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Title: Ring Around the Rosie

Ring Around the Rosie

Author: Mistress Lrigtar      

 

Rating: R?   Aren't all horror flicks R?

Summary: Spooky clichés abound in this story that brings back a much-hated character and an even more annoying song (not the title song above).  Some main characters may die, but then again, maybe not

Copyright: October 2005

Story: Complete

 

 

Chapter One

 

The scene in the kitchen looked like something out of a horror movie.  Chairs were overturned; there were broken dishes on the floor, as if someone had put up a tremendous struggle.  Amongst the broken dishes a bloodied knife could be seen.  Bloody handprints covered the refrigerator, a phone dangling off the hook, and the doorjambs.  Lying in the midst of all this wreckage was Hannibal Smith, in a pool of blood.

 

A door opened somewhere else in the apartment and a frantic voice called, "Hannibal?"  Rushing feet ran through the apartment, slamming doors open before heading towards the kitchen.  The feet stopped in the doorway and an audible gasp was heard.

 

"Hannibal!"  The feet carried the speaker to the man on the floor, knelt, and gently rolled the body over.  Hannibal's eyes stared sightlessly up into the face of Templeton Peck.

 

Face looked at a loss as to what to do.  Before he could even move, however, Hannibal's body began shaking and emitting a horrible sound.  At first, Face thought his commanding officer was choking on his own blood, and then he saw the grin and realized the colonel was laughing.

 

Swiping angrily at the tears that had been about the fall, Face yelled at Hannibal, "You're one sick bastard, you know that?"

 

Hannibal sat up chuckling, "I never realized you cared so much, Face."

 

"You scared me to death.  I thought you had been killed!" Face said. "And you think it's funny."

 

"Come on, Face," Hannibal said, pulling his sticky shirt away from his chest.  "I had to see if this new make-up kit was realistic or not.  I needed a test subject before I go to my audition after work today."

 

"Great.  So, I'm a guinea pig now?" Face asked, exasperated.

 

"I don't think I would have gotten such a good reaction from a guinea pig," Hannibal said, and glanced at his watch.  "Speaking of guinea pigs, I have to get to work."  He got up and headed for the bathroom.

 

Face looked around the trashed kitchen.  "I'm not cleaning this up, Hannibal!"

 

"Thanks, Face!  I'd appreciate that!"  Hannibal called.

 

"No, Hannibal…" Face began, but gave up.  It was useless, after all, but he didn't have to clean this mess up alone.  Grabbing the still dangling phone gingerly, he dialed a number and waited.  "Hello?  Amy?  Hi, it's Face.  Listen…"

 

 

Chapter Two

Warning: This chapter contains shameless advertising.

 

Screams of terror were coming from the room when the orderly knocked on the door, "Mail call, Mr. Murdock."

 

H.M. Murdock looked away from the horror flick, 'Night of the Lepus' he was watching on TV and shuffled over to the door.  He gave the orderly the evil eye through the mesh screen window in the door.

 

"You rang?" he asked in a deep, throaty voice.

 

"Open up, Murdock," the orderly said, not in the mood to play any games.

 

The pilot slunk away from the door and opened it.  The orderly handed him a medium sized box, "And keep that TV down.  You're disturbing the other inmates."

 

"As you wish, master," Murdock said, and limped back to his bed, dragging a leg behind him.  Sitting on the edge of his bed, he looked the box over.  There was no return address.  "Hm," Murdock muttered to himself, but then tore into the box.  It wasn't often he received packages at the VA.  Dumping the Styrofoam packing peanuts onto his bed he revealed an Uncle Buckle-Up® plush toy. 

 

"My very own Uncle Buckle-Up® plush toy!"  Murdock picked up the stuffed chipmunk and squeezed its belly.  Immediately, the annoying theme song from the children's show began playing.  The pilot flung the animal away and covered his ears.  "Can't…stand…that…song!"

 

The phone in his room began ringing.  Murdock slammed a pillow over the offending Uncle Buckle-Up® plush toy to muffle the song and answered the phone.  "Hello?"

 

Silence and heavy breathing (was that possible?) could be heard on the other end of the line.

 

"BA?  Is that you?" Murdock asked, now sitting on the pillow in the hopes of silencing the blasted song.

 

"Did you get my gift?" a raspy voice issued from the receiver.

 

"Who is this?"  Murdock demanded.

 

"Better take care of your Uncle Buckle-Up® plush toy, if you know what's good for you."

 

"What are you talking…" but the phone line went dead.

 

Murdock replaced the receiver and stood up.  He looked down at the pillow, noticing that the music had stopped.  Lifting the pillow, the chipmunk's glassy eyes looked up at him.  The pilot picked the Uncle Buckle-Up® plush toy up and it leered at him.

 

"I don't like you," it said.

 

"Gah!" He threw the Uncle Buckle-Up® plush toy across the room and banged on his door.  "Let me out!  Let me out!"

 

Murdock turned back around to see the stuffed animal, but it was gone.  He looked frantically around the room, still banging on the door before remembering that it wasn't locked.  Flinging the door open, he tore down the hallway, knocking over two orderlies on their way to investigate the ruckus.  The pilot ran out the front doors and down the block, eluding his pursuers.

 

-Later-

 

"Murdock, calm down," Face was saying into Hannibal's now clean phone.  "Where are you?"  He paused to listen.  "Ok, stay right there…. No, I am sure it was just your imagination…. Murdock, stay there.  Amy and I will be there in five minutes."

 

Amy came up to him after he had hung up.  "Face, you promised you were going to take me straight home.  I can't go out looking like this."

 

Face looked the reporter over.  She was covered in the gore Hannibal had left all over the kitchen.  He shook his head.  "Amy, everybody knows you don't wear white after Labor Day."

 

Amy glared at him.  "That's shoes, Face!"

 

He shrugged.  "That goes without saying.  Listen, I'm really sorry you slipped in that puddle of blood, but Murdock needs us.  I think they've been screwing with his meds again.  Uncle Buckle-Up® plush toys are talking to him now."  He put his arm around Amy.  "We'll go get Murdock and then go straight to your apartment.  OK?"

 

Amy sighed.  "Fine.  But I mean it!  Pick up Murdock and then straight there, Face."

 

"No problem," he said and steered her towards the door.

 

 

Chapter Three__________________________________________________________

 

Murdock, Face, and Amy were all standing around the pay phone the pilot had previously used to call them.  Amy was staring daggers at Face, who was trying his best to ignore her.  Murdock was playing catch with Billy.  By the time Face and Amy had arrived, he had conveniently forgotten about the whole Uncle Buckle-Up® plush toy incident and they had all decided to let it rest for now.

 

"I'm a mess!  I want to go home now!" Amy complained.

 

Murdock looked over at her, "Well, you really shouldn't be wearing white after Labor Day."

 

Amy opened her mouth to tell him off but decided it would be futile.  Instead she turned her attention to Face, who was leaning against the phone booth.  "I can't believe the car won't start!  Can't 'you' hotwire it or something?"

 

"Amy, you can't hotwire a car that is out of gas," Face patiently said.  "Besides, we 'have' the keys."

 

"This is ridiculous!  How long ago did you call BA?" she asked.

 

"Relax, Chiquita.  Take it easy," Murdock crooned, tossing an imaginary ball up in the air and catching it.

 

"Easy for you to say.  You're high," Amy grumbled and sat in the passenger seat of the car.

 

Murdock stuck his tongue out at her and Face muttered that he knew someone who could stand to smoke a little weed right about now.

 

"There's an idea, Faceman!" Murdock said.  "Why don't you go score us some Afternoon Delight?"

 

Face looked at Murdock, "Are you really high?  BA would kill us."

 

"The Big Guy don't need to know, Muchacho," the pilot said and turned on the puppy dog eyes. There was a moment's pause…"Just be back before the ugly Mudsucker shows up!" he added to his friend's back and turned to Amy.  "Works every time."

 

 

BA was working on the van's engine in the barn of a secluded farmhouse. He had been about to take a break and dig into a NY style pizza when he had received the phone call from his friends.  He had told them he would be right over, but there was no way he was going to let this perfectly warm, tasty pizza go to waste.  He figured he had time to finish his lunch before picking them up.  Besides, the only one who sounded uptight about being stranded was Amy, and as far as he was concerned she could wait until the cows came home before he went to pick her up.

 

He polished off the last bite of pizza and picked up his milk carton.  Before he could take a drink he heard a strange noise in the back of the van.  It actually sounded like something was scratching at the upholstery of the bucket seats in the back.

 

"Man!  There better not be some rat in my van!"

 

Putting the milk on the dashboard he climbed between the seats to investigate.  It was pretty dark back there, but he thought he saw something crouched in the very back.  BA reached underneath Face's seat for the gun he knew the conman kept hidden there.  Before he had a chance to get the magnum out, something brown and furry jumped him.  It clawed at his eyes and BA couldn't get a grip on the creature.  An annoying song that sounded vaguely familiar filled the van, drowning out the man's screams.  The violent struggle rocked the van on its wheels, knocking the milk carton over and spilling milk all over BA's immaculate Armour-Alled dash.

 

 

Chapter Four

Warning: This chapter contains a 2 second sex scene & may be traumatic to children and plush toys____________________________________________________

 

Hannibal was sitting in front of his dressing room mirror, wearing the bear head to his costume and practicing his roars.  He was due on the set in twenty minutes and wanted to perfect his 'ailing' bear roar since Ruff the Bear was supposed to have a cold this week.  He wasn't sure how that was educational to children since he hadn't bothered to read the script, but after today he was planning on blowing this chipmunk stand.  He had a good feeling about his audition he had scheduled for later today, especially after Face's reaction.  Ok, he felt a little bad about that.  Maybe he should send the kid some flowers or – wait a minute – he didn't swing that way.  Flowers were out.  He looked at the Uncle Buckle-Up® plush toy Sydney had given him today when he had arrived at work.  Maybe Face would like – no, that was as bad as flowers.  WAIT A MINUTE!  Sydney had given 'him' a stuffed animal!  Nah.  Sydney had a daughter.  Ah, beautiful Kelly.  Hannibal was going to miss having Kelly around to 'loosen' him up. 

 

Hands wrapped around his neck – soft, definitely feminine.  Speak of the devil.  Or would that be thought of the devil?  Who the hell cared?!

 

"Kelly," he growled.

 

"Ummm," she said.  He could barely hear her through the bear head.  He went to take it off, but she stopped him.  "I kind of like it.  Did I ever tell you I was into…" she breathed, "plush?"

 

"Plush?" Hannibal asked, not having a clue what she was talking about.

 

"Yuh huh," she replied.  "Oh, Ruff!  Do me now!!"

 

"Uh, OK," Hannibal said.  He knew he shouldn't be having sex with Sydney's daughter, but she was hot.  Maybe a bit weird, but hot.   Of course, he couldn't really 'see' how hot she was today with the Ruff head on, but she felt hot.   Before he could take his thoughts or moves any further he heard a weird gurgling sound and what he thought was high-pitched laughter.  This was getting too weird for him.  Hannibal pulled away from Kelly and whipped the bear head off.  Her throat was torn open and he was pretty sure she was dead.  She looked dead.

 

"Damn," he said, not noticing the Uncle Buckle-Up® plush toy was gone.

 

 

The real, in the human flesh (which was kind of weird as well) Uncle Buckle-Up was telling his studio audience of children how important it was to go to their family doctor if they were not feeling well.

 

"Remember kids, doctors are our friends, right Ruff?"

 

The camera panned over to Ruff the Bear's den, but Ruff didn't make an appearance.

 

Uncle Buckle-Up gritted his teeth, "Right, Ruff?  If you had gone to the doctor you wouldn't be feeling blue.  Right, Ruff?"

 

The cameraman zoomed into the den while Uncle Buckle-Up reached in and grabbed Ruff the Bear's head.  The head came off in his hands and Kelly's head lolled out of the den.  There was mass pandemonium.  Children ran screaming in the audience, all the cameras were zooming into the gruesome sight, Uncle Buckle-Up aka Sydney stared in shock at his seemingly dead daughter.

 

"Cut to commercial, you idiots!" a producer screamed over the din of screaming.

 

The annoying theme song from the Uncle Buckle-Up show began playing.  An Uncle Buckle-Up® plush toy spun in a circle on television screens across America.  "Now, you can take Uncle Buckle-Up with you wherever you go, kids.  Squeeze his belly and hear the important things he'd like to share with you.  Only $9.99 at retail stores everywhere."

 

 

Chapter Five

Warning: Don't eat anything while reading this chapter!  Tawnia alert!___________

 

The weather had taken a turn for the worse and dark, stormy clouds were rolling in off the ocean.  The temperature had dropped as well and it was getting foggy.  All of this had forced Amy and Murdock to take shelter in the car.

 

"What could be keeping BA?"  Amy asked, looking at her watch.  "We called him nearly two hours ago."

 

Murdock stared out the windshield, deep in thought.  'What could be keeping Face?  I needed a toke two hours ago.'

 

"Murdock!" Amy cried.  "Are you listening to me?"

 

"Yeah, sure," Murdock said.

 

Amy began to rant about BA being late and Face abandoning them and Murdock decided he had had enough.  He got out of the car.

 

"Where are you going?" Amy asked.

 

"Going to call BA," Murdock said and went over to the phone booth.  He turned his back on the car and dropped a dime in the coin slot.  He dialed the number to the van and waited.  It rang and rang, but BA never picked it up.  The ringing was doing a great job of zoning him out when he heard faint screaming accompanied by his least favorite song.  Murdock swallowed, hung up the phone, and turned around.

 

Amy was the one who was screaming and also clawing at the windows of the car.  He thought he saw a flash of brown, but that could have been the dried blood on Amy's clothes.  She really shouldn't have been wearing white anyway.  Her hand smashed against the window and then she slid out of view.

 

Murdock ran over to the car and tried to open the door.  Finally he was able to yank it open and Amy fell out.  She was covered in even more blood than she had been before.  This blood was fresh and Murdock had the feeling it was hers.  She didn't move.  He heard howling and Billy jumped into his arms, with a terrified look in his eyes.

 

"Billy!  Thank goodness you're OK!"  Murdock cried, and hugged his dog.

 

 The phone in the booth behind him began ringing.  Murdock turned around and stared at it before walking slowly over to it and picking it up.

 

"Hello?" he asked.

 

"Why didn't you take care of your Uncle Buckle-Up?" the raspy voice asked.  "Now your friends are going to die."

 

Murdock dropped the phone and ran down the street, followed by Billy.  He had to get to Face and BA, only he had no idea where they were.

 

He hadn't run very far when a red convertible Mustang pulled up next to them.

 

"Care for an Afternoon pick-me-up?"  Face asked, leaning out of the passenger side.  He grinned lazily at his friend and held up a plate of brownies.  He giggled at the lame double pun.

 

"Where have you been?!"  Murdock asked.

 

Not waiting for an answer, Murdock grabbed a brownie and stuffed the entire thing in his mouth.  'Ah, Afternoon Delight,' he thought, forgetting about Amy for the moment.  'Wait a minute.  How had Face made these brownies?'  The pilot looked at the driver's side of the car and saw…. Tawnia.  She was wearing the hot little waitress number from the time they scammed the bar owner that was selling moonshine or "Pure Dee Poison", as BA had called it.  She fluttered her fingers at Murdock.  'Damn, she was hot.'  Murdock slapped himself.  'Too much brownie.'

 

"Where's Amy?" Face was asking him.  "We drove by where I had left you two, but the car and you and Amy weren't there. We figured BA had shown up and towed you to the farmhouse."

 

Murdock swallowed his brownie and looked at Face.  "What do you mean Amy and the car aren't there?  I was just running from there!  Amy was attacked and killed by an Uncle Buckle-Up® plush toy."

 

Face looked his friend over and placed the plate of brownies out of his reach.  "I don't think you need anymore of these.  Murdock, we talked about this.  You're hallucinating.  There is no way Uncle Buckle-Up® plush toys can talk to or attack people.  BA probably picked Amy up."

 

Murdock glared at Face.  "I was there, Face!  I saw it happen.  And I tried calling BA, he didn't answer the phone."

 

Face got out of the car very slowly and pushed his seat up so the pilot could climb into the back seat.  Murdock, starting to feel the effects of the brownie he had just eaten, got in the car very slowly.

 

"OK, listen, Murdock.  We are going to drive over to the farmhouse and you are going to see that everything is all right.  I am sure BA and Amy are fine.  Nice, safe, and warm at the house."

 

Tawnia began driving to the farmhouse very slowly.

 

 

Chapter Six_____________________________________________________________

 

Hannibal knew he shouldn't have left the scene of the crime.  Hindsight was always twenty-twenty.  Then again, when you are in the throes of passion with someone, only to discover that they are dead, you may not be thinking too clearly either.  Not that that had ever happened to him before.  No, this was definitely a first.

 

For once in his life he wasn't sure what to do.  He knew he needed to find his team.  He was sure, between the four of them; they could come up with a solution to this little problem.  As Hannibal trudged down the road, the heaven's opened up and poured down rain.  Why had he left his car at the studio?  Oh yeah.  To buy him some time.  Maybe they would think he had been kidnapped.  He really needed to find a phone.

 

What do you know?  A phone!  Who to call first?  BA.  Hannibal dug into his pocket for a dime and dialed the number to the van.  No answer.  That was odd.  Who next?  Face.  Hope he's not still mad.  Hannibal dialed the number to the corvette.  No answer.  Hmmm.  Maybe Face was still at his apartment cleaning the kitchen.  He dialed the number to his apartment.  No answer.  Where the hell were they?!  Murdock.  A last resort.  How the crazy man was going to help him he had no idea.  It wasn't like Murdock had a car.  Hannibal dialed the direct line to the pilot's room.  No answer. 

 

Well, now he was screwed.  Where was his team?  By now, he was completely soaked through and it was getting dark.  Who was he gonna call?  Ghostb…(no! wrong city, state, story) Hannibal sighed.  There was only one other person he could think of.  Someone naïve, simple, who wouldn't ask a lot of questions.  Yeah, he was definitely screwed.

 

 

"Johnny!  Long time no see!  Man, oh man, are you wet."  Frankie Santana exclaimed when he pulled up to the phone Hannibal was standing at.

 

"Frankie," he said between gritted teeth.  Desperate times called for desperate measures.  How had he come to this?  Frankie was fine – on a movie set, behind the scenes.  Not in dire straits.  Hannibal was more than screwed.  He opened the door to the '72 Chevy Impala and got in.

 

"My seats!  Man, Johnny!" Frankie said.

 

Hannibal really hated that nickname.  It was annoying.  Kind of like how Frankie was annoying.

 

Frankie continued talking, forgetting about the seats.  "You're gonna need to take something or you're gonna get sick."  He really liked to hear himself talk, maybe as much, if not more than Face did.  At least Face usually had something interesting to say.  If those two ever met…Hannibal hoped that never happened.

 

"Frankie," he said. "Just take me to this address, ok?"  He handed the F/X man the address to the farmhouse BA was currently holed up in.

 

"Sure thing, Johnny.  Now, what you need to do when you get there is make some tea.  Then you're going to put some brandy in it.  Not too much…"

 

Hannibal sighed.  It was going to be a long ride and he was really bummed he'd missed his audition.  All that work for nothing.  Not to mention the fact that he was screwed.

 

 

Chapter Seven___________________________________________________________

 

By the time Murdock, Face, and Tawnia reached the farmhouse it was raining cats and dogs.  Not literally, but with this being a horror story, you never can tell.  There may be frogs later, but you can't really predict the weather.  Tawnia pulled into the dirt drive and headed towards the dark house.  She tried to peer through the sloshing windshield wipers, but they didn't seem to be helping much.  Plus, Face and Murdock, who had been arguing the entire way about stuffed animals, were distracting her.  Murdock was leaning over the front seat so he could hear and be heard, as well as so he could grab a brownie off the plate that was still sitting on the dash where Face had placed it earlier.

 

"Oh my god!" Tawnia screamed and slammed on the brakes.  The car hydroplaned through the mud before skidding to a stop.  Murdock fell over the seat and landed in a crumpled heap – head in Face's lap and legs standing straight up, with his feet coming dangerously close to knocking Tawnia out.

 

"What was that all about?" Face yelled at Tawnia, while trying to push Murdock off him.  Murdock was struggling at the same time, but wasn't really making any progress to right himself.

 

"I thought I saw a chipmunk in the road," she said.

 

"Aha!" Murdock exclaimed, and sat up, hitting Face in the chin.

 

"Ow!"

 

"Sorry, but I told you!  Chipmunk!  It was that Uncle Buckle-Up® plush toy!  He's going to kill us!"

 

"You're crazy!"

 

"Normally – yes, but this time I'm telling the truth."

 

"Get off me!"

 

"Ouch!  Watch your feet!"

 

"Tawnia, get this car moving and park by the house.  I don't want to get wet.  Murdock, I'm not going to tell you again to stop talking about stuffed chipmunks on a killing rampage.  This is a bit much, even for you."

 

Tawnia revved the engine and tried to get the car to move.  The smell of burning rubber infiltrated the car and the speedometer was up to forty, with them going nowhere.

 

"I can't seem to get the car to go.  I think we're stuck in the mud," she said meekly.

 

"Great!" Face exclaimed.

 

"Looks like we are going to have to get out and push," Murdock said.  He reached over his head (as he was still in Face's lap) and opened the door.  Rain poured into the car soaking both him and Face almost instantly.  "So much for you not getting wet."  Murdock laughed as he rolled out of the car and landed in a puddle, splattering Face with mud.

 

Face gritted his teeth and got out of the car.  "Tawnia, put the car in neutral and don't touch a thing.  Well, besides the steering wheel.  You'll need to touch that to guide the car for us."

 

The two men went around to the back of the vehicle.  Face got into position to push, but Murdock was on his hands and knees looking underneath the Mustang.

 

"Murdock, what are you doing?  I'm getting soaked here!"  Face said.

 

"Nothing," Murdock said and stood up. 

 

"Are you ready now?"

 

"Sure, Faceman.  What are you waiting for?"

 

Face grumbled something under his breath and began pushing the car, with Murdock's help.  They managed to push it out of the trench Tawnia had dug in the road and yelled for her to put the car in gear and see if it was free and clear.  She drove away from them and parked by the porch.  She got out, and was on the porch in seconds, without a single drop of rain hitting her.

 

"Unbelievable!" Face said and stormed towards the house.  Murdock ran after him, not wanting to be anywhere near the supposed chipmunk sighting.

 

Chapter Eight___________________________________________________________

 

"It's creepy in here," Tawnia said when they entered the foyer of the house.  "Why are the lights off?"

 

Face flicked the light switches by the door.  Nothing happened.  "Looks like the power is out."

 

"I don't like this," Murdock said. "I think we should stick together."

 

"I agree," Tawnia said.

 

"Me too," Face agreed.  The three of them stood in the hallway for a bit looking at each other.

 

"Well, I'm going to the kitchen to get some candles," Face said and headed down the hallway.

 

"I'm going to go take a bath and get cleaned up," Murdock said and headed up the stairs.

 

"What about our agreement to stick together?" Tawnia called after them.

 

"We'll be right back!" they both yelled in unison from opposite ends and floors of the house.

 

Tawnia stood in the hallway waiting for Face to come back with the candles.  She could hear him opening cupboards and drawers looking for candles and matches.  Then she heard a loud crash and a yell.

 

"Face?" she called, timidly.

 

It sounded like all hell was breaking loose in the other room.  Something or someone slammed against the door at the end of the hall.  It flew open and a body? fell out.  Tawnia really couldn't tell, what with the power being out and all.  Lightening flashed and she thought she saw something tan and furry, but that could have been Face's hair.  Freaked, she ran up the stairs screaming for Murdock.  The body? was dragged back into the kitchen and the door swung closed.  Silence ensued.  Well, aside from Tawnia screaming at the top of her lungs upstairs.

 

Murdock had just stepped into the shower when Tawnia burst into the bathroom.

 

"Murdock!"

 

"Tawnia!" Murdock yelled, wrapping the shower curtain around him.

 

"What?" she asked. "Oh.  It's dark.  I can't see."

 

"Not the point!" Murdock stated. "What are you doing up here anyway?  Where's Face?"

 

The woman started crying.  "That's just it.  I…I think he's dead.  There was this terrible racket in the kitchen and then…then I'm not sure…"

 

Murdock grabbed a towel and wrapped it around his body.  "We have to do something!  He could be hurt!"

 

They walked down the stairs and were facing the front windows when lightening slashed across the sky.  For a brief instant the front porch was illuminated and they both could see a pile of Uncle Buckle-Up® plush toys outside the window.

 

Murdock froze on the stairs and Tawnia crumpled in a heap next to him.  He thought she had fainted from shock, but actually she had just died from toxic shock.

 


Chapter Nine____________________________________________________________

 

It had taken the entire drive over to the house for Hannibal to convince Frankie to drop him off and leave.  The colonel had had about all he could stand of the F/X man.  He was a nice kid, really, but a little bit went a long way.

 

Hannibal got out of the car, thanking Frankie profusely.  He waited until the Impala was out of sight before turning towards the front door.  It was then that he noticed the pile of Uncle Buckle-Up® plush toys.  He went over to it and discovered an envelope.  Picking it up, Hannibal saw that it was written in Kelly's hand and was addressed to him.  How she had gotten this address, he had no idea.  It was a mystery.  At any rate, he couldn't read the note now, so he stuck it in his pocket.

 

He tried the front door, and found that is was unlocked.  That was odd.  Especially since the house was deathly quiet and dark.  He opened the door, stepped inside and flicked the hall light switch.  The foyer was immediately flooded with bright light.  Hannibal was seeing spots and somebody yelped from the stairs.

 

"WHOA!" Hannibal exclaimed when he caught sight of his pilot sitting there in a towel, with an unconscious? Tawnia next to him.  His mind immediately went where he did not want it to go.  Rein it in!  He did so.

 

"Hannibal," Murdock said, his voice shaking.  "I'm glad you're here."

 

"Murdock, may I ask why you are sitting on the stairs half naked?" Hannibal asked.  He decided it was best to ignore the whole Tawnia thing.  Murdock acted like she wasn't even there anyway. 

 

"Shock," Murdock was muttering. "Uncle Buckle-Up® plush toys everywhere.  Killing spree.  Amy, possibly BA, Face.  Dead."

 

Hannibal stared at Murdock.  "What are you talking about?  What do you mean dead?"

 

"Face is dead." Murdock said.

 

"Dead."  Hannibal repeated.  That wasn't possible.  He'd just seen Face that morning.  Played that, in hindsight, horrible trick on him.  He couldn't possibly be dead.  "Murdock, are you sure?"

 

"In the kitchen," Murdock said.  "Can't look."  He burst out sobbing and covered his face with his hands.

 

Hannibal shook his head and looked down the hallway towards the kitchen door.  It was ajar and he could just make out something tawny on the other side.  Not Face.  He moved slowly down the hall, pushed the door open and saw…

 

The scene in the kitchen looked like something out of a horror movie.  Chairs were overturned; cabinet doors hung open with broken dishes on the floor; drawers pulled out and their contents spilled all over the floor as well.  It looked as if someone had put up a tremendous fight.  That someone lay in a pool of blood.  His lieutenant – Face.  (Uh, this is sounding awfully familiar.)

 

"Face!" Hannibal gasped and dropped to the floor next to his friend.  Templeton Peck's eyes stared sightlessly up into the face of John 'Hannibal' Smith. (Very familiar)

 

Hannibal looked at a loss as to what to do.  "Face.  No, no, no.  I'm so sorry.  This can't be happening.  I'll make it up to you.  Please, don't be dead.  I'm sorry I was jerk this morning."

 

Hannibal bowed his head and tears fell.  At first he didn't notice the snickering coming from behind him.  It was Murdock.  He was standing in the open doorway, and he was laughing.  At Hannibal.

 

Hannibal was about to yell at him about decorum when Face's body began shaking and emitting a horrible sound.  At first, Hannibal thought his lieutenant was alive after all and choking.  Hoped surged.  He then saw the very familiar grin and realized his XO was laughing.  At him. 

 

"Gothca," Face said and sat up.

 

Hannibal stared at him in amazement.  He wasn't sure whether to hug him or kill him.  Then he remembered, he had it coming.  He'd been conned.  He'd been conned good.

 

Hannibal chuckled, "I deserved that.  I'm sorry, Face.  I shouldn't have tricked you like that this morning."

 

"It's OK," Face said.  "Just, don't do it again."  He glanced at his watch.  "I better get cleaned up.  I have a late date with Kelly tonight." As he headed out the door he turned to Murdock, "Hey Murdock, thanks for all your help today.  Don't forget to take care of your Uncle Buckle-Up." He chuckled as he left the room. 

 

Murdock started to snicker then glared after him.  "What?!"

 

"Kelly?"  Hannibal asked.  He'd have to think about that one later.  Wait a minute – Kelly was dead.  Surely, Face didn't mean 'his' Kelly anyway.  Hannibal shook his head.  Speaking of which, he took out the letter and read it.  "WHAT?!"

 

 

Chapter Ten – Ending Montage

 

The note Hannibal found on the pile of Uncle Buckle-Up® plush toys was a letter of apology from Kelly.  She apologized for two things: 1) for two-timing him with Face (for the record, Face had no idea she had been sleeping with Hannibal as well.  Yeah, right we believe that one) and 2) for faking her death in his presence.  She merely had wanted to help her father, Sydney, who had grown tired of donning the silly chipmunk suit and wanted to be remembered as someone other than the guy who portrayed Uncle Buckle-Up.  He hoped to make a comeback as a leading man in film.  Good luck, Sydney! 

 

Ironically, Uncle Buckle-Up was not cancelled after the disastrous show in question, but rather after one where the original Ruff the Bear threw-up in his costume due to a hangover.  The sight of green vomit coming out of Ruff the Bear's snout traumatized children for years to come.

 

Regarding Face's date with Kelly, when Hannibal showed him the letter he promptly called her and cancelled. (Right.)

 

The team later found BA, asleep in the back of the van.  It had indeed been a rat that attacked him, but fortunately no damage was done to BA, the rat, or the van.  BA spent the remainder of the afternoon, after releasing the rat, re-cleaning the van and crying over his spilt milk.

 

Amy had not been dead either, as Murdock had surmised. She had been trying to get his attention when she spilled red nail polish all over herself.  She had then tried to get out the passenger door only to discover the child-lock was on. (Did they even have those back then?)  Giving up in disgust, Amy slumped against the door.  When Murdock had yanked the door open, she had been momentarily stunned, not dead.  Before she could regain her wits, Murdock had received his 'mysterious' phone call and tore off down the street.  Not long after, AAA came by and towed her to a gas station.  The next day, Amy flew back to Jakarta, vowing never to return to the States again.

 

After dropping Hannibal off at the farmhouse, Frankie realized how late it was and rushed straight home.  He needed to get to bed at a decent time as he had an early call on the set the next morning.  Upon arriving home, he discovered a strange man with poor fashion taste (at least to Frankie) sitting in his living room.  The man in question was wearing a three-piece suit and yellow sunglasses, which did nothing for his complexion.  He informed Frankie that he was about to make him an offer he couldn't refuse.  The F/X man, having watched 'The Godfather' more times than he could count, was naturally intrigued.  We all know how that turns out.

 

Speaking of turning out, as it turns out, Tawnia had not died from toxic shock after all, but she was hospitalized for treatment of the syndrome.  Neither the team nor her husband, Brian came to visit or sent her get-well cards since all of them thought she was really dead.  However, a near-by funeral home did receive a lovely floral arrangement with a card that read – 'RIP Tawnia.'

 

Face apologized to Murdock about the entire Uncle Buckle-Up® plush toy incident.  The pilot forgave the conman on the condition that he, Face, make it up to him, Murdock, by taking him on a hayride.  Face thought this request was rather odd, but agreed.  And that, my friends, is a whole other story.

 

 

The End

 


Ring Around The Rosie by Mistress Lrigtar

 

 


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