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Acceptance

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When Templeton “Face” Peck had met John “Hannibal” Smith, Face hadn’t known it was the infamous John “Hannibal” Smith.

He had just known he was a man who was their temporary CO and trying to get letters delivered to the base they were all stuck on. The guy was doing everything he knew how, but he just seemed to be running into obstacle after obstacle. However, Face was the best at this.

He settled slightly and began to root out the mail, pulling strings and calling in favors.

Every piece of mail was suddenly there by the end of the week, including a letter for Bernard Barton, which had never happened.

He mentioned a brother, once, but other than that had said nothing.

Face didn’t like him.

However, what Face hadn’t known when he was getting together the mail was that it was a test.

A test he had passed with flying colors.

Face smiled at letters he received from some friends he no longer was stationed with, eyes noting that his 18th birthday had come and gone without him even noticing, despite the fact there had been a party a couple of weeks before.

He tapped the back of the letter, not bothering to hide in the barracks, when a shadow rested just off the page. He looked up to find that he was staring up at their new CO. He moved to salute, but he was cut off by an Irish brogue going, “Please don’t. I am being officially unofficial.”

Face settled back slightly, hiding his confusion behind an easy smile. He didn’t fold the letter over, as that would scream ‘I have a secret’, and just waited.

“You did good, getting all the mail to where it needed to go. Cheered everyone up. Some more than others,” he stated and Face twitched his head to the side innocently.

“I don’t know what you mean, sir,” he stated and their CO, a Lt. Colonel Smith, laughed.

He threw his head back and laughed, as if it was the funniest thing he heard all year. “Of course. No, you didn’t call up to the postmaster and drudge up a few creative threats that had him bending over backwards to get the mail delivered to the right place. Didn’t bribe a few officials to get packages to the right owners with some very…interesting items, and no, of course, you didn’t insure that no one found out,” he answered and Face felt his heart thud.

This was it.

This was the proof.

He was going to get kicked out for sure and then it was all over for him.

He would have nowhere else to go, one of the few homes he knew in his life taken from him because he had been careless.

“I could use that,” he stated, knocking Face out of his fear driven contemplation of how his life would be over now.

“What?” Face blurted out.

“That sweet talking, honest face of yours. I am trying to put together a…strike force of sorts. Things for small groups, an A-Team as it were. Small and with people who can do the impossible. And you, Templeton “Faceman” Peck, can do the impossible,” this man, this Smith, stated and Face wondered if he had wandered into an Alternate Universe, because this could not be happening.

“Me, sir? I can’t do the impossible,” Face corrected.

He liked to say he could.

“You just did. You managed to impress me, Sergeant Peck. And I’m not easily impressed. And I’m never surprised,” the man answered.

“What if I say no?” Face asked.

“You won’t. Because you want to be part of something bigger, something that you can contribute to. That’s why you ran off to the Army shortly after your high school graduation. That’s why you became a Ranger. And that’s why, even if they don’t talk about it, everyone knows you’re the one to talk to if they want something. Beyond that, however, that is why, in whatever place you’re at, whatever unit you are assigned to, gets better. Better rations, better things, just better. Makes going back after a hard day easier. But you’re your own person and that makes this place difficult, because you got CO’s without a sense of humor, or who don’t care, so you got revenge. You got put on report. Which is why you’re here, but even with that threat of losing everything, you would do it all over again. Those are the reasons I want you on my team, Peck. And those are the reasons you’ll say ‘yes’,” the man stated, a fire in his eyes and Face…Face believed him.

This man, who had done nothing but set up a trap and then hunt him out, wanted him for a strike force. He had done nothing but speak and Face was already ready to jump up and follow him into Hell.

Seriously, no one should be that charismatic.

“Why should I say yes?” Face asked, not denying he already had.

Just not out loud.

“I can’t answer that. I don’t know why you should say yes. I just know that you will. Only you know why you will,” the man answered.

Face stared up at him and nodded. Smith smiled and gave a nod.

It was only later that Face learned that Smith was the John “Hannibal” Smith.

And while Face was crazy, Hannibal was insane.

Face was suddenly sure that his life was about to get interesting.