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Story summary

All In A Day

by Eryn Grant

 

Rated: PG

Story summary: It's a usual day for the A-Team

Disclaimer: The A-Team belongs to Stephen J. Cannell and Universal. I'm just borrowing the characters to play with for a while!

My first attempt at an A-Team story. I hope you enjoy.

 

ALL IN A DAY

"What now?" BA growled as he ducked behind the trees. He glared at Hannibal who was, as usual, calmly chewing on his cigar. Hannibal glanced sideways at BA and grinned broadly.

"Oh man," BA glanced down at their pursuers who were scrabbling over the rocks at the bottom of the hill, automatic weapons in their hands. "We're two men down. We got bounty hunters chasing our tails," he stabbed a heavily ringed finger towards the bottom of the hill. "We ain't got no weapons because you talked me into hiring that stupid jeep and leaving my van behind," he scowled at Hannibal. "And you're on the jazz."

"Look at it this way," Hannibal shot BA another wide grin. "It could be worse. It could be Decker and his goons chasing our tails."

"You're crazier than that fool Murdock," BA grumbled pulling a face at Hannibal.

"Why thank you BA," Hannibal smacked BA on the back as he got to his feet and started up the hill again.

BA didn't reply just growled in the back of his throat as he looked back down to see where their pursuers had gotten to. "Hannibal," he threatened. "You better have a plan," he scrambled after the colonel.

"I always have a plan," Hannibal shouted over his shoulder. "We're going down," he said suddenly changing direction nearly running into BA.

"Down," BA said surprised. "Down is stupid," he protested angrily.

Hannibal removed his cigar and grinned at BA. "They won't expect us to go down. They'll expect us to keeping going up," he waved the cigar towards the top of the hill. Returning the cigar to his mouth, he chewed. "Down sergeant," he repeated with a grin.

"Oh man," BA sighed following Hannibal reluctantly back down the hill.

~~~~~~~~~~~

"They won't expect us to go down," BA glared at Hannibal as he struggled against the ropes that tied him to the chair. "Why do I always listen to you?" he growled.

"Because I'm usually right," Hannibal grinned at him from the opposite chair.

"Not this time," BA said. "This time we're in big trouble. These guys are good."

"Don't worry BA" Hannibal said calmly. "We just have to sit tight and wait for Face and Murdock to rescue us."

"Right Hannibal," BA said. "Like they're gonna know we're in trouble and come get us. Murdock's a psycho... not a psychic."

"When we don't check in with them," Hannibal replied calmly. "They'll come looking for us."

"And get caught too," BA sighed straining against his bonds. "These guys are good Hannibal," he repeated wriggling in the chair.

"Maybe.... but we're better," Hannibal reminded BA with another grin. He waggled his free hands at BA.

~~~~~~~~~~~

It was a sunny day and Murdock was humming to himself happy in his task. It had taken him an hour to carefully wash and polish the outside of BA's van, and now he had turned his attentions to the inside.

"Now this is where I sit," Murdock addressed his comments to the little brown teddy bear that Hannibal had given him on his birthday. "And Face sits here," he wiped his cloth over the seat. "Now you sit where the Colonel sits," he carefully placed the little bear on the passenger seat. "No," he looked at the bear. "You can't sit there. The big guy sits there. He don't let anyone else sit there."

Murdock picked the bear up again. "And BA stands for," he whispered in the bear's ear. "So you'll have to make do with sitting in the Colonel's seat. OK," he patted the bear's head as he placed it carefully on the seat again. Murdock started to sing to himself as he went back to his cleaning.

"Hi Murdock," Face looked around. It had taken him over half an hour to locate the pilot. Face had nearly given up, but had heard Murdock's singing which led him to a large clump of trees and bushes at the edge of the VA hospital's grounds. Face peered around the trees - they were completely hidden from the main hospital's view. "Nice place you have here," he turned back to Murdock with a smile.

"I like it," Murdock looked up from his cleaning. "And so does Jimmy," he picked up the bear waving one of its paws at Face. Face smiled at Murdock again before turning his attention to idly running a finger along the edge of the red stripe on the side of the van. Murdock pulled a face. "What's up Face?" he asked cocking his head to one side.

"BA and Hannibal haven't checked in," Face said not being able to disguise the worry in his voice. "I was wondering if they had checked in with you."

"Nope," Murdock replied. "They're probably having such a good time," he said. "That they forgot," Murdock went back to his cleaning.

"May be," Face moved to the edge of the trees staring back towards the hospital lost in thought. "But Hannibal never forgets," he reminded Murdock.

Murdock thought about the comment for a moment. Mind made up, he threw his cloth into the back of the van, slid the side door closed and hurried around the front of the van leaping into the driving seat. He gunned the engine startling Face out of his moody reverie. Murdock leaned across the passenger seat. "You coming or what?" he shouted to Face as he stuffed his little bear into the front of his jacket.

He revved the engine again as Face leapt into the passenger seat. Murdock looked sideways at Face grinning as he pressed his foot hard onto the accelerator. Face hung onto the dashboard as Murdock reversed out of the hiding place in a cloud of dust and smoking wheels. "The Colonel and the big guy are in trouble," Murdock shouted above the engine noise. "So it's Face, Murdock and Jimmy to the rescue," he spun the vehicle around 180 degrees and aimed the vehicle towards the entrance gates.

"If we live," Face gritted his teeth and closed his eyes as Murdock drove at breakneck speed down the drive of the hospital.

~~~~~~~~~~~

"So?" Face asked as Murdock returned to the van.

"The Colonel and BA are in the bedroom tied up," Murdock reported. "And there are two big guys in the living room at the table playing cards."

"What sort of fire power do they have?" Face brought the binoculars back up to his eyes looking towards the cabin again.

"Couple of automatics," Murdock replied. "The rental jeep is parked out back with its tyres blown out," he nodded his head towards the cabin. "And there doesn't seem to be anybody else around."

"Right," Face nodded.

"We need a plan," Murdock mimicked Face's voice. "Yeah Colonel. Have you got a plan?" Murdock said in his own voice as he bounced up and down on his seat. "Shut up fool," he mimicked BA. "Course Hannibal's got a plan."

"Murdock," Face sighed. "Quit trying to be all of us. Your head will explode."

"But we need a plan," Murdock said in his best English accent. He grinned at Face. Face rolled his eyes in despair. He brought the binoculars up to his eyes again for one last look around.

"OK," he said. "We'll go round the back. You take the one on the right. I'll take the guy on the left."

"You got it," Murdock grinned as he bounced out of the van throwing a weapon at Face.

"And let's be quiet about it," Face hissed as he caught the weapon. "We want surprise on our side."

"To the rescue," Murdock whispered as he crouched down heading towards the cabin his weapon poised for firing. Face rolled his eyes again at Murdock's antics as he followed the pilot through the trees to the back of the cabin.

They kept low until they got close to the door. Weapons poised, they took up positions on each side of the door. Face looked across at Murdock as he counted silently. On three, Murdock sprang forward kicking the door hard with his foot.  The door flew open and Murdock raced inside coming face to face with BA.

"BA," Murdock said surprised. "What you doing?"

"Escaping fool," BA barked angrily shoving the smaller man out of the way.

"Hi guys," Hannibal grinned from behind BA. "What took you so long?"

"I'll check out front," Murdock volunteered hurrying around the side of the cabin.

"We came as quick as we could," Face complained irritated with Hannibal. He slung his weapon across his back.

Hannibal ignored Face's irritation and grinned again. "The two goons in there will be out for a while," he nodded his head towards the living room. "But they got a couple of friends somewhere."

"And they got dogs," BA interrupted.

Murdock came running around the side of the cabin. "Let's go," he breathed. "Two guys got the van and they're coming this way."

"They got my van," BA growled. He glared at Murdock and Face. "You let them get my van." He started towards his two friends but was distracted by the sound of the van screeching to a halt at the front of the cabin.

The air was suddenly filled with the sound of dogs howling and barking. "Hey Steve," a man shouted. "They've escaped. Get the dogs."

"BA," Hannibal said calmly. "We'll get your van back," he grabbed the larger man shoving him forwards after Face and Murdock who were scrambling through the undergrowth towards a small hill in the distance, weapons slung across their backs.

"Now get going," he shoved BA again. "I'll give them something to think about," Hannibal turned aiming the weapon he had taken from one of his captors at the cabin. He fired a volley over the heads of the two men with dogs who had run around the side of the cabin. The men ducked behind a wood pile dragging the dogs back with them. Hannibal fired again, the hail of bullets shattered the windows and peppered the back of the cabin with bullet holes. One man risked peeping over the wood pile. Hannibal fired another salvo of fire well above the man's head. With a grin and for good measure, Hannibal fired again at the cabin and the surrounding area kicking up dust and leaves. Finally he aimed his weapon at the rental jeep's petrol tank. "Love it," he thought as the jeep exploded into the air in a mass of tangled metal and flames. Satisfied that the two men would stay put for a moment, Hannibal hurried after his men.

Hannibal ran as fast as the undergrowth would let him. He felt the dirt kick up behind him as he ran towards the small hill. Bursts of automatic gunfire filled the air and small stones kicked up by the bullets hitting the ground stung the back of his legs. He threw himself to the ground as the bullets seemed to whiz too close to his head. Small branches from trees fell to the ground around him as stray bullets struck them. "These guys mean business," he thought to himself putting his hands over his head to protect himself from the falling foliage. He decided to keep his head down.

"Come on Hannibal," he heard BA shout at him. Hannibal cautiously looked up to see BA waving frantically at him. Face and Murdock were crouched at the top of the hill giving him covering fire. Hannibal dragged himself to his feet and ran in a zig-zag path towards his men.

"Nice of you to join us," Face quipped as he fired a final burst towards their pursuers.

"Just taking a breather," Hannibal countered with a smile.

~~~~~~~~~~~

The four men had managed to keep ahead of their pursuers for over an hour. It had been difficult as every time they changed direction so did their pursuers and the men knew that the dogs were giving their pursuers the upper hand. Coming upon a river, Hannibal had decided that a short break would be safe. "How's the ammo?" he asked turning to the team. "I'm out."

"Out," BA threw his weapon to the ground in disgust.

"Me too," Murdock said.

"And me," Face groaned.

Hannibal walked towards the river staring at the clear water. "It's shallow here," he pointed to the edge of the river. He looked to his right squinting in the sunlight. "Probably gets deeper further upstream. Nothing we can't handle," he decided a plan formulating in his mind.

Face stared at the river. It was fast moving and he knew that Hannibal was probably right, the river would get deeper and probably faster upstream. A dread started to settle in his stomach. "There's got to be another way," he looked at his friends hoping that he had disguised the terror in his voice.

"Nope," Hannibal said firmly. "This is the only way that we're gonna lose their dogs," he turned back to the river. "And then we just might be able to double back and come up behind them."

"Afraid of getting your clothes all wrinkled," BA stepped forward, hands on hips. "Get in the water now," he demanded shoving Face forwards. "It can't hurt you."

"This from the guy we have to knock out to get on a plane," Face countered. "You don't like flying. I don't like water. OK?"

Murdock bounced up and down. "Me and Jimmy will help you," he waved the little bear at Face.

Face scowled resigned to his fate. "I feel so much better," he quipped slumping to the ground, suddenly tired.

"Quit talking fool," BA threatened Murdock drawing himself up to his full height. "And put that bear away before I knock its stuffing out."

"Colonel," Murdock whined. BA growled again and Murdock whispered to the bear before stuffing it back into the safety of his jacket. He glared at BA who glared back.

"Knock it off," Hannibal stood between his men. "All of you." He sighed to himself - it was like been in charge of three naughty boys who were always bickering. He wondered if this is what it was like to have sons. He smiled to himself knowing that he would have wanted his sons to be just like the three men in front of him.

"Now Face has a problem with the water plan," he looked at Face who shrugged miserably.

BA growled turning his glare away from Murdock to Face. "More like he's afraid to get his nice clothes all dirty." Hannibal scowled at BA silencing him with a wave of his hand. "So we need a new plan," Hannibal looked up and down.

The sound of dogs baying and barking filled the air. "Better make it quick Hannibal," BA growled. "Them guys are about ten minutes behind us." He glared at Face again.

"Anybody got a better plan?" Hannibal asked looking at the three men. Face stared at the ground. Both Murdock and BA shook their heads.

"I can't swim," Face admitted quietly.

"What?" Hannibal said turning to stare at Face.

"I can't swim," Face repeated avoiding looking at Hannibal.

"You can't swim," Hannibal repeated. Face looked up nodding slightly. "But in Nam we all spent enough time in the water," Hannibal looked puzzled. "You never said anything."

"Yeah," Face shuddered at the thought of the filthy swamps they had all waded through, up to their waists weapons held high above their heads. "But I was too scared of other stuff," he said. "Like getting captured and tortured to worry about things .... like drowning."

"And you've been thrown into some pools over here," Murdock interrupted.

Face glared at Murdock. "Yeah. Yeah. I know," he admitted. "Look I never learned. After Tommy Jenkins..... well it's a long story," he stammered. "Look I get by," Face stared at the river. "But I hate the water and avoid it if I can. OK?" he finished his anger rising.

"We could circle back around them and try to get to the van that way," Murdock offered kindly. "They won't expect that."

"Or we could head straight towards them," BA growled. "Suckers definitely won't expect us to try that again."

"No... no," Face got to his feet slowly. "Hannibal is right. The water plan is the best one."

Hannibal stared at Face until the younger man turned away to stare at the river again. Hannibal couldn't believe that Face had never told them about his fear of water. His thoughts turned to Vietnam; he had dragged his unit through the swamps time after time as it had been one of the best ways to avoid the enemy. Hannibal tried to imagine the terror that a young Face had gone through every time they had gone into the swamps.

He felt a stab of guilt because like BA he had assumed that Face was just whining about getting his clothes wet instead of feeling a genuine terror at the prospect of going into the water. Hannibal sighed to himself wishing that Face would be more open about himself and his fears. So used to the younger man's numerous faces, Hannibal sometimes forgot that Face also used them as a shield to hide the real Templeton Peck with all his vulnerabilities and insecurities. "You sure kid?" Hannibal asked.

"No," Face replied truthfully. "But like you said it's the only way to get the dogs off our trail," he slid down the bank into the water. Sinking up to his knees in the cold water, Face could feel the familiar dread rising within him and pushed it firmly down as he had done many times in the past. Looking back to his friends, he gave them his best cocky smile. "You coming or standing there all day?" Face turned wading into the middle of the river.

Hannibal looked at the other two men. Shrugging he slid down the bank into the water. "I'll take point," he said wading ahead of Face. "BA. you take the rear." Silently BA and Murdock followed Hannibal and Face into the cold water.

Ten minutes later, the four men were up to their waists in cold water, arms held at waist height in an effort to balance themselves in the fast-moving water. They kept close to the bank as much as they could to keep out of view. The roaring of the water seemed to fill the air drowning out the sound of the dogs in the distance.

Face risked shutting his eyes for a moment. He could hear the sound of his ragged breathing which seemed, to him, louder than the sound of the rushing water. His mouth was dry, his heart hammered in his chest and he felt like he was drowning in cold sweat. Face felt a rising panic that he was afraid he wouldn't be able to control. "Keep calm," he willed himself. He stumbled on a rock and just managed to keep his head above the water. Face could feel his terror growing threatening to choke him. Something touched his back and he flinched. Turning slightly, he was surprised to see that it was BA who had a hand on his back.

BA gave Face a small reassuring smile. "I got you little brother," he whispered. "I got you."

~~~~~~~~~~~

The four men trudged along the road, Hannibal and BA in front, Face and Murdock bringing up the rear. Hannibal had decided it had been safe to leave the river after half an hour. Wet, tired and cold they had then fought their way through the undergrowth back onto the dirt road.

"Hannibal," Murdock skipped up next to Hannibal. "Jimmy's all wet. Do you think we're nearly there?" he took the soaking wet teddy bear out of his jacket to show the colonel.

Before Hannibal could answer, BA snatched the bear from Murdock. He wrung the bear out thoroughly in his big hands before thrusting it back at Murdock. "There," he snarled. "Your bear's all dry now," he gave a small unlike BA giggle.

"Hannibal," Murdock complained as he stroked the bear's wrung out fur back into place. Murdock glared at BA who smirked at him. Hannibal sighed to himself wondering if Murdock had a death wish always baiting BA. But deep down Hannibal knew for all his growling and threats, BA would never hurt Murdock - it was just their thing. He went to open his mouth to break up the escalating argument but was interrupted by Face prodding him in the back.

"Guys," Face pointed towards the van which had been parked at the side of the dirt track.

"It's the van," Murdock stated the obvious.

"Careful," Hannibal said as he looked around. "It could be a trap."

"Smart man," a large man stepped out from behind the van. He waved his weapon at them. "Jeff said you would double back on us," the man said smugly. "So he sent me and Cuddles here," he nodded his head towards the large scruffy looking Alsatian straining on the end of a lead. "To cut you off." The dog tugged on the lead growling loudly lips drawn back, teeth bared.

"He'd better not have left hairs on the seats," BA growled stepping forward.

"BA," Hannibal stopped BA in his tracks as the dog snarled menacingly.

"Cuddles," Hannibal smiled at the man. "Cute name." The Alsatian pulled on its lead rising up onto its back legs snarling and barking threateningly as the man struggled to keep hold of the lead. The man smiled confidently at the team surmising that they wouldn't make a move on him when he had the gun and the dog. Feeling self-assured that he had the upper hand the man let the lead out slightly. The dog snarled as it moved closer to the team. The four men stood their ground not flinching.

"Hannibal," BA warned as he eyed the dog warily. "Don't be doing anything stupid."

"BA," Hannibal grinned. "I never do anything stupid," he said curling up a fist. "I always have a plan." Hannibal moved quickly avoiding the dog. He sprang towards the man hitting him hard on the chin. The man yelped in surprise as he was propelled backwards with the force of the blow. Hitting the ground he dropped his weapon as well as his hold on the dog's lead. Hannibal scooped up the weapon as he put his foot on the man's chest to hold him down. Suddenly free of his owner's hold, the Alsatian snarled viciously and leapt towards the closest men - BA and Murdock.

Moving fast and without thinking Face shoved BA sideways who in turn knocked into Murdock. The two men fell into a heap on the ground. Face tried to sidestep the oncoming dog. Failing he flung his arms up to protect himself as the dog hit him hard in the middle of his chest. Face collapsed to the ground with the dog on top of him. Flinging his arms over his face, he tried to defend himself from the snapping jaws. Somewhere in the background Face could hear BA telling Hannibal to shoot the dog.

The dog was heavy on his chest making it difficult to breathe. Face struggled under the weight trying to push the dog off him. He heard his jacket tear and cried out as he felt sharp teeth sink into his arm. He blindly hit outwards with his other arm feeling his fist connect with the side of the dog's head. The animal yelped releasing his hold on Face's arm. Seizing his chance Face scrabbled backwards away from the sharp teeth and snapping jaws. He attempted to get to his feet but his legs gave way and he hit the ground again. Recovering quickly from the blow, the dog lurched forward again snapping and barking at Face.

Murdock loomed into Face's vision. "Get off," Murdock screamed as he swung a tree branch at the Alsatian. The dog yelped as the branch connected with its back. "Leave him alone," Murdock yelled as he swung the branch again this time connecting with the dog's head. The Alsatian howled in pain backing off from Face and Murdock still growling. Murdock swung the branch once more hurling it at the dog. With a last bad-tempered bark the Alsatian withdrew racing off into the woods defeated.

"Thanks Murdock," Face flopped back on the ground breathing hard.

"No problem," Murdock grinned down at him. "Couldn't have you being eaten now could we?"

"I couldn't get a shot in," Hannibal joined Murdock staring down at Face. "Might have hit you," he apologised offering Face his hand. "You OK?"

"OK. OK," Face grabbed Hannibal's offered hand. Hannibal hauled the younger man to his feet noticing that Face's hand was trembling and covered in scratches. He narrowed his eyes at the younger man. "Do I look OK?" Face yelled snatching his hand from Hannibal's grip. His whole arm throbbed and burned with pain and he resisted the temptation to hold it tight in an effort to ease the agony. Face was determined that Hannibal wouldn't know that he was hurt.

"Well....," Hannibal started to say.

"Don't say it," Face put a hand up stopping Hannibal mid sentence. "Don't even think it," he threatened. " First you and BA get caught by a bunch of nasty bounty hunters. You nearly get your stupid head blown off. Then we spend the day getting our tails shot at," he paced up and down angrily mumbling to himself. "And then," he whirled on Hannibal. "To end a great day ..... Murdock's teddy bear gets soaking wet. BA's van probably got dog hairs all over the seats. And my favourite jacket has .... has been completely ruined," he touched the shredded sleeve. "By a mad dog." He glared at Hannibal his blue eyes flashing with uncontrolled fury. "Have I left anything out?"

Hannibal stared at Face for a moment before shaking his head. "No don't think so," he couldn't help grinning at Face. "Unless you count my cigars getting wet as well." He pulled out a soggy cigar and jammed it into his mouth chewing down on it not bothering lighting it.

Face blew out a breath ignoring the comment and the grin. He glared at Hannibal again. "And then you," he stabbed Hannibal in the chest with a finger to make his point. "Ask if I'm OK." Face didn't wait for an answer. Turning he stomped off towards the van mumbling under his breath.

"So," Hannibal beamed at BA and Murdock. "I guess he's had better days." Murdock smiled back and BA murmured something that Hannibal couldn't quite hear. Hannibal beamed again. "Let's go teach our friends a lesson they won't forget," he said heading towards the van. "BA pick this clown up and throw him in the back of the van."

~~~~~~~~~~~

"What the...," the blonde haired man leapt to his feet as the door burst open. He aimed his weapon his finger on the trigger.

"Hi guys," Hannibal shoved his prisoner through the front door of the cabin. "Brought something back that belongs to you," he bit down on his unlit cigar with a grin as he pushed this captive to the floor.

"Sorry Jeff," Hannibal's captive looked up at his associate. "They jumped me and attacked Cuddles."

"Shut up Steve," Jeff scowled at the man angrily. He noticed that Hannibal didn't appear to be armed and he smiled. Jeff signalled to one of the other men in the room. "Andy," he ordered motioning towards the door. "Check out the van. The big guy must be around somewhere." Andy nodded and hurried out of the door in search of BA. "Aaron," Jeff said to the other man. "Bring the wise guy over here."

Aaron stepped behind Hannibal jabbing him forward with his gun. "And you," Jeff stepped closer to Hannibal sneering. "Have just made a very big mistake."  Hannibal grinned at him. "I don't think so," he munched on his cigar again. In his head, he silently counted to ten. "I never leave home without my friends."

At that moment the back door burst open. Face and Murdock appeared weapons drawn. They fired a volley of shots into the ceiling bringing the light crashing to the floor. Aaron was momentarily distracted by the noise and dropped his guard. Seizing his opportunity, Hannibal jabbed his elbow hard into the man's ribs. Bringing his arm up Hannibal made a fist slamming it backwards connecting with Aaron's face. Aaron dropped his gun slumping to the floor unconscious. Hannibal scooped up the weapon. Spinning around, he aimed his gun towards Jeff. He cursed Murdock and Face were in his direct line of fire.

Jeff swung around as Face and Murdock burst into the room aiming his weapon at them. They both ducked as he fired in their direction. Murdock was nearest. Dropping his weapon he hurled himself towards Jeff who caught by surprise took a step backwards stumbling slightly. Murdock saw his opportunity and gave Jeff his best right hook. Staggering backwards, Jeff ducked Murdock's second blow. Recovering he threw himself at Murdock catching the pilot with a glancing blow to the chin. Murdock swayed slightly before drawing himself up to his full height. He jabbed Jeff hard in the middle of his face. With a howl of pain, Jeff dropped to the floor holding his bloody nose. Retrieving his weapon from the floor Murdock pressed the barrel against Jeff's neck encouraging him to get to his feet.

Scrabbling to his feet, Steve launched himself at Face. Face bit his lip as Steve grabbed his right arm. Tears of pain sprang to his eyes and Face reeled back nearly losing his balance as he shoved Steve away from him. He managed to dodge to the left as Steve took a swing at him. Taking a deep breath against the pain, Face kicked out with his right leg his foot connecting with Steve's stomach lifting him off the ground a few inches. Steve clutched at his stomach groaning before dropping to his knees. Face dragged Steve to his feet by his collar throwing him towards the couch. Murdock deposited a dazed Jeff next to his associate.

Murdock and Face picked up Aaron leaning him up against the couch. Face began to tie up the men while Hannibal covered him. "The dogs are out back," Murdock gestured in the direction of the back door. "Locked up in their van. They just loved the steak we got them," he smiled at Hannibal.

"You'll regret this," Jeff snarled. "We'll hunt you down."

Hannibal leaned closer to the man. "I look forward to it," he countered with a smile. Jeff glowered at him.

"I think you're missing one," BA dragged Andy into the room shoving him towards the couch. Face pushed the man down and started to tie him up.

"BA," Hannibal said. "We're leaving. Murdock. Face," he signalled to the door. Face and Murdock followed BA out of the cabin.

"You can't leave us like this," Steve whined.

Hannibal moved from man to man checking the ropes that tied them. Face, as usual, had done an excellent job. "We'll call the local sheriff in about an hour," he said. "Get them to come and untie you." Hannibal grinned at the men deciding to leave it at least two hours before he made the call. "See you," he saluted. He slammed the door behind him.

~~~~~~~~~~~

Having discarded his ruined jacket Face snuggled under the blanket Murdock had given him holding his arm across his chest in an effort to help with the pain. Even though he felt warmer, Face couldn't stop trembling and desperately hoped that he would be able to hide it from his friends. The adrenalin had deserted his body and now he just ached all over. He shifted trying to get comfortable and drew in a sharp breath as he jarred his throbbing arm.

BA turned at the sound. "You OK?" he asked.

Face gritted his teeth and gave the larger man one of his best smiles. "Yeah," he replied. "Just getting comfortable."

BA nodded giving Face a rare smile. Adjusting the blanket that Murdock had insisted on draping around his shoulders, BA leaned across the passenger seat. "Hannibal," he yelled. "Quit talking with the fool and get over here. Face and me are ready to go."

Murdock and Hannibal jogged over to the van. Murdock squeezed past Face dropping into his seat snuggling under his own blanket.

"Where to Hannibal?" BA asked.

Hannibal put his hand on BA's to stop him turning the ignition. BA looked at him confused. "So Lieutenant," Hannibal swung around in his seat. "Let me take a look at your arm."

"There's nothing wrong with my arm," Face said too quickly unconsciously straightening his injured arm. Gritting his teeth to avoid crying out he gave Hannibal one of his most disarming smiles. Hannibal raised his eyebrows smiling slightly. Face realised almost immediately that he had failed miserably and glanced sideways at Murdock glaring. He couldn't help thinking that for someone who was usually locked in his own fantasy world Murdock was extremely perceptive and sensitive when it came to the teams' moods and health. Murdock flushed and burrowed deeper under his blanket.

Hannibal smiled again. "Well I just want to make sure," he persisted. "That dog could have done some real damage."

"Yeah man," BA agreed. "Show us your arm. So we can make sure you're OK."

Face stared at Hannibal. Hannibal held his stare not flinching and Face recognised the expression on the colonel's face - the one that said we're not moving until we see your arm. Face sighed in defeat. He gingerly rolled up the sleeve of his shirt to reveal bluish black bruising on his forearm and upper arm. Angry reddish circular marks revealed where the dog's teeth had sunk into his skin.

Face winced as Hannibal took his arm gently inspecting the damage. "Doesn't seem to have broken the skin," he said carefully turning Face's arm over. "Sorry," he said as Face winced again. Hannibal guessed that Face's earlier angry outburst had been a ploy to deflect him from the fact that he had been hurt and he cursed himself having noticed that Face had favoured his right arm during their quarrel. Hannibal decided that he and his young lieutenant were going to have a long talk very soon.

"My jacket took the worst of it," Face said.

"Lucky for you," Hannibal agreed looking up. "But we're still getting you checked out."

"Hannibal," Face whined.

Hannibal ignored Face's protests. He turned to BA. "Go," he instructed. "A couple of towns from here should be OK. Then we can check into a motel. Get dry and find a doctor to check Face out." Hannibal ignored the groan from Face's seat.

"Right Hannibal," BA answered as he turned the ignition gunning the engine.

Face flopped back in his seat. He rolled his head towards Murdock. The pilot smiled and offered his teddy bear to Face. Face knew that it was a peace offering and he accepted the small bear with a smile tucking it under his blanket.

"I want to dry my cigars out as well," he heard Hannibal say as he closed his eyes.

THE END

 


All In A Day by Eryn Grant

 

 


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