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Night Patrol

Night Patrol

By Eryn Grant

 

Rating: G

Status: Complete

Summary:  BA has something to do before he goes to sleep. A very short (silly) BA story. Thought I would show a softer side to the big man. I hope you enjoy.

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

Thank you for all the lovely comments on my first story which are very much appreciated.


 

NIGHT PATROL


Wide-awake BA lay in bed staring at the ceiling. He could hear the surf crashing onto the beach and he smiled to himself wondering why Face always managed to scam them a beach house. But over the years BA had grown to like the roar of the surf and he closed his eyes concentrating on the sound hoping that sleep would come.

Ten minutes later he was still wide awake. With an angry growl he flung off the comforter sitting up. Shrugging on his dressing gown he ignored his slippers and left his room padding silently along the hallway.

BA knew that he couldn't sleep until he had done his duty. He had never told the others in case they teased him about it, but when he was a child, every night he had gotten out of his bed and checked on his parents to make sure they were still with him. It had made him feel safe and secure. And every night they had been there tucked up in their bed asleep. And every night he had gone back to his bed and slept until his mother had woken him for school in the morning. The team were his family now and he had to check that they were all safe before he could sleep.

BA stopped at the first door listening for any sound. Silence. He quietly pushed the door open and couldn't help smiling to himself. The bedside lamp was still on giving the room an eerie glow. Hannibal was sitting up in bed fast asleep, his head to one side at an uncomfortable angle, one arm dangling off the bed a cigar clasped between two fingers. A book lay open on the bed.

"Oh man," BA sighed to himself as he crept towards the bed. He gently took the cigar from Hannibal's grip placing it on the side of the ash tray which was on the bedside table. "One day Hannibal," he scolded. "You're gonna set us all on fire." BA leaned over Hannibal carefully retrieving the book. He shot Hannibal a surprised look - poetry by Elizabeth Barrett Browning. A quiet giggle escaped and BA thought about the mileage he could get from teasing the colonel about his reading material.

He straightened up folding his arms as he stared down at the man who had been his commander and friend for as long as he could remember. Hannibal looked peaceful, even with his head at an awkward angle his features and whole body looked relaxed as he slept. BA cocked his head to one side - Hannibal was a hard man to fathom. He hid his real self behind the jazz, his monster suits and his next crazy plan. But behind the tough uncompromising and sometimes fun-loving exterior BA knew that Hannibal was a man of honour and the army's betrayal hurt him more than any of them, more than he would ever admit.

Hannibal always tried to give the impression of being detached and happy go lucky but they all knew he cared. Cared for all of them equally shouldering most of the worry, anxieties and stress of being on the run never letting them get melancholy when things looked bad. BA knew that if it wasn't for Hannibal he and the rest of the team would never have made it home from Vietnam and managed to keep one step ahead of the army. Hannibal was always there with a big grin and his cigar sticking out of his mouth encouraging them to carry on convincing them to believe that one day they would all be free men. It was what drove him. And it was his drive, his love for life and enthusiasm that kept them all going.

BA really wanted to move Hannibal to a more comfortable position but was afraid of disturbing the sleeping man. Hannibal twitched and BA held his breath hoping that the colonel wouldn't wake. He had been surprised that Hannibal hadn't woken the moment he stepped into the room. Vietnam and being on the run had made them all light sleepers. The last few days had been tiring and tough on them all but they had beaten the bad guys and put them where they belonged, behind bars. "All the jazz gone huh colonel," he smirked trying to imagine what the colonel was dreaming about but decided it was probably better that he didn't know.

BA turned carefully switching off the bedside lamp. "You don't have to worry tonight," he whispered. "You sleep. I'll go make sure the team is OK," BA crept to the door closing it quietly behind him.

Hannibal opened his eyes with a smile as the door closed. "Thanks BA," he said to himself snuggling down under the comforter closing his eyes. His last thought before sleep came was that BA had better not tease him about reading poetry.

BA crept along the hallway stopping at the next door. He put his ear to the door. He could hear the soft drone of the television. Pushing the door open BA tiptoed across the room to turn off the television. "Fool," he growled under his breath. "Do you wanna wake the whole house," he crept towards the bed. Murdock had kicked off his blankets and was muttering incoherently in his sleep. BA listened as he studied the pilot and could just make out each of their names mumbled as Murdock dreamed. BA would never admit it but he was extremely fond of Murdock. The crazy fool irritated the hell out of him every day but they both knew that BA's daily threats of bodily harm to the pilot were only words. BA would never dream of laying a finger on Murdock. It was just their little game.

Although Murdock spent most of his time in his safe fantasy world, BA knew and secretly appreciated that the pilot was a highly intelligent, sensitive and gentle man. His slim frame always gave the impression that he was frail but deep inside there was a strong character who sometimes showed the dangerous side to his personality when his friends were being threatened. BA had seen the soft brown eyes flash with a fury and intensity that even frightened him.

But more importantly Murdock accepted them all for what they were with all their emotional baggage, insecurities and vulnerabilities. And in turn they each accepted his craziness ignoring it and recognising that it was part of who Murdock was. BA admitted to himself that he liked to watch their clients' reaction to Murdock and his craziness. It always amused him to see the look of horror and confusion on their faces when Murdock was in full craziness mode and Hannibal, he and Face just carried on as though it was normal.

Murdock mumbled again curling himself into a tight ball. Restless he then writhed stretching out his long body before rolling onto his back. His arms reached out and his mumbling became louder as he turned onto his side. "What do you want fool?" BA cursed silently not wanting the pilot to wake up and find him here. He looked around and noticed that Murdock's latest furry friend - a large green rabbit with floppy ears and one eye, a gift from Face - had fallen to the floor with the heap of blankets.

BA shook his head and growled softly in the back of his throat. Scooping up the rabbit by its ears, he shoved it gently towards the sleeping Murdock. The pilot grabbed for the animal pulling it towards him clutching it to his chest. He immediately quieted.

BA picked the blankets off the floor and carefully covered up the sleeping man. Murdock sighed and snuggled further into the warmth. BA touched his shoulder gently. "Sleep tight fool," he whispered affectionately. BA couldn't help himself - he looked over his shoulder in case anyone was watching him. Satisfied there was no-one to see him, BA crept towards the door closing it quietly behind him.

BA padded along the hallway - one more room to check and then his night patrol would be finished and he could go back to his own bed. The door to the last room was wide open. BA cautiously peered into the darkness. Face's bed was empty and showed signs of not being slept in.

BA didn't panic easily but he quickened his pace as he hurried towards the living area hoping that Face was watching television or listening to music. The large airy living area was empty. The kitchen was empty too. BA frowned wondering where Face had gotten to. Something to his right caught his eye and BA sighed with relief. Face was at the far end of the decking area. He had somehow perched himself on the wooden railing. His legs were outstretched in front of him and he was leaning back resting his head against one of the wooden uprights. He was staring out towards the ocean seemingly lost in thought.

BA wondered idly what it was about Face that always made him look lost and lonely. He shook his head deciding that he would just make sure that Face was all right and then go back to his bed. He opened the sliding door quietly and stepped out onto the decking. Standing as still as he could, BA let his eyes adjust to the light as he studied Face for a moment. Satisfied that the lieutenant was fine he turned to go back in the house.

"Couldn't sleep either huh?" Face turned and gave him a small smile. BA folded his arms across his chest and half-glared at Face annoyed at himself for getting caught watching his friend. Face gave BA an amused smile. "The decking creaks just where you step out of the door," he nodded towards the doorway. "But you have to really listen to hear it."

BA grunted moving closer to Face. "How's the eye?" he stepped even closer so he could check out Face for himself. In the moonlight, BA could see that Face's cheek was swollen and red and his eye was a colourful black and blue.

"It only hurts when I laugh," Face quipped as he carefully touched his cheek. "Does it look bad?"

BA peered at Face's bruises for a moment. "Ain't too bad," he shrugged. "But it's dark out here."

Face rolled his eyes at BA. "Thanks," he murmured.

"Can't be all that bad," BA offered with a small smile. "You still scammed us this place."

"I think I got the sympathy vote," Face sighed.

"Still got us this place," BA persisted with a growl.

"Might have got a bigger place without this," Face pointed to his black eye and swollen cheek.

BA decided to ignore the comment. "Anyway what you doing out here?" he demanded. "It's late. And Hannibal told us all to get an early night."

"I could say the same to you," Face grinned at BA.

"I was kinda thirsty," BA scowled at Face. "So I came to get a glass of milk." He hoped that Face wouldn't notice that he hadn't got a glass with him.

Face nodded and turned to gaze out at the ocean. BA decided to leave Face to his thoughts. He went to turn away stopping in his tracks as Face began to talk. BA turned back to listen. "You know... when I was kid, I loved the ocean," Face said. "I thought it was the biggest and coolest thing in the whole world." He glanced sideways at BA. "The nuns used to bring us to the beach every summer as a treat.... but I never used to play with the other kids in the sand. I just used to sit in the shallow water and stare out at the horizon wondering what was out there." Face smiled at the memory. "And I always made a wish.... that the next year I would be sitting with someone of my own," he brushed at his jeans distractedly. "I used to cry when we had to go back to the orphanage. Back to hoping that someone....," his voice faded and he flushed slightly turning to stare back at the ocean avoiding looking at BA.

BA shook his head knowing that Face had probably revealed more about himself than he had intended and he suspected that it had something to do with their recent clients - two brothers and a group of orphans who were being forced out of their home by a ruthless real estate agency.

He tried to imagine Face as the lonely little boy sitting in the shallow water wishing for a family of his own and crying when he had to go back to the orphanage. It was easy. Face always gave off an air of confidence and self-assurance rarely showing the world the real man choosing instead to hide behind one of his many well-used shields which he used to protect himself from anyone getting too close. But he didn't fool BA one bit - he saw the look in Face's eyes and on his face every day in the faces of some of the orphaned children at the Centre where he volunteered. And BA knew that despite his many disguises and silk suits Face would always be the lost and lonely orphan who had been abandoned by his mother.

BA sighed suddenly missing his own mother. He couldn't imagine what it would be like never to have had the love of a mother or a father. "Is that why you always scam us a beach house?" he asked. "Because you like the ocean."

"Yeah," Face replied quietly. "Stupid huh?"

"No man," BA shook his head. "It ain't stupid."

"No... may be not," Face smiled slightly surprised at BA's kind words. He sighed. "But stupid is definitely still making wishes on the ocean like a little kid," he brushed at his jeans again.

BA growled in the back of his throat. "So what you wishing for now?" he asked bluntly suspecting that it would have something to do with money, success or girls.

Face narrowed his eyes at BA surprised by the question. He stared out at the ocean again. The water was calm and the moon shone down making it look like glass. He could hear the waves rushing to the shore and the sound calmed him washing away the tension he had felt over the last few days. Face looked back at BA who was waiting for his answer. He shrugged slightly. "That we'll all be free one day," he answered quietly.

It was BA's turn to be surprised. "That's a good wish," he gave Face one of his best smiles resolving to make more of an effort to talk to Face in the future and may be even ask his mama to telephone Face every now and again so he wouldn't always be so alone. "But right now," he folded his arms again drawing himself up to his full height. "It's time for bed. Hannibal's orders," he scowled at Face.

Face swung his legs down off the railing. He leant forward stretching his back as he moved his head from side to side. "I'll only be a few more minutes," he yawned.

"OK," BA said. "But if you're not in bed in ten minutes, I'm coming to get you," he threatened as he moved towards the door.

"By the way," Face couldn't help himself. "Milk's in the fridge. Glasses are in the cupboard over the sink."

"Ten minutes," BA threatened again silently cursing himself. He could hear Face chuckling to himself as he slid the door shut. BA got himself a glass of milk before padding back along the hallway towards his room. As he reached his door a movement caught his attention and BA glanced sideways. Face grinned at him saluting as he went into his room.

BA sighed happily. His night patrol was over. The team, his family, were all safe and BA knew that once he was back in bed he would be able to sleep himself. "I love it when a plan comes together," he mimicked Hannibal's favourite saying. BA chuckled to himself as he entered his own room.

 

THE END

 


Night Patrol by Eryn Grant

 

 


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