He’s 23 and he’s Hannibal’s problem. Templeton Peck is still as excitable as a child; licks his lips like he’s eaten something sweet. His eyes are wide and clear and innocent, and that makes the colonel pause, when his brows raise and smile sinks and he acts like he doesn’t know what he did wrong.
The wound on his cheek should tell him enough, but Face pokes it, hisses when it stings and then does it again. Hannibal waits for the situation to be acknowledged, yet Face walks around with a bounce in his step as if he’s not covered in dirt and full of bruises and hasn’t just screwed up royally. The room is filled with the sound of scraping metal, rustling wrappers, something that beeps - and Hannibal can’t help but wonder what the hell that kid keeps in the duffel bag he’s rifling through.
It was quickly understood Peck was a trader and collector. He bargained and swindled and buried himself in CD players without CDs, gaming consoles without games - useless, petty stuff, hoarded like a rat, just so they could be stolen, destroyed, or left behind. Face bought loyalty with his smile and his things, but he couldn’t buy Hannibal.
He comes up for air with a Game Boy in hand, and that’s when Hannibal throws combat vest to the floor and goes for a cigar. The lighter clicks, unable to ignite fast enough according to the scowl on his face. With lips curled around the head he grunts, “That was disastrous.”
Face inhales a potato chip and Hannibal finds himself scanning the room in search of its origin.
The protégé has nothing to contribute but, “Hmm?” as he laps up grains of salt.
“I don’t understand. You were flawless in training. You’ve been flawless for weeks.”
“It’s different in training.”
“If you can’t perform in the field -”
“Don’t get so pissy,” he snaps, with an air that suggests his superior is crazy. “It was only the first mission.”
“I don’t expect perfection the first time. I don’t expect perfection at all, only good judgment.” Hannibal looms with cigar in hand, arm resting on elbow. “We went over it a million times and you purposefully disobeyed orders - that’s the problem.”
Static and midi music burn through the air. Face ignores him, and it takes all Hannibal has not to grab his jaw and make him care. He’s refused men who have proven their worth, to mentor a kid everyone thinks is worthless. He’s made promises to himself and Face and his superiors. He’s put reputation on the line for decisions he’s realizing may never be justifiable.
Heart beats faster and Hannibal wants to vomit out much more than he does.
“What am I supposed to report?”
“Tell ‘em it’s my fault. It’s always my fault.”
A shake of the head and a chuckle though he isn’t laughing. “It is your fault, kid.”
“Really?” – and now there’s interest. “Because you’re the one who trained me. Maybe the great Hannibal Smith isn’t as great as people think. Devote all your time to one soldier and accomplish nothing.” Face catches the colonel’s gaze, eyes too blue and too gorgeous – nothing but a trap. “That doesn’t look very good, does it.”
Entire body flinches when the handheld hits the floor, torn away in a movement swift and vicious. There are three more in his tent and disappointment is short-lived, though Face’s stomach still flutters feeling the other breathe down his neck.
He comments lamely, “I was about to capture my twelfth Zubat.”
Hannibal strains to make sense of such gibberish, and the only proper question seems to be: “Are you doing drugs?”
The older man shuts his mouth and inhales remnants of smoke. He let Face get to him in the beginning. He got frustrated and lost his temper. He lost control and Face gladly ate it up; danced all over him - pushed more. Even now he sits, staring, waiting, wanting the upper hand. He’s a jackal and he’s a challenge, but Hannibal likes challenges.
“You’ll do better next time. We’ll make sure it works.”
Face breaks eye contact first as chin tucks down. His jaw is tight and he doesn’t speak because he can’t.
Hannibal was good, in the way his other commanding officers were not. He didn’t play by the rules, he improved them or threw them out - taught Face thinking for himself wasn’t an option but the only way. Face found himself asking, How did you know this? and, How did you do that? and Hannibal told him, showed him, made him a better soldier; made him want to be something more than a con man.
Hannibal can out-strategize anyone, but Face isn’t a war or something to be conquered. He kneads and pries and twists. He asks for things but doesn’t want them. He cries when he isn’t hurt. He makes Hannibal watch his step and his words. He keeps him guessing how to appease him, and Hannibal finds himself wanting to appease Face.
Hannibal wants him to be happy and wants him to be great. It’s his mission now to make Face great.
“Fuck off. You think your little project’s gonna make you general? Show everybody what a great leader you are that you could turn someone like me into a hardened drone?”
…And then sometimes Face asks for a heavy hand.
Hannibal sucks in breath, growls, “Twenty.”
The soldier’s jerked up by his collar but quickly slips from grasp. With proud posture Face unbuttons his uniform and peels it off, revealing a wife beater stuck to damp skin, clinging to muscles and the slim curve of his waist. He prances around like a show pony and Hannibal can do nothing but wait, knowing Face would love to trade punishment for another argument.
A few years ago, he was scraggly, but every day looks more like a man. He pulls arms behind his head and arches his back; reveals ribs and the dip in his stomach. Hair is disheveled and dirt powders his neck and he looks so good when he’s exhausted and beaten, and Hannibal wonders how easy it’d be to keep him down.
A rough hand hits his neck, catching on sticky skin that’s half dry. Hannibal shoves, quick and sharp, and Face knows exactly what mood he’s in.
“On the ground.”
He’s on his knees with head tilted and lips curled, purrs, “I know that’s where you like me. That’s where you liked me last time.”
There’s ringing in the silence and the air is heavy. Hannibal commands, above a whisper, “Begin.”
“It was one of my finest fuck-ups. It’s worth fifty.”
“A hundred,” is the counter.
“A hundred and fifty.”
That brings pause and Face’s smile cracks.
“Well, that’s not fair.”
“Come on, I was joking.”
“Start counting. I’ll tell you when to stop.”
The sigh is audible. Face pushes off the floor with a pace that says he wants to get this shit over with as numbers are huffed out and garbled together. He’s always been impatient and single-minded. He’s always ahead of himself and ahead of others, and sometimes he races past and other times trips over his own feet and those of everyone else right before plummeting off a cliff.
Face established himself as Hannibal’s protégé before the idea occurred to the older man. As soon as he could get away with calling Colonel Smith by a title more familiar, he did. He ignored corrections and danced around reprimands. He said Hannibal again and again, until it was right; until the other was conditioned to accept his name on the young soldier’s lips.
Face was in his space, mouth moving before etiquette could be corrected. He grinned smugly at his peers as he walked past, trailing behind the colonel, then at his side, then walking merrily ahead of him. He acted like that was where he belonged and made Hannibal believe it, too.
Touching came soon after: a tug on the sleeve of Hannibal’s uniform and a hand on his shoulder, creeping towards his neck. The movements were so swift that protest was futile, and since it was allowed the first time, seemed silly to complain about the next.
They were all steps back; the stroking and the whispers and everything that makes Hannibal soft. He was ruined when Face straddled his leg and rubbed against him. He broke down, did what the kid wanted him to do; still gives up part of his control every time Face begs for it.
Face shakes and falls into the floor so brutally even Hannibal cringes.
“Up. Let’s go.”
Head is buried in the crook of his arm with body limp and splayed. Hannibal circles like a shark, studying weakness. Then he says it, with that smooth drawl; can’t think fast enough to stop himself.
“What are we going to do about this?”
The words sit and Face’s movements are slow; cautious but calculated. Tongue comes out, pink, wet, soft – trails up the toe of Hannibal’s boot. He licks at sand and grime and it’s humiliating; causes skin to flush. Face argues and fights and now he’s rolling over. He’s playing with him, but it strikes Hannibal deep; makes him ache, makes him want to grab the kid by the hair and see how obedient he’s willing to be.
Heel rolls into the small of Face’s back and digs in with the same intensity of Hannibal’s words.
“If you like being on the ground, you can stay there.”
He pushes off and then he’s on the floor with him, trapping legs between his own.
Face asks, “Sir?” with feigned naïveté that shoots heat into Hannibal’s lungs. He sounds frail and confused, and Hannibal bites his tongue imagining the noises he's going to rip from him.
Full weight is down, the colonel solid and heavy as nails scrape up Face’s back. The soldier groans when bruises are hit, and he twists against Hannibal's crotch, invoking a more forceful method of keeping him still.
The cigar is extinguished next to Face’s cheek. The colonel’s body is close now, casts shadow on his own, and Face anticipates his touch so highly that he can already feel it.
Hannibal's chest drops, brushing against Face's back in small waves that flow with each breath. Smoke rises and Hannibal inhales the smell of ash before catching the other’s scent beneath him – cologne and sweat – clean and dirty, a child and a whore.
Voice is gruff when Hannibal asks, “You want to please me?” and Face’s heart jumps into his throat because he does.
With a swift tug he’s lifted with waist in the air and head between his arms. Fingers work too fast and shake too nervously, threatening to betray the older man’s need. It’s like opening a wound and Face can smell blood; knows he’s weak and it’s time to bite.
Face rocks backwards with long, slow movements, pressing backside against Hannibal’s growing arousal. It’s quickly ended when a palm jams between his shoulder blades, discouraging Face before he gets it in his mind that he owns him.
“I don’t like what you did today.”
Hand cuts deeper until the soldier stills and a response is forced.
“It won’t happen again,” is mumbled in that small voice Hannibal at one time believed to be innocent. Fabric pulls taught against Face’s erection when briefs are tugged down just low enough to expose what Hannibal wants. Face tucks chin under, stares at the stain spreading near the top of his underwear then at the colonel’s legs behind him, moving to center himself against his body.
Hannibal remarks, “You’re going to make it up to me,” as he moves head down Face’s back, barely away from skin. Breath tickles and lips are so close it drives the other mad, ripping a growl from low in his throat. Face falls apart in front of him feeling heat as he hovers over the bulge in his underwear. Hannibal wants to shove him down, fuck him into the floor, but does his best to stay sharp with mind clear. Thought of repercussion is always there - that people will discover them; that they’ll claim this is why he keeps that brat around.
The young body is squirming in a way that barely resembles restraint. Finally, Face thrusts forward into Hannibal’s hand, again and again, shamelessly as if he means to end it like this right now. Hannibal remains still; allows Face to drag himself like an animal. He waits till he’s a mess with mouth parted and eyes clenched before tightening fingers around his arousal. A tug and Face moans pathetically, sound ripped from his gut. The head of his cock is exposed and fingertips glide over the slit, pulling precum over hot, delicate skin.
Face beseeches, “Colonel,” with a lick of his lips; smiles when the word makes Hannibal shove against him.
“Don’t speak out of turn again.” The command is sharp, accented by a quick jerk of the neck that startles Face enough to shut him up. Hannibal gropes at his jaw, runs middle and ring fingers over lips that part willingly. They move inside, over his tongue as he closes around them. In and out they glide in obscene motions, and he follows, head bobbing forward, unable to get enough. Face wets them, salivates until his lips are covered and chin is wet.
Hannibal’s empty hand tears at his own pants, tugging in frustration when the need for release becomes unbearable. Face sucks harder, trailing tongue up the underside of Hannibal’s fingers and daring to use teeth. Palms sweat and stomach turns in anticipation. He needs it, but there’s always the chance he’ll feel too much or too little.
The fingers are gone a second later but jaw remains slack, wanting something else. Hannibal pushes Face’s legs apart and he complies, spreading himself fully with elbows on the floor so his back curves and ass is raised, unprotected and exposed.
The coated fingers dip between his legs and Hannibal presses inside. It’s slow - too slow to be nice. He’s messing with him, asking if Face knows he’s going to be fucked while barely moving deeper.
Face begs, “More – put it all in,” as legs shake and hips twist, and he’s close to slamming backwards to take him fully.
Hannibal gives him what he wants before he seizes it himself. Fingers drag against the walls of his rectum, spreading and opening him wider, accented by fragile yet satisfied moans.
Three fingers and he asks, “Is this enough?” with a sardonic tone that says he doesn’t care to hear an answer.
“Colonel, please,” comes in a breathy whine, cut short when Hannibal slips out and immediately rubs against him with the tip of his cock.
Everything comes quickly now, a fall that can’t be stopped. Hannibal’s no longer thinking and he doesn’t care. He penetrates with arousal slick and dripping, and both are still. Fingers move in circles on Face’s neck, massaging, feeling his Adam’s apple dip when he swallows down pain.
He purrs in his ear, “That’s it, soldier,” digs into his waist and forces deeper. “What a good boy,” comes in a sickeningly sweet hum that makes Face’s cock throb between his legs. He’s wet, beads of precum falling off the tip of his cock in thin lines that stretch towards the floor.
The zipper of Hannibal’s pants scrapes the back of Face’s thighs as he moves. Face loves it more when there’s a layer between them and the older man doesn’t care how Face is taken, and doesn’t care to wait. Face wants to be temptation, wants to crawl under his skin and work him like a puppet. He needs to know if he wants something, he’ll get it, and nothing scares Face more than being empty.
There’s a sharp inhale of breath as Hannibal stretches him wide and closes the space between them. He slides in and out, looking for a tremble and a gasp, whispering in the protégé’s ear how well he’s doing, how proud he is, how young and tight and unbroken. The thrusts are slow and deep and Face whimpers at the friction, feeling himself open for every inch of Hannibal’s cock. Hannibal will know him one day, inside and out. For now it’s trial and error, and Face is unforgiving when he missteps.
The head slips out and is forced back into his abused hole. Face is red and swollen but still pushes backwards, needs it more. He thrusts in again and Face is so fucking hot, entire body tensing as he clenches around him.
Hannibal pulls the boy’s head back and bites his ear.
“You want it?”
A strangled noise is the only response. Face wants it, he needs it, but he’ll never be good enough.
Hannibal grabs at Face’s wrist and pulls arm underneath him, twisting up until the younger man is brushing against the trail that leads to his crotch. He has permission to touch himself, and he strokes fast and hard; can’t wait for the moment when the world slips away and everything is good.
Fingers claw into the floor and Face bites his lip - chokes on spit. He comes quickly, fucking his own hand until his cock is slicked and covered, with cum pooled between his fingers.
Hannibal berates, “Impatient,” with a stinging slap against his leg, but for once, Face is satisfied; doesn’t feel used but complete.
Seeing his soldier crumble beneath him drives Hannibal mad. He pounds harder and Face barely loses his grip before bracing again. Hannibal likes when he’s under him, likes how he shakes - loves those injured moans. He loves the dip in his voice when he cries his name, and he buries deeper; sinks teeth into his back just to hear it again.
Arms wrap around Face’s waist and Hannibal’s tugging him into his lap, lips pressed against his spine as he’s filled.
He’s claimed Face for his own. He’s invested too much and now he cares too much, and all the warnings in his head about the kid being toxic have dissipated. The others will let him drift and let him die. He can’t survive without Hannibal.
Hot breath hits Face’s back and seeps through his clothes. He wriggles away first; has nothing left to give and sees no reason Hannibal would want to keep him close.
The shirt becomes a towel as he pats himself down and shakes himself out like a dog after a bath. Hannibal returns the uniform but keeps the duffel bag, which Face barely acknowledges. Nothing inside is important.
The young soldier looks to settle down, yet has nothing to do except leave. He waves and smiles like he pulled one over. There are eyes on his back that make him nervous and when Hannibal speaks, he knows why.
“Do you want it, kid?”
Sincerity has always made Face uncomfortable. He knows how to appear as if he loves or as if he cares, and knows others do the same. He thinks about grinning and walking away, leaving everything loose and Hannibal stranded. Face shrugs, and for once his voice is hushed.