That same day, Hannibal came back from a week long mission with Major Green and his unit at 23.00. He was tired and sore but definitely happy to be home again. In spite of the fact that the small house he was living in off base wasn’t really “home”, every time he was asked to join other teams on particularly difficult missions he was always glad to come back to it, because he knew Face was waiting for him.
The kid was a good soldier, this was a universal truth and Hannibal was proud of him; but he was also so many other things. What they shared was a unique bond. Their relationship had grown with each passing day and it was now four years they had been a couple; they usually didn’t display their status of life-mates in front of others, because a gay couple in a military base far away from their native land was something “strange” and they both knew there were more than a few nutcases who didn’t like it. But in private, in the sitting room of their small place, or in the bedroom or in the shower, they were just their selves: lovers, friends. When Hannibal asked Face to move in to his house, the younger man hadn’t been too convinced at the beginning because he feared that a change in their habits would ruin their relationship; but the Colonel had insisted and Face found out his worries were absolutely unfounded. Of course, there were arguments and disappointments between them, but at the end they found equilibrium.
Hannibal felt Face had been particularly close to him in the past three months, more emotionally involved actually: they had both learnt to make love without hurry, enjoying every single sensation their united bodies would give them, losing themselves in each other. It was not just sex, it was an act of pure love and trust as they explore new frontiers of pleasure. Every time, after they were eventually finished, Face had seemed lost and teary but the Colonel didn’t think to deepen the subject: it was just the reaction to their sexual activity, he himself had been on the verge of tears many times after the kid had released himself in his softest spot and collapsed against him. So he didn’t think it was important.
That night, the second Hannibal closed the door of their home, Face was on top of him, his mouth devouring him, kissing him passionately and almost leaving him without breath. Never really letting the kid go, the Colonel managed to put down his backpack on the floor and guided Face to their bedroom. Once inside, he stripped him of his clothes and deposited him on the soft surface where he lay watching the older man with an unmistakable look. Hannibal teased his lover, taking more time than necessary to undress himself: with his shirt off, the Colonel touched his own nipples and Face moaned, then when he pulled off his trousers and made a move to slip out of his underwear, Face reached for him and helped him, holding his precious length in his hands, feeling it pulse and almost losing himself in that sensation.
Hannibal pulled back and the LT whined, but the Colonel held him in position and soon Face lost conception of time and space, aware of the older man probing his soft spot with one finger, letting him relax against the intrusion, then two and finally three fingers, before filling him completely with his erection. Deliberately slowly, Hannibal pushed him almost to the climax and stopped, pleased to hear the younger man begging for him not to stop; when he felt the urge to come, he pushed himself deeper into his lover’s opening and released himself, while the younger man flooded the Colonel’s chest with own semen.
Panting from the effort, both men finally relaxed side by side on the big bed. Turning on his side in order to reach him, Hannibal kissed Face once more and this time it was his turn to be in control and he pushed his tongue in the kid’s mouth until the need to wash away the remains of their orgasm became unbearable. They shared the same shower and, half an hour later, eventually came out of the bedroom that was a mess.
The rest of the little house was as tidy as usual. Hannibal was glad Face took such great care of it, it was one of the things he loved in his lover. What he didn’t know was that it was BA actually, not Face, who had cleaned the house just a few hours ago. The LT had been determined to leave the base and if not for the big guy’s threat, he would have disappeared. In his mind the plan was simple, to go away before Hannibal had returned so he didn’t have to face him. It was going to hurt but eventually Hannibal’s personal and professional life would have gone on without him. But then BA had asked him where he was going to stay, how he was going to manage to live on his own: Face had tried to con him but it was clear his plan wasn’t perfect. The sergeant made his point clear: he had no choice but to accept his help, at least for now, or he was going to tell the Colonel himself about everything. Reluctantly, the younger man had nodded his agreement but couldn’t really help him when he started to tidy up the place.
BA hadn’t complained and left his friend alone. He insisted that Face should go to stay with his mother, claiming that this way he wouldn’t have to worry about him not knowing where or with whom he was. “Mama is very happy to have you back, she is going to take care of you, while you are... expecting. And you know how stubborn she is, she won’t take a No as an answer.” Face had tried to argue about the decision but then he accepted BA’s help; somewhere in the back of his mind he heard a little voice yelling at him, telling him he was just a chickenshit because he was relying too much on other people, but the LT was too tired to react. As soon as BA was finished, he had waited for Hannibal, thinking about the best way to break the news to him.
What happened in the small sitting room some hours later, however, was a completely different scene from what Face had expected. The LT had poured Hannibal a cup of coffee and, holding his own one in his right hand, he went to sit beside the older man on the couch. Hannibal was grateful, as usual, and thanked him in his sweetest voice, the one no one had ever heard except for him. Feeling he wouldn’t be able to speak if he waited too long, Face gathered all his strength and started the most painful conversation of his life with his lover.
“Hannibal, I need to talk to you…” he forced out of his constricted throat.
The Colonel smiled at him. “Sure, baby.” He seemed so happy and so satisfied at the moment and Face felt, again, tears in his eyes.
“I… I’m pregnant” he declared quietly. It was simple and so scary to admit it in front of his lover but, as he spoke the fatal words, he felt a little lighter. When Hannibal didn’t reply nor did he shout at him, like he thought he would, Face began to worry. He waited anxiously for him to snap out of his shock, not daring to touch him.
Face’s words reawakened dark memories in Hannibal: when he was still a Sergeant, one of his men had been accused of poor behavior because he had had a relationship with a male soldier at the base and he got pregnant. The fact was a shock to the whole base because, despite the fact that gay people being in the Army was formally against the rules, actually it was not so uncommon. The main rule was DADT. "Don't ask, don't tell" which had been the official United States policy on gays serving in the military. But the guy was pregnant and the fact in itself was something very rare and that made the situation far more dangerous.
As a result, he had been sent home and released from the Army. The case had been closed in a couple of days and no one talked about it anymore. Hannibal had never imagined he would find himself in a similar situation but, anyway, he would have never thought to live with and to love another man: it just happened and he was happy about it, Face was the other half of his soul and he certainly wasn’t going to let him down now.
“Oh, Face, sweetheart!” the Colonel finally spoke. The LT didn’t know what to think but when the older man took the cup from his shaking hands, placing it on the table near his own, and hugged him tenderly, he felt like he was going to scream.
“So are you not mad at me?” he asked timidly, avoiding looking at him.
Hannibal smiled softly and, once again, reassured the younger man. “Why should I be mad at you? I know it’s an uncommon situation but with you… you never choose the easy way, am I right?”
“But… but Hannibal…”
“Shhh, honey. I know it’s a scary thing but I promise you I will talk personally to the General to explain the situation to him. You’ll be released from the Army quite certainly but with no shadows on your military career… Once you have the baby, we’ll figure something out. We’ll find a beautiful house and…”
Face couldn’t believe his own ears. Hannibal was already planning their future in details and he seemed so happy about it, like this was something he had always wanted. Anyway, he still had to confess something and reluctantly interrupted the dreamy monologue.
“Hannibal, I have already told the General.” The LT whispered.
This time, Hannibal’s reaction was less enthusiastic. “What? Face… why?” then he understood. “How long, Face?”
“Three months,” the Colonel repeated. Again no sign of the fury the younger man had expected from him, just disbelief. “So, you waited three months to tell me? Jesus, Face, what were you thinking? What if you were shot or worse?”
“BA was taking care of me.” The words came out of Face’s mouth unintentionally. Hannibal was now looking at him with tears in his eyes, not caring to hide them. He was hurting, bad.
“So, did you tell anybody else?” he asked.
“No. I’m sorry, Hannibal, I’ve tried to talk to you many times but…”
“But what? You assumed I would be pissed off at you, you thought I would throw you out of this house and out of my life?” Hannibal paused to catch his breath, unable to stop crying, his voice cracked and rough. “Well, you were wrong. In case you didn’t notice, I love you… I thought it was the same for you…”
“It is, John, please, you have to believe me! I do love you, with all my heart… it’s just… I didn’t know what to do and…”
“And you choose to inform BA and the General before telling Me that you were expecting My baby? If our roles were reversed, how would you feel now, Face?” Hannibal asked earnestly but Face couldn’t answer. Hannibal understood it was difficult for the younger man to cope with a similar situation but he couldn’t help to feel betrayed.
“Look, Face, I am not going to leave you alone in this. I just want you to think about how you could have handled the situation differently. Do you have a place to stay? When you go back to the States?”
“Yes, I am going to stay with BA’s mama. At least for now… And I think I will be released in a couple of days… ”
“Good. Now, if you’ll excuse me, I need to be alone… you can use the bedroom, as long as you stay here, I’ll sleep on the couch.”
Face didn’t reply, he couldn’t find his voice. He surely hadn’t meant to hurt his lover so badly and he felt horrible for not having trusted him since the beginning. “So, is it over?” he eventually managed to croak.
Hannibal sighed and turned towards him. “I don’t know. I need time to think now. But I will always be present, if you need something for the baby, you know…”