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Dangerous

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Amy knew that the team was dangerous. She’d have to be stupid not to have realized it after seeing them handle machine guns and what not with the ease most people handled the television remote. She’d see them throw grenades, jump from buildings and blow cars up without once losing their smiles or abandoning their banter. If they wanted something done, they got it done.

But it was a harmless sort of danger. They could put the bad guys in jail, they could shoot things up and Amy didn’t doubt it that they could kill when the situation demanded it. But what she had never associated with them was cold, effective ruthlessness. And that was what was really dangerous. 

Then Face disappeared. Nor during a mission –kidnapped by the sleazy criminals they were up against at the moment – but disappeared for real. Amy didn’t know just what was different, but this time Hannibal seemed convinced Face really was in danger. Suddenly the guys weren’t the benevolently crazy misfits she’d known. BA was suddenly scary for really, and the strangely intense look in Murdock’s eyes was frightening as well. But worst of all was Hannibal. Amy had always known that BA could throw a man out a window if he was angered, and she had known that Murdock was actually sort of insane. Hannibal, though, was just a crazy guy with a wide grin and unorthodox plans. He wasn’t really dangerous.  

But with Face kidnapped the lively spark in Hannibal’s eyes disappeared and instead his gaze turned cold, along with his voice and all the rest of him. That was the first time she saw him strike a defenseless man. It was the first time she realized that though Hannibal was easy going and fun and nice most of the time he was a soldier and soldiers were trained to kill.

It was strange, the way things changed during the days they hunted down Face’s abductors. There were no longer any good-hearted arguments or any complaints about Hannibal’s crazy plans. Hannibal gave an order and it was executed without hesitation. There weren’t any elaborate scams to get stuff. Hannibal pulled out a gun and put it to the head of whoever was opposing them and told them in that cold, ruthless voice to do what he wanted. People always did.

She’d asked Murdock, because he was the one least likely to bite her head off, if that what was Hannibal had been like in Vietnam. Murdock had looked at her, and then looked away again shaking his head slowly.

“Most of the time, no. But when things got real dangerous… he was… well, worse.”

Amy swallowed at that. She supposed she could imagine it in some way, a Hannibal without the jazz. A Hannibal who didn’t smile when he pulled his crazy stunts, who didn’t laugh and who didn’t joke. A Hannibal who was a soldier all the way through.

They located Face fairly quickly; mostly, Amy thought, because the world in general decided it was the wisest course to bend to Hannibal’s will. They didn’t let her come when they went to free Face, and when they left they looked grimmer than she had ever seen them. They looked like soldiers going to war.

When they returned she realized why the team had been so very worried; Face looked as if he had been beaten within an inch of his life. All of them were subdued that night, and Murdock and BA only went to bed after Hannibal ordered them to. He, however, stayed by Face’s bedside through the night.

The next morning when Amy was leafing through the newspaper during breakfast, her attention was quickly caught by a story about a shoot-out the day night before. Three people dead.

That was when she realized that she could never really be part of the team. Not because she was a woman among four men or because she was a newcomer, but because they were in spite of all their friendliness and joking a team of trained killers.