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Old Flame New Game
Summary: Men are territorial creatures, even when it comes to women. The team decide to take Amy out for dinner for her birthday, but an ex of Amy’s shows up and the guys just don’t trust him.
Warnings: Usual A Team violence, maybe some swearing but not much and some sexual references.
Disclaimer/Notes: None of the characters from the A Team belong to me and I haven’t made a penny from this, I’ve written it for the jazz ;o) I’ve based around season 2, maybe a few months before Amy leaves, I always assumed how the seasons run they were say a year, hence her length of time on the team.
“OK, Amy, you can open your eyes now!”
“Wow, Face, this is a really nice restaurant! Really, guys, you didn’t have to!”
It was Amy’s birthday and the guys had decided to treat her. Amy had realised that it had really been Face’s idea; Murdock had backed him up that it was a good idea, but really this was not the rest of the guy’s forte for thinking about these sorts of things. Amy was charmed by the thought though, that the guys were making an effort for her birthday. She hadn’t really expected a big deal. She’d been on the team nearly eighteen months now, so she knew how they ticked.
The waiter led them to their table of this very fancy restaurant Face had recommended. The table was large and round, designed for perfect interaction between everyone. Face was pleased with the position of it; they’d managed to get one of the best tables in the restaurant, obviously with a little charm on Face’s behalf towards the waiter.
The five of them sat around the table. The waiter held the chair out for Amy, as she sat between Murdock and Face, opposite her was Hannibal and BA.
The waiter was just going round the table taking the drinks orders, they were all perusing the menu and commenting to Face on how ‘posh’ it was.
“Hey great place, Faceman. Where did you find out about this place?” Murdock grinned.
“Yeah, Face, how did you find out about this place?” Hannibal asked in a slightly more sarcastic tone.
“Oh, friend of a friend,” Face replied nervously. He was his usual nervous self, regretting terribly he’d mentioned it in the van, although he wanted to treat Amy to somewhere special for her birthday. He was confident Amy and Hannibal would know how to behave in such a restaurant, but Murdock and BA were likely to get them kicked out and he’d never be able to return.
Amy could hear BA ordering his milk with his usual growl, as she looked up from her menu she recognised a voice. Sitting right opposite them were two gentlemen just taking their seats at their table. The one facing her would be able to look straight through the gap of Hannibal and BA to see her. She ducked and pretended she’d dropped something on the floor. The waiter had come around the table; Face had thought it might be nice to order a bottle of champagne as it was her birthday and turned to Amy to see if she’d join him. She wasn’t there.
“Amy?” Face was puzzled by her actions. “Sweetheart, what are you doing?”
“Err nothing, lost something! Contact lens!” she mumbled back.
“Kid! You don’t wear contact lenses!”
“I do now!” she said with slightly gritted teeth. The waiter was looking at her a little strangely. So was Murdock and Face for that matter. Murdock and Face looked at each other then gave a shrug to one another as if to say ‘women, strange creatures’. BA and Hannibal, as if to make it even more obvious had slightly sat up to look over the table to see if they could see Amy and whatever she was doing.
“What do you want to drink? I was going to order a bottle of champagne.”
“Er! OK, that sounds fine,” she whispered. “I’m just going to powder my nose.” And with that she turned around, still crouched down, so that she had her back to the table and then got up and walked towards the rest rooms. Luckily they were in the opposite direction of the gentlemen sat at the table Amy was avoiding.
“Wait! What do you want to order?” Face asked. But he was too late. Amy was halfway across the restaurant and he certainly wasn’t going to shout. Not in this restaurant! He was starting to regret the suggestion of even coming to this restaurant.
Swiftly walking towards the toilets, she stumbled, as if she needed to draw more attention for her strange behaviour.
“What’s got into her?” Face thumbed in Amy’s direction.
Murdock shrugged his shoulders. BA shook his head.
“I don’t know. But it’s been since those guys behind us sat down,” Hannibal said subtly pointing in the direction of the two men behind him.
In the restroom, Amy went straight to the large mirrors over the sinks and started to powder her nose. Her make-up was quite light, but she’d decided it needed to be heavier. In her opinion, her eyes needed more distinction, cheeks more blusher, and her lipstick needed re-doing. It was important that she looked good.
“Typical” she mumbled to herself as she desperately tried to cover up a blemish near her nose.
She blotted her lipstick, checked her teeth. Twice! Lipstick on teeth would be highly embarrassing, and then checked herself out on the full-length mirror by the door. She pulled at her short white skirt, and brushed it down, she adjusted the collar on her white blouse and then her belt that was hanging on her hips. She had her favourite white boots on, which showed off her long tanned legs. She would have to do.
“Oh while I’m here” and she nipped into a cubicle.
The preening process started all over again, after she washed her hands.
To what felt like an age to the guys, Amy eventually returned. She sat in her seat and very quickly picked up the menu and hid behind it.
The guys noticed the transformation of Amy with the amount of make up on her face. It was now much heavier than usual but it did make her look more stunning.
“Kid, you’ve been so long. I’ve ordered for you.” Face smiled at her. “It’s one of the chef’s special. I think you will like it.”
“Thanks,” Amy didn’t look up from the menu.
“What’s going on kid?” Hannibal asked.
“Nothing.” She tried to be blasé in her answer.
Hannibal leaned over the table, and lowered the menu so he could see Amy’s face. “Really?”
“OK. OK. The guy behind you. Don’t look!” Amy’s eyes were all you could see from over the menu.
“What? The loud guy with the sharp suit?” Face asked. “Quite a handsome fellow?”
“Shhh! Yes, that’s him.” Amy responded. “Well he’s kind of an old flame.”
“Oh, I get it. Hence the hour in the rest room!” Murdock teased.
“I wasn’t an hour!” Amy responded back sharply and took a large gulp from her champagne glass. She needed the alcohol to calm her nerves.
“Carry on Amy. So what’s with this guy?” Face was intrigued.
“We’d been together about 4 years, college sweethearts, that kinda thing. But about 3-4 months before I met up with you guys, we broke up. It’s a long story. I kind of found him with my best friend, OK?” Amy whispered the last part. “He’s supposed to be in New York”.
The four men looked at each other and then back to Amy. She was still hiding behind the menu, although it had lowered slightly more so that most of her face was showing.
“Murdock, swap places will ya?” Hannibal said and swapped seats with Murdock. BA gave a disapproving look to Murdock as he took his seat next to him. Murdock gave his usual grin to the big guy.
“So Kid, what would you like us to do to him?” Hannibal smiled lighting a cigar and then put his arm around Amy’s chair.
“Nothing! I don’t want him to know I am here!” Amy responded a little worriedly, Hannibal had that look in his eye. “Guys, please just leave it, hopefully he won’t notice I’m here.”
“I could make him say sorry,” BA growled thumping his right fist into his left hand.
“Billy and I could drive him mad” Murdock joked moving his eyebrows up and down to express his madness. “We could put itching powder down his trousers!”
Amy chuckled at Murdock.
The waiter came round the table to fill any empty glasses with the champagne.
“Look, guys lets not make a big deal about this. Lets eat our dinner and get out of here before he notices me. If he notices me.” Amy said.
“Amy, its your birthday, don’t let this guy ruin your day” Face said. “I’ve never seen you like this”.
“He broke my heart OK, enough said!” She still kept one eye on the guy in front of her. “By the way, what did you order me Face?” She turned to face him trying to change the subject.
“Ahh. Can’t remember! Think of it as a nice surprise!” Face said as he adjusted his tie.
“Think he ordered you something real messy Amy!” BA growled in his usual tone. “Lobster or some think.”
“Yeah, Lobster!” Murdock confirmed grinning at her.
Amy’s face turned into a worried shocked look at Face’s direction.
“They’re joking! I ordered the chicken!”
They were interrupted.
“Amy! Amy is that you?” The loud handsome fellow was now standing behind Amy, tapping her on the shoulder.
“Greg, fancy seeing you here,” Amy now wishing a great big hole would open up to swallow her.
“Yeah, I’m in town on some business for a few days,” Greg replied. “Gosh I was thinking of looking you up, didn’t think I’d actually bump into you like this”.
“Really? And why would you do that?” Amy said puzzled and blushing.
“So these your friends?”
“Yeah, err, guys this is Greg,” Amy then pointed to them in turn round the table starting with Face. “Greg, this is Templeton Peck, another reporter at the paper” she lied.
Face stood up to hold out his hand to shake the guys hand. But he didn’t take it. So Face sat back down awkwardly.
“You still at the LA Courier?”
“Err yeah! And this is BA Baracus and H M Murdock, both freelance photographers,” Murdock clicked at him as if he was taking a photo. BA didn’t give a friendly expression, just nodded at him. “And John Smith, he’s an actor”.
“My friends call me Johnny” Hannibal held out his hand with that sparkle in his eye. This time Greg shook his hand.
“OK, nice to meet you guys”. Greg raised his hand as if to give a wave uncomfortably at the four guys sitting at the table. “Hey, Amy, you got a minute babe, we can talk in private?”
“Err, yeah sure” And she got up and walked with Greg, the ex-boyfriend, to the bar, where they both got a drink.
“I don’t like that guy, Hannibal.” Face was the first to speak once out of earshot of the guy.
“Yeah, I know. Something about him,” Hannibal agreed. “At least Amy had then sense to make up some story for us!”
“Well, she couldn’t quite say ‘hey I’m having dinner with the A Team’, now could she?” Face replied sarcastically.
“Yeah, I like that. I’m a photographer! I kinda see me doing that” Murdock played with an invisible camera, taking a photo of BA.
“Shut up you fool,” BA growled.
Hannibal looked over at Amy and this Greg that were standing at the bar. She’d been over there some time now and she looked a little awkward. Hannibal felt compelled to rescue her, with a twinkle in his eye. Face noticed Hannibal’s grin as he got up and strode confidently over to the bar.
“Oh man, Hannibal is on the jazz again!” BA said noticing Hannibal’s grin too.
“Hey Amy, Sweetheart” Hannibal put his arm around Amy. “Your dinner’s getting cold. You gonna introduce me properly, sweetcakes, to this fella, or I gonna have to get all jealous on you?”
“Ah Han, er Johnny, this is Greg, Gregory Reed. He’s an ex-boyfriend of mine. He’s telling me he’s in town on business. Just checking out how I’ve been. It’s been a while you see.” Amy was slightly relieved to receive some assistance from Hannibal, although wasn’t quite sure what he was gesturing at she played along.
“Well Greg, you’re talking to my girlfriend here and well it’s her birthday and I want her to have a nice time. So lets say we save the chit chat for another day huh?” Hannibal grinned, pulling Amy a bit tighter towards him. “I can get mighty jealous at times.”
“Oh well, yes sure, Johnny, we’d practically finished what we had to say anyway”, Greg responded a little taken back. “I’ll catch up in the week huh, Amy?”
“Yeah, sure!” Amy replied hesitantly as Hannibal started walking her back to the table. “Sweetcakes?” she looked at Hannibal.
“Hey don’t thank me now, thank me later” Hannibal winked at her and chuckled. Amy chuckled too, relieved to be rescued from the gruelling time with the ex.
From then on in, the dinner went as normal as it can do in a fine restaurant with Murdock and BA sitting at the table. Greg and his associate had left long before them, he’d given a subtle wave out the door to Amy, but she’d been relieved to see the back of him, it brought back too many memories for her. They could relax again and Hannibal came out of his “Johnny” character, the over zealous boyfriend and they actually had a bit of a laugh about it.
BA pulled the van outside of the entrance to Amy’s apartment. Face opened the side door and Amy jumped out of the van. She refused to admit that she was any more than slightly tipsy from the amount of champagne she’d managed to drink. The guys could see different.
“Thanks guys. Was really lovely dinner,” she said, but thought to herself ‘except for one certain person turning up’.
“Hey? Amy, wait a minute. Does that creep know where you live?”
“Yeah, why? I bought the apartment just before we split up.”
“Face, give Amy some company tonight. Just in case our friend decides to show up.”
“Hannibal, it’s not necessary. Why would Greg want to come by this time of the evening?” Amy protested and started walking towards the building entrance to her apartment.
“Hannibal, she doesn’t need a babysitter.” Face whined. “You sure this guy is gonna turn up?” He grabbed a bag that carried his essentials that was behind his seat and jumped out of the van.
“I don’t know, I just got a hunch,” Hannibal replied. And out of earshot of Amy, he said to Face “If he turns up, give him something interesting to see.” Hannibal raised his eyebrows and smiled at Face.
“What? Why?” Face was now confused too.
“I just gotta a feeling he wants something and well if we give him some blackmail material on jealous old Johnny, we might see his true colours”.
“Oh I get ya” Face winked.
“Don’t give you permission mind. This is Amy we’re talking about Lieutenant!”
“Hannibal!” Face responded sharply, fiddling with his tie as he does nervously. “You don’t need to tell me! I can’t believe you even had to say something!”
“Of course.” Hannibal smiled. “We’ll be round bright and early, see you two kids tomorrow morning. Oh give us the keys to the vette, we’ll pick it up tomorrow morning. We may need the extra vehicle.”
“Right,” Face gave one of his more unconvincing smiles at Hannibal and threw him the keys to his car, slung the bag over his shoulder and then turned towards Amy, “Wait up kid!” and ran after her towards the entrance of her apartment. She looked liked she needed a bit of hand, as she was starting to wobble slightly. From the van the rest of the guys, could hear Amy protesting slightly that she really didn’t need Face’s assistance.
“Colonel, do you really think that guy will show up? What’s his face, Greg?” Murdock asked in the back of the van. “Do you really think an old flame of Amy’s could be up to something?”
“I hope not. But I just could smell a rat. That guy he was with…mmm…it’ll come to me,” Hannibal reached for his top left hand pocket where he stored his cigars and took one out and lit it. “OK BA, lets find somewhere to crash for the night.”
“Aaaghghhh” Amy growled in frustration, “what was he doing there Face, of all places, on my birthday?” She fiddled with the key to her apartment door but was getting more and more frustrated with it. Amy was taking out her frustration on the door and it wasn’t having any of it. Face assisted Amy in the opening of her apartment door.
“It’s OK, I’m really not that drunk” she insisted. “Tired, yes!” as she stumbled into the apartment.
“OK, well I’ll get some coffee on all the same huh?” Face put his bag down out of the way, and threw his jacket over the arm of one of the couches, shaking his head and then walked into the kitchen area of the spacious open planned apartment to prepare the coffee.
“Face, you really don’t need to be here, you can go if you like. Hannibal needn’t know.” Amy slumped into her couch and then took off her boots, and put her feet up on the coffee table in front of her. “Greg isn’t going to show up.”
“Well, just in case huh!” Face smiled over. “I don’t mind taking the couch!”
“I’ve got a spare room, you don’t need to sleep on the couch!” Amy sat up worriedly from her slouched position in the couch. “God! I hope he doesn’t show up!”
It wasn’t long before Face sat beside her on the couch and handed her a hot mug of coffee.
“He’s really got to you hasn’t he?” Face asked in a concerned tone. “Look you can open up to me kid, we’re good” he winked at her. He was right. Amy and Face did have some kind of bond. They’d become good friends, amazingly Amy had thought considering Face’s reputation. But he did know when to be the perfect gent at times. For Face, Amy was the only woman he could actually be himself about. He didn’t have to have this pretence of “Templeton Peck” the charmer, chaser, conman, when he was around her. He could be himself and so he usually did open up to her when he knew he couldn’t talk to the rest of the guys about something, and he liked the idea that if she ever needed to talk to someone, the feeling would be mutual.
“I know, but you’ll just think I’m crazy or something Face. I’m being a pathetic woman!”
“Crazier than Murdock? I don’t think so kid”. He smiled back at her to reassure her he’d listen to whatever she had to say. “And definitely far from pathetic.”
“OK. I’ll spill the beans.” Amy sipped at her coffee. “But don’t laugh OK, this guy broke my heart!” And she pulled her legs underneath her onto the couch, so she was sitting comfortably in the corner of the couch, turning her body towards Face, who was sitting comfortably at the other end of the couch.
“Amy, come on, you know me better than that?”
“Ok, well, just before we broke up, he’d started talking about going to New York, I’d just landed the job at the LA Courier, I’d practically been there only a couple of months and things were looking up. I just didn’t want to go. I couldn’t even understand why he’d looked at a job in New York in the first place”.
“What does he do?”
“Oh, he’s a corporate lawyer. Works for companies, suing one another for stealing designs, you know, that sort of thing.”
“So he could have found a job easily enough in New York then?”
“Yeah! Anyway, this went on for a couple of weeks, him badgering me about New York and then I just found him in bed with my best friend! I just really didn’t see that coming! My whole life shattered around me. I don’t even know to this day, how long they’d been at it behind my back!”
Face wasn’t quite sure what to say; he could see Amy had got a little upset reliving her story, more with anger than anything.
“I just turned my back on him, refused his calls, everything. To me it was over. And eventually he must have moved to New York”.
“And your best friend?”
“Oh I didn’t want to see her either, as far as I cared, she could go to New York with him. I never bumped into her, so maybe she did.”
“You sound like you had a really rough time of it, kid.”
“Luckily, Al Massey took me under his wing at the paper; otherwise I don’t know what I would have done. I just became a workaholic, but he looked after me. Then Al disappeared, I found the A Team and the rest is history.” Amy looked at Face. She’d been looking away from him rather into his eyes, trying to hide her emotion. “You guys saved my life. Al Massey saved my life really”. Amy paused, and there was silence between them.
“Hannibal and his jazz saved me!” Amy laughed to herself, as if it could be a title to her next story and trying to change her mood. But then she went back to her more serious tone. “I know that sounds a bit dramatic, Face, but I was really down when Greg left. I mean really down. I’d cry myself to sleep every night, night after night. He was supposed to be everything to me. I was suppose to marry him, have kids…you know, the whole package! Every girls bloody dream!” Amy stood up, walked around her apartment agitated. “I’ve closed this chapter in my life, Face, I don’t want him re-opening it!”
“Wow kid,” Face got up and put his arms around her, giving her a hug. “We’re not going to let him, OK.” Face paused and pulled away to look into her eyes and then joked “You currently have a bit of a love triangle going on in your life at the moment! Greg won’t know what’s hit him!”
“Oh don’t ask, Hannibal is on the jazz again!” Face finished his coffee and took Amy’s empty mug off of her and took them to the kitchen area. “I did always wonder why you were so persistent to save that old guy, though. When we first met you, I think the team thought the way you were harking on back then about Al Massey, he was gonna be a boyfriend or something, until we saw him of course!” Face laughed, and Amy chuckled to herself too. “Now I know why he was so important to you though.”
“Yeah he was really important to me back then. He was a very good friend.” Amy smiled and laughed to herself. “He still is of course, the old fool!”
Amy sat back down on the couch and then looked at her watch. Face followed her to the couch and sat beside her.
“It’s getting late, I think I’m ready for bed”. The champagne had definitely made her tired. Amy got up to walk towards her bedroom. “I gotta go to work in the morning. They haven’t seen me in the office for days”.
“I think so, kid” Face looked at his watch, it was coming up for 11pm.
“Look, take the bed in the spare room, Face, and if you want a shower or something in the morning, take a fresh towel. OK?”
“Yeah, OK!” He walked in the direction of the bathroom. “Do you mind if I go in here first?”
“No, no you go ahead” and Amy strolled into her bedroom and closed the door. She decided to put a pair of cotton pyjamas on that weren’t too revealing, but nice enough to be seen in, she could imagine the rest of the team banging on her door at the early hours of the morning. As she got into her pyjamas there was a knock at her front door. She looked at her watch. It was now gone 11o’clock. She walked out of her bedroom, Face had appeared from the bathroom and both of them exchanged a look of who could that be at this hour. Face had a dreaded idea that it could be Greg, and that he’d have to perform to Hannibal’s wishes.
“Who is it?” Amy asked.
“Amy, its Greg. I’m sorry it’s late but can I come in?”
Amy looked back at Face. He gestured that she did so, and slipped into Amy’s room, where he frantically got undressed, taking off his socks, shirt and undoing his pants and strewn his and Amy’s clothes, that he’d noticed were in a neat pile on a chair, everywhere. He puffed at the bed to make it look slept in.
Amy reluctantly opened the door to Greg. She was still buttoning her blouse to her pyjamas as she did so.
“Greg, what could you possibly need to see me about at this time of night?”
“I just had to see you.” Greg walked into the apartment. At the same time Face came wandering out of Amy’s bedroom in character. He left the door slightly open so that Greg could assume he’d interrupted a night of passion. As he wandered out of the room, he hopped a little pulling up his pants frantically, to look as if he was just making himself look decent. But the top half of his body was bare.
“Sweet heart, what is it? We were just getting to the fun bit!” Face whined as he pulled at his flies of his pants.
Face could see that Amy’s expression was of similar shock to Greg’s but she hid it well from Greg.
“Err honey, this is Greg, you know, you met him today at the restaurant.”
“Oh Greg, right!” Face walked towards him with his hand out, his jeans now firmly on, but the top button of his flies undone, still showing a little of his underwear. Like in the restaurant, Greg refused to shake his hand. So Face withdrew it sensing the awkwardness and put his arm around Amy instead, who had by now positioned herself at Face’s side.
“I just wanted to talk to Amy, is that OK pal? Can we have a bit of privacy?” He looked at the pair of them together, gesturing for Face to leave and then quickly glanced around the room.
Face was about to protest; however he didn’t have to.
“Erm. No Greg, it is late. I wasn’t really expecting visitors”. Amy smiled awkwardly. “Can’t we do this another day?”
“Err, yeah maybe you are right Amy. I can see this isn’t the right time” Greg replied reluctantly. “Maybe I should come back another day?”
“Please,” Amy insisted and gestured towards her front door.
“I thought you were with that guy, err, Johnny, wasn’t it?” Greg quietly asked Amy as he went towards the door, but making sure Face could hear him.
“Oh god, don’t tell Johnny, he’ll kill me!” Face whined and continued to play his game “We just couldn’t stop ourselves. Amy’s gonna tell Johnny soon, aren’t ya honey? You’re gonna end it soon”.
“Oh Greg. Yes, Johnny’s a great guy, but I’m in love with Templeton here. I’m gonna end it with Johnny soon. I just haven’t found the right moment yet. He’s been so good to me, but we are just not right for one another. He’s so smothering for me.” Amy added realising that she too needed to get into character; she tried not to smile as she said it. Face hugged her a bit tighter. “But Johnny can’t find out, he’ll kill us both, he’s so jealous”.
As he left the apartment, Greg turned and looked in the direction of Face and gave a smirk without Amy seeing. But Face saw it. The apartment door closed and both Amy and Face relaxed!
“Face! You could have warned me you were going to pull this stunt!”
“It was late, I didn’t think I’d have to! Anyway, you cottoned on pretty quickly” Face winked.
“I think ‘love triangle’ gave it away earlier!” Amy smiled. “But why the old Johnny’s gonna kill me?”
“It was Hannibal’s idea OK. Not mine. Just in case Greg is sniffing around for something.”
“What do you think he wants? Other than to see me?” Amy was a little puzzled by Face’s suggestion.
“Never mind.” Face shook his head. Maybe Amy was better out of the loop on this one he thought to himself. “Look, it swiftly got rid of Greg, didn’t it?” Face smiled.
“Yeah…how dare he show up this time of night?” Amy said more to herself angrily. “Now lets go to bed, I’m beat, separate beds that is!” she quickly added.
“Amy, you’re as bad as Hannibal!”
Amy awoke to chattering of male voices in her apartment. She got out of bed, rubbing her eyes and put on a robe. She walked out into her lounge area to see Hannibal, Face, Murdock and BA talking. Face was at the kitchen area, more casually dressed in jeans and a shirt, than the night before, fixing some breakfast for everyone. It looked like Murdock was trying to help, but from Face’s expression she didn’t think he was helping Face that much at all. Hannibal and BA sat at the dining table that was in the far corner, nearest the kitchen area.
“Hannibal, I’m telling you the guy was looking for…” Face dropped off his conversation with Hannibal when he saw Amy enter the room.
“Morning guys, its not even 8 o’clock!”
“Morning” they all called out in unison. Murdock gave his little wave.
Amy sat at the table and Face placed in front of her some pancakes and a mug of hot coffee.
“Face, some day you will make someone the perfect wife,” she joked. Face wasn’t sure whether to take it as a compliment or not.
Amy ate her breakfast with the rest of team, who were also provided pancakes by Face. Similar jokes passed across the table and as usual Face took them in his stride. Amy watched the four of them joke with one another. They could easily wind each other up and to an outsider you’d think the hated one another, but the stuff they said to one another really wasn’t to be taken seriously.
“Right, I gotta get ready for work. No one need the bathroom?”
The guys shook their heads and gestured that she should go ahead. Once Amy was out of earshot, Face continued his conversation with Hannibal.
“Amy said he’s a corporate Lawyer, if that’s any help to finding out who the other guy at the table was. But I tell ya, last night, he was looking around the room, mainly in that direction.” Face pointed to the area where the television sat on a wooden unit.
“mmm,” Hannibal was planning, because he took a cigar out of his pocket, lit it and puffed away at it. “Murdock, I want you to take Amy to work today. Take her car, its less obvious than Face’s and then keep watch, if she leaves the LA Courier, follow her. Don’t let her cotton on, whatever you do!”
“Yeah, coz she’s likely to go mad,” Face added.
“OK, Colonel” Murdock saluted Hannibal in his usual fun way.
“And just be careful, you might not be the only person watching her.” Hannibal added. Murdock nodded as if to say he understood.
“So, what are we going to do?” Face asked.
“We’re going to find what Gregory boy is looking for,” Hannibal beamed.
“He’s on the jazz, man, he’s on the jazz” BA could be heard muttering at the table drinking his glass of milk.
Amy finally emerged from her bedroom dressed for work. She was wearing a grey pencil skirt, just cut above the knees, a pretty white short-sleeved blouse and high black stiletto shoes. Her make up was light and as she walked through to the lounge, she was fixing her earrings. She grabbed her purse from the coffee table she’d left it the night before and checked its contents to make sure she had everything she needed.
“Right, what are you guys up to today?”
“Well, Murdock here is going to take you to work, so he can commandeer your car. What time are you likely to finish?”
“About 5pm, I suppose, unless something comes up.”
“Well, Face will pick you up then, is that OK?”
“Yeah, OK. And what are you guys going to do?” Amy was a little baffled by Hannibal’s comments, but wasn’t in the mood to protest.
“Well, we’re going to commandeer your apartment for this morning,” Hannibal smiled. “We’ve got some background to run on a potentially new client and what better place to hide out than in your apartment? It’s a comfy enough place to hide out for a while, whilst we do some digging about.” He lied.
“Right, well, I leave Face in charge with my apartment then.” And with that, Amy grabbed a spare set of keys from a drawer in the kitchen and tossed them to Face, which he caught. “Face, I expect to find this place as I left it, you hear! Otherwise you’re in trouble!” And she looked at him in such away, screwing up her eyes as if to say she meant it too.
“Huh, why me?” Face wasn’t overjoyed by his responsibility.
“Because, these guys wreck even the most luxurious apartment you can con, so imagine what damage they could do to my actual apartment? Can I trust you?”
“OK, OK. I promise this place will be as you left it.” Face smiled at her, in his you can trust me kind of way.
“Right then, I’ll see you guys later. Some of us have work to do!” Amy said as she grabbed a larger shoulder bag, which contained her notebooks and everything else she needed for her job and left her apartment with Murdock, closing the door behind them.
They waited until Amy was definitely along the corridor outside and out of earshot.
“BA, you still got that metal detector in the back of the van?” Hannibal asked. BA nodded back and left the apartment to get the metal detector.
“Hannibal, do you really think that’s necessary?” Face whined.
“Yes, the thing we are looking for could be metal, Face, and if it is, we’ll find it quicker.” Hannibal grinned.
“But what if it isn’t metal.”
“Then we tear Amy’s apartment apart,” Hannibal grinned again, especially when he saw the expression of Face’s face! “Lets just try this first, eh?”
BA started walking around Amy’s apartment with the detector in his arms, concentrating on the area first that Face had said Greg had been most interested in. The walls and the floor came up with nothing in that area, but it wasn’t long before the metal detector was beeping at the fitted unit along the wall.
It was a large built in unit that went across the majority of one wall of the apartment; it had various shelving and drawers, but also a large enough space for a television to sit within it. Below where the television sat, there were a couple drawers down the left hand side; the right side was shelving where the VCR sat. They weren’t sure if there were screws or nails that might have been setting it off. The television unit also could have been setting it off, but they thought they’d check it out in case.
BA hurriedly pulled out one of the drawers and emptied the contents untidily onto the floor. He looked inside the drawer and then threw it aside. Face winced; he could see BA was going to rip the whole unit apart at this rate and knew he’d be the one having to do the smooth talking to Amy. The contents in the drawer were mainly videos cassettes. BA then grabbed at the other drawer and emptied the contents of this drawer too.
“Hold it, BA” Hannibal called. “Look at the end of the drawer”. Hannibal pointed to the drawer and sure enough, it was double skinned. The end was thicker. Hannibal took the drawer and tapped away at the double skin from inside the drawer. It came away with ease and inside it laid a small key.
“Bingo, guys!” Hannibal said as he held up the key.
“mmm…looks like a key to a safety deposit box to me”. Face took the key from Hannibal and studied it.
BA started putting the contents of the drawers back, not so carefully.
“BA! Will you be careful with that, it’s my head that’s going to roll if this place isn’t back to normal!”
“Ah man, you ain’t afraid of Amy are you?”
“Never underestimate the powers of a woman, BA!” Hannibal chipped in before Face could protest, winking at Face.
Once the apartment had been put back to normal and some adjustments had been made to Hannibal’s specifications, the guys swiftly departed, Face locking the apartment door behind him and putting the keys into his pocket.
As per Hannibal’s request, Murdock had dropped Amy off outside her office and then ditched her car somewhere out of site. He’d decided to watch the office from a bench across the street, in a coffee shop, and various other places he could lurk without being spotted. He actually quite enjoyed this game; he was able to be PI Murdock, Private Investigator. He scribbled in his invisible notebook certain times of the day and what he had spotted:
09.30am - A woman in red coat and short skirt, (nice legs), walking a small poodle dog. Billy liked her.
10.05am - Man with briefcase walks past.
But more importantly he was watching the comings and goings of the LA Courier-Express’ office. If Amy left that building he would follow. However she didn’t, but he did notice a florist delivery van pull up and a guy delivered a bunch of red roses. Murdock wondered if they could be from Mr Ex-boyfriend, Greg, himself, to soften up Amy some more.
Murdock thought he’d call into the team to just give them an update, he phoned from a phone box on the corner, so he could keep the office in site and rang the van’s number.
“Hello! Mr Lee’s Chinese Laundry Service.” Hannibal said in his Mr Lee’s accent.
“Hannibal, it’s PI Murdock”
“Hi ya Murdock,” Hannibal reverted back to his normal voice and grinned. “Private Investigator, huh? I like it Murdock!”
BA, who was sitting next to Hannibal in the van, could be heard in the background grumbling “Fool” whilst shaking his head.
“Anything to report, Captain?”
“No, not really, just a delivery of red roses into the office at 11 hundred hours, Colonel. That’s the only possible unusual thing so far.”
“Wonder if they’re from a certain person, trying to win back his sweetheart?”
“Yeah, well, if that’s the case, it ain’t gonna work, Colonel. Everyone knows it’s a myth that women love red roses.”
“Er, no, Murdock. Women do love red roses!” Hannibal corrected him.
“Oh!” Murdock replied rather surprised. “Well, whoever they’re for, they got two dozen!”
“OK, well, just keep an eye on her. If she leaves that building follow her. This guy could mean trouble and I don’t want her out of our site if he is.”
“OK. Any luck in her apartment, Colonel?”
“Yeah, we found a key. Face thinks it could be to some kind of safety deposit box or something. He’s working on that right now.”
“OK muchacho! Private Investigator Murdock has work to do. I’m over and out!” And Murdock put the phone down and took up a new position for watching the LA Courier-Express building.
At about 12.30pm, Murdock noticed a familiar face standing outside the LA Courier office entrance. It was Amy’s ex, Greg. A very tall figure, short dark hair and quite handsome qualities that would give Face a run for his money, Murdock thought to himself. He was wearing a grey suit, looking extremely smart as to impress. The attire helped enhance his handsome features. He was holding a single red rose. Murdock could only assume it was one missing from the bunch that was delivered earlier.
Shortly after his arrival, Amy emerged from the entrance doors and gave him a kiss on the cheek to greet him. He handed her the single rose in which she laughed at slightly. They stood there and chatted briefly and then walked off down the street. It was time for Murdock to move. He followed them, from the other side of the street, to a little quaint restaurant, tucked off the main noisy streets of the city.
“Sly old fox,” Murdock muttered to himself shaking his head. He just hoped Amy wouldn’t fall for this sucker.
Murdock made some notes in his invisible notepad and took photos with his invisible camera from afar, zooming in on the subjects. He could see them laughing together. Amy seemed at ease with the man, although a couple of times it looked liked he’d tried something that she wasn’t too keen on and showed her disapproval. Either a hand on her leg, or he’d tried to kiss her hand. They were in the restaurant for over an hour and then they walked back to her office. Again, Greg, tried to kiss her, but as far as Murdock could work out, she had turned her head so that it had to be a peck on the cheek. Then she returned into the LA Courier offices, twiddling the single red rose she had in her hands.
Murdock immediately reported back to Hannibal what he’d seen.
“OK Murdock, stick with it, just in case. Face will be along at five o’clock, so as soon as he arrives, return back to us. We’re around the block from Amy’s apartment, out of sight.”
“OK, Colonel.” Murdock put the phone down in the phone booth and returned to a safe position to watch the building he’d been studying all day.
Five o’clock, on the dot, a white Corvette with a distinctive red stripe down its side, parked up outside the LA Courier-Express building entrance. This was Murdock’s cue to leave his position. Face got out of the car and leaned on the side of the car carefully and waited patiently for Amy. He’d been updated through Hannibal, Murdock’s findings of the day, so he was interested to see if Amy would confess her lunchtime engagement.
Amy emerged once again through the entrance; confident as ever with every stride she took and walked over to Face. Face greeted her with a kiss on the cheek, which puzzled Amy, her expression showed it and then he opened the passenger door of the Corvette for her to get in.
“What was that about?” Amy asked before she got in the car.
“Oh just in case we’re being watched by anyone, want to keep the whole in a relationship story realistic”. Face winked at her.
“Oh, you guys are just paranoid!” Amy protested but laughed at the whole idea of it all.
As she got into the car, Face closed the door behind her and ran round to jump into the drivers seat. He turned the key in the ignition, looked over at Amy, flashed her his smile and then drove off.
“So, anything interesting happen at work today?” Face fished.
“No, not really. Got a great lead on a story,” Amy replied.
“Really, kid, nothing? Great story eh?”
“You know don’t you?” Amy asked, turning to face him as much as she could in a small convertible car.
“Know what?” Face lied.
“I saw Greg at lunchtime?”
“No! Did you?” Face pretended. “What did the creep want?”
“Yeah I did! And he’s not a creep!” Amy jumped to her ex’s defence. “It was nice actually, bit weird, but really nice.”
“Well I suppose I didn’t think I’d be able to sit with him and have a civil conversation since all that had happened. But it was a long time ago.”
“Amy, just be careful, I, We,” Face corrected himself, “don’t trust him”.
“Oh Face, come on!” Amy replied angrily, “I was with the guy for over four years! I’m the one who should be judging as to whether I can trust him!”
“OK, OK,” Face thought he’d change the subject, slightly. “But I’ve got something I need to tell you”. Face looked nervous. Amy could tell it too.
“You’re not going to like what I’ve got to say”.
“What Face, what is it?”
“It’s your apartment!”
“You guys have wrecked it” Amy raised her voice angrily. “I’m gonna kill the four of you, I swear to god!”
“No! It wasn’t us! Its been ransacked though. We had the whole thing bugged. We heard it!”
“What? She said a little surprised, but then anger returned. “What do you mean you heard it?”
“Hannibal had BA put a bug in. They didn’t find the bug, but we do know they were looking for something.”
“AND you guys listened in, and did nothing?” She was even more frustrated now that the guys had just sat there and listened into her apartment being trashed.
“We can’t find out what they’re looking for if they know we’re onto them.”
“And” Face said nervously for the reaction he may receive, “we think Greg was there. We think he let them in.”
“Oh Face, you’re being ridiculous now!” she replied angrily. “He was with me for most of the afternoon and besides, he doesn’t even have a key anymore! You’ve got his set!”
But Face knew Greg had been there, Hannibal had gone up to the apartment in his usual array of disguise, this time as a maintenance man and had hung around the corridor, to see if he could catch a glimpse of the guys. Four smartly dressed men in suits had walked past him and he was sure one of them had been Greg.
“OK, OK,” Face tried to reason with her. “But Hannibal wants us to go in first and then Hannibal, BA and Murdock will follow. Hannibal wants the place checked for bugs. He’s sure he heard them tapping your phone.”
“What? Why?” Amy was confused by this whole affair. “If you ask me, you guys have been on one job too many lately and need a holiday!”
Face laughed at her last comment, he couldn’t agree more.
“I don’t know kid. Maybe they didn’t find what they were looking for and think by tapping your phone, you’ll give them a clue or something.” But he knew they hadn’t found what they were looking for because they had it and Hannibal thought for Amy’s safety she was better off not knowing this bit of information and so as Hannibal had requested, Face didn’t tell Amy about the key.
Face pulled the corvette outside Amy’s apartment building’s entrance. Face gave a call to Hannibal to say they had arrived and then they both got out of the car.
“So, what did you do with the roses kid?”
“Huh? How’d you know about?”
Face smiled and opened the door for her.
“You guys have been bloody tailing me all day!” Amy said angrily. “I gave the bloody things to the receptionist if you must know!”
Face grinned with satisfaction; maybe Amy wasn’t going soft on Greg just yet.
When they reached Amy’s apartment, the door was locked shut. Face used the set of key’s she’d given him earlier that day to open the door, as Amy seemed afraid to go in. As she reluctantly opened the door to her apartment, Amy gasped with shock and burst into tears. They walked in but they couldn’t go far, for the mess that surrounded them. Face took Amy into his arms to comfort her.
The apartment had been literally turned upside down. Every cupboard, drawer, shelf had been emptied or cleared onto the floor. Even her bedroom hadn’t gone untouched. As far as Face could make out, it was made to look as if she’d been burgled.
“Hey, kid, we’ll get this mess sorted in no time. Just check the slimballs haven’t taken anything.” But he knew they hadn’t and the fact that the door hadn’t been forced suggested they’d had a key. But Face thought best not to mention that to Amy, she was distressed enough, he just made a mental note to himself that they had to change that lock. Face was guessing now, if Greg had been involved, he could have always had a spare key cut, handed back his original set and Amy would have been none the wiser. The more he thought about it, the more he was getting to dislike the guy.
Hannibal, BA and Murdock arrived shortly after. Hannibal put his fingers to his lips as if to say don’t say a word to them and then BA scouted the apartment to check for bugs. Hannibal had been right, they had tapped the phone and there was a bug in the apartment, as well as their own in the lounge area. Hannibal nodded to Face and Face burst into a story to enable them to all talk.
“Hey, Johnny! Hi. Yeah bit of a mess isn’t it? I was just passing by to help Amy with a story we’re doing together!” Face said, “See, here’s Murdock and BA they’re coming over too to discuss photos etc. etc. It’s a big story!”
Murdock took Amy out of Face’s arms and gave her a hug too. She was still so upset to look at her apartment. They were all a little shocked by the state of the apartment.
“It’s OK Amy, we’re help you clear this up. It doesn’t look like anything’s been broke.” Murdock said, and then whispered “and we’re get the mud suckers that did this!”
As the guys worked, they were careful not to say anything that could give their game away, between them they gradually cleared things away. The guys put things away the best they could, but Amy thought to herself she’d have to go through everything gradually and put it away where it should really go another day, but at least if it got cleared tonight that would be a good thing, she couldn’t bear to look at the mess anymore. The thought of some stranger going through her property gave her the creeps.
Amy walked into her bedroom, Murdock followed as if to assist, but when he saw the various lingerie garments among other items of clothing strewn all over her room, he decided she might want to take care of her room by herself and he was right. She walked into the room; sat on the bed and let the tears flow for a minute. She couldn’t quite believe herself how upsetting it was. Crying wasn’t going to make the matter go away, so she took a deep breath, wiped her face and got on with tidying the room, muttering “bastards” under her breathe.
Once her apartment was looking remotely normal again, Murdock was the first to complain that he was hungry and suggested that he’d go get them all a takeaway.
Amy grabbed her purse to insist on paying for the guys’ meals, but Face gestured for her to put her money away, as he grabbed his wallet in his back pocket of his jeans and handed Murdock some cash.
It wasn’t long before Murdock returned with the food, he’d been to KFC, Amy had secretly hoped he’d return with a Chinese. They all sat around Amy’s dining room table eating their chicken burgers and chips. Knowing that the flat was bugged, the guys talked mainly in their code to discuss Hannibal’s plan further. Amy so desperately wanted to ask and understand why her flat had been bugged, but couldn’t. The code they talked made sense to them, but to Amy, she was having trouble catching on. She was always amazed to how they understood one another talking absolute rubbish.
“So, what’s the film you’re shooting Johnny?” Face asked.
“Oh it’s the old, Cat and Mouse scenario. What they don’t know is that I play one very clever cat!” Hannibal grinned.
Once they’d finished their food, Hannibal signalled for Murdock to start up the vacuum cleaner, in close proximity to the bug they’d found. He stood there vacuuming away, so that it made its whirling noise, whilst Hannibal discussed quickly with Amy the next moves.
“Kid, we’re gonna leave you now, but we can hear everything in this apartment too, remember.” Hannibal reassured her. “Face is gonna give you a call in half an hour, make the call an interesting listen,” Hannibal winked at her, “so that BA and I can do our stuff OK? We need a good distraction so we can get close to their van.”
“OK,” Amy confirmed she understood her orders.
“Think Dakota Haines,” Hannibal grinned.
“How do you know…?” Amy blushed.
“Murdock and Face told me” Hannibal winked at her. “Apparently she was pretty impressive!”
Amy raised an eyebrow and smiled at Hannibal.
“Face will drop back later, so you aren’t on your own tonight alright?”
“Alright. But Hannibal, he doesn’t have to…” she slightly protested, but really she thought, tonight she would be grateful of the company.
Hannibal nodded over to Murdock to stop the vacuuming.
“Sweetheart, I’m gonna have to go! I got a two hour drive so that I’m on set for the early hours of tomorrow morning!” Hannibal said in his Johnny character.
“OK Johnny! I’ll see you soon!“
“I’ll call you sweetheart.” And Hannibal left the apartment.
“Yeah, Amy we better make a move. I don’t think tonight’s the right night to be discussing photos you want shot for that story. We’ll catch up with you in the office tomorrow” Murdock winked at her.
“Yeah, night Amy!” BA also gave a little wink as if to say everything will be all right and then both BA and Murdock left the apartment, following Hannibal to the van.
“You gonna be alright Amy?” Face asked. “Just I better go, I got that interview remember?”
“Yeah, that’s fine” Amy responded in character. “I’ll be fine, think I’m gonna have a bath later and just go to bed.”
“Look, I’ll call you when I get there and I promise I’ll be back by nine, ten at the latest.” Face reassured her and then also left the apartment.
Amy was alone. She poured herself a glass of red wine, she felt that she deserved it and then put the radio on. She was slightly disturbed by the fact that someone she didn’t know was listening to her and she didn’t know why either, so felt the radio may give her some privacy. She continued clearing away and tidying some of the drawers, rearranging some of the shelves. Before she knew it half an hour had past and the phone was ringing. She assumed it had to be Face, and it was. She remember what Hannibal had said ‘Something interesting to listen to; Dakota Haines!’ She took a large gulp of her wine, to help her nerves and confidence.
“Hi honey, its Templeton, as promised thought I’d call you.”
“Oh hi, sweetheart, where are you?”
“Oh just sitting outside this guys house, I’ll have to do this interview in a minute, but wanted to hear the sound of your voice first.” Face was actually around the corner from Amy’s apartment.
Amy gave a little seductive laugh, which kind of took Face a little back from the conversation.
“I’ve been waiting for your call, sugar. I’m ever so lonely here, Templeton.” Amy rarely called Face, Templeton. For this scenario it seemed apt to call him by his first name, it helped her imagine him to be a different person to Face. She wouldn’t be able to do this if she was talking to Face.
“Yeah, well I shouldn’t be too long.”
“I hope not, I’m just laying here, on my couch, in that little pink lingerie you bought me, sugar, thinking of what I would like to do to you.” She said slowly and seductively.
Face gave a slight cough, shocked by Amy’s words and her tone.
“And what’s that honey?” He continued with the dialogue.
“Well, I keep imagining that I would start with your lips, your soft, soft, lips, sugar. I’d just wanna kiss them first.”
Face groaned in the background uncomfortably.
“And then I’d move my lips to kiss at one of your ears, coz I know how that drives you crazy, sugar.” Amy was trying not to laugh as she tried to talk seductively to Face. Face on the other end of the telephone sitting in his corvette, was feeling a little uneasy. “And then I’d very slowly move down, loosening your tie. Oh in fact I’d take that tie right off you and wear it myself. That’s all mind. And then I’d unbutton your shirt, very slowly, caressing every inch of your body with my lips.”
“Oh boy, why me?” Face could be heard moaning on the other end of the phone.
Amy hearing Face’s comments continued trying not to laugh.
“By the time I’m finished with you, you’ll be begging for me to make love to you, sugar”. Amy held her breath for she was scared she’d giggle.
“Sweetheart, keep talking like this, and I’m gonna ditch the interview.” Face responded uneasily. He undid the top button of his shirt and rubbed his neck, as he was feeling a little hot under his collar. Any other woman saying these things to him, he would have been lapping it up. He just hadn’t expected Amy to be saying these sorts of things, ever, let alone to him. Although he realised she was doing it for effect, it still made him feel uncomfortable. Women were his weakness after all, especially when they talked like this to him. He was also aware that they were being listened to: not only by the cronies that did over Amy’s apartment, which this little show was obviously being put on for, but also by Murdock sitting in the van.
“Oh, sugar, the sooner you come back and keep me warm the better. I’m hot for you baby but I’m getting awfully cold on this couch.”
“I promise, I’ll be back at nine honey. I’ll speed up this interview if it kills me! I shouldn’t be in there more than half an hour.”
“Well it’s been a really long day, so I’m going to take a hot bath in a minute, and then slip into bed. If I’m asleep when you get in, make sure you wake me! I’ll let you decide on how you want to wake me.” Amy pressed on in a seductive tone.
At this point, Hannibal came by the corvette to give Face the signal that he could end the call.
“Honey, I promise, I’ll wake you!” Face responded relieved he could end the call. “I gotta go, don’t know how I’m going to concentrate on this interview now, but it looks like the guy’s ready for me.”
“I’m ready for you Templeton, I’ll be waiting!” Amy whispered.
They both put the phone down. Amy still tried not to giggle because she knew the apartment was bugged and so walked into the bathroom to run her hot bath, where she felt the running water might muffle her laughter. And then she had a momentary thought, ‘oh gosh what it if wasn’t interesting enough’, but she’d gone as far as she’d dared on the phone to Face.
Face undid another button of his shirt, got out of the corvette and took his jacket off. He walked a few yards down the street, opened the side door of the van and took his usual seat. Murdock was sitting in his usual seat opposite with some headphones on. Murdock took the headphones off and beamed at Face.
“You heard everything, right?” Face looked at him concerned.
“Relax, Faceman, she was playing with ya!” Murdock smiled. “I’m a little surprised at our gal mind? But then lest we forget, she is a woman!”
Face groaned again. He could far from forget she was a woman. He was feeling totally uncomfortable about the whole conversation he’d just had, even if it had been fictitious.
Hannibal and BA got into the van and took off their black balaclavas.
“How did Amy do?”
“Fine Colonel just fine!” Murdock said as he patted Face on the back.
“The van was certainly interested in whatever she was saying.” BA chuckled. “We were able to pin that device on without any trouble.”
“I bet they were,” Face added sharply, “At my expense!”
Hannibal grinned at Face.
“What did you say to her?” Face asked not trusting Hannibal’s smile.
“I just asked her to make it interesting.”
“Face relax, you’re suppose to be lovers, you could hardly talk about the weather!” Hannibal said. “Anyway, what she say?”
“You don’t want to know!” Face responded sharply to Hannibal’s question and rubbed his neck in his gesture of unease.
Murdock was about to tell Hannibal, but Face’s expression towards him, changed his mind.
“Put it this way, Colonel, if old ex-lover boy was listening in, he won’t have been too happy with what he heard.” Murdock beamed at Face.
“Great, that’s it, laugh away guys” Face whined, “it’s always me isn’t it! Why am I the one always putting my neck on the line, huh?”
As per a usual occurrence in the A Team, Hannibal, BA and Murdock were chuckling at Face’s expense.
“So, what do we do now?” Face asked trying to change the subject from him.
“Ahh Face, my friend, the cat is a patient creature. It waits for the mouse to poke itself out of its hole” Hannibal grinned, and took out a cigar from his top left hand pocket.
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