too many Smiths in the world, and he’s going to be memorable.”
BA looked up to share an expectant smile with HM, only to notice HM wasn’t outside. BA made sure Face, Hannibal and Liam got in alright, following them to the nursery Momma had set up. HM in was inside, holding HA and singing to him and Aurora in a foreign language.
“HM, this is Liam.” Face said, holding out his son for inspection.
HM smiled and kissed Liam on the forehead.
“All down to you, Murdock.” Hannibal said.
“I’ll let ya’ll know when this little doggie starts kicking down the fence.”
“Good.” Momma said, but the guys could feel a command was about to follow. “Now go take a nap. You won’t be able to handle the 2 am feedings without some sleep.”
HM made a small moan as she took HA from him, but BA held out a hand. HM took it, and let BA walk him to their room. The nursery was between the new parent’s bedrooms, and across the hall from Momma. But as she’d told them, any feedings or diaper changes after she was in her nightdress would be their problem. BA snuggled around HM, but was asleep before he knew it.
A crying baby pulled BA from his nap, and he was moving to the nursery before he realized it. Face stumbled in a few seconds later, just as the other two took up the call. Hannibal joined them, and they worked to find out which smell was coming from who. Momma brought in bottles and spoke of the supper she’d been making. HM watched it all from the doorway and dramatically tiptoed away when the kids were asleep again.
Face gorged himself on the meal and the others amused themselves making fun of him. When even Face couldn’t force down another bite, they got up to clean the kitchen. BA set some dishes in the sink and noticed it was getting dark. A tropical place like Hawaii, near the equator, got dark pretty late. Frowning, BA turned to look at HM putting lids on leftovers.
“HM, how you feeling?”
“Fine BA, how are you?” HM replied without missing a beat, as if he was expecting and avoiding the question.
BA stepped forward, putting a gentle hand on HM’s belly. BA could feel muscles under his hand, trembling and contracting with pain. “HM, you’re ready! Why didn’t you say something?”
“I’m fine, don’t know what you’re talking about.” A lofty, dismissive gesture and HM walked out of the kitchen.
BA was right behind him, running so he could get in front. “HM, let’s go out into the ocean.”
“I don’t care for a swim right now, thank you kindly.”
BA grabbed HM’s shoulders, forcing himself not to hurt HM. “What wrong? I thought you wanted these babies.”
“I do, so I’m keeping her. You can’t take her from me, I won’t let you!”
“Nobody wants to take her from you! I worried she’ll hurt you if we don’t get her out.”
“Lies!” HM pointed at BA, his finger trembling. “Pretending you care to get what you want! You’ll take them from me, leaving me in a hospital with another crazy story.”
BA glanced around, hoping someone would know what to do. He’d never had HM angry at him before, angry, serious and not making any sense. “These are our kids, and I’m going to need your help to raise them.”
“I won’t be the nanny. I deserve better than that!”
“You do, we all deserve better. Who told you otherwise?”
“You’d rather have kids than me, you had to settle for me. But now you’ve got kids, you can find a Mom for them and drop me in a hospital.”
“HM, no, that’s not what I said. Or maybe I did, but it’s not what I meant. I wasn’t sure of myself, didn’t believe I could be in love with a guy, didn’t think you could love me. But I do, why don’t you know that?”
“You never said.”
“I didn’t? Oh, God, HM, words and I don’t get along, you know that. I’m sorry, so sorry. I love you, okay? Maybe not from the first time we met, but you sure grew on me. I love you, and I’m not giving up on you for anything.”
“Really! HM, how can I prove to you I’d never leave you? Do you want to get married?”
“You’re not going to take the kids and leave me?”
“Never. We never leave a man behind, and I never leave someone I love.”
“You going to walk me out to the ocean?”
“I’ll carry you if you want.” BA answered, even though his knee went weak at HM’s acceptance.
“That would be nice.” HM sagged a little, and let his pain show in his eyes.
BA picked him up, as he hadn’t been able to do in a while, and carried him outside. HM lay in his arms, face buried in a muscular chest. They sat in the ocean together and let Kapo work her magic. BA stroked HM’s hair and asked if he’d settled on a name.
“I thought we’d name her after Momma.”
“Oh no, dear, that’s a terrible thing to call a child.” Momma said, shaking her head sadly.
BA giggled, and whispered loudly. “It’s worse than Bosco.”
“I can still wash your mouth out.”
“What else did you want to call her, HM?” Momma said with a smile in her voice.
“My beautiful, tropical flower, my Puanani.”
“An aerial ace maybe?” BA asked, knowing it would make HM happy.
“Yes, Arielle Puanani Baracus-Murdock.”
“That’s quite a mouthful.”
“To go with the handful I know she’ll be.”
“As perfect as her Daddies, and grandmamma.” Pele said in a soft voice. Happy faces turned to her as she stood in the moonlight. “The house is yours, and no one will find you here, I promise that. But the world out there needs your help, when you are ready to give it. May there be peace in your hearts, if not in your lives.”
A flash of lightning in a cloudless sky, and the unusual family was alone. Momma got them moving, starting them on their newest adventure, their greatest challenge: parenthood.