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Club Veneer

Club Veneer
by Roxilicious

Ratings/Warnings: PG - slight use of adult language, some violence.
Summary: Short, quick story. Back in LA, Face gets involved with a new local nightclub, only to find it is a front for darker business. Involves a creep, a drug dealer, Max undercover, and unfortunately, no Murdock
this time. This story contains five chapters total.
Disclaimer: All characters created within my stories are of my own creation, with the exception of the A-Team characters.
Copyright: August 2002


Chapter 1

Things had gotten back to normal, . . . well as close to normal as can be expected, once the Team returned to Los Angeles. Max, whose shoulder was healing rather rapidly, returned to her morning shifts at Hamburger Heaven and in the evenings went to be Hannibal's personal assistant on the movie set. Face had gotten on his own jazz with a local club that had just opened, Club Veneer. He had scammed some wealthy investors wishing to throw their money at anything into helping finance the new club. He even went so far as to invest some of his own money. It was there that he had come in contact with a number of producers and in turn had gotten a few disfigured monster parts for Hannibal. B.A. had returned to his garage and YMCA volunteering. Murdock had started a new therapy program at the VA that was designed to test the affects of music on moods, and was enjoying himself thoroughly as always.

"Hey, boss. Faceman wants us all to come out to the club tonight." Max said as she set out a number of Hamburger Heaven meals while double-checking the list she'd taken with her. She had offered to get everyone lunch that day, as a thank you for their patience and helping her adjust to this new job of being on the set -- she had ended up helping with several aspects of the film whenever anyone needed help, always trying her best, which the low-budget crew appreciated greatly.
"I'm not a club person, Max." Hannibal replied as he sat down, pulling off the head of the monster he was portraying this time around.
"I know that, boss, but you don't have to dance or anything. I can picture it." Max expressed as she stepped back and held her hands in a square, like she was looking through a movie camera at Hannibal. "Tonight is a special night at the club, an homage to glamorous Hollywood. I mean, c'mon, Face is in with the place and you know he only works classy when he can scam it. Anyway, you walk into the club and all eyes turn to this handsome, silver-haired, macho, suave, . . ." she continued.
"Okay, you can stop sucking up to me, kid." Hannibal laughed.
"I'm not done yet, . . . where was I? Oh, yeah, you have an aura of intrigue surrounding you as the lights glitter in your cobalt blue eyes, . . . you have the mysterious, masculine, controlled air of a Frank Sinatra . . . on the jazz!" Max concluded triumphantly.
"You have a very active imagination, don't you, kid?" Hannibal asked as he bit into a burger.
"It rivals Murdock's, I bet. Besides, if it'll get me something I want, it can't be a bad thing. I mean, I haven't been out on a night on the town since, . . . since, . . . a long time before I even met up with you guys. Now, all I do is Hamburger Heaven, the set, and home. In between our little escapades, of course." Max laughed and went to gather the crew, calling for the lunch break.
After lunch was finished, Hannibal patted Max on the shoulder and told her she needed to go check with B.A. about going.
"Way ahead of you, Hannibal. I went by the garage on the way back with the food, and just happened to take him two whole Hamburger Heaven combo meals, and he said he's up for it, if you are." Max replied with a grin.


Chapter 2

As Max was getting dressed, the phone rang. Hannibal answered it. Max finished setting her curls just right and smoothed out the red silk dress she'd worn back in St. Louis. She checked her heels and grabbed her purse, opening the door to her room. She emerged with a smile, ready for this night of relaxation. She saw Hannibal hang up the phone and the look on his face was not one of expectancy.
"What's wrong?" Max asked as her smile faded away.
"Face thinks something suspicious is happening at the club, so when we go in tonight, we got to be undercover." Hannibal replied as he headed for his closet to find a brown wig.
"Man, . . . never fails." Max grumbled as she walked back to her room to look for a wig. She'd been collecting them from the wardrobe department on the set, just in case." She looked through and found a short, black bob wig to put on. It reminded her of Clara Bow, so she figured it would work for the night. She scrunched all her hair up that she'd worked on and put the wig on. She looked at the mirror, a bit taken aback by the change just the wig created. She felt like a different person looking in that mirror. She felt like she now had the gutsy confidence of a Mae West with the deceitful innocence of Clara Bow. Tonight might still be fun, after all.

When they arrived at the club, they were escorted to a VIP table as guests of Mr. Derek Bingham (Face's alias during this scam). The table overlooked the whole club, but was set back a little so anyone looking up there couldn't see exactly who was sitting there.
Face joined them within thirty minutes of their entering the club.
"Nice digs, Facey." Max complimented as he sat down.
Face didn't acknowledge her remark. "Hannibal, I think something funny is going on in MY club." He stated defensively.
"What do you mean, Face?" Hannibal asked.
"This club has been open now for about three weeks. Business is booming, like I knew it would. Well, I've been checking the books and it's not adding up. I am not in charge of the books, which is something I regret greatly now, but I can't figure out where the money is going." Face explained rapidly.
"What do your partners say?" Hannibal asked.
"They are avoiding my questions, telling me business is still doing good so it shouldn't matter. Besides, I'm just the silent partner who can get deals on their supplies, as far as their concerned," Face anguished.
"Sounds like a front to me, Hannibal." B.A. interjected. "You remember when that Viet Cong general was moving yen through the POW camp, . . . sounds just like that."
"Good thought, Sergeant. I think you might be right." Hannibal said thoughtfully.
"Who are your regular characters around here? Maybe some of them ain't as innocent as they look." B.A. added.
"Wow, B.A., you talk a lot more after a beer or two, don't you?" Max asked, astonished. B.A. grinned at her in reply and took another sip of the beer in front of him.
"Well, that man downstairs and to the right, by the first bar is a "friend" of one of my partners. He is here almost every night. He goes by Rocky, that's all I know. Last night he waited there and, . . . that guy over there," he pointed to a tall Hispanic man on the other side of the bar. "I don't know him, but he met up with Rocky last night and they went to a back booth for awhile. When I tried to go mingle back that way, one of their bodyguards detained me, so by the time I got back there, they were finished doing whatever they did." Face explained.

Hannibal pulled out a cigar and Face automatically pulled out a lighter. Max watched the two men Face had pointed out as trails of smoke swirled about Hannibal's head, and the wheels turned. B.A. noted that Rocky had approached a couple of women and been shot down thus far.
Hannibal nudged Max and asked her to go scope out Mr. Rocky down there. The Team would be watching her in case something happened.
"Is this a test for me, or just because I'm the only girl here now?" She asked defensively.
"Yes." Hannibal said.
"Knew I should've dragged Amy with us tonight, for some reason." Max mumbled as she rolled her eyes, and slowly rose to walk down to the bar. She sauntered up to the bar and leaned in close to Rocky as she ordered a beer.
"A gorgeous lady like you should be having champagne." Rocky noted as he gazed down at this black haired beauty, glimpsing the top swell of her breasts, as well.
"Well, sweetie, I'd like to be having champagne as well, but I don't have that kind of money on me at the moment." She stalled as she waited for her drink.
"I can buy you one, if you want." Rocky looked hopeful.
"It's your money, if you want to spend it on me, I won't stop you." She smiled teasingly in return, her eyes gleaming as he got the bar tender's attention.
"My name's Lita, what's yours?" she asked as she sipped on her beer, waiting for the champagne to come.
"I'm Rocky. I am friends with one of the owners of this place, so I can get you whatever you want here." Rocky boasted.
"Yeah, but what do you do, honey?" Max asked more seductively, touching his chest with her free hand.
"Anything you want me to." He blurted. "Um, really I'm in the import/export business, but I don't want to bore you with the details." He laughed it off.
"I don't think you could bore me, Rocky." Max grinned as she stepped a little closer.
"Do you want to get together sometime, Lita?" Rocky stammered at the attention.
"Sure, we could meet here tomorrow night if you like. Tomorrow night is more of a regular night." She giggled. "I'll being wearing something more, . . ." giggle, "revealing." She laughed again as his eyes almost bugged out at the statement.
Finally, her glass of champagne arrived. She leaned over for a strawberry from behind the bar, dipped it in the champagne, and raising it over her, tilted her face upward so Rocky could get a good look, swirled her tongue around the berry slowly, then bit into it, her lips pushing around the berry. She licked her lips and said "mmmmmm," then looked at Rocky, whispering "See you tomorrow, Rocky."
She got lost in the crowd before he could see where she went, went around the back way to the stairs and ended up back at the VIP table.
"Man, some guys are just too easy." She sighed as she sat down at the VIP table again. "Well, Colonel, he says he's in the import/export business, but wouldn't elaborate. If you want to plan anything, I am to meet him at this club tomorrow." She reported with a smile and a loose salute, and then sipped her champagne.
"Where'd you get that?" Face asked.
"Rocky bought it for me." She grinned. "You're not the only one who can con people, sweet heart. You should know that by now."
Hannibal chuckled, chomping on his cigar, his eyes now glittering.
"Now he's on the jazz." B.A. laughed.


Chapter 3

The next day, Max stopped by B.A.'s garage to pick up some equipment needed for the night.
"Here, this directional microphone needs to be placed somewhere secretive but so that you can point it toward what you want us to hear. The frequency I've got it set up for will allow us to hear something up to thirty-five feet away, as long as it's pointed straight at it." B.A. instructed.
"Well, with what I'm gonna' be wearing tonight, the only place it'll be able to go is in my bra," She grinned slyly.
"Well, as long as Rocky won't be able to see if you bend over and he happens to sneak a peak." B.A. warned.
"Don't worry, the bra I have pushes these puppies together so well, you couldn't see anything between them." She smiled at B.A. "Wow, B.A., I didn't know you could blush." She teased.
B.A. smiled as he tested the receiver before sending her on her way.
"If you have any trouble, the code word is BLUE." B.A. instructed her.
"Gotcha, B.A. Any trouble and we'll start talking about my eyes. See ya tonight, buddy." Max added as she walked back to her car, checking her watch. She pealed out of the parking lot and took a right turn, back toward the movie set.

That night, she entered the club alone. Her black bob wig in place and secured. She wore a black sleeveless crop-top with a sliced up mesh shirt over it and a black bra underneath. She had a lace mini skirt on with a pair of short biker shorts underneath. On her feet she wore a black leather pair of peter pan boots with leg warmers scrunched down to just be seen above the boot rims. She smiled brightly as she walked up to the front door, past all the people in line. She was on the list. She winked at the bouncer and her gold hoop earrings jingled as she walked on into the club. Once inside the club, she scanned the area -- full of bright contrasting colors and spinning lights. Madonna's "Lucky Star" dance remix blaring throughout the club, she waded through the throngs of people toward the bar. She just knew she'd find Rocky there.
"You guys hearing everything okay?" she said without moving her lips, smiling all the while.
"Coming through loud and clear, mama." B.A. purred back in her ear through the receiver there.
She glanced around again as she made her way across, noting Face (dressed in his best Miami Vice leisure suit with the sleeves pushed up) was up in the balcony area, near the VIP table they'd sat at the night before. She sighed calmly when she got closer to the bar. "Contact in sight." She said as she spotted Rocky.
She walked up to Rocky and ran her nails down his back. "Miss me?" she asked innocently.
"Sure did, honey. Was beginning to wonder if you'd stood me up." Rocky replied, putting a protective arm around her waist as she stepped up to the bar. She shifted her upper body to make sure her chest was directed at Rocky, which he apparently had no problems with.
They made small talk most of the night and flirted back and forth. Max heard B.A. groan at some of Rocky's corny lines.
"No wonder this fool gets shot down." He muttered.
Max bit her tongue to keep from laughing. Rocky and Max made their way on the dance floor for a few minutes, but couldn't do much do to the sheer number of people in the club they were being crushed by. Face had to be getting some major cash flow out of this place on this scam, Max thought to herself.
Rocky looked at his watch several times throughout the night. Finally, at about midnight, he said he'd be back, but he had to meet with somebody.
"Can't I come with you, baby?" Max asked, leaning into him and pouting her lip like a little kid.
"Sorry, honey. It'd be best if you didn't. I won't take long, promise." He said as he slipped away from her. Max cursed under her breath at this inconvenience.
"S'alright, Max, just go to the restroom, watching Rocky the whole way over. Stumble your way near wherever Rocky goes. Just point that mic that way and we'll be able to decipher what's being said. It's all being recorded. We just need to see if we can find out what's going on." Hannibal ordered through the earpiece.
"Yes, sir." She replied.
Luckily for Max, Rocky went into the men's restroom, so she just went into the women's restroom and positioned herself.
"I've lost sight of the contact. He's in the men's room. I'm now in the women's restroom pointed toward the men's room. Hear anything, B.A.?" She asked under her breath.
"Women talking, . . . water dripping, . . ." B.A. reported.
"I'll try to reposition outside the bathroom." She said as she slipped out of the bathroom again.
She positioned herself facing the wall of the men's lavatory, holding her head like she had a headache. "How 'bout now?" she whispered down to her chest, as her head was already bowed.

"Yeah, got it. Can hear Rocky talking to some other dude." B.A. relayed.
Just then, Max felt a hand glide up her back to her neck. She let her head fall back in disbelief at her luck. She opened her eyes to look up at Face. She smiled.
"How's it going?" he whispered in Max's other ear, his hands on her shoulders, starting to massage.
"They're in there." She mouthed silently to Face, closing her eyes and dropping her head back as he massaged deeper her tense shoulders.
After a few minutes, the Hispanic man exited the bathroom, not noticing Face and Max. A moment later, Rocky exited the bathroom and looked toward the two standing there.
"What are you doin', Lita?" he asked possessively.
"I saw you go into the restroom and decided to stand here to wait for you to come out again. Wouldn't want another girl grabbing onto you. I started feeling a pain in my shoulder, like a pinched nerve, and this nice gentleman is helping work out some of the stiffness I felt." Max smiled at Rocky as Face's hands slipped from
her shoulders.
"Well, that was very nice of you, buddy, but I'll take over now, if you don't have a problem with that." He practically grunted as he puffed out his chest some.
"No problem, just want to make sure all our clients don't leave here feeling bad at all." Face almost stuttered.
"You part owner in this place?" Rocky asked suspiciously.
"Well, I'm more of a silent partner." Face explained as he stepped back.
"Well, then you can silently slip away now. I'll make her feel a lot better." Rocky hissed as he slithered over behind Max and started massaging her shoulders roughly, hurting her. Face took the opportunity to slip away back to his perch. Max turned around, trying to decide how to escape this present situation, not wanting this guy touching her and drooling over her like he was. He was more confident now after whatever had taken place in that restroom, and she liked this job less and less.
"Excuse me, for a minute, Rocky. I need to be excused." She wrinkled her nose in a cute little kid way and brushed her hand across his cheek. Then, she slipped into the women's restroom. Her smile dropped as soon as the door closed. She shuddered in disgust and wiped at where he'd touched her. "Ugh. Did you get anything your way, B.A.?" she asked quietly after making sure no one was in the restroom.
"Yeah, we got a meeting place and time. We can ambush them there. They got some exchange going to happen." B.A. told her.
"How much longer do I have to put up with this guy?" she asked.
"Well, you could always get to feeling even worse and want to go home. If he wants to take you home, go ahead with him. We'll be following the whole time. We'll be there to jump him at the right moment." Hannibal thought aloud.
"Is that an order, Colonel?" she asked, hoping against hope that she wouldn't have to keep up this charade much longer.
"Yes, soldier." She could hear the smile behind his words.

Chapter 4

She emerged from the restroom holding her head.
"What's wrong, baby?" Rocky asked as he caught her by her elbow.
"I don't know, just not feeling that well. I think I need to go home." She said, and then prayed he wouldn't want to take her home.
"Well, you know, I could drive you home and make sure you get put to bed okay. We can go to my place." He grinned as he put an arm around her waist, pulling her closer to him.
"You'd drive me home?" she asked as she batted her eyes up at him, mesmerizing him with the blue pools.
"You bet I would, sweet thang." He drooled and slapped her on the butt.
She stiffened in response, then forced herself to relax and giggle as she led the way to the front door.
"Hannibal, I'm going to kill you." She whispered, hoping Hannibal heard every word.
They drove back to Rocky's apartment, and she scuttled to the door quickly, trying to stay out of the reach of Rocky's roaming hands. She only got a moment's relief when he had to stop to unlock the door. Once inside, Rocky directed her to the leather sofa. He went to get her some water to take the pills she'd pulled from her purse. She didn't trust getting any drugs from this guy, he might try to knock her out to take advantage he seemed so desperate. With the last swallow, Rocky took the glass from her hand and set it down, then swooped in on her.
She lay down and held her head. Rocky leaned in on top of her, starting to kiss her neck and up to her cheek. He leaned in to kiss her, but she stopped him. She fretted at when Hannibal thought would be a good time to jump this goon next to her.
"You have some of the prettiest eyes I've ever seen, Rocky." She sighed as she touched his face and slid her hands down to his neck.
"You have the most BLUE eyes I've ever seen -- so sexy." He said huskily as he leaned in.
"What color BLUE would you say my eyes are, honey?" she asked, stretching to buy some time.
"BLUE as the ocean, and twice as mysterious." He whispered as he leaned in closer.

At that moment, Rocky was knocked off the couch and landed with a resounding thud on the floor. Max sighed in relief and looked up to see Face standing there with a lamp.
"Took you long enough. We said BLUE three times before you made the save." Max scolded as she sat up.
"Had to let you sweat a little." Hannibal laughed as he stepped in the room.
"Yeah, and possibly get electrocuted in the process. If I would've been sweating anymore, I would've fried this mic, him, myself, and this freakin' house, for sure." She said as she removed the microphone from her bra.
"Next time, get Amy to play to lady love interest, . . . or better yet, one of you guys go in drag." She broke out in laughter at the thought. B.A., Hannibal, and Face looked at each other a chuckled at the thought themselves.
B.A. lugged Rocky up and tied him to a chair. They woke him with a slap to the face.
"What's going on here, Lita?" he asked, looking at Max.
"Well, wanted you to meet the family. They have some questions they ask all my potential boyfriends." She replied tartly.

After a couple of hours of questioning and threats, they learned that Club Veneer was being used to front a mafia-style gang and their business transactions. The transaction to take place the next night in the motel room was going to be a drug tradeoff. Rocky was to pay out of the club's money and the Hispanic man, Neco, was to bring the cocaine and some heroin. Rocky was supposed to take the drugs back to Club Veneer, hand off the drugs to Christopherson, who would then sell the drugs to some special guests in the VIP area. After they got the answers they wanted, they knocked Rocky out again with the lamp.

"Thanks, Rocky. I think that's all the answers we needed." B.A. said as he clicked the tape recorder off.


Chapter 5

The next night, they had Rocky tied up in the back of the van, ready for delivery. Hannibal was made up as Rocky. Max decided Lita should go with him to keep up the illusion of the relationship starting with Rocky. Face and B.A. listened to the wire on Max, as they set up in the stairwell near the motel room. Hannibal and Max entered the room with no problem, due to poor lighting, and the distraction of Max herself.
After the transaction had taken place and the plans explained, all recorded, Hannibal rose to leave with Max. Neco decided to shake this Rocky's hand, and that's when he noticed something amiss. Before they could move, Neco had pulled out his gun and was aiming between Hannibal's eyes, still holding his hand.
Hannibal slowly removed his makeup with his free hand. Max acted like she was surprised and stepped back, giving her enough time to yell "BLUE" and drop to the floor like Hannibal did, after he had flipped Neco over the couch.
B.A. rammed through the door. Face and B.A. shot their Ruger AC556s as Neco's two goons dived behind the other couch in the room.
Neco headed toward Hannibal, gun pointed directly, but before he got the perfect aim or moved his trigger finger, Max shot his gun hand with her own handgun. Hannibal tackled Neco, slamming his head on the floor. He picked up Neco's gun and held it against his temple. B.A. had run and flipped the couch over, sprawling the other two goons. Face took their guns.
Soon, all three were tied up. Rocky, who they'd tied up and set up in stairwell with them while they waited was soon joining his rendezvous buddies in the destroyed room. A note was left explaining the tapes had all the information on them and were left there as well. The Team heard the cop sirens coming from far off and darted down the stairwell toward the parking lot, pealing rubber out as the cops got there.
The Team sat outside Club Veneer in the van as the cops made a bust that night, hauling out Christopherson and some of the other club owners after a particularly destructive shoot out occurred.
"Well, looks like you're out of the nightclub entertainment business, Face." Hannibal said.
"For now, anyway. This scam made a pretty penny in the short time it lasted. Oh, well, I made some good connections anyway, so I have plenty of places to start the next scam." Face resigned as he reclined back in his seat and B.A. drove out of the parking lot toward Hannibal and Max's apartment.


The End


Club Veneer by Roxilicious



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