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I sat down in the big leather chair behind the desk

Champions

By Pam

 

Rating PG

Warnings: None

Summary: Hannibal accompanies Face for a spot of breaking and entering.

A response to Raine's Lyric Wheel Challenge (posted at the A-Team Story Board). Lyrics were supplied by Ross, and appear at the end of the story. I adapted one of my quick pick responses into something longer, so if some of this has a familiar ring, that's why.

 

 

* * * *

 

Delegation is a wonderful thing. BA and Murdock were in place and Face was busy working his magic on Anodyne's safe. And I was contemplating an easy job about to be done.  Not that it paid anything, but sometimes you do it just because. This was one of those times.

 

We'd heard from some friends of BA's at the center about a problem in the neighborhood. Victor Anodyne, after spending a few years in prison for various nefarious infractions against the law was out again, and up to his old tricks – shaking down anyone he thought had any money and making life generally miserable for everyone else. We've seen it before and we'll see it again, but we could give the neighborhood some peace for a while anyway.

 

We knew that Anodyne's safe held the documents that would prove his bullying, illegal tactics and that it probably held enough money to reimburse his victims.  The plan was simple and direct. In and out to get the evidence and someone was going to jail – again.

 

"A piece of cake," if I say so myself. 

 

Face and I had slipped into Anodyne's office without a hitch. Not that I needed to be here, but what the hell, it was come in with Face or sit in the van with BA. So I sat down in the big leather chair behind the desk. Pure comfort.  I could get used to this.  Face would have to get me one for the office at the warehouse.  Not that it would look that great with the dinged up desk.  Maybe he'd need to get me a new desk, too.  Somewhere I could sit and study scripts when we had a day off.
  
And what was this?  I'd been pulling out the drawers of the glass-topped mahogany desk, one by one, and  looking inside, just for something to do while I waited for Face to get the safe open, and low and behold. . . a  box of cigars.  Good ones.  Cuban.  I think I'll have to appropriate them.  Seeing as how they're illegal. This guy was going down as soon as we got hold of the stuff in his safe, and it'd be a real shame if this box of cigars went to waste.
  
I was just contemplating whether I should put out the cigar I was presently smoking, and light up one of these other babies, when I heard the familiar click of a safe giving way to Face's ministrations.  "Finally got it open, Lieutenant?  I was beginning to wonder if maybe it was a bit too much for you."
  
He didn't say anything, which kind of surprised me, because nothing winds Face up faster than when someone questions his ability to do something.  I looked over to where he was still sitting rocked back on his heels in front of the safe.  Something was wrong.  "What. . . ?"
  
"It's empty, Hannibal."
  
 "Ahem. This gun isn't."

 

Well, well, well, if it wasn't the resident slimeball himself, standing in the doorway holding a gun pointed at. . . well, not pointed at anything in particular, not that I was going to call it to his attention. Stupid of him, really, but he was more used to telling his flunkies to do this type of thing for him. Too bad for him they weren't around. I rolled one of those lovely Cubans between my fingers to annoy him, and then spoke. "Victor, how convenient of you to stop by. Apparently what we're looking for isn't in your safe. At least, not this one."

 

"Surely, you don't expect me to help you, Smith."

 

"It never hurts to ask, Victor." I love the way he winces when I call him that instead of his preferred Mr. Anodyne. "But I consider it a challenge and I'm sure we'll get there in the end."

 

"I think this gun gives me the upper hand, and I ain't gonna lose, Smith. So why don't you get up from my desk and join your colleague."

 

"Who, me? I'm not his colleague. I'm here on behalf of the National Association of Empty Safe Inspectors – NAESI for short. We. . ."

 

"Shut up."

 

"Hey, it isn't my fault the safe's empty."

 

I had to laugh, and between that and Face's chatter, I could see Victor's frustration growing. So far, so good.

 

"I said shut up, both of you. To repeat, . . ."

 

<click>

 

"This gun isn't empty."

 

<click>

 

"This one isn't either."

 

Right on time, just what we were expecting.

 

"Murdock, where have you been?"

 

"I didn't think it'd be polite to charge in here without giving you guys some time to visit."

 

Face apparently didn't think so, but I thought Murdock's timing was impeccable, as he stepped into the room and relieved Anodyne of his gun. "Sorry, Victor. This just isn't your day. Now, about that safe. . ."

 

To give him credit, he recovered quickly enough and decided to stonewall. "You've opened it, and it's empty."

 

How was he to know that being challenged by slimeballs is what I like best. "Sure, it is. That one. But that means there must be a second safe that we haven't found yet. As a matter of fact, this whole scenario is probably going down just like you planned. I wouldn't be surprised if a few of your goons showed up, too, or didn't you think to call them before barging in here?" I think that last line hit a nerve.

 

"I don't know what you're talking about. There is no second safe, and you don't have anything on me. I've committed no crime."

 

Me thinks the man doth protest too much. I'd tell him that, but we've been standing here chatting with Victor too long already. "Face, Murdock, let's find that safe. I don't care if we have to take this room down to studs and floorboards in the process. But first, I think we need to make Victor more comfortable. I think there's something in the bottom desk drawer we can use to tie him up."

 

Victor looked none to happy when the guys got to work. Let him sweat a bit. He and I both knew that not only were we going to find a second safe, but that it was going to give up its secrets in the not too distant future.

 

"Bingo. What have we here?"

 

Murdock had just uncovered the safe and it was a true seat of power, apparently, with it ingeniously situated in a hollowed-out box under the leather sofa.

 

"Ah, I love it. . ."

 

But Face was having none of it as he tried to shush me. "Don't say it Hannibal. It's too soon."  

 

"Oh, ye, of little faith." His love of the jazz isn't as finally tuned as mine or Murdock's. Of course, he's the one who has to get the thing open, but I can't resist a replay of my earlier dig. "Is there a problem, Lieutenant? Maybe it's a bit too much for you."

 

He gave me and Murdock a 'just you wait' look and turned to the job at hand. Victor had been watching with amusement, but now as Face flexed his fingers a few times for show and knelt before the safe, little beads of sweat appeared on his brow.

 

<click>

 

Funny, isn't it, how two things as different as a gun and a safe could make the same sound.

 

"You'll never get away with it."

 

And funny how, sooner or later, somebody usually says that. Maybe we should have gagged Victor, too. But before I could respond to his profound statement, Murdock jumped in with an answer of his own.

 

"Oh, won't we? We are the champions of 'getting away with it,' Victor."

 

"Yes, we certainly are, Captain. We are the champions."  I'm not sure what inspired Murdock's choice of words, but it brought a grin to all our faces, all except Victor's, of course.

 

I turned to our 'host.' "Victor, we have to run. BA will be getting impatient, and the last thing you want is for him to come charging in here to get us, because he's a bit ticked at the way you've been treating his friends in the neighborhood."

 

So we left Victor tied up, and gagged just for good measure, and bid a hasty retreat. Murdock had the guns, including Victor's, which would make a nice addition to our stash of weapons. Face had the safe contents: He'd put the money in an attaché case we'd found in the office – it looked like we might garner a small stipend, after all -- and the documents in a manila envelope we'd send on to the police. And I had that box of Cuban cigars. Victor was going to jail. He wouldn't need any of this stuff.

 

We found BA in the van, right where we'd left him. "What took you fools so long?"

Nice to be missed. But his mood improved when he saw our booty. Not bad for a few hours' work.

 

That 'champions' line of Murdock's has a nice ring to it, but it'll never replace my favorite signature line.

 

I love it when a plan comes together.

 

~*~

 

 

"We Are The Champions"

Written By Freddie Mercury

Recorded by Queen

 

I've paid my dues -

Time after time -

I've done my sentence

But committed no crime -

And bad mistakes

I've made a few

I've had my share of sand kicked in my face -

But I've come through

 

We are the champions - my friends

And we'll keep on fighting - till the end -

We are the champions -

We are the champions

No time for losers

'Cause we are the champions - of the world -

 

I've taken my bows

And my curtain calls -

You brought me fame and fortune and everything that goes with it

-I thank you all -

 

But it's been no bed of roses

No pleasure cruise -

I consider it a challenge before the whole human race -

And I ain't gonna lose -

 

We are the champions - my friends

And we'll keep on fighting - till the end -

We are the champions -

We are the champions

No time for losers

'Cause we are the champions - of the world -

 


Champions by Pam

 

 


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