(another fic). the a team in the line of duty

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The desert air was stale and dry and felt like it hadn't moved in years. The air alone could bake you, but combined with the sun... It had to be 120 degrees out here and it was only mid morning.

Face half sighed, half growled as he did a visual sweep of the area. He grumbled as the sun blinded him and the sand remained unchanging. Taking a sip of water from his canteen, he stepped away from the relative shade of the doorway to begin his patrol. Almost instantly, he felt the oppressive heat of the sun as it pressed down on him. The material of his shirt and the gobs of sunscreen he caked on himself seemed to be doing little to prevent his skin from burning; they certainly didn't help with the heat.

Not for the first time, he cursed Hannibal and his rotten luck at getting this particular punishment. It was a shit assignment, babysitting a high level informant and his family until the CIA could move him. They were keeping him hidden well into the middle-of-no-where. The small abandoned trading post had no electricity, no plumbing, and absolutely nothing comfortable about it. It made it the perfect way, at least in the Colonel's mind, to teach Face a lesson about sticking to the plan.

This was a constant struggle between the CO and his XO. Hannibal, for all his crazy schemes, had a desire for structure and order. In his world, you always followed the plan. Even if the plan fell apart, there would always be a back up. Face, on the other hand, was the master of free form and improve. A plan was a good outline, set up a nice road map for the goal, but it was always subject to change. It had to be, because in his world you needed to be able to adapt to survive. If the two of them were being honest with each other, at least as far as the planning went, then they would realize that they were both very much different sides of the same coin. They each needed the other one to make every crazy and half cocked plan work like magic, but the two sucked at communicating.

And that was why Face was at some desolate trading post in the middle of an Iraqi desert babysitting while the others went to meet with the CIA contact. Face had improvised on the last mission and, even though it had made things turn out better in the long run, it had screwed some things up along the way. If he had explained to Hannibal what he was doing before he did it, then things might have gone a little smoother. As it was, Hannibal had been pissed, there was a lot of yelling and a lecture, and then Face had been given the A-team version of Latrine duty.

He had been here in this miserable place for three days with two other soldiers, neither of whom were B.A. Or Murdock. The two soldiers were Corporals Roy Royals, who they called Roy-Roy, and Mark Harrison, who they called Harry, and if he had to be stuck with just anybody he was glade it was them. He was the ranking officer, though, and so everything would fall back on him, meaning no screw-ups. It had been made very clear that any deviations from the plan would result in more serious consequences by both Hannibal and Morrison, a fact that pissed him off to no end. But, at least the family he was protecting was worth it.

Nadeem al-Salman, his wife Reema, and their daughter Iffat were, in Face's book, heroes. Nadeem was the publisher of a prominent newspaper in the country and responsible for perpetuating the regime's rhetoric. He was so trusted that he even was privy to state secrets. Little did the state know that Nadeem was helping to orchestrate rebellion by passing along coded messages in his paper and giving the state secrets to the U.S.

"I am not betraying my country. I am trying to save her," he had told Face one night, while watching the sunset. "I want my daughter to live in a land free of fear where she knows she can achieve whatever she works for. I want her to be proud of me. I want my wife to be proud of me. I want my country to be whole."

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