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The Case of the Misplaced Heart
Disclaimer: A-Team owned by Stephen J Cannell Productions. Davis Webster owned by me.
Summary: Will the case the
team is on endanger Face and
Warning: This is the third
installment to the, what seems to be building into,
Feedback: Please. As always, I'm trying to gradually answer everyone's questions, and work their suggestions into the stories. Your comments, questions and suggestions are much appreciated, and keep me writing these stories.
Templeton Peck rolled over, and groped around the nightstand for the torturous device that had woken him up. He picked up the receiver, and groaned, "Hello?"
"Face?" His eyes popped open. He tried to sit up, realizing his arm was pinned. BA Baracus was the last person he expected to be calling him here. It dawned on him that the Sergeant had not actually been phoning him. Face looked down at the woman beside him, and smiled.
"Uh, yeah, BA.
He heard the familiar growl on the other end. "Make sure she does." With that BA hung up.
Peck replaced the receiver and rolled over, putting his arms
around the sleeping
Last night had started out like their usual dates. Dinner and dancing at Andre's, one of the classier establishments
She surprised him when she looked into his eyes, and asked, "Want to come up?"
He smiled at her. "Are you sure?" he asked. She nodded, and they went up to her apartment.
Peck found himself
uncharacteristically nervous. *Relax,* he chided himself. *Whatever happens,
happens.* He took off his sport jacket, and sat on the couch. Looking around he
shook his head, it always amazed him that
She smiled at him. "I know. I keep meaning to clean, but it never gets done." She went into the kitchen area. "Want some coffee?"
"Sure, please." He watched her fill the kettle and spoon the coffee into the cups. *I must still be in shock,* he thought. It seemed like every time he looked at her, she was more attractive.
"That wouldn't even taste like coffee."
She grinned. "I know, but you're talking to someone who can't even stand the stuff."
Face smiled at this, he knew. Every time they went out, or
she came over to where he was staying, she would either have tea, - made the
same way for the same reason - or soda, or wine. Even when she was younger,
She shrugged. "I get sick of Coke and Gatorade after a while." She put her mug on the coffee table. "I didn't bring you up here to talk about beverages."
"I should hope not." Face also put his mug down. He thought for a minute. "I have to ask. What took you so long to, um, tell me?"
How could he forget?
Murdock had over decorated, as usual. His excuse this time, was that it was
The Lieutenant had put himself in charge of groceries. He
feared that either Murdock would buy nothing but pumpkin pie, or BA would buy
too much egg nog. Taking
Returning thirty minutes later, with arms filled to overflowing. They entered the house to find the Sergeant trying to choke Murdock with a wreath. Instead of interrupting, or trying to break it up, they headed straight for the kitchen. Much to the horror of the poor strangled pilot.
Peck pulled various purchases out of the paper bags and handed them to Davis, who put them in the refrigerator or cupboards. They heard the door slam, and saw Murdock zip past the kitchen window closely pursued by a *big, angry guy*. They stared at each other, shrugged, and went back to the task at hand.
About forty items had been passed to her, when
Peck looked at her now. She was leaning her back against the arm rest, and her legs were crossed. "That pushed you away?" he asked, unable to comprehend.
He slid down the couch towards her. "So, I messed up your entire image of us. You got confused, and ran, scared."
She nodded. "I guess the reason you never mentioned anything was because of the reaction I gave you. I'm sorry."
Face put his arms around her. "Ssssh. That's behind us. Let's just think about what we have now." He looked into her dark brown eyes. God, he loved her. Lowering his head, he kissed her. They kissed with a passion that rivaled, and surpassed, that of the Christmas Eve kiss.
Peck was pulled out of his reverie, as he felt
"Morning, baby." She yawned, and snuggled into him. "Oh, good. Last night wasn't a dream."
Face's smile widened as he thought of how they had made love the night before. It had been very gentle and intimate.
"Why don't you jump in the shower, while I make breakfast," he suggested.
He kissed her, and got out of bed. "Tem?" He turned back. "Love ya, baby."
Face smiled at her. "Hurry up, hon. I gotta get in there too." With that he went out to the kitchen.
Peck frowned in mock shame. "Not all things, I hope."
She grinned at him. "Not all."
Face picked up the plates of bacon and eggs. Bringing them over to the table where she was sitting, he remembered. "Oh, yeah. BA phoned earlier. He wants you to call when you get up."
She got up and started hunting for the cordless phone. After watching her pick up magazines and cushions - looking behind the computer, couch, and under the coffee table - Face whistled. She looked up and saw that he was holding the phone. "Looking for this, hon?"
She hung up and stared at the phone. "Carter?"
The Lieutenant looked up. "What is it?"
Face was concerned. They always took personal cases. "You know this guy?"
Peck took her hand, and pulled her into the seat beside him. "Well, then, hurry up. We'll head for the house as soon as we're finished."
The A-Team sat around the living room, discussing the new
case. For the past five minutes, Murdock had been staring at
The pilot grabbed her chin, tilting her head to study her features from different angles. "I thought so!" he beamed. "You got lucky last night."
She shook her head. "Not like this. He's no amateur, he knows the rules. He doesn't hack over state lines, and I sold him an anti-spike I built. I don't think this is because he hacked somebody's computer, and pissed them off."
The Lieutenant thought for a minute. "Right. Let's meet this Carter guy, and answer some questions." He picked up the phone and dialed.
Leaving Face's side, she crossed the deserted dock and hugged him. "How ya bin, English? Nice hair cut."
Carter grinned at her. "Yeah, I got sick of always having to tie it back." He let go of her, when he caught the look in Peck's eyes.
Murdock extended a hand to Carter. In his best upper class English accent, "Good to meet a fellow Brit."
Jay smiled. Before he could shake HM's hand, BA grabbed the back of the Captain's jacket and yanked. "You ain't English, fool. You don't even speak English half t' time."
Murdock stared at Baracus, indignantly. "Par la vous Francais?"
Before the Sergeant could get his hands around HM's throat, Face stepped between them. "What's the story, Carter?"
Jay nodded, and started in. "Well, everything began about a week ago. A friend asked me to check out a program he got from these guys. He had thought he was buying a game, and ended up with a database for an expense account. Anyway, I don't have to tell you these guys what the disk back."
"Who is it?"
Jay smiled at her. "It's Jim."
Face noticed the emotions playing across her face, at Jay's mention of his friend's name. He was going to ask her about it, but decided to wait. "Where's the disk now?"
Carter looked around the dock, and then pulled a CD Rom from inside his jacket. "I thought you might want to take a look at it. But let me warn you, everyone who's seen this is now on their hit list."
The Lieutenant took the disk and handed it to Davis, who stuck it in her jacket. "That's okay. It's nice to be wanted."
They got back to the house, leaving Jay, and telling him they
would meet him tomorrow morning. They had stopped off at
Murdock and BA left to get the Chinese food. After locking
the door, Face returned to the kitchen to help
She smiled at him, and took a sip of Coke. "If there was an Olympic event for setting up electronics, I could easily place."
Sliding the disk into the drive, she waited for it to load. The con man stared at her for a second. "Who is this other guy Carter mentioned? Jim?"
The same emotions showed on
He nodded, but he was not about to let her off that easy. "Did you know him well?"
Anger was in her eyes. "You could say that."
Face was becoming annoyed at her evasiveness. "Don't you think we have a right to know everything we can about these guys? Is he an okay guy? How well did you know him?"
"Just forget it!" She jumped up, and ran up the stairs.
Murdock and BA came back with the take out, to find Face in
front of the computer. HM dropped his bag on the counter. "Where's
Peck looked at him. "Upstairs. Unless she left."
The Captain and Sergeant exchanged a glance. *What happened,* they wondered. BA stared down at Face. "She okay?"
Peck met his eyes in anger. "I don't know. She's not talking to me."
The pilot stood beside the con man. "What happened, Muchacho?"
Face jumped up, and glared at him. "Do you really want to start this?"
Murdock stepped back, he shook his head. Rubbing his stomach, he remembered the last time he and his best friend had started a conversation about
Deciding space was the best thing for Peck, the Captain went upstairs in search of
Her fashion for this week was a T-shirt worn over a long sleeved shirt, sporting khaki pants. The pilot smiled, noting that they were miniature versions of his own pants. Since she had returned her styles had changed, and gradually she had started copying his sense of fashion. He laughed when he pictured her rummaging through his suitcase, and finally pulling out an Underdog T-shirt. *She could wear it as a dress,* he thought.
Murdock smiled. At least it was not as bad as he thought, she was asking about him. "Sitting in front of the computer, moping. What happened while we were out?"
She lay out on her stomach, her left elbow almost touching his leg. "He bugged me, until I told him I was married to Jim. The guy Carter was talking about."
The Captain's eyes nearly popped out of his head. "Married?"
Murdock put his hand on her hip, and slid her over to him. A task made easier by the silk sheets. "Okay, but how did you tell Faceguy? Did you just blurt it out?"
She looked into his eyes, brown meeting brown. It surprised her whenever HM showed his wisdom. It just never seemed to fit his image. "I was angry." She waved her hands around. "I know, I know. Go apologize."
The pilot smiled at her. "Shall we go down and eat?"
Without warning, HM wrapped an arm around her waist, and stood up. He proceeded to carry a giggling
They ate their Chinese take out in silence. The tension was thick enough to cut with chopsticks.
The Lieutenant nodded, took the beers off him, and headed out the door. He tried to sneak up behind her, but was disappointed when she said, "Either you're slipping, or I'm getting better at this."
She took a swallow of the cold brew. "You know, we might as well kiss this whole relationship good-bye, if all we end up doing it apologizing every five minutes." She looked into his eyes, and squeezed his arm. "How about we make a pact to only apologize when it's absolutely necessary?"
Face leaned over and kissed her. They heard Murdock giggling as he closed the door. Peck tried to get up, but
He looked into her eyes. "Did you want to talk about it?"
She shook her head. "Not really."
The con man put an arm around her, and poked her ribs to make her smile. She leaned into him, and they sat like that finishing their beers.
Everyone was huddled in front of the computer, as
"Am I looking at what I think I'm looking at?" Murdock asked.
"If you think you're looking at a series of drug deal transactions, then yes," Peck replied. "Any idea who owns them, h . . .
This sent another fit of giggles through the Captain. For which he got a shot in the ribs, by
"Yeah," chimed the pilot.
BA growled, "Hey."
She looked up. "Sorry. You guys aren't gonna like this. This database is of the expense records for one Richard Bergini."
Murdock pointed at the screen. "Isn't that the guy who owns . . ."
". . .
Baracus punched his fist into the back of an empty chair. "East meets West, and your friend's caught in da middle."
They met a very agitated Carter on the dock. He was pacing back and forth as they drove up.
Murdock jumped out of the van. "What's up, bloke?"
Jay jumped. He stared at each of them. "Where were you? I thought they got you too."
Face stared at him. "What do you mean too?"
Carter glared at Peck, there was accusation in his eyes. "They got Jim. They're coming after me. What the bloody hell are you going to do?"
The Lieutenant stepped up to him. Calmly, but sternly he said, "Whatever it takes."
The other three noticed that the two men were standing a little too close. BA went up to them. "Any idea where they took him?"
The Englishman addressed Baracus, without taking his eyes off of Peck. "They work out of a warehouse in Van Nuys."
The van was parked outside the warehouse. When the last of
the cars pulled out of the driveway, the team, armed with machine guns, got out
of the van. Slowly, and cautiously, they made their way to the building. They
tried the door, but it was locked. Murdock stood watch at one corner of the
building, BA stood watch at the other corner. Face and
He looked in the window and winced. Crouching down, he
Peck whistled, and Baracus and Murdock came to the bin. They jumped up, and looked inside.
Everyone turned to the Lieutenant, and he said, "Okay, here's the plan . . ."
The inside of the warehouse was filled with wooden crates,
presumably carrying drugs and weapons.
She was glad they had stopped at the house before coming
Face smiled from his hiding place. This was a side of
All three guards jumped up at once, eager to help. They glanced at each other with a look that read, *She's small. What's she going to do against the three of us?*
"Oh, you're all so kind. And *so* big," she said,
in the same sexy voice. It was all
"Oh, by the way." Her voice had returned to normal. "I'm not alone."
Face, Murdock and BA came out of hiding at that point.
"Honey, is this slime bothering you?" Peck asked, as he tossed
She smiled at the gangsters. "Oh, no. Scuz never bothers me."
"Okay, first we release the prisoners," Murdock said. He was pointing his gun at one of the mobsters. "Then you climb in the cage. Three chumps in a cage . . . Oh, I meant chimps."
The guy HM seemed to be addressing walked right up to the Captain. "I don't think so. I think we'll put you in there."
BA scoffed. "You and what army, sucker?"
The other two guards stepped in front of Baracus and Peck. The one in front of the Sergeant nodded. "Them."
The team turned in time to see three news guys, one behind each of them. Everyone was silent, until Murdock winked at the guy in front of him. Then all hell broke loose.
The man swung at HM, who ducked, causing the punch to
connect with the face of the guy behind him. The guy in front of BA punched him
in the stomach. When BA just stood there, the guy got scared. He had no time to
react before the big man grabbed him, and threw him into a pile of crates. Face
was trading punches with one gangster, when another came up behind him and
pinned his arms back. After the guy in front of Peck got in a few good punches,
Murdock came running up, and body-checked a guy into a crate. "Two minutes for smuggling," he called before heading for someone else.
Suddenly a voice boomed, "Stop, or she's dead!"
Murdock, Baracus and Peck all turned. Richard Bergini stood in the centre of the melee, holding an
automatic pistol to
Face pulled his gun from his waist, in a reflex action. The
arm Bergini had around
Murdock stared at the Lieutenant. "Face?" He was relieved when the younger man dropped his weapon.
She got the switchblade in her hand. Face pleaded, "
Bergini looked down, over her shoulder, in time to see the blade flick out. he reached down with the hand that was around her shoulders, and squeezed her wrist. She dropped the knife. He turned her around. "Oh, I don't think so, sweetheart."
In one swift move, Bergini smashed the handle of his gun across her face. She fell unconscious on the floor.
All three members of the team tried to lunge at him, but were pulled back by two henchmen each. Bergini walked up to Face. "Where's the disk?" The Lieutenant spit in his face, and got back-handed for his troubles.
"What should we do with 'em?" one henchman asked.
Bergini thought for a second. "Throw them in with the other one. If they don't remember in an hour . . . kill them all."
The A-Team was locked in the 10x10 foot cell, with Jim.
Her hand shot out and grabbed him by the collar, as she opened her eyes. She smiled at him. "Whatever happened to that rule that states, 'Lovers can't call each other wusses'?"
BA and Murdock grinned at each other. "Lovers?"
they asked in unison. Face blushed, and smiled at her.
Jim, who had been quiet since the botched rescue attempt, was leaning against the wall. He sneered at his new cell-mate. "You poor guy."
Peck spun around, and glared at him. "What?"
Jim's smug expression deepened. "The famous A-Team brought to their knees by a slut."
The Lieutenant jumped up, lunged at Jim, and pinned him to the wall. Face's eyes were blazing, icy blue. "You've got five seconds to apologize," he threatened.
Jim sneered at him. "So, got you wrapped around her finger, eh? What? Has she got a leash tied to your dick?"
Peck punched the man in the gut, knocking the wind out of him. "Funny," he seethed. "That didn't sound like an apology."
Recovering quickly, Jim stared into the Lieutenant's glare. The smaller man seemed to be daring him to do something. Not wanting to disappoint his new fellow prisoner, Jim punched him in the kidney.
In a second, the men went at it. Punching, kicking, and head-butting each other, neither one gave an inch to the other. They were rolling around on the floor in seconds. Even though Face had just been fighting with the gangsters, he was still able to give Jim everything he had.
Murdock and BA watched the fight, not getting involved.
Jim howled, as his opponent connected a fist with his nose. Blood streamed from the bridge, it was evidently broken. Jim suddenly stopped attacking, but Face was too wired to notice.
No one had heard the guards shouting. When they opened the
cell door to break up the fight, the Captain and Sergeant overtook them.
"Come on, let's go."
The Lieutenant punched Jim out, and got up. BA slung the unconscious man over his shoulder. They left the warehouse, and got in the van.
Everyone was sitting in Carter's house, discussing what to
do next. Every time Jim opened his mouth, he got a warning glance from Face,
and shut it again.
BA nodded. "A plan," Murdock stated.
"Yeah?" Face asked, enthusiastically.
Murdock nodded. "That's what we need. A plan."
Baracus snickered. "Guess that means we hafta leave crazyman home."
Peck frowned. "You're talking front door, right?"
Jim could not stay quiet any longer. "You might want to leave her home. She just might get you all killed this time."
Three sets of eyes glared at him, menacingly. The other two stayed quiet, allowing the Lieutenant to comment. "You want the rest of your face to match your nose?" he threatened.
"You couldn't do it last time," Jim said, daring Peck. Both men stood up, and eyed each other. The tension, and impending violence, could be felt by the other four.
Carter stood up. "Outside, if you're going to brawl. I kinda like my decore the way it is."
Face nodded towards the door, never taking his eyes off of
Jim. The other nodded, and they headed outside.
Murdock put a hand on her arm. "Davy, let him go."
"Yeah, but . . ."
The Captain wrapped his fingers around her arm, and pulled her onto the couch. "Faceguy needs to do this."
Jay looked at her. "Are you worried about your friend Face? Or Jim?"
Face and Jim stood a few feet apart, in the backyard. They were both in defensive crouches, and circling each other. The blaze of their blue eyes dared the other to make the first move.
Peck decided to try talking with him. "What's your problem, anyway?"
Jim glared at him. "That little bitch left me. She'll get sick of you, ya know."
"Oh, I dunno," the Lieutenant said. "We've been together for ten years."
"So," Jim said. "You're the reason she left. I knew there was someone else, but I didn't realize he was old enough to be her father."
Face leaped forward, and tackled Jim. They landed on the ground, with Peck on top. He took advantage of his position, and rabbit punched Jim's gut. The other man threw a right cross at Face's jaw, and lifted his hips at the same time. The smaller man was thrown off, but his legs were wrapped around Jim's legs. There was a soft crack, and Jim swore. Whatever made the sound was not too bad. He immediately jumped on the Lieutenant, and sent a series of blows into the con man's face.
Peck grabbed Jim's arms, thrusting his lower body, he flung the man over his head. He rolled over and jumped up. Jim was already on his feet. They were about to charge at each other, when they heard, "STOP!!!"
They looked up at the back door. Murdock and Carter were running towards them. "She's gone!" they shouted, in unison.
"What?" Face asked, heading for the house.
Jay ran up to him. "We were watching the two of you, and she slipped out the front door."
HM entered the house with them. "Where would she go, Face?"
Peck shook his head. "There are too many places, Murdock. You and BA take the van. Carter, you and Jim take your car. I'll take mine. We meet back here in two hours."
Each of the three parties combed different areas of the
city. Checking the beaches, bars, and even the arcades.
They called friends, who had not seen or heard from her. They searched coffee
shops, parks, and abandoned lots. Face broke into
He was the last to arrive back at the house. Peck met four very grave expressions. They knew he had not found her. "Anything?" he asked, already knowing the answer.
Everyone turned to Jay, and he pressed play on his answering machine. As Face heard the message, he slumped down in a chair. It was all he could do to hold himself together.
Richard Bergini spoke slowly, and deliberately. "We have the girl. Bring the disk to the warehouse at Or we kill her. If we haven't already."
The warehouse was dark, except for a few overhead flourescents. Face, Murdock and BA entered the building. They had left Carter and Jim back at the house. Peck was grateful there had been no argument, from *either* of them.
They walked down the centre aisle. As they came to the
clearing, they were sickened by what they saw.
Richard Bergini stepped in front of them, he was holding an Uzi. Face had to control himself, he wanted to break every bone in the slimeball's body before killing him. A glance at Baracus and Murdock told him they were thinking the same thing.
Bergini grinned maliciously at them. "I thought you'd enjoy my artistic talent."
All three men lunged forward, but stopped when they heard several automatic weapons being cocked. They were no good to her dead. Each man was frisked, and the Don was tossed the disk Peck had in his jacket.
"You have what you want. Let her go." The Lieutenant was barely controlling himself.
Bergini nodded. "Cut her down, Tony."
Tony cut the rope over
Face ran to
Two Months Later
Carter had phoned the police twenty minutes after the team left. When Bergini and his henchmen walked out of the building, they were picked up. The Don was charged with smuggling of narcotics and illegal firearms, with intent to sell. As well as two counts of kidnapping. He was also charged with the attempted murder of Davis Webster.
She felt a gentle touch turning her back around. Opening her eyes,
She returned the smile. "Not bad. Just tired."
Peck thought for a minute. *How do I tell her, without pissing her off?* he wondered. He decided anywhere was a good place to start. "
Face stared at her. *I can't let her get hurt again,* he thought. He took both her hands in his. "It's too dangerous. I wasn't thinking about that, when I let you join us."
Anger blazed in
Peck saw the tears in her eyes, and wrapped his arms around her. Pulling her close, he rocked back and forth. "I know. I just . . . I nearly went out of my mind, when I saw you hanging there. If I hadn't of been a prick, and hadn't of been knocking Jim's head off . . ."
Peck smiled at this. He let go of her body, only to cup his hands around her face. "That's one way of putting it," he said, and kissed her.
They held each other. All thoughts of two months ago, and her leaving, were forgotten.
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